Monday, April 29, 2013

... keeping busy

Took a little trip to Texas for a wonderfully fun surprise birthday party for my Aunt Trudy. A whole bunch of my cousins 'descended' on the cute little town of Lampases where we all celebrated her 90th birthday. My Aunt Trudy is the only living sibling of my Mom's family... & there were 10 kids in their family! It was a lovely time, & I was reminded what a great bunch of cousins I have. We took up two rows of pews at church, & it I couldn't help but smile as we all sang together. (All of my cousins have amazing voices...!) I know that my Mom & her brothers & sisters were looking down on us, so pleased that we were all together. (& I know it won't be the last time!)

Beside's navigating airports (with Dad too), I've also gotten some stitching done. Although I'm not prepping for Quilt Market (not going), I have been 'teaching' a wool club at a local quilt shop, The Quilt Basket (one of the new Top Ten Shops in the latest Quilt Sampler!), & in May we are starting a new design, 'Tavern House' by Maggie Bonanomi. (I love this design!) I am doing mine on linen (the original is on black wool). Also, I've started the borders for the embroidery version of a new quilt that will (hopefully) be released by the end of May.

(I tried to post the photos first - but I couldn't figure out how... This is my first time posting with 'Blogger for iPad'. For those of you who use it... any tips are welcome!)

I'm thinking that these... as well as the cross stitch designs I'm working on... should keep me plenty busy... for now at least!

Hope you have a great week!

xo, Bren

Monday, April 15, 2013

… a little business news... a little inspiration . . .

First. . . just a little announcement that the 'Spring Sale' on the website - will be ending tomorrow. I decided to keep it going until just after the 15th. So, for those who haven't already. . .  be sure to check it out! (25% & more off patterns & books!)

How fun it was to hear from so many of you that have had (or still have)
a little Kenmore too! I've got to say, that mine really 'stepped up to the plate' (baseball term) for me! I've fallen a little in love with it again.
It's gotten a good overall 'oil-ing' & I do believe it gave a little sigh of relief when I finished putting oil in the about 20 places that the manual showed(!)

The good news is - is that the Bernina is also now happy & healthy. Although it was pretty scary, it was only that there was a lot of lint & 'fluff' that clogged up the 'drive shaft' (?) underneath the motor (where you can't get to), & the motor just decided "no more' until it got a thorough & proper cleaning. I'm really good about cleaning & blowing out (with canned air) the lint  that I can see after every bobbin change, & putting the little dots of oil on the bobbin case, but as I was talking about what had happened with the Bernina folks - I realized that this past year, I did some sewing with flannels as well & they can really add to the 'lint factor'. I loved using them & want to again - it's just a good lesson to factor that into my cleaning schedule.

So for now all the sewing machines are 'happy campers'. . . including this 'sewing machine'!. . . or should I say 'stitching machine'!?! I've been (happily) stitching away at some new projects. . . 

here's a couple of little peeks. . .

(do they look familiar?)

I'll be honest. . . it's been hard for me to put them down! I've had so much fun!
But. . . there are a couple of quilt patterns that are waiting to be completed & so I'm putting myself on a 'stitching' schedule'. Otherwise, I would spend the whole days doing nothing else!

Now, to hopefully start you week off with a smile (& a little sigh). . . I wanted to share this with you. 
I get emails from a video site that has inspirational videos & they are so nice to watch from time to time in the midst of the things that normally make the 'news'.  This video is from an Australian version of 'The Voice' (we have an American version here as well). The premise of the show is that there are four 'coaches' (who are in the music industry & often celebrities) who's goal it is to create a 'team' of singers - that will go on to compete. (I'm not good at watching these shows - I get to nervous & the 'competition' part of it isn't my favorite.) But, for this show - the singers 'audition' without the coaches knowing anything about them - or even seeing them - (their chairs are turned around so they cant see the stage). This way, the  singer's 'Voice' is what the 'coaches' base their decision as to whether they want to have the singer on their 'team'. The fun part is that if more than one of the coaches choose a singer - that singer gets to pick who's team they want to be on. . . the tables are turned & the coaches do their best to get the singer to pick them(!)

Anyway. . . the young man in this video is incredible. . . & I admit that I have watched it over & over. . . it's that good. I keep finding little details that make it more & more wonderful. . . (watch the 'coaches' faces when they first hear him!)
 I hope it adds a little inspiration to start off your week! (& I dare you not to smile!)

(I can't wait until he releases a cd!. . .)

 ♥ Bren

Saturday, April 6, 2013

… memories. . . old ones & new ones

Whew!. . . what a busy week this has been!

As I was finishing the quilting for the 'Remember 'Whooo' Loves You' quilt for my newest little grand-nephew, my trusty Bernina died.
. . . out of the blue.
. . . no warning.
I was quilting along one minute & the next *poof* . . .  & nothing.
At first I thought that maybe the foot pedal cord had come loose, but nope.
After checking everything & anything it could be - I gave up. It would have to be taken in to the Bernina doctor. 
In my desperation to finish my quilting (as I only had one more day to finish the quilt!), I went out into the garage where I've stored the first sewing machine I ever owned, a Kenmore that I bought with $99 of my high school graduation gift-money.

Bless it's little sewing machine heart. . . even after about 10 years of being stored, it worked wonderfully. I un-earthed the free-motion foot I had for it & we finished up the quilting with no problems. (For the baby quilts - I simply quilt an allover cloud/popcorn design. . . one that withstands a lot of washing.)
But. . . just to show my appreciation to my little Kenmore - I pulled out the manual & I'm going to give it an all over oiling. It didn't give me any problems while we were sewing, but I thought that after having to live in the garage where the temps get really (really) hot in the summer. . . it deserves it.

I actually loved using it again. It brought back so many memories, & using it was like riding a bike. I remembered right way how it was threaded, & the differences with it & my Bernina. So, for now, (& maybe longer - depending on what the diagnosis is for my Bernina),  it will have it's well earned place on my sewing table. It's such a little trouper!
(. . . if only it had a buttonhole stitch!)

The quilt did get finished, washed & I carried it onto the plane on Wednesday, when Dad & I flew over to San Diego to meet Samuel (or as his brother call him - Baby Sam).
It was a long, but wonderful day (we flew home late that evening), & now little Samuel is also wrapped in memory of the loving arms of my Mom. (you can read about that here.)

The last photo is of my Dad & three of his four great-grandkids. (He's holding Samuel.)
What I love about that photo is that both of the other 'grands' had "foodie's" all over their hands (buttered biscuit on one & grapefruit on the other's). . . & they both grabbed onto Dad's trouser legs for this photo. :o) They did it so fast & at the same time, so there was nothing we could do but giggle!

Great memories.

Hope your weekend brings you some precious memories too.