WEIRD AND WONKY COMING SOON

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all having a great Thursday. Even though we’re well into the new year now I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very healthy and prosperous 2019.

I’m back!!!!! I have been suffering from a chest infection since the beginning of the year. We all know that this is the time of year where all the germs are being passed around in closed quarters and producing epidemics. It seems I’m not the only one suffering. So, slowly but surely, I am rising from the ashes.

As you can imagine, I haven’t been doing much sewing; until today that is. My Sarah finished piecing and machine quilting a charity quilt a few days ago and I begged her to let me hand finish the binding on said quilt. What better way to kick off my new year sewing than finishing a charity quilt! I machined the binding onto the front side of the quilt …..

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And folded the binding to the back and hand finished it …..

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This quilt is one that Sarah pieced using orphaned blocks and various scraps. The photos don’t really do it justice. I begged Sarah to keep the quilt for us but to be honest we do have plenty of quilts which I made over the years not to mention the few UFOs which I haven’t finished yet. Quilts for Comfort will do this quilt justice. Here are a few photos to give you an idea of what the quilt looks like finished. I love the straight stitch quilting. It gives the quilt a vintage look which and really suits the scrap fabric. Less really is more.

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Now that I have done that little bit of sewing, I am energised and inspired to carry on working on my hexagon quilt. These are the latest diamond shapes I pieced recently …..

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It’s been a quiet old year so far. I’m hoping to liven it up over the coming weeks. I have a few social engagements booked over the next few weeks. And I’m hoping to catch up with the task of painting and papering my hallway soon. I don’t make new year resolutions anymore. I just  compose To-Do Lists which I tick off as and when the jobs are done. I’m still on track to learn new techniques which will give my creative pieces a wonky naïve spin. I have my first project doodled out and some fabric pulled from my stash and scrap bin in readiness to get started. I took my sewing machine for it’s first spin of the year today and it’s working quite nicely. So now I need to gather my courage and get on with it.

I stepped out this morning to restock the fridge and cupboards. When we came out of the supermarket it was snowing. We ended up with a lovely dusting which needed to be brushed off the car. And because I live in the UK now but I will always be a Canadian at heart the snow made me so happy. I truly enjoyed the short ride home. And once we got home, I made sure to sit by the biggest window so I could watch the snow gently hit the ground.

It’s been a lovely day in my little world. I find that I appreciate life so much more nowadays. I have time to sit and actually see what’s going on around me. I don’t miss the drama and I’m amazed how lovely it is not walking on eggshells anymore.

So, I guess that’s my first report of the year. I hope to post soon with some news about my wonky new (to me) techniques. My stash is just crying out to be used and replaced with more modern fabrics. It’s time I got weird and wonky. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly love doing. Slow down and enjoy life. Until next time,

Let’s keep on stitching.

Lucie x

KEEPING SEASONALLY BUSY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been having a great time in this run up to Christmas. I cannot believe that the new year is just around the corner. Did you know that there’s only 27 more sleeps until Christmas?

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I have been keeping busy doing this and that. I have been working on a few Christmas presents ….

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As you can see someone will be getting a pair of socks which I knitted with my very own hands. And someone else will be getting a couple of candle mats. I really enjoyed making the candle mats, I wasn’t really sure how to go about it but I think the mats turned out pretty good. I’m sure the recipient of the candle mats will appreciate them. And the last item I crafted was a knitting needle roll. If you’re a knitter, you can never have too many of these.

Nowadays, my Christmas present list isn’t very long. And I don’t hand craft as many presents as I used to. Sarah and I are both looking forward to the holidays. We’re planning on having a nice relaxing quiet time making new happy memories.

My Sarah and I have collaborated on a project recently. Sarah machine quilted a quilt for Quilts for Comfort and I added the binding. Our little pile of charity quilts is growing slowly. Life has been rather full of quiet activities for both of us and so the charity quilts are growing a little slower than we would have hoped. Slow and steady is good.

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This is the time of year when I ponder what’s been happening over the past year. It’s been a quiet year of rebuilding. You can all rest assured that the simple life that I’m living nowadays is very fulfilling. Life isn’t passing me by, I’m enjoying every minute.

