Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Your L*K Christmas list

Is your Christmas list ready? Checking it twice?

It seems like we are usually more concerned with what to get all of our loved ones, than what we want ourselves. I do love to GIVE! Years ago I read one of those books on "love languages" and giving gifts was definitely one of the ways I show love.

But hey, I also love to receive those special gifts. Doesn't have to be expensive, but something sweet and perfect for me really warms my heart (and sometimes my tummy, depending on the gift!).

We celebrated our bi-annual Thanksmas at our house over Thanksgiving weekend. What is Thanksmas? It's what you do when your adult kids only come home for Christmas every other year. You roll the Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions into one joyful weekend! I'm talking stockings by the fireplace, gifts under the tree, viewing holiday lights, eating and eating some more, giant crossword puzzle, annual Ebright talks...the whole holiday thing.  There's the whole gang above, grinning after discovering a new Mexi restaurant...ole!

But back to our wish lists...I know a lot of you have cross stitch at the top of your lists. We shipped 2 brand new L*K kits last week (see below), but we have a lot of other fun holiday stitches. Here's a few things that the L*K elves are shipping lately to shops everywhere.

K93 NOEL Limited Edition Kit (includes Santa '16 Needle Nannie)

K94 O Christmas Tree Kit

K84 Very Merry Santa Kit

S128 Peppermint Sleds Snippet

S130 Wise Men Still Seek Him Snippet

S129 Snowy Sleds Snippet

S127 Santa '16 - Old School Santa Snippet

176 - Tiny Tidings XXI - one of my fave Tidings for many years!

#173 Flora McSample's 2015 Stockings

...and these are just a few of the dozens of L*K Christmas designs. We've been designing Christmas for 21 years, ya know!

****If you want to see all Christmas things L*K, check out the Christmas tab on our website.

Wishing all of your a very merry December as you prepare for Christmas and the New Year ahead. I must admit, on the years that we celebrate Thanksmas, our December is calmer than usual. And it's pretty nice. The shopping is done, so we intentionally spend time with friends and family, go to tons of Christmas events and really embrace "the most wonderful time of the year!".

Monday, November 28, 2016

Santa Needle Nanny meets L*K Magneto-Man!

We have a new "super hero" at L*K world headquarters. I'm calling him Magneto-Dot Man, but you know him as Alan,  aka Mr. Lizzie Kate. He left his cape at home today, but he's still my super hero.

We're super busy assembling NOEL Limited Edition Kits - one of 2 last minute kits for 2016 that are shipping to shops everywhere this week. 

In addition to all the regular kit goodies, NOEL kits include a Limited Edition Needle Nanny. We used our 2016 Snippet Santa, and he's pretty darn cute - in "dot" form.

We worked with the dot experts at Quilt Dots to create these amazing magnetic Needle Nannies. Each Needle Nanny incorporate 2 very strong Rare Earth magnets. The magnetic surface acts as a needle minder to keep your needles and your scissors firmly (and I mean, FIRMLY) in place while you stitch.

Back to our Magneto Dot Man story...we add a Limited Edition Needle Nanny to each kit. Below is our stellar helper, Carmen, assembling the kits (without Needle Nannies). There's stitching fabric, 2 finishing fabrics, rick rack, embellishment pack, pretty cover and graph. 

Did I mention these magnets are SUPER STRONG? The dot whizzes at Quilt Dots told us this, and sent us some helpful tips for working with hundreds of strong magnets. 

The Santa Needle Nannies arrived on thin metal sheets - see top of photo below. Then there were also neat towers of magnet backs wrapped in tissue - left below. 

When we unwrap the magnet towers, they have little white spacers in between each magnet. Without that, we would have a helpless magnetic mess on our hands!

Alan picks up a magnet front (with Santa's smiling face), holds it on front of our insert (below)

Then firmly slides a magnet off the magnet tower. These things are so strong, you can't easily lift it off...sliding works the best. Then he gets it near the back of the insert and hops into place!

Then Magneto Dot Man spaces these Needle Nannies to cover our fabric cutting board. If you put them too close to each other, they just jump and stick. Actually, our cutting table is a piece of plywood on some metal stands. These magnets move around a bit as they attract to the metal table legs...believe it!

