Me & My Stitches

Me & My Stitches
Click on the picture to go to my website. These are 1' x 1 1/2" pendants.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Don't miss out on our Surprise program!

If you know me, you know that I LOVE a fun mail day!  We want YOU to have a fun mail day too!  Join in on our Surprise program and you will get 3 unique packages in the mail.  This will not be like some of those programs where you get a bunch of things that you won't like or use.  This will be good stuff - the things that we make, some of my favorite things, and a few surprises along the way.  Some items will only be available through this program - we won't sell them anywhere else.  The picture shows some of the items from our prior Surprise programs.  

By purchasing "Surprise" you are committing to the full 6 month program where you will receive 3 shipments - one every-other month.  Your first payment secures your spot for the entire program.  With each new shipment you will receive an electronic invoice for $40.00 (which INCLUDES shipping within the US) that can be paid using a credit card or PayPal.  Space is limited in the program, so sign up now!

We just opened sign-ups yesterday and have had a lot of people join already.  I have to say that it makes me feel good that nearly half of the people who have signed up so far were in one or both of the previous Surprise programs.  I truly do work hard and put a lot of thought into it to make this special and to only include things that I love.  I found some great new things at Quilt Market this year, and am excited to be including a few of those.  But, I can't tell you any more than that, because that would ruin the surprise!  What I will tell you is that this is a good deal - I usually end up over-spending because I find more things that I just have to share with you!

Make sure to sign up now, because this has filled up pretty quickly in the past and the number I can take is limited (I'm only one person - lol!).

What are you waiting for?  GO SIGN UP!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Fun at the Bonnie retreat!

Here we are in front of Bonnie's String Spiderweb quilt!  Nancy, Bonnie and I.  Bonnie's quilt is so scrappy and fun.  I had a hard time deciding what colors to use for mine, but finally decided that I would use red and blue patriotic fabrics for the stars, and neutrals for the strings.  In a lot of the quilts that you see with this pattern, what stands out to me is the spiderwebs, but I wanted my stars to be the star (haha) of the show.  

 Here is the ONE block that I finished in class!  I spent more time running around talking and taking pictures than I did sewing!  I'm really anxious to be able to work on this but I just have too many orders and other work to do, so it will have to wait a while.

Mary was one of my table partners.
 Virginia was another friend sharing the table
 Isn't it fun to see all of the variations of the pattern?  Looks like someone else decided on neutral spiderwebs.  Love the black and white too.  Fun!
 The lady sitting against the wall has adopted me - and her "real" daughter (lol) is on the right - she's a tad jealous!  And Meliza (in the center) flew from Corpus Christi for the retreat!  (check out that turquoise featherweight that she brought with her!)
 Mom, Meliza and Nell

 I don't know why in the world I didn't think to make my blocks SMALLER!  Check out those little blocks!  Well, now I can, because Brenda sent me her template!  Make sure to take a closer look at their table too - Cindy's Points of Interest blocks were just gorgeous.  I tried to steal them more than once!
 This is Colleen - she's a long lost friend.  We have sewed together in the past, but it's been years.  She didn't think she was going to be able to come to retreat, so it was great to see her there!
 Nancy hiding her face behind her pretty block.  And look at that nice machine she's using (haha  - it's mine!).

 More awesome machines.  This really was a great place to sew - look at all of the space on the table and around the table.
 Cindy and Lori took time out to pose for a picture.  It was really great to meet them in person!

And last, but not least - here are my Moth in the Window blocks from class on Saturday.  I cut Nancy and I each a kit for this quilt - all homespuns and brushed cottons.  Bonnie used recycled shirts, but that is a collection that I haven't started yet.  The temptation is there, for sure, but I just don't have space!

We had so much fun at the retreat, and the whole week that Nancy was here.  I just wish time would slow down a little bit - it went by sooooo fast.  

Hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Retreat time!

I've talked about it in several posts, and finally it was time to go to the retreat with Bonnie Hunter!  Our first class started Friday morning, so we headed to Oelwein on Thursday afternoon.  We made a stop in Independence, IA on the way.  There is a quilt shop there, called Quilters Quarters, that I haven't been to in years and wanted to check it out.  The last time I was there, she had a lot of older fabrics - some that I wished I would have bought.  I was really hoping that I would get lucky and find a bolt of my favorite red fabric, but that didn't happen.  We did find some treasures though!

