Me & My Stitches

Me & My Stitches
Click on the picture to go to my website. These are 3/4" paper pieced charms - offered as a charm of the month club.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Beauty and a little cuteness!

In the summer of 2014 I signed up for the Primitive Gatherings summer block of the week.  Yes...block of the WEEK!  It's hard enough to keep up with a block of the month, but receiving a new block each week is a whole different challenge.  I will say that Lisa Bongean (the designer of this amazing quilt) gave me some advice at the beginning of this program, and that was to, at the very least, prep the block each week.  Even if you don't get them stitched - get them prepped.  I took that advice, and it was probably the only reason this quilt ever got finished.  Each week, if I didn't have my block prepped by Sunday, I just made myself take the time to do it.  I didn't completely keep up on the stitching, but I did work on it. I worked on the pieced blocks as I went too.  I had some of the rows sewn together, and then needed to work on a design of my own, so this got put on the back burner.  My friend Nancy and I get together a lot of Sundays and sew by Skype (it's the best!), and we decided that we were going to work on this quilt.  I'm so, so happy to have it finished - I love everything about it!  My quilter just delivered it to me on Wednesday and I can't wait to get the binding sewn on and hang it up.  There are lots of pictures for you to see all of the beautiful quilting that Kym Ward did on this.  I'm still discovering all of the extra things that she added.  Kym knew that I was just in awe of how Linda Hrcka quilted Lisa's quilt, and she did a lot of the same things on mine.  I could not be happier with it.  This is the "beauty" part of the post!

 Love the straight lines around the outer edge
 Look at all of that texture.  I have always loved curved cross hatching and was pleasantly surprised that Kym included some here!
 Love the extra little leaves that she quilted in
 Look at the dragonfly block!
 And the quilting on the bird nest!  The little baby birds also have quilting on them

Isn't it just amazing?  I feel like I can't take much credit for this - Lisa did such a beautiful job on the design and on the fabric and wools that were part of the block of the week.  And Kym's quilting just blows me away - I don't even have the words to convey how much I love it!

Ok, now on to the cuteness!

By now you know that we love animals and have a lot of pets.  Well, last Saturday, I was in my sewing room and my husband came in, holding a little kitten!  He found it in the yard!  Upon closer inspection, this kitten was a mess.  He is missing a good share of fur, his ears were just caked with dirt, he was filthy, many of his whiskers are broken off, he was skinny - just a mess!  So we fed him and Greg made him a little bed.  Our thought was to feed him for a few days and see if we could get him a little bit healthier and then go from there.  He is super friendly and really sweet - not at all afraid of us or of the dogs, has a nice loud purr (I like a good purr!), but he does have a little cough, which I was worried about.  The worst thing about having a grubby little stray show up is not having a clue what might be wrong with him, and not wanting to put all of our other pets in harms way.  We waited a few days, then gave him a bath - he took it like a champ!  He didn't LOVE it, but he sat there and let us do it.  He still had a little cough so I decided to take him to the vet yesterday and get him checked out. Well, as you might expect, he had ear mites, and fleas, etc.  The grossest thing is that they think he has bad ringworm, which would cause the fur loss and skin condition, and according to the vet, could also be causing the cough.  He didn't have a temperature, so that was good.  He got some shots, and was treated for fleas and we have medicine to give him for the ringworm.  So here's a picture of him, on the way to the vet.  Oh...I've been calling him Mr. Grubby, or Grubbers - not sure if that name will stick or not.  The girls at the vet's office thought we should keep that name for him!

What fur he does have is gray, and his feet are kind of a light brown - we thought they were white and were just dirty, but it didn't wash off!  He was so good in the car - I didn't hear a peep out of him.  Another thing that we noticed is that he doesn't play.  Kind of sad!  We have tried to get him to chase a string, but he's just not interested.  And he doesn't like either bed we made for him.  Hubby just put a towel in a basket for him.  He pooped on the towel, and laid on a hard surface! He likes to lay out in the sun, but always lays on a rock, or something hard.  I haven't checked on him yet today, but I'm hoping that his skin and fur will start improving soon.

