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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Last in the series and Mumblings

I'd like to extend my thanks once again to those of you who sent their suggestions, help and well wishes regarding the issue I was having with my book.   It's off to the printers now and I'm a happy camper.   The air is no longer blue, no more tears are being shed, and life is good!

Here is the final piece of the spring-themed 
crazy quilted box....
(click to embiggen if you would like)

Top of the crazy quilted box

Today I have a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson (a man I sincerely wish I could have met in person).... "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year"

Sunday, March 29, 2015



I simply cannot thank all of you enough that were willing to try to help me sort out the insertion of full size photos into my book!  Through the many suggestions that came my way and with the aid of a very helpful You Tube video I now have full size pictures and still have the rest of the book in a two-column format.


Even better, I now have it all written down and have practiced several times to be sure I have it written correctly.  That information is being stapled quite securely into my 'Dummies' book for when I need it in future.  

The book is now ready to head off to the printers and I'm so excited and happy about that.  Thank you so much everyone - you know who you are and I hope you also know how very grateful I am.

Very big hugs to you all!!



Saturday, March 28, 2015

Seeking help!!

I know my readers are smart people and maybe one of you has come across the problem I'm having and might be willing to give me some suggestions.  I can live in hope, right?

Okay - here's the back story....I have undertaken trying to finish the book I've been working on so that I can get it off to the publisher.  I've run into some problems with the word processing program I use (Microsoft Office Word 2007).

Below you can see a copy of one of the pages of the book.  The entire book is set up in this format.

My issue arises when I now need to insert full page pictures (not colums!!) in the centre of the book, as well as the pages that are necessary at the front of the book (things like the cover page, acknowledgements, preface, etc).  The program simply will not (after three entire days of wrestling with it and trying every single thing I can think of....and many of them multiple times!!) allow me to insert anything without insisting on it being in the two-column format.  

I am ready to...

a) scream

                           b) cry (done that one already)

                           c) set a match to the entire thing

The publisher won't accept the book for publication unless I can get those damn wonderful things inserted and I'm at a loss as to what to do.  Any ideas??

Today's quote is from David Abrahansen..... "Frustration is the wet nurse of violence"

Friday, March 27, 2015

Part 4 of the series

Here's the fourth side of the covered box. 

You'll have to wait til next week to see the lid!!

Today the quote is from that infamous Anonymous....."Too many people confine their exercise to jumping to conclusions, running up bills, stretching the truth, bending over backward, lying down on the job, sidestepping responsibility and pushing their luck"

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Series - part 3


This is one of the end pieces of the covered box.

Today I give you a quote from Leigh Hodges... "Whether one is twenty, forty, or sixty; whether one has succeeded, failed or just muddled along; whether yesterday was full of sun or storm, or one of those dull days with no weather at all, life begins each morning"

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Part two of the series

Here's part two of the series about the spring covered box.  This shows the back (or it could also be the front, depending on your viewpoint).  You should be able to click to embiggen.


Today the quote is from Joseph Addison...  "The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for"

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A series, and a wondrous creation

As I continue to work on 'The QuiltS', I am in quest of something to post about that you might find interesting.  I suddenly realized that I haven't shared photos of a spring-themed box I covered awhile ago.  Since we're all hoping for spring (at least on this side of the hemisphere!), what better time?  I will share one photo in each post so thereby create a SERIES!!  Wow, who knew?


The box, which originally held tea, measures approximately 7"x 9" and is made of probably balsa wood.  Too nice to toss out so perfect fodder for covering with crazy quilting.

Most of you will have noticed that I have signed up to take Kathy Shaw's beginner crazy quilting class. Now, before you go getting all bent out of shape by my taking a 'beginner' course and telling me that it's not something I should be doing...I am self taught and I know there are lots of things that I am doing either the hard way or completely wrong and I know I will learn a LOT from Kathy.  She also teaches Intermediate classes and one of the pre-requisites to take those is to have completed a beginners class.  I completely agree with her! point (and I do have one, believe it or not) is to show you this....

