June 13, 2021

Sunday Scripture...

James 1:17 - Farmhouse First Hollyhocks


June 12, 2021

I Don't Know How It Happens...

Brynwood Needleworks - Upcoming Fabric Listings

Well, actually I have a pretty good idea. I was pulling fabrics to list for sale in my Etsy shop when I realized I didn't have a clear surface for photographing them. My studio is a sty again! Don't worry. I'm not going to show photos. Just suffice it to say that chaos reigned supreme.
So, even though it was in the 90s yesterday, none of the air conditioners are installed yet (I'm resisting as long as I can), and it was dog-kicking hot upstairs, I set about cleaning my creative spaces. One down. One to go.
In the meantime, I almost have a clean counter for photography, and I'll be listing these fabrics in my shop over the weekend. I also have some finished projects to list, and more in my head. 
What's on your agenda today?


June 11, 2021

Drawing "Everlasting" Border Ideas...

Brynwood Needleworks - Border Ideas

Let me begin today by stating that my artistic talents definitely lie with needle and threads, not in drawing. That being said, I'm doing rough drawings of a couple ideas I have for stitching the borders on "Everlasting". 
Another option might be a wandering vine-type configuration with sprays of lavender sprinkled about. The thing is, I'm really trying to avoid a directional design that would look odd on the top and bottom. I'll continue thinking and drawing, but I'd love to know what you think.

June 10, 2021

Crow To Red-Winged Blackbird...

Brynwood Needleworks - "Everlasting" My Crow Modification

...and (almost) just like that...VOILA!...It's a Red-Winged Blackbird.

I didn't make the wing bars as bright as my inspiration photo (pulled from the internet), because it would have been out of place with the rest of the blocks. I love it, and hope you do, too.


June 9, 2021

I'm Getting There!...

Brynwood Needleworks - "Everlasting" My Way - Time For Borders

I got all my blocks assembled over the weekend! I still have the 3-1/4" borders to apply, and then decide how I want to embellish the light space around the outside.
Yesterday, while I was baking bread (yes. I baked bread in this heat in our un-air-conditioned farmhouse!), I was entertained by the birds coming in to the feeder just outside the window. Every time a red-winged blackbird came to the feeder, it announced its arrival. Like a bolt of lightning it ocurred to me...why not change the crow to a red-winged blackbird? I can add the colored shoulder stripes, and not have to figure out where to add another crow!

Another bonus would be that every bird shown on the quilt would be a bird that regularly eats at our kitchen feeders. So, what do you think? Add shoulder stripes?

I'm currently designing the needlework for the light border areas. I don't want to overdo it, but I do want it to be hand embroidered, as opposed to wool applique'. I'll get the borders sewn on and then the rest will happen while comfortably seated on the first floor (it's cooler than upstairs, and I'm just not ready for us to hook up the air conditioners yet. We do have ceiling fans in every room.).

We're meeting friends for breakfast this morning, and then I'm making a quick run to Menasha to Primitive Gatherings. I won a $20 gift certificate in their latest drawing!!! I may have to spend it as long as I'm already there. I also have that wrong Wool Box that I need to return. lol I'll start testing some embroidery layouts on the quilt after I get back home. It's going to be a great day.


June 8, 2021

Tuesdays With Tag - We Are Family...

Brynwood Needleworks - Taggart, June 2021

 Hi, Everybody!

I'm comin' to you today from my favorite throne perch here at the farmhouse. You may have noticed that Mom changed up her blog header this past week. I've been tellin' her that people are gonna think she's livin' under a rock if she doesn't know it's not winter anymore. She finally changed it up. 

Thing is...she told me I have to make a concession in the new header. I have to share credits, so I'm not gettin' top billin' anymore. I admit I was a little hacked at first.

Brynwood Needleworks - We Are Family

Then we went out into the yard. I'm really good at photo shoots, but honestly, those girls! One would sit up, the other one would lie down. Then, they'd both sit up, and The Kid would run off after a butterfly. Mom asked Dad to help with the control issues to help keep our session under an hour. I can't even tell you how many pictures she had to take to get this good one. 

