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.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Tah Dah!!!!!


Well, here it is.  Finished.  Done.  Ready to be delivered.


I think you can click on it to embiggen to show more details (if you so desire, of course!).  And below is the original photo I worked from...

I chose not to attempt fate by adding all the shadows that appear in the original - just a tad outside my current abilities I think!

Now it's on to working on another barn!  I think it will be this one...


It might be a little slow moving for a day or two - managed to do a number on my back last night so I'm moving slower than usual!

- There's a really pretty crocheted afghan pattern HERE

- For those of you who might be interested in interior decorating, have a look at the MANY charts found HERE

- Have a look through the portfolio of work from THIS fabric artist.

- Interesting tutorial HERE for using baking parchment for quilting a motif (scroll down for the actual tutorial).

- THIS guy has come up with an ingenious way to wind a center-pull ball of yarn - without the use of a ball winder.

Today is another anonymous quote..."When you feel like quitting, think about why you started"




Friday, April 27, 2018

Nearly finished....maybe


Yesterday I had some time to put a few more finishing touches on the house project, as you can see from this picture...



I've added the tree top on the left and changed the shrub on the right from what it was.  

For those of you interested in how I might have made the tree top...it originated with making some confetti fabric....



I choose about six different tones of green fabric, layered them, and then pretty much shredded them with my rotary cutter.  Once that was done I placed them between two pieces of melt-away stabilizer and then heavily stitched through all the layers.  I rinsed away the stabilizer (if you do this, be sure not to throw the rinse water down the drain because there's a lot of teeny fabric bits that escape, along with the glue....probably not good for your drain).  After it dried, I (for lack of a better description) stuck my fingers in some of the holes to embiggen them to give it a more 'airy' look.  Hmmm.  Not such a good result because a lot of the fabric bits ended up being 'wrong side up' and it was too white.  So....I watered down some different green shades of folk art paint and 'blobbed' some on here and there to camouflage where the fabric was wrong side up....plus it gave an added dimension to the colouring overall.  Once that dried, I simply cut the tree shapes from it and stitched them onto my quilt.  Then I applied a layer of fine tulle over top to be sure to corral any stray little bits of fabric.  

- HERE is a rather cute little pincushion that would use up fabric scraps.

- There's an interesting article HERE about the uses for different sewing machine needle sizes.

- Have a look at the amazing art quilts of THIS artist!

- And for those of you who like animals AND quilts, have a look at the art HERE

Another anonymous quote for you today...."One smile can start a friendship.  One word can end a fight.  One look can save a relationship.  One individual can change your life."





Wednesday, April 25, 2018

More progress

It's a dull rainy day here (not snow...hooray!) and so this photo isn't the best, but I think you can see some of the work I've added...

After stitching all those lazy daisies onto the planter vines on the fence my fingers weren't overly happy!  In some places there was six layers of fabric to stitch through.  


- A really cute little bird pincushion PDF pattern HERE.  

- If you have need of writing an artist statement, there are some very helpful hints HERE.

- I think I may have sent you to THIS bag pattern before, but I wanted to make an extra note of it because I hope to make one soon.

- THESE would be cute to make for on the patio in the summer.

- Nice idea HERE for a lamp for your sewing room.  And if you wanted to take it a step further how about THIS idea for the lampshade.

- THESE would be fun to place on a wooden fence in your garden. There are no directions, but it would be fairly easy to d-i-y.  Perhaps old fan blades from a ceiling fan for the wings?

- THIS is a very inspired idea for a storage system for your sewing machine feet.

Another anonymous quote for you today..."Behind you, all your memories.  Before you, all your dreams.  Around you, all who love you.  Within you, all you need"









Monday, April 23, 2018

Hodge Podge of Mumblings


Although I did get some work done over the weekend on the house project, it's not really noticeable enough to show you just yet.  So...for a lack of anything else to share with you, how about I do a little catch-up with some mumblings?  Enjoy!

- There's a cute knitted kitty pattern HERE.

- There are a number of tutorials HERE for needle felting (be sure to scroll down).

- For little ones, there's an easy knitted hoodie pattern HERE.

- HERE is a rather pretty crocheted shawl that would be nice for spring and summer and there's another one HERE.   There's another one HERE (scroll down for the pattern).

-  And HERE is a really pretty knitted one.

- There's a nice crocheted pansy pattern HERE (scroll down for the pattern itself).

- Those of you who are quilters, perhaps you might like to check out THESE Quilter's Cheat Sheets.

