FORMING A NEW PLAN OF ACTION

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been enjoying a glorious autumn. It’s been lovely in my little corner of the northeast of England. It’s starting to cool off and even some of the trees are already turning to autumn colours. We had a very dry summer so it’s no wonder that the leaves are changing so early.

I’ve been keeping very busy with household chores. I planted up my outdoor planters with violas …..

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I love violas. I love seeing their smiling faces when I pull into my driveway. I especially love the bright yellow and deep purple varieties.

I have been tidying up my bedroom. In fact, I changed my bed and added some new and extra storage. And because I changed my bed I decided to buy a new duvet cover which I promptly turned into a quilt using  quilting design called Rococo by Hermione Agee of Lorien Quilting …..

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I did a little more longarm quilting recently …..

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This quilting design is called Feathered Garden by Irene Steele. It stitches out really nicely and looks really good on this sampler.

Now that the cooler weather has set in, I have a hankering to knit!!! So, I went back to knitting socks. I started these socks last spring and carried off where I left off yesterday afternoon while I was watching a few recorded shows on TV …..

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It looks like I’m well on my way to finishing this UFO of the knitted variety. I made a picnic basket type of bucket at the end of last year and tucked it away behind my longarm quilting frame. I kept tripping over it until today when I decided to use it to store my knitting projects. I don’t know why I waited so long to use it.

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The last week or so has just flown by. I’ve had so many little jobs that needed doing which kept my mind occupied. I’m hoping to soon have the time to form a new plan of action for the next few months. I have a short list of gentle goals. I seem to be well suited to creative pursuits. So, I think I’ll include plenty of creativity in my new plan of action.

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 keeping 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

“A” IS FOR APPLIQUE PROGRESS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all enjoyed a super first day of August. It’s been lovely in my little world.

I have a little progress report on a long standing UFO. If you’ve been reading me for a long time you may remember a little challenge I started several years ago called “A” is for Appliqué. My version consisted of 12 appliqué blocks which I eventually finished piecing but which were put away until recently when I decided to join all the blocks together. It then sat for a long time before I gathered the courage to longarm quilt it. I changed the name to something shorter along the way to The Joanna Quilt. Here are a few progress photos of what I’ve stitched so far …..

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I decided that this one would be all freemotion quilted using simple designs. It’s a bit funky and I have fallen in love with it because it’s a little bit quirky. It’s cheerful and the different blocks and the quilting draw your eye around the to the next surprise. I am really looking forward to getting the quilting done so I can take it all in in one go. It’s difficult to see the whole quilt when it’s loaded in my longarm. I have one or two other UFO quilt tops that need to be quilted. Perhaps I’ll be able to finish a couple more this summer.

So that’s my report for today. I have really enjoyed working on my “A” is for Appliqué quilt. It’s very satisfying seeing a project thru from start to finish. I hope to post photos of the finished result soon.  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

DRAWINGS COMING TO FRUITION

Hello my lovelies. I hope you all had a great weekend. I spent mine doing plenty of sewing by attending a sewing session with some like-minded ladies. We had such a good laugh. I find that laughing is the best medicine.

So, let’s start with a bit of progress shall we. I did some drawing recently and this is what I produced from said drawing …..

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The patches in this block still need to be secured in place. My sewing machine gives me a really good blanket stitch. The good stitched along with a little bit of patience produces a very good block. I can’t wait to see how this block will look once the patches have been sewn down. Does everyone recognise the landmark I have included in this block??? I call this landmark Rusty Rita better known as The Angel of the North. I plan to add one or two more local landmarks in the rest of the blocks that make up this current project.

You might remember I produced another little block from this project for framing purposes. Sarah was adding colour to an otherwise very plain wooden shadow box frame last week. Well the paint is dry and the block has been blocked and inserted into the frame and this is how it looks now …..

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This morning I flashed up my longarm quilting system and had a little play. I did only freemotion work this time. I stitched to my heart’s content. It’s so satisfying to stitch and watch the patches start to pop. And depending on what wadding you use, you can create some great texture too.

