SEASONAL UPDATE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super-duper day. I’ve noticed something in the air. Until today I couldn’t quite work out what it was. I found myself feeling a bit anxious since the weekend. And then I heard something on the news at lunchtime today which helped me work out what’s up. Christmas is in 43 days and I’ve got not much of anything ready. I used to be so organised when my Sarah was a little girl. By the time she broke up from school for the holiday everything was ready to go. I wonder if, as we grow older, Christmas becomes more relaxed.

So, I have reviewed my latest To-Do List and rejigged it to reflect the holiday season approaching. I managed to tick two different seasonal jobs from my list already. And I have a new Christmas project finished and ready to enjoy. I designed and pieced this cushion cover over the summer but forgot about it until this past weekend …..

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I kept this project simple by using up a few of my scraps and a fat quarter for the background. Less is definitely more in this case. The iridescent ribbon pretties it up nicely. And digging around in my button jars was great fun too.

Still in keeping with the spirit of the season, my friend mentioned she wanted to make seasonal wreaths using hexagons. So, I offered to help her work out how to do it. This is what I came up with so far …..

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Once the actual wreath is pieced, we could add any kind of embellishment we wish. I dragged out some ribbon for hanging and the bells can dangle from the centre hole. However, after giving more thought, perhaps raffia or jute twine might do just as well for hanging. I suppose the sky’s the limit. Working on this little wreath project kind of put me in mood for the holiday which has creeped up on me. I’m looking forward to the quiet days between Christmas and New Year and all the stuff I dream of doing. We all know that whatever we plan will most likely not happen!!! but it’s nice to dream.

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So far, it’s been a pretty good week in my little world. I had a nice lunch date yesterday. I tend to be pretty quiet nowadays but when I get the chance to step out for a bit, it makes a nice change of pace. My quiet little life is perfect for me at this stage of life.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I’m about to head outside to sweep a few leaves up and move a little planter into it’s rightful place by my front door. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s on keep on stitching.

Lucie x

GOING TO TOWN STITCHING

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a brilliant day. It’s been pretty productive day here in my little world. You may remember that last week I loaded my latest finished quilt top, my Sweet Dresden Town, in my longarm quilting system.

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Well today was the day to start quilting my Sweet Dresden Town. Quilting one of my own designs is always quite exciting. Seeing a project come to fruition is so satisfying. So, I did a little simple stitching in the borders …..

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And then did some random stitching in and around the town patches. I call this stitching pattern Double E’s.  I tried to keep the design small in order to fill in the negative spaces enough so that the patches pop.

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I spent all day in my sewing room working on this quilt. I managed to finish the stitching but didn’t get the loose thread sewn in. Custom quilting creates a lot of loose threads but only because you travel from one area to next stitching different designs.

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I am so thrilled to have gotten as much done as I did today. Tomorrow I will sew in the loose threads and join up leftover scraps for the binding. And I’ll bet that even though I’ll be using some of those scraps for the binding I will still have scraps leftover!!! It seems the more scraps you use the more scraps you have, only they’re smaller. I can’t wait for tomorrow to come now.

I have mentioned several times that I have been doing some knitting in the evening while watching TV. I knitted several pairs of socks and thoroughly enjoyed it so I went on to knit something a pullover. I chose some yarn in a colour I would never have used before. Isn’t it amazing how our colour choices changes after a while. I’ve kept the knitting design really simple because I’m using variegated yarn which makes the whole project more interested because of the colour changes.

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It’s been another good day in my little world. As well as quilting my Sweet Dresden Town, I made some soup for our supper. I love chicken vegetable noodle soup which some fresh bread. Oooooh yum. It’s the perfect time of year for soup and other comfort food.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I sure hope tomorrow is full of as much goodness as today was. I’m quite pleased with today effort. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

SLOW MEASURED PACE TODAY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super-duper day. It’s been a good productive day in my little world. Somehow, I managed to add the last borders onto my Sweet Dresden Town quilt project. I have been working on and off on this project for some months now. I am so thrilled to see the quilt top finished and loaded into my longarm quilting system. I’m hoping that by this time next week the quilt will be quilted, bound and labelled; ready to unveil to the world. I’m quite pleased with this project. It’s a whimsical view of the neighbourhood I would love to live in. There are a couple of real-life landmarks which can be found in my little corner of the northeast of England.

