Monday, January 23, 2017

2017 Tokyo Quilt Festival

The Tokyo Quilt Festival opened its doors on January 19, 2017. My friend sent along this link from Okan Arts and it is well worth a look at the beautiful quilts. This show is open for seven days so I'm sure there will be lots more photos posted by various quilters who attended the show.
Photos from past shows:
Grab a cup of something and enjoy!!

2017 Tokyo Quilt Festival


Sunday, January 22, 2017

New Embroidery Books

Two new hand embroidery books have been added to my library. One of my friends has these and brought them to one of our stitch days. Of course, they were "must have"! 

The projects in Simply Stitched uses a combination of wool embroidery thread and cotton embroidery floss on linen. Using wool means that fewer stitches are used. However, using thicker embroidery floss, might just work as well (my opinion). The motifs are simple yet elegant and can be used in a variety of ways. You can experiment and use them in other projects than those in the book.

Zakka Embroidery designs are 'an elegant blend of Japanese and Scandinavian style. The motifs and patterns are spare and graphic, yet softened with organic shapes and imagery drawn from nature'. In this book, the motifs are stitched using just one or two colours. The photographs, the step-by-step instructions and detailed diagrams, are very well done. I can see using this book for inspiration, perhaps taking bits and pieces and incorporating them into an original piece.

Some inspiration, tutorials, Pinterest . . .

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Paper Pieced Hearts

I was digging through some of my mother's things (she just moved to a nursing home) and found this paper pieced wall hanging that I made ages ago.  It's hanging on her wall beside her bed.

Here's a few links to valentine blocks / projects:

Friday, January 20, 2017

Finally Found!!!

Have you ever put something away and forgotten where it was? I've been searching for my clamp-on embroidery hoop holder for ages. Husband made it years ago when I was taking some embroidery courses. It folds flat, which I had forgotten about, so I wasn't looking for it in that format. I've searched the house from top to bottom.

Today, I happened to look for something else (isn't that always the case), and found it under one of the machines. I was a happy camper but also a little ticked off that it took so long to find!

Folded flat!

Clamped on, ready to use! The part holding the hoop rotates so I can see the back of my work.

This is a very handy gadget! Lots of knobs for adjusting.
You can also see the progress I'm making on my snowmen.

Enjoy your weekend. St. John's is under a blizzard advisory. Nothing happening yet! Maybe it will miss us? Wishful thinking . . .

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Dory

The original smaller Dory Shimmer has been slightly enlarged as you can see. It was the smallest of my shimmers but very popular with tourists. I will have a selection of these at the wholesale show in February.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

New Shimmers

New shimmers in the studio today! I've had requests for music related shimmers so here's a start. These are about 4" high.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

All About Modern

Modern Quilting - what exactly is it? The Stitchin' Post gives an answer to this question.
According to the "Modern Quilt Guild," modern quilts are primarily functional and inspired by modern design. Modern quilters work in different styles and define modern quilting in different ways, but several characteristics often appear which may help identify a modern quilt. These include, but are not limited to: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. "Modern traditionalism" or the updating of classic quilt designs is also often seen in modern quilting."

Me, I like the ones with lots of white or black space and colour. The colour would not be any particular quilt block - more random.  I also like the work of Jean Wells. Her books, Inspired Art Quilting and Intuitive Color & Design are both  in my library collection.
Jacquie Gering Quilt, part of her Trunk Show here in St. John's

Another one of Jacquie's quilts

Monday, January 16, 2017

Eye Candy

Sometimes it nice to just look at other artists work, don't you think? I enjoy seeing what others are doing. You never know what might trigger an idea for a new project.

Not one to make excuses for what I do, I'm very proud to present my artist daughter, Jill Thirza Cooper. Have a look at her work and bio.
Photo by Gracie Hagen

Sunday, January 15, 2017

3-D, A Look Back

I was going through my mom's things this weekend (she just moved to a new nursing home) and came across this quilted wall hanging of The Matthew. I designed and created this one for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary in 1997. It is a much smaller version of the one I made to commemorate the 500th. anniversary of John Cabot's Discovery of Newfoundland, 1497 -1997.

Read more about The Matthew HERE.

The ship is in 3-D. I found a good photo to use from off one of our local brewery boxes. I traced it onto fabric and went from there. The sails are made from a silky fabric. Fabric stiffener was used on the edges to make them billow out.

Click on the photo to get a closer view.

Enjoy these few links:


Saturday, January 14, 2017

All About Cats!

This post is all about cats! Why? Because my granddaughter just got a new kitten which she named Holtzmann. That's the name of her favorite Ghostbuster's character.

We had a cat for 17 years. I don't miss the cat hairs but having a cat around was nice.

Image may contain: cat and indoor

Cats to quilt and stitch:

Friday, January 13, 2017

TGIF - the 13th!

Friday the 13th! Anyone superstitious?  It rained here most of the day and the only thing I was concerned about was maybe slipping on some of the ice that remained. I didn't give a thought to anything related to the 13th.

