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 29, 2019

Not quite

I would have liked to show you the progress on the latest landscape but it's soooo close to being finished that I decided to make you wait for a big reveal later in the week.  In the meantime, I have another 'puzzler' post for you.  What do you suppose I might be planning to do with these crazy quilted round robin blocks??  If you want to take a guess, go ahead (no prize I'm afraid, but fun to see the responses anyway).  B'sides, who knows if one of your guesses might spark an idea for a future use-it-up block project?




- For those of us who knit, THIS calculator for increasing and decreasing is absolutely genius!!!!

- Go HERE to find page after page of links to free quilt patterns.

- THESE just plain made me smile.  Be sure to check out her other galleries too.  Very fun!

- Have a peek at the beautiful work done by THIS artist!!

- If you have a little one that likes dollies, perhaps THIS might be a fun thing to make.

Today's quote is a Chinese proverb...."If you don't want anyone to find out, don't do it"


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A couple of you have wondered how I come up with ideas of what to add/do with a project and quite honestly there is no real answer to that.  I spend a lot of time staring at it and finally I just dive in and hope for the best.  Doesn't always work, as you've often seen already!!  

In the case of this landscape, you have noticed that I haven't been happy with the grass area on the lower right, feeling that it was too much 'out there'.  I was happy with the colour, but just not the depth of colour (if that makes any sense).  I added two layers of off-white tulle which helped but not enough....so added another layer.  To my mind, it's still too much.  I use my 'fancy' stitches on PMS Albatross in varying shades of green to stitch the grass so in the case of the offending area I will use a lighter color of thread in the hopes that it will tone it down.  Stitching closely together should (in theory) help with that too.  I also plan to add some embroidered flowers in that area which will also help to take the eye away from the background somewhat.  I think.  Maybe.  Or...maybe not??

Gosh, I wish I knew what I was doing!!!


and a close-up of the trees....



- THIS tutorial might be something you will find useful if your patio cushions are looking a little tired.

- Have a peek at the amazing embroideries done by THIS artist!!

- There's an interesting how-to for eco printing on silk HERE.    While you're there, be sure to explore all her other great ideas for up-cycling.

- And thread painting by THIS amazing artist!  I simply can't imagine the time it must take!

- Have a look through the portfolio galleries of THIS amazing fabric artist!

Another anonymous quote for you..."Don't stress the could haves.  If it should have, it would have"

Monday, April 22, 2019

More progress

As you can see in this photo, there has been some progress over the weekend...



I added the 'trim' to the grass, tried to tone down the
too-dark grass area on the right (still not sure about it)
and started adding the trees.  
Definitely still a work in progress!!

- Have a peek at the sweet things created by THIS artist (check through her galleries).

- For those of you who are Star Wars fans AND like to cross stitch, THIS little guy would be so much fun.

- And if you go HERE, you will see the most amazing four-seasons journal that Chris has made!  The details are incredible.

- For those of you who like weaving (and you know who you are!), perhaps you might enjoy having a look at the work from THIS artist.   And the work of THIS incredible artist too!

Another anonymous quote for you today ...  "Creative people don't have a mess, they have ideas lying around everywhere!"








Friday, April 19, 2019

Happy Easter!


God loves each of us as if 
there were only one of us

(Saint Augustine)


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

a little change

There's been a little progress on the latest barn - as hopefully you can see from this picture....


Today I hope to work on the barn roof and see what happens.  Have decided, too, that the clump of grass on the lower right has to change.  It's just a bit too in-your-face, even though I do plan to embroider that area.


- THIS is a little cutie you can whip up for Easter.

- Have a look at THIS incredible eye candy!!!

- There are lots (!) of granny square patterns HERE.  There are several pages of them to choose from.

- If you crochet, perhaps you could make one (or several!) of THESE between now and Easter....or they'd be cute for anytime.

Today's quote is from Hugh Sidey..."A sense of humor is needed armor.  Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life"



Monday, April 15, 2019

And....it begins again......

I started another landscape on the weekend.  Do you think maybe I'm just a tad obsessed??  This is the image I'm working from....


A wonderful old barn and chicken coop from somewhere in Alberta.  Image used with the kind permission of the photographer - Dale Stewart.  Thank you Dale!

This is where I am so far...


Doesn't look like much at this point!

- THIS is for those of you who are looking for a use-up-fabric-stash project - AND for something that is useful and/or would make great gifts.  I think this project suits all of those criteria!

- HERE is a really simple crochet pattern that would make a pretty little summer sweater.

- There are lots of fun Easter decorating ideas HERE

- Kathy Shaw has opened registrations for her new online class 'Shabby Chic Purses' and you can get more information and register HERE.  Be sure to hurry though, because she only leaves registrations open for a couple of days.

Today's quote..."Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world.  Constantly color your picture grey and your picture will always be bleak.  Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor and your picture begins to lighten up"


Friday, April 12, 2019

Mystery solved?

On Monday I asked the eternal question about what I might be planning to do with the three crazy quilted blocks I showed you.  Well....here 'tis.....


Are you still no wiser???

Perhaps - if I were a REALLY mean person, I should make you wait until Monday for a further reveal?  What do you think?


- Many of you know that I used to play a lot with recycled denim, so of course THIS caught my eye.  I think some of these would look great hanging on a wooden fence.

- For those of you who enjoy pebble art, have a look at the great ideas HERE.

- If you love quilts, you will enjoy seeing the many wonderful ones on display HERE.  Amazing detail!

- I love THESE flowers and they don't look hard to make.

- If you have some hankies in your stash, perhaps making one of THESE might be a great use for them.

