Saturday, March 21, 2020

What are YOU making?

Isn't this pretty! 

A Crazy-quilt in progress.
 Sherry in Little Rock


One of my simple knitted scarves.  Always one in progress here. 

So...what are you making?  

Wherever you may be this day
Bird Nest Cottage

Thursday, March 19, 2020

"To Work With Your Hands"

"Aspire to live a quiet life, to mind your own affairs and to work with your hands."

1 Thessalonians 4:11

That's pretty much how I have always felt about the quilting, embroidery, crocheting, knitting, etc., that has taken my spare time throughout this life of mine.
Now that we are all traveling through what seems to be a nightmare and since we are being urged to stay home to keep our families seems to make sense even more.  To my way of thinking working with my hands has taken on an even deeper purpose.

I'm partial to all kinds of needlework, so that is what you will see from me, but YOU might be making a multitude of other kinds or work and it  may do the same thing for you that needlework does for me.
A way of being productive and at the same time, soothing the spirit, calming fears,
and giving your sometimes nervous hands AND mind something to do.  It's a meditation, a prayer, a way of coping. Something to get lost in.
Actually, something also that might re-energize and feed your soul.

Staying home is not so difficult for me because basically, I am a hermit.  But it is difficult for some people.  Perhaps now might be a good time to learn how to make something.  Even children can knit or crochet, even quilt.  Google and the internet machine has thousands of videos that will teach you to cook, build a birdhouse, make a garden or just about anything else you might want to know.  Take a look.  Some things may help YOU relax...some things may be good for a small a family. To create something is FUN.  Everyone could make a very simple book of their own, for instance.  There's always lots of paper around...such as the envelopes holding junk mail.  See. 
I've always heard that busy hands are happy hands.

So, we've got to get through all this someway.  I  may even finish this quilt which is been hanging around my house for years.  

On the odd day here and there, I will post a photo or two of some work in progress around here...maybe some work finished.  No stories...hopefully the work will speak for itself.
Would you like me to show some of what you are working on?  If so, just email a photo to me and I'll include it on one of these "odd" days.  If you'd rather, I can just use your first name...or not.
It might be fun to see how other people use handwork or other things to cope through these times.
 You can find my email address on my profile page. 

I will look forward to hearing from some of you...meantime, let your handwork help you in these trying days. I will too.

Wherever you may be this day

Monday, March 16, 2020

And, One for a Friend

I am currently working on the Heartprints for the March winners.
They will be announced on the 29th.
While I am stitching two a month for my blog Giveaway, I am also making one or two a month for an assortment of non-bloggers I am attached to in my 'real life.'
So, here is one I made for my friend Kathy and her other self "Lola."
I wanted you to see it too.  I will give it to her this coming Wednesday if I actually get to the store that day.
Because of the virus that has us all mortified, I may or may not leave home that day.
Fingers crossed, I will though.  And, she will squeal and be delighted and we will laugh and this small little thing will help us get through another day.  And, we will.
And, you will.  We must be determined.  We must never give up.
So, I hope you enjoy seeing this one.

 I took some photos of this Heartprint in several places around the house.  
You can put them just about anywhere and I thought you might want to see where I might put them here in my rather full Bird Nest Cottage.  One never knows where I will put anything or even how long I
might leave an object in any one place.  It's a game I play if nothing else.
This one was taken on my desk.  My desk is in my bedroom. 
My sewing studio is also in my bedroom.  Yes, it's crowded. 
 Come to think of it,  my whole house seems to be the studio.
No, it doesn't bother me...I love it.

I wanted to use a lot of these little hearts for these "prints."
 I have made them for many years, but until now....not for a while.
It's amazing how I have lost my touch with them, but, I'm still going to make them.

 This is in my dining room.  Actually, they are placed on a stack of books. 


 It's ok, but I think I'd rather put it somewhere else.  It's all experimental, that's for sure.


 Here, it just placed against a  kind of embossed painted board I got from Kathy.  This isn't going to be it either.
I know I would prefer a different place.


 This is one corner of my the left of my sink.
You will notice that I have temporarily placed a gallon jar of buttons right in the big middle of the whole thing.  I've placed a blue bird inside the jar...just for the fun of it. 
This is my favorite part of the kitchen.  And, as is my's over crowded.  
I love it anyway...and of course, the jar won't stay there...I just did it for this photo. 
 But, that means I also get to find another place for the jar/bird situation.


 That little painting is one of my favorite things in the house. 
 It's so SWEET!
I really don't remember where I got it...but I love it so.  Some of what you find in my house came from Kathy's flea market and a most of the time from her own house.  We have the same taste in what we call junk....but think of as TREASURE.

 This photo was taken just a bit further down the cabinet.  
And, right above is a bird with a crown.
Turns out Kathy gave me that bird.
Then on another visit, she gave me the crown.
I felt it just belonged on the bird.

 This is also in the dining room.  
That's a French Market basket with wheels holding all those paper rolls.  I love the way it looks.
 Wrapping paper and wall papers.  Who wouldn't love those?
Well, probably a lot of people.
But, they don't live here, so it's ok.
And, for some reason, I like the Heartprint perched right up in there!

