Me & My Stitches

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

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cruising and stitching

It was great to be able to get some stitching done while I was in Florida. Bud Garden is a kit that I bought last fall when I helped in Primitive Gatherings' booth at the Des Moines AQS show.  I prepped them all a long time ago, so all that is left to do is stitch.  They really go fast (amazing how that happens when you actually sit down and work on something!).  Here are a few that I worked on by the pool...



For now they are put away, but it's nice to have a start on them.

Here are a few more pictures from Florida.  We took a drive one day and my brother showed me this house that he loves...
Such a pretty house and so Florida-like :)

These bushes are all along one side of my brother's house.  He had just trimmed them way back, so they aren't as full as normal...
And a few pictures of the tile inside the house.  This one is in the shower - if I were to make this as a quilt block, the border would have to be red!
This is inside the front door, wouldn't it be a nice applique block?
I missed Callie and Ozzie when I was gone, but I did get a "kitty fix" one day! 
He looks grumpy in this picture, but he really wasn't! 

Here's what Ozzie was up to when I was gone.  He's way too tired to stand up and drink - he has to lay down to do it! 
And some jewelry that we recently finished...

Have you signed up for Charming 3?  Go to my website to see the details


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

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fun in the sun

I can't believe that it's already been over a month ago, but I still wanted to show you some pictures of my trip to Florida.  Besides stitching by the pool, we drove around and looked at stuff, hit some quilt shops, had some good meals, and best of all, spent some time with my niece, Emma!

These pics are at The Quilt Lover's Hangout, in Ft. Myers.  If you are ever in the area, be sure to visit this shop - it is really nice.  I've been there several times, and make a point to go every time I'm in Florida


I also got my brother to take me to an awesome bead shop...

I've been buying lots of beads and blingy stuff to offer a "Bag o' Bling" with Charming 3. I was in the shop forever, because I had no idea what I was looking for.  My brother stayed out in the truck and yakked on the phone.  I was amazed at how much patience he had for me the whole trip.


There's lots of nice scenery in Florida, but my favorite palm tree is this...(I can never remember the name of them!)
 This is my 2nd favorite - the Pineapple Palm.  It seemed like most of these that we saw didn't look really great, but I liked this one, and one of the neighbors have a couple that are really nice.

The biggest reason that my brother wanted to make this trip is because they were building a new sea wall on one of his properties.  He and dad got to see them work on it - I think Dad really enjoyed that.  They were all finished by the time I got there, so I was only able to see the finished product!

We did very little cooking while there (what am I saying?  I did NO cooking, and Johnny cooked breakfast once!).  It's just easier to go out. Emma lives very nearby, so she came over every night after she got off work, and went out with us.  Here is what I had at Bubba's (it was really good!), they have amazing salads and corn bread too...

Then one morning we ate at a small place known for their coffee (the name escapes me...after all...it has been over a month!).  This was my breakfast (which held me over until the next day!)...
And, saving the best for last - this is my niece, Emma.  I told her to pose so I could send her picture to Grandma (my mom!).
We really had a fun time and it was so nice just to relax and do whatever we felt like doing!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Charming 3

We've been working to get everything all ready for Charming 3 and have finally released it for sale on the website.  Here are all of the details...

(These are samples only – actual charms in the program will vary)

The Program: This is a 12 month program - you will receive charms bi-monthly, with a total of 6 charms.  To start the program, you will purchase the bracelet and/or necklace, and the first charm.  Every other month you will receive a new charm to add to your bracelet.  For those who participated in the Charming 1 program, some of these charms will be similar, but they will be all different from Charming 2.
New This Year:
·         Get a bracelet or a necklace – or both!
·         Choose either bright or dark fabrics
·         Purchase a “Bag o’ Bling” – this will include six pieces, similar to what is shown on the necklaces above.

The Details:  These cute little charms are just ¾” in size.  Bracelet length is the standard 7 ¼” - we can make it longer, upon request.  The necklace is 26”. 

The Rules:  The program will start in October, 2014.  Charms will be mailed out the first week of October and bi-monthly after that.  Again, this is a 12 month commitment – please sign up only if you intend to stay in for the entire program.

The Price:  The cost of the necklace is $15.00, the bracelet is $10.00 and the charms are only $16.50 each! Each Bag o’ Bling is $20.00.  For every new charm I will send an electronic invoice payable via credit card or PayPal.  If you would prefer to pay by credit card, please let me know and I will call you to get that information to keep on file.