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It’s been a great day in my little world. The work I’ve been doing lately has been very fulfilling. I’m already considering which of my UFOs to work on next. I have one or two quilt tops which need custom quilting and I have plenty of new ideas that need to be drawn and brought to fruition.

Today was my Sarah’s last day at uni. She drove down to Hartlepool first thing this morning to remove her display from the Degree Show. When all her work was removed from the display boards she sent me a photo of the blank space. It was quite a sad time. Although our new life officially started some six months ago, today was our real beginning. I think there are some exciting times ahead.

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

DEFINITELY MOVING FORWARD

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super day. The weather in my little corner of the Uk has reverted to fresh and breezy. It’s a good time to do outdoor jobs. I must admit that I didn’t get around to working outside. Maybe tomorrow.

I promised that I would post a photo of my latest effort ….

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I finished longarm quilting my Moving Forward quilt last week. I am so pleased with the result. I will be adding some buttons and Yo-Yos here and there for embellishment. The quilting has added texture and interest and the bright colours on the paler background is exactly the look I was looking for. This is so different from the way I used to work two years ago. Looking at this quilt makes me happy. As you can see the quilt is wider than my Sarah’s arm span and the day is quite dull but you get a really good idea of what my quilt looks like. I’m doing a happy dance 😉

This morning when I woke up, firstly I worked out where I was and what I needed to do today. I needed to pop over to M&S to collect something I ordered online but then the rest of the day was all mine to do as I pleased. So, I chose to play in my sewing room. Surprise, surprise!!!

I need a new notebook starting on the first of July. And although I just use simple notebooks, I like to make patchwork covers for them which makes the notebooks more interesting. So, this is the fabric I picked for my notebook cover …..

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I decided to keep the design simple by using my Dresden ruler. I rotary cut wedges from three of the four fat quarters and got down to the sewing. I sewed and pressed until I joined enough wedges to make a quilt top that would cover the notebook.

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I used my Kelly clamps to turn a tube right side out. The tube was fashioned into a garter type thing that I place around my notebook and in which I store my pen.

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Now I’m ready for all the To-Do Lists I will compose not to mention the appointments that come along in the second half of the year. It was fun being let loose in my sewing room this afternoon. I had no idea what I was going to work on but soon decided and produced what I needed without any struggle whatsoever. That makes a change.

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It’s been a really good day in my little world. Happy stitching manor is ticking over nicely at the moment. Sarah has all but finished university now. We still have the Degree Show at the beginning of June and her graduation at the beginning of July. Life is a little more relaxed now. The next step for Sarah is to find work. She has a few irons in the fire. I truly believe that sometimes it’s a question of being at the right place at the right time. Only time will tell.

So, that’s my report for today. 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

STITCHING MOVING FORWARD

Hello my lovelies. I hope it’s been a good day in your little world. I spent mine in my sewing room machine quilting my Moving Forward quilt. I stitched a little bit of this ….

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And then added a bit of this …..

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I did a little meandering which as you can see adds texture and interest …..

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I spent several hours cheering myself on until I decided it was time to call it a day. I got 2/3 of the way thru the job today. I hope to get the last third done tomorrow.

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Before I started stitching this morning I really didn’t know how it would look. I knew that I wanted plenty of texture which makes the patches pop. I think I managed to create the texture that I wanted. If you look at my quilt properly you’ll see that it’s all very simple quilting. I’m quite happy with simple as it showcases the fine hand appliqué work that I put into this project. You might also have noticed that the background although all from the same collection is different. This is what makes a project interesting, the many different shades of colour, size of print, the shapes of the patches etc. This particular quilt was designed by me. And I’m quite pleased with the result so far. I can’t wait to see the whole quilt finished and ready to either use or hang somewhere in my house.

I have a few other quilts that need custom quilting from my stash of finished quilt tops. I’m hoping to get caught up on that pile this summer. While I was machine quilting today my view was pretty dull …..

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There’s nothing sadder than an empty design wall. I have a couple of projects in the design stage but nothing to hang on the design wall yet. I can’t wait to add colour to said wall.

