VALENTINE’S REPORT

Hello my lovelies. Happy Valentine’s Day to all. I changed to meaning of Valentine’s Day many years ago. For many, Valentine’s Day doesn’t include the celebration of romantic love. So, I decided to make it about family love. Nowadays I prefer to spend time with my most favourite people. Today, I’m spending time with my Sarah. We’re going to share a simple meal and just catch up on what’s going on in each other’s lives.

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Sarah and I are collaborating on a project which I will tell you more about in the next couple of weeks. It’s quite exciting for mother and daughter to do something creative together. Considering the age gap and difference in tastes … I look forward to seeing what we end up with.

It’s been a dark dreary day in my little world. While Sarah worked on her final major project for uni I stepped out to run some errands. We now have enough food to last us until early next week. When all the groceries were unpacked and put away, I disappeared into my sewing room trying to figure out what to do ….. A few days ago, I decided that I definitely needed another English Paper Piecing project on the go. So, I pressed this selection of fabric and cut it into strips …..

 

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These fabrics will be transformed into something that looks similar this …..

Hexagon Project

I have loads of paper pieces to work with …..

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These hexagon shapes measure ¾” on the flat side …..

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I quite like the diamond shape hexagon layout for which I do not know the name. Is there a name for this layout??? If anyone knows the name of this layout please do let me know.

Isn’t it amazing how many household items are heart shaped or have hearts printed on them. I gathered this little lot in less than three minutes. …..

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I quite like hearts. I designed a whimsy appliqué quilt that has hearts in every single block a couple of years ago. I suppose that’s a testament to how much I like hearts …..

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So, that’s my heart filled report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something that makes your heart sing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie

MORE QUILT MAKING PROGRESS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a great day. I spent a bit of time in my sewing room searching for stuff and tidying. I really must find a good way of storing fabric so that I see what I’ve got!!!

As well as doing a few household chores, I started hand finishing the binding on my Patchwork of the Crosses quilt. It’s the perfect time of year for binding quilts. It’s brrrrr cold and so when the quilt is all spread out in your lap while you sew, it’s also keeping you cosy warm. I use my favourite clips to hold the binding down …..

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And in this case spend hours hand sewing the binding to the back of the quilt …..

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Here’s a little peek at the quilting design I used. This one is called Zephyr by Hermione Agee of Lorien Quilting …..

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I love the big teal polka dots on the fresh green background. I’m really pleased with the over all result of this quilt. My next step will be to make a label. I’ll post more photos when it’s finished.

It’s been a lovely quiet day working at my slow and measured pace. Sometimes it’s good to be in the slow lane. It gives you the opportunity to have a good look around.

So, that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something that gives you a sense of accomplishment. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching

Lucie x

SUNNY PROGRESS TO START THE WEEK

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fab day. We’ve had nothing but sunshine all day long. The temperatures are still rather cold but the sun was very pleasant indeed.

On Sunday I decided to have a little sewing fix. I miss sitting at my machine creating something. So, I racked my brain trying to think of a little project I could start and finish pretty much in one day. As Valentine’s Day is on Wednesday I decided to go for a heart themed project. This is what I produced …..

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I used the foundation paper piecing technique using this design …..

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And I went on the layer my wee quilt top and added some quilting. I think my little quilt will be used as a mug rug. The next step is to hand finish the binding onto the back of the quilt. It was fun to disappear into my sewing room and do something creative.

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On Sunday I noticed that my design wall was looking a little bare!!!

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So, I prepped another block for my Moving Forward quilt …..

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And displayed some of the blocks I have finished piecing for my Moving Forward quilt project to cheer the place up a but …..

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Looking at the colours and prints on my design wall, I notice that my tastes and the way I design things has changed quite a lot in the last couple of years. I’m not afraid to put loads of colours and patterns together anymore. Eventually when this project is finished, I’m hoping it will be nice and interesting.

I treated myself to a book last week. I don’t buy many books nowadays. This book has been on my wish list for quite some time. It’s Free-Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 by Lori Kennedy of The Inbox Jaunt. I have been following Lori’s blog for quite some time and I want to be like her when I grow up. Lori does such nice Freemotion quilting. If you haven’t seen her work do pop into her blog and have a look. The book is packed full of good info and step by step freemotion quilting designs.

