Me & My Stitches

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

Friday, May 12, 2017

Good morning!  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you have already seen this picture.  I need to make a bunch of these, and couldn't decide which version to choose, so I put it on social media to see what everyone else thought.  These pendants are 1" x 1 1/2" with little bead sets and charms.  So, which one is your favorite?  General consensus so far has been the one in the center, but the one on the left also got a lot of votes.  Not many votes for the one on the right.


 I recently made an order for a shop that was all square in a square blocks with the little sheep in the center.  While I was on a roll, I made a few extra...


A couple of weeks ago, I took a trip to Muscatine, IA to present my trunk show for their guild.  Of course, I couldn't go to Muscatine without making time for a visit to The Little Red Hen!  Such a great shop - I could spend hours there and still not see everything.  I didn't buy too much - a couple of pieces of blue fabric with stars (for when I make those patriotic pendants above), and a few pretty pieces of wool.  It was hard to show constraint - I just love everything they do.  I've been so tempted by some of their books, but have been trying to give myself a reality check!

My presentation went well - they are a great guild and so helpful.  This is the first time that I've gone to present by myself.  I usually have help with me, to haul everything in and get unpacked and packed back up at the end of the evening. Shortly after I left the church at the end of the night, my low tire light came on.  Oh no!  I found a gas station and got out to look, but none of the tires looked low (my van doesn't tell you WHICH tire, just that one of them is low).  I called my husband, and told him that maybe the back passenger side looked a little bit low - well, we had a flat on that tire a while back, so that made sense.  He told me to put in a little air - which I did, but had no gauge to check it.  Then I was back on the road.  I made it back to the highway, and was tooling down the road, and my tire blew out!  Scared the crap out of me!!  And there I was at 9:30 at night, along a super dark stretch of road, by myself with a big ol' flat tire.  This is my worst nightmare - having car trouble when I'm by myself!  CRAP!!!  I was actually talking to hubby when the blow out happened - so he was going to hop in the car and head my way, but I was over an hour away from home.  UGH!!  Then I decided to call Deb (the lady from Muscatine who arranged my visit).  Thank goodness, she sent her son-in-law to me, and it probably only took him 15 minutes to get there.  Of course, I'm having a heart attack the entire time...especially when someone drove by me, then turned around and pulled up behind me. I guess I just don't trust people anymore, but I only wanted to see Chad (the SIL), my hubs, or a deputy Sheriff!  Well, it was none of those. YIKES! He came up to the car and asked if I was ok, I just said yes, and thankfully he left.  Am I stupid for being so cautious?  Never have I been so happy to see someone as when Chad arrived.  He had just had to rescue his wife the night before - she had a flat tire, and had just gotten brand new tires that day.  Whew!  So, what started as a great day, ended up with a bump in the road (literally!).  But, I made it home safely and am sooooo grateful for Deb sending her son-in-law. Oh, and two things - there is now a tire pressure gauge in the van, and my husband got AAA for me the following day!

The next day it was time to get that van unpacked.  Callie was helping, so it took extra time!  She clearly approves of these quilts.  I don't know where Ozzie was during all of this - he must have been napping under the bed.  He likes to sleep there, so when it comes time to get his medicine, we can't get to him.  The little basket quilt is a pattern by Country Threads - the baskets are 3" blocks.  I've made 3 of these, and gave the other two away.  I think Callie wants me to keep this one.


I love spring flowers and Greg often brings some in for me to enjoy in the house.  Here is a close up of some lilacs - I just love them.

So, this is a big disaster!  One of my nieces recently had a baby girl.  When she told us that she was expecting, of course I started planning a quilt for her.  Then we were vending at a show and a neighboring booth had this little quilt kit.  It's not something I would normally make, but I thought she would like it - she loves the Cuddle fabric - so soft! And this was just cute, with the little lamb.  The zig zag is printed on the fabric, not something that I had to piece.  Well, I'm ashamed to say that I purchased this kit last fall and didn't get it done until a month after the baby was born in March!  It really didn't take long once I finally got going on it, but geesh - I do not like sewing with this stuff!  It's really puckery looking around the lamb.  UGH!!  Just not happy with it at all. Hopefully she will overlook the shoddy workmanship and enjoy the softness of it!  I need to make her a real quilt sometime to show her that I can!


