Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Morning

I thought we were having spring! Snow wasn't in the picture on April 15. The grass was finally getting green and the crocus were blooming. But here's the view from my patio door a few minutes ago: UGH!!! Everything is covered in white. Hopefully it won't last long. If this makes you think Christmas, then please check out these crafts at Craft Bits (something for everyone).
Enjoy the day.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Take a Look

I've been working on another art piece. This one will measure approximately 13 3/4" x 5 1/2" before framing. I have the background partly done. Dyed, stitched cheesecloth is working out well for the rocky cliffs. Ignore the colour of the cheesecloth in the second photo. It should be a darker grey. This piece is causing some frustration at the moment. I just have to put it aside for awhile.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Quilting Gallery

The Quilting Gallery is hosting a Blog Hop Tour. Check it out HERE. You can also vote in the wall hangings contest. There are 59 on display from 13 different countries (2 from Canada). Most of the submissions have web sites / blogs listed so there is much more to see.

Smallest Quilting Gallery Logo

Thursday, April 26, 2012

400 Posts

I didn't realize this would be the 400th post until I was reading about how to add extra pages to the blog. An extra page did get added but nothing is there yet. My purpose for the links page is to start putting in all the links used in my posts. It will be a reference page for me and hopefully, you will find it useful as well. These links will go to the appropriate page instead of a blog homepage. Does that make sense to you? That way, another search on that blog, is eliminated.

A hugh thank-you to those who have signed up to follow this blog and to those who receive notification via e-mail! Your comments are very welcome and important. I did have a few comments that were spam - people / companies just wanted free advertising. Their stuff wasn't even quilt / stitch / craft related. The nerve (GRIN)!!

Several friends have commented on the time it requires to maintain a blog. However, I enjoy doing it. Although with summer just around the corner, my posts just might be a bit sparce. So hang in there. . .

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Show & Tell at the Embroidery Guild

Show and Tell is always a favorite item at the St. John's Guild of Embroiderers. Several arist's cards were brought in. These will be part of an exchange with other stitchers across the country. Last month I reported about Romanian Point Lace by needlework artist, Sylvia Murariu. Several ladies finished their pieces as you can see in the first two photos.
Lovely job everyone!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fabric Dyeing

This afternoon I spent some time dyeing small pieces of cotton, silk and cheesecloth for cliffs. I have lots of grey commercial fabrics but none are working out for my next art piece. I could print out the cliffs from the photo I'm using but I don't want to do that for this project. I have used cheesecloth for mountains before and the textures were just right. Here's the fabrics I'm probably going to use. The first two photos show wet fabric. Usually the colours are lighter when dry.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Apparently there is a bumper crop of icebergs along the Newfoundland coast this spring! It is been reported that there are at least 25 icebergs just off the coast of St. Anthony, NL. Usually there are only about 3 or 4 at this time of year. Read more about this HERE. Quidi Vidi Village in the east end of St. John's, has its own grounded iceberg. In fact, there were so many people driving down to see it that the road was closed for awhile.

A friend did manage to take some photos on Friday. Here's one of them. With warm temperatures the last few days, the 'berg' has gotten smaller. To see just how large it was, check out these two rock climbers as they reach the top of the iceberg.

Here are some interesting links relating to icebergs:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fabric Books

I have been asked where I come up with some of the various topics for my blog posts. Well, some ideas are directly from my own art while other ideas are the results of reading other blogs. Sometimes a word or picture will also trigger something. Today's post idea is the result of reading an email from Pin Tangle. Sharon Boggon found a great tutorial from Shade Tree Art with a step by step tutorial on how to make a basic fabric book. Take a look at it.

For the most part, we consider fabric books as those for young children. Consider making one for your sewing samples. Or make a Sewing To Go Book (that name just popped into my head) with pockets to hold floss, needles, scissors and other small supplies!