Boo and I are rockin' it, but what can I say about that other one. Mom said I should learn to be patient. I was a puppy once, too. We have to remember Carly's only a year old...and she is fun. I mean, who else is my wing man girl when I want to run around and act a fool? (and I am happy to act a fool at a moment's notice!)

So, in the end, I think it's safe to say, "Who needs top billin'?". I'm happy all three of us are together in our blog photo. After all, what matters most is that We Are Family.

I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...
"Corgi On, Corgi Strong!"

June 7, 2021

My Weekend Project...

Brynwood Needleworks - Farmhouse Kitchen Cabinets Project

The weather was beautiful this weekend, and perfect for painting! So, I went out to the garage to continue working on painting out the cabinets we purchased for our kitchen. 

I white-balanced each of the images in this collage, but the only photo that shows the color the way I actually see it is the photograph of the two containers of product I was using to paint! The deglosser is in the container with the dark lid, and the primer/paint combination is Heirloom Traditions All-In-One Paint, and you can see the variety of colors available HERE. The color I'm using is "London". I'm covering the original stained wood in these KraftMade™ cabinets.

The images upper left, clockwise are: 1) Upper cabinets with the doors removed. (Interior cabinet paint color is Cashmere. I used an entire pint covering the dark wood! We were contemplating painting the base cabinets Cashmere, too, but it took multiple, multiple coats to cover the wood. I said, "Nope. Nope. Nope. We're not going to use that on the outside!" London started covering almost immediately.) 2) Base cabinet and lower door (2 for each base), 3) First coat of London on the upper cabinets, before painting the cabinet interiors, and 4) Heirloom Traditions All-in-One-Paint and deglosser.

The base cabinet shown is finished and drying. I still have to do the backside of the base cab doors, and then I'll move on to the second base cabinet. We're already using the 12" wide, 4-drawer cabinet in the house, so I'll have to empty that to paint it, too.

Coffee, and then heading out to the garage. I really want to get the cabinets finished so they can be installed in the kitchen. I can't wait to show you how it turns out!


June 6, 2021

Sunday Scripture...

Luke 1:37 - Brynwood Needleworks - Farmhouse Columbines


June 5, 2021

Setting Triangles...

Brynwood Needleworks - "Everlasting" Bird Blocks

I admit I didn't spend much time in the studio today. Summer has arrived, and the temperatures were balmy and beautiful. The light breezes from yesterday persist today, and it looks like another perfect Wisconsin day has begun.

I did add the setting triangles to my completed bird blocks, so all I have to do is sit and sew them to the rest of the flower blocks, and then to the completed center. I've been thinking about the border treatment, and all I know so far is that I'll add another crow.

Brynwood Needleworks - Wee Crows Seven

Let me explain that again, in case you missed it before. I learned an English poem as a kid, and it's stuck with me. It goes like this:

"One crow, sorrow
Two crows, joy
Three crows, a letter
Four crows, a boy
Five crows, silver
Six crows, gold
Seven crows, a secret never to be told." 
I designed this poem as a sampler (Wee Crows Seven) in the 1990s, and I reflexively repeat it whenever I see a crow. So, with that in mind, you'll understand why I can't settle for only one on my quilt. I must add another, so I'm going to put it into the border. Beyond that, I'm still working on the design. Perhaps it needs a bluebird, too? We'll see.

If the weather stays nice, I'll likely be outside for a while. Then, I'm planning a little studio time over the rest of the weekend. I'll show you my progress on Monday.

June 4, 2021

The Assembly Has Begun...

Brynwood Needleworks - Assembling "Everlasting" - Phase I

 Phase I of sewing together my "Everlasting" quilt blocks has been completed. The center block assembly, which includes the houses (and Compass Barn) are now done.

