DEFINITELY MOVING FORWARD

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super day. The weather in my little corner of the Uk has reverted to fresh and breezy. It’s a good time to do outdoor jobs. I must admit that I didn’t get around to working outside. Maybe tomorrow.

I promised that I would post a photo of my latest effort ….

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I finished longarm quilting my Moving Forward quilt last week. I am so pleased with the result. I will be adding some buttons and Yo-Yos here and there for embellishment. The quilting has added texture and interest and the bright colours on the paler background is exactly the look I was looking for. This is so different from the way I used to work two years ago. Looking at this quilt makes me happy. As you can see the quilt is wider than my Sarah’s arm span and the day is quite dull but you get a really good idea of what my quilt looks like. I’m doing a happy dance 😉

This morning when I woke up, firstly I worked out where I was and what I needed to do today. I needed to pop over to M&S to collect something I ordered online but then the rest of the day was all mine to do as I pleased. So, I chose to play in my sewing room. Surprise, surprise!!!

I need a new notebook starting on the first of July. And although I just use simple notebooks, I like to make patchwork covers for them which makes the notebooks more interesting. So, this is the fabric I picked for my notebook cover …..

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I decided to keep the design simple by using my Dresden ruler. I rotary cut wedges from three of the four fat quarters and got down to the sewing. I sewed and pressed until I joined enough wedges to make a quilt top that would cover the notebook.

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I used my Kelly clamps to turn a tube right side out. The tube was fashioned into a garter type thing that I place around my notebook and in which I store my pen.

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Now I’m ready for all the To-Do Lists I will compose not to mention the appointments that come along in the second half of the year. It was fun being let loose in my sewing room this afternoon. I had no idea what I was going to work on but soon decided and produced what I needed without any struggle whatsoever. That makes a change.

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It’s been a really good day in my little world. Happy stitching manor is ticking over nicely at the moment. Sarah has all but finished university now. We still have the Degree Show at the beginning of June and her graduation at the beginning of July. Life is a little more relaxed now. The next step for Sarah is to find work. She has a few irons in the fire. I truly believe that sometimes it’s a question of being at the right place at the right time. Only time will tell.

So, that’s my report for today. 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

FEELING FESTIVE IN MAY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all enjoyed a happy sunny Monday. It’s been lovely here in my little corner of the northeast of England. I love sunny Mondays.

I spent the last few days planning and working on some Christmas projects. Once I found my direction I just followed thru and it grew and grew. Here’s a little sneaky peek …..

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Does is say Christmas to you? Those brighter than usual reds and greens are definitely doing it for me. With all this concentrating on Christmas I completely forgot to take a photo of my finished Moving Forward quilt once it was taken off my quilting system frame. I guess you’ll have to wait until next time to see my latest finish.

I purchased a few annuals for my garden last week but I was afraid to plant them out for fear we might have a frost which would kill the new plants off. The weatherman kept telling us that the temps would drop so low that frost was a very real threat. Well yesterday I decided I was ready to take a chance. So, here’s a little look at my newly planted annuals …..

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I just planted some trailing Lobelia, Geraniums, Petunias, Fuchsias etc in a couple of planters. The plants were only planted yesterday and already they’re starting to grow. I look forward to a little explosion of colour over the summer.

Did you all enjoy watching the Royal Wedding on Saturday. I was at a sewing session and we had three different devices running on which to watch the event. I won’t bore you more than needed but I have to say that I think it was a lovely ceremony and the atmosphere was wonderful. After watching an hour of so of the event I felt like I was there.

So, it’s been a rather interesting weekend at happy stitcher manor. I stepped out to do a little sewing as a group and watched the Royal Wedding with said group. And I worked on Christmas. Who on earth works on Christmas in May????

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

STITCHING MOVING FORWARD

Hello my lovelies. I hope it’s been a good day in your little world. I spent mine in my sewing room machine quilting my Moving Forward quilt. I stitched a little bit of this ….

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And then added a bit of this …..

