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

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sneak Peeks

 I've been busy sewing away, trying to finish up some crafty gifts. I sure hope my friends like them! I'll let you see a few peeks.
This year I thought I make a few festive bras as gifts for my lucky friends.
Dog beanies?
Cat Yamakas?
You'll just have to wait and see!

Then I made a small quilt for a friend and that inspired me to make one for my yourself.
One for a gift, one for me.
Mine covers the pillow on the bench outside the front door.
Very festive, No?
And I finally finished last weeks small project. I get distracted easily!
So there you have it. A few gifts.
I'm really excited about those bras so I know I'll be showing them off after Christmas.

Good lucky with all your Christmas preparations.
Take care, Brandie

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cranberry Season

One of my favorite things during the winter season is the cranberry. A fruit that bites and is the most festive of colors. What more could you want?
Every year I try to come up with another use for them. This year I decided to make a jam or actually a marmalade.
I threw them in a pot of orange marmalade. Don't the colors looks beautiful together!
They went from that to this in about an hour. A beautiful festive marmalade.
Hopefully It isn't too pucker-y! I hope I don't turn my recipients into cartoon characters, with pursed lips. But if it does, I'll have them send me pictures of it. That ought to be exciting! The gift that keeps on giving!
Yesterday was another cookie party. This time I bought Cranberry, white chocolate blondies. Maybe because I know my BFF loves anything cranberry (I really want to know her opinion on that marmalade) that made up my mind. But for what ever reason, they were good!

With the few minutes I had, I did indeed start a new project. Bonnie Hunter's new quilt-along. And of course I changed my colors!
I'm planning on making just a quarter of the quilt. I finished all of part 1. I only completed a few of the geese from part 2, but I will just work on them when I have time.
It's also time to start making a few Christmas gifts. Only a few more days left!

And I finally took my Halloween quilt down. But I just couldn't bear to put it away. So I threw (literally) it in another chair.
I really don't want to remove, I love it! I have to say this is my all time favorite quilt, and I don't want to pack it away in the armoire or closet. I want to see it everyday. I think Dorian agrees.  He has made himself right at home on it. Of course it's as much his quilt as mine. That cat is modeled after him.

Time to get back to the work shop.
I may post even less as I work on secret gifts. Till next time...

Take care, Brandie

Friday, December 7, 2012

Tea Party

 About the only thing I did yesterday was make cookies. These weren't just everyday cookies, these were the perfect cookies for a bunch of quilters. They may be only ones to truly enjoy them.
 After 6 dozen, I got quite good at the details. If you are interested, here's the link to Bakerella where I got the idea. Except that I made a batch of peanut butter cookies. Apparently there are cookie mixes. Did you know that? I didn't. But really, how hard is it to make peanut butter cookies?
Anyway she gave me the idea and I thought they would be perfect for our tea party.
 Every year our guild celebrates with a cookie party and this year was no exception. No speaker, just cookies. It was a good time to catch up with friends and get a sugar high.
Last night I was not up to speed. I came home and instantly went to bed. I was running at half speed. I'm still tired, I'm hoping I'm not coming down down with something. But I do think my body is trying to tell me to take it easy, so I will.
At our December meeting, we display our community service quilts for the year. This year we had 205. These will go to different organizations near by.
 We had almost two walls covered with quilts, it's quite a sight!
Of course we have kid quilts, lots of kid quilts. It's a wonderful feeling to see this display and know that I had a tiny part in it. No matter where I am financially, I can always make quilts.
It was also a great place to pick up a pattern or two. Or a color way. A mini quilt show. It was a wonderful party, even if I did almost go into a sugar coma!

Oh and the best news. I won a box of chocolates for having the most UFO points that night! But isn't that terrible? Chocolate, from See's. It's a double edged gift. I love chocolate, but I also love seeing the scale going down. I just may have to re-gift them. that's what I'm thinking.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, December 6, 2012


 I finished Willoughby late yesterday afternoon. Five years in the making. It's a good feeling to be finished!
It's a cross between Twilight Zone and Grandma Moses.
Where did it come from? My addled brain.
I was looking for the perfect schoolhouse block in every book, every library and so on. Then I made a bunch of different blocks from the patterns. And not to be wasteful, I decided to turn most of those blocks into a village. Some of it works and some of it doesn't, but it'll keep me warm and that's good with me.
This little village has a post office, a library, A town hall, a depot station. church, school and most important, a Christmas tree farm.
Town hall and depot station
 I quilted a train into the last border. Of course I missed an important feature, the coal car after the engine. That was the first thing Hubby said when he saw it. Opps!
Christmas tree farm and a few cabins in the woods

Library, post office and community garden

 Years ago I found the perfect backing. I liked it so much I even bought it in a cream background.
I'm glad to have this done, it's time to move onto something else. Have any of you seen Bonnie Hunters new quilt-along? I'm thinking about doing it. Thinking...
I'm also glad to be done because my middle back is acting up. It isn't as painful as my lower back. Thank goodness it's not that, so I can at least walk! But the middle is tight and uncomfortable and seems to be affect by sitting in my sewing chair, even with breaks between.
So I may be getting back to an old hand quilting project.
This has be sitting on my UFO basket so long, it has a layer of dust. That's not a fuzzy picture, that's dust. Even the blue lines have faded to a light beige, so hopefully if they don't come out, they'll just be a faint line. More on this quilt later.
Speaking of hand quilting, you should check out Heather's new-old project. It's Fantastic!
And I'll leave you with a picture of the fuzzy paper weight.

