Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I Just Love Crazy Quilt Gatherings Magazine

If you've been following along all these years with my blog posts here and on my various blogs you know that I LOVE crazy quilting and embroidery and admire the artists who create fiber works of art. I can spend hours and hours browsing through the blogs of some of my crazy quilting online friends and salivating at their creations. I just love to look at all the amazing creations and dream of creating some myself. 

Over the years I've reviewed and posted on my I Love Crafts & Craft Blogs blog about some of the amazing crazy quilters blogs that I've become aware of through my Top Blogs By Crafters toplist.  My  I Love Crafts & Craft Blogs posts and links to each of the blogs is shown below: 

1) Pat Winter of Gatherings at http://gatherings100.blogspot.com/ 

2) Janet Popish of "I'm going crazy; you come, too"   blog at http://gocrazywithme.blogspot.com/ 

3) Charlene's "When This You See Remember Me"  blog at http://www.gatherings100.blogspot.com/ 

4) Pamela Kellogg's "Kitty & Me Designs"  blog at http://www.kittyandmedesigns.blogspot.com/ 

5) Gerry's "Sewing Southpaw"  blog at http://sewing-southpaw.blogspot.com/ 

6) Lillian's "Crazy Seoul Sister"  blog at http://crazyseoulsister.blogspot.com/ 

7) Kay's "Smockery"  blog at http://smockery.blogspot.com/ 

8) Dale's "DownUnderDale"  blog at http://downunderdale.blogspot.com/ 

9) Maureen's "KENMAURSCORNER"  blog at http://kenmaurscorner.blogspot.com/ 

10) Julia's "Julia's Place (previously named Camille's Place)"  blog at http://creativeribbons.blogspot.com/ 

11) Lesa's "Maddie Can Fly"  blog at http://maddiecanfly.blogspot.com/ 

12) Jo's "No Matter Where I Go...I Always Meet Myself There" Blog at http://www.nzjo.blogspot.com/ 

Back in 2008 Pat Winter of "Pat Winter Gatherings" blog self-published a book entitled "My Crazy Quilting Journey" which I bought and just loved.  It was 80 pages and was all about her crazy quilting world and her creations.  If you're interested in Pat's book it can be purchased in the Blurb.com bookstore at  http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/180921 . 

Well, Pat  is now publishing a crazy quilting & embellishing magazine on the HP Mag Cloud website entitled "Crazy Quilt Gatherings - Celebrating Crazy Quilting of Today" which I just LOVE.  It is a magazine dedicated to crazy quilter's. 

According to Pat, "Crazy Quilt Gatherings is the first of its kind. A magazine dedicated to crazy quilting. It offers various crazy quilt projects and tutorials, plenty of eye candy, stash resources, tips, contests and interviews from crazy quilters worldwide." 

Crazy Quilt Gatherings Issue #1 was released in the Spring of 2011.  

Magazine Description - A magazine dedicated to crazy quilting. Featuring fiber artists, tutorials, tips, shopping sources,techniques and more. A little of everything for experienced crazy quilters as well as the novice.

Every time I pick up this issue I discover something new I hadn't noticed before and every time I find myself just astonished at all the beautiful creations.  I may have picked it up for a second, but find myself perusing it for hours on end, once again. 

Crazy Quilt Gatherings Issue #2 was just released for the Summer of 2011.  

Magazine Description -Second issue of Crazy Quilt Gathering magazine. Summer 2011.   Crazy quilt projects, tips, artists to meet. Crazy quilt bell pull, Crazy Quilt watch chatelaine tutorial, Crazy Quilt watch cuff tutorial, Silk ribbon embroidery, Bullion stitch pansy, Round Robin information, and so much more.

Both issues are filled to the brim with eye candy, absolutely beautiful creations, techniques for helping you create your own fiber works of art, freebie images, events of interest, useful information, and so much more. 

I bought both issues and just love browsing through the pages and looking at some of the unbelievable creations.  As I browse through the pages I find myself salivating at all the beautiful creations  - all individual works of art.  I dream of making some of them knowing full well that I could never create such beautiful pieces.  I'm not sure I have the patience for all the work that goes into the embroidered and embellished creations  - especially the beading, ribbon embroidery,  and fancy stitching. 

