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.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

On the search, and improvements I hope

I'm sending this out there in hopes that someone might have some scraps of this fabric in their stash that they might be willing to part with.  I don't have a clue who the manufacturer or designer is/was - it's just something that has been lurking in my stash for a long time.  I love using the daisies in my landscapes and I'm down to a precious few and I'd love to have some more.  I could, technically, scan it and print some myself but that's not exactly the right thing to do!!
The bunnies measure approx. an inch and a half from nose to tail.  I have another scrap that has much larger bunnies but the scale isn't what I'm looking for.  Anyway....throwing it out there....

There has been some work done on the latest landscape....for better or worse.  The stitched 'bare' trees were bothering me so after much concentrated effort they were reverse stitched.  Then I didn't like the tree line (behind the barn) so it has been elongated and lightened up somewhat because it was just too dark.  Never let it be said that I'm afraid to go at something with paint...or....horrors....completely cover it up with something else!

and....look what appeared in Resident Chef's 

Zucchini muffins!

- Have you ever tried THIS?  I wonder if the ink would blur in the printing process.  Another thing I need to test out to see if it works!

- HERE's something fun you might like to have a go at.

- I am SO not up on my math, but I found THIS fascinating!  (you'll have to click to play the short video).

- There' s all kinds of free organizer patterns HERE.

Today's quote..."Worrying does not take away tomorrow's troubles.  It takes away today's peace"

Monday, August 19, 2019

Having a little play time

I took some time off from my landscape (doing some pondering on it at the moment) and had a little play with my new embroidery templates that arrived in the mail the other day and came up with a couple of postcards....

You should be able to embiggen the photos
if you'd like to see more details.

The templates are most definitely a huge success and I highly recommend them to anyone wanting to ensure your stitches are evenly placed.  And they don't have to be used strictly for crazy quilting either!  If you want further information about these great tools, you can have a look at my post HERE.   Thank you again Janet for sending these for me to test out!

- If you like chickens, you're sure to like THIS (there's a link to the free pattern too).  And while we're on the subject of extremely cute animal quilts, have a look at the eye candy HERE. (this one is still a work in progress, but I love it!).

- Karen Ruane (embroiderer extraordinaire!) has announced her new online class which will be starting in September and you may read all about it HERE

- Those of you who like playing with paper (and you know who you are) might like THIS.  (scroll down for the instructions).

- HERE's something fun to make for *that* date in December!

Today's quote..."Eat the cake.  It's someone's birthday somewhere"

Friday, August 16, 2019

Tramping about

Today there as absolutely nothing creative done in my studio.  Instead we spent the afternoon (along with Resident Chef's brother) tramping around in cemeteries searching out long lost relatives.  It was fun, but hot! 

This is one of the more interesting ones we happened across and it was enough to send me off trying to find out more about the Fish Creek battle.

Information courtesy of Wikipedia....

The Battle of Fish Creek (also known as the Battle of Tourond's Coulée ),[4] fought April 24, 1885 at Fish Creek, Saskatchewan, was a major Métis victory over the Canadian forces attempting to quell Louis Riel's North-West Rebellion. Although the reversal was not decisive enough to alter the ultimate outcome of the conflict, it was convincing enough to persuade Major General Frederick Middleton to temporarily halt his advance on Batoche, where the Métis would later make their final stand. 

First we knew that there was  a relative in this battle.

- Good article HERE re prepping for a booth in a craft show.

- THIS is a really cute project that some of you might enjoy playing with.

- There's a tutorial HERE for making a girl's nightie in sizes 3 - 16.

- I know many of you enjoy online quilt shows, so have fun visiting THIS one!

- THIS is for those of you who love your dogs.

- Have a peek at the work of THIS artist!

Today's quote..."I'd give up chocolate, but I"m not a quitter"

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Sometimes I *heart* my mailman!

The mailman brought me something really fun and I must say I'm anxious to start playing with them!  Janet from 'Creative Impressions'  very kindly sent me a set of the brand new 'Embroidery Stitch Templates' that were created to accompany Kathy Shaw's new book 'Stunning Stitches For Crazy Quilts'.    

