Me & My Stitches

Me & My Stitches
Click on the picture to go to my website. These are 1 1/4" pendants.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Quilts and Cats

Now that Christmas is almost here, business has slowed down a little, so it's time for me to do some sewing for fun!  I'm making a quilt for my niece (it's really her Christmas gift, but she might not get it until her birthday - in June!).  The pattern is called Diamond Double.  The blocks are fun and easy to make, and the instructions are really good, but it is a little confusing to lay out.  I took this picture of it and decided to look at it for a day or two to make sure all of the blocks are turned the right way.  Still need to make the setting triangles.

For the last couple of years I have wanted to make Home for the Holidays by Primitive Gatherings.  Of course, Aunt Nancy bought the kit and got hers FINISHED before I even thought of starting!  But there is a sew-along on Instagram that kicked me into gear.  I traced all of the pieces for the wool applique blocks on to Steam A Seam Lite 2, picked out some wool from my stash, and worked on some of the pieced blocks yesterday!  Business usually slows down at the end of the year, so I am taking advantage of it for the next few days.  Here are the pieced blocks - I have one fourth of them finished.

Here is another wall hanging that I finished fairly recently.  Actually, it's been done for awhile, but I just had it quilted and put the binding on it.  It is called Summertime, also from Primitive Gatherings.

I wasn't sure about the red binding, but now that it's finished, I like it.

And you know it's not a post, if there is not at least one cat involved!  Ozzie (or Mr. Adorbs as I like to call him) likes to lay on top of everything that I am trying to work on, but he's so cute that he gets away with it.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Boomer's Tree Farm

Just a quick post to tell you that I finished some cute new pin cushions.  I know Christmas is right around the corner, but you still have plenty of time to make these - they are quick and easy.  I named this pattern after our black lab, Boomer, because he loves to wander around out in the woods, finding treasures (some disgusting) along the way!

We also have a few snowman pins and pendants left, but not very many.  I don't have time to make more, so when they are gone, that will be it until next year!

I'm trying to pack up for a presentation and trunk show that I'm doing in Iowa City on Monday, but Ozzie is making it difficult!  Every time I add a quilt, he feels the need to jump in and lay on top.  Today I am thankful for lint rollers!

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Merry Christmas Quilt

Do you remember last December when I posted about a couple of different Christmas quilts?  You can go back and read about it here.  I was hoping to do a sew-along with online friends, but no one else showed any interest in working on either one of these, so I chose The Merry Christmas Quilt by Heart to Hand, and was bound and determined to make it and get it done by this Christmas. I'm so happy and excited that I stuck with this and got it all finished and actually hung up before Christmas!  This was no small feat, as we have a huge, open wall over our stairway, and that is where we decided to hang it.  I ordered a curtain rod and hubby got it hung up this morning.  Luckily he has a ladder that can be set up on stairs, but it still was no small task.

This is the perfect spot for a larger quilt, and now I will have to be thinking about what I want to hang there next.  I don't have many (any?) seasonal quilts, so who knows what will go up next.

In my last post I showed our new ruler boxes...

We have sold tons of them (thanks, everyone!) - DH has been spending evenings and weekends working on them.  And I have a trunk show and presentation coming up in a week in Iowa City that we need some more jewelry for.  So, needless to say, we are busy elves around here!

Now to get my trees decorated!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I'm so excited that I can finally show you our latest endeavor!  Lots of fun boxes made from yard sticks with our name on them!  There are many different shapes and sizes - you can see all of those details on my website, under the "Go Shopping" button.  I'm using one of the 3-tall boxes to hold all of the different pencils and markers that I use for quilting.  And the 2 tall is great to have by my chair while I'm hand quilting - it's big enough to hold thread, small scissors, binding clips, etc.  The long one is great too - you can put a pin cushion in there...oh...there are lots of possibilities!  Add a pair of socks (because we all need "socks in a box"!), or a pendant and you have the perfect gift - just in time for Christmas!

 This size is great for a pin cushion too
 And these?  SO CUTE!  I love the tiny one with the lid - look how little that clothes pin is!
These boxes would also make a great place to put some of your jewelry.  Speaking of jewelry - I got out my Snowman Gatherings fabric last week and made a bunch of new pendants...

These were so much fun to make, I just love all of their different expressions.

That is all for today - all of my electronic devices are giving me fits!  I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We are hosting, so I better get busy cleaning and cooking!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Shows, Max & Louise, magazines and new stuff!

I think all of my blog posts should be titled "Catching Up"!  I have such good intentions to post often, and it just never happens!  Last time I posted, we were heading to a show in Wisconsin, so we will start there.  My niece, Johnna, went with me to the show, and it was awesome!  She has such a great personality, is tons of fun, and is very creative.  We found the coolest pumpkin patch along the way - they had the biggest pumpkins I've ever seen and a cute little pig!  Johnna wanted to bring home both, but we had no room in the
car for either!  Here she is with the big pumpkins...
 And look at all of these - so colorful - makes me want to plant pumpkins and gourds next year.

