Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Door Crown designed & created by Judy Cooper 1999

Apparently St. John's had 20cm of snow in just 6 hours! Wow! The hugh, fluffy snow flakes stuck to everything. By the time I cleaned my car off, I needed to do it all over again.

Here are some wintery quilted art pieces for your viewing pleasure:
Winter Snow Scene (the colours used are lovely)
Floral Winter Snow Scene
Winter's Quilt
Snow Barn (scroll down)
A Winter's Tale
Snow, Ice and Starry Nights (checks out the free patterns)
Birch in Snow
Snow melt: High Desert
Winter Quilt
Winter Beauties
Winter Wonderland
Winter Snowman

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pisci Fantasticus

The last day or so I have been selecting batik fabric and getting it ready to make more 3-D fish. All the ones at Devon House Craft Shop and Gallery sold out for Christmas. That's a good thing! I use all batiks for the fish as I like the tight weave of the cotton as well as the deep, vibrant colours. In preparation for making the fish, I back the fabric with Totally Stable stabilizer. It irons on just like freezer paper (but is not as stiff) and works well for free motion stitching. The next step is to stitch all over the fabric to give it a bit of texture before cutting out the fish shape. The fins will be in a contrasting fabric. To see some finished 3-D fish go here.

Here are links in my blog to other fish I've done:
The Deep
Applique Patterns
Journal Covers
Tea Cosy

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Your Sewing Space

Guest speaker, at the January meeting of the Cabot Quilt Guild, used the book, Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space by Lois L. Hallock, as the basis for her talk. As an Occupational Therapist, she was quite willing to give us some valuable pointers on making our sewing rooms work for us. Through interaction with the audience she found out the type of activities quilters perform and the type of pains and injuries that occur. Sitting, standing, sewing, cutting, and ironing were some of the activities mentioned. Many members confessed to suffering from back, neck, shoulder, wrist, hand and finger pain. Proper lighting was also an important consideration.

Here are some common sense points she made:
  1. Have a good chair that fits you - she gave some pointers for sitting / working properly
  2. Get up and stretch at least every 20 minutes
  3. Your arms should be at elbow height when in use
  4. Have your work area set up to avoid a lot of reaching and stretching
  5. Cutting tables and ironing boards need to be at the right height - blocks can be purchased to raise tables.
I realize that you are going to say that all this is common sense - it is! BUT how many of you may need to rethink at least one thing in your work space? When I got home that evening, I had a look around my room. I was satisfied with the room except that it isn't near big enough. However, the brain must have been working overtime while I slept that night. The next day I moved one of my machines further to the left of the table to give me more space to the right as I am right handed. Again, why didn't I think of that before now! I also purchased a steno chair with variable height. The one I have doesn't go low enough to use comfortably with one of my machines. It's great for working at the work table.

Check these out:
Sewing Room Organization, more here
Organization and Tools for a sewing room
Organizing Tips for a small sewing room - check out the related articles and videos

Monday, January 23, 2012

Stitching Stuff

Here lately I have been looking at a lot of stitching sites. My search is for free-style embroidery that can be both functional and decorative, and can be stitched on just about any surface. I've been using the Pintangle site (I'm a member) as a jumping off place to find 'stuff'. Since TAST has started up for another year, most members signed in giving their blog or web site address. Find them HERE (scroll down). In case a blog is not written in English, use Google Translate to help you out. Just follow the directions - it's easy to use. These sites also have favorite places to visit that may be different from anything you have seen so far.

Here's some places to visit:
Antique Pattern Library
Freebies from Kissy Cross (mostly cross stitch)
Free charts at Tantes Zolder
The Work Basket
Gazette 94 - more freebies
Tom Pudding Designs
Britain's # 1 Cross Stitcher
One Day a Grid Cross Stitch
Pattern Maker Charts
Albums D'Anyan
Craft Ideas
Tams Creations (Black work & cross stitch)
Elsa Mora (two free embroideries)

This applique is an original design based on an Elizabethan Embroidery that I had previously designed. It was done a few years ago as part of an embroidery course. My intention was to make it into a cushion but so far it just sits in my cupboard.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

More Show & Tell : Cabot Quilt Guild

More Show & Tell from the Cabot Quilt Guild. 

The turquoise quilt shows the front and back. I finally finished my Sashiko Table Topper.

For some reason, Firefox is not showing all the photos posted in Internet Explorer.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Show & Tell at Cabot Quilt Guild

Here are a few pieces from Show and Tell at the Cabot Quilt Guild last evening. More photos to follow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quilting Blogs

Since I changed the look of this blog, I have had to learn where all the editing/writing tools are. They aren't in the same easy to see places as before. Anyway, enough of that!
I found this site, Quilt Qua, and thought I'd pass it along for you to check out. There's lots of information for quilters as well as 23 pages of quilting blogs and Show & Tell. Lots of things to see and sites to visit on a cold, wintery day! Now, I just wish I had the time to do that. . .

Monday, January 16, 2012

Book Review # 4

I just received Drawn Thread Embroidery by Moyra McNeill. This is from the Batsford Classic Embroidery collection. The following description was taken from the back cover of the book:

Drawn thread is a form of decorative embroidery that has been practised for many centuries. Traditionally worked on fine linen, it achieves its effects through the contrast of open and closed areas created by removing threads from the fabric. The traditional aspects of the craft are considered here in detail, but exciting and experimental innovations are given equal importance in this comprehensive guide.

