Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Patterns

We have two new patterns! Christmas Garden is a large dramatic sampler with a vintage feel. Barb loves to stitch a sampler for the holidays but she wanted one she could display throughout the year. It's also a record of her maternal genealogical line. You will find her initials along with those of her mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great great grandmother. We've included an alphabet so you can add your families' initials.

Two other projects are in the booklet too. A small travel bag is all buttoned  up and ready to hold your treasures as you make a winter visit. A small gift box is included too. It's just the right size to contain that special present for someone you love.

This 12 page booklet is in full color. We are trying a new layout format with our patterns. We are adding lots of new pictures to go along with each project.

The Christmas Garden sampler is stitched on 30ct. Sheep’s Straw by R and R Reproduction. You will need a 1/2 yd. piece of fabric. There will be a bit extra fabric along one edge....just the right amount to do the stocking pattern below also. 


This finished size of the stocking is 3" x 6 1/2". Barb made this one a bit larger than the other stockings in our stocking series we published a couple of years ago.

These patterns will be delivered to our warehouse on Friday and shipped out to the distributors. The shops will begin to have them by the end of next week.

I have some great show and tell pictures to show too. I will add them by the end of this week.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It's one of my favorite holidays. It's all about food and family.

Until later,

Alma

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Show and Tell



This sampler is from the book A Stitcher's Journey. The original sampler was done as a school project in the Kildare Model School in Ireland.
 Bonnie writes,
" I just wanted to show you how I personalized “Kildare Model School”. I loved my high school days and the town where I was born & grew up. What better way to remember those days…..Added my school year and initials. Hope you like!" ~ Fellow stitcher & Texan….Bonnie VanBerg


 The sewing box is made using the pattern Casting A Spell. The shadow box is from Hobby Lobby.

 Marylin writes,
"Hello!  Here is my sewing box made ​​like yours. Thank you again for giving me the address to order the box and for your models that keep me dreaming ..."
Friends of France

Marylin  My blog : http://poussy-stiches-my-love.over-blog.com/



These tags were made by making a copy of the piece Marty stitched. The small stitched piece was the Blackbird ornament from Just Cross Stitch - Christmas ornament issue for 2010.
 

Marty writes,
"I think I have finally figured out how to send pictures from my iPad.  I wanted to show you how I used your idea of scanning my finished needlework to make something else. All my Xmas gifts were given with one of these gift tags.  Your Just Cross Stitch 2010 ornament.   Thanks so much for the great idea.  

I also stitched all my needlework friends (15 of them) one of your pinballs from Honey Suckle Manor.  I will see if I can track down a photo of one." 
 Thanks! Marty Greiner
 
This pattern is from Honeysuckle Manor. It was originally a round pincushion. What a great way to finish this design.
 
Vonna Pfeiffer writes,  (Click on her name for the blog address to see more pictures!)
"I recently stitched Summer House Pincushion and did it in a different way. You can see more photos of it on my blog, but I'm tickled pink about how it turned out. I'd been working on this idea for a while now and today it all came together. Of course it wouldn't be half as wonderful without the use of your and Barb's design on it. Please see the attached picture and then more views can be seen at my blog.

Thank you so very much for your wonderful designs and your most perfect inspirations in both blog, designs and books!"



Lida Kunkeler from the Netherlands writes,
 "Yesterday I finished the flower pattern that I found in the Loose Feathers latest booklet. I also finished last week the first part of the new large pattern and I enjoyed both very much!
Today I bought a frame in a second hand shop en framed the flower and here you can see the result on my wall. Sorry for the shining, but it is a very old frame with old shining glass.
I hope we get the second book soon, so I can carry on with the big embroidery and I hope you have some great extra's again!"

This pattern was one of the bonus patterns from the Loose Feather pattern titled Summer.



Thanks to all for taking the time to send pictures of your finished projects! We love seeing what you are working on and how you change our patterns and designs to make them your own!
 
