Me & My Stitches

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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Retreat time!

I've talked about it in several posts, and finally it was time to go to the retreat with Bonnie Hunter!  Our first class started Friday morning, so we headed to Oelwein on Thursday afternoon.  We made a stop in Independence, IA on the way.  There is a quilt shop there, called Quilters Quarters, that I haven't been to in years and wanted to check it out.  The last time I was there, she had a lot of older fabrics - some that I wished I would have bought.  I was really hoping that I would get lucky and find a bolt of my favorite red fabric, but that didn't happen.  We did find some treasures though!

Then we were back on the road and headed to our hotel.  We decided to drive around a little first and find the location of our retreat.  There were two groups for retreat - one was at LouAnn's retreat center, and the other was at the local Community Center - that's where we were.  I put the address in my GPS and it took us to a cemetery!  YIKES!  Obviously that wasn't right! Then we went to the hotel and as we were checking in, Bonnie snuck up behind me!  We had made plans to meet Nancy's brother for dinner, and invited Bonnie to go along.  We had a great meal at an Italian place in town (the problem with waiting so long to post is that I can't remember all of the details!)  When Nancy decided to come to the retreat, she had no idea that we would be so close to where her brother lives (remember, she is from California).  She saw a road sign that said his town was only 22 miles away!  It worked out perfectly and he and his wife came and met us for dinner 2 different nights.

We had class on Friday morning with Jo and Kelli - they taught their design called Points of Interest, which was published in American Patchwork & Quilting.  It is a really great quilt - it looks difficult, but it's not at all - the blocks are really fun to make.  One of the secrets is that you use the Tri-Recs rulers.  Here are a few that I have done - I only finished TWO in class, but I worked on them when Nancy and I Skype sewed last week.  The pattern used a white background, but I wanted to try using black instead.  I hope it looks ok when it's finished - I'm afraid those tan points are going to stand out like a sore thumb. 

Class ended at 1:00 - we stayed a little bit later, then we left to go to the middle school and get set up. We got a booth of sorts all ready for the shoppers that started coming at 5:00.   My presentation was at 7:00, then there was a 20 minute intermission so we could get my quilts out of the way, and Bonnie could get hers ready.  We were also open for business during that time, so Nancy took care of my quilts and I went out to my booth.  

Then it was time for the main attraction...Bonnie Hunter!  My pictures are really bad, because I snuck in the auditorium after she had started and just sat in the back row.  I know that I should have edited these, but I just did not have the time.
 The quilt below on the right is Moth in the Window, and is one that we will be working on in class.
 The String Spiderweb below is another that we will make in class.

 This hexagon quilt is just amazing.  Bonnie really makes use of every moment.  She travels so much and uses all of that time wisely.  Think about can sit in an airport and on a plane, and in a car and do nothing. can keep your hands busy and make hexies (or some other hand work), and look at the reward!
 Here is just a little bit of show and tell in class.  Bonnie has a lot more on her blog .

The community center was a great place to sew - the lighting was awesome and there was plenty of room for everyone to spread out. 

I have much more to show you, but Blogger is not allowing me to upload any more pictures, so I will finish this post another day!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

I love it when people send me pictures of quilts that they have made using my patterns - such a great feeling to know that someone likes my design enough to make it to use in their home!  Here are a couple that I've received lately.

This one is called Gathering Favorites and was made by Bridget.  She bought the pattern from me at the Ozark Piecemakers show last fall.  I love the colors that she used (mine was brown/blue with scrappy 9 patches).

This is Candace's Falling Stars.  She purchased the kit from my website, but used a pretty yellow fabric from her stash for the star backgrounds and small border, instead of the tan fabric that was in the kit.  I love it!

Thanks for sharing the pictures with me!

If you have made one of my designs, please share it with me - I always enjoy seeing them.  And if you would like to make one, you can get the patterns on my website.  The kit for Falling Stars is still available as well.  Fall will be here soon, but you still have time to whip this up!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A visit to Wheaton Woolens

My friend (and quilter) Kym and I had talked about making a trip to Wheaton Woolens, and decided the perfect time to go was when Nancy was here.  The original plan for this day was to take Nancy to The Little Red Hen, then go to Kym's house to stitch.  Well, then plans changed when I saw a blog post about Wheaton Woolens.  But, when I looked them up online - she is only open on Saturday and fortunately by appointment.  So I gave Beth Anne a call and she said to come on up!  I don't even have the words to describe what an amazing place this is.  First off, the shop is housed in a barn from 1860. Beth Anne is a rug hooker, and she shared some fantastic rugs with us.  I soooo want to try this, but there just is not enough time in the day.  Here are a few pictures that I took in the shop.

 One of the two wheaton terriers who greeted us.  They are very well mannered - super sweet pups.

It's pathetic but that is all of the pictures that I took.  There was a ton of wool, and of course, some of it found it's way home with me.

But as amazing as her studio is...they (Beth Anne's husband, Barry came in to say hi) invited us in to their home!  It is just out of this world!  Absolutely everything in it is just gorgeous.  They have a huge amount of unique and beautiful antiques.  I did not take any pictures in the house, and I am just kicking myself.  I think I just walked around in awe with my mouth hanging open!  But, if you want to see a few pics from inside, check out Patti's blog called Winding Vine Wanderings.
Here is the outside of their home, but be sure to go to the Winding Vine blog to see some of the things that had my jaw dropping!

A funny thing happened when we were in the kitchen  - all of a sudden, I noticed a little flag pin on top of a cute little cupboard.  I went for a closer look and it is one that I made!  Barry about fell over when I told him that.  He said they had seen it somewhere and he just liked it because he's an American!  He was in the military and he and Nancy (her father and husband were in the military) shared some conversation about that.  Beth Anne had admired Nancy's hexagon pendant (from Me & My Stitches, of course!), so Nancy took it off and gave it to her!  This is typical of Nancy - she's very generous and thoughtful.  Wheaton Woolens now carries my jewelry in her shop - so be sure to check that out when you are there too.

We were all just in awe the rest of the day!  We did manage to close our mouths long enough to chew!  We had a great lunch in a place (that I can't remember the name of!) in Davenport, that Beth Anne recommended. Then we went to Muscatine to visit The Little Red Hen.  They never disappoint - lots of good stuff in that shop.  Of course, a few things there made their way home with me too!  I guess I didn't take any pictures of my purchases that day.  I think we just had so much going on - remember - we're getting ready to head to the retreat with Bonnie Hunter.  And that's where I will stop and next time will share all about the retreat!

One last word of Beth Anne and make an appointment (or go on a Saturday) to visit - you will not be sorry!

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!