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, January 31, 2017

It continues...

Here are a couple more seam treatments from Block 2 of my current project...

Straight stitches & French Knots or beads were used for both of these treatments.

Today the quote is from Leo Buscaglia...."Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around"

Monday, January 30, 2017

Block 2 continues

Here are a couple more  of the seam treatments that I used on block two of my courtship series...

Straight stitches and x's (black); fly stitches (orange); straight stitches (blue); lazy daisies (pink); and French knots or beads

Straight stitches (black); cross stitches (pink); straight and lazy daisies (green); and french knots

This is the latest scam that telemarketers are using .. apparently they are calling in hopes that you will answer and then they want you to say 'yes' or something affirmative (such as 'I agree').  They often ask if you can hear them....and of course your inclination is to say yes.  Then they use that response to trap you into a verbal contract.  Be aware, be safe!

Today your quote is from Haile Selassie....."We must become bigger than we have been; more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook.  We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice and owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community"

Friday, January 27, 2017

A start on block 2

Here is the first seam I completed on block 2 of my courtship project...

And here is the chart for how I did it...

Cross stitches & straight stitches (black, green & blue) and a modified chevron stitch (pink).

Today your quote is from anonymous, and I hope you find it amusing...."Winter (noun)...the three month break between a woman and her razor"

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

First block is complete

I've finished the first block!  I decided to add a word to each block that reflects the theme of courtship...

And here is a closeup so you can see more of what I did with the vine..

I added fly stitches and some lazy daisies for leaves and have added the beads to hold down the flower beads.  You can also see where I've added beads to the seam treatment as well as to the floral spray on the right.  

- The other day I told you about 'temperature' afghans, and since then I've found an example of a gauge chart...

Today your quote is from Douglas Pagels...."I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be, but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see"

Monday, January 23, 2017

Pies, tea and continuations

Every once in awhile the resident chef (not moi, btw) arrives in my doorway to show off his latest creation.  This time it was lemon meringue pie made from scratch!  See?....

And, yes, I know I'm spoiled!!

Over the weekend (whilst pie-making was happening in the kitchen) I worked on block one of the courtship series...

Just a pansy and a flower spray done in outline stitch, chain, french knots, lazy daisies & a few straight stitches.

Another little flower area - cross stitches, fly stitches, woven wheel.  I think I will add some more beads to this one.

A cross stitched rose (done on waste canvas).  You can see some floral beads on the vine, currently being held in place with pins.  I only have so many of these beads and wanted to make sure I have enough before I started stitching, so hence the pins.  

Today your quote is from Lin Yutang..."There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation"


Friday, January 20, 2017

Continuing on

Yesterday I completed three more seams on the first block of my courtship project....

Loose thread - sorry!!

My cropping skills leave a lot to be desired!

And here are the charts...

Just a wee note to tell those of you who are relatively new to my blog - if you want further seam treatment ideas, simply click on the 'seam treatment' label in my sidebar.

Today's quote is from Eleanor Roosevelt....You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror.  I can take the next thing that comes along"

Wise words right now.  May we all live through what's to come and look back on it one day being proud that we lived through it.  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Strange things and continuation

Sometimes the strangest things come up in conversation.  Yesterday we had lunch with friends and for some reason we talked about boiling eggs and they trotted out a little gadget called an 'egg piercer'.  We'd never heard of such a thing!  Evidently this little thing pierces a tiny hole in the shell (prior to putting in the water) and helps the egg not to crack while cooking.  It also helps with peeling the eggs once they're cooked.  Who knew?  That led me to look it up online and here it is...

You place the end of the egg onto this and push it down so that the little needle pokes a hole.  As I said....who knew?

Yesterday I only managed to create one seam on my Courtship project and here it is...

This one was created using all straight stitches, with the addition of a flower sequin (held by a bead) in the center.

If you are able to embiggen the stitching picture, can you see where/how I worked around another connecting seam?  

I found this chart online and thought some of you might find it useful...

 You can click to embiggen

Today your quote is from Mahatma Gandhi..."Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony"

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

As promised

In this photo hopefully you can see what I did to correct that off white 'strip' in the block I showed you yesterday.  The fix included removing the off white as well as the row of fabrics directly above.  I didn't have enough of either the peach or the purple to replace what I had used before so another delve in my stash yielded these.  I like this much better!

You can also see that I have begun work on the block.  I began by mounting the image using two rows of blanket stitch.  Then I added the vine which ultimately will have flowers but they are large and I will wait until the seams are done to add those.  

As you can see I have added two seams and you can see them below...

Awhile ago I did a little series of seam treatments for you to have fun with and I thought perhaps you might like another one....

