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

A BIT OF DOODLING

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fab day. It’s been another of those bright and breezy days in my little world. I didn’t go very far today. I spent a little time in my sewing room  mooching around and then decided to mooch around my bedroom where I finished emptying a wardrobe that will be collected by a charity next week. Collection day can’t come soon enough.

I am very pleased to tell you that I have finally finished My Sweet Dresden Town quilt project. The binding and the label have been added and all in all I am very pleased with my effort. In fact, I think I’m more than pleased, I am ecstatic. This is one of those projects which I took from the drawing board right thru to the label and binding. There’s no better feeling in the world.

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One of the quilting designs I used on My Sweet Dresden Town quilt was something I called Double E’s. It fills all the negative areas nicely and it’s rather easy to stitch out. I have doodled it out on my Boogie Board just to give you an idea of how it works. You can stitch this out either using your domestic sewing machine or a longarm.

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I’m looking forward to drawing the curtains, lighting a scented candle and doing a bit of knitting while watching some mindless TV. The sun is expected to set at 17:46pm. I love this time of year. I came across a quote that I really liked which I wrote in my notebook recently. The quote is: Paradise is not a place, it’s a feeling. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you who wrote or said it and I couldn’t find it on Google. I totally agree with this quote.

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So, I guess that’s my report for today. We’re already halfway thru the week. Can you believe how quick the weeks are disappearing? At this rate, it will be Christmas before we know it. 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

GOING TO TOWN STITCHING

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a brilliant day. It’s been pretty productive day here in my little world. You may remember that last week I loaded my latest finished quilt top, my Sweet Dresden Town, in my longarm quilting system.

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Well today was the day to start quilting my Sweet Dresden Town. Quilting one of my own designs is always quite exciting. Seeing a project come to fruition is so satisfying. So, I did a little simple stitching in the borders …..

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And then did some random stitching in and around the town patches. I call this stitching pattern Double E’s.  I tried to keep the design small in order to fill in the negative spaces enough so that the patches pop.

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I spent all day in my sewing room working on this quilt. I managed to finish the stitching but didn’t get the loose thread sewn in. Custom quilting creates a lot of loose threads but only because you travel from one area to next stitching different designs.

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I am so thrilled to have gotten as much done as I did today. Tomorrow I will sew in the loose threads and join up leftover scraps for the binding. And I’ll bet that even though I’ll be using some of those scraps for the binding I will still have scraps leftover!!! It seems the more scraps you use the more scraps you have, only they’re smaller. I can’t wait for tomorrow to come now.

I have mentioned several times that I have been doing some knitting in the evening while watching TV. I knitted several pairs of socks and thoroughly enjoyed it so I went on to knit something a pullover. I chose some yarn in a colour I would never have used before. Isn’t it amazing how our colour choices changes after a while. I’ve kept the knitting design really simple because I’m using variegated yarn which makes the whole project more interested because of the colour changes.

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It’s been another good day in my little world. As well as quilting my Sweet Dresden Town, I made some soup for our supper. I love chicken vegetable noodle soup which some fresh bread. Oooooh yum. It’s the perfect time of year for soup and other comfort food.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I sure hope tomorrow is full of as much goodness as today was. I’m quite pleased with today effort. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

END OF ANOTHER BRILLIANT WEEK

Hello my lovelies. Have you had a good week? Mine has been brilliant. I’ve done a bit of this and that and thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

I ran a few errands this morning and a wee bit of fabric may have found it’s way into my bag …..

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It’s time again to start thinking about making a notebook cover. My current notebook is coming to an end and I’ll be using some of these long quarters to fabricate said notebook cover. I love the cheerful colours and as I use my notebook daily will enjoy using it. I didn’t really need to buy new fabric but I thought as I have been pretty good at using up what I have for a good while, I deserved a little treat. And besides, the new prints might bring me inspiration. I look forward to cutting into these new babies and piecing something gorgeous that I’ll see every single day.

The weather was very co-operative today. I hadn’t planned to spend anytime outside, in fact, I was going to disappear into my sewing room to have a sewing fix. However, because the sun was shining and the wind was virtually non-existent, I decided to step out and start my autumn garden clean-up.

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I clipped and chopped until I filled two reusable garden waste bags. There’s a fifteen-foot Buddleia in one of those bags!!! That’s almost three times my height!!! I worked in the garden space just outside my sewing room. It was getting quite overgrown and scary looking. After an hour of clipping and chopping I managed to clear three-quarters of that area of my garden making it look much tidier. I will dispose off the garden clippings at the tip tomorrow on my way to my sewing session.

