Me & My Stitches

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

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A little trip down memory lane

The very first magazine that my quilt jewelry ever appeared in was American Patchwork & Quilting - and that was in the December, 2010 issue (I have a box of them, if you need one - lol!).  I was so excited to be published in their magazine and we had tons of orders because of it.  We had just (and I mean JUST) gotten our website up and running before the magazine came out, so I know that basically all of the orders in the first 3 months were because of this.  It was such perfect timing - it was available at the beginning of October - just in time for Christmas shopping! I was still working at a full-time job, as HR Manager, and let me tell you - it all kept me hopping!  My mom was still doing the glass work for me.  I would work at that pesky job all day, then piece little tiny quilts for jewelry in the evening and on the weekends.  I would mail them to Mom on Monday (we live about an hour apart), and she would finish them for me.  Then a lot of times, on my lunch hour, Mom and I would meet halfway, often she would bring us a little lunch, and we would sit in her van and eat our lunch, chat and look at the finished product.  Then back to work I went. It all kept us very busy and I feel like AP&Q really helped me get a good start with my online business, and I am so thankful for that.  

Since then, my jewelry, pin cushion patterns, scissor hives and most recently our little ruler boxes have been published in 9 more magazines!  Crazy!!  I am so humbled and thankful every time I receive a request from one of them.  Here is a list of the different magazines we've been in - American Patchwork & Quilting, Fons & Porter (a couple of times), Simple Quilts & Sewing, McCall's Quilting, Quilts & More, Quilter's Newsletter, Quiltmaker, and McCall's Quick Quilts.  I'm not sharing any of this to brag, by any means, I'm just sharing it because it's exciting to me, and amazing as well!  Who knew that my little business would grow like this.  I sure hoped it would, and I took a HUGE leap of faith when I quit that job "in town" and started doing what I love full-time.  I am so thankful and grateful every single day! So...thanks to all of my customers for helping me live the dream! 

Ok, I didn't start this post with the intention of taking that little trip down memory lane (even though it was fun for me), I really just wanted to share that our little ruler boxes are in the December 2017 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting, and here are the pictures from the magazine (used with Meredith Corp. permission)

And if you want to get a copy for yourself (as always, there are lots of great projects in here!) - this is the front cover.

Funny that this is exactly 7 years after the first publication with them, and's the perfect time to get started on your Christmas shopping, and we are happy to help!  You can see our little ruler boxes and much more on my website - so go take a look and get started on your shopping!

Friday, October 13, 2017

So much catching up to do!

Do you ever feel like you just never quite catch up on everything?  Boy, I sure do!  We have been busy, busy, busy!  I've made tons of pumpkin pendants - these are 1" x 1 1/2" with bling.  Cute, huh?

 My "Surprise" program filled up in just a few days - thank you to everyone who signed up.  The first shipment has gone out.  Here they are, all wrapped up and ready to go.
 This just kind of looks like a big mess - but here are the piles of goodies waiting to be packaged.  Aren't these little chick pin cushions adorable?  I just love them. 
 Thread, rulers, chalk markers and magnets...oh my!

This is such a quick project, and perfect for this time of year.  I was digging around in my totes that I keep all of my show stuff, in and found a few of these kits.  I posted them on Instagram and quickly sold more than I had!  So, I made up a few more!  They are available on my website.  I even have the Valdani perle cotton that you need for the wool part.  

If you completed the entire Minnesota shop hop, you received one of these flag pendants!  I forgot to take a picture of them until I had already packaged up a lot of them - there were 100 total. 

This is a block of the month called Simply Vintage.  I'm doing it through Sew Graceful Quilting.  I'm trying so hard to keep up on this, but it's not working!  Luckily they are pretty simple blocks.  My dad has been in and out of the hospital lately, and even though it's not much fun for him, it has given me some extra stitching time!  I've spent a few days just hanging out with him, stitching away.  I've tried to tell him that I could teach him to stitch and he could help me out a little with all of these projects I have, but so far, he's not convinced.

And now to update you on what the kitties have been up to.  This one of Ozzie makes me laugh - he never lays on the ironing board and I'm not sure what possessed him to do it, unless he just thought that fabric needed some extra fur on it!