This past week, I helped one of my friends finish one of her projects by doing a little freemotion quilting. Boy oh boy did I ever enjoy machine quilting this jelly roll race type quilt. I filled each strip with one of three different stitching designs. Not only did I get a good old freemotion quilting practice but also, I was doing something useful. I’m quite sure the recipient of this quilt will cherish it for years to come. Does anyone else find that hand finishing the binding is quite satisfying. I sure do, especially when the rain is going past the horizontally.

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I have truly enjoyed every minute of crafting over the last couple of weeks. A little knitting and a whole lot of machine sewing, kept me occupied. And not only was I busy but I found inspiration. Just when my mojo was almost non-existent, by working on my Christmas presents, I tripped on a little bit of inspiration. I guess I better get my sketchbook out and start drawing new designs to work on after Christmas.

I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Stay warm and safe. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

BOOGIE BOARD PRACTICE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying autumn. It’s very breezy in my little corner of the northeast of England. And not only I it windy but that wind is blowing the leaves off the trees!!!

I’ve been enjoying autumn at my slow and measured pace. I’ve been out and about a little bit and seen the trees are starting to changes colours. Autumn is my favourite time of year. It’s starting to cool off sufficient that I can start wearing my woollies. I’ve pulled a few knitted cardies and sweaters out. And I’ve gone on to knit a few pairs of socks …..

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The socks knitted using Regia wool are children’s sock which I will be donating to Quilt for Comfort. Not only do the volunteers of Quilts for Comfort piece quilts but now they are collecting socks to bring comfort to young people receiving cancer treatment. Apparently, your feet get quite cold when during chemotherapy treatments. The donated sock can be handknit or store bought. And the young people love character socks eg: superhero, princess etc. I’m chose to knit a couple of pairs for now. When I’m out and about in the shops I will be looking out for interesting socks.

Speaking of Quilts for Comfort, I longarm quilted one quilt top last week for the charity …..

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I love a scrappy quilt. While I was stitching I spotted one or two fabrics which I have had in my stash over the years. I love this quilt and it has inspired me to make a couple of scrappy quilts for my Sarah and I to use in the evening while watching TV this winter. I have some lovely spotty fleece to use as a backing which will make the quilts even more cosy. Now I just need to decide how I will piece the quilts and to sort thru my scraps. I’ll need to clean my sewing machine including changing the needle and I’ll be good to go.

You might remember this panel that I pieced a couple of weeks ago just because I needed a sewing fix …..

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Well I finally quilted it this past weekend. I cleaned my sewing machine and changed the needle to a quilting needle and did the deed.

I find that I get a bit rusty in between freemotion quilting sessions. So, I need to practice a bit before actually start quilting the project. Lori Kennedy of the Inbox Jaunt recommended using a Boogie Board to practice. In the past, I used paper and pencil or a White Board and White Board marker but a Boogie Board wastes less paper and ink. I definitely agree with Lori that practicing on paper/Boogie Board/White Board helps you give your brain a preview of what you want to stitch on fabric. The more you practice the better your shapes get.

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I quilted this project using my domestic sewing machine, a Brother Innovis VQ-2. It’s a great machine for freemotion quilting as it has a large sewing bed. Once all the quilting was done I turned the panel into a bag. I’m not sure I need another bag but it was a great to practice my freemotion quilting while getting my much needed sewing fix.

With the arrival of the cooler weather my little furry supervisor needs a little bit of comfort …..

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My Maisie was a little off colour over the weekend. With her advanced age she suffers from Vestibular Disease. She had an episode on Saturday. Now that we know what it is when it happens it’s not so scary. Maisie has recovered and is in fine fettle today.

The last few weeks have been great. I have been living a reasonably good and quiet life. I do my best to stay away from complications. A simple life is a better life. My Sarah and I are looking forward to Christmas. I haven’t started counting down the days yet but I have done a wee bit of Christmas shopping.

So that’s my report for today. I have enjoyed my little bit of recent creativity. I hope to finish off one or two UFOs before Christmas but in the meantime, I’m enjoying little bit of stitching that comes my way. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

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 Lucie x

SUMMER HOURS KICKING IN

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a great Friday. That’s another weekend gone. Did anyone spend anytime in their garden today. Well I did. I spent an hour or so pruning, raking, sweeping and simply wondering why I started the job today!!!!! The hour I spent outside in my front garden was well worth the effort. It already looks better. I have worked out a general plan of action and what I want it to look like when I’m done. It doesn’t cost anything to dream.

