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

Monday, November 30, 2009

Weekend work

Well I didn't get as much done as I would have liked this weekend. I had hopes that I would be more motivated. I think I was still too full from my turkey dinner.
I manage to quilt a small project. This is a horrible fabric to work with, but it is so soft. So I moaned about it and still used it. My Husband thinks the quilting looks like cinnamon buns and hot dogs. Men.

I did finish 1/2 of my red work. I think it's looking great, could be better than the antique original. I made french knots instead of small circles. I have also been looking on-line for pictures of French red work, so that I came draw up patterns from it. All the red work that is out there seems to be little kids or animals. Not leaves and such. Oh well, I'll just have to be brave and make up my own patterns.
So should I make my red work into a pillow or make more blocks and make it into a quilt? I am pondering this and would like to know what you all would do.
Hoping for a more productive day, Brandie

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Support your local Quilt Shops

I am lucky enough to live close to 2 fabulous quilt shops. Morning Star is right here in my town. After my morning walks, I sometimes visit. They have so many great fabric lines that it is hard to resist. I know they have the new French General fabrics in, that's going to be hard to leave in the shop. I must not be the only one to love these shops, as they have both been awarded in the "top 10". Sometimes I just visit to be entertained by the girls, they are all a crack-up.

Honey Run Quilters is in Chico, about a 30 minute drive from my house. Before MS opened up, we all had to drive to Chico to buy anything quilt related.

This is were I was taught many classes as a new quilter. I learned many things and my eyes were opened to the learn the difference of quality fabric. I haven't regretted starting a new craft, I think I was always a quilter and just didn't know it. Well I know now and have run with it.

I believe it is very important to support our quilt shops. We need them and many of us can give them credit for our skill. So even in these hard economic times, visit as often as you can to keep this craft alive.

Have a great weekend, Brandie

Friday, November 27, 2009

Post Turkey Day

Have you all recovered from "Feasting Day"? I haven't. I'm still sluggish and tired. I had a workout, my little stove had a workout. Do you see this? Every burner is being used and there is no more room in the oven. Every year I am amazed at what we all can handle and I am always grateful when it's over. This year is no exception.I have always thought dinner should be served early. Why? Cause then I only have to make one meal that day. Everyone can fend for themselves for the rest of the day. And the more you make, the more leftovers there are and that means fewer meals on the weekend.
Of course this year my Daughter needs her own leftover too. As a starving student (who no longer lives at home) she is always in need of food.
My Husband likes to take pictures of our massive amounts of goodies. At least he is not taking pictures of us stuffing our faces.
This is a shot before we all gorged ourselves at the buffet line. I'm too embarrassed of the after shots.
This is the only after shot that is acceptable. PugsLee and I curled up under a blanket for a rest. I hope you all enjoyed your day as much as I did.
Back to dieting today (after some pie and persimmon bread, with honey butter).
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

From all us turkeys at ABC.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pie Day

It's pie baking day at my house. Just a few ingredients sitting around waiting to be used. I'm not making as many this year, for one my daughter is taking over the apple pie. Two, I'm still dieting. I'm going to be good, I'm going to be good.
Hm mm, which book to use. (Click to make pictures larger) One of these cookbooks is a little kooky, so I had to buy it. Will I use it? Well the onion jam recipe was said to ward off evil, so maybe I will. It would have been perfect for Halloween.
Have a great Thanksgiving eve, Brandie

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A little peek

Just another glimpse of what I've been working on. Hopefully the kiddies will like them and use them.
I finished them all up last night. That was after a day of shopping with the hubby. The house is a mess, so that's on today's agenda, after a hair appointment. Could there be a worse time? My house is messy and filled to the gills with Holiday cheer, with no place to put it. I'm going to have to turn my sewing room back into a dining room by Wednesday. Tomorrow is pie day and I need all the space I can get.
What do you all have planned this week? Are you cooking or going to someone else's house?
Does the average person cook anymore?
Have a good day, Brandie

