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 …..

DSCN0167

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.

DSCN0172

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

PENULTIMATE BLOCK ON FRIDAY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super day. I say it every week, it’s Friday and Friday is my favourite day of the week. My Friday has been dark, dreary and very foggy!!! Come on spring, where are you???

So, what have I been up to today? Well apart from walking my Maisie dog first thing this morning, I haven’t set foot outside the door. So, I mooched about doing a bit of this and that at my favourite slow and measured pace. I got a few loads of laundry done. I messed around in my sewing room for a bit and waited for my alarm man to perform an annual service on my house alarm.

This afternoon I decided to start prepping the penultimate block of my Moving Forward quilt project. I’m going to miss having this project to plan and work on when it’s all done. In the meantime, I still have to plan the borders. I have absolutely no idea what to do with the borders at this point. Once all the centre blocks have been joined together I might have a better idea whether I need a busy border or just a simple plain border. Here’s a little peek at what I prepped this afternoon …..

DSCN0156

Once I traced my three hearts onto Freezer Paper I cut and ironed on the shapes to my chosen fabric …..

DSCN0158

And once I cut the fabric shapes out leaving a ¼” margin I was ready to turn and sew the margins onto the Freezer Paper in readiness for tacking onto the background fabric …..

DSCN0160

I have one more 6” block to piece. I’ve run out of ideas for blocks for this project. All it needs is a simple block. I’m sure I’ll come up with a simple subject for my last block this weekend. Inspiration is all around me.

To end this last post of the week I need your help. I was asked for help in making a lap quilt for someone who is an electric wheelchair user. I have no idea where to start in terms of size and shape for practicality. So, if anyone has any ideas or knowledge please feel free to post a comment. I think this is quite important so please don’t hesitate to help. This is something I have no experience in.

So, it’s been another pretty good week in my little world. I hope you all have a super cosy/weekend evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

IN WITH THE NEW AND OUT WITH THE OLD

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a brilliant day. It’s quite wintery here today; cold and wet yet again. I miss the sun. Please does someone have a cup of sunshine to lend me.

It’s been a day of mooching around my sewing room. I was digging around trying to find some kind of embellishment for my “A” is for Appliqué AKA the Joanna Quilt. I knew I had some very old lace bits that my Sarah’s godmother gave me many years ago. The lace bits have been moved around from place to place over the years but I didn’t have to dig around for very long to find them …..

DSCN0147

There’s plenty of old lace bits. They even smell old. It takes you back to old times. Times that I couldn’t possibly remember because I wasn’t even alive when these bits were fashionable. I was quite impressed with this lace cuffed sleeve type thing …..

DSCN0142

I’m hoping to work one or two of these bits in to my Joanna Quilt along with some mother of pearl buttons. I think they go quite well together. Thank you to Monica for suggesting I try amazon for the MOP buttons. I’m going to be keep searching for other types of embellishments to add to said quilt. I think I may have worked out how I will join all the blocks together to form the quilt top. I’m going to keep it all simple so as not to take away from the appliqué work. It’s quite a nice challenge to work it all out.

DSCN0150

Last evening I finish the fine hand appliqué on this Moving Forward block …..

DSCN0153

Only two more blocks to go and the centre of Moving Forward will be complete. Once again, I’m going to keep this project simple because I want the appliqué work to stand out. There’s a quite a contrast between the Joanna Quilt and the Moving Forward quilt. It’s quite interesting having both running parallel, when one is a few years old and, in the style, I preferred in those days and the other is a recent design using brighter happier colours. The difference is pretty obvious to me.

I read a quote that stayed with me all day …. God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers ~ Rudyard Kipling

My report is pretty short today. I have other things running in the background at the moment. I feel quite satisfied with my accomplishments lately. Quietly but surely, I’m welcoming in the new and saying goodbye to the old. Life is good. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something great. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

WHAT MAKES YOU TICK

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable day. As I understand it, it’s autumn in Australia and it’s suppose to be spring here in the UK but I’ll tell you what, it’s feels more like autumn here!!! It feels so cold. I went out this morning to meet my friend for lunch and I sure felt the cold. I was so happy to get home where it was cosy warm.

