Saturday, February 27, 2010

… dreaming of spring

Now,  I know that I don't live in a part of the country where there has been inches & inches of snow . . . (although the mountains that I live right next to have had over 7 feet of snow fall on it this winter!). . . but here where I live (north of Tucson, AZ), we have had what I would consider a good cold(ish) winter. In fact, we are getting another storm arrive this evening(!) (Yea!. . . we love rain!)

But. . . I must admit - that I too . . . am ready for spring to arrive. . . . And,  hidden in that statement is the realization that I do believe that I have become a winter wimp. Even living here. . . with a very mild winter (in comparison) - I am so ready for warmer temps. In the past few weeks we've had a few beautiful days (in the 70's) full of hint's of the wonderful spring weather to come. . . & I'm up for it!!!!

So, in the spirit of getting ready for spring, I thought I'd share a little quilt that I made this year. . . & maybe plant a few ideas on your mind for future projects of your own . . .

 If you've read my blog for any amount of time - you know how much I love stitchery. Well, this past fall - I re-made one of my applique patterns, 'Apple Blossoms', but this time I traced the applique layout & used it for a stitchery instead.

For the center. . .

For the side setting triangles. . .

 & for the corner triangles. . .

(I'm hoping these photos also might help those of you who have emailed & asked about how I quilt my quilts with stitchery. I often just quilt right through the stitchery - but this time my quilter used the stitchery lines as guidelines for her quilting. . . I just love how it all worked out.)

I also simplified the borders a bit & just left off the outer pieced border for this version.

Right now - this quilt is gracing the kitchen table. . . so that we get the reminder throughout the day. . . that spring is coming! So, if you have stitching bug. . . & maybe an applique design that you love. . . try it in stitchery!

I also wanted to tell you. . . 

I have a secret!!

. . . but!

. . . I also got permission to give you some peeks. . . !!

. . . so I'll be working on getting a special peek ready for you. . . !

Until then, (!!!!)


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

… wonderful, wonderful wool!

A few days ago, I finished the new embroidery project/design in the morning. . . (can't wait to show you!). . . & by the afternoon - I started making the same design all over again . . .

. . . this time in wool.

. . . on my beloved linen.

I have to tell you. . . I was actually giddy - I was having so much fun! I kept asking myself, why I had let so much time go by since I had done anything in wool.

I love working with wool!

I sat myself down at my design/studio table , piled little stacks of wool all around & played. . . at least that's what it felt like! I had so much fun playing with the colors. . . loving the textures & softness of the wool & well, everything about it!

Once I had my wool colors picked out for each of the blocks, I ironed  the freezer paper templates onto the wool. . .  did a rough of the wool cut around the templates. . . & then I put each into their own little zip-baggie. . .

. . . & then I  moved onto the next block. . . !

. . . Later, I spent the evening with my zip-baggies, my scissors & the Winter Olympics & I cut out all my woolie pieces, asking myself time after time why I had waited so long to work with wool again!

So. Much. Fun. (what can I say. . . I can be veeerry easy to please!)  

(by the way. . . I just have to say that it has been so much fun to watch & listen to Canadians sing their national anthem at the Winter Olympics! They have such enthusiasm & sing it with pride & joy! Wonderful to watch! Way to go Canada!)

 ♥  Bren

Monday, February 22, 2010

daybook ::8::

for today :: February 22, 2010

outside my window. . .  a lot of new little flowers poking their little buds out. . . They are looking for spring too!

I am thinking. . . that I am going to up my walking this week. (Now I just need to move it from thinking about it to doing it!)

from the kitchen. . . My morning coffee. . .  I'm thinking it will be oatmeal this morning. . . sprinkled with cinnamon. (yum!)

I am wearing. . . lavender t-shirt, sage green pants, & a light pink sweater. . . (feeling a bit like an Easter egg!)

I am creating. . . a new design that I am having so much fun with! (Can't wait to show you!)

I am remembering. . . How much I love to work with wool!

I am going. . .  to really finish getting papers ready for taxes. . . I have to . . . my meeting is in a week!

I am reading. . . finished Leota's Garden by Francine Rivers. (Loved it. . . I highly recommend it!) This week I am starting 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society'.

I am hoping . . . to get my new pattern back from the printers this week.

I am hearing. . . raindrops. . . it's looking to be a great stitching day.

around the house. . . spring things are starting to make their appearance - soft colored quilts, baskets, & flowers. . . lot's & lot's of flowers!

one of my favorite things. . .  hydrangeas. . . love them. . . they are my favorite flowers.

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . stitching a wool version of my latest design, & getting some other designs out of the sketchbook & into fabrics

from my picture journal. . .

