April 30, 2020

They're Here!!!!!...

Brynwood Needleworks - Bella's Announcement
When Tag wrote his blog post this week, we had no idea that Bella's puppies had already been born! We got the phone call yesterday morning with the great news. Uncle Mike wanted to make sure everyone was healthy and viable before contacting us.
Bella whelped her litter between 10 am and 4 pm on Monday. She had four boys and three girls, for a total of seven puppies. All puppies were black, except the first puppy, who was a yellow boy! Bella has no yellow puppies in her lineage, but Rigby does, so he gets the credit.
Bella and her puppies are all healthy and doing well, and Bella is being the best mama ever. She gently picks her babies up in her mouth, and lines them up to the "bar" for their meals. She's also fiercely protective of them. If the dog in the next kennel gets too curious, she let it know that they better steer clear. Mike is quite sure that if a bird, lizard, or anything else gets too close, she just might do some serious butt kicking. No one is going to harm her puppies while she's there.
We're waiting for photos, and you can bet I'll share them as soon as I can. We're dying to see what they look like as much as you are. 
Thanks to all who said a prayer or thought good thoughts for our girl and her babies. We're so grateful that she and her puppies are healthy. 
For those who are wondering...we're going to choose a little girl when we get to Florida. We already have her name picked out, but we're going to wait until she's in our arms to share her name. If you have questions, ask away and I'll do my best to answer.
Thanks again! Hugs to all from all of us.

April 29, 2020

Another Ten...

Brynwood Needleworks - Purple Covid-19 Masks
I whipped out another ten masks on Tuesday morning for a friend who requested purple. Why do just two, when I can easily do ten in just a little more time? 

This increases my total production to 298 to date. (sigh. I could have done two more. I wasn't thinking.) I mailed out the request, plus more from showing them on Facebook, so I only have two left for someone else.

I know I'll be making more masks toward the end of the week, so I'll see if I have fabric to make more of these. Aren't they cheerful?

I hope you're staying healthy. We're doing fine here, except for pacing and waiting for the phones to ring from Florida! Thanks to all who left notes for Tag. He really appreciates hearing from his friends...and so do I.  

I've been cleaning studio space in both my sewing and my fabric rooms. I'm listing things in FB Marketplace (some of which sold almost immediately), and pulling more to donate after St. Vincent de Paul is ready to accept items again. For now, I'll box them up and put them in the garage, so I can free up my work areas. But I also need to create again (at least two more masks right away!). I'll be back tomorrow. I'll see you then.

Keep Calm and Carry On...At Home.


April 28, 2020

Tuesdays With Tag - It's Almost Time...

Brynwood Needleworks - Artsy Taggart

 Hi, Everybody!!

We finally have pictures of Bella Dog to share with you! She's a real lumpster these days!

Brynwood Needleworks - Pregnant Bella - A Week Before Whelping

We asked for pictures when Uncle Mike told us there was absolutely no doubt that she's gonna have babies. We got some over the weekend, and heeeeeere's Boo Boo!

She's lookin' a little brown on her back because she spent so much time trainin' outside that her coat bleached from the Florida sunshine! But, check out that belly! Her usual svelt physique is definitely altered by a litter of puppies. We sure can see that she's gonna be a mama.
Brynwood Needleworks - Pregnant Bella
We're sure she's pacin' a little bit these days. After all, her puppies are gonna be born this week! Her due date is May 1st, but she could have 'em any time between now and then. (Gestation is 63 days, so that's how we got to the due date.)
Mom and Dad are gettin' anxious, too. We can't wait to hear that she's had them, how many there are, and whether they're boys or girls! Should I be gettin' ready to send out announcement cards, or just let you know here? Oh, my goodness. Will I be an uncle or an aunt...or both?! Are you curious, too?
Mom will be writin' a post as soon as our girl has her babies. I'll be back next week, and I can't wait to update you myself. We hope you'll say a prayer, or send a good thought, or wish Boo a safe delivery. We'd really appreciate it. Thanks!
I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...
"Just Do It...but not on the rug."

April 27, 2020

Ready For The Next Project...

