Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Afterglow

My middle child - a second grade teacher - gave me a very sweet gift for Christmas. This little book was meant for children, but it brought tears to my eyes. She confessed later that she got teary as well when she read the book.

It is the story about a quilt made for the quilter's daughter. Abigail’s quilt kept her warm on cold nights, comforted her when she was sick, and served well as a gown during imaginative play. This is a charming story. I highly recommend it as a gift for yourself and your quilting friends.

Our three children have grown up using quilts in the same way. Once, when invited to a sleepover, my daughter didn't understand why her friend had a sleeping bag on her bed. Having been raised with hand made quilts, she had never seen a comforter! My children are truly sheltered.

So as not to lead you astray and let you believe that our children are totally wonderful, I need to share the gift our daughters made and gave to me and their daddy. They decided that we truly needed gnomes to complete our home. Our eldest painted her dad's gnome and daughter #2 painted my lovely lady gnome. The gnomes were painted to depict us. So papa gnome got brown eyes and dark hair, while mama gnome got green eyes and orange (red? blond?) hair that was shot through with gray! Those little stinkers! Perhaps I once again need to become friendly with a dye bottle. When all is said and done, I will likely cherish those silly gnomes.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I ran across this You Tube video while searching for Christmas carols. O Holy Night is my favorite song during the Holiday Season. I hope you enjoy this rendition as much as I have.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

You know you are awfully spoiled when your husband doesn't know what to get you for your birthday.

One week prior to the big day he suggested a trip to commemorate the event. He was considering a rather chilly destination. Not being a huge fan of winter, snow, ice...I suggested a trip to Hawaii would only cost a couple extra hours on the airplane...why not be warm and relaxed?

It is rather disconcerting for this cold climate girl to hear Christmas Carols being accompanied by ukuleles! What a treat to spend a week on Oahu. We ate at a few favorite restaurants, read a bunch of books and watched old movies. Yes, we walked the beach as well. Being pasty white Alaskans, we are careful to not overdo the beach time.

Due to an Atlantic storm, there were high surf warnings during our visit. We had the great fortune to be able to watch talented surfers brave the big waves. What a treat! Beyond the fact that I have never seen such large waves before, the surfers put on a really great show!

Needless to say, we returned to snow and cold. Anchorage has been blanketed with ice fog causing the trees to be covered with hoar frost.

This afternoon, the bohemian wax wings came by for a visit to devour any remaining berries from the May Day tree in our front yard. The front shades had to be closed after a few of these lovely birds flew into my windows!

This week will be spent working on the quilts for Strip Therapy 5. Two tops have been completed, #3 has been started. Quilts 4 - 6 are drawn up and waiting for their turn. I expect Strip Therapy 5 will also include a bag or two as well. Keep posted for updates.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The DVD is in the Warehouse!

The DVD has arrived at the warehouse just in time for Christmas! We will begin shipping immediately. The small quilt on the left is the project that you can make as you watch the DVD and follow along with the workshop.

Where has this month gone? One moment it was Halloween, and the next time I looked up from my computer it is almost Thanksgiving. I don't think I slept through it so I expect my personal whirlwind has absorbed the month when I wasn't paying attention.

I have been looking forward to November all year. I am not scheduled to travel again until mid-January when I will be teaching at Road to California. Until then, I am anticipating a few uninterrupted hours bonding with my sewing machine once again.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mastering the Mariner's Compass

Remember the DVD that I taped this summer? I received the final edit while I was on my three week teaching/quilt market trip in October. After review, it is deemed ready for replication. I am so excited!

The DVD is perfect for those quilters that would like to make a mariner's compass but are intimidated by the process, as well as a refresher for the quilters who have sewn but would like a few pointers how to make the process more enjoyable.

In this one-on-one workshop, you will learn how to foundation paper piece a mariner’s compass at your own speed - play, pause and rewind. I have added my favorite tips, hints, and secrets to success. I will tell you what tools I use to make piecing easier.
Most importantly, I have included a printable PDF pattern so you can work along with the DVD. It's just like a private lesson, but better - you can work in your pajamas!

Friday, October 30, 2009

It is never boring in "Brendaland"

At least, that is what my hubby would tell you! I took a few moments in September to order a long arm! The machine was delivered in multiple large boxes and today the sales rep arrived at my doorstep to set-up the new toy.

My sister-in-law, who has blanket permission to always say what she is thinking, asked me very sweetly, "Honey, when will you have time to do that?" Well, I am not sure. Frankly, the refrain from a country song has been running through my mind... "What was I thinking?"

Actually, I am thrilled! I purchased an A-1 Quilting Machine. After talking to many quilters in my travels, I am confident that I purchased the correct machine for me. With that said, I do expect to spend a good bit of time just learning how to quilt. Trust me, my beloved long arm quilter is in no danger of losing my business.

So, now on to the next question...can anyone tell me where to begin? I feel rather like I did after giving birth to our first child. I was in the hospital bed, our daughter was fed, burped, diaper changed and all I could think of was "Now what do I do?" I am capable of loading a quilt, and even keeping it rather square. I can make it go, and balance the tension to my liking. My hubby is now a trained long arm armorer - he can time it. Now what do I do to build skill.

Is there a dvd or book or something that I can do to become reasonably proficient? If you have some clue where I should begin, please feel free to educate me. Thanks in advance for your insight!