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, January 31, 2018

The mystery is over!!!

Just a few minutes ago I put the finishing stitches in 'the mystery project' that I have been teasing you with over the past while.   A number of you tried to guess and nobody 'got it' and I'm sure you are going to be quite disappointed when you see what it actually is!


Finished measurement approx. 33 x 24"
(the brown around the outside in the photo is the carpet on the floor)

- Sometimes the most simple things are just what you need.  To see what I mean, have a look HERE!

- THIS artist does some amazing embroidery!!!

- HERE's another of those handy things that you didn't know you needed.

- There's a nice cross-stitched heart-themed band sampler pattern HERE.

- Maybe you might like to make a flock of THESE?

- HERE is another one of those simple hints.  And THIS is another one. 

- There's a link at the bottom of THIS post to a free PDF of a really pretty scarf pattern.

Another quote from an unknown source..."Wrinkles mean you laughed, grey hair means you cared and scars mean you lived"

Monday, January 29, 2018

Nothing to

I haven't shared a recipe with you for awhile so how about this quick and easy one...


1 large can EACH navy white beans & favo beans*

1 lb. hamburger 

1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large can crushed pineapple
1 c. BBQ sauce
2 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. EACH salt & pepper
     Sauté beef with onion & garlic; drain.  Combine 
with remaining ingredients. Simmer 30 minutes.  
Serve over rice.

·         Use any combination of beans you prefer

- I stumbled on the work of THIS artist and thought you might like to explore her gallery.  I especially love her lace and wood pieces.

- THIS pattern was created for beading, but I think it would be perfect for stitching too.

- There is a pretty cowl pattern made with lace-weight yarn HERE.  It's a really pretty pattern and it appears you would get at least two out of one ball of yarn.  Perhaps one for you and one for a gift?

- THIS is one of those handy things that would be great as a stash buster (and would make a nice gift)

- If you would like to learn different knitting stitches AND stash bust at the same time, perhaps you'd like to make one of THESE

- HERE is another great stash buster that creates something really useful.  And THIS is another useful thing, as is THIS.  

Your quote of the day..."Fear has two meanings - Forget Everything and Run OR Face Everything and Rise.  The choice is yours!"

Friday, January 26, 2018

More progress

A bit more progress on the current project....

The colours in this picture certainly aren't 'true' - I'm using oranges and yellows throughout.  At least for now.  Things are about to change.  I think.

- If you have reason to install a zipper in your knitting, perhaps you might find THIS article of interest.

- THIS is another of those things that made me go 'awwww'.  Our littlest grandson was born in the Year of the Monkey so maybe, just maybe, Grandma might just have to make him one of these!

- For the quilters, there is a nice block of the month HERE

- If you're thinking of making something cute for the kids for Easter, how about THESE?

Another anonymous quote for you today..."It's not about perfect.  It's about effort.  And when you bring that effort every single day, that's where transformation happens.  That's how change occurs"

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Some more seams

There has been more progress on the latest project....

Today, for a little break from just looking at finished seam treatments, how about I share a couple of the patterns?

This one is made up of straight stitches (black & red) and woven thread (blue).

This is a modified chevron stitch (red) and straight stitches (black and green) and French Knots.

Cross stitches (black); straight stitches (red & green) and French Knots.

If you'd like to see more of these seam treatments (and perhaps use them in your own work), simply click on 'seam treatments' in my sidebar.  

- There's a really cute crocheted kitty bed pattern HERE (scroll down).  It's worth going to see if only to see the adorable kitty model!  There's another version HERE (scroll down for the pattern).

- Many of us are working at downsizing our stashes and perhaps might find some of the tips HERE to be of interest.  If nothing else, have a look at her super-organized shelves!!

- THIS is a really cute little zippered pouch which could have so many uses (AND it's a great stash-buster!!).

- Oh my goodness!  THIS made me sit up and take favourite colour is blue and so of course I was blown away.  There's a link to the pattern at the bottom.  

Another quote from an anonymous source...."Time decides who you meet in life, your heart decides who you want in your life, and your behavior decides who stays in your life"

Monday, January 22, 2018

Progress and a duh moment

You know, sometimes my stupidity exceeds even my own expectations of myself!  I have been muttering for at least a couple of years (yah, I know...these things take time) about the fact that my categories in my blog sidebar weren't easy to sort through.  Other people had them in alphabetical order on their blogs and I wanted the same for mine.  Having them all jumbled up in order of the number of posts that had each label just wasn't doing it for me.  So....I actually attempted to DO something about it and went into my settings and lo and behold (!!) all I had to do was push a teeny tiny little button and it was fixed.  Now, tell me, WHY didn't I figure that out sooner??!!!!!!!!!!  See the first sentence in this post for further explanation!

