A NEW LODGER

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all safe and in good spirits. This is a summer like no other. The weather has mainly been reasonable. It’s not too hot at the moment.

I have very little in the way of new quilt making progress to be honest. I have been busy doing a wee bit of social distanced socialising for the first time in months. And of course, summer is made for recharging our batteries in readiness for the cooler months ahead.

So, let’s start with the meagre amount of progress on my Brimfield project …..

Brimfield sandwich

I layered it up and dragged it outside to take some photos but the colours and freshness don’t come through very well in these shots.

Brimfield sandwich 2

I consider this quilt has a more tradition feel so I have decided to hand quilt when the cooler weather comes along. This will give me plenty of time to work out some tradition looking quilting designs. It was quite nice to piece the block patches even though it was tricky when I first started but once I decided to use my glue pen to keep the patches centred over the papers, things started to get easier.

Brimfield sandwich border

I kept the borders simple using the same fabric as the block background and adding a contrasting mini border to break up the sameness. I have no idea what I will do with this quilt once it’s finished but I’m sure it will go to good use at some point.

After completing the layering up job on the Brimfield project I was at a loss for something to do of an evening. So, I went searching in my sewing room and found this that was already on the go …..

Diamonds

A few English paper Pieced project which I started more than five years ago. I would come across every now and again and jut move it from place to place in my sewing room. I decided to have a little go on this for a bit. I will turn it into something small because I need that sense of accomplishment that finishing a project brings. And besides, it’s better to work on something small in the warm weather.

Now, I discovered something quite interesting yesterday. I went out into my little garden which lies just outside my sewing to make a plan of action to tidy it up just a wee bit once the flowering shrubs stop flowering. And while I was out there I noticed something quite intriguing.

Bud

Notice how this teapot  in the background is full of twiggy bits??? This teapot is a nesting box which is hanging on my fence as an ornament. Well it seems it’s not an ornament anymore …..

Rob1

I have a little lodger. I imagine it’s a female robin nesting in my teapot. I could barely believe my eyes. And is it nesting time for robins??? Google tells that robins nest between March-August. So, I suppose I’ve got a late bloomer in my garden.

Rob2

Well, my lovelies, I suppose that’s my news for now. 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

POSITIVE STEPS FORWARD

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all having a great day. It’s been a bit productive around here today. We’re starting to experience positive steps forward. Now that the tips are open again, I have been sorting and tidying. I expect to make my first trip to the tip this weekend. I’m going to fill the car full of rubbish and recycling and make the trip worth it. My utility room, which housed plenty of surplus to requirement stuff since lockdown began is now looking much tidier.

Today, I will show you my 44th art journal effort. Today’s theme is under the sea …..

Fish

It started off like this …..

DSCN1847

I didn’t do too much more to it apart from adding the fish which were cut out of a dictionary page, a bit of pen doodling and water colour shading.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to splodge some paint of fabric with the idea that I would add a bit of fabric appliqué and some simple quilting. Well here’s how it looks after a little bit of stitching …..

Stitched

Stitched 2

Stitched 3

You will note that I kept this piece very basic. Even the stitching is very basic. All in all, I am pleased with the piece. My goal is to turn it into a wall hanging of some kind. The edges need finishing first. Normally I would add binding but I want the piece to look rustic. So, I’ll have a little think before I do anything else to it.

After finishing joining all my hexagons together and adding a border, I switched to a hand quilting project. It’s been going quite well. I have so far marked and moved my quilting hoop three times over two evenings making great progress. Here’s a little peek …..

Hand quilting

It’s been a while since I’ve done any hand quilting. Once you get going and if you’re in the mood it goes well. This quilt is for Christmas. I hope to get it finished in time for Christmas this year.

The sun has been shining on a off all day here. The temperature seems to be climbing again. Although I must admit that we still need to dress for cool temperature today.

Well, my friends, that’s my news for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something interesting. Remember to stay safe, safe alert and be well. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching and messing around with art supplies.

Lucie x

DAY 42

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all safe today. We all seem to be going into the next phase of something. I’m not sure if we’re going to be safe or not but we have to move forward somehow.

So, today is day 42 of my self-imposed messing around with art supplies challenge. I’ve still got a few ideas on my list. I must admit that I seem to add one or two ideas every day! This challenge is eventually run out of steam but for now it’s keeping me focused on something other than the invisible enemy. Here is how my today’s effort started off a few days ago …..

DSCN1842

 

This is what it looks like now …..

DSCN1853

To this art journal page, I added a bit more paint, some water colour pencil stems, leaves and shading and some pen doodling. Bish bash bosh, voila! Actually, that makes it sound like it only took five minutes but it actually takes a bit longer than five minutes. Not to mention clearing up the mess after I’m done. Mind you, the time it takes is time that I’m focused on something good. Therapeutic.