An introductory section explains how to withdraw stitches and secure ends. Different stitch types and various borders are then examined and clearly illustrated with line drawings and photographs. As well as basic techniques such as ladder and zigzag hems, more experimental styles, including working with colour and weaving with fabric strips, provide plenty of design ideas.

Chapters on the many drawn thread techniques - needleweaving, reticella, Russian drawn ground, Hedebo and Hardanger - continue the exploration of both new and old approaches. A final section on experimental machine work provides many ideas for modern embroidery.

I'm looking forward to using this book in future work.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Look!

I decided to change the look of my blog. It was time! The soft green was getting a bit dated and blogger was sugesting a new look from time to time. I do like the blue. Here's a colourful photo of row houses, downtown St. John's, to show off the new look. It was taken on a much warmer day back in September, 2011.
Photo by Judy Cooper

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Book Review # 3

Vivacious Curvy QuiltsVivacious Curvy Quilts by Dianne S. Hire is another book I've added to my collection. I'm not a quilter of quilts but I do like this book for its nontraditional, unlikely quilt shapes. Dianne demonstrates template-free ways to cut, sew and combine curvy pieced blocks into spectacular quilted pieces. There are lots of coloured photos and illustrations to accompany the easy to follow text. For some reason, I have always been drawn to quilts with curves and have several other books on the subject.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Book Review # 2

Another book that was added to my collection this Christmas was Mickey Lawler's Skyquilts. I already own her previous book, Skydyes. In fact, I reference it whenever I paint or dye a batch of fabric to use as sky in my textile art. Skyquilts still touches on skies but not to the extent as in Skydyes. In this newest book, Mickey Lawler introduces 12 painting techniques for painting water, sand, dry land and green fields. She provides lots of beautiful coloured photos of the painting process as well as finished pieces. To read a couple of on-line reviews of this book go here. Take a peek inside this book on Amazon.

This book is a keeper!
Buy Mickey Lawler's Skyquilts: 12 Painting Techniques, Create Dynamic Landscape Quilts

Monday, January 9, 2012

Harry Potter

wizard hat clip artI received the Harry Potter DVD's for Christmas and just finished watching #4. It's interesting to see the characters as they get older. Using the theme of magic and Harry Potter, I googled and found a few things of interest. Not that I'm about to do any of the projects, but I thought someone might find it useful especially if you have a H P fan at home.

Here's what I found:
H P Paper Piecing Project of Doom - quilting for Harry Potter fans
Sew Hooked
Janice Ferguson Sews - interesting embroidery (scroll down)
The Leaky Lounge - embroidery
The Crafty Cauldron - Cloth Dolls

Thursday, January 5, 2012


TAST - Take a Stitch Tuesday, from Pintangle started on Tuesday. I had forgotten all about it. Now I have to scramble to do up some fabric to use for a stitch sampler. For a list of participants in the 2012 TAST with links to their blogs, go here. There's lots to see. Also, check out TAST on Facebook.
The first stitch for 2012 is the fly stitch. Go here for Sharon B's dictionary of stitches. The Art of Threads has a video of making this stitch (scroll down).
Fly stitch
Fly Stitch from Stitch Magazine

If you are interested in doing some embroidery, Needlecrafter has a lot of free designs as well as a stitch dictionary, to get you started.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Blog List

If you are interested in patchwork and quilting, please visit Red Pepper Quilts. There are 833 blogs listed. Mine is # 442. I scrolled down several times before finally seeing it as I was looking for an entirely different photo than the tea cosy shown. You can also access this blog by clicking the shortcut icon on the left side of my blog.

It is also interesting to check out the blogs and websites other quilters, stitchers and fibre artists select. You never know what you will find!

Well, I was going to publish this post but decided to have a look at a few blogs and came across a Patchwork Tree on # 8.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Book Review

A Fiber Artist's Guide to Color & Design: The Basics & Beyond
Photo by Judy Cooper
I received several books for Christmas. A Fiber Artist's Guide to Color & Design by Heather Thomas was one of them. This book, with its 160 pages, has a hard cover with a spiral spine inside, so it is easy to lie flat. It is loaded with hundreds of photos, examples and illustrations. Besides providing color and design theory, Heather includes 12 Workshop Lessons with project goals and guidlines. Read here for more information from other reviews on this delightful book. You can also take a peek inside!
Heather's blog

I think I have a bit of reading to do!
Enjoy. . .

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy Stitching

This afternoon was for relaxing! I spent some time catching up with blogs I read. My focus was on hand stitching - something I hope to do more of in 2012. Several years ago I took part in a three year, 5 level hand embroidery course. I was not a lover of crewel work and stitching with wool. However, I came across some Jacobean leaves by Kelly Fletcher, on the Feeling Stitchy blog. I just may do some of these this year! Feeling Stitchy has some wonderful stuff.

Also check out the following:
Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread
Stitchin Fingers
Hand Embroidery Network (HEN)
Curiosities 808 (from Hawaii) - not just crochet
Racaire's Embroidery & Needlework (Ausrtia)
DMC Threads with Emma Broidery
Polka & Bloom
French-Knots: all things stitchy
Hand Embroidery from Sadalas
Pin Tangle

Hand & Machine Embroidery by Judy Cooper