Me & My Stitches

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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Fun

I don't know about all of you, but I have been having a lot of trouble with Blogger.  More often than not it won't let me comment and I can't get to all of the posts that I haven't read yet.  So...if you haven't heard from me, that's why.  I've also been afraid that it won't let me post, so I'm going to try to keep this short, in case it starts giving me fits.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year yet to come.  Do you all have big plans for tonight?  No plans for us - we both prefer to stay home and will be fast asleep when the new year rings in. 

I know I haven't posted anything about Christmas yet (I'm so behind!).  We had everyone at our house on Christmas night - and had such a great time.  My 3 year old grandson, Kaden, was so much fun!  He loved all of his gifts and was just so cute the whole time. 

I had a very big surprise on Christmas morning from the hubby. 
Isn't it cute?  My husband had seen these last summer but had a hard time getting in touch with the people who made them.  When he did finally talk to them, they had sold them all!  Finally he stopped one day and found this one.  I think it will make a wonderful little garden shed.  I've always wanted to have an outhouse in the yard (not for real use!!).  I wish I had taken a picture, but he had wrapped up 2 rolls of toilet paper and a drawing of an outhouse, with a note that said more info to come.  He had it hidden out in the shed and brought it in the garage for me to see.  We have some funny pictures of Jessica and I in it later, but they are on Facebook, which is also not playing nice, and I can't get on there right now either! (Hmmm...maybe operator error?)

And...look at this...I recently won a giveaway on this blog.
I was so excited when Dan contacted me to say that I had won.  I have heard such good things about Aurifil thread, but have not used it.  There is an assortment of colors and weights in this package, so now I need to figure out the proper use for each of them (I'm somewhat thread-ignorant).
I also won these awesome slippers on Facebook!  These are from Teresa at Olde Grunged Primitives - check out her website at www.oldegrungedprimitives.com.   She has lots of cool stuff and I'm so excited about my new slippers!

One more awesome squishy that came in the mail...

This cute little guy came from none other than...Aunt Nancy!  She always makes the best stuff.  I just love him!


Ok, I'm going to stop here...Blogger is giving me fits when I'm trying to download pictures - I will try again in a few days!

Happy New Year to you all - have a fun and safe New Years Eve!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cookie Day

Every year our family gets together at our house to make Christmas cookies and candy.  This year was no exception!  We started earlier this year and we got lots done. Above, Mom is showing Jessica how to use the cookie press.  And below she was on her own.  She did a fine job!
Then Johnna took a turn...

Here's me making no-bake cookies (sorry about the sideways pic!).  That was one treat that DH remembers his mom making each year - so we made them in honor of her.
Lots of treats finished...


One family tradition is making anise cookies.  My grandma used to make tons of these ever year and send them to friends and family.  We always helped - but she was very particular and really didn't let us do much!  But the kids each got to make a fish - she let us press the dough into the molds and cut out around them by ourselves.  Here are bunches of pics of our anise cookies.  I think they taste terrible!!  But I love to look at them. They have such tiny, perfect detail - it's amazing.












The girls took a break to work off some of the cookies they munched on...

DH taught them how to do a line dance!
The cookie-making gang (except for my SIL who does not like to have her pic taken and is BEHIND the camera!)...We are showing off our candy cane cookies - another one that Grandma made each year.
It was a busy, productive, and very fun day!  Oh...and the hubby made us lunch!  He is very helpful and helped with all the cookies and got us anything we needed. 

Have a great day!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Yard Sale Saturday!

If you read Bonnie Hunter's blog, you saw her post last week about Yard Sale Saturday.  I think it's a great idea, and wanted to get in on the fun.  I hope some of you will do the same.  I'm going to copy the very few guidelines that Bonnie layed out:


There will be some ground rules…These items need to be QUILT RELATED. Patterns, Books, Fabric, Notions, Partial UFOs…whatever you want. This is for gently used –white elephant type items, not new-sell-at-retail-stuff or new crafts you have made to sell for Christmas. Understood? Think YARD SALE. When your item has sold, mark it sold on your blog page so people know.
You must link your post back to THIS POST, not the whole blog --- The url to use is http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2011/12/yard-sale-saturday.html
You write the post on your blog, you come back here and link it up. It is up to you to decide how you are going to interact with your buyers. I’m going to use paypal, and the selling price does not include the shipping. The shipping price will be figured depending on where the person lives, and the shipping price will be added to the purchase price.