What kind of sewing is everyone doing these days? I added the binding to a charity quilt today. I machined the binding onto the front and hand finished it onto the back …..

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And I added a label …..

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The quilt looks great and I’m sure it will some young person the comfort they need at a difficult time.

Last evening, I sat quietly and di the fine hand stitching on my owl. I auditioned some buttons which I want to sew to the centre of his eye …..

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And I hope to find some buttons to add to the lower edge of his body which will represent his feet. Or I might just embroider some talons.

So, most of you will have seen on the news that the UK has a new little prince. Louis Arthur Charles was born on Monday April 23rd at 11:01am. He will be known at His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge. The new prince is fifth in line to the throne. Very exciting news for this week.

It’s been a brilliant week.  I stepped out for a bit on Wednesday and spent some time with some like-minded ladies. I spent plenty of time in my sewing room creating. And my garden is starting to shape up. Who could ask for anything more.

So, my friends, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something you thoroughly enjoy. Don’t forget that as of next week, I will be starting summer hours by posting three times a week. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

INTERSTING TIMES AHEAD

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a good productive day. It seems that spring has taken a step backwards here and so it feels a little colder in comparison to the warmish weather we experienced recently.

It’s been an interesting couple of days. Yesterday I went to my monthly volunteer afternoon. The Belles were in good spirits and ready to work. I presented my idea of piecing some quilts using stitch and flip blocks which were donated a while back and the quilt as you go method of joining everything together.

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It seems that everyone was ready for a new challenge. Our main goal is to make quilts for Quilts for Comfort. This group is supposed to be a self-help group whose members learn from anyone willing to share their ideas and skills. One of our lovely ladies announced that she is leaving the group due to family commitments yesterday. I’m sure I speak for all our members in wishing Val and her family well in all their future endeavours.

During our volunteer session yesterday, Ann B. handed me a beautiful quilt top she pieced for QFC. As I did not have any concrete plans for today, I loaded the quilt top into my longarm and quilted it. Here’s a little sneak peek …..

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Once again, I used a quilting design called Rose Garden by Apricot Moon. I really like the design. I used a nice fine mauve colour thread which sits on the white spaces nicely and kind of disappears on the colour fabrics. I will label and bind the quilt being sure to put Anne B’s name on the label as well as mine. I feel that by putting a label on the it quilt gives said quilt a human connection for the recipient.

I worked a little bit on Oliver the Owl today. I prepped all the parts that make him up. Drawing this wee block has given me loads of ideas for new blocks for a future project. It’s amazing where we find inspiration. I also find it very interesting that our style and tastes changes with time. I have a hankering to design something juvenile. I was never into piecing quilts for children but I think I’m going to set off in that direction for my next project. So, watch this space.

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So, the last couple of days have been rather interesting. With every passing day I meet new personalities. I’ve been trying to plan what to do with myself this summer. I have one or two interesting events to attend. And I have lots of work to do in my garden. My garden is not exactly low maintenance, so I plan on doing something about that this year. I’ll start by pruning back my shrubs to see exactly what I’ve got and take it from there.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you thoroughly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

SUNNY REPORT

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable day. You’ll be able to see by the shadows in my photos that we’ve had some lovely sunshine in my little corner of the northeast of England. Normally I would pull the blinds down but I was enjoying the sunshine so much that I thought I’d wouldn’t today.

I haven’t made much progress today because I was out for a good part of the day again. It’s either a feast or a famine. I’m usually a quiet person who doesn’t go out more than a couple of times a month but life seems to be picking up now. I must admit I have enjoyed my quiet working on my projects over the last few weeks.

First bit of progress, I finish my quilt as you go charity quilt last evening. It’s been labelled and bound and is ready to be handed over but I’m going to hang on to it for a while in order to present this new-to-me technique to my fellow Belles at our next meeting. Can you see the shadows the sunshine is creating???

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And secondly, I started to prep a new block to work on this weekend. I only got as far as tracing the cereal cardboard and freezer paper templates. What would we do without cereal box cardboard???? It works well for me. In fact, all my friends save their empty cereal boxes for me.