I've laid out most of Phase II in this photo, but have not included the outer bird blocks, which are also part of this section. I still have to cut out the lighter fabric pieces that will also be a part of this, but will do that this morning so I can move forward.

Once I have Phase II completed, I'll need to assemble the border and decide how I want to finish it...wool applique'? More needlework? Leave it blank? I think I'll know by the time I have it on, but not so far. I guess I'll have to let it speak to me when I get to that part.

More photos tomorrow. Isn't this fun? I'm really enjoying making this quilt, and I'm as anxious to see the top complete as you are! (Note to self: We really need a design wall! It sure would speed up this part of the process.)


June 3, 2021

I'll Read Instead...

Vintage Image - Girl Reading Book

One of the things I've been doing for the past year is proof reading manuscripts for a dear friend who is in the process of writing a series of books. It's been a thoroughly enjoyable process for me, as I help support her efforts. 
When it's too uncomfortable for me sit at the sewing machine, or other creative endeavors, I have this wonderful pursuit, to sit and read her latest manuscript. The one I'm reading now is her third book, a continuation of the story line from the first two.
I'm unable to tell you who the author is, or her book titles (yet), but I can tell you that when her books are published (the first one very soon!), I'll be back to crow about them to you. 

I'm meeting Mom Grace's daughter (Sis, to me) for lunch today. I haven't seen her in months, so I'm so looking forward to seeing her. I'm hoping to be working on my "Everlasting" quilt when I get back home. Hoping I can share updated photos tomorrow. 
Another thing I need to do is change out my "Winter" header for a new one. I think it's safe to turn away from the snow now. lol

HAPPY JUNE (already?) !

June 2, 2021

Making Good Progress...

Brynwood Needleworks - My "Everlasting" Center Block Detail

It seems my boy let the cat out of the bag yesterday. Honestly, he just can't keep a secret. So, now you know what this next month will look like for me. In the meantime, I'm occupying myself with more joyful pursuits.
This is a detail of the center motif I designed for my version of the "Everlasting" quilt I've been working on. I chose a bee skep and lavender. Of course, I needed bees for the skep!
 Brynwood Needleworks - My "Everlasting" Center Motif
The entire new central motif.
Brynwood Needleworks - "Everlasting" Center Blocks
 This quilt (like all others) is "built" in sections.
These are the four blocks that comprise the central section of my "Everlasting" quilt.
Brynwood Needleworks - My Next Blocks

Now that I've completed the four central block assembly, it's time to work my way outward. I haven't sewn these together yet, but will be doing that today. We'll see how much further along I get from there.


May 31, 2021

Tuesdays With Tag - She's Crampin' My Style...

Brynwood Needleworks - Tag, The Guardian

 Hi, Everybody!

I've gotta tell you that bein' a guardian for the infirm and immobile is a real callin', but man, is it crampin' my style!

Mom's knee is almost debilitatin'. She wears a brace, is usin' a cane most of the time, and takes special medicine, but she told me it still hurts. I'm no spring chicken myself, so I understand what it's like to have a few new aches and pains from time to time. 

So, when Mom says she's gonna go outside and sit on her lawn chair to baby her bum limb, I volunteer to go out and keep her company. I also make sure the cats don't bother her! Why, just yesterday, I was loungin' on the end of her chaise, and I saw somethin' move out of the corner of my eye. It was that dang Leo! He's been hangin' out in the wood shed, so I chased him right back there.

Don't worry. I didn't catch him, or even make him breathe hard runnin' up the hill...and I came runnin' right back to Mom when she called me. She said she saw him before I did, so she got to watch the whole event. She laughed at me.

No. He's Not Sleeping On The Job

Mom usually heads upstairs after dinner so she can put her feet (and that dang knee) up. Sometimes Dad takes the ice machine up, too (if she asks him to), and then I get to hang out on the farmhouse bed while she reads or stitches, and gets the cold treatment.

