June 30, 2013

Introducing "Jack"...

My newest little "bit of Britain". This compact Union Jack dog is actually supposed
to be a doorstop. I think he's adorable and he's going to fit right in around here.
 For now, I'm going to keep him on my side table, right next to my favorite photo of
Handsome, Taggart and me from Christmas. We take a new family picture each
year and I do believe that this one will be hard to beat. Sorry. I got sidetracked.

Anyway, I've named my sweet little British flag doggie "Jack", and in a week or 
so, I'll probably move him into the studio. He'll be a good dog, but one thing is 
for sure. He won't ever be employed as a doorstop. I have other plans for him.

It's July 1st already. No looking back. Time to focus on this months' goals.

June 29, 2013

Sunday Scripture...

Web image from My Study Bible

June 28, 2013

Weekend Playtime...

 On Thursday, one of my students said that she'd been exploring my blog and had seen 
photos of my studio. She spoke of it in glowing terms, and I admit that I was a bit 
embarrassed. I quickly told her that I all bloggers usually only share studio photographs
after a recent cleaning. Don't we all like to put our best foot (feet?) forward?
 So, to prove that my creative space is usually like the everyone else, I'm posting 
pics of my room right after completing Handsome's Princeton Plates quilt top.

There are scraps of fabrics on tables, threads on the floor (Did I tell you I 
really hate that carpet? The only reason it's still in there is because I'd have to 
empty the studio to put in a new floor!), and many notions out of place. I'll have
to put away my rulers and cutters, store the iron and ironing board until the next 
time I need them, clean off all my horizontal surfaces and vacuum. I really must 
vacuum. (Please don't tell my doctor, as I'm not technically allowed yet.)
 I haven't put away the rest of the Princeton fabrics yet because I'm still going
to make two panels that will become trim for the guest room headboard.
I'll also make coordinating pillowcases, so I'll precut the fabric for those, too.
 The quilt top will be hanging in the studio hallway until I can take it to the 
long-arm quilter. The studio will have to wait for its much-needed cleaning. 
I'm taking the weekend off!

I'm going to Coffee Club this morning.
This evening, Handsome and I are going to our friend's 80th Birthday party.
Tomorrow, I'm going to spend the day playing with Tag - and 
Handsome and I plan to relax through the middle part of the day, 
We'll be joining friends for dinner out in the evening. 
Notice that "cleaning the studio" isn't on that list at all.

I hope you, too, are able to enjoy a restful weekend with someone you love.
It's really all we really need.

June 27, 2013

Rainy Days and Thursdays...

 What to do on a cloudy Thursday that quickly turned to rain?
Well, for starters, teach the final class for the Over The River quilt.
That was really fun. I saw one finished quilt and helped with pointers
on another. My third student had a funeral to attend and couldn't come.

I headed home and went to the studio to work on the Princeton Plates.
 I asked Handsome for his input and together we chose the sashing, 
cornerstone and border fabrics. The blocks are all assembled now, 
so today, I'll square up the quilt and add the first and second borders.
 Then, I'll be ready to send it off to the long-arm. While it's away, I'll make
 coordinating pillowcases, shams and prepare the binding for its return.
There's still a bunch to do, but I couldn't wait to share my progress.
 If you need me, I'll be in the studio.
Catch ya later!

June 26, 2013

A Bug From Down Under...

 Whenever I need a dose of Royal Academy of Needlework-quality embroidery, I
head over to Lee's blog "Notes From Under the Mountain". Lee lives in 
New Zealand in the shadow of Mt. Taranaki, and her handwork will make you
 swoon. She creates the most beautiful things and her stitches are perfection.

One day, I stopped by to visit and saw that Lee was offering up a piece of her
handwork in a giveaway. She had four little bugs that she'd stitched and there 
would be four lucky winners. I added my comment and crossed my fingers.
 I received my little beetle in the mail on Saturday and immediately opened
the package! Lee had tucked this little beauty inside a card of Mt. Taranaki.
I can't even imagine living anywhere with a view like that!
 I'm mesmerized by this little red beetle. It has bead-y black eyes, a 
leathery head and a puffy body stitched in sparkling red threads. I'm
in awe of the talent that Lee poured into all four of her beetles. Making
them seems to come so naturally to her. She's an inspiring needlewoman.
 For now, my little red beetle is going to sit on my sewing table right
in front of Harris so that I can look at it whenever I want to. I know 
I'll eventually affix it to something special - some time in the future -
but for now, I'm going to keep it close and enjoy looking at it.

I'm so grateful that Lee chose my name, and then was willing to
send this sweet gift all the way to Florida, USA.
I'll cherish this gift from your hands for a long time to come.
Thank you, Lee!

June 25, 2013

Happy Hump Day...

My current favorite television commercial. 
I never get tired of watching it, and it makes me laugh every. single. time.
(Direct link:  http://youtu.be/kWBhP0EQ1lA)
Happy Hump Day! 

June 24, 2013

Tuesdays With Tag - Public Service Announcement #3...

