QUILT MAKING NEWS FINALLY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you all having a fab day. It’s been an interesting day here in my little world. I have stayed home quietly minding my own business as per usual. I’ve done a few chores and cooked some food. Same old stuff done on a different day.

I recently decided that I wanted to use some of my art journal pages as inspiration for quilt making purposes. It was just a question of choosing a page and getting on with it. So, I chose this page …..

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Now, this quilt top is not identical to my art journal page but inspired by said page. Here is the art journal page that lead to this simple quit top …..

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I started by finding by finding a large enough piece of fabric that would do for a background. And then I selected some three circle templates. In fact, they are the templates I am using for my current hand quilting project. So, that was easy. Then I chose some grey scraps for the circles. I produced the circles, laid them out and moved them around until I was happy with the layout and tacked them down. I plan on appliqueing the circles to the background with a fine hand appliqué stitch and the finest blending thread. This method is my favourite for securing patches in place. The piece measures approx. 30” square at the moment. And it will probably be used as a wall hanging or perhaps a table topper. I’ll have a better idea of how to use it when it’s done.

As per usual, I have worked on an art journal page today …..

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This is how it started off …..

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As always, I have kept this simple and sweet. I love bright green and pink together. These are proper sweet little girl colours.

So finally, I have some quilt making news for you. I will be sure to select another art journal page to use as inspiration for another project soon. It means I can use up more scraps. Yippeeeee

Well, my lovely friends, I guess that my news for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something that gives you a sense of accomplishment. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching and messing around with art supplies.

Lucie x

DAY 42

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all safe today. We all seem to be going into the next phase of something. I’m not sure if we’re going to be safe or not but we have to move forward somehow.

So, today is day 42 of my self-imposed messing around with art supplies challenge. I’ve still got a few ideas on my list. I must admit that I seem to add one or two ideas every day! This challenge is eventually run out of steam but for now it’s keeping me focused on something other than the invisible enemy. Here is how my today’s effort started off a few days ago …..

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This is what it looks like now …..

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To this art journal page, I added a bit more paint, some water colour pencil stems, leaves and shading and some pen doodling. Bish bash bosh, voila! Actually, that makes it sound like it only took five minutes but it actually takes a bit longer than five minutes. Not to mention clearing up the mess after I’m done. Mind you, the time it takes is time that I’m focused on something good. Therapeutic.

I am very happy to tell you that I finished securing the last border to my hexagon quilt. I will be thinking about the backing fabric. I think the shops will open again some time in the next six weeks. So, I think I’ll set the hexie quilt top aside until I can get out to choose backing fabric. It will be a pleasure to see fabric up close and in person. In the meantime, I have some hand quilting to do. So, it’s onto the next big thing for me. I shall post photos of that progress soon.

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Well, my lovely friends, that’s my news for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching and messing around with art supplies.

Lucie x

CONFUSING INFO

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all well and in good spirits. Sarah and I are still kicking around home and trying to make the most of every day. We watched a televised announcement recorded by our Prime Minister concerning moving forward to the next stage of dealing with the invisible enemy last evening. It left us with more questions than answers. We were left very confused and hoping that more clarity will come when a 50-page guidance document is released this afternoon. What strange times we live in. Enough about that for now.

Before I talk about today’s art journaling effort, let me show you my hexagon quilt top. I was hoping to permanently secure the last two sides of border last evening but only got one side done. I flung it over the fence in order to take a couple of photos, here it is …..

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I needed almost two metres of fabric for the borders. So, I was a little limited as to what to use from my stash. It came down to two different fabrics, I wanted a reddish paisley type fabric and Sarah chose this blue print. As She’s pretty good with colours, I went with the blue print. I’m going to try to find something blue for the backing as well.

Now for today’s art journal effort …..

Mans best friend

Once again, I kept it pretty simple. I layered paint and bits of dictionary pages, did some stencilling, added a wee photo of Maisie all sloshed out in her bed, some cut outs, a couple of strips of washii tape and some water colour pencil shading. I see different household items and the contents of the recycle bin through different eyes nowadays.

