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

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Return to the Green

This weekend I pulled a UFO off the pile. First I had to assess the damage. One of the reasons I put this quilt away was that I had started quilting it and I didn't like it. But as I've discovered in the past, some things aren't as bad now as I imagined them then. 
Not so in this case, it was still bad! There was a lot of unsewing to be done but it was made easier by listening to the TV. 
I unpicked one entire side but the good news is that I couldn't find it this morning. But I sure could see it will I was marking and quilting! That just means there aren't any serious needle holes that I'm going to have to worry about (OCD).
I marked and marked. I felt guilty for taking the easy way out. Grid work isn't fancy but I admit I do like it. I just feel lazy doing it. 
But I love the look of it now! I think it really sets those tiny little trees. And an added bonus (in my humble opinion) is that it makes the quilt look antique. So that makes me happy!
I should be able to have this UFO finished by the end of the week. Then maybe I'll have more of a plan for my tiny dresdens. 

Have a happy Wednesday!
Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Gherkin in the Garden

It finished! Quilting, binding, it's all done. Now I'm trying to decide if I keep it for some later date or if I give it to the guild to pass on it children in need. 
I love bits and pieces of this quilt but not all of it. But I'm sure it will find love somewhere. And I'm happy to have done a new pattern. I even plan to redo this pattern some day just with less pattern in the fabrics, that's my biggest problem with this quilt. I'm simple. 
Speaking of simple, I'm still making dresdens. Right now they look like fancy party streamers. 
I did come up with a plan for the dresdens. I decided I want them on point. I'm still undecided on sashing. I like the idea of piping so maybe...?

Have a Happy Wednesday!
Take care, Brandie

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bits of Color

Ten more tiny dresdens have been added to the pile over the weekend. 
These little guys are so fun to make! They  just fly off the machine and its a breeze to appliqué them while watching TV. 
Between sewing on a binding or changing thread to quilt, I can whip up a few circles. 
The most surprising thing is that I willing bought a Kaffe fabric for the centers. I think it's a perfect match and I don't feel bad about turning it into Swiss cheese. And who knows, I made be able to utilize the rest of the fabric. 
I'm still not sure what layout I'll use but I do know that I'm going to need to make a few more dresdens. 
Last week I finish all the quilting and the binding on the signature quilt. 
It just needs a bath and it will be ready to receive. 
I might have grumbled and griped about this quilt but now that its finished I'm pretty happy with it. How can you look at this bright quilt and not be happy?
It was a labour of love and I'm pretty sure it will be well received. I'm also glad it's done so I can move on to my own projects. Maybe finish a few UFOs like my trees. 
Oh those never ending UFOs! If only I had fairies that came in to finish them. If only...

Have a wonderful day!
Take care, Brandie 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Lucky Month

I have been very lucky this month. Maybe because it's my birth month or I just happened to be at the right places at the right time, either way I feel fortunate.

I've added to my collection of antique sewing machines. I'm not sure why I'm attracted to old machines but I am. It may have started with my Grandmother's treadle or just my love of any antique. Well my collection has grown a bit more this last week.
When I saw this wonderful coffin box I just had to look inside! I knew it was going to hold something fabulous and I wasn't disappointed.
It holds a 1911 hand crank Singer Sphinx.
I have always wanted a hand crank because I like to think that if the power goes out I'll still be able to sew. Honestly that hasn't made me use my treadle but that's the thought process behind this purchase.
An added plus to this machine, besides paying less than the asking price, is that it has a shuttle bobbin. This is also a first in my collection which excites me. But I'm excited to receive appliances as gifts, I'm weird like that.
Machine two was a total impulse buy. I was on a roll that day. First it was a yard sale table that we had to remove the legs to even get it near my tiny car. Then I had to make room for the coffin case in the trunk with those legs. The table top had to ride in the backseat, good thing it was a tri-fold top!
Anyway, I thought since I already had a machine in the trunk, I might as well add another.
It was hidden in a dark corner. It's a bit more worn than it looked in the store but when the seller was willing to take 30% less, I had to save it and add it to my collection.
Unfortunately, I know nothing about it's origins. It's a Damascus Electric which may have been made by Montgomery Wards.
I bought it primarily for the pretty decals, so oh well!
Machine three is the best, the machine I'm always on the look out for. But I didn't want to pay more than $200, I'm cheap. I wanted a deal and I got one.
For Mother's Day, we went to a antique flea market / car show. This was my one request for Mother's Day/ Birthday. My boys agreed and off we went. I even stated that I was only bring $200 with me and that I didn't need anything except a featherweight.

