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

AROUND AND ROUND WE GO

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fabulous day. It seems for the longest time I felt like I had lost my mojo. I’m sure lots of other quilt makers and crafters feel the same this time of year. I’m not sure if it’s the short days or whether it’s the let-down after Christmas that sends us crashing into the abyss. I do feel like I’m on the mend because I keep scratching around looking for UFOs projects to finish. I’m choosing projects that the most prep done which will put me in good stead to finish or make good progress more quickly. I feel the need to have a good sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

So, what have I been doing today I hear you say. I sat down and pulled any paper shapes left in my Patchwork of the Crosses quilt top …..

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And then I cut and joined the plain border which I’m adding to the POTC just to frame it up. Once that was done, I sat and pinned and tacked the hexagon centre to the plain border …..

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If you look really hard you can see the tiniest dot of blood. This project has been a true labour of love. Not only that, I put blood, sweat and tears into it.

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I’m pleased to tell you that I had a good play with my Moving Forward block last evening …..

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Not only did I finish securing the patches to the background but I worked on another which is almost finish …..

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Moving Forward!!! Yes, I am. And today I prepped another block …..

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While I was busy in my sewing room, my supervisor was doing exactly what she does best. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

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My Sarah went to York for the weekend. York is one of my favourite places but I stayed home with Maisie and had a girly weekend with her. Sarah hit the shops while she was there. I love quirky stuff, so when Sarah saw this she knew I would love it. Round and round we go …..

This lovely rotating candle is mesmerising. You light the candle and the heat makes the carousel go around and round. I’m such a lucky happy stitcher.

So, that’s my report for today. I’m so pleased my mojo is finally coming back. I seemed to be going thru the motions everyday for such a long time. Now I am actually enjoying what I’m doing and I look forward to stepping into my sewing room and being creative. I hope you all have a super cosy and creative evening. Until next time,

Let’s all keep stitching.

Lucie x

MOVING FORWARD, ONE STITCH AT A TIME

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super productive day. So far, I’ve had a pretty productive week. Considering it is only Tuesday I think we’re off to a cracking good start.

Last week I mentioned that I treated myself to some new storage. You’ll probably think I’m off my trolley when I show you what I bought to store my current projects and my favourite things …..

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I saw this three-tier basket trolley back in the summer and really liked the look of it. I think it looks rather girly. I’m not used to buying girly things for myself because I shared a home with a man for more than two decades. I’m finally getting used to pleasing myself. As you can see I have started loading my pretty trolley with some of my favourite useful things. And I can move my trolley between my sewing room and my living room whenever I feel the need.

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I did get a little sewing fix today. Don’t get too excited because it was only 30 minutes worth but I produced something that’s quite handy. I pulled a couple of pieces of scrap fabric from the scrap basket. And pressed it. I found a piece of wadding approximately the same size and inserted it between the two layers of fabric. Using a pencil and a rotary ruler I marked out some guidelines. I did some sewing …..

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And produced a few needle keepers. Whenever I go to my monthly sewing sessions there’s always someone declaring “ooooh I lost my needle” … again. Well these little needle keepers are perfect for parking your needle while you’re reaching for your thread and needle threader etc. I’m going to be joining a few like-minded ladies this weekend for a monthly sewing session and I will gift them each one of my simple little needle keepers.

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The good news ….. I have finally finished my Patchwork of the Crosses centre blocks. The next step is to add a plain border which I need to psych myself out for. I’m hoping to get that done by the end of the week and then it will be loaded into my longarm system for quilting. In the meantime, I need an armchair project for the evenings while I watch TV. So, I stood in my sewing looking lost and remembered a project which I started about two years ago. I have drawn out the layout but not all the blocks yet. From the file, I found a couple of blocks ready for hand appliquéing. So, I thought I would have a go at that this evening. I love hand appliqué. All those fine hand stitches are soothing. And knowing that it’s a block that comes from my drawing is so satisfying.

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Once I decided to work on this block I needed to fine my very fine thread. So, it was another hunting and gathering session to find the thread.  I chose three thread colours that match quite nicely with the patches on my block and so now I’m off on the next UFO. I can draw new blocks during the day, do the prep work and sit quietly appliquéing in the evening. I named this project Moving Forward, One stitch at a Time.

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Last week I had showed you my A is for Appliqué blocks which I planned on working on next but I’m still trying to find the fabric collection I need to piece a few more blocks in order to bring the count up to twelve to complete. Besides I can use some of the drawings from my Moving Forward quilt in this A is for Appliqué project.