This is my sewing portfolio that I designed and made a couple of years ago. It has a magnetic bag closure and lots of pockets. I could have added take out pages using velcro strips -  maybe another time. However, the glue stick is kept in place with velcro. A strip of the soft side of velcro is stitched on the wide fold over section and the sticky piece is stuck on the glue container. It works quite nicely.

I think this book from Shade Tree Art, can also be made with children in mind. For example, each page could be a different colour with applique figures added. I found a couple of tutorials for children's books here and here (this one is made from scraps). Add this one about shapes. You get the idea!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cabot Quilt Guild - Show & Tell

The Cabot Quilt Guild is having a quilt show in May. Members got a preview of some of the quilts Tuesday evening. Here are a few of them.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cabot Quilt Guild - Program

Last evening was the monthly meeting of the Cabot Quilt Guild. I have to congratulate the program committee for a wonderful presentation. It's sometimes very difficult to come up with ideas for a large group of ladies but they managed to do it. Several quilters got together and found some simple projects on-line for the sewing room. They took photos of the steps in each of the projects and did a power point presention. Not only that, they were very generous and had draws for the projects they made. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the projects but I do have the links.
Here's a great site for freebies! Lots to see and if you are an eager beaver, lots to make. . .
Also, take a look at some previous posts on this site:
Sewing Portfolio
Sewing Stuff HERE and HERE

The photo is of a couple of my scissors holders made from 'fantasy' fabric. No two are ever the same.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Latest Work

I just finished another piece of wall art. It's a donation for a silent auction later in May. At this time, I'm just showing a small corner of the piece. The 'rock' is silk that was printed from my computer. Refer HERE for information on printing onto fabric. The daisies were embroidered individually and hand stitched in place. The orange flowers are French knots. In the completed landscape there is a hand dyed sky, hills and a large tree with foliage. The skeleton tree was thread painted onto organza. Foliage was added after it was placed on the background.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

First Flowers

It was a beautiful sunny Sunday here in St. John's. Here are a few photos from my garden. I think the one with the stump has potential for a future thread painting. The tree at the bottom is hugh! When we moved in this house 20 years ago, it was about 4 feet tall. Now, it's way above the second story and much taller than the light pole beside it. I like the texture of its bark. Maybe it, too, will find its way into a piece of art.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Golden Quilter Awards 2012 - Winners

On March 16, I posted about the Golden Quilter Awards 2012. I had forgotten all about the winners until a few minutes ago as I was surfing the web. You will find the winners and their links HERE.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Book Covers

The last couple of days, I've been making new book covers for Devon House Craft Shop. (See them below). I use mainly batiks as they have such vibrant colours. With Totally Stable stabilizer / interfacing ironed onto the back, this fabric takes well to free motion stitching. The fish, flowers and puffin are from my machine embroidery collection (original designs). These designs are part of my wearable art pieces.

Here are a few links to tutorials for other journal / book covers:
Sewing Crafts
Craft Passion
Sew Mama Sew
Bloom and Blossom
Moda Bake Shop
Threaded Mess
BluDor Magazine (nice gift for a child)
Field Trips in Fiber

For links to other references for book covers on my blog, go HERE and HERE

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Printing on Fabric

Years ago (1999), when I first started in the business of creating fabric landscapes, rock fabric was the hardest to find. When I did come across any, it was way off scale. So I decided to search for other methods to get the fabrics I wanted. My search led me to Bubble Jet Set 2000, invented and manufactured by the C. Jenkins Co. This product 'has revolutionized the way we print on fabric!' As they further state, this non-toxic chemical formula is designed to treat fabric so that permanent images could be printed directly on fabric using an Ink Jet Printer. I have been using this product for years. I take lots of photos of rocks and cliffs to be used in fabric printing. However, I will usually manipulate the photo, sometimes stretching it, before printing out a page of 'rocks'. When working on a piece of art, I will cut up the page and make rocks the size needed for it. I prefer to use silk instead of cotton for the 'rocks' as it is so nice to needle turn and applique in place.

