Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Studio Time and Stircrazyitis

Happy Tuesday friends - I am so thrilled you stopped by for a visit! The house is quiet at the moment, so I thought I would spend a little time writing a quick update...

First, of all - thanks to my brilliant web host, my website is back up and running properly...and even has a few new bells and whistles from the recent update that caused the issue. The home page (https://blueribbondesigns.com) now has a search bar in the upper right-hand corner...and the shop category menu on the left-hand side (desktop version) now has fly-out category menus to help you quickly find items. Thank you for your patience while we got things straightened out...and a little extra appreciation for those who have placed orders and supported my small business during this challenging time - I am truly grateful for your patronage.

I have also been keeping things running smoothly in the studio, completing another huge pile of custom orders this past week. My list is starting to feel more manageable, which is a great feeling! I finished quite a few project bags, some lovely needlework finishing (not my stitching or designs, just my finishing), and a ton of the Brenda Gervais (WTNT) fabric panel project bags (thank goodness I have them all completed at the moment - they are a TON of work, so I need to look at my pricing going forward - I definitely need a little break from these, so I am happy Brenda's shop is currently sold out). I also managed to get more face masks complete and will be working on more today (HUGE thanks to the supply fairy who shipped me twill tape for ties and interfacing!). Plus, I finished up a few gifts - some have been delivered and one is still in transit. Here just a few photos...

Hands On Design - Pomegranate Pocket & Pincushion

Customer Request - a Sampler Mat
This is the sampler rolled up...

Needlework Press - Jean Morgan 1834
Customer Request - a Sampler Mat

This is the sampler unrolled...

Special gifts - two cosmetic bags...both lined with cotton fabric and clear vinyl...

While the Core 4 counties in Kansas City are still on shelter-at-home orders (this includes our county in Kansas), I am doing my best to get outside each and every day - fresh air seems to be the best medicine for "stircrazyitis" (yep, that's what I am calling it). The kids (Schatzi and Garin) have been getting some quality backyard time...and our nosy neighbors (the cows) are back to keep them entertained. Our small neighborhood has a pond with a walking path, so walks around the pond are happening...and Travis and I have been taking evening drives around the pond (in our golf cart) at sunset. Right now, it is the little things that are keeping me sane...

That's about all the news for today. I have been doing some major cleaning and organizing this week - I seem to be in spring cleaning mode. I have a couple project bags to finish up, a pile of face masks, and more cleaning to accomplish....so after a bite to eat, my afternoon is booked. Then, I will on to the next needlework finishing order...

I hope you are well and finding ways to keep happy, healthy, and sane!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Sleepless in the Studio

Greetings friends - happy Tuesday - I'm so glad you stopped by for a visit!

Just a note before I show you today's creative inspiration:
The Blue Ribbon Designs website is currently experiencing technical difficulties due to an X-Cart update - I have submitted a help ticket and I am not so patiently waiting for them to sort out their issue (while pulling out most of my hair and shedding a few tears...I hate it when others make my brand look bad). For now, if you need anything, please visit my Etsy Shop: https://blueribbondesigns.etsy.com/ - thank you for your patience...and say a little prayer for my sanity. Fingers crossed it is back up and running properly soon...

Now, for some fabulous finishes to brighten your day and hopefully inspire your creativity! I have been living in my studio, barely coming up for air...trying to get caught up on client orders. Here are some of my finishes from the last week...lots of project bags and some special needlework finishing...not my stitching or designs, just my finishing work and ideas...

Brenda Gervais - Grand Olde Flag
Finished as a Stitching Wallet (my own finishing idea)

Brenda Gervais - Grand Olde Flag
Finished as a Stitching Wallet (my own finishing idea)

Brenda Gervais - Ode to the Ort No. 2
Finished as a Pin Pillow/Bowl Filler
 (my own finishing idea)

I believe this was a class piece that was mounted on top of a box...

Small Project Bag with three Stitch Starter Ruler Sleeves
Three Large Project Bags

Customer Request - a Sampler Mat
This is the sampler rolled up...

Needlework Press - Jean Morgan 1834
Customer Request - a Sampler Mat

This is the sampler unrolled...

Large Project Bag
Two Small Project Bags

Large Project Bag
Tool Bag
Artist Bag

Small Project Bag
Tool Bag

Two Large Project Bags
Artist Bag

I'll be back in the studio this afternoon, working on more project bags (made from Brenda Gervais  fabric panels) and another sampler mat...I am hoping it will be another productive day. The sun is shining and I am planning to get outside for a walk this afternoon - the fresh air will do me good!

