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

Monday, February 28, 2011

Tatting and Lace

After digging my car out of the snow (yes, really!) we went antiquing again. And boy did I find a bumper crop! A couple of these have the most exquisite lace. The top left, I'm sure is a hand made lace. When I saw and felt that one, I knew it was going home with me. I can just see these layered on another fabric to show the lace and quilted up into little masterpieces.
I also found old lace and tatting. Some of these are sewn in a round, I guess they were taken off of their original garment or dresser scarf.
I even found a cute little collar. Again I bought it for the lace. I really wish we could buy lace like this. You would think that, Oh I don't know, Maybe a chain fabric store would carry this kind of stuff. I'm tired of the same 4 laces in 2 colors. I want variety! I know I've bought some pretty laces at that "chain" in the past. Maybe our store just sucks!
This last picture doesn't show the embroider around the cut of flowers. Just take my words for it, it's beautiful!
Take care, Brandie

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Brief Piping Lesson

Today I'm going to show you how easy piping can be. It can be fun and give almost everything a special touch.
First off... Cut some bias strips. Giving yourself at least 1/2 half on either side of the piping. Sew the strips together.
Attach your zipper foot. Line up the fabric with the piping in the middle. Making sure the fabric is equal on both sides.
Zip it all together till you get to the end.
You may need to trim the piping to a quarter inch.
Next line the piping up on your project, leaving a 1/2 inch tail at the beginning. If you have corners, clip around them, like in the picture.
At the end, you will need to attach the ends. Stop when you get close. It'll be much closer than when you do binding. I'm talking 2 inches or less.
Now you are going to open up the seam and clip the piping to butt up to each other. Than fold the end of the fabric back so you will have no raw edges.
Than sew over the beginning and end, just like this.
Now you're all done. And you should have a piping edge around your entire project.

Remember that butterfly? I've now turned it into a cute little case...
for a Kindle. How cute is that? My first prototype.
Well Gail, what do you think?

By the way, it's an official snow day in Paradise. The schools are closed and even the quilt shop. We all woke up to a winter wonderland. This is proper snow, not that woosy snow from before. But hopefully it too will go away... today!
Have a wonderful weekend.
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Bit of un-sewing

Yesterday I only managed to attach the crochet lace and not much more. I didn't even complete the pleats (try to say that 10 times fast!).
I had the lace on top of the hem and we decided that it didn't look right. So out came the seam ripper for bit of un-sewing. Then those tweezers for picking out all the thread!
This look is much better. Now to get on to pleating 6 yards of fabric.

On to the weather report... we are waiting for another big storm. There is still snow on the ground in some places in town. Not my yard, I apparently live in the banana belt of town (what ever that means). So I need to get to the store and stock up. They say it will snow again for another 4 days. I doubt it, but I'm still going to be prepared. Usually they predict snow and all we get is rain. So my fingers are crossed that that is still true.
Just when you think it's over, that's when you're surprised by more storms. This year I was ready. I knew better that to think that those sunny days would last. I knew better than to plant anything (it's only taken me 10 years to learn) to early. I've learned not to even rake up the winter beds till at least April, no sooner. So off to hunker down for the storm, hehehe...
Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pleats of cake

Here they are, one layer of un-ironed pleats. This is the top of the skirt. The next layer will be the same fabric as the bodice. Than followed by another row of small pleats. These last pleats will work as a dust ruffle, because those dresses float along the ground. In those days it was un-ladylike to show wrists, ankles or much skin.
It take a descent picture, Antoinette tucked the bodice into the skirt. I rather like it this way too. Hubby thinks it looks like a old-maid school teacher but that is kind of the look.
I've been thinking and doing this dress for too long. It is taking up all my thoughts. So I had to do something else. And I had to see another color. So I sat down and sketched out a butterfly on tissue paper (it's easier to draw on tissue paper than your fabric). Layered it up on some batting and interfacing .

And just went to town.
After you have most of your picture quilted, remove the tissue paper. I use an old set of tweezers to remove the pieces.
When you're all done you may have to wash it under running water to remove the small pieces. And you May not even get in all out than. If you look on the right wing, you'll see what looks to be white thread, that's still the tissue paper in the stitches. So I need to run it back under the water.
Later I'll reveal what these is for. I'm still trying to make it work...
Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Directional Fabric?