 Simple enough? I am also going to use PayPal.  If you want to buy any items that I post, the first person to e-mail me (at this e-mail address: julie@meandmystitches.com) will be the buyer.  I will send you an invoice via PayPal that can be paid by credit card or PayPal.  As Bonnie stated - there will be an additional charge for shipping when noted - sometimes I will include it in the total price, as you can see below.

This first week, I have found a couple of patterns that I know I will never use.  The first one is called "Hens on Heels" by Carol Bruce of Needlesongs.  Some friends and I bought this pattern with the intention of making it for another mutual friend, but it didn't ever happen!  I still remember the shop sample - and it really was very cute and very funny!  The price on the pattern is $11.00, but I am asking $8.00 which INCLUDES shipping (sorry...USA only).




The second pattern is "3-6-9-Quilt" by P3 Designs.  I actually did make this one - it was in a kit that I bought from The Quilt Merchant in Winfield, IL (LOVE that shop!).  The kit was wonderful - it was a baby quilt with the cutest old-timey fabrics.  The pattern gives instructions and fabric requirements for five different sizes, from lap to king size.  It is a quick and easy pattern - good for a beginner or for someone who wants to whip something up in a hurry.  The price on this pattern is $8.00, but I am asking $6.00 which includes shipping (again...USA only).


 If you have some of your own Yard Sale items to sell, post them on your blog, and be sure to link back to Bonnie, so you get more exposure!  This is gonna be fun!

EDIT - Yard Sale Saturday is going to officially start up after the first of the year (be sure to keep an eye on Bonnie's blog) - but since I had this post all ready I've decided to go ahead and give it a try.  So...this week, don't look for anything on Quiltville - but be on the lookout in the coming weeks!

Have a great day!

Monday, December 5, 2011

More exciting news!

Guess what I got in the mail today????  Are you guessing?????  That's right...the new January/February 2012 issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine.  Here's what it looks like...
Make sure you take a close look...you will want to be able to spot it on the newsstands.  And what's inside, you might ask?

ME!!!
Isn't that exciting?  I sure think so. My pincushions are the pineapple and the flag.  Don't look to close at the picture of me - I look like I am grimacing (probably because I hate having my picture taken).  This was the only one I could find to send them - kind of makes me laugh.  Anyway...they had contacted me about the time I was getting ready to vend the show in Galena.  I had just finished making about 30 pincushions to sell at the show, so it was perfect timing. I don't think the magazine is out yet, but it should be in a few days, so make sure you look for it and take one home.

While I'm self-promoting I might as well also mention that there are new items posted on my website - so make sure you check it out and don't forget to do your Christmas shopping while you are there (and your husband called, he said it's ok to get a little something for yourself too)!

Have a great day!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Troublemakers

I'm sure all of you cat owners can relate to this post.  I put up two Christmas trees - a big one in the living room and a tall, skinny pencil tree in my sewing room.  It took me a couple of days to decorate the big tree, because the cats WOULD NOT leave me alone.  Callie would climb half way up the tree and lay on a branch and just look at me.  And of course, they can't leave the ornaments alone - constantly batting at them and trying to get them off of the tree.  They seem to think it's a tree full of new toys for them!  I can't keep the tree skirt straightened out because they all like to go running through there and messing it up - getting under it and just being generally wild.  Grrrrr!!!!!  They don't seem to bother my pencil tree as much - of course it doesn't have long branches to lay on or under.  But...here is what is going on in my sewing room this morning...
See her batting at that ornament?  And that is not Callie...it's CC (the one who is usually a good kitty!).  Well, Callie heard all of the commotion (CC getting in trouble) and had to come and see what was going on.  What's worse than one calico attacking your tree?  Yes...that would be two calicoes attacking your tree!

The only good news is that Ozzie is off sleeping somewhere, and he's too lazy to join in!


While I had the camera out, I took a picture of my angel...isn't she cute?
She has little wire curlicues for hair.  Of course, Mom made the stained glass piece you see hanging in the window.  You can also see what a dreary day it is outside.  But - you can still see grass...no snow! 

