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

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another job

You know I've heard of women that volunteer after they retire. Some women just get little dogs. Well I already have a little dog, so I guess the next step was volunteering.

I've done it again. I'm now in charge of our guild's quilt show in October 2011. I do have a Co-Chair and we will be sharing duties. What duties are these? I don't quite know yet. I'm still in training. We had our first meeting last night and I didn't learn much. Maybe I'm a slow learner. Anyway, I've done it again and I don't know what I've got myself into yet.

On the quilt front, I did get a few things done yesterday. I reworked a old pair of overalls into a cute garden apron. But I haven't taken pictures yet. My problem seems to be that I have no models. My Daughter is in the next town over and the "Cousins" are always working, assuming they would model for me.

Well today will be a long day. I have to take bio-mom to an appointment. These things have a way of taking all day and by the time I come home, I've had it. She has a way of draining me. Well it best not to dwell on it and get ready to go.
You all have a wonderful day!
Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A little shop of Dresdens

I finally got it done. I opened my Etsy shop. There is a link at the top of my page for you to click on. It has been a very emotional experience. I sew because I enjoy it. But this hobby doesn't pay for itself. When I do make things, I mostly give them away. My Husband has been encouraging me to sell some of my crafts. He thinks I might get back some of the money I've spent and maybe make a little more. Really he just doesn't want to have to keep paying for me to give things away. So he came up with some great ideas and pushed me to open an Etsy page. It has been a struggle. Nothing is as easy as Blogger. I have to re-size every picture and then I have sell myself in front of strangers. I feel like that's bragging and I'm uncomfortable.

So enough with all that...

I've got to tell you, my Husband is a great source of amusement and he helps me come up with some of my best ideas. Here is one of his ideas. You all remember my Dresden quilt? Do you remember how I had leftover Dresden plates and I made them into those little bags, right? Well one day Hubby came in, while I was in the middle of production of about 20 bags, to give away. He asked me "Why don't your Dresden's look like flowers. You know like the colors of a sunflower or like a daisy?" Well when he said that it was like a light went off in my head. Some things are so obvious, and it took a man to tell me. For days he would come in with an idea. Then I would have to think on it and let my mind work on it, till I came up with a pattern.
This is my favorite. The Man said, " Why not a backpack?" So after a week of marinating, this is what I came up with, and I'm quite proud of myself. Toot Toot
My little friend Megan modeled for me. I promised her ice cream. Adults hold so much power!
This Dresden is a quilted pocket.
The "Sun" dress is just some bits I had laying around.
Thank you all for reading. If you have minute, let me know what you think of my creations. Maybe it will keep the Hubby off my back for a while. Now he wants me to write a book about Dresden's. He scares me!
Take care, Brandie

Monday, June 28, 2010

A twin shower

Yesterday we all celebrated my SIL's twin baby shower. She has 9 more weeks to go and we are all looking forward to meeting the girls. Mom is doing great, even if I do worry to much.

If you look closely, you can see 4 feet. Just kidding. I can't believe that she has no stretch marks!

As usual, there were the silly games to play. Like melted candy in diapers. Guessing what features of what parent the babies would have. And then there was the making of babies out of playdough. At least we didn't have to chew gum and then make the babies.

We all had fun!
Then there were gifts. Bet you can't guess you bought this outfit?
I was lucky enough to find 2 in newborn size. What a wonderful way to welcome new babies. Now I just need to patiently wait for their arrival.
How was you weekend?

Friday, June 25, 2010


This is what I saw yesterday as I was umm, grooming my chin. Victoria wanted to know what I was doing. She probably thought she could help. When she was younger, she had a habit of pulling arm hairs out. Let me tell you, it doesn't feel very good. And don't let her anywhere near an unshaved leg. OUCH!
I don't know if the attraction was my chin hair or the mirror. I think she thought I was looking at her. She had to stick her head into the mirror, beak to beak.
Well can you tell I don't really have anything to say today either?
The last couple of weeks I've been trying to get items together to sell on Etsy. Now my new worry is trying to use Etsy. I have found the Blogger was much easier to use and set up than Etsy. I wish there were easy to use templates. So I will let you all know when I get my page set up. If I don't run away from all the pressure and fear. I'm really having a hard time with "selling". If I was giving it away, I'm fine. Things that shouldn't have taken me this long the first time, have taken me 2 weeks to finish. Fear...
Have a wonderful weekend!
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Well I don't really have anything to say, except, I did finish up the costume and it was a great fitting.
I did do a few things around the house, but they are boring. I know I wouldn't like to read about the chores that I put off, so I'll spare you all.
I have been working on a few quilty things, I'm just at a point that doesn't take good pics. I hope to have something done soon.
But I will leave you with this weird pic.
This probably happen when my daughter came to visit. She still tortures PugsLee. When she was a child and she finally got over her fear of the Guinea pig sized pup, she started to dress poor PugsLee in baby clothes and give her ride in the stroller. PugsLee can still remember these days and gives Bridgette a wide berth and the evil eye. But Bridgette cons her too, with treats and then does weird things like put wigs on her. PugsLee was very happy when Bridgette moved out. She inherited her room and she could now take uninterrupted naps without fear. But she also has a short memory and falls for the torture every time.
Have a wonderful Thursday!
Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday disaster