I have a meeting tonight and I need to make cookies. It's time to get busy!
Have a wonderful day!

Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Plaid Corners

 I finally finished with the fiddly corners. I haven't been so happy about anything in awhile! They were a pain! But in the end I believe all the pain paid out.
 Remember that I ran out of the dark green fabric? Can you tell that I substituted a different green in the corners? I sure hope not.
After I finish Willoughby Station (I'm so close! Maybe this afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed for me!), I'll get this quilted up and finished. Hopefully. And that will be a great feeling!
 This pill here was so very helpful!
This basket use to carry a few UFOs. Since I've finished a few, I consolidated 3 baskets into 2 baskets. and truthful, that second basket has more plans and ideas than UFOs.
Well this basket looks as if has a new purpose, as a cat bed!
 The fuzzy man is so busy. If he isn't in that basket, or on my quilts, on the counters, he's in his window. Can you see what he sees?
How about now? It's one of his relatives. What? You don't think they are related? They have the same fur with the white tips. Dorian was found outside on squirrel hill, right under their trees.
Well, I think they are related. I think his mom was a squirrel (whom he got his fur from) and his dad was a raccoon (who gave him his stripy tail). And to prove that this is true, I've got a couple of children who believe it too!

Happy quilting!
Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tiny Time

I am having the hardest time with these tiny corner blocks!
It has taken me an hour to make one block equaling 3 inches!
Unpicking and finding my one inch squares isn't helping either. Apparently they are quite tasty to cats.
Then I ran out of my dark green fabric, I think. That darn cat may have drug if off but I've looked in all his hiding places and haven't found any bigger pieces of fabric, so I must have run out.

Back to my work station to stake my claim in my chair!

Take care, Brandie

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Little of This and That

This weekend was filled with a bit of this and that. Shopping, sewing, decorating, you know, all the things that make up this season.
I added flower heads and more holly leaves. I think the flower heads need something. I'm not liking it as much as I originally thought I would. Oh well.
Brought out a few festive decorations. Hubby is really hoping that darn cat will stay away from those apothecary jars filled with bulbs. I'll be in big trouble if they get broken!
Another UFO came out of the basket. It's now time to finish the village of Willoughby. I found some paper work that shows this quilt was started in 2007. It's time to finish it and use it!
I started the quilting, promising myself one block a day. And you know what? I've finished half of them already. I have a Thursday deadline. That's our guild night and I want this quilt taken off my UFO list!
This finish will make 8 done with 7 more to finish, perhaps next year.

It's thread playing time! See you soon!
Take care, Brandie

Friday, November 30, 2012


 Sparkles aplenty! After two trips to the next town, I'm still short on crystals. The first tree on the left is missing a bottom layer of sparkles. I bought out all the clear crystals (in the same band) at Joanns and I'm hoping that there will be more at Michaels.
I love the fuzzy effect 
 The crystals took the most time. They are called "hot fixx" and they are ironed on with a little pen shaped iron. After I attached them with the pen iron, I ironed them with the real iron, on both sides. These sparkles are on for good! They will even stay through washing.
I even added two rows of piping
 During the middle of all the sparkles, my Son came in and said "Aren't you just bedazzling?"
What!? Am I bedazzling? I thought I was adding festive beauty, not a tacky embellishment (I hope).

Before our huge rain and wind came rolling in, I made a stop at a local artist's studio and picked up a few gifts.
 A couple of months back we went on a local open studios tour. There were so many artists this year that they spread it over two weekends.
I seem to be drawn to ceramic artists and this year was no exception. This years gifts will be monsters!
 Really, monsters! But aren't they the cutest! These little cuties were so popular, that I had to wait for the next batch to adopt some new family members.
 The artist had so many to choose from. It made it really hard to decide! But I knew straight off that guy with the bolt on his head was my new sugar bowl.
I loved both of those mugs, but I can't decide which one to keep and which one to gift.
And the tall nude guy has beautiful feet!
It's just so hard to decide! Maybe I'll keep them all. Everyone else can have socks, yah, socks, They are universal.
Check this out. I grew a honeydew. It's a bit late and a bit small (one bite) but I still grew one. I think this just means I need to start my garden sooner?
I'm just amazed I grew anything. Hopefully next year will be ever better. I had to start somewhere.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Is there such a thing as too much bling?
After spending the afternoon attaching 260 Swarovski crystals, I still need more to finish this project.
More tease frames.
I'll be back when I finish.

