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

FRIDAY STITCHING SUNDAY BEST FABRICS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super fine week. It’s been pretty good in my little corner of the northeast of England. We had quite a lot of sunshine and almost equal amount of cloudy weather. Never mind not every day can be perfect.

With the dry weather we’ve been having I have been itching to get out into the garden to start my spring tidy. I will be cleaning and oiling my cutting tools so I’ll be ready to start pruning my shrubs. I am a little concerned about frost at the moment. I will review the situation next week, perhaps I’ll be able to get started then.

I do have a little bit of sewing progress. I have a small stash of special fabric which I purchased about five years ago that I have been saving for Sunday best. Yesterday I got an idea which I wanted to turn into a proper project. I sat down and did a chicken scratch drawing including measurements. I always work better with a drawing. It keeps me grounded. So last evening, I went into the special stash and chose 5 fat quarters and then into another drawer for some brights to offset the quiet. I got my rotary equipment out and started to cut and then sew all the patches together. This is the latest progress …..

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I love a Dresden Plate. And I especially love the funky fabric which I chose to piece this particular Dresden Plate. You will have to wait a few days before you see the finished project.

I am still making progress on my hexie project. I tend to work on hexies in the evening while watching TV. It’s repetitive work which grows slow and steady while I’m relaxing after a busy day of chores and errands.

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I love the word wonky. And this week when I went to the supermarket, and while I was in the fruit and veg section, I found these …..

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These fruits and veg may be wonky in shape but taste the same as the perfectly shaped ones. It just goes to show you that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

So, it’s been a brilliant week in my little world. The birds have been singing in my garden. The school children are full of the joys of spring. I have had a little fix of creativity which makes any day great.

So, I guess that my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Or perhaps you would like to try something totally different, and why not experience something new. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

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

 

ROLL ON SPRING

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying the last bit of winter. It almost feels like spring here. The temperature is spring-like here today. We even saw a little sun for a few minutes. Roll on spring.

Well the past week has been full of this and that. I did some painting in my hallway. Thank goodness I had Sarah’s help because this almost sixty-year-old happy stitcher doesn’t have the stamina to decorate rooms anymore. As well as that little bit of decorating I did a wee bit of sewing. I’ve been helping one or two ladies finish projects. Here’s one of those projects.

I was given the fabrics and a photo of the finished project but no instructions. So I started cutting and sewing …..

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And joining rows together …..

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And ended up with this little quilt top …..

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Which I turned into this …..

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It’s not identical to the picture but a pretty good adaptation. I think my friend will be pretty happy with the finished result. And now that I managed to make this one, I think I’ll make a similar cushion cover for myself.

I made a drop of soup yesterday. I was chatting with a friend of mine, Ann, on Saturday and I was mentioning that I was on a slimming programme again and I was fed up with salad especially in the colder weather. Well Ann suggested I make some soup. She had a pretty simple recipe for a lean soup which she inspired me to make. So, I set to and made a lovely drop of soup yesterday. I can’t impress upon you how lovely it was to have a warm lunch both yesterday and today. The soup was even tastier today than it was yesterday. I will be sure to make more soup and more regularly now that I have to confidence to try again. Sometimes I just need a little nudge.

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In my quest to do more of what I love, I set today aside to do just that. I loaded a quilt and stitched a freemotion quilting design. This is the back of the quilt as the design didn’t show up very well on the front for photography purposes. I love this design. I will use it again on the next quilt that comes up. It was great fun to stitch especially after the first few minutes when I felt more relaxed about stitching it. I spent so many years using a digital quilting system and now I’m going back to basics and stitching basic freemotion designs.

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Doing more of what we love is so important. We get to an age where we no longer have anything to prove to anyone. We women spend our whole lives trying to prove that we’re worthy. I’m not sure why but we do. It’s time to stop that. So, you can be sure that I will be posting more photos of my freemotion work in the near future. If I can do this anyone can.