After getting over my initial fear, I think I did just fine. There looks to be no glaring problems, right? You'll never believe what I did. I've sew many a dress and most of them have started with a pattern. So how could I be so stupid to TWICE cut out the wrong piece on the fold. TWICE, did you get that! I know what the fold does and why we have it. I know that almost always the piece on the fold is the front bodice, and this dress was no different. So why did I lay the back bodice pattern piece on the fold and cut it out and only then realize my mistake, with a few choice words? Was it because we only had limited fabric and had bought what was left of the bolt? Was it my attention to detail and wanting to do the best? If must have been an off day!

So how did I make the second mistake? I refolded my fabric, to give me another fold, and laid the front bodice down. I walked away and the piece flew off and I reapplied it to the fabric, I had just learned that it all fit on the re-folded fabric. BUT some how when I replace that pattern piece, I didn't lay it on the fold, I laid the back of the piece on the fold.ARGGGG!

Ok, so do you want to know how I fixed my problem? I always cut 2 of each bodice piece anyway. Why? I like the look of the finished edges and Frenh seams. Everything gets tucked into the inside bodice piece. So for that inside bodice piece there is a seam to connect what should have been a single piece. For the front bodice piece, well when I was cutting out the fabric I realize my second mistake as I was coming around the front of the pattern piece, where the fold symbols are. There was one fold in the fabric, about an inch and a half from that fold symbol. Again more choice words that didn't really sound like "Fudge". I stopped cutting and put it all away until I came up with the idea of using some tiny folds to shrink that bodice to the right size. You can see those tiny folds on the bodice. Later today we will be doing a fitting and it will all be finished. Hurray, maybe I do work well under pressure.

In other news, my darling beautiful Daughter conned me. She gave me this big sad story about missing one of her work mates B-Day. So she was going to make a lemon meringue pie or a caramel cheesecake. She has made the pie before on a couple of occasions for this same work mate. So I was confused as to why she was even telling me about it. Well as it turns out, she has all her pans and cooking supplies packed up and "it would be so much easier if Mom made it".

Then the choice was caramel cheesecake. But I got her. Can you see the crack forming in the center?
Look closer. They are all going to be eating a cracked cheesecake. Hahaa! If I can't eat any and enjoy the fruits of my labor, I'm glad it's not perfect.
Then I felt bad and covered up the crack with more caramel and toasted pecans. I don't want anyone to think my food is ugly!
You all have a wonderful day, I plan on it and so should you!
Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Scary new project

his is what I need to work on, and soon. My niece is going to be in a play, of the Wizard of Oz, and she needs her costume by the 30th. Because we live an hour away from each other, and Mom is so so pregnant, I've taken on this project.
Dallas has requested to be the "blue munchkin" that appears right after the house falls on the witch. This is a creepy pic. I took it of the TV just to make sure I had the right munchkin. We did find a pattern, it just needs some changes. So this will keep me busy for a while. I'm a little nervous about making something to someone elses wants and scared of the fact that it might not be good enough. Do you all do that? I know that I'm just second guessing myself, but that isn't helping me now. I have a mental block.
Well the best thing for me to do now, is to go to my hair appointment and stop thinking about it till I get home. By that time I'll be beautiful and coiffed.
Take care, Brandie

Monday, June 21, 2010

Flowers and a book

This weekend was a slow one. I had all these plans of finishing up several small projects. Then I got grumpy and felt like I was not making my own decisions and letting people plan my life. So what did I do instead? I read this book! I made myself comfortable in the corner of the couch and decide not to answer the phone any more, not that any one called, and read my book. This was a story about a girl who grew up without her Mother. She was told that her Mother had died years before. Guess what? Her Mother isn't dead. She receives a letter from her Mother, sent from a lawyer to inform her of her Mother's death. Then her Father dies. So begins her story. What was interesting, was that the writer, Wendy Webb, believes in ghosts and so the story features ghosts. This is not the kind of book I usually read and the only reason I bought it was for the title. My MIL has the same middle name, Halcyone, and so did her Grandmother. I guess that kind of makes it a family name and hence my attraction to the book. It was not one of those silly stories and it didn't scare you out of sleeping. So I recommend it if you're looking for a new book.

