January 31, 2020


Brynwood Needleworks - Completed Dresses For The Twins

I completed the dresses for my nieces - just in time. All along, I thought the party was on Sunday. Turns out it's tonight!!! No worries. I finished in relaxed fashion, with no impending-doom-filled deadline. lol

Brynwood Needleworks - Buttons On The Pinnies

Thanks to everyone who left comments for me yesterday. I read them throughout the day, and I think most (all?) agreed with me, without even knowing it! I loved the little scalloped flower buttons, too.

Brynwood Needleworks - Dress Buttons - Blue

My Destiny makes such lovely button holes, and they're so easy on my machine that it's a pleasure to make them.

Brynwood Needleworks - Dress Buttons -Lavender

Once the buttons were all sewn on, I could turn my attention to hand sewing the hems. Button holes, then buttons, and then hems.

Brynwood Needleworks - Hem Detail

I first sewed hem lace to the bottoms of the dresses, and then turned the lace up to hem the dresses and pinafores. I sat down to finish sewing the hems by hand. 

I've chosen to hang the dresses, so I'll be making a little garment bag to protect them and "wrap" them, rather than fold them into boxes. I think I'll machine embroider both their names on the garment bag, and then add a bow to hold the hangers together.

Once that's finished, I'll be ready to party! I can't wait to see their reactions, and I'll definitely get photos to share with you. Thanks again for your input! Wasn't that fun?

January 30, 2020

Button, Button...

Brynwood Needleworks - Buttons
I chose the buttons I want to use. Well, mostly. I love my choices for the colored dresses. Those were easy. I made sure they're flat (so they don't dig into the girls backs if they lean back on a chair), and I picked colors that are close to the fabric colors.

Brynwood Needleworks - Which Ones?

I brought home two choices for the pinafores. I really am not sure which style to choose. What do you think and why? Would you use #1 (top) or #2 (bottom)? Unlike the dresses, whose buttons are on the back, these buttons will be on the front of the pinafores. 
Please leave a comment and let me know which ones you'd use. I'm leaning toward one over the other, but I'd love your input. If you can't leave a comment on the bottom of this post (click on "__friends clicked here to leave a message for me"), just send me an email by clicking on the email icon in my sidebar. Thanks!


January 29, 2020

Almost Finished...

Brynwood Needleworks - Almost Finished Dresses For The Twins
If you could see all the buttons I have in large apothecary jars and divided plastic boxes, you'd find it as inconceivable as I do that I don't have what I need to finish these dresses. facepalm But, I don't.

I'm going out first thing this morning to buy buttons for each of the dresses. When I get back home,  I'll add buttonholes, sew on the buttons, and hem the dresses. That's all I have left to do. 

I have to crow just a teeny tiny bit. I'm tickled how the designs lined up on the pinafores! Look that that fox, front and center! And the animals and plants lined up on the pinny for the blue dress, too.

I'll share photos tomorrow of the finished dresses, top to bottom and front to back. I'm looking forward to seeing the twins wearing them, too!

January 28, 2020

Tuesdays With Tag - Squirrel Watchers...

Brynwood Needleworks - Squirrel Watchers

  Hi, Everybody!

It's been pretty excitin' around here with all the snow and now, warmer weather. The critters have been out and about durin' the day. We've seen lots of birds, but what we really love to see are those furry tree rats. We love watchin' squirrels!

Boo usually seems 'em before I do, and she starts with a low growl that quickly turns into "squirrel alarm" barkin'. Mom and Dad especially love it because I join in, barkin' my head off, before I even know what I'm barkin' at!

Brynwood Needleworks - Fierce Bella Dog

I told you a while back that I'd be sharin' some excitin' information with you soon. Well, today's the day. See this pretty face? Well, startin' next week, she's gonna be back in Florida for trainin' - and her honeymoon with Rigby.

We're all gonna make sure there are puppies this spring, so she and Rigby are gonna be livin' and trainin' together at Uncle Mike's until it's time for them to make babies. That might be a little while yet, but while they're waitin', Bella and Rigby are gonna have fun learnin' new retrievin' stuff and enjoyin' the warmer weather.
Brynwood Needleworks - Stylin' Retriever

She's scheduled to leave next Monday, so Mom is plannin' to take lots of pictures of her before then. We're probably not gonna see her for at least three months, and maybe a little longer. Mom says it all depends on her "biological clock".

I'm not afraid to admit I'm gonna miss the girl, but I know she's gonna have fun, and Uncle Mike will send lots of pictures while she's away. Even so...does anybody have a hankie? I think I might have a little somethin' in my eye.

