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, December 31, 2014

Happy wishes!

"We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity
and its first chapter is
New Year's Day.
(Edith Lovejoy Pierce)

I want to extend my thanks to all of you for reading this blog, leaving comments, and being encouraging about my work.  It is a complete joy to interact with you all throughout the year and to pay visits to you as well.  It's an incredible feeling to be part of this creative community!

May your 2015 be filled with good things and wonderful gifts of friendship and love. 


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hussif progress

I must begin by thanking all those who commented about my quilt sizing dilemma from yesterday, and a particularly warm thank you to Vicki Welsh who has a wonderful computer program that sized the quilt exactly AND even gave me the quantity of fabric to buy!  Vicki created several options and one of those has been given the green light.  Now I just have to buy fabric.  Thank you SO much Vicki.

Over the past few days I've been doing a little stitching on the rose hussif and have a few of the seam treatments to show you....

These were all cross-stitched using waste canvas.  

Today the quote is from Hugh Prather..."I am not interested so much in what I do with my hands or words as what I do with my heart.  I want to live from the inside out, not from the outside in"

Monday, December 29, 2014

A request for quilting help?

I have been asked to make a sane quilt.  Am I scared? Well, yes!  I'm not a sane quilter and really haven't had much experience with it in any form, particularly the mathematical aspect of it. 
Have I ever mentioned how dismal I am at math?

This project is a special request from our #2 son and daughter-in-love and this is the pattern they have chosen...

The pattern itself isn't a problem (and thankfully is a relatively easy one to stitch).  My huge problem arises with trying to get this pattern,which finishes at 56"x70", translated into one that will be useable on a king-sized bed.  I should (hah!!) be able to increase the number of blocks until it comes out to the right size.  BUT (and here's the kicker) I don't know how much fabric to even consider buying in order to make a quilt that large. (According to the pattern the blocks end up finishing about 10" square).

The other issue is that the pattern calls for purchasing a 'jelly roll' which I am unable to do (and wouldn't know how many I'd need to buy to increase the original pattern to a king size).  They don't sell jelly rolls in the colours that the kids want anyway, so it's not an issue.  That means I will have to buy the fabric in yardage and will need to buy a minimum of five different ones for the blocks alone (and, to be honest, I expect at least ten would be better).  Because I have to travel a considerable distance to get the fabric I need to be certain I buy enough.  If the kids wanted a scrappy look it would be much easier, but they have chosen  tone-on-tone white and trying to find enough variety in those 'colours' could be a tricky thing as well. 

This is where I throw it out to you and beg for any help you can provide.  Any suggestions, advice, knowledge you'd be willing to share?  I really am hoping someone will have this pattern already drawn up in the correct size so that it's easy to follow (read math!!!!!). 

Thank you, in advance!!!!

Today the quote is from John Lennon.... "I get by with a little help from my friends"

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I would like to wish you all
a very happy and blessed

In our house, we give the three
gifts of the Magi,
and so,
in that light, here are my
three gifts to you...

Go HERE for your second gift.

And for your third gift...

May you have the gladness of Christmas,
which is hope.
The spirit of Christmas, 
which is peace.
The heart of Christmas,
which is love.
(Ada V. Hendricks)

Monday, December 22, 2014

A new project - the beginning

Some of you may remember me mentioning that I was soon going to start on a rose-themed project - another hussif.  (You can go HERE to see my original post about it and see the background as it was pieced together).   Over the weekend I started stitching on it and here are the first two seams completed...

In the picture above you can see one of the rose hankies I
had in my collection, with the waste canvas cross-stitched
seam treatment.

Below is another treatment, also done using waste canvas,
and the pretty tatted edging of another hankie.

Today the quote is from Mary Ellen Chase.... "Christmas, children, is not a date.  It's a state of mind"

Friday, December 19, 2014

Nuttin', but silliness

Yep, I have nothing whatsoever to show you today, so instead I will give you a couple of things to laugh over...

 For the knitters...

For those of us who will be indulging in
a few too many bonbons over the holidays...

Today the quote is from Mother Theresa.... "It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you....Yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand"

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Another project done!

I usually spend my evenings in front of the tv (where there is nothing much worth paying attention to) with my knitting needles in hand.  Last night I finished making this little fellow...

The pattern is 'Knubbelchen' and can be found on Ravelry.  The original pattern calls for sock yarn but I chose to use 'Simply Soft' by Caron.  The pattern is very well written and great fun to knit.  Perfect for a little one to grab onto (and chew!!). 