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Now the moment I’ve been waiting for. Here’s a little sneak peek at my Patchwork of the Crosses in the process of being quilted. I thought long and hard about how to quilt it. In the end I decided on an all over quilting design.

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It’s been a great day at happy stitcher manor. The sun has been following me all around the house all day. I had the best time ever longarm quilting my quilt today. I baked my favourite oatmeal muffins and cooked some chicken in the slow cooker. I have such a great sense of accomplishment today. And it’s only Monday. Hopefully the rest of my week will be as productive as today. I’ll show you more of my quilt once it’s bound and labelled.

Well I guess that’s my report for today. I’m looking forward to having a great creative week. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something that gives you a sense of accomplishment. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching

Lucie x

TGIASF

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fabulous day. If you’re wondering about the title of this post …. Thank God it’s a sunny Friday.

It’s finally the last day of the working week. I’m always glad when Friday comes around. I enjoy the weekend because everyone is a little more relaxed.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow because I’m going to be spending most of the day with like-minded ladies sewing. There’s nothing more fun than spending time with other ladies who enjoy quilt making and who have been thru a similar life. We’ve all got kids that have grown and are about to fly the nest or who have already flown the nest. We all learn from each other how to approach the next steps in life.

I’m not sure if it’s the sunshine that’s making me feel really good today or perhaps it’s the fact that I finally finished sewing the border on my Patchwork of the Crosses quilt top this morning. I’m definitely doing a happy dance. I don’t think anyone has the right to be as happy as I feel at the moment!!!!! After finishing what seemed like the mammoth task of hand appliqueing the hexagons onto the border, I went on to loading it into my longarm quilting system. I have no excuse for not quilting it next week …..

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Now some of you might be wondering why the border took so long to finish. Well it’s because I wanted to keep the shape of the hexagons and squares on the edge of the quilt centre. I could have trimmed a straight edge but I think the shaped edge makes it more interesting.

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I purchased my backing fabric before Christmas in hope that I might finish it over Christmas but that didn’t happen. It’s a Moda wide back designs by Basic Grey and the collection is Grunge Hit’s the Spot. It’s a beautiful fresh colour. I can’t wait to see it finished and on my bed.

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I spent some time doing chores in between everything else. The washing machine was whirring away while I was vacuuming the downstairs. And I layered up a lasagne for our evening meal. Umm umm, lasagne, garlic bread and Caesar salad. Yes sir, life is good. And I even got to do some more quilt making related stuff by prepping another block …..

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I’m really getting back into my Moving Forward project. I’ll be transferring the leftover fabric from my POTC box to my Moving Forward box. Waste not and all that.

Well I guess that’s my report for today. I’m looking forward to a great creative weekend. I hope you all have a super cosy time doing all your favourite things over the weekend. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching

Lucie x

CREATING NEW DESIGNS

Hello my lovely readers. I hope you’ve all had a super Thursday. It’s been a lovely day in my little world. I talked my Sarah into running a few errands with me this morning. So now we’re set for the weekend.

I would like to start today’s report by thanking all my long-time readers for following me over to One Quilting Stitch at a Time. New life, new blog. It feels good to start over. I hope I can do this new blog justice. To my new readers and followers, welcome. I hope you’ll find a little inspiration here.

As I write my daily ramblings, I realise that being creative is the perfect way to express myself. I love being creative and productive. I love taking a new design from pencil and paper to an actual tangible end result. Some of you may be wondering what my journey is to that end result. Well most of it starts on paper. I use a pencil, an eraser some rulers to draw a layout …..

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Once I have decided on a layout I start to draw the blocks. Once again, the blocks are drawn out on paper using all kinds of different shape templates from my stash of tools. When you look at the drawings, they look pretty simple but once they are turned into fabric pictures they look so much better.

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This drawing was turned into this fabric picture …..

