Sunday, January 8, 2017

A good start to the new year

Hello all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I am happy to share my newest addition to the sewing family, a Singer 15-91.
 
 
 
I was on the internet late one night a few weeks before Christmas and discovered a place in Spokane, WA that sells machines.  I sent the link to my parents as an idea for a gift, not thinking it would come to anything.  Then my dad sets this heavy box on my lap Christmas morning... he and mom actually drove up to Spokane to pick out the machine!  I am so happy to have a second machine that I can rely on for years to come.
 
 
This is one of the first blocks I made with the 15-91, and I have learned that I definitely need a seam guide.  I found a magnetic business card that is rather thick, about the thickness of a credit card, and is working well so far.
 
 
I put in extra effort to contribute to the Christmas gathering this year, originally planned on a Yule Log (my first) and then I wimped out, I just couldn't settle on a cake or filling recipe.  I'm open to suggestions!  Instead I took the time to make some royal icing snowflakes to decorate a cheesecake.
 
 
 
 
I also made monster cookies, caramel corn, macaroni and cheese, and eggnog.  The eggnog is new to our family, none of us had ever had it, and I'm pretty sure this is going to change.  I am thinking this is a new tradition for us.  Tasty goodness.
 
 
Our customary delicious lasagna dinner spread.
 
 
My sister Jen and I very much looking forward to dinner.
 
 
Sometimes my family are good sports about goofy pictures :)
 
 
Thomas was quite helpful with binding this quilt on New Year's Eve.
 
 
I worked all day finishing the quilting on this quilt for Cheryl, making myself the promise that it would be done before the year ended.
 

 
And I did!  John took photos for me, this is one of my favorites.  The quilt finished at 94" by 71", and is based on the colorway of an Allison Quilt Designs pattern called Dandelion Wine.  The quilting was all done on the Bernina.
 
 
I also made a pillowcase at Cheryl's request.  I quilted the stripes and pieced the back together all from scraps from the top and backing.  We met up for an exchange of quilt and baskets on January 2nd, and she was beyond thrilled with her quilt.  I am ecstatic about my baskets, and of course they have been cat approved.


 
 
 
The very first thing I made this year was a batch of fudge.  I felt it was a great way to start the year off right!
 
 
Belle has had quite a time watching the birds lately, we've actually had snow, during December and January!  It's been a long time since we had a good winter, so I have not been complaining about slippery roads (awful drivers however... seriously, some people are just ridiculous!) and have been trying to keep the birds and our new porch cat fed in the single digit weather.  It's been this way for about 3 weeks now, and looks like it will keep up this next week for Walla Walla.
 
I have taken advantage the last couple weekends to stay inside and get some sewing done, and it really felt wonderful starting the year with a finish.  Now to tackle that UFO list again!
Highest priority: Dad and Jen's quilts.
 
Here's to a new year and finished quilts!
 
~Brandy

Friday, November 4, 2016

Montana Trip, Wooden Quilt Box, Pretty Fabric

Hello everyone!  I have a few great things to share today.  First of all, a couple months ago Mary at Quiltin' Grandma Designs had an anniversary giveaway, and I won!  The funniest thing is that we're friends in real life and guild mates!  She was so generous, and gave me a charm pack as well as the large Tucker Trimmer!  We met up at Dairy Queen, had some ice cream, and chatted for a bit.  It was a beautiful sunny day, just after the fair ended so Mary had some good stories to share.
 
 
I still have not decided what I want to make with it, Mary said to make something for myself, however I feel like so much of what I make is for me, so I think I will be making something for our guild gift exchange.  Still personal satisfaction coming from it!
 
We were able to get up to Montana this year, it was Operation Truck Rescue!  My dad was talking with my grandma, who mentioned that the guy who purchased the property behind her house had said something about the Ford, and how he was planning on throwing it onto the burn pile!!  My dad had a minor freakout, and we decided to get up there ASAP.  So dad, John, and I drove up on a Wednesday, and the following shows some of what we did while there:
 
The view from the "dump" on the hill behind grandma's house.