I am so excited to have a chance to play with them and see how much easier getting my embroidery stitches even will be.  There are 5 sheets of very sturdy plastic templates (example below....)

These are great for any crazy quilter or embroider and do not have to be used along with Kathy's book (altho' it's fun if they are!).  
Thank you Janet!!!!💖💖

There has been some progress on the latest landscape, but this is going to change because I'm not happy with the trees in the skyline.  They look awkward so (I'm sure with much angst during the unpicking process) they're going.

- Came across THIS and thought how cute it would be if you used selvages for the book spines...especially if the names suited a book title.  (Hey Cathy....watcha think????)

- Wouldn't THIS be great to make for a little one who is into ballet?

- Some of you might enjoy THIS pinterest board - some really fun clothing to see!!!  Be sure to scroll down.

Today's quote...."Be careful with your words.  They can only be forgiven, not forgotten"

Monday, August 12, 2019

Over the weekend the main thing accomplished was to make these....

Zucchini relish - a couple jars are
headed for the Christmas box.

And some progress on the latest landscape...

- Have a look at the amazing work done by THIS artist!

- And THIS artist too!!!!  Be sure to see her other gallery HERE

- Good article HERE on the care and cleaning of your quilts.

- For those of you who knit and crochet and are planning a project with stripes and are wondering how it might look, check out THIS handy color generator.

- I have always loved handmade pottery and found THIS short video really interesting.  Would love to see this being made in person!

Today's quote..."10% of conflict is due to difference in opinion and 90% is due to delivery and tone of voice"

Friday, August 09, 2019

A new beginning, and a tip (of sorts)

I'll start with the, don't go getting all excited because it's really nothing all THAT special,  However, most of you know by now that PMS Albatross and I have 'issues' - many issues.  One of them is her infuriating habit of throwing the spool off the holder whenever the spirit moves her.  Maddening to say the least!  So I cast about for something that I could add to the spool spindle to help hold the thread in place.  I didn't want anything too heavy so I hit upon this...

I deconstructed a Gutermann thread spool and got that 'thingie' on the right in the picture.  No idea what it's called!  All you have to do is pry, twist it off the spool and you're left with that funky little piece.

Now you can see it in use.  First is the spool of thread, then the regular disc that's supposed to hold the spool in place, then my little 'thingie' solution.

So far, it seems to be working.  I'm sure PMS is having some sleepless nights trying to figure a way to circumnavigate my solution.  In the meantime I'll bask in finally getting one up on her! can also use that handy little 'thingie' if you're wanting to use a large cone of thread on your machine - sometimes that little 'thingie' fits perfectly in the end of the cone, making it much more secure on your machine.  

And, here is the beginning of another landscape...

Can't put my hands on the original photo (will
show you later) but it's one of my own and was
taken locally.

- I stumbled across THIS and the patchwork style of the bowl caught my eye.  Upon reading the article it intrigued me even more, especially when I saw the artist wielding what appeared to be a needle and thread.  Once I embiggened the photos in the article I realized that she did, indeed, use thread to hold it together. 

- THIS link leads to a YouTube video about making small design boards - very handy for quilters!

- I'm not sure I would ever make one of THESE, but they sure do look rather nice!

Today's quote..."We get so worried about being 'pretty'.  Let's be pretty kind, pretty funny, pretty smart, pretty strong"

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

More additions

Because I made a teddy pillow cover for our youngest grandson, I can't leave the oldest without one, so here is his (which will be going in the Christmas box)....

Made from scraps found in my stash and using a monster picture I found online to create a pattern.  What little boy doesn't like monsters - especially if they're friendly ones!

And, because I had some leftover Thomas the Tank Engine fabric (from making the little apron to go with the felt food) I thought I'd whip up a pillowcase - also going in the Christmas box....

These are SO (SEW?) easy to make!  All the seams are enclosed which makes it nice and sturdy as well.  I found a great tutorial HERE.  (Note - the link goes to the pdf file of the pattern).

- Have a look at the incredible crochet work done by THIS artist!

