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.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Courtship project and other things

Here are a couple of the hexagon blocks I have pieced for my Courtship project....




This one I am happy with.




And this one I am not.

Can you see the problem?  

It's that strip of off white along the bottom.  It looks out of place - it looks awful - and it had to go.  

And it did.  But while I was at it the three pieces of fabric above it had to change as well.  This block is currently in my frame and is being stitched - hopefully will be able to get a decent picture to show you tomorrow.  Right now it's raining here over top of ice, so everything is dull and dismal.  Good day to stay inside and stitch!

- I found this cute little pattern for a knitted heart which I thought might be a fun thing to make for Valentine's day - or just to tell someone you love them ANY day.

- THIS is a great way to fix a hole in a sweater (but also...wouldn't it be cute to add to a plain sweater, hole or not?).

- There's an interesting tutorial HERE about how to join stitches when knitting in the round.  

- Being that Valentine's Day is approaching, perhaps you might like to have some quick cross stitch heart patterns that are HERE.  

- For the quilters, there is a beautiful block-of-the-month happening HERE, and the patterns are free!  I must say that this one almost (note I said 'almost') makes me want to become a sane quilter!

- I know many of you are familiar with Sharon Boggon's ongoing TAST (Take A Stitch Tuesday) series, but I wonder if you are aware that she has been doing this for ten years.  Wow - that's pretty incredible when you think about it!  Sharon has to be one of the most giving people in the needlework world and if you haven't tried TAST, perhaps now is the time.  I guarantee you will learn a lot and explore stitches you may not have seen before.  Go HERE to read her latest post (and to get a glimpse of her book that will be available sometime mid-year). 

Today your quote is from Laura Esquivel...."She was passionate about knitting because it allowed her to reach a state of peacefulness, and she loved to embroider because it let her express her creativity.  Both activities were liberating.  They allowed her to exist outside of time." 


Friday, January 13, 2017

A hodge podge

First of all I thought I'd show you what I ended up with when I used the colour generator found HERE.  


I uploaded the Harrison Fisher illustration and the program generated the strip of colour suggestions that you see along the bottom.  I was then able to print this and use it while selecting my fabrics.







Here you can see the pieced block that I created...




The fabrics aren't all 'spot on' with the colour swatches, however they are the best I can do with the stash I have.


Buying fabrics is not an option when I have so many that I need to use up!



It's difficult to see in the above picture, but I am using a hexagon shape for each of my blocks and the layout is tentatively as shown below..


This afternoon I pieced all the blocks and now I'm ready to start with the fun part - embroidery!

Now, on to a few mumblings...

- If you'd like to try making your own buttons, have a look at the suggestions found HERE.

- THESE little bags are wonderful!  I can see so many uses for these - and, even better, they're great for stash reduction!!  They'd make great gifts too - especially if they were filled with little things the recipient might like.

- For those of you who might like to learn to smock, there is a great tutorial HERE and if you scroll w-a-y down to the bottom you can click on several pictures that will lead you to further tutorials.  

I came across this wonderful poem, from an author unknown...

Quilt of Holes

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt
before the Lord along with all the other souls.

Before each of us laid our lives like the squares
of a quilt in many
piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our
quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the
pile, I noticed how ragged
and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each
square was labeled with a part of my life that had
been difficult, the
challenges and temptations I was faced with in
every day life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such
squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled
with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own
life and was disheartened.

My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be
displayed, held up to the the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each
in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been.
My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise.

My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't
had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But
there had also been trials of illness, and wealth, and false
accusations that took from me my
world, as I knew it. I had to start over many
times. I often struggled with
the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and
begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in
prayer, asking for help and
guidance in my life. I had often been held up to
ridicule, which I endured
painfully, each time offering it up to the Father
in hopes that I would not
melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of
those who unfairly judged me.

And now, I had to face the truth. My life was
what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.
I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of
my life to the light.

An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around
at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.

Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light
flooded the many holes,
creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our
Lord stood before me, with
warmth and love in His eyes. He said, "Every time
you gave over your life
to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My
struggles.

Each point of light in your life is when you
stepped aside and let Me shine
through, until there was more of Me than there was
of you."

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing
Christ to shine through!





Thursday, January 12, 2017

Found!!