Brynwood Needleworks - Sewing Studio

My studio has looked like it had been hit by a tornado the past few weeks. It was barely tidy enough to find what I needed. Fabric, threads and scraps were flying everywhere. Stacks of partial yardage, bolts to be cut, and strips for straps.

Over the weekend, I really needed to clean things up. I got after the project, picking up; putting away; vacuuming; and moving machines around.

I've been using Jane in a SewEzi table, which is wonderful, but it really vibrates when Jane is working at full throttle. I did a little research, and found a source to purchase the plexiglas insert, customized for Jane, to fit in my original Horn Quilter's Dream cabinet.

I placed an order on Saturday, and then moved Jane into the cabinet, waiting for it to arrive. Until it does, I've attached the portable extension table to it, so I have a larger work surface. The nice thing about my Quilter's Dream is that it has an extension leaf that lifts up on the back side to double my work area. Perfect for quilting, and projects like the recent mask making.

Unfortunately, the opening for the machine isn't large enough for Destiny, otherwise she'd be installed there rather than on the table on the wall. Maybe someday I'll purchase the updated version of the Quilter's Dream. It has an opening large enough to accommodate Destiny, and has a motorized lift which is more heavy duty than the manual one on my current cabinet.
Brynwood Needleworks - Sewing Studio
The framed pieces were recently returned to me by my dad. I brought them home after seeing him on Friday. He's cleaning out some of his stuff and wanted to give things back to those who had gifted them. I'll be hanging my pieces in the farmhouse once I decide where we want them to be.
I have two projects hanging on the (attic) door. Parts of Wooly Critters, and the unstitched blocks that I set up for Primitive Gatherings' Twilight Garden quilt from last year. I'm determined to get back to working on them soon.
For now, I'm going to enjoy my tidy space. It never stays this way for long - and yes, there are things that are slated to move out and on to my shop or donation. One good thing about being told to stay home is that I can tackle tasks like this and really make some headway. Of course, if the weather is nice, I may spend some time outside, too. 
Tag will be back tomorrow. He's fairly jumping out of his fur to talk with you this week, but I promised I wouldn't give any hints. You'll have to hear it straight from the Corgi's mouth. I'll be back on Wednesday!


April 26, 2020

Sunday Scripture...

Brynwood Needleworks - Philippians 4:7

April 25, 2020

The Hickory Hill Gang...

Brynwood Needleworks - Deer

There is a group of deer - ranging from 5-8 in number - who cross the north field every morning and evening. I got pictures of them last night as the sun was dropping behind the woods up behind our farmhouse. We've taken to calling them "The Hickory Hill Gang".

Every day, they can be seen crossing from the woodlot back to the east (on the right side of this photo). There were these four in the lead group.
Brynwood Needleworks - Deer

These are the three that were toward the end of the line in the photo above. There are larger deer, plus also a few little ones. Our friend, who hunts turkeys on an adjacent property, said he's counted twenty three deer that are resident in our neighborhood.
Brynwood Needleworks - Deer
This was one of the last ones in line last night. I counted a total of seven in this group. The night before there were eight. Handsome and I watch and smile. While all of us are "distancing" to stay healthy, Mother Nature is alive and well, doing just fine without us. I think it's God's way of telling us everything is going to be alright.
Keep Calm and Carry On...At Home (For Now).


April 24, 2020

More Bread Making Tips...

Brynwood Needleworks - Baking Tutorial Step One

I shared another live video on Facebook yesterday. This is for the "measuring and mixing" first steps to produce tasty homemade bread. I haven't linked into YouTube yet (which I plan to do soon), but you can find it by going to my Brynwood Needleworks page on Facebook.

Handsome is having a little fun on this one...my silly, funny camera guy. The video is only about twenty two minutes long, but I share some of the tips I learned in my bread making classes that will help make the process easier for anyone who would like to learn how to make their own tasty homemade bread. There are three other videos from last week that show the rest of the steps. This one also includes my recipe!

Brynwood Needleworks - Today's Loaves, Ready For The Oven

I took a photograph before my loaves headed to the oven today. They've been formed into loaves, risen for 45 minutes, and then scored on the top before heading into a 400º gas oven.

