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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New Address

The time has come to say goodbye...
To Blogger.
Not you, my faithful followers! Oh no, not you all. 
As you all know, blogger and I haven't been getting along lately. I gave it my best and it hasn't gotten any better. So I decided to move and I'd like to invite you to my new address.


It's still the same name, just a different address. 
As an incentive to follow me at Worpress, I'm going to give away 6 fat quarters to a lucky winner, at my new address.
So please come over and leave a message to let me know you've become a follower. I'll stick your name into the drawing to be held on my birthday, May 12. That's almost two weeks to change my address and find me at my new location. 
Good luck and I hope to see you soon!

Friday, April 24, 2015

And the Winner is...

Last night was the night all Paradise girls, big and small, dream about. It was the night they crowned the new Gold Nugget Queen. This may be the pinnacle of Paradise culture. All the hillbillies leave the mountains and come to town to celebrate. Its a riot if you're a people watcher. It's chaos if you want to drive through town. For years I've avoided this hick celebration, now I embrace this tradition as one of my own. Leaves don't fall far from their trees, they each just fall a different way. My way is to observe and enjoy myself.
Anyhow, lets see those dresses!
First off I'd like you to see my finished dress. Being modeled by Lexi.
When Lexi contacted me, she told me she wanted a ball gown with the biggest skirt and the biggest puffiest sleeves I could make.
I tried my best.
She seems to love it and says she will be wearing it all the time!
We did a little impromptu photo shoot at the historical site of our local decommissioned train station.
These pictures will be happy reminders of this special day, even for me!

Now let see the competition.
This is Lorina in a beautiful cranberry cotton dress made by fellow quilter Becky. This was my personal favorite.
Gabby in a cobalt blue satin.
Courtney in a fabulous bustle with the most exquisite lace!
Abigail in a peach satin. Her hair was perfect!
Nichole in lovely red quilters cottons.
Louise in a quilted prairie dress.
Krista is a dress made by herself. This is a first in all the years I've been involved. It should be more encouraged and I think she should have gotten extra points for it. Just my humble opinion.
Then back to Lexi and her escort Dan.
All the girls were so happy. They may have been a little nervous but they were happy! It's a fun experience and there didn't seem to be any competitive airs going on, which thrilled me. This is meant to be an enjoyable experience that teaches the girls a bit more history of this little town we live in.

So, who won?
We did!
Lexi is the new Gold Nugget Queen!
I felt a rush of pride and excitement as they called her up the receive her cape and gown! This is the most excitement I've had this year!

All the little girls love the show. My little cousin Chloe wanted a picture with this years queen, which I happily arranged. Chloe has a goal of getting her picture with all the queens until she's old enough to become a queen contestant herself. Which was followed by, "Are you up for doing another dress in 9 years?"
Looks like I may have a future in this business. Time to update my resume! LOL

This weekend I'll be taking more pictures of our hick parade. Stay tuned!

Take care, Brandie

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Extra Piecing

These silly blocks keep getting tangled which has resulted in twice the sewing. I'm sure I've had nothing to do with the tangled mess. I'm going to blame the cats. 
All I wanted was one picture without a cat on the blocks. You may think this is that one picture but what you don't see is three circling the blocks. 
In the picture below is two of the kittens impatiently waiting to lay on the blocks. 
I had all of 30 seconds before these blocks were covered in cats. 
I think fabric emits a noise like one of those silent whistles. Here kitty, kitty. 

Take care, Brandie 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Playing with Thread

I was super excited to make some more disappearing 4-patch block. I did make 42 more yesterday. Then I cut about 20 of them up and discovered that I had sewn my 4-patches together wrong. Doesn't seem possible but that's what I did. 
To distract myself from my irritation I worked on a table runner. I won most of these fabrics in a raffle at my guild a couple of weeks ago. I thought I'd throw together a quick project for the quilting practice. 
That border print fabric is super cute. I'm thinking I need to buy some more for my stash. 
Quilting practice follows the same concept as exercise. You can't just jump in, you have to train. 
For me it's been awhile, and I need to limber up those muscles and remind them how to work. 
If only I was this dedicated to real exercise as I am to quilting!
 I love when the backs look like they can stand on their own. I'm happy with it and hopefully it will be good enough for the boutique at our quilt show this November. 

