Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Two Wins in February!!

My husband keeps telling me to buy a lottery ticket!! Yep, I won twice in February. Both items came in the last two days.

The first win was two fat quarters, compliments of Northcott, from Brandy Maslowski, Quilter on Fire. The Mahone Bay Quilt guild sponsored a zoom workshop, Fibre Art Frenzy, with Brandy in February. It was an enjoyable workshop and everyone had a good time.

Thanks, Brandy

The second win was a hooked rug mounted on a wooden frame from Deanne Fitzpartick Studio, in Amherst, Nova Scotia. This is called Little Cove and is 6" x 6". Deanne sells the kit for this on her web site.

Thanks, Deanne.

Please check out the work of both these artists!

Enjoy and stay safe

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Squash Squad Border / Studio Clean-up

There's lots going on here in the studio but not a lot to blog about. I did a major clean-up and disposed of 'stuff' that I've carried here from St. John's and still haven't used after years of looking at it. Of course, next week I'll be searching for the very thing I gave away! Typical!!!

See - this section of back wall is clean and tidy! Until the next project clutters it up again.

I have been slowly working on the border for Squash Squad. I was determined that it would be finished this year. I haven't stitched on the ribbon separating the nine blocks yet. That will probably be one of the last things I do before putting on the backing and binding. I have also been considering placing this on a canvas board. 

I'm hoping to start the vines this weekend.

I found some interesting Textile Artists over the last few days. Sit back, relax and have a look at these artists' work.

Enjoy and Stay Safe

Monday, February 15, 2021

Happy Valentine's Day

 A day late as I forgot to publish it! Darn!!!!

My granddaughter loves 'stuffies' as she calls all stuffed animals. She's never been one for dolls but has lots of stuffed creatures. Here's her Valentine stuffie bear. (we had a sleepover so she got this when she woke up)!

Tonight I also uploaded Lesson Two of Four, Garden Sewing Box, to the Virtual Threads group (Embroiderers' Association of Canada). They will have a busy two weeks.


Enjoy and stay safe!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Scrap Bucket

Last night, I took part in a two part zoom class with Canadian Quilter on Fire, Brandy Maslowski. This class was sponsored by the Mahone Bay Quilt Guild. Of course, I selected the fabrics needed for the first part of the class. Wouldn't you know it! Brandy decided to reverse the order and jumped to part two. Was I prepared? NOPE! I was going to rummage through my stash on Thursday to get ready for the class that night.

Since I was in my own space, I had access to all my fabrics. I wasn't interested in making a wine tote that was been demonstrated. Several others also decided to do their own thing. I made a scrap bucket, which is a free pattern from Heather Valentine, The Sewing Loft

My base fabric is a dyed piece with raw edge strips stitched onto it. I left some of the base fabric visible. The strips were stitched in place using black Superior invisible thread. Black invisible thread does not shine like the clear thread does. Free-motion stitching is randomly stitched over the strips of batik fabrics. I opted to not add decorative yarns, buttons, ribbons or charms.

Base fabric (actually has greens but photo shows up as greys and black)

 Strips stitched onto the base

Close-up of stitching

Different views of the bucket

Scrap Bucket from last year


Stay Safe

Monday, February 8, 2021

Squash Squad Wool Embroidery: On the Road to a Finish

In Early December 2020, I finished the embroidery for the Squash Squad nine week challenge with Sue Spargo.  Now, I'm on the road to finishing it. I have all the blocks on a black wool background with a three inch border around them. My first step is to stitch them onto the black background. Then a narrow braid / ribbon might be stitched along the seams to hide the edges. 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing! The blocks were cut at 5 1/2 inches. If I was doing this again, the blocks would have been at least six - six 1/2 inches square, to give enough for trimming them all to the same size. I didn't think about the fact that stitching sometimes distorts the shape just enough to skew some of the blocks. At least that's what happened to mine. In any case, there isn't enough fabric to stitch them together with a seam.

Have a look. I'm using what I have on hand. Which one to use . . .

The first one has silver lines on the ribbon so has a bit of sparkle.

This one has white dots on black.

Maybe I'll even do something else as I haven't considered a final binding yet. (I just thought about the binding).


Stay Safe


Friday, February 5, 2021

My Portable Embroidery Organizer

Not that I needed another 'organizer' for my stuff! BUT . . .

I saw a free pattern on Sew Can She web site last month and decided to give it a try. The cut-out handles really sold me on this project! A bonus - the pleated pockets are large enough for my phone. AND the interior with its 6 interior pockets, is the perfect size for fat quarters. It's also easy to close with the magnetic snaps.

I choose some Japanese fabrics from my stash. These had been gifted to me many years ago by an elderly lady, whom I visited frequently. In fact, I inherited most of her sewing and quilting stash when she passed away. This sewing organizer will always remind me of Nina.

As I'm not one to follow all the rules (good or bad????)! I did change the type of stabilizer from a medium weight fusible interfacing to some Peltex (fusible one side) that I had on hand. I did not use the flex foam stabilizer (bought some to try but didn't). In any case, the sides were a bit thick. I did manage to sew the binding on by machine on the straight parts but hand sewing, using the wonder clips, finished the organizer.

I decided to do some free-motion embellishment on the fabrics. For the pockets I used Totally Stable and a variegated thread by Superior Threads. I think it added to the project.

I also used these neat wonder quilter's clips to hold the binding in place while it was stitched on.

