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

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Easy" Weekend

I devoted my weekend to sewing and finishing Bonnie Hunter's "Easy Street". And I did it.
There was a lot of grumbling and confusion, but I finished the top.
I can't remember ever doing a mystery, so this is a first. I did cheat a bit by waiting to see what the finished quilt would look like.
And I don't remember ever using so many pieces! But maybe I have and I just have a really bad memory. Or I mentally blocked from my memory banks!

First I finished the 4 main blocks. These are them below.
Then I made 2 alternating blocks, not pictured. Then I un-sewed one of those blocks and used the pieces to make the corner units. Since it was set on point, I also used the pieces to make triangle units. Also not pictured.
These are the two main batiks that I used in this quilt.  The gray has a touch of green and purple, which isn't showing up in the photo, but take my word for it.
The blue, purple and green leaf batik was one of those that I held on to. I love the colors in it and at first I thought I'd miss having it around. But if I don't use it now, when will I?
After cutting up the leaf batik, these are the scraps I was left with. I'm OK with that.
My lighting wasn't good and I didn't have a holder so this is the best photo that I got.
Just to help you see it better, those are two of the main blocks. pretend there's a mirror and double it.
I'm glad to have done this quilt along with Bonnie. Now I have a medium sized quilt (it finished at 60 x 60) for something or somebody.

A couple of weeks ago I received a Hancock of Paducah  catalog. Did you too?
Just recently fellow blogger Jean just asked us if our fabric purchases were planned or unplanned.
Well I like to think I always have a plan and that I'm frugal and wise. But this photo is proof that I had quilters ADHD.
One of these is not like the other
We are know I like red. And I believe that you can never have enough toile like fabrics. I like them in every thing. Add when Hancocks says they are on sale, well they kind of ended up in my cart.
Do I need them? Probably not.
Will I use them? Probably.

Then I did a quick inventory of my stash and what did I find?
Four more red toile like fabrics!
I think I need an intervention!
But what if I have a small plan in the back of my head?
Does it matter if I'll only use a couple of the fabrics?

I'm still working on the green quilt. I'm hating it and want it done, but not by me. I go to bed every night and wake up hoping there are elves to finish the quilting for me.
With my luck, if there were elves, they would do the fun stuff like play with those red toiles!
So I need to get back to that quilt BEFORE starting something else new and fun.
But if there are elves in your sewing room, Can I rent them?

Take care, Brandie

Friday, January 25, 2013

Using up my Stash

I spent some quality time and finished Lori's quilt along.
I used several brights for me and I love how it turned out!
 After adding some leftover fabric, it is now a sweet little 42 x 42 quilt.
I love that I just used pieces that I had lying around. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to use up what I had.

Here are a few pictures of what I see while sewing.
The Fuzzies like to sit up on the table and look out the window.
But someone hasn't learned to share.

 Max doesn't trust the Dorian isn't going to smack him when he sleeps.
 Max is sleeping with one eye opened. They crack me up!

I also finished up Bonnie's Easy Street mystery. I knew I wasn't going to make it as big as she did, so I only did a quarter of her piecing.
Last night I finally had all the pieces together to complete 1 15" block.
Again, I used up what I had. There were a couple pieces of fabric that I've been saving. Why? I didn't want to use them up and then I thought, what am I saving them for?
Do you do that?
These are small pieces but that purple batik (larger triangles and part of the flying geese) I've been saving for years! I love that fabric. It has an explosion of purples, blue to turquoise and greens. Then it's stamped with Oak leaves.
Maybe that fabric was just laying around waiting for Bonnie's mystery.
This mystery also gave me the opportunity to use up some more scraps. I love that!
So stay tuned. Hopefully by the time this weekend rolls away, I'll have all Bonnie's blocks completed and a top, a small top, but a quilt top none the less.

Have a wonderful and productive weekend!
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, January 24, 2013


 I have a an eggy finish! I finished the quilting on these little guys. Got it framed and hung it up.
 I loved how the threads looked with the fabrics. So spring like and Eastery.
These eggs finished at 6 1/2 x 5. The frame is 12 1/2 x 17 1/2.
That frame was a  fabulous find after Christmas at Michael's for only $8. Of course I had to pick it up!

Besides the excitement of having this finished and ready to go for Easter, I also have a blogger among us willing to pattern test for me. If all goes well, I hope to have this pattern for sale next year.

Nowback to work on some regular piecing. Oh, and the quilting on the green quilt. I knew it would take at least 16 days to finish that green quilt! But I had my fun and now I need to work.

Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Shaved Bunnies

You know these boys I live with are doing a number on my confidence!
First my basket looked like a scare-crow or a danish.
Now it looks like a scorpion  and two shaved bunnies!
I know you can see something different, right?
If I ever hope to make patterns, those boys are going to have to be nicer or I'm going to have to grow a thicker skin. (Even if I do laugh and may agree with the shaved bunnies!)

