MAGPIE'S MUMBLINGS

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

Friday, March 30, 2018

Happy Easter wishes!



Happy, and blessed, Easter!


Alas, there are no other pictures to share with you - I haven't been home long enough this week to get any sewing done.  So, here's the usual dose of mumblings - hope you find something interesting.

- If you have an over-abundance of buttons in your stash (NOT that I would EVER have a problem such as that!!), perhaps you might like to know how you can dye them?  Go HERE to find out how!

- There's a cute little owl pattern HERE  and a sweet little cross stitch pattern for spring HERE, and another one HERE.  

- If you have a serger and have problems with threading it, perhaps THIS might be of help.

- I found THIS post of interest because I think I will have to invest in some proper fabric paint at some point.

- THIS looks to be a really nice baby blanket pattern - which could be made larger if you'd like.  

- There's an interesting post HERE about gradient dyeing yarn in a crock pot.  








Thursday, March 29, 2018

Sometimes I love my mailman!!

Anyone who crafts knows how much fun stash enhancement is...right?  Especially when it comes from someone who 'gets' what you do.  Well, imagine my astonishment and delight when all these wonderful things arrived via the post office!  I have attempted to photograph just SOME of what was stuffed  judiciously placed into a rather large box.  Photos simply don't (and can't) do justice to what I discovered inside the box!! (and this is only a taste of what I found in the box)




THANK YOU CAROL!!!
You definitely 'get' me!!

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For those of you who are following 'The Saga of the Bernette', perhaps you will be interested to know that it was 'fixed' - in theory, anyway.  I haven't been home long enough to be able to test it as much as I'd like but at least it's better than it was.  The problem - according to the repairman - was that I (!!) had broken a needle in it and that, in turn, had punctured a hole in the bobbin case.  Ummmm.....I have been sewing for probably fifty years and I can't remember ever having broken a needle, and I certainly didn't in this one.  Told him as much, but it appears he didn't believe me.  At any rate, the bobbin case has been replaced - no charge - and we will see if it's any better.  Stay tuned!!
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- I found THIS post interesting, if only from the standpoint of reading about someone else who had difficulties with fabric marking pens not disappearing and coming back to haunt you.

- There's a pattern HERE for cute little Easter baskets.

- Mary Ann has an interesting post that references all the names for the March moon - and I must admit that I was surprised about it being called the 'worm moon', among other names.  Go HERE to find out more.

- Check out the absolutely adorable Easter bunny tutorial HERE.

- For those of us who knit or crochet there's a really interesting article HERE comparing the actual weights of different worsted yarns that are purported to be the same.

- THESE are done digitally, but wouldn't they be wonderful done with fabric?

- Such a cute wee bunny pattern HERE!

- Have a look at the beautiful fibre art HERE

Today your quote is from Lee Strobel....."He came into this world to make dead people live"



Friday, March 23, 2018

A wee bit of change - and something wonderful



I've done a little of the detailing on the latest barn as you can see from this photo (if you want to scroll down to my previous post, perhaps you can see just how much as been changed)....


Yesterday I had coffee with one of my friends and shared my tale of woe over my sewing machine issues and she remembered that she had a machine that she never uses (she much prefers handing her sewing needs over to me because she's pretty hopeless when it comes to any sort of machines).  She offered to let me try her machine and, if it worked, we could discuss a price).  Of course it was in the case when she gave it to me so I wasn't sure what was inside but when I picked it up my heart did a little flip because I thought that maybe.....just maybe....it might be a Singer Featherweight.  And it was!!  And even better?  It works!  She hadn't used it for a number of years and I knew it likely needed oiling and luckily I have some.  Of course it won't do anything but straight stitch (no zig zag or free motion capabilities) but it sews!  

See how beautiful she is???.....



An internet search with the model number
yielded the information that this little
beauty was made in December of 1951.


- Alas, there's no instructions for THIS, but it's worth seeing!  A John Deere diaper tractor....fun.

- THIS falls under the category of 'what will they think of next'!

- If you happen to be searching for a good site that gives multiple suggestions for substituting available yarns for discontinued yarns, have a look at THIS one.

- Have a look at the work from THIS artist! (scroll down)

- There are several ideas HERE for fabric storage.