The weather has taken a turn for the cold recently. As long as it doesn’t snow I’ll be alright. The washing is done and I even attacked a section of my garden loaded with weeds. Now that I’ve done a few useful tasks I can give myself permission to play. I’m not sure what I will be playing with, perhaps finish securing the last border or splodging some paint around my art journal. Maybe I’ll toss a coin.

Well, my lovely friends, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching and messing around with art supplies.

Lucie x

STILL MESSING AROUND – DAY 35

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all keeping busy. The new normal is finally creeping into my life without too much hassle anymore. I am finally settling in to not going out. The downside to not going out is that there isn’t much to report! We keep in touch with our friends and we watch or read the news but that doesn’t give me much to write about. I suppose being creative is my outlet.

Sooooo, I’m on day 35 of messing around with art supplies. Today’s effort started out looking like this …..

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And now it looks like this …..

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I wasn’t very discerning when I prepped this page spread. I chose two different colours of paint and just splodged it on any which way. My thoughts at the time were that if it didn’t look good, I could just splash some white paint over it and start again. For this page spread I added some stencilling, a couple of cut outs, some pen doodling and some Caran Dache watercolours. Some of the art supplies I’m using at the moment are things that I never used after purchasing years ago. My background paint is starting to running out now. I may be forced to purchase some online soon. I didn’t realise that I would stick to this challenge for such a long time. I’m going to take it week to week and see how it goes.

I have added a little more to my painted fabric project too. I cut out a few patches that make up the house. I just used fabric from my stash along with Bondaweb to hold it in place while I blanket stitched it onto the background. I plan on layering the piecing with wadding and backing fabric and adding some quilting to give it texture. I was planning on framing this piece but I may find it difficult to find the perfect size frame. So, I may just bind it and hang it on the wall.

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

Let’s all keep on stitching and messing around with art supplies.

Lucie x

ALL CHANGE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all well and in good spirits. Like most of you I’m having ups and downs but thru it all I recognise that I am grateful for all I’ve got. Sarah and I feel safe at home and we’re in reasonable health at the moment.

We both step out first thing in the morning with our Maisie girl dog. We go early in order to ensure we don’t meet too many people. Yesterday morning we came across some chalk markings along the way …..

Hashtag Strong

And …..

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I think this describes our current situation nicely.

And then on our way back home past the little play park …..

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We found this sign on the entrance gate to the park ….

Park Sign

And this padlock securing it shut for the duration …..

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I don’t need to comment on this because it’s obvious that it’s for everyone’s good. Normal service will eventually be resumed.

It’s all change on the current project. I switched from hexagons to some hand quilting …..

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I’m hand quilting in circles. I am keeping it simple by quilting concentric circles. I quite like this type of quilting design. It’s easy peasy to mark by overlapping every which way. And by using matching thread, you don’t see the uneven stitches, only the texture which is what I’m aiming to produce.

Here, at happy stitching manor, we’re keeping busy. I still feel a little distracted but I am confident that in a few days the isolation will become the normal and I will be back on track and being creative again. I’m currently jumping from one thing to another and not getting much of anything accomplished. I managed to spend several hours hand quilting over the last couple of days. I think things are improving.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you’re all getting on with doing things you enjoy doing. After all life has to go on while we fight this invisible enemy. Until next time,

 

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

KEEPING BUSY IN LOCKDOWN

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all safe and well and in good spirits. We’re still on lockdown here in my little corner of the northeast of England. This lockdown will surely slow down the spread of Covid-19.

We’ve had a lovely couple of days weather wise. The temperature yesterday was 15C and pure sunshine all day long. What a shame the kids are on lockdown and cannot take advantage of the glorious weather with wild abandon as they usually would. The small play park across the road from my home is empty. The swings are still. It looks very sad indeed. Today was a little misty at times but plenty of sunshine.