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I plan to embellish this block with a little embroidery; perhaps outlining the petals in long running stitches and maybe some French/Colonial knots.

Anyone can design new projects. And everyone has different ideas to bring to the table. I like keeping it simple, simple shapes give clean lines. And simple lines make you believe that you can produce this project.

There are different words to describe our work. I’m talking about the crafts that we produce with our very own hands. Would you describe my quilts and quilted projects as homemade? Or would you use the words handmade or handcrafted? I think I would describe foodie things as homemade. My favourite word to describe my work is handcrafted. The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of handcrafted is ~ make skilfully by hand. However, their definition for handmade is ~ made by hand, not by machine, and typically therefore of superior quality. I suppose both these words are good words to describe the work we do. What’s your preference?

Well, we’ve made it thru the first week of February. Can you believe it??? We’re well into the new year. The winter Olympics start on Saturday. I’m not a great one for watching sports on TV but I wouldn’t mind watching a little ice skating and perhaps some downhill skiing. However, the coverage won’t be televised until 11pm here in the UK. That’s a little late for me.

I’m still sewing my little fingers to bone trying to attach the border to my Patchwork of the Crosses. I knew the fine hand stitching would take a while. I reckon I’ll finish that job over the weekend. I purchased my backing fabric before Christmas. So, I will be ready to longarm quilt this labour of love as soon as the border is attached. Eeeeee. I’m so excited to see this project finished.

So that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching

Lucie x

AROUND AND ROUND WE GO

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fabulous day. It seems for the longest time I felt like I had lost my mojo. I’m sure lots of other quilt makers and crafters feel the same this time of year. I’m not sure if it’s the short days or whether it’s the let-down after Christmas that sends us crashing into the abyss. I do feel like I’m on the mend because I keep scratching around looking for UFOs projects to finish. I’m choosing projects that the most prep done which will put me in good stead to finish or make good progress more quickly. I feel the need to have a good sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

So, what have I been doing today I hear you say. I sat down and pulled any paper shapes left in my Patchwork of the Crosses quilt top …..

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And then I cut and joined the plain border which I’m adding to the POTC just to frame it up. Once that was done, I sat and pinned and tacked the hexagon centre to the plain border …..

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If you look really hard you can see the tiniest dot of blood. This project has been a true labour of love. Not only that, I put blood, sweat and tears into it.

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I’m pleased to tell you that I had a good play with my Moving Forward block last evening …..

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Not only did I finish securing the patches to the background but I worked on another which is almost finish …..

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Moving Forward!!! Yes, I am. And today I prepped another block …..

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While I was busy in my sewing room, my supervisor was doing exactly what she does best. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

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My Sarah went to York for the weekend. York is one of my favourite places but I stayed home with Maisie and had a girly weekend with her. Sarah hit the shops while she was there. I love quirky stuff, so when Sarah saw this she knew I would love it. Round and round we go …..

This lovely rotating candle is mesmerising. You light the candle and the heat makes the carousel go around and round. I’m such a lucky happy stitcher.

So, that’s my report for today. I’m so pleased my mojo is finally coming back. I seemed to be going thru the motions everyday for such a long time. Now I am actually enjoying what I’m doing and I look forward to stepping into my sewing room and being creative. I hope you all have a super cosy and creative evening. Until next time,

Let’s all keep stitching.

Lucie x

MOVING FORWARD, ONE STITCH AT A TIME

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super productive day. So far, I’ve had a pretty productive week. Considering it is only Tuesday I think we’re off to a cracking good start.

Last week I mentioned that I treated myself to some new storage. You’ll probably think I’m off my trolley when I show you what I bought to store my current projects and my favourite things …..

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I saw this three-tier basket trolley back in the summer and really liked the look of it. I think it looks rather girly. I’m not used to buying girly things for myself because I shared a home with a man for more than two decades. I’m finally getting used to pleasing myself. As you can see I have started loading my pretty trolley with some of my favourite useful things. And I can move my trolley between my sewing room and my living room whenever I feel the need.