Time for me to get back to those 4-patches and try to fix my blocks. Such a silly mistake! Lots of unsewing in my future. 

Take care, Brandie

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Oops, Maybe?

My small group is working on another new project. Which I love! I love that we've been making a quilt every couple of months. 
Each of our members have been responsible for coming up with a pattern and the fabric selection. Most of the time we even use donated fabrics which is even better because these are all donated quilts. 
This month we are working on a disappearing 4 patch (?), I think. 
It looks simple enough right?
Wrong! We ended up with three different patterns and I responsible for making up one all my own. 
This picture above shows how the blocks are suppose to look. 
This picture shows mistake number one. Can you see it? It's tricky. 
These blocks are my creation. I made it up while laying out the pieces for the sewers to sew. 
Six of us were there and only one of us saw these mistakes. It took over 30 minutes for her to convince us that they were wrong. 
I was really starting to worry about her. Specially after my SILs accident and all the information I've since read about strokes. I was seriously worried, than I finally saw what she saw and understand where we went wrong. 
Than I took all those mistake blocks home and made them right, seeing as how half of them were my mistakes!
This is a floppy one of our members made. When we finish making our blocks, this is the direction we are aiming at. 

But I really liked my mistake block and thought I should make some for myself. Sew I did. 
I opened up my treasured tote of fabrics and found some pre cut squares to practice on.  
I love them! 
I think I need to make many, many more!
Do you have fabric that you've held onto for over 15 years? Are you too afraid to use it up or am I just weird?
I vow to use up that treasured fabric and make room for something else. 
And I guess that means I'm starting something new. Who cares that I've already got a new project sitting  on my desk waiting to be sewn together. 
And we will ignore that I'm pulling fabrics for yet another new project. 
And we will ignore the fact that I need to start quilting my quilt show quilt. The one that's coming up in November. 
Yup, just ignore it all and stay tuned. 
Sheba says so. 

Take care, Brandie

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Procrastinate Much?

I do!
I procrastinated all week because of fear. Fear of not knowing what to do or doing something to make that lace worse. 
Then there was the down right disappointment of having to redo something that I thought was perfect. 

My first plan was to try and stabilize the existing lace. I hoped that I could use a matching tulle and fuse it together to make the lace stronger. 
My next plan was to use the 10 inches of remaining lace if the fusing didn't go as planned. 
But the more I thought about it the more I realized that it was all a temporary fix. 
Whatever I did I knew that I'd have to remove both sleeves. So that got me thinking that it was a waste of time to "maybe" fix the lace. 
I was definitely convinced that repairing the lace was a bad plan after removing both sleeves, letting out the French seams and unstitching the lining. 
That lace was so fragile that a tulle backing wasn't going to give it a much longer life. 
Then I found that 10 inches of leftover lace wasn't going to be nearly enough to fix the damage. Specially when the damage went almost clear across the 30 inch length sleeve. 
One of the solutions I had read about online talked about sewing across and around the motifs in the lace. But this lace was so fine that one thread of normal everyday thread was huge in comparison to the tulle is was made from (note the thick white thread in the middle of the picture).
That's when I knew I'd have to use a different lace. And why not the same lace that is in the skirt? 
Of course this new lace isn't as vintage as the old lace. BUT that is a really good thing! That means it's stronger! It can be pulled, tugged and enthusiastically manipulated all day and still look young and fresh. A good thing!
So in I dived. After finally coming to a conclusion that I was happy with, I got right to work. 
First sleeve. Easy-peasy. 
(Notice the right and left sleeve difference, old lace on the left, new lace on the right)
It's not as gorgeous but it is now teen proof. 
Now the owner really can wear this dress everyday doing whatever it is that teens do (which may explain how it ended up back with me).
It was a good decision to replace the lace. Look at this, this was the good side.  At any time this side would have ended up just like the other side. 
Thank goodness this all happened before the contest and not at the contest!
It only ended up being a two hour fix. Not how I wanted to spend my morning but not too bad (Netflix waited for me, thank goodness!).

Take care, Brandie

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Remember this beautiful piece?
Hours after handing the finished dress over to the queen contestant, she frantically called me. 
She ripped off the delicate anitque lace. What to do?!
Besides being frustrated?