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 …..

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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 …..

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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 …..

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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.

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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.

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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 …..

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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.

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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?

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ….

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 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 …..

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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

LAID UP ON A BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND

Hello my lovelies. I hope you all had a great weekend. You may remember that it’s a bank holiday weekend here in England. The weather has been lovely. It makes a change from the usual weather we have on a bank holiday.

I don’t have much sewing progress to report today. Unfortunately, I was struck down with Norovirus/gastroenteritis type bug which knocked the stuffing out of me. I did manage to do a little work in the garden Saturday morning before the bug struck me though. I dug up one of four enormous ferns which were making my front garden look like Jurassic Park! It’s amazing how heavy an established fern’s root ball is. So, all in all my weekend wasn’t a total washout.

I did get a little sewing done on Saturday …..

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I decided to keep the quilting on this project simple. Originally, I was going to do some machine quilting but changed my mind. It took me only a few minutes to work out what design and how to quilt it. I used these simple circle templates. You see I feel that simple is beautiful. And I’m so enjoying quilting circles. I’m already looking to piece another quilt top that would be suitable to quilt in circles.

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Circle, neutral thread = texture. I love texture on a quilt. I’m using a cotton/poly blend wadding but I wish I had chosen wool. Wool is so much easier to hand quilt. I must check my wadding stash and make sure I top up on wool wadding if I running low.

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This isn’t a very big project so the quilting should take very long. As long as I don’t loose interest it should be finished and hanging somewhere soon.

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I have one or two outings planned for this summer. One major outing is The Festival of Quilts in August. It’s three years since I last attended. I was approached by the organisers last year to attend and do a feature on my blog but could not attend as my exhusband was collecting his belongings that particular week. When I was approached again this year I could not turn them down. So, I will be attending this year. Is anyone else planning on going to Birmingham?

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So, it’s been an interesting weekend. Rest assured that I am on the mend but it’s going to be a quiet week at happy stitching manor. I hope you’re all healthy and enjoying good weather and even better company.

I guess 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

SUNNY FRIDAY PROGRESS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super day. It’s been a proper spring day here in the northeast of England. The pollen count is pretty high and I would imagine that those who suffer from hay fever are suffering today. I used to suffer from hay fever but somehow it seems to have all but disappeared. Who knew that would happen!

So, let’s see what’s been going on in happy stitcher land. Well last evening I carried on hand quilting my Dresden Neighbourhood quilt …..

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It seems to be taking forever to stabilise the centre but I didn’t give up. I’m hoping to finish the centre this evening and then I will have to decide what to do with the rest. I’m looking for texture so I think I’ll stitch some geometric shapes around the Dresden. I’m going to keep it simple. I have discovered that when we make something too complicated we sometimes turn a project into a UFO. I don’t want to add this Dresden to the UFO pile.

As I sit in front of my laptop looking out the window this afternoon, I notice that the garden shrubs and plants are coming on a treat. My little trees are lush with fresh leaves and my shrubs are growing bushy again. It seems last week it was cold and nothing was growing yet. A few days of sunshine and everything looks and feels very different.

I seem to be more enthusiastic about creating these last few weeks. I have new ideas for projects and my colour choices are changing. I’m not sure why this transformation is taking place but I think it’s all good. So, in view of my changing tastes in colour palette I decided to treat myself to a collection of thread …..

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My postman attempted to deliver said threads yesterday while I was out so I went to collect them from the post office this morning. I spent ages just looking at them and trying to choose what colour fabrics to use in my next project. Receiving these thread spools has inspired me. I’m quite excited about starting to design something new. I feel the need to pull my sketchpad and pencil out to get started.

It’s a bank holiday weekend there in England. Monday is the holiday. And the weatherman has promised reasonable weather. I think it will be a good weekend to work in the garden. So, when I’ve tidied a part of the garden I’ll treat myself to a little drawing session. I’m quite sure I’ll find enough inspiration in the garden to design a whole quilt project.

I guess that’s my report for today. I’ve had a brilliant week. And it looks like it’s going to be a great weekend as well. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

A BIT OF HAND STITCHING

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fabulous day. I was let out on good behaviour today. While the sun was shining, my Sarah and I set off to run a few errands. It was such a beautiful day and although we didn’t get everything that was on our shopping list we got other things that weren’t!!!

The last couple of days have whizzed by. I didn’t do anything extraordinary. I just plodded along appreciating life as it is. I played in my sewing a wee bit and did some chores. My wee bit of sewing consists of going back to my Neighbourhood Dresden Project.

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Originally, I thought I might quilt it by machine. Well I changed my mind and decided that I will hand quilt it. So I gathered up all my favourite tools and supplies …..

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I use a hoop because it helps me produce nice stitches. I use hand quilting thread because it’s strong and smooth. For this particular project I am using a sharps needle. I coat said needle with silicone from my Thread Heaven pot. I use a thimble because since the day I started hand quilting I have used a thimble to protect my finger.

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After an hour of sitting quietly hand quilting I started to see a change in the quilt. It started showing signs of texture …..

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I normally use wool wadding when I know that I’m going to be doing some hand quilting but originally, I had planned to machine quilt so I used a cotton/poly blend which is working out pretty well. It was nice to do some hand stitching on something other than my hexies …..

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As you can see my hexie quilt top is growing albeit slowly. There have been evenings when I can hardly keep my eyes open while sitting in front of the TV. However, if I keep my hands busy I seem to be able to stay awake. Being able to craft be it sewing, knitting or paper craft is definitely a God send. It keeps your mind occupied and is something we can share with others. You’ve got to love a crafty person!

So, life has become quite interesting of late. I am busy with this and that. I have been socialising a little more than I did this time last year. And I am thankful for all the positive things that come my way.

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

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x