Spring has sprung in the Midwest!

May 20, 2014

Finally, we are able to enjoy the warmth and beauty of spring weather!  Daffodils and tulips are in bloom, perennials are growing, and trees are sprouting new life … how refreshing.

With spring also comes “new life” in the form of Spring International Quilt Market, and we at Stichin’ Sisters are excited to introduce four of our latest patterns that will be available at the market:  Classy & Sassy, There’s a Pocket for That, The Keeper, and Oh Sew Simple (see our catalog).

 Heather, my dear daughter-in-law, designed her very first pattern – Classy & Sassy – and the name says it all!  It is a sassy purse by style with a classy teardrop pocket for easy access.  And, for extra ease of use, it includes our newly featured clear vinyl zipper pocket on the inside.  Now when you look inside your purse, you can see exactly what is in your pocket!

Rosemary and I designed the remaining three patterns.  The first is There’s a Pocket for That – a messenger-type bag featuring ten pockets, two of which have zippers.  We then have The Keeper – a “snappy” little bag in which to keep cords, chargers, binding clips, and oh so much more.  (These bags would make a cute, quick gift!)  The final pattern is called Oh Sew Simple, a quick, simple, vinyl-screen tote with elastic on the inside to hold water or juice bottles.  There are no side seams in this tote which makes for a larger side pocket – also a great place to hold bottles and more.  As a bonus, after cutting out the tote you can use the vinyl screen extras to create two coordinating project bags.  This bag would also make a wonderful gift as it is certainly multipurpose!

Look for all of our new patterns at your local quilt shop, or order from our online catalog.

We sincerely hope you are enjoying your spring and that, between the hustle and bustle of planting, graduations, weddings, etc., you are able to take time out for yourself – perhaps stitching up a new project.  Enjoy, and happy spring!


Whew, 2013 was a busy year!

February 15, 2014

It has been way too long since I last blogged!  Between the business, babysitting grandchildren, and life in general, time seems to have gotten away from me. 

My husband and I are now proud grandparents of four granddaughters.  The oldest will be 4 years old in May, her twin sisters are now 16 months old, and our youngest granddaughter will celebrate her 1st birthday in a couple of weeks.  My, how blessed we are; it has been such a joy to spend time with all of our little girls!

At Stichin’ Sisters, we designed 9 new patterns for the Spring International Quilt Market.  Late last summer Rosemary and I were invited to attend our largest distributor’s open house – we were thrilled!  Two new patterns were created for this event:  “You Name It” (a gadget bag) and “A Quilter’s Pack N Play” (a bag to hold cutting mats, rulers, etc.).  While there, we enjoyed meeting several other designers; the event brought in several hundred quilt shop owners from around the country.  We truly appreciate their business.  In September we attended the Wisconsin Quilt Expo and worked in a booth run by a friend of ours who owns “Vogies Quilts & Treasures” (visit their website at www.vogies.com).  After that, two more patterns were created for Fall International Quilt Market – “I’d Be Quiltin’ II” (a large tote) and “Snap, Crackle, Hot” (a “snap bag” to store hair irons or a mini iron).

Yes, 2013 was a busy year!

Rosemary and her husband are spending some time in a warmer climate this winter (lucky)! Prior to their departure we spent a few days together in early January and are currently working on 4 to 5 new patterns for the Spring International Quilt Market.  Watch for them to become available on our website catalog by early- to mid-May.

The winter of 2013-2014 has been a brutal one here in the Midwest – cold and snowy.  The only good thing about the cold is that it has provided for extra stitchin’ time.  I have an amazing group of friends who have been gathering to stitch on a regular basis.  This certainly keeps our hearts and hands warm during these cold winter months.  Hope your winter days have provided for extra stitchin’ time also!


Check it out . . .