Brynwood Needleworks - Finished Loaves

They came out of the oven about 55 minutes later, a lovely golden brown. The farmhouse smelled like a bakery all afternoon, and our dinner included slices of crusty, fresh, warm bread. Well worth the time and effort. 

Let me know if you'd like any information you can't tease out of the videos, and as soon as I get things transferred into YouTube, I'll be sure to let you know.
Keep Calm and Carry On...At Home

April 23, 2020

Fifty Five New Masks In One Day!...

Brynwood Needleworks - Latest Masks Created

I was on a roll yesterday! I've finally got my system fine-tuned, and was able to create a whopping 55 masks in one day! Remember, I'm doing all the prep (choosing fabrics, cutting mask parts and straps,  and sanitizing as I sew), sewing, and packaging myself. That brings my current total to: 288!!

I completed an order for 15 masks with a camping theme for my friend, Denise in Vermont. They're all packaged individually, and labeled with wearing and sanitizing instructions.

There are additional masks here (about 10) that were still here after I distributed or mailed prior requests.

Brynwood Needleworks - Children's and Ladies' Masks

I made smaller masks for kidlets, using the great puppy fabric shown in the foreground. I love these!

Brynwood Needleworks - Men and Ladies Masks

These are the masks I made for the orders I have for ladies and mens' masks. I have an entire bolt of the barbershop fabric (that I love), so I'm using that for the mens' masks. I thought my colorful travel-theme fabric would make great ladies' masks, too!

Brynwood Needleworks - Ladies and Patriotic Masks
I also have a few patriotic masks left in stock for vets or someone who wants to support their hero. I'll be carrying some of these with me when I go to the pharmacy to pick up my meds. I'll leave them for anyone who would like them and could use them.
For now, my mask sewing will go on break. I'll get all the outstanding orders out this morning, and then turn my attention back to finishing my Wooly Critter sampler quilt. I'd still like to complete that!

April 22, 2020

For The Kidlets...

Brynwood Needleworks - Fabric For Kids' Masks
I decided against boy and girl masks, choosing instead to make fabrics for either boys or girls. This is the fabric I've chosen. I'll be making a number of these for our youngest nieces and nephews, as well as a few special orders I have. All in all, I have thirty masks left to make from orders, including the masks for the kidlets. 
That's what I'll work on today. Everything else is either mailed or delivered. My plan is to be able to mail those out tomorrow.

Thanks for all the sweet comments yesterday on Tag's post about Bella. We'll be waiting on news right along with you. Tag will keep you posted as we hear more news and get photographs of our pudgy, pregnant girl...and eventually, her little of little ones.

Today, though, you know the drill. I'm going to finish my coffee, and then, if you're looking for me, I'll be in the studio. 

 Keep Calm and Carry On...At Home.

April 21, 2020

Tuesdays With Tag - I've Got An Announcement...

Brynwood Needleworks - Brynwood's Taggart

 Hi, Everybody!

I'm so excited I can't stand it! I've got a HUGE announcement...

Brynwood Needleworks - Liljegren's Suncoast Bella

We got a call from Uncle Mike over the weekend to confirm that our Bella is densely populated!!! She's definitely preggers, and she's gonna have a passel of puppies! Her due date is May 1st.

We don't have a picture of her with her big belly yet, but we've requested one that I can share with you. We're havin' a hard time imaginin' what she looks like carryin' a tummy full of puppies.

Brynwood Needleworks - Bella As A Puppy
We're lookin' so forward to seein' all of Bella's babies. Can you even envision a whole bunch of little Bellas just like she looked in this picture? Cuteness overload, for sure! (and that's comin' from me!)