How was everyone weekend? Did you get any quilting accomplished? Or did you have one of the relaxing days?
Mine was kind of both. Not that I got any quilting done, but I did sew. I also had to clean house. After 2 days of snow, the house was a mess. Mud always finds it way inside even if the boys take their shoes off at the door. It just travels and leave a huge mess! And all the extra laundry! I really don't like snow days!
So back to the sewing. I cut into the real fabric for the "queen" dress. It was a nerve racking experience! I was afraid the I would make a mistake and waste her fabric. So far so good?
I started this project with a old sheet. I cut the pattern pieces out of the old sheet to fit my "queen" perfectly. It ain't pretty, but here it is. The front view.
Front view of the real fabric. It doesn't look like much now, but after the beautiful buttons and more piping, I hope it stands on it's own. I kind of freaked out at one point, because I started looking at the fabric and thought I had the fabric upside down. I still don't know, but my Husband thinks this is right side up. I'm just going to have to let it go. I can't redo the entire bodice, so... I meant to do it this way! Besides, are there top and bottoms of fabric? As long as all the fabric goes in the same direction I'm fine. Right? I guess I'm still kind of concerned it's upside down. Please let me know what you think.
This is the back side. We have added a little skirt and maybe(?) some lacy ruffles.
Backside with the piping. Not too impressive, yet.
One of the sleeves. These have been giving me more problems. Finding the right spot isn't easy. I had to wait for my "queen" to model the bodice to get the sleeve just right.
(I wrote notes on the sheet bodice, so just ignore and blue you see)
The real sleeve. She liked the look of an open pleat, so this is pinned open. If you look closely, you see the yard of piping in the sleeve. Good thing I like piping, because I've already added 5 yards to the bodice and will probably add 4 more yards. I used a very petite piping. I didn't want it to be the focus.
Last night I added pleats to the skirt. A little over 3 yards of fabric pleated into the waistband. Next on my agenda is the lower half of the skirt. That will be 6 yards of fabric to pleat. Good thing I like pleats too!
So let me know what you think about the fabric being right side up or upside down. I really need to feel like I did it right, or I need to go replace her fabric.
Worried in Paradise,

Thursday, February 17, 2011


It was our small group get together last night. We all had fun and boy did we have a couple of funny conversations! Does everyone out there know what a "merkin" is? Well our small group does now! Your goal today is to see if you can drop "merkin" into any conversation. I dare you!

That wasn't all we did. Some were doing binding. Some of us were cutting out fabric and one of us brought a show and tell.
Sue found this beautiful old quilt under an old blanket at her parents home. How's that for a wonderful surprise?! These fans are made from many different fabrics. There is velvet, maybe tie fabrics, wools and even some polyester.
Every one of those fans had a different stitch around them. I took a couple of picture to show you.

It's a beautiful quilt and Sue is a lucky girl!

I put off that ironing till yesterday. I know I hate it and now I remember why. In the middle of ironing, I needed up with a crick in my back. I still feel a little of it this morning. Makes me walk funny! I feel as is one leg is shorter than the other.
But the good news is, I did iron all but about 3 yards. I also cut out the entire skirt (11 yards!) and started on the bodice. I will be taking more picture to show you the process. But you'll have to wait till next week. Today I'm going to curly up with the dog and try to stay warm. I guess the weather man wasn't lying when he predicted snow. It snow late last night. Thank goodness the rain came this morning to wash it all away! But it's still a yucky, yucky day!
Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fruit Baskets

Remember this block from back in November? I finally got the other blocks downloaded and finished, so now it's time for show and tell.

These were all done with scraps from my boxes. The only thing they have in common, is that they all share the same background, in different colors. I don't know if I'll put them together as a 4 block wall-hanging or make them smaller. This year for our Guild's Quilt Show, we are going to sell raffle tickets for small wall-hanging. This might become one of our items. I haven't totally decided what to do with these yet. I like the bird and watermelon block the best, even though it's one of the brightest. So if you are interested in making your own, go to HERE to the rabbit factory. It a free block and easy to download.
Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Distraction Needed

Just a little something to brighten a gloomy day. I don't know about your weather, but it's not pretty here. This picture was taken on Sunday which was a beautiful sunny day. It was nice to have a reprieve from winter. Now it's time for winter to continue and I'm going to stop complaining about it.
I have been working on some applique, but I'm waiting to finish it up before the reveal.
I also have yards and yards of fabric to iron and I hate ironing! But I must persevere and continue on so that I can finish the "Queen" dress.
Tell me what you are doing so that I can be distracted from my chores (ironing). Certainly you are doing something much more exciting than I am. Please distract me!

Take care, Brandie

Monday, February 14, 2011

Antique Lace

Happy Valentines day! Will Valentines make this Monday a better day or will it be just like any other day? I try to never schedule appointments on a Monday. I'm always slower on a Monday. You would think I was a weekend drinker or something! I just don't like Mondays. So the question is, will chocolate and flowers make this day seem less stressful or more. Let me know how it worked for you.