 I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...
"Just Do It...but not on the rug."

January 27, 2020

Sewing Away, Night and Day...

Brynwood Needleworks - MacDonald Quote via Facebook
No "sacred idleness" today. I'm working on the dresses for two little girls. Patterns are cut out, and assembly has begun. I'll show you more, when I have more to show you. lol

Of course, watch for Tag tomorrow. He'll be back to catch you up on all the goings on here at the farmhouse. I'll see you again on Wednesday. Back to the machines for now.


January 26, 2020

Sunday Scripture...

Brynwood Needleworks via AnExtraordinaryDay.net

January 25, 2020

Working On Dresses...

Brynwood Needleworks - Fabrics For Dresses
I've settled on the fabrics, and now I'm busy assembling dresses for my great nieces. I chose a pastel blue for "M", who loves Frozen and sings all Elsa's songs. I chose the pastel lavender for "O", who loves Elsa's sister character, Anna. The animal print fabric will be made into pinafores for each dress. I'll also machine embroider their names (along with their favorite character) onto the underskirt of each dress. I shared the pattern (and photos of my sweet nieces) HERE, to refresh your memory.

It's been snowing (on and off) for two days, so I expect I'll get a lot of sewing accomplished. We'll see how far I get this weekend. I'll be sewing and watching the weather.

January 24, 2020

Biggie and Squirt...

Brynwood Needleworks - Biggie 'Possum
I received my brand, new replacement trail cam from Browning last week. I unpacked it, held my breath and installed it outside. It's been working like a charm since I put it up, but with the cold, cold weather, the only thing I was seeing at night were some hardy little mice, braving the weather to feast at the banquet I put out every afternoon. There's always a little something for everyone.
I've been putting out peanuts-in-the-shell for the birds and squirrels, along with birdseed; corn-on-the-cob for the squirrels; and then goodies for the opossums. The 'possum food went untouched, because they were sticking close to home to stay warm.

The temps came up on Wednesday night, bringing snow and the two opossums back to the "habitat". After pulling my SD (memory) card for my trail cam, and plugging it into my laptop, I smiled to see they were in multiple frames.

I know they'll never hear these names, but I named them both today. This is the larger of the two opossums, so I've named him "Biggie". I'm not sure if it's a boy or girl, but Biggie showed up around 9 o'clock Wednesday night. 
"He" (because I just don't know) covers the whole area while here...preferring to hang out under the little roof tasting a bit of everything. In this photo, most of the eating has been accomplished, and there's a little preening and cleaning up going on. I learned last winter, when they came to our porch to eat, that they always clean up after eating, reminiscent of the way cats clean themselves after every meal.
Brynwood Needleworks - Squirt 'Possum
Almost immediately after dark, this little one shows up. I've called this one "Squirt" because he's so small. I leave food up in the cubbies and crevices of the habitat, and that's where Squirt prefers to snack. Even so, he also likes the nuts and fruits in the birdseed mix, so he'll come down into the foreground of the feeding area.
I've learned that, while opossums are little trash eaters, they love pears, grapes, and cat or dog food. Dog food, I'm told, has more food value for them, so I put that out for them to help keep them nourished in the coldest weather. Of course, the pears, grapes, banana I cut up for them is always gone in the morning after they visit, too.
During the day, I watch the squirrels facing off the crows to get to the peanuts; and before the sun is up, a small flock of mourning doves descend on the birdseed. I've counted 25-30 doves showing up just before dawn. I've got some great pictures of them in flight, and I love how the light shows through their feathers.
This really is the best Birthday gift...it keeps on giving with every image. Does this count toward my "extended" Birthday timing? Hmmmm. I wonder. I might extend this one all the way to the next one, if that's the case.
All the fabric for the dresses for the twins is washed, waiting to be ironed today. After that, I'll be cutting out the pattern pieces. I almost never cut patterns and sew the same day, so I'll plan to sew tomorrow. Then, I'll be off to the races. Their Birthday party is the 31st, so I have a deadline. I hope you'll follow along.


January 23, 2020


Brynwood Needleworks - Farmhouse Valentines

I played with a little fabric on Monday, too. I pulled out my collection of Primitive Gatherings' (plus the dot fabric - not PG) Farmhouse Gatherings line of flannel fabric, and Lisa's "Sweethearts" pattern. I used the smallest heart shape in the pattern, and then used most of my own words for the hearts.

