Qustom quilts for baby, crib, lap, and wall.

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I’ve never been particularly fond of Friday, as days go anyway. Thursday is a personal favorite because Thursday never let’s me down. Good things always happen on Thursday. I met the love of my life on a Thursday. We married on a Thursday, and we’re going on 23 years now. My youngest grandson was born on a Thursday. And the list goes on and on and on. Monday, for me, is filled with hope of a new beginning every 7 days. Sunday, time to rest, relax, and worship. But, Friday? Never fails to live up to Murphy’s Law.

It’s 7 p.m. here and in less that 12 hours, set-up begins for Pumpkinfest. Ever since my feet hit the floor this morning, Murphy’s Law has been enacted on the very day I needed everything to go according to plan. My printer broke down knowing full well I had flyers to print for tomorrow and I ended up taking my quick-stick to Print Shack to get what I needed done. My carpal tunnel chose today to really get achy. One of my dogs scared the crap out of me getting hurt. (She’s okay now, but holy collards!) And, our kitchen plumbing, which is 60 years old, chose the day I needed peace in my world to finally give it up and had to be replaced from the sink all the way to the sewage outlet. My husband has been under the house for hours making that happen.

Now he’s loading my car for our early morning trek to Macon County and I’m ready for bed, which is where I’m headed in a few minutes afraid to ask the ages old question…

Thank you, Friday, for never failing to live up to Murphy’s Law. (I am sneering at as I say that at the very thought of Friday’s name.)

Come see me tomorrow in downtown Franklin, NC. I’m in booth 11 just down from town hall! (I will be smiling!)

IMG_2970Dear Bee Darned…It seems there’s a LOT going on in your shop. What all do you do and what services do you provide?

Honestly, it seems as if there are no bounds to what I do!

I learned embroidery, crochet, and quilting from a young age, and while I’ve tinkered with each of them over the years, embroidery and quilting seems to have stuck the hardest. Nearly all my creations will have an embroidered or quilted element, and most often, I combine the two techniques to create something unique in and from these art forms. I make totes, table runners, wall quilts, baby quilts, quilt quilts, lap quilts, tater sacks, mug rugs, hot pads, table toppers, scarves, pillow cases, and the list goes on and on. If you can imagine it, I can probably make it or at least attempt it. And if I can’t, I’ll let you know up front. Everything you see me post on my Facebook page is for sale if it’s not marked as a special order for someone. If you’re interested in something I show on the page, ask me! I will quote you a price that includes shipping the item, or I’ll meet up locally to deliver. See something you’d like tweaked to your specs and maybe in a different color? Ask! I’ll be happy to work with you on a special order. If you prefer to just buy an already finished product, I have an Etsy store with several pieces ready to be shipped.

I also make tee-shirt quilts, although in the festival off season. So, I’ll begin taking orders for those in January. Slots for that type work usually fill fast, so be watching for when I open season on those and get your name on the list quickly.

In my dining room, rather than a dining room table, I have a long arm quilter set up. I can and will quilt your finished quilt up to a queen size. My designs are a bit limited as I’ve just been doing this a while and templates are expensive, but I bet I can find something to suit your needs. I’ll even hem your quilt for an extra charge. I can provide backing through a high-quality sheet, or you can bring your own. I provide the batting unless you have a particular batting you prefer to what I provide. Bringing your own backing and batting will offset the cost a bit in your favor. On quilting I ask for half the payment when you drop off and half when you pick up.

On special orders, I do not ask for payment up front. If you’re not happy once the project is complete you are under no obligation to purchase it. I can always show it at a festival. I want my clients 100% happy with what I do before they pay. If you absolutely love what I’ve created for you, I’ll ask for payment at that time before I ship or upon receipt if I deliver. I take PayPal for orders that need shipped, or for festival purchases or delivered items I will accept cash or I have a Square so you may use your credit or debit card.

That’s a bit about what exactly I do. I’d love to work with you on a special project or help you out with quilting needs. Message me on the Facebook page, contact me through the contact form here on the site, or email me at beedarnedltd@gmail.com.

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I get asked many times, particularly on social media…

Do you have a physical store someone could come to and shop?

The short answer is no.

The little bit longer answer is, while I am listed as a “business” on social media sites because they make it a bit difficult to wedge what I do into a “category”, I don’t have an actual store front. However, that doesn’t mean I’m inaccessible other than my Etsy store or Facebook. I’m more than willing to meet up locally with someone with a few pieces they might be interested in to see if it’s a good match before they buy. I also attend area festivals, so there are a few chances to attend a fun activity and find me in my booth with all my wares. Another option I’ve been pondering is having an open house a couple of times a year if I can find enough interest in such a thing. I’d have the open house set up in my carriage house complete with sweet treats and refreshing beverages.

Do you take special orders?