We had to get very creative with lighting while setting up at the show, and luckily, for me, Johnna is a little like McGyver, and she got it figured out!

I felt bad that we really didn't have time to do much for fun, but we found out that we were very close to Lake Michigan, and she wanted to go check it out.  It was really chilly that weekend, but we found it and took a few minutes to take another cute picture.  She just makes me laugh!

My online friend, Dawn, came to see us at the show - that was a wonderful surprise!  Unfortunately, she came a day too early and we were just starting to set up, so she didn't get to see everything, but I was so grateful that she came.  I love meeting online friends in person!  

Our next show is this coming weekend.  It's as local as it gets for us (we live in the country) and is part of the tour of homes in Mt. Pleasant, IA.  Along with the tour, there are lots of vendors who will be set up at the Airport Road Vineyard & Winery, just south of town. If you are in Southeast Iowa, come and see us!  It is Sunday afternoon, from 1:00 to 5:00.  We have some brand new items that I can't wait to share with everyone. As soon as we have the details worked out, I will share them here as well.

Not only have we been busy with shows, but Mom and I took a little road trip to the Chicago area, and went to a trunk show and class with the girls from Max & Louise!  Are you familiar with  them?  If not, you should make yourself familiar!  They are awesome!! I absolutely love all of their quilts.  So, to back up...Lisa & Lou are from Australia, and had not ever been to the US before.  They design amazing quilts - lots of applique and English paper piecing.  They both have full time jobs, and I honestly do not know how they get these beauties completed.  They each make a quilt, using different fabrics, so it's like double the fun!  This year, they decided to come to the US for Fall Quilt Market, in Houston, and while they were here, they also traveled to The Quilt Merchant for the trunk show and class.  I knew that I just had to go and see them!  It's about a 5 hour drive for me, and it was worth every single mile!  Mom is always up for a road trip, so off we went!  The trunk show was on Friday night and here are just a couple of the beautiful quilts that they shared with us. (Sorry about that chair in the picture - I should have moved it!).  The first one is Sovereign and it is the one that I took a class on the next day - it is just amazing!!

The Unknown Quilt...
Gracedale Doves
Gracedale Doves again - they are both fantastic! 
I kept telling the girls that I was going to steal a couple of their quilts because I don't think I could ever make any of them myself!  But, I did learn a lot in class.  If you know me, you know that my method of applique is WOOL!  But, they taught the method that they use, using a wash away stabilizer and a glue stick, and it was really fun!  I tried English paper piecing (EPP) once and made one whole hexagon flower - lol!  Lisa and Lou do lots of EPP in their quilts, a real inspiration for me to pick it back up.  I also made bias stems using the little Clover bias binding notion - boy is that slick and easy!

 I don't know what in the heck we were thinking, because we did not get a single picture of the 3 of us together, and I didn't even get a good picture of the two of them!  Guess we will have to get together again to get pictures!

Here is a picture of The Quilt Merchant.  Have you been there?  It is a great shop - I've been there several times, but it is now under new ownership.  Valerie is the current owner and was our gracious hostess for the weekend.
I guess I got ahead of myself a little...on Friday, Mom and I left early and had a few stops to make along the way. When we got to the area, we decided to get to the hotel and get checked in.  Lisa and Lou were staying at the same hotel, so I messaged them to see where they were, and let them know we were at the hotel and gave them my cell phone number, room number, etc.  It wasn't long and there was a knock at the door - it was the Lisa, Lou and Valerie, and guess what?  Their room was directly across the hall from us!  We all went out for supper then headed over to the shop for the trunk show.  It was so nice to be able to spend a little extra time with them - I can't even tell you how much fun it was and how much I just love them both!  We also met for breakfast and Valerie picked us up early so we could get to the shop and they could get everything ready (I spent most of the time petting, and trying to steal the quilts!).  Mom spent the day driving around and checking things out!  Again, please visit their blog - and take a look at their beautiful work - I just don't even have the words to describe the amazing things they do!

We have been super busy this fall, in part due to several magazines that we have been in.  I shared before that our jewelry was in McCall's Quilting.  We were just catching up from that when Quilts & More hit the news stands...

And then....I received a copy of Quilter's Newsletter in the mail - I was a little confused as to why I was receiving it, as I don't currently subscribe.  As I was flipping through it, lo and behold, there was a picture of one of my pendants!  I had no idea that they were going to include it - but what a nice surprise it was!
I am very grateful for all 3 of these magazines and as always, to all of my amazing customers.  I can never convey just how grateful I truly am - it is awesome to be able to do what I love every single day!

We all know that Thanksgiving will be here in a little over a week (YIKES!) and of course, Christmas is coming soon after - doesn't it always just get here way before you are ready!?  Have you made out your shopping list for Santa yet?  Make sure to check out our website and if you want to make it super easy for your hubby to shop for you - we now offer Gift Certificates!  I've wanted to do this forever, and it's one of those things that just kept getting pushed to the back burner, but I finally got it done over the weekend.  I had to laugh at the preset amounts - be sure to tell them you want the thousand dollar gift certificate - lol!  I think they could have left that off!  