I've found another Blog Hop that started January 9 so you already have a couple of days to check.  This one is New Beginnings by Island Batik. It's interesting to see what other quilters create using specific fabrics and colour themes.

New Beginnings Blog Hop
If you still want to browse quilt related 'stuff', go to Crazy Mom Quilts. I've mentioned this site several times before.  

Regarding my studio work: not much happened today. I stitched out 80 Viking Ship Shimmers this week as I have a couple of orders for the spring tourist seasons. It's great when I get early requests for things. Today I managed to stitch out some dory's.  These are larger than my previous ones. I will post a photo when they are ready.

Time to do some free style stitching!

Thursday, January 12, 2017


I was searching for some Valentine's Day projects and came across a bunch of free cross stitch patterns at Cyber  You will find all kinds of subject matter there.

Now on to my original subject of Valentines,  as you have just a month to get something done in time. I'm not into the heart / Valentine related stuff but lots of you are. Here are a few finds for today:
Of course, my Fibre Art Heart Shaped Pendants are just the thing to wear on Valentine's Day or any day, for that matter. As you can see below, the traditional reds and pinks aren't found here.



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

To The Moon

The moon was quite large this afternoon. I took several photos but they were not clear. However, this one was interesting. The larger circle is the moon and the other two are lights in the parking lot but it does look like three moons up there (GRIN)!  Could be an alien sky!!


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Free Quilt Along from Sew Fresh Quilts

I've just added a new button on the side of my blog, Have a Jolly Little Christmas Quilt Along with Sew Fresh Quilts. This quilt along begins January 14th. You can make as many or as few blocks as you wish to create either a quilt, a mini wall hanging, a cushion, a table runner, a bed runner or whatever your heart desires!!

Christmas is a whole year away so if you get started now, you could have a few special handmade gifts ready to give.

Did I mention that this is a FREE Quilt Along from Sew Fresh Quilts?

Monday, January 9, 2017

In my 'spare' time, I've been stitching up a snowman mini. It is my take away piece when stitching with friends. I find that when we get together, it's hard to concentrate on a 'follow a pattern' piece.

I'm using an 8 inch hoop and # 8 Valdani Pearl Cotton. Note the tiny magnet holding my needle. It's easier to let the magnet catch the needle.

Stitching Patterns:
If you are looking for something different, check out the 'adult colouring books' that seem to be all the rage these days.

Or maybe Zentangle Designs might be something different to stitch. Check Pinterest HERE  & HERE for some and this YouTube on How To Draw Zen-tangles, is a good one.    


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Hand Embroidery

I have several embroidery links to share.

 A tiny hand embroidery on one of my Fibre Art Pendants.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Rooms

We took the family to The Rooms today for brunch. The food and the view of St. John's was awesome!
One of the galleries had an exhibit of Inuit art. Photographs were permitted. I did zero in on a couple of pieces with applique, beading and fine stitching.

The caribou are beautiful!
 Carved antler 

 Basket weaving

Friday, January 6, 2017

Sewing Projects

This week, I've been trying to cram in lots of family time with granddaughter and her parents. They go back to Nova Scotia on Sunday. I did finish a lovely fleece robe for Gale and started a small embroidered snowman wall hanging. And, I have started making more Shimmer Ornaments for the Wholesale Show in February.

Since I have nothing to show you today, have a look at these projects:
  This snowman is from Sandy Point, NL - my brother's place!  

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Home Sweet Home: An Embroidery Workbox

This is the third book that I received for Christmas. I'm not interested in 'building' another workbox but I was curious about the embroidery stitches and how Carolyn Pearce used them. Beautiful coloured photos, detailed instructions and clear diagrams, provide all you need to embroider and construct the workbox and matching accessories.

The book has a full size pattern sheet and lots of step-by-step photos to help you create all the projects in the book.

Some sewing kits:

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


This year is Canada's 150th Birthday. Celebrations will be going on across the country for the entire year. Below, are a few quilt / stitching related projects, commemorating this event:

  • Sew Sisters Quilt Shop, Toronto, Ontario, is hosting a Block of the Month, The Canadian Sampler. It isn't free but some of you might be interested. It may also inspire you to design your own Canadian Quilt or wall hanging.
  • View the official logo HERE     
If you know of other projects related to Canada's Birthday, I love to hear about them.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Modern Folk Embroidery

Here's another new book added to my collection. The photos are beautiful and the designs can be found in folk art but with a modern twist. I've been following Nancy Nicholson's embroidery for awhile. I like her distinctive style, which 'draws on influences from Scandinavia and the Far East'. She uses a variety of stitches to create 30 interesting projects.

Each project is provided with embroidery suggestions which show the stitches used. There are pages of stitch combinations to explore in a variety of ways.

Links related to Folk Art:

Monday, January 2, 2017


Today, we woke up to a wonderland of snow. There was no wind and the trees were just laden with it - so pretty. I'm not a winter person, but can appreciate the beauty of new fallen snow. The two snow photos look like black and white.