Embroidery Frame

Kathy advocates using a hoop when crazy quilting.  It's not something I've ever done, so I'm happy to try it.  She has come up with her own design for an embroidery stand (clever lady!!) made from simple PVC plumbers pipe and fittings and has the instructions on her blog HERE.  The stand is useable in three different ways, either on a table or in your lap, with a working surface of either 12x12" (as you can see in the above picture) or 9x12".    With the help of DH I now have a great frame!  It requires ordering clamps from Amazon (Snap Clamp for 3/4" Pipe) and they're on the way - probably via slow boat and mule train and a lengthy sojourn in customs.

Today the quote is from Benjamin Franklin....  "Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I remember.  Involve me and I learn"

Friday, March 20, 2015


Not much to show you in the way of pictures today, although I did finish sewing all those multitude of strips together for 'The QuiltS'.  

Today's quote is from Winston Churchill...."We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give"

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Knitting? Who knew?

I just want you to know that I'm thinking of you and your complete boredom level and have opted to show you a piece of mediocre knitting that I just completed in lieu of sharing a photo of the ever-growing pile of 2 1/2" strips of fabric that are being sewn together.  Aren't you glad?  Even better, I'm sure, is the lack of mathematical formulas for you to ponder!!

This is a little sweater I made for our grandson - it's nothing fancy.  As a matter of fact, I'm quite hopeful that when (if!) he wears it that it will still be cool enough for him to also be beneath a blanket so nobody has to see it.  Oh well - it's the thought that counts, right?  Maybe he'll feel a little of the grandma-love that went into it and not mind that it looks dorky.

PLEASE don't click to embiggen!!

Pattern is the 'Everyday Toddler Hoodie'
by Megan Goodacre
found on Ravelry.

Today the quote is from Mac Beerbohm.... "There is much to be said for failure.  It is more interesting than success"

Friday, March 13, 2015

Two M's

Today I have nothing to show you (because who wants to see the growing pile of 2 1/2" strip sets for 'The Quilts').  If you really feel the need, please feel free to scroll down to the previous post!

Instead, we will do more math and I will mumble a little bit.

I know - the thrills at Chez Magpie's Mumblings
just go on and on.

Now for the other 'M' - some more math (quit yer groanin'....if I gotta suffer, so do you!!).  Did you know that, in order to finish up all the strips sets for The Quilts, I will have to sew a minimum of 250 42 inch seams?    Did you know that is equal to 10,500 inches?  Yep, bet you were real excited to know that.  

Heaven knows you deserve blessings for 
putting up with me!!!

Today the quote is from Sr. Mary Christelle Macaluso.... "If you have made another person on this earth smile, your life has been worthwhile"

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

OK Students - file in quietly. Take your seats.

Yes, yes, that's it.  Pull out your math textbooks and turn to page 23.  Hurry up now, there's no time to waste.  You there, in the back, listen up.

Today we have a lesson in math
as it pertains to making quilts.

Be sure to take notes because there WILL
be a test at the end.

Many of you will remember that one of the projects on my to-do list is to create a king-sized sane quilt.  Many of you will also know that sane quilting is not my forte.  I like crazy quilting - for good reason as this story will attest.

My friend and I made a foray to the local quilt shop and chose six different fabrics in the requested colourway.  Of course, with my being quite certain I would flub at least SOMETHING up throughout the project, I opted to purchase an additional 1/4 yard of each.  My thought was the the extra, if not needed because I messed up, might be useful for pillow shams.  So far, this equation makes perfect sense.  I think.

Afore-mentioned friend kindly loaned me a wondrous ruler that made cutting all those 2 1/2" strips I needed so easy.  See?  Rulers and math - they go together.  They work.  

