First crochet piece of 2017

Call this something to do when it’s snowing and cold outside. It’s a chunky ribbed infinity scarf with tassels.

I used Lion Brand Thick & Quick yarn in the Raven colour.

I am loving the texture which the gray and bluish black is creating in this piece. I named it Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.

Now available on my @handmadewithyouinmind shop on Facebook. There’s only one and there will be only one.

If you’d love something like this but would like it in a different colour or with less tassels or with no tassels or even longer or shorter, let’s see what we can do together! Making this truly yours is what I would love to do. Simply drop me a line here or via my Facebook Page.

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Leaves & Flowers, mixed media on handmade paper

This is a piece I worked on during the last week of 2016. I used a sheet of paper I had tucked away for over 10 years. It’s truly a one of a kind.

I loved working on this paper and started searching online for more. To my dismay, there nothing really like this anymore.

All is not lost! I have discovered a new interest in this process and plan to continue my mixed media exploration on quality handmade paper.

I am lucky and live in the Montreal area and found Papiers Canal Papers on Saint-Patrick Street in Montreal. They make a variety of machine made paper which is fabricated from fibres left from clothing industry offcuts, white tee-shirts, blue denim and flax straw from farmers.

My next projects will be using this type of paper. More to come!

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Size: 24×36 inches framed

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doodling and where it led me this week

So this week I have been doodling and sketching (and crocheting but not for this post). Why? Well, have you ever tried to draw or doodle with a mouse or a stylus? Yuk. (UPDATE: I figured out how to properly use my Wacom tablet yesterday – and wow! Lots more to come as a result of that experience).

What I discovered is that the more I doodle and draw, the more ideas surface which wouldn’t have otherwise. I love this and have made it part of my process.

Plus, I found my first “go to” doodle. It’s a coffee been of sorts. I decided to repeat the bean close together and loved the pattern that emerged. I then strategically coloured only portions of the pattern with my standard yellow, green and orange favs.

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It’s only after all that was done did I launch Illustrator to see if I could reproduce it in digital form. After a few hours of fiddling around with my mouse and some strategic placement of beans, I finally found a pattern that I liked.

Here’s “Colourful Coffee Beans”

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I am waiting for a fabric sample (a proof if you like) of it but you can see it on my Spoonflower page here in the meantime (and please feel free to

You can also see it now on Society6 (along with other designs I’ve created) in case you need a last minute Christmas gift idea.

a little dabble in some fabric design

My latest design has been uploaded to Spoonflower as of this morning. It’s called peas and onions. I am excited to see my three designs in real life. Coming soon!

Once I receive my sample proofs, I will officially start selling them. I can’t wait!

In the meantime, you can take a look at them on the Spoonflower site directly by clicking on any of these three images.

peas-and-onions
peas and onions by josyan mcgregor

rings and things
rings and things by josyan mcgregor

quand le soleil
quand le soleil by josyan mcgregor

three pillow covers in three days

So on Wednesday morning this week, I decided to throw myself head first into a sewing project which would teach me to be more patient and double-check my work before sewing. Yep, I learned the hard way that there’s no such thing as a Command-Z in the sewing-world.

Wednesday, November 23

I had completed a quilt top (a small one) a few weeks ago and so I figured I could make a pillow cover. First things first, I had to make my quilt sandwich and then figure out how to hook up my walking foot and then attempt to “quilt” my mini-quilt. Wow! One bent needle and a few hours later (darn walking foot!), I finally managed to correctly hook up my walking foot to my sewing machine and then I went ahead with the quilting. Nothing fancy – straight lines and a couple of diagonal stitches.

I then proceeded to make the two section panel backing for the pillow (it’s an envelope style).

It went well, or so I thought. Much to my dismay, I sewed one of the back covers panels wrong side up. Oh well. Live and learn.

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Thursday, November 24

On Thursday, I decided to try again. This time, I had no completed quilt top but I did have lots of heavier weight fabric which my Mum had given me which could do the job.

Super keen to get stuck in, I was cutting and measuring and cutting and measuring by 8 am. I decided to use two different fabrics for the back cover panels (about equal weight of course). I even went as far a making my own accented binding for the panel which would be featured on the outside of the pillow cover.