May 17, 2013

It’s spring, finally!  We have had a long drawn out winter here in Wisconsin; and it’s so nice to hear the birds singing, look out the windows and see green and flowers rather than snow.  Rosemary and I had fun creating several new patterns (the long winter made for more sewing time).  With Rosemary’s guidance, all the preparations, patterns and samples are complete for Spring Market!  In fact, we have four new bag patterns.  Plus, we are introducing a new line of ‘Little Sis Patterns’- five easy quick projects – the pattern retails for $4.00!  That’s a total of 9 new patterns!  Many of you love the “Snap Happy” bags that Rosemary introduced a few years back.  Now we have come up with an easier, quicker technique for making the casing – see “It’s Personal” bag pattern. Check out our catalog for all the latest patterns!   You are welcome to e-mail us (stitchinsis@aol.com) with any questions or comments.  Enjoy your spring and remember to set aside a few minutes a day to stitch – try a new pattern!


Heading down a new path . . .

December 6, 2012

One day earlier this year, I received a telephone call from my dear friend, Rosemary.  We chatted a bit as usual before the real reason for her call came forth:  Rosemary had made the decision to sell her business, and wondered whether I would be interested in taking over for her.  Wow – how honored and privileged I felt!  After reflecting on the possibility, praying for answers, several calls back and forth, and the encouragement of my family and friends, the decision was made.  Yes, Rosemary, I would certainly be interested in starting a new journey with Stitchin’ Sisters.  However, I asked, will you continue to design and create with me, at least for a while?  Indeed she would, and since that time, we have created a few patterns together and have enjoyed the special time we share in doing so, wishing we had been designing together for years rather than months.

As I venture forward with Stitchin’ Sisters, Rosemary and Alvin graciously guiding me through the day-to-day operations of the business, I often think of how blessed I am to have Rosemary as my stitchin’ sis and dear friend.  I know it was a very difficult decision for Rosemary to remove herself from this ‘baby’ of hers but I assured her that I would do my best to continue to create in the spirit that she began.   God has given all of us expressions of creativity that I believe are meant to be shared.   Just as Rosemary will continue to create in her own time, I, too, will share my expressions of creativity in this extraordinary art we call quilting.  My ultimate goal is to help bring the joy of quilting into other’s lives as it has brought joy to mine. Please know that I welcome your input – comments and stories both – and I look forward to meeting more stitchin’ sisters like you!


A bit about me…

Wisconsin is my home.  My husband and I have been married for over 30 years and we are proud parents of two fine young men.  Both sons are married and we have two beautiful daughter-in-laws.  We have been blessed with and now have three grandchildren – a 2 ½ year old granddaughter, her baby sisters recently joined the family (identical girls!) and another grandchild expected in March!  What fun it is!

My passion for quilting began more than 20 years ago when my sister-in-law and I took a beginner quilting class.  As our youngest children entered school, we felt we now had time to pursue a new hobby.  After merely one class we were hooked!  The two of us then enrolled in more classes locally where friendships were formed, and in a short time five or six “stitching sisters” gathered on a regular basis for “therapy.”  That therapy included stitching quilt blocks, a table runner, wall hanging, bag, etc.

Over the years I have bought many books and patterns which I have enjoyed.  However, I found myself scratching out notes on paper and piecing together my own designs as my interest and creativity grew.  Eventually I began writing patterns for a local quilt shop and have been doing so for nearly eight years.  It’s hard to know when an idea will come forth – it could be in the middle of the night (notebook nearby on the nightstand), driving down a highway and enjoying the surroundings we have been blessed with (oh, another idea!), while shopping, etc.   I love teaching new patterns and receiving feedback from students but more so watching the joy and excitement in their eyes as they complete a new project!   Cheryl

Branching out!

