Just Fun · Wool appliqué

Wanna see what I’m creating today?

Hey Ladies & Spools

I don’t know about you, but I love an inside look.  Wait, yes I believe I do know about you and you DO LOVE inside looks. Well, let me clarify that I know you love inside looks into an artist’s studio. As for what else you like snooping around in, well I’ll just keep moving on so as to not create an awkward conversation.

Okay, so moving on. At this very moment in time I am working on creating several new patterns, and I am at my favorite part of the process.  I’ve created the design, fused it all down and now it’s ready to applique by machine or hand. And, let me say that it’s nearly impossible for me to convey in words, the pure exhiliration of this exact moment in my designing process.

How ’bout I stop yackin and just show you what I mean:

See? This is a new design in process. It will measure approximately 11″ x 18″ when finished and will likely feature a couple cardinal beak buttons from “Just Another Button Company”. Wanna know about that background? That is a light light blue with white snowflakes and an all over sparkle to it. This picture does not do it justice, as pictures never do. But trust me when I say it is breathtakingly gorgeous. When I take a peek at the selvage edge of the fabric, this background is “Forest Frost” by Sentimental Studios – for Moda.  In case you’re wondering.

Showing my upcoming design in mid-process is a bit risky, I agree, however I love a good peek as much as you do. That, and it’s simply impossible to contain my creative excitement at this moment – so why not share the excitement, right?!


. . . . . whew.  That was fun.  Okay, now I’m off to machine applique this lil’ cutie.  Yes, machine stitch it.  With my Valdani 35wt variegated threads. This set has every color I need for about 99% of my machine blanket stitching needs.

Yikes, can I say that “selling” you something here, is not my intent. (always had a fear of being viewed as vaccuum salesman)  Helpful is my intent, because I realize that thread weight and color is a can of worms for some fellow stitchers. Daunting is more like it.


Can I let you in on a little secret? I never, never, ever “match” thread color to my fabric I’m about to blanket stitch around.  Never. The variegated threads do all the work. They provide blend and gentle pop of color all in one spool. I love this thread collection, which is the ONLY reason we carry any thread at all. So, if you find thread to be a bottomless pit of daunting information, weights, colors, etc., then maybe this is an easy solution for you. We have it available on our website – click here.

By the way, did you catch the hint I gave at the beginning of this post?  The word “several new designs”?  Oh yeah campers, there’s more sneekin’ and peekin’ a comin’. Not right now though. It’s like eating Doritos . . . . ya can’t eat the whole bag for lunch or your fingers will be Dorito-stained and your breath a dead give-away of your recent diet breach. So, lick off your fingers and patiently stay glued to your device. I’ll be sending you sneek peeks of ALL NEW DESIGNS.  Yep, every one of ’em.

Hmmm.  It’s close to lunch now and I have a sudden urge for Doritos . . . . but just a few . . . . . . yeah right! I won’t show you that peek – ha ha!

Happy Stitchin’ folks – thanks for keeping me on your radar.


Just Fun · My Babes

My kids needed a sticker book

I’m a child of the 80’s.  Does anyone else remember sticker books?

Oh my, the amount of my hard earned money I spent on stickers from the local Hallmark store in the mall.  That store called to me when I stepped into the mall . . . . . “Julie, I’m over here . . . . I have a whole sticker section just waiting for you”.  They had puffy stickers!  Yeah, imagine that. And sparkly ones too.  Ooh, ooh, and there were scratch and sniff ones.  Ahhh.  The occasional teddy bear with soft fuzzy parts on it, like a real teddy bear.  All on rolls and I swear they were like a buck a piece.  I don’t recall how much they were for sure, but I recall them being expensive by a 10 year old’s standards.  I didn’t give up my for just any ole sticker either.  I’d ponder, hem haw and ponder some more over which sticker was going to be worthy of my 50cents that day.

Here I am, 40’ish with 2 little boys.  They love stickers too.  And we have tons of them on sheets that we pick up from the prize department at any array of kids games and birthday parties.

They love to “stick” them.  But where to?  To the fridge – yeah try scrapping those off of a stainless steel fridge – good times I tell ya, good times.

Yeah, the problem is, they don’t have this fancy shmancy “sticker book” (aka a photo album with a puppy on the cover) that I once had.  So, I got to thinking, “I need to find them a place to stick it”.  Call me cheap, but I wasn’t about to go out and buy them a puppy photo album for their stickers, however I am a creative kind of gal so I drummed up an idea.