Added Fun:  As a fun bonus, I will e-mail you a matching 6” paper piecing pattern with each new charm so you can make a matching quilt


Sign Me Up!: Don’t delay - there are limited spaces available, so sign up now to be included in this fun program.  Charming 3 will be offered on my website for a limited time only – to sign up go to:  www.meandmystitches.com and purchase Charming 3 under the “Go Shopping” tab.  

Have a great week!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

For all of us in the U.S., it will be a nice, long holiday weekend. And in my neck of the woods (wonder where that phrase originated? Lol), the weather is beautiful.  Twenty degrees below normal!  Yesterday the high temp was 66 degrees.  I know a lot of people like the hot weather and think that is too chilly for July, but I like it.  It was down to 55 degrees last night - great sleeping weather!

I wanted to share some of my patriotic pieces that we have worked on recently...
 And here is something new that we tried.  My friend, Kim (from KimmyKats blog) makes amazing jewelry, and she came to give me a lesson one day!  The one on the left looks like it's hanging crooked, but it's really not.  I just put these on my website - so go there if you are interested in purchasing either of these.
That's all for now...have a fun holiday weekend!  We will have having some visitors and a birthday party - more on that later.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

And the winner is....

The winner of the Starburst pattern is....


Heather - who said..."I'm a follower and I really love Bonnie Hunter's patterns.  It's tough to pick just one,, but if I had to, I'd say well, I don't know what I'd say!?!"


So...Heather - just as soon as you e-mail me a note with your address, I will get that pattern in the mail to you!

In other news...I recently took a little trip to Florida!  My brother has a second home in Ft. Myers and his oldest daughter, Emma, lives nearby.  My brother and his family go there several times a year, but my dad has never made the trip.  So this time the two of them drove down.  I flew in a week later, then Dad flew home, and I rode home with Johnny.  We didn't do too much in the way of sight seeing - which is fine with me.  I did some of this...
Ahhh...stitching by the pool!

I love his pool - he hates it! Too much maintenance.  That is the bad thing about having a house there - so many things to do when you do go visit.  He had to tear a couple of trees out of the front yard.  And it's a little different than living on a farm n Iowa where you just cut down the tree and burn it.  In Florida, you have to bundle everything up in nice, neat little bundles and leave it on the curb for pick up.  So, we got that all taken care of while we were there.  Next post, I will share some of the fun things that we did!

Have an awesome holiday weekend!


Friday, June 27, 2014

A little giveaway!

Usually I feel like I don't have much to share, but right now I have a zillion things to tell you and no time to do it!  So...this will be short and sweet.  Years ago I went to the AQS show in Chicago and bought a kit and pattern for Starburst, by Yellow Creek Quilt Designs.  Since I started vending I have always used it for a table cover in my booth - just because I like it and because it fit my table perfectly.  The problem was that everyone liked the pattern, but it was not my design, so I was not selling it.  I got tired of telling people that I did not have it, and finally called the girls at Yellow Creek and ordered a bunch.  I have sold them all except this one, so I am putting it up for grabs in a quick little giveaway!  And...I have designed a new quilt to fit my tables at shows!

Here is Starburst...
If you would like to win this pattern, please leave a comment below and let me know if you have a favorite pattern.  I would appreciate it if you are a follower, too.

Callie says...hi, happy sewing!

 Ozzie says...have a nice weekend!
I will pick a winner next week!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Peer Pressure, shopping, sewing, kitties and a contest

I don't really remember a lot of peer pressure in my school days, but I am feeling it now!  Some of my quilty friends are rather villainous!  One of them is Nancy - she lives in California, but her son is in Minnesota.  Which is good for me, because recently after a visit with her son, she drove south to my neck of the woods! We met at Inspirations quilt shop in Hills, IA.  I think Nancy fell in love immediately!  We had a great time there - she found a few kits that had to go home with her and I added to my meager (haha) stash.
Next we went to The Woolen Needle in Williamsburg, IA.  I love this shop too - they have so much wool - even more this time than the last time I was there.  What a fun place!  Nancy found another kit or two with her name on them.  There were several things that I wanted, and the peer pressure almost got to me, but I just came home with this one...