The purpose of this post is not to moan but to reassure you all that you’re not alone. We’re all in the same boat. And once the dust settles and we don’t feel so distracted by the newness of the fear and panic, we should all take stock of what we’re doing without and whether we can eliminate it for good. I miss the social aspect of my life. I generally live a quiet life nowadays but I miss not gathering with other like-minded people a couple of times a month and catching up with what’s going on in the world. I learn so much from others. I don’t consider myself to be anti-social in the least.

Yesterday I mentioned that I felt quite distracted. Well I have heard from a couple of friends, male and female and they have confirmed that feel much the same. My friend Veronica described it as having birthday money and not knowing what to spend it on. That’s such a great description. We are confronted with oodles of time at home when we can finally play in our sewing rooms to create beautiful things but not knowing what to create. I’m not giving up hope that in the next few days I shall find the on button for my creative side to emerge and produce something splendid.

In our time of isolation, it’s important to stay connected. Most of us have the internet which helps everyone to stay in touch. My neighbour phones me everyday to make sure we’re alright. And I have a weekly phone coffee date with my creative buddy at 11am on a Thursday booked for the foreseeable future.

So, what am I planning on doing once I stop feeling distracted??? Well I managed to order some new garden tools …..

Trowel and Fork

My old garden tools had seen better days. They were ancient and the trowel was taped together but finally gave up the ghost recently. I kicked off the gardening season last week and I plan to get my garden up to scratch in the next couple of weeks. It’s something I can do without danger of encountering the current invisible enemy.

Do you remember I posted about finding feathers everywhere recently? Finding said feathers has been happening for some time now. Well, I came across several pictures of a feather quilt in different websites online. So, I tracked down the pattern and ordered it …..

Feather from heaven

Arctic Feather

I have pulled and chosen fabric for this project which I hope to be able to concentrate long enough to get it rotary cut and start stitching the patches together. It’s a long time since I’ve worked from a pattern because I design my own quilts but this feather pattern was calling my name. So, watch this space for progress reports.

After my morning routine was done, this includes walking my Maisie dog with my Sarah, I disappeared into the kitchen and baked a batch of cookies. I used the very last of my flour. I shared our cookies with my neighbour. They were soooo good. I hope to be able to buy some flour soon as I would like to make a lemon drizzle loaf which I plan to share again. I haven’t baked in some time but the whole process today kept my mind busy and we ended up with a nice treat.

Oatmeal Cookies

So, my friends, if you would like to pop in and tell me how you have been keeping busy or indeed are able to concentrate on life in lockdown, please do. We’re all in this together.

So, my friends, I guess that’s my report for today. Rest assured that Sarah and I working on conquering this new way of life. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing things that you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

STAYING HOME AND BEING WELL

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all safe and well on this glorious day. If you look outside everything looks just as it always did but it’s not just any ordinary day. We are in lockdown due to the war against an invisible enemy.

I count myself lucky. I have a roof over my head. I have food in my fridge. And I have the company of my Sarah and Maisie the dog. Maisie the dog is unaware of the war going on all around us.

We have taken government advice which of course is to stay home and save lives. I believe anyone who chooses to take this advice is a hero. So, congratulations to anyone who has hunkered down until it’s safe.

Sarah and I take Maisie out for her morning walk together. That way we all get a bit of fresh air and a leg stretch every day. As Sarah and I both live in the same household we are safe to walk together while keeping our distance from strangers. This morning we met absolutely no one. Early morning is a great time to step out. We have a small garden we can hang out in whenever we feel the need as well.

I’m finding it hard to find my feet. I can’t seem to concentrate on anything for any length of time. This morning I forced myself to do a few household chores and some cooking. I have a ham cooking in the slow cooker and if I have enough flour (I couldn’t find flour at the supermarket for love nor money) in the flour bin, I might bake some oatmeal raisin cookies.

