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.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

More seams - and another mini-rant

Here's a continuation on of some more seam treatments...


Buttonhole stitch (black); straight stitches (orange & blue); lazy daisies (blue); French Knots.




Cross stitch (black), straight stitches (pink & green).





Whipped back stitch (black); straight stitches (pink); lazy daisies (green) and French knots (blue).


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Further on my rant from yesterday, I have to tell you about the latest scam that's hitting my computer.  I've been getting regular notifications from 'Amazon' stating that my order has been cancelled.  Now, I do order from Amazon on occasion so it would be pretty easy to click on that particular email and get into real hot water.  I have reported it to the real Amazon and their scam department told me that it is NOT from them.  

I could very easily have fallen for this one because when I got the first bogus email (I've now had several) I did, in fact, have an order outstanding.  What twigged me to the fact that it wasn't on the up and up was that the notice appeared in my other email account (not the one I have ever used with Amazon).  Anyway.....thought I'd post a little head's up and tell you to beware!
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- I just discovered the work of THIS artist.  Amazing!

- Or how about what THIS artist does?

- And THIS artist works with found materials to create art that gives you pause to think about just what we're doing to our environment.

- THIS image is absolutely spectacular!  

Today your quote is from Christopher Reeve...."So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable"












Monday, May 29, 2017

a couple more, and a small rant


I'll begin with the rant (and feel free to skip down!).  

Sleep is a wonderful thing.  As it becomes rarer at my 'certain' stage of life it becomes precious.  Well, imagine this scenario....it's before 8 o'clock in the morning....husband and wife happily asleep (and, no doubt, snoring)....phone rings.  Wife leaps out of bed, minus glasses so can't see, snatches phone and with fear in her heart, says hello.  Only to be greeted with a cheery voice wishing me a good morning and sincerely wishing to share with me that there were unresolved issues with my computer.  I, in turn, sincerely wished to utter very unbecoming and unladylike words.  I rather vehemently informed the cad exactly what time it was and that he woke me up and I was not pleased.  

How I miss the old-fashioned phones that you could slam down thus venting at least a small element of frustration - instead I crawled back into bed and lay there and fumed.  And the day can only get better, right?

Now, on to more seam treatments!


 This one is all straight stitches...












Cross stitches (black); straight stitches (blue) and lazy daisies (pink). 





Feather stitch (black); lazy daisies (green); cross stitches (pink); straight stitches (blue) and either a bead or French Knot (orange).








- There's a really pretty summer shawl pattern HERE.

- Perhaps you'd like to make yourself a pretty tablecloth (or quilt) using the free pattern HERE.

- I suppose it was only a matter of time before the rage for fidget spinners would take over the quilting/sewing world and sure enough it has.  Go HERE!


For reasons now only known to my computer the left margin has decided that it should suddenly jump itself over to a spot previously unknown and no amount of fiddling, juggling, and uttering of unladylike words seems to be of any use.  

Sigh.


The quote today, fittingly enough, is about frustration and comes from an unknown source..."All frustrations are self-induced.  The outside world can invite us to become upset, but we ultimately accept the invitation"

Words I need to learn to live by!













Thursday, May 25, 2017

A new beginning


Today I am starting yet another series of seam treatments for you to play with.  I won't, however, be telling you what I'm making with them.  I want it to be a surprise when it's done!  I know - I'm mean, aren't I?!!  So...here goes....



and here is how to make them...


Cross stitches (black); straight stitches (red and green):






Fly stitches (black) & straight stitches (red):




  
- I came across THIS and it's a wonderful little project that has a myriad of uses (many of which are listed at the bottom).  Scrap buster too!

- THIS is a cool way to utilize an old Rolodex file.  Be sure to scroll down!  There are various formats of these sorts of holders and all would be perfect for this project I think.

- There's a handy measurement chart HERE (scroll down to see it).

- HERE is a great tutorial for using men's ties.  And HERE's a picture of another great idea.

- If you ever have occasion to want to turn a tube of fabric, the how-to found HERE might just come in handy!

Today your quote is from the Dalai Lama...."Our prime purpose in this life is to help others and if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them"

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

At the risk of boring you beyond recall!

This post is for my own benefit as much as anything, but I thought I'd share pictures of each of the 'Courtship' blocks all together in one place.  So...here goes....