Then we were back on the road and headed to our hotel.  We decided to drive around a little first and find the location of our retreat.  There were two groups for retreat - one was at LouAnn's retreat center, and the other was at the local Community Center - that's where we were.  I put the address in my GPS and it took us to a cemetery!  YIKES!  Obviously that wasn't right! Then we went to the hotel and as we were checking in, Bonnie snuck up behind me!  We had made plans to meet Nancy's brother for dinner, and invited Bonnie to go along.  We had a great meal at an Italian place in town (the problem with waiting so long to post is that I can't remember all of the details!)  When Nancy decided to come to the retreat, she had no idea that we would be so close to where her brother lives (remember, she is from California).  She saw a road sign that said his town was only 22 miles away!  It worked out perfectly and he and his wife came and met us for dinner 2 different nights.

We had class on Friday morning with Jo and Kelli - they taught their design called Points of Interest, which was published in American Patchwork & Quilting.  It is a really great quilt - it looks difficult, but it's not at all - the blocks are really fun to make.  One of the secrets is that you use the Tri-Recs rulers.  Here are a few that I have done - I only finished TWO in class, but I worked on them when Nancy and I Skype sewed last week.  The pattern used a white background, but I wanted to try using black instead.  I hope it looks ok when it's finished - I'm afraid those tan points are going to stand out like a sore thumb. 

Class ended at 1:00 - we stayed a little bit later, then we left to go to the middle school and get set up. We got a booth of sorts all ready for the shoppers that started coming at 5:00.   My presentation was at 7:00, then there was a 20 minute intermission so we could get my quilts out of the way, and Bonnie could get hers ready.  We were also open for business during that time, so Nancy took care of my quilts and I went out to my booth.  

Then it was time for the main attraction...Bonnie Hunter!  My pictures are really bad, because I snuck in the auditorium after she had started and just sat in the back row.  I know that I should have edited these, but I just did not have the time.
 The quilt below on the right is Moth in the Window, and is one that we will be working on in class.
 The String Spiderweb below is another that we will make in class.

 This hexagon quilt is just amazing.  Bonnie really makes use of every moment.  She travels so much and uses all of that time wisely.  Think about can sit in an airport and on a plane, and in a car and do nothing. can keep your hands busy and make hexies (or some other hand work), and look at the reward!
 Here is just a little bit of show and tell in class.  Bonnie has a lot more on her blog .

The community center was a great place to sew - the lighting was awesome and there was plenty of room for everyone to spread out. 

I have much more to show you, but Blogger is not allowing me to upload any more pictures, so I will finish this post another day!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

I love it when people send me pictures of quilts that they have made using my patterns - such a great feeling to know that someone likes my design enough to make it to use in their home!  Here are a couple that I've received lately.

This one is called Gathering Favorites and was made by Bridget.  She bought the pattern from me at the Ozark Piecemakers show last fall.  I love the colors that she used (mine was brown/blue with scrappy 9 patches).

This is Candace's Falling Stars.  She purchased the kit from my website, but used a pretty yellow fabric from her stash for the star backgrounds and small border, instead of the tan fabric that was in the kit.  I love it!

Thanks for sharing the pictures with me!

If you have made one of my designs, please share it with me - I always enjoy seeing them.  And if you would like to make one, you can get the patterns on my website.  The kit for Falling Stars is still available as well.  Fall will be here soon, but you still have time to whip this up!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A visit to Wheaton Woolens

My friend (and quilter) Kym and I had talked about making a trip to Wheaton Woolens, and decided the perfect time to go was when Nancy was here.  The original plan for this day was to take Nancy to The Little Red Hen, then go to Kym's house to stitch.  Well, then plans changed when I saw a blog post about Wheaton Woolens.  But, when I looked them up online - she is only open on Saturday and fortunately by appointment.  So I gave Beth Anne a call and she said to come on up!  I don't even have the words to describe what an amazing place this is.  First off, the shop is housed in a barn from 1860. Beth Anne is a rug hooker, and she shared some fantastic rugs with us.  I soooo want to try this, but there just is not enough time in the day.  Here are a few pictures that I took in the shop.

 One of the two wheaton terriers who greeted us.  They are very well mannered - super sweet pups.

It's pathetic but that is all of the pictures that I took.  There was a ton of wool, and of course, some of it found it's way home with me.

But as amazing as her studio is...they (Beth Anne's husband, Barry came in to say hi) invited us in to their home!  It is just out of this world!  Absolutely everything in it is just gorgeous.  They have a huge amount of unique and beautiful antiques.  I did not take any pictures in the house, and I am just kicking myself.  I think I just walked around in awe with my mouth hanging open!  But, if you want to see a few pics from inside, check out Patti's blog called Winding Vine Wanderings.
Here is the outside of their home, but be sure to go to the Winding Vine blog to see some of the things that had my jaw dropping!

