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, August 15, 2018

The regular dose of....

Yep, today we return to your regular thrice-weekly dose of mumblings from the chalet here at Chez Magpie.  Some of you might be glad about that and others might simply just say 'meh'.  At any rate, behind the scenes whilst the 'Grande Look Back' was taking place, I actually have been working on something.  And I'd be willing to bet you already know what!!  

Yes, a barn.

I've been commissioned to make two and this is one of the photos my client chose for me to attempt to recreate.

Here you can see the rough beginnings...

- I really like THIS for a tote bag!  There's a link for the free PDF pattern.

- There's a number of really great sizing charts HERE for both knit and crochet.

- Lots of cat and dog quilt pattern links can be found HERE

- I thought I'd slip a little Christmas idea in here, just for the fun of it.  Have a look at THESE (be sure to scroll down!). 

- There's a nice no-nonsense alphabet cross stitch design HERE  and if you go back to that site HERE and scroll down you will find lots of other fun alphabets to use in your projects.  

- Sometimes I stumble across a really smart (and cheap!) idea and THIS certainly is one of them.  If my DH hadn't already made me a wonderful thread holder, I know I'd be making one of these!

Today's quote..."Stop thinking so hard about everything.  Stop over analyzing.  Just go.  Just do.  If it feels right, just go with the flow.  If it feels wrong, don't think about it any more and walk away"

Monday, August 13, 2018

Finally. Done. Finished. Over With. Kaput.

And I can hear your collective sigh of relief all the way from here.  The fact that you've stuck with all this backward looking and reminiscing says a lot about you.  Not so sure what it says about me....and I'm not about to ask your opinion on that because I strongly suspect I might not want to know!!

We will visit the final half of 2017 and then will return to the regular mindless mumblings you are accustomed to finding here at Chez Magpie.  

In August I gave birth to these two dolls who promptly went to live with two sisters...
The design for these morphed from the best parts of a number of patterns so I suppose it could almost be said that they are my own.  

In September I was obviously working towards THAT day in December and I was creating these...a lot of these...

Every year I create at least twenty Christmas ornaments which then become either the 'bows' on packages or act as little gifts in themselves.  

In October I created a new 'system' for storing my circular knitting needles which previously were a jumbled up mess.  This was the result...

My own design - each pocket is labeled with the needle size and, in theory, I should be able to find what I'm looking for.  In theory.  

Also in October I revealed what I think was my second barn landscape which was subsequently purchased by our local quilt guild for use as a raffle prize for their next show being held in the spring...

Once I picked myself up off the floor, I felt truly honoured!

Also in October I unveiled a project that I had done for the 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' magazine...

This is a crazy quilted valance which now graces my sewing room window.  And before you go getting all excited and thinking you should be impressed by how much I get done, this one was done entirely on the machine so was f-a-s-t.

For those of you who feel the need of another of the 'Magpie Lessons' have a look at my post HERE.  Don't say I didn't warn you!

So, this brings us to the end of this long, boring, mind numbing retrospective (and I CAN hear you cheering you know).  Unless, of course, you really would like to see some of the 'stuff' that came out of my sewing space to help good ol' St. Nick out, in which case you can have a peek at my December posts for 2017 in my sidebar.  

- There are no instructions for making THIS, but what a great idea (and simple enough to create on your own).  I think it would make a great purse!

- There are links HERE to all sorts of free flying geese quilt patterns.  Some really pretty (and unusual ones).  

- I know I don't normally point you towards a paid pattern but sometimes something is just so outlandishly cute that I can't help it!  Go HERE to see what I mean (and be sure to scroll down to the bottom to see the others she has designed).  I want a dragon (or several!!).  

Another great anonymous quote..."You don't meet people by accident.  There's always a reason...a lesson or a blessing.

Friday, August 10, 2018

17, or part thereof

I waffled about doing 2017 in this look back but finally decided it would complete the set so to speak so I opted to go ahead. I promise that there's only one more post in this series and then we'll return to the regular mumblings.  

In January of 2017 I began working on another of my long-time 'wanna do' projects, this time using images created by Harrison Fisher who was quite famous for his art that often appeared on the covers of prominent magazines of his time.  I found a number of his illustrations that made me think of courtship so thus my 'Courtship' crazy quilt was born.  The first block was completed on Jan. 24...

...and if you visit my blog post from HERE you can see all the individual blocks.  If you are interested in seeing this project develop feel free to scroll through my blog posts dating from late January until May 22nd.

Here is the finished wall hanging...

 The words around the edge are 'I'm gonna love you, like nobody's loved you, come rain or come shine'. I also challenged myself to include a heart, a word, a rose, and a vine on each block. It measures 36" square and is for sale if anyone would like to contact me.  

Throughout April and May of 2017 I was happily enthralled with creating felt play food for our #1 grandson.  This is one example of the fun things I made for him...

If you want to see more check out the 'felt food' label in my sidebar.

In May I also completed work on a fun challenge project that was through the San Francisco School of Needlework and Design and sponsored by Swarovski.  

