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.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Progress & 'Teers

I have accomplished another little section on my summer pillow cover, which you can see here...


Yesterday was our monthly CQTeers meeting and we had been challenged last month by Irene  to 'do something' with the hats she gave us.  It's always fun to see what the three of us manage to come up with and this challenge was no exception.

Here is Irene (who issued the challenge)
modeling her chic cloche...



and here is Sue, looking ever
so spring-like in her creation...


and I, being a rebel, HAD to
do something radically different...


I never wear a hat (unless it's frigid cold and I might be 
convinced to find a toque and put it on).  I removed the
stiffening in the brim and then wondered what I 
could use it for.  Some embroidery was added
and it became a plant holder.  

Hmmm.....not quite what Irene intended perhaps?

For those who might be curious, the basic hats we
were given all looked like the base in Sue's creation.

Here's another of the entries from my mothers' autograph book; this one dated Feb 27, 1939...

Many are sure in this book to write,
perhaps words of love to thee indite,
but for loving wishes for future bliss,
sure none will beat the writer of this.






Monday, March 28, 2016

Pillow cover progress

So far I have added one element to my summer-themed pillow cover...


Looking at the photo, it appears as though the lighthouse has 'wings'.  Hmm....must add another cloud to mask that!

Here are a few highlights from my travels about the internet...

- this one is a bit late for Easter I guess, but it's really cute anyway.  If you knit (or know someone who is just learning!) THIS little fellow is charming.  (Scroll down to find it).

- there's a great tutorial HERE for making baskets from recycled blue jeans.  

- Karen Ruane has announced her latest online class.  This one is called 'Stitching A Story' and students can use a children's book as inspiration for their work.  This one sounds like such fun!!  Go HERE for further information.

- if you want to see some amazing needle felted art, go HERE.  Be sure to scroll down!

- there's an interesting stitch dictionary to be found HERE  and there's another one HERE.   

For today's quote (and perhaps for another little series) I will share with you one of the poems that my mother wrote...

I wonder as I dream tonight
In this poetic way
Will this find a place among
My dreams of yesterday.
Tis thrice we met since those long years
When another love held sway
Surely can't be love that now
Makes me feel this way.
It seems I need a shoulder
Someone who will lend 
The comfort of a hand on mine
True value of a friend.
But these are only dreams it seems
On foundations not to last
Surely there will come a day
Unfounded by the past.
It's true my heart is empty
But tis not made of stone
And I can find no recompense
Within the bounds of home.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Having fun!

This afternoon I've been having fun, while I sit here and listen to the ice pellets hitting my sewing room window.  Instead of worrying about what's happening outside, I've been thinking of summer and piecing my next pillow cover.  In case you are new here, I am making removable seasonal covers for a pillow we keep on our couch.  So far I've completed winter, spring, fall, and Christmas.  

I just finished mounting the summer base onto my embroidery frame and will be able to start stitching later on.


There was a lot of fussy cutting of fabrics in order to get this looking the way I envisioned (or at least close to it).  Hindsight being what it is I now wish I had flipped the bottom two pieces of the 'water' but there's no way I'm taking it apart at this point!  

Now where did I put that sailboat pattern?......

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I am not apt to be posting over the weekend, so I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and blessed Easter.

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Here's another piece from the autograph book (dated July 1, 1939)...

Life is like a journey
Taken on a train
With a traveler at each window pane.
I may sit beside you all the journey through,
Or I may sit elsewhere,
never knowing you.
But if fate should place me at your side
Let's be pleasant travelers,
Life's so short a ride.  



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Some mumblings

As we sit here, hunkered down, hoping that the predicted large ice storm will pass us by, I thought I'd catch up with a few mumblings....

- for those who are interested in doll-making, you can find a number of online courses available HERE.

- if you happen to be wanting to knit a little baby sweater, you might like the free pattern that's HERE and there's another one HERE.

-if you're a Downton Abbey fan, you might like this crocheted hat 

- and if you'd like to crochet a pretty little flower to add to your projects, there's a nice one HERE.

- Pam Kellogg has released another of her free cross stitch patterns HERE.  This one is a wonderful bald eagle and American flag.

- there's a good tutorial HERE about how to fix a jammed sewing machine (not, of course, that it would ever happen to us!).

- here's another site for those of you interested in doll making.  This one leads to TONS of designers patterns that you can purchase.  There's another site HERE.

- if you embroider, perhaps you might find the free  vintage patterns available HERE interesting.  Or maybe the ones that can be found HERE. ... you will have to join the group (free) but the treasure trove of designs there makes it totally worthwhile!