The pattern is designed by The Woolen Needle - isn't it nice?!  I already know where I want to hang it, now if I could just get the time to make it!

We made a stop in Kalona as well.  Kalona has a large Amish community and is an interesting place to visit.  We stopped at the cheese factory and bought a few cheese curds.  They have a lot of unique things there, including chocolate cheese - which sounds horrible, but it's really good - it tastes just like fudge.

The next day we decided to stay spend the day sewing. Here's a picture of Nancy - she's making Poor Lil' Punky...remember him? I'm not sure that she's fallen in love with paper piecing just yet, but she may be one step closer.

 It was a blast, even though I evidently do not know how to sew a quilt top together.  I was working on my summer block of the week (from 2 years ago) from Primitive Gatherings.  As I said in my last post, all of the blocks are finished.  I just need to sew them all together and add the borders.  Easy, right!?  NOT SO MUCH!  I used my seam ripper way too many times, and finally gave up and went back to making tiny blocks for jewelry.

Look at the fun presents that Nancy brought me!  (You know I love presents, right??)
I love the lip balm and lotion (upper left corner) - have you tried them?  The brand is EOS.  The pink is berry scented and the yellow is lemon.  LOVE THEM! And look at the cute little kit!  It is for a 6" pillow - all of the wool is included - so cute.  I can't wait to make it!  And what cute socks?!  My feet are frozen for about 9 months out of the year, so these are just perfect.  And yes - that is a pin cushion in the lower left corner!  Love it!  It is nice and thick and heavy - just like a pin cushion should be.  Love!!! I almost forgot to show you this awesome little zipper bag she gave me!  It's already traveled to Florida and back (more on that next time!).  Yep...love it too!

Can you tell that  I LOVE it all!??!?!  Thanks Nancy!!  We had so much fun, and her stay was much too short.  Hopefully next time she will be able to stay longer.

Oh...and the peer pressure that I was speaking about?  Yes...due to the pressure of my quilting friends (let's just blame Nancy and Yvette), I CAVED!  I am signed up for Sunflower Gatherings -  the Summer Block of the Week.  I don't regret it!  Since I signed up a little late, I received the first 2 blocks last week.  And guess what?  They are prepped and ready to stitch!  I'm hoping to keep up with the prep work at the very least.  I didn't start stitching them yet - I'm going to be visiting a friend for a few days next week and plan to work on them then.  Here is Ozzie modeling my blocks...
Aren't they awesome (and isn't Ozzie The Model a pretty boy)?  I love sunflowers and I just know this is going to be a gorgeous quilt.  They always are - I've asked Lisa to design something ugly so that I won't want to make absolutely everything she sells, but she feels the need to keep making beautiful stuff!

I don't want to leave Callie out - so here she is, being her bad little self.  Yes...that is my kitchen counter she is sitting on.  And she could care less that I am standing right there yelling at her to get down!  I'm telling you...it is her house and her rules.  She does not see me as an authority figure!  Brat.  (And to those of you who think it's disgusting that I am "letting" her sit on the counter...I did make her get down!)

Have you ever entered a quilt in a contest?  I think a lot of people are intimidated by it. But...Jennifer, from The Quilted Cow is running a contest on Facebook right now.  It's free to enter and all you have to do is send her a picture of a quilt that you have pieced!  SIMPLE!  And, the winner gets to choose a piece of jewelry from my website, as the prize!  FUN! I really hope you enter - there are only a couple of days left.  But, at the very least, go vote!  The quilt with the most "Likes" is the winner.  Here is the link to take you to the contest page...Quilt Contest.  Hurry up!  Enter a quilt!

I want to leave you with this - these fabrics are waaaaayyyy outside of my comfort zone.  But...I have decided that for Charming 3 we are going to do something a little different.  The new charms will be offered in darks and also in brights.  So...if you are a lover of brights - you will like these charms.  If you are interested in Charming 3, the sign ups will be next month.  Send me an e-mail (julie@meandmystitches.com) to get on my mailing list, to be sure you get the info.

Have a great week!


