Random Musings

This summer Hubby’s family has been cleaning up the grandparent’s property. It has been a long difficult job with many emotions involved. During the course of cleaning up everyone has found a few treasures. This is a quick story about one of my treasures and how it inspired a quilt.
P1400566This dirty little chest came home with me after we had put it in the “free” pile outside the gate.  I didn’t need/want any furniture but when I saw these drawer pulls I was attracted.  I convinced myself that because it wasn’t big that I’d find a use for it.

Since it was already painted I thought it wouldn’t be any loss to repaint it.  Off I went to buy some red Annie Sloan Chalk paint.  I love that stuff!  I was going to go bold, paint it red and use it as a TV stand.  Truthfully, I’m hoping to bribe a few of my son’s strong friends to move a 500 lb broken TV.  My new lighter (I can pick it up) TV is sitting in front of the massive broken unit.  After they remove it I’ll gain 3 whole feet in my living room.  It’s a plus all around, extra storage and space, I just need to find those strong boys!
P1400592The after is quite a change, no?  This was Hubby’s idea, you know the one that comes after you thought you were done with a project and you put all your tools and brushes away.  But I’ll keep him because I thought this was an excellent idea!

(Warning: the pictures are not in order and look away if your allergic to cats)
P1400652Then came the quilt idea.
My son’s friend is going to be having a baby, so a quilt was/is in order.
His friend was born in England and later moved to Shetland. Now the friend lives here and as life progresses, he fell in love and they are now expecting a baby boy.
I like to personalize my quilts when I give them away, I’m sure I’m the only one of us who does that, right?
P1400655I just knew I had to do a Union Jack quilt block. What I wasn’t sure about was the rest of the quilt.

My DD asked if I was going to give them the dresser.  Haha, no!  I’m not that generous!
P1400656Then I remembered Lori Holt’s new book Farm Girl Vintage. I’ve been hankering to make a lamb since I bought the book. Why not now!
P1400657I grabbed a few blue scraps (really only the few I had left) and cut up a flock of lambs with a piggy friend and the flags (not to scale and only a representation) to commemorate this babies heritage.

Tomorrow is the shower and I’m hoping that the parents will love it as much as I loved making it.

This last week was our monthly mini meeting.  These blocks also came from the same book.  I chose to make the 6 1/2 inch blocks.  Than I thought these would make a great pillow to send to my daughter.  Every month I can send a new cover and she can decorate for each season.

Can you spot the fox?
P1400622I’m still working on my quilt show quilt. It’s really boring and I’m not even sure if I like the quilt anymore! I will be so glad to see it finished!
P1400627With all the furry kids in this house it’s not unusual to find someone in an out of way spot.  Or someone stuffed into as small a space possible.
P1400631Or to just be right in your face demanding attention. Can’t help but love them all and pick them up to squeeze the lovings into them. I’m sure it makes them love me more.
P1400643Well congrats for reaching the end of my rambling.

I hope you have a wonderful and creative weekend!

Take care my friends, Brandie

Material Obssession

Had to do a bit of shopping after seeing these beauties on Instagram.
P1400617Pumpkin set, why what a good idea, they will become pumpkins!
P1400618Not sure what these will become, but I just couldn’t live without them!P1400619These will be used in my next mini. Next months project. P1400620These lovelies were on sale and I thought they’d make good backings.

Oh how I wish there were more hours and less chores.  Maybe I need my own wife, cook and maid.

Have a Fantastic weekend and may you find beauty to gaze upon.

Take care my friends, Brandie

Chocolate and Pears

Even though I’ve been absent for days, I have been quilting just not enough to show you.  Not that I need an excuse but it was dang hot last week!  If I didn’t get to my machine before 9 am it was just too hot to be close to anything, particularly fabric and batting.

Sunday the weather started to cool down and I took the hubby out of the house to do some shopping.  He refused to be dropped off by the door or to use a motor chair, he wanted to do it all on his own.  He made it but not for too long, it’s still an improvement and we are both happy with it.  Walking slowly apposed to not at all is a GOOD thing.
P1400595Monday was cooler still, enough that we had to close the windows!  I’m going to relish this cool air and not complain.