John with his mad trailer surfing skills, as dad demonstrates how to back down an extremely narrow mountain dirt road.

John was so pleased how smoothly the truck came down off the hill and is excited to tackle this project!

Since the truck loaded so smoothly, we went to Glacier National Park the next day, and WOW!  If you get the chance, visit the park at the end of September, it is beautiful!  In this picture John and I were having an interesting time finding our footing on the bank.

The scenery was perfect!

If you have never been on the Going to the Sun Highway, half of the drive looks like this.


And the other half is very much like this!  I did not zoom for this photo, the wall along the edge of the road is inches from the tires.

One of the many waterfalls on the way up.

John and I hiked up the trail at the top of the mountain for a bit, but it was getting late so we didn't go to far.  We think next year we will try to hike to Hidden Lake, but it's a few miles, and we don't hike regularly... well, it could happen! :)
 Sewing has also happened:
 

Can you see the issue here?  I was in the process of sewing my rows together, and at the end of this row I discovered I had sewn the third row into it as well!  Un-sewing happens in my sewing room too.  Not terribly often, but it definitely happens.

This always makes me laugh, how the blocks go from being so funny shaped into a square.  These blocks will finish at 5 inches, I was practicing for making blocks sometime with my mom, but the blocks we will make will be 10 inches finished.

I finished my Seahawks pillow!  I came up with a different way of making a pillow sham that is quilted all over, and will have a tutorial for it soon.

We're making our blocks for the president of the guild, I'm excited to see how they all come together and will share photos when they are all together.  I decided to embroider my signature on my block instead of just signing it, I'm hoping it will last longer than some of the pens seem to.  We'll see!
 
I made a cat bed!  John helped me pick out this minky fabric from a sale bin about 4 months ago, and I finally sat down and just made this last weekend (the Saturday before Halloween).  This photo was taken that evening, and I was thrilled that Belle took to it so quickly.  It is only partially stuffed, John thought they would like to be able to "rearrange" it to their comfort.  I did use up all my leftovers of fabric bits though, so that's nice to have out of the way.
 
My grandpa Jim made this for me, after I shared a picture with him on Facebook.  He used leftover pieces of wood from his shop, and when I picked it up I mentioned that the ladies at guild would be jealous, and he said he could make some more if I wanted to try and sell them.  So he did, and I did!

We were pleasantly surprised at the popularity of the boxes, I sold all but one at the last guild meeting.  A lot of the ladies mentioned him possibly making a box to fit a ruler they already own, so that's the next step for this coming Tuesday's meeting.
This smaller box has become my travelling companion.  I took it with me to Montana and made great progress.  Then I took it to guild to show off.  I need to take some photos of the EPP progress, the butterflies are coming right along!
 
I am excited about this rainbow of colors John bought me :)
 

 

And since I've worked my way through all seven of the Harry Potter books, I'm moving back to my deeper reading.  My parents have the entire collection of Britannica Great Books, and I had discovered last year that they have a reading list called The Great Conversation that leads you through specific parts of all the different books over the course of ten years.  I'm on the third reading assignment, and started this journey January 2015 I think... one could say I got distracted.  It's not an easy read, that's for sure, the language takes some getting used to.  However, I know I will learn from this and am excited to at least try.  I love that it's making me think.

I'm laughing a bit right now at the Year One reading list and how many of the readings include Government.  By the way, is the election over yet?  Holy cow.  I have never experienced people hitting so below the belt in such a public manner.  And that's all I have to say about that.
Here is a picture of my goofy cat to send you on your way:
 
Yeah, that's a toilet paper roll, he was playing with it and then fell asleep!
 
Oh, I forgot to tell you, I'm going to another community sew-in tomorrow, we're making skateboard blocks this round, and the finished quilts will be donated to the YWCA Women's Shelter.  I'm proud to help, and I'm hoping my mom will be available to join me.
 
Have a great weekend all, let's go get some sewing in!
 
~Brandy

Linking up to TGIFF at Busy Hands Quilts this week:

 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Quilty Adventures

I have had some fun the last couple months!
 
