Monday, July 19, 2010

I Heart Blackbird Designs

I love Blackbird Designs. I love everything about them - their charts, the fabrics and fibers they choose for their designs, their finishing ideas. And then the two women behind Blackbird - Barb and Alma - they are just amazing. So creative, warm, and fun to be around. After seeing them this Spring at the Stitchville retreat, I hoped that I would be able to spend time with them again. Little did I know that it would happen again so soon!

My friend Joan and I were fortunate this past weekend to be able to attend the Blackbird Designs event at the Silver Needle in Tulsa, OK. It was my first trip to the Silver Needle.

The best word I can use to describe how I felt when I walked through their front door - mesmerized. The Vera Bradley collection was to my left - to my right and straight ahead was a multitude of charts, fibers, kits, fabrics, and finishes. I know I had this "kid in a candy store" look on my face for a few seconds! The shop was filled with other anxious retreat goers - it was a hoppin' place! Here's what I enjoyed most about this shop -- all the finished samples. Many projects were stitched over one and were finished into flat folds, boxes, ornaments - it was such a delectable feast for the eyes! I regret now that I did not taking pictures of some of the displays in the shop...

Our retreat started on Friday evening at about 6pm. There were many blogger friends that both Joan and I looked forward to meeting. Here's a picture of me with PJStitcher. Pam does not have a blog, but she frequently comments on blogs. It was a real treat to meet her!


Just to give you an idea as to how popular this event was - take a look at all the stitchers!


There were about 150 stitchers from 20 different states and Canada that came to this event in Tulsa!



After dinner on Friday night, we had the plesure of listening to Barb and Alma share some of their stories with us - how they met, how Blackbird Designs got started, where they get their inspiration from, etc.



Barb and Alma had brought some of their sampler collection with them. These samplers have been found at flea markets and thrift stores and have inspired some of the fabrics and cross stitch patterns. (Sorry, the pictures of Barb and Alma are a little bit fuzzy.)




One of my favorite samplers from their collection was this orphan sampler done with black thread on a white/cream colored fabric. Do you recognize it? This sampler inspired the alphabet sampler design that was used in their first fabric line.



This is the original Sarah Tobias...



And this is the sampler that inspired some of the designs in Joyeux Noel...



And some of the other lovely samplers that they brought along...




Our first afternoon and evening in Tulsa was quite nice. Joan and I went back to our hotel and looked forward to the day ahead. More to come....

21 comments:

Mama Joan said...

Thanks for the great time this weekend. Can't wait for our next adventure.

Vonna said...

J-E-A-L-O-U-S-Y
....that is what I am feeling....but in a totally GOOD way :)
I'm so glad that you and Joan got to share a wonderful weekend together :)

Giovanna said...

It sounds like a wonderful gathering! Seeing those inspiring samplers up close must have been like meeting celebrities, lol - how lucky you are! Look forward to the sequel.

Laura said...

Oh how exciting!!! I love seeing your pictures and can't wait to hear more. I was lucky enough to attend a BBD weekend last month and it was pure heaven!!!! Can't wait to see your project! And the Silver Needle sounds like such a great shop. I wish I could whisk myself there magically today!

Diana said...

Thanks for sharing these samplers from the BBD retreat! Can't wait to see more of what when on. Sure makes me wish I hadn't changed my mind about going. It sounds like the BBD gals came up with some new things to share.

Margaret said...

Thanks so much for sharing this with us! I just love seeing the pictures of the samplers that inspired them! Fantastic! I love being able to experience the fun you had secondhand. Lookoing forward to your next post!

Lelia said...

thx for sharing
lovely sampler pictures!!! what fun to see them up close : )

looking forward to MORE

valerie said...

What beautiful sampler photos! I am so looking forward to meeting them in Sept. I can't wait to hear more!

Laurie in Iowa said...

Woo hoo... how wonderful for both you and Joan. Can't wait to read the next part of the weekend.

Aprilblue said...

Thanks for sharing !
Merci :-)

Katrina said...

Gorgeous pictures!!! And two Blackbird weekends, lucky lady :-). Glad you had such a good time.

Deb said...

Wow, it looks like you had a wonderful time!!! I'm so jealous. And glad that you posted all the pictures. I was happy to see a picture of Pam - she and I correspond and it's always nice to know what someone looks like! I'm glad that you had a wonderful time.

Carol said...

What a great time it looks like you had! I'll bet seeing those old samplers was such fun :)

Fran said...

I met you over the weekend. It was a great event. I am a close friend of Pam's.

Fran
Arkansas

mainely stitching said...

Oh what fun! It must've been fabulous to meet Barb and Alma of BBD and to see some of their inspirations. Yay for you!!!

Karen said...

Cathy, it was sooo nice to meet you this weekend! It was a great time! wish we could have all spent a little more time together after classes, etc. maybe next time. :) great pics too!!

Annemarie said...

Thank you so much for your detailed report. And for making the rest of us so jealous! The samplers the ladies brought with them are indeed gorgeous, as are the ladies themselves :o)

pj said...

Cathy, we did have a fun weekend and learned so many cool tips and tricks and ways to use our wonderful stitching! So, so glad that we got to meet and spend a few scattered moments together but now know we will get together more often. Heck, what is 5 hrs on the road!!!! At least we are smiling in the picture! I talked to Lisa yesterday and she so enjoyed your kindness!!! Thanks for sharing....hugs, Pam

Lynn said...

This must have been so exciting to see & meet so many stitchers. Just being at Silver Needle would be a real treat.
I feel the same way that you do about BD and hope that someday I might have such an opportunity.

Carrie said...

Thanks for sharing your fun retreat experience. The photos are a wonderful bonus for this BBD fan! Hoping you'll post some of of your finishes??? ~Carrie

Suzanne said...

What a great time. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful photos.