When the cutting board is full, he adds one Needle Nanny to each kit. As photo above shows, he alternates putting them on right and left bottom of each kit. You guessed it - the kits like to magnetize to each other (right through multiple layers of fabric and paper!), so this helps.

Then our NOEL Limited Edition Kits are ready to ship!

Need a little needle magic in your stocking this year? Contact your favorite needlework supplier to order K93 NOEL Limited Edition kits. When these Santa Needle Nannies are gone, they're gone - back to the North Pole, I suppose!

We have 3 other newbies coming this week, including our O Christmas Tree Kit.

Scroll back to previous blog posts for the other 2 new L*K designs coming SOON!

Wishing you all lots of holiday merriness!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

L*K holiday charity project!

Here's a preview of our final 2 releases for 2016. Scroll back to previous post for the 2 new kits coming to a shop near you in early December.

#178 Prayer of St. Francis

I've had a lot of (prayer) requests for this one over the years. I had planned on releasing this in 2017, but now seems like the perfect time. It's a big piece for L*K, but every word is important. I found that stitching these lovely words, one little cross at a time, was comforting and meaningful.

B55 I Am Only One Inspiration Boxer

It's our first Inspiration Boxer where the proceeds go to charity - yea! Just in time for the holiday gifting season, we're inviting you to be part of our L*K holiday giving. We used a classic inspirational saying and also included a BONUS design. Kit includes 30 ct. lambswool linen, embellishment and BONUS design.

We're donating to a favorite charity of ours - Stove Builders of Guatemala  We included an insert in kit so everyone can learn about this useful and environment project to improve the lives of Guatemalan women and families.

Why build stoves in Guatemala? Here's the short scoop:

I was fortunate to visit Guatemala several years ago, and am hopeful to return again to build more stoves. Women typically cook on open fires inside their homes. The #1 killer of Guatemalan women is lung and eye diseases from these fires. Women's long skirts often catch fire and small children often fall into the open fires. In addition, a lot of wood is burned, deforesting the countryside. Everywhere we traveled, we saw people carrying firewood.

Long story American who had lived in Guatemala developed a fuel efficient stove that could be built using local materials. Besides being fuel efficient, the stove got the cooking fire off the ground and vented the smoke outdoors. It could be built for about $120.

Stove Builders Juan and Diego

Local "stove builders" have been trained (pic above), and they continue to build stoves and train more stove builders. Twice a year a group from our church returns to work alongside local stove builders and provide financial help. Can you believe Stove Builders have built over 850 stoves?!

$120 is a big price for a family where a good wage is $6 a day. Stove Builders provides $100 per stove through donations and the family pays $20. In addition, the family helps with construction of the stove.

Our hope is to provide a stove for every family who needs one. By purchasing this L*K design, you are partnering with us and stitchers around the world to provide safe, efficient stoves to Guatemalan families. ***Check out those tiny tortillas above. Tortillas are a staple food - breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

I couldn't finish this post without sharing this pic of the beautiful women and their gorgeous handmade clothing. I fell in love with the traditional clothing of these Mayan descent women. These ladies aren't "dressing up" for tourists - this is their everyday wear. Every village has it's own "pattern" of embroidery, and you can identify a person's home from their clothing. I also thought the wrap skirts were genius! No matter what your current weight, you could wind these skirts to a comfortable, cozy fit. And the COLORS!!!

BTW - this is "the gift that keeps on giving". We will continue to buy stoves - with your help - for years to come. This giving doesn't end with Christmas 2016! We really look forward to keeping you posted on our adventures in Guatemala.

"I am only one. I cannot do everything, but I can do Something".

****If you need any of these L*K newbies under your tree...or the 2 new kits previewed in previous post...let your favorite needlework supplier know NOW. We're shipping to shops right after Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Final 2016 Christmas Newbies!

We have a few more holiday surprises in store for you...just in time for holiday giving, tucking in your own stocking or adding to your wish list.

There are FOUR special and unique new designs coming later this month - including our holiday charity project. Check out the info on our 2 NEW KITS below! We'll share about the remaining 2 designs next week.