The day before yesterday I finished the rose-hussif and now the dreaded sane quilt project was next up in the equation.  I fiddled and faffed with getting my sewing machine to sew a scant 1/4" seam (see...more math!!) and finally struck pay dirt.  Hooray.  Stitching began and soon I had this (12 strip sets sewn together)....

Stripping good time!  

Now, kiddies, pay attention, because this is where this lesson gets interesting.  

I'm rather anal about worrying whether I would have enough fabric so I decided to sit and figure out just how many blocks I would get once I'd sewn together all the pile of strips.  

I sharpened my pencil, spit on the end to be sure it worked well, and undertook to calculate.  Now please pay particular attention to these equations (remember, there's a test)....

1.  6 strips of 6 different fabrics, cut 2 1/2" wide and sewn together = a strip of fabric 12" wide by the length of the fabric (in this case 42").

2.  How many blocks will I get from each strip?  42 divided by 12 = 3 with 6" left over.

3.  With the equation of three blocks available from each strip and the need for 61 blocks for the quilt, I would need a little over 20 strip sets to give me the necessary blocks.

Now, no whispering in the back you lot - pay attention because here's where it gets really tricky!!

With the yardage requirements for each fabric that I purchased (including the extra 1/4 yd of each I built in for goofs) I was able to cut 45 strips of 2 1/2" each.  Which means that I will end up with 45 strip sets of 42  inches length each.


4.   45 strips sets, divided by the 3 blocks I can get from each = 135 blocks.

5.  Therefore.....   135 sewn blocks - 61 blocks needed for the quilt  = 74 left over.

Do you see the problem here?

Needless to say, there seems to be just a teeny tiny little discrepancy doesn't there.  Enough of a discrepancy that I will have enough 12" blocks to make a whole 'nother quilt.  And if one is thrifty with fabric, one can deduce that yet another small-ish quilt can be made from the leftover bits from the strip sets after cutting the blocks.  

So, please tell me - how did ONE quilt manage to turn itself into THREE???

Oh yeah,
and all this mathematical effort led to this....

Photo Courtesy of One Smart-Ass Husband

Above gracing doorway to my sewing room.

Today the quote is from Mary Kay Ash.... "For every failure, there's an alternative course of action.  You just have to find it.  When you come to a roadblock, take a detour"

Class dismissed.


Monday, March 09, 2015

Tah Dah!! (Part Two)

Okay - here goes for Part Two

The Inside of the Hussif


On the left is a large open pocket and to the right you can see a pincushion roll. In the middle is a large zippered pocket (see the rose charm on the upper right which is actually a zipper pull) that flips down to show further things beneath. The large rose is a needle case, of sorts. To the right you can see a crochetedthimble holder and a holder for a spool of thread.  On the upper left of that section is the magnetic needle holder and to the right is a pin keep. Below is a smaller pocket (the flap opens up to reveal a pocket and the area behind the flap is left open to create a further pocket area.


Above you can see the middle section opened up.  At the top there is another small pocket with a flap (also left open behind for additional storage).  Below left is a needlebook and to the right a scissor holder.  The flap itself holds a scratch pad and a pen.

Below are some close-ups of the inner sections...






There you go - the entire hussif.  Finished.  Done.  Complete. 

This project has taken a little over two months to complete - two months of pure unadulterated joy in creation.  This hussif will never likely be actually 'used' as a hussif, but will be kept pristine and perhaps, one day, might become an heirloom.  Of course there's an equal chance it will end up in the garbage tip once I kick off the mortal coil but that won't be up to me!!  The design is my own, cobbled together from many great ideas I have come across on places like Pinterest and in various books and magazines. As I said on the previous post, you can click to embiggen any of the pictures and if you want even more details see the labels on the right hand side of my blog under 'Hussif' and 'Crazy Quilting'.

Today I give you a quote from Elbert Hubbard.... "Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer the goal"

Ta Dah!!!! (Part One)

Well, folks, you will be ecstatic to know that you won't have to suffer any longer!  The hussif is done...done, done AND done!!  And you thought it would never end!! 

