Monday, April 30, 2018

Desire to Inspire April Challenger Brandy Pettit with her Just Beachy Collection Projects

The April Challenger - Brandy Pettit - was a little handicapped because she lives in Washington state, and the fabric shipped from New York. 

So she had a few less days to get her project done. But done she did! 

Check out this beautiful quilt and tote using the Just Beachy collection by First Blush Studio. Just Beachy is available now at quilt shops, so we hope this inspires you! 

Meet Brandy and see what she has created for April! Please be sure to comment below on her work! 

Hello!  My name is Brandy Pettit, I am 32 years old and I live in Walla Walla, WA with my husband John and our two cats/quilt inspectors Thomas and Belle.  I am an avid quilter and longarmer, and I also love to bake, cook, travel, crochet, bead, and take pictures.  Walla Walla has long been known for our sweet onions and recently has moved to become a large producer of wine, which makes for some beautiful scenery when driving around the valley.  It has become very popular though, so one of John's and my favorite things to do is drive to my grandma's house in Montana to visit and just enjoy the calming atmosphere of the mountains.  

We also like to hang out on the beach when the rare opportunity arises, asluck would have it that happened just a couple weeks ago!

I fell in love with quilting about six years ago when the overwhelming urge to make a quilt for our bed worked it's way into my head.  I took a beginning class at the local quilt shop and was hooked!  I have since made a great many quilting projects and last year we purchased a longarm from Handi Quilter, an Infinity that I named Altivo (after the white horse in the cartoon movie Road to El Dorado, a white workhorse with a lot of spunk LOL).  
We now have a business called Blue Spool Sewing Room where we offer longarm quilting services.  John has been incredibly supportive of my hobby/business, and kindly runs me around to quilt shops when we travel.  I find it very inspiring getting to visit many different shops and see their samples.  It is so amazing to see what others will do with a pattern or fabric that you may not have thought of, and of course I love to see how they choose to quilt it too.  I also have the pleasure of being an active member of the Walla Walla Valley Quilt Guild where we get to see numerous amazing quilts every month at our meetings and share stories and quilty information at our sew-ins, which I am in charge of.  I feel like I am putting together a small quilting party every couple months and it is so much fun!
I have learned in my time quilting that I am really attracted to brightly colored quilts especially when they are paired with black, and I was beyond excited when the fabric for April was shown to be Just Beachy.  Brightly colored fabric and the beach, what a winning combination!  I knew right away that I wanted a beach quilt and that I wanted to incorporate a star in some way.  I love starfish and sand dollars and have a great childhood memory of getting up at dawn to go along the beach with my family looking for shells and instead coming across about 30 starfish and a handful of sand dollars!  I chose to use black for the star to set off the vibrant fabrics in this collection and just love how the blue dots look like surf against the star pattern.  I made a baby quilt in the past that was octagonal in shape and really loved the look so decided that would work well for this quilt too.
John and I went down to the beach early in the morning to try and capture some nice light and ended up with an awful lot of wind to "help" us out.  We found some neat seaweed-covered logs and a fallen tree that mimicked the star shape in my beach quilt.  We also paused to listen to the waves crashing on the jetty and just enjoyed a quiet morning together.
In the star I quilted ribbon candy to mimic the texture you see on starfish, I did swirly waves in the blue dots, and then a wave/shell pattern in the outer border.  I decided to leave the bright fabrics un-quilted so there is a nice poofy element in the quilt and also I didn't want to take away from the fun designs on them.  And it made sense to me to back this quilt with jean material so I will not have to worry about it getting tossed on rocks or whatever may be on the ground.  My quilt finished about 60"x 60".

The next project I undertook is a swim bag for taking to water aerobics class that my mom and I attend twice a week.  My current bag is a reusable (flimsy) shopping bag that has no body, no pockets, and is not able to hold all my "things" in an organized way.  I solved these problems by making this bag 20" long, 15" tall, and 6.5" wide in order to hold my towel and two water weights.  Then I put pockets on each long side that are large enough to hold my flip flops and water bottle (or sunscreen) and a zipper pocket on each end to hold my keys and wallet. 

Now, I must say that I am do not make bags regularly, so this was quite the task as I made it up as I went.  Crazy I know!  I love how it turned out though, it stands up on it's own nicely and the fabrics make it so much fun!  I can hardly wait until Monday to show it off at class, my classmates are going to be jealous.  Uh oh, they might want one, I should go write down what I did, just in case...

I also made a pillowcase for my sister-in-law who loves the beach so much she married my husband's brother on it.  I presented the pillowcase to her full of a baby blanket and burp cloths as they are expecting a little boy in late June.  Yay babies! 

The pillow case was made with the panel from the Just Beachy collection using the burrito method that makes all the seams end up covered.  It is my favorite pillowcase pattern, such a clean finish.  And I love how the black colorful drink fabric sets off the cheerful beach scene.

I have some in-progress pictures on my blog, if you would like to see some behind-the-scenes please come visit me at  I am also on Instagram as Pampered Pettit and you can see more of my quilting at and on Facebook under Blue Spool Sewing Room.  Thank you so much to Henry Glass & Co. for the opportunity to work with this amazing fabric, I really enjoyed the challenge and hope I have inspired all you readers to go sew something fun!



Joanne said...

Awesome projects, and your quilting is spectacular! You are one talented woman and I'm thrilled that you shared your talents with us. :-)

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Great quilt and wonderful pictures. I have a bag similar to yours, but, mine is made from one piece of screening (means I can't make it bigger) and my pockets don't zip. I'd be interested in your pattern, if you write it down. I'd really like some that are larger.

Joanna said...

Wow is my first reaction. Beautiful quilt and super quilting. And the tote is beach perfect. Nice job.

Susan L. said...

Beautiful quilt and amazing quilting, Brandy! Love your tote as well!

Unknown said...

Brandy, what an amazing quilt, in fact he bag and pillow case are great also. It is great when your passion can also be a career, it is so rewarding. Love your work!!

Danette said...

These projects are so adorable and so useful, too! Very nicely done!

Pat Gottshalk said...

Your quilting is spectacular! Great design work in both pieces. Thanks for sharing.