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

Thursday, March 31, 2011

6 More

I completed another 6 and I may have an idea where this is going. So far these blocks have been fun and they have helped me relax and just do something for myself. There are no deadline and the only person I need to please, is myself. Maybe if I finish these, I'll actually have something to put in my own quilt show (the one I'm in charge of). The job has me so worried about doing my best, that I hadn't taken time to think about the quilts yet. So cross your fingers for me that this quilt will be completed by October.
I took the blocks and laid them on my bed to get an idea of how many I needed to make. I left them there for most of the day. I would find myself gazing at them. I really like them against the all red background.
Simplicity at it's best. I am just loving the reds, maybe I'm bias. But it already looks good on my bed and it matches the red work pillow, I wouldn't need or want to change anything.

Today I need to get back to the "dress". There are a few things (buttonholes) that I need to finish up. So time to change my thread and get to work.
Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Another 6 Schoolhouses

I think I may have my mojo back. I finished another 6 blocks! I'm moving right along, even if I have no plans on how to finish. These pictures are all pre-trimmed. (Sorry for the turned corners) I will have some duplicate houses made from some of my favorite reds.
We did see the sun yesterday and I even had to open some windows. I have so looked forward to that! The smell of sunshine is so much nicer than mud. We already have some sun today and the weatherman says that we will reach the 80's by the end of this week. Hurray!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!
Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Is it Spring?

This weekend there was 22 feet of snow reported in Donners Pass. This is what 22 feet of snow on an interstate look like. Yuck! With snow this high, it's easy to see how the tragedy in history happened. If you don't know your California history, click the link and be surprised by what you'll learn.
This happened 2 and 1/2 hours away from me. And here I was complaining about the rain. Shame on me!
On the sewing front...
Remember these antique blocks? I finally got them quilted. That's one from the UFO basket. Now I'll have one more for a future granddaughter. I feel a bit better about myself now. I'm going to blame the rain for my lack of production.
Yesterday we had a little sunshine! Hurray! That little bit helped. They say we are to have more today, but I don't see any, but I not going to complain!
Time for some housework and maybe a few more SH blocks.
Take care, Brandie

Monday, March 28, 2011

Schoolhouses 101

Today we are going to start our own little red and white quilt blocks. If you are lucky enough to see the show in New York, show us pictures. If you are like me and want to go but are stuck in the wrong state, make your own red and white quilt.
So here we go... Warning, I'm not a professional, so make a test block first.
These are the few blocks I finished up this weekend. Notice anything wrong, neither didn't I till I looked at this pic.
I have an upside-down door and windows. Don't do this yourselves! I've already made the mistake, so hopefully you all are in the clear. Keeping my fingers crossed!
1. Chimney
from your background, cut 2 Q's 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 O 2 1/2 x 4
house color 2 P's 2 1/2 x 2 1/4
2. Roof (this is were it gets tricky. The original pattern had templates, so I modified them so we can all use our rulers on the 45 degree and get almost the same results, hopefully)
from the background cut 1 square at 3 1/2. Now cut it at a diagonal for piece D
also cut a 1 1/4 strip for B, this can be trim later, I cut mine at about 6 inches and sewed it done before trimming.
from the house fabric, cut another square at 4 1/2 x 4 1/2, then diagonally again for C.
cut a strip of house fabric at 3 1/4, cut the end at a 45 degree and then measure and make 6 1/2 and cut at a 45 again. both sides should measure 6 1/2. Hope that makes some sense
3. Windows
background, N 1 1/4 x 6 1/4
windows, J 2 @ 1 3/4 x 3 3/4
house, K 2 @ 1 1/2 x 3 3/4
house, I 1 3/4 x 3 3/4
house, L 1 3/4 x 6 1/4
house, M 1 1/2 x 6 1/4
4. Door
background, H 1 /14 x 6 3/4
door, E 2 x 5 1/2
house, G 1 3/4 x 5 1/2
house, F 2 @ 2 1/4 x 5 1/2
Next join the window unit to the door unit.
Then take all the units and join them.
Good luck and let me know if I missed anything or if you just need help.

