Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Brand New Monthly Mini's

Behold! They have arrived!!!! If you've been anxiously awaiting the next installment of my Monthly Mini's patterns, then all your prayers have been answered.

I may fall short on updating my blog on a daily . . . . I mean weekly basis, but damnit I come thru on quality of content! I'll grasp any opportunity to toot my own horn - toot! toot!
Don't ya love how I can yammer on & on, keeping you in suspence, all the while talking about nothing? Or maybe not.

OK, I don't have earth-shattering wisdom to share today, but I will share my newest patterns with you.

I just arrived home from Spring Market, held in Pittsburgh, PA & it was a good show. Patch Abilities, Inc. patterns were sold to Ireland & Portugal, Spain in addition to the countless fabulous shops throughout all of North America. I just love it when my patterns are adored by quilters from other continents & countries. My new Monthly Mini's were a big hit, with all who ventured into my booth & now it's time for me to shut up & put out. HA!
So, here' me puttin' out. (disclaimer: if you are expecting naked pix's of me, you will be sadly disappointed)
These are just 4 of the 12 BOM patterns in this series! Go to this page to view all of them:
They are available as a set(all 12) from participating shops. Notice, I said "as a set." A list of participating shops will be posted on my website soon ( or you can beg your local shop to get these. =)
If you absolutely love the fabrics I've used, you can get the exact kits from my Mom's shop in Jesup, IA: Merry's Stitchins - 319-827-6703.

Friday, May 1, 2009

New Patterns May 1, 2009

Holy Moly Folks!
I don't even want to look to see when I last posted. Yowza! All I can hope is that a humongus SORRY will smooth you over.

In my defense, I've been feverishly working on 13 new designs. Yes, 13! Spring Market is in Pittsburgh in . . . . yikes, only a week & a half. Holy crap. It sneeks up on me so fast. Hmmm, seems to me I said the same thing last market.

Feverishly is an understatement. In fact, it's way past beer:thirty & I haven't cracked a cold one - and at a time when I could really use one. Still, I've been updating the web site all day & one has to be on her tippie toes to get that all done & working properly.

So, now that my groveling & excuses are out of the way. Are you wondering about those 13 new designs? (as if you weren't already on the edge of your seat) Tell ya what. I feel so bad for slacking on my blog, that I am gonna give you a sneek peek at one of them. I can already hear you saying "Julie, really, you don't have to do that" but I won't hear of it. I am doing it anyhow. Just 1 though. I can't have you peeing your pants due to over excitement, all over your nice chair. Or your crappy chair, which ever is the case. OK, enough jabber, more action, I hear ya. Here is my new pattern called:
P115 Flamingo.

He measures 6" x 22" finished. Isn't he just too cute?
Next to him is the new 6.5" Seashell hanger from Ackfeld Wire. What better way to hang your flamingo, than on a seashell?

Now, remember this is your sneek peek which means the shops don't even have him yet. Yeah - you are that special. Oh dear, that's what we used to call the window lickers in gradeschool. You are that . . .um . . . what's a better word than special . . . . . . valued. That sounds better than special.

If you just gotta have this flamingo, try calling your local quilt shop first & beg them to get it. If that doesn't work, you can always call Merry's Stitchins in Jesup, IA. She is of course, my Mom & here's a little secret . . . . she gets the new patterns early. She changed my poopie diapers after all, it's the least I can do. When I was a tot that is, not lately. Geeze. I don't hit the sauce that hard. Not since my early 20's anyway. Good to have those years behind me. Oh, that's too much information, isn't it? Well, as I say, what you see is what you get.

This concludes your sneek peek for today. If I can get my work done around here, I just may sneek you a peek at the other 12 new designs. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vacay! Hooray!

Oh, why don't I take more vacations? Silly me.

My good friends at Ackfeld Mfg. (Peg & Skip Ackfeld) have been asking me to come down & visit them near Branson, MO. Of course, being the work-a-holic that I am, I've been great at conjuring up excuses why I am too busy to take a few days off. Fortunately for me, Peggy Ackfeld booked me for a speaking engagement at a quilt guild meeting near Branson, knowing I would surely visit in the name of work. Thanks Peggy. I owe ya one!

Well, I had such a fantastic time on my "business" trip, that I thought I'd share a few photos of my hard work with you all.

Here I am telling my story of how Patch Abilities came to be. I tend to morph into quite a ham, when I get in front of a large group of people. Surprise, surprise!

This group gets together once a year at their local library (I am told), for a guild meeting & asks everyone to donate $5 to the library. What a great idea to help out their library.

Work, work, work. That's all I do. Here I can be seen deeply contemplating important business
decisions. It helps to take my shoes off.
It also helps if I move my chair to a more sunny location. That's a nice garden waterfall behind me - it was necessary for my decision making.
Rhonda Ragspun, if you're reading this, these are the pictures you've pestered me about. Enjoy!

I worked with these unusually tame flamingos. Shhh. Quiet, or you'll scare them.