I am very happy to tell you that I finished securing the last border to my hexagon quilt. I will be thinking about the backing fabric. I think the shops will open again some time in the next six weeks. So, I think I’ll set the hexie quilt top aside until I can get out to choose backing fabric. It will be a pleasure to see fabric up close and in person. In the meantime, I have some hand quilting to do. So, it’s onto the next big thing for me. I shall post photos of that progress soon.

Hand quilting

Well, my lovely friends, that’s my news 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 and messing around with art supplies.

Lucie x

ALL CHANGE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all well and in good spirits. Like most of you I’m having ups and downs but thru it all I recognise that I am grateful for all I’ve got. Sarah and I feel safe at home and we’re in reasonable health at the moment.

We both step out first thing in the morning with our Maisie girl dog. We go early in order to ensure we don’t meet too many people. Yesterday morning we came across some chalk markings along the way …..

Hashtag Strong

And …..

Hashtag brave

I think this describes our current situation nicely.

And then on our way back home past the little play park …..

Empty Play park

We found this sign on the entrance gate to the park ….

Park Sign

And this padlock securing it shut for the duration …..

Padlock

I don’t need to comment on this because it’s obvious that it’s for everyone’s good. Normal service will eventually be resumed.

It’s all change on the current project. I switched from hexagons to some hand quilting …..

Hand quilting

I’m hand quilting in circles. I am keeping it simple by quilting concentric circles. I quite like this type of quilting design. It’s easy peasy to mark by overlapping every which way. And by using matching thread, you don’t see the uneven stitches, only the texture which is what I’m aiming to produce.

Here, at happy stitching manor, we’re keeping busy. I still feel a little distracted but I am confident that in a few days the isolation will become the normal and I will be back on track and being creative again. I’m currently jumping from one thing to another and not getting much of anything accomplished. I managed to spend several hours hand quilting over the last couple of days. I think things are improving.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you’re all getting on with doing things you enjoy doing. After all life has to go on while we fight this invisible enemy. Until next time,

 

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

NEW PROJECTS THIS AUTUMN

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been enjoying the autumnal weather we have been experiencing. I am still crunching leaves underfoot in the morning while walking my Maisie. This morning the sun was shining beautifully showing off the naked branches of the trees. Comfort food is the order of the day. I have made one or two pots of soup and serving warm breath with it. It’s the perfect warmer for this time of year. Casseroles and pasta bakes go down really well too. Are you doing any comfort cooking right now?In my last post I ran a giveaway draw for 5 pairs of tickets to the Knitting & Stitching Show being held in Harrogate which is running from November 28 to December 1, 2019 in the Harrogate Convention Centre. The winners are:

Ann Burch – Newcastle Upon Tyne
Heather Smith – Northumberland
Jayne Davey – Lancashire
Bal Bailey – North Yorkshire
Chris O’Rourke – Newcastle Upon Tyne

Congratulations ladies. I would appreciate it if you could all supply me with your home addresses so I can submit them to the organisers who will forward your tickets. For those of you who missed out on entering/winning tickets and would like to attend the show you can book tickets online and by using code ONE19 you will get a discount.
So, let’s move onto sewing progress. Last time I showed you a part constructed Cathedral Window panel. Well I finally finished the panel …..


And appliquéd the panel to the back fabric …..


And layered up the Cathedral Window quilt top ready for a little hand quilting around the borders …..


For those of you who would like to try this traditional technique and think that it’s far too difficult, please do try it. The trick is to take this technique one step at a time and it makes it much easier to digest. Even if you only ever make one panel, do try it. It will use up some of your stash and you might even turn it into a gift for someone. I’m definitely going to gift mine for Christmas.
My UFO inventory is dwindling away. And with that in mind, I decided it was time for me to have a stab at something new and different. I think my new project will be or perhaps is already trending. The project is English Paper Piecing and it’s called Brimfield Awakening. Here’s a look at what I’ve pieced so far …..