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sewing Break

I took a break from all the secret sewing and I cut out squares to make a very simple baby quilt. I must have monkeys on the mind. This is the second monkey print I have worked on this week. All it needs now is a binding. Hopefully I have something to match, if not , then I need to make another trip to the store.
It only took an afternoon. I simply quilted it in a grid pattern, use "Gucci" pink thread from Superior. Quick, Simple and Cute, what could be better.
Take care, Brandie

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Goody box

Many secret things have been going on. I'm sorry I can't show you till after Christmas.
If you come to my house and see this box of goodies, you know good things are happening. This box is always so full, that there is always a glimpse of goodies peeking out. But that's a good thing, as Martha would say. I'm always adding and taking away to this goody box and it never seems to change. I have ribbons, lace, trims and even bells. There is always a surprise to me in there too. I came across something and say to myself, I don't remember this.
And more secret things. The busiest time of year and I can't even show you.
Are you all working on Christmas projects, or are most of you done. Let me know.
Take care and we'll talk later, Brandie

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fabric books

Remember these? Well I have been doing secret things with them. I've taken them all apart and have some ideas on what to do with them.
They aren't very big pieces of fabric, so to make bigger pieces, I've patched them together. Some of the fabrics are just gorgeous. So hopefully these secret things turn out well.
Bye for now, it's back to the grindstone.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Who am I?

Are you ready for the big reveal? I'm one of the younger set. I am surrounded by my grandparents, aunts and uncles. Yes, I am wearing the crazy plaid. Sitting on my aunt's lap.
Kitteefish was right, but she is my best friend, so she is disqualified. So the winner is Rue, from PB&J cottage. Thank you all who played.
You would think I wouldn't like plaid cause of that crazy plaid.
But no I love plaid. Some of my everyday accessories. No I don't wear them together.

Last night was our small group meeting. I went down early to sew with Gail and brought dinner. I love Mexican food and force those around me to eat it all the time. Right Gail?
My daughter has moved away from home, so whenever I'm in her town, I buy or bring dinner for her. Last night we had, shredded chicken, refried beans and all the condiments that go with them.

Gail finished the quilting and binding on her sunbonnets. This will be a great gift.
Millie made this beautiful table runner. She was also working on small cell phone-camera bags.
Sue was inspire to make a pear. She said her daughter loves pears. She also tried to leave with my pear quilt last night. Shame on her! I draw her a pattern so she can make her own.
Sue is also making monkeys. This one has lots of attitude.
It was a great meeting and we all had fun.
Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Photo Contest

OK guys, I gave you 2 clues yesterday. Read yesterday's post. I'm still waiting for someone to pick ME from this picture. Be specific, what am I wearing? Just a fun little contest.
Debbie, try again. Pick one or the other and tell me what I am wearing.
One of my small group friends, had several of these decorator books. I took them apart and now they look like this.....

A smaller pile. Does anyone out there have any ideas on how to use up these small pieces, besides quilts?

My old machine, which I still love. I got it out to do button holes. That's the one thing about the Juki that I don't like, no zig zag. My husband's Grandmother gave this to me when we first got married. It has always been reliable, even though it is older than me. It was built in 1963.
That's another clue. Just make any guess, this suppose to be fun. And I want to send out a gift, so make a guess.
Hope to hear from you all soon, Brandie

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Color Challenged?

I didn't get must done yesterday. That morning, I burned three of my fingers. So after several hours in pain, I got down to some work. Remember the redwork pillow? I made my own pattern. Here I am using my old fashioned light box to transfer the pattern to fabric.
Did some very careful stitching, using one hand, not every easy.
Cut up some velvet strips for Christmas gifts.
Thought maybe the pears would hide my worn out couch. Not bad, but needs something else. Maybe I'll quilt some fabric to make new pillows. Maybe even seasonal pillows. Someday I'll be able to afford a new set, till then I need to make do.
I also helped a new cousin fix a very important dress, for a very important day. After Sunday I'll let you in on the secret.
So cousin Linda has said that I'm color challenged. Now she was referring to how I dress. She says she is tired of seeing me in white shirts. She will never be able to change my love for a crisp white shirt, but I do try to add more color into my life because she has made me aware of it. But I have an excuse, the 70's were bad to me. Too much color.
I'm not going to tell you where I'm in this photo, I'm going to make you guess.
Linda you can't guess on line, you'll give it away, But that outfit is horrible! And that's my excuse!
First person (non family or friend, sorry guys) to guess correctly, gets a velvet gift.
You all take care, Brandie

