Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Grape Hyacinths on a Spring Morning



 Grape Hyacinths on a Spring Morning
Food for my Soul
Just saying.

Until next time,


Saturday, March 28, 2015

On a Quiet Saturday Afternoon

  It's a quiet Saturday afternoon here.  So, here's some 'quiet' photos to share.  On Thursday, I went over to daughter Kelly's house to walk her dog.  She is very busy showing property these days (a wonderful thing!!), so I went to take Miss Trixie for a walk.  While out on the walk, I saw some lovely blossoms here and there on the driveway and the yard.  Curious, I picked up a few to check them out and thought they were very sweet, but I wondered where they were coming from, as there are none like this in Kelly's yard.  I brought some home.

I have some tiny vintage doll glasses....and thought 'wouldn't it be cute' to put these little blossoms in one of those glasses.  I could enjoy them for a day or two.  This little glass is about an inch and a half tall.  Yes, so cute!

 Well, on with my story.....while still walking the dog on Thursday, it finally hit me where these blossoms were coming from.....across the street.  They were from the neighbor's Bradford Pear Tree. Well, yes, I've said many times I'm blind as a bat and this is just further proof.  I guess I had never seen any of those blossoms 'up close and personal' before. 

And, they still look nice today.

Here they are over my kitchen sink....where I can enjoy them...I'm thinking they will cheer me the rest of this weekend (and maybe you too).  The little things of life can add so much to day!

Until next time,


Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Surprise from a Teenager

One night I received a text from Gracen, the teenaged daughter of a friend.  She was looking for someone to help her with a class project.  "Would I mind helping her?"  Well, given that I have no teenagers in my life these days, I know her, and she asked "just right," of course, I told her yes.  Seems she needed to speak to an "artist" and that's when I wondered how I would possibly be of help and what did I commit myself to do.

It was to be an interview kind of thing...with her asking ME the questions, and me, giving her whatever answers I could.  It was kind of awkward, as I hardly consider myself  "a real artist" even though I enjoy playing with the idea.  All kinds of questions, how did I get interested in art, did I study it, how did I determine what kind of art I wanted to be involved in, how long have I been creating my art, how did I handle art and raising a family, anything I could tell her about making money from it, do I still make art, and so on - many questions.  A lot of them I had never even thought about.  Wow! 

So, Gracen finished her project, thanked me and life went on.  Til last week, when I received this lovely Thank You note from her.  Isn't it sweet?


And, on the reverse side of the thank you note was this lovely Certificate.  Gosh, I haven't received a Certificate...well, I don't even want to think how long it may have been.  It's adorable.   THANK YOU, Gracen, for thinking I might be able to answer your questions...makes a seventy year old feel pretty good!!!  I love my new treasure!!!

Now, for you who visit this blog...yes, I know I was supposed to have a tutorial in March.  Well, don't you, too, feel the month has gone by way too fast?  So, I'm promising to have it in the first half of April, and I'll do the beading tutorial in the last half of April.  I'm working on it!!

Thanks, always, for your visits! And, wishing you some sunshine and fair weather.

Until next time.....


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"Home Sweet Home Pincushion"...Making Another Appearance

This is the newest issue of Piecework Magazine (March/April 2015).  I found it yesterday at my local Hastings, as I looked for a selection of magazines to take home.  It was a very nice surprise to find my pincushion, HOME SWEET HOME, shown within it's covers once again.

The article featuring pincushions highlights the newest pincushion contest at the magazine and shows the pincushions featured in their 2008 Pincushion Contest.  Mine was one of those.  

Well,  how nice to see it there!  Here is the real thing, placed on the page of the new magazine and you can see it right there to the left, as it was in 2008.  Cool.  (By the way, this pincushion is four inches square.)


 See....what fun and how unexpected!


This is page 12,  telling about the new contest and highlighting the 'old' entries too.

A close-up.

If you make pincushions, you might want to make one and enter it in the magazine's contest...you never know, you might see yours in the magazine...maybe even twice, as I have.  It's always nice to see something you have made in a publication...especially one like Piecework!

