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Behind the Scenes of Volume 87 July/August 2014

We couldn’t have planned a better day! The weather was perfect for an outdoor photo shoot for the Volume 87 July/August 2014 issue.

Everyone, including the studio gasped with delight at the sight of the birdhouses from our friends at What could be better than hanging them on a tree outdoors? We found the perfect branch complete with tiny purple blooms.

Our stylist, Andrea Huffman, carefully hung the birdhouses but we quickly discovered an unwelcome variable… wind! She tied a string to hold the birdhouses steadily in place.

Steve Woods assigns Denise Holguin the important task of aiming the reflector at the birdhouses.

Steve:  “Aim over there!”

Denise:  “Where?”

Most people think beautiful photography just happens with a click of the button. There’s a little more to it than that. Steve has been responsible for the beautiful photography in our pages for over 10 years.

Steve and Eileen take a moment to review the photos on the laptop. The towel helps with the glare from the sun.

Time to photograph the next project – this charming quilt by Christy Burcham.  You’ll want to pick up the July/August issue to learn Christy’s techniques for creating this vintage-style project.

Reflectors and diffusers are used to get just the right light on the quilt.

Andrea sets up the next scene—an oh-so-cute wicker basket with little girl’s clothing. The 3D Flowers from Sealed With A Stitch can be used to accessorize anything!

Now that Denise is feeling like a professional photography assistant, the real challenge begins. Steve offered to pay 5 dollars if Denise successfully folds the reflector. Talk about easy money!

On second thought… this isn’t so easy.

Better get Eileen to try.

These reflectors could produce a nice tan!

Steve demonstrates the step-by-step approach to folding the reflector. Denise and Eileen practice their arm techniques.

Steve continues to show how easy it is to fold the reflector.

By the end of the all-day photo shoot… the Designs team was successful! I think we’ll stick with machine embroidery!

Now that you’ve had a glimpse of the Behind the Scenes for Volume 87 July/August, be sure to pick up your copy at your local dealer, craft store or order online!



Here’s your assignment this week: Tell us where would you hang these adorable bird houses? One comment will be chosen to receive a one year subscription to Designs in Machine Embroidery Magazine! Click the link below to take advantage of our BEST OFFER EVER – only $19.97* per year for a one year subscription. Good luck and happy stitching!Nancy-Blog-Banner-1997*International prices slightly higher
The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:What decorations have you made over the years to celebrate someone’s special day? Post a comment for a chance to win a $25 shopping spree to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.Gift-CardAnd the winner is… Donna G.
“I made two banners for my daughter’s wedding in May. It was a lot of fun to do!”




  • Sandi Dumesnil

    I would hang these on my back porch, safe from the Texas sun!!! They are adorable and I love birds and birdhouses!

  • Kathy Stoessner

    I would hang it by my patio door but on the inside. I want to enjoy that lovely birdhouse everyday upon wakening.

  • marie zinno

    I wish I was there to help fold the reflector.Looked like a fun day.

  • Janice Thompson

    I would hang them in the laundry room windows. They are just little cuties!!!

  • Donna randall

    They would look adorable in the sunroom

  • Dianna Morse

    The birdhouses are darling with so much potential! I would love to have one to hang outside the window, facing the road, where I sit at my computer most of the day. There is a big bush where the cardinals land a lot & then eat at a feeder. A perfect spot for a birdhouse!

  • Leora B

    I would hang them on my deck.. we just put a roof/awuning (sp) over the deck for shade, so they would be protected and add so much to our deck.

  • Verla Sonier

    I would hang them under my carport.
    I love bird houses

  • Debbie

    I would hang it on my front porch.

  • Barbara McKenzie

    Who knows – I might just hang them from my Christmas tree!

  • Annette Danos

    Would hang this beautiful bird house in my crepe myrtle that is right on the side of my porch. There is a bird that is building a nest in the tree.

  • Valerie Gwara

    We have a pergola covered with hardy kiwi and trumpet vine. The birds love the cover. I’d hang them inside.

  • Dorothy Reitsma

    I would hang them on my deck. We have a covered deck and they would add some whimsy to the deck.

  • beth daniels

    I would hand them on my Japanese magnolia tree in our backyard. Some wind chimes are hung up on the branches of the tree already.

  • Patricia Jones

    These birdhouses would look beautiful nestled in with my Wisteria. It’d be nice to coordinate the colors to blend with the purple of the blooms. It would look like a little fairy setting. 🙂

  • Darlene Gerber

    It would hang inside my Mom’s house. If it was hung outside, one of her many birds would probably make a nest in it!!!

