Monday, February 23, 2015

Playing catch up

Just on my blog posts really, I've been keeping pretty busy, so here's photos of what I've been up to:
 
I participated in my first Quilts of Valor Sew In with some ladies in my guild.  I was only able to stay for half the day, but it was a lot of fun and I look forward to contributing again in the future.  My machine is the unmanned one at this table :)
 
 
Tried my hand at the disappearing hourglass, a mini of course, look at how tiny this thing is!
 
Treated myself to the Tri-Recs ruler so I can work on this awesome wall hanging I got from Connecting Threads.  So far I have everything ready to sew it all together, and the ruler made the cutting so much easier.
 
Thomas decided this was where he was going to lay at that moment, and nothing phased him for 30 minutes.  It was his spot.
 
I modeled my 2nd Snapshots block after my own machine, I may or may not keep it that way, I'll wait til we make the other blocks.  I do have plans to alter the vehicle block to look like my truck, and will change the teapot into a cocoa mug (I just have no teapot association at all...)
 
#fqssnapshots blocks one and two
 
And finally, John and I have been getting out into the sunshine, it's been great to get some walks in.  Today it was only 30 degrees, but the last couple weeks it's been in the 50s.  Weirdest winter, and I so wanted snow on my birthday last Wednesday.  But I settled for a delicious homemade steak dinner (which I made, my mom and I share a birthday so we had dinner with mom, dad, and my sister at my mom's house).  I actually had a really fabulous birthday!  Hard to go wrong when it starts with a foot massage.
 
And here's some happy cats:
 
Pillow Talk

"My kitty!" Thomas is telling me

Ahhh, sunshine
 
Have a happy day!
~Brandy

Monday, February 9, 2015

There are some perks to being sick...

Such as actually having time to write a blog post!  And getting some lap time with the kitty.
 
 
Belle has become quite the snuggler, and is actually asleep on my lap as I type this.  Thomas is getting better about letting us pet him, and occasionally hold him for a few moments.  Belle doesn't like being held.  I'm still very happy with how well they are adjusting.  Also, a plug for Fresh Step cat litter, WOW!  That stuff is incredible, and saves our home from smelling really awful.  Thank you to that company and the people who made such a thing possible.  I still think we ought to train the cats to use the toilet though... lol
 
So I am participating in a parade!  Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts is hosting a sew along for this adorable pattern she came up with, and I was instantly attracted to.  I love the colors.  I'm not obsessed with elephants, but I have a friend who is, so I made this for her:
 
 
 
 
 
I have it basted and ready to quilt, and hope to get it done in the next couple days to send off, she lives in Texas and has no idea it's coming
(as far as I know she doesn't read this blog...)
 
I actually had a customer recently!  I had dropped business cards at the quilt shops in case someone needs a small quilt quilted, or for when people who don't sew ask at the shop if someone can make a quilt for them, then they have my information, and a lady called with a top finished but needing quilting.  I was so excited!!  I did learn that I did not charge enough, basically I ended up being paid $5 an hour to quilt this for her, so lesson learned.  I underestimated how long it would take to do this (took over 8 hours) and I will not undervalue my time!  I'm worth more and am well aware of it.
 
 
I ended up not quilting on the bear, but did outline any place with lace, mainly to make sure the lace wouldn't get pulled out by small hands.  Also, that binding was from a yard sale, a JCPenney brand of pre-made binding which was in surprisingly good shape, but probably 40 years old.  I was a little nervous about it, but we shall see if I hear back from them.
 
Super Bowl Sunday was exciting, I made this block, which will become a pillow sham, and I'm trying out a different method of assembly which I will share in the future, when I actually get it finished.  I just LOVE this mottled brown I got, perfect football color.  I made this block based on the Touchdown pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew
 
Made some homemade bread for our chili cookoff, we all ended up winning, because the best chili was made by mixing all 6 of them together!
 
And look!  We used my table runner, Woohoo!
 
 
And I made this bag for my co-worker's other niece, who is a math teacher.  Perfect fabric find!!  Tried an Orange Peel quilting method, and it turned out ok, but next time I will make them smaller.  These were on a 2 3/4 inch grid, and weren't as tight as I would have preferred.  But it turned out pretty well.
 
Ok, off to the doctor's office, I hope you all are staying healthy!
 
~Brandy
 



Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone!  I wanted to quickly share our happy news, we adopted 2 kitties from the Walla Walla Humane Society for Christmas!  Please welcome Thomas O'Malley and Silver Belle:
 
 
Thomas is ~1 year old.
 
 
Belle is ~7 months old.

They are very snuggly with each other and learning to be with us too.  Belle is making faster bonding progress than Thomas, but they'll get there.



The red dot is hilarious to play with.

They've already expressed their inherent knowledge of UFOs and otherworldliness as you can see here.

Here they discovered we have a bird feeder for their entertainment.


And sometimes they watch TV with us.
 
This is going to be wonderful having them around, cat therapy and all.  Support the local animal shelter, that's for sure!  Ours supplied us with microchips, they were both already spayed/neutered, had all their shots, and each received a free visit to the vet.  Hard to beat that deal!  We're so happy to be in the position to give these two a forever home, and look forward to watching them grow.
 
Have a super sparkly day!
=^-.-^=
 
~Brandy
 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A quick share

Phew!  Christmas is upon our family, busy busy busy we are.  My mom owns a packing and shipping store, and I have been helping out.  Yesterday I made yarn pompoms (while I was at the store) and finished my Christmas apron. :)  Of course I don't have photos of those... but I have others to share!
 
