BUSY ON A BANK HOLIDAY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all having a relaxing. It’s a holiday here din the UK on account that it’s Good Friday. I must admit that it doesn’t feel like a bank holiday. My Sarah should be winding her way home from Manchester as I write this post.

I kept busy all day by running some errands this morning; just normal things like filling the car, buying dog food and popping in to my local DIY shop of some replacement decking tiles. Nothing of any great consequence but stuff that needed to be purchased to move forward. Once I got home, I disappeared into my sewing room to start stitching the quilt I loaded into my longarm system last evening …

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After I added this little dog to the bottom corner of the quilt top …..

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I think he adds a little character to the quilt even if he is just a wee one.

Using a nice steel grey thread and a quilting design called Pieces of My Heart by Melonie J. Caldwell, I stitched until the job was done. I think it looks pretty good. I went on to find some fabric for the binding and I hope to be able to hand finish the binding on the back of the quilt this weekend. It feels good to be able to say that for all intents and purposes it’s a wrap. I’m getting quite adept at designing simple quilts and bringing them to fruition in good time.

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Sunday is Easter. And Easter weekend has always been the time when we do a good spring tidy in the garden. If the weather s reasonable I plan of raking and brushing the dead growth and wind-swept litter out of my garden. I kicked the big spring tidy off by replacing the decking tile with a new one. The old one was just hanging in by a thread. I’m sure it was at least 15 years old. So I popped over to my local DIY shop first thing to see if I could find a replacement. I found just the thing.  The best part is that a lovely gentleman offered to help me load it into the car!!! I dragged the old decrepit decking tile away and prepared the gravel and laid the new decking tile in it’s place. It will take a few days for it to bed in and level out. It was just a simple job that I knew I could do by myself. Every little job I accomplish builds my confidence. So, my backdoor looks tidy once again. I’m looking forward to planting up my troughs and containers but as there’s still a chance of frost, I’ll put it off for a few weeks.

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So, I guess that’s my report for today. I’m looking forward to having a quiet weekend. I have plenty of hand sewing I can get done and I would like to draw a couple of new blocks as well. I hope you all have a super relaxing weekend. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x  

PROGRESS ON A SUNNY WEDNESDAY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super day. It’s been sunny in my little world today. I just wish the sun would bring some warmth with it.

I’m sorry I missed you yesterday. I was at my Quilts for Comfort volunteer afternoon. By the time I got home I had no more energy. My brain was too tired to post. However, today I have a little bit of progress to show you. I spent quite a lot of time adding some raw edge machine appliqué to last weeks new design. I stitched a few circles on …..

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And a few hearts …..

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And then I joined the three sections of this quilt together and this is what it looks like now.

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I’m might add one more bit of appliqué in the bottom corner. I just don’t want to spoil it by adding too much. You know I quite often say that less is more. This is another quilt that was requested which I feel needs to be a quick make which will cheer someone up. So, I kept the design simple and added some machine appliqué to soften the straight lines. I’m not quite sure when but I will be longarm quilting this quilt top sometime soon.

My other little bit of progress is really only prep work, so not something very exciting but it needs doing if I want to make serious progress on my little hexagon project.  I cut hundreds of fabric hexagons …..

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I know I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. When you find a technique that you enjoy, even the prep work is fun. I’ve found a great method of cutting my fabric hexagons. And I stick to that method. I feel the repetition is soothing. I keep al my fabric shapes in a box that contain dividers which helps everything from getting all jumbled up.

So, it was back to normal today. Whatever normal is. My Sarah headed off to Manchester to attend a music gig this evening. So, Maisie and I have the house to ourselves this evening. It’ll be feet up with some hand stitching for me and a lot of snoring for Maisie. 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

LIFE IS NOT A RACE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable day. Although I have pulled into the slow lane to enjoy the scenery my day was a little frantic. I over estimated how long it would take me to finish one of my group UFOs. It’s a project we started last year. We’re trying to do a few group projects every year. Each one of our ladies quilted at least one nine patch block during one session and in a later session learned how to join the blocks using the quilt as you go method.

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We managed to join the rows and ended up with one quilt top in two sections. So, I set off this morning and joined the two sections. That went well. I pieced the outer border sections and started attaching them to the sides of the quilt. I did a really good job on one side and got complacent on the second side. So that second side has to be ripped out so I can put it right.