(Sorry about the glare on the glass!).
If you would like to see more details and read more
about this project, have a look at the post HERE.  

In June I also completed another crazy quilt project which was featured in the 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' magazine (and is now hanging in a local church)...

And in July, just for fun, I crocheted this wee little fellow who went on to live with our # 2 grandson..

The pattern is 'Donato' and is a free pattern found HERE.  

- For the little giraffe-lover in your life, how about THIS?

- There's a cute cross stitch pattern HERE for a fall tree, along with an interesting article about how she creates her cross stitch patterns using photos.  

- I stumbled across THIS tutorial for making a container for holding essential oils, but I thought it would work for other applications as well.  There's also THIS.

- There's a short video HERE with some good information re transferring images to fabric.

- Have a look at THIS!  Sometimes people create the most amazing things.

Another anonymous quote for you...."Most of the problems in life are because of two reasons:  we act without thinking or we think without acting"

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The other half of 16

I know you have to be beyond bored with all this, but we're almost there!  In this post we'll have a peek back at the last half of 2016.

In July I finished working on a knitted baby blanket...

The pattern was a free one from Bernat and can be found HERE.  

Also in July I played with making a fun little Tilda doll, as you can see here...

The pattern came from one of the books written by Tone Finnanger.

The Autumn issue of the 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' magazine showed my crazy quilted family tree...

If you would like to see further information about this piece, 
you can have a look at my post HERE.  

In August the weather was very hot and I was contemplating the difference between a bear and BEING bare.  Since this isn't an X-rated blog, I thought the furry sort would be the better thing to share...

The pattern is from Vogue #7534 and was a gift for our #2 grandson

In November, I completed working on a quiet book, also for him...

If you would like to read (and see more pages) about this,
check out the label 'Quiet Book' in my sidebar.

Also in November I put the finishing touches on this crazy quilted Santa wall hanging which appeared in the Winter issue of the 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' magazine....

In December Grandma's knitting needles were busy creating this sweater for our #1 grandson...

The pattern is from a Beehive booklet called 'Knit Menagerie"

- My friend Renee from the blog 'Handstitched Treasure' has created a very extensive tutorial for making wonderful crazy quilted postcards.  Her final post is HERE (and if you scroll down you will find links to the rest of the parts of the tutorial).  

- Have a look at the collection of quilts made by THIS artist.

- There are lots (LOTS!) of free quilt patterns available HERE.  

- Most of you know I used to love working with recycled denim, so of course THIS would catch my eye!

- For those of you (not me...cough...cough) who have an over-abundance of buttons in your stash, perhaps THIS might intrigue you?

- THIS is part one of a series for making a gorgeous quilt using recycled linens.   There's a link at the bottom of her post to part two (and so on).  

- I stumbled across THIS most interesting post with a novel approach to creating buttonholes in knitting.  It looks somewhat confusing as you read through but I suspect taking it step by step will make it clear.  It certainly makes a really neat-looking buttonhole!

Another anonymous quote today..."Note to self: I don't have to take this day all at once but rather one step, one breath and one moment at a time.  I am only one person.  Things will get done when they get done"

Monday, August 06, 2018

On drooling, bibs...and....oh yes.... 1/2 of 16

Never let it be said that here at Chez Magpie there is ever a lack of eyebrow-raising and disbelief.  The latest on that front is that the Mrs. has reverted to childhood.  Yes, people, she parted with the princely sum of $1.64 (plus tax) for the giant economy sized box of 64 Crayola crayons.  Can drooling and bibs be far behind? 

Now....on to the look back and a visit to 2016...

In March I completed work on a bed throw that currently graces the foot of our bed (and admirably covers the fact that our mattress is extra long and manufacturers don't make bedspreads long enough).  This was created using some (a mere drop in the bucket actually) of my stash of white 'stuff'.  There's bits of things that belonged to my mother and grandmother - along with things that have been gifted to me over the years for use in my crafting...

If you'd like to read more (and see more pictures) have a look at the post HERE.   

April saw me put the finishing touches on my spring-themed crazy quilt pillow cover...

If you would like to see ALL the pillow covers in one place, have a look at the post found HERE.  

In May I made this little Lego blanket for our oldest grandson (and another one will be created for our youngest in another while)...

The pattern is called the 'Building Blocks Throw' and is free HERE.  

Also in May and also for our oldest grandson, grandma created a pirate costume for him to wear at his birthday party.  

And, just to add a little humour to this post, HERE is another of my 'sillies' that I wrote about.  

At the end of June in 2016 I began what would prove to be a long series of seam treatment designs that I insisted on sharing with you (whether you were interested or not!!).  You can get access to them all simply by clicking on 'seam treatments' in my sidebar.  All free - all the time!!

- If you are interested in miniatures - and paper - have a look at THIS amazing creation!

- If you have orphan quilt blocks and don't know what to do with them, how about making them into pincushions as you can see in this post HERE.  You'll have to scroll down a wee bit to see it.