Has anyone else had to hit the supermarket since the official lockdown started a few days ago here in the UK? Well I went first thing yesterday. I went at 7am to my local Morrisons supermarket and was turned away because I wasn’t NHS staff. 7am to 8am is reserved for NHS staff. I don’t begrudge that. I feel we need to support our medics. So, I came home and waited it out until 8am and went back. It was all quite surreal. Even getting in the car and driving to the supermarket. I felt like I was driving thru a warzone that didn’t look any different than usual. I seemed to be on high alert on the lookout for police. I’m glad the journey to and from the supermarket only takes about 10 minutes from door to door. Once I got in the supermarket with my trolley, I was really aware of personal space. I felt like a ninja trying to avoid coming too close to anyone else. For the most part everyone was very accommodating. I got most of what was on my list except the flour. There were plenty of fresh veg and meat and fish. Milk and dairy were well topped up, they didn’t have skimmed milk but I can live with semi-skimmed for a while. There was no pasta but it wasn’t on my list, I just happened to notice the shelves were empty. There will be hundreds of people with dozens of bags of pasta which they will still be eating next year! The freezer sections were a little thin on the ground but the supermarkets are doing the best they can to keep up with the demand of people stockpiling. I must admit that I was glad to leave the supermarket and get back into the fresh air. Ninja style doesn’t suit my slow and measured pace.

So, now we are left to re-invent ourselves to suit the situation. I have been soul searching in order to decide how I’m going to go forward once life returns to some kind of normality. I truly believe that life will never be as it was. The economy will take a hot minute to improve. Employment will change drastically. And life will be very different from what we’ve been living.

I remain of the opinion that stitching of the sewing, knitting, crochet, needlework etc variety makes life better one stitch at a time. It keeps your mind occupied and your hands busy. You produce something that you can be proud of. You make history with every project you complete. The sense of accomplishment is amazing.
My sewing endeavour at the moment is my hexagon UFO. I started this project at least two years ago. And slowly but surely, I can see progress. And the progress feels soooo good.

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As I write this post, I can see cars going past my house in both directions. All of these journeys are supposed to have a specific genuine essential reason. I can see familiar people walking their dogs and getting some fresh air while avoiding contact with others. There are no groups or crowds gathering anywhere that I can see. For safety’s sake this is how it must be for now.

I guess that’s my report for today. This is my account of how this invisible enemy is affecting me and mine for the time being. I am prepared to follow government advice that will hopefully save lives. Whatever you may be doing at the moment, I hope you are all safe and well at home sweet home. Until next time,

Let’s keep on stitching. And let’s all be heroes by staying home saving lives.

Lucie x

ANGEL WATCHING OVER ME

Hello my lovelies. I decided to pop in today to let you all know that I’m fine. I’ve had a bad case of writer’s block but with all that’s happening in the world at the moment, I thought I’d pop in to see if I could somehow lift your spirits.

First of all, how ya all doing??? If you’re anything like me you’ll be staying away from the madding crowd. My Sarah and I have been practicing social distancing for the last week as advised by the government. I have only stepped out for essential food shopping and to collect meds. There has been no socialising except thru digital messaging and the rare phone call. I, of course, have plenty of UFOs to work on but with all that’s going on and things changing almost hourly, I’m finding it hard to concentrate on my projects. However, I’m sure that I will settle down into this quiet isolation period and get some stuff done. As well as my projects, I have loads of tidying to do in the garden. Sarah and I have been demolishing an old deck type patio which had become dangerous. With the help of a borrowed crowbar we lifted the whole thing and there is no more danger of breaking our necks. When things start taking a turn for the better, we will take the rubbish to the tip.

The bulk of the schools in the UK closed on Friday for the foreseeable future. We have no little kids in our household to worry about entertaining in a state of isolation for the months to come until the Covid-19 situation improves. We have only been under “house arrest” since last weekend and already I feel a little cabin fever creeping up. So, I can only imagine what the mommies are going to do with small kids for the next few months.

This whole situation seems surreal to me. It feels like we’re war against an invisible enemy. I have no family here in the UK. They live in Canada and I imagine that things must have a very similar feel there to how things are here. In all my years on earth I have never experienced what it’s like to be at war, not up close and in person anyway.

My only advice to all is have patience and be kind whenever you can. Find chores and projects to catch up on. And this may be the perfect opportunity to get some much-needed rest. Make plans for the future. This is the time to plan how to make your dreams come true.