 Hope you enjoy this last week of February!
, Bren

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

… a little stitching. . . a little rambling. . .

First of all. . .  how can we already be in the last half of February? Wasn't it just New Years? 


Lately, I've been keeping myself busy in the studio. . .  I've had a couple of projects on-going, & as of today, one of them is 'officially' at the printers. . . all proofed & on it's printing way. . . & the other one - I'm making some great progress on. It's one of those that I've had in my head (& sketchbook) for a bit & I took the remaining stitchery with me on my trip to San Diego last week & got it all completed. . . so today I've been playing with the setting & the colors. (I love this part!)

This is the first of three versions of the design. This one is done in embroidery. I'm using Lecien's COSMO threads. (!) For this version, I'm mostly using what is now known as the 'Marble' line. . . they are softly variegated & I have a serious 'crush' on them. (LOVE!!!)  I got word (& a copy of the new colors!) that they are introducing a whole bunch of new colors to the line in May & will be re-naming the line 'Seasons'. I can hardly wait!

Can you see the color changes?  I just love how they bring a bit of a vintage look to the stitching.

Last evening I started the second 'version' of this new design . . . I'm doing it in wool! I love working with wool & haven't done it in way too long. . . & so I'm having a ball! 

I'm so happy to be back working in the studio. It feels perfect. Also for the last few days - the weather here has been close to perfect (in the 70's!) - & so I've had the windows & the slider wide open in the studio. Yesterday, I even sat in the doorway for a bit. . . as the sun was shining in & the warmth of it felt so wonderful. I realized, while sitting there (with Bailey - who had crawled into my lap), that I miss being outside. In the past few years - I've actually avoided being outside much - 'avoiding the sun' - I would tell myself. But, I feel so much better when I get myself outdoors.

So, I'll be getting a really good sunscreen & my plan is to get myself outside much more from now on. I also want to help Dad out more in the yard. He loves doing it - but it's getting to be a bit much for him to do it all these days. It will be good for me to learn all that he does in the yard as well. 

I also expect that my freckles will be 'sprouting' like they haven't for too many years. . . but actually. . . I kind of miss them.!

Hope you have a wonderful - sunny day!


Monday, February 15, 2010

daybook ::7::

for today :: February 15, 2010

outside my window. . . sunshine. . . beautiful sunshine! (we're supposed to be in the 70's this week! . . . So now I get it. . . this is why folks move here!)

I am thinking. . . of all the pretty fabrics that arrived this week. . . & all the projects swimming around in my head that I have planned for them.

from the kitchen. . . coffee. . . good black coffee.

I am wearing. . . working-around-the-house-clothes. . . grey t-shirt, comfy J.Jill knit pants & bare feet. (lol. . . this is what I was wearing last week!. . . I am such a creature of habit!)

I am creating. . . patterns directions.

I am remembering. . . that summer weather will be here. . . soon!  :o)

I am going. . . for a walk with Bailey a little later in the day.

I am reading. . . finishing up Leota's Garden by Francine Rivers. Like all of her books. . . I don't want it to end(!)

I am hoping . . . That I can get everything done on my day's 'to-d0' list

I am hearing. . . my iTunes on in the background. (love my iTunes!)

around the house. . . I just got out the duster. . . (you can tell I've been leaving the back door open lately!)

one of my favorite things. . . Ghirardelli - 60% Cacao dark chocolate. Especially with coffee. Join me?

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . getting pattern to the printer, some organizing. . . & starting a bunch of new designs! (I'm a happy, happy girl!)

from my picture journal. . .
These are part of the hydrangea plant that "Bailey" got me for Valentine's Day. . . isn't he such a thoughtful little guy?!

Hope you have a sun-shiny week!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

… Valentine wishes

He's already given me a wonderful little hydrangea plant (my favorite flowers. . . how did he know?!?). . . Bailey let me know that he wanted to be in on the Valentine wishes to all of the wonderful people who come & visit the blog. . .

. . . so here is what he wanted to give to each of you. . .!

Happy Valentine's Day  from Bailey & me! Hope your day is filled with lots of love. . . (& smooches too!)


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

… some new things on the website!

I just got back from a little trip to San Diego. . . but just before I left - I did a bit more cleaning in the studio, & have added some more items to the website. . .

. . . some bundles, layer cakes™, jelly rolls™, honey buns™, & even some kits!

All of these are in very limited quantities. . . (I just wanted to give a fair warning!)

I'm posting photos of the items here. . . & if you click on the item name, it will link you to the page where it's listed on the website.

