FEATHERED VISITS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying the month of May so far. It’s been pretty good in my little corner of the northeast of England. It seems the weather has taken a downturn for the moment. It’s brrrr cold. It’s a bank holiday weekend and quite often we have rain on these holiday weekends. So not much change there. I have a great weekend planned full of chores and fun things to do. So, watch this space.

I have been doing a little bit of designing and block piecing of late. I finished piecing the project and spent part of the morning adding a border …..

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And here’s a little sneaky peek at two bits of my quilt top …..

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I might reveal a little more once the quilting is done.

Now while I was piecing and attaching the border to my latest project, I saw some movement outside my window. It took me a little while to work out what said movement was. There was a wee robin flying around my back garden gathering twiggy bits. I suspect that the wee robin is building a nest somewhere nearby. And of course, the wee robin was moving far too quickly for me to snap a photo. However the wee robin kept flying into my little teapot ornament to have a rest …..

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I don’t think the robin is building a nest in my teapot because the opening is far to large but it was nice to see it standing/sitting in the teapot resting now and again. We always had a resident robin in years gone by but I haven’t seen it in a while. I hope the wee robin visits me again and often. I’ll be sure to top up the feeders and bird bath regularly just to encourage such birdy visits.

So, I guess that’s my report for this week. I hope you’ve all had a productive week. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a bank holiday weekend here in the UK. I there’s nothing like a long weekend to get a few seasonal jobs done. I was kind of hoping to plant my annual bedding plants this weekend but the weatherman is forecasting frost at night so I’ll leave it for a few more days. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. I plan on doing some hexie work while watching a new episode of The Bletchley Circle. I do enjoy a good murder mystery. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

SUNNY CATCHUP ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a superb weekend. Storm Hannah was supposed to be rumbling thru but it seems she has missed my little corner of the northeast of England. I have no doubt that some kind of bad weather will come thru at some point this week. I am quite appreciative of the lovely sunshine today but a few days ago it was dark a dismal out so I decided to make my own sunshine …

The Dresden Plate happens to be one of my favourite blocks of late. I am currently designing and piecing a new project for which I need a sun. So, I decided to use a yellow Dresden. The Dresden Plate is such a simple buy rather effective block.

With the coming of the good weather, I have been hankering after planting up my planters with summer annual plants. I bought some but I’m still a wee bit worried that we might get some frost at night, so I’m holding off for a few more days. We’ll be entering May in a couple of days and by then we should be past the risk of frost. Although I haven’t planted any annuals yet, I did add three herbaceous perennials to one of my front borders.  They were an absolute bargain and they were calling my name. I will need one or two others to fill in the blank patch in said border but I made a good start for now. My Clematis is starting to bloom nicely. I gave it a really good prune and was worried that it might not reappear this year but it has. Lucky me!

It seems Fridays are the day of week that changes everything in my little quiet world. I was sitting quietly in my little den answering some correspondence when a helicopter came into view. It was hovering over the houses across the road and making its way to the green space just a few doors in readiness for landing. This has happened a few times before. The last time a helicopter landed in the green space it was because one of our Royal family members was bestowing a visit upon our neighbourhood. It was Prince Edward visiting Bede Academy which is just a few minutes away from my home. In previous times, I wasn’t quick enough to grab my beat-up old camera in order to take photos of the event. Well this time, I got a couple of snaps. So, here’s a photo of the helicopter shortly after landing and a photo of Prince Edward walking from the helicopter to the waiting car ready to take the Prince to the school.

 

A couple of weeks ago it was hunky firemen and this week it was a Royal!!! I wonder what will happen this Friday???

With summer looming, life just seems so much better. I look forward to every single day. That isn’t to say that every day is a great day but I pick and choose all the positive aspects of life to focus on. I am on another creative journey at the moment. The project I have been designing is coming together nicely. I’m making plenty of time to concentrate on it. Creativity is my drug of choice. I stay away from drama and toxic people. They seem to put a damper on life which I don’t appreciate considering that I do my best not affect anyone else in adverse ways. Life is simply too short.