  • Donna F

    I would hang them grand daughters room she would love them.


    I have garden kitchen and breakfast nook. I would hang them in the ivy topiary or put them with other birdhouses I have collected.

  • Mary Birenbaum

    I’d hang them at the residential treatment center where I volunteer. It’s kinda’ drab…not cheerful for the moms who are staying off drugs and alcohol – and their babies. I’m sure they’d love them!

    • Denise Holguin

      That’s a great idea, Mary!


    • Pat Snyder

      What a giving thought. Colors can make such a difference.

  • Nita Carr

    I would hang them in my sewing room. I have a fabric covered bulletin board on the wall where when I sit at my embroidery machine I face it. I have fun things on the board along with 4 felted birds hanging on it–so if you have birds you must have some birdhouses !

  • Arlene Bellerose

    I would hang them in a Durante Bush my son gave for Mothers Day. The would match the purple flowers and give some whimsy to my covered Lani.

  • Vanessa B

    Id hang it right outside my craft room window 🙂 Thank You!!!

  • Linda Raker

    I have sliding glass doors that cover an entire wall in my sun room. I have bird houses on top of they cornices over the doors. I would love to replace them with these. They are adorable!

  • Connie Walsh

    I would hang the birdhouses in the corners of the doorway between my livingroom and dining room. They would look lovely outside but would stay nice longer indoors.

  • Laurie Watkins

    I would hang this cutle birdhouse above my desk at work!

  • Julienne Burns

    I’ll put mine filled with plastic grass and jelly beans in an Easter Basket.

  • Heidi

    why choose one spot, make a whole bunch of them and hang them everywhere.

  • debe

    I would hang them in my big kitchen window.

  • Phyllis Hiles

    They would look really pretty in the bay window in my home office. Inside of course.

  • Rhonda Sanford

    My sister-in-law passed away before Christmas last year. She absolutely loved bird houses. I would personalize it with her name and Send a few to her family in Indiana and hang one up outside my front door where Heaven’s light will shine through beautifully.

  • Elaine

    I would put the adorable bird houses in my gazebo in the backyard. They are so CUTE!!!

  • Bonnie G

    I would hang these sweet birdhouses on my screen porch.

  • Joanne Morales

    I have already purchaced the designs for the bird houses and they will be in each window in my house so that no matter where I am I can see one of them. They are so beautiful.

  • judy

    I think they would make great gifts!

  • Cathy

    They would look GREAT hanging on our enclosed front porch, that just got a “face lift” with some fresh paint early spring.

  • Darlette

    I will love making these for my 3 sisters! 2 would
    Help brighten up a sickroom( one for a daughter
    & one for our mom)& the third for sis’s flower garden

  • Melissa B

    I would hang them in my office, it needs a cheerful spot.

  • Cindy Amend

    I would hang it off a suction cup on my kitchen window.

  • Kristal

    I would hang the birdhouse outside my bedroom window, so I could enjoy it every day when I wake up! Beautiful!

  • Marta Tapanes

    Those bird houses came out so cute! I would hang them in my art studio. They look like they just belong there!


  • Beth R

    I would hang the birdhouses in my sunroom, where they could take advantage of the natural light and brighten up the room with lots of color!

  • Susan

    I have a dead maple tree it is about 7ft tall w/brnches that I hange a hummingbird feeder, a container w/string & fabric in for the birds to take to their nest & I would hange it there. Of course this would only be when company comes to see my gardens, otherwise it would hang in my sunroom out of the weather.
    I think I would make meny to hang on that tree!

  • Carol Seavitt

    Off the shelf in my sewing room.

  • Gladys Stanley

    I have a bird that loves to build his nest right outside my front door, I would hang it there so maybe he will feel right at home…the houses are so darn cute.

  • carol Myers

    I would hang the beautiful bird houses in my sun room windows,I already have different bird figurines on the window seals. That would look great.

  • Tina G.

    I’d stitch up 5 and hang them across my breakfast area windows. They’d be sure to cheer up a cloudy day.

  • Cindy mott

    I have a Fairy Garden in my back yard and these bird houses would add a little more whimsy to the garden, not to mention they would attract more fairies.

  • Joyce Hardiman

    I would hang them in my office by the window. They would create a fun and bright display.

