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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Who 1

Owl quilt 1 is done. I have two more ready to go. I'm hoping that by the end of the week I'll have them done also.
They are quick because they are raw edge applique. I use "Misty Fuse" to adhere my shapes, iron, then stitch around them. I'm not too fond of raw edge, but I'm in a hurry. Those other ideas are getting closer to the surface and I want to start them now, but I know I should finish the owl first. So I treat them as a chore and finish them first, while dreaming of the fun stuff.
I really like this green! I feel like buying the whole bolt!
I quilted it in a "Rainbow" thread form Superior. It has a shine to it that I really liked against this green. But it doesn't show up in the pictures, so you'll just have to take my word for it.
If I'm not doing feathers, I'm doing swirls. I love swirls, they are sew easy. No thinking involved. Just start swirling.
Everyday before I start with these baby quilts, I work on my toile quilt. I'm mostly doing feathers and this is a nice relaxing end to the day. Really, swirls are relaxing.

Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm seeing spots

What is this pile, besides a mess? The beginnings of several owls.
My Daughter raided my stash and even the scrap boxes to find every piece of dotted fabric I've ever had. We had quite a mess! Then we had two little dogs helping with that mess! It took me most of Monday morning to right my shelves again. But like I said before, Priceless.
This is the first spotted owl to come from that pile. I need to add leaves to the tree and a border, before I can sandwich it.
I've fallen in love with this green! I'm going to go get me some more, so don't be surprised to see it again. I'm thinking this color is perfect for boy or girl. There are more kids quilts brewing under the surface and I want to be prepared when they come to a head.

Thank you all for the wonderful response to "The Raven". I'm glad you loved him as much as I do. But I'm just as surprised as you. I can't plan every detail on paper. I'm always surprised at the end. Even in school, I'd write an outline and then end up changing the outline to fit the report. The same thing happens with my quilts. But just so you know "I meant to do that!"

Take care, Brandie

Monday, August 29, 2011


Drum rolls..................... Introducing "The Raven"

I haven't been so excited since I first started my blog (coming up on two years in October).
Over the weekend I finished "David" the raven. BFF and I are jokingly calling the raven after her husband. But don't worry, she's educating him in the works of Poe. Nevermore will he mistake a cue like, "tap, tap, tapping at my door".
As you can see, I did quilt some of the poem into the background. I love it! ... but, if I were to do it again, I'd quilt the words first than put the raven in.
I think he looks quite sinister in this picture. That eye is doing it's best to make you feel uncomfortable.
I started to add a plain black binding to the quilt, when in walked Hubby and he said "what about red?" Wow! What a difference and boy did he hit the nail on the head. Perfect!
I also added another line of tiny piping next to the binding. I think it looks smashing!
It's it funny where your inspiration comes from? Remember this was just a thought in my head after doing the cute little challenge quilt. I have to say, this one is my favorite! I love the macabre look. It'll be perfect at Halloween, the best holiday of the year!

Now I'm off on another winged project. Several in fact. I'm mass producing some owl baby quilts. I even had help from my Daughter. It will be a joint effort. She picked the fabrics and I'll do the sewing. Works for me! She showed an interest and there is nothing better that spending time with your kids, no matter how old they get. I just hope they'll always want to spend time with us.
Price of fabrics : $40 +
Price of takeout :$30
Spending any time with adult children and liking it : PRICELESS

Take care, Brandie

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tap Taping

Half complete and ready to show himself, introducing "The Raven".
Don't be scared, because all he'll do is utter "Nevermore".
I have re-worked his legs so much, that the fabric behind him is full of holes and looking weak. So I'm just going to be happy with them as they are. Oh why, Oh why did I do something I can't draw!? So don't look at them too close! They seem too small for his body, but I'm ready to give up and move on. I don't want this in my UFO basket!
Imagine coming across this in the dark! That eye is evil! And that raven beak looks sharp.