I bought 2 of each magazine as I wanted to introduce my sister to the world of crazy quilting and creative embroidery.  She is a quilting enthusiast and I thought she'd appreciate seeing some astonishing crazy quilting and creative embroidery pieces.  Now she is salivating. 
A little while ago Pat had posted in her blog about wanting to dedicate a page of her Summer Issue to our "fur babies" and was looking for pictures.  So, I sent her a picture of my beloved fur baby "Pepper."  Hubby and I lost him last June after 13 glorious years.  He was with us 24/7 and we miss him terribly.  Every time I would sit down at my sewing machine he would run over, do a little jump, and stop short just looking at me with an expression that said, "For me! What are you making for me?"  He thought everything was for him! 

He was my constant companion and was involved in supervising all of my creations.    Of course he had an opinion on all of them.  Those that took the longest for me to do he didn't like as they took too much of my time away from him.   His picture (shown to the left) is on page 9. He is forever in my heart and I miss him so lying under my feet at the sewing table. 

Congratulations to Pat and all the contributors of both issues of Crazy Quilt Gatherings Magazine for creating magazine issues that not only inspire, but will be saved and re-read time and time again. 

On the HP MagCloud website you can preview the issues.  I hope you get a chance to preview Pat's magazines and hope your preview inspires you to order your own copy.  I bet you'll be salivating, too. 

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

315 Hours On Another Cross-Stitch Picture - WOW!

I don't know if you remember or not, but last December I wrote a blog post entitled  "You Spent How Many Hours On That Cross-Stitch?" that talked about my spending over 250 hours on a cross-stitch picture. Back then you may have thought that 250 hours is a long time to spend on one project. Well, if I told you that I just spent 315 hours on another cross-stitch picture you might think I really have lost my mind.

I started this Dimensions Needlecrafts Counted Cross Stitch, In Her Gardenon December 29, 2010 and finally finished it on May 14, 2011. Hubby painstakingly documented my progress day by day so we'd have a detailed breakdown. I worked on this a few hours every day - every chance I got. I quickly learned that there were a lot of color changes due to all the flowers and, as a result, this was going to take a lot of time. And, for sure, it did.

So, was the 315 hours worth it? Absolutely! I'd do it again as the cross-stitch picture framed (shown in the picture above) is absolutely stunning.

To give you a little background on why I would create yet another massive cross-stitch picture I have to take you back to the rationale for my previous cross-stitch picture.  In July, 2010 I wrote a Linda's Blog post about my pressed flower pictures entitled "My Pressed Flower Pictures - Now That's A Great Idea!" In that post I told you about a large pressed flower picture I had made that was hanging in our master bedroom and, sadly, was fading which meant it needed to be replaced.

Well, my husband thought a needlepoint picture like the one I had done in the dining room but much bigger would be nice. I wrote about this needlepoint picture awhile ago in a Linda's Blog post entitled "Needlecraft Picture From A Decade Ago - Or So!"

So, since our house is filled with dolls and pictures of buildings & houses I thought a cross-stitch Victorian scene might be just the thing. So, I set out to find some large cross-stitch kits that would be suitable.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

What Have I Really Been Up To?

You may have noticed that I haven't been posting as frequently lately as you may be used to on my Linda's Blog. Well, there's a really good reason for that. Actually, there's many good reasons for that. You see, I've had my hand in a lot of different projects during the last few months - all of which have taken an enormous amount of time.

So, if you're wondering what I've been doing  - here's what I've been up to:

First, I've been creating two brand new websites/blogs for my baby sister. I alluded to this in my recent post entitled "A Delightful Surprise From My Baby Sister! She had sent me a bouquet of beautiful flowers as a "thank-you" for all I had been doing for her.

If you're wondering what her new websites/blogs are - well, the first has to do with alpacas and the second has to do with her new patterns. Now the latter (ie: patterns) should come as no surprise for something my baby sister might do. Given my creative juices never take a break and given how many patterns I've created I would hope some of that might rub off on my sister. When she was young she wanted to do everything I did and I didn't always let her. This time, I helped her.

This past winter her creativity went into overdrive. Make that super overdrive. She had decided that she wanted to combine her love of flowers with her love of quilting and sewing so she designed several framed flower appliqu├ęd wall pieces.