She wants everybody to know that the quilt I'm sleepin' on isn't one she made. It came from our friend, DeeDee, and while Mom loves it, she also knows that it's okay for us dogs to be on a store-bought quilt, when she doesn't really like us sheddin' all over the ones she makes. Who can blame her. All that black hair would show! (It's not like I shed or anythin'.)
At this rate, it's gonna be a lonnnng summer. Mom has to wait to have surgery probably at least until September. We're gonna go through a lot of ice treatments between now and then. Don't worry, though. I'll be here to make sure she gets all the TLC a self-centered, treat-driven, alarm-barkin' Corgi can muster (you think I'm kiddin', don't you?)...and I'll follow Dad's lead. He's really good at takin' care of Mom. (They take great care of each other, actually.) If Dad can do it, so can I.

I think I hear some homemade doggie sweet potato chips callin' my name. I really love those things! Better get 'em before they're gone.

I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...
"Corgi On, Corgi Strong!"

Memorial Day 2021...

Memorial Day Image
We Remember
Memorial Day Prayer by Helen Steiner Rice



May 30, 2021

Sunday Scripture - Memorial Weekend...

John 15:13 - Brynwood Needleworks via quotesgram.com


May 29, 2021

American Gatherings...

Brynwood Needleworks - Primitive Gatherings "American Gatherings" Fabrics and Book

My dear, sweet Handsome drove me to Menasha yesterday morning to pick up my Wool Box at Primitive Gatherings. (My right knee is giving me enough grief that I didn't think it would be a good idea to stress it by driving myself.) Of course, Tag, Bella and Carly rode along.

I needed a few other things while I was there, so I set aside the wool colors I needed, and then grabbed a copy of Lisa's latest quilt pattern book, American Gatherings. Of course, I knew I'd need some of the fabric line, too, so I figured a couple of charm packs, a jelly roll, and a couple yards of fabric would be plenty to make a nice, patriotic lap quilt. Something that would hang nicely over the rail this summer, or be just the right size for a nap on the porch.

I needed a yard of natural colored wool, but there wasn't any in the shop, so I prepaid and Debbie (who works at the shop) promised to ship it. I decided to wait until we got home to open my Wool Box, so I could really savor the contents, so we drove home and I brought my "haul" into the house. 

When we arrived back home, I got out of the truck, I came around through the garage and saw Claudette waiting for me on the driveway. She was giving me that "Where have you been?" look. I knew what would be tumbling out of the truck into the yard behind me, so I quickly tried to shoo her toward the barn. I wasn't quick enough. She meowed, and I saw her fur rise and her eyes get big.

I turned around and the girls had seen her. The chase was on. She turned for the nearest hideout, and ran to the kitchen garden to jump into the hollyhocks (which are a veritable jungle). The dogs ran in behind her, and she came flying out the other side (fur all bushed out), and tore for the barn. By then, Tag had joined the pursuit and they were close behind her. 

She managed to make it to the barn doors and flew through the opening, leaving the dogs panting...proud of their chasing skills, and it took Handsome and me more than a few minutes to get them off her scent, and coming back to the house. After leaving their piddles behind (a gesture of "There! Take that, strange fur beast!"), we all went into the house. 
I went back out about fifteen minutes later to find Claudette in the loft of the barn. They wouldn't be able to get her up there. I called her down and she let me hold her for a bit. I had a little conversation with her about the wisdom and staying in the barn when she heard a vehicle. Or not. Now that she's fully aware of how fast our dogs are, perhaps she'll know to continue to stay just out of reach.

I took my purchases up to the studio and brought the Wool Box back downstairs so I could take my time going through it - only to find it was the same Wool Box I got last month! How could this be? I called and Debbie answered the shop phone. I told her she'd given me Box 14, and I though we were due for Box 15. Was I wrong?

