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

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thread Makeover

I had a dilemma, I had a messing work space. I didn't know how to keep all my threads in order. Specially when I had more than would fit on theses racks.
I love thread. I use it all the time. For applique, quilting and everyday stuff like mending. And each of these needs a different type and color. So I had a lot of thread and it was making me crazy trying to keep it all together and the area clean.
This was the old way, except that I had a quilt hanging over the threads to hide the mess.
So this is the before shot.
And this is the after.
The main focus was to get a containment system to house my threads. I think this may be it. But only time will tell. I could be doing this same post in about 6 months.
(Check out the cool old sewing machine drawer I picked up at an antique store. I have a total of 4 drawers, to hold up those books.
And how about my hezie valance? I figured, why keep it rolled up and put away with the fall stuff. Why not use it? It matches the room and it even hides a few books stacked on top of some others. Yes, I use quilts to hide messes!)
Each of these baskets has a different color of thread and each label tells me what is inside.
Like this.
You can never have enough neutrals!

How about a blast from the past. The schoolhouse quilt. I managed to get it pinned. This thing is massive! It was bigger than the batting! There's a rethink in here, or a mis-mash to make it work. I'll decide when I get to it. Make the top and bottom border thinner or piece in some batting.
It's a biggem! It took forever to pin! Even with Gail's help, I was ready to give up.
But then I pinned another.
This was in my UFO basket. I've forgotten how long ago this was made. I go back and forth, do I like it or is it too busy? I love the toile but I don't love the red fabric. But I decided that from a distance, it's a keeper.

I never did get back to the challenge quilt. Maybe today I'll get lucky.
Of course the day hasn't started out the right way. That dog that lives outside, he was waiting for me at the front door when PugsLee and I went out for her morning constitutional. He's a good boy, just a big, dirty dog. PugsLee doesn't like him and goes crazy every time she sees him, which is everyday, silly girl!
So I had to pick her up and move them both to his yard. Yeah, the one he isn't suppose to be able to get out off. Hmmm. And of course the boys weren't awake to help me.
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't in any danger, except from dirt. That dog is dirty! But he was so good, He walked back on his own and waited by the gate, all the while PugsLee is doing this Tasmanian devil imitation in my arms. Just not the usual morning.
So I need to go and make a trip to the feed store before I can get back to the fun stuff.

Have a wonderful weekend and try to stay cool.
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chirp, Chirp

The quilting began on the challenge, but it was slow going. I only completed the middle and it felt like it took as long as the border on the basket quilt.
I didn't want a showy quilt job. I wanted that bird to stand alone. I think I succeeded. The bird and branches pop, while the background melts away. The thread (So Fine) also helps it blend. Next step, the geese.
I hung my baskets over my bed and I love it!
I goes so well with everything. I really love it and couldn't be happier with my rooms new look. Only problem, it now takes twice as long to make the bed. I get distracted easily.

Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Baskets Completed

I went back and discovered that this basket quilt was started in April of this year. I bought these charm packs just because Pineapple Linda told us all how beautiful they were.
Now I have to Thank her for my favorite quilt! I love these soft worn colors. I had a lot of fun with this quilt. Thank you Linda!
Completed and washed, what a great feeling. I love this quilt!
A little close up , but I'm still having problems showing the quilting.
I love the backs. They always show the best.
For a couple of packets of charms, with no really purpose, this turned into a great quilt. I wasn't rushed, I took my time and I had fun. This may be the first quilt I've finished for myself this year. I feel like I've been working on something for someone else all year. This feels good to complete something without a due date. Now if only I can do the same thing with the Schoolhouses.

I have started the quilting on the Challenge, but it's slow going. I've only done some ditch quilting and am fearful of the real quilting. I know, silly. I need to follow my own advice and just get in there and do it!
Today I'm going to see Gail and now that I've finished the baskets, I think I'll try to get those Schoolhouses sandwiched. That will also take my mind off the quilting around the bird. I know deep breathes...

Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Final Basket Border

I've been plugging away at the basket quilt. A little bit each day. First I started with my scallops and then I thought and thought about how to get those feathers in there. I had tried to put the feathers on the inside of the scallops and that just didn't work, so I improvised.
Then I finally figured out how to make the feathers work on the outside, add a swirl!
I know this looks like orange fabric, it's not. It's a beautiful red, my camera just doesn't like it.
I have used more blue pens than you could imagine, marking this quilt over and over. It really needs bath!
How about the back, is this better?
The last detail, after the feathers. I like it and I'm too tired to remove any quilting.
I've noticed that I tend to make fat feathers. But they are just unique to me. Like a fingerprint. Maybe.
The next step is to get the binding on, then I can devote myself to the challenge quilt.

Take care, Brandie

Monday, July 25, 2011

Challenge, part 4

My fabric arrived in Saturday's post so I finished up the top of my Challenge!
I was super excited and got right to work. I finished up those geese and then went on to the last border.
This isn't the best picture, being indoors and all, but you get an overall look.
Than the last border. Part of the challenge is to use 4 of their fabrics. I've done this with the script fabric, the black flange fabric, the geese fabrics and the border fabric. The border isn't one of my favorites, but I'm going to try to quilt it out. It's a little busy for my tastes, but I'll improvise somehow.
I did piece the last border together, I tried to cut some uglier pieces out.
Now to get it sandwiches and start quilting it.