I did not harm any birds in the making of this wall hanging. Believe it or not, but I bought these feathers to use on a Christmas stocking. I kid you not! I bought them because of that beautiful green glow they get when they are in the right light.
I had just enough leftovers to give the raven a wing and tail. Sinister? Macabre?... Good!
To finish him off I added a tiny piping with some red. Just enough to accent his eye.
Later today I'm going to get him sandwiched and I hope to start the quilting. I am going to try to quilt part of the poem into the background. You know, the poem about Lenore. Can you believe that some people have never heard of the raven , "Tapping, as of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door". My BFF's Hubby didn't and we are never going to let him live it down! Maybe when I'm done with this quilt, I'll gift it to him and make him promise to hang it up in his room. Hehehhehee, My BFF will love me for this!
So there it is. Was it worth waiting for? Probably not, but if you complain or tell me you don't know one of our own famous American poems, I'll have to gift it to you! So no complaining!

Have a great weekend and don't do anything I wouldn't do!
Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Weekend Project Two and Three

Fellow blogger Lynn has been tempting me with her wonderful quilts for a while. If I lived closer to her, I'd be taking classes from her and raiding her stash. But a 3 1/2 hour drive isn't my idea of fun. I'd be too tired to sew by the time I got there!
So when she said she was making one of her quilt patterns into a block of the month, I knew I had to sign up. And I did.
Here is the very first block of Lynn's pattern. You should really go look at hers because I've mangled my own. I have to tell you, those are tiny flowers and leaves!
I made my flag a little differently than hers, because after those flower (which are so not where they are suppose to be!) There was no way I was going to attempt Lynn's flag. I just ain't that good.
But because I had fun, I decided to make another block using some of my treasured Robyn Pandolph fabrics. Because why am I saving them?
So here is the same block, my way.
I made these flowers in one piece and embroidered a middle. They started out looking like lemons till I added the pink. I also embroidered the mail box clasp and changed up the whole flag. I just embroidered a vine around the post and omitted the flag.
Side by side. I'm really glad these blocks will never see their parents. If there was a side by side with the original, the world would cease as we know it.

I can't wait to get my next block, even though I had trouble with the (*#@!) flowers and leaves. This will make a beautiful quilt (in my dreams) some day.
Oh Lynn, you are the master and I am but your clumsy, inept student!

Back to work... yes on the raven! He is becoming a thorn in my side. He is not cooperating! I've had to rework his feet twice and he is still without them. It's driving me crazy! But on I must go.

Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Weekend Project Won

I did it. I started something new, even with the raven staring me down. But I Had to!
Remember that birthday party my LQS was having? Well they tempted me. It's all their fault!
What do you get from a bunch of orange fabrics and a pattern?
The beginnings of a beautiful family heirloom.
Step one was appliquéing all those lovelies down and adding a few curly-Q-s (because I didn't like the original pattern. Even the leaves were weird, so I drew my own)
Step two was quilting all the lovelies together with 2 layers of batting and adding more curly-Q-s to the background.
Step three was adding piping and a envelope back. Beautiful, don't ya think?!
Hardest part? Stuffing that darn body pillow into the cavity!
I'm very pleased with my new pillow and I'm leaving it out on the window seat till Christmas!

It may have inspired more creativity, but I'm really going to finish that raven. He really is giving me the evil eye. Probably because he can. He just can't sit yet and he's mad. But today feels like the day, as long as he doesn't bite me.
A girls work is never done!

Take care, Brandie

Monday, August 22, 2011

Faux Mercury Glass

A couple of weeks ago, I made the mistake of going into Pottery Barn. While there I fell in love with their mercury glass. Before this trip I hadn't even had an opinion on mercury glass. Now I love it and want more, but there's a problem, the price. This little votive was $3.99. So I came up with an idea... make my own.So I started with something plain. I bought some silver leaf and adhesive and just dove in.
Made my own votive that only cost me a dollar and a half. There is a slight difference in the color. The real mercury glass is on the left and my faux votive on the right.
But alone they look great. Or maybe I just think so. Not even Hubby likes them. He thinks it looks like cheap dollar store glass. Oh well, I like the look and I think it'll look beautiful at Christmas or Halloween. ( yes, there are a few Halloween decorations up at my house)
I've been working all weekend on 4 different appliqués. I caved and started a pumpkin pillow and put the raven on the back burner. I'm going to finish up something today! That's my promise to myself. So cross your fingers for me.
Now back to work!