After creating a simple folded over edge for the panel which would not be visible on the back, I began pinning my pillow together. Sewing the four sides went well and I was super excited to see my final pillow. Oh and I remembered to cut my corners before turning over so that they would be nice and crisp.

Result: Oh no! Well, I didn’t double check (okay triple check) before sewing and so assembled my back cover panels in the wrong order. (Sad trombone)

This means my beautiful and neatly done accented binding panel is basically hidden behind my not-so-fancy panel. My sewing on that panel is still clean but I was devastated that I had made this mistake. Plus I used white thread so it’s so obvious now. ACK!

P.S. The front is awesome though 😉

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Friday, November 24

This morning, I was determined to do the best job of the week (third time’s a charm, right?). I got an early start and set up space before the third attempt. I measured and cut and made 100% certain that my edges, panels and patterns were all in the correct order and all good to go before the final sewing.

The result! Ureka! I did it!

I even used a fancy stitch for the accent binding. 

I wonder what the next week’s project will be?

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modern quilting, graphic design, podcasts and a new life path

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My absolute first quilt top with fabric I had available. Negative space, as far as I am concerned, can be anything you want.

I have fallen in total love with modern quilting – there I wrote it. Prior to this and to my own embarrassment, I was a quilt snob. I certainly appreciated their place in fabric and textile history but in no way did  I consider this traditional form of craft in my design or aesthetic vocabulary.

After all, I am a lover of colourful graphic patterns and scandinavian design. I love Marimekko’s bold flowers and simple lines. I drool at thought of Charles and Ray Eames’ body of work. I have watched Helvetica and Objectify many more times than I care to admit. I am fascinated by architecture, specifically Brutalist Architecture! There was no way that quilting fit within all that. I mean, right?

Some background

A few months back, I was an avid tech podcast listener and had been since 2002, but I was looking for something new. I was simply burned out on technology.

Something more… me

I am in my late forties, I am at the stage in my life where I need something that will re-ignite and inspire me to get back on the right path. I want to rejuvenate the next part of my own creative journey.

Enter Sandi

One day on my commute to work, I simply searched for two keywords: creative and podcast, and there it appeared. I listened to my first Crafty Planner Podcast on Google Play Music and was instantly hooked and the rest, as they say, is history. I would literally never be the same again.

Through Sandi Hazelwood’s Crafty Planner Podcasts, I have been introduced to quilters / makers / artists like Jacquie Gering, Heather Jones, Frank Palmer, Libs Elliott, Karen McTavish; fabric designers like Tula Pink, Heather Ross, Amy Butler and finally, sewists / designers like Cal Patch and Annabel Wrigley and much much more.

The world of modern quilting was totally new to me and I loved it. It awakened the sleeping artist inside of me. As a research maniac, I could not get enough of the images and creative vision I was seeing. The endless possibilities that this medium can open is mind-blowing. I can now see how architecture could be interpreted through modern quilting and textile art. There you have it, I have finally found a way to combine my love of architecture, graphic design, fine art, textile art, fibre arts, bold colours, line art, simple patterns, negative space exploration and conceptual art.

Over the last 3-4 months, I have listened with enormous focus and intent and I have laughed and openly wept at my many “ah ha” moments while listening to Sandi’s sensitive, honest and intelligent conversation-style interviews.

The other important reason I am writing this post today is because I’d like to thank Sandi. I’d like to let her know, that she has played a huge part in my soul search and my ultimate reconnection.

As a graphic designer, I have had many opportunities to create but in the end, I have realised that my style of “creation” is definitely more hands-on. Creating texture will now be my focus.

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This was an improv piece (zesty pi) with colours I love. The flowery pattern fabric is from a 70’s bed sheet which I have held on to for years. I have lots but I am being super selective as to when I use it.

It’s been a turbulent but enlightening couple of months for me personally, professionally and creatively and I now find myself with the time to develop my thoughts and my art.

I am promising myself a long and thoughtful meander along a largely unknown path filled with new hope and energy. Let’s see where it leads.

Database and why it’s crucial to your success (blog post for my day gig)

Very proud of this article!

Building and nurturing interactions, loyalty and awareness for donors, volunteers as well as the public at large is the root of data collection.

Read the whole article here: http://www.phil.ca/your-database-is-crucial-to-your-success-why-not-give-it-some-tlc/