Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Official L*K forecast for 2017!

I'm forecasting a year full of cross stitch fun for 2017!!!

****If you don't read about "how I plan a year in advance", scroll on down to the SNEAK PEEKS later in post. If you want more L*K behind-the-scenes, read the whole thing!

Seriously, I'm working this week on my tentative design schedule for 2017. Believe it or not, I do plan ahead...sort of...subject to change, of course.

Here's how it works...kind of an L*K tradition. I tear out a piece of old-fashioned notebook paper (old school!), grab an (erasable!) pencil and get to work. I pencil in what months we will be releasing new designs. That's usually every other month. Unless we're doing a Mystery Sampler, unless market gets in the way, unless...whatever else pops up. In 2016, we had 8 product releases. With only 4 months without new product releases, it seemed like we were always doing major shipments...and we were!

As I pencil in my designs for the year ahead, I refer to the previous year's schedule. There are some designs that occur yearly, and I don't want to forget those. Every year we have Tiny Tidings (tiny holiday designs) and a yearly Snippet Santa.

Then I try to maintain a nice balance of our different product lines and scatter those throughout the year. The goal is to have a little something for everybody.

Chartpaks - usually a large design or group of small designs
Snippets - small designs
Flip-its - series of small design that can be stitched separately or together
Boxers - kits that include fabric, embellishments and BONUS design
"A Little" Kits - themed kits that include fabric and embellishments
Kits - seasonal kits, often Limited Edition
Embellishments - sometimes we have optional embellishment packs to accompany designs

I don't pencil in a whole year at once! But I do have an outline. There's always room for "sudden inspiration" when I find a theme or a quote that really speaks to me and I want to share it with all of you.

And sometimes things I plan on doing just don't materialize. That's why everything is in PENCIL. Then when the new product release is actually scheduled and announced to the needlework shops, I get out the eraser and finalize it in ink.

Sometimes a design that begins as a single design evolves into a series. A good example would be S106 Spring String Snippet. I have so much designing this little "string" that a wholes series followed. Buzzy String, Spooky String, Thankful String, Merry String, Snowy String, Doggy String and Kitty String. They aren't my best sellers, but I love them (sometimes that happens!).

S106 Spring String Snippet

S107 Buzzy String Snippet


* Celebrate with Charm Flip-its. We just shipped the first 2 parts of this 7-part holiday series. They're quick, cute and each one comes with an antique gold charm. So many finishing possibilities on these! Easter Celebrate with Charm is coming in February.

* Chick Party! I just stitched 2 little Easter designs with lots of adorable chicks. I'm not sure whether to call it "Just Chicks" or "Chick Party". I'm leaning toward partying! Coming soon in February.

* She Believed She Could. Suddenly I'm seeing this saying everywhere..."she believed she could, so she did". I just designed and stitched this quote, along with another women-oriented saying that I love. This continues my theme for 2016 on self-care and empowerment and "just go girl!". Coming in February.

Coffee designs! I just finished stitching a series of 3 coffee themed designs. I know we've "done coffee" before, but there's a real "thirst" for coffee stuff. It never goes out of style....

* A Little Stitch Kit. Several years ago I asked my blog readers to submit ideas for Little Kits. I went back through that list (still have it) and decided to do a cross-stitch themed kit. Can't wait to start stitching this model because it's fun. It says "Stitch every day", which is (of course), excellent advice!

* Snippet Sleds. These little buggers are so popular, and they're so fun to design. It's sorta like solving a puzzle...trying to figure out how to fill the allotted sled-size stitch count with a cute design. Each Sleds Snippet comes with 3 sled designs. Last year we released 2 Sled Snippets (6 designs), and hope to do that again in 2017. Each Snippet also includes little sled embellishments.

S129 Snowy Sleds

S128 Peppermint Sleds

* Santa and Tiny Tidings. Every year, these make an appearance. Our 2016 Old School Santa was a very popular guy. And Tiny Tidings XXI was the most popular Tiny Tidings in recent years. I adored the 5 little holiday characters. What should I do in 2017?

* Seasonal Smalls series. I just designed a group of 3 summery "smalls" and they are so cool, I'm planning a seasonal series. What are smalls? Just what you think...sweet little designs. The fun thing about smalls - you can do so many great finishes. Pin pillows, bowl fillers, tiny frames, boxes, easels, whatever you like and they look great. My favorite thing about smalls...they are satisfying, enjoyable, quick little projects. Smalls are FUN!

