Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cards and snow?

I thought I'd post some of the cards I have made recently.
These were made using aluminum cans (beer and soda) as my metal for embossing. I showed how I do this hereFor this one I punched holes through the metal so that the red from underneath could show through
This card, is a photo from last years poinsettia which had been tweaked in Photoshop, printed onto fabric and stitched.
And since many people are looking for snow this time of the year (I am not one of them) I thought it was time for another "snowflake"
Last weeks CPP word was Cloud. What I immediately thought of, was Cloud 9 ......... I kept this one real simple and just drew various sizes of the number 9. Here is what the cut paper looked like before it was unfolded.

..........and after

Monday, December 19, 2011

New bag

This month, at our guild meeting, we welcomed Shirley from The Marsh Store as our vendor. Shirley brought with her, wonderful fabrics, patterns, threads and all sorts of terrific notions to tempt us. One of the things that caught my attention was a bag she had on display and, well...the pattern and supplies for it just had to go home with me.
First of all, I have to tell you about this new batting alternative called inn-control

It is a great product. It is easy to cut, easy to sew and gives amazing body to the bag. It is soft and pliable and yet the bag stands on its own even when completely empty. You can find out more about this product here
There are lots of things I liked about this bag pattern (and a couple of things I didn't) but that is why we sew right? we can make it the way we want! I rarely ever follow a pattern exactly anyway. So I changed the outer pockets from that rounded shape to plain rectangular ones. Then I made a couple of fabric strips that I studded and placed on either side of those pockets just to give a different look. The inside of the bag, I made as called for, with the exception of a loop that I added which gives me a spot to hang my keys so I can always find them quickly.This bag has a nice zippered closure, lots of padded pockets on the inside that are big enough to hold one of those cool Tablets, you can even carry a small Netbook in here along with all your regular purse stuff.
The bag is designed by Brenda Miller, and is called The Everything Goes Bag

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Clever idea!!!!

First of all, let me make it perfectly clear that this was NOT my idea, but I thought it was something I just had to share. I have been lucky enough to be part of a wonderful, fun group of ladies who have formed a small sewing group that meets once a month, we all pretty much work on whatever projects we have on the go, share ideas and socialize. Best of all, there are no phones ringing, no chores and NO interruptions.
Yesterday, Cindy shared this clever idea.......have you seen these packages of ponytail holders at the dollar store.......they are tiny, soft, stretchy fabric rings and you get a LOT in a package. Don't have a ponytail? ........oh but you do have bobbins don't you? Lots of bobbins? and when you go to classes and workshops or just even as those bobbins sit in the drawer, do you find the threads unwinding and making a tangled mess? .......well Cindy showed us how those ponytail holders solve that problem. Those little fabric rings fit perfectly on your bobbins whether they are full or not, keeping everything neat and in place
I think this is brilliant! I found packages of black and white but they also come in a great array of colours so you could even colour code your bobbins, you know, one colour for your cottons, one for your rayons and one for.........well you get the idea. They even work great on those little spools that also seem to want to unravel.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Winners, Progress and Prompts

The great folks at LAPEL stick told me I could pick 2 winners who will each receive one to keep for themselves or give as a gift, the randomly chosen winners are Just Pam and Royce.....emails from me are on the way ladies. Hope you love this product as much as I do.
All of the flowers, leaves, buds and vines for the borders are prepared, in place, and ready for the hand stitching to begin. ( a couple of pieces can't be put on until after all the seams are stitched) but I love that with this method, I can see exactly what the finished border will look like
I thought it was time for a couple more papercut snowflakes in response to The Creative Prompt Project. #133 is Green..........since I am in applique mode and doing it in a "scrappy"fashion, I did notice that choosing colours for the flowers can take a while, but leaves and vines are easy......greens, of course! So this snowflake is made up of leaves and vines
CPP # 132 was this snowflake, you will find ocean waves, sea horses, turtles and of course plenty of fish.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Designing applique borders and a "Giveaway"!!!

