A blog about my interests, which include crazy quilting and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Fun arrival in the mail

Today I don't have a picture of my own work for you, but thought I'd share something sweet that popped into my mailbox the other day.  My friend Renee sent a postcard featuring one of her pretty crazy quilt pieces. 

Isn't it pretty?  Renee takes part in the InCoWriMo2018 challenge which involves sending mail throughout the month of February.  Thank you Renee - I love it and seeing your sweet stitching in person.     

- If you're looking for something to pretty up your garden this summer, how about making one (or more!) of THESE?

- There's an interesting article HERE about dying yarn in a crock pot - I suspect you could do smaller amounts of fabric the same way.

- Have a look at the fabric art done by THIS artist (check out her galleries).  And no, she's not related!

- And there's more HERE by another artist. And more HERE.  

- For those of you who like to tat, perhaps you'd like to have a go at THIS.  

- HERE's another use for those partial balls of yarn you have taking up space in your stash.

- Mary Corbet has written an interesting post about the pros (and cons) of using thread conditioners and you can find that HERE.  

Today your quote is from Greg Anderson..."When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life"

Monday, March 12, 2018


Alas, no pictures for you today.  
I'm sorry.
At least no pictures of what I've accomplished on my barn project.

I spent all day Saturday trying to wrestle my machine into submission using invisible thread and I'm pretty sure there was a massive black cloud just outside our apartment building.  'nuff said (because I know you're getting sick of hearing me bitch about my machine!). I decided I would do massive amounts of samples using all different stitch lengths, tensions and thread combinations.  


Yeah - okay - move right along.  There's nothing to see here.  At least nothing that's worth looking at.

Suffice to say - invisible thread is NOT going to happen on this machine, at least not anytime soon (see below).  The machine will happily free motion (well, as happy as this machine gets!) with regular thread on both top and bottom but invisible thread on the top is not happening.  
***************** I'm throwing myself at YOUR mercy.  What brand of invisible thread do you use?  And where can I get it in Canada?  

- HERE is a really pretty crocheted afghan pattern.

- I know this is a commercial site but they elicited an 'awwww' from me, so I thought you might enjoy seeing them too....go HERE

- There's a cute St. Patrick's Day themed pincushion tutorial HERE

Another anonymous quote..."Classy is when you have a lot to say but you choose to remain silent in front of fools"

Friday, March 09, 2018

Very little

There is very little progress to show you this time, so I will give you a close up of the rail fence and the flowers...

I don't know if you can tell from this but I have started to enhance the flowers with embroidery.  Doing that won't be a huge statement in the overall look of the piece but (hopefully!) will be a nice surprise when you look closely once it's done.  You can also see (to the left in the photo) one of the seams I've embroidered using the machine.  I wanted a stitch that blended in overall because I didn't want the seam treatments to make a huge statement and take away from the barns themselves.  I've done the same thing in the sky.  So it IS crazy quilted/embroidered but not glaringly so.  

- If you'd like to make yourself a sweet little pincushion, have a look at the tutorial HERE

- THIS is a nice crocheted Afghan pattern (the link in the article takes you to the PDF pattern).

- If you happen to have a skein of really pretty sock yarn in your stash and wonder what you can make with it, perhaps you can find something HERE.  

- There's a chart HERE that lists the various sizes for crocheted blankets (but would be handy for knitters too!).

Another anonymous quote for you today..."The best place in the world is in the arms of someone who will not only hold you at your best, but will pick you up and hug you tight at your weakest moment"

Wednesday, March 07, 2018


The barn project is progressing slowly - with a lot of contemplation between every step.  I have to muster my courage a lot!!

Here's a closeup of the smaller barn...

- There's a really nice cross stitched jonquil pattern HERE.  If you go HERE and look at the bottom you will see links to different flower patterns for each month of the year.  Really pretty!  And if you check out her free patterns in her sidebar there are a number of others that are really nice.

- Go HERE for a tutorial for a cute zippered bag.  And HERE for a tutorial to make a hanging basket.  

- I didn't know dog ears on pillows were a 'thing' but evidently they are and you can find out how to avoid them HERE.  

- Are you an itty bitty scrap hoarder?  Do you want to stop hiding them and feeling guilty?  Well, how about making THESE?

- I really like THIS - not sure I'd actually wear it, but I love it.

Another anonymous quote for you...."A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than the men who mention it"

Monday, March 05, 2018

A bit more progress....

There's a long way to go yet on this piece, but you can see the progress I've made over the weekend.  

I had a question about how I create my landscapes so thought I'd share my answer here.  The actual creation of the barns is done using a class I took online from Craftsy taught by Wendy Butler Berns (further info HERE).  Because of that, I can't share her techniques here unfortunately.  After I've used her techniques to create the barn, then I start to build layers of colour on top of the fabric.  The missing board areas are simply drawn in using a black Sharpie marker and I rely on layers of watered-down folk art paint to add shadows and highlights.  I would use fabric paints but don't happen to have any!  At times I also use watercolour pencils to add shadows.  I have had absolutely NO training in painting so anything I do that turns out is more by luck than anything else.  

- THIS artist does absolutely amazing sculptures using...of all things....CD's.  Incredible!

- THIS is a rather intriguing way to join your yarn when circular knitting.

- And THIS caught my eye - not necessarily in the way in which it's done, but wouldn't a beautiful crocheted block look amazing mounted on a cloth tote?

- From the current Dior clothing collection....

This is only one of a number of crazy quilt inspired pieces in
the Dior clothing collection.
Who knew?

- AND......AND.....(because I'm SUCH an enabler!!) need to go HERE and have a look through all the slides.  Don't shoot the messenger!

The quote of the day is another anonymous one..."Grandparenting is the stage in life when you finally understand the true meaning of the best is yet to come...because you've reached it"

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Progression - maybe

Thank you to those of you who took the time to point out that the small barn was rather tipsy in my previous post.  That has been rectified now, as you can see...

Can't have a tipsy barn!!

- Have a look at the amazing embroideries found HERE.  

- I know it might not be the best time of year for THIS (at least in this hemisphere!) but it looks like fun anyway.  While you're there, you might like to check out some of her other tutorials.  And further on the subject, have a look at THIS (not sure I would ever attempt it, but it sure looks like fun!).

- As a knitter, sometimes you end up needing to bind off a project and you are facing a sad lack of yarn remaining to do so.  Perhaps THIS tutorial might prove helpful.

- Another thing I wish I had as reference when I was learning to knit (and probably still should refer to!) is THIS chart.

Another unknown quote..."The first to apologize is the bravest.  The first to forgive is the strongest.  The first to forget is the the happiest"

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

A teeny bit of progress

Not sure if this is actually progress....or something more suited for the nearest garbage receptacle.  At this point in the process I wonder why I'm even attempting to make something that looks even remotely like the original.  As you can see, this is the photo I'm working from...

....and this is the way it looks at the moment...

Dog's breakfast?  

- Although THIS little fellow is perhaps targeted towards Valentine's Day, I don't see why he/she wouldn't be cute any time.  Perhaps could be made using different weights of yarn too?

- THIS is a really pretty pattern for a cowl/hood.  And THIS is another one.

- For the quilters - there's a free year-long challenge running HERE.  This is from last year but the patterns appear to be still available.  It's an interesting read too - she gives the history of the block patterns as well.

- I am unable to track down the originator of THIS - but what a beautiful way to use your doily collection!  (If anyone knows who made this, please let me know and I'll gladly give appropriate credit!).

Another anonymous quote..."The things you take for granted someone else is praying for"