You can click on each of the pictures to embiggen them (and I *think* you can double-click to embiggen them even further).  For those of you who missed my post yesterday, scroll down and you can see  the reveal of the entire piece.

Now it's on to something entirely different (although it's still crazy quilting).  Stay tuned!

- THIS is a rather nice wrap that would be wonderful for chilly nights in the summer.  

- If you like pincushions (who doesn't?) there's a great tutorial HERE.  

- Sweet little sweater for a baby HERE.  

- THIS is absolutely stunning!! And, if you want to create your own, you can follow the link(s) and find the pattern.  

Today our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones in Manchester and in my search for a quote to share, I turned to one of my favourite authors, Ralph Waldo Emerson....."Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world"


We simply can't let them win.





Monday, May 22, 2017

Tah Dah!!!


As promised - the reveal of 'Courtship'....








I think each of the photos is clickable to embiggen.

As a recap to this project - it began because I have been a fan of the illustrations created by Harrison Fisher and have long wanted to create something using some of them.  Each of the blocks features a couple who seemingly are courting, hence the name 'Courtship'.  As a further challenge to myself I chose to include a heart, a word (reflective of courting), and a rose on each block.  Finally I added the song lyric "I'm gonna love you, like nobody's loved you, come rain or come shine"*  around the outside.  The entire piece measures approx.  36" square.

*Song lyrics by Johnny Mercer, music by Harold Arlen.  Written for the musical "St. Louis Woman" and originally recorded in 1946.

Now, a question for you - would you like to see pictures of all the blocks together in one post?  Or are you heartily sick and tired of this whole thing and hope I go on to something else?




- I've yet to have need of doing a provisional cast on in knitting, but when I do, I know I'll be making use of THIS tutorial.

- Some interesting tips HERE for using difficult threads (metallics for one) in our sewing machines.

- And HERE is a great tip for marking even hems if you are making a skirt or dress.

Today, in lieu of a quote, I will leave you with this wonderful You Tube video of Billie Holliday singing 'Come Rain or Come Shine'. 




Friday, May 19, 2017

Block 7 reveal

First of all, thank you to those who were kind enough to identify the mystery sewing machine foot from my previous post.  It's apparently a blind hem foot and I still have no clue where it came from or why I even have it!

Today is the reveal of Block 7 of the courtship series...



Here are some close-ups...





The eagle-eyed among you might see a hint of how I finished the blocks, but you'll have to wait until Monday for the full reveal!


I try not to enter into controversial topics on this blog but this time I am making an exception.  I know many of us are concerned (and fearful) about the political happenings in the United States.  Judy brought to my attention an amazing online quilt show called 'Threads of Resistance"that addresses many of the issues.  According to the web site their mandate is as follows..."A juried exhibition of fiber art created by the Artist Circle Alliance to protest the Trump administration’s actions and policies".  If you are interested you may see the show HERE.  Click on 'the artwork' and then on the various categories listed.  

- I know Mother's Day is over (at least here in North America) but thought I'd share THIS in case you might be able to use the idea in your crazy quilts - or for a 'just because' gift for Mom.  

- And speaking of gifts, how about whipping up some of THESE for quick giving for any occasion (and a great stash buster too!).  

- I don't know if you've come across any 'Little Free Libraries' in your travels but if you're interested in making your own there's a great tutorial HERE (along with a link to explain what they are).  

Today your quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson...."You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late"




Thursday, May 18, 2017

More fillers

Here are some more of the fillers I used in Block 7...




My next post will feature the entire block.  And then it's on to the finishing (which I'm working on now).   

- Ric rac is something that seemingly has fallen out of favour recently, but I thought THESE pretty little flowers would be a welcome addition to so many other projects.  

- There's a really pretty knitted tee pattern download HERE.   And there's another one HERE.  

- If you would like to learn how to make a shadowbox quilt, there is a tutorial HERE.  

- If you are attending a summer wedding, perhaps you might like to make THIS to wear (or maybe for the bride!)  and HERE is another one that would be absolutely beautiful.

It's finally turned warm here - almost too warm, and a shock to the system.  Yesterday the temperature reading in our car was 32 degrees Celsius.  Now the plants and trees are really growing fast (as my allergies are fond of reminding me!).  

Today your quote is from Anthony J. D'Angelo...."Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine"








Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Question and some fillers

First of all, can anyone help me to identify what this sewing machine foot might be called?


