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

GLORIOUS DAYS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying a glorious summer. This past week has been quite over whelming in my little world. Between celebrating a birthday and my Sarah’s graduation ceremony everyday life seems quite mundane. I would like to thank each and everyone of you who sent messages and gifts to congratulate Sarah in her success. We don’t have any family here in the UK so every card, email and comment sent was so appreciated. It makes Sarah’s success so much sweeter knowing you all celebrated along with us.

There wasn’t much sewing going on this week as you might imagine. We were in and out all week doing various things and waiting in for a couple of technicians to fix a couple of things. However, this morning I decided that I really needed to do some machining. So, I cleaned the bobbin area of my Brother sewing machine and changed the needle from universal to a topstitch. I lowered the feed dogs and placed my Supreme Slider mat on the bed of the sewing machine. And in no time, I was off on a magic sewing ride. I stitched some twisted ribbon designs, swirly circles, some dinosaur ferns and some funky leaves. I used some Aurifil 50wt thread in two different colours and I chalked diagonal guidelines to keep me on track but apart from the guidelines everything was freehand stitched. I was so good to let loose and be creative. Freemotion quilting is like is like drawing with thread. My Brother sewing machine chugged away while stitching all kinds of swirly designs. It was very satisfying. I have promised myself another machining fix soon.

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The weather is still summer glorious here in my little corner of the northeast of England. My little Maisie was struggling with the heat last week but she’s had a haircut on Friday and is feeling much better. As I understand it, my hometown is very warm and people are dying in the heat. So, to all in Montreal, this includes my own family, do take care of yourselves.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope to be back sometime this week with some sewing news but in the meantime, I’m taking full advantage of these glorious days. Winter was so long that it’s wonderful to be able to enjoy some warm sunshine. I hope you all have a super cosy evening keeping cool. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

GRADUATION SEASON

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying summer. One day is melting into the next and before we know it summer will be a distant memory. Soooo, let’s all make the most of summer while we can.

I don’t have much sewing progress to show you today. The only bit of sewing I’ve done recently is bind a quilt …..

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I machined the binding onto the front and hand finished it on the back. It’s been rather warm in my little corner of the northeast of England so sewing anything that sits in your lap can be a little uncomfortable. However, I persevered until the whole binding was hand finished.

As the title implies, today was my Sarah’s graduation ceremony. So if you’re not in the mood to share in this proud momma’s joy stop reading now.

Sarah did three years of degree studies. Six months into her first year of studies her father decided to leave the family. Despite all the dreadful months of divorce wrangling Sarah stuck to her guns and worked hard. There was one period of time last year when she wanted to give it all up but somehow, she found the strength to carry on. Today my Sarah graduated with honours.

It was an early start for us today. Sarah had to be at college approximately 90 minutes ahead of the ceremony to collect her cap and gown. The college is situated some 45 miles away and we had to collect a couple of guests on the journey down. So, we left the house at 6:50am. We made such good time as there were no traffic jams along the way.

The ceremony was lovely. There were a few entertaining speakers. And once the speeches were over each student was called up on stage one by one in alphabetical order. Every student made it up the stairs onto the stage without tripping over. The parents and loved ones clapped and cheered each student. For me, it was like a dream. In fact, it all felt a bit surreal. The tears just kept coming and wouldn’t stop. When my daughter climbed those stairs, smiled and shook hands with the Dr. Graham Robson, Chair of the Board of Governors, Cleveland College of Art & Design, my heart sored. After three years of hard work, major family upheaval and plenty of difficult times, finally the thing that Sarah worked so hard for was awarded to her. 

It’s funny what goes thru your mind while graduation ceremonies are going on. One of the things I was thinking about ….. oh goodness, did I teach my Sarah to shake hands with her right hand!!!!! Well of course I did but at the time I just couldn’t remember. My Sarah is turning 22 next month. I just hope that I have equipped her with all the tools she needs to live a long, happy and healthy life. Well done Sarah. Now it’s up to you to make something good of yourself. Be creative, be yourself. Operation Taking Flight is complete and we’re now looking forward to whatever comes next.

