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

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Feather Goal

With flash, better color, harder to see quilting
 This was part of my goal for yesterday. Finish the basket block. It took all day, but I did get it done. The distractions are ridiculous! I sew until a fuzzy climbs on top of my quilt. Then I get up and do a chore. Then I have to wait out naps. It really ridiculous. Hopefully soon the machine will stop being entertaining to a certain fuzzy.
 Mr Gray has found the buffet. Good thing it was just holding junk while I cleaned up.
I started moving things around to find a pretty place to display my new-old machine. I haven't found the perfect place, so I'll have to keep cleaning up. Good thing I know a new sewer that loves the extras I found in my junk drawers!
Without flash, bad color, but better to see quilting

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work I go. I have a deadline I'm shooting for. 

Take care, Brandie

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pay Dirt

 Boy do I have a wonderful story for you!
Remember last week I went antiquing and was disappointed to find nothing exciting?
Well I received an email from a friend in my small quilting group.

She said " since you take in stray cats I thought maybe you would like to give this old sewing machine a home."
There may be a missing handle, but that's a quick fix thanks to Ebay
 I rushed out of the house and drove about 68 mph down the hill to go investigate.
Why? It was a 1924 bent wood Singer for only $25. Really! $25! I've told you how cheap I am and this machine was right up my alley.
 But I knew enough to check for rust and misuse.
There wasn't any so I of course bought it and I took it home.
I found a video online that show you how to cleaned it up and played with it.
I runs just lovely and if I need a spare machine (or 5), it's here to use.
So if any of you ever come across a cheap old crank handle machine, drop me an email and I'll be right there!
Thank you Nancy for the hot tip! You know me well!
 I tried to spend time this weekend quilting my Jubilee quilt. I had a lot of assistance.
 This is the face I saw looking back at me ALL weekend.
 Even a pretty boy pose is not helping!
 Then for a time there was TWO of them! Really not helping!
 But I did manage to complete all the grid work behind the basket.
I mentioned before that I was using a wool batting. This is a first for me. It is puffier that your everyday batting. At first I had I hard time getting it under my Juki, but I've overcome that  obstacle now I just need to overcome those helpful animals!
This weekend was also my first harvest. I ended up with a total of 3 chilies, 2 yellow grape tomatoes and one regular tomato.
Those tomatoes were sure good and I do have more coming soon. I seem to have quite a few roma tomatoes. The others, not so much. And there are several more chilies.
Zucchinis? Still nada.

I will try to get more quilting done today, while the furry ones sleep. This phase has to pass, it just has to!

Take care, Brandie

Friday, August 24, 2012

Buyers Remorse

 Antiquing wasn't as much fun as we had hoped it would be. We really didn't find anything. It was disappointing.
Now we won't be independently wealth.
But that doesn't mean we didn't buy anything! Oh no, so not true.
We made a stop at out local TJ Maxx and I hit pay dirt with some Halloween decorations. A couple of bone candelabras. Potion bottles. The biggest mercury glass bottle this side of Texas. Dish towels and some labels to make my own spooky bottles. It was definitely the best stop we made.
 I did manage to find a couple of linens that should make something pretty. I also found a pestle (?) to add to my collection.
 well, this didn't come home with us. But it did give us a laugh.  Could you imagine this 15 foot statue in your yard? Really!
 One of my favorite places is in a very rustic building. There are times when you feel a bit faint when you look down and see the ground several feet below the holes in the floor you're standing on.
This is in an old warehouse near the train tracks. If you're lucky, the train some times rattles by while you're inside. It's quite an experience, really it is.
Then I came home to a very lonely kitty. He was so happy to see me. So happy he feel asleep playing. But I still think he loves me.

I'm still quilting. Yesterday I finished ditching the middle basket and leaves. Next will be the grid work. Funny that's all straight lines, but it may take longer to do that than it took to ditch the rest.
I'm just going to keep at it and I hope to be finish sometime this year, Because I dated it, it will expire if I don't.

Have a wonderful weekend. I'll cross my finger that you'll get lots of sewing done on your projects if you do the same for me.
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fur Batting

 For those of you who asked, Here is an almost complete picture of my Jubilee quilt. I'm having a hard time taking a picture of this quilt. I don't seem to have room for it and I keep attracting animals to it. But I promise that once it's all quilted, I'll get a picture, I promise.
As you can see there was at least one fuzzy on it as I took the picture. Moments before there were two who raced through, over and under. It was enough to scream! The last thing I needed was any animal messing with my wool batting! They all seemed to think I was making them a bed! Next time I'll lock them ALL in another room!
Oh and the fun didn't stop there.
 I had a helper on my machine! Apparently this is why I bought a wide neck machine, for a kitten pass through!
" Pass through? No, I'll just sit here and look at the large pores on your nose".
 Then he decided that the back of my chair was a bed. So I had to quit for the day, or end up with more dimples on my back end.
Kids and animals! You can't quilt around them!

