Me & My Stitches

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

Saturday, August 12, 2017

What a week!

Wow - I have so many fun things to share with you! My friend Nancy came to visit from California.  Her son lives in Minnesota, so she was with him for a week, then we met in Waverly, IA and he handed her off to me for another week.  The original plan was to stay home and sew on Monday and Tuesday, but then I was invited to have lunch with Tommie of TJ Lane Thimbles!  I met Tommie's apprentice, Jenny, at the quilt show in KC.  Are you familiar with their thimbles?  They are sterling silver and are all just amazing works of art.  Nancy gave me one with a bee on it for my birthday and I cherish it.  I knew she would enjoy meeting Tommie and seeing her studio and hearing about her process.  It was soooo fun!  We saw some of her masterpieces and also learned about her process and saw some thimbles that were still in the works.  Very interesting and fun! I'm so glad that I met Jenny and that she extended the invitation for a visit and lunch.  I've known about TJ Lane for a long time, but I didn't always know that she only lives about 12 miles from me!  Such a small world!

Here are my thimbles - the one on the right with the bee is the one that Nancy gave me.  When we visted, we saw these cute little thimble charms and just couldn't resist.  Nancy got hers on a bracelet, but I want to combine mine in with one of my paper pieced pendants.

We didn't have a full day of sewing, as planned, but we certainly enjoyed the visit!  And, we did sew after that.  My hubby took a few vacation days to make ruler boxes for me to take to the retreat, and he also did most of the cooking for us - which was just awesome!

Tuesday we sewed at home all day.  One time while visiting The Little Red Hen in Muscatine, IA, I bought this Funky Chicken kit. Certainly not my normal taste, but I thought the chickens were cute, and I wanted to try stitching blocks.  I fell in love with it!  The blocks were so fun to stitch (and you know...I needed to add more hand work to my list!).  When Nancy saw this, she wanted to make it too, so she ordered the kit. We both had all of our blocks stitched, and decided this would be a good project to finish while she was here.

Here are a few of the blocks close-up - aren't they cute?


Nancy left her quilt here so I could take it to be quilted by my friend Kym Ward.  I need to piece the back together for her, and also one for me.  Nice to have a finish!  If you NEED to make one of these, they are still available at The Little Red Hen - if they aren't on the website, I know they have them in the shop, so give them a call.

I will save our next adventure for the next post.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bonnie Hunter is coming to town!

I was contacted a year or so ago by Jo, of Jo's Country Junction, asking if I would be interested in giving my presentation/trunk show during their Bonnie Hunter retreat. Well...SURE!  Bonnie and I have e-mailed back and forth, but we have never met in person.  Initially I was just giving my presentation and going home, but then I thought it would be fun to stay for the whole thing and take the classes from Bonnie and Jo & Kelli.  I was lucky that they had room for me.  And....my friend Nancy, from California, is coming too!  And even more exciting?  You can come too!  Not for the whole retreat, but you can come for our presentations.  There is a small vendor area that opens for shopping at 5:00 - I will be set up and have lots of good stuff - then I present at 7:00 and Bonnie is up after that.  This is all taking place at the middle school in Oelwein, IA - here is a link to Jo's blog for more information.  Hope to see you there!

I have admired Bonnie's quilts for several years, and always consider joining in when she offers her annual mystery quilt, but have never done it - there just isn't enough time in the day!  But, she also puts out a leader/ender challenge every year.  I'm not sure what made me do it, but a few years ago (3 years, I think?), the challenge was a 3" bow tie block.  I've never been a big fan of bow ties, so I'm not sure why I decided to do this, but I'm glad I did.  Leaders and enders don't really work out for me when I'm making my jewelry, and that is mostly what I do all day, every day, so this project didn't move along very quickly.  Instead of making the blocks by l/e, I mainly just cut pieces for it when I had some scraps, and worked on it once in awhile when I wanted to just sew something easy.  A few weeks ago, I gave myself permission to take a day and play with bow ties.  I already had one big section done - it's one fourth of the quilt.  and had piles of bow tie blocks pieced.  Here is what I came up with...

 It's 72" square.  I was planning to add a bow tie border to it, but it was going to make it way too big.  So, now I'm working on bow tie quilt #2!  Well, I'm not actively working on it, but maybe someday!  You can see this in person at the trunk show - I packed it yesterday!  If you aren't familiar with Bonnie, you really are missing out - here is a link to her website - she posts on her blog daily, and offers a ton of free patterns, and her books are all really great.