  • Kate Cassil

    These are wonderful. I would hang them on the hooks under the mantle where we put our Christmas stockings. Then maybe get wild and make a mantle scarf using some of the same fabric used in the birdhouse.

  • LeAnne L

    Those birdhouses are so stinking cute. Going to have to put them on my wish list. Think I’ll hang some in my office window.

  • Barbara Chace

    I would send one to my 92 year old Aunt to hang in her room. You are never to old for something this cute!

  • Deborah K.

    In my sewing room along with the bees (not real!) I have buzzing around!

  • Robin Sankbeil

    I received my copy of the magazine today. You really do have the best magazine! The lovely bird houses would work in my sun porch as decoration. I’m already considering which ones I like best! LOL! They’re all so adorable! If you choose me, I am already a subscriber, but my renewal date is January. Would love to have an extension to my current subscription. Wondering if a digital subscription would be less expensive than paper/mailing, etc???

  • tammy wright

    I would hang them at every window for the best birds eye view. I love bird watching.

  • Pam Dunbar

    I would hang it on my covered front porch so I could enjoy it while in my wicker swing enjoying my DIME.

  • Sue C

    I would hang them in my dining room, which already has a bird theme to ti! They would make such a great addition!!

  • Colleen

    These would be adorable additions to the decorations at my stepdaughters upcoming bridal shower.

  • Debra L Perez

    I have an atrium in the middle of my house, complete with plants and a waterfall, I would hang them in my atrium.

  • Anne Marie Reilly

    I would hang them in my picture window in the living room. Right outside that window is a maple and a decorative cherry tree. From inside the bird houses would look like they were part of that setting.

  • Susie Mackenberg

    My husband enclosed our porch so I now have a sunroom! The birdhouses would hang beautifully there, protected from the elements but would look like they were outside. Love, Love them!

  • Sue Winnie

    Living in upstate NY, I’d hang them on my covered porch. The rains have been amazing. I’d also give them to my sisters and coworkers as Christmas gifts. They love birds.

  • Arizona Powers

    I live in Chicago and our back yard is extremely small and drab. I would hang these in our back yard to add some cheerfulness! They’re beautiful!

  • Celeste B

    I would hang them in my workroom so on a gloomy day I could pretend to be enjoying the outdoors.

  • Mary S

    I would hang them in the kitchen,maybe not all of them, as the border around the wall will be birdhouses.

  • Rita

    I would hang them in my Sun room, it’s already decorated with a Bird theme.

  • joyce

    I would love to put one in my greenhouse window in my kitchen. Have had 3 sets of birds nesting in my garden not sure about sharing such a cute birdhouse with them.

  • Kristi D.

    I would hang these cute bird houses in my sewing room and front porch. They are so cute.

  • Penny Kitzmiller

    I would hang the beautiful houses on a fence that runs beside my house. The fence is in my front yard, everyone who comes up the road has to see them. I live in a cuddle sax. They would look so lovely in the neighborhood.

  • Casie Williams

    I have a friend who’s having a first baby — a girl — in October. They would be the perfect addition to the pink, soft green and white nursery that she is planning.

  • Jean

    I would hang them outside the front window on the porch, as the would make a great addition to my flowers and squirrel feeder.

  • Michelle Hall

    I was thinking about naking a couple to trim a wreath formy front door. They are adorable

  • Karen Poole

    I just LOVE these cute birdhouses! First I would hang a few under my covered patio then I would hand a few in my sewing room to bring some spring color into it, then I would add one or two to a wall that is above my kitchen and adjacent to my stairs, it had a “ledge” with some old style items such as a baby carriage and a wooden flower wheel barrow, and a spring mural on the wall… They would be perfect for that spot!

  • Lori E

    I would hang them on a cane cholla (very prickly cactus) that each spring a birds nests in. I think one of these bird houses would be much more comfortable.

  • Deb Patrick

    These would be so adorable in my kitchen window.

  • Terry Senko

    I have a fellow bird-loving friend with a birthday next month. She is getting one of these bird houses from me as her present. I’ll let her decide where to hang it!

  • Bertie L Stringfellow

    I would hang them in my kitchen bay window.

  • Donna G.

    In my garden and greenhouse!

  • Barbara Ann

    I would hang them on the mesquite trees outside my sewing room so I could enjoy the cheerful view. On the opposite side of the house, there are cactus wren that take turns going inside the tall saguaros. Maybe they would come entertain in these bird houses!