Lisa's hearts had words like "Be Mine", "I (heart) You", "All Mine", "Hug Me", "My Love", "Kiss Me", and "XOXO". I used "Kiss Me" and "XOXO", and then changed out the rest with "As You Wish" and "True Love" (from our favorite movie, The Princess Bride), and the initials inscribed in both of our wedding rings, "AB & A, AML".

Brynwood Needleworks - Farmhouse Valentines
In keeping with the number nine that I told you about yesterday, I'll be adding one more heart to the display. I like Lisa's "My Love", so that will probably be the last one. 

I have a few more Valentine touches to bring out before the actual holiday, but this is what our dining room table vignette looks like today. As an aside: Don't you love that my Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter cactus is budding out again? Don't ask why. I have no idea. It will be nice to have more flowers for Valentine's Day, though. 

Brynwood Needleworks - Grace's "Dear Heart" Pillow

I have another sweet valentine pillow that I stitched for Mom (Grace). When she moved into a nursing home and her lifelong home was emptied, Deb gave it back to me. I treasure it, and am so grateful that I have it here. I wrote about receiving my gift back HERE after Mom's move. Her pillow is always displayed in my bedroom, but it will be displayed in the living room for Valentine's Day.

Sadly, she didn't live long enough to see my move back to Wisconsin, but I was blessed to speak with her the day she passed in 2014. I wrote about her last day HERE. I'm so glad I got to say one last "I love you, Mom".

Today would have been Mom's Birthday. I wish every day that we had her here with us, but I'll wish her a happy Heavenly Birthday. She knows how much I miss her, and I know she watches over me. I love you, Mom. 


January 22, 2020

"Tribute To Betsy" Quilt - Complete...

Brynwood Needleworks - "Tribute To Betsy" Quilt Detail

My current quilt project is machine quilted, bound, and complete! I shared photos with the Brynwood Needleworks FaceBook page today and was asked about the flags, and whether or not they were actual little flags sewn into the quilt.

If you look closely, you can see that they've all been pieced. There is a block of stars, joined to a short stripe strip, and then joined to a longer stripe strip. You can see in the flag in the bottom of this picture, they aren't all matching and perfectly pieced. They definitely weren't little flags. They were pieced.

I wanted to keep the quilting as simple as possible, to follow the lead of the simplicity of the finished quilt. Straight lines all around.

Brynwood Needleworks - Completed "Tribute To Betsy" Quilt
So, here is my finished "Tribute to Betsy". I've even sewn a little symbolism into the borders. There are nine parallel lines that march around the outside of the quilt. The nine lines represent the nine letter in our last name. 
I've got my Brynwood label on the back, but I'll also add another label with the quilt name, my name, date and location where the quilt was created. I'll do that today, handstitching it onto the back when I've printed it out.
I also worked on another project yesterday, so you can expect to see that tomorrow. Hint: I'm already working on the next holiday! 

So, I have a question for you. Do you add symbolic touches to your work? If so, does it depend on the piece, or is your secret touch consistent on everything? I'd love to know.

January 21, 2020

Tuesdays With Tag - It's Rough For A Short Guy...

Brynwood Needleworks - Taggart 1.20.2020

 Hi, Everybody!

Mother Nature has been having a hissie fit in Wisconsin these days. We got a ton of snow over the past week, and it looks like more is on its way. Most folks can just soldier on, but for those of us who are...ahem...vertically challenged, it can be a chore to navigate.

Around here I get nicknames like "Short Crotch", "Sawed-off", "Furry Vienna Sausage", and "Little Willy". The only time it really bugs me is when the snow is taller than I am.

Brynwood Needleworks - Ummmmm

Seriously, this is what I'm talkin' about. Now, I admit that where I'm standin' is where Andy pushed all the snow that was driftin' across our driveway. Even so...there's still a bunch in the yard!
Brynwood Needleworks - She's Such A Show-off

Usually, Boo wants me to chase her around the yard, and even with all this snow, she runs around, showin' off her long, skinny legs. I try to chase, but get stuck, so I have to back up and save myself from drownin' in the white stuff. If I weren't so suave and "de-boner", I might be a little embarrassed. Just look at her, sittin' there like Queen of the Snowpile!

Brynwood Needleworks - Beautiful Snow Bella
She does look like she belongs up there...grey chinny-chin-chin, and all. hee hee I love ya, Black Dog. Come on down so I can chase you on the concrete, why don't ya?
It looks like this is gonna be an issue for a while, so I guess I'll just figure to go out, do my business, and come back into the house, where I can indulge in some of my other pastimes. No. Not crochet and backgammon. I'm talkin' about treat moochin', lyin' upside-down, and barkin' at the mailman, silly! Gotta run. I think I see someone comin' up the road. (Not really, but it's a good excuse to bark.) wink
 I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...
"Just Do It...but not on the rug."