Now back to the KC quilt show - I was so busy showing you the quilts in my last post that I forgot to show you my purchases.  I usually don't have much time to shop, but Sew Graceful Quilting is offering a new block of the month that I wanted to see in person, so I made a bee-line to their booth early one morning before the show opened.  I signed up for the BOM (you know, because I didn't already have enough to do!).  It is called Simply Vintage, and is designed by Cherie Ralston and Alma Adams from Blackbird Designs.  The book is out of print, but Sew Graceful has them.  Here is the first block - this isn't stitched, but I did finish stitching it last night, but didn't take a pic.

Here is the full quilt - it looks totally different than the cover of the book - it was done in needle turn applique.  If you want to check it out (and sign up!), here is the link to Sew Graceful
Simply Vintage Block of the month

Then I had another weak moment and bought this!  (Also in the Sew Graceful booth!).

And just so you know that I do finish things now and then...here is my finished Merry Christmas, designed by Buttermilk Basin.  My friend Kym Ward of Reds Threads machine quilted it for me - she does amazing work - message me if you want her info - she would be happy to quilt for you too!  I made this quilt as a BOM, also through Sew Graceful - they do a great job choosing wool and fabrics.  I think they are running this again, so you can sign up for it too!
Oh my...I rarely edit my pictures, because it just takes too much time and then I won't get anything posted.  But, I see that I should have edited out that ugly foot!  My toes were really meant to be someone's fingers - they are long and skinny - and it's all my dad's fault - they look just like his!  Lol!

Ok, now get your friends together and make plans to head to Oelwein, IA on Friday night!




Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Fun at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Fest!

I promised to post these pictures from the KCRQF.  As always, I was bad about getting the information on the maker.  I'm hoping that you can click on each one and see it.  There were a ton of really beautiful quilts there, and these are just a few that caught my eye.

First a couple pics of my booth.  We don't ship the yardstick stars because they are too big and cost more to ship than the price of the star.  I didn't take these until the third and final day of the show - yu can see that we are about sold out of ruler boxes.  We started with huge stacks and also had extras in both baskets of the cart and stuck behind all of the jewelry stands.

 See the quilt on the left side of the picture below?  That is my design (all of the quilts in my booth are my designs), called Gathering Favorites...
 And look at this!  A customer who purchased the pattern at the show in Springfield, IL sent me this picture a few days ago - her version of Gathering Favorites!  LOVE IT!!!!  Thank you, Bridget, for sending it!


 Something else we sell only at shows is the kit to make your own little quilt hanger (see them in the center of the picture)...
 And on to the quilts!



Since my niece is such a chicken lover, I always have to be sure to take pictures of any chicken quilts.
 This is a Bonnie Hunter design - I also take pictures of all BH quilts and send them to her.




 More crazy chickens!







I love this Dear Jane quilt made in all neutrals, but I could never make it.  I need color!  But, isn't it amazing?


Since my hubby is a beekeeper, I'm always drawn to anything with bees.

Another Bonnie quilt - I will be making this one next week - more on that soon!





Love this one designed by Blackbird Designs





And that's all for now.  I can't pick a favorite - I think they are all spectacular!

I have a presentation and trunk show next week - gotta go get those quilts packed up!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Some day I will get caught up on posting - but until then...this post will be a mish mash of everything!

These patriotic pendants are from my Surprise program.  This was the last installment of Surprise 2.  We will be starting up a new one soon!  

 If you read my blog regularly, maybe you remember little Grubby kitty.  My husband found him in the yard last fall, and he was not in good shape at all.  He had very little fur, and was really just a big mess.  He went through some weird stages - for awhile he was just stinky and dirty - wasn't cleaning himself (that was a lovely stage!).  And he had the weirdest little legs - they were really short, and bent funny, so he looked severely bow legged.  Well, now he is clean and cute, and his legs seem to have grown and look normal now.  He is really cute, and super sweet.  He purrs all the time and loves to be petted.  Here he is just hanging out. Oh...and his name is still Grubby, even though he's clean and adorable now!


Our strawberries were so good this year, I just wish they would last longer.  My nieces were here one day and we went out to the strawberry patch and picked a few, and they ate a few.  They were shocked at how amazing a fresh-picked strawberry tastes.  Evidently they have only had the ones from the store that really don't have any flavor!  Hubby likes strawberry pie, so I made this for him.  And I might have had some too! 


This is a bee-yoo-tee-ful stack of wool from Mary Flanagan.  I just left it on my cutting mat for a week so I could drink in it's prettiness!  New projects are in the works!


I got lots of stitching done on the way to the Kansas City Regional Quilt Fest.  This was designed by The Little Red Hen, but I took their block, shrunk it, and changed it a little, and am adding it to another quilt that I'm working on.  Here is a link if you want to purchase this cute little kit from The Red Hen


While at the KCRQF, we went out for supper a few times with good friends who live in the area.  As we left the restaurant one night this is what we saw in the sky.

I'm going to end for now, but I took a lot of pictures of quilts at the show and will share them the next time.

Hope you have a great weekend!