- For cross stitchers, there's a really cute kitty pattern HERE.  

- For the gardeners....there are a number of really interesting d-i-y designs HERE for making garden trellises.  

- For the water colourists among you, how about THESE?  

- THIS is just plain awe-inspiring eye candy!  And while you're there, how about clicking through her gallery HERE?  Who knew you could make such amazing things out of watch parts!!

In the interest of having at least one picture in this post, I thought I'd share this little funny (hopefully no one is offended!).  




Friday, April 20, 2018

One step forward - (you know the rest)


Sometimes even I am astounded at my ability to do something stupid.  You're think, after all these years, I wouldn't be surprised at myself.  Anyhoo....a couple of progress pictures on the house...


I know, from this, that you can't probably see what I've done.  It wasn't until I started adding the embroidery details that I realized.  Perhaps this will show what I did?...

No?  You mean you can't see it?  Well, I guess that means that maybe my 'fix' worked.  (if you can't figure it out, count how many grey 'blobs' there are under the verandah roof in the first picture....and then how many there are in the second picture.  I thought (ahem) that artistic license meant that I could simply add a window where there isn't one.  Worse....I added that window in the corner of the wall where anyone with half a brain would know that a window wouldn't fit.  Sigh.  Ah well, hopefully I've camouflaged it and no one will notice.

There now, never let it be said that I'm afraid to show you everything, warts and all!!

- Have a look at the beautiful embroideries found HERE

- There is a lovely tutorial HERE for making a tissue holder from a hankie.

- Stumbled on THIS really nice shawl pattern when I was poking about on Ravelry.  This one I like!

- I normally don't like pointing you towards things where I don't have the original source to share, but THIS is just too amazing not to.  The site isn't in English (there's a translate feature) but language isn't important.  Keep clicking on the pictures to see the incredible embroidery pieces!

Today I don't have a quote per se, but thought I'd share this little 'funny' instead...(author unknown)....



Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A small change


Woke up to lots of snow yesterday - and didn't get the heavy rain they predicted.  Right now there's more snow piled up in the parking lots than there's been all winter.  Where, oh where, is spring?

At least the conditions outside meant that I could be working on the house project, as you can see from this...


- For those of you who like owls, perhaps THIS handsome fellow will catch your eye.

- There's a really pretty sweater pattern HERE

- THESE are for the Harry Potter fans!

- THIS is a beautiful cushion - but you could also use the flowers in many other ways.

Another anonymous quote..."God gave us mouths that close and ears that don't, that must tell us something"





Monday, April 16, 2018

A start - and a stop


We have had a most interesting weekend (and it's still ongoing)....freezing rain, ice pellets, snow, rain, heavy wind.....you name it, we've had it.  This morning we awoke to what some would call a winter wonderland with all the trees covered in ice.  It may be pretty, but it's downright dangerous.  Fortunately the power, at least here, has stayed on, but that's not the case for many other areas in southern Ontario.  The weather people are now saying we're in for very heavy rain in the next day or so - which is going to create a whole 'nother sort of havoc.  People are being strongly advised to stay home and off the roads, which is precisely what we're doing.  It's better to stop and stay put, rather than risking our lives (and that of others).  

So....being housebound means I can get some work done on the house project.  Over the weekend I laid down the basic pieces of fabric and came up with this...

At this stage I always wonder why I'm even attempting to do this.  It looks awful.  I know it will get better (at least I hope it will!).

And....if anyone is interested....the piece (below) is for sale.  Drop me a message and we'll talk.




- If you know a little someone who likes Babar The Elephant, perhaps one of THESE might be something that would be well-loved.

- Unfortunately our youngest little one is now too big for THESE!!!

- There are a lot of quite interesting household tips HERE - some are quite ingenious!

- If you plan on doing any traveling perhaps you'd like to make one of THESE (there's multiple other uses for it too).  

- Kathy Shaw has opened registrations for the second in her series of free crazy quilting classes.  Go HERE for further info, but you'll have to hurry because it closes tomorrow!

Instead of a quote today, I found this interesting tip....


My question is....
how am I supposed to remember
to clench my fist??

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Committed!

And yes, I already know what thoughts are going through your mind!  Some would say it would serve me right...ahem.  Anyhoo.....

The person who purchased the barn (from my previous post) has commissioned me to recreate their house in fabric!  My first commission since I embarked on this landscape caper.  They live in an amazing old farmhouse that is a perfect place to visit (actually our #2 son and daughter-in-love were married there).  I really hope I can manage to do this house justice!