The boys went off to look at the cars and I browsed the flea market. The first half of the stalls were a bust, nothing I needed/wanted. I turned around and headed the other way. Just as I came across the boys I spied a little black box atop a dresser. I zeroed in, cut people off as I crossed the pathway and grabbed that little box. Opened it and... breathed a big sigh of elation. Here it was, almost. Now to play coy.
The sticker was $230, at bit more than I wanted to pay but still a good price. But come on this was a flea market and we all know that vendors expect haggling.
The vendor approached me (I may not have been as coy as I thought). He asked if I knew anything about sewing machines and I confessed that I did just not this one. I went over that machine with a sharp eye. I removed the stuck bobbin and pulled out the old polyester thread which was knotted under the plate. I looked through the box of attachment (really I could care less about the attachments and feet. To me it was all about the machine). I even went so far as to unscrew the bottom plate. It was all good except there was no pedal/power cord and I had to assume that the machine would actually run. I had to take a gamble and as you can see I did.
I told him that it was a deterrent with no pedal and that the belt was worn (all cosmetic, these are not deal breakers). We haggled and settled at a price of $180. I packed it all back up and turned around with a huge smile on my face. I had found my gold apple! A 1939 featherweight which works wonderfully and purrs like a kitten.
So there you have it, this is how I spent the week, cleaning, polishing and oiling my plethora of antique machines.

I also spent my birthday baking and eating. I don't think it's possible to diet during your birth month.
This year I made chocolate cake with an apricot buttercream and apricot filling. Yummy!
This recipe came from one of my favorite cake books, Vintage Cakes, by Julie Richardson. I highly recommend this book.
I've probably made 5 cakes from this book and I really like that all of them as they are not super sweet, they are made for an adult palate.
I think this cake is my favorite but that could just be because I have had it recently.

I'm off to go play with some fabrics and my new baby.
And in case you missed Bonnie Hunter's post about sewing machine collecting, "It isn't polite to ask a woman her age, weight or how many sewing machines she has or why".

Have a wonderful weekend!
See you next week with my little dresdens. They are turning out adorable!
Take care, Brandie

Friday, May 9, 2014

Going in Circles

I make deals with myself for all kinds of reasons. Things like, walk two more blocks then I can have a cookie. Or fold my laundry before I read my book. Yesterday I made a deal to do some quilting on the signature quilt. The deal was for on bobbin. Use up one bobbin and then I wouldn't feel guilty playing with a new project. 
What new project? Tiny dresdens! These little guys are so cute and they don't take up too much time at all. 
I'm going to start with 12 and see how they go. Then I may make 12 more. This is a see as you go kind of a quilt. 
The funny thing was, after I got into my quilting rhythm I couldn't stop. 
After four bobbins I noticed my shoulders aching and decided to give it a rest. 
But I'm pleased with what I accomplished and if I can do one bobbin a day, this quilt will be finished by next week.  
They may not be perfect stitches or perfect circles but I'm alright with that. It's a happy quilt and I believe that the quilting reflects that. 

Have a wonderful weekend!
Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Eggplant Gherkin

Time has been on my side today,  I was able to finish putting the borders of my pickle quilt. I'm love it's cute size! What I'll do with it who knows but I'm happy to add it to my collection. I may even make another some day, just at my own slow snail pace. 
Not only did I finish the little gherkin, I just finished adding all the rows to the HST purple moon quilt. Glad to have this off the back of my chair! That chair was getting cramped with a pile of half finished quilts and a cat. 
And remember my distraction at the quilt class? I just couldn't resist and had to make some baby dresdens. This little guy measures out just under 4 inches. 
I'm thinking of making at least 12 but I may make more! 
I thought about using my "too special to use" velvets. But I'm afraid to use them!
So I pulled these pastel solids from the shelf knowing I won't miss much fabric and I'm good with that. I think?
(I'm still playing with the middle)
I'm thinking about quickly quilting up the gherkin even though I have that signature quilt to finish but I'm already tired of that one! It's that ADHD working against me again!

Take care and keep on sewing!

Monday, May 5, 2014


Have you ever had a week that just didn't go your way? If not, I'm jealous of you. 

The week before last I took at class at my LQS. We were going to make a Christmas Pickle quilt. 
I was so excited! So excited that I started making my pinwheels before class. 
Now the quilt called for 120 finished pinwheels and I finished about 30 from my scraps and then went to the LQS for more fabric. That's when I found out that we were doing the pinwheels in class. So I stopped making them and waited for the class. Which was fine because I thought I'd have to make 30 a day to catch up. 

When the class started I was ready! I was excited and I loved the quilt. It seemed like an easy and fun quilt to make. 
In the first class we made pinwheels and ended the class with the arches. 
We were given homework to complete before the next class. That's when my week didn't go as planned. 

At our second class we made the paperpieced teeth or rays, added the arcs and pinwheels, then hung our completed blocks on the wall. Pretty!
Some just used their tables. 

And some (Marsha the store owner) made gorgeous Dresdens. 
She was such a distraction! Several times I told her that I'd trade projects with her. I even tried to talk her into tiny ones to place on the center. 
Her fabrics were making mine look so boring I couldn't consintrait. I feel out of love with the pickle quilt and suffered from sever ADHD. 
Maybe if I had finished my homework this quilt would have had a chance. Maybe
Instead I finished four blocks and called it done!
This took me all day to make. A six hour day and this is all I have to show for it. A baby pickle quilt. Well it will be baby quilt sized after I add a border or two, I just need to find the time! This week is starting off like last week!

Wishing for sewing time!
Take care, Brandie