- The August issue of 'Online Quilt Magazine' has just gone live and you can find out more HERE.  You can sign up to receive the free versions of the magazine or for a small sum you can receive the premium version - both a full of all sorts of information that quilters would find of interest. 

- There's a nice tutorial HERE for a useful wallet.

- HERE is something for the guys - or an enterprising handy-with-tools woman too!

Today's quote..."I was being so good at the craft store, I really was....but then I got out of the car and went in"

Monday, August 05, 2019

Outside, but not looking in

As promised, here are the photos of the outside of the snippet roll needle case.  You can click  to embiggen them if you'd like.

and this photo gives a better idea of the length....

Now it remains to be seen if anyone likes it enough to 
want to learn how to make one for themselves!

- Sometimes I stumble across something that I wonder why I didn't come up with it (mind you, our kids are obviously WAY past this now, but it's good for grandkids too)....have a look HERE.

- I came across THIS while reading another blog and thought it was pretty amazing.  No chance I'll ever see it for real, but if you happen to live in the area or are traveling there, you might like to check it out.

- HERE's another cute little thing you could create for Christmas - they'd look really cute on a tree!

- Lots of great ideas HERE for using one skein of sock yarn.  

- If you have a Spiderman fan in your family, perhaps you might find something HERE of interest.  Some are free, some aren't.

Today, instead of a quote.....

Friday, August 02, 2019

A little more CQ

I finished working on my crazy quilt project - a snippet needle roll.  I've been asked to teach a workshop at our local quilt guild and needed to come up with a prototype so people can see what they will be working on.  I did a snippet roll needle case several years ago (and you can see pictures of it HERE  HERE  HERE and HERE).  This time I will show you a picture of the outside, rolled up, as well as the inside and next time I'll show you the outside.

Pictures are clickable to embiggen

You have to imagine the final three photos joined
together.  The final roll measures about 35" long by
5" wide.  The inside features felt to hold your
needles (that's the areas that are bordered with
blanket stitch).  

- The fall issue of the 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' magazine is now available!  You can get your copy either HERE (print or digital versions) or HERE (print only). 

This issue, as always, is filled with eye candy, tutorials and fun things to inspire you!

- Check out THIS link to find a number of tutorials for making armchair caddies.  

- I've been noticing a ton of microwave bowl holders lately, so HERE is just one idea/tutorial for you.  I'm curious about one thing though - wouldn't it be better if the 'innards' were made of something that was fire retardant (obviously not metal).  I'd be concerned about them being a fire hazard.  Any thoughts on that?  Have you used these successfully?

Today's quote...."Every day is a new beginning.  Take a deep breath and start again"

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Crazy quilting again

Over the past few days I've been working on a new crazy quilt project.  It's not ready to show just yet, but here's a couple of glimpses of what's been done so far...

- If I can find the glycerine, I'd like to give THIS recipe for homemade fabric paint a try.

- Di van Niekerk  is one of the world's leading silk ribbon embroidery artists and she has a wonderful online series on how to embroider a pre-printed design.  THIS goes to part one of the series and from there you can access the remaining series.  Keep in mind that you do NOT have to work on her panel itself, but that her techniques and embroidery can be used in many other applications.  Beautiful!!!!

- THIS is a really pretty crochet pattern - multitude of uses!

- HERE is a fun way to use up denim scraps and make something useful too (you can add as much to it as you like....I think it would look great as plain denim too).

This quote made me smile..."I'm a repurposing, upcycling, vintage adoring, antiquing, dumpster diving, garage sale-ing, thrift store hunting, junk sifting, yard-n-tag sale shopping, glue gunning, stencil & spray painting, do it myself-ing, look what I made kind of girl!"

Monday, July 29, 2019

Two 'fer one special

Today I have a two 'fer one special going on (two projects 'fer one post...hah hah).  First of all, I made a couple produce bags....

Stash fabric, but I purchased the mesh which is the 'stuff' you use when lining bathing suits and such.  Don't know what it's called though!

And...another pair of the generic socks that will be going in the Christmas box....

