Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ball Gown

After several months having a temper tantrum, I've decided to come back to blog land. I am coming back with a fresh mind and a new layout. Hoping that after all this time I won't remember what I had my tantrum about.
I feel as if I'm learning something new and you can learn with me. Assuming anyone is still looking for me.

During my absence I have keep my hands busy. I'm just not made to be uncreative. My spirit thrives on the creative process. Whether it be fabric, paint, plants or wood. My hands were not idle. But my mind may not remember all the project or quilts! This is yet another reason to return to blog land. I need a journal to remember and the blog is a good fit for me.

So without more boring nonsense, lets get to the fun stuff, the creative fun stuff.
More often than not, Spring has becoming my dressmaking season. This year I have yet another Gold Nugget Queen in the making. I think I'm getting a reputation! Of course now that I've said that, no one will call me next year.
Anyhow, this year the Queen contestant wanted a fancy ball gown. My first dress, many years ago, was a cobalt blue taffeta ball gown for my cousin.
Those of you who have been with me for awhile know that the last few dresses have been cotton day dresses. I have to say, the cotton is sew much easier to work with. At least it doesn't bother me as much. I'm so afraid of ruining this beautiful taffeta, really I mean the cats. Yes, I still have cats and I love them all, even when they leave fur on all my fabric.
I wanted to document how strange an 1840 bodice pattern is.
There is a split seam down the middle of the bodice. I find that strange compared to todays patterns, which is why I took the picture.
The upside-down W is the front bodice, followed by the side than the back bodice piece. One side.
I layer my bodices with a denim or in this case a duck-cloth. This gives the bodice body (not trying to be funny).
Lovely green taffeta paired with a soft peach piping, pearls and lace. There will be lots of lace!
Very, very fragile antique tulle lace on the sleeve. Accordion pleated chiffon lace at the neckline and sleeve cuffs. All Ebay finds (I'm addicted!).
This last picture is the mock-up of the end result (hopefully).
Layers of lace and antique pearl buttons (Thank You Grandma!).
Lexi, loves it so far and she seems quite pleased. And I've been enjoying the experience, because I love the challenge, even when I complain. It'll keep me young, Right?

Thanks for joining me and listening to my adventures.
Take care,
Brandie

Friday, August 1, 2014

Blogger Unfriendly

For the last few months blogger hasn't been working the way we knew and loved. Some of us have became aware that we weren't receiving our comments.
This is how I found out. My good friend Jo private messaged me and said "Hey, none of my messages are getting through to your blog". So I looked and looked, changed a few things in my settings. Googled it and found no answers. I even posted a question on bloggers/goolges forum. No answers. Then I found something that said "awaiting modderation" in the design area of my blog. I clicked on it and lo and behold I had a bunch of messages! But only a few were actually emailed to me after I approved them on the "awaiting modderation" page. Why?
Then I get a private message from Heather and she says, "I have tried commenting on your blog and my email is bumping them back. And I now see that I have comments on my blog but no emails. Hmm, not sure what is up with that!"
(Now I will try to explain all this tech stuff, which I don't understand) So with her help and my Husbands (because I don't know the first thing about computers), we discovered that Yahoo has changed their way of accepting messages. They have improved their spam filter, which is really a great thing for all of us. These safeguards are to keep "spammers/phishers" from saying that they are from Bank of America (example) when they are actually in a coffee shop (example) trying to get into your bank account to spend your hard earned money. All good, but in this new upgrade it interfers with blogger and our comments. Which is where another problem arises. Yahoo is sending back error messages saying that our messages aren't "verified' and that's why we aren't getting them. Unfortunately there isn't anything we can do. It looks as if blogger has to figure out a new way to forward our messages because this is the new and improved way that our email servers will be accepting emails. I may be wrong about all of this but this is what we think is happening. If you have any more ideas or help, we'd all be glad to hear, Assuming your mesaage is posted! Take care, Brandie


Monday, July 28, 2014

Blogger Problems

Am I the only one not receiving my comments? Is there anyone else out there not getting their emails from blogger? If so, did you fix it and how?

Four Equals One

I ended the weekend by finishing all four nestled churn dashes and  connected them as one. 
As I look at the picture, I'm still undecided about those blue centers. I thought I liked them but now I'm thinking they need to be replaced with the red. That will give me something to do today, along with adding borders. 
I appliqu├ęd one of my mistakes down to the middle. I need to make one more wrong block and then add them all around the border. 

