quilting, mosaicing, painting, and other adventures in making

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I just learned how to do all-machine quilt binding!

Yes, the irrational fear and dread of binding is easing, thanks to a wonderful blogger whose blog website is called Cluck Cluck Sew. A google search brought up her tutorial on machine binding. Not only that, she breaks it down into very easy steps, and it’s the best method for someone like myself who is rather impatient with stitching binding by hand. The blogger’s name is Allison Harris, a young mother of three. I’m so pleased how well explained things were, and with the fabulous photographs of the proccess – it’s hard for even a beginner or the clueless to get lost! So this post is dedicatd to Allison  at Cluck Cluck Sew – a big appreciative THANKS for sharing your knowledge with new people; so far I love this method. Time will tell tomorrow when I flip the binding over to the back and see if I can machine sew it the way it’s described in the tutorial. Hopefully I’ll have a picture soon. I’m not exactly strong on finishing – it’s more like “get ‘er done” and on to the next thing. I am a pretty careful, if simple, piecer – but then I kind of fail on the machine quilting part, in the two quilts I have made. All-machine method of binding is  time saving, and it looks really nice when done right. I’ll be back tomorrow with a picture of a finished successful binding, I hope.

Check out Allison’s website for yourself – it’s full of great, easy to understand tutorials and inspiring quilts. I’m especially fond of her scattered triangle quilt, her Chain Reaction design, and her Very First Quilt –  I’m awed that she took that on as her first quilt – amazing looking; it looks hard to do, while still being a great improvisational piece.

Her machine binding tutorial can be found here:



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What’s in a blog name?

Why did I call myself and this blog Madhappycrafter?

Lest people be put off by the “Mad” part of this blog name, I thought I’d better explain it a bit. By “Mad,” I don’t mean angry – although at times in the creative process, when one is stuck or frustrated, one can feel anger. The madness I speak of here is a happier kind of madness. All the artists and craft people I know that are any fun, and whose work excites me, are a bit mad. You have to be, to see the inherent art and crafting possibilites in things like candy wrappers, coffee stir sticks, broken table legs, and the like. My “tribe” of Mad people includes people who love to make recycled art, or will go out in a hailstorm to catch that amazing photo op, or stay up all hours of the night quilting, or do a whole series of paintings based on doorknobs.

The “Happy” part is obvious- when I’m making art of any kind I’m happy – whether it’s a painting, or wall quilt, a functional thing like pillow cases or a flower pot, or up to my elbows in garden dirt, or dancing around to some good music, it all brings joy.

the “Crafter” part comes because all art requires craft, from multimedia to dance – from paper piecing quilts to abstract impressionism painting, from crafting poetry to building a garden or cooking a fine meal. We are all crafters. I don’t see a distinction between  “fine” art and “craft,” and get annoyed with those who try to look down their noses at crafters as “not really artists”. Says who?

So there you have it – how this blog name was born.


This is a silly little mixed media hanging I made to cover the metal fuse box in the apartment. This baby is on the hunt – for milk!

Happy Crafting!

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Is there such a thing as having too many WIPs? (works in progress)

to thine own self be true

It’s so easy to start something. Ideas come a mile a minute. But often during a project or a work of art, there come stages where the work is not progressing as you hoped, or you don’t know what will emerge yet and you’re lost in the forest, not knowing what to do next.

Sometimes it’s easier to flit to the next idea and abandon all those unfinished projects to “someday” when I know what to do next, or feel “inspired” But let’s face it – there are simply going to be stages you like better and some that are mind-numbingly tedious. At some point, finishing has to be the inspiration. Having many WIPs can work very well for me – as long as I am consistently working. When I’m not working consistently on art or making, these same WIPs can painfully remind me that I have left a lot of things unfinished, which can undermine my confidence and trust in the work itself and the process.

I like having many things going at once. If one presents a place where I feel stuck, working on another project, often in another medium, can inform and enrich other projects, and provide a way to go. For instance, writing a poem can evoke visual images. A painting can suggest a quilt.

I’m starting this blog for several reasons:

1) to share new projects at their inception, along the way as they progress, and show some finished projects.

2) to keep track of unfinished projects so that i will finish them; then show and tell about finished projects.

3) to meet other bloggers and inspire each other in our art making (I consider all “craft” art making) I’ve already been inspired by many blogs, and learn so much from other bloggers

4) To discover new things about myself, how I work, and new directions that call out to me. To discover what art inspires, what things in Nature speak to me.

5) I’ve never had a blog about the arts; most of my blog topics have been about the environment. It’s a relief to put down the burdens of this world for awhile and experience some joy in what else I love (besides earth, gardening, and nature).