Can you see the Noel ornament below...this was always one of my favorites growing up - the letters are made of fabric and stuffed and the little stars are buttons - (maybe I had a love of fabric before I even realized it?) so when I moved out of Mom and Dad's I felt the need to take this ornament with me!
I hear tree ornaments jingling on the living room tree - guess I better go chase off a couple of bad kitties!!

Have a great day!

Monday, November 28, 2011

My first quilt

For those of you who read Bonnie Hunter's blog, you know that she always has lots going on - one thing right now is for people to share their very first quilts with the world.  I have to give you a little background first so you can appreciate this quilt a little more.  My husband and I had been married only a year or so when he asked me if I wanted a sewing machine for Christmas.  My response was..."no".  Well, knowing how he is, I knew that I would be getting a sewing machine.  I had no interest whatsoever.  The only sewing I had done was while I was in 4-H and that was under the very direct supervision of my mother, who is an amazing seamstress.  I just never had the desire to sew at all.  Christmas morning came and sure enough...there was a Brother sewing machine that he had bought at Wal-Mart.  Surprise, surprise!  He messed around with it and made socks for the dog (now that was funny!) and some hood/scarf things that were actually kinda cool.  I didn't touch it.  That machine sat in the closet for a couple of years.  One day at church a couple of the ladies asked me to come to their monthly quilting get together.  I told them that I had no idea how to quilt, sew, or even use the machine that I had.  They kept hounding me and promised to teach me how to use my machine and everything else that I would need to know.  Well, for whatever reason (I really don't know why), I decided to go.  I remember that they were doing a couple different things.  One was a block of the month, which I failed miserably.  I remember finishing one block and it had a big hole in it.  I was quite frustrated!  They also were working on a log cabin quilt - actually I think they had just finished it, but someone must have decided that it would be a good thing for me to try.  It never occurred to me to make it small - they gave me the pattern and I went to Wal-Mart and bought the fabric.  Thankfully there was a very sweet, older lady who helped me pick everything out.  I actually did make the quilt - and we used it on our bed for a long time.  It is in the barn raising layout - which is still my favorite log cabin layout.  And, the log cabin block is still one of my very favorite blocks.  The quilt ended up being 90" x 93" - holy cow!!  Here is a picture of a picture - not the best, but it gives you the idea.
I only went to the church group quilting a couple of times because I was working full-time, attending college classes at night, raising 2 kids, coaching softball, etc.  I did manage to finish that quilt somehow and had it machine quilted by LaDonna Cole - she did an all-over heart pattern on it.  I remember sewing those blocks together and pulling and stretching them to make the rows fit together.  I had no idea that you shouldn't have to do that!  After this big quilt I did make several baby quilts, then found some quilting friends, and learned lots along the way!  And, what's really ironic?  I have not been to the quilting get togethers at church since I started this quilt in 1999.  But guess what?  Tomorrow, I am going back!  They now get together every Tuesday during the day, and yesterday I was talking to one of the girls and she invited me to come. I decided that I'm going to do it!  At home, I never get anything finished except jewelry, so I've decided to go and work on other projects that need to be finished.  First up are some Christmas gifts!  I'm sure that I have way too many things packed to work on, but a girl can dream, right?

It's so funny to think back on how I got started quilting.  I have often wondered what I would be doing today if my husband had actually listened to me when I said that I did not want a sewing machine for Christmas!  Probably still working a job that I had come to hate and be full of stress.  Funny how things work out, isn't it? This year for Thanksgiving, not only am I thankful for friends and family and a great life, I also give thanks to my husband for NOT listening (lol), and to the ladies at church who twisted my arm into sewing with them, and to Bonnie Hunter for inviting us all to share our first quilts. 
Funny how things work out, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Block Two!!

I know it's shocking, but I actually have Block #2 of Summertime completed! Just finished it up last night while watching Dancing With the Stars.
Yippee!  Two down, ten to go.  I was going to prep the next block, but I bought some tree ornament patterns and a little bit of wool, so I think I better work on those first.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow!  I better get busy - everyone is coming to our house for turkey dinner!


