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.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Bloomin' hexies!

You can see that I  have finished two of the hexie flowers that I'm making from the jelly roll fabrics I got.  My 'idea' (subject to change of course, because after all I am woman and am allowed to change my mind!) is to finish as many of these flowers as I can get from the 2 jelly rolls and then scatter them onto a king-sized sheet rather willy nilly and then applique them in place.   Not sure how that might look, but will see what happens when I get to that point.  

I won't show you the landscape progress today because quite honestly it doesn't look a whole lot different despite the fact that I've spent another entire afternoon adding more embroidered flowers.  Yawn.  

- You may enjoy THIS virtual quilt show!  I know I did.  (Scroll down and click on 'Virtual Gallery Tour').  

- If you have little girls in your life, perhaps some of THESE patterns/tutorials might catch your fancy.

- Have a look at THIS free quilt pattern - looks rather cute!  And THIS one is great for little kids!  (be patient, it takes a couple minutes to load).

- THIS is a great gardening apron but I can see a ton of other uses.

Today's quote is from Martin Luther King Jr...."In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends"

Friday, June 26, 2020

Maybe too close for comfort

There's not much point in showing you the entire landscape because it really doesn't look all that much different despite the fact that I've spent two days embroidering the flowers.  They're fussy cut and then ironed on but they need an uplift after that so hence the embroidery.

And, because that was pretty boring, I thought I'd share a picture of the progress on my hexxie quilt.  I'm working on the purples right now and once they're all done I will be adding a row of greens around the outsides of these...

- There are a number of really great ideas HERE for creating sewing kits.  

- HERE is a great project you could do to use up scraps.  

- I'd make sure you have a cuppa of your favourite beverage close at hand before you go to visit all the ideas HERE!

- THIS is a rather fun idea too.  

Today's quote is from Kathleen Norris...."Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier"

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Summer salad, progression and door appearances

Resident Chef made this great salad and I thought some of you might like to try it ....

Fresh Cucumber Salad

Dressing:  1/4 c. olive oil; 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar;
1 Tbsp lemon juice;  1 tsp. dried oregano (or you
can use fresh if you have it);  1/2 tsp. salt;
pepper to taste

1 cucumber, diced
4 Roma tomatoes, diced (or you can use any
type of tomatoes you have)
1/2 of a small red onion, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, diced
fresh parsley, chopped roughly
approx. 2 oz. feta cheese

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and set
aside while preparing the vegetables.  
Combine and refrigerate until serving.

Progress has been made on the landscape as you can see...

There has been some stitching on the trees and in the grass area.  Right now I'm working on over-stitching the flowers.  

And....just for fun....this is what appeared in my sewing room doorway earlier...

Sourdough popovers!  Yum!

- Some of you might find THIS virtual art show fun to explore.

- THIS looks like a really handy little pouch for lots of various uses.

- THIS would be a great idea to pin to the side of your favourite chair to keep all those little sewing bits and bobs that tend to want to go walkabout when you're not looking.  Pretty simple to make on your own I would think.

- THIS Pinterest board has lots of fun ideas for using men's ties.

Today's quote is from Kahil Gibran..."Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart"

Monday, June 22, 2020

A discussion of holes

Yet one more instance of one never knows just what will be the topic of mumbling here at Chez Magpie!  Today I will be telling you about holes.  Of the sort that appear in one's fingers, as they are wont to do.  You see, your writer doesn't like thimbles.  Well, that's not quite true - I like them.  I just don't USE them.  

So....there are two ongoing evening projects happening at the moment (the landscape is for the daytime hours).  I knit on the latest pair of socks - which involve the use of four (sometimes five) pointy objects which, for reasons known only to them, like to find a certain spot in my left pointer finger and look for an unguarded moment to poke a hole.  Which then keeps getting poked in the the same place just as a reminder that the hole is there.  To avoid the over-use of bad words I put those in a time out and let them contemplate their misdeeds.

Not one to be without anything to occupy herself, your writer then turned her attention to the making of hexies.  Which involves an entirely different sort of sharp pointy object.  Which involves the puncturing of yet another hole in the opposite hand.  So....time out for that needle too.

And so it continues.....

(see?  I told you you never know what you're going to
find when you come here!)

Okay - now how about a picture of the progress on the landscape?...

I've worked on the outside walls and the grass area, as well as on the bell tower.  

- Kathy Shaw has posted a great tutorial HERE to make a really pretty ribbon rose.  

- There's a great round up of links HERE for making all sorts of fun fabric baskets.

- And if you go HERE you will find another round up of links to making clothing alterations.

- There's a great article HERE if you're interested in knowing how to create string quilts.

Today the quote is from Rachel Marie Martin..."Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you are actually living"

Friday, June 19, 2020



Some fabric therapy!

Yesterday I had the best day.  Not only one, but two, influxes of fabric for my stash!  

First of all, this arrived in the mailbox.....