Hi, Everybody!
I'm back today with a very, very important Public Service Announcement.
This is my third PSA, and you know I only share these when it's really crucial.

It's really hot here in south Florida, but summer's in full swing everywhere. So this 
 matters whether you're in the south or anywhere else in the world with warm temps.
web image
I've found some statistics on the Web that I have to share with you. Did you 
know that on a warm day, even if you think the weather is mild, you could put
 your pets at risk? Even if you think it's not really hot outside, it is in your car.

We are already readin' about dogs - includin'  POLICE K9s! - that are dyin' 
because their masters forgot neglected left them in a car that was too hot for 
them to survive. Just check out this chart and you can see how bad it can get.
web image
Now, look at this one.
It doesn't matter if your pet is left in the shade or the sun. Either way,
they could die in less time than you can even imagine. Our ER vet in
Sarasota, Dr. Kirsch, told Mom just last week that he had already treated
(and lost) a few dogs this month! There is just no reason for this to happen.
People...If you can't keep your pet with you while you're out, then do
the best thing and just keep them safe and cool at home.

Mom saw a little dog in a car in Sarasota last week with the windows
cracked open a little bit. She went into the store and told the manager to
make an announcement. He did, and the owner came out in a few minutes
and left with their dog. It was 90° outside! Mom said that if she sees a 
dog left in a car with the windows closed, she's going to call the police
and then break out the window to protect the dog. She means it, too!

Another thing...Do you exercise outside with your pet?
Did you know that it's not normal for a dog to just run long distances
without stoppin' for a break? Dogs weren't meant to be tethered to your
bicycle while you ride for blocks or miles without stoppin'. We aren't
built to just run full-out, non-stop, long distance while you work out.

The way we like to operate is to run a little, sniff a little, piddle on a blade of 
grass, sit down and scratch, then maybe run some more...but never when it's
 hot. When it's hot, we just like to lie around somewhere cool or go swimmin'.

Dr. Kirsch said one of the dogs that died last week was runnin' along with
its owner. Poor thing keeled right over. They took him to the ER, but he
couldn't be saved. It's been in the high 80s-90s around here - and humid!
What the heck was that human thinkin'?
I think you have a pretty good idea by now just how important this is.
If you love your pets, don't leave them in your car. Period. 

Remember my friend, Megan? This picture was taken before it got hot
out. We were both completely safe when Mom took this picture. I don't
like bein' left home on Saturday mornin's one single bit. In fact, I bark my
skull off when she leaves, but now I understand that it's for my own good.

We've also read too many news stories about people forgettin' their kids in the 
car on hot days. Nothin' - and I mean NOTHIN' - is so important that you should 
forget your beloved children or your family pets in your car. If you're responsible
for another human being or an animal, you owe it to them not to be distracted.
You could save the life of someone you really don't want to live without. 
PLEASE pay attention. 

I know my Tuesday posts are usually a lot more fun, but I really thought this 
was too important not to share with you. Thanks so much for stayin' with me 
on this. I'll be sittin' here in the air conditionin', thinkin' about goin' to the dog 
beach,  playin' in the pool, or going for late day walkies with Mom. I'll tell ya 
all about how I've spent my week in my next post. 'til then...
"More Waggin' and Less Barkin'!"

June 23, 2013


Google Reader™ will be going away in a few days... 
They've been threatening this change for a while, and I just kept hoping that 
they'd relent. I was wrong. In the next few days, that feature will disappear 
from my all Blogger blogs. I don't like it, but nobody asked my opinion.

If you follow me through Google Reader™, please consider subscribing 
to Brynwood Needleworks via Bloglovin'™. I've placed the new widget 
right above the Friend Connect™ widget to make it easy for you to find 
(It's over there -> in my right side bar).
Once you subscribe, you'll receive my posts to your inbox every day.

This is different from Google Friend Connect™ or Linky Followers™. This
change is only if you're used to reading my blog through Google Reader™.

We've been told that Friend Connect™ may also change at some time
in the future, so if you're not signed up as a Linky Follower™, you might
want to do that at the same time. I know that I'm going to miss my Friend
Connect™ widget if they ever discontinue it. Linky™ provides the same
feature and promises that they will be a great alternative for the future.

Change is a difficult thing for me.
If we remain calm, perhaps this won't hurt too much.
Please sign up now so that we don't lose touch with each other.
I'd hate for you to miss all the great things I have planned.

June 21, 2013

A New Quilter In Heaven...

