Me & My Stitches

Me & My Stitches
Click on the picture to see more jewelry on my website

Friday, December 19, 2014

Ready for Christmas!

Thanks to everyone who shared links with me for the brown Cotton Club fabric - I did find what I needed - now to get that quilt off to the quilter!  One reminder - if you are a "no-reply commenter"  PLEASE CHANGE YOUR SETTINGS!!  I hate it when someone leaves me a comment and I am unable to reply - makes me feel like I'm being rude!  If you don't know how to change your settings, follow this link for the instructions...Lori has made it easy!


If you read my last post, you know that I've been itching to make a Christmas quilt - was hoping some of you would join me in a sew-a-long, but I didn't have a lot of interest in that.  So, I bit the bullet and started one on my own.  I decided to make The Merry Christmas Quilt from Heart to Hand.


I love this quilt and am super excited about making it.  I have cut out all of the black flannel for all of the blocks and have prepped the first 2 and part of the 3rd - just need to steam them onto the block.  Here is the first block...all stitched and everything!

 And here is block 2 - all prepped.  I have about half of the stitching done now.

I had to set those aside so I could work on these...
These stockings are made from my grandpa's neck ties.  I have been going to make these for years, and always forget about it until Christmas time, then there are too many other things to do and it just doesn't get done.  This year, I decided to take a day and just do it!  Well, the first day was slow going, but by the end of day 2 they were finished!  We also have all of my FIL's ties and I need to make a batch of stockings with those as well, but that is going to have to wait!

We are having our family Christmas here tomorrow. It's going to be a busy day - we are starting out with our annual cookie-bake, then having our Christmas dinner and gift exchange, then back to cookies (if we have any energy left by then!).  I've been busy wrapping gifts and need to finish cleaning (I hate cleaning!!) today.  My dad likes date cookies - they are a pain in the butt - you stuff a pecan inside of the date, then put them in batter and spoon them out, bake them, then frost them.  They are a lot of work, but he likes them, and this is the only time of year he gets them (if then!), so I'm going to try to get those done today.  But...I decided to try something a little easier - I'm just going to chop the dates (they were out of the already-chopped-dates at the store...boo!) and the pecans and just throw them in the batter.  Seems like it should work - so we will find out.

I've been decorating a little (I'm not a decorator, at all) and have our big tree up in the living room...



My angel has a bit of a problem - she's leaning a bit - but better than what she was at first!

(do you see those ears sticking up??? Callie always has to be in the middle of it all!)

 and a few close-ups of ornaments on my pencil tree in my sewing room...





Aunt Nancy made me this last year...isn't he cute?
She made this one too...

I also wanted to share this - I had a fun mail day yesterday!  These are from Janet O of Rogue Quilter blog...
She likes making small stuff almost as much as I do.  I already have a couple of her cute ornaments, but this time she sent me this basket - using my favorite red fabric (that she is also hoarding), and some of her wonderful hand made soaps.  They smell sooooo good, and look how cute - love the snowflakes!  Thanks again Janet!  Such a nice surprise!

And just as fun as a good mail day, my DH brought home this beautiful poinsettia the other day...

It's really big, and I would like to set it on the floor, but SOMEONE can't keep their teeth off of it!  Speaking of that little someone...what the heck is she doing??

This is a new one - now we walk on my sewing machine?!

Now I better go get that cleaning done!

Have a great day!

Monday, December 8, 2014

In search of fabric!





If you've seen my stash, you would think I'm nuts for needing more fabric!  But...do you remember The Cotton Club quilt from a few years ago?  It was a really popular block-of-the-month, and of course, I jumped on the bandwagon!  Here is a picture of the finished quilt.  As usual, I stayed caught up with the monthly blocks, but then didn't ever put it all together.  It seems that I am the Queen of making blocks, then doing nothing with them!  One excuse is that I was intimidated by the mitered border.  Evidently my Aunt Nancy got tired of me not finishing this quilt and volunteered to do it for me (isn't she nice!?).  I quickly packaged it up for her, before she changed her mind!  Here is a pic I found online of the finished top.  Do you remember it?  I still love it - what's not to love about red?  And brown?  NICE!




As promised, Aunt Nancy finished all of the piecing, and yep...I still love it!  I wanted to get the binding made right away (you know...a couple of years after the end of the program...) but quickly discovered that I don't have enough of any of the fabrics for binding!  ACK!!!!  I love 2 of the browns in this fabric line and swear that I had purchased yardage of both of them, but I sure don't have any.  I think that one of the browns would look best, but...I have ALMOST enough of the red...just maybe 6" short.  Here are the fabrics...

I have searched online, but have not come up with anything - since the name of the fabric line is Cotton Club, searching comes up with a lot of other stuff.  If anyone out there has any of these fabrics, please contact me - I really want to finish this quilt some day!  I need a little over a half yard.