The guild had a sew-in in July, where I introduced the idea of Tiara Time to more of my fellow quilters.  I saw the idea on my friend Ronnie's blog where a teacher told her students that when she put on her tiara, it was her time to focus and they were not allowed to bother her.  I thought, what a great practice for quilters, especially for those with kids!  For myself, it is "me time", and I'm allowing myself to quilt without guilt.  Here is my favorite photo of me with my tiara that Jessica took:
 


At this sew-in I focused on working on this gorgeous quilt for my friend Cheryl, who is weaving me a picnic basket in exchange:
 
 
 
 
Our guild retreat was in August, and again I was only able to be there on Saturday.  It was so much fun though, I left at 6am and came home at 9pm.  The ladies are always so much fun to be around, and I took a few projects that I wanted to make progress on.
 
This was the amazing goody bag they had put together for us, so many awesome and useful items!  The new Missouri Star Quilt Company thread, a calculator, a notebook and pencil, fat quarters, Chapstick, seam ripper, tape measure, Row by Row license plate, just so many incredible gifts.  Thanks again Kay and retreat crew!

Early morning view of the room.

Here is Mary!  She though the idea was so great that she found herself a tiara, and then we strategized to wear matching shirts for this event.  Of course, we ended up sitting across the room from each other, but whatever. :)  We still had fun.  She has a great photo of us on her blog.  I love this quilt she made, it's the Lori Holt Farm Girl Vintage quilt and is SO CUTE!

This is one that Leann was working on, we had a good discussion on how "ugly" fabric can look so different depending on what it is used with.

This is my first project I worked on, I just wanted to get the blocks assembled.  We did some quilting by committee and decided it looks best on point and with the cornerstones.

This is Pat's, and I love how it turned out.  She quilts on her home machine.

Here is Pat with her finished Ten Pack (Laurie Shifrin pattern)

I brought my Ten Pack as well, just to throw on the wall and see how it looks outside my sewing room.  Everyone loves the color-way I have going.  All I can say is, that's what layer cakes are all about!  I have more blocks than can fit on a design wall, so I will have to figure out another way to lay out my blocks.  Maybe on our bed.

Mary brought this for me, from one of the shops in Tri-Cities.  I have since found it incredibly useful, I highly recommend this size ruler.  I know Bonnie Hunter over at Quiltville has mentioned in her videos about getting some for her store.  I like how it's working with my half-square triangles, when I want to draw the line across, this ruler has some grippy on the back-side which helps keep my fabric from moving around on me.

This is what Melanie was working on, it will be a gift for her pastor.  I love the bright colors.

This is the Hunter's Star that I am working on, I wanted to make progress on this as well and I am feeling pretty good about it.



I recently started an English Paper Piecing project that I am very excited about.  John bought me the rainbow of fabrics and said make whatever I want.  I had seen the photo below of a table topper with butterflies and I really like it.  So I've decided to make something similar.  My grandpa made me the box on the right, it uses a ruler that slides as the top.  So cool!  This one uses a 7 inch ruler, he also made one with a 12.5 inch ruler that will work well for holding larger blocks.  He made extras, and I plan to take them to guild and see if anyone is interested in buying them.  I think they'll make some awesome Christmas gifts!


This is so pretty, I hope mine looks good when it's done :)

This was something I had hoped to finish before the Walla Walla Valley Quilt Festival, but it took longer than anticipated.  And then we started working on buying our house.




I made progress on this pillowcase this weekend!  Finally have it to the finishing stage, I think I will make a tutorial for the process I am using, as it's different than what I've seen around.  I can tell you, that wavy quilting was difficult for me to do, I am much more comfortable with actual shapes apparently.


And this is what happens when I walk out of the room for a few minutes...

Well, I hope you are all getting some progress made on your projects too, I would love to hear what you are working on.  Anyone starting Christmas presents yet?  I just remembered, my blog anniversary is next month, sounds like a GIVEAWAY will be happening soon!

~Brandy