Me & My Stitches

Me & My Stitches
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pre-Paducah

My friend, Nancy, flew in from California on Saturday, and that is when the fun began!  We sewed like crazy women on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday morning.  Nancy was finishing up her Home for the Holidays quilt by Primitive Gatherings so she could deliver it to Merry (hostest with the mostest for our Paducah trip), from Merry's Stitchins in Jesup, IA, to be machine quilted. I'm working on this quilt too, but was not as close to a finish as Nancy.  We also prepped more wool applique blocks to take with us on the bus trip, and I had a jewelry order that had to be finished before we left.  Whew!  Those couple of days just flew by!  


On Tuesday, we headed north to Merry's shop.  Of course, we had to make a stop in Hills, IA  at Inspirations Quilt Shop (you know...because there isn't enough shopping in Paducah!).  I thought I took a few pictures there, but I'm not finding them!

Next stop, Merry's Stitchins!  The bus didn't leave until Wednesday morning, but we went Tuesday and spent the night with Merry.  She had a quick errand to run, so we went to Waterloo and had supper at Lonestar - wow, was it good!  One of the best filets that I've ever had.  Here is Merry browsing the menu...

And just a couple of pics of her wonderful shop.  If you haven't been there, you should go - it is definitely worth the trip!  I will get this Primitive Gatherings quilt finished some day - would you believe that I have all of the blocks finished, just need to put it together and stitch the border (remember...I'm the Queen of finished blocks and unfinished quilts).
 Iowa vs Iowa State...
 Aren't these adorable??
Merry has kits, just call her shop (319-827-6703) and Jennifer will fix you up.

The ladies started arriving at Merry's bright and early on Wednesday morning - all raring to go!  We loaded up the bus and off we went.  On my Instagram I posted this picture of our bus driver, and asked that everyone pray for him, as he would be spending the next 4 days with 50 women!  I think he got quite the education.  He was an awesome bus driver, with a wonderful sense of humor!

 We left Merry's at 8:00 a.m. and I think we arrived at our hotel in Marion, IL around 6:00 p.m.  We stopped in Hannibal, MO for lunch and a visit to a couple of quilt shops there.  But all of those hours on the bus gave us lots of stitching time, and it was nice to get some blocks finished...


These still need some details added...


It was great to be able to be so productive on the bus.  Our hotel was about an hour away from the show, so we had a little stitching time every day.  Perfect!

I'll stop here for now - more on the show and the vendors later!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I have been swamped with orders ever since I got home from Dallas, but I did take a break one day and prepped a couple of wool applique blocks to take with me to Paducah.  I'm so excited about going - have never been there, but always wanted to go.  I won't be vending, just visiting!  My friend, Nancy, is coming from California, and we are taking a bus trip to the show, so I wanted to make sure that I have plenty of things to stitch on, since there will be a lot of bus time!  

This is a free block of the month from Buttermilk Basin...

 This is also a BB pattern, all prepped and ready to stitch -


 We have a big order going to Ohio, here are a dozen pendants with bling...

 And then we have Ozzie...just being Ozzie!
Now I guess I better get some cleaning done before Nancy gets here.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

And the winner is...

LISA BOYER!!  I've already been in contact with Lisa, and am happy that she is super excited about winning Diane's awesome new book.  If you didn't win, I urge you to add this book to your library when you can - it really is a good one!


And in other news - here is what is happening at my house.  The usual...getting ready to rumble...
Callie is very happy that her daddy saved these boxes for her to play in...
 Ozzie wants me to put down the hand quilting and let him be a lap kitty (what a face!)...
This is my new ironing station (I don't know what else to call it!) - bought this at a local antique shop and put my big board on the top - much prettier that my ugly old ironing board, and love having the extra storage.
 I worked on this a little bit in Dallas and finished it up at home.  I need to get the next block prepped.
 I ordered a bundle of the new Bee Creative fabric by Deb Strain.  Not sure what I will make with it, but since hubby raises bees, I think we need a bee quilt!
 I cut out a bunch of little star bursts last night and will be making LOTS of flag pendants today!
 While I am working my fingers to the bone, Ozzie will be next to me doing a little of this...

Back to flags!

Have a great day!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Scrap Quilt Secrets review and giveaway!


Do you know Diane Knott from Butterfly Threads blog?  Well, now she is also Diane Knott, author of the new book called Scrap Quilt Secrets!  I've always liked Diane's blog - she posts lots of fun stuff, among my favorite are her 10-minute-tip posts.  When Diane asked if I would be interested in reviewing her new book, I of course, said YES!  And, I'm not sorry for doing it - you really need to check it out.  What I love most about it is that it is good for everyone.  All quilters, whether they be newbies or have been quilting for years - there really is something for absolutely everyone.  I love that there are some easy quilts, some with curved piecing, paper piecing, applique - you name it - it's covered!

