LET’S KEEP WARM

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all enjoyed a happy Wednesday. It’s been a wet dreary day in my little world but I kept busy doing this and that and tried not to worry about the dreary weather. I spent a little time sorting thru Christmas decorations. I even hung a wreath on my front door. Now that my Sarah is grown, we don’t put as many festive decorations up. We tend to enjoy the gentle flicker of lovely scented candles and the twinkling lights of our Christmas Tree. We have a few Christmas quilts to snuggle under on cold dark winter evenings. It’s all very relaxed. And there’s no worries about disappointing anyone with the simple way we do Christmas.

I was recently asked for a pattern for my classic mittens. I have been knitting these particular mittens since the eighties. They’re quite simple to make and look pretty good too.

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So, as I was going to write the pattern anyway, I decided to share it with all of you. There’s still plenty of time to knit a pair for yourself or a loved one before Christmas. Just click here to be taken to the a printable pattern.

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The last few weeks have been busy doing something and nothing. I seem to be going in circles and not accomplishing very much. Today I have looked back on those weeks to realise that in fact I have solved a few problems, finished a few Christmas projects and generally minimalised the clutter making life a little better for us. My To-Do List for 2019 is starting to take shape and I’m a little more light-hearted than I was this time last year. So, all in all it’s been a pretty good year.

So, I guess that’s my report for this week. I hope you’re all busy preparing for the holiday. It’s such a jolly time of year even if the weather isn’t co-operating. I have one wish for Christmas …. A dusting of snow on Christmas day would be lovely but it’s not very likely here in my little corner of the northeast of England. I will have a great Christmas regardless. 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

WARNING: RANDOM PIECING DISPLAYED

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been having enjoyable days. Mine days have been full of this and that and useful tasks which are helping me move forward.

Along with household chores, I’ve taken loads of rubbish to the tip making my house and garden look tidier with each load each load that disappears down the road. Isn’t is funny how things change sufficient that we outgrow certain things.

On the sewing front, well I cut some more strips …..

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Which I turned into these 12 wonky log cabin blocks …..

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And once these blocks have been squared off on the wonk, they will be sewn together and added to these …..

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These quilt blocks are all pieced randomly. It’s been a really good exercise doing random. As I understand, quite a lot of people struggle to do random. This quilt top will eventually be turned into a fleece backed throw.

Although I feel like I have rotary 2-1/2” strips for England, I still seem to have oodles of scraps left. It’s almost as if cutting up scraps breeds more scraps! I have an idea for using up the really small scraps along with tulle netting to make something unusual. However, that’s a project that simply involves playing. I find it hard to give myself permission to play long enough to produce something different. Also, it can be difficult to work out what to do with these play pieces of work.

Before I settled down to finish piecing my 12 wonky log cabin blocks this morning, I worked on another little project. My friend asked me if I knew how to make heart shaped placemats. Well I remembered a heart shaped table mat type project from years ago. So, I searched around to see if I could find any notes or templates. Well this is what I came up with …..

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I loosely used the foundation paper piecing method to piece this heart. I streamlined the process a little bit while producing enough foundation papers in order to produce a batch of hearts.

I’ve discovered that everything takes longer than five minutes these days. With technology interrupting us every five minutes, and in my case the washing machine or oven timer needing my attention, everything seems to take so long. And don’t get me started about all the time I spend searching for supplies!!! I used to be very patient but the older I get the more impatient I am.

All in all, it’s been a pretty good day around here. I did a little sewing and left a real mess in my sewing room. Luckily, I can just leave the mess for another day as that room isn’t used for anything but my sewing.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. It’s been a good day all round. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly love doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching. The more we stitch the better life gets.

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

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

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

COSY TOES

I’m so grateful for my hand knit socks. It’s the perfect day for cosy toes.

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These socks were great fun to knit. You don’t have to do anything special other than knit using your favourite sock pattern.  My friend Lynn introduced me to this beautiful self-patterning wool. Thank you Lynn for sharing your stash with me. I think I need to order some more to knit up a few more pairs.

It’s a very dreary wet day here in the northeast of England. It doesn’t know whether to rain or snow. Here we go again. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

 

TGIASF

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fabulous day. If you’re wondering about the title of this post …. Thank God it’s a sunny Friday.