Hope you are all doing well...see you soon with another tutorial this month!

Until next time,


Monday, February 23, 2015

A Little Book Bag

And, how did this little bag end up on one of my posts intended to be about hearts during the month of February?  Well.  There IS one heart on it!  Other than that, it is what I made yesterday.  As you know, I haven't sewn much the last few years and getting back 'into making' is taking some time.  I'm a bit shaky with a needle, as you will see, but it is kind of a cute project.   I guess you could say "a little project with a heart!"


This is how it all began...a little fabric gift from a friend.  I LOVE this piece of fabric, so I'm showing you both sides of it.  A tiny bag, about 4" x 6."  I looked at it a good while...over several days, wondering what I could do with it.  I wanted it to "say something."  And, I wanted to make something that didn't take the rest of my life.


But, what?  (Here is the other side of the little bag...love this fabric!)


So, this is what I thought it could "say" after deciding it would make a nice Book Bag for my little Moleskine notebooks...also a gift from a friend several years ago.  I have been drawing my beaded edging patterns in these little 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" notebooks.  Mostly ones used on my pincushions, and it seemed to make sense to make a bag to keep them together.  And, so here we are!


 Of course, I had to add a heart!   And, French Knots are an easy way to make a heart.  I have not, it seems, become too shaky to make French Knots, but the Backstitch words...well, it's obvious I need to practice those.  And, I will.


I thought you might want to see some of my beading sketches.  They aren't great, just enough to help me remember exactly what edgings I have done.  The one above is a tassel.


I'm not much in the drawing department, but these are just to remind me of what I have done, not to be great drawings.


Here's another....I wouldn't even need these if I still had all the pieces I used these on...but they are all living with other people, so it's nice to be able to see what I did in case I want to repeat one or two of these edgings someday.


 I used a piece of vintage linen for this little 'cuff' on the bag.  I love this Needlelace edging.  One of these days, I want to make this myself...done with maybe Perle Cotton...and a suitable embroidery needle.  Oh, if there is something with a simple scallop, I'm just a fool over it!!!


Here is a piece of that linen left over and available to use on another piece of work.  And, I will use it.  So sweet!!


And, here is my 'shaky' Backstitching.  Evidently I was shakier stitching these than I was making the Giveaway words.  Some days you have it, some days you don't!  Just out of practice...but willing to spend more time getting back to my old ways!!   I like the little bag....

Hope you are safe and warm!

Until next time,



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Valentine Giveaway Winners!

Congratulations!!!  We have our four winners of my Valentine Giveaway!!!   Thank you all so much for commenting on my Giveaway blog post.  I plan on having other Giveaways throughout the year, so if you didn't win this time, please try the next time.  I appreciate you all very much.  So....here are the winners:





 It was my pleasure to do the Tutorial and also to make these four pincushions for you.  I hope you enjoy them for a long time to come.  Thank you, all of you, for wanting them.  I am now going to email each of the four winners and again...CONGRATULATIONS!!

Until next time,


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tiny Embroidered Hearts Tutorial with a Valentine Giveaway

At last!  I have finished the pincushions with the tiny hearts!  I wanted to have something made up to show you how I sometimes use these tiny embroidered hearts...along with showing you how I stitch these hearts.  And, now I have!!!  And, as promised...there is a GIVEAWAY also.  So, this post is in three parts.  First, how I stitch the hearts.  Second some samples of work I have done using these tiny hearts.  Third....the GIVEAWAY!


I have drawn three hearts on this piece of muslin.  Why three?  Who knows?  One would do.
I don't know an easy way to show you how I do this.  I know there is an easy way...but it's beyond
 me - the electronically challenged person - so hang in there with me.  I'm sure you will 'get it' without any trouble.  In fact, you probably already know how to do this.  I guess you should just humor me so I can think I'm doing a good job!