After the book ,I even put my ear buds in and turned up the ipod and ignored everything, except PugsLee. I don't like being in a bad mood, and I know I need to learn not to let people and things get to me.
I did relax enough to give PugsLee her much needed bath. Can you tell she liked it? I'm not sure how to interpret this look. What is she thinking?

This is the first lily to bloom in my yard. You can see another bud directly below the first bloom. Years ago my SIL gave me a bag of miscellaneous bulbs and this is what grew out of them. I think they are perfect, considering that my gardens are mostly all white. I seem to have a color issue even in my yard. Hmmm, wonder what that says about me.
Now this is a weed. This is a St John's wort bloom. Before I cleared out the fairy garden, these were everywhere. I guess as a weed goes, it's not bad. I just don't like it.
My potato vine is blooming. It's just a little thing. The deer came through and trimmed him up for me. Aren't they sweet? They leave me so little to do around the yard.
And I'm not sure what this is, but I can grow it really good. I have it in several pots all around my yard. I love it's small delicate leaves.
So that's all for today, my fingers have other plans and I'm not going to let another day go by without doing what I want!

Take care, Brandie

Friday, June 18, 2010

Arco signs?

Yesterday I did manage to complete some applique. My Husband says that they look like Arco signs. I thought I liked them just as they were, so we went and looked up the Arco sign.
The Arco symbol is more square, so now I'm happy with the way these blocks look. I think they kind of look like little tiles. How gorgeous would it be to have a bathroom tiled in these?
As usual, I haven't done these blocks as in the pattern. They are to have 2 leaves in each corner and a circle in the middle. I may decide to leave them just as they are. I feel that sometimes too much over powers the quilt and you may not notice the simplicity. Maybe I'll have to test every other square, hmmmm. There is to be a 1" border between the "Bustle" and the Arco tiles. I haven't found that border yet. This quilt did start out to be a 2 color quilt. Just red and green. Then I added that woven brown fabric for the basket and beige polka-dotted "orange peel slices" around the "Bustle". That same beige polka-dot is used between the tiles. But I do like the look. I can't do the Kaffe Fasset fabrics like the original pattern, but I did find a color scheme that I can live with. So 3 more rows to go, maybe I'll have those finished by the end of this month, if I ever finish all that mending. This Mother's work is never done...
Have a glorious weekend and a Happy Father's Day!
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Our small group got together last night. Last time we were together we had put together a wild and crazy child's quilt. At one point we started finishing up these leaves. As I understand it, someone else started these and donated them. One of our members picked them up to finish them. This pic just shows you some of the completed blocks. I only pulled out a few non-ugly leaves. It's difficult to pick up someone else's project and complete it without hating some of their fabric choices, but this group has shown me time and again that with a neutral or plain sashing, it tones down all the color going on. I just wanted you all to see these cute leaves. Maybe they will inspire someone.

Alicia finished up a quilt. She said that it took her 2 years to finish the binding. I think she is exaggerating and that she put it away and forgot about it. No matter when she started it and when it was finished, it's beautiful and she should be proud. Those colors have a lot of wow to them.

Sorry, I have nothing to show for my week yet. I've been doing lots of mending and house cleaning. I've made an executive decision and that decision was not to show you my mending.
Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mysterious building

In my town the is this beautiful old building next door to the library. For years I've wondered what goes on in this building. It could be my natural curiosity or that rumors and speculation about men's clubs.
I imagine the worst after seeing movies like the new "Sherlock Holmes". And maybe I don't trust a club that only has men for members.

Do you remember the movie "Peggy Sue got married"? Even she wondered what her Grandfather did at his club.

Well I'll probably never know what goes on in this beautiful building, but I can still wonder and give myself goosebumps thinking about it.
Take care and watch out for men in capes, Brandie

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Joy and Beauty

I pass through my days constantly surprised at the joy and beauty that surrounds me. We can find joy in the little things.
Like 2 week old toes. How adorable is this?
Things we may take for granted or we may not look up and enjoy the beauty. This magnolia is covering the entire seat of an office chair, gorgeous!

More little things of beauty and joy. Trying to grow your own herbs from seeds.

