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, January 20, 2017

Continuing on


Yesterday I completed three more seams on the first block of my courtship project....

Loose thread - sorry!!



My cropping skills leave a lot to be desired!









And here are the charts...


Just a wee note to tell those of you who are relatively new to my blog - if you want further seam treatment ideas, simply click on the 'seam treatment' label in my sidebar.

More mumblings...

- There's a good article HERE regarding framing your needlework pieces.  

- Kathy Shaw has announced she is taking registrations for her free online 'ICQC-103 Embellishing with Threads' class, which covers surface embroidery motifs as well as seam treatments.  Go HERE for further info on that.  You'll have to hurry though, because registrations are only being taken until tomorrow.  

- THIS reminds me of the rugs my grandma used to make, but she didn't have the benefit of a machine to do hers.

- I can see lots of uses for THESE storage cubes and THESE would make perfect gifts (and use up stash at the same time).  There's another one HERE and if you scroll down there's a wonderful printable label to include.

- Now THESE are intriguing!!  I think every little kid would like one of these - as would a few of the adults I know!  

- HERE's another fun thing you can do to use those biscuit tins that we all have and don't want to throw out.  This would make a wonderful birthday gift for a friend.  The blog isn't in English but there's a translate feature.

Today's quote is from Eleanor Roosevelt....You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror.  I can take the next thing that comes along"

Wise words right now.  May we all live through what's to come and look back on it one day being proud that we lived through it.  






Thursday, January 19, 2017

Strange things and continuation



Sometimes the strangest things come up in conversation.  Yesterday we had lunch with friends and for some reason we talked about boiling eggs and they trotted out a little gadget called an 'egg piercer'.  We'd never heard of such a thing!  Evidently this little thing pierces a tiny hole in the shell (prior to putting in the water) and helps the egg not to crack while cooking.  It also helps with peeling the eggs once they're cooked.  Who knew?  That led me to look it up online and here it is...



You place the end of the egg onto this and push it down so that the little needle pokes a hole.  As I said....who knew?

Yesterday I only managed to create one seam on my Courtship project and here it is...


This one was created using all straight stitches, with the addition of a flower sequin (held by a bead) in the center.



If you are able to embiggen the stitching picture, can you see where/how I worked around another connecting seam?  

Now for a couple mumblings...

- THIS is an absolutely great stash buster for yarn!  And so is THIS.

- I found this handy chart online HERE.  They also have a number of other useful charts that you can see while you're there.


 You can click to embiggen

- I can see kids having such fun with THIS!!  Fun to create too.

Today your quote is from Mahatma Gandhi..."Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony"








Wednesday, January 18, 2017

As promised



In this photo hopefully you can see what I did to correct that off white 'strip' in the block I showed you yesterday.  The fix included removing the off white as well as the row of fabrics directly above.  I didn't have enough of either the peach or the purple to replace what I had used before so another delve in my stash yielded these.  I like this much better!

You can also see that I have begun work on the block.  I began by mounting the image using two rows of blanket stitch.  Then I added the vine which ultimately will have flowers but they are large and I will wait until the seams are done to add those.  

As you can see I have added two seams and you can see them below...




Awhile ago I did a little series of seam treatments for you to have fun with and I thought perhaps you might like another one....

This one began with the cross stitches (in black in the diagram); then I added straight stitches (green); and wove some metallic yarn (red).  Finally I added beads (but you can also use French knots if you prefer)


 This one also began with elongated cross stitches (black); fly stitches (red); straight stitches (blue); and more cross stitches (green); with beads to finish.

Now, on to a few mumblings...

- There's an interesting post on the Kreinik site about the uses of blending filament.  I have some in my stash and never had much success with it.  Now I've read these tips I think I can make it work for me.

- THIS certainly fits into the awwww factor!

- HERE's a super easy and super cute knitted baby hat pattern.

- There's a handy yarn and gauge chart HERE.  This would be great to print and keep in your knitting or crocheting bag.

- The other day I gave you a link to some pony tail hats (which seem to be all the rage lately)....found another one HERE.  

Today the quote is from Matshona Dhiwayo..."Quiet love is better than loud hate"

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Courtship project and other things

Here are a couple of the hexagon blocks I have pieced for my Courtship project....




This one I am happy with.




And this one I am not.

Can you see the problem?  

It's that strip of off white along the bottom.  It looks out of place - it looks awful - and it had to go.  

And it did.  But while I was at it the three pieces of fabric above it had to change as well.  This block is currently in my frame and is being stitched - hopefully will be able to get a decent picture to show you tomorrow.  Right now it's raining here over top of ice, so everything is dull and dismal.  Good day to stay inside and stitch!

- I found this cute little pattern for a knitted heart which I thought might be a fun thing to make for Valentine's day - or just to tell someone you love them ANY day.

- THIS is a great way to fix a hole in a sweater (but also...wouldn't it be cute to add to a plain sweater, hole or not?).

- There's an interesting tutorial HERE about how to join stitches when knitting in the round.  

- Being that Valentine's Day is approaching, perhaps you might like to have some quick cross stitch heart patterns that are HERE.  

- For the quilters, there is a beautiful block-of-the-month happening HERE, and the patterns are free!  I must say that this one almost (note I said 'almost') makes me want to become a sane quilter!

- I know many of you are familiar with Sharon Boggon's ongoing TAST (Take A Stitch Tuesday) series, but I wonder if you are aware that she has been doing this for ten years.  Wow - that's pretty incredible when you think about it!  Sharon has to be one of the most giving people in the needlework world and if you haven't tried TAST, perhaps now is the time.  I guarantee you will learn a lot and explore stitches you may not have seen before.  Go HERE to read her latest post (and to get a glimpse of her book that will be available sometime mid-year). 