She asked me to hold, went to the stacks of boxes behind the counter, and came back to tell me they'd stacked 14s on top of 15s. She was so apologetic, and then told me that the natural wool had been brought over from the warehouse, so she'd send my wool and Box 15 to me yet today, and I could bring Box 14 back next time I was going up there. (I told her I'd take it back next week.) So, I have my new fabrics to play with, but I'll have to wait for my Wool Box.

That's okay. Perhaps I'll be giving Claudette lessons in staying out of the hollyhocks, and heading to the wood shed when she feels the need to stretch her legs. Honestly, my heart can't take the stress of the chase. Now that she's back, I just want to keep her safe from all the predators, apparently, including at least two fast Labradors!

I'll be working on "Everlasting" this weekend. We'll see how far along I can get with it. I'll share updates next week. 
I hope you have a restful, reflective Memorial Weekend. I'm grateful to all who sacrificed for our freedom, and those who are currently serving. God Bless them, and God Bless America.

May 28, 2021

Busy In The Kitchen...

Brynwood Needleworks - Yummy Cookies
I spent all day in the kitchen yesterday. While Wednesday was perfect weather for an outside gathering, yesterday - in typical Wisconsin fashion - the weather was many degrees cooler and raining all day.
It was bread making day, so as I waied for the bread to go through four proofing stages, I made a double batch of chocolate chip and hickory nut cookies. I timed it just right, because, as the last of eight dozen cookies came out of the oven, it was time for the bread to be formed into loaves.
Brynwood Needleworks - Freshly Baked Bread and Rolls
I made three loaves and nine hamburger-type rolls (from the same recipe). You may notice there are only eight rolls, but shouldn't one always share a hot, fresh from the oven buttered roll with their sweetheart? I thought so, too! 

You might notice all the birds on the feeder right outside the window. We had cardinals, finches, indigo buntings, Baltimore orioles, four hummingbirds now, sparrows, chickadees, and a couple others I can't identify (yet). It was fun to watch all of them while it rained outside, and I was working inside.
Brynwood Needleworks - Homemade Chili and Rolls

Once everything came out of the oven, Handsome helped me make up a batch of homemade chili. He cut up the beef roast, while I chopped onions and celery. I browned those ingredients in a large pot, added our home canned tomatoes from last season, and finished with commercially canned (Bush's) chili beans.
Everything stewed together until dinner time, when I topped the steaming hot chili with shredded cheese and a spoonful of sour cream. Of course, we each had a roll on the side. We decided this was a great day to end a rainy Wisconsin day. 

I'm running up to Menasha this morning to pick up the current Wool Box. I wonder what Lisa has in store for her subscribers this time? Can't wait  to see. It's like Christmas every two months! Once I get back home, I'll be back in the studio, working on my "Everlasting" quilt. After seeing Karen's on Wednesday, I'm inspired to finish mine now.


May 27, 2021

It Was A Bright, Sunshine-y Day...

Brynwood Needleworks- Karen's "Everlasting" Quilt
The weather couldn't have been better for our Sit and Stitch with the Sewcial Sisters at Kathy D's home yesterday. Sunny, with a bit of a breeze. Perfect to sit outdoors on the deck or in her screened gazebo. We really had a nice afternoon together.
This is an "Everlasting" quilt, completed by our friend, Karen. She changed out her center block, too, saying she just kept "piling on flowers until I think I have enough". Isn't it lovely? 
She also knows a long-arm quilter who did a fabulous job completing it for her. I got the long-armer's name, as I didn't yet know anyone in Wisconsin who I could take mine to when it's done. My long-arm quilters are in Florida and Georgia.  
Karen didn't put the last border on her version, because she has a specific place she wants to hang it, and there are space constraints. Frankly, if I didn't know the pattern calls for one more border, I'd love it just like this.
Brynwood Needleworks - Gifts From Friends

