Sunday, January 27, 2013

Patterns and Projects

Just in case you are at loose ends and don't know what to do with yourself, check out some free projects and patterns:

Quilting Treasures (download the project sheets)
Craft and Fabric Links (applique)
Fiber Images (quilting patterns & projects)
Cherry Blossom Tutorials (check out Color your Fabric)
Sentimental Stitches (check this one - hand embroidery)

Also a Happy Birthday to my daughter, Jill, in Chicago. I'm so lucky to be able to celebrate it with her and her family!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy Winter!

Winter temperatures in St. John's have been up and down this year. One day the ground is bare and feels like spring is in the air, then we get a cold snap with lots of snow and freezing temperatures! That's life here in the mid North Atlantic. Whatever the weather, it's warm and cosy inside - just right for spending time working on quilting / sewing projects. This time, the focus is on snowmen.

Snowmen Quilt Patterns
Cutting Paper Snowflakes (think applique)
Cute Snowman
Red Work Snowman
Snowman Door Hanger
Starry Night
Snow (my post) and HERE

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday!! The middle of the week. While reading through some of the blogs in my list, I came across this cartoon from Happy in Quilting. It made me chuckle. I hope it also leaves you with a grin on your face. Take a few minutes to look around this blog as I think you will find it interesting. Lots of inspiration for quilters and embroiderers.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Planning . . .

My husband caught me on camera a few days ago as I was planning my presentation for the Cabot Quilt Guild in February. I have been asked to talk a bit about the various stitching techniques I use in my framed textile art pieces. For example, how I create the foliage and flowers using organza and threads. I will also touch on the making of my Fantastic Fabrics which is a workshop I have taught in the past and will be offering again this winter.

In November, I did a power point talk at the Eastern Edge Quilt Guild, about some of my art work with a focus on making clapboard from cotton. I think there will eventually be a workshop on this technique as well.

On the wall behind me, there is a wall hanging with row houses. This was an experimental piece. The finished one has more houses and is part of the art collection of the Newfoundland Government. The colourful stars is called "It's Not Going Up In Here" - was completed in 2001, after taking a workshop with Libby Lehman, Houston, Texas. The Christmas Tree in the corner is cross stitch on sparkly linen. It hangs there all year. It reminds me of why I don't do cross stitch any more. I did more frog stitches in that piece, it's a wonder it ever got done (that was years ago). Oh, the frog stitch? Rip it, rip it, rip it!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Needle Felting Fun

Now it's time to have a look at what I did with the yarns I showed you on Saturday. The various decorative yarns were laid out on a green sheet of felt. These will eventually become Christmas tree ornaments as you can see in the photo. I have experimented with the yarns going in a straight line as well as in a wavy pattern. Some of the trees made before Christmas also had some beading on them. One in particular, was decorated with the glue on crystals. That was a very glittery tree. I will be experimenting with different shapes in the near future.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Putting on the Glitz!

Don't you just love all the glitzy, sparkly threads, yarns and fabrics available these days! Over the years, I 've managed to collect a lot of different fibres. As you can see, I pulled out a few balls of yarn to make more of the felted Christmas trees that I posted about a couple months ago. I will be travelling for three months this summer, so I want to get as much done as possible during the winter months. Mohair is one of my favorites to work with as it is beautiful to needle felt.

The third photo shows a tangled mess of sparkly balls of glitter yarn. I discovered (by accident) a very simple solution to correcting this. Put each ball in a self closing plastic bag but leave the tail hanging out. Just pull on the tail when a length is needed. I'm still working on that. One thing at a time!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Your Machine!

This is a very quick post about sewing machines - probably one of your most prized possessions! Threads Magazine has an excellent article about easy sewing machine maintenance that you can do to keep your machine running smoothly. Quilt artist, Frieda Anderson, also posted about this on her site. Check it out as it never hurts to refresh your memory on these things. It might actually pay for itself in the long run! For example, do you always cover your machine? If not, now is the time to start. Check out some past posts about machine covers HERE,  and HERE.  Enjoy!