In other news, I've been finishing up the basket quilt's last border. I'm hoping to have pictures for you tomorrow of the completed quilting.
I'm so happy because I figured out how to get some feathers in that border. But don't tell me if you don't like it, it'll hurt my confidence level at this moment.
So till tomorrow,

Take care, Brandie

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dirty Dresdens

Yesterday I worked on my dirty old dresdens. I managed to put together all the cut pieces and ended up with 10 plates. As Gail said, this will make an odd shaped quilt with 2 X 5 block rows.
Each plate will be laid on a 20 inch background of unbleached muslin. So my current thought is to make a 3 X 3 and use the extra block to make a pillow. Who knows what I will end up doing by the time I finish these.
I also quilted part of the final border in the basket quilt. I marked and spray so many times to come up with a feather design in the border and I couldn't. But I came up with another pattern that looks great with what I already quilted, so I'm happy. When I finish that border, I'll let you all see.

I was really hoping that my package of challenge fabrics would have arrived by now. I know their shipping time isn't up yet, I just hoped I get those fabrics sooner than later. That poor bird is just hanging there all lonely and ready for flight. Well maybe today...

Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Dino-Hunter Vest

I have a book recommendation for anyone who likes to make kids clothes. This great vest is from that book and I loved making it and the little boy who received it is using it to hunt dinosaurs.
When I saw this pattern in the book I knew I had to make it and when Jake's Birthday came around, it gave me the chance to try out the book.
What boy wouldn't like all these pockets? And check out those buttons. I thought they looked like dino-skin.
The main reason I bought this book was for that cute red cape, but I've since found I like all the patterns. So if you're in the market for kids clothes, check this book out!
Jake's big brother Hunter has been growing a garden and I left with a beautiful zucchini yesterday. Some people don't know what to do with zucchinis. Me, I love them and will eat them with anything. One of my favorite ways is to grill them. Slice them long ways. Put a little oil on them. Season with salt and pepper and throw them on the grill. Delicious!
But last night I throw the on some pizza. Yummy! Added a few olives, tomato slices, fresh basil and sprinkled with fontina cheese.
Then I went a little weird and used leftover pork tenderloin pieces with some zucchini. I was really surprised how well this pizza turn out. I had made the pork with a tomatillo sauce but the flavors worked very well together. When I was growing up, my Grandmother was famous for putting leftovers together and them being even better the second time around. Now the woman couldn't make a hamburger without it being too hard to eat or spaghetti, but her leftovers were wonderful.
I think I've inherited that gene, just with pizza. I think I may try this more often. How about a mac-n-cheese pizza? Add some bacon to it and it may make me famous.

I have no sewing plans today, so I may not be back tomorrow.
So, Take care, Brandie

Monday, July 18, 2011

Star Blocks

I've been working on my star blocks this weekend. I joined a Christmas star quilt along. As you can see, my colors aren't Christmasy so hopefully they won't kick me out of the club.
Every month there has been a different star and I just finished the sixth, so I felt it was time to show you.
Blocks 1.
Blocks 2.
Blocks 3.
The first three blocks on the focus fabric, very non-Christmasy.
Blocks 4.
Blocks 5.
Blocks 6.
I signed up late for this quilt-along and I don't even know if how it is suppose to look when done. Maybe the others do? But I'm still having fun and it's quite easy to do two blocks, of the same pattern, every month. Makes me think that we should do something like this.

It being a Monday, I want to prolong my weekend, but I at least need to clean my dishes! Garfield had it right about Mondays! I hate them as much as I hate folding laundry. ) sigh (

Take care, Brandie

Friday, July 15, 2011

Orphan Pieces

Several years ago I inherited these dresden plates. I had put them away and just came across them. I had forgot all about them. Pretty sad I know!
So I took them out of their bag and I found two plates mostly complete. I also found a pile of pieces that need to be sewn together.
I don't have any idea of their age. But I will find out someday. They are stiff and dirty, but there is no way I can wash them till I appliqué them down.
So once again I have a take along project! I love these little things that can be pulled out in the doctors office or during boring meetings. After I finish the basket handles, I've just been twiddling my thumbs. Last night I had one of the afore mentioned meeting and it helped to keep me for being too bored. And just think, someday I'll have an heirloom, all from forgotten pieces.
Have a wonderful summer weekend!
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Challenge, part 3

After precise cutting and trimming, I have finish half of the next layer. Why only half? Because this was as far as I could get with two fat-quarters. I have two more geese left, but no enough to make a entire row. So I will put this on the back burner till I receive more fabric, in 7 to 10 days. Which is going to seem an eternity!
I'll leave you with a close-up of my beautiful feet.
Maybe I'll grow up to be half as good as Sandra Leichner. Boy that would be wonderful! But boy do I have a long way to go!