I do! I take special orders for all my products, or we can start from scratch with an idea. I’ll tell you upfront if your project is something beyond my skill level. Once I have a good idea of what you want, how much fabric, supplies and man hours are involved, and if I have to special order anything to complete what you’d like, I’ll give you a quote. If we’re in agreement, I’ll proceed with the project BUT you will not owe me anything until it’s complete. This way if you’re unsatisfied with the finished result, you owe nothing. I will keep in contact with you along the way and send pictures of the process and once the item is completed. If you’re happy, I’ll invoice you through PayPal and once payment is received in full, I’ll ship your item to you. You can contact me with your special orders either through the contact form on this site, through PM on Facebook, or you can email me at beedarnedltd@gmail.com.

Be watching for more frequently asked questions in the future, and if you have a question you’d like answered, let me know.

IMG_2798Where or where has Denisea been? Mostly at the sewing table getting ready for the next festival in October. My inaugural foray into the world of festivaling was in July at the Appalachian Heritage Day in downtown Franklin, NC. Let me just say, it was HOT that day. And it rained that afternoon, which exacerbated the humidity. However, even though I glowed way more than I normally like to, I learned an immense amount at my very first crafty event.

My Square works! That was a gigantic relief to find out that I did have enough signal downtown to access my Square app so my customers could easily pay with a card of their choosing. And it was my first time trying my Square reader, so I became more familiar with the workings as the day went on. It takes MarshFox and I less than an hour to set up my tent, displays and get my product placed. That’s a great time! There’s something to be said for being an organization freak and having another for a spouse. It’s a little bit miserable doing shows in the height of summer. I’m unsure if I’ll do another, especially considering the weather we had. In less than a few minutes of the rain beginning, the streets were emptied of potential customers. That’s the stink of a rain or shine event. You have to stay once you’re set up, and if you bail before the show even starts, you lose your booth rent. It’s a risk. I’m glad I took it this time, because again I learned a lot. Another great lesson was in taking stock of my displays and finding what worked best, what I need to ditch next time in lieu of another fixture, etc. I also got a feel for what products people seemed to be most attracted to. I think the biggest boon of the day was getting to know people; others in the crafting community as well as contacts for other events.

All in all the day was a success and a lot of fun. I sold a few items and got a couple of special orders. I was happy with that!

All this experience is going to go to good use October 19 when I’ll be participating in my next event. Pumpkinfest in downtown Franklin, NC will be happening from 9 AM-4PM and should prove to be a lot of fun. If you’re in the area, come out and join us! Roll a pumpkin, eat a pumpkin treat, stop by my booth and buy a Boo Bag. Hope to see you there!

image1(12)During our little whirlwind trip in the middle of May, I had the pleasure of seeing my niece graduate high school, had a visit with family, savored some delicious meals, experienced some of that famous Midwestern weather I can honestly say I do not miss, and got some shopping in. Knowing me well, my bestie in Indy had a little bit of a quilting adventure planned for me when we reached that leg of our trip. It. Was. Awesome! And, I’m woman enough to admit, quilting adventures can be a dangerous thing to my pocketbook.

If you’ve never visited Indianapolis, you’d probably be surprised at how small town such a huge city feels. I’ve dropped in a few times since Aunt Betty (inside genealogy joke) and I met some ten years or so ago, and my first trip there I was simply taken aback after having lived in, moved around, and driven through so many metropolises over the years with the military husband. The city is laid out in a simple square, extremely easy to navigate, with outlying suburbs skirting the edges, each neighborhood flavored with its own unique seasoning. And, you can be outside the “city” in a matter of minutes in any direction you should choose to drive. It’s also one of the cleanest big towns I’ve ever had the pleasure of frequenting.

image2(9)This time, Aunt Betty took me over to the Noblesville area where we spent some time antiquing and I ran across several pieces which inspired me and sparked a few new quilting and decorating ideas. This trip also involved a quilting store, Always In Stitches. Oh, my gravy, y’all! I was in high cotton. So much fabric! So many fat quarters! Panels, embroidery floss (brands I’ve never seen anywhere else), classes, machines, and books. I actually found a couple of great recommends for quilting fiction. Being as I am an avid reader of romance and women’s fiction, this tickled my fancy and I now have a couple of new authors on my to-be-read list.

Several minutes into this field trip, there I was, digging my way through a stack of fat quarters when I realized I’d lost my man. Did I mention we had our men in tow? We have two of the best guys on the planet who’d do just about anything to keep us happy. That day it was to follow us around a quilt store. Mine had gone missing. I hunted and hunted and found MarshFox in a back room chatting up one of the quilters about the industrial long-arm she was working with. It seems he’s pretty fascinated by what we quilters can do with these babies and he was all about getting the info on this particular machine and how much they were. Have I mentioned I love this man? How many men would take the time to show an interest in his wife’s “little hobby?” I just smiled, shook my head, and went back to the stacks of fat quarters.