After a few chores I sat down in my cool room and layered my dotted pears.  A quick pleasure in this fall like weather!

Tired of all my grid quilting I attached my free motion foot and quickly quilted some fresh water pearls, chocolate dots or are they blueberries?
P1400597A simple and fun mini.  This one I decided to leave off the extra borders making it a small 22 x 14.

I wanted to add a bit of something and remembered that I had seen ric-rac used in bindings. I was up to trying something new and to add a bit of whimsy to these dotted pears.  Also I wanted to try it out because I was thinking about it for my quilt show quilt.
P1400599I like the look of just a bit of color at the edge, this is a keeper idea for me.

I don’t usually go for the bright colors but I really love these pears!  I’m sure it’s the dots that make it for me.  I’m looking for it’s perfect home to display it.  I even bought it a cute accessory from Target.  Every pair needs a pear.

I’m working on my Hollow Cubes and the red pears, hoping to have them finished soon to show you.  And of course I’m working on the dresden quilt, this one just takes so much time!  I had to play hooky because I’m getting bored with black thread.  I know I’m close, I just keep avoiding working on it.  Shame on me!  I’m going to talk myself into finishing parts of it now that I’ve had some fun.

I hope you are having a wonderful week!

Take care, Brandie

It’s Not Procrastination

Sure it’s true I haven’t touched my machine in a week.  But I’m not a procrastinator, I’m a worrier.  I’ll own up to the worry and I’ll also admit that a deadline makes me get things done as well as worry me more.  That is where the worry comes from, a deadline, as in our local quilt show.

Now that I’ve faced the root of my worry, it’s time for me to deal with the problem and do something about it.
P1400573I would like to have this quilt done by the show, but I will admit that I’m not a failure if I don’t make the deadline.  I’m not going to go crazy to finish this or any other quilt.  This is just the deal I make with myself and how I motivate myself.  Today I used the motivational technique of  “I’ll just quilt one row of lines”.  An hour later I had finished 3 rows.  It wasn’t hard at all!  I than discovered that I had quilted a quarter of the middle, even better motivation!  Now I know that I can do the other 3 rows and have half done.  Maybe I’ll even get more done this evening, if I feel like it, no pushing myself too far.

It’s a bit slow going.  Lint roll, mark my lines, quilt, repeat every 10 minutes.  Slow and steady wins the race.

I use to use the rule “one bobbin” before I could take a break.  Not so this time!  I’m using Aurifil 50 weight and boy-o-boy is it going a looooong way!  My shoulders can’t last through 1 full bobbin.

After quilting my last 2 (?) quilts with straight lines, I said I wasn’t going to do the same thing again.  But after removing the curvy-circle pattern I had started on this quilt, I wasn’t happy with anything I came up with BUT straight lines.  This is 1 inch lines that will be cross hatched.  Not quite the same as straight lines 2 inches apart.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself, along with, cross hatching is not a cop out.
P1400575Thread trimming is going to be a blast!  More motivational talk.
P1400576Just a shot of the back with bonus cat hairs to make this quilt fluffier.

Now that I’ve had a break, it’s time to put on my gloves and… sew a straight line.

Take care my friends!  Brandie

A Pearing

This last week hasn’t been the best. Hubby fell out of a truck (no it wasn’t moving) and badly sprained his knee and shoulder. He left the emergency room with a leg immobilizer and crutches. Let me be the first to tell you that crutches don’t work with a sprained shoulder! I’m doing my best to be his arms and legs while he heals, which isn’t exactly my forte’.
Thank goodness Thursday was a mini-sew-day! I left Hubby with a coffee table full of drinks, a bagged lunch, pillows and a pain pill. I had a glorious day, he slept must of the time. I call that a win win for the both of us.

I picked up my pattern before hand and I promised not to sew it up. But I did cut out two colorways! I couldn’t decide which would be best.
P1400553Red will always be my first choice but I always like to see the new fabrics that everyone else uses.