Well that’s my report for this week. I am so looking forward to seeing what my garden is going to look like in six weeks time. So, tell my how does your garden grow these days??? 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

SUNSHINE AND HUNKY FIREMEN

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super duper cosy long weekend. It’s been lovely here in my little corner of the northeast of England. Spring has properly sprung. I even made a start on buying my annual bedding plants. I have to empty my planters and replenish the compost and dig one of my front borders and then I can plant the fresh plants. There’s so much more to get done during the warm months but it’s so worth it when you see the fruits of your labour.

So, what have all of you been working on over the last few weeks. Are you working on UFOs or have you got a special gift on the go; a wedding gift, special birthday gift or just a gift for no reason. I can tell you that a quilted gift can be a great addition to any home not to mention that it brings comfort during difficult times. With that in mind, here is my sewing update. I received a gift a couple of weeks ago. My Sarah gifted me a Lush Knot Wrap.

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It’s a printed panel which Lush uses to gift wrap their bath bundles. When I saw this panel a few weeks ago, I just loved it. I love the bright cheerful colours and especially the naïve drawing. At the time, I did not have a plan of action for the use of said knot wrap. And after spending a few days studying it, I decided that I was going to turn it into a wall hanging. So, I stitched ripped the hem, gave it a good press and squared it off. Then I added some corners because the design was on point and I wanted it to hang upright.

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I chose a small print which contains a few of the colours in the knot wrap. I loaded it into my longarm. My longarm hasn’t been working for many months and finally it’s up and running again.

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I added some tradition type quilting in the corners and then went mad adding some naïve stitching all over the knot wrap panel.

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I just let loose and stitched to my hearts content. I love the panel so much that no matter what the stitching is like I couldn’t help but love the finished article. I plan on hanging this piece in a prominent place where I will see it every single day. It makes me happy whenever I look at it.

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Since taking this photo I have sewn in all the loose thread and hand finished the binding. I plan on adding some handing pockets perhaps this afternoon. I wish I was talented enough to draw naïve pictures that I could turn into blocks. Perhaps I should give it a try. I suppose that’s something else to add to my bucket list. So, tell me what makes you happy. Do you have a happy wall hanging that makes your day???

Speaking on making your day. Something quite interesting happened to me last week. One afternoon, as I sat in my front room after doing all my chores, a fire engine pulled up and parked across the street. I didn’t think anything of it until my doorbell rang. I answered and who do you think was at the door … three big firemen. They claimed that they got a call out saying that there was a smell of burning plastic at/around my address. Well I can tell you no one was more surprised than me because I couldn’t smell anything burning. The boss man called the controller for more information and it just happens that the report was for a few doors down for which there was no emergency. I suppose the kids might have been playing tricks. The boss man fireman did say well you’ll have all the neighbours talking now!!! I don’t need a fire engine parked outside to make the neighbours talk. I can do that quite easily all by myself. Hahaha

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So, I guess that’s my report for this week. The weather has been lovely and spurred me on to get things done. My bucket list is growing nicely. And life is getting more interesting by the day. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

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

Lucie x

SUNNY MOTHER’S DAY

Hello my lovelies on this glorious sunny Mother’s Day.  It’s the perfect day here in my little corner of the northeast of England. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and I’m just mooching about doing something and nothing.

I have a wee bit of sewing news. I am slowly making progress on my latest hand quilting project. I am thoroughly enjoying the quiet repetitive soothing hand stitching. Everyone should hand quilt at least one patchwork or whole cloth quilt in their lifetime. So, feast your peeps on this …..

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Contrary to popular belief my quilting stitches aren’t all even. And my chosen quilting design won’t be to everyone’s taste. And I’m sure the quilting police would have plenty to say about my appliqué work, however, this project wasn’t designed to please anyone else but me. I have learned not to take life too seriously. I think finished is much better than perfect. I am so pleased with the result of this project so far, that I will be hanging it on the wall for all to see. Warts and all.