Hope you enjoyed the beauty and the cute little beast! - I'm linking up to Sarah's Blog for feline Friday!

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

So many quilts, so little time!

I've had in mind for months that I need to design some new patterns, but just haven't gotten to it. This little one has been in the works forever, but I finally have it pieced. I think I'm addicted to these 1 1/2" nine patches - this is the third quilt that I've designed with them. Now to write the pattern and figure out what I'm going to do for quilting.

 This quilt is now all together, in part, thanks to Aunt Nancy!  I had the top half of the rows sewn together when she came to visit last week, and she sewed the bottom half together!  This was a kit that I bought from Betsy Chutchian and the pattern is in APQ magazine.  I just love the fabric - it doesn't get more fall-like!  There is a lot of fabric left over and I'm thinking about cutting it all up into squares and piecing the back.  I don't think there's enough for the whole thing, but I have a little stash (haha!) that I could pull from.  Finding time to do it is the problem.  I wish Aunt Nancy would come and stay for a month!

 This is block one of A Primitive Garden, by Primitive Gatherings.  You've seen this before - I'm hosting a Sew Along on this quilt and you can join our Facebook page if you are interested in making this beautiful quilt.  I think the group is going to keep us all inspired to keep working on it, and there are going to be lots of fun prizes along the way.  Lisa from PG has offered up a surprise at the end of the first month - that alone is incentive to get this block finished!

We've had a couple of shows recently and also a lot of online orders (you can now find my jewelry in a quilt shop in France - cool, huh?!) and my jewelry supply is getting a little low.  I've really been working hard to get more pieces made - we have another show in just a few short weeks.  Here are a few things that we finished last weekend.
You can check everything out on my website

 When Aunt Nancy came to visit last week she brought me this adorable little chair.  It was my Grandpa's, and I just love it.

Ozzie and Callie were very interested in checking out the chair (you know...anything new and they have to have their noses in it!), but they are still more interested in the buffet that I made into my sewing station.  Whenever I have the doors open, one or both of them go in to check it out.

And when he gets tired of being in there, he finds a new place to sleep.  I thought it was funny how he was sprawled out with his back feet up against the door.  You just never know where you will find him.  He has decided that he likes to take showers now - how weird is that?  Sometimes he sits in the shower and meows until I go in there and turn it on!

I'm going to assume that people just look at the pictures on my blog, and no one really reads the words anymore?  I asked a question on my last post, and no one responded - lol! So much for the public opinion poll!

Back to work for me - I was crazy enough to sign up for Star Spangled Libery BOM - it's a beautiful quilt, but I really don't have time for it.  Oh, I'm also making Lisa's free blocks - The Magic of Christmas.  What is wrong with me!!!???

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Gotta have that bling!

I finally had time to add more pendants with bling to my website - they seem to sell out fast, and I don't get more made fast!  I wish my studio was about twice as big as it is - it would be so nice to leave all of my beads and charms out.  It seems like such a process to drag it all out, and put it all away.  So usually when I make blingy pendants, I make quite a few at a time.  Oh, and yes...I do make all of the little bead sets!  SOMEONE (my aunt) thought I bought them that way!  NO!!  They take a lot of time, so I want credit for them - lol!

I love this bee fabric and the charm too.

 Also love that little black wreath in the center of this one - it's a Primitive Gatherings fabric

 I try to make a few bright ones too - and I always like the word charms

To me, this is paper piecing at its best - tiny points - just what paper piecing is made for

 Another bright one - look at the cute iron charm!  I found a bunch of sewing related charms that are perfect for my pendants
 Like a little extra bling?

I forgot to show you what came home with me from the show in Minnesota.  I met Tracy Trevethan for the first time.  She designs patterns, and dyes wool and wool thread.  I really loved them all, can you tell?

I'm hoping to design a few small patterns using Tracy's wool, then maybe offer kits at some point.  Which reminds me - do you like the idea of buying a kit that is just the wool, and you provide your own cotton fabrics?  These will be small things - not a full sized quilt.  I feel like most of us have a stash of cotton, but maybe not so much wool.  I like this idea, but am curious to how others feel about it.