The most difficult part of starting any project for me is choosing fabric. I was determined to use what I’ve got in my stash. So, I opened every drawer containing fabric and pondered what would go together. Well the task is so difficult now that my stash is dwindling away to nothing but I did find some very fine, lawn like fabric produced by Lecien that I purchased a few years ago which I was saving for Sunday best. Well baby, Sunday has finally arrived and I have cut into the fine fabrics and they seem to be working quite well for this particular project. For purposes of photography I have laid the blocks out on soft bamboo wadding in the vane of showing the colours of the fabric prints. Once I have pieced a few more blocks I will be able to decided what colour background I will need. Pinterest has a really good selection of photos of Brimfield projects. There’s something quite satisfying about working on English Paper Pieced projects because you know that your project will be accurate and neat. So, for now, I will alternate between my Brimfield project and my current knitting project as my evening armchair work. For today though, my washing machine is whirring away getting my bedding clean and I will step out to rake an enormous pile of leaves into my garden waste bin in readiness to be collected by the council tomorrow. It’s a bright but very cool day so I will no doubt come in from my outdoor adventure in the garden with roses on my cheeks and my glasses fogged up so that I can’t see where I’m going.
I love autumn. I love the crunchy leaves. And I love crisp sunny days in autumn. I love wearing woollies and chunky boots. This is my perfect day.
So that’s my news 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; did you know that one quilting stitch at a time makes life better? Take it from me, it does.

Lucie x

SUNNY MOTHER’S DAY

Hello my lovelies on this glorious sunny Mother’s Day.  It’s the perfect day here in my little corner of the northeast of England. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and I’m just mooching about doing something and nothing.

I have a wee bit of sewing news. I am slowly making progress on my latest hand quilting project. I am thoroughly enjoying the quiet repetitive soothing hand stitching. Everyone should hand quilt at least one patchwork or whole cloth quilt in their lifetime. So, feast your peeps on this …..

DSCN1238

Contrary to popular belief my quilting stitches aren’t all even. And my chosen quilting design won’t be to everyone’s taste. And I’m sure the quilting police would have plenty to say about my appliqué work, however, this project wasn’t designed to please anyone else but me. I have learned not to take life too seriously. I think finished is much better than perfect. I am so pleased with the result of this project so far, that I will be hanging it on the wall for all to see. Warts and all.

I had a little stroll in my garden this morning. My garden isn’t huge, so when I say a little stroll, I’m not kidding. The sunshine and blue sky makes me feel like I live in a castle, albeit a small one. I digress, the point is, I found some lovely growth. My tree peony has flower buds on it …..

DSCN1245

I never really liked this tree peony but it fills quite a large space in a back border and also gives me some privacy from the neighbours. Also my peony shrub is making good progress …..

DSCN1243

My borders are in need of a little more pruning and mulching. All in good time.

As I mentioned earlier, today is Mother’s Day in the UK. So, to all the special mamas today, I wish you a very special day spending time with your children and grandchildren of all ages.

DSCN1241

 

Well I guess that’s my report for this week. It’s been quite an interesting week. And good progress is being made in all aspects of my life. I hope you’re all having a super cosy day doing things you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

SUNNY SUNDAY SPECIAL

Hello my lovelies on this super-duper sunny Sunday. It’s bright and breezy here in my little corner of the northeast of England. It was so lovely this morning that I stepped out and did some digging and pruning in the garden. I had a Clematis that needed some tender loving care. It looks a lot less wild and woolly now that I have given it a short back and sides trim. It always feels so good when you see the fruits of your labour. My garden is going to be a wonderful place this summer.

I have been a little busy in the sewing department this past week. I recently found a little pile of UFOs which I have made a start on finishing up. Today’s particular show and tell is a whimsy that I designed and pieced 2012/2013. I can’t believe that I didn’t finish it at the time of piecing of it. I added the finishing touches, a few buttons to embellish, a few days ago. And it now hangs in my living room. I am so pleased with the finished result.

DSCN1198

DSCN1204

DSCN1202

So, the moral of this story is don’t give up on your UFOs. You may lose interest in them but once they are finished, you will have a great sense of accomplishment.

I have another little bit of progress to show you. Most of you will know that machine quilting is my preference but this little UFO is being hand quilted …..

DSCN1206

I have kept this hand quilting job simple. I have used rulers and circle template shapes to mark the quilting. And so far, it’s looking pretty good. I can’t wait to finish this job so I can show you. I think everyone should have a hand quilting project on the go at all times. It’s a wonderful quiet technique that looks so good once it’s finished. It’s a relaxing occupation that brings much satisfaction. Once again, I will have a great sense of accomplishment once this one is finished.

So, tell me. What have you been working on lately? Have you got some hand sewing on the go or are you a machine girl like me? After this little taster of hand quilting, I think I will make a conscious effort to do more. The secret to my enjoyment is to keep it simple, choose your own quilting designs and use a nice thread.

Well I guess that’s my report for this week. 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

A TASTE OF HAND QUILTING

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been enjoying a fine spring day. We’ve supposedly seen the back end of Storm Gareth but the wind is still mighty strong. I stepped out into the garden this morning to pick the litter blown into my borders and that wind was soooo strong. When I finished my little litter picking session my garden was sparkling clean. My new garden waste bin is almost full and will be ready for collection next week.