Web Image
 Yesterday, our Coffee Club and our entire quilt guild received sad news.
Our dear friend and my mentor, Flo Shannon died.
Coffee Club (l-r) Flo, Joni, Nora, Fay, Kathy, me and Brenda
Flo passed on Wednesday evening at her home.
I saw her Tuesday night at our guild meeting and thankfully, I had a chance
to speak with her that night. We've all be concerned for her for some time, as
she seemed to be getting more and more frail, but we never expected this.
Always a good listener/
Flo was one of the charter members of our guild, and she made it her goal to 
welcome all new members, get to know them and help teach them more about 
quilting. I wrote about her in August 2010 when I made my first, sad attempt
 at hand applique'. She told me I needed to redo my work because it wasn't good 
enough. I railed and carped here, but I redid my work and eventually finished 
the block into a lap quilt that received honorable mention at our last quilt show.
Photo courtesy of Linda Spencer
You have seen the applique' projects I've completed since that first try, and I
attribute my enthusiasm to the encouragement and knowledge I received from Flo.
She often told me how proud she was to be my teacher and see the progress I made.
Then, she'd lower her head and smile at me with her twinkling Irish eyes.
I'll never forget this look.

She was a good listener, a great friend, an adventurous and talented woman with a 
colorful  past, and a true educator in the art of quilting. She was never stingy with 
her lessons and couldn't wait to share everything she had every learned or done.

Today will be a sad day at Coffee Club...our first day without our dear Flo.
We will all remember her, share our memories and raise our coffee cups in her honor.
She will be sorely missed.
We love you, Flo.

June 20, 2013

The Captain and Chenille...

 This post has absolutely nothing to do with music or the military,
but I couldn't resist using "The Captain" in my title. I know...lame. 
I just couldn't help myself.  This is about "chenille", though.
I thought I'd show you my assortment of chenille bedspread scraps.
I collected these over a period of time, and I've been saving them for
future projects. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them yet. I didn't
cut up old bedspreads myself, but they are salvaged parts, and I do have
a few "cutters" myself. I just have a hard time taking a scissors to them.
 Some pieces are larger, and some are smaller, but all of them are pretty.
You can see all the colors - and the patterns are just as varied.
 These pinks remind me of snuggly baby girls. They're so soft and sweet.
I made this jacket for our younger granddaughter two years ago from
some of my scraps. It was just adorable on her. Perhaps I should make
a few more for the Brynwood Boutique? I love working on children's 
clothing, and chenille seems to make for really sweet outfits.

I might just have to add more girly chenille jackets to my "To Do" List
after I finish all the projects I already have lined up. I could be fun!

How do you feel about chenille?

June 19, 2013

Fabric, Fabric Everywhere...

Kathy Webb, Co-owner of Sandy's Quilt Shop
I talk about Saturday Coffee Club and Sandy's Quilt Shop all the time. 
I figured I was long overdue sharing some photos of the shop with you.

When you enter the shop, one of two smiling faces always greets you...
Kathy or her sister Nora. They're co-owners of the shop. I know.
You're wondering where the name "Sandy's Quilt Shop" came from.
The shop was named for Kathy and Nora's sister, Sandy.

Sandy had always wanted to open her own shop, but she sadly passed 
from cancer before realizing her dream. In her honor, her sisters decided to
name the shop for her. Hence, "Sandy's" was born in Harbour Heights, FL.
Main Sales Floor
This is the first room you see once you're in the shop. Everywhere you look, 
you get the impression that you've entered into a colorful fabric haven.

I've heard quilters say that "fabric speaks to them". In my case, it hollers at me. 
It interrupts my dreams, jumps up and down on my chest and pokes at me until 
I give it proper attention. Well, girlfriends. When I walk through the doors of 
this shop, all those fabric gremlins are soothed and my senses are happy, happy.
Nora Baker, Co-owner and Kathy's Sister
When I got to the shop yesterday, Nora was making the binding to finish a quilt 
that she and Kathy made for a new baby. I really love the fabric and the design
caught my eye, too. I even did a web search so I could share the pattern with you.
Schooltime Quilt Pattern
This is the "Schooltime" pattern by Evelyn Sloppy. Nora and Kathy used
it to make this baby quilt. It's from the book "Sew One and You're Done".
If you like this quilt design, you can purchase the ePattern here.
Cutting Table Room
This is the cutting room. Many stories are told and fabric decisions made
around this table. Through the arch is the shop "sewing room". Nora and
Kathy each have their own sewing machine set-up, and there are chairs
and tables set up for our Coffee Club or other impromptu gathering.
World issues are discussed and many problems are solved in that room!
(It's like the modern version of the old dry goods store pickle barrel.)
Long-arm Room (left) and Batik & Notions Room (right)
Patterns, books, quilts, fabrics, notions and threads fill every inch 
of floor and wall space at Sandy's. Inspiration oozes off every shelf.
Batik & Notions Room and Sale Rack
Batiks, Freckles™, Dimples™ and more...If you can't find it here, girlfriend,
you just don't need it! (I need shelves like this in the studio. I have 
to talk to Kathy, find out who made them and see what they'd charge me!)
More fabric!
Fabric up high...Fabric down low...Fabric, Fabric Everywhere!
 Another "Schooltime" quilt waiting for the long-arm. This one is for a young
boy, and I can already imagine what his reaction will be when he sees it!

As I left the shop, Kathy was heading back to the long-arm room to do a
custom design for one of Fay's quilts and Nora was helping a customer.
Just another day at Sandy's and everything was as it should be.
All is right with the world.