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I will be adding some simple quilting to this quilt using a very pale green thread and the binding will be a scrappy multi-coloured affair. Instead of introducing new fabric for the border, I plan on using up all the scraps from the patches.

With My Sweet Dresden Town all but finished, I’m already looking for a new project to sink my teeth into. I still have plenty of fabric in my stash that needs using up. I would like my next whimsy to be a combination of simple pieced blocks and simple appliqué blocks. This year has been all about the Dresden Plate, so perhaps I should find another favourite block to work with for my next endeavour. I’ll let you know when I decide on my next theme.

I worked in my sewing room all morning and part of the afternoon on my feet. While working I wore these …..

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I am determined to break these beauties in enough so I can wear them out and about properly. They are more comfortable than when I first purchased them but they’re not like slippers yet.

Today is Wednesday, the hump of the week. Only two more workdays left to this week. I feel like I’ve been very busy lately but somehow, I don’t have much to show for my efforts. I must try harder. I don’t seem to be taking many photos these days. Rather than taking photos I seem to be enjoying life as it comes.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. It’s been a good day here at happy stitching manor. I have enjoyed my quiet time working at my slow and measured pace. And even though I worked quietly and slowly, I still made good progress. Speed isn’t important. I think what’s important is to enjoy every moment of what you’re doing. 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

PUMPKIN SEASON IS HERE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all having great autumn days. The weather has been typical here in my little corner of the northeast of England. It’s been breezy and wet at times but generally I have been enjoying every minute. The heating has been switched on in the evening just to keep the damp away. I have been lighting scented candles; I really enjoy watching the flickering flame.

I have finally completed the centre blocks and inner border of my Sweet Dresden Town. The different components have been hanging on my design wall for months. In the past few days, I have been admiring it and finally took the decision about whether I need another border. And the decision is that yes it needs another border to frame it up. I know exactly what fabric I want as the last border. And it will be purchased this weekend. The backing fabric has been pressed and joined and the whole lot will be ready for longarm quilting very soon. You may not be able to tell but I’m rather excited about getting this one finished.

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It seems ages since I last worked on my hexagon project. When I sit down in the evening, I knit. I always seem to get a hankering for knitting when autumn arrives. At the moment I’m knitting socks. I’ve lost count of how many pairs I knitted over the last few weeks. I sure am enjoying it but there will come an evening when I want to do a little hand sewing pretty soon. I’ll let you know when that happens.

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I have been keeping quite busy with household chores and making changes to give my home a different feel. It’s a year since I was officially pronounced single by the family court. Making decisions was difficult at times over the last couple of years but I have finally accepted that now I can do as I please when I please in my own home. My top priority was to change the look and feel of my bedroom. This task will be fulfilled this coming week. A few new pieces of furniture will do the trick. And those bits of furniture will be delivered this weekend. I have so been looking forward to this.

Life at happy stitching manor sure has changed over the last few years. Everything is much simpler making mine and my Sarah’s life much easier. There’s rarely any drama. Who knew life could be as good as this???

The leaves are really changing colours now. We’ve had a several blustery days blowing the leaves off the trees and onto the ground. While walking the dog in the morning I have crunched my way thru piles of dried leaves in the park. And the local supermarkets have pumpkins in the produce section. I’m not a pumpkin pie lover but I do like a nicely carved and lit pumpkin.

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I guess that’s my report for today. I have been enjoying life of late. My new life seems to finally be taking shape. I still believe in happy ever afters. In fact, I think I’m finally enjoying my happy ever after. I hope you all have a super cosy weekend doing something you truly love doing. We should all be doing more of what we enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

SUMMER RECAP

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super weekend. It was a lovely quiet weekend in my little corner of the northeast of England.