Ok, this is getting way too long - sorry about that!  I guess that's what happens when you only post every couple of months. So one last thing - back to the new things that I mentioned before - we are adding some super exciting new items to our inventory!  I can not wait to share them with you, but we have to work out a few details before I can do that - like price and how I'm going to ship them!  If you are local, be sure to come to the winery this Sunday, because we will have them there!  I'm so excited, and just can't wait for you to see them.  Be watching - we will be able to share them soon.  

Oh, and one more last thing (haha) - it's just not a post without sharing at least one fluffy!  Here is Ozzie - thinking he needs to take a shower!  Not sure what his deal is lately, but he has even walked into the shower when it is running!  He doesn't stick around long!
Hope you have a great day!!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

What's been going on, and what's to come!

I've been busy, as always, here!  Our recent show in Middletown, IA went really well - it was nice to be close to home.  We met a tons of new people and also saw many familiar faces.

Lots of you have asked me to make some of our fun and funky socks available on our website.  Ask and you shall receive!  Go check them out - here is the link Me & My Stitches.

Our next show is in Wisconsin...

Lighthouse Legacies Quilt Show
Fountain Banquet Hall
8505 Durand Ave
Sturtevant, WI (near Racine)

Saturday, October 17th from 9:00 to 5:00 
Sunday, October 18th from 10:00 to 3:00

I would love to see you there!! We will have lots of jewelry- here is just a little sample...

One last thing - I don't know what is going on with the blog, but I no longer get a notification when people leave a comment.  I try to remember to check it once in awhile, but if you don't hear from me, please don't think I'm rude!  Hopefully this will be corrected soon.  Is anyone else having this problem??

Monday, September 21, 2015

McCall's Quilting Magazine

Do you have your copy yet?  Here is what the cover looks like - make sure you get a copy of your own - it's the November/December 2015 issue!  It is just hitting mailboxes now for subscribers, and should be in the stores in a week or two.  I am lucky enough to be included in this one - my jewelry is in the "Fresh Picks" section!

We've been busy with orders already and are also getting ready for our next show, which is just a few short days away.  If you are nearby, I hope you come to the show!  Here is the info on that again...

Hawkeye Heritage Quilt Show

Friday, September 25th - 9:00 - 4:00
Saturday, September 26th - 9:00 - 4:00

U.S. Army Reserve Center
Des Moines County Hwy 79
Middletown, IA 

Of course we will have lots of our jewelry there and also plenty of fun socks!

I've also been really busy stitching and trying to get a few things out of the UFO pile and into the FINISHED pile!  This is a quilt that I made years ago but thought I would hand quilt it.  Then I had a reality check and took it to the machine quilter!  Binding is on and it is DONE!

I thought this picture of Boomer and Bailey was cute.  Bailey was actually being calm (a rare occurrence) and sitting still for a little while!
Back to work for me - hope you are having a great Monday!!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Pumpkin Time!

The temperature in Iowa has been hot, hot, hot!  But in my sewing room, I've been getting ready for the cooler weather (coming soon, according to the weather lady!).  We didn't plant pumpkins in the garden, but they are everywhere inside the house!  Here are just a few that went out to customers of "Celebrate" - our newest program...
Those are all mailed out and we've made lots more that will go with me to my next show.  Here are the details on that...

Hawkeye Heritage Quilt Show

Friday, September 25th - 9:00 - 4:00
Saturday, September 26th - 9:00 - 4:00

U.S. Army Reserve Center
Des Moines County Hwy 79
Middletown, IA 

This is "local" for me, so it will be nice to be able to sleep in my own bed at night.

That's all for now...have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

FYI - this is what happens when you leave your new Scentsy wax bars in the car on a hot day!  The good news is that my car smells really good!

Callie stays inside all the time, but on a hot summer day she likes to watch the birds, bugs, dogs and outside kitties.  The problem with that is, she likes to sit on my ironing board, swishing her tail and flinging any small pieces that I may have in her way.  This is how I put a stop to that!

My friend Nancy was here from California for a week.  We had an awesome time, sewing and shopping.  And my DH was our chef all week!  Doesn't get much better than that!  Here is one of our projects that we worked on while she was here.  This is called Black Star and it's designed by Liberty Homestead.  I bought a kit for each of us while I was vending at the show in Stover, MO earlier this year.  The brown, tan and red are hand dyed.  We had Kym Ward quilt them.  It's so nice to actually start and finish something!
And as always, I am working on jewelry.  Fall is coming up so quickly and we've got shows to vend and new programs starting.  Speaking of which - we only have a couple of openings left in "Celebrate" so if you haven't signed up yet, you better hurry!  You can see the details on my website. Here is an example of the pendants you will be getting in this program...

 And here are some scissor fobs (the blocks are 1") and some bright pendants that we've finished recently...

And this is our other program that will be starting soon...Charming 4 - these little charms are just 3/4" in size.  Here is an example of the dark charms...

and the brights...
 And all Kansas Troubles fabrics...

And last, but not is Ozzie helping me pack!  He doesn't look very excited about it!

Hope you have a great weekend!