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I’m so glad it’s Friday. It’s my favourite day of the week. We’re still in Easter Holiday mode here. The children don’t go back to school for another week or so. I’m finding it hard to keep track of what day it is. It’s been an interesting no matter what day it was.

So, 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

A QUICK CATCH UP

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all enjoyed a lovely sunny spring day. After two or three days of dark dreary and wet days the sun was ever so welcome. I didn’t post yesterday because I was out all day and did not have any sewing news to post about. However, with the sun shining so brightly it put me in the mood to motor thru a couple of jobs. So, let’s catch up.

The first thing I did this morning is this …..

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And this …..

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And then I put it all together to produce this …..

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This simple Dresden Plate block is to add to the nine other blocks of my A is for Appliqué project which I started many years ago. So, I have a total of ten blocks now, only two more to piece. I’m moving forward on this one Joanna.

After emptying the dishwasher and walking the dog I went right into work mode. I disappeared into my sewing room and started to join the four sections of my latest obsession together. I joined the different ready quilted section together using 1-1/4” sashing strips for the top and 2” strips for the back. For those who may not know the sashing strips are the strips that join blocks or section together. In this case, I pieced my sashing using short scraps in hopes that the top sashing would blend in with the blocks. I’m quite happy with the result. I’m hoping that my fellow Belles help me refine the whole method of this type of Quilt as You Go technique. My quilt is not perfect but it’s good enough to bring comfort where needed.

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My current task is to hand stitch the open side of the sashing down. Followed by hand finishing the binding and the label. I have really enjoyed this project and I’m sure to use this method over and over again. I really like the straight-line quilting. I like the vintage feel it gives the quilt. Besides it makes a nice change from the scrolly curvaceous designs I stitch using my longarm. I think this type of quilting would suit those quilts that we snuggle under in the dead of winter in front of the fire. You know those quilts that have every kind of scrap fabric we can put our hands on at the time of piecing. Those are the quilts that take me back to times long gone because the scraps are ages old and I can remember exactly what project I bought the fabric for.

It’s been a lovely quiet day. Apart from walking my Maisie I haven’t ventured out which I must admit was a relief as I was out all day yesterday attending appointments and running errands. We’re still on Easter Holiday here. My Sarah won’t be going back to university for another week or so. We’ve both spent the day working our way thru our To-Do List. Personally, I have added more jobs to the list than I have actually completed!!!

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Lets all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

WORKING OUT A PUZZLE

Hello my lovelies on this second day of April. I can’t believe March is over. Where have the first few months of 2018 gone. The days seem to blur one into the next.

So, it’s Easter Monday. My Sarah and I had a lovely quiet Easter weekend. We both did a wee bit of work, Sarah put some effort into her final major projects for uni and I disappeared for many hours in my sewing room. Yes, another adventure in quilt making. I have been trying to work out how to use up some quilt blocks which have been donated to my favourite charity so we can piece some more quilts. Well of course I can’t do it all myself. Have a look at how many blocks I have leftover once I stitched a whole slew of blocks together to form one quilt …..

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I can’t possibly piece all these blocks together myself. No way. No way. However, as I pieced the first forty-eight together I could work out a method so we can use the quilt as you go method so that all the members of the Burnopfield Belles can help with the challenge.

These blocks are string pieced over a foundation fabric and have all been squared off to 8-1/2”. I was so grateful that everything was squared off already. That alone saves a whole lot of time. So, I joined four blocks in a diamond pattern. I sewed until I had twelve units, three for each section. At this point each section measured 48” x 16”. Our Signature size quilt is 56” x 72”. So, 48” x 16” sections time four won’t cut the mustard. So, I pieced up some borders using the stitch and flip over foundation fabric to add. The borders are 4” which will help bring the size to exactly the Signature we aim for. Here a sneaky peek at the sections …..

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Here’s a little peek at the stitch and flip border in progress …..

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You may not be able to see that I added the borders to each section even before I started quilting. All this is looking pretty simple isn’t it. Well that’s because simple is what I was aiming for. Because I pieced the quilt in sections, the quilting can be easily achieved using a domestic sewing machine. The four sections, once quilted will be joined together using a scrappy quilt as you go method. Here’s little peek at the quilting in progress …..