- if you like free clip art, how about checking HERE  or HERE.   Or maybe HERE or maybe HERE?

- and for quilters, how about HERE   or HERE ?

- Can't leave the knitters out, so they can check out the things available HERE.  or HERE

There....I hope you poured yourself a cuppa before you started into all those!

And, because everyone likes a picture....


Another entry from the autograph book; this one dated Feb. 24, 1938...

Those who love gardens seem to have such simple needs -
Good earth, fair wind, and sun and rain,
Tools, plants and seeds.
Those who love houses seem to find
The joy that springs
From chintz and oak, and pots and pans,
and homely things.
Those who love life need only ask
the sky above,
a roof, a bed, and daily bread
and lasting love.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spring pillow cover

Over the weekend I put the finishing touches on my spring-themed pillow cover.  Many of you might remember seeing this piece in progress on my blog earlier.  I thought, being that the first day of spring has arrived, that it was time to put it on display.  Now I have to get busy and do a summer cover.





Here's another in the series from my mother's autograph book; this one is dated July 17, 1938...

At first I thought it hard to see
What life was really meant to be.
Sometimes I thought it simply grand,
Again so hard to understand.
Then I happened to discover,
That all are out to kid each other,
and now since I have found that out,
I think I know what life's about.



Monday, March 21, 2016

Baby announcements!

Over the weekend #2 son and daughter-in-love posted this on facebook...


This was their announcement to their friends - presented very aptly by 'big brothers' Stewie (the cat) and Kumo (the dog).  I couldn't resist sharing it with you.

Our big road trip out there to spend some time with them after baby arrives in September will be also a way to take the cradle that was made for our boys by my dad over 30 years ago.  At that time my dad was helping out at the local auction house and was the recipient of some beautiful wood after the auction people managed to destroy an old wooden organ when it fell off their truck during transport.  Their loss was his gain, and he created this beautiful cradle...


Here's another of the autograph book entries, dated Jan. 25, 1940...

What makes life worth living
is our giving and forgiving.
Giving tiny bits of kindness
that will leave a joy behind us
and forgiving trifles
that the right word often stifles.
For the little things are bigger 
than we often stop to figure.
What makes life worth living
is the giving and forgiving.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

A finish!

This afternoon I finished the little wall hanging project and thought it would be a perfect day to show you because it's bordered with green  (happy St. Patrick's Day!).  


Of course it was yet another dull day here, so photos aren't that great, but at least you can see what I did.  The pretty fabric blocks were made using a set of Moda 2 1/2" fabrics that I won from Baa and I added extra plain embroidered flower blocks.  There were enough fabric squares left over to make the prairie points in the lower corner.   I quilted in-the-ditch and then added the buttons in the centre of the fabric blocks.  It measures approx. 20" square overall.

Here's another of the entries in the autograph book (this one is dated Aug. 19, 1938)...

It's easy enough to be happy 
when life flows along like a song,
but the person worthwhile
is the person that can smile
when everything goes dead wrong. 





Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A decision, and some progression too

Thank you to those of you who weighed in on the question of what colour to use for the embroideries to go along with these...



Grey seemed to be the one I felt happiest with and a search through my embroidery floss stash came up with a greenish-grey that seems perfect.  I didn't want an in-your-face colour that would detract too much from the fabrics and, since the flowers I'm embroidering are mostly ones found in the summer, I didn't want to limit myself to making it look too much like 'spring' (if that makes any sense whatsoever).  So, here's one of the flowers..



Hopefully you can tell the colour fairly well from the picture (although it's yet another dull day here and photos are difficult).  There will be seven different flowers - each embroidered in the redwork style and worked on a 4" square of fabric.  

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There are a few things I found that you might find of interest.  First of all, Kathy Shaw has announced that she's taking registrations again for her beginner's crazy quilt online class (free, btw!) and you can find the details on her post HERE.  Definitely worth signing up for!

There's a couple of sweet little crocheted  bunny projects for Easter that you might like to check out HERE and HERE.

And Then We Set It On Fire blog is currently running an interesting series on crinkling fabric and you can see one of the posts HERE.  Have a further check through the blog and you can see the rest of the series.

Pam Kellogg has released another free Easter egg and robin cross-stitch pattern and that can be found on her blog HERE.

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Another of the entries that appeared in my mothers autograph book; this one dated Apr. 29, 1939...