Well I guess summer is over; the kids will start going back to school tomorrow (in my area) and the weatherman says that meteorological autumn has arrived!!! Autumn is my favourite time of year. We had a super summer …. I’m hoping for a splendid autumn.

So, let’s see. What have I done this summer? Well all in all it was pretty quiet around here. I spent loads of time relaxing and soul searching while designing and sewing all kinds of stuff. I did a bit of freemotion quilting …..

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I worked on UFOs …..

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I attended my Sarah’s graduation ceremony …..

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And I went to The Festival of Quilts …..

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These photos represent just a very small selection of quilts I saw at the show. I couldn’t possibly take photos of everything I saw. These photos were taken using my phone so the quality isn’t great but you will have some of idea of what I saw. I can tell you that there weren’t many hand quilted quilts, the bulk of the quilts were machine quilted. Those that were hand quilted really stood out for me. Here’s a quilt which I recognised as being pieced and quilted by a blogger that I have been following for some time.

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Allison Reid of New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting. I especially liked the quilting on Allison’s quilt. If I remember correctly Allison took a class to learn how to quilt feathers which she later quilted on her Carrie Nation Variation quilt. So, well done Allison. Your quilt looked splendid hanging in the exhibition.

Another interesting part of the exhibition was Nancy Crow’s Mono-Printing. Her quilts are mono-printed and later freemotion quilted. The mono-printing is more in league with what my Sarah produced in university but I can appreciate the process and would definitely like trying to make a small sample for myself.

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All in all, I have to admit that going to The Festival of Quilts was the highlight of my summer. We travelled some 400 miles to get to the venue and back safely. On the days leading up to the event I was trying to find a good enough excuse to pull out. However, I faced my fears and made the journey. And I’m glad I did it.

It’s already the third day of September!!! As I mentioned above, the kids are returning to school this week. The one thing I miss doing is buying new uniform and school shoes not to mention a new pencil case. My goodness how things have changed.

As I sit here this afternoon remembering what I did this summer, the rain is showering my parched garden. And the people are scurrying past the front of my house trying to get home from work asap before they get really wet. My garden must be sighing at the arrival of a little moisture.

I do have some sewing progress. Don’t get too excited because it’s just a small sewing fix. Earlier in the year I used this tool to make a fireplace hearth runner…..

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Ages ago, I sat quietly at my table drawing a little diagram for which I could use my magic Dresden ruler again …..

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So, I chose a background and five different fabrics …..

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After doing a bit of cutting and sewing, I produced this quilt top …..

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I will be adding some freemotion quilting and turning this quilt top into a bag. I don’t need a bag but it’s my go to whenever I need a sewing fix. I look forward to finishing this project sometime in the near future.

So, I guess that was my summer report. I really enjoyed every single day of this summer. The weather was glorious and I thoroughly enjoyed the peace and quiet. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something you really love doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

ONLY A FEW DAYS TO GO

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all making happy summer memories. I’ve waited a long time to start making new happy memories. And this is the summer I’m going to do it.

My Sarah and I have had simple happy times over the last few weeks. What with Sarah getting really good grades and graduating university and finally attending the graduation ceremony after three years of study. You would think that’s all a proud mother would need. However, we have one more event to attend before the summer is over. In a few days my Sarah and I will be taking a road trip when we attend The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. Most of you reading will be thinking … what’s the big deal??? Well it’s a while since I did anything that far away from home. The last couple of years I have been on a journey of discovery. Starting all over again at my age can be a long drawn out affair. I’ve done all the basic rebuilding work and now it’s time to start living a little. So why not do something that involves my passion ….. quilt making.

Around Easter, I was invited to attend The Festival of Quilts by the organisers as a blogger. My own personal goal is to have a good look around and tell you the story of my visit to The Festival of Quilts. As a seasoned quilt maker, I know what I will be looking for at this particular show. I have attended this event three times over the last eight years. And every year new stuff is unveiled. This year I will be looking for quilt making related tools, different thread, machine quilting rulers, buttons and perhaps some woolly bits.  As our visit is basically a flying visit I will not be taking any classes.