So, choose the size heart you'd like to stitch.  To be honest....I think the tinier they are, the prettier they are.  This one is a quarter inch high and about the same wide.  TINY.  I love making them, although I have to say since I have not been sewing for quilt a while....I almost had to re-learn how to do it and my hands and my eyes definitely know I'm older, so these hearts aren't quite as "perfect' as they used to be.  I'm happy to report that nothing is really perfect...so it is what it is.  I'm using two strands of DMC floss here.  If I'm making a really tiny heart, I'll only use one strand.  And, I use the thinnest, strongest needle I can put my hands on.  Yes, I have marked the heart on the fabric.  Sometimes I use a pencil and sometimes I use a permanent pen.  This heart is permanent.  I think it challenges you to do your best work, usually, that is.  I'm sure some of you can stitch a heart without marking anything.  Sorry to say, I'm not that person.  I mark.  And, am using a Satin Stitch.

I begin by coming up from the back either at the point of the heart, or the dip of the heart.  I really don't think it matters.  Then, I  insert the needle in the opposite place.  I like to keep all the thread on the front of the work, so you will notice in all these photos, I go down and come up by making the next stitch almost touching the previous thread.  Hopefully, you will see that.  You can carry the stitch across the back of the heart....and I do on a teeny-tiny one, but on this size and up, I don't carry thread across.  They just seem nicer that way.  If you do carry the thread across the back, your heart will be thicker and puffier.  Perhaps you would want that.  I'm not going to say much more, thinking you can get the idea just by looking at the photos.

 Did that help you?  If not, feel free to contact me and ask questions.....but I bet you "got it."

I stitched these hearts just so you could see how they look in different sizes.  Like I said, I like the tiniest ones the best.  You'll notice I have two that say "padded with felt."  I'm not too crazy about that size...but if you want to make them....they do look better if they are thicker and fluffier....so I often cut out a piece of felt (cut into the exact heart shape and size, either glue or stitch it to the background, then do the Satin Stitch over it all.  Don't even try this with the teeny ones!

Here are a bunch of little ones I just drew freehand...all TINY....and in my mind, much easier that the large ones.  I have a fondness for long skinny hearts, but, truthfully, they are harder to keep 'neat.'


 These are all the tiny heart samples I made for this tutorial....with the ones in the hoop - the ones I tried my best to photograph as I made them.

  Some examples of my teeny-tiny hearts in pieces I have made over time.
This is on a little doll quilt. 

 I stitched several over the surface of that little quilt...which is about 10" x 12" in size. 

 Here is a four inch crazy quilt pincushion....with one tiny heart.  All if needed, really.

 This is a crazy quilted needlecase I made way back when.  And, this may have been one of the very first tiny embroidered hearts I ever made. 

 A bird ornament also made long ago.  I did several of these...they flew away, of course!

 I made this pin the month after September 11th.  Actually, I lost one at the Houston quilt show and this is a 'reproduction.'  So to speak.  The hearts are stitched with a variegated thread, as are the stripes in the flag.

 This is the little quilt, the bird, the pincushion, the needlecase and the flag pin...all bunched together. 
Can you guess what my favorite colors are?


 The GIVEAWAY!  There are three little pincushions I made shown here, and I actually just this minute noticed the Heart pincushion didn't make it into this photo, so there FOUR pincushions I am giving to FOUR of you.  (I'm keeping the muslin one.)

 This one, I am keeping.  Well, I have to have some reward for all this work!

 Just a little close-up!





 If you are interested in winning one of these pincushions....please leave a comment on this blog post and I will choose FOUR Winners on Wednesday evening, February 18th.    Kindly make sure I have a way to get in touch with you....and, no, you don't get to choose which one you might win...sorry....that would just complicate my life way too much!

I hope you enjoyed the Tutorial!  By the way, I have been asked to do a Tutorial on the Chain Stitch Pincushion I showed a few posts back...and I will do that in March.  Should be a lot easier for me and less photos in that one....so, I hope you will check it out.

Until next time,

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio

The Bird Nest on the Ground Studio
Right in My Backyard

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.