Monday, May 2, 2016

Behind-the-scenes at SPOOKED! Mystery Sampler

Our upcoming SPOOKED! Mystery Sampler Club is at the top of our list right now. There's a lot of action behind the scenes when we're readying for a big mystery sampler release.  We won't release Part 1 of SPOOKED! until this summer, but we've been working on it steadily since 2016 began. We want to share the prep with all of you and keep you posted on our progress.

***If you haven't heard about SPOOKED! Mystery Sampler Club, scroll back to previous post for all the scoop.

SPOOKED! is our 5th Mystery Sampler project, and it's been a learning process with each one. Remember our previous Mystery Samplers?

Very Scary 2013
Holly & Hearts 2014
Things Unseen 2014-2015
A Little Mystery 2015

When I decided to do a summer Mystery Sampler, I knew I was ready for another Halloween mystery. It's been 3 years since Very Scary, and it's our Very most popular mystery and still selling! I just saw a great pic from a stitcher sharing their progress on Very Scary on the I Love Stitching L*K Facebook page. ***BTW...if you're not a member of this FB group, please consider joining. It's an independent group of stitchers (I'm a member like everyone else) posting WIP or finished L*K stitcheries. We truly enjoy following along with everyone on their little masterpieces...just as much as you do.

I began by searching online for a unique Halloween phrase, aiming for something that hasn't been used a zillion times. Tough to do, but I'm pleased with my choice. The phrase helped direct my design, and things flowed from there. When I'm designing a Mystery project, it's hard to stay away from the computer. My desk is a disaster of notes and ideas and other projects are temporarily on hold. I'm on a creative binge and sleep-challenged until it's finished...and then I tweak it again and again.

I kept my original sketch for SPOOKED! above. If you look closely, there was a vertical option (and a different phrase) and the horizontal option and phrase I chose below. There's also a little list to the side with some autumn motifs I was considering using...just little reminders to myself. Some of them actually made it on the finished sampler! Clearly my sketches are pretty sloppy, just a vehicle to get to the computer where the magic begins, clicking on all those little squares. 

If the size and shape of SPOOKED! looks familiar to you, it is! I used the exact same stitch count as our previous Holly & Hearts Mystery Sampler. The size is so nice...not huge, but a really satisfying project. If you like to trade seasonal projects in/out of frames and have already completed Holly & Hearts, this Mystery is for you.

After SPOOKED! was all designed, I still had lots of spooky little motifs that were unused and "floating" on my design program outside the finished SPOOKED! design. I didn't want to hit Delete on all of these, so fashioned them into a group of 3 BONUS projects.

The BONUS projects for SPOOKED! are so fun!! I had a blast stitching and finishing them. Actually, I enjoyed the stitching, and really enjoyed trading finishing ideas with my finishing guru, Mona. Mona does all the gorgeous finishing (I'm sewing challenged). And she's promised to post complete finishing instructions - along with pics of the actual projects - on her fantastic finishing blog. Stay tuned to as the mystery unfolds. 

CHECK BACK SOON for another post and we'll have our "famous" sneak peek collage photo. You can use your mystery sleuth skills to pick out lots of fun mystery details from this upcoming picture. We're also working on upcoming blog posts for:

* L*K field trip to Garner, NC to visit Weeks Dye Works and see our custom color in production. Can't wait!
* Field trip to Picture This Plus in nearby Abilene, KS to watch the SPOOKED! linen and Aida in progress
* Embellishment Pack goodies
* Mona at work on finishing SPOOKED! bonus projects

Meanwhile, I'm working with 2 printers to print SPOOKED! Part 1. One printer does the full color work on the cover. Here's the proof I approved this morning for cover art. Hope to have these in our hands by end of week and begin collating and sacking.

The other printer will publish the insides. I'm still tweaking the 2.5 pages for Part 1. My proofer has completed her work, I've made corrections, and then I'm proofing all over again. Part 1 includes all the important info you keep in order to complete the other Parts 2 and 3 - the thread guide and color key. The ".5" portion of Part 1 is the BONUS 2 sided fob design and instructions.

We are encouraging shops to begin a list with us, then add to it as their orders increase and the needlework shop pre-order deadline nears on May 25 Part One shipment leaves L*K on June 15. If you want to join our SPOOKED! Mystery Sampler club, just let your fave needlework shop know ASAP. Ordering early really helps us with our suppliers to get everything you need, when you want it!

***Leave a comment if there are other "mystery" details you'd like to know behind-the-scenes at SPOOKED! We're happy to blog about them if they're not TOP SECRET.

Have a great mysterious week!

PS - Happy 33rd Birthday Ali "Kate"! We love you, and L*K wouldn't be L*K without you!


  1. Loving your to see behind the scenes. can't wait for your updates on the visit to WDW and PTP. Would love to visit WDW and PTP and see how this is all done, so anxious to see your updates. We have LOTS signed up on our auto ship at Crazy Annie's Stitchin and we will be sending you our numbers soon. Thx for another great Mystery Sampler

  2. Happy Birthday to 'Kate'! I'm looking forward to upcoming posts of your 'field trips' and the arrival of the Mystery in my hands!