Take care, Brandie

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tap Tap

Through the fog emerges an ominous figure, the raven, crowing "Never more".
Can you see the way he shimmers? I appliqued him out of a shiny upholstery fabric. This was the inside of a faux suede, but I liked the shimmer.
He is still in the first stages. I want to add more to him, like feet. I also have more ideas, but I want to surprise you or scare you.

I tried to take a few close ups of the branches and I failed...

Both of these pictures are blurry, but you can see that I have embroidered the skinniest branches. I just found a matching thread and butted them right up to the appliqued branches.
One of the hardest things I've discovered with this quilt and the challenge quilt, is that it's hard to not sew in a straight line. I thought the branches would look better all gnarly. But it's a challenge to get them this way.

I bought another Halloween inspired pattern yesterday and from my LQS. I am super excited about starting this one, but I need to focus on the raven.
Yesterday I was also worked on two other applique projects, so maybe I can add a three to the mix. I need to be ready, before Witchy Poo shows up and rearranges my life style!

Have a wonderful weekend and stay creative!
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, August 18, 2011

More Cuteness

I had a couple of left over basket blocks and I didn't want them to go to waste, so I thought I'd whip up a little cuteness. How's this for leftovers?
I had just enough fabric for the sashing, background and border. I literally have just inches left!
Last night our small group meet and the girls were all working on something new.
Alicia just finished this quilt for her granddaughter. How cute is this?
Sue and Alicia were doing a ric-rack test. Any girl would love this quilt!
Judy was working on a scarf. She says this is all the yarn, that there are only 8 stitches. Beautiful! Maybe I should do one if it's that simple!
And Carol was working on those famous Chico chickens! Every quilt show our guild sells this chicken pin cushions. We've been selling them for years. I can tell you from experience these guys are addicting! You can't make just one and then you over do it and then you hate them!
Today there is a birthday celebration for Morning Stars 5th year. They are having a sale today starting at noon till 7 pm. Come on by for the sale and have some cake. I'll going and I may come home with something grand! If not, I'll still have fun!

Have a wonderful Thursday!
Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Spooky Branches

I have started my Holiday quilt making. I'm super excited about Halloween and follow the rule that you can't have too many Halloween quilts. I was inspired by my challenge quilt and knew that I had to make a Halloween version. So here it is, the beginnings of a quilt.
This quilt will be a little bigger and the raven is going to be life sized. I have big plans for that raven, I only hope I can achieve them.

Today Gail and I are going to start a new project. I will try to keep you posted about that too.
There always seem as if there isn't enough time to go around! I have all these ideas in my head and I can't make my fingers do them fast enough. I want to do, do, do!

So till tomorrow,
Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tiny Basket Tutorial Two

Today we are going to take all those little baskets and turn them into a quilt.

The first step is to find a coordinating color for sashing and another for cornerstones. Here are mine.
1. Cut your sashing at 1 x 3 1/2. The cornerstones will be 1 x 1
2. You will need to cut a square to alternate with the baskets. Cut this squares the same size as the baskets, 3 1/2 x 3 1/2
(edit: After making this I discovered there is a correct way to do these set in triangles.
Start with a 5 1/4 inch square and cut both diagonals, making a quarter square triangle. This way is better so that there are no bias edges at the end of the quilt.)
There will also be setting triangles. these will be 5' squares cut diagonally. They will be big, but I would rather them too big than too small. If you know of a better way, feel free to use it.
3. Lay all your squares out and find a pleasing order.
4. Add the sashing and begin sewing the rows together. Press after every addition. Pressing toward the darkest color.
Trim, leaving a generous 1/4 inch.