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The reason I’m telling you this is not because I’m moaning about it. No, I’m telling you this because we all make mistakes. I couldn’t possibly leave the mistake and pretend that it didn’t exist. Everyone has bad days. Why should I be any different. So, I will spend some time stitch ripping tomorrow during our group meeting.

I’ve learned a lesson ….. check your work at every stage just to be sure it’s as good on the back as it is on the front. I was confident that everything was OK on both sides. Well it wasn’t. So there.

It’s been a busy day in my little world. I answered several emails and phone calls. I took Maisie for a hair cut and went for groceries. By the time lunchtime rolled around I didn’t have much energy left. That’s when things started going wrong in my sewing room.

As I sit here typing this post the sun decided to show itself. We enjoyed dark skies and rain most of the day but now that the sun is shining I feel less discouraged about todays mistake. In my quest to make forward movement I kind of made more work for myself. However, I’m not giving up. I’m determined to finish the quilt for next month’s meeting of the Burnopfield Belles. This will clear a little corner of my sewing room and a little corner in my mind. I’m just realising that life is not a race. And when the going gets tough we should tell the tough to clear out.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. It may be a little meagre but it is what’s been happening in happy stitching manor today. I will be attending my monthly volunteer group meeting tomorrow. The Burnopfield Belles will welcome me with open arms. We’ll work out a plan of action for our upcoming group projects and no doubt we will talk about all the irritating current events. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something that makes you happy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

WHAT A SPLENDID MONDAY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a great day full of spring sunshine. It was so nice that I headed out on foot to do some banking. It’s still cool the there is some warmth in the sun now.

I had a lovely quiet weekend. My Sarah and I ran a couple of errands on Saturday. The main errand was the purchase of a couple of Easter eggs. You’ll be very happy to learn that the Easter eggs are still intact in my kitchen. I can hear my Easter egg calling my name.

After the busy week I had last week, I’m trying to pull into the slow lane for a few days. However, I did do some quiet drawing on Sunday. I drew four simple blocks which I went on the prep …..

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right thru to the fine hand stitching …..

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I’m not quite sure how I managed to get four blocks done in one day but I’m very pleased with my effort. If I’ve counter up properly, I have 4 more blocks to draw and piece in order to complete the appliqué part of my Moving Forward project. It dragged on for quite a long time but recently I have taken up the challenge again. Now it seems to be whizzing along nicely. I’ll soon have the dilemma of working out how many and what kind of borders to add to frame up all those appliqué blocks. I’m very pleased with the variation of prints and colours in this project. And while I’ve pieced this one I’ve learned that you don’t always have to re-invent the wheel with every new project we start. There’s a lot of tried and tested blocks and techniques that we can repeat from one project to the next without making it boring.

I’ve truly enjoyed the last few days. Despite receiving some vexing news, with the help of my friends, I picked myself up, dusted myself off and carried on. I always try to have an optimistic towards life. Freedom is sweet indeed.

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

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

STACK OF USEFULNESS

 

Hello my lovelies from a sunny breezy northeast of England. It’s finally Friday. I’m sure there are loads of you sighing because you’re happy to see the end of the workweek. I’m going to enjoy my weekend. I’m going to reward myself for filling the past week with useful tasks. Here’s my stack of usefulness for this week …..

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I lovingly folded and stacked these completed quilts last evening. It gave me great satisfaction knowing that these few quilts, that were a joint effort between our volunteer quilt makers and me, will bring comfort for a few poorly young people who need comfort.

Last evening while I was sitting watching television and hand finishing the binding on a quilt, I was making of plan of action for a quilt I have been asked to piece. So, after doing my morning routine, I gathered up pen and paper and drew a grid and re-divided the grid into different sections in order to be able to spread the colours and prints of the chosen fabric.

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I started rotary cutting, sewing and pressing furiously. At the moment the quilt is in three sections because I plan on adding a little simple raw edge machine appliqué. It will be a lot simpler to add some machine appliqué if I don’t have to push the whole quilt top thru my sewing machine.

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So, as you can see for yourself, it’s been a pretty busy week in my little world. Next week, I have one or two appointments. So hopefully I can go back to working at my slow and measured pace again. Traveling in the slow lane is so great. It gives you a chance to look at the scenery.

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

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

MEETING THE CHALLENGE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you all had a super sunny day. It’s suppose to be spring but it’s not very warm yet. The grass is growing and the spring bulb flowers are peeking out. I’ve got a few daffodils making a little show in my front borders. I love daffodils, they’re a sign of what’s to come. In a few weeks I’ll be shopping for my annual summer bedding plants. I so looking forward to warmer times.