I did finally buy a new Christmas tree - I decided that I was being too picky about it.  The trees that I really liked were so expensive, but really...is it worth it?  Not to me.  Once it's decorated, how much do you really notice the tree itself?   I found a cheaper tree, it's pre-lit, and it is up and I am happy with it!  Callie was her normal helpful self, and we had to chase her out of it several times, but it's still standing, so all is well. I wrapped some gifts yesterday, so now it's really starting to look like Christmas around here.

Speaking of gifts...did you give yourself the gift of Charming 3?  If not, here is what you are missing out on.  This is the second charm in the program.


I know this post is jumping all over the place - sorry about that!

So, next up is a kit that I bought (in MAY, I think!!) at The Woolen Needle in Williamsburg, IA.  They have a great shop with so much amazing wool.  Love it there!  I prepped all the pieces and have stitched a lot of it now, but of course have not put it all together (wonder if Aunt Nancy is up for another challenge?).  This will look good outside the door of my sewing room - I want to start hanging different seasonal things there.

Speaking of seasonal...I know I said it before, but I really have very few seasonal quilts.  Seriously...the only Christmas quilt that I have is a watercolor wreath (remember the watercolor quilts?) wall hanging.  And guess what?  Aunt Nancy put it together for me!  Wow...do you see a trend here?  It was a class that I took as a very new beginning quilter.  At class, we learned very little!  We didn't sew at all...just kind of learned how to lay out the pieces.  It definitely should have been more than a 1 day class - at least for me.  So...the pieces sat in a box forever, and one day I shoved them in Aunt Nancy's car as she was leaving!  And it came home to me like this...(it's like magic!)



I have patterns and fabric for 2 Christmas quilts that I would really love to make, but just never seem to get them done.  One of them is Home for the Holidays, by Primitive Gatherings...


Guess what?  Aunt Nancy bought the kit last year at a show and she has hers finished!  Yes....finished!  Quilted and bound!  I didn't buy the kit, because I have tons of these fabrics - I did buy some yardage for borders, binding (yes...I have fabric for THIS binding!), and backing.  And...I haven't started it.  BOO!

The other Christmas quilt that I really, really want to make is called Merry Christmas Quilt by Heart to Hand.


I LOVE this quilt so much!  Again...no kit, but I have been collecting black flannels for the backgrounds and probably have plenty of wool in my stash too.

So...does anyone else have these 2 quilts on their HAVE TO MAKE list?  Maybe we could choose one and work on it together?  Break it down into sections and have it done by next year?  Let me know if you would be interested - it may be the only way I ever get them done (unless I send them to Aunt Nancy, but I would really like to make something myself!)

Well, this post has gotten way out of control.  It started off as a plea for some fabric - nothing more...was just going to talk about that, and it turned into an "Aunt Nancy saves the day" post, and is ending with me trying to coax you into jumping on a Christmas quilt sew-a-long with me!  I better go get busy!

Hope you have a great week!



Saturday, November 29, 2014

Celebrate!

I hope everyone here in the U.S. had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration!  And now (only after Thanksgiving for me!) we can start to decorate and celebrate Christmas.  I really need to find a tree - we had one that I really liked that had the lights already attached, but Callie played a little too hard in that tree as a kitten, and DH had to fight those lights every year.  Last year, after Christmas...he pitched it into the trash!  Now I can't find a tree that I like and I don't know what to do about it.  Right now the only trees we have are these...
For decorating, I want a 7 foot tree, but today, we will settle for these 1 1/2 and 1 1/4 INCH trees!  And because this post is about celebrating...today we are going to celebrate Small Business Saturday, by offering free shipping to anywhere in the U.S.!  It's a great day to spend in your jammies, shopping from home (isn't every day a great day for that?!).  So go take a peek at our website and do some Christmas shopping!

Another thing that I'm celebrating is my Gathering Scraps quilt.  After I finished it, my friend Lisa Bongean from Primitive Gatherings asked if she could borrow it for awhile to take to shows.  Here it is in their booth in Des Moines...

They have kits available for it in the shop and online.  I talked to Lisa the other day and she said that they sold out of patterns in Houston, so that is really something to Celebrate!

Now it's your turn...what are you celebrating today?  Whatever it is, take a little time out and help small businesses and at the same time, take care of some Christmas shopping - 2 birds with 1 stone!

Callie (see her waving through the chair?!) and Ozzie say "celebrate and shop with us!" (wow...now that is cheesy...I better stop here!)
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

What a great time we had at the show in Ft. Dodge, IA.  Such a super guild - the ladies were all so nice and very helpful, and so smart - they put their husbands in charge of all of the food!  They had lunch for us each day and also made us supper on Saturday night.  And on top of all of that - we sold lots of jewelry and loads of socks!  So many socks, that I had to order more for the next show, and they will be here today.  Speaking of the next show...it is in Clear Lake, IA and here are the details...

