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

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tiny Four-Patches

Sorry for the long absence. I've been busy plugging away at domestic chores, with some home improvements on the side.
My MIL gave me a bunch of tomatoes so I canned two batches of tomato sauce, one spicy and one plain. I also dried a batch in the oven over night for salads and whatnot.
I finished canning the last twenty pounds of apples into applesauce.  Yum! You know what I eat for breakfast.
Of course there is the usual everyday chores. Those sure seems to get in the way of a good time!

But I did manage to get to my machine this afternoon, for the first time in a week.
I started a little quilt using some scraps. I highly recommend following along with Lori and this little quilt-along.
My little 2 inch four-patches
I had these Saltbox Harvest strips sitting around for the last two years waiting to become something fabulous. This time of year it seems like a good plan to use them. I will still have gobs of this fabric to turn into a big quilt someday (when I staple my butt to my sewing chair and focus!)
Hubby found this sad little window and brought it home for me to turn into something less sad. I'm in the process of doing that. After a vacuum bath and a window washing, it looked much happier. It looks better still with a coat of glue to hold it together. I'm going to look for a few accessories to add to it before I reveal it's new look. But I know it'll be much happier. Stay tuned.
I've also been busy with the Halloween transformation.
It started in the living room and has branched out to most of the other rooms.
It's kind of like Christmas morning opening all my Halloween totes. I forget what all is in them. It's so exciting to discover old favorites.
And you know I've been spending time playing with Mr. Gray. He had his third visit to the vet for another round of vaccinations. He weighs a big whopping 4.5!
He still thinks it's all fun and games to bite Mom's hands and feet. I really hope he grows out of it. My hands look and feel terrible!
He has his good moments in the middle of the night. But I don't seem to be his favorite any more and it's breaking my heart. But I  refuse to stop plucking my chin hairs!
Daddy has become his new cuddle. I am woken up every night (seriously, every night) to purring and I look over to see my little boy blue, rubbing his face on Daddy's beard!
Seriously, doesn't he know who loves him the most-est? Does it really take chin hair to woo my kitty?

Back to work, next stop, the hardware store for more paint.
Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kitchen Duties

 I'm sorry. I've been neglecting  on my blog. It's that time of year when I seem to have more chores and less time to sewing.
This week I've been in the kitchen whipping up some goodies out of seasonal produce.
 Have too much zucchini? Don't cry, make bread. Then take it to everyone you know. No body turns down bread!
I made regular spicy zucchini bread and a new to me recipe, lemon zucchini bread.
Yummy! I just love Pinterest! They have so many recipes that are new and fun to try.

I had planted my garden hoping to have enough produce to make oodles of yummy foods. I failed with the oodles so I had to go to farmers market and buy the oodles.
I have only had enough tomatoes for a few salads but I keep getting more and more romas every day. They just aren't big enough to can.
I made several quarts of marinara to use at a future date.
I tried my hand at pesto and I have to say, this will be a staple in my freezer!
Tiny romas to the left, big heirlooms to the right
I have more kitchen duties to finish. I'm still working on those apples and I have more home improvements in mind. Fall seems to make me want to nest.

One, I need to finish the painting in the kitchen which means I need to move the frig. I'm not looking forward to that!
Two, I decided to repaint my kitchen floor, black and white. 
Three, I feel the burning need to paint all my interior  doors black (Thanks to Pinterst!). Which means I need to paint my hallway which means I need to un-texture the walls. And while I'm there I should remove the popcorn ceiling. Which I should also do in the kitchen...

Soooo, if I'm not around for awhile, this is what I'm doing.

Take care, Brandie

Friday, September 14, 2012


I think I have found something better than applesauce. Apple pie filling! Yum!
I had seen a recipe on Pinterest and I decided to try it. I am not disappointed. Yum-O!
I think this will be a staple in my pantry from now on.

I'm giving my hands a rest today. Yesterday I peeled and sliced 20 pounds of apples. I still have another 20, but I'm going to wait a bit.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Take care, Brandie

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cheddar Moon

Looking through the veggies
 I'm almost done! I just have the borders to finish appliquéing and add on and then I can begin to quilt this one too.
I tried taking a picture outside to show you, but I didn't really have a big enough place to hang it.
 At least there are no animals in this shot!
The light behind it makes it look like stained glass
 The outside pictures really shows the true colors, except with the light shining through!
Animals on quilts
 I LOVE that cheddar moon! I am so happy I used it. All these colors are playing really well together and I'll say it again, this is my favorite quilt!
"Me Move? I don't think so"
 Hopefully the fuzzies will let me stitch the borders together. I know one of them will be all over it.
Last night I caught him stealing a pin out of it! I was scared he was going to swallow it! Really scared!
I may have to start using appliqué glue.

Finally he settled down, long enough for a photo together. This may be the best photo of me out them! Don't believe me? Ask my BFF. We tried to take a picture together at the wedding and we have more than enough ridiculous pictures of my eyes rolled back into my head or of them just shut. I don't know how I do it. I think I concentrate too much. Thank goodness for digital!

This morning I'm off to our local apple farm to buy bushels and bushels of apples. It's applesauce season!
I may not be back till next week. My Daughter is coming to town tonight and we have some shopping to do!

Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I didn't pose him. He picked this position all by himself, as if he knows that's him in the quilt
I wasn't as industrious as I had hoped I was going to be this weekend. I've been a bit under the weather and am now trying to catch up with my myself.
I did manage to sew a few leaves to my Halloween quilt.
I also managed to half-way finish a sewing table for a new sewer. My friend Nichole was wanting a machine and this was giving to me, minus a pedal and power cable. It sat around for about a year till I found the perfect foot pedal (under $50) on Ebay. The machine was in great working order and will last for another 30 plus years.
I painted it up to modernize it and delivered it to an appreciative friend. It feels great to be able to encourage someone else's creativity.
I'm now trying to catch up on my housework and all your blogs. And get some sewing done...

Take care, Brandie

Friday, September 7, 2012

Back to Halloween

 While I was trying to sell tickets for our new Opportunity quilt (of course I forgot to take a picture!) I brought along some hand work. Remember how I was going to get this done by Halloween? I'm still going to try, but it just may just be a flimsy. It's been about two weeks since I touched it. I have no idea why, but I'm going to change my ways and be more diligent.
This house is not proportional to that cat and those pumpkins. Silly, it's it?
 I was so excited yesterday morning! I went to go water the garden and I was picking walnuts out of the bed when I spied a bigger green thing. My first Zucchini! I haven't failed as a gardener! I had given up on the plant reproducing. I really thought I bought a barren plant, because it couldn't be me!

So guess what I'm eating for dinner tonight? Something with my zucchini. I haven't decided between, muffins, cakes, fried sticks, chips or bread. It's all making me hungry!
I had anticipated this day and have been Pinning as many recipes as I came across on Pinterst. Now I get to use them! Oh Happy Day!
 Victoria isn't sure what to think of the new fuzzy. I think she's mostly annoyed with him. We have to let them estabish rank in a controlled environment.
This is a hard thing for a kitten to learn but something that must be done for each of their safety.

This weekend I hope to finish more quilting on my Jubilee. I came across a serious problem, puckers! I'm going to have to take out a corner of some quilting and stretch out those puckers before I continue. Not a fun prospect, but something I need to do to be happy with this quilt. And after all the work I put into it, I want the rest to be equally as nice. So I will un-sew, all weekend... woe is me.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sweat Shop

 This sweet fuzzy is my new helper. I decided to put him to work to help pay for crunchies.
 His job is to pull the fabric from under the pressure foot and pool them behind the machine.
 He is also helping with quality control, making sure Mom is sewing a quarter inch.
 Work time is over, it's play time now.
 "I want to play with that thing that goes up and down! Meow!"
 "Mom, this looks a little off, you need to be carful when putting these together".
 With Dorian's help, I finally completed our Guild presidents block. Finally!
 Without his help I added some embellishments.
And I finally came up with a solution for the next step in the Jubilee quilt. One block done, 24 more to go.
I had hoped I'd finish this today, but I'm not going to push myself and do any crappier of a job quilting because I'm in a hurry. I'll just keep at my snail speed and have it done by the next months meeting.

Back to the blocks I go. I'm still not sure about that wool batting. In some places it's really puffing and I may have to un-sew to reduce some puckers. But I'm still waiting till I finish and wash the whole quilt before deciding.

Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pink and Yellow

This is my chair, till Mom comes back, then we'll see
Last week between wedding chores, Mr Gray had his first official vet appointment.
He had his first shots and a check-up. They pronounced him in fine health.
He was also classified as a "Main Coon Cat". He has shares many of their characteristics. Long tail, big feet, long wide nose, uneven fur and hairy ears. They also called him a "blue". So I guess I can't call him Mr Gray anymore?
He weighed in at 2 pounds 15 ounces. Who knows how big he is this week!
He eats everything! Even dog food, which we are trying to stop. And apparently hot tea (mine) is another of his favorites. He really needs to stop that!
 I finally completed my other two "Color Chip Challenge" blocks for our Guild meeting this Thursday. They have been hanging up half done for months now.
If you can't tell, my color chips were pink and yellow.
 This one is my favorite. But it was really hard not to add more color to it! I wanted to add leaves and more flowers. But I was also under a time limit, so I stopped.
A close-up of the flowers
All of this was done with the help of a lumbar kitten.
I don't know why he wanted to be squeezed behind me. But no one ever said cats were sane!

I'm going to try to get back to my Jubilee quilt and see if I can finish that by Thursday afternoon. Wish me luck!

Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Weak Post

Just a quick post to let you all know I'm still around.

Last week was super busy! As you may have guessed from the above photo, my Cousin got married. It was a beautiful service and I've never seen her happier, but I'm still exhausted from all the work! I can't imagine how her Mother feels.
We started cooking and making salads on Thursday, two days before the wedding.
Sixty pounds of potatoes don't cook them selves! And it sure doesn't happen in 20 minutes. It took us 6 hours to make 80 pounds of potato salad, really!
My hands were fused into knife handles. I had purple hands from all the onions and cousin Lisa had a yellow hand from all the pickles she cut.

We are all glad it went off without a hitch and glad it's all over!

I'll be back tomorrow with quilty pictures and some of Dorian of course!

Take care, Brandie