So, that my report for today. Not very exciting but this is me. Sewing one stitch at a time moving forward quietly. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing some quiet but productive. Until next time,

Let’s all keep stitching

Lucie x

MAKING BUNTING

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable weekend. I was such a productive happy stitcher over the weekend. I did everything that was listed on my To-Do List and then some.

My biggest goal was to make the bunting. A task that I’ve been putting off for such a long time. I purchased three long quarters back in December and tucked it away. When I found it last week, I added the task to my To-Do List for the weekend. I did not have a plan of action but knew that I wanted to keep it simple. So, Saturday morning, even before having breakfast or getting dressed, I made a template. My favourite medium for making templates is good old-fashioned cereal box card. I have loads of cereal card because my friends save it for me, only because they know how much of it I use. It all started with a template …..

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Once I cut the template I set it aside and got stuck into my morning routine. Once I finished all the boring morning tasks popped back into my sewing room and pressed the fabric. I used my three prints and some calico and another print for the string. I layered the strips, one of print and one of calico, with rights sides together and pressed the fabric. Doing that puts a little static in the fabric and holds it together while you’re sewing.

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Then I took my very fancy template and traced it onto the fabric, nesting the shapes together. By nesting the shapes together, you save on fabric and reduce the cutting.

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I put a couple of pins in each traced shape and took the whole strip of fabric to the sewing machine.

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I used my ¼” sewing machine foot to sew ¼” from the traced lines. I soon worked out the best way to deal with the sewing without twisting the fabric round and round. Once the sewing was done, I took the strip back to the cutting station. I used my rotary cutter to cut all the shapes apart.

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I repeated the process with the two other prints. The next part wasn’t so exciting to work on. I clipped the points and turned the shapes right side out and poked the points out using this my favourite poking out tool.

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This is a chop stick which I sharpened with a pencil sharpener and then filed the sharp point down a little using an emery board. This is a very useful inexpensive tool.

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Once all the pennant shapes were turned out and pressed, I moved onto making the string the joins all said shapes together. For this string, I found some fabric that tones in quite well. Sometimes a project comes together nicely without any pre-planning. The fabric I found happens to be Kaffe Fassett that I’ve had for many years. It just so happens that two of my three prints are more recent Kaffe Fassett!!! This bunting was definitely meant to be.

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So, I cut seven strips 2-1/2” wide and joined them all end to end. I pressed the extra long strip in half and then pressed each side in toward the centre. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

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Then I decided which order to sew different prints along the string. When I was happy with the layout I pinned the pennants in place and sewed my little heart out.

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There’s probably many ways of piecing bunting but this method worked really well for me. I started and finished all in one day with pretty good results. I suspect that if I didn’t have the short cut tools such as rotary cutting equipment it would have taken longer. I’m really pleased with the result. I pieced twenty-one pennants which I divided into two strings. Here’s a little peek at the one I managed to hang by myself.

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And here’s the one I will get help with when my Sarah comes home from her weekend away.

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When my adventure into bunting land was finished, I settled down to do some serious work on my Patchwork of the Crosses. While I hand stitched the last of the components, I watched Victoria & Abdul. I love a period drama, especially if Judi Dench is in it. It was a good story but not for everyone.

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Sunday morning was spent doing a few chores in the morning and some more POTC work in the afternoon. I started joining the last row of blocks to the main body of the quilt top. Once again, I hand stitched my little heart out. I’m moving forward at a nice pace now. I hope to post a photo of the whole quilt top in the next week or so. English Paper Piecing goes as a slow and measured pace; it’s very relaxing.

I was torn between heading out on an adventure and staying home and having a quiet weekend. In the end I decided to stay home and do some self-care. I’ve come to understand that there are times when it’s important to put ourselves first. The quiet time I spent at home was soothing. The quiet gave me the time I needed to put things into perspective. I’m rebuilding life one day at a time. Next weekend I will be spending time with some like-minded ladies who enjoy quilt making as much as I do. So that will be my well-deserved adventure.

So, that’s my report for this past weekend. Not very exciting but very productive leaving me with a great sense of accomplishment. Until next time,

Let’s all keep stitching

Lucie x

BLUE, BLOOD OR SUPER

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fabulous day. Mine day was mainly a trip to Ikea to purchase a funky bit of storage.

I don’t have any sewing progress to show you today but I did catch this shot of last night’s Super Moon.  I really do think that the moon influences my behaviour.

Blue Moon by One Quilting Stitch at a Time 2018

I hope to be back soon with some sewing progress. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching

Lucie x