Over the weekend I spent some time working on the latest CQ project and completed a few more seams...

AND, folks, now that I have fixed my sidebar issues, you can easily find, and click on, my seam treatment patterns and have fun making them yourselves!  

- HERE is a really easy and quick to knit lace scarf pattern.

- I've been seeing the wonderful crocheted motif patterns all over the internet - the colours of some of them are completely amazing.  HERE is a link to the PDF for a pattern to make one of your own.

- I doubt I would ever make THIS, but it made me say 'awwwww' right out loud! While you're visiting the site, be sure to click on the links at the top to free knitting and crochet patterns.  She has lots to choose from!

- If you love to read, perhaps you might find the 2018 reading challenge of interest.  Go HERE for further information.

- For those who like a large shawl/wrap perhaps THIS pattern might intrigue you.

Another of the anonymous quotes..."We live on a blue planet that circles around a ball of fire next to a moon that moves the sea, and you don't believe in miracles?"

Friday, January 19, 2018

Another glimpse

A few of the seam treatments are finished for the current crazy quilt project.   I'm working them entirely in black, for reasons which will be explained later.  All are my own designs, done using the waste canvas technique.  

For those of you who are new to my blog,
if you look for 'seam treatments' in 
my sidebar it will take you to a 
number of designs that are free
for you to play with.

- Although we are in the middle of winter here, perhaps you might like to consider collecting the fodder to make some of THESE for your summer garden.  And if you want to see some more great ideas for garden art, have a look HERE.  Be sure to scroll down!

- If you like to burn candles (the ones that come in the jars) have a look at the tips HERE for re-purposing those jars.

- If you've ever had occasion  to sew with that lovely-feeling and oh-so-soft minky fabric you'll know what a pain it is to work with.  There are some helpful tips HERE that might go a long way towards cutting down on the angst!

- For the quilters, perhaps you'd like to have a peek at all the fun star patterns available HERE.  

Today the quote is from an anonymous source..."Why do we close our eyes when we pray, cry, kiss or dream?  Because the most beautiful things in life are not seen but felt by the heart"

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A new project

Yesterday I scrounged around in my stash and came up with some fabrics to start creating a new crazy quilt project.  At least I think it will be a project - might turn out to be a dog's breakfast (of the regurgitated  My stash rather lacks in oranges and yellows so it was a challenge.

Once again I'm going off into uncharted territory.  Like I said,  dogs and breakfasts is a definite possibility!  Stay tuned.

- THESE would be nice for Valentine's Day, but I think they would work year 'round in so many different ways.

- There's a nice tutorial HERE (part 1) and HERE (part 2) for a sweet little needlebook.  Hexxie lovers take note!  HERE is tutorial for another one (perhaps you could combine the nicest elements of the two?)

- For the cross stitchers .... there's a cute cupid pattern HERE  that would be nice for Valentine's and how about a floral bunny pattern for Easter found HERE.  

Today your quote is from Abraham Maslow..."In any given moment we have two options:  To step forward into growth or step back into safety"

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Something a little different

I spent the last few days making some sleep pants for our #1 son (special request for his birthday next month).  Both of our boys are very tall and have long legs which makes buying commercially made sleep pants frustrating because they're all too short.  So I used this pattern... make three pairs (two in flannelette and one in fleece)....

First time I've tried making them in fleece and I suspect it might be my last.  That stuff isn't easy to work with and it 'fluffs' all over the place...they'll be nice and warm though.

- If you know a fan of Star Wars, perhaps they would like one (or several!) of THESE.

- Suzi has created some of the most amazing papers and you can get the how-to in her post HERE (along with seeing the amazing things she made!).

- Kathy Shaw has opened registrations for her FREE online crazy quilting class for beginners.  You can find the information HERE  but you will have to hurry because the window of opportunity closes Wednesday at midnight.

- If you happen to like corgi's, then you will want to see THIS tutorial (well, you will want to see it anyway because it's so cute!).

- HERE is a nice tutorial for embroidering silk ribbon daffodils.

