Saturday, March 31, 2012

Work in Progress - flowers

This is the last day of March and St. John's woke up to a snow storm! I can't believe it. But then we do live in the middle of the cold North Atlantic, so you can expect all kinds of weather at any time. I spent the day inside working on my art and wishing I was somewhere warm. You can see the flowers added to some of my pieces. Hopefully all will be completed by tomorrow. Then they will be matted and framed. I have black metal frames that are custom cut for these art pieces.
Looking out at the back garden - today!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Work in Progress - Foliage

Today I've been adding foliage to the mini art pieces I posted about yesterday. However, I still have to stitch everything down as my applique pins are holding the pieces together. Stitching will be done with free motion embroidery. Flowers will be added by hand.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Work in Progress - Windows

Last Sunday I showed you the 'clapboard' pieces for my miniature art pieces. Now I have some of the windows in various stages of completion. The basket of colourful fabrics are some of the ones used for window trims. I still have some machine stitching left to do. The foilage, rocks, and flowers will be the last to be added.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Show & Tell - St. John's Embroidery Guild

Have a look at the wonderful work that was on display last evening at the St. John's embroidery guild. The piece with the blue and yellow flower is Romanian Point Lace and was designed and created by needlework artist, Sylvia Murariu. Sylvia is visiting and teaching her method of Romanian Lace to members of the guild.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Knitters - Take Note!

Yarn bombed? This pier in Saltburn-by-the-Sea near Teesside, England, certainly was! Take a look at some awsome photos of these Olympics-themed knitted figures that a mystery knitter did for the London 2012 Olympics. Check it out on this video by the BBC. Could there be a new knitting book out there soon? There is one about the Royals. Take a look at it on this video.

In this article, the creative knitting has been called Yarnstorming. Also check out these 41 Extraordinary Knit Designs. It's amazing what knitters come up with these days!
To find out about the history of knitting, check out Wikipedia's definition and links.

Now for some free patterns:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Quick Embroidery Project - Easter

One of the embroidery guild ladies just sent a sewing / embroidery / quilting link to all the guild members so I'm passing it along to you. What caught her eye was an embroidered Easter egg from Shiny Happy World. This is a free pattern and can be found HERE. This is a very simple project you can do while waiting for an appointment or when watching TV. But the thing I thought about was by changing the colour of the felt, the threads and design, this egg pattern could become a Christmas ornament or any seasonal ornament. The shape could also be turned into a circle. Think about it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

On My Work Table

For the last few days, I've been playing catch up with some small projects. This is what I was working on today. I am using mostly batiks cut in strips, folded and attached to a background to imitate clapboard. These will become 5" x 5" framed pieces similiar to these from a previous post. However, I have decided to use a different method for the window frames. Keep checking back.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yarn Bombing?

When my sister sent me this link on Yarn Bombing, I thought 'What the heck is this all about?' According to Wikipedia it is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk. Check the web site for more information about this.

Here's a couple of links with photos on Yarn Bombing:
Some knitters have a lot of time on their hands!!
Apparently the yarn shop where my sister shops (USA) is going to yarn bomb Market Street May 5th for two weeks. Maybe she'll take a few photos for me!!
Three Colorful Balls Of Yarn clipart

Friday, March 23, 2012

Easter Projects

Easter is just a short time away and I have found a few simple projects to think about.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Snap Tape Bag

At Cabot Quilt Guild Tuesday evening, the program committee had a power point presentation on making snap tape bags. This method for presentation works well for a large group as everyone was able to see the photos on making the bag. After the presentation, everyone had a chance to see and handle the sample bags that were on display (see photo below for three of them). The neat thing about these bags is the use of the dollar store metal measuring tapes for the snap closure. The tape measure is cut to length for each side. The ends are rounded and then inserted in the casing. It is suggested to tape the metal ends to prevent them from cutting the material. As well, the numbers should face the inside of the bag on both sides. Voila! A neat, inexpensive snap closure for your bag! Of course, all that is in the free pattern tutorial.
  • Check out this Snap Bag Pattern Tutorial Video 
  • The Tattered Garden Quilting also has a tutorial for this bag
I also came across Purse Patterns, a site that has all kinds of free patterns. Better get a cup of tea before you start searching through the links listed there!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cabot Quilt Guild: Show & Tell

Last evening was the March meeting of the Cabot Quilt Guild. Here are some of the quilts that were on display.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tip for the Day: Cleaning Your Iron

I read somewhere on the web that Magic Erasers were great for cleaning the soleplate of an iron. I decided to try it today. Well, it really works. I spritzed the eraser and ironed over it with a hot iron until the bottom was clean. You may have to spritz the eraser multiple times depending on how dirty the iron is. However, don't pick up the eraser until it cools a bit! Guess how I know that . . .

I have used the commercial iron cleaners in the past. Most of them smoke a bit when wiped on a hot iron. I don't like that side affect. However, the eraser method is perfect. I also found out that the cheap ones at the $ Shop are just as good as the more expensive ones.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Birthday!!

Today's post is for all those celebrating a birthday! I don't usually blog about personal stuff but this is an exception. My granddaughter is one year old today. She lives a long way from here. 