Have a great day!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Helper and some new hexies

I have received several wonderful scrap bags lately (from quilty friends, customers, etc.).  This was a big one, and I really wanted to get it organized and neatened up a bit after I had been digging through it.  It wasn't long and I had a whole lotta help from Miss CC!
She's always got to be in the middle of whatever I am doing - can you see the lint roller on the right side of the picture?  That is in constant use!

I may have mentioned that Mom and I were going to Mason City last weekend to visit my Aunt Nancy - they mainly live in northern Minnesota, but occasionally spend time on their farm in Mason City. I took several quilting projects along - my wool "Summertime" block, hexies, a quilt I've had started FOREVER but haven't made hardly any progress on, etc., etc.  I always take projects on a trip but rarely ever end up touching them.  Well...I actually made lots of progress!  I worked a lot on my Summertime block - it's not finished, but it's well on the way (can't let that over-achiever, Becky, get ahead of me, you know!).  And... the quilt was a group effort.  My brain was not working well - so Aunt Nancy took over sewing for awhile.  Mom, Aunt Nancy and I all took turns tearing paper off the blocks that were paper pieced.  We finished all of the blocks that I took with me - I think it was a total of 25!  I just wish that I would have taken all of the fabric - we could have finished it.  I never dreamed that I would even work on it, let alone get that far.  Amazing what you can accomplish with a little team work!

We did some other fun stuff while visiting too - but I don't have any pictures to share.  Wouldn't you think that one of these days I would start taking more pictures?  My camera was in my purse the whole time...does that count for anything?  We toured the newly renovated Frank Lloyd Wright hotel in Mason City.  It is amazing!  Mom took a bunch of pictures there, but do I have any of them??  We also went to a "Shop Hop" in Clear Lake - it was at a hotel and all of the vendors/shops were there under one roof.  So much fun!  Then we visited The Quilted Forest which is a large, very nice shop.  And of course, you can't be in that area and not visit Country Threads!  We didn't get there until 3:45, thinking that they closed at 5:00.  Unfortunately they have changed their hours and close at 4:00 on Saturday.  Of course, we still found a few things to buy in that short amount of time!

To back up a little - Friday, on the way to MC - we stopped at a new quilt shop, Hen & Chicks, in Conrad, IA.  What a great shop!  It is in an amazing, old building and they have lots to offer.  Not only do they have fabric and all the quilty things, she also carries some scrapbooking supplies and some very nice gifty items (my jewelry included!).  They have made a great retreat center upstairs as well.  If you are ever in the area, make sure you stop and visit them.

On the way home, we made a stop at Cornerstone Quilts in Grinnell, IA.  I hadn't been there since they first opened the shop, and now Lee has closed her shop in Newton, and moved it all to Grinnell.  The shop is packed with all kinds of awesomeness.  They have a great variety of fabrics, repros, batiks, and everything in between. They will soon be moving to a bigger location, around the corner - can't wait to see it!  She also has a new supply of jewelry now. 

I also wanted to share another picture of some of my hexagons that I HAVE worked on - the jewelry kind!  When I introduced them a few weeks ago, they sold out almost immediately.  Here is a new batch  - some are already sold, but some of them are now on my website.
That's all for now - hope you have a great day!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Block One...finished!

I purchased the "Summertime" kit from Primitive Gatherings during the AQS show in Des Moines.  Actually - my friend, Becky, and I both bought a kit and decided we would work on it together.  So far, we have only been able to get together once.  We had both planned to have all of the prep work done before we met - but that didn't quite happen.  But that's ok, we both got started - that's the main thing.  A few weeks later Becky told me that she had hers FINISHED!  Yikes!!!  I hadn't touched mine!  I couldn't get left in the dust, so I got busy and finished mine over the next week or so - just working on it a little bit in the evenings. 
One down, 11 to go!  We had hoped to get together again last week, but weren't able to and I can't this week, so maybe next week.  I have my next block prepped and ready to start stitching.  Miss over-achiever probably has hers done - I'm afraid to ask!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Visiting