I did have a wonderful weekend. We had beautiful warm sunny weather, I even wore flip flops. Today we have rain and more rain storms are predicted till the weekend. I'm telling you, it a Monday thing!
Coming home yesterday, I happened to see this unusual flower. Look closely at the pictures and se if you can tell what makes it odd.
This is a uprooted tree trunk. The little daffodils are still growing and don't seem to notice the difference.
So cute and delicate. One of my favorite flowers.
Speaking of flowers and storms. Most of our fruit trees are blooming and the tulips and daffodils are popping up all over town. Now they predict a big storm. We may even get snow. What will happen to our fruit? I just I will just have to wait. Time will tell...

We spent this weekend antiquing. I found this gorgeous lace Dickie? The tag said it was a Victorian collar. I don't know if it was or not, but I thought it was worth the $25 they were asking. Yeah, that's how much I liked it.
Close up of the actual collar
It has a little button to close it. If... I really get serious about our Gold Nugget Parade, I may make this collar into a dress for myself. I just don't know if I want people looking at me. I prefer to be a wall flower. But I am serious thinking of make my own dress.
On that note, I was paid for my services. For the "Queen" dress. Yeah, I was surprised too. I was a fool and figured I wouldn't get paid, but I deserved it. Then my "Queen" came over for her second fitting and she handed me 2 $100 bills. I was pleasantly surprised and very grateful! Sometime the human race surprises me and this was one of those times.
I also picked up some beautiful old wooded bobbins and some more lace. I love the bobbins! I think I will wrap them in ribbons and lace. But they do look so beautiful just as they are.
What would you do with these bobbins? Maybe there's another use for them I haven't heard of or seen. Let me know if you've got any ideas...
Have a wonderful Monday!
Take care, Brandie

Friday, February 11, 2011

Just another Valentine

This is one of the three thrift store napkins I picked up in the last month. Layered on a leftover piece of silk, with a leftover piece of "Warm and Natural".
I marked it with some hearts and took it to the machine and this is what came out.
Close-up of the tiny feathers and a corner fill in.
Here is the back, is that better? The camera (woman) had a hard time with the reflection and the glare of the silk.
Today, I'm going to finish up the other two. I will probably do a similar quilting job. I liked how it turned out.
It will look good with a bouquet of flowers (hint hint) on it or even a candle.

Have a wonderful weekend. See you back here Monday.
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A New Family Member

After taking a picture of Gail's apron using my lamp as a dress form, I knew something had to be done. The time had come to add a new member to our family. Introducing, Antoinette.
Months ago, I was in one of our numerous antique stores and I saw an older version of Antoinette. It was love at first sight. She was just gorgeous! Cast iron legs, beautiful carved neck and a very becoming figure. Oh how I wanted to bring her home with me. But the $275 I didn't love. By the time I was ready to pay that much for the pleasure of her company, she had moved to someone else's house. My heart almost broke, but I realize it was not meant to be.

Then I found Antoinette, she may be a newer, cheaper version, but I love her.
I've already put her to work. She is modeling the "queen" bodice for me and helping me to visualize my mistakes.
I also thought that when she is not working, she could model for Witchy Poo. Yesterday Witchy Poo found her beautiful hat at the bottom of the closet, crushed. She was a bit upset and isn't going to point any fingers at the men who live in this house.
I made the suggestion that Antoinette could help and Witchy Poo love that idea. So already Antoinette has turned into a very useful family member, at least to me.

Have a wonderful day!
Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Back to Normal

My machine is back to normal. This is what it usually looks like, if not worse. Is this better Linda? It's not too clean now!
Why is it sooo dirty? I've been working with red corduroy and apparently, it's messy.
Yep, still at it. Still practicing with that snap tape.
This time on some little boy dungarees. Ain't they cute? The only thing left to do is button holes. But my second best machine (which makes the best button holes) is with my Daughter.
When it is returned, I'll be able to finish this little guys up.
I had so much fun making these, I've already cut out a second pair. That's how cute these are!
Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

More From Grandma's Stash

The other day I found this. Yup, in Grandma's lace box. I asked myself what it was.
Then I went to "that chain" and found the modern version of the same stuff. Snap tape, perfect for baby clothes.
You know where this is heading and you all know what I need, Right? (not a lobotomy)
Which leads to baby clothes! Duh! We all know I need one, a grandchild, that is.
I wanted something to practice using that tape and to practice tucks.
See, teeny tiny tucks, baby tucks. I highlighted them in that "Gucci" pink thread. Yeah, still working on that thread.
The back of the dress. Only difference is that there is more buttons and it has a seam.

I also worked on the bodice of the Queen dress a bit, but it was really hard to see how it looked without a model. So I'll wait till another time to show you. But I do have to say, it's looking good (as good as an old sheet can look).
Take care, Brandie