Somehow blogger swapped these two pictures at the last minute! Arg!
But anyway. here is Lori's quilt-along block.
I finished up with the second half yesterday. Tomorrow she will post the rest of this block.
This is another departure for me. It's bright!
It's a fun and fast little quilt-along. We are making a 12 inch block. That's it. Easy-peasy.

Now back to the shaved bunnies.

After working at the machine, I was glad for a rest with some applique.
By the end of the night I had half the basket sewn down and added the handle. I think it looks good!
I'm still working away at it and I'm sure I'll know when it's done. Or my boys will tell me!

Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Starts

I managed a few minutes in front of my sewing machine yesterday. Then it became unbearable on my back, so I had to quit.
But I did manage to complete 4 middles to Lori's new quilt-along.
These are tiny 4 inch stars. Cute aren't they?

So then I went to the couch and put my feet up and started on my new body pillow cover for Easter.
Hubby thinks this looks like a scare-crow mouth. My son thinks it's a danish. Silly Boys!
Thank goodness I felt good enough to go to Applique Club last night, because the girls knew it was the beginnings of a basket.
I sure needed a woman's eye and a sit-&-stitch with some friends! They helped my confidence level and took care of my achy back.
Today I feel 90% better. So I'm off to the store, but when they ask if I want help out,  today I'm going to take it!

Take care, Brandie

Monday, January 21, 2013

Seeing Red...

Which is a very good thing!
These beautiful red, orange, purple and pink fabrics are going to be a new adventure for me.
You may be thinking, "Those aren't her kinds of fabrics. Those look like Kaffe fabrics."
If that's what you're thinking, You'd be right. But I have a plan and I need more color and where would you go if not to Kaffe?
I just happened to mention this to a quilting buddy (Pam) on my way out of Costco and on her way in. I  mentioned that I was going shopping for red and orange Kaffe's. And that wonderful friend said, "I have a bag of leftovers that you are welcome to use."
How wonderful is that! Quilting friends are the BEST!
Thank you Pam!
So I'm now armed with a basket of color.
Do you remember that hexie of the week I was doing? If you don't that's my fault. I lost my motivation. I wasn't liking my boring color scheme. My original thought was a red and white quilt, because who doesn't love red and white quilts!?
Well this quilt just isn't working. It's flat and super boring.
But after adding a punch of Kaffe, I just bet it won't be boring anymore!
This hexies are going to have to go to the orphan block pile. Hopefully I'll find a use for them or something...

Unfortunately I've been suffering from a pulled back muscle all weekend. Its the kind where it feels as if one leg is shorter than the other and I can't stand straight up. I walk like I have osteoporosis.
It has affected my own weekend, in a bad way. So not much sewing was done.
I do feel a bit better today, I can stand straight, bending not so much. I think the days of being sick and the lack of motion have caught up to me.
Max and I try to take a walk every other day, but with the chill, we've been missing our walks for several days.
It's pretty bad when you have to work up to more than a mile. I turn around when I feel the coughing coming.
So now with the tender back, I haven't managed walking farther than the car and back into the house. I'm pathetic!
But I'm keeping a positive outlook and I'm going to get better!

Anyway, I unpicked and re-sewed my green egg. Haha, I should have just started over! I unpicked all but one piece.
But I'm happy with it now and next I'm going to frame it, I think...

So there you have it, my weekend report.
Take care, Brandie

Friday, January 18, 2013

Bra Update

Remember these? Those festive BRAS I was working on before Christmas?
They grew up to be a basket of fruit for my small group of quilting friends.
I made red apples, green apples, lemons and oranges.
Before I got sick, I had visions of pears, limes and strawberries. But I felt that what I did accomplish was good enough and moved on.
During construction

An apple inside

Citrus insde
One side of each fruit is a stuffed pincushion and the other side is a zipped bag to hold sewing notions. I filled mine with chocolates because it looked as if one side of the fruit had lost it's silicon implant. It wasn't a pretty sight!
So there you have it. I'm sorry to make you wait but I missed our last meeting and I didn't want my quilting friends to know what I was giving them for Christmas.
The pattern came from Oliver and S. I downloaded the PDF (boy do I need to learn how to do that!). It was fun, a little taxing at time, but then again I made 12. Of course I'd do it again and like I said, I planned on making other fruits, I just need to draw them out first and practice.

Have a lovely weekend!
Next week I have a bag of color that I can't wait to show you, all Thanks to a quilting friend!

Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What was I Thinking

#Warning, vulgar joke ahead#
Have you ever heard that joke, "Have you smelled moth balls?" You know the one with the punch line, "How'd you get your big nose between it's tiny little legs?"
This is what I feel I've been appliquéing down.
Here they are with a regular sized stick pin. That pins head isn't much smaller than these little dots.
Now a dime in comparison to my tiny dot. Really, What was I thinking?
I traced out the 7/32 circle, thinking it was the right size to not overtake my flower. Then I started to sew it down and realized how crazy it was. I should have just added a few french knots. It would have been less stitches! Those tiny dots still took over 10 stitched, or maybe that's just me.
Anyhow, I moved on to the last and finally egg. Ain't she a pretty one? A lavender lady. I'm liking this egg best of all and I'm also glad I did her last.
Which brings me back to the green egg, it's got to go! It needs to be redone. It just doesn't come up to snuff.
In fact, I started thinking maybe these eggs should be vertical?
Well, we shall see...

