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, November 14, 2018

Yet another alas and alack....

My fingers have been busy, honestly they have, but unfortunately there's not one single thing that's quite ready to be revealed at this moment.  So...I will show you a picture of the next 'barn' (although this one features a house!) I will be working on.  The pattern is all drawn up and I'm chomping at the bit to get started!

- If you happen to have a collection of wine corks floating about (or feel the urge to buy some) you can find a really adorable Christmas use for them HERE (scroll down!).  These would be perfect for little favours at a Christmas dinner.

- At the quilt guild meeting this week a mention was made of jelly roll rugs - of course I hadn't heard of them and wanted to learn more.  Thought you might like to see what I found, so go HERE.

- There are lots of ideas HERE for creating fun shadow boxes for gifts.

- HERE is a cute wee thing you could knit that would easily use up small amounts of yarn.

- And another idea for using up fabric and creating something useful at the same time can be found HERE.

- THIS is a great (and free!) online knitting magazine.

Finally, I want to share my sorrow and grief at what is happening in California right now.  Words simply can't express the sheer magnitude of the loss.  God bless the people who have lost their lives, the people who have lost everything, and the fire fighters who risk their lives every moment of every day.  Winston Churchill, although referring to another type of devastation, said this..."We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival"

Monday, November 12, 2018

Something you will find..... the current issue of 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' magazine.  This is the Santa Claus (and tutorial to make your own) that I designed for the magazine and you can get your copy by clicking on the cover picture in the list at the side of my blog.  

- There are a LOT of free patterns available HERE.  Pour yourself a cuppa and have fun!

- If you go HERE you will find a link to the PDF for making an absolutely adorable little fairy door ornament.

- I'm sure the more experienced knitters among you know all THESE little tricks for frogging, but sharing it here just in case you don't!

- THIS is a nice tutorial to make fabric leaves for your fall table (or any time of the year).

- THESE are rather cute little fellows - cheap to make too!  Perhaps perfect for a bazaar item?

- There's a slightly different take on a table runner HERE

- If you have a Star Wars fan on your gift list, how about one of THESE?

This quote from Carl Reiner pretty much sums up my feelings about winter...."A lot of people like snow.  I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water"

Friday, November 09, 2018

The fun never ends

I'll lead off this post with my thanks to everyone who extended their sympathy to us after the passing of Jack's sister.  We are so grateful that your thoughts were with us.  She was 83 and had been in a nursing home with Alzheimer's so it was hard to be too sad knowing that she wouldn't have wanted to live like that.

Last week I did manage to finish up a set of Christmas ornaments that will be donated to the local quilt guild who are decorating a charity tree.  I made these years ago and had forgotten just how time consuming they are to make - to say nothing about the sheer amounts of straight pins needed to make them!!

The pattern can be found in many places around the internet - just google 'folded fabric ornaments' and you'll find all sorts of examples.  

I didn't want to lead this post with the picture I'm about to show you because I thought you'd run away screaming but never let it be said that here at Chez Magpie I shy away from the not-so-nice.  Just prior to my SIL's passing, I started developing redness on one side of my face and knew I was in for another bout of whatever-it-was that happened to me last June.  Just what I needed when we were having to deal with a funeral.  I used lots of ice and aloe and managed to keep the redness down enough that I hoped no one would really notice.  Since then it's flared to the degree that it's very red and swollen.  I thought it was an allergic reaction to something and I'm probably right in thinking that.  Had an online consult with my doctor last night and after sending her pictures, the diagnosis is excema.  It appears this will be something that keeps recurring - it's a once you have it, you'll always have it sort of thing.  Here's what I looked like last night...
Needless to say, going out in public is not something I'm about to do right now.  I'm not vain enough to care what I look like but I certainly don't want people to look at me and then turn their eyes to Jack and wonder if he was the cause of it.  (hmmm.....maybe I've suddenly developed an allergy to him????.....hmmmm.......).  This, too, shall pass - but I wish it would hurry up!

- There's a nice free printable HERE for recipe cards - especially nice if you share a recipe!

- THIS is a really cute stuffed polar bear that would be fun to make for little ones.

- If you go HERE you can find a number of links to patterns for making Advent calendars.

- If you bought some wool roving with grand plans to needle felt something and it didn't happen (we've all done that, haven't we!) you might be able to use it to make THESE wonderful angels.

- If you, like many of us, have lots of fabric scraps and have trouble coming up with storage ideas for them, perhaps one of THESE ideas might be just what you're searching for.

- Have a peek at the work of THIS artist.

- THIS is a somewhat unusual take on a tote bag - and note the pretty added flower!

- THESE might make great Christmas gifts for those with cold ears!

Another anonymous quote..."As a kid I think I ate too many rice krispies.  Now all my body does is snap crackle and pop!"

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

I'm sorry

I'm sorry about my lack of posting for the past week or so.  Last week was just one of those weeks where I was out more than I was in and there just wasn't anything to show, nor was there time to search out my normal mumblings.  The past few days have been spent dealing with a family funeral and a visit from our #1 son and his family (in order to attend the funeral).  It's been busy and there has been absolutely nothing done around here beyond the basics.  I don't want you to think I've given up blogging because I will be back with the regular doses of mumblings in another few days I hope.  In the meantime, here are a few mumblings that I had already collected...