I took a couple of photos of Sarah after the ceremony with my phone …..
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So far, it’s been a beautiful summer. I have been enjoying travelling in slow lane for a few weeks now. And I plan to carry on for a few more weeks. Now that graduation has come and gone I hope to settle in to a bit more creative sewing. I have a few projects to finish up and a few others to record on paper and develop.

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

NOT LOOKING FOR PERFECTION

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super-duper day. My Sarah and I have been enjoying lovely lazy summer days. I hope our glorious summer days last thru the whole season.

I’ve been working hard on my latest quilt project, My Sweet Dresden Town. There are only a couple more blocks to draw and stitch. Well I thought I’d take a little break from that in order to work on a UFO that’s been in the pile for some time. In fact, it was so low in the pile that I had to dig around to find it.

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This project consists of a sandwiched piece of calico to which I added some colour blotches which I planned to add some freemotion quilting to in order to give it some definition. So, with my Sarah’s advice I chose a nice pale green thread, Aurifil 50wt. And then I prepped my sewing machine and got down to the nitty gritty.

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I outlined all the colour blotches in a medium grey thread …..

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And then switched to the green thread to fill in all the negative spaces. I kept the design simple …..

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While I was stitching I felt quite disappointed at the jaggy bits I was stitching out. I haven’t done any freemotion quilting on my domestic sewing machine in a long time but I persevered …..

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The more I filled in the negative spaces the better it looked. And once I was done I felt really good about what I accomplished. I no longer look for perfection. As long as it’s better than what I started with I’m happy. Well I’m definitely happy with what I did today.

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Now that I’ve had a little taste of freemotion quilting on my domestic sewing machine again, I feel like doing more. I have a little idea of what I’d like to do next time but that won’t be for a while. I have a To-Do List as long as my arm to finish up before I start another project.

I just realised today that there are only three days left of June!!!!! Next week is Sarah’s graduation ceremony. I can’t believe it. I look forward to whatever life has in store for us both.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I had some well deserved fun freemotion quilting a long time UFO. Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be great. 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

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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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

WALKING IN THE SUNSHINE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all have a grand day. It’s been a busy one in my little world. I spend several hours today in my sewing room playing with my longarm quilting system. I can’t show you what I worked on just now. However, I can show a little bit of progress I made on my Sweet Dresden Town …..

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I posted a photo of cut up Dresden Blades last week. I have since cut the Blades different lengths and joined them together giving the units a good press to form this circle. I’ll be adding roofs and doors. I also made even more progress by drawing a few blocks to go with the large Dresden block …..

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I find these blocks very happy blocks. You will notice that I have kept the blocks simple, as usual. I find less is always more. I also appreciate cleans lines, that’s what drives me to keep my blocks simple.

I’m quite excited about this project. Once again, it’s a little different from what I have designed in the past. So, watch for more progress reports about this new project.

All is well in my little world lately. Everything is ticking over nicely. I sometimes wonder when things are going to start going wrong again but the main cause of things going wrong is gone. How lucky am I to be able to enjoy life as it comes again? I recently read an interesting quote and it goes something like this; you never know that you’re living under a cloud until you walk in the sunshine. I can’t tell you said this first but it certainly has given me something to think about.

So, that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something that makes you happy. And perhaps do it in the sunshine. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

WHIMSICAL SHOES

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super day. I’ve been a bit busy in my sewing room today. It’s going to be a short report because I need to go back to the project I have been working on all day but first here’s a little peek at what I’ve been playing with …..

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I spent a few hours drawing whimsical blocks over the weekend and now I’m going to spend a few hours bringing my drawings to life. Isn’t is amazing what you can do with a few scraps of fabric.

Do you love shoes? I love shoes but I find it difficult to find shoes that don’t hurt my feet. While I worked in my sewing room today I wore these …..

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They still hurt my feet so I don’t wear them very often. I reckon, if I wear them in the house I might be able to break them in a little better and knowing that I can take them off makes me feel better about wearing them!!! I do love the whimsical look of these shoes.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I’m going to head back into my sewing room and get on with being creative. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something that makes you happy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x