Friday, December 12, 2014

Brand New

Since the very beginning of Blackbird Designs, Barb’s mother, Leona, has been there to help with our projects and make sure we meet our deadlines. She probably feels like she’s  sewn on a million yards of binding in the middle of the night!

From applique to pincushions and more, she’s done it all with good humor and kind reassuring words.

Barb used the wooden box by Stephanie Elmer of Lone Elm Lane to frame the piece celebrating her mother. The Queen Crown Box has a design area of 6" x 6".

 Inside the box is a wooden insert, just right to hold these two pinkeeps.

The pattern has just been printed and I'm picking it up today. It wiill ship out to our distributors on Monday and will be in your local cross stitch shop soon!

I've been terrible about posting to this site. Barb and I are just busy... busy... busy! We are finalizing everything for a new quilt book which will be out this spring. My studio room is torn up. I decided to remodel right before Christmas and trying to get ready for the holidays. The fun never ends here.

Will post more soon!!!

Until later,


Wednesday, October 22, 2014


We just received final approval for the release of Octopus's Garden from Startling Music, Ltd. This pattern is the fourth of six celebrating the golden anniversary of the Beatles’ first televised performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Although not the last to be released, Abbey Road was the last album the Beatles recorded as a group. Octopus’s Garden is one of the most charming songs included in the album. It was the second song that Ringo Starr had written with the Beatles and some critics say it was his best.

I'm going to be humming this song all day! I'm shipping this pattern out to the distributors. Look for it soon.

Barb and I are wrapping up here. We leave tomorrow for quilt market. We don't have our own booth this time, we will be in the designer's line-up in the Moda booth. Come by and see us!

Hope you are all have a chance to get out and enjoy this lovely autumn weather!

Until later!


Sunday, September 14, 2014


I'm sorry for the delay in posting the winner! Barb and I are traveling and our connection to the web has been limited. Without further ado here are the winners...

#85 GloriaSeptember 4, 2014 at 9:14 AM
Love those baskets. I have aset of12 I've pieced but not appliqued yet. Must do it soon...

Favourite precut is the layercake.

I enjoy the layer cakes as well, simply because of their versatility. Autumn Lily is very pretty indeed. Love the soft colors.

Please e-mail me at and I will send your prize.

Congratulations to the two winners! Many thanks to all of you who participated in the contest.
Will post again soon after we return.

Until later,

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Moda Love

      It's our day to share a bit of Moda Love! Thank you for stopping by to visit us on the blog tour, and letting us share some things we love with you! (Click on the link for all of the details.)

     We love our newest fabric line, Autumn Lily, which arrived in the quilt shops last month. The color palette feels calm with a pop of sky blue. Below is Autumn Bouquet our newest quilt pattern made using the fabric line. It's an easy and quick one to make.

      Where do I love to spend my summer days? My vegetable garden in my backyard is one of my favorite spots. Weeding cucumbers, squash, peppers and tomatoes consumed a lot of my time this year. All of the work was worth it. Our weather was perfect and the harvest was abundant.

     My collections always bring a smile. This sweet tape measure is one of my favorites. Birds images capture my attention.

     This puppy tape measure is a close second. Isn't his face just the sweetest?

     I love old quilt blocks. Their faded colors and whimsical use of prints are always interesting to me. I fell in love with quilting while in nursing school. I took a quilt class, and forever after, the colors, textures and patterns of quilt blocks have been a passion. I think the best part of the design process is picking out the fabric. Putting prints and colors together always are a source of new ideas. So many fabrics and so little time.

     At spring quilt market, the Moda designers all made the same pattern with their fabric. Click on the link for the pattern. Barb and I didn't attend the market, but still wanted to participate in the blog hop. This design is calling my name and I think I will begin it this weekend. The quilt looks so easy and quick to make. Charm packs and layer cakes work great for this project. Click on the link to get your free pattern.

Of course there is a contest too. Sept. 13 is the end of the blog hop and we are drawing two names to win some fabric. We have a Jelly Roll and a Fat quarter pack in our Autumn Lily fabric just waiting for you. Leave a comment and let us know what is your favorite Moda precut....Layer cake, Charm Pack or Mini charms. 

 Today is the day to visit three more design groups in the Moda Love hop. Their links are below.
Malka Dubrawski –
Lauren + Jessi Jung –
Lella Boutique –

All of the designers are giving away fabric. Hope you are a winner!!!