My question from yesterday has found an answer!!  Thank you Mary Ann for giving me the following place that generates a colour palatte from my images....go HERE for that one.  I like that this one lets you print off fairly reasonably sized swatches.  During my search yesterday I found a number of places but very few of them will allow printing - or at least if they do, I can't figure out how.  I did stumble across THIS one which give you a number of swatches but they print very small and rather difficult to use.   


Now I can happily start choosing my fabrics for my 'Courtship' project.  Oh - and did I mention that I decided on a hexagon format?


  
Above you can see just some of the chaos I've created!! The pulling of fabrics has begun and I currently have seven piles similar to this, each one possibilities for a block.  You can see in the photo the colour swatch printout that I'm using.  Oh, and please excuse the mess behind!!

A good side effect of all this fondling of fabrics is that I'm actually tidying my storage drawers as I go along.  At least they'll look nice until I need something and it'll be back to the usual messy state!


Today, wonder of wonders, I don't have any mumblings for you.  I know - will wonders never cease?  

Your quote of the day is from Audrey Hepburn...."Nothing is impossible, the word itself says "I'm possible"


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A question for you

I think I mentioned that I am waffling about colour choices for my next crazy quilt project and it suddenly occurred to me that there is such a thing as a color generator whereby you can upload your picture and they can create a color scheme for you.  That would be an ideal thing....however....here's where the question arises.  Which one should I use?  There are a myriad of choices and I checked out a few and ended up totally cross-eyed and confused.  Several of them use programs such as photoshop (which I don't have).  All I want is to be able to generate a color scheme, save it and print it so I can use it to choose my fabrics.   Is there a program you use that you like?  It has to be free and idiot-proof for me to figure it out, so do you have any suggestions?  Thank you in advance!!!

My mailbox yielded something really special the other day...


This is a beautiful fabric postcard created by Freda Butler (thank you Freda!!) and came through the mail without so much as a mark. The photo doesn't do it justice - there is a lot of sparkle that the camera doesn't pick up.


Before I get into the daily dose of mumblings, I want to share a warning with you.  This one is for women and is something we all need to be aware of.  Thieves are watching for you when you get out to pump your gas.  How many of us leave our purses on the seat while we get out?  They simply pull up beside your car, and while your back is turned, open your door and snatch your purse and are gone before you realize anything has happened.  So....lock your car ladies and be safe!!

- I have a couple of little grandsons in my life and I really think they would love something like THIS.  

- Mary Corbet has posted an interesting article giving great directions on how to frame your needlework and you can find that HERE.  

- If you would like to learn to quilt, there are some good (and free!) lessons to be found HERE.  

- My friend Renee has written an excellent how-to post on creating a crazy quilt block.  You can read that HERE.  She explains what to do when you think you've made an error with your piecing.  

Today your quote comes from Winnie The Pooh ( very wise bear indeed!)..."Promise me you'll always remember you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think"


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Just to prove that I've been doing SOMETHING!!

Yes, I have been working on something, believe it or not.  Not all my time has been spent waffling about what project to start next (which, btw, is percolating in the background).  

See?...



Many of you are aware of, and maybe are participating in, Pam Kellogg's Never-Ending Stitch-a-Long  (free, btw!!) and this is my effort towards that.  The first twelve stitches are done....using waste canvas on black cotton.  I will be turning this into an insert on the cover of one of my three-ring binders that holds stitching inspiration.  Now I will wait until there are twelve more patterns available and I will use them for another insert on another binder.  (and before you ask, yes the margins are straight in real life....don't know why they photographed wavy!!).  

And here's your dose of mumblings for today...

- many of you (and that should include moi!!) are in a declutter mode after Christmas and are sorting through your crafting supplies in the hopes of either downsizing or organizing what you have.  So, in that light, perhaps there might be something HERE that you would find interesting.  It's the first article of a series, and if you want to read the rest they are HERE and HERE.  And HERE's an article on storage.

- another thing I've noticed trending about the blogging world seems to be THESE hats.  Plenty of links and ideas there if you're thinking about making one for yourself or for a gift.

- My friend Judy posted a link to THIS Christmas-themed quilt a long (and yes, I know Christmas is over with, but it's never too early to think ahead, right?).  Be sure you scroll down to see some of the many different ways you can use the patterns!

- And another freebie for the quilters who also happen to like cats - how about THIS?