The book starts with Diane giving you some things to think about when you are starting a new quilt and then she introduces you to a great SCRAP system.  I have heard a lot of people say that they just like to buy kits, because they can't choose fabrics that end up all looking great together in a quilt.  Kits are nice for that very reason - but really...everyone can choose fabrics that will play nicely together.  Diane gives you terrific tips on doing just that.

And then it's on to all of the quilts!  I've been trying for weeks to pick a favorite, and I can't do it. Some days this one is my favorite - it's just so striking.  It looks really difficult, but in the book there are tons of tips about how to make the arcs and step-by-step instructions on curved piecing.  She also gives instructions for more than one way to piece it.  So cool!


Some days Windblown Wishes is my favorite
I love all of the pieces in this one and that red is the accent color.  So many great quilts - I just can't choose one favorite!

And another thing that is so fun about Diane's new book?  She included blank quilt diagrams of all the quilts in the book.  You can copy these and sit down with your crayons or markers and play with different color placement to really make these quilts your own.

Trust me...you really will love Diane's new book and you can enter right here to win a copy of Scrap Quilt Secrets.  Oh, and if that's not enough, you can also go to all of the other blogs that are included in the hop and sign up to win there!  Make sure to check them all out...

3/21    C&T Blog
3/22    Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville
3/23    Lori at Humble Quilts
3/24    Karen at Nana Girl Quilts  
3/25    Audrey at Quiltyfolk
3/26    Pat Sloan at Pat Sloan
3/27    Valerie at  Val's Quilting Studio
3/28    Kelly at  Pinkadot Quilts
3/29    Victoria Findlay Wolfe at  Bumble Beans Inc
3/30    Rachaeldaisy at Blue Mountain Daisy
3/31    Angie at Quilting on the Crescent
4/1      Julie at  Me and My Stitches
4/2      Barb at Fun with Barb


If you want to enter to win, just leave me a comment below and tell me if you like to buy kits or if you make your own fabric choices. PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT IF YOU ARE A NO-REPLY BLOGGER THAT YOU INCLUDE YOUR E-MAILL ADDRESS OR YOUR ENTRY WILL NOT BE INCLUDED!!!  SO FAR ALMOST HALF OF THE ENTRIES ARE "NO-REPLY".  I will draw a name on April 6th and C&T Publishing will mail your book to you.

Have a fun April Fool's Day!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Are you following the blog hop?

Have you seen this great new book by Diane from Butterfly Threads blog?  She and C&T Publishing are hosting a really fun blog hop with lots of reviews and a giveaway each day!  Make sure  to check it out!  I will be giving my valued opinion (haha!) on April 1st, and giving away a copy of this awesome new book.  Trust me...you NEED to have it!

Here's the complete list of blogs and dates:
     
3/21    C&T Blog
3/22    Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville
3/23    Lori at Humble Quilts
3/24    Karen at Nana Girl Quilts  
3/25    Audrey at Quiltyfolk
3/26    Pat Sloan at Pat Sloan
3/27    Valerie at  Val's Quilting Studio
3/28    Kelly at  Pinkadot Quilts
3/29    Victoria Findlay Wolfe at  Bumble Beans Inc
3/30    Rachaeldaisy at Blue Mountain Daisy
3/31    Angie at Quilting on the Crescent
4/1      Julie at  Me and My Stitches
4/2      Barb at Fun with Barb

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Thanks Dallas, it was a blast!




Well, we made it to Dallas for the quilt show and we had an amazing time!!  My niece, Johnna, went with me and boy is she good help.  It's nice to have someone who can jump up on a table or stool to hang things up high!  She is also really good at making the booth look cute (though she said I need to get some doilys - lol).  Here she is hanging our stars made from yardsticks (this is after she hopped up there and hung the quilts!)
 We had a nice big 10' x 20' booth - here it is after we finished setting up, and before the chaos began...

 Kind of hard to see it all, but we had lots of little ruler boxes, pin cushions, tons of stars, scissors and socks.  And of course plenty of paper pieced jewelry.  We also sold honey and bees wax (hubby raises bees).
 If you enlarge the picture hopefully you can see the boxes better. I just bought the white stand to put them in at Hobby Lobby - it worked perfectly.
The show opened on Friday and ran through Sunday.  Friday was CRAZY!!!  We were swamped with customers and it was awesome!  The time just flew by.  Johnna was in charge of the cash register and I ran around and talked to people and tried to keep things filled up.  I met so many people that I only knew from blogland, Instagram, etc - so much fun.  Thanks so much to everyone who came and introduced yourself.  There were several people who have been in our Charming program too - so great to be able to put a face to the name.

Saturday and Sunday were not as busy, but still busy enough that I did not have time to walk around and look at the other vendors or the quilts!  I can't believe that I didn't buy a single thing! Although, I had taken a few wool applique blocks to work on and decided on Sunday that I could stitch and talk to customers at the same time (you didn't think I was that coordinated, did you?).  So I got out my block and my Valdani, and guess what?  No needles!  Well, lucky for me I was at a quilt show with a bazillion vendors, so I went 2 booths down to Sew Graceful Quilting and they were kind enough to give me a pack.  Funny thing is, I was working on a block that I got from them as a BOM.  I didn't get a ton of stitching done, but some is better than none. Johnna was watching me and decided she wanted to try it, so she put a few stitches in as well.  I hope to make a quilter out of her some day.