So, what do you think I’ve been doing today. Do you think I met my quilt making buddies for coffee and a natter? Or perhaps I went shopping for new shoes? Did I go out to have my hair and nails done? No ….. I spent most of my day in my sewing room longarm quilting the last of my 5-quilt challenge. Yippeee! Have a little look at my latest charity quilt. I must stress that I did not piece this quilt top, it was pieced by one of our Quilts for Comfort volunteers. For this quilt, I stitched a quilting design called Butterfly Beauty by Hermione Agee using a nice fine white thread. I’m very pleased with how this one turned out.

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The first thing I did this morning is rotary cut seven strips fabric to be joined together and used as binding. I’ve been really lucky to have loads of my own stash that I could use as binding for all the charity quilts I have quilted in the past week. I’m hoping to squeeze one more quilt in before my next volunteer meeting next week. So, watch this space.

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It’s been quite an adventure meeting a challenge I set myself. It just goes to show what you can accomplish when you set your mind to it. I must admit that yesterday I felt like a creature on a hamster wheel running as fast as I could without getting very far. Today I can see just what I have accomplished. I have a nice little pile of finish quilts for all the effort I put into it. Tomorrow I’m having a day off from longarm quilting in favour of doing a few household that I need to catch up on. I may even work on one of my own projects.

It’s been a lovely day in my little world. It’s been busy but that’s the way I like it. I can remember a time when I always felt like I was walking on egg shells. Those egg shells have disappeared making my home a place of comfort and safety. Sarah is really busy working on final major university assignments and helping out with the year end degree show. I think she’s learning a hard lesson about how when you join a committee to organise an event there are always too many chiefs and not enough Indians. I definitely look forward to seeing the end of this final academic year. Operation Taking Flight has zoomed by and we will soon have our whole lives ahead of us.

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

 

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

THAT GROUNDHOG DAY FEELING

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fabulous day. It’s been a rather busy one in my little world. I got up at the crack of sparrow fart to make enough binding for two quilts. I rotary cut fourteen 2-1/2” strips and joined them together on the bias …..

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And then pressed the length in half in readiness to be machined on two quilts, today and yesterday’s longarm effort.

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I made two labels as well but completely forgot to take photos!!! I hadn’t had my coffee yet.

We had some lovely sunshine earlier which of course spurred me on get some more longarm quilting done. You may have guessed that I was working on a charity quilt again today. That just proves that you read yesterday’s post. It’s beginning to feel like Groundhog Day around here this week. Here’s a little peek at the scrappy quilt which I longarm quilted today …..

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It’s quite similar to the ones I did earlier in the week. Today’s effort was quilted using a bright gold thread again and a quilting design called Buzz by Hermione Agee.

So that was number four and here’s number five in the challenge I set myself …..

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I must stress that I did not piece this quilt, it was donated by one of our Quilts for Comfort volunteers. This one is quite different from the four scrappy quilts I longarm quilted lately. I’m thinking of using white thread on this one and perhaps a simple but girlier quilting design. I’m a girly girl so girly works well for me. I’m hoping to squeeze one more in this week. I’m looking forward to sitting down and drawing some appliqué blocks this weekend. I’m missing working on one of my own projects. I’ll aim to concentrate on my own stuff next week.

It’s been a pretty good day in my corner of the northeast of England. I spotted a city grass cutting crew out and about. I guess that means that spring has properly arrived. Easter is just around the corner which is when I kick off my own garden spring clean. I’m a fair-weather gardener. I sure hope we have good weather for Easter.

So, I guess that my report for today. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something seasonal. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

STILL ROCKING WITH CHARITY QUILTS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a lovely first day of spring. I enjoyed some lovely sunshine. It wasn’t super warm but it was lovely. The temperature is slowly creeping up, finally!

So, what have I been doing today. Well I’ve been doing much the same as I have been doing the last few days. I longarm quilted another charity quilt …..

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I must impress upon you that I did not piece these latest quilts. Quilts for Comfort is the charity I volunteer for and we have loads of lovely volunteers who piece quilts and several ladies, such as myself, who quilt the few quilt tops that come in. Margaret and Jenny pieced the quilt tops in my current challenge. Today’s effort was quilted using a bright gold thread, which I believe lifts the darker fabrics and a quilting design called Cotton Puff by Vickie Malaski. I love a scrappy and these latest quilts have been fun to work on.

