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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Today was our monthly CQTeers meeting where we eat far too much chocolate, laugh a lot, have grand discussions, and learn a thing (or three) along the way.  Our theme this month was to create something using the faux butcher's twine we learned to make last month from the tutorial on THIS blog.

Here is what the three of us came up with
(and you can see examples of the 
faux butchers twine on the right)

The flower on the upper left was mine, loosely taken from a free  PrickandStitch pattern from HERE.  On the upper right is the dress form by Sue and Irene created the buxom gal on the lower left.  Hers combined not only the butcher twine, but the woven paper technique from the month before, and a couple of paper beads we had learned to do at another meeting.  The card on the lower right was from Irene for my birthday (last month) - the back reads "It gets to the stage where you need all your breath to blow out all the candles". 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Presents for me!

What better person to buy you a present than yourself, right?  Well, in this case I bought myself TWO presents, because two are better than one, right?  First of all, I got this....

by Brian Haggard

When I saw this book I knew it was a have-to-have - not only is the cover really pretty, but it's a book about crazy quilting and we all know how crazy (hah) I am about books on that particular subject!  Brian Haggard has used many of his old family photos in these crazy quilts and most of them enjoy the same colours as the one pictures on the cover of the book.  There are 10 projects, 24 embroidery stitches/motifs, and also some nice traceable embroidery designs.  I have only read a few pages so far but I think it's one I'm going to really enjoy reading.    Specs:  'Crazy-Quilted Memories' by Brian Haggard, published by C&T Publishing, c2011, ISBN 978-1-60705-227-2

I also treated myself to this...

by Midori Nishida/CRK Design

This book was on my wish list not so much because of the idea of actually doing crocheted beaded edging on projects but for using the designs as seam treatments for crazy quilting.  I think there are a number of really great designs in the book which will definitely be good for CQ.  There are "18 designs that range from delicate and classic to modern and bold, all created with simple thread, a crochet hook, a beading needle, and inexpensive beads."   Every one of the designs would be beautiful on a crazy quilt!   Specs:  'The Beaded Edge' by Midori Nishida/CRK Design, published by Interweave, c2009,  ISBN 978-1-59668-300-6
Sorry about the flash glare on the pictures!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Button, button, who's got....

I do!!!

And here's proof...

I have a grand collection of fourteen (yes, 14!!) of these jars,
garnered from Ikea on Friday. 
They're fabulous and look so neat
all lined up on my shelf in my
new studio.

Those grey plastic lids are going to have a
facelift at some point though.  


the weekend also found me this light...

Found via Home Depot.
As Anne suggested in
the comments, I have
installed two cools and
a warm bulb and
now I have lots of
good light.
Thanks for the idea Anne!!

Bought one for the living room we can
not only read in comfort but I can
also take some of my needlework
out there (oh, oh!!).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Progress, and thanks

First, I want to say thank you for all of your input into my lighting dilemma.  I was happy to know that Ott lights are better than I had been led to believe (obviously anyone who takes time to do a review generally has a problem).  There are a couple of you who have your reponses set to 'no reply' so I am unable to thank you in person.  

Second - I've been working on the latest jacket and have added the decorative elements (pockets, labels and buttons).  Because I have nothing else to show for today, I thought I'd post a couple of photos so you could see where it's at now...

The picture above shows the back....
and the picture below shows the two front pieces...

Now it's on to doing the sleeves!


OUR HOUSE IS SOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Needing help

My new studio is under-lighted and I am needing to purchase a new floor lamp to create a much better quality of light.  My former studio had three double-bulb 'daylight' fluorescent ceiling lights and I miss them tremendously.  Living in an apartment means that I won't be able to replace the ceiling fixture (besides, I need the fan that comes with the light) so whatever I get will have to be a floor standing model.

I've been looking around on the internet and at first I thought I would like an Ott light but I've read some pretty discouraging reviews so I will probably give them a pass.  They're expensive, the ballast doesn't last and, by the reports I've read, their customer service is rather lacking.  I need a lamp that preferably is a 'daylight' one, it must be stable, and throw a lot of light. 

Do you have any ideas of what I should look at?  Makes & models would be most welcome.  Thank you in advance!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Today I have two views for you...

First, my work table and the pile
of labels I am reverse stitching
for use in my jackets.

and, second, the view from my studio window at
This is facing east.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

Interesting, and oh so sad

I don't know if you have heard about the foundling swatches and their significance in history. The Foundling Hospital in London England was founded in 1741 for the care of deserted children.  Often scraps of cloth were included with the meager records that were kept in the hopes that the children would be reclaimed someday and the fabric pieces could be used as a means of identification.  The fact that these fabric scraps have survived all these years is a miracle and a tribute to the strength it must have taken for parents to give up their children - into an uncertain future.  Many of them died while at the Hospital, some were adopted, and many more were indentured. 

There are two very interesting articles with further information HERE and also HERE.  It's a significant part of fabric history and well worth reading about.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Just a small (ish) mess!

And, before you ask, I don't intend to take ANY pictures of the other side of the room!!

The jacket hasn't changed all that much from yesterday, other than for the topstitching.  Now it's on to reverse stitching things like pockets and labels - the least fun of the whole process.  I also have to undertake an archaeological 'dig' to see where on earth I might have put the makings for the sleeves.