Rigby is back home in Texas, and Bella now lives in the whelpin' kennel without a roommate. She's on self-feed - every dogger's dream! - and she won't be doin' her big workouts at the ranch for the duration of her pregnancy. She'll get some easy exercise in Uncle Mike's back yard, but she's gonna be livin' the posh life between now and her due date.
Uncle Mike said she'll probably deliver a few days early (in the middle of the night), so he's already moved the baby monitor and his chaise lounge and birthin' supplies into the buildin'. Anticipatin' the big day, Mom, Dad and I will be keepin' our cell phones close, as we sit on needles and pins for news that her litter has been born. (No. I don't actually have my own cell phone, but you know what I mean.) I know you're all gonna be as excited as we are! Go ahead. Jump up and down, and whoop it up a little. We sure are!
I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...
"Just Do It...but not on the rug."

April 20, 2020

Delivery Day...

Brynwood Needleworks - 150 Covid-19 Masks For Local Nursing Home
I completed the last twenty masks for the nursing home early yesterday afternoon. They're all bagged individually, and then packaged in groups of ten masks.
I'm taking them to my niece's facility today for a safe transfer. I can't go in, so we'll both be wearing masks and gloves; she'll bring out a basket into which I'll place all the masks. No hugs, just loving words through our masks, and then I'll turn around and come back home.

I have orders for about fifty more, which I'll cut, prep, sew and mail out this week. I'm only charging for the postage to mail them ($4 for 2 masks), but accept "tips" toward making more masks for others. It's very generous and appreciated. 
Once I get this week's orders sewn, I think I'll turn back to working to finish my Wooly Critter Sampler quilt. I think it would be nice to slow down again for a bit.

Tag will be here tomorrow. He's very excited to talk with you, and I don't think you'll want to miss it. See you again Wednesday with my updates.
 Keep Calm and Carry On...At Home.


April 19, 2020

Sunday Scripture...

Brynwood Needleworks via PsalmsQuotes.com
 This is the verse that repeated in my head as I made the Quilt of Valor for my Dad.

April 18, 2020

The Promised Reveal...

Brynwood Needleworks - The Wrapped Gift

I promised I'd share my 24 hour project after it had been received. Yesterday, Handsome and I took a short road trip and delivered it, rather than putting it in the mail. Now I can show you what was so important for me to finish quickly.

Brynwood Needleworks - A Special Quilt of Valor - Front

I've made the only Quilt of Valor I'll probably ever make. Not for any other reason than I want this one to be that special.

I used a panel for the center, and added borders of coordinating fabrics from the same line. (The navy border is the stars and stripes fabric I showed you a few days ago.)

Brynwood Needleworks - A Special Quilt of Valor - Back

Working with the fabrics I had, I decided to piece the back, too. The stripes were in the fabric (not pieced). Down in the corner, I've attached a very special label to the recipient...my Dad, from his firstborn.

Brynwood Needleworks - A Special Quit of Valor - Detail
He loves German shepherd dogs, and currently has one named Titus. I needed to add an image I took from another fabric print, which I then appliqued' to the main panel.

Brynwood Needleworks - My Dad - Quilt of Valor Recipient.
There is a story to this quilt. My Dad and I haven't spoken for over ten years, by his directive. Recently, I learned from a sister that he needed to have some tests done as he was complaining of back and leg pain. Upon completion of the tests, doctors informed him that he has Stage Four prostate cancer. He's eighty seven years old.
He was telling my sister that he doesn't understand why I never come to visit. She asked him whether or not he remembered the circumstances of our estrangement, to which he replied "no". He just wanted to see me again. She told me, and although we're all required to "shelter in place", I was able to FaceTime with him, thanks to my sister being able to show him how. We were both very emotional, and I promised to get to him as soon as I'm able.
We've kept in touch these past few weeks, and my sister told me that Dad's always cold now. (He's had one chemo treatment, and daily radiation for the past week - with one more week ahead - to try to control the growth of tumors that would render him paralyzed from the waist down. That's probably a contributing factor to his chills.) When she told me that, it was all the motivation I needed to spring into action to create something my Air Force veteran father would love. After two twelve hour days, I had a finished Quilt of Valor, with a special label commemorating his service.
Handsome knew I wanted to get it to him as quickly as possible, so he offered to drive us to the clinic where Dad's getting treatments, to do a safe transfer of my gift. Dad graciously accepted my package, and I told him I'd talk with him after he got settled back at home from his treatment. (I later found out from my sister that he didn't recognize me behind the face mask.)
He opened his package in front of the FaceTime camera, so I could see his reaction. He was overwhelmed when he saw what it was, and asked my sister to put it on his bed right away. (He just got a hospital bed installed in his room.) It was a perfect fit! Shortly after taking this picture, he changed his clothes from his clinic trip, and crawled into bed, covered by his new quilt. He loves it. 