So, what do you think I might have done today. Any ideas anyone. Well I’ll tell what I’ve been up to. In between doing a few loads of washing I did a little simple stitchery on this block …..

DSCN0133

DSCN0135

And hooped the next block in readiness for some simple stitchery work …..

DSCN0140

And then I layered up my Dresden Neighbourhood quilt and had a little think about how to quilt it. I’m not sure if I should do a little hand quilting on this one or some machine quilting. I’m really torn between hand and machine work. I’m considering a little machine walking foot work. I don’t use my walking foot for quilting very much but I thought I might do some modern day straight crossing over lines giving the whole quilt a modern feel. I have plenty of thread I could use. As write I’m talking myself into it!!!!

DSCN0137

Everyone has a story. I feel that by getting together and having a good chat we start to reveal what makes us tick. I hang out with like-minded ladies a couple of times a month and it’s during these sessions that you really learn about people. Many years ago, and while my Sarah was a tot I didn’t get to socialise very much simply because I didn’t get much help with childcare. Nowadays, I seem to get out and about a lot more and I’m blessed to have plenty of friends to get together with. We’ve all got a story which makes us tick. My regular readers will know a little about what’s been going in my life in recent years but I have discovered that there are thousands of other ladies who have similar stories that help make them tick. I think our past quite often comes out in the projects we create. It all comes out in the colours we use and the shapes and techniques that form our finished pieces. I recently went back to UFOs that have been in the pile for several years. I didn’t want to revisit the time when I first started said projects because I didn’t want to relive what was happening in those days. Well now as I make real progress on finishing up these projects I find it quite cleansing. I’m able to accept what was happening and I’m putting it all behind me. Finishing what you start can be soooo liberating.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something interesting. 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???

DSCN0100

DSCN0097

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.

DSCN0094

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

BUSY ON A BANK HOLIDAY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all having a relaxing. It’s a holiday here din the UK on account that it’s Good Friday. I must admit that it doesn’t feel like a bank holiday. My Sarah should be winding her way home from Manchester as I write this post.

I kept busy all day by running some errands this morning; just normal things like filling the car, buying dog food and popping in to my local DIY shop of some replacement decking tiles. Nothing of any great consequence but stuff that needed to be purchased to move forward. Once I got home, I disappeared into my sewing room to start stitching the quilt I loaded into my longarm system last evening …

DSCN0025

After I added this little dog to the bottom corner of the quilt top …..

DSCN0034

I think he adds a little character to the quilt even if he is just a wee one.

Using a nice steel grey thread and a quilting design called Pieces of My Heart by Melonie J. Caldwell, I stitched until the job was done. I think it looks pretty good. I went on to find some fabric for the binding and I hope to be able to hand finish the binding on the back of the quilt this weekend. It feels good to be able to say that for all intents and purposes it’s a wrap. I’m getting quite adept at designing simple quilts and bringing them to fruition in good time.

DSCN0031

Sunday is Easter. And Easter weekend has always been the time when we do a good spring tidy in the garden. If the weather s reasonable I plan of raking and brushing the dead growth and wind-swept litter out of my garden. I kicked the big spring tidy off by replacing the decking tile with a new one. The old one was just hanging in by a thread. I’m sure it was at least 15 years old. So I popped over to my local DIY shop first thing to see if I could find a replacement. I found just the thing.  The best part is that a lovely gentleman offered to help me load it into the car!!! I dragged the old decrepit decking tile away and prepared the gravel and laid the new decking tile in it’s place. It will take a few days for it to bed in and level out. It was just a simple job that I knew I could do by myself. Every little job I accomplish builds my confidence. So, my backdoor looks tidy once again. I’m looking forward to planting up my troughs and containers but as there’s still a chance of frost, I’ll put it off for a few weeks.

DSCN0028

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I’m looking forward to having a quiet weekend. I have plenty of hand sewing I can get done and I would like to draw a couple of new blocks as well. I hope you all have a super relaxing weekend. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x  

WHAT A SPLENDID MONDAY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a great day full of spring sunshine. It was so nice that I headed out on foot to do some banking. It’s still cool the there is some warmth in the sun now.