I had a little stroll in my garden this morning. My garden isn’t huge, so when I say a little stroll, I’m not kidding. The sunshine and blue sky makes me feel like I live in a castle, albeit a small one. I digress, the point is, I found some lovely growth. My tree peony has flower buds on it …..

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I never really liked this tree peony but it fills quite a large space in a back border and also gives me some privacy from the neighbours. Also my peony shrub is making good progress …..

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My borders are in need of a little more pruning and mulching. All in good time.

As I mentioned earlier, today is Mother’s Day in the UK. So, to all the special mamas today, I wish you a very special day spending time with your children and grandchildren of all ages.

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Well I guess that’s my report for this week. It’s been quite an interesting week. And good progress is being made in all aspects of my life. I hope you’re all having a super cosy day doing things you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

SUNNY SUNDAY SPECIAL

Hello my lovelies on this super-duper sunny Sunday. It’s bright and breezy here in my little corner of the northeast of England. It was so lovely this morning that I stepped out and did some digging and pruning in the garden. I had a Clematis that needed some tender loving care. It looks a lot less wild and woolly now that I have given it a short back and sides trim. It always feels so good when you see the fruits of your labour. My garden is going to be a wonderful place this summer.

I have been a little busy in the sewing department this past week. I recently found a little pile of UFOs which I have made a start on finishing up. Today’s particular show and tell is a whimsy that I designed and pieced 2012/2013. I can’t believe that I didn’t finish it at the time of piecing of it. I added the finishing touches, a few buttons to embellish, a few days ago. And it now hangs in my living room. I am so pleased with the finished result.

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So, the moral of this story is don’t give up on your UFOs. You may lose interest in them but once they are finished, you will have a great sense of accomplishment.

I have another little bit of progress to show you. Most of you will know that machine quilting is my preference but this little UFO is being hand quilted …..

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I have kept this hand quilting job simple. I have used rulers and circle template shapes to mark the quilting. And so far, it’s looking pretty good. I can’t wait to finish this job so I can show you. I think everyone should have a hand quilting project on the go at all times. It’s a wonderful quiet technique that looks so good once it’s finished. It’s a relaxing occupation that brings much satisfaction. Once again, I will have a great sense of accomplishment once this one is finished.

So, tell me. What have you been working on lately? Have you got some hand sewing on the go or are you a machine girl like me? After this little taster of hand quilting, I think I will make a conscious effort to do more. The secret to my enjoyment is to keep it simple, choose your own quilting designs and use a nice thread.

Well I guess that’s my report for this week. 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 TASTE OF HAND QUILTING

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been enjoying a fine spring day. We’ve supposedly seen the back end of Storm Gareth but the wind is still mighty strong. I stepped out into the garden this morning to pick the litter blown into my borders and that wind was soooo strong. When I finished my little litter picking session my garden was sparkling clean. My new garden waste bin is almost full and will be ready for collection next week.

I have done a little more sewing since I last posted. Every new quilting stitch, whether by hand or machine, brings me closer to a better life. So, working on my big bag and putting the finishing touches on it feels great. I used some of my very favourite background fabric and some funky bright fabric to piece this big bag.

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And of course, I added a bright half Dresden Plate to jazz it up and some bright side ties. All in all, it’s a pretty simple project but very useful for what I want to use it for. Can you guess what I’ll be using this bag for? No?

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I will be storing my hand quilting project in it while I’m not working on it …..

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This is a UFO from years ago. I came across it while I was searching for something else, quite a happy find. I have started the process by stabilising the centre block and its patches.

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I’m planning on giving it a simple quilting job. I am a great fan of geometric designs. So, I will be hand stitching nesting circles all over the centre block. I’m not sure how I will proceed with the rest of it yet. By the time I have finished quilting the centre I will probably know exactly what to do with the next section.

So, it’s been a good day in my little world. All little work and a little play make for a happy well lived life. We all have a different definition of a well lived life. My definition is to stay away from drama, be the best me that I can be and I keep my expectations at a reasonable level. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching, it really does make life better.