Pair 5 of 9
Regia sock yarn

- THIS is a really cute pincushion - and has some extra storage too.

- For the crocheters out there, how about THIS wonderful blanket pattern?

- Have a look through the galleries of THIS artist - some amazing work.  Be forewarned, a few of the images are a little sad.

- I know I've mentioned THIS before, but it bears repeating over and over.  This is a great way to do your small bit to help make the world a better place. 

Today's quote..."Forget the mistake, remember the lesson'

Friday, July 26, 2019

Diving and Busting

Yep, I went stash diving and ended up busting some outta bondage and into the light of day.  First up, I made a couple of tote bags.

Some of you may remember my trying to use up a pre-quilted whole cloth chunk of quilt I was given and that I added several of the doilies from my stash to it.  I finally used up the rest of it to make this....

I was stash diving and came across some brown upholstery sample squares I've had for ages and thought I should be able to make something out of them.  Also came across a piece of chocolate-themed fabric and decided another tote bag might be a good use for at least some of it......

Two more things going in the Christmas box!

And while I was putzing about with the upholstery fabric sample squares I realized I had just enough to make this cute little pillow cover for our grandson....

Measures about 16" square

- If you like dragons (I do!), then perhaps you might like THIS cute little freebie.  And while you're there, if you click on the forward and back buttons you'll find more!

- And HERE is another fun project that might serve as a stash buster.

- For those of you who enjoy the current trend towards modern quilt making, perhaps THESE might be of interest.

- THIS is amazing eye candy!  Imagine the number of hours that had to have gone into making it.

Today's quote..."This is the beginning of a new day.  You have been given this day to use as you will.  You can waste it or use it for good.  What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.  When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever.  In its place is something that you have left behind.  Let it be something good" 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

More recipes

I'm running behind today so this post is going to be a simple one.  Thought I'd share a couple more recipes we find quite tasty...


1 small onion
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. white vinegar
1 c. salad oil
1 tsp. poppy seeds
Place onion in blender and chop.  Add sugar, mustard, salt and vinegar & blend.  Add oil a small amount at a time.  Add poppy seeds and refrigerate.  Use on salads, as a sandwich spread, or as a 'dip' for raw veggies.


2/3 c. raspberry vinegar
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. sugar
2 T. lemon juice
2 tsp. poppy seeds
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire
1 T. minced onion
1/4 tsp. paprika
Combine vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, Worcestershire, onion & paprika in blender.  Slowly add veg oil.  Add poppy seeds & refrigerate.  Serve over romaine lettuce with sliced strawberries and pecans.


1 c. mayo (we use Miracle Whip)
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. EACH dried chives, parsley & dill
1/4 tsp. EACH garlic power & onion powder
1/8 tsp. EACH salt & pepper
Combine in blender and refrigerate.  Use on salads, as a sandwich spread, or as a 'dip' for veggies.  

I don't have time today to search out any fun links for you (sorry), so I will leave you with today's anonymous quote...."When nothing goes right, go left"

Monday, July 22, 2019

Well, it's happened

Yep, it's official.  I'm an old farte.  And I don't feel any older despite the calendar saying I should.  The best part is the government is now going to see fit to pay me for the privilege of being old....bring it on!!!

The weekend was very hot here so not much was done on the creative side of things. about a nice summer recipe?  We've been eating this one the past couple of nights and I have to say it's pretty tasty and perfect for summer.

2 small boxes Lemon Jello
1 cup boiling water
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 c. salad dressing
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
16 oz. cottage cheese
1/2 c. whipping cream, whipped ***

*** NOTE:  Resident Chef didn't have any whipping cream on hand, so he made up a lemon instant pudding and used that instead....tastes great!  Left out the walnuts too (didn't have any in the cupboard).  

Dissolve Jello in boiling water and refrigerate until starting to jell.  Add remaining ingredients.  Chill and Enjoy!!