A funny thing happened when we were in the kitchen  - all of a sudden, I noticed a little flag pin on top of a cute little cupboard.  I went for a closer look and it is one that I made!  Barry about fell over when I told him that.  He said they had seen it somewhere and he just liked it because he's an American!  He was in the military and he and Nancy (her father and husband were in the military) shared some conversation about that.  Beth Anne had admired Nancy's hexagon pendant (from Me & My Stitches, of course!), so Nancy took it off and gave it to her!  This is typical of Nancy - she's very generous and thoughtful.  Wheaton Woolens now carries my jewelry in her shop - so be sure to check that out when you are there too.

We were all just in awe the rest of the day!  We did manage to close our mouths long enough to chew!  We had a great lunch in a place (that I can't remember the name of!) in Davenport, that Beth Anne recommended. Then we went to Muscatine to visit The Little Red Hen.  They never disappoint - lots of good stuff in that shop.  Of course, a few things there made their way home with me too!  I guess I didn't take any pictures of my purchases that day.  I think we just had so much going on - remember - we're getting ready to head to the retreat with Bonnie Hunter.  And that's where I will stop and next time will share all about the retreat!

One last word of Beth Anne and make an appointment (or go on a Saturday) to visit - you will not be sorry!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

What a week!

Wow - I have so many fun things to share with you! My friend Nancy came to visit from California.  Her son lives in Minnesota, so she was with him for a week, then we met in Waverly, IA and he handed her off to me for another week.  The original plan was to stay home and sew on Monday and Tuesday, but then I was invited to have lunch with Tommie of TJ Lane Thimbles!  I met Tommie's apprentice, Jenny, at the quilt show in KC.  Are you familiar with their thimbles?  They are sterling silver and are all just amazing works of art.  Nancy gave me one with a bee on it for my birthday and I cherish it.  I knew she would enjoy meeting Tommie and seeing her studio and hearing about her process.  It was soooo fun!  We saw some of her masterpieces and also learned about her process and saw some thimbles that were still in the works.  Very interesting and fun! I'm so glad that I met Jenny and that she extended the invitation for a visit and lunch.  I've known about TJ Lane for a long time, but I didn't always know that she only lives about 12 miles from me!  Such a small world!

Here are my thimbles - the one on the right with the bee is the one that Nancy gave me.  When we visted, we saw these cute little thimble charms and just couldn't resist.  Nancy got hers on a bracelet, but I want to combine mine in with one of my paper pieced pendants.

We didn't have a full day of sewing, as planned, but we certainly enjoyed the visit!  And, we did sew after that.  My hubby took a few vacation days to make ruler boxes for me to take to the retreat, and he also did most of the cooking for us - which was just awesome!

Tuesday we sewed at home all day.  One time while visiting The Little Red Hen in Muscatine, IA, I bought this Funky Chicken kit. Certainly not my normal taste, but I thought the chickens were cute, and I wanted to try stitching blocks.  I fell in love with it!  The blocks were so fun to stitch (and you know...I needed to add more hand work to my list!).  When Nancy saw this, she wanted to make it too, so she ordered the kit. We both had all of our blocks stitched, and decided this would be a good project to finish while she was here.

Here are a few of the blocks close-up - aren't they cute?

Nancy left her quilt here so I could take it to be quilted by my friend Kym Ward.  I need to piece the back together for her, and also one for me.  Nice to have a finish!  If you NEED to make one of these, they are still available at The Little Red Hen - if they aren't on the website, I know they have them in the shop, so give them a call.

I will save our next adventure for the next post.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bonnie Hunter is coming to town!

I was contacted a year or so ago by Jo, of Jo's Country Junction, asking if I would be interested in giving my presentation/trunk show during their Bonnie Hunter retreat. Well...SURE!  Bonnie and I have e-mailed back and forth, but we have never met in person.  Initially I was just giving my presentation and going home, but then I thought it would be fun to stay for the whole thing and take the classes from Bonnie and Jo & Kelli.  I was lucky that they had room for me. friend Nancy, from California, is coming too!  And even more exciting?  You can come too!  Not for the whole retreat, but you can come for our presentations.  There is a small vendor area that opens for shopping at 5:00 - I will be set up and have lots of good stuff - then I present at 7:00 and Bonnie is up after that.  This is all taking place at the middle school in Oelwein, IA - here is a link to Jo's blog for more information.  Hope to see you there!