Then I had a visit from my Aunt. She wanted me to see a necklace that she bought at the thrift store. She thought it was right up my alley.
It's a button necklace!
I could make a thousand of these out of my Grandmothers inherited button collection. Which is why my Aunt thought I'd be interested.
Now you all know what you're getting for Christmas!

I'm going out to play today. Cousin Linda and I are going antiquing. Our plan is to buy a bunch of cheap furniture and refinish it, open a booth at an antique store, sell it, get rich and become independently wealthy.
You're right, I'm dreaming.
But we are still going antiquing. You never know what you'll find. I hope to share some good stuff with you tomorrow.

Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Box

 Last week my friend Gail gave me a new (old) sewing box. I love it! But I didn't know what to do with it and so it sat on my buffet for over a week.
Then I thought, I wonder if my threads will fit in it.
 They did, they did! And perfectly I might add. Before I had all my threads in baskets and I would pull each color basket down to work with. Now I can just grab a drawer.
I love that the top drawer holds all my applique threads, so I can just pull that whole drawer out and get started.
Thank you Gail!
But what happened to the baskets?
 They have been claimed for beds.
See his selvage strip, it came with him.
 He can sleep in many positions and lay in wait till something walks by. Then grab them!
 He has also discovered Maximus's bed. This bed sits on a table facing the window. When I sew, Max likes to be with me.
Well Now Dorian has figured out how to get up there and sit near me as I sew and take over Max's bed. I see another bed in our future.
 Unfortunately this puts Dorian is closer proximity to my sewing area and he doesn't always want to give me space to work.
Max is pleased that at least he's out of his bed!
But all if forgiven when he curls up in front of a quilt and looks so cute!

One more side to paper-piece! Hurray!
I'm going out to get some batting and I'm going to layer that quilt today!
It'll probably be lumpy. Because I'm sure that I'll have all the animals helping. I'll have to do a head count before I add any stitches.
I'll sew excited! I can't wait to quilt it.

Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's a Race

Look at the top of this pic and you can see a fuzzy tail. I tried to take a none cat picture but this is as close as I got!
 Yesterday I finished one side of my paper pieced border. This is going to be the last border before the binding. My goal is to do one side a day. That gives me the rest of the week to get this done, then sandwiched.
I'm kind of looking forward to quilting this quilt. I can't wait to see it done and get another UFO off my list.

(I find it odd that when I that a picture, my feet always show.)
He's at it again! Fabric must be laced with catnip.
I also worked on my Halloween quilt. I added windows, a door and a pediment above the door. What? You never seen a bat pediment? You have now!
I need to embroider a few things to this quilt and add some more applique before adding the now completed stars. If I can keep the fur-ball off the quilt it would be so much easier!

I'm loving how this quilt is turning out. I love these colors. I don't really care for all the strings that the homespuns leave behind. I'm constantly picking off threads and strings. But I think it's turning out fabulously. I'll just need to run a sticky lint roller over it at all times.

I'm off to start my day!
Take care, Brandie

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kitty Hears?

Dorian is trying to camouflage himself
 Proof that I've been sewing! I'm still doing the applique in the main block but I couldn't resist adding a few stars to the applique.
I came across a problem with those stars this weekend. I had to re-sew all the stars! They were 1/2 bigger than the black 9-patches. At first I was very upset and ready to shelf this quilt but than I figure out that all I had to do was trim the inner square of the stars and keep going. Which meant I had to take all but one seam off, trim and re-sew them back together again.
It's my own fault, I want to change the pattern, not the designers. Live and learn and ALWAYS double check your cut. Measure twice, cut once.
 Dorian has learned to jump higher. This means I should probably cat-proof the house. It also means I need to be careful when I use this cutting mat!

I think Dorian may be deaf. When I tell him "NO" he ignores me. But the dogs hear me and look guilty. I tell Dorian to stop climbing the bird cage because Victoria will take off one of his toes. He doesn't even respond.
I tell Dorian to stop bitting my toes. Same thing, no response.
I tell Dorian to stop eating the dog food, again no response.
All day long this cat ignores me, so I'm thinking he's deaf. But if I open the door, which squeaks and groans, he comes running.
This animal is a mystery to me. So aloof, till he thinks he's lost (or I'm lost) and then he cries loudly and when I say "I'm in the kitchen" he races in and sits on my feet.
Deaf? Or disobedient?
How do you discipline a cat?
 Then there are the super sweet moment when you find both the boys curled up together sleeping. Aahh!
Again and again. If this isn't love, well what is?

I need to get back to my stars, only 5 more to fix. And work on the applique. This quilt has a deadline! Halloween is just days away!

Take care, Brandie

Friday, August 17, 2012

Seven Weeks

Dorian loves to pose and he's good at it, don't you think? I love this picture. You can see all his fuzzies sticking out.
He has found where the clean tissues have come from (this Shaker box is our tissue box). Of course he took them all out and threw them on the floor!
He weighed in today at 2 pounds and 3 ounces!