I was a lucky winner in a fun blog hop that was organized to honor a lovely quilter named Paula Budinger.  I was fortunate to have my name drawn by Janice Holton (go HERE to see her fun blog) for a gift certificate to a fabric shop in Texas.  Of course I live in Canada and it was highly unlikely that the shop would ship here, or if they did the postage costs would be astronomical.  Janice, bless her, offered to purchase a gift certificate from a shop here in Ontario instead.  Of course I added to the gift certificate amount and ended up with the goodies you see above.  The green and white on the left will be added to my landscape fabric stash and the yellows will go along with the two jelly rolls to (I think!) make hexxies towards a sort of Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.  Yes, I making a 'sane' quilt.  What's this world coming to?   THANK YOU JANICE - I'm going to have hours of fun!

I braved the elements and made a foray to a small quilt shop that's not too far from here.  What fun I had looking through all her fabrics and notions and I came home with a few things....

Most of these are earmarked for additions to landscapes but there are a couple of 'just because' in the pile.  

ahhhhhh.....fabric therapy.....

...and....thanks to the scissor-wielding prowess of Resident Chef, who kindly offered to help....there's now a pile of these waiting to be married up with the jelly rolls from the first picture above!

- If you are doing any applique, perhaps some of the tips found HERE might help when you're working with those pesky little pointed bits.

- Some of you might enjoy making THESE for either gifts or for treating yourself.

- HERE is a fairly easy table topper pattern that could use up scraps.

- HERE is a great tutorial for how to bind odd angles on your quilts.

Today's quote..."Mindset.  It's all about mindset.  From the moment you wake up to the moment you rest your head at night.  Everything is up to you.  Your emotions, your thoughts, your perception, your reactions.  Every moment"

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Yet another beginning

I got a start at the next landscape and we'll see where it goes from here...

- THESE are absolutely perfect for summertime!

- If you have a bunch of 2 1/2" fabrics strips and wonder what to do with them, why not check out the myriad of ideas found HERE.

- THIS is a cute little project that would use up scraps from your stash.  While you're there, perhaps you might like to look through the other pages of free tutorials available.  Go HERE to see those.

- Most of you know I like denim so of course THESE caught my eye.

Today the quote is from Ashley Hetherington.."In stressful times, it's okay to not be perfect.  It's okay to cut yourself some slack, because right now you might not be your best self.  But you are growing and you are trying your best and that is good enough"

Monday, June 15, 2020

I know - does it ever end?

Yes, one does wonder if it ever ends.  What, you might ask?  Well the seemingly never-ending landscapes I seem to be doing!  Resident Chef chose this one for me to play with next...

Another wonderful photo from
Dale Stewart
and used with his more than kind

And yes, one wonders why this compulsion to make these doesn't come to a screeching halt.  I have no use for them.  I have no further wall space to hang them.  The storage area I have for them is overflowing.  My kids are not going to thank me when they end up having to deal with them when I'm gone.  Makes one wonder at the sanity of a person who knows they're spending all these hours creating something that is more than likely destined for a landfill.  Yeah, it's depressing to contemplate that, but you will notice it's not stopping me from making them!

I noticed several people on the Pincushion Parade were showing their pincushion collections so I thought I'd add a photo of mine for you to see...

The mug, the owl and the one made from the napkin ring on the lower right were all gifts.  The one in the middle back I made using a wooden salad bowl and metal napkin rings (the idea was that I would sort my needles according to size/use into each 'petal' of the flower.  Ummm - noble thought, that).  The one on the back right is a favourite and the one I use every day - knitted by moi.  And the square one features a crocheted piece that was made by my grandmother....I made several of those last year for Christmas gifts.

And...Resident Chef was busy in the kitchen over the weekend making amazing Sourdough English Muffins which are NOT good for the results showing up on the weigh scales!  But, don't they look good?....

- If you happen to want to make purse or tote bag handles, perhaps you might find THIS tutorial of interest.

- THIS is a cute wee sewing organizer tutorial.

- There's a great article HERE that might help if you're struggling with choosing fabric colors for your quilts.  

- Sometimes I come across something that causes an involuntary 'awwww' and THIS is one of those!

- Seeing the prices THIS artist is asking for his work astounds me.  I love what he does but I wonder how many he actually sells.  

Today's quote is from Kahlil Gibran..."Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart"

Friday, June 12, 2020

Another finish

I usually spend my evenings with knitting needles in hand and this is what has just come off the needles...

The pattern is 'Wonder Years' by Elizabeth Smith and can be found HERE.  I used Lion Brand Heartland yarn for the main body and the stripes were mystery yarn from my stash.  Size 7-8, which I hope will be just a little large for our #1 grandson.

- If we still had a garden, I would have loved one of THESE!  

- There are some great tips HERE for sewing with denim.  And perhaps THIS little bag might be intriguing too.

- If you sew, chances are you have some old patterns stuck in a drawer somewhere and maybe some of THESE might give you an idea of what to do with them.  

- There's a fun new Scrappy Mystery Quilt-a-long starting HERE that you might like to check out.

Today's quote...."Your current situation is giving you an opportunity to re-evaluate what you want"

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Another project

As promised, here's the reveal of what I was doing with that little tidbit I showed you last time...

This is a pincushion I created for including in the  Perfectly Pleasing Pincushion Parade hosted by 'My Sister Made Me Do It'.      