It’s been a pretty good day in my little corner of the northeast of England. We got a preview of spring which was lovely. The crocuses are starting to flower. And the daffodil leaves are poking thru the ground. I’m quite sure we have more cold and winter-like weather to endure but knowing that spring is around the corner is making the rest of winter a little easier to handle.

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

PERMISSION TO PLAY DAY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable day. I experienced beautiful sunshine today. The sun makes everything better. I ran errands and did mundane chores but best of all I gave myself permission to play.

In my quest to change things around to make life more interesting, I decided that I need to make more time to do the things I enjoy the most. I seemed to have spent many years doing things that I thought, as a woman, I should be doing. Well that way of thinking has been chucked out the window and a new way of life is taking over.

So, while I was working my way thru my To-Do List for today, I came to one task which was to try out the replacement foot control for my sewing machine which I bought a few days ago. My sewing machine was doing strange things and after studying the problem, I decided that it might very well be the foot control which was worn out. So, I plugged to new foot control in and tested it on a fabric test sandwich and so far it’s working well. While I was sitting at my sewing machine amongst the mess that is my sewing room at the moment, I decided to do a little more sewing. So, I dragged out some scraps from the fabrics I gathered for my new project and started to join them together. I didn’t worry too much about the ¼” seam allowance rule and I used up odd shapes and simply joined them all together. I must admit I did use a rotary cutter and a ruler to trim a few straight angles to make the adding on job easier. And needless to say, I pressed all the seams as I went along. This is what I produced …..

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Now these two crazy patchwork blocks will eventually be incorporated into my new project. Not only that, but while I was sitting happily sewing, I came up with another idea to use the smaller scraps which I produced while joining all the bigger scraps. These scraps along with a piece of iron on interfacing and a piece of netting will become something else which I may or may not incorporate into this new project but either way, I will enjoy trying to make this idea work.

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Isn’t it funny that when you use up your scraps your actually produce more scraps???? I have plenty of bigger scraps that I can turn into smaller scraps. I’m hoping that my simple fix for my beloved sewing machine that’s been doing funny things is exactly what it needed.

It’s rather nice stepping away from traditional quilt making. And I know it won’t be to everyone’s taste but I think exploring new techniques and avenues is good for the soul. This is how we develop new trends, colour schemes and unusual techniques. After all, beauty is all in the eye of the beholder.

So, I guess that my report for today. I have a rather busy week ahead of me. So, I might not have the chance to play again for a few days. However, you can bet that I will be itching to worm my way back into my sewing to have another play. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. For all my friends who are experiencing cold winter temperatures, stay warm and safe. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

ON THE UP

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying a very happy and healthy first week of February. I am finally back on my feet after a prolonged period of illness. My energy levels are almost back to normal and I’m looking forward to catching up with everything I should have been doing these last five weeks.

We have been experiencing some rather bothersome weather here in my little corner of the northeast of England; not nearly as bad as the weather my North American friends and family have been experiencing mind you. England rarely experiences extreme temperatures and bouts of snow aren’t very common either. So that means that when it does get cold and we do get snow, it’s quite a hardship. I put the hardship down to the fact that there isn’t the snow clearing equipment like North America has.

So, let’s see what’s been going on. Well the answer to that  question is, not a lot. I haven’t done much sewing or knitting. I have concentrated on redecorating my hallway as that’s what I was doing when the virus hit me. There’s still loads to do but we’re getting there slowly but surely. My sewing room still looks like a bomb hit it. Loads of stuff which usually resides in my hallway is now in my sewing room. And until the redecorating job is done there will be very little new sewing done. I felt quite anxious about this recently but have now accepted that once the redecorating is done, it will be beautiful and worth the effort.