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on my question of yesterday.  It was interesting to see your take on the subject and I thank those that took the time to look up some 'proper' definitions of crazy quilting.  I think I will conclude that the jackets are, in fact, crazy PATCHED but not crazy QUILTED, which makes me feel happier about the definition.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crazy quilt denim, mail, and mumblings

  Have a look at what came in the mail the other day....

I am thoroughly in like with the art that Michelle Palmer does
and this piece is just one example.  She draws the sweetest
little things on fabric!  

Along with my wee bear, Michelle included the little birdie tags and a couple of nice buttons.

Thank you Michelle!!

 Finally, my eternal debate with myself....are the jackets I make really crazy quilted or aren't they?  Please weigh in on the subject and let me know what you think.

These pictures show the back (top picture) and two fronts of the current jacket I'm working on.  The question arises from the fact that I piece the recycled denim in the same manner as a crazy quilt.  From there the lines become blurred.  The seams are 'decorated' but with yellow thread used as topstitching - no hand sewing, no embroidery.  Any further embellishment is done with the addition of pockets, labels and buttons.    So....what say you?  Are these crazy quilted....or not??

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Our view

Today I thought I'd show you what I can see when I look out my studio window.  This is the Scugog River which runs through our town.  Further down there is a lock and we do see a lot of boats going up and down.

If you look really close in the last picture you can see some of our resident mallard ducks.  The middle picture shows some of the guest parking lot that runs in front of our building.

We moved the cats over last night and Mitzy has
already chosen her 'spot'.
Cosmo, on the other hand, has barely
been seen.  I think he's hiding under
the bed!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Before and after

We needed a new (or at the least, new to us) end table for between our chairs in our new living room.  We looked in several places and finally discovered a nice one in our local Buy & Sell shop but we didn't like the colour of it. 

Above is a more-or-less 'before' picture.
The table had good bones, but didn't fit with our decor as it was.

A light sanding, some black spray paint,

Not bad for $35!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Studio unveil - of sorts

I realized this morning that it's going to prove a bit difficult to get really good pictures of the new studio, simply because the room is small.  I do have a window (first time I've had a window in my studio in years...yay!!).  So, as promised, here are pictures.....

Starting to the left of the door....

There isn't enough room in our kitchen to house our water cooler, so it has found a home in my studio.  Handy when I want a drink!

The computer area.  You can also see the shelf that runs across pretty much the
entire wall - it holds my button jars and various other things.

My cutting table, which was a huge bonus - I never expected I
could manage to fit it into the space.  Happy about that!
My inspiration board above and a further view of the upper shelf.
That ends the first wall.

Now, turning the corner...

My sewing area, with a nice window above.
To the right you can see my thread storage, along with
a quilt rack that #2 son made me, which is
serving to hold some of my treasures from friends.

We've turned the corner again and here you can see the cabinet I use to store my
beads and also my cotton fabrics, along with some more 'stuff' on top.
This also shows the pull out couch which I share the room with.  It will
be nice for me to sit here and read through my crafting books.
Above I've hung the crazy quilt pieces which I did a few years ago
using the colour suggestions from SharonB.

Now we've reached another corner.  Below the lace tablecloth is one of my
sewing machines - which is doubling as a bedside table.  As you can see there are a few things
sitting on the floor that still need to find a permanent home.  The filing cabinet was given to me and is a huge organizational tool.  You can see my 195o's sewing machine on top of the cabinet and also
my two art dolls - Shudayra and Annelaw.

Now we're turning the final corner...

Here is one side of my floor to ceiling closet.  Here is where I have done some massive
shoehorning!!  Everything is labelled so I can hope (!!) to be able to find what I'm
searching for. 
You can't see in this picture, but below that is where the cat litter box will
reside.  I know, too much information!! 

And here is the other side of my closet.

Now you're back to the doorway again.

I've managed to organize (and stuff!!) a room that measures a mere 10 x 11.5 feet. 
I'm sure things will change as I start to use the space, but for now I'm pretty happy with it.

Hope you've enjoyed the tour.
If you click on the pictures, I think they will
embiggen for you.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Moved, and settled - I think!

I'm back - I hope!  The movers came to move the bigger things that we couldn't lift and of course - it poured rain.  In all the places we've lived - it has 'weathered' every single time we've moved.  We've grown to expect it! 

Anyway, most things are in place, the pictures are hung and it's looking like home.  I'm very happy to say that my studio (shared space with a pull out couch for guests and the computer) has come together far better than I expected.  I've managed to keep all the things that mean the most and there's actually room to walk in here (surprise, surprise!). 

I've been taking pictures as I moved my 'stuff' and have a few you might like to see (or not!).  In 2009 I put my studio on the internet tour of 'Where Women Create' and you can see the results on this post here.  By the end of 2010 I had grown tired of the purple and green and, knowing this move was upcoming, I redid my studio.  You can see pictures of that re-do in these two posts HERE and HERE

Partially moved.....

Looks sad, doesn't it?

Now, here is the 'during'
and what will be my new studio...

Is there hope for any sort of organization and
storage of all this STUFF????

Stay tuned for my next post to see the 'after' photos!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Moving..... will be off the computer for a few days.