I also took the liberty of embellishing one pear and making it my way.  Not that I followed the instructions to the “T”.  This was one confusing pattern!  There were so many small pieces that it was impossible to keep track of which piece went where.  Some pieces were only an 1/8 of an inch in difference!

There were some honest mistakes here, some others were intentional, like the leaves facing different directions.
P1400556I had some leftover flying geese so I used them in what is suppose to be a checker board border.  Adding a few additional green geese and I was happy with this bigger mini, 25 x 34.

I ‘m trying not to be such a creature of habit and try new things, really I am.  So I figured now would be the time to pull out some of my Kaffe Fasset fabrics.  Here there are with some Michael Miller dots.  I think they are a good match.
P1400552Who doesn’t love dots?  When I look at dots I feel happy.  So happy that I my face actually spontaneously pulls my lips up and makes my eyes crinkle.  Too bad dots don’t to the same for hubby and his injuries, but at least he’s able to move around more today!  I just need to remember to keep his path clear so he doesn’t fall and injure something else!
P1400554I really happy with both these minis and looking forward to quilting them up, after I put in a few hours of my “MUST” do quilt.  As time permits of course, Hubby’s chores plus mine are giving me a bit of cabin fever, All work and no play,  well you know the rest.

Have a safe and wonderful week!

Take care my friends, Brandie

Hip to be Cubed

Yay, I have another almost finished quilt top! Yesterday I said I was going to get this UFO out and start working on it. I discovered that it was mostly cut out so I thought it would take me a couple of days but I’m more than thrilled with my progress.
P1400407November 2014 Sandy Klop from American Jane came to our guild. Her class offered 5 different patterns but this is the pattern I picked.
Of course I couldn’t do the pattern the “right” way. I saw a few tumbling blocks and I thought I’d just make units that looked like blocks. Sounds easy right?

If it wasn’t for her templates, it would have been impossible.  This is a strong recommendation from me for any of Sandy’s patterns and definitely get the coordinating templates, they are a time saver.
P1400409

I had a plan to do 50 cubes.  There were 39 cubes already cut, 14 cubes sewn.  I finished up the rest and started my lay out.  Because my design wall is actually the floor, I had much unneeded/unwanted help.  After rearranging these blocks 5 plus times, I decided to just sew them together as soon as the units were finished.  I’m surprised it turn out as well as it did!

P1400406

I finished sewing all the rows together about 10 pm last night.  This picture is before I ironed it but I was so happy with the out come I just had to take a picture in the first morning light.  I’m really happy with this and glad I finished it.  Right now this finishes at ruffly 39 x 50.  I have to add a row of half blocks to the top because I plan to just square up everything you see here and than add a border or two.

P1400405

It was actually Sandy Klop that came up with the idea of adding that darker fabric to enhance the cubed floor.  We picked out a couple of fabrics together to coordinate with what I had brought.

P1400403

I almost gave up making this quilt, the only thing holding me back was the unacceptable thought of putting the fabric back into my empty-ish scrap boxes.  That motivated me to finish what I had started and not give up and now I have an awesome optical illusion quilt.  We need to challenge ourselves at times, it makes us feel invincible!