Over the last few weeks, I have been dreaming up new projects. I need a wall hanging for my hallway. So, this particular new wall hanging project presents a few new opportunities. It gives me the chance to explore new techniques and it also means I can use some of my scraps as well as my main stash. Here’s a little chicken scratch drawing of what I’m planning on creating some day soon.

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And these are the fabric scraps and threads I have gathered so far.

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This is part of my weird and wonky project phase. It will give me a chance to stand outside that ¼” seam allowance rule box that restricts me. I hope to include machine quilting as well as hand quilting long stitches using embroidery thread. I can use some of the thread I have been collecting for some time but have never made use of. I want to stamp words and embellish to my hearts content. But ….. first, I need to finish one or two chores. In the meantime, I can keep adding to my list of techniques and things I want to include in this newest project. I’m working very hard at not being distracted by something new and shiny. I have in the past jumped from one thing to another meaning that I don’t finish the first thing I started.

A while back, my Sarah asked me what I would like for Christmas. Well at that time I couldn’t think of anything I needed. So, I asked her to make me a 1” sided hexagon quilt using scraps. Well Sarah worked hard for ages gathering scraps from every in the house. And she spent many evenings sewing hexagon together. And this is what we’ve got now …..

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I plan on adding a border using something in my stash. And I plan to piece a backing using up fat quarters from my stash. Eventually, I will give it a simple machine quilting job and we will love for many years to come because these hexagons with stitched together with love and hope for a cosy future.

Today I will end this post with a little preview of what’s to come this spring. I love having flowers in the house. So, last week I treated myself to these beautiful tulips. I love the colour.

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So, I guess that’s my report for today. The last few weeks have been long and quite frustrating but I seem to be on the up again. My creative mojo is slowly returning. And hopefully the winter will be a short one. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly love. Until next time,

Let’s keep on stitching.

Lucie x    

KEEPING SEASONALLY BUSY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been having a great time in this run up to Christmas. I cannot believe that the new year is just around the corner. Did you know that there’s only 27 more sleeps until Christmas?

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I have been keeping busy doing this and that. I have been working on a few Christmas presents ….

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As you can see someone will be getting a pair of socks which I knitted with my very own hands. And someone else will be getting a couple of candle mats. I really enjoyed making the candle mats, I wasn’t really sure how to go about it but I think the mats turned out pretty good. I’m sure the recipient of the candle mats will appreciate them. And the last item I crafted was a knitting needle roll. If you’re a knitter, you can never have too many of these.

Nowadays, my Christmas present list isn’t very long. And I don’t hand craft as many presents as I used to. Sarah and I are both looking forward to the holidays. We’re planning on having a nice relaxing quiet time making new happy memories.

My Sarah and I have collaborated on a project recently. Sarah machine quilted a quilt for Quilts for Comfort and I added the binding. Our little pile of charity quilts is growing slowly. Life has been rather full of quiet activities for both of us and so the charity quilts are growing a little slower than we would have hoped. Slow and steady is good.

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This is the time of year when I ponder what’s been happening over the past year. It’s been a quiet year of rebuilding. You can all rest assured that the simple life that I’m living nowadays is very fulfilling. Life isn’t passing me by, I’m enjoying every minute.

This past week, I helped one of my friends finish one of her projects by doing a little freemotion quilting. Boy oh boy did I ever enjoy machine quilting this jelly roll race type quilt. I filled each strip with one of three different stitching designs. Not only did I get a good old freemotion quilting practice but also, I was doing something useful. I’m quite sure the recipient of this quilt will cherish it for years to come. Does anyone else find that hand finishing the binding is quite satisfying. I sure do, especially when the rain is going past the horizontally.

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I have truly enjoyed every minute of crafting over the last couple of weeks. A little knitting and a whole lot of machine sewing, kept me occupied. And not only was I busy but I found inspiration. Just when my mojo was almost non-existent, by working on my Christmas presents, I tripped on a little bit of inspiration. I guess I better get my sketchbook out and start drawing new designs to work on after Christmas.

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

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

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