I completed the tree skirt for my aunt:
 
 You may recognize this pattern, it was inspired by Deonn Stott's pattern which can be found here.  The difference is that instead of doing half square triangles I made full diamonds and squares and used y-seams.  Just my personal preference, Deonn's way is much easier I'm sure!  Plus, with my directional fabric I didn't want to think about how to piece the cuts together.  Anyhow, it turned out beautiful, and was a great learning experience.
 

 
I used a special stitch!  Looks snowflake-like to me.
 
Here you can see the quilting better, my sister says it reminds her of a poinsettia.
 
I came across Lori Holt's sew-a-long she hosted on her Instagram page and she had a free block I couldn't resist (and looking just now there are instructions for a snowman!!):
 
Isn't this amazing?  I'm making up quite a few, will be adding borders and using them for hotpads.  I'm fairly sure the buttons will be ok, they're pretty small.  I may actually set this block on point, then when you hang it you're seeing the block normally.  Hmmm...
 
Then I received wonderful news that I won a drawing from the Kona Cotton 30 Year Anniversary Blog Tour!  Valorie contacted me just this last Saturday, and yesterday I received a package from Robert Kaufman, eee!  Here's the link to the post about Valorie's quilt, I love how she came up with her pattern.  And here's pictures of the charm pack and tote I received:
 
I've already carried this all over the place today.
 
Charm pack and thank you card which states to be sure to #OMG303 and #KONACOTTON
as well as their hopes that I enjoy my prize.  I do, most definitely!
 
Look at these colors!!  I'm sew happy :)
 
And to top it off, John bought me flowers the other day, what a great guy.
 
Just beautiful.
 
I hope you are all in good cheer and enjoy the rest of December, I am unsure if I'll have another chance to post as the next two weeks will be the busiest of the year for my mom's store and then it's Christmas, but I'll try to get some more done and shared.  I do have some things to work on for John and my sister, now I just need to work on my organization skills to make those things happen.  Preferably not the night before Christmas!!
 
Happy sewing to you all, and to all a pleasant night!
 
~Brandy

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

T'was the Night - Day Three

www.sewwequilt.com
Oh happy day!  It's my turn on this wonderful blog hop, and I couldn't have been much more excited about participating in this one.  Not only do I love making small and quick projects, but I got to give one of them to a fellow quilter/blogger!  I just love giving homemade gifts.  Thank you very much to Marlene and Madame Samm for organizing this hop, I'm having such a wonderful time.  And thank you so much to all the others participating in the hop, I am loving seeing all the great ideas everyone has!  Be sure to hop over to my fellow ladies of the day, you can find the links at the end of this post.
 
First off, I wish to share with you what I received from Jill at Apple Avenue Quilts.  I was so excited to see what she made for me!
 
What a beautiful wrapping idea!  (sorry, I'm new to the idea of the use of ribbon.  So every time I see something wrapped in it I get all excited :)  )


I admire people with knitting skills, this is a beautiful washcloth Jill.

Buttons, yay!

And a couple great potholders, and perfect timing, I just had to retire a bunch because they were beyond saving.  I think you can't have enough of these, especially if you entertain ever.
Remember to go to Moose Stash Quilting next to see what I made for Joan!
 
And here are some ideas I found only took me a couple hours to make:

The Mortimer moose wall-hanging I made last year, you get the idea, small (it's only 17"x17"), simple patchwork, and simple applique.  Ta-da!  Stinkin' cute wall-hanging.  Then a patchwork pillow sham, a potholder using fancy fabric and flower shaped quilting, and some decorative stockings.

My great-grandma Pawlik inspired me when making these.  She made a bunch for the ladies in our family about 15 years ago, and we still all put them up for Christmas.  I'm hoping that will happen with my family when I'm a grandma someday!

Here are some more everyday-type gift ideas:
 

A project bag.  I love the size tremendously and got the instructions from Jina.  Not only will it hold all your sewing items you'd need, it is also the perfect size for a cosmetic bag, or to hold snacks on a car trip, or colored pencils and a small drawing pad... so many options!

A plastic bag holder.  My grandma Kathy showed me how to make these on Sunday, thank you grandma!  This one has already been claimed by my sister, which fits, she has a rooster-theme going on in her kitchen. 

And a lap quilt.  So this is the same idea as the self-binding baby blanket from Missouri Star Quilt Co, I just made it as large as I could while maintaining the 10" difference between the small and large piece of fabric.  I also managed to get a layer of batting in there, it took some finagling...

John agreed to model my lap quilt for me, wasn't that nice?
 
While I'm happy with the gifts I created, I believe my favorite last minute gift is the sweetest, and that is homemade candy!  Here's my dad's favorite recipe:
 
 
Chocolate Peanut-Butter Balls
1 C peanut-butter
1 C powdered sugar
1 package chocolate chips
 
Melt chocolate chips using whatever method you prefer.  Double boiler seems to be the most popular.
Prepare a jellyroll pan by laying out a piece of wax paper on it.
Mix PB and sugar together, roll into 1 inch wide balls, and dip into melted chocolate.  Place on jellyroll pan, and when the pan is filled place PB balls into fridge to set.
That's all there is to it!  You could then make a fabric box like Connie talks about in this post, line it with parchment or wax paper and fill it with these yummies for a quick treat too.
 
Here are the other ladies who are showing their gift ideas today:
 
Pampered Pettit - that's me!
 
Thank you so much for stopping by, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season! 
~Brandy



with love to Konnie the cat, we'll miss you this Christmas my furry little sister