5. Now lets add some fancy piping. Don't be scared. I used a very small piping (sorry I threw away the package so I have no idea how big) as big as a piece of cheap yard.
Cover the piping with fabric, making sure you have at least 3/4 of an inch to sew on either side of the piping. Use your zipper foot and make a tube long enough to fit your quilt.
I used those cornerstones as a guide. I laid the piping down between them and sewed as close to the piping as possible. You may want to use the same color thread here or later you may have to touch up your stitching with a maker.
Clip around your corners to ease the piping. You want a squarish corner.
6. When you add the border you should get a nice crisp corner. I cut my borders at 5".

7. Layer batting and a backing and start quilting. I just did a simple stitch in the ditch and quilted around each basket handle.
8. I scalloped the border and added feathers to it.
If you do this, remember to cut your binding on a bias to wrap around those scallops.

I hope you had fun and remember to please ask me any questions. And please forgive any mistakes I may have made.

Take care, Brandie

Monday, August 15, 2011

No Pictures Post

Ok, well I've been trying to upload pictures for more than 30 minutes and it's just not happening. So this will be a post with out pictures. Obviously, even Blogger hates Monday's too!

I had a wonderful weekend! I meet my new great nephew Cameron. He sure is a sweetie! There really isn't anything better than the smell of a baby!
My Daughter and I drove up to see the Family for the day and play with both boys. Big brother Parker was super excited to see cousin Bridgette. He went right up to her and petted her leg. Me, he tired to ignore most of the day. It must have been the spinach between my teeth! By the end of the day, he allowed me to hold him and play him.
It was a long drive to and fro, but worth it. It gave my Daughter and me time to talk and bond. Totally worth it!

I also spent some time sewing the branches for the raven quilt. I hope to have them finished today so I can get that raven onto the quilt. I have big plans for that raven!

Come back tomorrow for the next step in basket making!

Take care, Brandie

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fabulous Friday Finds

This post is all about fabric. My ship came in this week and I scored some goodies.
We'll start off with Antoinette wearing her gorgeous new collar made of 30's feed-sacks. Doesn't she look beautiful? I'm half tempted to leave them here instead of finishing them. But we know they'll make a beautiful quilt, so persevere I must.
I'm seeing more owl quilts in my future. I found this fabric on-line and I knew I had to have some. My BFF and I have a plan for her brother using these fabrics. He and his family moved to Oregon and they are expecting a new baby. He now works in the logging industry and we thought he needed a spotted owl quilt. So when I saw this fabric I giggled and than bought 4 yards.
And this really special one! I found this one for my Son to match his own hearse. We think it's great! I know it's probably not on your list of wants this year, but we thought it was too perfect for my Boy.
And now the for the best thing that arrived in my mail box.
Remember Thelma's scrap give away?
That was delivered yesterday to a giddy, hysterical woman! I was excepting an envelope with some strips and such. I know Thelma said yardage but I still expected an envelope, not a large box!
First off, I want to show you what I already had and why I wanted to win her scraps.
That is a kit with just a few of the fabrics and a small pack of charm squares.

This is the box that Thelma sent!
On the left is Thelma's "scraps" and on the right is my original packet. BIG difference!
Thelma wanted me to know that she "hoped I make a quilt from this fabric that I'll love as much as she loved her Route 44!"
A quilt? There's enough to make 2 quilts and probably enough left over scraps to make a wall hanging or two!
Thank you again Thelma! I really do have plans for these and can't wait to get started, as soon as I clear my plate a little.
Now on to the quilting.
I finished the buffet scarf, finally! I had been fooling around with too many other things (chores) and finally finished this up last night.
This shows the next step. I echoed inside the big circles around the little circles.
Than I got to the fun part, feathers! I added feathers around the large circles and added a few swirls to the background.
I apologize for the pictures. In the cameras monitor, they look just fine, but when I uploaded them, they are darker than I intended. You can click on any picture to make them bigger.
Here it is in use. This is what I wanted it for and I think it turned out beautifully.
Last night I cut out a raven and I'm so excited to start a Halloween quilt! But I need to put it aside till I finish my little basket tutorial. I really wish I had taken notes from the first one!

Have a wonderful weekend and I'll see you all Monday!
Take care, Brandie