Until later,

Friday, August 22, 2014

Back from Market

     I would like to update you with our newest patterns, but first we want to confess a mistake we have made and to apologize. Barb has loved the Beatles music since she was a teen, and wanted to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the Beatles performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. She designed 6 patterns and named them for some of the songs she loved. One was “Octopus’s Garden” by Ringo Starr (under his real name Richard Starkey.) Her mistake was adding some of the song’s lyrics to the pattern. We both know better and certainly didn’t mean to disrespect and violate the creative rights of the people who have brought so much joy and fond memories to our lives. This pattern is on hold and will not be shipped out until we hear from Startling Music LTD. I've written a letter to them and will wait to hear what we need to do to make it right.
     Also, we didn't realize another pattern we released "Yellow Submarine" is trademarked. I have contacted a Senior Licensing Analyst at Sony/ATV, and sent a copy of the pattern for them to view. This pattern is also on hold until I hear from them.
     I feel the need to apologize to all of you. Our goal is to publish great and fun patterns for you to stitch, but we certainly don't want to hurt others in the process. We have let you down. I wish I had a good excuse for our stupidity....but I have none. What were we thinking? Certainly we need to do better research before releasing a series like this, and in the future we will do so. Please know we are contacting the companies injured, and trying to make this right.
     We would like to thank our friend Cathe A. Ray, Proprietor of Needle In A Haystack for contacting us and letting us know of our violations. Thank you Cathe! We always want a chance to correct our mistakes before getting the "go to jail" card. (I'm making light of the "go to jail" card....but please know Barb and I are really sick about this.)

Below are our new releases from market:  The first three celebrate Halloween.

Our Beatles Series:

Sweet Baby is shown on the back cover of Eleanor Rigby. Both colorways are given in the pattern.

 The Long and Winding Road is also the third in our Sewing Box Series.

and finally....two more Reward of Merit patterns...

We will keep you posted on the outcome of the remaining two patterns in the Beatles Series.

Until later,


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Evening's Work

      My summer days have been filled with weeding, cleaning, and a walking dogs at Wayside Waifs with my son Andy for fun. Summer seems to be zooming by at record speed!

     My weeding seems to be focused on our vegetable garden in the back acreage. I can hardly wait for our first tomato. 

      In the evenings, I'm stitching. This piece has been relaxing and fun for me. I try to complete a letter or two....or if I'm really ambitious, I stitch an entire line. The flower/strawberry border really makes this piece sweet.
     I used the smyrna cross to replace some of the eyelet stitches. It made this piece faster and easier. (It's all about the fun, right?)

     During a cleaning and sorting frenzy I found this sweet needle minder attached to a piece of linen in my studio. It had been forgotten and now it's  back to work, holding my needle in place. I love this sewing aid. Wish I could remember where it's from.

     Above is the most recent Loose Feather pattern. It should be at your local cross stitch shop now.
Hope you are all having a wonderful summer. Have a happy 4th of July!

Until later,

Friday, May 23, 2014


     I'm mixing up the eyelet stitches with a bit of smyrna cross stitches. My letter "A" is off a thread or two and the "D" barely hooked up on the bottom curve. Quite a bit of cheating on my part. I'm stitching in the evening while watching TV. (Excuses....excuses) I realize you are probably doing the same and not making any mistakes.

I find I enjoy stitching this project along with all of you. It makes me feel like we are united in some way.

 Elizabeth Phirman sent the photo above. (Looks like her lovely quilt was the color inspiration.)  She writes....
 This SAL has been so much fun!  My linen choice was from Lakeside Linens 36ct.  Pearl Barley.  The border and four sided alphabet is Gentle Art Burlap.  The dark blue is GA Brethren Blue, with the light blue being GA Mountain Mist.  There are more colors to come...a slight design adjustment...hint...I live by the sea!
 Judy Tukey writes:
I have attached a picture of the fibers I will be using for this fun project that I will be stitching on 32 ct R&R Apple Brown:  Many of us at Dyeing to Stitch will be stitching along with you.  I can't wait to get started!
Gentle Art Sampler Threads:
Antique Rose, Poinsetta, Joshua Tree, Briar Rose, Uniform Blue and Cidermill Brown

Pat Ryan from Dyeing to Stitch sent her colors too. Her colors are pictured above. She writes:

     Hope it is not too late to join the stitch along. I picked 40ct. R& R Vineyard Mist. Classic Color Works silk: Rosebud, Chester Blue, Pecan Pie and Herb Garden. Also used Glorianna silk: Brick and Dried Pink Roses. 

Katrina Devine writes: Having too much fun stitching this piece :-)!!!!!
 Her sampler is pictured above. I like how she has begun her piece. As she has begun each line and has her placement secure, she can now choose which alphabets she wants to work on ...good way to keep it interesting.

Many thanks to all of you for your participation. It means a lot to Barb and me. We love seeing your samplers!!!  I'm going to get Barb on Instagram soon. Will give details on the next posting. 
Hope you all have a lovely weekend! I'm riding the Katy Trail and listening to some music.The Peddlers Jamboree is this weekend. Going to do a bit of cross stitch in the evening too! 

Until later,