I would design and publish them their very own personalized sticker book!

What a genius idea! Damn I’m good.

So, while they were napping the other day, I snuck into my office, grabbed a piece of artwork they had created, scanned it into the puter (my nickname for my computer – not to be confused with seldom seen body parts), added some text to the front, some Mommy words of widsom to the bottom of each page and whallah!

Front cover can be personalized with name and title
back cover personalized text: “Created by Mom on June 17, 2017. So you would have a fun cool place to put all of your super cool stickers.”

This shows the cover (left) and back cover (right) It is 8.5 x 11, with about 6 pages inside to fill up with stickers.  And each page at the bottom has a little note such as: I love you, be kind to others, etc.

Yeah, too cute eh?

And then I wondered if other parents are looking for something like this.  And if so, I would be more than happy to personalize and publish one for their little sticker monsters too.

My stainless fridge thanks me, my end tables are thanking me, my kids bedroom furniture is thanking me.

Would you like to get this sticker book for your kids?

Just $14.99, includes personalized cover, and shipping.  Yeah – what a deal!  And your furniture will be thanking you too!

Order by contacting me at:  julie@patchabilities.com or call:  563-568-5352

OR, take this cute idea and make and print your own.

Ahhh, I can hear your fridge sighing with relief already.

Just Fun

Help Me, Help You

20160120_141118 Happy Friday!  I’m glad you stopped by.  Today, I have an awesomely open-ended question that will help help help you.  That is, if you provide me with your answer.

So what’s the question?

The BIG question is this:

If I were to GIVE you something for FREE, something that would be so-so helpful to you, what would that “FREE-MIUM” be?

Now, you may be thinking “What did she just say? She wants me to tell her what she should GIVE to me?”

Yes, I want to know what “FREE-MIUM” I could give you that would help you, and help build your trust in me.

Here are some examples to help you think of your answer:

  • a printable page showing in full color, all the steps from start to finish on how to bind a small quilt – including a photo for each step – and written so simply, that someone who’s never put on a binding before, can follow along . . and actually get it done.
  • a beginner’s guide to applique, with color photos of every step I take to create gorgeous, frustration-free applique projects.
  • or my top 5 tips on how to machine applique, so that you can eliminate the frustrations you find with “applique”
  • or, a printable tutorial/page showing you how to hand-blanket stitch, with nice photos showing each step
  • or a printable tutorial/page showing how to hand embroider using my top 5 stitch types
  • or my favorite recipes for using my crockpot
  • or a video on how to use fusible webbing
  • or directions on how to “felt” wool using your washing machine and dryer
  • or . .. anything else you can think of

It can be anything.  Whatever you can think of that would make your day easier, today.  Whatever would make your weekend project go more smoothly.

Perhaps it’s nothing to do with quilting.  Maybe it’s something you may think is totally off the wall. Whatever it is, I really want to know so please share it with me.

20151026_182620So, what would you like me to “GIVE” to you?

What will I do with your answer . . . . hmm.  Terrific question.  I plan to take all the answers I receive, find common themes, and begin to create several “FREE-MIUMS”.  Oh yeah! I am going to give you what you ask for (within my realm of capabilities that is).

You have tons to gain here . . . and not a darn thing to loose.  So, please, help me to help you.

Leave your answer in the comment section . . . .

I want to thank you right now, for sharing your answer with me.

IF you would like to email your answer to me, to keep it between just you and I, then please feel free to do so at:  julie@patchabilities.com

Click here to be the first to see “NEW” product releases and promotions.

Enter in your name and email address, at the top of the page.  You will be added to our “tribe”, which is our email list.

You have our promise that we will never share your info with anyone.  We pinkie swear.

Don’t forget to tell us your answer.


Just Fun

New Toy

Ooh Whee!  Who doesn’t love a new toy?  No one, that’s who.

My New Toy
My New Toy

I purchased a new toy. I’m a little excited, as depicted in this picture.  A die cutting machine.  A what?  Yep, a die cutting machine.  What in tarnation is that?  Relax Francis and I’ll tell ya.

I'm about to open the box and release the hounds!!!
I’m about to open the box and release the hounds!!!

