Do you ever see something so creative that it just about takes your breath away? That's how I felt when I recently got to see my friend Belinda's latest Halloween design—a bewitching needlework tray with matching needlework smalls.
The talented cross stitch designer behind Blue Ribbon Designs, Belinda teaches classes across the country and she'll be teaching this project exclusively to a lucky group of stitchers at the Enfield Shaker Museum in Enfield, NH, come October. To learn more about the retreat, check out the New England Stitcher's Retreats site here. But back to this amazing piece, which Belinda calls "Mischief at Midnight"...
That adorable gate in the first photo is actually a removable needlebook that attaches to the tray with hidden magnets. Now how clever is that?!
The needlebook opens to reveal a pair of friendly ghosts, who will guard your needles. A coordinating scissor fob (top left) and pinkeep (top right) complete this charming needlework tray set.
Because she is an excellent teacher, Belinda's classes tend to fill up quickly. She is incredibly dedicated to helping her students master the techniques and prepares a handy binder packed with detailed instructions for creating the class piece. When I say "detailed", I mean it. In all my years of cross stitching, I have never before seen a more comprehensive set of cross stitch instructions! If you can't attend the stitcher's retreat, take heart—this gorgeous piece will be available to the public next fall.
Recently, I was lucky enough to get a one-on-one lesson from Belinda when she came to Ashton House for our annual spring tea. I wanted to learn how to make my own twisted cording and Belinda graciously obliged. She totally demystified the process for this novice, and now I can't wait to make more on my own. Belinda even taught me how to make two-color cording (top right). Handmade cording is so versatile as you can customize the color to fit your particular project. Selection in stores is so limited and rarely do they have the exact color I need.
Belinda uses this beautiful accent for many of her projects (including the delightful scissor fob pictured earlier). Twisted cording would also be a great addition to quilted projects! The creative possibilities are endless! Thank you, Belinda, for giving me yet another reason to love Halloween!