All the luck the horseshoe ever stood for,
Every wish a wish-bone ever knew,
And by every four-leaf clover's magic,
I am wishing that it all may come to you.



Monday, March 14, 2016

Grande Plan or Grande Folly - you tell me!!



There you have it.  
The results of much floor-crawling,
pin-sticking,
and general mayhem.




Down and dirty,
thrown together,
use-it-up.


Done, and off the to-do list!
Even better? Reducing three big bags of
stash down to one!!

EDITED TO ADD:  Linking up with Apple  Apricot's Simply Neutrals party!

Another of the autograph book entries; this one dated June 2, 1931...

Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone
Kindness in another's trouble
Courage in your own.



Thursday, March 10, 2016

A new project begins

I recently received a wonderful package of treasures I was lucky enough to win in a giveaway from Baas Amazing Adventures .  In the parcel was a little packet of 2 1/2" Moda squares which immediately sparked a 'plan'.  (oh...and speaking of 'plans' - the Grande Plan is done, but pictures would have been as dismal as the weather has been today.  Hoping for sun tomorrow so I can show you how it turned out.).  

Anyway....

The latest plan is to sew together the little squares and then add some plain blocks to them to end up with a wallhanging.  I plan to embroider flowers in the plain blocks - sort of with a redwork-ish look.  

Here are the blocks...


I made prairie points from the leftover squares and plan to put those on the border.  Now, I have a question for y'all and would like your input as to what colour you think I should use to embroider the flowers?  I don't think red is quite what I want to use because I think it would overpower the pretty fabrics.  Black is too stark I think.  What do you think of grey?  Or do you have another suggestion you think would work?  I just want to use one colour throughout so whatever it is will have to work with all the blocks.

Over to you!!

I've found a few things you might like to check out....

1.  There's a really sweet table runner for spring pattern available HERE.

2.  HERE you can find a fun tutorial for a crafting organizer bag.

3.  For those of you with young kids, you might like to have a look at the fun use for action figures to make a lamp HERE.

4.  You can make your own alcohol ink using instructions found HERE.

5.  If you go HERE you can find a free download for some really pretty roses for use in cardmaking or scrapbooking.  Scroll down to find it.

6.  Pam Kellogg has released a sweet little free robin & shamrock cross stitch pattern and that can be found on her blog HERE.

7.  Last, but certainly not least, Karen Ruane is reissuing her 'Reinventing the Page' online class and you can find more details on her blog HERE.  The class has just started but there's still lots of time to register and play along.

Here's another of the autograph book entries - this one dated Sept. 7, 1932...

Along life's road,
Where'ere it winds,
Light be thy load,
And many be thy friends.


Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Something a little different

The 'Grande Plan' project is continuing, but it's really rather boring, so I won't share further pictures until it's done (which should be this week if all goes well).  In the meantime, I finished a sweet little crocheted baby afghan for....drumroll.....our new expected grandbaby due to arrive the first part of September!!!!  Much excitement here and plans are in the works to drive out to see our #2 son & daughter-in-love and new baby...a trip of over four thousand kilometers.  Rather daunting prospect, but the reward  once we get there makes it SO worthwhile!  We've often talked about driving across Canada and now is our chance.



The pattern for this blanket is called 'Cable Puff & Lace' and was in the book 'Best of Terry Kimbrough - Baby Afghans'  published by Leisure Arts. The yarn is Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo in a soft grey.


Here's another of the autograph book entries, dated Aug. 1, 1929.... 

Who seeks for heaven alone to save his soul
May keep the path, but will not reach the goal,
While he who walks in love may wander far
Yet God will bring him where the blessed are.




Saturday, March 05, 2016

I'm here

I know I've been awol this week and I do apologize to my faithful readership.  It's been one of those disjointed weeks where I fly in and out the door and don't have time for much else.  In my spare moments I have been making an effort to get the 'Grande Plan/Folly' up off the living room floor and that has been accomplished.  


This is what it looks like now....



The various pieces have been stitched down using one of the fancier stitches on my sewing machine (my machine is pretty basic, but there are a couple of nicer stitches to pick from).  The doilies are pinned down in this picture, ready for a trip to the machine as well.  





Above are a couple of close-ups of pieces I used.  The little girl hanging the laundry is from a laundry bag that I was given.  I absolutely adore her, but there were a number of stains which I managed to pretty much cover with some strategically placed 'bits'.  The butterfly was embroidered by my maternal grandmother.

Today the quote is from Herbert Swope.... "I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is:  Try to please everybody"