Another anonymous quote for you today..."Ability is what you're capable of doing,  motivation determines what you do, and attitude determines how well you do it"







Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Barn raising - of a sort


There has been a small amount of progress on the latest barn project.  I am limited in what I can do without a sewing machine, but there is a bit of hand work that I can work at, at least for now....


- If you have some cups and saucers in your stash and wonder what you might be able to do with them, have a peek at the ideas HERE.  I love the candelabra idea.

- I love the work of THIS artist!!

- There's a tutorial HERE for fabric bowls...nice ones too!  And a tutorial HERE to make a sweet little bag and you can find more of her free patterns at THIS link. 

- You can find a tutorial HERE for a handy wallet. 

Another unknown source for today's quote..."Sometimes you just have to close your eyes, count to ten, take a deep breath, remind yourself that you wouldn't look good in prison stripes and just smile at the dumbass and walk away"



Monday, March 19, 2018

Another beginning



I just got back from taking my sewing machine to the doctor -again.  That will be twice since I got it just a year ago.  The store has promised (?!) that it will be fixed this time and if not we will discuss further options.  I will give them another chance to get it working properly and if they don't, I will be demanding either my money back or a credit (more likely what will happen) towards another machine that will NOT have the name Bernina attached to it in any way.  I know that will offend some of you who are happy with your Bernina's but I had to admit they leave a bad taste as far as I'm concerned.

So....because my machine is....a) not working and b) in the shop.....I started another barn project that I can work on while I wait.  For now it looks like this...




....with the ultimate hope it will end up somewhat
resembling this....


With some 'executive' changes by moi, of course!


- Karen Ruane has announced sign ups for her latest online class and you can find details HERE

- If you're offended by the human form, perhaps you won't find THESE as fun as I did!

- HERE you can find a really cool garden decoration that you might like to create.  I know I'd love these in MY garden if I had one!

- THIS is a really handy size chart for those of you who knit socks.

- Maybe you'd like to make some of THESE for Easter?

Today your quote is from Barack Obama..."If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress"



Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Fun arrival in the mail

Today I don't have a picture of my own work for you, but thought I'd share something sweet that popped into my mailbox the other day.  My friend Renee sent a postcard featuring one of her pretty crazy quilt pieces. 


Isn't it pretty?  Renee takes part in the InCoWriMo2018 challenge which involves sending mail throughout the month of February.  Thank you Renee - I love it and seeing your sweet stitching in person.     

- If you're looking for something to pretty up your garden this summer, how about making one (or more!) of THESE?

- There's an interesting article HERE about dying yarn in a crock pot - I suspect you could do smaller amounts of fabric the same way.

- Have a look at the fabric art done by THIS artist (check out her galleries).  And no, she's not related!

- And there's more HERE by another artist. And more HERE.  

- For those of you who like to tat, perhaps you'd like to have a go at THIS.  

- HERE's another use for those partial balls of yarn you have taking up space in your stash.

- Mary Corbet has written an interesting post about the pros (and cons) of using thread conditioners and you can find that HERE.  

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, March 12, 2018

Argh!!!!



Alas, no pictures for you today.  
I'm sorry.
At least no pictures of what I've accomplished on my barn project.

I spent all day Saturday trying to wrestle my machine into submission using invisible thread and I'm pretty sure there was a massive black cloud just outside our apartment building.  'nuff said (because I know you're getting sick of hearing me bitch about my machine!).

So....today I decided I would do massive amounts of samples using all different stitch lengths, tensions and thread combinations.  

SEE?....


Yeah - okay - move right along.  There's nothing to see here.  At least nothing that's worth looking at.

Suffice to say - invisible thread is NOT going to happen on this machine, at least not anytime soon (see below).  The machine will happily free motion (well, as happy as this machine gets!) with regular thread on both top and bottom but invisible thread on the top is not happening.  
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So....now I'm throwing myself at YOUR mercy.  What brand of invisible thread do you use?  And where can I get it in Canada?  
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- HERE is a really pretty crocheted afghan pattern.

- I know this is a commercial site but they elicited an 'awwww' from me, so I thought you might enjoy seeing them too....go HERE

- There's a cute St. Patrick's Day themed pincushion tutorial HERE

Another anonymous quote..."Classy is when you have a lot to say but you choose to remain silent in front of fools"



Friday, March 09, 2018

Very little


There is very little progress to show you this time, so I will give you a close up of the rail fence and the flowers...