  • Berenice

    I would make a set to put in a dear friend’s room in her new assisted living facility. They always had birds around their house and I know she misses them.

  • Lynda troidl

    I think they would look cute on my Christmas tree. I would make seven. One for each of my grandchildren with their name on the bird.

  • Suzanne R.

    I would make them in seasonal colors, and hang them in my kitchen windows!

  • Brenda Benfield

    I would take them to the nursing home for some patients there to enjoy and hang them in the windows

  • Carol

    I’d hang them right outside my kitchen window, where I could see them while preparing meals and that also makes them visible from the deck outside my dining room! They would be such a colorful addition to cold dreary Ohio winter when that season returns.

  • Bonnie Gray

    I would do several of them in pastel colors and hang them from long bare branches set in a very tall vase along with the various Easter eggs I have collected for a beautiful Easter display inside by my front door.

  • Laurene Shewan

    In the guest bathroom of course! Folks need something to smile and gaze at when they go in there. I would hang them on monofilament line from the skylight, which is dead space above the tub. Also, when you come in our front door, the bathroom is straight across the room, so it would be a pleasant addition to the line of site.

  • Barbara Siverts

    I would hang them in my guest/sewing room to accompany the birds I have stenciled on the lamp shade.

  • Dottie K

    I would hang these in a special corner of my living room. They would certainly cheer up that space. Perfect spot. VBG

  • Shari Ann fry

    I would take em to the home my grandmother was in. In her memory. She use to love to watch the birds with her fellow residents. They have so little to look forward to. Grandma said the birds were faithful visitors.

  • Betsy

    It just so happens that I have been pondering that very question! My daughter loves crafting and one of her favorites is painting bird houses purchased at our local craft store. I received my 4th birdhouse from her last week for my birthday and I suspect my collection will be growing. I’ve decided to put floating shelves in my sewing room to display them.

  • Susan

    I would send one to a sweet friend in Illinois and let her decide! She loves gardening and birds and butterflies!

  • Christina

    I would hang them in my botanical gardens in my back yard. They would look nice with the roses.

  • Theresa Randolph

    I would put them in my bathroom it’s done in out door and jungle, would great in there

  • Linda Pratt

    I would hang them in my beautifully decorated sewing room! They would be sooo at home there

  • Joan Davidson

    I would hang them on my second story covered deck so they are protected or in the kitchen window so I could enjoy them everyday!

  • Lyn

    I would hang them in my mom’s room at her retirement center. She can no longer garden, but loves watching birds and bird feeders, birdhouses, etc.

    🙂 lyn

  • Kimmy

    I would hang them in my kitchen bay window so they would be protected.

  • Joanne Banko

    Thanks for sharing these behind the scene photos Denise! It is fun to see all of you in action. I am in awe of each issue produced by Designs and I admire Steve Wood’s talent as well.

    Just got my issue yesterday . . . beautiful and inspiring projects as always! I think the birdhouses would sit pretty on a high shelf above my window. And, I agree they would make a cheerful decoration for anyone who’s spends a lot of time indoors.

    P.S. That reflector looks like a sun shield I have for my car. Drives me nuts trying to fold it so I usually just throw it in the back hatch.

  • Judy C

    I would hang them in my screen house! It is my home away from home vacation every time I enter it! And having these hand from the ceiling would look awesome!!

  • JudiC

    What a fun day you all had… I actually just purchased 1 of the bird house designs & plan to place the finished birdd house in my laundry room. I have a very large dark Laundry room with lots of shelves & a few different “fancy birdhouses” already in it, it needs a lot of bright cheerful decor ;o)

  • Linda

    I would hang them in my enclosed front porch. I always have birds looking in. That way the birds can enjoy them, but they will be safe inside.

  • Janice Pratte

    My 3 bird houses are already perched in my 86 year old aunt’s assisted living apartment in N.H. She loves them and shows them off to all her guests.

  • venita abel

    I would have to hang them on my porch or on those hooks that you can buy. Would love to hang them in the many trees in my yard but my husband has trimmed the lower branches so he can mow under them

  • Susanne Wiora

    I would hang them on my screened in porch where you can enjoy the benefits out outside but not the sun, rain or bugs!

  • Rita Rdocenbaugh

    I would hang them in my office window since I am there all day, I could admire them in the sunshine!

  • Connie B.

    OH!!!! These are ADORABLE! I would hang them in the windows of my sunroom. I have lots of bright reds and yellows in there, and these would add the perfect touch to the windows! I could enjoy summertime all year long!

