Me & My Stitches

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

Monday, November 21, 2016

Neck tie stockings




I have had several people ask me about the Christmas stockings that I made from my grandpa's neck ties.  I posted about them 2 years ago, but have had numerous requests recently for a pattern.  First off - please change your settings if you are a NO REPLY COMMENTER!!!  I can not respond to you if you are!  If you don't know how to change it, follow this link for the instructions at Humble Quilts blog.  If you aren't sure about any of this, be sure to leave your e-mail address in your comment.

So, back to stockings...I don't have a pattern, and keep in mind, it's been a couple of years since I made these, so I may not remember all the details.  I just figured it out, but will try to give you some instructions, and I'm happy to answer questions you may have along the way.  Just keep in mind, if you ask me questions, I can not answer you if you are "No Reply"!!!  (I'm frustrated with this, can you tell!?)

A friend and I made a couple hundred stockings for our troops several years ago, and at that time we made a plastic template (you can use cardboard if you don't have any template plastic) of a stocking shape.  Just draw a stocking shape that you like, in a size that you like.  The top of mine is 8 1/2" wide and the stocking is about 15" long. It's 7" wide where the curve starts into the foot (hope that makes sense).  I then traced this onto muslin, and used the muslin as foundation to sew the ties to.  Roughly cut out the muslin - outside of the line - you will trim it down to the line later.  For the backing, I used Christmas fabric - you could do ties on both sides if you wanted.  I also sewed muslin to the back to give it more stability and to give you a finished edge at the top of the stocking - just sew the backing fabric and the muslin together (right sides together) across the top and flip over, then press the top.

What takes the longest is to take apart all of the ties.  I was lucky, because my husband actually did this for me!  He just worked on them in the evenings in front of the TV and had them done in no time.  I just keep them all in a tote, and dig through and find colors and prints that I want to use in the stockings.  My gramps had a ton of ties, so I have lots to choose from.  You just want to use random shapes and sizes, and piece them onto the foundation.  It's done exactly like paper piecing, except you're using muslin instead of paper.  You can see in the picture that I tried to use a little bigger, straighter piece at the top and the toe, but what you do is totally up to you, just make sure that you have a big enough piece to cover that section of the foundation pattern. After you have all the ties sewn onto the foundation, use scissors to cut out the stocking on the traced line.  I then sewed another piece of muslin to this (sew them together along the top edge of the stocking - sew right sides together, then flip over - so you have a nice finished edge along the top).  Because there are so many layers, I pinned them all together so they don't slip while sewing - stockings right sides together - and just sew 1/4" around the edge (not the top).  Don't forget to sew a hanger into the side.  I just used a piece of ribbon, made a loop and pinned it in with the layers.  Turn it right side out and there you have it!

Let me know if you have any questions, and I will do my best to help!




Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Bees,cute kitties and is this election over yet!?

We are finished vending for the year, and now it is time to re-group and catch up.  Going through things this morning, I realized that I am really low on jewelry!  I will be adding a bunch of new stuff to my website today, then it's time to start building inventory for our next show, which is in Dallas in March.

These will be the last blingy bees for this year...
I still love the little bee charms and also the amber and gold beads.  I've been building up a nice bead stash and was able to stop at a great little bead shop in the Des Moines area, on the way to the Ft. Dodge, IA show.  So now I have a big fat fabric stash, and a little dainty bead stash - lol!

I rarely talk about politics, because I am so sick of it all, and think they are all a bunch of crooks and liars.  I can not wait for today to be over with.  I voted a few weeks ago, but I have to say that I think our choices are horrible and I just don't understand how we got ourselves into this mess.  What are the next 4 years going to be like?  For those of you in other countries, what are your thoughts of our election season this year?  It's an embarrassment, as far as I'm concerned. I truly can not stand either one of them!

And talk about depressing (wow - this post has gone grouchy in a hurry!) - I had to attend 2 funerals last week.  On Tuesday, it was for a friend of mine from high school who died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.  It was horrible. She was just 52 years old. And the very next morning, another friend from my class in school had a massive heart attack and passed away.  I had just talked to him the day before at the other funeral.  He was 50 (don't know how my friends from HS are so old, since we all know that I'm 29).  Both such a shock, a huge loss, and just a tragedy.  A week like that truly makes you see things differently and appreciate life a little more.

Ok, this is a new week, all this election garbage on TV is almost over (then the real mess begins) and my little Grubby kitty is doing SOOOOO good!  You can't really tell from the pictures, but he looks a million times better than he did when he showed up in our yard a month ago.  I wish I would have taken good pictures of him when he first came here - he had no hair at all on his back and now it's growing in all silky and soft.  I think he's bow legged from holding up his huge belly!  Look at that face!  
 Trying to show you his FUR!  Little cutie!


 And I had to show you that Ozzie is still quite helpful!

Callie always thinks she needs to be in this cupboard if the door is open!  I love her cute little white paws.  I call her Bootsie just as much as I call her Callie!

Back to work - I'm going to add new jewelry to my website right now, so make sure to go check it out!  It's time to start Christmas shopping!!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Final show of the year and a kitty update!

For some reason, I thought that I already posted the information for this show, but I have way too much social media stuff going on, so it must have been somewhere else that I listed the details!

This weekend is our last show for the year, and it is in Iowa - not quite as far from home as most of the shows that we do.  Here are the details...

Saturday, October 29 - from 9 to 5
Sunday, October 30 from 10-4

The show is at the Webster County Fairgrounds, in Ft. Dodge, IA.

Hope to see some of you there!!  I'm trying to get everything packed up and ready to load into the van.  I keep feeling like I'm forgetting something - I have a list, but still feel like something is missing!

I've been busy making lots of pumpkins, and have even run out of the little silver pumpkin charms.  I've got a list of people who want them, so hopefully the charms will get here soon and you will still have plenty of time to wear them this fall.(sorry, but you have to turn your head for the first picture)



And while I had out my beads and charms, I made lots more blingy pendants!

 (Another head turning picture!)




And of course, I had plenty of help from Ozzie and Callie...


And a quick update on Mr. Grubby kitty...remember him?
I wish I would have taken better pictures of him when he first showed up, so you could see just how grubby he was.  He had no fur all down his back.  Well, there is good news and bad news.  First the bad (gross) news.  When you have a kitten that has a horrible ringworm infection, all of your other animals get it too!  UGH!!!!  Bailey (the bad little brown doggy (haha)hat we rescued a year and a half ago) had it the worst, by far, because she clearly could not keep her mouth off of Grubbers.  It became apparent a few days after we started Grubby on medicine.  It was not pretty.  Boomer just had one spot on his hip (because he's a good dog, and keeps his mouth off of the kitties!).  So, I got meds for them too.  And we bleached everything twice!  They have access to a workshop via a pet door, and that is where they all eat and sleep (not Ozzie and Callie - they are inside).  So we burned a bunch of rugs and blankets and bleached everything else.  Mopped the cement floor with bleach on 2 different occasions.  UGH!!!!  All because we have a big ol' soft spot for animals!  Now that you get the picture on how much fun that has been...there is GOOD news!  Grubby is doing great!  His skin looks sooooo much better, and his fur is starting to grow back. Oh, and he's PLAYING!  At first he wouldn't play - we would dangle a string in front of him and he just sat there.  So that is all great news!  I need to take him back to the vet next week, I think, and I hope to have them get his ears cleaned out - they were just gross, and I can only do so much with them. 

Now back to packing!  I hope to see you at the show this weekend!!


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
 LOVE!




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 www.meandmystitches.com

 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
 another..

 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!