North Iowa Quilters One-Stop Shopping Spree
Best Western Holiday Lodge
I-35/US 18 - Exit 194 West
Friday, November 14th from 10:00 to 5:00 
Saturday, November 15th from 10:00 to 4:00

There will be 13 vendors and lots of fun!  Hope some of you can make it there to see me!  My aunt has a home in Mason City, so Mom and I go and stay with her, and my aunt helps me at the show and Mom runs around and sees the sights :).  But...we have had a bit of a problem with that plan...Mom fell and broke her arm and had to have surgery last week.  Which, much to her chagrin, means NO DRIVING!  So...I may be working at the show by myself and Mom and Aunt Nancy may be off playing without me.  I'm sure it will all work out.

I've decided that the rest of this post is just going to be a hodge podge of random stuff that I haven't shared with you yet!  Mostly pictures, not a lot of words.

You know how I love a good mail day - well, one day, my friend Nancy sent me this book - it's a great book and I was lucky that she accidentally bought 2!
 And another day Nancy sent me this adorable Annie.  I love her!  Check out this website to find one for yourself!
 She made herself at home on top of the quilts...

 Another fun mail day, but this was from Aunt Nancy.  A few scraps and a super-cute note pad.  Nothing better than pumpkins and cats!

Do you plant zucchini in your garden?  If so, you know that one plant yields about a bazillion zucchini!  We do all kinds of creative things with them, but the yummiest is these brownies!  So good!
 This is an old picture, but this is one of the cute little kittens that Dottie had.  They are all so big now - as big as their Mommy already!  They have the shiniest, softest fur and are all adorable and hilarious to watch!

 I made a little visit to one of my favorite quilt shops...Inspirations...in Hills, IA.  Nancy always has lots of new samples (all gorgeous) and new fabrics.  Love that shop!!  I took just a couple of pictures...

 And here are a few things that jumped in my car...

And since I am obsessed with the new socks we are selling...I thought I would share one of my many pair. I really can't wait for the new ones to get here - I will probably have to have another pair for myself.  I have had a lot of people ask me if they will be on my website.  Probably not...but...if you are interested in them, send me a note and I will send you pictures of what I have.  They really do make great gifts.  One lady in Ft. Dodge bought NINE pair!  Some for her and some for her grandkids.

I should have posted this a long time ago.  This is the final block for Charming 2.  Teresa C is from Australia and she is the only person who sent me pictures of every single block.  She should win a prize!  And maybe she will....that should be an incentive for those of you in Charming 3 to get to working on your blocks!

 And speaking of Charming 3...this is just a few of the first charm. We were working on these up to the minute I sent them out and I didn't ever have them all in a big pile, like I usually do.  I didn't get any pictures of the bright ones.  I hope to do better next time (which is right around the corner!).

That's all for now...hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Packing up!

We've been working hard making lots of jewelry for our next show, and now the time is almost here!  We will be vending at the Fort Dodge (Iowa) Area Quilters show called Harvest of Color, this weekend!  Here are the details...

Webster County Fairgrounds 4-H building
22770 Old Hwy 169 South
Ft. Dodge, IA

Saturday, October 25th - 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 26th - 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

If you are anywhere in the area, please come out and say hi!  We have a ton of new things made up and just a few more to do before we head out on Friday.

I've made lots of pumpkins in all shapes and sizes.  New this year are the1 1/4" and 1" x 1 1/2" sizes.

 So many people are getting into English paper piecing, and we have lots of hexies for you!


 Take a look at the stand on the right side - that holds stained glass quilt blocks that my mom made for the last show

And now we have added a few more...

The pumpkin is 6" and the flag is 3 1/2" x 6".  Cute, huh?


And we are taking more socks!  We have lots of the calf length that I showed in a previous post and have also added these great ankle socks - I LOVE them!  The first batch sold out in 2 days so I re-ordered to have plenty.  

And in between, I decided on the borders for this...but haven't done any quilting.  I figure I should have it done in time for Christmas!!

And now I need to go get busy!  Hope you have a great week and that we see lots of you at the show this weekend!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall is in the air!

I have made a lot of quilts since I started quilting, but really don't have anything seasonal.  I want seasonal quilts!  I have many patterns and some kits for Fall and Christmas quilts, but I don't have the time to make anything big, so I just keep putting it off.  Yesterday I couldn't stand it anymore and had to make SOMETHING for fall!

It started out like this (4" finished block)...

 Then turned into this...

 It's kinda cute all sewn together!  But, I needed more!  And it had to include wool...

 Ahhh...that's better!  And Ozzie obviously approves!
I stitched on it last night - stay tuned to see where it goes from here!

I LOVE these trees.  We live in the country and my husband planted these Amur Maple trees in our yard - they block our view of the road (which is a good thing!).  Aren't they gorgeous?  I just wish they were outside of my sewing room windows so I could see them all day long.  Now I only get a view of them if I leave home, or walk to the mailbox.  But, he just told me that he has a few more planted in pots, so hopefully he will put them where I can see them easily from my favorite room in the house!

Enjoy this beautiful Fall day!