Or a dog that thinks she is part bat and hangs upside down to sleep. The simple things in life are beautiful and many of them give me joy.
I hope I've brightened up your day with a little smile.
Take care, Brandie

Monday, June 14, 2010

Weekend Wedding

This weekend, we helped cousin Nikki celebrate her beautiful wedding. It was a very European affair. Wine, cheese and the actual ceremony didn't start till after 9pm. Unfortunately, the pictures taken in the dark, didn't turn out as well. So I'll show you some pics from before. Her colors were, chocolate and pear. You can see that she meant these colors exactly. It was a yummy cake. I believe it was Neapolitan layers with raspberry and chocolate filling, I think, you have to trust my tongue, because that was the only sense that was working in the dark.
Nikki's parent have a beautiful piece of property that was used for the wedding. They went to a lot of work for her. We had beautiful weather and no bugs, while we waited for the stars to come out.
Many of the table were lit from above by these beautiful chandeliers. There were candles every where. After dark the tables glowed. It was all very gorgeous.

I believe Nikki is off on her honeymoon, I wish her all the best and hope she gets some rest, now that the perfect wedding has been pulled off. Congratulations!
So I'm sure you can all guess how much sewing I got done. None! Maybe today will be better.
Take care, Brandie

Friday, June 11, 2010

Orphan blocks

Today's post will be all about Gail. What has Gail been working on? And why is it all about Gail? She had more going on yesterday than I did. I'm sure you are all tired of seeing those bags and that was all I was working on. I had 3 zippers left and needed to use them up. So let me show you what Gail is up to. Remember this block from last week? It now has borders. Click the pic to make it bigger, it's a very cute orphan block. This block was kind of a collaboration between the two of us. Gail had this empty basket and I took it and added cherries to it. Now it will be a wall hanging in her office.
This was another orphan block that Gail started and I added the daisies to. It will be another wall hanging.
One of our first project together was this wall hanging. It was a challenge quilt from our guild. We had to use a black and brown fabric with railroad tracks, a gold fabrics and a piece of lace, all using the title "A walk in the park".

All the strips were cut at 1". We did have a pattern for this, but that didn't make it all that easy. If you click on the pic, you can see our spiderweb made from lace and a big fat spider. These and the eggs were my contribution. We make a great team. If I need anything perfectly pieced, I ask Gail and if her work needs some applique, I just steal it and add to it. I love it when she let me do that, hopefully she benefits from my bullying.
Have a great weekend, see you all Monday.
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bustle update

Do you remember the "Bustle", I've gone back to it. I think I last said it was going through an awkward phase. Well it is out of that phase and on to a new one. Having that gigantic star quilt done, has renewed a desire to applique.

I'm happy with my rework of the orange peel border. I didn't like the way the pattern had it, so I changed it and made it my own way. There are no rules when it comes to quilting. Anything goes,if you like it, it's right.

So now I'm on to the next part, which is just 24 of these little guys.

There are to be some leaves in the corner of each inside square and a small circle inside each large circle. Sometimes I feel that there is too much going on to see all the parts. I may leave out that inner circle or just make it smaller. Button? I'm going to make a few, then make up my mind.
Thank you all for the kind comments of my Dresden bags. I really do hope you can follow my instructions. And please send me a pic when you are done with a bag. We would all love it see how they look.
Have a wonderful day!
Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Part 3

OK, so you have the zipper done, hopefully. There was some confusion about how to put the zipper gusset in. Please be more specific in your questions and I will do my best to help.
This is how I put in the lining. I made a pattern for the lining and the batting by laying the half plate (Dresden) on a sheet of paper. I marked a dot at every inside point and across the bottom of the plate. Then I connected the dots to make a half circle. This is the pattern for the lining and the batting.
So I took the lining, an old sheet, and lined up the lining to the top of the bag. This is confusing to describe, hopefully the pictures will help. The zipper should be between the lining and the top of the bag.
Next you are going to run your needle as close as you can to the seam of the zipper, which is folded back and touching the lining.
After the lining is sewed in, don't turn right side out yet, pin the batting to the front of the bag, with the pins on the outside of the bag. Fold the lining over the batting. Do the same on both sides.
You should a bag that looks like this. MAKE SURE YOUR ZIPPER IS OPEN. Your bag will still be inside out.
Pin your bottoms together. Pushing back the batting and lining. Kind of round up the ends, where the zipper gusset is. I just felt where the points were and ran the needle along side the points.
You may need to trim your batting flush with the bottom. If you look closely, you'll see how I rounded up the ends, by the scissor handles.
Turn right side out. Next quilt a couple of lines through the layers. I only quilted to the circle.

View from the inside of the bag. See, no raw edges.

After trimming all the threads, your bag should look like this.
Last step, whip stitch your lining together.
All done! Now you'll go crazy and make a bag for everyone you know. Right? Or am I crazy?
Again, please ask for help. Or come up with an easier way. But please do show me if you do complete one.
Take care, Brandie