Earlier in the year, I appliqued a block called "Miss Kelly" designed by Erin Russek. I have decided to finish it in a "Round Robin" sort of fashion. I wanted to start by designing an applique border for this piece, first I scanned a few my own flowers/buds and leaves that I planned to work with. After a little tweaking on the computer, I printed out several pages of these elements (actual size) in greyscale. Now I could cut them up and start arranging, a little dab of LAPEL stick ( I love this product) holds it all in place as I play to find a layout I like. As an added bonus, the paper version can be used as my placement template.........its just too easy!!!

Then I got busy making the required number of pieces in fabric using my preferred method (freezer paper and gluestick) you can read an earlier post that describes this method here want to know about the giveaway?.....have you seen LAPEL stick for sale at your local quilt shop? Have you tried it yet? They are terrific and have many uses............want a chance to win one? Leslie Durand, Sales and Marketing Director for LAPEL Stick contacted me yesterday and generously offered to let me host a giveaway. She has told me I can pick 2 winners, so....... just leave me a comment in this post. I'll post the winners Monday Dec 5th. and Leslie will send you your very own LAPEL stick......keep it for yourself or use it as a stocking stuffer
You can learn more about this product at or

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My most recent article

The Winter issue of The Canadian Quilter is currently showing up in quilters mailboxes across the country and contains my second article as CQA's Artist in Residence. This article is about creating quilted postcards, and while I do give instructions, hints and tips in making these little works, I also point out that they don't necessarily have to be made with fabrics. Unfortunately some of the text got omitted alongside the photos, so I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you what materials were used in constructing the top layer of some of the cards shown.

This first one was made using a painted paper towel (heavily stitched) which was then embellished with rubber stamping, a few fabric scraps, beads and bits of broken costume jewelry.
This one, is again, paper toweling that had been painted, rubber stamped and stitched.LinkThis is one of my favourites. It is just so simple, a plain brown paper bag (I think it was from the liquor store) was stamped and stitched. Selvage edges, buttons and a small safety pin finishes the look.
and these? well they are nothing more than pre-printed paper napkins found at the dollar store. Lots of stitching was applied to make some of the areas really stand out.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Play time.........and a beer?

Okay, well ......actually....the beer can was already empty when I got this idea.
I have wanted to try some metal embossing for a while now, but just had not gotten around to picking up any didn't think that would stop me did you?
So I began with a clean beer can, cut it apart (carefully because those edges can be quite sharp)
With the printed side of the can face up and those sharp edges taped down on to the cork trivet, I drew a design, pressing firmly with the pen, then, flipped it over and drew echo lines around those first lines, which really gives the design it's depth, the cork trivet has enough cushion to allow for a fairly good imprint. (it would be best to use a pen that no longer has ink but a little spritz of hairspray and the ink dissolves so it can be wiped right off)I simply stitched these to some fabric covered Timtex and created postcardsThen I decided to do a slightly larger you can see, I used a can of Moosehead for this one, repeated the process of embossing, but this time I stitched it onto a piece of Timtex that I had first painted black..........reminds me of those decorative tin ceilings.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sometimes, you just have to CUT!

Do you recall this little painted quilt I did a while back? It was a project I really enjoyed doing and was pleased with the painting and stitching on the blossom. BUT I was not at all happy with the composition or my colour choice in that blue background. I continued on though, I thought perhaps if I gave it a nice border and lots of quilting I might like it better, well I did NOT! and it has been stuffed into a drawer ever since. Last week I decided to do something with this. I chopped it up and put it in a frame. Now I see just the part I was pleased with and the rest has gone away.Since I was in a cutting mood I did a couple more snowflakes as Creative Prompt Project word responses.
#123 is Butterfly..........this made up of butterflies, flowers and cocoons
#128 is Candy, here I incorporated life savers, jelly beans, gum drops, wrapped candies, tootsie pops and rope licorice

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Designing like a Kid!

As I grow as an Artist, I always try to remember not to take it all too seriously, when it ceases to be fun, I know I will no longer enjoy it.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the extreme pleasure of taking a workshop conducted by Kathy K Wylie. Kathy is an award winning quilter, designer, teacher and the author of the book, Sewflakes, Papercut Applique most of you know that I generally refer to my time spent in my sewing room as "playtime", Kathy's workshop led me to even more ways to "play" with design.