Be sure to click on the link above and check out all the other fun pincushions
included in the parade.  (Note:  new entries will be added until
June 19, so be sure to check back often!).

Mine measures approximately 15" high and uses a silver wine goblet as the base and also features a crazy quilted skirt.  The instructions to make one of your very own will appear in an upcoming issue of 'Crazy Quilt Quarterly' Magazine.  

- Many of us have a collection of vintage linens stuck in a box or drawer somewhere and don't know what to do with them.  There might be some ideas HERE that you might like to explore.

- Her site also had THIS which could be another use for those linens?

- If you'd like to create a fairy garden, have a look at the ideas HERE.  

- HERE is a cute little fellow you might like to make.

Today's quote..."Silver is purified in fire and so are we.  It is in the most trying times that our real character is shaped and revealed"

Monday, June 08, 2020

From the kitchen of Resident Chef.....

Over the weekend Resident Chef had a hankering (altho' why I'm not quite sure) and decided that the one lonely packet of Liquid Certo in the pantry was crying out to be combined with frozen blueberries into freezer jam.  See?.....

The puzzlement to me is why he would want to do this because blueberries aren't his favourite.  Oh well, I expect we'll manage to eat it!!  

There was something creative happening in the sewing room too, but I can't show you until Wednesday.  I will however give you a teeny little glimpse....

After a little over a week of using the new format Blog-grrr I have to say that it's working out quite well.  There were a few hiccups at the beginning - not because of the format being an issue but stemming from me needing to figure out some slight changes they've made.  Everything I've always used is still there, just perhaps not in the exact same location.  The only difference I've found to be a slight problem (and it's a simple matter of training my brain!) is that I can no longer click the 'Open This Link In A New Window' and have it stay clicked.  It must be done each time I do a link and I'm having a hard time remembering that little step.  So I do apologize if some of the links aren't quite acting the way you prefer them to.  I WILL get it into my brain eventually (or who knows, perhaps they'll realize and fix it on Blog-grrrr's end).  So....if you're contemplating making the leap (which is going to happen regardless) don't be afraid!

- Many of you are familiar with Mason Dixon Knitting but might not know that they have changed their name. You can read more HERE.  

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

- If a little person in your life is mom to an American Girl doll, there are a number of links HERE to free patterns to augment her wardrobe.  And while you're at it, how about making one of THESE to go along with the clothes?

- For those who are making hexxies for quilts, perhaps you might want to make yourself one of THESE

The quote of the day..."I see people around my age mountain climbing.  I feel good getting my leg through my underwear without losing my balance"

Friday, June 05, 2020

Standing up - and a finish reveal

As promised, here is the finished landscape.....measuring 31" x 21".....


With thanks to the photographer Jeff Fuhre,
image used with his very kind permission.

Here is the original photo I used as inspiration...

- There's a really sweet embroidery design HERE that many of you will like - the design is at the bottom of her post but be sure to have a look through the beautiful pictures before you get to it!  

- Some of you might like to play along with THIS!  

- There's an interesting article HERE for storing strips of fabric.  

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Today I am doing things a little differently on my blog.  I have been trying to come to grips with what I should or shouldn't say about the current situation unfolding primarily in the US but also throughout the world.  I don't normally make this blog political in any way because I feel there's enough of that happening on every news program and in every headline online and on the newstands.  This time I can't simply NOT say anything.  But what can I say that someone else hasn't already said - or what light can I shed on a subject that is being talked about everywhere.   I've tried to think of something appropriate to say and then I came across some very wise words from a man I admire and I realized that anything I could say would never begin to come close to his, so today, instead of your normal quote, I'm sharing this.... 

We must all be the change.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Another tad

The landscape is getting closer and closer to being done!  I'm already planning the next one (oh, I'm SO fickle!!).    Here's the latest progress...

- I enjoyed reading about THIS so thought if you happened to own a fence you might like to do something similar.  

- There are some great sewing room hack tips HERE some of you might find interesting.

- I know I sent you a link to something similar to THIS before, but this one is a slightly different twist.  Wouldn't it make great little gifts for sewers in your life?

- THIS link to a great virtual quilt show (and the ability to vote on your favourites) came from my friend (thanks MEK!!!).  Be sure to click at the bottom to see more of the entries. 

Today's quote..."One thing no one ever talks about when it comes to being an adult is how much time we debate keeping a cardboard box because it's you know...a really good box"
Stay safe.  Stay well.
May cooler heads prevail.

Monday, June 01, 2020

A tad more

Today I'll show you a little of what I've been adding to the latest landscape...

The fence is now done - slightly over 9 hours of whip stitching was the final count.  Now I'm adding the weeds/grasses along the fence line.  

- If you are planning to do any sewing with flannel, perhaps the tips found HERE might be helpful.

- You might enjoy a scroll through THIS Pinterest board.  Be sure to scroll down.

- THIS is rather fun!

Today's quote...."One minute you're young and fun...and the next you're turning down the stereo in your car to see better"

Stay safe. Stay well.
May saner heads prevail.