- The Crazy Quilting International Group has announced a Valentine's theme fabric postcard swap and you can find further details HERE.

- At first glance I was sure THIS was edible - but it's soap!!!

Another quote from an anonymous source..."Think as little as possible about what other people think about you"

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Done! Finis!!




Here is the original photo I used as inspiration..

- For the quilters - HERE is a great free pattern that can be used in so many different ways (be sure to scroll down!).  There is also links HERE to a number of heart themed quilt patterns that would be perfect for Valentine's Day.

- For the knitters and crocheters, you can find some really great charts HERE to keep track of your projects throughout the year, as well as one to inventory your needles AND your stash.  Very handy!

- There's a cute tutorial HERE for making pacifier clips for babies. 

- HERE is another great item that quilters might like to make for themselves!

- If you are interested in smocking, there's an excellent article HERE about using your sewing machine stitches along with smocked fabric.  Rather ingenious!

Today your quote is from Greg Anderson..."When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life"

Monday, January 08, 2018

One foot forward and one foot back!

No, I'm not talking about any sort of exercise program, unless you want to think about my fingers.  Hey, come to think of it - that's the kind of exercise I LIKE!!  Anyhoo....

With the aid of tweezers in one hand and masking tape in the other I was able to remove all the tissue paper 'bits' in the sky.  Of course the minute I finished that, I did some internet surfing and came across the tip of cutting your pattern from freezer paper, ironing it on and then stitching around it.  Easy removal.  Why didn't I think of that??!!  

Then I attempted to do some free motion quilting on the lower bits of the sky.  After much #*%$@$* at my lovely, wonderful, beautiful ^%#$@&$^ sewing machine, I reverse stitched all that too.  Finally had some success with straight line quilting the grass area but by that time the level of frustration was exceeding my patience so I gave up.  All the attempts to both FME and FMQ the smaller sky sections now means that the fabric looks like swiss cheese and will now have to be replaced.  Sigh.

- With the bitter cold here at the moment, it makes my thoughts turn to warm and cozy things, so how about THIS pretty crocheted afghan?  Or maybe THIS one (that conveniently uses up scrap yarns!).  Maybe THIS one (also a scrap user-upper).

- Or maybe a hat might be just what's needed in your life?  Maybe THIS one, or THIS one, or maybe THIS?  Or perhaps THIS?

- Mittens are never a bad thing either, so maybe THESE or THESE  or THESE?

- And what about some warm cozy socks?  Like THESE?  Or maybe THESE?

- And everyone needs a nice cozy scarf like THIS one or THIS one, THIS one or THIS one.  Or maybe your preference runs to cowls like THIS, THIS  or THIS one might make the man in your life happy.  THIS one is rather nice too.

- Maybe a warm shawl might be something you'd appreciate...perhaps one of THESE or THESE.

- And for a change of pace, I stumbled across the amazing weaving work HERE.  Be sure to scroll down!

- HERE is a free pattern to make a wallet - good for stash busting!!

Today the quote, quite fitting to my attempts over the weekend, is from Bo Bennett..."Frustration, although quite painful at times, is a very positive and essential part of success"
Hmmm....I do know one thing....I AM 
positively frustrated!  

Friday, January 05, 2018

Just too darned cold!

Staying warm these days isn't the easiest thing to do!  Woke up to -27 degrees Celsius this morning and that was enough for me.  Did NOT want to add on the wind chill factor to get the true temperature!  DH felt that the car should have a wee run this morning to keep the battery charged - it started but you could tell it was under duress.  Drove like a tank for a little while!  It's in weather like this that we miss having a garage.  

Nothing of note has happened in the sewing room here at Chez Magpie - nor has anything been happening with either my knitting needles or crochet hooks.   I'm doing my usual thing at this time of year and snuggling in my easy chair with a good book (or seven).  A week or two of sloth, particularly with it this cold outside, is about all I feel like doing. 

So....I went back through my pictures and realized that I had neglected to share this wee project with you before Christmas... 

It's a card I created to send to my Australian cousin who recently got herself a little Scottie puppy.  Thought she'd get a kick out of the image I chose!

- HERE is a link to a list of cross stitch stitch-a-longs that are happening. 

