WORKING MY WAY THRU MY STASH

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been enjoying this summery August day. It feels like the months are escaping me. It’s already mid-August and the kids will be heading back to school in a couple of weeks!!!

I went The Festival of Quilts last week and I seem to be having a hard time getting back into the groove. So, I decided to treat the next couple of weeks as a holiday. Everyone seems to be getting out and about and jetting off to warm faraway places, so I thought I could consider this time between now and the week when the kids head back to school as my holiday time. I’m going to step out to do some sightseeing or at least try to on days when I really feel like bunking off.

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I have a little sewing progress to show you today. You might remember this panel which I freemotion quilted a few weeks back …..

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The plan was to turn the panel into a bag. Well I’ve done it. Here’s some photos of both sides of the finished bag before some simple button embellishments were added ….

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And this shot is with the button embellishment …..

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I’m quite pleased with my effort. I really enjoyed my freemotion quilting session and I really enjoyed turning this panel into a bag. I generally keep my projects simple nowadays. I’ve worked on more complex blocks and large quilts in years gone by, but now I quite like keeping things simple enough that I can visualise the finished project. The best part of this latest finish is that I bought absolutely nothing to bring this bag to completion. It feels good to be working my way thru my stash.

The last time I went shopping for groceries I decided to buy some flowers. My Sarah suggested that sunflowers might make a nice change. So, I aimed for sunflowers. Did you know that the supermarkets sell wonky flowers and fruit and veg????

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I quite like wonky, in fact in many of my own designs I make sure to add a wonky element. After all, nature doesn’t always offer perfection. Flowers, fruit and veg are rarely perfectly symmetrical. Here’s a photo of my sunflowers in a vase. They look beautiful to me. Wonky is beautiful.

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My Maisie dog had surgery recently. Last week it was touch and go whether I would be going to The Festival of Quilts because Maisie’s surgical wound wasn’t healing very well. The vet gave me some magic gel stuff to put on her wound and today all that’s left is a nicely healed scar. Here’s my beautiful Maisie enjoying the sun.

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So that’s my report for today. My Sarah and I will be gathering all the photos we took at The Festival of Quilts and I will be back in a few days with my report our experience of attending the largest quilt show in England. 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

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

SHORT SHARP SEWING FIX

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

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

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

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Which I added some simple freemotion quilting to …..

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Boy did I ever enjoy quilting this ……

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

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

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Can you work out what it is yet?

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

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

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

So that’s my report for today. I’m pleased with my latest finish. Life really does get better with every stitch I take. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

STILL MAKING LIFE BETTER

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s all keep on stitching,

Lucie x

GLORIOUS LAZY DAYS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

SLOW STITCHING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

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

TIME TO FRAME

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable day. I’ve spent most of my day mooching about. I did a few chores and I did a little bit of sewing.

Let’s start with the little bit of sewing I did this morning. I believe Susan asked in one of her comments if my Sarah and I would be working on projects together. This next project shows how we work together. This simple apron which I stitched up today was made using one of Sarah’s designs which we had printed up. This cotton twill is the perfect weight for aprons and bags. This apron is a little gift for someone who needs cheering up at the moment. I’m quite pleased with the finished result. I’m planning on making one or two more aprons using Sarah’s fabric in the near future.

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I’ve been missing fine hand appliqué work. My latest whimsy is fusible appliqué and there’s no hand stitching involved. Just to prove to myself that this latest whimsy would look just as good done using freezer and fine hand stitching I did one block …..

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And I went on to add a little hand quilting in the ditch and blocked it ready to frame in a shadow box frame. My Sarah added a little colour to my plain wooden frame and it’s drying now. I’m looking forward to seeing how my little quilt will look once in the frame.

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I was tracing template shapes on Bondaweb this afternoon. Before I put the templates away I placed them on the layout sheet which I drew a couple of days ago. My drawings look so much better with colour on them. Even cereal box cardboard templates look good! In fact, my blocks look a lot better than my drawings. Colour and pattern bring everything to life.

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It’s been a lovely day in my little world. We’ve had a steady blustery breeze blowing all day due to Storm Hector but the sun has been bright and cheerful. I enjoyed the time I spent in my sewing room creating something using Sarah’s fabrics. I wonder what tomorrow will bring. Being creative is my passion.

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

BLOOMING GRADES

Hello my lovelies. I hope you all had a super weekend. The last couple of weeks have been busy in my little world. My diary seems to be filling up more quickly nowadays. There’s always some place to go not to mention the chores and craft tasks on my To-Do List.

I have been pretty busy with designing new blocks and sewing. Here’s a little progress on my current project …..

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I sat quietly and sewed all the roofs and doors on my Dresden Neighbourhood blocks over the last few days.

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And once the that sewing was done I cut loads of piano keys, well actually, I cut strips and joined them together and then cut sections to form a piano key border. And after doing some more sewing this morning this is what the piano key border looks like now …..

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Now this project is really coming together. I sat at the table for several hours today and drew the next blocks. I managed to draw two 12” x 24” blocks!!!! All that’s left to draw is four 12” x 15” blocks to complete the drawings for this project. I am truly enjoying this one. It’s so very different from my other Whimsies.

Quite of few of you will know that my Sarah and I started a journey which we named Operation Taking Flight a few years ago. The Operation was us getting ready for Sarah to fly the nest. It kicked off four years ago when Sarah started taking driving lessons and then subsequently went off to university. Well today I am so pleased to tell you that Sarah received her grades for this, her last year of university. She has graduated with honours. It seems that all the hard work and despite someone’s best efforts to derail Operation Taking Flight, Sarah has smashed it. She’s ready to face the big bad world now.

Last Friday, we had a girl’s road trip. Three us drove down to Sarah’s uni to see all the work displayed in the Degree Show. I must tell you that some of it was a real eye opener. I got Sarah’s permission to take a few photos of her work. So, here’s a little sneaky peek at her display …..

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Finalist

I can hardly believe that three years of university has come to an end. There were times when I thought it would never end. Now we really get to start moving forward.

So, I went out into my garden this morning to sweep and prune a few straggling bits of growth. While I was out there I went into the secret part of my garden to see if my roses needed deadheading. No deadheading required just yet but I did cut these beautiful roses to bring inside as there were masses of blooms!!! They smell every bit as good as they look.

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It’s been a good productive day at happy stitching manor. My little visit to the secret garden yielded some beautiful blooms and my short session in my sewing room produced some good progress on my new project. And my quiet time using pencils, rulers and templates produced some great drawings for the next step in said project. Being creative is my favourite thing to be doing.

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

Let’s on keep on stitching.

Lucie x