Last weekend Mom and I made a quick trip to Naperville, IL and then on to Lafayette, IN.  Her stained glass distributor is in Naperville.  Of course, we had to hit a few quilt shops after that!  I didn't take any pictures (I know...what else is new!?) but we went to shops in Lisle, Batavia and Winfield.  Of course a few purchases jumped in the car at each stop!  Remember that HUGE 30's quilt?  Well, I bought border fabric for it - my SIL has decided that it will work for their house in Florida - so I'm getting it finished up.  By the time we finished shopping it was about 5:00.  Yes...rush hour traffic on Friday night around Chicago...BAD IDEA!  It was not fun - the traffic was just crazy - and I'm used to small town living (and driving)!  But, eventually we made it to Lafayette where we spent the night.  The next morning we found another quilt shop, then went to visit my Great Aunt Doris - who is 88 years old and is now living in a nursing home.  I haven't seen her for soooo long - it was wonderful to spend time with her again.  Mom went out and bought Aunt Doris' favorite kind of pizza and we sat and had lunch together.  We stayed with her for a few hours.  Such a great visit!  Here's a picture of the three of us...
After we left Aunt Doris we found another quilt shop - it was in an old church and was really neat.  The lady working there told us that there was a glass studio just down the road - we had actually passed it, and didn't notice!  So, we went back there and mom checked it out.  Unfortunately there was a bus (yes...a bus!) of people there on a tour - so she didn't get to spend as much time there are she would have liked.  After that we headed for home.  It was a looooong drive - I finally made it home about 10:00.  Lots of miles for just two days, but we had a good time!

The weather here really has been beautiful for the last month or so - just wish Fall could stay a little longer!  It is cold (about 35 degrees) this morning with rain and SNOW mixed in!  Brrrr!!!! 


Have a great day!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hexagon crazy!

I know I've mentioned a few times how I love hexagon quilts and shared the few that I have made - they are so much fun!  It seems everywhere you look on blogs, people are posting tutorials and finished projects.  I love to see all of the different layouts - so inspirational.  Well....with my new found love of hexies what better than to make...Hexagon pendants!?  That is the new shape that we are now offering.  And, they are on my website now!!  Here is a peek for my blog readers...
They are 1 1/2" across the widest part of the hexagon. 

And also, as promised, some new BRIGHT pieces...
These are funky, fun colors.

Hope you like the new pieces - they are all on my website now!  Go check them out!

Have a great day!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Remember the Civil War Love Letter blocks???

Happy Sunday!  Can you believe it is almost November already?  I just don't know where the time goes.  I sure haven't been good about posting lately, but I really don't have much to report.  I have been busy with jewelry orders ever since the current issue of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting magazine hit the shelves.  If you haven't picked up a copy, make sure you get one! Here is the cover to look for (I love this quilt)-
 And of course, be sure to check out my jewelry on page 10!

A couple of the girls at F&P have been sending me their scraps and it's so much fun!  You all know how much I love to receive fun mail - and to play with scraps from other people.  Last week they sent some funky brights and more contemporary fabrics.  These are so far out of my box - but they really were a lot of fun to play with.  I made several new pieces with bright fabrics and will be posting them on my website later this week.  I also have a brand new shape that I've been wanting to share forever.  I've made several, then sold them to shops but I've not had a chance to get them on the website - so they will also be posted this week - hopefully tomorrow.  I'm excited for you to see the new shape - it has been a bit of a challenge to cut the glass for them - but I love to have something new and different to offer.

Remember my Civil War Love Letter blocks?  I haven't made any for quite awhile but I do still have a few in the archives that I haven't shared on my blog.  I thought today would be a good day to show you some of them...



I really want to get back to these blocks - they are so fun to make - but right now I have so many projects started that I just can't do it!

We had everyone here last night for a birthday party for my mom.  Of course, I didn't take any pictures!  Her birthday was actually a couple of weeks ago, but everyone has been busy and this is the first we could all get together.  We made soup and sandwiches and pumpkin bars (yum!).  It's always fun to get everyone together.  My dad and brother have been working so hard in the fields that they were both tired.  Dad took a nap in the chair - which he pretty much does every time they come over!  But, he looked really tired - hopefully he will get rested up soon.  Mom came over early and brought her latest knitting project.  The yarn is really neat - but came in skeins - so we sat and rolled 13 skeins into balls.  Of course with little Miss Callie around that was no easy feat!

I better go get to work so I can show you my new jewelry projects soon!!

Have a great day!