Today the quote is from Oren Arnold.... "Christmas Gift Suggestions:  To your enemy, forgiveness;    To an opponent, tolerance;   To a friend, your heart;   To a customer, service;   To all, charity;   To every child, a good example;  To yourself, respect"

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Activity book - part 2

Here is the continuation from yesterday's post of the pages from the activity book I made for our grandson...

This page simply has a pair of pre-made mittens stitched down.  He can put his hands inside.

A felt barn, with animal finger puppets.  Pattern for the barn came from and the finger puppets was from

This page is a colour-matching game.  The balloons are removable and held in place with velcro.

This is a 'cause and effect' page.  He can pull on a ribbon and see it move somewhere else on the page.

This is the final page.  I had some dinosaur-printed fabric so I used some as an applique.  There is a zippered pocket on the page which holds the felt transportation pieces.  I just looked around on the internet for line drawings and used those for the designs.

There you have it - an activity book that I had a 
great deal of fun creating and hope my grandson has
fun playing with it.

Last night we watched my favourite Christmas program - the old original Boris Karloff version of 'The Grinch' and so today's quote is from the Grinch himself.... "Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.  What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.  What if Christmas...perhaps....means a little bit more"    Wise words!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Busy activity book

Over the past few days I've been working on making a little activity/busy book for our grandson.  Didn't know it was possible to have so much fun making something so utterly silly!!  Hopefully he'll have some play time with it over the next while.

This is the cover.  I simply printed off a picture of Logan and his mommy and daddy onto iron-on t-shirt transfers.  Around the edge I added some ribbons for him to pull on (or chew!!)

Page one is a tool box, complete with felt tools.  Pattern for the tools came from

Page two is simply felt shapes.

Page three is a stop light.  The felt 'lights' are removable with velcro on the back of each piece.

The little boy has removable clothes and fits inside the bed.  Pattern for the boy also came from

This page is all about textures....
netting, fake fur, burlap, sandpaper, etc.

Tomorrow I will show you the remaining pages.

EDITED TO ADD:  if you're interested in activity books, be sure to
check out the link that Dolores provided in the comments!

Today the quote is from Julie Andrews.... "A miracle is the achievement of the impossible, and it is only when we put aside our greed, anger, pride and prejudices so that our minds are open and ready to accept it, that a miracle can occur"

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

White Cloth # 2 - Done, done AND done!!!

Here's the front - I used all sorts of vintage 'bits' that belonged to family members, both from our side and from my d-i-love's family too.  

The back used a lovely family heirloom that was 
embroidered by my d-i-love's grandmother
and was used in their family whenever anyone
was celebrating a birthday. 
I didn't have the heart to cut into it, so
decided that it would be a perfect backing.
The doily in the centre and the piece on the
right was also from that same grandmother.

And here's another view. 

It was delivered to our #1 son
and daughter-in-love on Monday, so
now they have the fun of trying to find
someplace to put it
(perhaps under the cat?)

Today the quote is from the ever-present 'Anonymous'.... "We all have within us a center of stillness surrounded by silence"

Friday, December 05, 2014

Things of the ornamental kind

Today is a red-letter day because I put the final stitch in my White Cloth #2 project.  Unfortunately there will be no pictures forthcoming in this post because it's just plain too dull and yucky to get anything even remotely decent.  If the lighting improves I will try to get you pictures tomorrow.  Now the decision I make another one?  I don't NEED another one.  I don't have a USE for another one.  However....I have enough fodder in my stash to make probably five more.

Many of you will remember that every year I make a series of Christmas ornaments for use either as little gifts or as the 'bow' on other gifts.  A couple of years ago I made the monumental mistake of mentioning that perhaps I should quit, thinking that people would be sick and tired of getting yet more ornaments.  Well - there was a huge hue and cry and great distress expressed at the idea that I would even consider such a thing.  So....

These?  Times 20!!

Tutorial and pattern is free HERE

Today the quote is from Henry David Thoreau... "The cost of a thing is the amount of life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run"

Monday, December 01, 2014

Pliers? They're my friend!!

Today I've been working at putting my White Cloth #2 together.  I used my machine to stitch the backing and front together, and now I'm proceeding to put a running stitch by hand around the outside edge.  In some places I'm stitching through up to twelve layers of fabric so the pliers are certainly useful!  Once this row of stitching is done I think I will also 'whip' it to give it a little more definition (and to disguise the fact that sometimes my running stitches tend to 'run' off in a slightly different direction than what I want them to!). 

Today the quote is from an unknown source... "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, gin & tonic in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming 'WOO HOO what a ride!"