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I did a little meandering which as you can see adds texture and interest …..

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I spent several hours cheering myself on until I decided it was time to call it a day. I got 2/3 of the way thru the job today. I hope to get the last third done tomorrow.

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Before I started stitching this morning I really didn’t know how it would look. I knew that I wanted plenty of texture which makes the patches pop. I think I managed to create the texture that I wanted. If you look at my quilt properly you’ll see that it’s all very simple quilting. I’m quite happy with simple as it showcases the fine hand appliqué work that I put into this project. You might also have noticed that the background although all from the same collection is different. This is what makes a project interesting, the many different shades of colour, size of print, the shapes of the patches etc. This particular quilt was designed by me. And I’m quite pleased with the result so far. I can’t wait to see the whole quilt finished and ready to either use or hang somewhere in my house.

I have a few other quilts that need custom quilting from my stash of finished quilt tops. I’m hoping to get caught up on that pile this summer. While I was machine quilting today my view was pretty dull …..

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There’s nothing sadder than an empty design wall. I have a couple of projects in the design stage but nothing to hang on the design wall yet. I can’t wait to add colour to said wall.

So, as you can see I’ve been keeping pretty busy today. I machine quilted until my body told me it was time for a break. I’ll be sure to have a good rest tonight so I can flash up my machine first thing in the morning. 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

BRIGHT AND BREEZY AGAIN

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying a glorious springtime. The sunshine is so soothing even for those who aren’t sun worshippers. It’s bright and breezy and my heart has been singing all day while watching the blossom tree petals blowing around like snow. What a beautiful sight.

It’s that time of year when I can’t concentrate very well on anything serious. I’m dreaming of what the summer will bring. I have one or two events coming up in the next few months that I’m really looking forward to. I must hit the shops to buy myself a couple of tidy outfits to wear to these events.

I’m making steady progress on hand quilting my Dresden Neighbourhood. One more corner and it will be done!!! Here’s a few progress photos.

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I woke up this morning with absolutely no plan of action for the day. After walking my Maisie, I decided to step into my sewing room to do a little tidying. Well that task soon went to pot. I couldn’t concentrate of putting things away. While I stood in the middle of room trying to work out what to do next I decided I needed to start working on Christmas. Who works on Christmas in May? I do. So, I went into the kitchen and gathered these ….

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 I don’t suppose you have any idea what I can do with these do you? Hint: templates. I hope to post more about my idea soon. Let’s hope it works.

The last few days have been spent healing from my weekend malaise.  Rest assured that I do feel much better now. Isn’t it funny how a small hiccup makes you appreciate your day to day life even more. I love waking up in the morning and working out what day it is and what I’m supposed to be doing that particular day. I look forward to getting up and getting stuck into whatever I’m supposed to do. Nowadays I can pick and choose what I do and when now that I have very few ties. I keep very busy creating. I keep seeing this quote everywhere I go …..

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So, I am doing more of what makes me happy. I try not to take life too seriously. I do my best every single day and I rest whenever my body tells me to. Life is sweet.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. Although I didn’t have a plan of action I still had a great day. I feel happy and fulfilled. 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

FINISHING UP UFOs

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a great start to the work week. The sun has been shining brightly on me the last couple of days.

I spent lots of time in my sewing room over the weekend. I kicked off my weekend by squaring off a few blocks for one section of my Moving Forward quilt project and joining them together …..

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 Once I had joined all those blocks together I was itching to get some more joined together but I was missing one block ….

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This little pear was overlooked. It needed to be fine hand appliquéd to the background. So, I gathered up the supplies I need to do the job. I’m going to open myself to criticism here by telling you that I use very fine 100weight Invisifil thread from Wonderfil to do my fine hand appliqué work. It’s polyester thread and I have been testing it over the last five years and have had nothing but success with it. For a long time, quite often I didn’t want to tell anyone what supplies I used to do what I do for fear that I would attract criticism. However, I am old enough now to stand up and say what I’m doing without fear of repercussions. I was always afraid of the quilting police. I now realise that the quilting police has better things to worry about than the thread I use for appliqué. I’ll go on to say that years ago when I first started doing fine hand appliqué work I only used 100weight silk thread. The choice is yours.