Monday, June 9, 2014

Mother's Day, Charms, a UFO and a New Quilt

I know I haven't posted for over a month - time just keeps on flying by!  Since a few people have checked in on me and asked for a new blog post, I thought I had better comply!  I guess I will start with Mother's Day - my brother and SIL had a cookout for everyone.  Mom and Aunt Nancy had been on a two week trip to a "cousin's reunion" and just made it home on Mother's Day.  It was nice to have Aunt Nancy here too. It's so hard to buy for either one of them (or Dad, his day is coming soon!) so I just bought them each a bouquet of flowers.  We had a nice lunch and just hung out and chatted - catching up with each other and hearing about their trip.  After Mom, Dad and Aunt Nancy went home (about a mile away from my brother's house), Mom called and wanted my niece, Johnna, and I to come over and see all of the treasures they bought on their trip. Of course, Johnna is happy to have a reason to jump in the car and drive - it blows me away that she is driving now - she turned 16 last week...how can that be?  Mom had brought us all some gifts from her trip, and while she was sorting through things, Johnna and I were having a little selfie fun...

Not a great picture, but you can still tell how pretty she is - such a cutie and lots of fun to be with.  She has a great sense of humor and never complains.  She's always game to do anything, will try anything, and seems perfectly happy to hang out with us old folks.  Oh wait...I'm only 29...so no wonder she doesn't mind being with me!  Lol!

I've been working away on a new quilt design and it is finally at the longarm quilter's where I know she will work her magic.  It's called Gathering Scraps.  I made myself write the pattern before I started piecing the quilt - so it's almost ready to be published.  It just needs a few little changes and I will be able to finish it up.  If you remember my awesome road trip (FART - search my blog for those posts!) with my friend Kim, we shop hopped our way to Menasha, WI and back and stayed at The Gathering with Lisa Bongean.  Lisa is such a kind and generous person and while we were there, she  gave me all of this fabric.  I have used tons of it in my jewelry and even in some other quilts and bags.  But, I decided that I wanted to make a quilt using only her fabric and name it after her amazing retreat center.  The background fabric is one of her muslins - I have bought yards and yards of it - it's the perfect color.  I also added in one of the blue fabrics from her Snowman Gatherings fabric line.

Speaking of Primitive Gatherings...have you signed up for their Summer Block of the Week?  It is amazing, as always!  I talked myself out of it about a thousand times.  My first reason being that I have not finished the one that I did from 2 years ago!  Thinking about that gave me enough motivation to get those blocks back out (I am the Queen of finished blocks that don't get turned into quilts) and trimmed them all down to size and plunked them on my design wall.  A friend was coming to visit soon for a little retail therapy and sewing - so that will be the perfect time to finish this quilt! (More on that on the next post!)  Here are the finished blocks - remember them?
I still refrained from signing up for this year's SBOW - even though some very bad influences kept taunting me about caving in to the pressure and signing up (they know who they are!).  I stayed strong!  

As always, we have been busy with Charming 2 - these are the newest charms - I can't believe there is only one left.  I'm working on the details for Charming 3 - so if you are interested and are not already on my e-mail list, please send me a note with your name and e-mail address so you will get the info.  Sign ups will be in July (next month...ALREADY????)
 I don't know if you can see, but each basket has a little flower growing in the center of it.The charms are 3/4" in size.
My Charming customers also have the option to buy a little pineapple block and here are a few of those...

 And here are a bunch of the charms, all ready for Marty the Mail Lady to come and get them.  It doesn't look like that much, but that is a big basket!  Speaking of which - don't you love my basket?  I got it from one of the vendors at the Stover, MO show.  I did not get her card - and I can't remember her name (you would think that a 29 year old could remember these things!), so if any of you know her, please send me her info and I will post it  She makes beautiful baskets, and I pretended to steal this one all weekend.  Every time I walked by, it somehow jumped on my arm!  She sold tons of these - I bet she had to go home and get busy making more - they were a big hit.
Those charms keep us busy, but I found time to make a few more things.  Here are some finishes from this weekend...

And a patriotic log cabin that didn't quite get finished!  

And we can't have a post without some kitty news!  My DH plants catnip outside in the summer - some on CC's grave and some in the garden.  You should see how crazy they get when he brings it in for them.  This is Ozzie, in a catnip coma...
And Callie - after her little nip fest.  She usually gets all wild and crazy, then has to sleep it off!  This is the quilt that I've been hand quilting f o r e v e r.  She knocks it off of the foot stool and then curls up in it!

That's it for now!  I have lots more to tell you about, so I will try to post again in the next week (instead of waiting over a month!).

Have a great day!