Today your quote is from Laura Esquivel...."She was passionate about knitting because it allowed her to reach a state of peacefulness, and she loved to embroider because it let her express her creativity.  Both activities were liberating.  They allowed her to exist outside of time." 


Friday, January 13, 2017

A hodge podge

First of all I thought I'd show you what I ended up with when I used the colour generator found HERE.  


I uploaded the Harrison Fisher illustration and the program generated the strip of colour suggestions that you see along the bottom.  I was then able to print this and use it while selecting my fabrics.







Here you can see the pieced block that I created...




The fabrics aren't all 'spot on' with the colour swatches, however they are the best I can do with the stash I have.


Buying fabrics is not an option when I have so many that I need to use up!



It's difficult to see in the above picture, but I am using a hexagon shape for each of my blocks and the layout is tentatively as shown below..


This afternoon I pieced all the blocks and now I'm ready to start with the fun part - embroidery!

Now, on to a few mumblings...

- If you'd like to try making your own buttons, have a look at the suggestions found HERE.

- THESE little bags are wonderful!  I can see so many uses for these - and, even better, they're great for stash reduction!!  They'd make great gifts too - especially if they were filled with little things the recipient might like.

- For those of you who might like to learn to smock, there is a great tutorial HERE and if you scroll w-a-y down to the bottom you can click on several pictures that will lead you to further tutorials.  

I came across this wonderful poem, from an author unknown...

Quilt of Holes

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt
before the Lord along with all the other souls.

Before each of us laid our lives like the squares
of a quilt in many
piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our
quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the
pile, I noticed how ragged
and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each
square was labeled with a part of my life that had
been difficult, the
challenges and temptations I was faced with in
every day life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such
squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled
with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own
life and was disheartened.

My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be
displayed, held up to the the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each
in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been.
My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise.

My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't
had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But
there had also been trials of illness, and wealth, and false
accusations that took from me my
world, as I knew it. I had to start over many
times. I often struggled with
the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and
begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in
prayer, asking for help and
guidance in my life. I had often been held up to
ridicule, which I endured
painfully, each time offering it up to the Father
in hopes that I would not
melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of
those who unfairly judged me.

And now, I had to face the truth. My life was
what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.
I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of
my life to the light.

An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around
at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.

Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light
flooded the many holes,
creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our
Lord stood before me, with
warmth and love in His eyes. He said, "Every time
you gave over your life
to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My
struggles.

Each point of light in your life is when you
stepped aside and let Me shine
through, until there was more of Me than there was
of you."

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing
Christ to shine through!





Thursday, January 12, 2017

Found!!

My question from yesterday has found an answer!!  Thank you Mary Ann for giving me the following place that generates a colour palatte from my images....go HERE for that one.  I like that this one lets you print off fairly reasonably sized swatches.  During my search yesterday I found a number of places but very few of them will allow printing - or at least if they do, I can't figure out how.  I did stumble across THIS one which give you a number of swatches but they print very small and rather difficult to use.   


Now I can happily start choosing my fabrics for my 'Courtship' project.  Oh - and did I mention that I decided on a hexagon format?


  
Above you can see just some of the chaos I've created!! The pulling of fabrics has begun and I currently have seven piles similar to this, each one possibilities for a block.  You can see in the photo the colour swatch printout that I'm using.  Oh, and please excuse the mess behind!!

A good side effect of all this fondling of fabrics is that I'm actually tidying my storage drawers as I go along.  At least they'll look nice until I need something and it'll be back to the usual messy state!


Today, wonder of wonders, I don't have any mumblings for you.  I know - will wonders never cease?  

Your quote of the day is from Audrey Hepburn...."Nothing is impossible, the word itself says "I'm possible"


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A question for you

I think I mentioned that I am waffling about colour choices for my next crazy quilt project and it suddenly occurred to me that there is such a thing as a color generator whereby you can upload your picture and they can create a color scheme for you.  That would be an ideal thing....however....here's where the question arises.  Which one should I use?  There are a myriad of choices and I checked out a few and ended up totally cross-eyed and confused.  Several of them use programs such as photoshop (which I don't have).  All I want is to be able to generate a color scheme, save it and print it so I can use it to choose my fabrics.   Is there a program you use that you like?  It has to be free and idiot-proof for me to figure it out, so do you have any suggestions?  Thank you in advance!!!

My mailbox yielded something really special the other day...


This is a beautiful fabric postcard created by Freda Butler (thank you Freda!!) and came through the mail without so much as a mark. The photo doesn't do it justice - there is a lot of sparkle that the camera doesn't pick up.


Before I get into the daily dose of mumblings, I want to share a warning with you.  This one is for women and is something we all need to be aware of.  Thieves are watching for you when you get out to pump your gas.  How many of us leave our purses on the seat while we get out?  They simply pull up beside your car, and while your back is turned, open your door and snatch your purse and are gone before you realize anything has happened.  So....lock your car ladies and be safe!!

- I have a couple of little grandsons in my life and I really think they would love something like THIS.  

- Mary Corbet has posted an interesting article giving great directions on how to frame your needlework and you can find that HERE.  

- If you would like to learn to quilt, there are some good (and free!) lessons to be found HERE.  

- My friend Renee has written an excellent how-to post on creating a crazy quilt block.  You can read that HERE.  She explains what to do when you think you've made an error with your piecing.  

Today your quote comes from Winnie The Pooh ( very wise bear indeed!)..."Promise me you'll always remember you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think"