A New Day - quilt kit  $69.95

Garden Windows - quilt kit  $54.95

Picnic Quilt  - quilt kit  $44.95

Allspice Tapestry - by Fig Tree & Co. for Moda - fat quarter bundle       sold

Aster Manor - by 3 Sisters for Moda - fat quarter bundle       sold

Antique Rose - by Lecien- 17½" cuts bundle (almost a ½ yard each!)     sold

Swell (wovens) - by Urban Chicks for Moda - fat quarter bundle    $12.95

At Water's Edge - by Blackbird Designs for Moda - fat quarter bundle   sold

At Water's Edge - by Blackbird Designs for Moda - jelly roll™   $16.95   

Aviary - by 3 Sisters for Moda - honey bun™    $14.95

The Caroler - by Mary Engelbreit for Moda - turnover™    $9.95

Rouenneries - by French General for Moda - layer cake™      sold

Wicasett - by Minick & Simpson for Moda - layer cake™    sold

(I'll be back soon with some photos & stories from my San Diego trip!)


Monday, February 8, 2010

daybook ::6::

for today :: February 8, 2010

outside my window. . . a covey of quail. . . bunches! . . . so cute & funny! They are young - most of them look to be almost a year old. Soon there will be 'strings' of babies running & darting around!

I am thinking. . . of what I need to pack for my overnight trip to San Diego tomorrow.

from the kitchen. . . new hardware on the cabinets & drawers! (The house was finished almost 10 years ago. . . & I finally just put on the drawer pulls & cabinet knobs that I got at Restoration Hardware . . . almost 9 years ago! . . . talk about procrastination!)

I am wearing. . . working-around-the-house-clothes. . . grey t-shirt, comfy J.Jill knit pants & bare feet.

I am creating. . . yo-yo's. . . lots & lots of yo-yo's.

I am remembering. . . that I have to finish getting my tax stuff together. ick.

I am going. . . to San Diego (!). . . for a quick trip to meet my new little grand-niece - Abrielle. (sigh!)

I am reading. . . a new magazine I got for the plane trip(s) - 'cottage style'. (I'm peeking before my trip 'officially' starts)

I am hoping . . . that I can squeeze in visiting everyone I hope to in a little over 24 hrs trip. (May need to rethink the time frame for the next trip.)

I am hearing. . . little jabbering quail. . . my but they are chatter-y!

around the house. . . cleaning up just finished projects. . . making room for the next ones to get started!

one of my favorite things. . . lately, it's having scented candles going. . . an instant relaxer.

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . um. . . did I mention that I'm going to San Diego (!). . . but for today - it's quilt/stitch group tonight! . . . getting mocha ingredients ready!

from my picture journal. . .

We've been having some wonderfully drizzly & rainy days. . . & then sunsets like this.

  ♥  Bren

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

… a cloudy, drizzly day

Things are pretty quiet around here today . . .

. . . quilts are off to the quilter, & today is all about pattern writing.

I've had some of my favorite movies on in the background. . . & now a NCIS marathon is on the television. . . so that will be on in the background for a bit.

I'm thinking though. . . that this little one isn't really into what's on the telly. . .

. . . he's making the most of this cloudy, drizzly day!


Monday, February 1, 2010

… daybook ::5::

for today  ::  February 1, 2010

outside my window. . . a clear blue sky. . . & the sun is starting it's work of warming a winter day! (today we are supposed to get to 66 degrees!)

I am thinking. . .  (& praying for)  a dear friend who is on her way to Japan to be with her ailing father for what will probably be his last day.

from the kitchen. . . coffee. . . (so far). . . see below. . . just opened a fresh bag. (Wishing you had a scratch & sniff screen!)

I am wearing. . . pink t-shirt, & comfy pants, & slipper socks. . . soon to change into walking clothes.

I am creating. . .  actually just finished two small quilts. . . today will be 'creating' (writing) patterns directions.

I am remembering. . .  how good it feels to sew on the final borders of a quilt. . . (been too long!)

I am going. . . to take my Dad out for his birthday lunch today. He picked Olive Garden. . . so I know were going to dive into soups & salad! Yum.

I am reading. . . back to finishing Leota's Garden'. . . (love this book)

I am hoping  . . . that  I will get my office up to date this week. . . (that means getting things ready for taxes.)

I am hearing. . . just a few birdies. . . they are ready for spring to come!

around the house. . . two quilts, their backs & batting ready for the quilter. . . , Dad is sleeping in. . . & after his morning kibble - Bailey going is joining him! Nice & quiet here!

one of my favorite things. . . making bindings for finished quilts!

a few plans for the rest of the week. . . pattern writing. . . & back to a stitchery & applique project.

from my picture journal. . .
. . . seriously - don't you wish your screen had scratch-'n-sniff?!?

Hope you have a wonderful start to your week!