To the right here, I am doing my best to test out the fiber quality of this loosely woven fabric. I guess, some people call this a hammock. My tests were inconclusive though, so I'll have to go back for more . . . uh . . . . testing. Yeah, that's it . . . testing.
I spent 5 gruelling days at the Ackfeld Ranch. I worked so hard. So hard. To the left, are the slavedrivers as they surround me.
Oh, who am I kidding? Are you seriously buying the load of crap I'm dealing you? Well, stop it!
I did go down to Missouri for a speaking engagement, but my 5 days with Peg, Skip & Gramma Ackfeld were nothing less than pure bliss. Gramma is 96 & she can still bend over & pick up something off the floor. What a woman! That's more than I can do sometimes. She is quite an inspiration to stay active & live a long life.
A lesson is to be learned from every experience. Yes, every experience. So, what did I learn from my visit to see my friends? That I had waited too long to make my first visit & also that excuses serve me no purpose, rather they hold me back.
For those of you, whom aren't yet sure who the hell these folks are . . . . Peg & Skip Ackfeld are the owners of Ackfeld Mfg. They make the great wire hangers that I feature on all my patterns & my website. Gramma is Skip's Mom. Her name is Flori. They opened me into their home, hearts, & kitchen. Wow, did I eat good . . . like a princess.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Good morning campers! Oops! I mean quilters.
Spring has sprung here in the deep freeze we call Iowa! Yesterday I saw my first Robin. I was so excited to see it. I wasn't quick enough to catch a picture of it with my new digital camera, but trust me, they have arrived. Our temps here today, unfortunately tell a different story (high of 20F), but I am optimistic. The sun is shining brightly & the Robins are back. Screw old man winter, he's a cranky old scab anyway. Just having the sun shining, is enough to put a big smile on my face - I'm a simple gal.

So, here I am writing my 2nd blog entry . . . . . I'm really on the fast track now. Chances are, I won't write a little entry every single day - I am a woman of substance. When I read something, it has to have a point & so I'll treat my blog entries the same . . . I feel they must have a point. As opposed to rambling on & on about what I ate for breakfast & what I watched on TV last night. No rambling here! Too many rambling, pointless blogs out there, I think.

In light of my "no rambling" rule, I was thinking this morning about a good blog topic. As fate would have it, I found my topic in a phone call from a shop owner yesterday. She called to tell me she thought I had a mistake in one of my patterns - the Easter Eggs (MM04). Her voice sounded a little apprehensive, but I told her she was right. I actually did have a mistake in that pattern & I only figured it out @ a month ago. I thanked her for calling, sent her the corrected replacements, mailed her a catalog & told her how much I appreciated her taking the time to contact me. You know what? She emailed me this morning thanking me for being so pleasant as she brought my mistake to my attention. Apparently not all pattern designers react this way. WHAT!? I am personally mortified when I've found a mistake in my patterns. I had to accept long ago, that it happens. There's no amount of editing or proof reading that will make my patterns mistake-proof, there's just no way around it. How I react to my mistakes, however, IS in my complete control. If you've read my "about me"( ) page on my website, you've read that I started this business when I was at my rock bottom. While at the bottom, I read self-help books because I was broken, & only I could fix me. I learned so much in that time, but one of the most important things I learned that will always stick with me is this: positive energy. What the hell am I saying? I am saying I choose to accept & give positive energy. Not negative energy. I could react negatively to my mistakes, but I choose to accept them, learn from them & correct them if I can. I choose positive. I believe my conscious choice to embrace positive energy is THE key to my success. Yep! If I had to choose one key, that's it.

Now, I don't want you to have the impression, I'm this annoyingly cheerful, every moment is a beautiful blessing kind of person. Not so. I want to smack those people. With a positive look on my face, that is. I do, however, love to walk barefoot thru the grass, smile when I see my first Robin of the season, enjoy a cold beer on my front porch on the first warm day of spring & thank someone who's called to inform me I have a mistake in my pattern. And maybe have one more cold beer.

By the way, if you have my Easter Eggs (MM04) pattern & the eggs are 2 different sizes - then you have my mistake! Please email me & I'll send you a replacement . . . . with a smile!

Friday, February 27, 2009


It's official.

The gates of cyberspace technology have burst wide open here at Patch Abilities as I have just jumped into the realm of blogging. Who'da thunk?

A month ago, I'd hear someone talk about blogging & I thought it was a new term the kids these days, were using to describe farting or burping - you know, gas related. Obviously I am way out of the loop. Way out. Further than you'd imagine. You see, I live a life that's very sheltered from the new techno gadgets & gizmos. By my own choice, that is. I am not kidding. In fact, it was just 8 months ago, I threw out my old Zenith TV that had a pull-on power knob, with a number push pad (0 - 9), which you'd type the channel you wanted to watch, press the enter button, the number would display on a tiny digital screen & you had to wait a moment before TV would actually change the channel for you. I caught so much crap from friends, that I still had this dinosaur TV in my entertainment center. "But it still works" I'd say. It was my family's first color TV, that didn't have a turn dial channel selector. I took it from home when I went off to college. Back in the day, it was a huge upgrade! Knowing that digital broadcasting was coming soon, I decided to part ways with the old Zenith & I bought a flat screen TV that will probably last a couple years & I will end up cussing that I ever threw out the ole' girl.

But the good news is, I am embracing technology, starting with blogging. I see my blog as an adventure. An avenue to get and stay connected to all of you fabulous folks who are fans of my Patch Abilities patterns. I intend to make frequent postings that will give you a closer look at me, photos of my surroundings, what I'm up to, what new patterns I'm working on, what puts a smile on my face & what makes me laugh. Don't ya feel connected already? Yeah baby!

Seriously though, this blog is gonna be loads of fun & not a stitch less! My #1 goal is to infect you with the same zest for an ambitious life that I have! I call it positive vibes. So get ready for the ride, for the hounds have been released & I am blogging for all the world to see!