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

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