I had a lovely quiet weekend. My Sarah and I ran a couple of errands on Saturday. The main errand was the purchase of a couple of Easter eggs. You’ll be very happy to learn that the Easter eggs are still intact in my kitchen. I can hear my Easter egg calling my name.

After the busy week I had last week, I’m trying to pull into the slow lane for a few days. However, I did do some quiet drawing on Sunday. I drew four simple blocks which I went on the prep …..

DSCN9992

DSCN9995

DSCN9998

right thru to the fine hand stitching …..

DSCN0002

I’m not quite sure how I managed to get four blocks done in one day but I’m very pleased with my effort. If I’ve counter up properly, I have 4 more blocks to draw and piece in order to complete the appliqué part of my Moving Forward project. It dragged on for quite a long time but recently I have taken up the challenge again. Now it seems to be whizzing along nicely. I’ll soon have the dilemma of working out how many and what kind of borders to add to frame up all those appliqué blocks. I’m very pleased with the variation of prints and colours in this project. And while I’ve pieced this one I’ve learned that you don’t always have to re-invent the wheel with every new project we start. There’s a lot of tried and tested blocks and techniques that we can repeat from one project to the next without making it boring.

I’ve truly enjoyed the last few days. Despite receiving some vexing news, with the help of my friends, I picked myself up, dusted myself off and carried on. I always try to have an optimistic towards life. Freedom is sweet indeed.

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

ALWAYS CHOOSE JOY

Hello my lovelies. It’s already Thursday. Where the heck did the rest of the week go??? I know I say this often but I really can’t believe how quickly time flies. Very rarely can I say I’ve had day that dragged on. They all just seem to whizz by.

I spent the morning in Costco. We were desperate for a few household supplies. I just kept putting it off every week. So, today I had no excuse. My list was getting longer and longer every week. We came home with a little car full of household products and one or two treats. I felt absolutely exhausted after running that errand. So, I decided to do something quiet this afternoon.

I sat down at my dining table and started prepping a block. Beth from St. Louis asked a question about my method of hand appliqué. So, rest assured Beth, I will do my best to add more info about how I prep my patches and how I tack them to the background fabric over the next week or so. I have plenty of blocks to piece before I hit my target to be able to finish this quilt. Here’s a couple of blocks I have been working on ….

DSCN9817

I pin all my patches in place and the I tack them. This way they don’t move on the background fabric. It might seem like a lot of work but this is tried and tested method that works really well for me. Once all the patches are tacked in place I can start the process of fine hand appliqué.

DSCN9820

DSCN9823

I think the best part of the prepping process is laying the patches out on the background. It shows you how the picture is coming together. In this photo the freezer paper and templates haven’t been removed yet. I’m hoping to pin and tack these patches in place this evening.

DSCN9826

At the risk of repeating myself, for many years I stayed away from appliqué work of any kind because I was work shy. I worried that I wouldn’t do a good job. I started with a little raw edge machine appliqué many years ago and I’ve built up my skills over the years. Now I draw my own blocks and design my own quilts!!! I used to be afraid to show anyone my work because I didn’t think it was good enough. And then one day all that changed because I showed someone a little bit of my work and they really liked it. We all have different tastes. I know that we quilt makers know what kind of effort goes into building a quilt from scratch. And I’m quite sure that not everyone likes what I do but they appreciate the effort that went into it. So, if you have a hankering to do some appliqué work from scratch, do have a go. It’s very satisfying be able to say that a project is your baby from start to finish.

It’s been raining today but my Sarah and I didn’t let that get us down. This afternoon we both sat in the living room catching up of our favourite TV shows while we worked on our projects. It was warm and cosy and we had a few good laughs. Nowadays life is a joy. I’ll always choose joy. Life is a precious gift made for living 😉 

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

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

MORE MOVING FORWARD PREP WORK

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a great day. I spent my day mooching about doing this and that. There’s always a few household chores that need doing. I filled and ran the dishwasher, walked the dog and tidied a few things away. Everything is swings and roundabouts; for every one thing I put away, I pulled out a Quilts for Comfort quilt top to meet a challenge.