I have done a little more sewing since I last posted. Every new quilting stitch, whether by hand or machine, brings me closer to a better life. So, working on my big bag and putting the finishing touches on it feels great. I used some of my very favourite background fabric and some funky bright fabric to piece this big bag.

DSCN1183

And of course, I added a bright half Dresden Plate to jazz it up and some bright side ties. All in all, it’s a pretty simple project but very useful for what I want to use it for. Can you guess what I’ll be using this bag for? No?

DSCN1187

I will be storing my hand quilting project in it while I’m not working on it …..

DSCN1193

This is a UFO from years ago. I came across it while I was searching for something else, quite a happy find. I have started the process by stabilising the centre block and its patches.

DSCN1189

I’m planning on giving it a simple quilting job. I am a great fan of geometric designs. So, I will be hand stitching nesting circles all over the centre block. I’m not sure how I will proceed with the rest of it yet. By the time I have finished quilting the centre I will probably know exactly what to do with the next section.

So, it’s been a good day in my little world. All little work and a little play make for a happy well lived life. We all have a different definition of a well lived life. My definition is to stay away from drama, be the best me that I can be and I keep my expectations at a reasonable level. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching, it really does make life better.

Lucie x

DAFFODIL FIND

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying the tail end of winter. Because I have friends and family in Canada, I know that the weather has been horrendous lately. In Québec, they have had so much snow and then rain and then snow and more rain. When things start to thaw, they’re going to have fun and games. While here in the UK today, we’ve had super brilliant sunshine. I went outside to take a photo of my daffodils and I could hear the birds singing beautifully. It was up rather uplifting listening to the birds for a few minutes.

DSCN1156

While I was outside, I spotted these lonely snowdrops sitting there looking pretty sad. I think I’ll plant a few more snowdrops to keep these lonely ones company in years to come.

DSCN1160

It’s been a busy company of weeks. We’re finally putting the house back in order after a decorating job. Deciding what pictures to hang where seems to be our most difficult decision at the moment.

I do have a little bit sewing to show you. I have been doing some hand quilting recently. I finished the job over the weekend. Have a little look at this simple but interesting hand quilting.

DSCN1155

DSCN1153I took a couple of simple circle templates and used them over and over again to produce this quilting design. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that bring interest to a project. Now that I have finished this little project, I have a hankering to work on another hand quilting project. So, watch this space.

Now that spring is just around the corner, I’m feeling so much perkier. Quite a while ago, I decided that I would always choose to look at the positive aspects of life which I believe enables us to lead happier lives. Never expect someone else to make you happy. You have to choose to be happy.

It’s been a pretty fulfilling weekend in my little corner of the northeast of England. The days are getting longer and the temperature is rising. I may be wrong but we may have escaped having anymore winter storms. Autumn is my favourite time of year but spring comes in a close second. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s keep on stitching, because a little stitching makes life better.

Lucie x

 

BRIGHT AND BREEZY AGAIN

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying a glorious springtime. The sunshine is so soothing even for those who aren’t sun worshippers. It’s bright and breezy and my heart has been singing all day while watching the blossom tree petals blowing around like snow. What a beautiful sight.

It’s that time of year when I can’t concentrate very well on anything serious. I’m dreaming of what the summer will bring. I have one or two events coming up in the next few months that I’m really looking forward to. I must hit the shops to buy myself a couple of tidy outfits to wear to these events.

I’m making steady progress on hand quilting my Dresden Neighbourhood. One more corner and it will be done!!! Here’s a few progress photos.

DSCN0363

DSCN0361

DSCN0357

DSCN0356

I woke up this morning with absolutely no plan of action for the day. After walking my Maisie, I decided to step into my sewing room to do a little tidying. Well that task soon went to pot. I couldn’t concentrate of putting things away. While I stood in the middle of room trying to work out what to do next I decided I needed to start working on Christmas. Who works on Christmas in May? I do. So, I went into the kitchen and gathered these ….

DSCN0354

 I don’t suppose you have any idea what I can do with these do you? Hint: templates. I hope to post more about my idea soon. Let’s hope it works.

The last few days have been spent healing from my weekend malaise.  Rest assured that I do feel much better now. Isn’t it funny how a small hiccup makes you appreciate your day to day life even more. I love waking up in the morning and working out what day it is and what I’m supposed to be doing that particular day. I look forward to getting up and getting stuck into whatever I’m supposed to do. Nowadays I can pick and choose what I do and when now that I have very few ties. I keep very busy creating. I keep seeing this quote everywhere I go …..

DSCN0352

So, I am doing more of what makes me happy. I try not to take life too seriously. I do my best every single day and I rest whenever my body tells me to. Life is sweet.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. Although I didn’t have a plan of action I still had a great day. I feel happy and fulfilled. 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