As you can tell by the amt I blog, I seem to be one busy or distracted women! Life is so full, something had to change to allow me to fulfill my so called bucket list. My amazing children have given me 5 little reasons to make a big leap! Stitchin’ Sisters has a new sis who will now call the business hers and share her passion and designs to connect with women and allow them to use their God-given talents.  I, with a big push off the branch, decided to sell the business with an option to still design and promote the mission of Stitchin’ Sisters. It will allow me to travel during my retirement from nursing, and spend time with my grand children, aging parents, and hopefully make a trip or two to Africa to encourage and teach new skills and designs to my sisters there. Your new  Stitchin’ Sister, Cheryl  and I became acquainted years ago at a quilt retreat and knew we were kindred spirits from the start. although our lives only touched briefly throughout the years, I knew she was the right person to take over SS and give it her spin. It was a most difficult decision as this little cottage business has enriched me by the wonderful people who bought and sewed my patterns and shared their stories,by the partners who helped me learn the ropes and supported the distribution of my patterns. The biggest blessing however was the way God used my littlest pattern Snap Happy to bless my African sisters at Amani Ya Juu. Seeing how God can even use a measuring tape to bless and change lives! So with sweet memories of all the blessings and the enrichment Stitchin Sisters has provided I pass it on to another who will in turn enjoy all it has to give,even sitting up at night stuffing patterns and having a mistake slip by on a pattern and finding out after printing! Please welcome Cheryl enjoy her wonderful designs and creativity,and on occasion find something I just couldn’t help creating. Rosemary

Sew, how’s retirement?

Wow it’s been forever since I have blogged and even had forgotten how! Retirement brain. It is amazing how long it takes to adjust to a new routine! After 40 years of nursing and juggling time ,having it can cause panic! So much I want to do  and how do I do it all! Of course I miss my wonderful nursing colleagues but oh how I love sleeping late,enjoying a long morning coffee, traveling to visit friends and dashing off to be with my grand babies! Now I know why they are called grand,just can’t get enough of them and now my oldest daughter and son in law are blessing us with another!

I finally dug into cleaning my sewing studio,uf da. It took a week! Where did all those unfinished projects come from?

You know it is very freeing to give away fabric you no longer love and even projects knowing they will become charity quilts. I even shampooed the carpet and changed the room around. Love it!

Then tackled the office,fun to find a lot of archives of my pattern business.

Then for an adventure,I bought an I-pad with my retirement bonus who would have thought! But I love it for pictures, checking e-mail, web surfing,face book and music. It has a nice hard case but a quilter needs a handle ,so to the studio to design. I used a great fabric called Roc- lon multi- purpose fabric for the batting and made a snap happy closure and a grab it handle. It turned out terrific if I say so myself. It met approval at quilt club and now it is in the test phase. Coming soon,anyone with a cool name?  Till later, going to brave the heat of 90+

Time flys when you are having fun!

Wow, how the time does fly! Since the web site went live, I have been one busy girl. I have celebrated my 40th wedding anniversary in Costa Rica, swinging from the trees on a zip line. Then home to await the arrival of grand baby number two, Henry Mason weighing  in at 8# 7,with a cute little head of black hair. I absolutely love being a grandparent!  The birth must have stimulated my creative side as three new patterns are being released this next week. A second version of Snap Happy called Snap Happy II, a 7″x10″ little bag with french seams, an inside pocket, and boxed bottom. Also Grab & go, a quick and easy drawstring bag with a “Snap Happy” pocket. The Case Closed a 15″ tote with lots of pockets and a cool piped edge. Needless to say,I really need to get that Owl quilt done too! I hope you are all enjoying the weather and will soon be catching  Snap Happy Fever !

Wow, two new adventures for a small town girl. A first web site for Stitchin’ Sisters and a blog.

Being I have never done this before it,this really is an adventure. I have been busy either making or selling Snap Happy’s. So I thought my first entry should be on ideas how to expand your pattern usage. Here are some great tips shared by others. You can cut your Snap Happy length measurements a few inches longer and then box the bottom. These make a great cosmetic bag. Another great idea is to make them with oil cloth and seam them on the outside. These are really fast and fun. For guys use camo fabrics and line with polar fleece for their GPS. If you have other ideas it is always fun to share.

Coming soon will be a new quilt pattern with the cutest owl ever, I originally designed it for my first grandbaby and it turned out so cute,I just have to share it. Look for it this spring.

keeping you in stitches, Rosemary