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 www.sewwequilt.com, swing by Mdm Samm's site to see what they are all about.
 
Thank you for stopping by, see you again soon!
 
~Brandy

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!
 
~Brandy
 
 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

September Activities

Welcome back!  Oh man, this last month has been busy busy busy at work.  I am the National Rodeo Secretary for the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, (aka college rodeo across the USA) and the beginning of the school year has a lot going on for our office.  I kept thinking I wasn't getting anything done because of how very fast the month went by, but I actually accomplished some sewing!  One thing I practiced was getting into the habit of going to my mom's house every Wednesday to work on the quilt my Grandma Linda asked me to finish, and I'm so happy to report I've nearly half the blocks together already!  Here's an idea of what I started with:
 


And sadly I don't have a progress picture, but I will remember next Wednesday to have my mom take one of me working on it.
 
We had the Walla Walla Valley Quilt Festival mid-September and I volunteered for a few hours Saturday at the front door.  I had a blast hanging out with Lianne (our guild president) and one of the other girls who I just can't remember her name to save me.  John and I walked around Sunday for about 2 hours examining all the amazing works.  Here's my quilt hanging up, and my block challenge on the wall with the others, there were some really creative blocks:
 

I'm on the bottom row with the black background
 

I also participated in the APQ Pillowcase Challenge Sew-a-thon and using some fabric from Grandma Linda's stash made this awesome pillowcase:
 
This is made using the "burrito method" that is a free pattern on APQ's website (link above)
 
My amazing piecer: the 1954 White
 
Ta-da!
The most exciting thing was you could enter at some of the sponsors websites and win fabric to make more pillowcases, and I won!  I received an email from Shannon Fabrics a few days ago, and I plan on donating all the cases to children in Walla Walla, hopefully the children's ward at the hospital.
 
I have been so fortunate, won 4 drawings in 2 months now!  Can't wait to pay it forward in the upcoming blog hops.  By the way, I'm participating in not only the Black Cat Crossing, but also the T'was the Night, yay!
 
Here are photos of the items I won from Carol's drawing at Just Let Me Quilt:
Two yards (!) worth of solid and two fall panels
 
 
 
And then I received the package from Sew Lux Fabrics who I had won a $50 gift card from:
 
Ooo!  What an unexpected surprise!  I love presents within presents.
 
It really struck me how much more special this nice wrapping made my prize seem.  I am going to start prettying up my giveaways, because I can!
 
 
For the most part I ordered things I would not normally buy for myself, such as fabric with no plan or a bag pattern...
 
For some reason I was really drawn to purchasing this pattern after seeing all the amazing ones people have made and hearing how tough it can be.  Sometimes I like a challenge.  I'll probably take this on in a couple years.  I hear you also need ~$100 worth of materials to make it, so I'll start saving up too.

I also bought a spool of white Aurifil thread, because I go through it!  I really enjoy how smoothly it works in all 3 of my machines, I must say.
 
Ok, here's one last thing we did in September, we hosted a rock crawling event for remote control vehicles.  Some are very lifelike, some look like bugs, but everyone has a good time.
Getting in some stitching while at the track.
Our youngest competitor (pretty sure he's only 3 years old) driving a scaled truck through the course and doing really well.
John giving Terry some direction over a tough log section.
One of the competition (aka bug like) crawlers crossing the bridge John built.  I helped paint it.
 
See, John's working hard and I'm supervising.

 The event went really well, and we're hoping to keep building awareness over the next couple months for a good turn-out in Spring.

Thank you for visiting, see you again soon!

~Brandy