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

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!)

Monday, July 7, 2014

It's Official

... I'm the crazy cat lady.
The latest count in 19, eight of them are kittens.
What happened? 
We discovered this lovely lady with four of her own kittens. But before we could trap them we were trying to get my other four kitties tame and to their forever homes. 
But nature isn't always kind. 
Friday night we found new mama cat (whom we were calling Raggedy Ann) under the house with a serious eye problem. 
We immediately set out the traps and caught this family of five. 
At the same time I started constructing a cage made from wire cube shelving and zip-ties. We had to get creative! We are even using an old bird aviary. 17 feral cats is all we can handle and we need to nip this in the bud!
Unfortunately mama cat ended up having to have surgery to remove her eye. So sad because she was a gorgeous cat as you an see in the top photos. She had beautiful peridot green eyes.
After this tragedy, she will be an inside cat. I can't seriously let this poor cat fend for herself with only one eye! Not to mention all the $$$$ it cost to help her. I'm pretty sure the emergency vet saw us coming and thought they needed to fund a luxury vacation! 
If you are looking for a new career that makes lots of cash, might I recommend going into the vet business?
I'm just a bit hot under the collar after this experience. I still feel I did the right thing by this poor cat but my future of luxury vacations isn't anywhere near the horizon. I'm not saying they shouldn't be paid for their services.  I'm saying don't charge double what my local vet does and don't play on people's emotions and inflate your estimate.
Anyway, these are Raggedy Ann's kitties and now they are in queue for taming. Step one is getting use to people being near and feeding them. 
Step two is handling them as much as possible. 
Raggedy Ann (who may become Leela, like from Futurama) is allowing us to pet her. In fact we suspect that she was once someone's kitty. 
She's severely malnourished but loves moist food. Anything to get her healthy again even if that stuff stinks and makes me want to vomit!
These four are my littlest ones and they are almost ready to find homes. I'm hoping someone will love them and give them safe forever homes.
This little sweetie came wandering into the yard a couple of weeks ago. She was trying to get into my kitties mamas cage. She wanted so much to be part of a family. Little Nala is a sweetheart! She hasn't taken long to tame. She's a quick convert, it's that stinky moist food!
Speaking of my kitties mama, she won't leave! We planned on letting her go back to her corner of our yard but she doesn't seem to want to leave her cage. It's the moist food! 

So there is my story of how I've become the crazy cat lady. I'm just a push over and our yard attracts cats. But boy am I hoping this is it!  19 it enough!
This is where I should put in a service announcement about spaying and nurturing your animals. Please do,there isn't  any more room in my yard or pocketbook. 

Take care, Brandie

Friday, June 27, 2014

Quick Finish

I meet my deadline, goody! 
It was a quick quilt and not to difficult to complete once I set my mind to it. I even had some healthy competition from Shay. Though I don't think it was fair for her for a couple of reasons. 
1. Shay is quilting her complicated appliquéd orange peels. I was doing a big grid. 
2. We both wanted our quilts done by Saturday. But Shay is a day ahead of us as she lives Down Under.  
3. Shay is unpacking her parents into their new house. Me, I'm just sitting around eating chocolates and feeding kittens.
See its just not fair but I did like the challenge. Thank you Shay!
I did say that there wouldn't be any fancy quilting but I wanted to slow down and give Shay a chance to catch up. Also I think that area around the name needed some more color. If I did anything fancy anywhere else it would have been lost in the fabric patterns. 
Just a few swirly feathers to fill the space. 
Hot pink backing was a bold choice but I wanted a plain backing because I FM quilted her name all over the back. If anyone steals this quilt from my SIL, they will have a @"*+ of a time removing all the tight stitched words from the quilt!
I'll try to get pictures tomorrow hopefully with a BIG smile! 

Shay, I'm looking forward to seeing your finish! I know you can do it! I'd send you some chocolates for energy but they'd never get there in time. 
Grab some Cadbury bars with fruit and nuts and send me the bill. And throw in a couple packs of Tim Tams!

Take care and have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Flimsy Excuse

I just finished putting the flimsy together! This was yesterday's goal but I got busy (season 4 of Downton Abbey) and didn't meet my goal till this morning. 
Today's goal is it layer it and get started quilting. My plan is to have this done by Saturday so I can hand deliver it to my SIL. 
There will be no fancy quilting. I spent that time machine satin stitching the letters. Boy are they imperfect! This is why I hand appliqué!
Back to work! No more TV till I finish... at least the sandwiching. 

Take care, Brandie

Monday, June 23, 2014


This weekend I decided to take a quick pause from my appliqué-dresden quilt. 
I had just returned from seeing my SIL at the care home she lives in and I had an epiphany. Why haven't I made her a bright happy quilt?! 
Many of you know of Libby Lehman. She had a similar stroke and has had many of the same happenings as my SIL. 
We are starting to see more improvement with my SIL but it has been a long slow heart breaking journey. 
When I read about other quilters making Libby quilts, I should have connected the dots but I'm slow and it took me much longer.  
(The instant fabric hits the floor, cats come from nowhere to claim it!)
So I came home and I ransacked my fabric stash to find that swan fabric, one that I bought years ago with my SIL in mind. Than I grabbed all my hot pink (we use to call that slut pink!) fabrics. Not enough of them so I threw in purples and melons. 
I needed something bright and happy but not childish. 
(Are you looking at me? Is this my quilt?)
I'm going to add big bright letters, her name, to keep this quilt in her possession, hopefully.
I'm just hoping to reach her, to reconnect  with the girl I grew up with. 

Take care!