- There's a nice pattern HERE for making a quilted accordion pouch.

- And a nice stained glass tote bag pattern HERE.  

Another anonymous quote..."One of the hardest lessons in life is letting go.  Whether it's guilt, anger, love, loss or betrayal.  Change is never easy.  We fight to hold on and we fight to let go"

Friday, August 03, 2018


Continuing on with the little series of peeking back at some of the things I've done, we're now ready to re-visit the rest of 2015.

In the spring of 2015 I was honored to be asked to become the Assistant Editor and proofreader for Pam Kellog's new 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' magazine.  Since then much of what I have created in crazy quilt has been for publication there.  Not only that, but my work graced the very first cover!  

Also in 2015, Kathy Seaman Shaw asked me to proofread  her series of crazy quilting books and she subsequently has published two volumes: 'Beyond the Basics' (2015) and 'Ribbon Embellishments' (2016).  It was a huge honor to be asked to help her with these projects. Both books can be found on Amazon HERE and HERE.  

In late August I was doing an over-the-top happy dance because I was finally finished the 'Sane Quilts from H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks'. For those of you who weren't around then, I was asked to create a king-sized sane quilt for #1 son and daughter-in-love and when I went to purchase the fabric I got too much.  WAAAAAAY  too much!   Enough to make two (count 'em....two!) large quilts AND a double quilt AND pillow shams.  Proves I know absolutely zilch about how much fabric is necessary for these things!  (btw - see my previous post about my sense of humour if you want to read more about this debacle).  Anyhoo.....this is the final (double-sized) quilt that came out of it all...

I was working on a series of crazy quilted pillow covers and in October I completed this one...

In November I was in the throes of creating for Christmas and I made several of these pincushions for gifts...

The pattern for the cake came from HERE,  the whipped cream from HERE   and the strawberry from HERE.  

In December I completed the Christmas-themed pillow cover....

Also in December I finished crocheting this wee blanket...

And December saw the final result of seven years of my life spent transcribing (and publishing) three large family diaries...  

These diaries covered the daily life in a farming community from the years 1869 through 1943.  

- For those of us here in Canada that might be searching for online sources for fabric, have a look at the comprehensive list found HERE.

- Sometimes something pops up on the internet that astounds me.  It's even better when it not only astounds me, but also makes me laugh.  If I still had a garden, and had the raw materials, I would SO be making one (or several!) of THESE!!!

- And, just to further the fact that this blog is totally eclectic (!) I came across a couple of computer printer hints I thought I'd pass along.  One is to use the 'Century Gothic' font for your documents you plan to print...seemingly it uses less ink.  The other hint was to shake your ink cartridge when you are being prompted to replace it - often it will give you quite a bit more printing time.  Who knew?  (See?  I TOLD you this blog was eclectic!!!).

- For those of you who like doing zentangles, perhaps you'd like to give it a try with fabric using the tutorial HERE.  You could also use any colours of fabric I think.

Another quote from an unknown person..."Stop thinking so hard about everything.  Stop over-analyzing.  Just go.  Just do.  If it feels right, just go with the flow.  If it feels wrong, don't think about it anymore and walk away"

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

14 and a teeny bit of 15

Today our look back will include 2014 and a little bit from 2015 (are you bored yet?????).  

In February of 2014 I completed work on this needle roll...

You can see further pictures of the outside and the inside by
going to my post HERE  and HERE.

In September I was able to share this...

....which was the 'January' page for the
2014 crazy quilt calendar sponsored by 
Pam Kellogg (KittyandMeDesigns).

By October I was working hard on creating gifts for 
Christmas and this crocheted doily was one of them...

Pattern was found on Ravelry - "Rose Doily #804"


Also in October I completed a commission for one of my crazy quilted purses.  

The pattern is "The Gadabout' and is by Studio Kat Designs

In December I completed work on my second White Cloth, inspired by an online class from Karen Ruane...

Moving on, we will now have a peek at what I was doing in 2015...

In March I completed work on a rose-themed hussif...

You may see more pictures and read more about it HERE and HERE.  

For those of you who appreciate my sense of humor, perhaps you'd like to
be reminded of it by reading my post from March found HERE.  

And if you go to THIS post you can see some of the results of what
was happening in March!

Also in June, I completed this hussif with an Asian theme...

If you would like to see more pictures, have a look HERE.

- HERE's a great little stash buster that any stitcher would love to receive as a gift.

- The fall issue of 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' is now available!  I must admit to being rather happy because there are several of my things in of my barns and a tutorial for the denim and lace bag that you've seen previously on my blog.  Be sure to pick up your copy by going to MagCloud HERE or Etsy HERE

- If you have a little girl in your life who loves the Disney princesses, perhaps you'd like to make her one (or several!) of THESE!

- That same little girl might just adore one of THESE simple to make dresses.

Another of the anonymous quotes from my collection..."If you have a family that loves you, a few good friends, food on your table and a roof over your head, you are richer than you think"