 We have had some beautiful weather lately and I was trying to enjoy my lunch out on the deck, but look how that worked out!  Bailey always needs attention!

 For Christmas, my brother and his family gave my mom tickets to go to a Celtic Women concert, and they included me as well.  It was one of our girl trips.  The concert was in Peoria, IL, so it was just a day trip for us.  We stopped at the Landmark Cafe & Creperie, in Galesburg, for lunch - Mom loves this place.  Lunch was great, but look what is hanging on the wall!  I would love to know the story behind this quilt - but no one working that day seemed to know.  Isn't it a beauty?


And speaking of beauty - not sure if this is beauty or the beast!  She was "helping" me again!  She has a thing with these plastic boxes that I keep my quilt jewelry in.  It's funny, my CC kitty (who is no longer with us) had a major love for plastic.  We had a cupboard that had some plastic totes in it, and when she heard the door of that cupboard open, she would come running to lick the plastic - so weird!


I better go get busy, as always this post has gone on too long!  But now you're all caught up.  Let me know which patriotic pendant you like best!

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Memories!

 Did you have a good Easter?  We had a great day - the weather was beautiful, my husband cooked BBQ ribs and chicken, we had a few extra people - it just made for a great day!  The kids went fishing, took the paddle boat for a spin and drove the Gator around (until they ran out of gas - lol!).

Before Easter, I was reading one of my favorite blogs - Pots and Pins - are you familiar with it?  She posts about quilting and about food - she has some really great recipes.  She got really brave (in my opinion!) and made sugared eggs.  Now I don't know if you've ever heard of these, or seen them before, but I remember when I was really young, my brother and I each got one of these for Easter.  I wonder what ever happened to them. (Just talked to my mom - she thinks they eventually fell apart!) I remember being very intrigued by them, and didn't understand how in the heck they got all of that stuff inside! So when Nan posted about her crazy day of sugar eggs, it really took me down memory lane.  You will have to go and read the post - it's a great story - and if any of you are crazy enough to make them, she gives some good tips.  So...I commented on her blog about how her post brought back memories of my childhood (and I really wonder where that egg is!), and that I loved her eggs.  And guess what?  SHE SENT ME ONE!!!!  The package said it was from the Easter Bunny - made me chuckle.  Look how cute this is!
 Lots of little fun things inside...
 This is the top...

 The back...

 Does it bring any memories back for you?  Did/do you have one?  Have you ever made them?  I don't think it's something I would ever do (not enough patience!), but I sure am excited to have one!

Back to Easter!  I didn't take very many pictures but will show you the few that I have. And, I'm stealing some from my step-daughter's Facebook page - hopefully they will show up ok.

I had a good helper on Saturday - we made 25 parfaits!  I thought he took a picture of them all finished with my phone, but  he must have just posted it on Snapchat, so then of course, the picture disappears.  Boo!  But, here they are in the works.  Isaac was such great help, and we really had fun with it.  DH didn't have near as much fun, because he ran to town to pick up a few things and ended up having to go to WalMart THREE times!  Luckily, he was still in town every time we ran out of something (we got a little carried away!), but still - I would not have been happy if I had to go to WalMart three times in a week, let alone in one day!



Here's half the crew - doesn't this look like it could end in disaster?  That's a lot of crazy kids on one dock.  But all is well, Greg got them all set with the fishing poles and paddle boat, and they all had a good time.
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Cute little fisher girl 
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This makes me laugh - tons of Easter candy, and she's munching on raw asparagus!
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I stole this picture too - it was the Friday before Easter when they were getting ready to go to school!
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 This is my dad and Alaina.  She carries Jessica's dogs around everywhere she goes!