She was not only creating like crazy, but wanted to put the fruits of her creative endeavors to good use by creating patterns. And, of course, I told her that on the net "e-patterns" were the name of the game. So, since she didn't know how to create patterns - let alone e-patterns, I helped her a bit. After all, what are big sisters for?

And, since she had created patterns - well, she needed websites/blogs to sell them. So, of course, "the blogging queen" eagerly volunteered to create those for her. Her website/blog is called "Inspired Creations By D."

Inspired Creations By D sells FRAME or QUILT - FABRIC WALL ART PATTERNS. According to my sister, "Inspiration comes from many areas and one of mine comes from my love of the great outdoors, nature & flowers. I love to craft, sew, quilt and design patterns."

I hope you get a chance to visit my baby sister's new website/blog. If you do please leave a comment to let her know what you think.

So, I've explained the latter.  You might be wondering "what's up?" with the alpacas. Well, it seems my baby sister and her husband have decided to try their hands at alpaca farming. I really should say that my baby sister fell in love with "alpacas" (how could you not - they're just so ADORABLE) and managed to convince her "hubby" that this would be a great thing for them to do. Raise and sell alpacas and alpaca fiber. So, they are.

Right now they're in the process of getting their "alpaca farm" ready for the two alpacas and their 2 offspring that will arrive in September. My baby sister bought two "girls" that she named Sunflower and Ivy - who are both pregnant and will deliver their babies in July.

In case you haven't guessed by now baby sister's thing is flowers and gardening which is why she named her alpacas after flowers and which is why she named her new adventure "Rock Garden Alpacas."

So, since she and her husband are now in the alpaca business they needed a website/blog.  And, of course, I had no problem volunteering to create another website/blog for them. Their new website is "Rock Garden Alpacas." a

Rock Garden Alpacas is not only their selling website, but also their blog as it tells about their journey into alpaca farming. According to my sister,"We decided that it would be helpful to document our journey into alpaca farming as a way of "paying it forward" for all the help we received along the way. If you're thinking of alpaca farming we hope "Our Journey" helps you."

I hope you get a chance to visit my baby sister and brother-in-law's new website/blog. If you do please leave a comment to let them know what you think.

On top of all of that I've also been in the process of revising all 272 of my patterns.

The first of the year I decided I wanted to revise my patterns to create computer assisted diagrams and pattern piece pages. I tried one pattern to see how difficult it would be and how long it would take using Microsoft Publisher. I've been using it for years upon years now and would be lost without it.

So, I thought I'd see how difficult it would be to use their computer assisted drawing tools to help me create some of the images on my diagrams pages and pattern pieces sheets. After a few mangled attempts at drawing curves I finally got the knack of it. And, it worked really well once I got used to drawing lines, circles, curves, arrows, different size text, and different positioning of the text and images.

In fact, everything looked so wonderful. So nice and neat (not that my drawn diagrams weren't neat) and organized (not that my drawn diagrams weren't organized - as they were). It really made a difference in my pattern. I just LOVED how they looked - how professional - that I decided to revise all of my patterns.

Well, with 272 patterns this is a HUGE endeavor to undertake. Depending on the size of the pattern it might take me anywhere from one day to three days just to complete the changes. That's a HUGE undertaking to say the least and one that takes up a lot of my time.

So, I decided to take it one pattern at a time and over time eventually they'd all be done. I've got 76 of them done now and they're all updated in my Linda Walsh Originals shop.

Thirty five of those I've posted about on my Linda's Blog .

I've got 41 of the revised e-patterns done just waiting for new blog posts. So, that leaves 196 left to go. It will probably take me the rest of the year to revise all of them, but they're coming out really well and it's well worth the effort.

So, you're probably saying, "with all the above I can understand why she's been a little blog absent."

Well, that's only part of the story. I've been doing something else too that has taken me 315 hours to complete. I started it on December 29th, 2010 and finished it on May 14, 2011. Hubby has painstakingly recorded the days and hours it has taken for me to complete this project.

However, I can't tell you what's taken me 315 hours. It's a surprise for another Linda's Blog post. I will say that it came out absolutely beautiful and was well worth the effort. When I finally reveal it to you I hope you will all agree.