January 20, 2020

A Good Sunday...

Brynwood Needleworks - Farmhouse Sandwich Bread

I know I made French bread last week, but Handsome requested sandwich bread, so I made a double batch yesterday. A double batch yielded five loaves, and again, the farmhouse smelled heavenly.
Brynwood Needleworks - Nearly Finished Tribute To Betsy Quilt
I was concurrently working on finishing my quilt, but got interrupted. I opened the package of batting, only to find out that the last batt I had was already cut into (I usually mark the outside of the package), and I didn't have enough on hand to do the quilt.
As soon as I put the completed dough into the pans for the last rise, I ran out to Walmart to get more "Warm & Natural" quilt batting. I got home in time to put the bread into the oven, and then went back to the studio to work on my quilt.
I accomplished a lot, but not enough to get to the binding. I'll finish quilting today, and then add the binding. I'll share the fully completed quilt on Wednesday. Tag will be back tomorrow!

January 19, 2020

Sunday Scripture...

Brynwood Needleworks - Sunday Scripture Psalm 116:1-2 via internet

January 18, 2020

Background Chosen...

Brynwood Needleworks - Tribute To Betsy Border and Background Fabrics
It's been snowing and blowing all night, but I managed to get to Menasha yesterday before the storm. I had to get a bit more border fabric (the one right under the pattern page), and then chose the fabric I'll be using as the back of my quilt. It's another coordinate from a different line from Primitive Gatherings, and the colors are almost identical.

So, while it's blustery and cold outside, I'll be busy working to complete this quilt over the weekend. Of course, I'll be back to the Habitat to make sure there's food for the critters and birds, too. Tag and Bella will only go out when they have to, spending the rest of their day inside with Handsome and me.

Hot coffee is definitely on my agenda this morning, and then it's off to the studio to get this quilt done. See you tomorrow!


January 17, 2020

Quilt Top and Fresh Bread...

Brynwood Needleworks - "Tribute To Betsy" Quilt Top

I got a lot accomplished yesterday. In addition to making and baking five loaves of French bread, I assembled the "Tribute To Betsy" quilt top. I can't believe how perfect the fabric I bought at Primitive Gatherings this week matches up with the flag blocks I made. It's spot on!

Brynwood Needleworks - Primitive Gatherings "Stars & Stripe Gatherings" Fabric Detail
Not only are the colors a near perfect match, but the design on the fabric couldn't be better either. Look at the tiny, little stars! 

I'm going back to Menasha today to get my background fabric, and I may get another coordinate (or more of this fabric) to make the quilt top slightly larger. The finished quilt is supposed to be 57" square, but I'm thinking I'd like it just a bit bigger. I'll get my fabric, and then decide as I work on it back at home.

My plan is to finish it as done by the designer (Em & Me Designs), with an all-over stipple quilting. I think I should keep the design simple, in keeping with the flavor of the quilt. I'll finish this one over the weekend, and then I'll begin my work on the dresses for my nieces. (I can't wait!) I'll have photos on Monday to show you this finished quilt.


January 16, 2020

The Search Is Over...

Brynwood Needleworks - Fabrics For "Tribute To Betsy"

I purchased a kit for a patriotic quilt top years ago, when Kathy D. and I were visiting quilt shops in the Madison area. I started assembly of that piece over a year ago, but came to a screeching halt when it was time to join the flag blocks with the background fabric included with the quilt.

What the shop included was a blush-y/primitive dyed fabric that, in my mind, was of a color wholly inappropriate for the project. I set it aside, and figured I'd wait until I could find something I liked better to finish assembling this quilt.

Brynwood Needleworks - Background Fabric Information
After Sit & Stitch on Tuesday, I met up with Kathy at Primitive Gatherings (the shop). I started looking at Lisa's "Star & Stripe Gatherings" line. Kathy pulled this fabric, and after laying my flag blocks on top of it, we declared that it would be perfect. I bought the fabric and brought it home.
Yesterday was a "running day", but I'm home today, so I'll assemble this quilt top. This is a really simple design, putting Old Glory front and center throughout the design, with my chosen background fabric used as sashing and borders.
I haven't chosen the fabric for the back of this quilt (yet), but I'm sure it will be from the same line. Once the front is assembled, I'll make another trip to the shop to choose the backing. I'll show more as my quilt develops...