K93 NOEL Limited Edition Kit

This vintage-look kit includes a sleigh-full of holiday goodies...30 ct. linen, 2 charming finishing fabrics, ivory rick rack, antique gold heart charm, golden beads, twine and complete finishing instructions. It's a pin pillow, bowl filler, door hanger...whatever your holiday heart desires.

These are my favorite kind of little projects because they're so versatile. You can display them anywhere around the house...tuck in a bowl, lean here or there, put in a little easel, just a bit of holiday fun and handmade warmth.

This little kit also has a special treasure...we're including a charming Limited Edition "Old School Santa" needle nanny! What's a Needle Nanny? It's the cutest little Santa "dot" ever! The Needle Nanny incorporates 2 very strong Rare Earth magnets.

The magnetic surface acts as a needle minder to keep your needles and scissors firmly (and I mean firmly!)in place while you stitch. We worked with the talented ladies at Quilt Dots to make a Limited Edition "Old School Santa" Needle Nanny, and it's only available in this kit! Invite Santa and this sweet kit to your house for Christmas!

K94 O Christmas Tree Kit

Who doesn't love a colorful Christmas tree? We included 10 bright trees on this quick-to-stitch design! Then we found the perfect finishing fabric with more tree and sparkly gold accents. Kit includes 30 ct. linen, 2 finishing fabric, red rick rack, 4 white snowflake buttons, red and white beads, and finishing instructions. You supply the bits of thread from your stash and the holiday cheer!

We will preview the other 2 new projects next week, so don't forget to check back SOON!

If you want to receive these kits in your stocking this year, be sure to let the elves at your favorite needlework supplier know. Sometimes Santa needs a little help!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Lizzie*Kate gets DOTTY!

We're so excited to announce a collaboration with our gal pals at Quilt Dots!

What are Quilt Dots? They're darling little Needle Nannies and Interchangeable Magnets (perfect for scissor fobs), now available with Lizzie*Kate designs. 

We've taken some of our favorite L*K designs (including our popular 2016 Tiny Tidings characters) and now they're starring on these darling collectible dots. 

Read all about it on the website link above, and learn about all the fun things you can do with these darling dots. 

Just in time for holiday gifting (and your own wish lists), these are available to order today from your favorite needlework supplier. We'll have lots more additions to the L*K family of Quilt Dots in the months ahead.

***We will also have a Limited Edition L*K Needle Nannie featuring our Snippet Santa '16 (Old School Santa) in a Limited Edition L*K Kit coming in November!  Old School Santa is now a handsome Needle Nannie and Santa is "coming to town". We're busy pulling together all the goodies on this special kit, and will have more details SOON.

If you have a favorite L*K design/motif you'd like to see "immortalized" on a Needle Nannie or Interchangeable Magnet, please LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW!!! We would really like your input on this!!!  Hint: designs most suitable for "dots" are square-ish in shape. 

Let's get DOTTY together and add a little more fun to our stitching time!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Winnie the Pooh quote WINNER!

THANKS SO MUCH for helping me choose the "short" Pooh saying for my next chartpak. From the first day of voting, one quote took the lead and beat the others by a Pooh Corner landslide. Here's your selection:

Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.

Sigh. I know...I love this quote, too!

Today I'll be busy graphing this winning quote as a companion to the Pooh quip I've already done (above). I already finished stitching the "100 years" quote. You can see my stitching notes and color selections in pic.We will include both designs in an upcoming chartpak.

But be patient...these little Pooh gems won't be landing in your local needlework shops until January 2017. Between now and then, expect a few last minute Christmas goodies and a very special "Benefit Boxer", whose proceeds will go to a favorite charity. Just right for the spirit of giving at the holiday season, we think.

On another subject...

It's been a spectacular October in Kansas! We've been having lots of adventures in the great outdoors, but recently took a trip BELOW ground on our bikes. We rode our bikes through an underground salt mine in nearby Hutchinson (also called Strataca). Won't bore you with all the details, but it was definitely more of an adventure than I had anticipated. I'm smiling in photo below because we had just finished!