Lucie x

FRIDAY STITCHING SUNDAY BEST FABRICS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super fine week. It’s been pretty good in my little corner of the northeast of England. We had quite a lot of sunshine and almost equal amount of cloudy weather. Never mind not every day can be perfect.

With the dry weather we’ve been having I have been itching to get out into the garden to start my spring tidy. I will be cleaning and oiling my cutting tools so I’ll be ready to start pruning my shrubs. I am a little concerned about frost at the moment. I will review the situation next week, perhaps I’ll be able to get started then.

I do have a little bit of sewing progress. I have a small stash of special fabric which I purchased about five years ago that I have been saving for Sunday best. Yesterday I got an idea which I wanted to turn into a proper project. I sat down and did a chicken scratch drawing including measurements. I always work better with a drawing. It keeps me grounded. So last evening, I went into the special stash and chose 5 fat quarters and then into another drawer for some brights to offset the quiet. I got my rotary equipment out and started to cut and then sew all the patches together. This is the latest progress …..

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I love a Dresden Plate. And I especially love the funky fabric which I chose to piece this particular Dresden Plate. You will have to wait a few days before you see the finished project.

I am still making progress on my hexie project. I tend to work on hexies in the evening while watching TV. It’s repetitive work which grows slow and steady while I’m relaxing after a busy day of chores and errands.

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I love the word wonky. And this week when I went to the supermarket, and while I was in the fruit and veg section, I found these …..

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These fruits and veg may be wonky in shape but taste the same as the perfectly shaped ones. It just goes to show you that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

So, it’s been a brilliant week in my little world. The birds have been singing in my garden. The school children are full of the joys of spring. I have had a little fix of creativity which makes any day great.

So, I guess that my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Or perhaps you would like to try something totally different, and why not experience something new. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

DAFFODIL FIND

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying the tail end of winter. Because I have friends and family in Canada, I know that the weather has been horrendous lately. In Québec, they have had so much snow and then rain and then snow and more rain. When things start to thaw, they’re going to have fun and games. While here in the UK today, we’ve had super brilliant sunshine. I went outside to take a photo of my daffodils and I could hear the birds singing beautifully. It was up rather uplifting listening to the birds for a few minutes.

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While I was outside, I spotted these lonely snowdrops sitting there looking pretty sad. I think I’ll plant a few more snowdrops to keep these lonely ones company in years to come.

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It’s been a busy company of weeks. We’re finally putting the house back in order after a decorating job. Deciding what pictures to hang where seems to be our most difficult decision at the moment.

I do have a little bit sewing to show you. I have been doing some hand quilting recently. I finished the job over the weekend. Have a little look at this simple but interesting hand quilting.

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DSCN1153I took a couple of simple circle templates and used them over and over again to produce this quilting design. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that bring interest to a project. Now that I have finished this little project, I have a hankering to work on another hand quilting project. So, watch this space.

Now that spring is just around the corner, I’m feeling so much perkier. Quite a while ago, I decided that I would always choose to look at the positive aspects of life which I believe enables us to lead happier lives. Never expect someone else to make you happy. You have to choose to be happy.

It’s been a pretty fulfilling weekend in my little corner of the northeast of England. The days are getting longer and the temperature is rising. I may be wrong but we may have escaped having anymore winter storms. Autumn is my favourite time of year but spring comes in a close second. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s keep on stitching, because a little stitching makes life better.

Lucie x

 

ROLL ON SPRING

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying the last bit of winter. It almost feels like spring here. The temperature is spring-like here today. We even saw a little sun for a few minutes. Roll on spring.

Well the past week has been full of this and that. I did some painting in my hallway. Thank goodness I had Sarah’s help because this almost sixty-year-old happy stitcher doesn’t have the stamina to decorate rooms anymore. As well as that little bit of decorating I did a wee bit of sewing. I’ve been helping one or two ladies finish projects. Here’s one of those projects.

I was given the fabrics and a photo of the finished project but no instructions. So I started cutting and sewing …..

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And joining rows together …..

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And ended up with this little quilt top …..

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Which I turned into this …..