I have admired Bonnie's quilts for several years, and always consider joining in when she offers her annual mystery quilt, but have never done it - there just isn't enough time in the day!  But, she also puts out a leader/ender challenge every year.  I'm not sure what made me do it, but a few years ago (3 years, I think?), the challenge was a 3" bow tie block.  I've never been a big fan of bow ties, so I'm not sure why I decided to do this, but I'm glad I did.  Leaders and enders don't really work out for me when I'm making my jewelry, and that is mostly what I do all day, every day, so this project didn't move along very quickly.  Instead of making the blocks by l/e, I mainly just cut pieces for it when I had some scraps, and worked on it once in awhile when I wanted to just sew something easy.  A few weeks ago, I gave myself permission to take a day and play with bow ties.  I already had one big section done - it's one fourth of the quilt.  and had piles of bow tie blocks pieced.  Here is what I came up with...

 It's 72" square.  I was planning to add a bow tie border to it, but it was going to make it way too big.  So, now I'm working on bow tie quilt #2!  Well, I'm not actively working on it, but maybe someday!  You can see this in person at the trunk show - I packed it yesterday!  If you aren't familiar with Bonnie, you really are missing out - here is a link to her website - she posts on her blog daily, and offers a ton of free patterns, and her books are all really great.

Now back to the KC quilt show - I was so busy showing you the quilts in my last post that I forgot to show you my purchases.  I usually don't have much time to shop, but Sew Graceful Quilting is offering a new block of the month that I wanted to see in person, so I made a bee-line to their booth early one morning before the show opened.  I signed up for the BOM (you know, because I didn't already have enough to do!).  It is called Simply Vintage, and is designed by Cherie Ralston and Alma Adams from Blackbird Designs.  The book is out of print, but Sew Graceful has them.  Here is the first block - this isn't stitched, but I did finish stitching it last night, but didn't take a pic.

Here is the full quilt - it looks totally different than the cover of the book - it was done in needle turn applique.  If you want to check it out (and sign up!), here is the link to Sew Graceful
Simply Vintage Block of the month

Then I had another weak moment and bought this!  (Also in the Sew Graceful booth!).

And just so you know that I do finish things now and is my finished Merry Christmas, designed by Buttermilk Basin.  My friend Kym Ward of Reds Threads machine quilted it for me - she does amazing work - message me if you want her info - she would be happy to quilt for you too!  I made this quilt as a BOM, also through Sew Graceful - they do a great job choosing wool and fabrics.  I think they are running this again, so you can sign up for it too!
Oh my...I rarely edit my pictures, because it just takes too much time and then I won't get anything posted.  But, I see that I should have edited out that ugly foot!  My toes were really meant to be someone's fingers - they are long and skinny - and it's all my dad's fault - they look just like his!  Lol!

Ok, now get your friends together and make plans to head to Oelwein, IA on Friday night!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Fun at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Fest!

I promised to post these pictures from the KCRQF.  As always, I was bad about getting the information on the maker.  I'm hoping that you can click on each one and see it.  There were a ton of really beautiful quilts there, and these are just a few that caught my eye.

First a couple pics of my booth.  We don't ship the yardstick stars because they are too big and cost more to ship than the price of the star.  I didn't take these until the third and final day of the show - yu can see that we are about sold out of ruler boxes.  We started with huge stacks and also had extras in both baskets of the cart and stuck behind all of the jewelry stands.

 See the quilt on the left side of the picture below?  That is my design (all of the quilts in my booth are my designs), called Gathering Favorites...
 And look at this!  A customer who purchased the pattern at the show in Springfield, IL sent me this picture a few days ago - her version of Gathering Favorites!  LOVE IT!!!!  Thank you, Bridget, for sending it!

 Something else we sell only at shows is the kit to make your own little quilt hanger (see them in the center of the picture)...
 And on to the quilts!

Since my niece is such a chicken lover, I always have to be sure to take pictures of any chicken quilts.
 This is a Bonnie Hunter design - I also take pictures of all BH quilts and send them to her.

 More crazy chickens!

I love this Dear Jane quilt made in all neutrals, but I could never make it.  I need color!  But, isn't it amazing?

Since my hubby is a beekeeper, I'm always drawn to anything with bees.

Another Bonnie quilt - I will be making this one next week - more on that soon!

Love this one designed by Blackbird Designs

And that's all for now.  I can't pick a favorite - I think they are all spectacular!

I have a presentation and trunk show next week - gotta go get those quilts packed up!