Monday, January 31, 2011

fifth and final OWOH

The fifth and final One World One Heart giveaway is here! I participated the last two years and it is a great opportunity to visit lots and lots of wonderful blogs from all over the world. All you have to do to participate is have a blog, offer something as a giveaway, and leave a comment on each blog you visit to be eligible for their prize. The drawings will be on February 17th. Click on the badge at the end of this post or on the sidebar for all the info. as well as a list of all the participating blogs. I have decided my item will be the mini pincushion pictured. It is about 3 inches across and 1 1/2 inches high- a perfect size to tuck into a sewing basket.
Leave a comment and your name is entered in the giveaway. Have fun and a big thank you to Lisa at Whimsical Bohemian for hosting this again this year!


Friday, January 28, 2011


The fifth and final One World One Heart blog event is starting this Sunday, January 30th
and runs until Feb. 17th. I am trying to decide what to offer for my giveaway- maybe a coaster,
a regular sized eyeglass case or a reader style eyeglass case;
Or maybe a pincushion (this is what my giveaway item was the last two years) or,finally:
a mini pincushion. I will decide and post the item on Sunday. See you then!

Monday, January 24, 2011

clarice cliff

A little more progress on the hooked rug I've been working on for what seems like a very long time. It sits in the corner of the sewing room and I do a small section whenever the mood strikes.
I drew this design on a large piece of paper, transferred it to the monk's cloth and just started filling in with some of my hand dyed wools and solid mill dyed wools.
The large flowers and bold, bright colors are inspired by my favorite British pottery:
Clarice Cliff from the 1920's and 30's. Most people would be familiar with her pieces decorated with cottages and bizarre trees, which are wonderful, but I love her florals.

The following photos are examples of her work. The colors are so warm and vibrant:

AND are all my favorite colors!

Some of my applique work is also inspired by her work. I just love it!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

seed catalogs

We have been out to the Arboretum for the Seed Stories exhibit four times already and could go many more times, it is so fascinating. The Andersen Horticultural Library has an extensive collection of 57,000 historic seed and nursery catalogs and this exhibit is a tiny fraction highlighting many of the companies specific to the Midwest as well as elsewhere. I am amazed at how many are right here in Minnesota. This Landreth catalog below is the oldest in the collection dating from the early 1800's. In fact the Landreth Seed Company is just starting their 228th year of business- the oldest seed company in America. They are in Pennsylvania and I tried to get this year's commemorative catalog,but it is sold out.
Three of the companies shown were started and ran by women right here in Minneapolis- Lippincott, White, and Prior- in the early 1900's.

The artwork and detail are stunning. I think everyone would have been tempted to frame the catalog cover when they were done using them! I know I would have.

So many varieties of vegetables and fruits are ones I don't hear anymore. I wonder what has happened to all those varieties?

I purchased a few calendars so that I can enjoy the images all year long ( this is the one I sent to Liz over at Lululizinlalaland). Hope you enjoyed this little look at the exhibit!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

new projects

I love batik fabrics.I have quite a stash of them and sometimes use them for applique work. Lately it seems my time is spent making pincushions and eyeglass cases to fill orders and I would really like to stretch myself a little. I decided to treat myself at Christmas and purchase one of Jude Hill's online classes over at Spirit Cloth. I tried the cloth to cloth class which is an introductory course to her fabric weaving technique for quilting. The videos were wonderful- it is so interesting to watch an artist at work and see the process beginning to end.This type of quilting is so different from my usual work- much more spontaneous, it's nice to loosen up a bit. the first step was to tear strips of cloth- tear, not cut! That part alone was fun!
Then I started weaving sample pieces- some of these are the batiks and others are cottons I dyed myself. Playing with the colors was so much fun. the one above is a tiny piece using bright colors I'm especially drawn to and the one below has a dark blue purchased batik and a mottled sky blue that I dyed. Blue is not a color I use much, but this combo is so pretty. This piece will be the background for embellishing with embroidery and more. I would like to meld this technique with my crocheted flowers and embroidery.
I think the techniques will work well together. This is my 'work station'- the coffee table in front of me in the living room.
This is the green piece I decided to start with- the pieces are woven and now I'm stitching down the raw edges. When I made quilts before I would be chained to a sewing machine for the piecing and worked very hard on doing perfect, even quilting stitches. I soon realized I wouldn't be finishing very many quilts. What I love about this is handstitching everything is encouraged- a much freer form.
A few years ago my friend, Colette, was at a weaving demonstration and when the artist was discarding the selvage edge threads she scooped them up and very generously gave them to me. I have been waiting for the right project and this may be it.
The colors are just beautiful so, along with adding some flowers:
I'm going to use the threads for some of the embroidery- couching them done here and there.
It is early stages still and ,of course, I have to work around making more eyeglass cases:

and pincushions!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I go through a lot of thread making my pincushions ,etc. so I'm so glad I have a local needlework shop that carries everything I need and more. Stitchville USA is a small shop packed to the rafters with all manner of embroidery floss, hand dyed threads,
perle cottons in all sizes ( this is what I use mostly), silk ribbons, and anything else fiber related you might need. They specialize in embroidery and cross stitch as well as punch needle work so are well stocked on supplies. They also get their hand dyed wool from the same source I do.
Pattern books galore, kits, and even classes and stitching groups are available. The walls are covered in floor to ceiling examples of beautifully done needlework.
I have been shopping here for years and am happy to announce that they will now be carrying my pincushions. Since the shop carries both the thread and the wool that I use we thought it would be a good fit. My next step is to work up some patterns and instructions to sell-
buy one ready made or all the supplies to make your own. One stop shopping!