A final note for today:
A HUGE thank you to everyone that leaves me comments, follows me on social media, orders from my websites, and sends me needlework finishing and custom sewing/quilting orders! In these challenging times of uncertainty, you all truly brighten my days and encourage me more than you know. Thank you for supporting my small business and keeping me in stitches.💓

I hope you are experiencing sunshine and creativity today...

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Samplings from the Studio

It's been a productive week in the studio and I am steadily working through piles of overdue client orders. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind, but I am finally back in my studio and getting through my bins of projects, one by one. It is feels good to actually start crossing things off my to-do list. Today's post contains sewing, quilting and needlework finishing...all for one very special (and very patient) customer (and dear friend). I started this order before we unexpectedly headed up to Iowa and it is finally complete - eight pieces of needlework finishing, two project bags, and a quilted stitching mat. I shipped these beauties to Virginia earlier this week and they are now safe and sound in their new home. I have since finished a couple more orders (which I will share soon) and I am ready to start cutting the next project bag order this evening. It feels so good to be creative during this "stay-at-home stretch"...

Quilted Stitching Mat
Fabric: Heritage Reds & Blues by Dover Hill  Studio for Benartex Fabrics

Backing was from another collection - found in my stash.

Two Large Project Bags

Autumn Leaf - from a kit by Heart in Hand

Snow Bird from Tiny Tidings XIX by Lizzie Kate

Berry Thief by The Gentle Art/Catherine Theron

Hayride Happenings - Blue Ribbon Designs

It's You I Like - Itiskismet Stitches and Bendy Stitchy

Regal Red Christmas - Milady's Needle (2010 JCS Ornament Issue)

Stitched Together by a Common Thread from Petal Pusher Designs

...and here is what one of the new masks I have been working on looks like...the  Face Mask Templates (small, medium and large) that I ordered from Claire at Shop Stitch Buzz work really well and save a lot of time...I cut around them with my tiny (18mm) rotary cutter. This is one of the medium size masks...

Thanks for stopping by today - I hope you have the chance to work on something creative this weekend! I will be back real soon with some more gorgeous finished projects to inspire you...

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Meet in the Middle

Let's be honest...I've really been struggling to find a balance lately - most days seem completely out of my control....and my lists seem never-ending. A few weeks ago, I hit the reset button over the weekend and worked on a really fun table runner (which was made for a gift)...sometimes switching up projects for a day helps keep me fresh and motivated. This scrappy table runner (titled Meet in the Middle) was the project in the February Sew Sampler Box from Fat Quarter Shop.

This monthly subscription quilting box was a birthday surprise and was filled with goodies. The February box included two Mackinac Island Charm Packs by Minick & Simpson for Moda Fabrics, the Meet in the Middle Quilt Pattern and Half Hexagon Template by Lissa Alexander, 80wt Aurifil Thread (red), and Diagonal Seam Tape by Cluck Cluck Sew. I knew right away I wanted to make the table runner...and I had some yardage of an older collection from Minick & Simpson (Bar Harbor) in my stash that was perfect for binding and backing. I also have to admit, I had a cutting die for the half hexagon that I used to cut the pieces, instead of using the template. Although, this project may look complicated...it is actually rows of half hexagons, so there are no inset or Y-seams! I was SUPER happy with how this turned out...and working on this project definitely helped me recharge and gain some focus.

I was excited when the March Sew Sampler Box arrived with Tula Pink products! I am not a huge fan of the pattern that was included for March, but I know I will come up with something for these vibrant colors...and who can resist bright pink unicorn head straight pins?! I have a few ideas in mind for the fabrics, but they will have to wait until I feel like my workload is a little more under control...

While I am daydreaming about what to make with the Tula Pink fabrics, I'll be in my studio working on client orders - project bags are on the table for tonight. I will also be making more masks for those in need. I received some Face Mask Templates (they come in small, medium and large) today that I am going to try out later tonight - these are a different style than the ones I have been making - shout out to Claire at Shop Stitch Buzz...these look pretty easy to use and have a pocket for a filter...

Well, I have procrastinated long enough...time to get back to work! I hope you are staying well and positive...find time to do something that makes you happy...