This one began with the cross stitches (in black in the diagram); then I added straight stitches (green); and wove some metallic yarn (red).  Finally I added beads (but you can also use French knots if you prefer)

 This one also began with elongated cross stitches (black); fly stitches (red); straight stitches (blue); and more cross stitches (green); with beads to finish.

Today the quote is from Matshona Dhiwayo..."Quiet love is better than loud hate"

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Courtship project and other things

Here are a couple of the hexagon blocks I have pieced for my Courtship project....

This one I am happy with.

And this one I am not.

Can you see the problem?  

It's that strip of off white along the bottom.  It looks out of place - it looks awful - and it had to go.  

And it did.  But while I was at it the three pieces of fabric above it had to change as well.  This block is currently in my frame and is being stitched - hopefully will be able to get a decent picture to show you tomorrow.  Right now it's raining here over top of ice, so everything is dull and dismal.  Good day to stay inside and stitch!

Today your quote is from Laura Esquivel...."She was passionate about knitting because it allowed her to reach a state of peacefulness, and she loved to embroider because it let her express her creativity.  Both activities were liberating.  They allowed her to exist outside of time." 

Friday, January 13, 2017

A hodge podge

First of all I thought I'd show you what I ended up with when I used the colour generator . 

I uploaded the Harrison Fisher illustration and the program generated the strip of colour suggestions that you see along the bottom.  I was then able to print this and use it while selecting my fabrics.

Here you can see the pieced block that I created...

The fabrics aren't all 'spot on' with the colour swatches, however they are the best I can do with the stash I have.

Buying fabrics is not an option when I have so many that I need to use up!

It's difficult to see in the above picture, but I am using a hexagon shape for each of my blocks and the layout is tentatively as shown below..

This afternoon I pieced all the blocks and now I'm ready to start with the fun part - embroidery!  

I came across this wonderful poem, from an author unknown...

Quilt of Holes

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt
before the Lord along with all the other souls.

Before each of us laid our lives like the squares
of a quilt in many
piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our
quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the
pile, I noticed how ragged
and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each
square was labeled with a part of my life that had
been difficult, the
challenges and temptations I was faced with in
every day life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such
squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled
with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own
life and was disheartened.

My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be
displayed, held up to the the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each
in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been.
My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise.

My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't
had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But
there had also been trials of illness, and wealth, and false
accusations that took from me my
world, as I knew it. I had to start over many
times. I often struggled with
the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and
begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in
prayer, asking for help and
guidance in my life. I had often been held up to
ridicule, which I endured
painfully, each time offering it up to the Father
in hopes that I would not
melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of
those who unfairly judged me.

And now, I had to face the truth. My life was
what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.
I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of
my life to the light.

An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around
at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.

Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light
flooded the many holes,
creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our
Lord stood before me, with
warmth and love in His eyes. He said, "Every time
you gave over your life
to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My

Each point of light in your life is when you
stepped aside and let Me shine
through, until there was more of Me than there was
of you."

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing
Christ to shine through!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Making choices

Now I can happily start choosing my fabrics for my 'Courtship' project.  Oh - and did I mention that I decided on a hexagon format?

Above you can see just some of the chaos I've created!! The pulling of fabrics has begun and I currently have seven piles similar to this, each one possibilities for a block.  You can see in the photo the colour swatch printout that I'm using.  Oh, and please excuse the mess behind!!

A good side effect of all this fondling of fabrics is that I'm actually tidying my storage drawers as I go along.  At least they'll look nice until I need something and it'll be back to the usual messy state!

Today, wonder of wonders, I don't have any mumblings for you.  I know - will wonders never cease?  

Your quote of the day is from Audrey Hepburn...."Nothing is impossible, the word itself says "I'm possible"

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A question for you

I think I mentioned that I am waffling about colour choices for my next crazy quilt project and it suddenly occurred to me that there is such a thing as a color generator whereby you can upload your picture and they can create a color scheme for you.  That would be an ideal's where the question arises.  Which one should I use?  There are a myriad of choices and I checked out a few and ended up totally cross-eyed and confused.  Several of them use programs such as photoshop (which I don't have).  All I want is to be able to generate a color scheme, save it and print it so I can use it to choose my fabrics.   Is there a program you use that you like?  It has to be free and idiot-proof for me to figure it out, so do you have any suggestions?  Thank you in advance!!!

My mailbox yielded something really special the other day...

This is a beautiful fabric postcard created by Freda Butler (thank you Freda!!) and came through the mail without so much as a mark. The photo doesn't do it justice - there is a lot of sparkle that the camera doesn't pick up.

