Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fat Quarter Shop-2015 Snapshots Quilt-Along/Fundraiser

I'm super excited about next year's sew along Fat Quarter Shop is doing, not only does it support one of my favorite fundraising endeavors (St. Jude's Hospital for Children) but this quilt totally speaks to me!  I can hardly wait to get this started, and it will be the first Block of the Month I'll have participated in.  Yay!
Isn't this wonderful?!  Click on the link at the top to get more information.
If your looking for my Black Cat Crossing post, keep scrolling down, it's just below :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Black Cat Crossing-Day 4

Welcome!  My name is Brandy and I'm so happy you've stopped by to visit.  I was really looking forward to the day when Mdm Samm announced this year's Wicked hop so I could join, because it marks the one year anniversary of my being a part of the blog hops!  I love participating, I find I accomplish more projects and pushed myself further creatively than I would have without the "gentle push" from the ladies who organize these hops.  So thank you very much Mdm Samm and Wendy for allowing me to participate again this year.  And thank you to Maywood Studio for bringing Black Cat Crossing into our lives, I LOVE this line of fabric.  And I have really enjoyed seeing what the other participants have created with this line as inspiration.
I was immediately struck with the idea of a cat crossing my piece, whatever it decided to evolve into, when I first heard the name of the fabric line.  It started out a bit larger than it ended up, but that's how it goes sometimes.
When I saw the fabrics in the Black Cat Crossing line I was so happy to see the richness of the colors used.  And then I realized I had a smallish budget to work with, so ordering online was out of the question and neither quilt shop in town nearby carried the line.  And then it happened!  John allowed me to drag him to 9 different quilt shops on a 315 mile trip in one day and one of the shops we went to had the ENTIRE line!  The shop is in Prosser, WA and called The Sewing Basket and oh my lord, that lady has everything.  I've never seen a shop like hers, I loved it!  It's totally worth the hour and a half drive from our house.  Here's a picture of John in the middle of the room full of Halloween fabric, he's deciding which one I'm allowed to use for my project.
My design has a cat crossing a fence on a dark night while branches are reaching for him.
I used this project as another opportunity for practicing my free motion quilting (FMQ) and used a double layer of batting to help the cat and branches stand out a bit more.  We decided the FMQ looks like fog.  You can see here the fabric that we ended up choosing.  Although I may be going back for some of that orange and black harlequin...
And here's the finished piece!  We now are the proud owners of a wicked wall hanging.  :)
John and I went to Pioneer Park to get some photos:

Isn't the fence fabric fantastic?  When John saw it he said, "that's fencing material right there".  I discovered something veeerrrryyyyy interesting about this fabric when I was cutting it up:
It seems that the devil is in the details on this one!

This has been fun, please be sure to visit the other ladies I'm sharing my day with:
Thursday, October 23
I hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Progress report

I was so productive last weekend, I could hardly believe what I accomplished!
First of all, here's photographic evidence that I do work on the quilt my grandma asked me to do!
Never mind the fact that I have to eat cookie dough while I'm working on it... hee hee!
Thank you Jen (my sister) for getting such an intense focus-face picture :P
Progress piles
These have been pressed and await assembly.
This is actually a block that was already pieced.  When my grandma and her sister were working on it they would piece an entire block, then enough to make a row, then piece the rows.  There are 3 rows worth done I believe, which was nice to realize when I went through and counted the number of blocks I still need to assemble.
Then I started on a tree skirt for my aunt from Montana.
Oooo, aaaahhh
But wait, there's more!  My goodness, a sunny Saturday morning!

And top complete!  This is inspired by Deonn Stott's pattern, but she used half-square triangles in hers and that would not have worked with this horse fabric, so I went with full pieces and Y-seams.  Y-seams don't bother me, and it only took ~2 hours to get this together!  I am going to find some gold thread and quilt feathers in the star and use black thread for some poinsettia-style pattern in the horse fabric.  As soon as I locate some black batting.  Hopefully in the next couple weeks or so.
Block of the month for guild, John really liked this one.  He said it works nicely with this particular fabric.
Our guild meeting was this last Tuesday, and we're voting in our new board members next meeting, so they are making the President a thank you quilt and these are the blocks they wanted us to make.  Not so much my style, but hey, it's not my quilt!  And doing these blocks just drove home that I don't like seams that don't line up!

And then I practiced my free-motion quilting on my Bernina the last couple days:

I'm really liking how this looks on the back side, which I'll get a picture of when it's done.  This particular pattern (they call it Paisley) is very time consuming for me, and difficult as I am not following a set pattern which my brain rebels against.  So I'm taking my time and telling myself it's ok to not be EXACTLY perfect in everything I make.  :D  I am definitely getting better at controlling my stitch length I noticed, which is great.  Practice practice practice!  Then eat more cookie dough.
So I also worked on my two upcoming Blog Hop projects, one for the Wicked Hop (see button at the top of the column on the right) and a couple things for the Twas the Night hop.  Wicked starts on Monday (!!!) and my day is Thursday the 23rd, so stop on by to see what I came up with!  Both hops are through, swing by Mdm Samm's site to see what they are all about.
Thank you for stopping by, see you again soon!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Quality Time - Apple Pies

It's that time of year again!  Mom and I set aside last Sunday for cutting up some of Bob's apples (he's mom's neighbor) and putting together pies.  In the past we've made it an all day sort of adventure, and that's extremely tiring even with 5 people working on it, so decided that since it was going to be the two of us, we'd aim for 4 hours.  Here's how it went:
Isn't it amazing how one half of an apple can equal one quarter of another?

I was working on quartering apples while mom peeled and cored.

So I'm 5'8" and my hand width is about six inches, this is a big apple!  And most of them were this size.

Look at how tight the meat is to the seeds!  I always feel like the center is more cavernous than these ones were, very healthy harvest this year.

Here's mom and myself hard at work!  I got dad to step away from football action to take some action shots of us.  I probably should make him something nice to eat soon... :)

Oh yeah, look at that sugar flow!  And mom is more than ready to take on that pie crust.

And a shot from the other side, isn't mom's sugar tin the best?  She's had that tin my whole life and it works so well.

Stages of apple: quartered & peeled, chopped into bite-sized pieces, then sugared & spiced.

This is becoming mom's annual pie picture, I have at least two other years worth of this picture.
Mom decided to make Happleberry pies this year!  We had such a good huckleberry harvest that she put some in all the pies.

And here they are waiting for tops.  I didn't get any pictures of them done, silly me, but we end up sticking them in the freezer for future use.  We made 15 this year I believe, and mom is going to make applesauce with the rest of the apples.

Ah, here's pictures of pies I made a few days later.  Mom ended up cutting some extra apples up for me so I made a pie for John to take to work and some small pies for the ladies I work with.

Top crust on and crimped.  Thank you mom for teaching me a nice crimp!


And some finish photos.  Mmmmm, it sure did smell good for a while in our house!
And here's an artistic photo to round out your apple pie experience:
I love how the crust is glowing, although it does make me hungry.
One thing I thoroughly appreciate is the time I got to spend with my mom, just chatting about nothing and everything, spending quality time together.  I'm reminded all too often how fortunate I am to have the opportunities I do to spend this kind of time with my parents and I try to take advantage of it as much as I can.  No regrets from this child!  By the way, one of mom and my next projects is to make her a new apron, the one she has is quite literally falling apart at the seams.  We should be picking out fabric for it soon from her stash, yay!
Thank you for visiting!