We had been on the official Salt Mine tour before. You ride a nice little train over paved surfaces (like area above) and it's fascinating. Did I mention it's 600 feet below ground? It's comfortably cool, dry and well lit. So that was what I expected when we signed up for the Tour de Salt. 

What we got on the Tour de Salt was a guided ride through a part of the mine the public DOESN'T see. We rode through the sections mined in the 1950s. It was dark (only lit by bike headlights), bumpy, and a tad claustrophobic. It's like riding through a giant grid with room size pillars of salt holding up the ceiling. We had a guide bike in front, and another guide in back, with 6 wobbly riders in between. 

Occasionally we would run into piles of loose salt - which looked like sand - and would grind to a sudden stop. I have a highly developed "fear of falling" so I would shoot my legs down to catch myself, then remember the rider behind me and try to keep going. Check out the abandoned rail tracks in picture above. Very few rails remain in already mined areas - the miners pick up the rails and lay them (recycling!) in the current area.

Now I feel like I've truly experienced the old saying...."back to the salt mines".

Have a great week - thanks again for your help on my dilemma at Pooh Corner!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Winnie T. Pooh contest...which quote do you like?

I need your HELP!

I just finished graphing and stitching a beloved quote from Winnie the Pooh. It just sort of reached out and "spoke to me" recently and suddenly it was done. Sometimes that happens! Here's the quote I already finished:

"If you live to be 100, I want to live to be 100 minus 1 day so I never have to live a day without you."

Now I'd like another "short" quote from Winnie T.P. to accompany it on a chartpak for 2017. But this bear and his adorable pals are so wise, I can't make up my mind. Wasn't Pooh indecisive, too?

**NOTE: I've already graphed perhaps the most famous Pooh quip of all. It's #156 Promise Me.

And oh my...this may be our best seller of all time.!!! We have reprinted #156 numerous times. We had no idea this sentiment was so beloved and versatile. Stitchers hang it in their offices, gift it for family, grads and caregivers, and the list goes on...just all sort of inspiring things to do with this design (like keep it for yourself!). When a design like this speaks to so many stitchers, this is what warms my heart and keeps me designing...truly. You never can underestimate the power of a talking bear.

But back to my current dilemma at Pooh Corner...

Voting will begin today and conclude on Friday, October 21 at 11:59 PM Central Time. Please, one ballot per email address only. Winners will be announced on Monday, October 24 on this blog.

Thanks for following our blog, and VOTING!  May the best bear win!!!

Friday, September 30, 2016

MORE newbies coming next week!

F177 Flora McSample's 2016 Treats

Our sampler girl, Flora, is back with her annual collection of holiday goodies with a vintage look. Flora designed 3 little projects - bowl fillers, pin pillows, whatever you want to call them/however you want to finish them little gems. Flora uses the same color palette every year, so they are compatible with her previous years' stockings and other little projects. 

Check the tiny text on these...they're all favorite Christmas carol lyrics. Chartpak includes embellishments for all 3 projects. I love Flora's sweet "treats" for 2016!

K92 A Little Thankful Kit 

You've been requesting a Thanksgiving "Little" kit, so here it is. No turkey here, but we did include those famous "3 ships" that discovered American and the New World with our pal, "Chris"Columbus on board. Kit includes beautiful Amber linen, antique gold acorn charm and golden beads.

B54 Come Let Us Adore Him Inspiration Boxer

Boxers are back, but they're UNBOXED! Check out our recent blog post for all the details. The short story...we've replaced the plastic case with a plastic sack. No more breakage and much lighter/cheaper for shipping. The good news is, same great Boxer kits wait for you inside the Boxer bag. We're pleased to introduce our first Christmas Inspiration Boxer with the lyric from a favorite carol. Kit includes 30 ct. Natural linen, 3 cream snowflake buttons and BONUS project. 

Need MORE Lizzie*Kate in your life???

Contact your fave needlework supplier and ask for these newbies. We will be shipping these designs - and new designs in previous blog post - on Friday, October 7 to needlework shops around the world. Arriving in your town SOON!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

COMING SOON to your favorite needlework shop!

We have been BUSY!!! So many new things coming out next week, so get ready for some fun holiday stitching ahead!