I don't know if you can tell from this but I have started to enhance the flowers with embroidery.  Doing that won't be a huge statement in the overall look of the piece but (hopefully!) will be a nice surprise when you look closely once it's done.  You can also see (to the left in the photo) one of the seams I've embroidered using the machine.  I wanted a stitch that blended in overall because I didn't want the seam treatments to make a huge statement and take away from the barns themselves.  I've done the same thing in the sky.  So it IS crazy quilted/embroidered but not glaringly so.  

- If you'd like to make yourself a sweet little pincushion, have a look at the tutorial HERE

- THIS is a nice crocheted Afghan pattern (the link in the article takes you to the PDF pattern).

- If you happen to have a skein of really pretty sock yarn in your stash and wonder what you can make with it, perhaps you can find something HERE.  

- There's a chart HERE that lists the various sizes for crocheted blankets (but would be handy for knitters too!).

Another anonymous quote for you today..."The best place in the world is in the arms of someone who will not only hold you at your best, but will pick you up and hug you tight at your weakest moment"




Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Layering

The barn project is progressing slowly - with a lot of contemplation between every step.  I have to muster my courage a lot!!


Here's a closeup of the smaller barn...


- There's a really nice cross stitched jonquil pattern HERE.  If you go HERE and look at the bottom you will see links to different flower patterns for each month of the year.  Really pretty!  And if you check out her free patterns in her sidebar there are a number of others that are really nice.

- Go HERE for a tutorial for a cute zippered bag.  And HERE for a tutorial to make a hanging basket.  

- I didn't know dog ears on pillows were a 'thing' but evidently they are and you can find out how to avoid them HERE.  

- Are you an itty bitty scrap hoarder?  Do you want to stop hiding them and feeling guilty?  Well, how about making THESE?

- I really like THIS - not sure I'd actually wear it, but I love it.

Another anonymous quote for you...."A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than the men who mention it"





Monday, March 05, 2018

A bit more progress....




There's a long way to go yet on this piece, but you can see the progress I've made over the weekend.  

I had a question about how I create my landscapes so thought I'd share my answer here.  The actual creation of the barns is done using a class I took online from Craftsy taught by Wendy Butler Berns (further info HERE).  Because of that, I can't share her techniques here unfortunately.  After I've used her techniques to create the barn, then I start to build layers of colour on top of the fabric.  The missing board areas are simply drawn in using a black Sharpie marker and I rely on layers of watered-down folk art paint to add shadows and highlights.  I would use fabric paints but don't happen to have any!  At times I also use watercolour pencils to add shadows.  I have had absolutely NO training in painting so anything I do that turns out is more by luck than anything else.  

- THIS artist does absolutely amazing sculptures using...of all things....CD's.  Incredible!

- THIS is a rather intriguing way to join your yarn when circular knitting.

- And THIS caught my eye - not necessarily in the way in which it's done, but wouldn't a beautiful crocheted block look amazing mounted on a cloth tote?

- From the current Dior clothing collection....



This is only one of a number of crazy quilt inspired pieces in
the Dior clothing collection.
Who knew?

- AND......AND.....(because I'm SUCH an enabler!!).....you need to go HERE and have a look through all the slides.  Don't shoot the messenger!

The quote of the day is another anonymous one..."Grandparenting is the stage in life when you finally understand the true meaning of the best is yet to come...because you've reached it"


Thursday, March 01, 2018

Progression - maybe

Thank you to those of you who took the time to point out that the small barn was rather tipsy in my previous post.  That has been rectified now, as you can see...


Can't have a tipsy barn!!

- Have a look at the amazing embroideries found HERE.  

- I know it might not be the best time of year for THIS (at least in this hemisphere!) but it looks like fun anyway.  While you're there, you might like to check out some of her other tutorials.  And further on the subject, have a look at THIS (not sure I would ever attempt it, but it sure looks like fun!).

- As a knitter, sometimes you end up needing to bind off a project and you are facing a sad lack of yarn remaining to do so.  Perhaps THIS tutorial might prove helpful.

- Another thing I wish I had as reference when I was learning to knit (and probably still should refer to!) is THIS chart.

Another unknown quote..."The first to apologize is the bravest.  The first to forgive is the strongest.  The first to forget is the the happiest"