With some simple tools and just a few minutes daily, weekly, or monthly— depending on how much youre sewing— you can help keep your machine running smoothly.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Nice Surprise

I don't usually win things but I wrote a comment on Margaret Blank's web site a couple days ago. I was just notified that I won # 76 of Inspirations 2012. Margaret lives in Alberta, Canada. She is celebrating ten years of blogging and getting very close to her 1000 post. Please drop by her blog and have a look around.

Thanks again, Margaret, for selecting my name!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Gifts Given . . . Enjoy

Here are some of the things I made for Christmas gifts. The quilt is from a kit I purchased last summer at the Hobby Horse, Georgetown, Ontario. The panel caught my eye as each block has words about the sounds each object makes. It's part of the Little Genius series. The toy giraffe pattern was from Tilda's Studio by Tone Finnanger. Both were made for my little granddaughter in Chicago.

  This bird was featured in a Quilting Arts Magazine. It lives in Manitoba. A similar one is in Tennessee.
I made five table toppers but I forgot to photograph the one gone to Texas.


Friday, January 11, 2013


Let's just say, until last night, we really didn't have any winter weather! Now we have piles of the white stuff. In fact, Environment Canada classified the weather as blizzard conditions. By the way, it's now raining outside - go figure. Here are a few ideas to keep you from getting too bored during those long winter evenings.

Winter Pines Wall Hanging
Silly Snow Quake Pattern
Snowman Block
Snowflake Embroidery Pattern
Winter Colouring Pages (great for stitching)
Snowball Freebie
Crochet Snowman (scroll down for pattern)
Wintery Red Work
Snowmen Pins
Crochet Snowmen Hats
Snowmen Pincushions

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Soft Sculpture

As I was exploring the internet this morning, I discovered soft sculpture artist, Ed Bing Lee. As one who works with textiles and fibre, his work fascinated me. Lee uses coloured thread and ribbons as well as thousands of knots to create soft sculpture versions of all kinds of food. Have a look at the many pieces he has created using his knotting technique. For a close-up of the food sculpture check HERE. I also found a short video of Lee working on a knotted vessel. He says that the process is more important than the object itself. How true that is! This video shows more of his work. The links above are well worth a view.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Added to my Stash . . .

I visited Piece Makers Quilt Shop yesterday. They have a new shipment of batiks. I also picked up a piece of Japanese fabric which I couldn't resist!
Here's what I added to my stash! Enjoy!


Monday, January 7, 2013

Ready to Work!!

The Christmas ornaments are packed away for another year and my studio is ready to use again. I spent some time last week going through cupboards in my room and sorting everything. The new shelf is installed behind my computer and I can actually see my textile related videos and sketch books. I wonder how long the desktop will stay clear of 'stuff'! The black boxes on the top shelf are from one of the local box stores. They hide the things that clutter up the space. It works for me.

Check a previous post for some organizing tips.



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Book Review # 4

Journey to Inspired Art Quilting by Jean Wells is another book that was added to my library. This book, like her previous ones, has beautiful coloured photos and is an easy read. Jean provides the reader with more design guidelines through the exploration of line and colour as well as new exercises to try. It is strongly encouraged that we take our cameras everywhere!

My camera goes everywhere as you never know what will spark an idea!

journey to inspired design quilt book by jean wells

Check out some of these Quilt Artists:

Deb Plestid
Melody Johnson
Carol Bryer Fallert
Frieda Anderson
Bonnie McCaffery
Coreen Zerr
Barbara Olson
Laurie Swim
Renske Helmuth
Sandra Meech


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!!

It's 1C, sunny and windy outside but warm and toasty in my room! At the moment my studio resembles a space that has been neglected with things on every surface. That's what happens when I'm in clean up mode. I want a fresh, clean space but that means getting rid of 'stuff' and most of my 'stuff' is useful. Whenever I give something away or just toss it, the next week or so I find a use for it. This time, my basement will receive a few more things.

I'm looking forward to 2013. One of my goals is to spend more time with family (especially those in Chicago) and with my friends. Workwise - to experiment with new techniques and apply them to my art and to work on larger pieces.

In the meantime, check these out!

Paper Piecing Freebies
Fat Quarter Handbag Tutorial
Tiny Kitten in a Box
Free Embroidery Patterns
Fabric Tray