* Inspiration Boxer Kits. We've done almost 2 dozen Inspiration Boxers, and they're still popular. I think a little inspiration is always a good idea. A few years ago, we had a contest to submit sayings. I graphed the 3 winners, and I still have the long list of submissions. Want to submit your favorite inspirational saying? Leave a comment below.

B56 Be the Rainbow Inspiration Boxer - our most recent release

* Just Cross Stitch Annual Ornament Issue. L*K was MIA from the 2016 Annual Ornament Issue, but we'll be back in 2017. Would you believe we submit our designs in March? I decided, uncharacteristically, to tackle it as soon as I got the request from JCS last week. I designed it and am stitching on it now. The JCS ladies will be shocked when they receive my ornament issue project in February! Definitely a first for L*K.

What else? What would you like to see in 2017???

Please LEAVE A COMMENT below and let me know what is your "heart's desire" for 2017. I keep a file of suggestions from stitchers and refer to it often. I really love the input.

Here's to a great 2017 stitches!


  1. It's a good day to have a good day :)

  2. Have you read the book 'Wonder' by RJ Palacio? Two quotes stand out from that, which I think would fit 'wonderfully' with your charting...

    'Be kinder than you need to be.'


    'When faced with being right or being kind, be kind.'

  3. "Just Breathe..."

    Sometimes when life is hard, when tragedy strikes, when it feels hopeless, I only need to remember one thing. "Just Breathe..."

  4. I would love to see another sampler like "Things Unseen." It's one my favorites that I've stitched of yours. Good luck with everything!

  5. I love your designs. I would enjoy stitching a garden design with this quote "to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow". I know you would design it beautifully. Thank you for all you do,

  6. I love your designs and am VERY excited to see what you have in store for us for 2017. A quote that I use a lot at school with the kids is 'Don't believe everything you think'. This is especially for the kids who think they are thick or can't do it or are always negative about themselves.

    One thing I would really love is if you went back to traditional colours for more designs.

  7. How about some "tea" designs for us tea lovers? I love the smell of coffee but had to switch to tea years ago.

  8. What about a Valentine's flip it series? I also think a 4th of July/patriotic and an Easter flip it series would be fun, too. I love, love, love anything you do that is Halloween related. I have stitched several of your designs and have many more waiting for me to stitch in my arsenal. Thank you so much for sharing your talents. They have brought me so much enjoyment.

  9. I love the inspirational, motivational, empowerment designs as I have two daughters to inspire. I LOVE Halloween designs. With that being said, I don't stitch too much seasonal/holiday stuff. I prefer everyday designs that can be used year round. No funky colors please. I appreciate your dedication and prolific energy.

  10. In Manhattan KS right now celebrating the birth of our 6th grandchild! I'm always on the lookout for new baby sampler patterns. Looking forward to your 2017 designs. I enjoyed reading about your process.

  11. More strings snippets, pleaseee. :) I love them! :)
    I love all your designs, you are my favorite cross stitcher designer! Thank you!

  12. When will a coffee stitch come out for 2017?

  13. Love your designs and look forward to the new ones this year. I have lots of yours yet to stitch because I keep buying them!

  14. Looking forward to 2017 releases. All sound terrific! Would love to see a Snippet for Nurses and this is out there, but something for a country music lover/cowboy/cowgirl. Also out there, a foodie sampler like the 101-107 Sampler collection. Think Mexican, Chinese, Italian treats like tacos, take out cartons, and pizza and spaghetti and meatballs. Maybe a joke about essential food groups?!

  15. It would be awesome to have patterns of Proverbs 31:25 "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future" and Proverbs 31:30 "Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

  16. Looking forward to seeing your Christmas ornament in Just Cross Stitch. Missed it last year! I, too,would love to see a garden design with garden charms like a trowel, cultivator, spade, etc.

  17. Would love to have you design some cross stitch for those greeting cards with 3 inch windows. (Carol Doch sells them ... and Michaels have cards with windows to fill with a design.). I have loved your designs for many, many years. I have been cross stitching for almost 50 years.

  18. "All you can take with you is that which you've given away." (Quote hanging under Peter Bailey's photo in "It's a Wonderful Life". I have watched that movie so many times and not noticed. Would like to stitch it!

  19. I love that you are starting a Seasonal Smalls Series! 2017 is the year for smalls so this will be perfect! For this series I would like to suggest a barnyard theme. I know that's not really "seasonal" but it does make me think of late summer/early fall and who doesn't like cows, chickens, pigs and a goat!! LOL

  20. I would love to see a series similar to the 6 fat snowmen or Snow Belle's. I would love see some other seasonal 'fat' guys like Santa, Easter Bunny, pumpkin, etc. I just love your designs and you keep coming out with great ones.