Monday, November 16, 2009


I have always said, I don't like the color orange. But nature does orange to perfection. From flowers to fruit, nature does it best.
When I was growing up, one of my favorite things for breakfast was my Grandmother's applesauce. I believe that I am responsible for the applesauce shortage at her house. I know that I cleaned out her stock of apple butter. So as a tribute to my GM's recipe.....
This is my applesauce tutorial. Start with a goodly amount of apples. I used both reds and greens. Peel and core them.
I washed them at this point, to make sure there wasn't any bits sticking around. Then I diced them into 1/2 inch cubes.
Add 1/4 cup of apple juice, or water. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place in microwave and cook for about 10 minutes on high. You may have to cook longer. You want the apples to be soft, not rubbery.
When they are cooked, add some seasoning. I started with about 5 cups of diced apples. I added 1/2 ts cinnamon and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. You don't have to add any sweetener. Suit to taste. You can use white sugar, sugar substitute or even honey.
Mash with a potato masher for the chunky homemade look, or food process for a smoother sauce.
All done, doesn't it look good?
Even PugsLee would rather eat applesauce than dog food. Dogs love apple.
I hope you enjoy!
Take care, Brandie

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pears are Done!

Last night I finished up the pears. Finished the quilting, binding, washing and drying. As you can see, PugsLee, loves it. She rolled herself all over it, to show me her approval. This has been one of the most satisfying quilt. I used up several scraps and some stash fabrics for the backing. Most satisfying! Can you see that some pears have stems. I asked at my guild meeting and many women said, to just add some stems. Great advice, Thanks ladies!
Here is my progress. I used this wax stick to make my lines.
(I did cheat, I needed to have some handwork at the board meeting. So I had sewn on the binding early. I did have 2 straight quilting line on the outside border to keep everything in place. So when you see the binding, that's why. )
I went to the machine and followed the line.
Came back and free formed some feathers.
Proof that I don't always follow the line. Gail asked me why I bother writing on a quilt at all. I don't trust myself without some guide line and sometimes the machine moves smoother than my hand.
I decided to add some curly Q's to the feather stem. This quilt was all about having fun. After the quilts for the quilt show, I needed something that wasn't quilted within an inch of it's life and something I could just play with and have fun. The pears fit the bill.
I'm happy with it and PugsLee loves it, and that's all that counts. We all need to have fun doing what we love.
We'll talk soon, Brandie

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Harvest time

I'm lucky to know people who have gardens and fruit trees. My yard doesn't get enough sun for a garden and if I did have a small potted yard, that could move with my sun exposure, the deer would eat it, and have. So I have given up. But I have resources. My friend Gail brings my a care package every week. Lately it has been apples, butternut squash and pumpkins ( in the summer, you should see the great tomatoes!). Those apples make the best homemade applesauce, I'll make you some later, I promise.
Then there is my Aunt, she now lives at her childhood (and mine) home. So she gets to reap Grandmother's harvest. My Grandmother had many fruit trees. The biggest being the persimmon that covers the front of the house. So every year about this time, I go over there and harvest persimmons, for cookies and bread, YUM!
Just an interesting view at the homestead. Can you see the rock wall? My Grandfather built that and many others.
Do you know what these are? Pomegranates! I begged a couple of these too. Lucky me!
Just a few persimmons. They aren't quite ripe yet, but you have to pick them before the birds get them.
This is how I ripen them up. In my kitchen window. By Thanksgiving, I should have enough ripe ones to make breads.
Aren't they gorgeous? The colors are so inviting. I probably wouldn't eat them if they were mud colored. Would you?
Have a great weekend!