- THESE are rather cute little guys that could be used in many ways.  And THESE are too!

- Have a peek at the things made by THESE artists!

- There are LOTS of really nice Christmas decorating ideas HERE.  And even more HERE!

- And if you go HERE there's a really easy (stash busting!) Christmas ornament pattern that would be quick to make.

- THIS is a really cute idea for mason jar gifts!

Another anonymous quote..."Strength doesn't come from what you can do.  Strength comes from overcoming the things you thought you couldn't"

Friday, November 02, 2018


It's been one of those weeks when I've been busy being social and what creative time I've had hasn't resulted in something worth showing you quite yet.  So, instead of showing you something new, how about a little mumbling catch up (I know...yawn.....)

The latest issue of the 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' is now available!  Lots of fun things to peruse in this colorful issue...there are bears, and ornaments, and angels, and, well, you're just going to have to get your issue so you can see what other surprises are in store!

You may get your issue from either MagCloud (digital or print) HERE or from Etsy (print only) HERE.  

(There might just be a special Santa project in there
that came from yours truly!)

- I just stumbled across THIS and thought it was one of the more brilliant ideas I've ever seen.  Anybody ever used one??  At first I puzzled about how to actually use it, but if you click on all the photos there's one with a clear explanation.  I think I'm putting one of these on my wish list!!

- Thank you to Joy for giving me the head's up on THIS site - you quilters will be able to spend hours seeing all the amazing block patterns there!  A perfect site to bookmark for when you are searching for a pattern.

- Have a look at the work done by THIS artist!  And THIS one too!

- Many of you know that I'm a closet Lego-lover, so of course THIS fun Halloween project definitely caught my eye!  (NOTE: it's a little late for this year I guess, but it's cute anyway).

- HERE is a great idea for perhaps creating for *that* day in December?  Or any other occasion for that matter!  I really like this one.

- There's a great tutorial HERE for a different take on a star quilt.

- I haven't tried THIS pattern, but I plan to, mainly because I get a kick out of these guys.

- If you have an ironing board and the cover is looking a tad grotty, perhaps THIS tutorial might be just what you've been searching for.

Today's quote is from Albert Einstein..."If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects"

Friday, October 26, 2018

Christmas is a'comin'......

I know, those weren't words you were wanting to hear, but unfortunately it's on the way and there's not a whole lot we can do about it.  So....Mrs. Santa's workshop has just finished creating two of these....
  But....what are they you say?

Do you give up?  Well, they're mug carriers!  When we go to our quilt guild meetings we have to take along our own mug for our coffee or tea, so I thought having a carrier would help protect them, AND look rather cute too.  One is for me (the one on the right) and the other is a gift for my friend who just joined the guild.  Pattern was taken from HERE   with a few modifications of my own.  I felt that the bag wasn't quite deep  (tall?) enough to properly enclose my mug so I added 2" to the pattern and instead of the fabric loop that goes over the button I chose to use a 4" piece of elastic.  I also modified the amount of elastic suggested for the sides and instead of using 4" for each side I used 3"...makes it a little more secure I felt.  

- THIS looks like a fun way to use up tiny scraps from your sewing room!  Also, while you're there, be sure to click on her 'tutorials' tab at the top....some really cute things!

- Check out the crochet pattern found HERE - it has pretty much any size you could ever want.

- THIS is a cute gift idea.  Of course it calls for using *their* products, but I'm sure you can use what you have! 

Anonymous, again...."The older you get, the more you realize you have no desire for drama, conflict and any kind of intensity.  You just want a cozy home, a nice book and a person who knows how you drink your coffee"

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Thanks and something different

First of all, I want to thank everyone who took part in the copyright discussion I raised in my last post (scroll down if you missed it and/or want to read the thoughtful comments I received).  Feel free to continue to add to the discussion too!  

Now, at the suggestion from one of the comments (thank you Christine!) I am once more throwing it out to you for your input.  If you happen across any abandoned barns, churches or houses (wood construction preferred) and would be willing to take photos and send them to me I would be delighted.  I am searching for inspiration for further creations and it appears I have pretty much exhausted the possibilities in this area.  If you do share photos with me I hope you would be okay with my using them in my work.  Thank you in advance!!!!

This is something a little different that I made over the past few days.  Thanks to Mary Ann for sharing her pattern with me!

- Have a look at the work done by THIS artist!  And THIS one!

- if you would like to make a Christmas quilt (or use the blocks to make other projects) have a look at the wealth of block patterns HERE, HERE, and also HERE!  The end of November they will be announcing another 25 block series for 2018 so you might want to bookmark it and check back.

- For those of you who are knitters (or crocheters) maybe one of THESE would be just what you need?

- There's a tutorial HERE for making slippers using recycled sweaters.  I think I would add a non-slip coating on the bottom though.

- I've noticed a lot of things being made using Buffalo Check materials lately, and have come across a nice crocheted blanket pattern HERE.

Another anonymous quote..."If someone throws a stone at you, throw a flower at them, but remember to throw the flower pot with it"