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 30, 2019

Another bitter cold day here so I'm enjoying the fact that I only have to go out once today. Would rather stay home entirely, but such is not to be.  There has been a teeny bit of progress on my latest landscape (mainly because I've been out more than I've been in the past couple of days)....

If you scroll down to my previous post(s) you can see the progress I've made since the last time I showed you.  

Today's quote is from Einstein..."Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought" 

Monday, January 28, 2019

Brrrrr - in more ways than one!

Baby, it's cold outside!  It was -19C when we went out for a few minutes this morning and they're saying the wind chill is making it closer to -30C.  Supposed to be a big snow storm due to start mid to late afternoon, just to make it even more fun.  So...because it's this cold....I've been working on some more mittens made from recycled sweaters...

Each pair of mittens required three different sweaters as well as a wide strip of ribbing for the cuffs, plus they're lined with either fleece or velour (thanks be to recycled housecoats!!).  I can usually get three pairs of mittens from each sweater, depending on the size of the sweater and how I cut them.  The hardest part is finding the wide ribbing for the cuffs.  So...twelve pairs of warm mittens....done!

Friday, January 25, 2019

R-o-a-r !!

Just to prove that there's something else that's been happening here at Chez Magpie other than cleaning/shoveling/backhoeing and sewing, how about a dinosaur sweater that I just finished?  I usually knit or crochet in the evenings in front of the tv so this is the result of two or three weeks of evenings.

Pattern came from a Beehive booklet called 'Knit Menagerie' and Ravelry has it HERE.  

Today's quote is from Elizabeth Zimmermann..."Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either"

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The resurrection of a car

Last time I showed you a picture of the latest landscape I'm starting to work on.  I wasn't happy with the car so, with a nod to the Red Queen in Alice In Wonderland, it was an 'off with his head' moment here at Chez Magpie.  The car has been replaced with a better model and this is what it looks like now...

Much better I think!

Just a wee reminder!
Don't forget that I'm responding to your comments
directly here on the blog now and not via email.
Be sure to check the previous post to see them!

Another anonymous quote for you today..."Once you've made the decision to move on, don't look back.  You will never find your future in the rear view mirror"

Monday, January 21, 2019


Yes, finally!   I started working on a new fabric landscape and I'm happy to get back to it.  I guess I have to call it a landscape now rather than a barn!  

It's at the stage now where I debate chucking it all and starting over, however I know I go through this every time so I will work through it.  That's not to say that it will end up escaping the trash bin eventually anyway, but at least I have the patience to wait and see!

It's been really cold here the past few days (but happily we seem to have missed the big dumping of snow that many people got).  Right now it's -24C here and it was colder than that over the weekend, particularly if you factor in the wind chill.  So the quote for today is this..."I think it's time for Old Man Winter to get Mother Nature drunk, and have a little fun making Spring"

Friday, January 18, 2019

A narrow escape (for now) and finality

Yesterday I had to go to the dentist - not something that's high on my list of things I want to do, but this time I was dragging my heels even more than usual.  I was scheduled to have a tooth removed, which isn't something anyone looks forward to.  The dentist, upon further perusal of my x-rays, couldn't see any issues with the tooth and he was concerned that I might have something called 'pain transference' (which means the pain is coming from somewhere else and not where it seems to be manifesting itself).  I came home with my tooth intact and we have adopted a 'wait and see' approach.  I know it's postponing the inevitable, but I'm enough of a wuss that I'm perfectly happy to put it off.

Today I will share the final project made from that piece of quilt I had in my stash.  I decided I would make a table runner that also featured some hunks of old doilies for additional interest.  That particular decision served a dual purpose - it not only used up the rest of the quilt, but also led to a reduction in the amount of lace I had.  Sort of a win/win!  
Before you look at the pictures, I have to tell you
that it's nigh onto impossible to get a decent
picture of a table runner!  
The edges, I assure you, are NOT
wavy, as they appear here!

The end.
No more quilt!!!

Today your quote is from Ann Landers...."Blessed are they who hold lively conversations with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called dentists"

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Pillow and flowers

First of all, I want to show you the amazing Amaryllis that has just burst into bloom in my living room.  It's absolutely stunning!  (Thank you MEK, who gifted the bulb to me for Christmas!!!)

While I was creating the pillow cover I showed you the other day, I decided I really needed to do a second one and this is what I came up with....

This was created using an orphan block which I subsequently added more 'gee haws' to.   You can embiggen the photos if you click on them so you can see further details.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Remember that quilt?

Well, it's not done yet!  Seven atc's seemed to manage to get made out of it too.  

Do you suppose there might be anything else?

I haven't talked about books here for quite awhile, but I've just finished reading two that I thought were worth sharing.  Most of you will remember having seen the famous photograph taken during the Vietnam war of the little naked girl running in the road after having been horribly burned by a napalm bomb.  Kim Phuc was that little girl and she has written the story of her life in a book called 'Fire Road'.  My friend and I went to hear her speak just before Christmas and she has had an incredible life.  She's an amazing speaker and her book is one I highly recommend that you read.  ('Fire Road - A Memoir of Hope' by Kim Phuc Phan Thi, ISBN 978-1-4964-2429-7, c 2017).  