 You must take pictures of your projects and send them to Alma at alma@blackbird-designs.com...
 

 (I promise not to show this guy any more after today. I just can't get over how it looks like he is talking to me and now you too!)
 
Also if any shop owner still has a copy of Merry Christmas Ella Vaughn could you please e-mail me? I have someone that is looking for it.  Thank you! 
 
Until later,
Alma 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The New Boss Around Here


     I was going to write about something wonderful about autumn. About the aroma of leaves ....the color of light ...the final bloom of some of my plants. Then, Dave called me to come outside and get a picture of the Praying Mantis he found on the latch of the gate door. I shot 64 pictures of this guy just trying to get a couple of good ones. After looking at them in photoshop I began to feel like he was trying to communicate with me. Just look at the focus on those eyes! Doesn't he seem to be looking right at you?!!!!





 "I want you to cook dinner from scratch tonight."




"Then I want you to clean the downstairs and do all of the laundry."



"This evening you must start a quilt....I want you to cut only small postage-stamp squares from all of your scraps and sew the little squares together."

Are you getting the picture? Look at his lips giving orders. I feel like I might start marching to a new master. But wait....maybe this would work on Dave. I'm going to get these printed up and write orders for Dave on each picture.



"Pssst....Dave.....I'm talking to you buddy....go to the garage and clean it up!"

It's clearly evident I have too much time on my hands! I will be back to normal tomorrow!

Until later dear friends.

Alma



Friday, November 4, 2011


Martha Stewart's team comes up with some great ideas. I love her magazine. I received my latest issue before leaving for quilt market. The brown sugar turkey on the cover caught my eye. I flipped to page 192 and found the link and put an order in for the mold. Of course I ordered the largest size they had ....not really thinking about just how enormous the turkey was. It didn't look all that large in the picture. Of course, I should have realized the turkey was sitting clear across the room from the camera.

 

     To give you an idea of the size of this 3-D mold just take a gander at the size of the magazine cover and the mold. After reading the recipe, I realized I need 4 pounds of brown sugar to fill this baby.


     The cover says I can make the best Thanksgiving ever. You know that's just what I want to do too. Although my youngest son Greg, told me the year I made all the cookies from the Land-O-Lakes Holiday Cookie magazine for Thanksgiving, that was his best Thanksgiving ever. Will this turkey top that? I doubt it....but it really doesn't matter. I'm on this journey to make this large brown sugar turkey. I can't stop myself!

Until later,

Alma





Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Weekend

The van is unpacked, the quilts are safely tucked away and the order sheets are on the shipping table in the warehouse waiting for the books to be delivered from the printer. Houston Quilt Market was fun! As Barb and I drive to Houston, we reflect on the length of quilt market. It seems to last about 15 minutes. You work like crazy to get there.....and before you can wink your eyes, you are back home. I think Barb clicks her shoes and says, "There's no place like home" without telling me. Sometimes we wonder if we really did attend market!

We spent much of the time in the car planning new projects and books for this next year. Always a good thing for us because Barb works full time at her day job. Her work schedule doesn't leave much time for us to talk about what we want to accomplish. Luckily we had plenty this time and a bit of time left to visit some cute shops along the way. (More about that later!)

Spring quilt market will be in Kansas City, our home town. We will only have to drive down the street to get there. That can be harder for us than driving 750 miles to market....as we don't always plan our trips well. We can end up driving back home to pick up something we forgot several times as we set up the booth.


Above is a picture of our latest quilt book. We spread some easily-pieced quilts over the beds and dressed them up by adding a bed runner or tossing on a few throw pillows! The quilts and projects in the book use our Blueberry Crumb Cake prints from Moda fabrics.

Cold weather has moved into town. Winter seems just around the corner. We are having a snow/rain event so I'm spending a quiet time at home making soup and muffins. Soup seems just right for tonight.

More tomorrow! Found a great small town to tell you about and more show and tell.

"See" you then!

Alma