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My companion supervisor, kept an eye on me while I quietly worked my way thru what looked triffids. She stood just off to one side trying to take in some of the lovely autumn sunshine.

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Maisie is in pretty good shape for an old lady dog. She’s twelve now and she loves all of life’s comforts. Once we came inside she assumed her position on the end of the sofa and snored for an hour. It’s hard work supervising outdoors.

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I recently finished piecing my latest project and loaded it into my longarm quilting system a couple of days ago. I’m really looking forward to finishing the quilting and binding but in the meantime …..

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My design wall is looking so sad. So, tell me ladies, what are you working on these days? I was thinking perhaps, that while I work out my next design, I should probably use up some of my scraps to make a couple of cosy scrappy quilts that my Sarah and I can use on cold winter evenings while watching TV. I bought a large piece of fleece a few weeks ago, which would be perfect to back a couple of cosy scrappy quilts. In the meantime, I can workout what my next theme is. Writers get writers block well I’ve got quilt designer’s block at the moment. I’m sure the inspiration will come soon enough and my design wall will be covered is loveliness again.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. It’s been a fine week in my little world. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. We all need to do more of what we love. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

SLOW MEASURED PACE TODAY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super-duper day. It’s been a good productive day in my little world. Somehow, I managed to add the last borders onto my Sweet Dresden Town quilt project. I have been working on and off on this project for some months now. I am so thrilled to see the quilt top finished and loaded into my longarm quilting system. I’m hoping that by this time next week the quilt will be quilted, bound and labelled; ready to unveil to the world. I’m quite pleased with this project. It’s a whimsical view of the neighbourhood I would love to live in. There are a couple of real-life landmarks which can be found in my little corner of the northeast of England.

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I will be adding some simple quilting to this quilt using a very pale green thread and the binding will be a scrappy multi-coloured affair. Instead of introducing new fabric for the border, I plan on using up all the scraps from the patches.

With My Sweet Dresden Town all but finished, I’m already looking for a new project to sink my teeth into. I still have plenty of fabric in my stash that needs using up. I would like my next whimsy to be a combination of simple pieced blocks and simple appliqué blocks. This year has been all about the Dresden Plate, so perhaps I should find another favourite block to work with for my next endeavour. I’ll let you know when I decide on my next theme.

I worked in my sewing room all morning and part of the afternoon on my feet. While working I wore these …..

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I am determined to break these beauties in enough so I can wear them out and about properly. They are more comfortable than when I first purchased them but they’re not like slippers yet.

Today is Wednesday, the hump of the week. Only two more workdays left to this week. I feel like I’ve been very busy lately but somehow, I don’t have much to show for my efforts. I must try harder. I don’t seem to be taking many photos these days. Rather than taking photos I seem to be enjoying life as it comes.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. It’s been a good day here at happy stitching manor. I have enjoyed my quiet time working at my slow and measured pace. And even though I worked quietly and slowly, I still made good progress. Speed isn’t important. I think what’s important is to enjoy every moment of what you’re doing. 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

PUMPKIN SEASON IS HERE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all having great autumn days. The weather has been typical here in my little corner of the northeast of England. It’s been breezy and wet at times but generally I have been enjoying every minute. The heating has been switched on in the evening just to keep the damp away. I have been lighting scented candles; I really enjoy watching the flickering flame.

I have finally completed the centre blocks and inner border of my Sweet Dresden Town. The different components have been hanging on my design wall for months. In the past few days, I have been admiring it and finally took the decision about whether I need another border. And the decision is that yes it needs another border to frame it up. I know exactly what fabric I want as the last border. And it will be purchased this weekend. The backing fabric has been pressed and joined and the whole lot will be ready for longarm quilting very soon. You may not be able to tell but I’m rather excited about getting this one finished.

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It seems ages since I last worked on my hexagon project. When I sit down in the evening, I knit. I always seem to get a hankering for knitting when autumn arrives. At the moment I’m knitting socks. I’ve lost count of how many pairs I knitted over the last few weeks. I sure am enjoying it but there will come an evening when I want to do a little hand sewing pretty soon. I’ll let you know when that happens.