Take care my friends, Brandie

Tippy Tulips

After a stressful week I finally got to sit down at my sewing machine and try to work through my stress. It helped a bit but I’m back in the thick of it again, it was a short lived fix.  But enough about that, lets talk tulips.
It’s a finish!
I made all my units and arranged them in a pleasing order.  After sewing a row together  I discover that this was going to be a HUGE quilt. Not something I’d want to quilt on my own, so I rearranged the blocks and came up with yet another reversible quilt.
P1400394I actually like the back of the quilt better than the front. I guess I’m not ready for all that color.
P1400396The only problem is that I can not get the backs straight with the front. I had hoped that the third time would be perfect.  Hence the Tippy Tulips title.  I still like it, that one chopped tulip doesn’t make me love it any less.
P1400400While making the backing I ran out of my background fabric. But that small mistake became a great idea for a tulip label. “I meant to do that!”
P1400401I showed my unfinished tops at my guild meeting and our quilt show layout boss asked me to please put one of my reversible quilts in the show. She has a place for one and would really like to use it. I wasn’t even considering these quilt show ready but I told her I’d get the tulips done for her. It finishes at 59 x 64, that’s big enough for me!
More straight line quilting, this time in a grid. Easy-peasy, simple.
Now that I’m done with this I wanted to start a new project but I will wait. Instead I’m going to finish up a UFO.  I got the box out this morning and it looks like it’s all cut out so that should be a huge time saver.
I also came to the realization of why I’m avoiding my intended quilt show quilt. All I have to do is quilt it and it won’t be simply lines. I’m OK with that, I’m not scared, but I just realized is that I’m avoiding it because I don’t like the quilting I started. Now that I’ve figured that out it’s time to get out my handy seam ripper and remove my avoidance. It’s a very liberating feeling. I don’t regret that it’s taking me so long to come to this conclusion, because than I wouldn’t have these fun scrap quilts and empty-ish scrap boxes.
So I’m hoping to soon get back to working on that quilt. It needs to be finished by the end of October, I think I can do it! This is when I had two machines set up, one for piecing and one for quilting. I know I’m dreaming but I’m still thinking on it. Maybe a card table in front of the TV for evening piecing?

Take care my friends! I hope you find a way to push the stress of the day away. Till next time, Brandie

Tulips

The scrappy tulips are finally done and ready to sew into rows.
  Next up are the rows of blocks that separte the tulips.

I think these blocks look like wedding cakes.
 
 So much so that I arranged them as stacked cakes when they are suppose to be bottom to bottom, top to top.
  Why is it that a cat can be taking a nap but as soon as fabric touches the floor, they show up as a herd?
 
 Just use your imagination to see the blocks because I can not get Elliott to move.
  He just wanted to say “Hello”.
 
 I’m hoping to have a finish to show by the end of the week, as time allows.

It’s sew close to being finished! So close that I already picked another scrappy pattern.
I can’t wait! Excitement is in the air!

Take care my Friends, Brandie

Rainbow Finish

I’m thrilled to have another finish and another quilt stacked and ready to gift!
I especially love that this is entirely made from scraps. You would think with a quilt this big (53 x 70) those scrap boxes would be emptier but alas not all are. 
  There is a sense of accomplishment using up something that was just leftover bits. I felt too bad about throwing away bigger pieces but nothing was planned on what to do with them. This summer those scraps were screaming too loud for me to ignore them and demanded I take care of them. The best part, I’ve had a lot of fun and I’m not going to stop at these quilts.
 
 Again it is just straight line quilting with the angle of the black strip. This quilt took a bit longer than the last, seeing as how it’s bigger.

There was also time to work on my tulip stems.
  These stems are time consuming! There are 13 pieces to the entire block but it’s not easy going. Every fourth block I’m unsticthing because I can’t keep straight what part goes where. Don’t worry, I’m not giving up! As we can see from the picture, these are going to look wonderful when they are completed. Now I just need to decide how I cam make this a two-sided quilt?

Take care my friends and have a productive weekend!
Brandie

Strawberry Fields Finished

Yesterday morning I received a call from my LQS, my batting had arrived. I braved the blistering heat to go retrieve this most needed item.
My roll of batting and I arrived home after a quick purchase of more dots (more about these beauties later).
Quick as a flash I had all the packaging removed and the batting between my two quilts.
 Super quickly quilted straighted lines. Say that three times fast!
I consider myself a traditional quilter but I really appreciate the modern approach to quilting. Straight lines are sew fast and anyone can do them. There is no need to fear.
Straight lines are also perfect for this two sided quilt because it doesn’t showcase one side over the other.
Straight lines and I will be seeing more of each other!

 Less than two hours after my arrival home, this quilt is
all wrapped up and ready for gifting.
My daughter says she likes it and I told her it would be perfect for a granddaughter, hint hint!
 I’ll put it in a safe place and cross my fingers that someday I’ll have a grand baby who likes strawberries.
It’s been a fun adventure with my red scraps and I’m thrilled to have such a quick finish.

Strawberry Fields 42 x 54

Take care my friends! Brandie