 A glorious sight to behold from my point of view!


 Here we are on the kitchen island.
It won't stay here long either, but I really do like the looks of it here.
I usually have that pretend rose on my desk.


 And, here it is again, same place, but sitting in this chintz patterned dish or tray.  I'm not sure what it is to be used for....I can't read the mark on the back...but I think it might be from England. 
So, there you are.
Several views of a Heartprint around the house.
I intended to show it in my big bookshelf in the living room...but then, I would have had to dust!

You have probably noticed the time when I post is nearly always in the middle of the night.
I'm a terrible sleeper.
So, don't be surprised if I'm awake all night.
I think its a habit more than anything.
Also, I seem to think I will be missing something if I sleep.
Yes, I am an odd old bird.

I found this of those things where you find yourself somewhere on the net but don't know how you got there.
It spoke to me.

"3 AM is the hour of writers,
painters, poets, musicians, silence seekers,
overthinkers and creative people.
We know who you are.
We can see your light on.  
Keep on keeping on." 


until next time
Bird Nest Cottage

Monday, March 9, 2020

February Heartprint Photos

 Here are the photos I took of the two Heartprints I made to give away in February.  They are on their way to their new homes.  The one on the left is for Mandy and the one on the right is for Kathleen.

As you may remember, I wanted to "rescue" a quilt and make some Heartprints from the pieces to give away to some of you.
I have several quilts here in various stages of decline from which I chose one to use in making these Heartprints.    Here, you see two portions of that quilt.  An additional part of the 
story is about the pinkish/reddish blanket behind the pieced quilt square.
 You see, I unpicked that quilt I wanted to use, and in doing so found the quilt did not have quilt batting in it...but this blanket.  So, I unpicked it also.
I am cutting the quilt squares and the blanket squares as I go, and also washing those pieces as I go.  That way, I don't have to deal with washing a large quilt.  I used Woolite to do the cleaning as I was concerned with some shrinkage...which didn't happen.
Isn't it great that the blanket just happened to be in a colorway I would have chosen and matched many of the colors in the quilt?

 The quilt.


The blanket that was used as batting inside the quilt. 

  So, here is Heartprint #1.
As you can see, I cut a square from the pieced quilt, sewed it to the square of blanket, then stitched around the blanket, acting as stay-stitching.  Then, I appliqued the heart and embroidered the tiny hearts scattered overall.  Fantasy flowers and their stems were then added.
The whole thing is taped to a square of mat board, using fabric tape.
By the way, the mat board is 6" square.

 My trademark tiny hearts are here and there.  I can't quite stitch them as nicely as I used to, but I'm not giving up.  They just take me lots longer to do and aren't quite 'right.'  I guess they are having age problems the same way I am.

Let me make some suggestions as to how to display these.  Should you want to.
 You could fit them into a small 6" square frame.
 You might just lean the mat board against a stack of books on a shelf.
 You could place the mat board on a small easel.
  You could also use a tiny binder clip at the top of the mat board to hang it.
  Or, use a piece of twine or ribbon taped to the back of the mat board to  
  hang it from a hook or a knob...such as a china cabinet door.     
There are many ways to display these squares.

I think I took a very laborious way around in choosing and announcing what the Heartprints would be and how and when the winners would be sent theirs.
So, to make it easier on you and me, I am keeping an ongoing list of those commenting on my blog posts.  That way you don't have to remember every month to let me know you want one.  I will choose from that ongoing list two people each month and let them know they have won a Heartprint.   At that point, their name will be removed from the list for the rest of the year.  Does that make sense? 
So, if you have commented on any of my posts so far in 2020...your name is there until you either win, or the year is over.
And, we'll see what I decide to do for 2021! 
(I'm sure there will be something! I'm trying to be optimistic about life here!) 

So, Mandy and are the first two winners, and I'll announce the March winners at the end of the month.  Since I didn't even know I was going to do this Giveaway at the first of the year, I will add two extra winners in December to makeup for January.
Now, did that make sense? 

 until next time
 Bird Nest Cottage

Monday, March 2, 2020

"That Redwork Basket"

My friend, Sherry, especially likes  
this Redwork basket...a portion of which was showing in my last post.  
"Did I have the pattern?" she asked. 
"Well, I made it in 1986, so if I still have the book it was in, yes...I'll have the pattern," I said.
You know what that meant....a massive search!
It was late at night when we while we were chatting, I proceeded to look everywhere I thought the book was.  It took a while.
And, what do you know.....I FOUND it!
While we were talking, I went to amazon on the handy dandy internet machine to see if she could still buy the book.  
Of course, it was from an age ago...what were the chances?
But, guess what, I found it!!!  And, there was ONE COPY available...for $2.99!!!
Who would have thought?  So, she ordered it right away.
We were both so excited..well, ok...we are easily pleased, so no surprise there.

 My copy of the book was so well loved that the pages had all fallen out. So I'm going to see if I can get it spiral bound...evidently I'm not through loving it to death!!!