Some fillers from the final block...




- There's a nice free pattern HERE for a duffel bag.  

- If you go HERE you will find a tutorial to make a fun pencil case (great to go along with a gift of coloured pencils perhaps?).

- Canada is celebrating their 150th birthday this year, and I just came across these two beautiful maple leaf patterns.  One is CROCHET and there's also a KNIT version.  Neither is free, but might be worth the investment.

Today your quote if from Confucious..."He who learns but does not think is lost.  He thinks but does not learn is in great danger"








Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Finally!

I think these are the final seam treatments I used on the courtship series of blocks (and I can hear the collective sigh of relief from here!).   

I apologize for the sideways picture here, but you can get the general idea anyway...



This shows a simple feather-stitched vine, accented with some flower sequins and beads.








Blanket stitch (black), straight stitches (orange & green) and either French knots or beads.


Sorry about the out-of-focus on this one!!

 Cross stitches (red) and straight stitches (black)...







- If you're interested in weaving, perhaps you might find THIS article of interest.

- Karen Ruane (embroidery extraordinaire!) has just announced her new online class called 'Studies in Stitch' and you can find more details in her post HERE.

- This morning I read a post from Sharon Boggon telling all about her excitement about the new book she has done.  'The Visual Guide to CQ Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results' is available now to preorder and you can get further information from her post HERE.  If you preorder now, there's even a good discount!

Today your quote is another from an unknown author..."I keep my end tables full of needlework and quilting so I don't have to dust them"   (ahem....not, of course that any of US would ever do such a thing!!).  


Friday, May 12, 2017

A surprise and seams

This weekend is Mother's Day weekend here (I know it isn't celebrated the same time world-wide).  We are hoping to see #1 son, daughter-in-love and our grandson on Monday but of course our #2 son and his family live way out in British Columbia and seeing them in person won't happen.  The post office just delivered a joint Mother/Father's day gift to our door from our west coast family and when we opened it we discovered a wonderful photo album filled with amazing pictures of our grandson.  I cried and DH was perilously close to it too.  What an amazing gift!  I love flowers as much as anybody but once they're dead you have nothing but the memory, whereas this wonderful photo album is something we can treasure for a lifetime.  Thank you Shawn, Winnie and Theo!!!  I love you!

Isn't he cute?!!!



Now, for a couple more seam treatments for you to play with...


  The above seam looks more complicated than it really is.  Begin with a cretan stitch base (black);  add lazy daisies (green); and then beads (blue).  The flowers in the centre of the design can be done using beads, buttons, or French knots.



This one is done with cross stitches (black) and the rest of the treatment uses simple straight stitches. 

I do hope you find these seam treatments of use for your own creations.  If you do use them, I'd love to see photos!!

- Many of you have probably heard of the current rage - fidget spinners - and HERE is a make-your-own version that would be such fun to make if you happen to like Lego or know someone who does.

- HERE's a cute blanket for a little one.  Or you could make pillows from the different animal patterns.  

- I love the look of stained glass, whether it be real glass or in quilts so I searched out some links to share with you in case you like them too!  Go HERE,  HERE, HERE  and HERE.  

Today your quote is from an anonymous source..."Being a mother is not about what you gave up to have a child, but what you've gained from having one"
Happy Mother's Day!



Thursday, May 11, 2017

Something different

Aren't you getting sick of all those seam treatment posts?  I had another one planned for today but decided I'd give my long-suffering readers a break and show you something else.  You might remember me posting a picture awhile ago of the bulky-knit sweater I was making for our 6'8" #2 son.  Well, it's done and ready to mail to him the first of the week.  Hopefully it will fit!!


The pattern is the  Celtic Wolf Jacket from Mary Maxim.  

- THIS falls under the 'oh wow' category.  No patterns, but amazing eye candy!

- HERE's a wonderful crocheted scarf/shawl pattern that shows a multitude of ways to wear it.  

- Oh my goodness - a use (finally) for all those jars (cough...fourteen) of buttons I have!!!   Have a look HERE (and scroll down to see more).

- Now HERE's an interesting use for all your leftover yarn!

Today the quote is from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee....  "In the nineteenth century, knitting was prescribed to women as a cure for nervousness and hysteria.  Many new knitters find this sort of hard to believe because, until you get the hang of it, knitting seems to cause those ailments"