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Straight stitching is easy. You start at one end and stitch right across to the other end. It doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect because the scrappy look of the quilt top will be what draws your eye around the quilt. Even layering up one quarter of a quilt is easier than layering up a whole quilt. I have wanted to do straight line quilting for such a long time. I love the simplicity of it. Stitching quarters made the whole job so much easier. I’m loving the whole process. I just hope I can sell it to my fellow Belles.

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It’s cold and wet out today. The perfect day to disappear into my sewing room. I have a few more hours of layering and quilting left before I complete the challenge I set myself. Tomorrow’s another day. I hope this adventure is a success.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I spent many hours trying to work out the puzzle of how to put all those string pieced blocks to good use. I think I’ve work out a pretty good recipe. Now I can finally sit quietly to work on some hexagons. Sitting at my sewing machine for hours sewing has given me a sore bottom. A nice soft cushy sofa is calling my name. 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

STACK OF USEFULNESS

 

Hello my lovelies from a sunny breezy northeast of England. It’s finally Friday. I’m sure there are loads of you sighing because you’re happy to see the end of the workweek. I’m going to enjoy my weekend. I’m going to reward myself for filling the past week with useful tasks. Here’s my stack of usefulness for this week …..

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I lovingly folded and stacked these completed quilts last evening. It gave me great satisfaction knowing that these few quilts, that were a joint effort between our volunteer quilt makers and me, will bring comfort for a few poorly young people who need comfort.

Last evening while I was sitting watching television and hand finishing the binding on a quilt, I was making of plan of action for a quilt I have been asked to piece. So, after doing my morning routine, I gathered up pen and paper and drew a grid and re-divided the grid into different sections in order to be able to spread the colours and prints of the chosen fabric.

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I started rotary cutting, sewing and pressing furiously. At the moment the quilt is in three sections because I plan on adding a little simple raw edge machine appliqué. It will be a lot simpler to add some machine appliqué if I don’t have to push the whole quilt top thru my sewing machine.

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So, as you can see for yourself, it’s been a pretty busy week in my little world. Next week, I have one or two appointments. So hopefully I can go back to working at my slow and measured pace again. Traveling in the slow lane is so great. It gives you a chance to look at the scenery.

I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something your truly love doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

MEETING THE CHALLENGE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you all had a super sunny day. It’s suppose to be spring but it’s not very warm yet. The grass is growing and the spring bulb flowers are peeking out. I’ve got a few daffodils making a little show in my front borders. I love daffodils, they’re a sign of what’s to come. In a few weeks I’ll be shopping for my annual summer bedding plants. I so looking forward to warmer times.

So, what do you think I’ve been doing today. Do you think I met my quilt making buddies for coffee and a natter? Or perhaps I went shopping for new shoes? Did I go out to have my hair and nails done? No ….. I spent most of my day in my sewing room longarm quilting the last of my 5-quilt challenge. Yippeee! Have a little look at my latest charity quilt. I must stress that I did not piece this quilt top, it was pieced by one of our Quilts for Comfort volunteers. For this quilt, I stitched a quilting design called Butterfly Beauty by Hermione Agee using a nice fine white thread. I’m very pleased with how this one turned out.

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The first thing I did this morning is rotary cut seven strips fabric to be joined together and used as binding. I’ve been really lucky to have loads of my own stash that I could use as binding for all the charity quilts I have quilted in the past week. I’m hoping to squeeze one more quilt in before my next volunteer meeting next week. So, watch this space.

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It’s been quite an adventure meeting a challenge I set myself. It just goes to show what you can accomplish when you set your mind to it. I must admit that yesterday I felt like a creature on a hamster wheel running as fast as I could without getting very far. Today I can see just what I have accomplished. I have a nice little pile of finish quilts for all the effort I put into it. Tomorrow I’m having a day off from longarm quilting in favour of doing a few household that I need to catch up on. I may even work on one of my own projects.

It’s been a lovely day in my little world. It’s been busy but that’s the way I like it. I can remember a time when I always felt like I was walking on egg shells. Those egg shells have disappeared making my home a place of comfort and safety. Sarah is really busy working on final major university assignments and helping out with the year end degree show. I think she’s learning a hard lesson about how when you join a committee to organise an event there are always too many chiefs and not enough Indians. I definitely look forward to seeing the end of this final academic year. Operation Taking Flight has zoomed by and we will soon have our whole lives ahead of us.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something relaxing. Until next time,

 

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x