So, The Festival of Quilts starts on Thursday. Today is Monday. All the prep work has been done. Maisie is booked in for a holiday and I’ve booked us girls a hotel room near to the venue. I’ll fuel up the car put my sunglasses on and we’ll push off early morning for our four-and-a-half-hour journey to Birmingham.

At the moment I’m filled with apprehension. However, I do know that once I have arrived at the venue and have had some refreshments, I’ll be in my element discovering all the new stuff that I haven’t seen yet. And as my Sarah studied textiles she’ll be in her element as well. If I’m honest, I think I’m really looking forward to stepping out and making new happy memories.

I do have a little progress report regarding my “A” is for Appliqué quilt. The photos aren’t great as the light wasn’t very good for photography but you will get the general idea of the quilt and quilting.

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I still need to add a label to this quilt. It’s a bright and cheerful quilt which I think I will hang. It will definitely brighten up any room.

So that’s my report for today. I shall be back next week with my report about our visit to The Festival of Quilts. 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

SHORT SHARP SEWING FIX

Hello my lovelies. I trust that you’ve all had a super-duper weekend. I hope you made the most of the last weekend in July. Can you believe that the month is almost over!!!!!

Last week I started working on a new little project. Every now and again I need a short sharp sewing fix. Short sharp means a small project which can be completed quickly. You might remember me posting this photo last week …..

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Well I have completed this project by adding some of this …..

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Which I added some simple freemotion quilting to …..

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Boy did I ever enjoy quilting this ……

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I set aside that little house panel to add some freemotion quilting to this …..

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Then the magic started. I layered up the two components and added some pockets and then went on to bind the piece …..

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Can you work out what it is yet?

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I plan on flipping it over the arm of my chair and keeping my remote controllers and anything else that I feel the need to keep close to hand while watching TV up in my den.

When I bought these four fat quarters I had absolutely no plan for cutting into them. I don’t buy fabric as often as I used to, so when I do it’s because I really need it to finish something off or I just really like the fabric selection.

It was a quiet weekend in my little world. My Maisie girl dog had dental surgery on Friday and needed to rest from the trauma. Maisie is doing very well all the while healing up nicely. She looked like she’d been thru the wars when I collected her from the vet hospital Friday evening. Maisie is a few teeth lighter and my wallet is much thinner.

So that’s my report for today. I’m pleased with my latest finish. Life really does get better with every stitch I take. 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

STILL MAKING LIFE BETTER

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re having a really good week. It seems that I’m not the only one who is having a splendid summer. The weather is still glorious here in my little corner of the northeast of England. We’re experiencing record breaking high temperatures here. So, I’m sticking to light chores and staying out of the sun. It’s not so bad riding in the slow lane.

I have been playing in my sewing room lately. I dragged out some autumn colours to make a table runner. This selection of fabrics come from the fabric I uncovered while redecorating my sewing room last year. All free fabric. Now I feel justified in buying a few new fat quarters because I managed to make a project without buying any fabric. In my quest to design and make something in a flash, I kept the whole thing rather simple. Here’s a little look at what I produced …..

 

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I enjoyed the process so much that I’m rejigging it and working on another project. This project is pieced using four new fat quarters and some background fabric which I already had in my stash……

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You’ll have to come back to see what else I add to this and how it will be used.

Last weekend, Saturday into Sunday morning my fridge/freezer decided to pack in. My whole freezer defrosted and I lost quite a lot of food. The fridge/freezer was ten years old so I guess it didn’t owe anybody anything. Needless to say, that I headed out on Sunday morning fridge/freezer shopping. The sales assistant lady was so helpful in trying to find me the best buy for my money by comparing all the different appliances. And in no time a new fridge/freezer was bought and paid for and a delivery date was confirmed. The new appliance arrived on Tuesday afternoon. It purring away as I write this post. For once, there was no drama surrounding a challenge. Perhaps life is easier when you make your own decisions.