- I mentioned awhile ago that Kathy Shaw has a new book ("Stunning Stitches For Crazy Quilts") out that is making a stir among the crazy quilting and embroidery world and today I noticed that she now has templates available, which are an invaluable aid  (although not absolutely necessary) when creating the designs.  You can find more information about the book HERE and the templates are available HERE or directly from Kathy HERE.  The book is available on Amazon too.

- Reading blogs will often lead me to something that is really great and THIS is no exception.  I NEED one of these for my sock knitting because those pesky little DPN needles keep wanting to dump their stitches and escape for parts unknown.  Thanks Barbara for this one!! thing I did over the weekend was make one!.....

I didn't have snaps, so I opted to use
dome fasteners that I gussied up with buttons.
Had just a bit enough scrap of fabric leftover from
making my sock knitting bag, so a win/win.

- I must admit I love the idea of THESE and the fact that it would alleviate the 'drop in and hunt' aspect of most purses.  Would I make one and actually use it?  First of all, I'd have to use a purse that was actually big enough to accommodate such a thing....something my chiropractor would frown most severely upon.  So...throwing it out there for those of you who DO have the proper sized purse!

- There's a fairly comprehensive printable grocery list available HERE.

- And have a look at THIS yarn stash organization!  Talk about yarn envy!!!

Today your quote is from Lucy Levenson..."If I plan something I never enjoy it as much.  I like the journey of not knowing how it turns out"

Friday, July 19, 2019

And....the beginning of something else!

Over the next little while there just might be a few baby-ish things appearing here at Chez Magpie...and this is the start of one of them....

Why, you might ask?
Well...there's a wee little 'grand' bundle of joy
to love  making an appearance 
in our lives come the end of January.
So...what's a grandma to do but make things?

- HERE is another artist that does interesting work.

- There's an interesting technique HERE showing how to create a faux concrete look.

- And if you use pegboard, how about gussying it up with some of THESE ideas?

- I've seen a lot of THESE around the internet and I'm curious to know - would you use them?

- I love the whimsical work of THIS artist (be sure to scroll down).

Instead of a quote today, I came across this and thought you might enjoy it....

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Another tah dah moment!

And......we have another finish!!  I loved making this one and I know I will be searching for more crusty rusty vehicles so I can do more (not that I'm giving up my love of buildings anytime soon!).  There are definitely NOT enough hours in the days to create all of these I would like to do.  (Please excuse the quality of the photo - of course it's raining here and the lighting is dismal!)

The color in the close-up is a bit more 'true' ...

Inspired by this photo and kindly used with the permission of Dale Stewart (thank you!!!!)......

This one measures approx. 32" x 23 1/2" and is for sale.  If you're interested, drop me an email!  

- Have a peek at the work done by THIS artist (and you can read her interview as well).

- And look at the amazing textile art HERE and HERE!!!

- If you have a little girl in your life I'm pretty sure she would love one of THESE for her dress-up box.

Today's quote...." I feel like a failure.  I've been shopping for craft supplies for 20 years and I still don't have what I need"

Monday, July 15, 2019

and....another one bites the dust....

....another pair of socks that is!
#4 of 9, using my favourite sock 'recipe'...

Yarn is, once again, 'Pairfect' by Regia.  

I think there will be a finished landscape to
show you on Wednesday, so stay tuned!

Throwing this out to you for help...
If, in your travels over the summer, 
you come across a great old rusty 
tractor or vehicle and are able to stop (safely!)
and get me some good clear photos I
would certainly appreciate it!
Fodder for such things is scarce in this area.
(of course I'm always interested in old houses,
churches and barns too!)

- There are some fun ideas HERE for using jelly rolls.

- HERE is something the little ones in your life are sure to love!  

- Although THIS isn't my style, I can appreciate the artistic side of it.  Be sure to check out her galleries.

- I don't have long hair, and even when I did (many moons ago!!) I would never have been clever enough to begin to think of doing any of THESE styles!  Great fun to watch the video anyway.

- Have a look at the galleries of work by THIS artist!  Such detail in something so small.

- And never letting it be said that this blog doesn't have a variety of mumblings, how about learning to paint fabric with watercolours as done in the tutorial HERE.  I want to try this - might be less messy than using shaving cream!!