Have a wonderful Wednesday!
Take care, Brandie

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Inside Yolk

On to the second egg. Pink this time.
The unsewn ends are where the flowers go
My second doodle went together, minus the flowers, much easier. So there's a re-think involved in the first eggs construction.
I added the flowers to the green egg. Then I ironed it. But, the curls still have puckers. I cut bias strips but I may have to go back and just cut the pieces out like regular applique.
The pink egg is dainty compared to the green egg, a re-think is in order
I also may change the first egg color. In certain lights it looks fine. But most of the time it looks washed out. So I just may change to a soft blue, or turquoise.
The last egg will be lavender, so whatever color I choice, it just needs to match and look like a dyed Easter egg.
I'm kind of excited by my doodles coming to life. Now I need to really think about what they will be when it grows up. I found an $8 frame at Michaels, and I thought I'd frame them. But now I think maybe they should be a fancy pillow? Maybe they will speak louder as they grow.

Take care, Brandie

Monday, January 14, 2013


What's the sewing equivalent to " my eyes were bigger than my tummy"?
This almost finished egg is the sum total of my weekend accomplishment. Period.
Before ironing and without flowers
I'm blaming the cold. Maybe that's my problem. Of course I remember complain about the heat too. Boy am I a complainer!

Well I'm going to try to get something done today. We shall see...

Take care, Brandie

Friday, January 11, 2013

Moving Right Along...

And then I ran out of thread. Murphy's Law?
In my thread drawer, the closest matching green was a Coats and Clark, cheapo thread. Since it looked more than half full, I thought this would be a good time to use it up. But the joke was on me, it ran out. So I had to buy another cheapo to finish this quilt. Which means I'll probably put another half spool away when I'm done.
"What are you looking at? I don't see anything exciting"
Before all that I did finish 3 stars and about half of the stitching in the ditch.
During my down time, I pulled out my applique and started working on my first egg. Still a wait and see.
This morning during the dogs walk, I noticed that all the trees had ice on them. Cold but beautiful!
Some how my pictures swapped, hhmm.
Anyway, I also grabbed some scraps and lace and ... well, I don't know yet.
So that's it for this week. I'm hoping to get a bit more quilting done on the green quilt this weekend. And who knows what else my unorganized mind will come up with.

Have a Wonderful creative weekend!
Take care, Brandie

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Slow Going

 I'm slow. I'm trying not to lose interest this early, b..u..t... I am.
This quilt has 16 stars, meaning it shouldn't take more than 16 days. But it'll probably take me all month.
Yesterday Dorian made himself comfortable on top of it and I didn't have the heart to move him. Today I sewed my second star. Pretty lazy! I also noticed that half of the tension was off and really bad. You know, the kind where you look at the back and all you have to do is pull a thread and you get a long loose string? So I pulled it out and fixed it. I'm feeling pretty good about my accomplishments this morning but can I keep it up?
 The backing was a huge piece of floral that has been hanging around for years and years. There was more than enough to use as a backing and it has a green background and purple flowers. I say it matches!

I started a new applique project. I needed something to keep my quiet and my hands busy, for the board meeting tonight.
Pretty exciting isn't it! I have three doodles that will turn (hopefully) into beautiful Easter eggs. I'm planning to keep ahead of the Holidays. We shall see if I'm still ahead by Thanksgiving!

Take care, Brandie

Monday, January 7, 2013

Red and Ready

I'm really late for today but I'm also really early for tomorrow!
I had to be out of town before the sun was even awake. But I'm home now and I had a quick nap so I thought I'd better post my weekend finish.
I quilted up my pillow and I do say it looks might fine in my window seat, even Max thinks so. Actually I think he's look for Dorian hiding under the cushions. But I love it and I'm kicking myself for not finishing this up last year. Shame on me!

I also finally got rid of all the Christmas accouterments and put up a few Valentine colors. Not much different than the Christmas colors (so said Hubby) but different and beautifully red. I love the red accents. I think they are warm and inviting.
Did you see, I brought my window inside. I think it looks good there so I'll leave it there till I get tired of this look.
On the other side of the mantle (it's "L" shaped) I added an old mirror that was just sitting around, left off a dresser. This will stay for awhile too. It kind of opens up that dark corner.
And last but not least, I sandwiched the green quilt. I haven't added one stitch, but I accomplished my goal of sandwiching it.
I'm planning on quilting those stars to look more prominent and to stop fading into the background. We'll have to see it actually works.
I've got my work laid out and ready to go. I'll be back when I have something to show for it.

Take care, Brandie