I do print my fabric labels onto 200 thread count cotton (see photo below). After I print and heat set the labels, I put 'fast 2 fuse' interfacing on the back before cutting them out. The labels are ironed on to a project as well as stitched in place. I really don't trust the 'glue' for long time use. I have purchased pretreated white cotton from C. Jenkins and this cuts down on production time. The silk, however, still has to be treated with the liquid.

The iceberg, shown on the second photo, was printed onto cotton, cutout and stitched in place. The sandy beach is from recycled silk that was purchased at Value Village (second hand clothing shop). These shops sometimes have clothes that are perfect for a particular project. All the leather and suede used for the backs of my wearable art pins, come from such places. And, it's way cheaper than going to a tannery for scraps.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Well, spring weather has finally arrived! By that I don't mean wet, foggy days, as we've had that. I mean warm sunshine. It's registering 20C on my back deck. The car therometer was 16C about an hour ago. So to celebrate, here is some quilted stuff specifically for spring.

Spring in the Swamp Quilt
Spring Flowers
Spring Blossoms
Spring Beauties - Tulip Garden
Spring is in the Air - Contra Costa Quilt Show
Bird Houses - free patterns
Love-ly Garden - free applique pattern
Flower Garden Pillow Tutorial

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mug Rugs

A Mug Rug is an oversized coaster, perfect for a cup of tea / coffee and a snack, or a glass of wine and some crackers. What a great way to use up scraps or maybe an orphan block that didn't get used in the last quilt! Not only that, these 'rugs' are perfect to practise various quilting techniques without spending mega time on a larger project. You can practise free motion stitching, paper piecing, hand quilting, putting on a binding, exploration with colour . . . You get the idea. And - what great gifts!

There are several tutorials and patterns online just follow the links:
  1. The Curious Quilter has a basic quilted mug rug tutorial
  2. Tutorial from Ryan Walsh Quilts
  3. A stitched one from Hugs From Helen
  4. Inspiration mug rug photos from Poppy Print (scroll down)
  5. Quilted mat with pockets from the Sewing Web
  6. Wool Applique autumn mug mats from DMC threads
  7. Oval Mug Mat from Crafty Staci
  8. Mug Mat Ideas using paper piecing but I think applique would work too.
  9. Tea for Two from Sew Mama Sew
I tried to get a sample of the various types of mug mats / rugs. However I didn't include knitted or crocheted ones. You are on your own for those types.

This Mug Rug is the logo for Post Espresso Coffee Shop, 168 Water Stree, St. John's. I made this for my nephew, the owner. Check out the new opening hours. The other small mats were made for Christmas presents.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Have a great Easter.
This little Easter Egg Sampler wall hanging, which I called EGGS-tra Ordinary Stitching, was made in 1998. Thank goodness for quilt labels as I would never have remembered that. I wonder if my sister recognizes the bunny border print! Each egg was appliqued onto the background. What patience I had - paper piecing isn't a favorite of mine.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Finished Work

The production work I was doing a few days ago is finished. I have been making these 'Holders', which can be used to carry credit cards / business cards / gift cards / jewellery, for a number of years. They are perfect for taking on cruises as you can put them in a pocket. No one wants to take a purse everywhere they go when on a ship (or so I've been told) so these are perfect. I had a special request last year to put a cord on one so that it could be worn around the neck.

These holders are made from lots of glittery fabrics, yarns and threads. I make a base fabric a little bigger than what's needed. This base is stitched with Sulky Sliver threads. I cut my pattern from this stitched piece. Velcro is used to fasten the flap. A label with my name on it is sewn to the inside. I will write about labels on another day. Each 'holder' is numbered and one-of-a-kind. So if you have one of these pieces, you actually have a little piece of original art. No two are ever the same.

Friday, April 6, 2012

More Show & Tell - Eastern Edge Quilt Guild

As I wrote on a previous post, the light was low when I took these photos and I didn't think to adjust the settings on the camera. Such is life! But have a look anyway. . . We are a small but creative bunch!