- For the crocheters - some nice patterns for the puff stitch HERE

Most of you know how much I dislike winter.  Today is a prime example of why - it has been snowing pretty much all day and the forecast calls for it to turn to freezing rain tonight.  Oh joy!  So...your quote for today is this one....from Carl Reiner..."A lot of people like snow.  I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water"




Monday, January 09, 2017

Still waffling - sort of - maybe -

Deciding on a new major project is hard especially when you deal with the guilt of knowing that there's a massive to-do list that should be dealt with at some point and the fact that your mind is wanting to dwell on two new projects that haven't ever so much as SEEN said to-do list.  At this point I think my Harrison Fisher quilt is going to win out, mainly because my stash lends itself to that one.  If I try to create the abandoned barn images it will mean I need to augment my stash with cottons, something that I don't have the extra funds at the moment to do.  That makes the decision somewhat easier and I refuse to dwell on that to-do list that's sitting on my desk, glaring balefully at me I'm sure!

So....the quest is on for appropriate examples of Harrison Fisher illustrations that will work with my idea.  Many of the images you see are of women - mostly singular.  My eye, however,  keeps going to the images of couples and that has led me to a working title of 'The Courtship' using images such as this one...


The next thing, after narrowing the choices of wonderful images down, is to decide on just how many blocks I want to make...four, six or eight....???

The mumblings of the day....

- Don't know if all of you have heard of a trend making something called 'Temperature' Afghans....the premise being that each day you add a row to your afghan reflecting the temperature of the day.  If you would like to read more about it, there's an excellent article HERE.  And another one HERE.  And lots of eye candy can be found HERE.  What's even more fun is that you can use either knit or crochet - and the colours are entirely up to you.  Pattern choice is pretty flexible too.  If you'd like to know more, just google 'Temperature Afghans' and you will see tons of examples.

- my blogging friend Kim has announced a fun stitch-a-long and if you're interested in the Tudor era, perhaps you might like to check out her post HERE.  And there's further information HERE

- Another friend posted a link to a video tutorial the paper-lovers among you might find interesting and that can be found HERE..  Thank you Connie for this one!

- Pam Kellogg has released a sneak peak of the cover art created by Allison Aller for the spring issue of 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' and you can see that HERE, as well as read about what she is searching for to include in the next issue.  Please consider sending along your photos and/or articles and design ideas!!

- I would love one of THESE, particularly now we seem to be getting snow pretty much every day.

- HERE is a really fun (and quick!) cowl for the sewers among you. I'd like one of these too!!  

Today your quote is from Craig D. Lounsbrough...."What I allow into my head finds its way to my heart, which is a porthole to my soul.  Therefore, I might be wise to consider the state of my soul, and then walk this process backwards"





Thursday, January 05, 2017

In which I babble on....


I've spent the last three days working on a scrapbook/photo album of the road trip we took in the fall to meet our new grandson.  I've been surrounded by paper and glue sticks and double-sided tape and created a gigantic MESS in my sewing room.  I'm happy to say I can put that project behind me (and readily will admit that a being a scrapbooker is not in my future!).  

My latest embroidery project has ended and now I'm casting about for something new to work on.  And before you, en masse, rush to the comments to remind me of the overlong to-do list I have, I'll share what is percolating in my brain (altho' not necessarily going to be acted upon!!)....

I'm sure many of you are familiar with the art of Harrison Fisher ( Harrison Fisher (July 27, 1875 or 1877 – January 19, 1934) ).  He drew many amazing images, primarily of women but many also featured couples.  




The thought is in my mind to perhaps use some of these wonderful images to create some sort of crazy quilt. 

Maybe.

Perhaps.







or - also percolating in my brain - maybe I'll try
to create a fabric barn scene, using what I've learned
from the Craftsy online classes I was gifted with
at Christmas.


Now, on to your mumblings of the day...

- THESE are absolutely adorable - and I know the cat lover in your life would love them!  I think I'd be tempted to make them longer though.

- Some of you (at least the ones who live in Canada) are aware that this is Canada's 150th birthday year, and my friend Judy has accumulated a number of fun birthday project ideas in her post found HERE.  

- Mary Corbet has a great article on her blog about organizing projects (found HERE) and to add to that I came across THIS tutorial for making zippered plastic bags.

- There's a great free tutorial HERE for making toasty warm gloves using fleece.

- Remember me giving you the link to a free printable watercolor Star Wars calendar?  Well, HERE's a delightful princess one and HERE's a Harry Potter one, both in the same sweet watercolor style.

And your quote of the day.....from Joe Vitale...."A goal should scare you a little, and excite you a lot"