Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A bit of show and tell


I've been getting some wonderful pictures and have to share them with you!




Hello, I shall want you congratulate on your models, you make me dream every day! I like stitching your houses. Above is a sample of all the homes I've stitched.
Best regards of FRANCE
Marylin and poussy
Click on her name to visit her blog!





Nina from Hungary writes, "I would like to share some photos about my pincushion with you. I love this one! I also adore this leaflet Honeysuckle Manor, I think this is the best I've ever seen :)
Materials: 40ct Newcastle linen, hand dyed by myself, Victoria Clayton HDF silk threads and a MOP button.

By the way I'd like to tell you I have created a new stitchers' blog for your designs, and some fans shared some works and will share more,
please take a visit here: http://blackbirddesigns-stitchers.blogspot.com/
Thank you!

Kind regards, Nina Click on Nina's name to visit her blog.

Nina also sent in a picture of this stitcher's book. She made it as a birthday gift for her friend Eniko. (You better be careful Nina....everyone will be sending you their birthdate to make sure they are on your gift list!)



Luned writes, "I thought I'd send you some photos of some finger plates I've just put on my doors. Sorry about the quality, reflection was a problem, but I hope you can make out your patterns.
In July last year on your blog you showed your map switch plates and I thought it was a lovely idea. I experimented with the sampler motifs from Thank you Sarah Tobias and eventually plucked up the courage to cut it (arghh!!!) into strips to make finger plates, each one slightly different. The idea is to make 6 more plates for the doors upstairs and the light switches too, but I need to recover from the cutting first.
At the moment I'm eagerly awaiting a shipment from the US of your new book, the latest two Anniversaries of the Heart patterns and the engagement diary. I start chasing the postman from mid-week onwards. He always gets worried when I'm awaiting a new Blackbird pattern.



Hello, my name is Antonella, I'm writing from Italy.
I stitched your pattern Souvenir de Farnce for my friends in memory of my holiday in Paris.
I made two of these pin keeps, one in pink and and the other in blue.


Jennifer writes, "I thought you would like to see another of my recent finishes. I guess I’m on a Blackbird kick! (This is stitched on 40ct Vintage Autumn Gold by Lakeside Linen using a Belle Soie Limited Edition Color.)

The pattern below was from a retreat by Dyeing to Stitch in Virginia Beach, VA.

Karen V. sent the two pictures below. She writes, "

Seeing everyone’s lovely finishes on your blog today has reminded me to send you a couple of my most recent BBD finishes. I stitched ‘Tis the Season earlier in the year on 32ct Vintage Pear and finished it into a pillow last week. I had the green quilting fabric in my stash and I love how the vines and leaves in the fabric matches the stitched piece so well.

I also stitched up the January Annversaries of the Heart design, Snow Garden and personalised it with my husband’s initials and the year that we met and got engaged J We started dating in January of that year, so this was really appropriate for us. It hangs underneath a picture that we had taken to celebrate our engagement, which you can see on my blog here, if you wish: http://kvstitching.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/snow-garden/



Bea writes, "First, I' m sorry for my bad English! I'm a lover from your stitch design and I' ve just finish your nice Summer Iris. You can see it here:
http://beadecaracas.canalblog.com/archives/2010/06/12/18024138.html
I'm Belgian but I live in Caracas/Venezuela because my husband works in the Belgian Embassy!
Bea sent the following pictures of the Summer Iris.



Debbie Wick writes, "I am definitely an addict! I love pincushions! I thought you would like to see these!
A nice day here in Elmira, NY. Was outside stitching on my wool applique quilt. The colors are so pretty when you are outdoors."

Below are the pictures of her sweet pincushions.
.


I will post more of these tomorrow. I am caught up almost to the end of June....have more wonderful shots to show you. Many thanks to all who take the time to send these to me.

Until later!