So, these die cutting machines are the newest gadget, thing-a-ma-jig, tool, whatever you like to call them, to wiggle their way into our hobby of quilting.  They look like a home office printer (which is basically all they are) but in place of a inkjet cartridge is a slot where a tiny blade sits.  It comes with a cutting mat.  They have been the must have gadget in scrap booking and paper crafting for a while, but they are just peeking into our world of fabric.

I first saw them (this printer-type version anyway) a year ago at spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh.  I was not sold on the particular model which I demoed at market, as you had to buy every shape you’d want to cut out – but I liked the concept and have waited in the wings until I saw one that I did like.  So, fast forward a year and well, I took the plunge as you can plainly see and bought one of my very own to play upon.

What this machine (printer with a knife!) does, is it cuts out applique shapes for you – exactly like the pattern sheet.  Yes, exactly like the pattern.  For me the designer, it can save me time in creating new designs.  If I need to make more than one sample, I can simply duplicate all the shapes and cut them out in just seconds.  Yeah, pretty cool.  I’ll share more of it’s “coolness” in another post.

I chose this particular machine called a Zing, made by KnK.  It has the features I wanted and the software it comes with is super easy to learn and use.  Bonus!  I think it’s marketed by Janome.  Anyway, I bought mine from a terrific quilt shop who is a Janome dealer:  Kari Sew Unique in Whitewater, WI.  She’s a wealth of knowledge on these machines and she’s passionate about helping you set it up.

Patterns do need to be “die-cutter friendly” to easily work with the software.  Well, uh . . . since I’m a pattern designer I thought maybe I would see what it takes to make a pattern die-cutter friendly.  Na na na nuht nu nah!  My newest patterns (Monthly Mini’s series 8) are all die-cutter friendly.  Oh, how convenient.  Smirk.  And so will all of my patterns going forward.

Die Cutter Friendly indication on the front of every pattern

All of our patterns (from here on) will have a label on the front of the pattern which will tell you this pattern is die cutter friendly.  For a pattern to work with the software it needs to have a pattern sheet:  non reversed shapes, shapes must not contain broken lines, and be free of all labels and text.  Done, done and done.

So, that’s my new toy.  I’m super pumped to start cutting my shapes for new designs.  I’ll do another post to show you my fun, aka progress.  Little thought here – when I say I’m super pumped, I immediately get a vision of bouncy cheerleaders clapping hands quickly, sort of like Will Farrell’s cheerleader character from a SNL episode (not sure on the copyright mumbo jumbo on this, but I cited the image source)

from http://www.ew.com

Ready!  Go!  2 4 6 8 who do we appreciate!  Zing! Zing! Yee-aay  Zing!


Just Fun

Wool rug hooked chair pads

I’m a creative kid at heart.  I’ve been drawing, painting, crafting and sewing for as far back as my memories reach.  I get it from my mom.

The Christmas before Lewie was born (uh, 3 years ago by now) I cut a photo out of a craft magazine which showed rug hooked chair pads which I  thought were too cute.  Actually, it was an ll bean catalog if I recall correctly.  Anyway, they caught my eye as a great gift idea for my mom for Christmas.  Now I should tell you, I find that thinking of great Christmas gift ideas  for my mom is hard.  I mean she buys anything she wants and she is the queen of great gift giving.  So I challenge myself to think of great gifts for her.  Well, as I said it’s a challenge, but I saw the “whah haah” bright light, cue the music vision of new handmade chair pads for her dining room table.  Not purchased from that catalog, no way.  Buy chair pads when I obviously could figure out how to make those  myself, are you nuts!  Oh, did I mention I was 8 months pregnant?  Yeah I’d have time to make 8 wool rug hooked chair pads.  Insert reality check here?  Nope, not yet.

so I’m ambitious and I set off to make them.  I even took my frame to the hospital when I went in labor to have Lewie.  Oh so ambitious.

well, here I am 3 yeas later and I’m still working on her chair pads one at a time.  so far I have I think 4 made and given to her.  Here is one more I’m finishing.


Each time I give her another chair pad, I laugh joking that it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

the best part is she loves them.  And I love giving them to her.  Now time to get going on the next one.

oh and by the way, no I did not actually work on anything while in the hospital after having Lewie via emergency c-section.  Yes, now you can insert the reality check.