  • Sandra

    The birdhouses would look so lovely hanging on my patio under the thatched roof!

  • Cathy

    The bird house would be a perfect addition to our patio. I also am working on the beautiful flowers from Sealed with a Stitch. I have two grand daughters who will love them.

  • Shirl R

    I would hang them in my home office so they could be seen through the office window but yet be a wonderful sight for my work-weary eyes to rest upon.

  • Kathleen

    The ceiling in our bay window has tree branches with greenery. I decorate it for the seasons. They would be absolutely adorable hanging there to occupy the birds perched on various branches.

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  • Gwynn McKenzie

    I would hang them on my sun porch. I decorate the edge of the ceiling with flower garlands and they would look awesome hanging from the ceiling.

  • kbo

    I would hang them in my front entry for the neighbors and myself to enjoy.

  • Scarlette Hobbs

    I plan to hang them all over the house and I want a set to go in each grandchild’s bedroom in front of their windows so even in the wintertime we will remember “Spring”

  • Pamela Beeth

    I’d have to choose or else make more of them. First choice is in the windows that look out on the bird feeders, or second, perhaps under the deck overhang to nestle with the hanging plants. Maybe a bird will take the hint.

  • Cindy

    I would put them in my dining room! Outside my dining room is my bird feeder with all its constant little visitors. Putting the birdhouses just inside the windows will bring the sense of a continuum between the outside and inside.

  • Linda W

    The birdhouses are beautiful! I think they would be a wonderful decoration on my fireplace mantel for spring through summer.

  • Karla

    I already have these designs, made for my Daughter’s birthday as she collects bird houses and these were the perfect size. She has hanging in her office at work.

  • Nancy

    They would be cute hanging in the plants on my office.

  • Charlotte Trabue

    I have a sun room, and I have done it birdfeeders. They would look wonderful in there.

  • Cindy

    They would look perfect on the glass shelf of my plant window!

  • Nancy De Pas

    In mt sisters room at
    nursing home were she is bed ridden.

  • Patty Fiske

    just outside my back door I have a beautiful magnolia tree. It could blow in the wind next to our chimes

  • penny wilber

    I would attach this super cute flowers with wire and decorate a wreath to hang on my entry door. I would also place them randomly on a gingham tablecloth for a picnic party. Attach these sweet flowers to wine glasses to use as drink markers. I would also string them with ribbon to use as a garland. Sew many cute ideas here using these super cute and adorable flowers!

  • Kristine Alvarez

    I would hang them either in kitchen window or my bathroom window!

  • Paule-Marie

    I would hang them in my sewing room and my ‘airlock’ to greet people when they come in the front door and have yet to come into the main part of the house. Oh, what the heck, I’d just find lots of places to hang them.

  • Kathy E.

    I would make these adorable birdhouses to give to teacher friends to decorate their rooms this coming fall. I could add a sign that says, “Welcome back Tweeties!”.

  • Sharon L.

    The little bird houses are so cute. I would hang them in the corner of my sewing room on a cut branch to make it look like it was outside.

  • Sharon L.

    The little bird houses are so cute. I would hang them in a corner of my sewing room on a cut tree branch to make it look like it is outside.

  • Kathy

    I would hang these birdhouses in my laundry room. They are so cute!

  • Rosieq

    I would love to win these for Mary B who works at a drug treatment center…but, could I also have the design for myself? Pretty please….if not, and you draw my name send them on to Mary B….

    • Rosieq

      I forgot to say, I have a lovely Norfolk Pine in my sunroom that looks so lonely in the summer when all the other plants wander outdoors. These are so whimsical, perfect!

      • Rosieq

        Mary posted July 9 at 12:53, just so you can find her, when we win! ;))

  • tina Belden

    I made them and have them hanging above my sewing machine so that I can enjoy them while I sew and embroider.

  • Carolyn

    I will hang them on my inside porch (because I plan to make them). I have birdhouses on my outside porch rail. And I have birdhouses and bird feeders that I can see from my front windows.

  • Deanna

    I would hang them in my kitchen window. They are so cute!

  • Kathy Schmidt

    One in my living room and one in the kitchen windows….so cute and would love to make some as gifts

  • Rosemary Kelley

    I would hang them from plants in my front room.the plants are from my mother-in-law,mother,aunt ‘s graves.they were all bird lovers.If I win &I want to thankyou very much ,

  • mary maddle

    I would hang the birdhouses in my windows in my kitchen

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