When I was searching for birthday specific things (free patterns) to quilt, sew or stitch, I couldn't find a lot so I included a few crafty things as well.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Sweet Prairie

I've been corresponding with Monika Kinner-Whalen, a fibre artist from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She does the most wonderful freestyle embroidery by machine as well as by hand. If you have ever travelled across the Canadian prairies by car, you will see that she has captured the beauty of the landscape in marvelous stitch.  Materials used in her art include silk and cottons, sheer ribbon, glass beads, rayon and cotton threads. Please stop by her site, My Sweet Prairie for a visit. I don't think you will be disappointed! Permission was given to use any of her photos from her web site. Check here as well as The Needle and Thread Network.

Monika is also the feature artist in A Needle Pulling Thread / Spring 2012.
Spring Greens, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring? - Not here yet!

While most of the country has been experiencing spring like weather, St. John's certainly hasn't! Yesterday we has freezing rain with everything covered in ice. Today the temperature ventured above freezing enough to melt the ice that had formed on everything. In fact, for awhile there this evening, it felt a bit like spring. Or was that wishful thinking? Anyway, to celebrate the coming of Spring, here are a few projects for you to check. Something just might catch your eye!
  • At Sew We Quilt, March is table runner month. Have a gander at their stuff. For some reason, I rather like the detachable hexagon runner. If I did this one, each one would be whole cloth with the back fabric coming toward the front to form the border.
  • The folks at All People Quilt, have scads of table top quilts to choose from. I like the watermelon table runner. This one is posted in lots of time for summer dining too.
  • The Warm Company has a pattern for a set of placemats and table runner made in lovely spring colours.
  • There is a neat Apple Core table runner at Spun Sugar Quilts. I think this one could be made in other colours to suit the season or holiday.
  • Easter projects can be found at the Quilting Gallery blog and at Free Patterns (applique chick & Easter egg projects).
  • More table decorations on the Free Patterns web site
  • Carrot Table Runner posted on my blog.
Photo by Judy Cooper

Friday, March 16, 2012

Golden Quilter Awards 2012

I came across the 2012 Golden Quilter Awards on the SewCalGal blog. They are hosting the voting for this event which is open thru March 31st. The winners will be announced on Monday, April 2nd. Check out the various categories:
  1. Best Designer
  2. Best Teacher / Instructor
  3. Best Author
  4. Best Quilt Store - Physical
  5. Best Quilt Store - Online
  6. Best Long Arm Quilter
  7. Most Innovative Product - Physical
  8. Most Innivative Product - Software Item
  9. Best Quilt Book Publisher
  10. Most Influential Person in the World of Quilting to-date, aka "Lifetime Achievement"
If you are interested, VOTE Here!
If you have time, check out the various links within the 10 categories - lots of 'stuff' to see/read. . .


Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Bit of Green

I keep forgetting to post projects to do for some of the annual holidays such as St. Patrick's Day, until it's too late to make something. Anyway, there is always next year! Here are some sites with St. Patrick's Day stuff on them. Have a look.

Free Quilt Pattern
Lots of St. Patrick's Day Quilt Blocks/Patterns. More stuff here
St. Patrick's Day Craft Projects
Irish Table Topper
Kindle Cover
Celtic Knotwork

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

3-D Fish

Last evening at our 'mini guild', I finished stitching the stuffed fish or Pisci Fantasticus (Fantasy Fish). The only thing left to do is sew a small clear bead to the top fins, thread some monofilament thread through it, tie it off and they are ready to hang. The metallic threads used in the fins is Sulky Sliver. These were started these in January but I had to put them aside to work on the Back Garden piece. Now I have another art piece to start. There are just not enough hours in a day!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Quilt Show

This weekend, March 16 - 18, 2012, is International Quilting Weekend on The Quilt Show.  Watch over 100 shows for free! Check out the free projects on the Projects page and visit the Quilt Gallery. I've already picked out a few shows to watch that I've missed. Enjoy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Back Garden: FINISHED

The stitching for this textile art piece is finally finished! Now it has to be framed. The actual size of what you see is 8" x 10". This particular scene is from photos of my parent's back garden. The house, built by my father 60 years ago, was sold last October. I did take some liberties with the photo. The trees are there but some of flower/foilage placement have been changed. The poppies, as I mentioned in the last post, migrated from the garden behind the fence. In fact, they did a lot better in our garden. Poppies are among my favorite flowers but their blooming stage is so short.
Photo is not showing up in Firefox on my computer for some reason. If you do not see it, please use Internet Explorer.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Back Garden 05 - Work In Progress

Yesterday was a marathon day for working on this piece. This morning I put some of the last hand embroidery stitches in place. I have to do a bit more machine stitching on some foilage and it will be finished - well, the framing still has to be done!  Here's a bit of yesterdays progress. I wanted to add poppies to the garden. In the summer, it is loaded with them along the fence and over into the corner. They migrated from the garden behind this one. I decided to take a short cut in the top photo by making the poppies from red silk with French knots for the centers. But they did not look right so back to the sewing machine. I experimented with free motion stitching on red organza. I'm pleased with the outcome. I'm not looking for photo realistic flowers but representations of them. The daisies were all hand done on a wash away interfacing and hand stitched in place. I've used daisies like these in a number of my landscapes. The fence is from white cotton that I painted over with white paint. I found that the fabric before painting is transparent and that wouldn't do for a 'wooden' fence.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Stuff For Children