So far, it’s been a pretty good summer in my little world. I tend to keep to myself these days. Putting your house and home in order takes time and a lot of effort. I spend plenty of time being creative, dreaming about new projects and recording new ideas. The only problem is that there isn’t enough time and energy to do everything I want to do in a day. As always, my goal is to make life better one quilting stitch at a time. And it’s working rather well for the moment.

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

Let’s all keep on stitching,

Lucie x

GLORIOUS LAZY DAYS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying this glorious summer. These lazy days of summer take me back to my childhood in Montreal. As children, my brother and I spent the whole summer playing outside. My goodness life was so simple then. Nowadays we have to do so much adulting !!!

Have you been doing any sewing lately? It’s a little bit warm to be sewing any big projects so I decided to treat myself to another wee project fix.

A few years back I pieced a little thread catcher loosely based on a bluebird. This is the original project.

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Well as it happens, I have been asked several times if there was a pattern for this Bluebird Thread Catcher. The short answer is that there wasn’t a pattern. I made it up as I went along when I originally pieced this bluebird. After another recent request for the pattern, I decided to got for it. Katherina, this one’s for you.

In order to produce some kind of pattern, even if it’s a rough one, I had to produce another project. Here’s the new prototype. And it’s rather easy to make.

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So, if you’re at all interested in making this little Bluebird Thread Catcher click Bluebird Thread Catcher  to be taken to a PDF pattern which you can print off. Please note that this pattern is for personal use only. You know the drill.

So, it’s been a pretty good week in my little world. Every week things to be falling into place. Sarah has found short term employment. The heat seems to have eased off a little so my Maisie is more comfortable these days. And we’re sleeping quite well. I’m going to pull the barbeque out and we’re going to have super duper grilled chicken on skewers for our evening meal tonight. I’m enjoying these lazy days of summer. Winter is just around the corner so let’s make the most of the glorious weather we’ve got.

So, I guess that’s my report for this week. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing some seasonal that you enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

SLOW STITCHING

Hello my lovelies. I’s been a while. I was so busy having a good summer that I haven’t posted a report in a whole week!!! How dare I have a good time. Life is a little more carefree these days. I’ve been enjoying every minute of every day. And sleeping, well I’m sleeping so well nowadays. I wake fresh as a daisy in the morning.

So, I guess you might all be wondering if I’ve been doing any sewing. Well the answer is yes, I certainly have. These lazy summer days lend themselves to slow stitching. Not only have I drawn new blocks but I have been prepping them and securing patches in place by machine at my favourite slow and measured pace. And once I have sewn the patches in place I take the time to have a good look at my work. In the old days I didn’t have time to do anything slowly never mind admire it.

We’ve had loads of sunny days in the past week or so but I wanted to make sure that no matter what I could enjoy my days. So, I stitched this simple sunshine to remind of the good days ahead of me …..

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Here’s a little preview of the block …..

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I can’t show you the whole thing because it’s missing some stitching in one section. I’m really looking forward to finishing this particular project because I want to longarm quilt it to see how it all comes together. However, I still have a long way to go. That’s the only thing about this slow stitching stuff, it takes a while to bring to fruition.

I don’t do any machine sewing in the evening. Evenings are for quiet armchair projects. I’ve always got some English Paper Piecing on the go. My favourite is hexagons of course. I’ve shown you this project before but it has grown since the last I posted about it. This one is an ongoing project for which I have no specific use for. It’s just one of those projects that I’m working on because I can.

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It’s warmish and the pollen count is very high in my little corner of the northeast of England. I’m hiding myself away from the pollen and the UV rays. The kids are still in school here. I think the school year ends in about three weeks. At the moment the parks and shops are pretty quiet but watch this space once the kids break up.

The most wonderful thing that happened to me last week is that my little car went in for it’s annual service and came out with a clean bill of health. Yahoo. I’m looking forward to our next road trip which should be The Festival of Quilts in August. Only a few weeks to go now.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. Life is treating me and my Sarah with kindness at the moment. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x