So bye for now, see you tomorrow.
Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Challenge, part 2

Is this less scary? Not so gloomy and creepy anymore? I Put A Bird On It!
This bird came from the focus fabric and I cut around it and needle turned it down. I was going to lose the legs, so I just embroidered some new ones. And I think they look even better!
Part of the Challenge is to use four of the six fabrics provided. Here you are seeing three. The script background is one. The bird is two. That little tiny flange (influenced by Lynn) is three.
I can add two of my own fabric and all the embellishments I want. So My first fabric is the tree brown branches.
I inherited these gold flowers from my Grandmother. They've been in my lace box for years! Originally they were a strip of lace, I just cut them apart and Presto, blossoms! I just love that bit of sparkle.
My next step is to make a border of flying geese, but I've run out of fabric. So I called and will be receiving more, within 7 to 10 days.
But don't worry, I'll keep busy! I still have my baskets to finish quilting and I have some stars to make, so I'll be busy.
Today Gail and I are getting together and since it's Summer vacation, that means we have all day, not just after school hours (Gail is a teacher in her spare time and I have to share her with her students. Kind of a bummer on some days, those pesky kids!).

So have a wonderful Wednesday and I'll see you here tomorrow.
Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Challenge, part 1

I started the challenge quilt yesterday. I brought out all the fabrics. I even washed them because that was part of the instructions. Otherwise, I never do. I like to live dangerously!
Then I ironed them and started thinking... hhhhmmmmmm....
Of course that worded fabric has to be the background. So I cut that fat quarter into a perfect square.
Next I added really uneven tree branches. I have to tell you, needle turning those branches and making them more tree like and less straight was really hard. But I had cut my strips on the bias and just let go.
Then I added thinner branches with floss. Looks kind of Halloweeny, doesn't it?
Like a scary movie. But don't worry, I'm going to lighten it up and make it happier.
And next time I hope the pictures don't turn out so dark. I did even notice how dark they were till I loaded them. So tomorrow I have less gloomy pictures and a less gloomy block.

Take care, Brandie

Monday, July 11, 2011


A change has been made.
I finished the monkey blocks but I knew I wasn't happy. Would you be happy with this quilt if you were having a girl?
I wasn't. I haven't been thrilled with this quilt from the beginning. It just isn't girly enough. And when I showed it to my Daughter Thursday night, I could see in her eyes that she wasn't happy with it either. So a change has been made.
But with some help. Maximus spent the weekend with us and he has made himself at home pretty much anywhere he wants! Here I am jamming to finish the binding on Friday morning (before my brilliant thought seeped in). This little dog is more cat like than I'm accustom to. He fits into tiny places and can jump higher than expected.
So after moving Maximus, I got down to business. I pulled out some pink fabric I wanted to used from the beginning (Anew from Lecien). Why didn't I just use it before? The Daughter had heard that they parents didn't want to have a girly girl and were looking for uni-sex colors. But then she went to their new house and saw that they were using pink. So I took that and ran with it and here is what I came up with...
I started this Friday around 11 and finished the binding Saturday around 2. I know, I know, it's not a monkey, but I keep saying I can only draw simple things and a monkey is not one of them! Not bad for a quick change in the middle of the stream! I admit that I cheated and used "misty fuse". I couldn't have finished this in time if I had needle turned this.
And the quilting is just some swirls which go quite fast! The babies name is on there as well, so now they have to keep it!
BTW, the Daughter loved this one. In fact she loved this one so much, she claimed it as her own work. She really is a stinker!
I just glad to be finished, so now I can take a breathe and move on to something new.
I signed up for a Keepsake Quilting Challenge. I'll show you more tomorrow. Today I'm going to try to get started on that. I have to have a small quilt mailed off to them before August 15 th. So I must get busy!
But I now have a sort of plan. It all started with that branch from the pink quilt. I loved that! And maybe I work well under pressure. Because I'm really pleased with that pink quilt. Granted my little owl is a bit portly, but he's still cute.

Have a wonderful Monday!
Take care, Brandie

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dare to be Different

As I was telling you yesterday, Last night was our guilds anniversary. We usually celebrate with a potluck, where everyone brings a salad. I just had to be different, so I made focaccia.
It starts with a lovely dough, with a little potato mixed in to keep it moist. Won't to try it?

Start by boiling a medium potato till soft (when cooked, mash). While that cooks...
Mix, 1/2 cup flour
1/2 warm water
1 1/2 ts. yeast ... till combined. Cover and let sit till bubbly.

Then add...
3 cups flour
1/2 cup warm water
2 TBS olive oil
1 1/4 ts. salt
and that potato ... Then let it rise for about an hour.

After it has rested for an hour and doubled in size, press into a large baking sheet. Wet your hands and spread that dough across the entire pan. You can also spread the dough as it rises, as it relaxes again. Let it rise again 45 - 60 minutes.
Next dimple the dough with your finger tips, it'll look like the picture below.
Now drizzle it with about 2 more TBS of olive oil, and course salt and pepper. You can also chop up about 2 TBS rosemary if you're lucky enough to have some growing in your yard.
Baked at 425 for 25 minutes, till golden brown.
Fresh out of the oven.
Packed up and ready to party!
See you on Monday. Have a wonderful weekend!
Take care, Brandie