I'm carefully watching our governor's press conferences these days. I want to hear that it's okay to go back to our daily lives, because I need to be able to sit in the same room with Dad. But for now, I'm staying put...knowing that he's sleeping, warmly hugged by the quilt made by his #1.

April 17, 2020

Making A (Small) Difference...

Brynwood Needleworks - Thirty More Masks On Deck

I completed my side project right on schedule, and will get it in the mail today. As soon as I know it's been received, I'll share more photographs and tell you all about it.

Today, I'm back to making masks. These are all prepared for straps, and I have more that are ready to be folded and finished. These (photo above) represent thirty more, and I have a sweet story to share.
Brynwood Needleworks - Recent Mask Thank You Note
On one of the two trips I've made to the grocery store in the past month, I wore one of the patriotic masks I made. In one of the aisles, an elderly man wearing a worn out paper mask approached me and asked where I got mine. He said the one he was wearing was uncomfortable and he didn't feel it was adequate.
I told him that I make them, and if he'd give me his address, I'd send one to him - free. He wrote his information down for me, and as soon as I got home, I put one in an envelope and posted it to him. 

Yesterday, I received an envelope in the mail, written in the same, shaky handwriting. Inside, I read his words with tears in my eyes:

"Dear Mrs. Donna Liljegren,
I received that mask on Friday. I didn't get a chance to wear it 
in the store. It is beautiful, and I can breathe through it better
than the paper. So, thank you for the mask. Here is a little donation
for you to keep up your work. Donation amount is $10.
Sincerely yours,
(his name)"
I knew I was making a small difference for others, but this note really, truly warmed my heart. So, if you're looking for me today, I'll be back in the studio - making more masks.
  Stay Home. Stay Healthy. Stay Safe.


April 16, 2020

I Can't Help It...

Brynwood Needleworks - Northcott Fabrics - Patriotic Theme
While I have thirty more masks waiting for sewing, I found myself compelled to work on another project yesterday. I can't show you more than this, in the event the recipient reads my blog. When I know it's been received, I'll share the entire piece.

I made most of it yesterday, and I'll do all the finishing today. Then, it will go into the mail for quick delivery. Once finished, I'll get back to masks. 

Sorry I can show you more today. I promise we'll catch up soon.  I'll take lots of photographs to share. I know I'm being a bit cryptic, but I know you'll understand once I give you the big reveal. Back to the studio...

 Stay Home. Stay Healthy. Stay Safe.


April 15, 2020

Empty Bobbins...

Brynwood Needleworks - Empty Bobbins

I began my day with a cleaned machine, new needle, and full bobbins for sewing. By the end of my work day, I had one bobbin left in the machine and four empty ones to refill today.

Brynwood Needleworks - Eighty Mask Parts To Assemble
I'm back to working on masks. I had 110 set pieces (mask pieces and strap sets) at the beginning of my Tuesday. The first order of business being to fold the long mask pieces in half and close them with a seam. Then, I topstitch the seam edge, as well as the folded edge at the bottom. I did that 110 times.

Brynwood Needleworks - Thirty Masks Completed
After that's done, I fold each piece in preparation for adding the straps. I then fold the straps into double fold bias binding as I sew it to the prepared mask piece. I completely finished 30 sets of masks yesterday.

I'm hoping to do the rest today. What are you up to at your home? Are you staying inside or going outside? I was glad to be in the studio yesterday. Every time I looked out the window, it was either blowing and snowing...or sunny and melting. I think Mother Nature has a serious issue these days. I know it's April in Wisconsin, but really? I guess it's just better to stay inside - until Tag tells me he needs to go out. Then, outside it is. Anyway, I'll be sewing masks in case you're looking for me.

Stay Home. Stay Healthy. Stay Safe.