I really LOVE pieces that at first look, may appear to be simply pleasing designs, shapes, colours BUT upon closer inspection reveals more. Kathy's method is a wonderful take on the old paper snowflake we all did as kids, but Kathy takes it to a whole other level, not only does she show you how to create the initial design but guides you through the process of going from paper to fabric.

This piece that I teased you with last week is as a result of that workshop. Did you notice that is is made up entirely of insects?If you have been stopping by my blog for any length of time, you may remember my involvement with the Creative Prompt Project. I used to do a doodle each week in response to the "prompt"word posted...........did it for about a year and a half and guess I just got bored with the doodling. Not certain why I stopped, perhaps I no longer found it challenging. BUT I think making these papercut snowflakes will be a challenge and so much FUN!!! So I am going to get back to playing along.......using papercut designs instead of are my responses to the most recent prompts.
#126 was Pumpkin.........the pumpkins are obvious, but look closely, do you see the vines, leaves, blossoms, seeds and even a whacky Jack O'Lantern face?
#127 is Ghost. Doesn't look like much before it gets unfolded does it?

Big and little ghosts, float amid the gravemarkers and funky trees all radiating out from a little tiny spider web.
Want to learn how to do this yourself? grab a copy of Kathy's book. click on the image below to find out how to get yours.

Okay, enough of this ......gotta go play!

Monday, October 24, 2011

.....and we have a Winner!

First of all.......Thank you to everyone who played along, I hope you enjoyed learning a little about this fun digital scrapbooking software.
Congratulations to Dolores, she will receive her very own copy of My Memories Suite email from me is on the way.

I am sure you are all happy for Dolores but if you are just a wee bit disappointed and really wanted to play with this software yourself, don't forget that the good people at My Memories provided me with code for you that gives you a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software AND a $10 coupon for the My store - $20 value!)

The coupon code is:
There is no time limit, so if you are interested but want to learn more and perhaps even take your time to watch some of the video tutorials, you can always come back here and grab the code when you are ready.........heck maybe you have friends or family members who might like this......why not send them the code too and share the fun!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I can hardly believe that I started this blog 3 years ago. Yup, it was 3 years ago today that I put up my very first post..........and it said:
"Blogging is a new concept for me. I have absolutely no clue as to what I am doing just yet, but I have never let that stop me before. I have found many blogs to be intriguing and inspiring. What will I bring to this forum?...................I do not know. I will just have to see where this leads."

In the beginning I didn't even know how to upload a photo and creating links was a complete mystery. I have met some fabulous people through this medium, been given some wonderful opportunities and have enjoyed having this place to chronicle my journey as I grow into the artist I want to be and most of all, to be able to share ideas.

What is a blog post without an interesting photo? You'll have to wait until next week to learn more about this one.

In the mean time don't forget to enter the giveaw
ay I am hosting, read my previous post to find out how to be entered into the drawing for the digital scrapbooking software, My Memories Suite
(Comments/Entries must be made in that post, thanks )

Monday, October 17, 2011

It is Giveaway time!!!!

Are you a Scrapbooker?........not me.........well ......not until I was contacted by Liz from My Memories Suite. Liz asked if I would like to review their product and host a giveaway. What is the product you ask? My Memories Suite is a digital scrapbooking software, I have to warn you right off......... it is rather addictive. I have been having a blast exploring what can be created using this software and I have barely scratched the surface.

First of all, if you are a regular reader of my blog you may have noticed a few changes to my site. Do you like my new banner? it was created using the My Memories software.Did you happen to notice that on my sidebar, I have changed the way my galleries are presented? you guessed it.........each was designed using My Memories.
Let me tell you a little about my experience with this digital scrapbooking software, it was quick and easy to download and install (Instant waiting on the postman)
The software is super user friendly, I was able to start creating immediately, but IF you find that you sometimes need a little help, My Memories has wonderful customer support. There are lots of easy to access instructional videos so you can "see" what you want to know or use the fabulous searchable PDF covering everything. My Memories Suite comes loaded with great background papers, templates, shapes, embellishments, you can even add music, make a video, I can't possibly cover it all, so if you want to see more about this software and what it can do, why not take a few minutes to check out some of the YouTube videos. The MMS blog has some wonderful tutorials as well........these are sure to make you an expert in digital scrapbooking

One of the things I thought I might do with this software is to create an album where I can show some of my projects from start to finish....Or maybe just a pretty way to showcase my quilts using some of the software's papers, embellishments and Word Art (I'll share more of my ideas soon)

So, how would you like a chance to win your own copy of My Memories Suite?