It’s finally the last day of the working week. I’m always glad when Friday comes around. I enjoy the weekend because everyone is a little more relaxed.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow because I’m going to be spending most of the day with like-minded ladies sewing. There’s nothing more fun than spending time with other ladies who enjoy quilt making and who have been thru a similar life. We’ve all got kids that have grown and are about to fly the nest or who have already flown the nest. We all learn from each other how to approach the next steps in life.

I’m not sure if it’s the sunshine that’s making me feel really good today or perhaps it’s the fact that I finally finished sewing the border on my Patchwork of the Crosses quilt top this morning. I’m definitely doing a happy dance. I don’t think anyone has the right to be as happy as I feel at the moment!!!!! After finishing what seemed like the mammoth task of hand appliqueing the hexagons onto the border, I went on to loading it into my longarm quilting system. I have no excuse for not quilting it next week …..

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Now some of you might be wondering why the border took so long to finish. Well it’s because I wanted to keep the shape of the hexagons and squares on the edge of the quilt centre. I could have trimmed a straight edge but I think the shaped edge makes it more interesting.

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I purchased my backing fabric before Christmas in hope that I might finish it over Christmas but that didn’t happen. It’s a Moda wide back designs by Basic Grey and the collection is Grunge Hit’s the Spot. It’s a beautiful fresh colour. I can’t wait to see it finished and on my bed.

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I spent some time doing chores in between everything else. The washing machine was whirring away while I was vacuuming the downstairs. And I layered up a lasagne for our evening meal. Umm umm, lasagne, garlic bread and Caesar salad. Yes sir, life is good. And I even got to do some more quilt making related stuff by prepping another block …..

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I’m really getting back into my Moving Forward project. I’ll be transferring the leftover fabric from my POTC box to my Moving Forward box. Waste not and all that.

Well I guess that’s my report for today. I’m looking forward to a great creative weekend. I hope you all have a super cosy time doing all your favourite things over the weekend. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching

Lucie x

CREATING NEW DESIGNS

Hello my lovely readers. I hope you’ve all had a super Thursday. It’s been a lovely day in my little world. I talked my Sarah into running a few errands with me this morning. So now we’re set for the weekend.

I would like to start today’s report by thanking all my long-time readers for following me over to One Quilting Stitch at a Time. New life, new blog. It feels good to start over. I hope I can do this new blog justice. To my new readers and followers, welcome. I hope you’ll find a little inspiration here.

As I write my daily ramblings, I realise that being creative is the perfect way to express myself. I love being creative and productive. I love taking a new design from pencil and paper to an actual tangible end result. Some of you may be wondering what my journey is to that end result. Well most of it starts on paper. I use a pencil, an eraser some rulers to draw a layout …..

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Once I have decided on a layout I start to draw the blocks. Once again, the blocks are drawn out on paper using all kinds of different shape templates from my stash of tools. When you look at the drawings, they look pretty simple but once they are turned into fabric pictures they look so much better.

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This drawing was turned into this fabric picture …..

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I plan to embellish this block with a little embroidery; perhaps outlining the petals in long running stitches and maybe some French/Colonial knots.

Anyone can design new projects. And everyone has different ideas to bring to the table. I like keeping it simple, simple shapes give clean lines. And simple lines make you believe that you can produce this project.

There are different words to describe our work. I’m talking about the crafts that we produce with our very own hands. Would you describe my quilts and quilted projects as homemade? Or would you use the words handmade or handcrafted? I think I would describe foodie things as homemade. My favourite word to describe my work is handcrafted. The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of handcrafted is ~ make skilfully by hand. However, their definition for handmade is ~ made by hand, not by machine, and typically therefore of superior quality. I suppose both these words are good words to describe the work we do. What’s your preference?

Well, we’ve made it thru the first week of February. Can you believe it??? We’re well into the new year. The winter Olympics start on Saturday. I’m not a great one for watching sports on TV but I wouldn’t mind watching a little ice skating and perhaps some downhill skiing. However, the coverage won’t be televised until 11pm here in the UK. That’s a little late for me.

I’m still sewing my little fingers to bone trying to attach the border to my Patchwork of the Crosses. I knew the fine hand stitching would take a while. I reckon I’ll finish that job over the weekend. I purchased my backing fabric before Christmas. So, I will be ready to longarm quilt this labour of love as soon as the border is attached. Eeeeee. I’m so excited to see this project finished.

So 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

Lucie x