Another designer that I love is Sara from Blueberry Backroads (did you know that she is Emily's daughter from Red Button designs?).  Her patterns and designs are so cute, and are 10 times better in person!  Sadie Rae's booth (be sure to check out her website too - she was so much fun!) had this sample made up in their booth (the cats on the pumpkins) and it was just adorable.  I had commented on it, and later my mom surprised me with a little kit for it!

Hope you have a great day!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Quilting A Legacy show in Walker, MN

There were so many beautiful and inspiring quilts at the show!  This is a design by Bonnie Hunter

 this one is by Bonnie as well
 This was made by my aunt, and designed by Primitive Gatherings.  I made one too - it is being quilted - can't wait to get it back!

 This was made by Bev Wignes - it came with a funny story - I believe she gave this to one of her kids, and their dog promptly chewed a hole in it!  She repaired it and challenged everyone to try to find the repair. Let's just say she did a really great job fixing it - you would be hard pressed to find it!
 This quilt is so striking, but it hurts my head to think about making it!  Look at the bright, ugly carpet - I was too lazy to crop and edit these pictures!
 This was one of my favorites - just simple, but I love all of the different fabrics
 Aunt Nancy made this one too - their guild did a class on this

 This one was the runner up of the Viewer's Choice award

 Same pattern as above - don't they look different!?
 Really nice antique quilt

 This is also Aunt Nancy's - pattern and kit from The Woolen Needle.  I bought her this kit for making tons of pin cushions for me.  I have it too...untouched, in the closet.  Should have taken mine to her to see if it would come back finished!
 So pretty!
 Look at this quilt!  It was HUGE!!

 And here is the winner of the Viewer's Choice award!  This was also made by my aunt, designed by Pam Curo and quilted by Merry Backes of Merry's Stitchins.  Aunt Nancy, my friend Nancy, and I all did this as a BOM.  I just finished the binding on mine and it's hanging in my sewing room.  Aunt Nancy was so surprised when she won, but I wasn't!  It hung right across from my booth and I saw a lot of people writing the number down on their little voting sheet!

Mom and I had a fun trip to Minnesota and I had a great time at the show.  Hope these pictures inspired you!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

So many things to catch up on!

I had one week at home between shows, and first priority was to get the second Surprise box mailed out!  I thought it was appropriate to wrap them in these Halloween colors...

 I took several different blocks to stitch on - this is block 3 of A Primitive Garden, by Primitive Gatherings.  The Sew A Long starts in a couple of days - if you want to join us, go to our Facebook Page  and ask to join.  I took this all the way to Minnesota and back, and didn't work on it at all.  I did stitch on a couple of Merry Christmas blocks while I was there.
 Finished the binding on Sophie's Garden by Pam Curo right before I left.  Callie gave it her paw of approval.
 Mom and I went with Aunt Nancy to her quilt club meeting when we got to Minnesota on Monday night.  Emily from Red Button Quilt Company was the speaker.  She shared tons of her little quilts, and even passed them all around the room so we could see them up close and personal (and fondle them, of course!).  Emily adds a lot of little simple embroidery that just makes them extra cute.
 I took this one for my SIL - her mom makes tons of yo-yos and is always looking for ideas on how to use them.

 This is one of my favorites - those are my size of nine patches - lol!  Love the little pumpkins in the center and look at how the vine in the border adds to it.  She also uses lots of tiny buttons in her designs, and if you buy a kit, there is always a red button included (along with any of the buttons used in the quilt) - fun!

 Another favorite - those tiny flowers are really buttons.

 And here is a shot of what I woke up to each morning - a nice view of the lake.  The temperature in northern Minnesota was much cooler than it was at home, and I loved it!  I meant to go out and take some pictures of their log cabin but I totally forgot!  I think I've shared pictures of it before - it is beautiful, I really love it there.

 On Tuesday Aunt Nancy took us to several quilt shops and we even went clothes shopping.  We had to pull over and take a picture of this billboard along the way - I thought it was funny.
I have lots more to share from our trip and from the quilt show, but will save that for the next post.

Hope you have a great day!