F163 November December Calendar Double Flip

Our 2016 Calendar Flip-it series is finally complete! And here's the good thing...we have the same 12 months every year, so these never go out of style. If you didn't jump on the calendar craze this year, think about it for 2017. Go "Calendar Crazy" and stitch the entire year as one big calendar, or choose your favorite months and enjoy. Complete instructions on our website for combining the year on one stitchery. November/December comes with antique gold squirrel and Christmas heart charms.

S128 Peppermint Sleds Snippet

S129 Snowy Sleds Snippet

These little sleds are so fun to design and stitch, we got carried away and designed 2 sets this year. They're so quick and easy, it's downright addictive. Stitched on perforated paper (or fabric, if you choose), these little guys stitch and finish up in a wink. Each Snippet includes embellishments for all 3 sleds, with an assortment of beads and buttons. We use the same color palette every year, so these sleds "match" the sleds from previous years.

S130 Wise Men Still Seek Him Snippet

Perfect for the true spirit of the season. This timeless design stitches up quickly, but you'll enjoy it for years to come. We framed our model, but it would make a great little Christmas pillow, or your favorite soft finish.

And that's not all, folks! Check back later this week for the remaining 3 new releases shipping NEXT WEEK!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Boxers losing their boxes!

What are Boxers? They're a set of kits we introduced in 2002. They've been around for a while...and around the world...literally.

Back in 2002, we were looking for a unique way to package our new kit product line. Something not too bulky, or hard to pack, but practical. It had to hold a pattern, fabric and embellishment. Alan suggested plastic cases, we researched a source, and Boxers were born.That led to the name - Boxers - and the fun little Boxer logo.

And do you remember our famous/infamous Boxer boxer shorts? I admit to still having 2 pair in my closet, and I wear them regularly around the house. We sold tons of these comfy shorts back in the day. I still remember working with our local supplier to get these flannel classics made, and having shelves of these plaid shorts
in the L*K office.

We began the Boxer kit series with several seasonal series. Then we did all sorts of stuff, including our Sweet Tooth series and a bunch of Giggle Boxers (silly sayings). You can view the entire Boxer line on our website at Just click on Chronological listings.

In 2011 I was looking for a new direction for the Boxer kit series. I decided to try some "inspirational" sayings, and Inspiration Boxers began. This has been my favorite group of Boxers yet, and they're still going strong. So many wonderful, inspiration sayings to stitches!

Several years ago, we had a Boxer contest for you to submit, and later vote, on your favorite Inspirational sayings. We were OVERWHELMED with entrees on this one. I still have the list of entrees in my file, and refer to it for ideas. The 3 winning sayings became the Boxers below, the winners got some L*K goodies for their stash, and all of you helped choose some fantastic sayings.

B48 Don't Cry Because It's Over Inspiration Boxer

B49 I Cannot Count My Day Complete Inspiration Boxer

B50 No Act of Kindness Inspiration Boxer

But back to those Un-Boxed Boxers...
Alan began asking me a couple years ago to consider un-boxing the Boxer kits. He does the shipping, and shipping costs have risen dramatically - as I'm sure you know if you shop online for anything. He proposed losing the boxes to make the kits lighter, as well as unbreakable. We have a small amount of breakage on these plastic boxes. Most of it occurs when the boxes are originally shipped to us, and we throw away several in every case.

Boxer inventory at L*K warehouse

So now we are in the process of un-boxing the Boxer kits. We ran out of our plastic box inventory, and as we replenish stores of existing Boxer inventory and publish new Boxers, they are getting spiffy new custom-sized sacks. These sacks are unbreakable and lighter to ship...but the same Boxer kit waits for you inside!

Boxed - Unboxed!!!

And...the real reason for this post...we have a NEW BOXER COMING SOON! Here's a sneak peek photo - it's our first Christmas Inspiration Boxer.

B54 Come Let Us Adore Him Inspiration Boxer

Check back soon for previews of all of our new goodies for October.

***We're delaying the promised "Winnie the Pooh" saying contest til mid-October. Pooh fans...don't despair. We'll get back to Pooh Corner soon!