Over the last few weeks, I have observed some interesting night skies …..

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And some lovely sunrises …..

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I have officially launched the gardening season …

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And look there seems to be an angel in my garden …

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I really enjoyed hanging out in the garden for a bit this morning. I dead headed the hydrangea after seeing that the leaves are sprouting. I did a wee bit of pruning and filled the garden waste bin.

So, tell me what have you been doing to keep busy this winter and during our time in isolation. Sometime after Christmas I finished knitting my purple pullover …..

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And a few days ago, I dragged out my hexagon project. I’m just working on squaring it up before I add a plain border to it …..

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I have been trying to make a plan of action for the next few weeks. My notebook is full of scribbles and lists …..

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And look another feather. There must be an angel watching over me for sure.

I don’t spend much time in my sewing room anymore. Most of my quilt making projects are of the slow stitching variety which work really well as armchair projects while watching some mindless TV in the evening. Having said that, when I do disappear into my sewing room my little Maisie joins me in her capacity as project manager. Maisie will soon be 14 years old. She has a number of physical ailments now but she’s hanging in there nonetheless. We treat her with care and kindness. She has been our devoted companion for such a long time she deserves to be treated like a princess.

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Today is Mother’s Day here in the UK today. Well I am very grateful that my daughter is with me today. So, to all the mothers who cannot spend some time with their children today due to isolation, I wish you a very happy day. Life is an adventure these days. I reckon isolation may be the very best thing we can do at the moment. Just view our isolation as saving lives. This is our way of helping the NHS. Who knows, we may all be heroes.

So, my friends, I guess that’s my news for this weekend. I hope you all have a super cosy day doing things you enjoy doing. Remember, this too shall pass.

Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching. It really does make things better.

 

Lucie x

NEW PROJECTS THIS AUTUMN

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been enjoying the autumnal weather we have been experiencing. I am still crunching leaves underfoot in the morning while walking my Maisie. This morning the sun was shining beautifully showing off the naked branches of the trees. Comfort food is the order of the day. I have made one or two pots of soup and serving warm breath with it. It’s the perfect warmer for this time of year. Casseroles and pasta bakes go down really well too. Are you doing any comfort cooking right now?In my last post I ran a giveaway draw for 5 pairs of tickets to the Knitting & Stitching Show being held in Harrogate which is running from November 28 to December 1, 2019 in the Harrogate Convention Centre. The winners are:

Ann Burch – Newcastle Upon Tyne
Heather Smith – Northumberland
Jayne Davey – Lancashire
Bal Bailey – North Yorkshire
Chris O’Rourke – Newcastle Upon Tyne

Congratulations ladies. I would appreciate it if you could all supply me with your home addresses so I can submit them to the organisers who will forward your tickets. For those of you who missed out on entering/winning tickets and would like to attend the show you can book tickets online and by using code ONE19 you will get a discount.
So, let’s move onto sewing progress. Last time I showed you a part constructed Cathedral Window panel. Well I finally finished the panel …..


And appliquéd the panel to the back fabric …..


And layered up the Cathedral Window quilt top ready for a little hand quilting around the borders …..


For those of you who would like to try this traditional technique and think that it’s far too difficult, please do try it. The trick is to take this technique one step at a time and it makes it much easier to digest. Even if you only ever make one panel, do try it. It will use up some of your stash and you might even turn it into a gift for someone. I’m definitely going to gift mine for Christmas.
My UFO inventory is dwindling away. And with that in mind, I decided it was time for me to have a stab at something new and different. I think my new project will be or perhaps is already trending. The project is English Paper Piecing and it’s called Brimfield Awakening. Here’s a look at what I’ve pieced so far …..