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Here’s a few bits I use while I’m stitching my patches in place …..

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My best advice for good results when stitching my patches in place is make small stitches and because I use very fine thread the stitches just disappear, melt away. You take a small bite from the background fabric and a smallest bite from the patch. I try to match my thread but sometimes a neutral work just as well. As long as you’re enjoying what you do you can’t go wrong. And remember the more you do the better you get.

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Once my little pear was stitched I was able to join all the blocks for the last section of my Moving Forward quilt project. Now I really am moving forward.

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This current project needs some borders now. I have found some lovely bright and busy fabric for the outer border and I will try to hunt out some quiet fabric for the inner border from my stash. I’m really excited about finishing another project that I started during my previous life.

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So, as you can see it’s been a pretty productive weekend for this super happy stitcher. Finishing UFO quilt tops always gives me a sense of accomplishment. I’m looking forward to longarm quilting my latest finishes. Are you working on finishing up UFOs? If so, how’s it coming along? I find it so difficult to go back to something after it’s been sitting around for a while!

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I am happy and feeling fulfilled. Life is a gift and so we have to make the most of each day. I hope you have super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. 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

A GREAT FINISH

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a great day. Mine was spent mooching around again. I spent quite a lot of time in my sewing room. I should have pushed the vacuum cleaner around the floor or tidied up the garden while the weather was co-operating but I chose to play in my sewing room while my creative juices were flowing.

I joined all the strips of my “A” is for Appliqué/Joanna quilt. And that’s all I was going to do …. Well that just wasn’t enough of a play for me. I sat and pondered what to add as an inner border. I dragged out a little pile of leftover Padstow Range fabric from the collection I purchased all those years ago to make this particular project.

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I decided that I would piece said inner border using leftover scraps of that range. So, I ended up with this once I pieced and joined the inner border to the body of the quilt top …..

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DSCN0242I was going to leave it there for the day but no I went on to add the outer border after I auditioned this fabric which I thought would do the trick …..

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I am really pleased with this quilt top. I plan on finding something interesting for the backing for this quilt top. Finishing this quilt top is bittersweet for me. This project was started in my old life. It’s quite nice to be able to get it finished and put it behind me. I think it shows just how strong I have grown thru the difficult times. I have a few more projects which were started in my old life but now that I have all but finished this one, I know I will go on to finish the other successfully.

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As a treat for finishing my quilt top I flashed up my longarm and did a bit of this …..

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I love this quilting design. It’s called Rose Garden by Apricot Moon. It’s a little bit funky and pretty much looks good on anything.

It’s been a day of discoveries for me. I discovered that once I put my mind to it, I can do pretty much anything even though I think I can’t face it. I also realised that we should always look for the happiness in every day. Today I feel happy. And tomorrow I’m going to search out more things that make me happy.

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

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

BREATHING SPRING AIR

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all enjoyed the last day of the work week. It’s been another glorious day here in my little corner of the northeast of England. The sun has been shining. I’ve listened the bird singing the bees buzzing and Maisie snoring. I did loads of chores and I had a wee session in my sewing room but mostly I took the time to breathe the lovely spring air.

I finally finished all the stitchery work related to my “A” is for Appliqué/Joanna quilt. So, I cleared a small corner of floor in my living room and laid the blocks out …..

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I played with the layout until I was happy with the look and started joining the vertical rows of blocks together. Before I join the three rows together I have one more decision to make. I’m hoping to make my decision by Sunday so that I can finish the joining process. I’m planning to add an inner and outer border to frame it all up. I just need to find the right fabric. There’s no rush, it’s not a race. I’ll take my time finding the finishing fabric. I am amazed at how this quilt has progressed. Tomorrow’s another day.

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I starting prepping a few more hexagon shapes by rotary cutting strips …..