I like the cut-out handles and they are so easy to do.

Magnetic closure
Lots of pockets: 6 inside and 6 outside.

I'm pleased with the result and not sorry that I used the heavier stabilizer.


Sunday, January 31, 2021

Virtual Threads On-line Course

Tomorrow, February 1st, is the start of my Garden Sewing Box Workshop. at Virtual Threads, a subgroup of the Embroiderers' Association of Canada. This is my first time giving an on-line course. At the moment, a video presentation, was not possible. However, I have lots of photos on completing the project. 

Closeup of part of a panel.


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Garden Sewing Box # 3

My first Garden Sewing Box was designed and created in 2005. 

The 2nd one  was finished late last year. 

I just finished the 3rd. one. Why a third one? Well, since the first one was made years ago, I had to check out my original notes and construct another version of it. After it was completed, my husband asked if I had documented, with photos, all the steps taken along the way. Sheepishly, I shook my head. I had taken a few photos but not to the extent for presenting an online course. You see, he's a curriculum developer and has graciously taken on the job of writing up the instructions with an abundance of photos and sketches.  In other words, this is a pictorial, step by step instruction package, for creating my Garden Sewing Box. 

These art pieces don't have to be sewing boxes but can be a treasure or jewellery box, trinket holder . . .  You see what I mean!

Anyway, feast your eyes! It's very dimensional. Bits of foliage and flowers stick out here and there!

It's too late now, but I should have used a lighter green thread for my name and date on the bottom.

 Enjoy and stay safe!



Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Book Review: Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery

I received Sharon Boggon's book, Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery, for Christmas. This book is a visual guide of 120 embroidery stitches. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced embroiderer, this book encourages you to create new patterns by playing with the stitches. For example, to manipulate the height and width of a stitch, to overlap and stack stitches, to combine laced and threaded stitches . . . Page 27 has a list of 21 questions to consider when using a particular stitch, such as

  • How does this stitch behave on a curve?
  • Can this stitch be laced with another thread?
  • What happens if I add beads?
Lots of stitch combinations to consider!

You won't be disappointed with the coloured photos throughout the book.

You are probably familiar with Sharon's website, Pintangle. If not, and you are interested in hand embroidery (beginner or experienced), please check it out. 

Another TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday) challenge started today. So it's time to get your threads and doodle cloth ready for stitching!

More links about hand embroidery:


Saturday, January 2, 2021


Today the forecast was for 15 - 20 cm of snow. We got about 6cm and then it turned to rain. I'm good with that as I am not a winter person. Give me warm weather. Anyway, my sister sent me a couple pairs of her knitted mittens and asked me to build her a snowman (she's in Tennessee) wearing a pair of the mitts. Didn't happen!! Sorry Joan. But here are the mittens:

The last time she was here, we went to Annapolis Royal to the summer market. One of the vendors was selling the pattern for mitts with the pointed tops. We tried on a pair and were surprised at how comfortable they were as we always had the rounded top ones that our mother made. 

Here are mittens she made for my granddaughter, her great niece. Aren't they gorgeous!


Friday, January 1, 2021

Day 1, 2021

Our granddaughter did stay up with us to welcome the New Year! We watched a movie and had snacks. She was very pleased with herself.

Today the sun was out, a ham was baked, vegetables cooked and ready for company. It was a good day.

Tonight, I finished up a Christmas puzzle that my sister gave me last year. Physical size wise, it's the biggest I've ever put together. I have no plans to do any more this winter as I want to concentrate more on hand embroidery in the evenings.

  Have you ever done any jig saw puzzles on line?  Get some free ones HERE


Thursday, December 31, 2020

Happy New Year!!

Isn't it wonderful to finally say good by to 2020! Needless to say, it was one of a kind. We are celebrating with our granddaughter tonight. She is determined to stay awake until midnight. We will see!!!

Shaun the Sheep is sooooo glad the new year is almost here.  He, too, is one of a kind, but in a good way.

Thank you for following my blog posts. You will see a new website in the near future and I will be doing my posts from there with a link to all previous posts. Happy New Year! I wish you health, happiness and hopefully, time with family and friends. Stay safe in 2021!


Monday, December 28, 2020

Celtic Christmas Trees: More Christmas Gifts!

In 2017, I finished my Celtic Christmas tree. This is stitched on linen using white Sashiko thread. The pattern is from Indigo Niche Designs. I find this method of stitching very relaxing as I don't have to count stitches and pay close attention to the pattern.

This year, I stitched two more trees using red linen. One went to Tennessee and the other to Newfoundland. Both trees have seed beads randomly stitched over the tree and are stretched on to canvas panels.


Saturday, December 26, 2020

Have a Cup! Christmas Gifts

I can finally show you some of the Christmas gifts I made this year. These were inspired by Sue Spargo's 90 day Circle Sampler, from last fall's free on-line class. The cup was one of the embroidery patterns of that series. They were hand embroidered on a one inch wool circle, appliqued to a base. My tiny cups have a 5" x 5" white mat (the colours are a bit off, as you can see). Thanks, Sue, for the inspiration.


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas

My granddaughter decorated her tree here at our place last week. She has put birds on it for the last three years. Some, she picked out at the shop, but for the most part, she got them from our tree. Can't you just hear, ' Grandma, that bird would look so nice on my tree'. Well, here's a sample from that tree:

We are so lucky that our daughter and her family are in our bubble. 

Merry Christmas from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia. Stay safe!