So, as you can see I’ve been keeping pretty busy today. I machine quilted until my body told me it was time for a break. I’ll be sure to have a good rest tonight so I can flash up my machine first thing in the morning. 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

UFO PROGRESS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super fine day. It’s been a lovely day here in my little corner of the northeast of England. I find it amazing that although I’m writing from a sunny England that some of you are reading from North America, Australia, the Netherlands and many other places where the weather can be very different.

I’ve spent the last few days living. Along with a few daily chores I’ve worked on one or two UFOs …..

My Dresden Neighbourhood has been hand quilted and ready for the next step. I’m not sure whether I want to add a simple binding and hanging pocket in order to use it as a wall hanging OR have it framed professionally. I have never had any of my work framed professionally. I quite like this particular piece of work so perhaps it’s worth going all out and having it framed.

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I worked on one more UFO …..

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My Moving Forward quilt project has been on the go for almost two years since I started designing it. It’s the first project that I designed in my new life. It’s rather different from what I used to design in the old days. The colours are very different from the muddy colours I used to use. So, I added some borders to frame up the centre appliqué blocks.

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Dragged out some backing fabric which I had been saving for Sunday best ….. I decided that Sunday has arrived and so I will use this backing fabric rather than buy something new. Nice backing fabric is quite hard to source in the quilt shops in my area. So, when I find some I buy it.

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Now the quilt is loaded in my longarm quilting system in readiness for quilting over the next couple of days.

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I think the threat of frost is over now. So, it’s time for me to plant a few annuals. We headed out this morning to buy a few annuals. I suspect that I might new a few more but I’ll plant up everything I purchased today and see how far my purchases go.

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I had a little wander around my garden at lunchtime. Everything is looking quite lush at the moment and will need pruning and trimming soon enough.

I’ve got some raspberry canes …..

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Self-seeded Aquilegia …..

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A monster Clematis that keeps on growing …..

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A border full of interesting colour …..

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A close up of Clematis …..

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And a single self-seeded pansy …..

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This pansy is a real fighter. It survived the winter snows we had in March and is still looking good. What a mighty pansy.

When spring arrives and everything is greening up nicely, it always fills me full of hope. I know that there’s loads of good stuff coming for each and everyone of us. All we need is a bit of hope and a whole lot of patience. Keep your eyes on the prize.

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So, that’s my report for today. Looking back, I can see that I’ve done quite well with regards to progress. I reckon any little bit of progress is good progress. I’m pleased with both my Moving Forward and my Dresden Neighbourhood. My Neighbourhood was really good practice as I have planned a whole new project around that one block. 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

SUMMER HOURS KICKING IN

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a great Friday. That’s another weekend gone. Did anyone spend anytime in their garden today. Well I did. I spent an hour or so pruning, raking, sweeping and simply wondering why I started the job today!!!!! The hour I spent outside in my front garden was well worth the effort. It already looks better. I have worked out a general plan of action and what I want it to look like when I’m done. It doesn’t cost anything to dream.

What kind of sewing is everyone doing these days? I added the binding to a charity quilt today. I machined the binding onto the front and hand finished it onto the back …..

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And I added a label …..

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The quilt looks great and I’m sure it will some young person the comfort they need at a difficult time.

Last evening, I sat quietly and di the fine hand stitching on my owl. I auditioned some buttons which I want to sew to the centre of his eye …..

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And I hope to find some buttons to add to the lower edge of his body which will represent his feet. Or I might just embroider some talons.

So, most of you will have seen on the news that the UK has a new little prince. Louis Arthur Charles was born on Monday April 23rd at 11:01am. He will be known at His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge. The new prince is fifth in line to the throne. Very exciting news for this week.

It’s been a brilliant week.  I stepped out for a bit on Wednesday and spent some time with some like-minded ladies. I spent plenty of time in my sewing room creating. And my garden is starting to shape up. Who could ask for anything more.

So, my friends, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something you thoroughly enjoy. Don’t forget that as of next week, I will be starting summer hours by posting three times a week. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

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