The other book is fiction, but written in a very factual way.  It's the story of Alice who, at 50, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease.  Her story of her gradual descent into the disease is at times hard to read (probably, in my case, because both my mother, my mother-in-law, and a  sister-in-law  had the disease, and currently one of our friends is dealing with it) but gives you a good insight into the gradual decline that the disease causes.  ('Still Alice' by Lisa Genova ISBN 978-1-5011-064-2, c2009).

Today, a quote by Albert Einstein..."Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought"

Friday, January 11, 2019

The quilt that just won't quit

Remember that quilt piece I've been trying to use up?  Well, some of it became the base for these postcards...

and while I was at it, I made these too...

This morning it's -18C outside (brrrr!) not including the wind chill which makes it much I found this quote that seems fitting for the day..."I'm not going outside until the temperature is above my age

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

A cover - of the crazy quilt sort!

And now, just to prove I haven't given up on crazy quilting, how about this pillow cover that I just completed?  

You can see a small influence of the Cathedral Window quilt pattern on this piece - a challenge I thought might be fun after having seen several other people 'round and about the internet making them.  

Just a reminder - be sure to
check my previous post for responses to
your comments!


Another anonymous quote..."Life is so ironic.  It takes sadness to know what happiness is, noise to appreciate silence, and absence to value presence"

Monday, January 07, 2019

More using up

Remember the chunk of a quilt I used to make some pincushions (previous post)?  Well, I also made these...

Eleven bookmarks.  Use part of quilt - check.  Use exactly all 11 'harvested' pieces of doily (flowers) - check.  Fussy cut bits of lace from a larger 'bit' - check.  Use bits of pink ribbon from stash - check.

Now, I wonder what else I might be making with that quilt??  Stay tuned!

The Resident Chef was gifted with a really amazing bread cookbook at Christmas and he's been merrily testing out a few of the recipes, as you can see from this photo...

The Resident Taste Tester has pronounced it good! 
(EDITED TO ADD:  The book is 'Bread Bread Bread' by Martin Johansson)

Just a reminder - be sure to
check my previous post for responses to
your comments!

Today's quote is from St. Francis of Assisi..."He who works with his hands is a laborer.  He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.  He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist"

Friday, January 04, 2019

Just a reminder - be sure to
check my previous post for responses to
your comments!

I was just typing a response to a comment that Sherry left on my previous blog post and it occurred to me that perhaps what I'm doing might be of benefit to some of you.  Some of you may know that I'm a compulsive reader of organizational books and may also know that not a whole lot of what I've read has sunk in and been acted upon, mainly because it's too difficult to be bothered with...or, just simply doesn't work.  Just prior to Christmas I found this book at the local library and couldn't resist reading it ('Decluttering At The Speed of Life - winning your never-ending battle with stuff' by Dana K. White).  The boil-down of the book for me was the thought that everything in your home should have a 'container' and anything that doesn't fit in that so-called container does not have a place in your life (there are many different definitions of what qualifies as a container).  For some reason that thought struck home with me and has sparked the current shovel-out of my sewing space, and has overflowed into other areas of our living area as well.  

As an example - I have a Rubbermaid tote that has been overflowing with lace 'bits' for more years than I care to count.  I have NO clue how long it's been since the lid would actually shut on that silly container.  And it's not the only one!!  So....I dumped it out and went through it all, piece by piece, and got rid of a lot that I knew I would never ever use (but was keeping, just in case a major miracle happened).  Now, wonder of wonders, the lid works (who knew?)!!  The simple premise in the book is that from now on no new lace can be added to that container without getting rid of something out of there so that it will never overflow again.  Simple.  Easy.  Doable.  

The book is very readable and filled with great suggestions, so I highly recommend it.  Now, onward to the next container!

As part of the ongoing destashing attempt, I came across a piece of a quilt that I had been bequeathed at some point.  It's a commercially quilted whole cloth so not a bad thing to finish cutting it up.  So far I've turned some of it into these...

Six pincushions!

I added a crocheted motif (originally made
by my maternal grandmother) to each one,
along with a fancy button from my stash.
Stay tuned for what else I might have
created from that chunk of quilt!

Today's quote..."Friends are like the walls of a house.  Sometimes they hold you up.  Sometimes you lean on them.  But sometimes it's enough to know that they're just standing by"

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Over the past few days I've been undertaking my yearly deep shovel-out of my sewing space.  It's still ongoing but at least there's been some progress.  I would like to know why, though, that nothing looks as if it's changed!!!  

While I was shoveling, I also took time to do some using up.  I had a number of pieces of fabric that had been lurking in my stash for more years than I care to count, so I took some of it and actually DID something with it.  Voila.....

Nine pillowcases!!

Today is another anonymous quote..."Four things you can't recover....the stone after the throw, the word after it's said, the occasion after it's missed, the time after it's gone"