Take care!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holly Leaves

Here you are, the leaves. Still looks like something is missing, no?
Maybe a bloom or four. I'm still working (thinking) on those.
I got mildly distracted. Quilts ADHD?
Here's a tease frame.
See those fuzzy feet on the right? That's Mr Dorian trying to grab the camera strap. This quick picture shouldn't have taken so long!
Not enough of a tease frame? Here's another.
Today I hope to add some embellishments and then I can use it to decorate.
These gentle swoops are much easier to applique than holly leaves, It's no wonder I got distracted!

Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holly Berries

After remembering that my eye Dr gave me anti-itch drops, I was back in business with my block.
Step two done. Now on to step three, leaves.

Mr Dorian came back from his appointment sleepy and drunk. He sleep all day and all night and is now back to his crazy antics and running from room to room catching poor Max. The pitter-padder of little feet? It's not a sweet as it used to sound. This is a serious commotion!

My mind is all in a whirl. I have three projects I want to do all at once! But if I don't stick to one at a time, I'm afraid I'll add to my UFO basket. My goal is to finish from that basket not add to it.
Oh if only I had more hands! And didn't have bouts of laziness!

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work I go!
Take care, Brandie

Monday, November 26, 2012

Minty Stars

After a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend spent with family and friends, I'm glad to be back creating. I worked on  few things , mostly prepping for some appliqué and trying to find a few stash fabrics to make new pillows.
But most of this week has been spent cleaning up before the BIG Dinner and cleaning up after the BIG Dinner. I think it takes 3 days at my house to get all the good china and extra serving dishes put away!
And lets not talk about the leftovers! My tummy hurts just thinking about them.

Anyhow, lets look at this finish.
It needs a name, any suggestions?
During the Thanksgiving day chaos, I managed to get it outside in some good light and get a picture. I am really liking this quilt! These colors all go together wonderfully and I have surprised myself. I did have help, most of these came together in a fat-quarter packet. I just added three fabrics, so I kind of cheated. But I really like this quilt!
Since I have more of the fat-quarters left, I may make another for a gift. Maybe with a different block? I'm all about using up some stash fabrics.
I quilted "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow", "Walking in a winter wonderland","I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" and "Outside the snow is falling". These are all lyrics from Christmas songs. Each border side has it's own quilted lyric.
It finishes at 60 x 60. I'm good with that size. Now the hard part, keep it or gift it?
Here is my small bit of applique I finally finish last night. Well just this part of the applique. Next comes some berries! You all know how much I love berries.
I saw this pattern in the new Primitive magazine. I've scaled it down a bit and I may make it into a pillow or just a small quilt. We will see as I get closer. But as I sit here, I'm having a hard time with my eyes. There must be something out there that is making them itchy. This only happens a couple times during the year, but I hate it when it does. It's interfering with my day!
And today would be perfect as it's cool and the house is empty of the cat for a couple of hours. Today he has  an appointment with a big pair of clippers. Clippy, clippy!
For some reason this upsets Hubby when I say that. He also doesn't like it when I say I like the stream lined look.
He (Hubby) was so upset this morning that he was following Dorian around with the camera to take pictures of his ... lost parts. I'll spare you the pics of those!
Men, they are so silly!

Have a happy, fun, crafty day!
Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pre-Turkey Post

 Howdy! Happy day before Thanksgiving!
I finished 2 pillows last night and finally finished the quilting with the silver thread.

Late last night my Daughter pulled into the driveway. Hurray! Today we will be making pies.
I'm already behind thanks to a headache, which has finally subsided.
Then I tried to upload these pictures and was told that I've used up my free 1 GB of photo space. WOW, I guess I use a lot pictures in my posts. But I've never heard anyone complain, so I'll keep at it.

Have a wonderful day tomorrow!
Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Let it Snow

 I have an almost finish. Yesterday I was all ready to finish up my Christmas stars and wouldn't you know it, I ran out of thread.
 I was using a silver metallic thread to put snowflakes (just like the natural ones, my are all different) in the center of each of my stars.
 Then I thought I'd add a few "snow" verses to each of the last borders. Then as I was approaching the end of the third border, in the middle of the word Christmas, I ran out of thread. Sheech!
 So later today when I go to town, I'll have to pick up some thread to finish this quilt up. I was so close!
I did add the binding though. I just added a couple of stabilizing rows of stitches and keep on going. So then is nothing holding me back tonight when I get home.

Tomorrow I'll try to drop back by, between pie baking, with a quickie post. I think I may have caught my mojo again. I couldn't leave my machine yesterday even after my back started hurting.

Take care, Brandie