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I will be joining a few other like-minded ladies tomorrow for a sewing session. I plan on working on hexagons as I am sure one or two others will do. We will drink coffee, eat cake, discuss inappropriate stuff and generally enjoy our time away from home. The more I go out and about with other ladies the more I realise that I’m just another normal person.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super weekend doing only things you enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

SEEING RED

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a superb day. It’s been a proper spring day in my little corner of the northeast of England. The temperature levelling off at 20 degrees Celsius!!! I hope it lasts for a few more days.

I kicked off my day in the sewing room. I spent quite a lot of time in there today. I’m pleased to show you the progress I made. First of all, I needed to finish the project I worked on yesterday because it’s a gift for someone and it will be handed over tomorrow. So, the next step was to cut and join the lining …..

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So, I traced the main body of the project onto the lining using a chalk wheel. I don’t use my chalk wheel very often but it comes in very handy when I do use it …..

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I sewed and pressed and cut and scratched my head now and again. And I ended up with this …..

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Obviously, I’m very pleased with the result. So much so that I think I’ll hunt out some of my woolly bits to make one of these bags for myself. Wool is a little bit trickier to work with because it can fray. So, my best tip is to take a 3/8” sew allowance rather than the regular ¼”. The best part of this project is the only thing I had to add is lining which I already had in my stash.

This afternoon I concentrated on my “A” is for Appliqué/Joanna Quilt. I have two more blocks to add stitchery work to but the ten that are ready to go got some extra bits added to them. I cut some 2-1/2” strips of red Bumbleberries by Lewis & Irene and added them to each block in a log cabin fashion. My 12” blocks now measure 16” and will not need sashing. I’m thinking of staggering the blocks once it’s time to join them all together. I’m still gathering embellishments such as button, lace and other funky vintage stuff. Most of the embellishments will be once the quilting is done. So, here’s a few progress photos …..

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This is the last block I added stitchery work to ….

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And this is the next one to get the stitchery treatment. It doesn’t take much stitchery to make a difference.

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So, I’d say that was a pretty good day’s work. I feel so happy about the progress I made today. I’m not sure what made me add the red borders to my blocks today but the bright cheerful red seems to have given me a new lease on life. I love red. My lounge has quite a lot of red in it.

I guess that’s my report for today. Today I have really made life better one quilting stitch at a time. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

A DAY OF HOOPING BLOCKS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a brilliant first day of the week. We are now halfway thru the month of April!!! I can’t figure out where all the months have gone.

I had a lovely weekend; I spent some time with a few like-minded ladies doing appliqué work. Appliqué seems to feature quite a lot in my quiet little life. I also spent some time trying to work out what my last block should be for my Moving Forward quilt project. I have decided on an owl! I will keep it simple as the last block is a wee 6” block.

I didn’t get any sewing done today. As well as doing a bit of living outside the home I had a few chores that needed doing. So, I only got as far as tracing some words on the bottom of this block and sewing some leaders on in order to be able to load it into my quilting hoop …..

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Just in case you can’t see the pencilled in words, it reads Create the life you imagined. I’m not sure if someone is credited with this quote but it’s one I’ve been trying to live by for some time now. For so many years I tried to please everyone and, in my quest, to shut down the idea of doing the right thing for everyone else, I’m creating the life I imagined I would be living at this time in my life. Not everyone can live a fairy tale life, certainly not me. Onward and upward.

It was a lovely weekend in my little corner of the northeast of England. Spending some time with my appliqué friends was great. The more I get out and about and socialise with others, the more I feel normal. The only other sewing related progress I made was to hoop another “A” is for Appliqué/Joanna Quilt block in readiness for a little stitchery work. I’ve worked out how I will join these blocks once they are all ready. I just need to hunt out some fabric to do what I want to do. If only there were more hours in a day, I would be able to get this quilt top pieced and ready for quilting. It’s going to be a nice quilt once it’s finished.

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So, I guess that’s my little report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you enjoy doing. Until next time, I’ll keep making life better one quilting stitch at a time.

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x