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, August 30, 2019

An update

This will be my last blog post for a couple of weeks - I'm going on a blogging break and should return the week of Sept 17th.  In the meantime, enjoy yourselves!


I haven't quite finished the latest landscape but thought I'd show you the general direction it's going...


You can see how I use the fabric I was searching
for in a previous post. 

- If you cross stitch, perhaps you might find something HERE that's useful in your work.

- THIS is a pretty little cross stitch design.

- For those of you who enjoy working with paper, perhaps THIS might intrigue you!

- Have a peek at the work of THIS artist (and check out her other galleries too).

- THIS hat is very popular - and warm!  I suppose (sadly) it's time to start thinking about projects such as these (at least in this hemisphere).

Today's quote..."When you see something beautiful in someone, tell them.  It may take seconds to say, but for them it could last a life time"

Monday, August 26, 2019

Just a half

Today I'm only showing you half of the latest landscape because I'm working on the other side and I want it to be closer to being done when you see it.  



Truthfully, this side isn't done either, but it's more finished than the other (if that makes the least bit of sense!).


- Last time I showed you the hint about freezer storage and now I've stumbled across something else I certainly didn't know.  THIS link takes you to a commercial link but thought it was worth sharing.  Wonder how many of us have this tool with our sewing machines and didn't realize?  I had one with my beloved Janome and only ever used the brush end of it.  

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

- For those who are Star Wars fans, there's THIS.

- THIS would be an excellent use for orphan quilt blocks with a simple change to the overall dimensions as needed.

Today's quote:  "Do not judge by appearances because a rich heart may be under a poor coat"

Friday, August 23, 2019

Mumblings


I have some more done on my latest landscape, but it's not all that different from what you saw last time, so....instead of a picture of what looks like no change, I thought I'd share the zucchini muffin recipe....

ZUCCHINI MUFFINS
2 c. shortening
4 c. white sugar
8 eggs, beaten
4 tsp. vanilla
9 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
4 tsp. cinnamon
10 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. salt
1 c. sour milk 
8-10 c. grated zucchini
TOPPING:  1/2 c. brown sugar + 1 tsp. cinnamon
Combine shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Combine dry ingredients and add to shortening mixture, along with sour milk and zucchini.  Place in greased muffin tins and top with topping.  Bake at 385 degrees F for 11 minutes or til test done.  Makes 48 large muffins.  NOTE:  milk can be soured with a little lemon juice or you can use buttermilk.

I'm toying with, and pondering over,  and trying to be sensible as I try to decide whether or not to tackle making this....
I've had the Piecemaker's calendar (with pattern) in my stash since, obviously, 2009.  Ten years I've been thinking about it.  But, then my sensible side comes out and I wonder what on earth I would DO with it if I did make it.  We only have one bed in this household and it's already covered.  My boys (and their wives) would turn up their noses at it and there is certainly, most definitely, decidedly, no wall space to hang it.  And then there's the question that IF (big if!) I were to make it would I stick to the black & white theme as shown or go off in a whole 'nother direction and make each block a colour study.  The latter would suite my stash much better because at this point I doubt I would have enough blacks to do it justice (at least not without a lot of repeats throughout).  And then there's the proverbial need/want to reduce my stash....but then.....what would I DO with it!!!  
waffle, waffle.....

- Have a peek at the amazing work of THIS artist!  And yes, it's stitched!!!!!!!

- And THIS  artist too (be sure to check through all her pages).

- And I have a serious case of covet-itis (and yes, I know that's not a word, but it should be!) - over THIS.  Drool.......

- THIS calculator might be a valuable reference tool for knitters.

- I really like what has been done HERE with vintage linens.  

- Some of THESE Halloween costume ideas made me smile - and perhaps might serve as inspiration for you!  The little scuba-diver is adorable.

And, instead of a quote today, I thought I'd show you this (which came as a revelation to me!!!)...



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 
kitchen..

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 tip...now, 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!



And....you 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"