We left there with a handful of literature on what may be my next machine purchase if MarshFox has a say in it, a bag full of fabric, and one more quilt shop destination under my belt.

Since our return to the mountain, I’ve been busy finishing up a few tee-shirt quilts and with that season almost wound up, I’m looking forward to summer and fall shows. The first one coming up is the Heritage Festival in Franklin, North Caroline July 20 from 9-4. If you’re in the area, come on by and watch some fabulous crafters exhibiting their talents and be sure to look me up.

Have a great week, quilties!

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As this is posting, I’m whizzing down the highway with my husband at the wheel. We’re making our way back to the mountains from a few whirlwind days away filled with family, friends, and a high school graduation. We’ve attended get togethers, family dinners, checked out a few sights, laughed and loved. And, I’ve made a special delivery or two.

It seems one of the hottest things smoking right now are the tee-shirt quilts. I never thought in a million years that’s what I would be getting the most orders for when back in 2015 Mom and I began taking apart my husband’s unit tee-shirts to construct what would become one of his retirement gifts after having spent thirty years serving our country as a US Marine. In fact, I don’t remember them being that popular at that point. I’d see someone hit or miss making one, but over all there wasn’t too high a demand for them. Since then, several of my friends and family have taken a look at his and as a result, I’ve had several inquiries as to whether I could take a few of their tee-shirts and make one for their graduate. At this point, I’m taking limited orders, but have enough to keep me busy a while.

One of the highlights of our whirlwind trip was hand delivering one of the tee-shirt quilts I just completed for a friend’s high school graduate. I figured being that close, we could take the time for a special deliver. It’s not part of my normal service, but I got to see a friend and take joy in the smile that graced her face when she saw what I’d managed to create for her. It also saved us some postage being able to take the item to her doorstep.

The tee-shirt quilts are a lot of fun! Every single one is unique and it’s a treat seeing someone’s memories take shape in the form of an heirloom keepsake. While I can’t know what those memories are exactly, I can sort of imagine what the customer must have been seeing, doing, or feeling during some of the times they or their loved one may have been wearing one of the shirts. Some of them are sports related. Being a football Mom myself, I love imagining the wins those type shirts have seen. Some of the shirts come from theme parks and vacation spots. I can just see the family having a great time together on their road trip. By doing my small part in putting together a tee-quilt, I’m helping preserve someone’s memories. And that’s just such a pleasure and a privilege.

Thank you, clients, for entrusting me with your shirts and memories as I turn them into something which I hope you or your loved one will treasure a lifetime.

image3(4)Quilting can be a methodical thing if you let it. It is, after all, one of the many ways in which we quilters are using that high school math we never though we’d need. It can also get redundant in the use of ages old patterns or if you have a preferred color palette. If you’re not careful, you can end up with an armoire full of quilts all in shades of pink. In order to avoid, these issues, you have to do what I like to call, thinking outside the blocks.

I don’t see many people using the pre-printed embroidery blocks any more. At least not where I live presently. Where I was born and raised, it’s a little more common, but still is waning. If you’re not sure what these blocks are, take a look at Jack Dempsey’s selection. These blocks typically come in 9” or 18” and come in sets of six or twelve. The designs range from nursery themes to childhood images to flowers and hearts and tractors. They’re made with the primary thought in mind of creating quilt tops by either sewing the blocks together once embroidered to setting them like you would a patch-work with a strip of fabric separating the blocks. If you live in a community where this craft is popular, before you know it, everyone has a quilt on display in their home featuring roses. A few years ago, I began to ponder, what else could I create from these blocks?

My first venture outside the blocks was a baby bag made from 9” nursery themed blocks. I was home for some reason or other and Mom and I started brainstorming and tinkering at the craft table one day. My sister was pregnant with her youngest and I came up with the idea to create and gift her a handmade baby bag. It took a set of six blocks, three for each side of the bag. We created a bottom and side from 6-8” strip of fabric and fabric stabilizer to make it sturdy. We attached some handles and voila, we had a bag. I wish could find a picture of that first one, but alas, it escapes me where it is. Nonetheless it was a cool project!

image5(4)After that, I was in all crafty quilty mode. We’ve made market totes out of the 18” blocks, curtains out of quilts, and you can create some nifty toss pillows with two 18” blocks and a piece of pillow foam. My latest adventure is making table cloths/runners from the embroidered blocks. I’ve created a couple of them this week. One is for the store and the other is a gift. The 18” block is surrounded by eight 9-patch blocks, then it’s quilted and hemmed. It is about the size of a lap quilt and fits perfectly angled on a small dining table. It looks very elegant with some lace draped beneath. I’m excited to be making these and can’t wait to share more of them with y’all.

Until next time, always remember to think outside the blocks.

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