I'm sorry. I forgot to take picture of the stars on the design board last night. Cross your fingers for me that I'll get them put together this weekend.
I promise to have quilty pictures next week, promise.

Take care, Brandie

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Who Throw Away the Kitty?

 Silly Dorian found the trash can and now thinks used boogie rags make a nice bed.
Whenever we can't find him, this is where we now look. Usually we see the evidence, tissues strewn across the floor. And Maximus always knows, we just need to ask him, "Where's the Kitty?".
I wanted you to see that Dorian's feet are as large as Maximus's. Six and a half weeks old and his feet are as big as a full grown chihuahua. Makes me wonder how big he'll get!

In sewing news, I finished all my stars and I hope to get them laid out tonight.
And I finished all the applique on my jubilee quilt! Now I'm on to the last border which is a pieced border. I drafted it out last night and I hope to get it sewn this weekend.
So hopefully I can get you pictures of these tomorrow, without a cat!

Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Harvest Stars

 I have been working on my stars. I only have six more to finish. But I have to do this while the furry one sleeps. He is into everything! It took me all morning to lay these out and take a picture! OK, it really only took about 30 minutes. I had to work fast. I'd put him in the kitchen and ran back to the blocks and straighten them out. We did this about 15 times before I got a quick picture.
Don't let that furry face deceive you. He's all crazy cat energy, covered in fur.

I've discovered that my design floor isn't really working out with a cat. I'm going to have to come up with a wall board if I want to see what I'm doing without a cat running through and swiping a few blocks on the way through.

Funny thing is, I gave him the selvage from the toile curtains and he carries it from room to room like a security blanket. In retrospect, giving him a piece of fabric to play with probably wasn't a good idea.

Still hot as blazes here and with the forest fire just over the hill, it's not making for a pretty day either.
Stay cool and safe.

Take care, Brandie

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Morning

 Here's a shot of the little fur-ball relaxing on the couch. He looks sweet and innocent, but he's not. This is the baby who claws "Mom's" derriere to wake her up, at 5;30 am!
 So Mom had to get up and start her day.
Groggily watering the garden. But look! There are two cherry tomatoes!
 And four Romas!
 My tomato plants are at least 6 foot tall, but this is all the fruit I have on them. The plants look great and bloom all the time, I'm just not getting any produce. Even the big zucchini has at least 6 blooms a day, but not fruit. Any suggestions?

On the quilty front. I made a total of one star last week. I'm going to try to do better this week.
These squares are the points to my stars. I'm a little miffed that the pattern designer didn't add just a tad more to the cutting measurements so that we could get two half-square triangles from each cut.
But I'm even more miffed at myself for not reading the pattern all the way through and making my own adjustment! If I had added just a 1/4 inch more, I'd have two HST and a bit to trim up to perfection.
So because I had already cut my beautiful fabrics, I'm making little 1 1/2 HST along with my 2 1/2 HST.
I'm not sure where I'll use those little HST but I sure didn't want to waste this precious fabric.

What are you working on this Monday?
Is it cool where you are? It's hot as blazes here! Trade?

Take care, Brandie

Friday, August 10, 2012

Six Weeks!

I am ever so happy that we found Dorian and he has been with us this long. I've missed having a cat around. I'd forgotten just how soft they are. But this one is extra soft. Extra cute. Extra lovable. And all mine! He still follows he everywhere and yes, he still wants at least one bottle a day. But that's OK because he's letting me have more free time.
He weighed in this morning at 1 pound 13 3/4 ounces.
He graduated to a big boy litter box instead of a box flat.
He also just started eating a few crunchies along with his pre-moistened crunchies. Though he still doesn't have front teeth, just eye teeth and back molars.

I really am surprised at his fan base out there. I never thought I'd become a cat blogger but I've fallen in love with this bit of fluff, and so apparently have all of you. Thank you all for the interest and love. If only Dorian understood how lucky he is and how well loved he is.

Anyhow, lets talk about me now. I have another before and after shot. Just a small change. No more furniture, just a curtain. But I'm looking for another furniture update!
As you know I'm repainting my kitchen. Not an easy thing when your a hoarder! I've seriously have to much STUFF in my kitchen. Another good thing about painting is the pairing down and clearing away the spiderwebs. The next big job should be to get rid of the popcorn ceiling. Honestly, who thought it was a good idea to popcorn a kitchen ceiling?
I promise not to show you more pictures of my boring little kitchen but I wanted you to see my new theme better. I've had this fabulous toile fabric for awhile (thanks to cousin Linda) and I've just now gotten around to using it. I think it fits the era of this room much better. What do you think?

Oh and look at the new soap dish I made. Ain't it too cute! It fits right in to my Mason jar love.

Have a wonderful weekend.
Take care, Brandie