Leela has been getting use to her new home. She's a bit shy but I would be too after her horrific adventure. We are positive that she use to be a house cat. Most of the day she hides under the aquarium but she comes running when she hears food hit her bowl. We stopped giving her the expensive moist food. She feels more plump and her coat is looking and feeling great too. Now she just gets the expensive dry food from the vet, which I need to replace with something just as good but less expensive. 
She has some crazy fur. All different lengths, all different colors. I call her a beauty school dropout model. 
I'm hoping to have a bit of "normal" from here on out. Taking care of all these cats cuts into my creative time. Of course having 8 cats in the house alone will probably decrease my sewing space too! I think of the three blind mice song and imagine I will accidentally cut off a kitty tail at some point. Or rock over a tail in the rocking chair. So far the only one to sustain injury is me. My legs and hands have kitty love scratches. They are learning to soft paw but I sometimes get in the way of their playful attacks on each other. It doesn't stop me from loving them!


Wishing you a happy Monday!
Take care, Brandie

Friday, July 25, 2014

Measure Twice

Don't you hate running out of fabric? I thought I'd have enough blue scraps to make the bigger churn dash. But when it came down to it I only had enough for one block. I even looked in my stash but there wasn't an appropriate blue there either. 
After a quick trip to my LQS I came home with a few more blues but no spray starch which I needed. Looks like I might have to make another trip!

My sewing buddy Gail came over and we spent the afternoon sewing. It's been a long while since we've sewn together! 
While she was here I worked on our groups new quilt. This time it's Freddy's Houses. 
They had to make me up a kit for these blocks because these colors didn't come from my house! But I've been thinking I do need some (more shopping at my LQS).
Now don't tell Carol our organizer, I made a mistake on my first block. I cut, yes CUT my first angle piece the wrong direction. 
Thank goodness there was a big enough matching piece from the other angled piece! Which I checked, re-checked and asked Gail!
If you can't see it, well I did a good job covering my mistake!

Have a wonderful weekend!
Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Something New and Blue

After I finished the "Bald Porcupine" I was still feeling like I needed to sew. 
Than I spied two fabrics on my "need to sort" pile. I really liked these two fabrics together and my mind started thinking up ideas. 
I finally settled on the "Nestled Churn Dash" pattern that has been spread through the blog world like a virus. 
Just like a virus I tried to avoid it but it took hold and I feel under it power. 
I added a few scraps and set to work. Cutting and sewing, boy did it feel good! I needed this purge! 
But than I realized those little blue diamonds in my "background" go in every direction. Did it bother me? Yes! 
Am I being OCD about? Probably
These centers are only 4 1/2 inches as you see here. From a slight distance you can't tell that those blue diamonds are wonky. (I hope!)
So I'm keeping them as they are and I'm going to ignore the voices in my head. 
After construction these four little cuties, I  came to the conclusion that I did them wrong, according to my own notes. If I'm going to use an alternate red, blue color scheme and I want that red in the first picture to be the outside churn dash, well that means those cuties above are wrong. Darn! They were so cute! 
So back to the cutting table and here are the corrected one. But which middle do I like best? I just can't decide. Maybe I should use both?
No worries about those first three, I think they may make a beautiful corner stones. Or if that fails, they can go on the back!

Enjoy your day!
Take care, Brandie

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bald Porcupine

A whole week (or more) went by without my hands touching a sewing machine or thread. 
Maybe it was the heat? Maybe it was just the distraction of 19 cats? 
Whatever it was I hope I'm back on track or have a routine that gives me a craft release. 

So anyhow, I did finish up a project. And if course I had to iron it and the backing on a pretty hot day, Murphy's Law!
I detest ironing on a cool day. I would rather throw it in the dryer or go wrinkly but this isn't my quilt. This quilt will be gifted to someone so I had to do things correctly. 
If only I had pressed those rows when I was done instead of waiting till I quilted it. 
After all that pressing, I sandwiched it. All while being watched over by furry babies. There may be a few cat hairs in the batting but that will just make the quilt softer, right?
Simple straight line quilting. This was a beast to move under the needle! It would have been easier with straight rows but I had to pick a diamond shape and twist the quilt with every new angle.
But no more complaining because its done!
And only I know how may points were lost in the seams of this quilt. How bald the porcupine quilt really is. 
Being up close and personal while quilting sure doesn't  elevate my sewing self-esteem. 
Then I look at this picture and think, it's not too bad. 
So there is my weekend finish. 
P.S.  I machine stitched the binding to keep myself from sweating anymore than I had to. We are in a drought situation here in California!

After this finish I rewarded myself with a new project. I cut up a few fabrics. Used up a few scraps. Sewed a whole bobbins worth of thread. It felt good! 

Take care, Brandie
(I promise I'll be back soon!)