Alma

Monday, July 26, 2010

Quilt Class

Barb just finished sewing the binding on her project. We will be teaching this Autumn/Halloween Quilt at Quilters Station in Lees Summit, Mo this Saturday. There will be two sessions ...9-12:00 pm and 1:00pm -4:00pm. Just looking at this quilt makes me long for the cool days of autumn. (Especially after these hot hot hot hot days of our midwest summer.) The nice thing about this pattern is it could be made into a table runner or smaller wall sized quilt and still get this graphic autumn look.

Check out Quilters Station's web-site to see all of the wonderful classes they are offering.

We will also be teaching this quilt in Reardon, WA, at the Buggy Barn. Tuesday August 24th. Click on the shop name for further information about their event.

Hope you are keeping cool!
Until later,

Alma

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Silver Needle Retreat




Last Friday at this time Barb and I were driving to Tulsa, OK. Our van was packed with kits and show and tell items. (And I mean packed!) We were amazed how quickly we were able to get to Tulsa. I told Lindy they were close enough for a quick trip to look at charts, linen and floss. (A "stitching fix"....you know what I mean!)

After arriving, Lindy's staff was ready to help unloading the van. They really made short work of that process. The first thing Barb and I usually do it set up a working table. We set out items we want to talk about and stitched projects to show. Seeing the models is much better than our pictures. We were able to bring some of our antique samplers this time too. The above pictures give you an idea of what our table looked like.


Friday evening we gave a small talk. We gave out a small pincushion pattern so everyone would have something small to stitch while we talked. We give an alphabet chart and some small charted motifs, but everyone has to come up with their own design. It's really fun to see how everyone makes theirs unique. Some even used the ribbon that tied their kits together as embellishment. Aren't they sweet?

We bring Charm Packs of our fabric by Moda Fabrics. Charm Packs are just the right size to back a small pincushion. Everyone gets to choose the print they like best.

Above is a picture of the retreat area. Mary took this picture from outside the building, through the window glass. There were 144 women attending. Below is a picture of Barb and I during the talk. I'm always hogging the microphone.


Barb shared information about the antique samplers she has found during her travels. You notice I don't have many to talk about....it's because she always finds them first. We even brought the first two samplers that inspired our sampler prints in our fabric line by Moda fabrics.



We even got some wonderful show and tell. These two ladies are working on the Anniversaries of the Heart. One is on 36ct. linen and I think the other is on 32ct. Each woman is celebrating her family and hearing their choices were inspiring. (I'm gripping the microphone like there is no tomorrow!)


Lots of good food! Lindy's husband even grilled for us. Her daughter made wonderful Strawberry Cheesecake drinks...something with vanilla flavored vodka. (They were beautiful...wish I had a picture of them!!!) I didn't get to drink one though. I would have been out like a light.

In the picture above Lindy, the shop owner and retreat hostess, is second from the right.


The above two pictures are a brief glimpse of her shop. Visit her web-site for more pictures.
(Click on the word web-site for a link.)

All images are courtesy of The Silver Needle. These were taken by Mary Bolack.
Thank you Mary.....without these I wouldn't have anything to show.

Until later!

Alma

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Patterns

Boelte Hall, the company who prints our patterns has this one now. It will be ready for shipping at the end of the week. We have used the same printer now for about 11 years. I don't think I would change printers at this point even if another company offered to print our patterns for free. The people working there are friends. They go out of their way to get our jobs done quickly.....when I walk in the door, they already know I wanted the print job done yesterday. And they never grumble or complain.

"Happy Birthday" is Barb's design. She put both of our initials on this one. We were both born in the same year.....but I'm the older one. (darn it anyway!) She thought the "happy birthday dear friend" greeting could be changed if you wanted. It could read "Welcome new one", or "Happy anniversary", or even "I like you best!". Whatever suites your occasion.

We are releasing this small "Reward of Merit" pattern at the same time. Barb added her mother's initials to this one. In 1942 her mother graduated from high school. I love the way the initials and date are stitched into the border.

Our "Reward of Merit" patterns are packaged in 4" x6" plastic bags. We thought they would be something easy to pick up and quick to stitch.