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It’s not identical to the picture but a pretty good adaptation. I think my friend will be pretty happy with the finished result. And now that I managed to make this one, I think I’ll make a similar cushion cover for myself.

I made a drop of soup yesterday. I was chatting with a friend of mine, Ann, on Saturday and I was mentioning that I was on a slimming programme again and I was fed up with salad especially in the colder weather. Well Ann suggested I make some soup. She had a pretty simple recipe for a lean soup which she inspired me to make. So, I set to and made a lovely drop of soup yesterday. I can’t impress upon you how lovely it was to have a warm lunch both yesterday and today. The soup was even tastier today than it was yesterday. I will be sure to make more soup and more regularly now that I have to confidence to try again. Sometimes I just need a little nudge.

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In my quest to do more of what I love, I set today aside to do just that. I loaded a quilt and stitched a freemotion quilting design. This is the back of the quilt as the design didn’t show up very well on the front for photography purposes. I love this design. I will use it again on the next quilt that comes up. It was great fun to stitch especially after the first few minutes when I felt more relaxed about stitching it. I spent so many years using a digital quilting system and now I’m going back to basics and stitching basic freemotion designs.

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Doing more of what we love is so important. We get to an age where we no longer have anything to prove to anyone. We women spend our whole lives trying to prove that we’re worthy. I’m not sure why but we do. It’s time to stop that. So, you can be sure that I will be posting more photos of my freemotion work in the near future. If I can do this anyone can.

It’s been a pretty good day in my little corner of the northeast of England. We got a preview of spring which was lovely. The crocuses are starting to flower. And the daffodil leaves are poking thru the ground. I’m quite sure we have more cold and winter-like weather to endure but knowing that spring is around the corner is making the rest of winter a little easier to handle.

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

PERMISSION TO PLAY DAY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable day. I experienced beautiful sunshine today. The sun makes everything better. I ran errands and did mundane chores but best of all I gave myself permission to play.

In my quest to change things around to make life more interesting, I decided that I need to make more time to do the things I enjoy the most. I seemed to have spent many years doing things that I thought, as a woman, I should be doing. Well that way of thinking has been chucked out the window and a new way of life is taking over.

So, while I was working my way thru my To-Do List for today, I came to one task which was to try out the replacement foot control for my sewing machine which I bought a few days ago. My sewing machine was doing strange things and after studying the problem, I decided that it might very well be the foot control which was worn out. So, I plugged to new foot control in and tested it on a fabric test sandwich and so far it’s working well. While I was sitting at my sewing machine amongst the mess that is my sewing room at the moment, I decided to do a little more sewing. So, I dragged out some scraps from the fabrics I gathered for my new project and started to join them together. I didn’t worry too much about the ¼” seam allowance rule and I used up odd shapes and simply joined them all together. I must admit I did use a rotary cutter and a ruler to trim a few straight angles to make the adding on job easier. And needless to say, I pressed all the seams as I went along. This is what I produced …..

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Now these two crazy patchwork blocks will eventually be incorporated into my new project. Not only that, but while I was sitting happily sewing, I came up with another idea to use the smaller scraps which I produced while joining all the bigger scraps. These scraps along with a piece of iron on interfacing and a piece of netting will become something else which I may or may not incorporate into this new project but either way, I will enjoy trying to make this idea work.

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Isn’t it funny that when you use up your scraps your actually produce more scraps???? I have plenty of bigger scraps that I can turn into smaller scraps. I’m hoping that my simple fix for my beloved sewing machine that’s been doing funny things is exactly what it needed.

It’s rather nice stepping away from traditional quilt making. And I know it won’t be to everyone’s taste but I think exploring new techniques and avenues is good for the soul. This is how we develop new trends, colour schemes and unusual techniques. After all, beauty is all in the eye of the beholder.

So, I guess that my report for today. I have a rather busy week ahead of me. So, I might not have the chance to play again for a few days. However, you can bet that I will be itching to worm my way back into my sewing to have another play. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. For all my friends who are experiencing cold winter temperatures, stay warm and safe. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x