Today's quote..."Life is amazing.  And then it's awful.  And then it's amazing again.  And in between the amazing and the awful, it's ordinary and mundane and routine.  Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary.  That's just  living a heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life.  And it's breathtakingly beautiful"

Friday, July 12, 2019

Soapboxes, progress, and pretties

First, I'll start with the soapbox....this morning we had our first telemarketer call at 6:50 am.  Followed by two more within half an hour.  What is WRONG with these people?  Do they not know that your heart stops when the phone rings that early in the morning?  Do they not know that there are (hah) laws that state they are legally not allowed to call before 9 am and after 9 pm?  If we didn't live in an apartment and there were noise bylaws in place I would buy a whistle (or even better an air horn).  Maybe deafening the suckers might give them pause for thought - although I seriously doubt it.  Fortunately we have call display and never answer calls that are from a number we don't recognize and you'd think they would get tired of calling when they get no response.  
Climbing off soapbox now.

And just to get my ohmmmm about these....

Resident Chef bought me flowers!
No special reason either....lucky me.💖

And here's a progress picture...

- How about going on a fun little garden tour found HERE.  Some great ideas!

- THIS would be a handy tote to make - I would be tempted to line it I think.

- You might want to pour yourself a cuppa and go exploring HERE.  There are lots of amazing fibre artists listed and it appears as though you can click on each one and be taken to further information (and more eye candy!!).

- There's a great tutorial HERE for a sweet sewing bag.

Today's quote, from Francine Ohiar..."Some people just don't get that I'd rather talk to a wall than them"

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

A bit more progress

Hopefully you can see a bit of what I've added to the landscape over the past few days.  Still more to go!

- There's a lovely new stitch-along starting HERE.  Looks like it will be tons of fun!

- It's strawberry season here and I came across THIS crocheted version.

- Have a look at the amazing fibre art done by THIS artist!

- If you have a little one to knit for, there's a ton of great patterns available HERE

Today's quote..."One small crack does not mean that you are broken.  It means that you were put to the test and you didn't fall apart"

Monday, July 08, 2019

December in July

I did accomplish a little more on the landscape over the weekend but not enough that you can really see much of a difference.  So....instead of showing you's another of my 'evening projects' I just finished.  Something else for the Christmas box!

The pattern is the 'Basic Knitted Socks' by
Kate Atherly, and can be found on
Ravelry HERE.
Yarn is 'Pairfect' by Regia.

This is my 'go-to' sock pattern - easy and lots of
stretch so they fit quite well.  The only thing I change is to
begin with 12 rows of knit 1, purl 1 for additional
stretch at the top.  

- There are some great patterns available HERE for knitted slippers.

- There's a cute little bag tutorial HERE.   While you're there poke around in her free pattern section - lots to inspire!

- I stumbled across THESE in my travels about the internet and was most intrigued - something I can perhaps aspire to.  But then.....then......I saw the price!

- THIS is a fun little case for holding your phone (takes a second to load).

Another anonymous quote for you today..."Some days I amaze myself.  Other days, I look for my scissors while I'm already holding them"

Friday, July 05, 2019

And yet more progress

As you can see, there has been a bit more progress on the old car part of the landscape.  

Sometimes there are mysteries that happen here at Chez Magpie and yesterday PMS Albatross decided in her wisdom that she should start sewing one of the decorative stitches completely backwards.  No reason.  At first I thought it was because I had pressed the reverse button but then I remembered that the decorative stitches don't HAVE a reverse option.  So why, oh why, did this particular hissy fit occur?  Yet another in the litany of idiosyncrasies of PMS Albatross!!  

- THIS falls under the category of 'who knew?' - I certainly didn't know there were that many options for different sock heels!!

- Sometimes I come across something that just plain makes me smile.  I'll never make THIS, but it's good for a smile anyway.

- I thought it was interesting to see the creation of THIS

Today's quote..."Warning!  This woman is a quilter.  She actually enjoys chopping up perfectly good fabric into little teeny tiny pieces and then sewing them all right back together again for fun!"