My back garden

The snow is still on the trees at dusk. I love the Christmas Tree reflected in the living room window.
 Now for a few links:

Sunday, January 1, 2017


Do you have any goals for 2017? I want to stitch something every day even if it is just a few stitches. Last year, I started to do this on a scrap of fabric but did not follow through. I experimented with some different yarns and threads but other things took over. I used all kinds of unusual fibers, some were so thick that couching was the only way to tack them down. Now I'm going to give it another try. Some of the stitches below were used in several underwater scenes.

I also have another small snowman in one of my hoops. It may get done by next Christmas!

Here's a few embroidery links for you to check.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year

This has been a very busy year with my art / business ventures. Lots of new Shimmer Ornaments, Needle Felted ornaments and Fibre Art Pendants were created, a few UFO's were completed and renos on the house are in progress! The days I managed to stitch with friends were indeed precious. Thanks for your friendship.

Our daughter and family made a big move from Chicago to Bridgewater, Nova Scotia in May.

Cookies for my granddaughter, who arrives with her mom & dad tomorrow morning! What a great way to welcome the New Year!!

2017? Who knows what the new year will bring but it will be another interesting adventure.

Thank you for following my blog posts and to those who leave comments. I may not respond to all of them but they are read and appreciated. Happy New Year! I wish you health, happiness, time with family and friends, and lots of fun in 2017!
2017 happy new year hanging christmas ball Free vector in Adobe ...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

New Book

I received several books for Christmas. Embroidered Landscapes, Hand Embroidery, Layering & Surface Stitching by Judy Wilford, is one of them. This hard covered book, with 287 pages, has lots of coloured photos and sketches. I've haven't had time to really get into this book but I can see that it will be a great reference. I'm especially interested in her stitching of various plants, grasses and trees. It's a great book for the beginner and experienced embroiderer interested in creating small landscapes.

Judy Wilford has 30 years of experimentation, refinement, and tutoring under her belt, and her process combines and adapts different genres, textiles, traditional stitches, and embroidery styles. Part 1 covers the materials and equipment, lays out a simple landscape, and demonstrates background layering and surface stitching. The second section contains a range of projects, each developing and extending the various techniques. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Solidwool Ornament

I received a very interesting Christmas Ornament today, from my nephew living in London, England. He knows me very well. When he saw this beautiful Solidwool (yes, wool not wood) tree bauble at a local market, he knew it had my name on it. The tree bauble is one of two classic Christmas designs and in limited numbers (they are sold out according to the website)

I did a bit of research on how it was made. 

"Solidwool is a unique, composite material. A new way of working with wool.
You could say it's like fibreglass, but with wool as the reinforcement instead of glass.

Left with a small batch of waste Solidwool material, they've created a limited number of Christmas Baubles to put the material to use. These are cut and laser etched by Cut by Beam in Cornwall, painted by hand and finished with a black Twool string made from Dartmoor wool.

Very interesting.
Thanks, David, I love it!!


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas from St. John's

I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. To my family, near and far, I wish we could all be together this Christmas. Make memories!  To my friends, I'm glad I have you in my life. To my readers, thank you for stopping by and for your comments. Have a great day tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


I recently purchased Tanya Berlin's Hapsburg Lace Snowflake Sampler. See it HERE.
Hoping to start it tomorrow at our Wednesday stitching get together.

More Snowflakes

I also linked up with The Needle & Thread Network. Check it out.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas Tree

The tree is up and decorated! My gorgeous tree skirt is in place (Joan made the tree skirt for my birthday two years ago). Now, if only the flooring was down in my back entrance so the washer and dryer could be moved out of the front hallway. It should be completed later this week as it takes two days for floor to settle once it's 'glued' down and another two for grout to cure. I keep telling myself that it will be finished by Christmas!

 Links related to Tree patterns, quilts, projects:

Friday, December 16, 2016

Brrrrrr - It's Cold Outside!

Winter has come early to St. John's, NL. Needless to say, I'm not a fan of snow, wind and cold weather and we are having lots of that this week.

Cold Weather Projects:
 Several of the links above came from my friend at Magpie's Mumblings.

winter clip art at Lakeshore Learning

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Studio Christmas Tree with Shimmers

We didn't get much in the way of snow on Tuesday. Everything is white but not much accumulation (thank goodness)! I put a small tree in my studio this year and put some of my Shimmer Ornaments on it.

I decided to search for Shimmer Ornaments and found that Kreinik threads has one. Not like mine but certainly an interesting one. Get pattern HERE.

Then there are Shimmer Cinnamon Ornaments. They look yummy!  Recipe included.

I found my own web site showing a few of over 60 Shimmer Ornaments. That page needs to be updated.

Need a small embroidery project, try out the Shimmering Snowflake Ornaments pattern! PDF project guide HERE

I've linked up with The Needle And Thread Network.  Lots of great Canadian sites to visit.