I hate that I don't have any more pictures to share from the show - next time I will know to get there even earlier each day and check out the vendors and the quilts!  I will say that the quilts that I could see on the way in and out were really beautiful - lots of talent in Texas for sure.

We stayed with my cousin and his family, so that made the trip even more special.  He has lived in TX for over 20 years and this is the first time I've been there.  He helped us unload all of our stuff on Thursday, then had to go to work. He also helped us in the booth on Saturday and Sunday.  It was so fun to spend time with all of them - we went to several great restaurants and had a few quiet (not sure it was really quiet, with all of us!) evenings at home too.  On Monday we went to the George W. Bush Presidential library.  That was really interesting.  I loved seeing some of the lavish gifts that were given from various people and countries.  Our favorite was a huge stuffed lion.  Really?  Here...would you like this lion?  I have an extra just laying around.  Johnna and I chuckled about that for a day or two.  There is a section that is a 911 memorial, including some twisted iron from one of the buildings.  It was one of my favorite parts of it all, but very sad. Once again, I didn't take many pictures, but here are a couple...

 After that we stopped at Gas Monkey - I had never heard of it but Johnna was excited!  We didn't get to see much, as they were taping a show when we were there so a lot of it was blocked off. We checked out the gift shop and took a picture of my cute little niece with the Swag Van.
Not only did I not get pictures of the quilt show, I didn't get any of my cousin and his family!  What the heck was I thinking?  The only one I have is this...my cousin and I - we were outside of Babe's waiting for a table.  
We left bright and early Tuesday morning, and made it home almost 13 hours later.  I was ready to be out of the van and in my bed!  It was so much fun to be at the show and to hang out with family, but I missed my hubby and kitties!

If you came to the show and said hi...thank you!  It was a blast and we plan on making this an annual trip!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Caturday and stitching

I finished stitching another Blessed Bee (pattern by Wooden Spool Designs) block...
 And 2 seconds after I took the first picture, this happened!
 And I couldn't resist this cute little face...Isn't he just adorbs?
 I think they know that I'm leaving soon (headed to Texas - if you don't know the details, read back a post or two!) because they are sticking pretty close.  They both felt the need to sit and stare at me yesterday!
 Another stare down by Callie!  She's way too cute to be annoyed by a little staring.

I feel like all I did on Saturday (Caturday) was take pictues of my cats.  Yep...getting closer to being the crazy cat lady!

 Skype sewed with my friend Nancy today.  I've had these little wool blocks stitched for a long time, and decided it was time to get this put together.  The sashing is on, now just need to sew them together and add borders.  This is Bud Garden by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings.  I bought this kit a few years ago when I helped vend in their booth in Des Moines, and stitched on the blocks quite a bit when I was in Florida with my brother.  Lots of memories with this little quilt!  It will only be 20" x 29" when finished.
Now it's down to the sweat shop to finish up more jewelry to take to Dallas.  We are going to have loads of boxes and stars too - so fun!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Quilt Dots

I forgot to share my newest Quilt Dots with you.  I love these magnets and it's really fun to have my newest quilt design on them - this is Patriotic Pineapples.  I like the 2 different versions - one close up and one a little further back.  Fun!


 Here's Ozzie taking a little snooze - I thought he looked cute.  The bear above him was made from a fur coat that belonged to my Grandma, and the corner chair that he's sleeping on also came from my grandparents' house.  Oh, and so did the cabinet next to the chair.  All kinds of stuff in here from Grandma and Grandpa!  My nice aunt gave me the crock.

Now it's back to organizing and packing for Dallas!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

New stuff and show details!

I can't believe that we leave for Dallas next week!  Yikes!!!  We have been working like crazy to get everything ready to go. These stars made from our yardsticks are a new item - we were debating on which color of stain we like.  I like them both!  The one on the right is a new (to us) one.  We have 3 different sizes of these stars - so fun!


I was low on pineapple and log cabin pendants, so we finished some of them...



And I was really low on pendants with added bling, so we made a few more of those...



rgo

On my last post I think I said that was the 6th of my Home for the Holidays blocks, but I forgot that I hadn't shown a picture of this one yet...
Now I'm back to working on my bee blocks and will share that when I get another one finished.  They have a lot more stitching that the Home for the Holidays blocks.

I also wanted to share the details about the show in Dallas...

Dallas Market Hall
2200 N. Stemmons Freeway
Dallas, TX 75207

Friday, March 11 - 10:00 to 5:00
Saturday, March 12 - 10:00 to 5:00
Sunday, March 13 - Noon to 5:00

I'm excited that my niece is going with me again.  Hubby is staying home and taking care of all of the fluffies.  I've always heard really great things about this show, so if you are anywhere in the Dallas area, please come and visit!!   Click here for the link for more info.