- There's a free online quilt magazine available HERE.  You can upgrade to the paid version (which includes more content) if you would like.  If you sign up the issues will be delivered to your inbox automatically.  I subscribe to the free version and there's lots of content.  AND, I just found out that they're celebrating their birthday and  if you buy a subscription (normally $10/year) before midnight on Sunday Apr. 15 and use Coupon Code   FB01C  you can get it for half price!

- I simply cannot even begin to imagine knitting THIS small!!!

- THIS is a rather cute wee pincushion.

- If you like hats and would like something pretty to wear this summer, how about THIS one from a free pattern?

From an anonymous source..."When my arms can't reach people who are close to my heart I always hug them with my prayers"








Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Finished - and Sold!!!!

The latest barn is finished - and, wonder of wonders, it promptly sold!  And....even more amazing....it could have sold twice over.  Still reeling from that one!  





Now, if I could only sell the crazy quilted one I'd be definitely over the moon!  

- THIS man does amazing metal sculptures!

- There's a really cute pincushion featuring wool applique  tutorial/pattern HERE.  

- I rather wonder if the sloth is going to be the 'new' rage?  At any rate, there's a free pattern for a really cute one HERE.  

- A pattern HERE to make a handy garment bag.  

- THIS would be a handy organizer (instead of using an old Pringles can like I do!).  

Today's quote is from Eleanor Brownn..."Clutter is not just physical stuff.  It's old ideas, toxic relationships and bad habits.  Clutter is anything that does not support your better half"




Friday, April 06, 2018

A little more done

I've been able to spend a couple of days at home so got a bit more done on the latest barn....




And here's a close up so you can see some of the details
(you can click to embiggen if you'd like)



- There's a good chart HERE to give you a general idea of how much yarn is required to make all sorts of different projects.

- I know THIS is a commercial site, but the creations made me smile so I thought you might like to see them too.

- Just a note to let you know that Kathy Shaw has opened registrations for her  FREE online class 'Silk Embroidery and More' and you can get details HERE.  Better hurry though, because registration closes tomorrow!

- One of the little-known facts about me is that I love stained glass so I found the work of THIS artist amazing. 

Another anonymous quote..."Words are like keys.  If you choose them right, they can open any heart and shut any mouth"



Wednesday, April 04, 2018

A finished project!

Over the weekend I finished the crazy quilt barn landscape quilt.  Overall I'm pleased with it, but had I a chance to do it over I would choose to use a darker thread to do the machine embroidered seams.  Initially I didn't want the seams to be the focal point and take away from the barns....however, now I look at it I think it would have been okay to use a darker thread.  Next time I'll know!


I think you should be able to click to
embiggen these so you can see the
details a bit better



And, just to remind you of what the original photo looked like...

- Today I'd like to announce that Stephanie of 'The Enchanting Rose' is currently taking sign ups for her latest exciting teacup and/or mug swap.  I've taken part in the last two she had and I can tell you that it's a great deal of fun! This is the twelfth time Stephanie has hosted the swap and she's a wonderful hostess.  You can find more details HERE.  

- Last time I gave you a link to dyeing yarn in a crock pot and now I've found a couple more interesting articles about different variations.  Go HERE for how to speckle dye and HERE for how to gradient dye.

- I got excited when I saw THESE - I usually put my pin container beside my machine when I'm sewing and can't guess how many times I've managed to upset it.  One of these would be SEW handy!!

- THIS intrigues me too - it serves a double purpose.  

- HERE is a rather nice sewing tote organizer - another great use for small amounts of fabric!

- And HERE is something else that would be really useful!

- Today's quote comes from two favourite characters..."How do you spell 'Love'?" (Piglet).  "You don't spell it, you feel it" (Pooh).



Monday, April 02, 2018

A little something



Over the weekend I stash dived and came up with enough yarn to make this...
He measures about 6" tall and the pattern is the 'Little Bigfoot Monkey' by Sharon Ojala and can be found HERE.  


- If there's a little one in your life who likes to play dress up, perhaps making THESE might be just the thing!  Or maybe a Superhero cape and mask found HERE?

- And how about THIS gift for little ones who like to camp out?

- Check out the amazing art THIS person creates!!

- Another great tutorial HERE for hand dyeing your own yarn.

- THIS is one of the things that just plain make you say 'awwwww'.

- THIS concept is intriguing, especially if you have a large wall space to fill. 

Another anonymous quote..."Beautiful has nothing to do with looks.  It's how you are as a person and how you make others feel about themselves"