I've been working all day on my art piece and was taking a break. Checking out some blogs, I came across this one called Ikat Bag. There are lots of free patterns and tutorials for you to use. Many of them are for children.
I also came across Cloth Baby Shoes by Joanna Armour. Her site, Star Dust Shoes has free tutorials.
Check out this Stuffed Pig - it's a cutie! Lots of other stuffed toys on this site.
Maybe some of these projects could turn into Easter gifts.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Eye Candy

It's time to relax a bit and look at some fantastic quilted pieces. Here are a few blogs / web sites to explore:

Suzi Cate's blog
Esterita Austin
Quilts, Cake & Other Fun - photos from La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum
Quilt Gallery of Joann Belling
Melinda Bula Designs Gallery and blog
Susan Carlson Quilts
Skydyes Gallery
Norah McMeeking Quilts
David Taylor Quilts
Art Quilts by Laura Wasilowski
Janet's Fiber Artistry News blog - Minnesota Quilt Show 2010
About Quilts


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Back Garden 04 - almost finished!

I think this piece might have been finished tonight if I had stayed home. Instead I spent the evening with my stitching friends. The white circles are pins holding pieces in place. This morning I worked on bushes and other greenery. Lots more flowers to add tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Freebies to Explore

Part of today was spent exploring the web. Here's some of the stuff I found.

Fat Quarter Friday Tutorials at 2 Little Hoogligans (lots of stuff for children)
Fabric Pears from Dacia Ray
Diy Bags (lots of patterns)
Winter Embroidery Patterns from Homeberries
Free stuff from Lazy Girl
Liselotte's Embroidery Patterns
Tutorials Galore from Meika's Little Treasures
Hand Embroidery Patterns from Needle 'n Thread
Free Embroidery Patterns from Primitive Blessings
Transfers for Embroidery
Totally Tutorials
Golden Thimble's Crafty Links - lots of links to explore!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Show & Tell at the Embroidery Guild

The St. John's Guild of Embroiderers meets the last Tuesday of the month. Here are some of the items shown last month. Firefox is playing games again (at least on my computer) - not all the photos are shown on their screen.
Sewing Box

Cross Stitch Pillow

Needle Point Landscapes
Sashiko Bags

Monday, March 5, 2012

Back Garden 03 - Work in Progress

Here is a bit more of my progress on the Back Garden art piece. Part of  today was spent stitching trees and foilage on green organza. Rocks as well as flowers will be part of the piece. The rock fabric beside the tree is printed onto silk using an inkjet printer. I take photos of rocks among other things. This particular rock was taken at Cape Spear a few years ago.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Back Garden 02 - Work in Progress

I have been working on the garden scene. All the background is completed. I haven't attached the fence yet. Still thinking about that one. I may add a bit more grey to the fence as it is rather white. The jury is out on that too. Anyway, here is part of the background.

I just noticed that the photo is missing in Firefox.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Back Garden 01 - Work in Progress

I am working on another piece of wall art. For now, I'm just calling it The Garden. This will probably change before it's finished. I started with a piece of commercial fabric in various shades of green. This has a stabilizer attached so that I can do free motion stitching on it. The fence and tree trunks are not attached yet as I have more to add to the background. The tree trunks were done, using free motion stitching on white cotton, using cotton threads in various shades from white to grey to black.

Friday, March 2, 2012

More Make It In March

More Ideas for March 

Check these out:

Hold it all Clutch and Walker Bag Tutorial from Melissa Stramel
Colourful Pillow Cases and Travel Bag from Sew We Quilt
Bag Tutorial from A Stitch in Time
Christmas Ornaments Wall Hanging from the Quilting Gallery blog
Monster Tooth Pillow  from The Long Thread
Stuffed Turtle from Make it and Love it
Holiday Shopping List Folio 
Pencil Pouch, Reuseable Snack Bag, Jewelry Organizer & Cocoa Cosy from Gwenny Penny
Tangram-esque Fabric Puzzle from Beauty all Around
Makeup Bag from Sew Like My Mom
Mini Bookshelf Quilt from Don't Call Me Betsy
Modern Placemats from Maggie Makes
Art Notebooks from How Does She
Counting Bean Bags from Chez Beeper Bebe


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Make It In March

I decided to post some Christmas in July ideas for the month of March! It seems I'm always a bit late posting for various holidays. This time, I consider myself the early bird for gift ideas to make for Christmas. I probably won't have time to make anything this early but some of you might be searching for gifts to make.

100 Holiday Crafts
Whimsicals Threads (ideas)
Christmas Projects
Free Christmas Quilt Patterns
Christmas Ornament Tutorial
Felt Ornaments
Wee Folk Art free patterns
Wonky Whimsical Christmas Tree
Festive Felt Christmas Trees

Of course, here's a few links from my previous posts for Christmas stuff:
Here, Here, and Here