 This is after the party was over!  Yep...Alaina is still holding Jada!

And this is after the potty (haha - I crack myself up) is really over!  We never leave the lid up, but someone did, and obviously Ozzie felt the need to check it out.  I'm just glad he walked on the seat and didn't fall in!


Oh, and here is one finish.  You've seen it before, but it's got the binding on now and is the completely finished category!  The pattern and fabric are by Betsy Chutchian.  The pattern was in a magazine last year, and I ordered the kit from Betsy.  Love it!

Now I'm off to try to finish a baby quilt that should have been done 2 months ago!!  Have a great day!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

On the road again!

I had to title this "On the road again" because my mom always sings that when we are on a trip!  

Last week I took a little trip to Oklahoma to present to the Pioneer Area Quilter's Guild.  I also did a quick demo on paper piecing, which was fun.  It seems to me that people either love or hate paper piecing - there's not a lot of in-between.  Hopefully a few more people will give it a try after my demo.  It really isn't hard!  After my presentation and trunk show, we had plenty of time, so we (my mom was with me) headed to Pawhuska to visit the Pioneer Woman's Mercantile.  If you aren't familiar with her, follow the link and take a look at her blog.  She also has a book that is a fun read, and has published several cookbooks, and most recently, a child's book.  You can read all about The Mercantile there.  She also has a cooking show, which is kind of fun to watch.  Her recipes are all hearty, and not too difficult.  
These tiny little hexagon tiles made me think of quilting...

 Love the door - the whole building is so neat.  They did a beautiful job restoring it.
This picture was taken from the coffee/restaurant side, looking in to the shopping area.  When we got there, we sat down and had a latte.  It was perfect, and nice to just sit and look at the beautiful building.  We were really lucky - it was a Monday afternoon and it wasn't crazy busy, like I had heard it usually is!  All of the employees there were really friendly and nice - one of them told us that people sometimes wait in line 5 to 6 hours just to have supper there!  I can't imagine!  But, again - we were lucky and it was a slow day.
This was discovered when they renovated the building - National Biscuit Co (Nabisco) - I love that they preserved it.  I'm not sure what the story is on the flowers carved into the wall, but it was really neat.
I took this picture and sent it to my husband - he loves pineapple upside down cake!
This is upstairs in the bakery.  They had lots of yummy things to choose from and I love this big open room and those windows!
If you ever have the chance to go, I would recommend it - we really had a fun visit!  I did buy a few things, but guess I didn't take any pictures.  I found a huge stainless steel bowl  - we have several sizes, but I thought this big one will be perfect for gathering things from the garden.  Will have to take pictures of the other things to share with you later. 

When we left The Mercantile we drove around Pawhuska a little bit, but there is really nothing else there, at least not that we found.  I did hear that a quilt shop will be opening soon - so that's good news!  

The next day we were off to Emporia, KS.  We poked around a little in town before we went to our Bed & Breakfast, then back to town to set up and give my presentation that night to the quilt guild there - another fun group!  It's always fun to be able to see Show & Tell when I visit these groups.  So much talent!

I woke up several times in the night and heard it raining and it rained on us the whole way home.  It was super windy and not a very fun drive!

We had a good trip, but as always, I'm happy to be home and back to work!  I recently stitched these little 3/4" earrings - this is the first time I've ever made the kitty earrings. The hand stitching was a little challenging at first - kind of tiny!

 These bees have been so popular - I seem to sell them faster than I can make them.  This is the latest batch.  A few of them have sold - I know there is one on my website, but if you are interested in one that you see here, just send me an e-mail.
 We've sold a lot of these little binding boxes too.  They are 4" x 5" and include the hand made pin cushion (made by Aunt Nancy!) and Clover binding clips.  We initially made these for my Surprise program last year, and they went over so well, we kept making them.  They are now available on my website - with the goodies, and also just the empty box.