A bit more info....I reduced the pattern down as I didn't want it as large as it came....and I used two, 
sometimes, one strand in the tight places to do the embroidery.  

I also beaded the edge of the pillow and along the seamline where the two fabrics joined.
Redwork is such fun!

It has held up pretty well...

I may make another one someday....

There are seven red seed beads in each loop of the edge.  
Another thing I love to do!!!


 Here is the book! 
Better Homes and Gardens "Crafts to Decorate Your Home"
 You'll notice the basket in the middle is the same basket...only the larger size.  I don't remember what percentage I reduced the pattern, but you could choose whatever size you like.
I can tell you that the background of mine is 10" x 10."

 Here is how it appears in the book.


 And, here is the pattern.

 What a fun experience Sherry and I had that night on the phone...we laughed a lot.  Who thought we would find not only the book in my house....but the book available on amazon.  

until next time
Bird Nest Cottage

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A Crazy Quilt and Notice of the Heartprint Winners

So, here we are.  
Once's all about the hearts!
I made this little quilt (15" sq.) in 1997 and would have shown it on Valentines Day...but, just like me to do, it was hanging on the wall in my hallway and I just failed to SEE it.   I swear I can't see the forest for the trees.
Anyway, I decided I would show it tonight, as it goes with all my posts in February.

 I made this quilt for one of our quilt events in my guild.
 So, just look it over.  It was lots of fun to make.
I love doing the embroidery along the seams...and then hearts everywhere else.
The little gold hearts are done in metallic thread.
I don't care for sewing with that type of thread, it's hard to get the stitches to lie smooth.
But, I did it anyway.

 I loved making the little stuffed hearts hanging from a chain of DMC floss.  Another really fun piece of work.  And, I know you will ask...that gold scallop is actually three dimensional paint squeezed from a bottle.  I hesitated to use it, but did anyway. hasn't changed a bit in all these years!



 I used a permanent pen to write the quotes on the borders. 

Here are the quotes:

"When friends meet....hearts warm."

"When you want an accounting of your worth, count your friends."
Merry Browne 

"The greatest gift we can give to one another is rapt attention to one anothers' existence."
Sue Atchley Ebaugh

"No life is so strong, so complete, but it yearns for the smile of a friend."
Wallace Bruce



 Some of my favorite heart embroidery on this little piece.

Most crazy quilters prefer not to use many print fabrics on their crazy quilts. Also most use 'fancy" fabrics.  I've nearly always used cotton as that is what I could get my hands on and it has always been fine with me.  At least, when I was 'into' making them in years past, that was the case.  But, being me...well, I always wanted to use mostly ALL printed fabric.  I still believe it's up the quiltmaker to decide those things.

 Hope you enjoyed seeing this quilt!

And, are the names of the two Heartprint Winners for February.

 I will need a mailing address from each of you:

Mandy Currie
Kathleen Santos

I hope to mail the Heartprints
 on Monday....all depending on when I receive the addresses and I'll show them on a blog post thereafter.

Next week, I will  also immediately begin working on the March versions... 

I appreciate each of you who commented and you never know, you might win one sometime this year yourself!

 until next time
 Bird Nest Cottage

Monday, February 24, 2020

Heart Month #4

More hearts for Heart Month.!
 This is a doll I made in 2001.  It's made from a square of Crazy Quilting.  I don't remember where the doll pattern came from....but it all began with a small pillow.  She's very 'boxy" but I made her anyway.  And, you have to look for the hearts.


I loved this assortment of fabrics and even though I thought she was a bit "homely" she thanked me for making her anyway.  Imagine!

She also has a pet lamb....and a favorite heart I chose to include in the photo, even though
None of them were made in the doll's time period.
 That red and black heart was made from felt and silk ribbon.  One of my favorite's about 7" tall and has aged well.
I did not make the little lamb but I did add the heart.

I know you will ask about the Redwork embroidery.  It's a pillow I made...I LOVE redwork!
It has nothing to do with this little 'story' about the hearts and doll, but it is RED. ❤️

She has simple little face....and, Oh, My!  That hair! 
It's made from many 'ravelings' taken from different fabrics.  I always knew that stuff would come in handy if I thought about it long enough.


Funny and cool, all at the same time.

This is my favorite Crazy Quilt book from back in the day, 1986.
 I'm showing it to you because I took a quote from that book and wrote it on the back of this doll.
I was amused by it.  It's about the concern early Crazy Quilters had for losing their vision while doing tedious embroidery and quilting.  It seems the lack of lighting back then, and the very long hours they spent stitching, caused worrisone eye strain.
I understood that, as I have never had decent vision, worried about it then, and still do.  But with lots of lighting, much determination and a great love of stitching...I managed to do a fairly decent job of stitching all these years.  You really have to WANT to do it and you will overcome.  My idea has always been when I get to where I can't stitch....I will just talk about it!!! 
You can read the quote below.

And, to read it more easily:


So, there you are...another heart post.

I have decided that since my next Sunday post will be MARCH 1,  (where did that month go!!),
I will be announcing the winners of the February Heartprints on Wednesday night, the 26th.

until next time
Bird Nest Cottage

A Bit of Heaven

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