Callie spends a lot of time on the ironing board - she likes to sit and look out the window (and put little nose prints all over the glass!).  She must have also decided this block needed some fur!

This happens several times a means he is ready for a snack!  And of course, I can't tell that cute face no!

More sharing of the fur!  I was trying to choose orange wool for some pumpkins I was making.  It seems that Callie approved of the wool, but was not so happy about me taking her picture!

And this is how Callie looks a good share of the time - mouth open ready to attack!  She's such a little monster.  This picture totally cracks me up.  MEOW!

I have lots of other news, and will try to post again soon! 

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Don't miss out on our Surprise program!

If you know me, you know that I LOVE a fun mail day!  We want YOU to have a fun mail day too!  Join in on our Surprise program and you will get 3 unique packages in the mail.  This will not be like some of those programs where you get a bunch of things that you won't like or use.  This will be good stuff - the things that we make, some of my favorite things, and a few surprises along the way.  Some items will only be available through this program - we won't sell them anywhere else.  The picture shows some of the items from our prior Surprise programs.  

By purchasing "Surprise" you are committing to the full 6 month program where you will receive 3 shipments - one every-other month.  Your first payment secures your spot for the entire program.  With each new shipment you will receive an electronic invoice for $40.00 (which INCLUDES shipping within the US) that can be paid using a credit card or PayPal.  Space is limited in the program, so sign up now!

We just opened sign-ups yesterday and have had a lot of people join already.  I have to say that it makes me feel good that nearly half of the people who have signed up so far were in one or both of the previous Surprise programs.  I truly do work hard and put a lot of thought into it to make this special and to only include things that I love.  I found some great new things at Quilt Market this year, and am excited to be including a few of those.  But, I can't tell you any more than that, because that would ruin the surprise!  What I will tell you is that this is a good deal - I usually end up over-spending because I find more things that I just have to share with you!

Make sure to sign up now, because this has filled up pretty quickly in the past and the number I can take is limited (I'm only one person - lol!).

What are you waiting for?  GO SIGN UP!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Fun at the Bonnie retreat!

Here we are in front of Bonnie's String Spiderweb quilt!  Nancy, Bonnie and I.  Bonnie's quilt is so scrappy and fun.  I had a hard time deciding what colors to use for mine, but finally decided that I would use red and blue patriotic fabrics for the stars, and neutrals for the strings.  In a lot of the quilts that you see with this pattern, what stands out to me is the spiderwebs, but I wanted my stars to be the star (haha) of the show.  

 Here is the ONE block that I finished in class!  I spent more time running around talking and taking pictures than I did sewing!  I'm really anxious to be able to work on this but I just have too many orders and other work to do, so it will have to wait a while.

Mary was one of my table partners.
 Virginia was another friend sharing the table
 Isn't it fun to see all of the variations of the pattern?  Looks like someone else decided on neutral spiderwebs.  Love the black and white too.  Fun!
 The lady sitting against the wall has adopted me - and her "real" daughter (lol) is on the right - she's a tad jealous!  And Meliza (in the center) flew from Corpus Christi for the retreat!  (check out that turquoise featherweight that she brought with her!)
 Mom, Meliza and Nell

 I don't know why in the world I didn't think to make my blocks SMALLER!  Check out those little blocks!  Well, now I can, because Brenda sent me her template!  Make sure to take a closer look at their table too - Cindy's Points of Interest blocks were just gorgeous.  I tried to steal them more than once!
 This is Colleen - she's a long lost friend.  We have sewed together in the past, but it's been years.  She didn't think she was going to be able to come to retreat, so it was great to see her there!
 Nancy hiding her face behind her pretty block.  And look at that nice machine she's using (haha  - it's mine!).

 More awesome machines.  This really was a great place to sew - look at all of the space on the table and around the table.
 Cindy and Lori took time out to pose for a picture.  It was really great to meet them in person!

And last, but not least - here are my Moth in the Window blocks from class on Saturday.  I cut Nancy and I each a kit for this quilt - all homespuns and brushed cottons.  Bonnie used recycled shirts, but that is a collection that I haven't started yet.  The temptation is there, for sure, but I just don't have space!

We had so much fun at the retreat, and the whole week that Nancy was here.  I just wish time would slow down a little bit - it went by sooooo fast.  

Hope you have a great week!

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!