Speaking of Surprise - I'm working on shipping out the newest box.  It is a lot of work!  And they are getting very spoiled this time - I went overboard, but I couldn't help myself.  I will tell you more about that next time, after they have received their goodies (don't want to spoil the surprise here!).  If you aren't familiar with Surprise - it is a 6 month program, and you get a Surprise box every other month.  I choose things that I love and use, and things that we make.  I try to make something special that you won't already have. It's been really fun!  When I was at the show in Dallas, I had several people tell me that they were in the program and loved everything that they received.  That made me feel good - because I truly do put a lot of thought into it and want you to love the things that I send.

Isn't this stack of fabric pretty?  I have some designs running around in my head that will include most of these fabrics.  I probably won't have time to work on it until this summer, but until then I will just enjoy looking at them!

 Here is Ozzie - he usually comes to get me when he thinks it's bedtime!  Doesn't he look sleepy?
 Ahhhh...that's better - a little catnap on my quilt!  I need to finish the binding on this one, then I'll show you a picture of the whole thing.  It's definitely Ozzie approved!
 I have way too much going on here - it's about 4 different projects, and you can see that Callie likes to be right in the middle of it all!
 And this is what happens to good kitties gone bad.  Jail time!

Now I better get back to the shipping department (haha - oh how I wish I had a designated room for shipping - and someone to do it all!) and get more of those Surprise boxes out the door!

Hope you have a great day!
 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Home from Texas


 I have lots of pictures, and will try to keep the words short & sweet!

The show in Dallas is my favorite show of the year - it is busy, busy - which is fun, and my niece goes with me (also fun) and we get to stay with my cousin Phillip and his family - which is the best part of all.  I love and miss them all so much!  And this year, Aunt Nancy (Phillip's mom!) flew to Dallas and helped us at the show.  Another wonderful part of this show is how many people that I know from Facebook, Instagram and blogging, that I get to meet in person.  Thanks to everyone who came and said hi - I love being able to put a face to the name.

Here we are in the process of setting up the booth.  Johnna is such great help - she moves stuff around until she's happy with how it looks, jumps up on the tables to hang quilts, etc!  The window frames you see below are what we display our jewelry on.
 Lots of boxes and socks
 See that cute cart in the front of the picture?  That is new...my friend Su Bunch from Piecekeepers brought it to the show for me.

 I love our vintage Wrigley's gum stand that we use for patterns, scissors, misc. notions and ruler stars.

And this is what happens when I leave Johnna and Aunt Nancy alone for 2 minutes!  They had a visit from the local police department. And you thought that the quilt police weren't real!


We had sooo many new things this year - don't these balls of Valdani look good in the little ruler box?  LOVE!  We also have Aurifil in a cute little box.
 Two of my new patterns (you've seen them before), but see the yardsticks that they are displayed on?  We sold kits for those as well.  They include everything you need to make your own little display.

 These binding boxes - first introduced in our Surprise program - were a big hit and are now on the website.

 The first (and maybe the last - these were kind of tough to stitch) time I have made kitty earrings - they are 3/4".
 Lots of 1 1/2" star pendants...
 And a 1 1/4" kitty with bling - love that charm...

 I had to wear this on St. Patrick's Day!


 I never did make it all the way through the quilts at the show, but here are just a few that I saw.  Beautiful!



My cousin's daughter loves horses, so I had to take this picture for her!

 We stayed an extra day to play! You can't be that close to Waco, TX and not go to Magnolia.  Do you watch Fixer Uppers?  Here are my cousin's daughter, Leah, and Johnna.  It was chilly in Texas!

 The crowds were crazy - it was spring break week and evidently everyone on the planet was here!

 Johnna's favorite place to shop is Goodwill!  Here she is in her glory - lol!

 I think my kitties (and maybe hubby too!) missed me.  Here is adorable Ozzie - he came to tell me it was time to go to bed!  He looks sleepy.  Isn't he looking good?  He had gotten super skinny, and we found out he has an overactive thyroid.  Now he gets his medicine twice a day (not fun for any of us!) and is gaining weight and looking like a pretty boy again.  He's back to wrestling with Callie, so I know he is feeling better!