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...

Monday, April 13, 2020

A Quick Update

Hello friends. It's been too long since my last post...and I finally just forced myself to sit down for a quick visit. There has been a lot going on behind the scenes here and life just seems a bit out of balance. I'm going to do a quick catch-up and then share a few recent finishes...

First of all, I wish to thank everyone who reached out to me (and my family) during the recent loss of my father-in-law. Many of you know that my husband and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary...and that we have been together almost 23 years (I'll post a wedding throwback photo below)...so Richard (my father-in-law) has been a huge part of my life. In March, I spent some unexpected quality time in Iowa with my husband, mother-in-law and extended family for the military service - all made even more difficult by the current pandemic...and while it was a very small service, we plan to have a celebration of life when things are back to the (new) normal. I have many comforting memories of Richard and was blessed to talk with him several times before his hospitalization. Here is a photo I took of him that makes me happy - he has a genuine smile and his canine companions (Charlie and Pepper).

Not only was it our 20th wedding anniversary last week, but it was exactly one year since we moved to Kansas...which doesn't even seem possible. While I still really miss my Iowa friends family, Kansas is finally starting to feel like home. We have some wonderful neighbors and I can actually say I have made some good friends on our new street. The construction in our neighborhood is almost complete...last year at this time, we were the only people living on our street...and now, most of the homes are occupied...and we even got a new street light installed in front of our house a couple weeks ago. Our neighbor Eric has a fancy drone and took some lovely aerial photos of our neighborhood...these give you a good view of our surroundings. The cows aren't back in the pasture just yet...but I am hopeful we will see them soon!

Yes, I have been making masks...not for sale, but for those working/traveling during this challenging time and those with compromised immunity...just a small thing that I can do to help. Since my husband works in management for UPS and they were notified that it is "strongly encouraged" for them to wear masks, I got right to work...I made some out of some fun "brown truck" fabric I had in my stash for his management team that made me smile. I have a list of requests that I am working through in my "spare time"...and then, if they are still needed, I may make some for sale...I haven't decided...many of you are asking...I really don't want to profit off of the pandemic...supplies and time are a factor...so we'll see...

I am working like mad to catch up on customer orders and finished a large one today (pictures will be in a future post). My workload queue is overflowing - and I am very blessed to have some extremely patient clients. Here is a sampling of projects I finished up in March...

I have quite a few more photos to share with you - I have been doing lots of sewing and quilting (I made a lovely table runner) and lots of needlework finishing - I will be back to share those soon....plus I am working on some projects with a future fabric collection from Poppie Cotton that I will share in August (I'll give you a peek at the fabric real soon). For now, here are a couple photos I snapped of "the kids" on Saturday after one of their play sessions...

I hope you are happy and healthy and finding a positive way to manage during these challenging times...be well...