These should be in the shops by the end of next week.

I want to post more show and tell....hopefully tomorrow....but we are busy trying to get ready for our next teaching engagement. We are traveling to The Silver Needle on Friday. Click on the shop name to visit their site. Barb and I are excited. We've wanted to see this shop and now is our chance. (We always love a shopping experience at a cross stitch shop!)

Here's a sneak peek at our project.

Until later.....I'm off to work on kits again.

Alma

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Applesauce

Bob and Cynthia Hanson, our neighbors have several apple trees. The variety that grows on their trees is only good for applesauce. The fruit isn't firm enough to hold up in a baked pie.
Last year, Cynthia told Bob she wasn't making any applesauce. She had made plenty in the past years....and just couldn't bring herself to do it again. Bob called all their neighbors and friends to find homes for the apples. Luckily, I got one of his calls. Bob even picked the apples and delivered them. Quite the job!

Cynthia is making applesauce this year....but somehow I'm still on the call list. They had a bumper crop.

After working for 4 hours making 12 jars of applesauce, it got me thinking. Growing food is really a responsibility. You care for it as it grows, you harvest it and after all that, there is still more. It's not like going to the grocery store and buying a couple of cans of food. It's work. I wonder about my grandmother who worked all day putting up all the food they grew. It reminded me of the time my parents worried about what to do with my brother, sister and myself during the Cuban missile crisis. They decided they would send us to my grandparents, where there was plenty of food canned and frozen to feed us. I wonder if the thought of that kept my grandmother in the kitchen making more jars of green beans or applesauce. One or two more jars might keep her family from starvation. Food doesn't last long with hungry kids.

As I only made 12 jars, luckily it's only Dave and me. People would really starve around here if it depended upon me to can all of our food!

Hope your summer has been filled with fun! More tomorrow about new patterns.

Until later,

Alma

Friday, July 2, 2010

Quick Update about Sweet Alabama


Barb picked up The Workbasket’s free chart, Pink Flower from Needle Delights in Pensacola, FL, during our trip to the beach. She added the border and words to commemorate our vacation. We are not able to give out the pattern for the flower. It is a design by The Workbasket and copyrighted by them. A portion of the flower outline is given so you can align their pattern with ours.
Visit their web-site (www.theworkbasket.net) to see more of their great designs.
Check with your local cross stitch shop and see if they also have Pink Flower by the Workbasket. If your local shop doesn't have the pattern, I know that Needle Delights still has some.

Barb did change the colors of the flower. She used GA Heirloom Gold for the flower stem.
The darker portion of the flower was done in CC Used Brick. The lighter pink portion of the flower is CC Jakey Brown. The leaves are GA Old Hickory.

Barb hasn't completed her sampler. I took it from her to get the picture. She plans to continue the border on the left up to the top and continue along toward the flower.
Hope this helps answer some of your questions about the chart.

Blogger mckie2 said...The pattern for the flower is available online at the Stitchville.com website in their May 2010 newsletter - page 3.
http://www.needleartworks.com/stv/nwsltr/page3.pdf

Until later,

Alma

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Where the heck has time gone?


I looked at my last post and was very surprised to say the least! Where does time go?

Barb and I have been busy teaching. We traveled to Tomorrow's Heirlooms for a wonderful class....do I have pictures? No!!! Augh!!!! I took my camera...but never got a chance to take some shots. The class was over before I knew it.

Then last weekend we taught a class in Liberty, MO, for Old Mill Stitchery. I also took my camera..but didn't have time to get any pictures. Time just flew by! The picture below shows our project for Old Mill. We had a limited number of these boxes so this project worked out for this class. This paper mache box has been discontinued by the manufacturer. It's very sad as it was one of our favorites.

We are going to offer the patterns for all projects we have taught next year at the Nashville cross stitch market. They will be printed in a booklet form.

Click on Sweet Alabama for the pattern.

Until later,

Alma