- Kathy Shaw is taking registrations for another of her FREE online crazy quilting classes for ribbon embroidery and you can find more info about that HERE

- If you, like a lot of us, struggle with making French Knots, Mary Corbet has a great article on her blog about how to get them perfect every time.  Have a look HERE

- There's an interesting post HERE about choosing colours for making a temperature blanket.  I've toyed with making one but just haven't gone so far as to get the yarn I would need.  I do love the concept though and maybe someday I'll get around to it.  She has also written a great post HERE about them.   Hmmm - might just make this NOW to keep me warm!!

Today, rather than a quote, I have this...

Stay warm and safe those of you that live in the cold climates and for those of you currently enjoying the warmth.....pfffffft.  

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Progress....of a sort

I have accomplished a teeny bit more on my barn project (in between sneezing and nose blowing as I deal with a grandson-shared cold).  Never let it be said that I'm afraid to show my work in ANY state of disrepair (as this photo will attest!)...

My free motion quilting abilities are more than abysmal so when I was pondering what to do about the sky area I decided the best form of attack (and...hopefully....with the least amount of reverse stitching involved!) was to print off some cloud-like shapes on my computer, trace them onto tissue paper and then stitch through the tissue.  Well, it worked....and then didn't.  I remembered to crumple the tissue paper well before I pinned it in place which does make the removal a bit easier (and the tissue is less apt to tear when you're stitching if it's softened by the crumpling).  However, removing the tissue entirely is a bit tricky and will involve the judicious application of a pair of tweezers over the entire thing.  Hmmm.  Reverse stitching vs. tweezering....definitely a thing to ponder further.
But, on the good you see the door?

- The wonderful Mary Corbet is starting a fun stitch-a-long called 'Party In Provence' and you can find more information in her post HERE.

- Judy Cooper has several links in THIS post to other BOM's you might find interesting.

- Those of you who enjoy making your own books (or would like to learn how), perhaps you would find THIS tutorial helpful.

- If you would like to experiment with rusting items for use in your projects, have a look at THIS tutorial.  And if you would like to rust some fabrics, there's a great tutorial HERE

- I don't know if you've noticed fabric versions of cling wrap being sold (at a very high price!) in stores but if you're interested in making your own, there's a tutorial HERE

Today your quote is another from an anonymous source..."Always end the day with a positive thought.  No matter how hard things were, tomorrow's a fresh opportunity to make it better"

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

A little look back

I've noticed a number of bloggers have been posting a look back at what they've accomplished over the past year and so I decided I might do that as well (mainly because I have nothing else ready to show you today).  So, here goes...


I spent much of January working on the 'Courtship' crazy quilt series which ultimately became a large-ish wall hanging.  January I also shared a number of seam treatments with you.


Much of February was taken up with continuing with the 'Courtship' series and I shared a fair number of seam treatments as shown above.


In March I continued with the 'Courtship' series and shared more seam treatments.  I also took time to make a crocheted baby gift.


In April I had fun making a whole series of felt foods for our #1 grandson and also carried on with the 'Courtship' series.


In May there were two finishes....the 'Courtship' wall hanging was completed and I finished the bulky knit sweater I was working on.


In June there were a couple of finishes - a stained glass effect crazy quilt and I was working on making several baby clothing props for our son and daughter-in-love's photography business (


In July I completed my first barn themed fabric landscape - a reproduction of the family barn belonging to my d-i-l's parents.


In August I went on doll making kick and created four of these that were gifted to my friends to give to their granddaughters.


September was obviously a good month for creating!  I completed my second barn project, made myself a new carrying case for my circular knitting needles and made a new window valance for my sewing room.


October the making of Christmas gifts was in full swing and one of the things I made was this wee yo-yo dog for our #2 grandson.


November was more Christmas creating....lots of knitting and a fun fleece owl pillow.


December saw some more knitting completed for Christmas gifts, and a first foray into making our own melt & pour soap.  It also was the beginning of Barn # 3.

NOTE: I've made all these pictures small, but if you'd like a better look you should be able to click on them and they will enlarge.  If you want further information on any of them, just click on the month in my sidebar and scroll through my posts.

- The San Francisco School of Needlework and Design (SNAD) has announced their latest challenge..."The View From My Window'.  You can find further details HERE.

- Jenny of 'Elefantz' has just announced her latest BOM embroidery/quilt pattern series for 2018.  You can find further information HERE

- Sharon Boggon is beginning the latest series of her TAST (Take A Stitch Tuesday) and you can find out more by visiting her post HERE.  I guarantee you will learn a lot of great embroidery stitches if you play along with this one!

Today your quote is from Carl Bard..."Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending"

Happy 2018!!