I also came home with a few gifts. Frequently, one or more of the ladies will bring something they don't want anymore. Kay had a lovely, big piece of purple wool that she had no plans to use, so a few of us split it up and I got a nice-size piece. Kay also had a duplicate of one of the recent quilting magazines and gave that to me, as well. (I don't know about you, but ending up with two issues of the same magazine happens to me more often than I care to mention!)
Last, but certainly not least, Kathy D. had leftover parts and pieces from a pin drum tutorial she filmed with Lisa Bongean (Primitive Gatherings owner/designer/friend). She's been making quite a few of them lately and told us she was "over them", so she offered up her partially completed supplies. 
I've been wanting to make a pin drum - and I love everything she does - so I asked when she was offering. She's done most of the work on this one. I just have to sew the top on, stuff it with sawdust, sew the bottom on and voila, it's finished! I'll share once I finish it.

If you'd like to see Lisa and Kathy's video, HERE'S the YouTube link. Kathy makes it look easy, and the finish is certainly elegant. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, put your feet up and enjoy the show. By the way, Lisa has lots of interesting videos on her YouTube channel "Stitch with Lisa Bongean". You could lose track of time watching them!

May 26, 2021

Stitching Today...

Brynwood Needleworks - My "Everlasting" Center In Progress
I'll be at Kathy D's today. She's hosting Sit & Stitch at her home, and we're all looking forward to it. I spent part of yesterday planning and designing a personalized center for my version of the "Everlasting" quilt. I know that all the flowers and birds need the bees to survive, so it was appropriate to change out the wording in the original design to a skep and bees in my quilt.

Brynwood Needleworks - My "Everlasting" Center Design Vision

Here's my rough rendering. Once I've stitched down the skep, I'll be adding embroidered lavender stems and buds. There will be bees scattered around the central motif, too! When all my stitching is finished, I'll add a bow at the bottom where the mirror-image sprays of lavender meet in the middle.
This is the project I'll work on at Kathy's today. I'm really looking forward to spending a little time with the ladies. It's past due, for sure. 


May 25, 2021

Tuesdays With Tag - InCorgnito...

Brynwood Needleworks - InCorgnito

Hi, Everybody!

This isn't gonna be very long this week. I just want to tell you what I was up to, and to let you know I'm sure earnin' my keep around here!

Just last week, Mom and Dad decided to tackle a little yardwork. Talk about watchin' two ol' farts! sheesh
One wielded a shovel, and the other one mostly pointed and barked orders about where to dig. In fairness, she managed to pull a bunch of weeds, too. They have to help each other, because there's no way Mom could do this alone. If she managed to kneel with her bum knee, Dad needed to help her get up again. It was really pathetic to watch.

I sat in the garden as lookout for any stoopid cats. Mrs. Katz went to the shelter on Saturday. Mom is still teary-eyed about it. Seems Mrs. K was a sweet as could be on the fifteen mile trip to the rescue facility. Mom talked to her and explained that she wants her to live in the house, and all that other good stuff. Katz didn't make a peep, but she did keep rubbin' all over Mom's hand. Yeah. That didn't make it worse, or anythin'!
Also, Mom forgot to tell you that Crystal had SIX babies, not five. Mom was told that Crystal and her babies are going really well. In fact, we saw a picture of her from today. See?

Brynwood Needleworks - Crystal and Her Six Babies

Claudette has been stickin' close to the barn since she got back. Mom checks on her often durin' the day. She was recently spayed, after all. Of course, the day Claudette came back, guess who arrived to visit...
You got it. That little Casanova! Yep. Leo showed up, and has been back every night since. Mom wants to tame some of the wildness out of them. You know what will be next, right? She'll win him over. I'm confident about that! Then, there will be an appointment. Snip!! Snip!! 

Don't worry. Whenever I see those furballs, I bark! LOUDLY... She'll know for sure whenever they're in our yard. In the meantime, I'll sit here and be on the lookout while Mom and Dad do fun stuff like 
weedin' out the gardens. Lots of luck with that! 
Oh, look! There's that yummy grass! mmmmmmm Gotta fly!!!
I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...
"Corgi On, Corgi Strong!"