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I did get a little sewing fix today. Don’t get too excited because it was only 30 minutes worth but I produced something that’s quite handy. I pulled a couple of pieces of scrap fabric from the scrap basket. And pressed it. I found a piece of wadding approximately the same size and inserted it between the two layers of fabric. Using a pencil and a rotary ruler I marked out some guidelines. I did some sewing …..

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And produced a few needle keepers. Whenever I go to my monthly sewing sessions there’s always someone declaring “ooooh I lost my needle” … again. Well these little needle keepers are perfect for parking your needle while you’re reaching for your thread and needle threader etc. I’m going to be joining a few like-minded ladies this weekend for a monthly sewing session and I will gift them each one of my simple little needle keepers.

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The good news ….. I have finally finished my Patchwork of the Crosses centre blocks. The next step is to add a plain border which I need to psych myself out for. I’m hoping to get that done by the end of the week and then it will be loaded into my longarm system for quilting. In the meantime, I need an armchair project for the evenings while I watch TV. So, I stood in my sewing looking lost and remembered a project which I started about two years ago. I have drawn out the layout but not all the blocks yet. From the file, I found a couple of blocks ready for hand appliquéing. So, I thought I would have a go at that this evening. I love hand appliqué. All those fine hand stitches are soothing. And knowing that it’s a block that comes from my drawing is so satisfying.

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Once I decided to work on this block I needed to fine my very fine thread. So, it was another hunting and gathering session to find the thread.  I chose three thread colours that match quite nicely with the patches on my block and so now I’m off on the next UFO. I can draw new blocks during the day, do the prep work and sit quietly appliquéing in the evening. I named this project Moving Forward, One stitch at a Time.

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Last week I had showed you my A is for Appliqué blocks which I planned on working on next but I’m still trying to find the fabric collection I need to piece a few more blocks in order to bring the count up to twelve to complete. Besides I can use some of the drawings from my Moving Forward quilt in this A is for Appliqué project.

So, that my report for today. Not very exciting but this is me. Sewing one stitch at a time moving forward quietly. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing some quiet but productive. Until next time,

Let’s all keep stitching

Lucie x

MAKING BUNTING

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable weekend. I was such a productive happy stitcher over the weekend. I did everything that was listed on my To-Do List and then some.

My biggest goal was to make the bunting. A task that I’ve been putting off for such a long time. I purchased three long quarters back in December and tucked it away. When I found it last week, I added the task to my To-Do List for the weekend. I did not have a plan of action but knew that I wanted to keep it simple. So, Saturday morning, even before having breakfast or getting dressed, I made a template. My favourite medium for making templates is good old-fashioned cereal box card. I have loads of cereal card because my friends save it for me, only because they know how much of it I use. It all started with a template …..

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Once I cut the template I set it aside and got stuck into my morning routine. Once I finished all the boring morning tasks popped back into my sewing room and pressed the fabric. I used my three prints and some calico and another print for the string. I layered the strips, one of print and one of calico, with rights sides together and pressed the fabric. Doing that puts a little static in the fabric and holds it together while you’re sewing.

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Then I took my very fancy template and traced it onto the fabric, nesting the shapes together. By nesting the shapes together, you save on fabric and reduce the cutting.

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I put a couple of pins in each traced shape and took the whole strip of fabric to the sewing machine.

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I used my ¼” sewing machine foot to sew ¼” from the traced lines. I soon worked out the best way to deal with the sewing without twisting the fabric round and round. Once the sewing was done, I took the strip back to the cutting station. I used my rotary cutter to cut all the shapes apart.

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I repeated the process with the two other prints. The next part wasn’t so exciting to work on. I clipped the points and turned the shapes right side out and poked the points out using this my favourite poking out tool.

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This is a chop stick which I sharpened with a pencil sharpener and then filed the sharp point down a little using an emery board. This is a very useful inexpensive tool.

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Once all the pennant shapes were turned out and pressed, I moved onto making the string the joins all said shapes together. For this string, I found some fabric that tones in quite well. Sometimes a project comes together nicely without any pre-planning. The fabric I found happens to be Kaffe Fassett that I’ve had for many years. It just so happens that two of my three prints are more recent Kaffe Fassett!!! This bunting was definitely meant to be.