 I want to share a warning with you.  This one is for women and is something we all need to be aware of.  Thieves are watching for you when you get out to pump your gas.  How many of us leave our purses on the seat while we get out?  They simply pull up beside your car, and while your back is turned, open your door and snatch your purse and are gone before you realize anything has happened.  So....lock your car ladies and be safe!!

  Today your quote comes from Winnie The Pooh ( very wise bear indeed!)..."Promise me you'll always remember you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think"

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Just to prove that I've been doing SOMETHING!!

Yes, I have been working on something, believe it or not.  Not all my time has been spent waffling about what project to start next (which, btw, is percolating in the background).  


Most of you know how much I dislike winter.  Today is a prime example of why - it has been snowing pretty much all day and the forecast calls for it to turn to freezing rain tonight.  Oh joy!  So...your quote for today is this one....from Carl Reiner..."A lot of people like snow.  I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water"

Monday, January 09, 2017

Still waffling - sort of - maybe -

Deciding on a new major project is hard especially when you deal with the guilt of knowing that there's a massive to-do list that should be dealt with at some point and the fact that your mind is wanting to dwell on two new projects that haven't ever so much as SEEN said to-do list.  At this point I think my Harrison Fisher quilt is going to win out, mainly because my stash lends itself to that one.  If I try to create the abandoned barn images it will mean I need to augment my stash with cottons, something that I don't have the extra funds at the moment to do.  That makes the decision somewhat easier and I refuse to dwell on that to-do list that's sitting on my desk, glaring balefully at me I'm sure!

So....the quest is on for appropriate examples of Harrison Fisher illustrations that will work with my idea.  Many of the images you see are of women - mostly singular.  My eye, however,  keeps going to the images of couples and that has led me to a working title of 'The Courtship' using images such as this one...

The next thing, after narrowing the choices of wonderful images down, is to decide on just how many blocks I want to make...four, six or eight....???

Today your quote is from Craig D. Lounsbrough...."What I allow into my head finds its way to my heart, which is a porthole to my soul.  Therefore, I might be wise to consider the state of my soul, and then walk this process backwards"

Thursday, January 05, 2017

In which I babble on....

I'm sure many of you are familiar with the art of Harrison Fisher ( Harrison Fisher (July 27, 1875 or 1877 – January 19, 1934) ).  He drew many amazing images, primarily of women but many also featured couples.  

The thought is in my mind to perhaps use some of these wonderful images to create some sort of crazy quilt. 



Tuesday, January 03, 2017

A wonderful story!

Today I don't have a picture for you.  What I'm currently working on isn't in a state where it can be photographed.  So....instead I am sharing a wonderful thing I read about this morning.  Sometimes things just touch your heart and this was one of those times.  We've all heard of 'paying it forward' but this is an unique twist...
Two cups of coffee, one here, one on the wall.’
I sat with my friend in a well-known coffee shop in a neighbouring town of Venice (Italy), the city of lights and water.
As we enjoyed our coffee, a man entered and sat at an empty table beside us.
He called the waiter and placed his order saying, ‘Two cups of coffee, one here, one on the wall.’
We heard this strange order with interest and observed that he was served with one cup of coffee but he paid for two.
As soon as he left, the waiter pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying ‘A Cup of Coffee’.
While we were still there, two other men entered and ordered three cups of coffee, two on the table and one on the wall.
They had the two cups of coffee but paid for three and left.
This time also, the waiter did the same; he pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying, ‘A Cup of Coffee’.
It was something unique and perplexing for us.
We finished our coffee, paid the bill and left.
After a few days, we had a chance to go to this coffee shop again.
While we were enjoying our coffee, a poorly dressed man entered.
As he seated himself, he looked at the wall and said, 'One cup of coffee from the wall'.
The waiter served coffee to this man with the customary respect and dignity.
The man had his coffee and left without paying.
We were amazed to watch all this, as the waiter took off a piece of paper from the wall and threw it in the dust bin.
Now it was no surprise for us – the matter was very clear.
The great respect for the needy shown by the inhabitants of this town made our eyes well up in tears.
Ponder upon the need of what this man wanted... He enters the coffee shop without having to lower his self-esteem… he has no need to ask for a free cup of coffee… without asking or knowing about the one who is giving this cup of coffee to him.
He only looked at the wall, placed an order for himself, enjoyed his coffee and left.
Probably the most beautiful wall you may ever see will be our wall of good deeds on the Day of Judgement.
This is what is Charity when you give from one hand and other hand does not know about it.
May the Almighty help us all to spend for the poor and the needy.
Shared by 'Rafiki' 

Today your quote is from Neil Gaiman..."I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes; because if you are making mistakes, then you are trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world"