I thought about dividing the pictures up over
two days, but in the interest of not subjecting
you to any more of it, I will
do two posts today.
(otherwise the pictures load might be too heavy for
some computers).

So, here goes...


The above photo shows the entire hussif opened out (measures approx. 9x23" when open).
As you can see, there are a LOT of roses!!
I decided to add a piece of lace around the outside but my stash
didn't yield anything that was wide enough so I had to settle
for something narrow.  At some point I might add
on another wider lace, which I think would make it
look better.


 The hussif is a three-fold design and here you
can see the front fold.
The whole thing is a chubby little lady so I
opted not to have any sort of closure so I could
allow room inside for expansion as I added
sewing supplies.

This shows the middle fold on the back.


 This part is the inner fold which is
mostly hidden from view unless 
you open the hussif up to see inside.

Below are a couple more close-ups of the outside...

 You can click on the pictures to embiggen them
should you so desire!

Stay tuned....part two is on the way
(along with today's quote).

Friday, March 06, 2015

Today? Great mail. Tomorrow....back to pizza flyers!

Yes, the mailman brought me something wonderful yet again!  I was lucky enough to win another giveaway on the Grow Your Blog party and the mailman brought some beautiful polymer clay creations from Guadalupe of Gems PC Corner.
First of all, the package itself
was so cute!!

Do you see the sweet little polymer bird house?

Inside, I found all these treasures...

There's a lovely necklace in my favourite colour (blue)
and some buttons and charms for use in my
crazy quilting.

Yes, I'm a lucky lucky girl!!

Thank you  Lupe!!!!

Today the quote is a Malayan Proverb..... "One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind"

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Mailman is getting a hernia!

Remember that fun Grow Your Blog hop?  Well, the mailman brought me another parcel filled with special goodness that I won and this one came all the way from Germany courtesy of Annett of Knetty Craft!

There are at least 20 different 5-inch squares and there are two of each, enough to make a wonderful lap quilt, although I'm toying with buying a couple more charm packs so I have enough to make a twin size.  Will have to think about what I might do - oh, the possibilities!!!  

Thank you so much Annett!!

Today I am sharing a quote from A.A. Milne (Winnie The Pooh)... "Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude"

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

More mumbling

Some stitching was accomplished today and I made progress towards getting the rose hussif finished, but I'm going to be mean and make you wait to see it.  Come to think of it, I'm only being mean if you're waiting on pins and needles to see it - those of you who are sick of it all will be heaving a sigh of relief I'm sure!

And, just because......

Today's quote is from Maggie Scarf.... "Getting angry can sometimes be like leaping into a wonderfully responsive sports car, gunning the motor, taking off at high speed and then discovering the brakes are out of order"

Monday, March 02, 2015

The mailman brought something else!!

I am indeed a lucky girl with what the mailman is dropping off in my mailbox the past few days!  I was fortunate enough to win a lovely piece of art courtesy of Liz (aka Boud) from 'Beautiful Metaphor' blog and her giveaway for the Grow Your Blog party and it arrived on Friday.  Anyone who is familiar with Liz knows that she lives with a very active bunch of Dollivers who keep her on her toes and so my Ellyron had to get into the spirit of things and pose with the lovely piece of artwork Liz sent (entitled 'Tidepool')....

And here is a better closeup of 'Tidepool'

Unfortunately, for reasons unknown to me, my
new photo program absolutely refused to let
me rotate or crop this picture, so it's 
upside down!
 There is goldwork and lots of sparklies on this!

Just as an interesting aside note, Liz lives in the US (we've never met) and I am friends with her sister Irene who lives not far from me.  Small world!     Thank you so much Liz - I will treasure this (and promise I will hang it right side up!!). 

Today the quote is from James McCay.... "No matter what level of your ability, you have more potential than you can ever develop in a lifetime"