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I have been keeping quite busy with household chores and making changes to give my home a different feel. It’s a year since I was officially pronounced single by the family court. Making decisions was difficult at times over the last couple of years but I have finally accepted that now I can do as I please when I please in my own home. My top priority was to change the look and feel of my bedroom. This task will be fulfilled this coming week. A few new pieces of furniture will do the trick. And those bits of furniture will be delivered this weekend. I have so been looking forward to this.

Life at happy stitching manor sure has changed over the last few years. Everything is much simpler making mine and my Sarah’s life much easier. There’s rarely any drama. Who knew life could be as good as this???

The leaves are really changing colours now. We’ve had a several blustery days blowing the leaves off the trees and onto the ground. While walking the dog in the morning I have crunched my way thru piles of dried leaves in the park. And the local supermarkets have pumpkins in the produce section. I’m not a pumpkin pie lover but I do like a nicely carved and lit pumpkin.

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I guess that’s my report for today. I have been enjoying life of late. My new life seems to finally be taking shape. I still believe in happy ever afters. In fact, I think I’m finally enjoying my happy ever after. I hope you all have a super cosy weekend doing something you truly love doing. We should all be doing more of what we enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

BOOGIE BOARD PRACTICE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying autumn. It’s very breezy in my little corner of the northeast of England. And not only I it windy but that wind is blowing the leaves off the trees!!!

I’ve been enjoying autumn at my slow and measured pace. I’ve been out and about a little bit and seen the trees are starting to changes colours. Autumn is my favourite time of year. It’s starting to cool off sufficient that I can start wearing my woollies. I’ve pulled a few knitted cardies and sweaters out. And I’ve gone on to knit a few pairs of socks …..

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The socks knitted using Regia wool are children’s sock which I will be donating to Quilt for Comfort. Not only do the volunteers of Quilts for Comfort piece quilts but now they are collecting socks to bring comfort to young people receiving cancer treatment. Apparently, your feet get quite cold when during chemotherapy treatments. The donated sock can be handknit or store bought. And the young people love character socks eg: superhero, princess etc. I’m chose to knit a couple of pairs for now. When I’m out and about in the shops I will be looking out for interesting socks.

Speaking of Quilts for Comfort, I longarm quilted one quilt top last week for the charity …..

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I love a scrappy quilt. While I was stitching I spotted one or two fabrics which I have had in my stash over the years. I love this quilt and it has inspired me to make a couple of scrappy quilts for my Sarah and I to use in the evening while watching TV this winter. I have some lovely spotty fleece to use as a backing which will make the quilts even more cosy. Now I just need to decide how I will piece the quilts and to sort thru my scraps. I’ll need to clean my sewing machine including changing the needle and I’ll be good to go.

You might remember this panel that I pieced a couple of weeks ago just because I needed a sewing fix …..

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Well I finally quilted it this past weekend. I cleaned my sewing machine and changed the needle to a quilting needle and did the deed.

I find that I get a bit rusty in between freemotion quilting sessions. So, I need to practice a bit before actually start quilting the project. Lori Kennedy of the Inbox Jaunt recommended using a Boogie Board to practice. In the past, I used paper and pencil or a White Board and White Board marker but a Boogie Board wastes less paper and ink. I definitely agree with Lori that practicing on paper/Boogie Board/White Board helps you give your brain a preview of what you want to stitch on fabric. The more you practice the better your shapes get.

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I quilted this project using my domestic sewing machine, a Brother Innovis VQ-2. It’s a great machine for freemotion quilting as it has a large sewing bed. Once all the quilting was done I turned the panel into a bag. I’m not sure I need another bag but it was a great to practice my freemotion quilting while getting my much needed sewing fix.

With the arrival of the cooler weather my little furry supervisor needs a little bit of comfort …..

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My Maisie was a little off colour over the weekend. With her advanced age she suffers from Vestibular Disease. She had an episode on Saturday. Now that we know what it is when it happens it’s not so scary. Maisie has recovered and is in fine fettle today.

The last few weeks have been great. I have been living a reasonably good and quiet life. I do my best to stay away from complications. A simple life is a better life. My Sarah and I are looking forward to Christmas. I haven’t started counting down the days yet but I have done a wee bit of Christmas shopping.

So that’s my report for today. I have enjoyed my little bit of recent creativity. I hope to finish off one or two UFOs before Christmas but in the meantime, I’m enjoying little bit of stitching that comes my way. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

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 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

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