Take care, Brandie

Friday, March 25, 2011

I Staked a Vampire and Look What I Accomplished

Yesterday the weather was trying to work against me. We had really high winds and big fat rain drops. You all know I don't like snow, but I have to tell you, I'd rather have snow that 30 mph winds! I am very fearful of winds. That might be because Paradise is covered in trees. It might be because I was watching 2 huge trees kiss the house over and over yesterday.
Cousin Linda lives a door away and we have tried to convince each other that walnut trees and cedar don't uproot (which is what we mostly have in our yards).
I miss the sun. It was only a couple of weeks ago that I was outside in short sleeves and flip-flops. For weeks now, my yard has been water logged. I have planters that are so full of water, they can't drain as fast as the rain falls. I feel like a bath tub raisin. I need some vitamin D. You all know how pale I am (not that I would sunbathe), I just need to see some rays of light.
I may have to travel...
But that ain't going to happen today, so... on with the schoolhouses.

Between the power outages, I managed to get some things done. I cut out about 16 SH blocks. I have all the pieces labeled and I'm ready for production.
Block 1. It sure looks uneven in the picture! I'm going to have to measure that up and see if it is the camera or me. All the blocks will have the same background, roof, door and windows. But all the SH will be different reds. These are 11 1/2 inch blocks and I still don't have a clue how I will put them all together.
Between one of the power flashes, I also managed to get a few blocks done for our guild meeting. Maybe my mojo is back?! They aren't to pretty together, but they wanted spring colors and these were all scraps, so no fabric was harmed in the process.
Because I had the scrap boxes out, I also made up a few hexies. I going to exchange them with my fabric pen-pal. I sure hope she like pink, cause thats the box I opened first!
So today I'm back at the machine to do another SH block. There's no wind and the power is on. I have no excuses!
My blogging buddy Ranette has suggested that I have a SH quilt along. Monday I will post some modified instructions for those who want to participate. Some gather up some reds or whatever color use want to use and come back Monday.
Take care, Brandie

Have a wonderful weekend...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bucket list quilt

OK, I'm going to do it, start a new project that is. I figure I'm not hurting anybody and that the only one with remorse is me. The rules are only in my head. If I can only get over my guilt of not finishing my UFOs. I know that I won't entirely forget about them, they will just have to wait for the right day and that is today!

So on to my new project.
Last year, when we had that crazy canned pumpkin shortage. My good blogging buddy Ranette, sent me several cans of pumpkin and this beautiful red schoolhouse card. I don't think she was aware of my love and obsession with that block. In this pic you also see a book devoted to schoolhouses. If you look closely, you can see a bunch of papers sticking out of the book. Those are all photocopies of schoolhouse blocks I've been collecting.
So I did it. I gathered up all the reds that I have been saving and collecting just for these blocks. As time has gone by, I've learned to appreciate scrappy quilts and actually long to make them. So some of these reds will work and some may not... but time will tell.
Inside the book there are a number of blocks I wouldn't use, but I love that someone did.
Anyone out there want to make a modern "ranch adobe" house?
Of course there are the old styles done together.
Don't you just love the log cabin surrounded by log cabins?
I love this too, but I'm going to stick with a basic block. After that... I'll figure that out as I go.
I'm not going to beat myself up about the UFOs, I'm just going to try to relax and have some fun on my own time. So please don't be upset if I only get 1 block done a day. My ho-hum-ness needs to warm up. I'm hoping those reds warm it right up!

Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pincushion Fingers

Oh my poor fingers! I have poked them over and over again. 16 hooks and 16 eyes later, I believe I'm done. Want to see? (Please ignore Antoinette"s under garments, she just needed a little more padding)
The neck line has been finished. A bit of lace and more piping.
The sleeves are buttoned in to the outer sleeves, minus the buttonholes. I feel that I don't need to bother with putting in buttonholes, because no one is going to take the sleeves out.
The lining is all finished and nicely hides all the seams and all the ugly parts (boning) that no one needs to see.
The cotton bodice fabric was layered with a heavy denim to keep it's shape. Then lined with everyday muslin. The bodice has a nice weight to it and it stiff enough to stay in place on the body.
The front of the bodice and it's nice point. This took the most time, just to get it right.
This has taken me more time than I realized and I'm wanting to start something new.
Would you start something new if you had a pile of UFOs?

How do you get your quilting mojo back? I'm in a quilting funk and don't feel like myself...
Any advice is welcome.

Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The perfect color

I think I have finally found the perfect color. I can hear you now, "what color"?
You see, I've been searching for this color for years. Many different brands, all so close.
I've been looking for a color that matches my skin and when you don't have much color, that's hard to do.
This color (bubble bath) is perfect! The search is over.

My hands are tired again. I think because I hand stitched the boning into the "queen" dress. I also hand stitched the lining in, I think this was just too much for my hands. Today I need to get those hooks and eyes in. Tomorrow the "queen" is coming for another fitting so I need to ignore the ache and get busy.
But at least my nails look good while doing it!
Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Good News

Just a little good news from Japan. They found a four-month old baby after four days. Amazing!

Buttons Galore

I feel so much better now! I've accomplished something that should have been done last week. I'm starting to feel that the dress is coming together. Today I need to line it, add a few button holes and sew in about a million hooks and eyes.
This is just for the bodice. The skirt is more or less done, but we won't know till we get that hoop under it to see what else it needs.
Last night I added half the boning to the bodice. Now those buttons won't be going anywhere.
These are real buttons, but I will be do a mock closure using hooks and eyes. I really didn't want to do 18 tiny button holes!
There will be more piping around the neckline, but we aren't sure were that should be yet. Same with the bottom hem of the bodice.

Pleated sleeve with the under sleeve attached. I really like the under sleeves. I think it is dressing up the dress.
I just have to remind myself, this is an historical dress from our area. No one in 1860 would be walking around in a taffeta dress. The woman would be dressed in a utilitarian way. Their dress's would have been used many, many times and would have to stand up to our environment (we have a lot of red dirt). So I know in my heart that this dress is appropriate, I just want to make it fancier. Those buttons have sure helped! And the under sleeves, not sure which I like better.
So I'm off, I've more sewing to do.
Take care, Brandie

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 2 without a vampire

After this week, I think I may need to join a 12 step program. I made the mistake of downloading 8 vampire books to the kindle. Because they were the first from the set, it came across as 1 giant book. I haven't read vampire novels before and I really got Sucked in.

All week I was too caught up in the books to do much of anything. I could hear Hubby saying things like, "The vampires have stole my clothes", The vampires came into the kitchen and ate all the food", "Those vampires used all the clean cups". So apparently, you weren't the only ones I neglected.

I finished the last book Saturday evening, and I've been trying to clean up the mess that the "vampires" made. The funny thing is, I enjoyed the first 3 books, but the rest, well I don't know. See, I don't read romances, I read mysteries, biographies and the like. I haven't read a romance novel since I was a teen, and those were harmless, sweet Christian novels.
These vamp novels are not. There are the true opposite, and I don't know how to take it.
The main character, Sookie, goes from virgin to whore in 4 books. By the 8th book she has already had 3 lovers. This is in a 8 month period, sure I read them in a week so it seems worst. But to me, coming up on my 24th anniversary (with one man all these years), it seems a bit much. So label me a prude.

Of course there are 11 books in the series and the 12th is to come out in May. I am kind of interested in seeing what happens next. I did enjoy how the author wove a story with vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, fairies, demons, witches and many other creatures. So that was compelling and made me come back for more.
I guess what I'm saying is, the story and characters were entertaining, but I'm a prude.
I also learned to just download one book at a time!