Oh, oh - I can hear you from here!  All right, all right - I'll reveal the rest of it.....


I added a bit of embellishment to the three 
blocks to finish them off and put them together
as you can see above.

Then....I made myself a new 
crochet hook holder!!


I think you can click to embiggen the photos.

The hooks on the left are my collection and the really fine ones on the right belonged to my maternal grandmother who crocheted lace that she often used to trim pillowcases.  She also knit very fine lace for the same purpose.  Alas, her knitting needle collection wasn't passed down to me.  

So there you go, mystery solved!

Today's quote...."Life is partly what we make it and partly what is made by the friends whom we choose"






Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Silly Grandma!

What's a grandmother to do?  Especially when she comes across a really cute pattern?  Or when there's a special request from her grandson's daddy?

Yesterday I played with toys.  First of all I finished working on a wee monkey....this one....


Our littlest grandson loves the first one I made him and carries it around and sleeps with it.  There have been a couple of close calls when his monkey went awol, but luckily he was found.  Our son thought it might be a plan if there was a replacement in the wings, just in case.  I didn't have the heart to tell him that a new monkey wouldn't be as well loved as the old! 

Pattern is found HERE.   

And, I made him this, just because I wanted to!  



Grandma has a resident dragon in her sewing room that oversees all she does, so our little guy needs one too.  See?  I can justify anything when it comes to grandkids!!!  Pattern for the dragon can be found HERE.  

- Some amazing eye candy in the galleries found HERE!

- If you like to crochet, perhaps THIS stitch pattern might give you ideas.

- THIS one is for the quilters - it's shown as one block, but wouldn't it make a spectacular quilt?

- THIS would make an amazing gift, particularly if a piece of jewelry just *happened* to go along with!

- How about one of the easiest projects you'll ever see?  Have a look HERE

- First I've heard of THIS but what incredible results (be sure to scroll down)!  Unicorn spit....who knew?

Another anonymous quote..."Everything you want is on the other side of fear"

Monday, April 08, 2019

A condundrum


What do you suppose might
be happening with these?...


You'll have to stay tuned to find out!

- HERE is a cute recycling project you could make for Easter.

- Have a peek at the eye candy found HERE!  

- And HERE too!!

- There are a number of suggestions for re-purposing your used coffee grounds HERE

Today's quote is from Frank Tyger..."Be a good listener.  Your ears will never get you in trouble"


Friday, April 05, 2019

Drum roll......

Tah Dah!!!  The Louisiana Church is done!!



Below is the original photo of the church in Chackbay, Louisiana - photographed by Euvah Bryant and used with her permission.  Thank you Euvah!  I hope you like what I've done with it.


This church has since been torn down - such a shame.

THIS ONE IS FOR SALE - contact me if interested!!

- THIS will take to you a fun quilting sew along.

- If you have been wanting to learn to embroider with silk ribbon, perhaps you might find THIS link interesting (it leads to part 1 of what are several installments).

- Some of you may enjoy THIS post highlighting some wonderful Easter eggs.

- Have a peek through the galleries HERE - lots of inspiration!

Today's quote..."The two most important days in our life are the day we were born and the day we find out why"







Wednesday, April 03, 2019

More additions

You hopefully can see the results of two days work on this now...



A close-up of the embroidery, and the sweet wee bunny applique.  I had a precious scrap of bunny fabric and this is the last of the little bunnies.  Wish I could find some more!





Some things just make me wonder.  I recently had to purchase a new printer and just bought my first new ink for it.  I thought I should read the directions (for once) and was rather astounded to see that the first caution (and in large print no less!) said 'Do not drink'.  Ummmm - wonder who would think it was wise to try to drink printer ink - to say nothing about the logistics of sucking it out of the cartridges!

- There are lots of ideas HERE for using up fabric scraps.

- There's a sweet tutorial HERE for embroidering wisteria - as well as links to some other flowers too.

- THIS is a nice little bag tutorial with lots of uses.

- To lick or not to lick - that is the question - and Mary Corbet raises a very interesting discussion on the subject HERE (and while you're at it, you'll learn how to make nicer bullions!).  You'll have to scroll down towards the end of her post.

Instead of a quote.....



Monday, April 01, 2019

Many people give their sewing machines a name - some of them really cute.  I, however, have never named a machine, why I don't know.  After spending pretty much all day on Saturday swearing at mine I have decided that a very apt name is 'PMS'  with a middle name of 'Albatross'.  She woke up on the wrong side of the bed and hissy fits (both hers AND mine) were the order of the day.  She snarled and she tangled and she grabbed hold of the fabric with her little teeth and refused to let go.  I cleaned her....I untangled her.....I rethreaded her.....and she still wasn't happy.  She didn't like the way that bobbin was threaded, and this one wasn't any better.  She didn't like a new needle either, thank you very much.  Sigh.

However, perhaps you can see that in between the hissy fits some of the quilting was actually completed.  Sort of.  



And here is a close-up (clickable to embiggen I think) of the grass and the church where hopefully you can see how I add texture by simply using some of the 'fancy' stitches on PMS Albatross (when she cooperates, of course!)


- THIS is for those who like modern quilts - lots of pattern ideas!

- Thank you to Lyn for sending THIS along to me.  Many of you are familiar with Mr. Finch and his incredible creations, so I thought I'd share.

- THESE would make great gifts for teenagers (or anyone, really!).

- HERE is another great use for fabric scraps - or fat quarters.  To make it even better, it would make a great gift too!

Today's quote..."Do not listen with the intent to reply, but with the intent to understand"