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So, I cut seven strips 2-1/2” wide and joined them all end to end. I pressed the extra long strip in half and then pressed each side in toward the centre. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

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Then I decided which order to sew different prints along the string. When I was happy with the layout I pinned the pennants in place and sewed my little heart out.

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There’s probably many ways of piecing bunting but this method worked really well for me. I started and finished all in one day with pretty good results. I suspect that if I didn’t have the short cut tools such as rotary cutting equipment it would have taken longer. I’m really pleased with the result. I pieced twenty-one pennants which I divided into two strings. Here’s a little peek at the one I managed to hang by myself.

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And here’s the one I will get help with when my Sarah comes home from her weekend away.

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When my adventure into bunting land was finished, I settled down to do some serious work on my Patchwork of the Crosses. While I hand stitched the last of the components, I watched Victoria & Abdul. I love a period drama, especially if Judi Dench is in it. It was a good story but not for everyone.

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Sunday morning was spent doing a few chores in the morning and some more POTC work in the afternoon. I started joining the last row of blocks to the main body of the quilt top. Once again, I hand stitched my little heart out. I’m moving forward at a nice pace now. I hope to post a photo of the whole quilt top in the next week or so. English Paper Piecing goes as a slow and measured pace; it’s very relaxing.

I was torn between heading out on an adventure and staying home and having a quiet weekend. In the end I decided to stay home and do some self-care. I’ve come to understand that there are times when it’s important to put ourselves first. The quiet time I spent at home was soothing. The quiet gave me the time I needed to put things into perspective. I’m rebuilding life one day at a time. Next weekend I will be spending time with some like-minded ladies who enjoy quilt making as much as I do. So that will be my well-deserved adventure.

So, that’s my report for this past weekend. Not very exciting but very productive leaving me with a great sense of accomplishment. Until next time,

Let’s all keep stitching

Lucie x

FEBRUARY OFF TO A GOOD START

Hello my lovelies. Well we seem to have made it thru the end of January and the beginning of February. And if you’re reading this you also survived the very rare Blue Moon. I find January and February the hardest months to get thru …. less than four weeks to go. I can already see that the days are getting longer.

It’s been a brilliant day here at happy stitching manor. I’ve been a productive happy stitcher indeed. My washing machine has been whirring away. I’ve answered emails, placed a couple of online orders and once all the boring stuff was done I immersed myself in a little English Paper Piecing …..

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This quiet repetitive work nourishes my soul. It’s slow sewing to which you do not see quick results but there was a time when it was my solace.

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I flipped the page on my calendar yesterday …..

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Isn’t that a great quote? Believe you can and you’re halfway there. I must remember that next time I attempt a new technique that I’m not very confident about.

And here’s another quote that we should all remember when we’re rotary cutting the patches for a new project …..

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My Sarah bought and framed this print for me for Christmas. It’s going to look great in my freshly painted sewing room.

I’ve chosen my next new little project. I’m hoping I might be able to start and finish it all in one weekend. These prints were purchased to make simple bunting. I haven’t decided how to approach this task but you can bet that I’m going to keep it as simple as possible. It’s going to look fab hanging in my sewing room. Change is as good as a rest.

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It’s been a good week in my little world. It was quiet leaving me plenty of time to catch up on different things that needed doing. It helped keep my stress levels down. I do appreciate weeks that don’t have many disasters to be dealt with. It seems that February is off to a good start. Next week will be busy but hopefully the disaster count will be low again. I’m hoping for a productive weekend so that I can show you some proper sewing progress.

So, that’s my report for this last day of the week. I hope you all have a super-duper weekend doing things you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep stitching

Lucie x

BLUE, BLOOD OR SUPER

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fabulous day. Mine day was mainly a trip to Ikea to purchase a funky bit of storage.

I don’t have any sewing progress to show you today but I did catch this shot of last night’s Super Moon.  I really do think that the moon influences my behaviour.

Blue Moon by One Quilting Stitch at a Time 2018

I hope to be back soon with some sewing progress. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching

Lucie x