So I'll make my promise here...
(This is my eye) I promise to...
... run away from all vampire books and not spend a week sitting on the couch reading them!

Also, I need to cleanse my mind with something smart. Please send me a list of purified reading material.
Thank you for listening to me rant, I needed it.
Take care, till tomorrow....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pin Tucks and Lace

I pulled myself away from Eric the vampire, long enough to make a...
Sleeve. This will be under the pleated Pagoda sleeve on the "queen" dress. They obviously need to be sewn into a tube and a cuff put on, but I don't think I can get away long enough. I must be under some sort of hypnotism.
Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Boy or Girl?

Last month at our guild meeting, one of my friends won a raffle for these blocks. I was so jealous that I harassed her about it till she gave them to me. Horrible, aren't I? (the answer is yes!)
I had spent 5 dollars on just these blocks because I really thought they were cute. But I'm just not lucky. (Or am I? Maybe my strength is in manipulation?!)

Someone donated 20 of these old blocks. They are all hand stitched and they are all different sizes. But I still love them. Some of the fabric is so old that you can see a coating of the starch(?). It is really shiny in spots.
Whoever stitched these up, didn't use a quarter inch seam, so I had a really hard time not cutting off the tips when I was adding sashing.
Some of the blocks were 6 inches and some were 5 1/2 inches and about 5 were 4 3/4 of an inch. This little quilt is certainly not perfect, but I love it anyway.
I'm going to keep it around for a Grandchild. Would you use it for a boy or a girl?

BTW, I'm sorry I haven't been with you in a while. I'm blaming it on the Kindle. I've read 8 books on it so far and (cough cough) I'm caught up in a vampire series. Please don't laugh! I didn't know and now it's too late... I have to finish the series to see who or what happens. So If I am absent again, you all know why, it's those vampires that are keeping me away.

Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


4 days after out snow storm, we still have snow on the ground. As you can see, the sun is shining but after 4 days there has been no reprieve. My poor little plants and bulbs. I guess this little hyacinth isn't going to let the snow hold her back. She is doing her best to break though that layer of snow.
Even the daffodils are ignoring the snow and shooting up.
Before this storm, they all looked like this, just a little shoot pushing though the soil. They have grown inches every day, just to reach that sun.
So it looks as if I shouldn't worry about my plants, they'll adapt and be fine.

Sorry I don't have anything quilt-y to show you. Yesterday I added another sleeve to the dress, but it so hard to take a good picture, so I'll wait for a better one.

I also cleaned house from top to bottom, and that's boring but boy do I feel better. Have you even noticed how long it takes to put things back to normal when you add something new to your house? A couple of years ago, I umm, watered our TV. Yeah I was in big trouble when I did that. So we've been living with our 27" bedroom TV, in a big living room. I got used to it, Hubby hasn't. Yet he couldn't decide what kind of TV to get, plasma, tube or whatever. That's not my department so I didn't know or care. So long story short, Hubby bought a "newer" TV from a friend. And guess what, it's to big to fit into my beautiful wooden cabinet. For about 2 weeks, we have been living with 2 TVs in the way. Yeah you heard me 2 weeks! Why? Because that TV needed something to sit on and all those other things that go with TV watching needed a new home too.
Finally that has happened, they are all tucked in and every body has a new home. The speakers have been rewired and every corner have been dusted, scrubbed and polished. I love this feeling of "every thing is clean". I really wished it would stay that way! But living with 2 males isn't about being clean. We used to say "this is why we can't have nice things". That still rings true. Boys... can't live with them... and you just clean around them!

Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Man Case

What is this little linty black bag, you ask. Well Hubby thought that Gail's kindle case was too fru-fru. He didn't want to be seen carrying such a girly case around. And because we have to ---Share--- I figured Our case should be a bit masculine. So this is my take on masculine. Black corduroy and red stitching.
Only one problem so far, it has attracted more lint than my dryer vent!
So I may have to go back to the drawing board. And I need to learn to share...
Take care, Brandie