To be entered in the random drawing for your very own copy of this digital scrapbooking software, I am asking that you go on over to the My Memories Suite site HERE , check it out and then come back and leave me a comment (in this post)telling me what your favourite papers or designer packs are.

but wait......would you like to better your odds of winning?........okay, I will give you several ways to get even more chances to win this prize.
For additional entries:

You can become a follower............leave a comment telling me.

If you are already a follower.................leave a comment letting me know

Help spread the word, create a post linking this giveaway on your blog.................come back and leave a comment for me.

If you would like to Facebook or this giveaway.........then be sure to return here and leave a comment telling me what you did

Visit the My Memories blog....become a follower there..........remember to come back and tell me

There, lots of ways to get extra chances BUT wait!!! This is the best part........No one will go away empty handed, because even if you don't win the giveaway of this terrific software, MyMemories Suite has given me a special code for all of my readers,
YES, that's right...your very own Share the Memories code that provides a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software AND a $10 coupon for the My store - $20 value!)

So don't forget.......if you don't win ( or can't wait) the coupon code is:

I am going to leave this open for the week and announce the winner on Monday October 24th to give you lots of time and please be sure I have a way to contact you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Just a few more tests

My last post garnered some interesting comments and suggestions about using those FriXion pens, Some of them led me to want to do a couple more tests. This time I drew a pair of marks side by side on fabric which I then cut in two. One would have the marks removed with heat (I used a hair dryer) and the other had the marks removed by washing only.
I discovered something very interesting I wanted to show you, this was difficult to capture with the camera but when looking at the fabric that had the markings removed with heat.......the markings "appear"to be totally gone BUT if you hold the fabric at just the right angle in just the right light, look what you can see, it is almost a "ghost" image of those markings. Click on either of these images to get a good, close up look....see how the markings now appear to have been drawn with a white pen?

I tried this again, but first actually stitched out the design, then rinsed/washed. While I can see some of the ink lines very, VERY faintly, the no heat and washing method seems to give the best result.
These pens write extremely well on fabric, the ink flows easily, but I think that I will only use them for perhaps marking applique placements or something where the markings will be covered by other fabrics, I don't think I'll be using them to mark my quilt tops.

Be sure to check back later in the week, you'll want to get the details about a giveaway I will soon be hosting.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Quilters BEWARE!

We have all heard it said.........if its too good to be true, it probably is.

Have you seen the pens on the market that are erasable? Have you seen them at your local quilt store? They are called FriXion. The ink disappears when you run the iron over it. It seems like magic.....ah, but remember that line about something being too good to be true?

Back in April, I tried this pen out and was impressed, well that was until I saw the warning on the packaging.........extreme temperatures? (click on the image for a better view) What happens at extreme temperatures?

Well the ink reappears. Great for a magic act at a child's birthday party, but not so good for your quilts.

I found that if I put the fabric I had "erased" into my freezer, the ink reappeared, I wanted to give it a better test, so I did the same thing again but this time I left the "erased" fabric for 6 months before exposing it to the cold (hoping that after this much time had passed, the ink would not reappear) Nope, no such luck, the markings did indeed re-emerge.
You can see in the photo below that the markings come back VERY visible.

Now you may be saying to yourself...........why would I put my quilts in the freezer? well of course you would not BUT think about times when your quilt could be exposed to extreme temperatures. I can tell you that during our Canadian winters it can get mighty cold in the trunk of my car on the way to a guild meeting, what happens when you ship your quilts? They can often spend a day or two in very cold warehouses or in a cold shipping truck. I can just imagine sending a beautiful quilt off to a show and the judges opening the package only to see lots of ink all over the quilt........I am fairly certain they would NOT be impressed.

I have seen these pens available at quilt shops, (they come in lots of colours) upon speaking to one shop owner, she was completely unaware of the problem with these pens AND because the pens a sold individually, you probably are not getting that packaging with the warning on it. So just beware of what "could" happen if you decide you want to try these pens out on your quilts and please share this with other quilters you know.

Copyright Jill Buckley