The most difficult part of starting any project for me is choosing fabric. I was determined to use what I’ve got in my stash. So, I opened every drawer containing fabric and pondered what would go together. Well the task is so difficult now that my stash is dwindling away to nothing but I did find some very fine, lawn like fabric produced by Lecien that I purchased a few years ago which I was saving for Sunday best. Well baby, Sunday has finally arrived and I have cut into the fine fabrics and they seem to be working quite well for this particular project. For purposes of photography I have laid the blocks out on soft bamboo wadding in the vane of showing the colours of the fabric prints. Once I have pieced a few more blocks I will be able to decided what colour background I will need. Pinterest has a really good selection of photos of Brimfield projects. There’s something quite satisfying about working on English Paper Pieced projects because you know that your project will be accurate and neat. So, for now, I will alternate between my Brimfield project and my current knitting project as my evening armchair work. For today though, my washing machine is whirring away getting my bedding clean and I will step out to rake an enormous pile of leaves into my garden waste bin in readiness to be collected by the council tomorrow. It’s a bright but very cool day so I will no doubt come in from my outdoor adventure in the garden with roses on my cheeks and my glasses fogged up so that I can’t see where I’m going.
I love autumn. I love the crunchy leaves. And I love crisp sunny days in autumn. I love wearing woollies and chunky boots. This is my perfect day.
So that’s my news for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching; did you know that one quilting stitch at a time makes life better? Take it from me, it does.

Lucie x

AUTUMN AND WINTER TO-DOs

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying the fresh autumn days. During my walk with Maisie in the mornings over the last couple of weeks, I crunched leaves under my feet and found one or two white feathers confirming that I’m on the right path to happiness.
So, let’s see. What have I been up to lately? Well I have been knitting up a little storm …..


This piece is going to be turned into a pullover or possibly a cardigan. I haven’t decided yet. Once I finish knitting up the back, I will make up my mind.

I have been attempting to work on a traditional patchwork technique called Cathedral Windows …..

I plan on turning this piece into a cushion. I dragged out a few red fabrics from my stash and cut them up and sewed them back together in a different order and so far, the piece looks like this. For this technique I used my sewing machine to piece the beginnings and now I’m adding the finishing touches by hand. I really do enjoy hand sewing. This is the perfect armchair project while watching some mindless TV shows. I will show you the finished project eventually. It might make a nice Christmas gift once it’s finished.

A few weeks back I pieced and machine quilted a quilt for a special occasion. I only showed you a small area of the quilt at the time. The quilt was a wedding present for a special couple. Well here is a better view of the quilt. I completely forgot to take a photo of the whole quilt before wrapping and gifting it. I received a message from the lovely Sheila asking if I could post a better view of the finished quilt, so I hope this does the trick.


With winter just around the corner not to mention Christmas in only 72 sleeps and we can expect short daylight hours and very dark nights, it’s important to find lots of things to add to our To-Do List to keep us busy indoors during the winter weather. Well I have a suggestion for all my readers who live in my neck of the woods. You may or may not know that the Knitting & Stitching Show event is taking place in Harrogate between November 28th and December 1st at the Harrogate Convention Centre. And the good folks who run and promote the event have offered me 5 pairs of tickets with which to run a free ticket giveaway. So, ladies and germs, here’s your opportunity to have a grand day out at a crafty show. To be in with a chance to win a pair of free tickets just post a comment. In the comment please tell me what your favourite craft is and in what county of England you live. Unfortunately, since the Knitting & Stitching Show is held here in the northeast of England, I will only enter the names of those who live in England. I shall be pulling the winners on October 27th and announcing the winners soon after. Good luck to everyone who is brave enough to enter my giveaway. If you’re wondering how to  comment, just scroll up to the title of the post and click on it and then scroll down to the bottom on the post and you’ll see the comment box. For more info about the show click on the picture below to be taken to the website.


So, my friends, I guess that’s my news for this weekend. I hope you’ve all been enjoying this glorious autumn. I look forward to seeing a few more pumpkins around over the next few weeks. And I’m going to carry on crunching thru the fallen leaves underfoot. I’m going to carry on adding events to my To-Do List to keep me busy thru the winter months. It’s important to always have something to look forward to especially during the dark cold months. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,
Let’s all keep on stitching because one quilting stitch at a time, life gets better and better.
Lucie x