I’m having so much fun quilting these scrappy quilt tops that I loaded another. This is number 4 of 5 maybe 6.

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It seems that we all purchase gadgets, sometimes because they look good, without knowing what we’re going to do with them. Some years ago, I purchased a Sewline glue pen. I had no idea what I was going to do with it but it looked pretty and so I convinced myself that I needed it. Over the years I used it twice until recently when I have used it over and over again and needed to find a refill because I used it so much that it was empty. I use my glue pen for appliqué prep work nowadays. And it does exactly what I want it to do. FYI: I have added a little photo tutorial about how to prep fine hand appliqué work on the How-To Info page. You can find the different pages on the right side of this page by scrolling down. The document is printable. I shall be adding another photo tutorial about how I approach the actual fine hand appliqué stitching soon.

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It’s been a superb day in my little world. Having such brilliant sunshine was a real treat and for some reason I feel inspired to get on with all my projects so I can design more! I wish we could add a few more hours to each day.

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

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

BEAST BE GONE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable weekend. Those of you who live in the UK might have experienced the Mini Beast from the East. Rest assured that my little corner of the northeast of England did not suffer too much with snow but the wind was mighty strong and biting cold. I stepped out on Saturday to join a group of like-minded ladies. I didn’t think there would be many takers but quite a few diehards travelled the short distance to the venue. We had a fabulous day forgetting the fact that the Mini Beast was raging outside.

Here’s my little bit of progress for the weekend …..

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I’m loving these latest appliqué blocks. The more I look at them the better I like them; I think it’s the simplicity I really like. What a great way of busting my stash and using up scraps.

I managed to longarm quilt another charity quilt today …..

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Once again, I used a lovely fine bright gold thread and the all over quilting design is called Cloud Nine by Patricia Ritter. I cut and joining binding strips which I machined on this after and hope to hand finish said binding on the back of the quilts this evening. I also loaded the next charity quilt to be stitched tomorrow, I hope. I’m feeling quite satisfied with my charity quilt quilting challenge so far. Two down three more to go. I’m aiming for five but perhaps I’ll be able to squeeze an extra one in before my deadline. Fingers crossed.

It’s been another great day in paradise. Longarm quilting a charity quilt makes me feel good; as if I’ve done something useful. The Mini Beast from the East seems to have moved on. It was lovely walking Maisie this morning; there was no snow whipping my face and the wind was mild and barely more than a whisper. What a different a day makes 😉 

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I’m still working on putting together a photo tutorial regarding prepping appliqué blocks. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something that makes you happy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

THANK GOODNESS IT’S FRIDAY AGAIN

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable day. It’s Friday. This is the day when I look back on the week gone by and take stock of all that’s gone on and everything I’ve accomplished. By all accounts, it’s been another great week in my little world.

It’s been a dreary day in my northeast of England. It hasn’t stopped raining since last night. I count myself lucky that it’s been raining and not snowing!!! I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

While the wind was blowing and the rain was lashing the windows, I disappeared into my sewing room to do some longarm quilting on a charity quilt that I loaded yesterday. I used a bright gold yellow thread and the quilting design is called Simple Texture by Celine Spader. Here’s a little peek …..

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I stitch and stitched until the quilting was done. Have a look at the back of the quilt. It looks neat and tidy. And I suppose if you wanted to you could use this quilt on both sides.

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As this quilting is part of a challenge I set myself, I went on to load another charity quilt top to longarm quilt on Monday. It’s another scrappy quilt; it’s quite fun to look at all the different fabrics in these scrappy quilts. I even recognise some of the fabrics as some that I have used over the years. Sometime over the weekend, I’ll search out some fabric suitable for binding. I guess I should make miles of it as I have at least five more quilts to longarm quilt and three of those are scrappy quilts. Multi-coloured binding will work rather well with the scrappy quilts and it will be nice to use up my scraps. The problem with using scraps is that it makes more scraps!!!

I started a to compose a simple tutorial to show how I approach the prep work for hand appliqué work this afternoon. I’m hoping to come up with the words that will explain how I got to this stage …..

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I’ve taken oodles of photos but I’m never quite sure how and what to say. I suppose if I say everything, as if the person reading knows nothing about appliqué, I might get all the info down.

It’s been such a good week. I’m always happy when Friday rolls around. Tomorrow, I’m hoping to spend some time with like-minded ladies. A little socialising is good for the soul. My Sarah and I, we’re working on our happy ever after. Every week, every single week brings a surprise.

Well I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy weekend doing things you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x