Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Toothpicks are NOT created Equal.

Toothpicks? seriously? Yes that is what today's post is about. You see, when I work on my applique projects I have always used a particular type of toothpick, one with this interesting end on it.
Well I ran out of them and can NOT find more anywhere. Regular toothpicks just don't have the same sturdy pointed end on them, they simply do not get the job done.
So I went in search of an alternative and decided that perhaps these wooden Barbeque skewers might be the answer. They were easily cut to a more manageable length and with a quick pass across an emery board, any cut, rough edges were sanded smooth. The tip is PERFECT and the skewer is not only performing as required but is also holding up extremely well. I will get lots and lots of use out of each and every one of them. I don't like to waste anything so the ends that I cut off (the "waste"is about 8" long) will be just right for mixing paints and inks. I got about 100 skewers for a buck......can't beat that.
with all these circles ready to go I will be putting my newest applique tools to good use.Even though we had a very, VERY mild winter in my area this year, I am thrilled to see the end of it and to celebrate the official arrival of Spring, I inked this Robin.....yes, I can hear you asking......where is the red breast?.......sorry, you will just have to use your imagination.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Every week, Jaye at Artquiltmaker.com gives us a new "prompt"word and every so often there is one that gives me instant inspiration. As soon as I saw this week's word, I knew I would draw this.Word #148 is TEA

I began to participate in the "prompt words" nearly 3 years ago, you can see my first post about them here.
I have often been asked about these doodles, many liken them to Zentangles and quite often they are referred to as such, but when I began, I had never even heard of Zentangles. My understanding is that Zentangles have some shading effects, there are specific patterns used, and I believe I read that you have to be "certified"to teach the art. I am fairly certain the Zentangling was originally done on small square tiles (paper) but now you see it being done on everything from clothing, to automobiles,

What I do, really, is just doodling and because I have had many questions about these, I thought I'd show you the progression of one.
I begin every one just like this......I draw a shape....could be a moth, a pair of eyeglasses, or like today, a teapot. Once I draw that general shape, I include a few lines to break it up. Now, of course, I don't actually have a teapot that looks like this.......I am just doodling so I can make it as strange as I feel like......there are no rules to this!........then I just go to town filling in the different areas with pattern.
I don't plan any of the drawing. I just concentrate on one isolated area at a time, until the whole shape is filled with pattern, like the finished teapot at the top of this post.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ta da!!!!

A couple of weeks ago I talked about a block that I designed for a fellow guild member who is about to open her own Quilt shop. I only gave you a little peek at it then, but today I can show the full design.
It really is just a block, but designed in such a way that it could be done using machine applique (as I did in the sample) or it can just as easily be done using turned hand applique.....or how about doing it up in wool? I think this one would be a great candidate for wool and hand stitches. So here is the block
I created a tiny quilt ( 19"square) with mine by adding a couple of borders....sorry but I really tried to photograph the quilting.....it is kinda tough to do sometimes.....(not the quilting part, using the camera part LOL)
So the shop opens this Saturday, March 17th....it is called CORNERSTONE QUILTS & More which is located at 1700 Hyde Park road in London Ontario.
As far as I know the shop owner is offering this pattern free to those who come by to celebrate opening day. She has lots of fun things planned and I wish her great success.

on a totally unrelated topic.....I just GOTTA make a point of having Chinese take-out more often.......check out the message in my fortune cookie.....how fun is that!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

QR code

A few posts back, I mentioned that I have a new tablet. This technology is completely new to me as I never did get on board with a cell phone that could do anything more than make and receive calls. So each day I try to learn something new and it is endlessly fascinating.
Have you seen these around?They are popping up everywhere and are codes known as Quick Reference (gee, and I thought the QR stood for Quilt Rat)
anyway I decided to figure this stuff out yesterday....created my own code for my site (the one shown here), and then took it a bit further.
Since the idea is that, using an app that allows you to "grab" a code, one can scan it with their device and be directed immediately to the web site it is attached to, I thought it might be cool to attach these to my quilts. Then when someone wanted to access more of my work, they scan the code and voila! they land right here..............ah BUT would it work?

I, of course, HAD to give it a try. I took my code and using photo editing software, I created a page full, I flipped the page so that I could print it out on to transfer paper.
Cut them apart, and ironed them onto fabric bits. Now I have a whole bunch of little labels I can add to my finished quilts. In the future I can just simply add the code, along with other information as I create my labels.
I was afraid that all that re-sizing, manipulating, flipping, and ironing might distort the code and render it useless....BUT it WORKED!!!! Now come on....who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spring is in the Air!

The Spring issue of The Canadian Quilter is out, and in it, is my latest article. This time I stuck with something a little more traditional. I offered an applique block that can, of course, be done in whatever method you prefer. Mine is hand appliqued. Along with the pattern, I give ideas on auditioning fabrics and how to use interesting prints to your advantage.

It is always fun to see the article in print, BUT, it also means that the deadline for my next submission is fast approaching....I'd best get busy!
Copyright Jill Buckley