I have set myself a challenge. I plan on getting these few quilt tops longarm quilted before my next Burnopfield Belles meeting in a couple of weeks.

DSCN9795

These quilt tops were pieced by our wonderful volunteers. I will turn these scrappy quilt tops into proper quilts ready to be handed over in order to bring comfort to young people. I’m so pleased that there are other ladies who help in whatever capacity they can in our quest to bring comfort when it’s needed.

In between chores and mooching about, I decided to prep a couple of blocks for my Moving Forward quilt project. While I was tracing templates onto freezer, cutting out the freezer paper shapes out and ironing them to the back of my chosen fabrics, I had plenty of time to breathe and think. Life is so very different today than it was two years ago. The stressed-out person I was back then seems to have disappeared. I feel so much better today. All the uncertainty has melted away and I’m back to the happy old self that I always was. My creative juices are returning and my enthusiasm is back two-fold. I started drawing the layout for Moving Forward two years ago. I think it’s time to get it pieced, longarm quilted and enjoy and explore the patches I have lovingly sewn into it.

The prep work for my appliqué work is just as much fun as the actual sewing. I enjoy choosing what fabric colours to use and every other bit of the prepping process. There was a time I stayed away from fine hand appliqué work because I thought it was too involved. I have learned so much from my preferred method. One of the best things I have learned from the process is patience. Hand appliqué is such a lovely quiet technique. Here’s a little peek at my prepping process.

I trace the templates that make up my picture onto freezer paper …..

DSCN9799

Cut out the freezer paper shapes on the traced lines and iron on to fabric …..

DSCN9801

Notice that I leave a ¼” margin of fabric when I trim it up. And the last thing is to choose the background fabric. In this case, I am using different fabric from a collection giving it a scrappy feel.

DSCN9802

I’m hoping to start the sewing part of these two blocks soon. I have plenty of other blocks to draw and decide on for this particular project but I’m so pleased with the progress so far. Being creative is the perfect way to keep your mind occupied and also for working things out.

DSCN9713

So that’s my report for today. I have had a superb creative day. I’ve played with my favourite bits of fabric and tidied a few things away. I’ve found inspiration in places I never thought I’d find inspiration. And I have formed a plan of action for my latest challenge to longarm quilting a few more charity quilts. I live a simple life all the while trying to keep out of trouble.

I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something creative. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

A NEW CHALLENGE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super-super day. My day had lots of sunshine in it. I could actually feel the heat in the sun. It gives me hope that spring is just around the corner.

I’m quite excited today. As of last evening, I started working on an emergency quilt. I’ll tell you more about this when I have finished said quilt. Just let’s say that I stepped forward to make a quilt that may bring comfort to someone. My brief was to make a quilt using the colour scheme of pink and grey and that it needed to be a little bit longer than our usual. I started by searching my stash for pink and grey before I put myself forward. I wasn’t sure that I would have enough but by the time I stopped pulling pink and grey I had enough fabric to make two quilt tops!!! I also managed to find a sponsor who was happy to donate scrounge some nice soft fleece which I will use as backing.  It was meant to be.

DSCN9727

My next step was to work out what block design I was going to use. I feel that this quilt needs to be made in lickety split time. So, whatever I did it needed to be a quick make/finish. So, I decided on uneven brickwork type rows. I set to and rotary cut strips of the different colours while I watched the 6 o’clock news. Then I sat down and sketched a plan of action breaking the rows down into sections. And then I sat down to watch some TV and did some hand appliqué because I planned to get up early and start the cutting and joining up process at dawn.

As per my plan, I got up just before dawn and settled in to my work. Maisie sat in the sewing room with me and supervised my every move. By 8am this is where I was …..

DSCN9730

I had to shut down because I had an appointment but I carried on when I got home …..

DSCN9737

Standing back and looking at it I thought it was a little bland. So, I started hunting down a Accuquilt die that I thought might jazz up this quilt. So, I cut some circles …..

DSCN9733

Thee circles are back in Bondaweb which will make the next step pretty simple. I ironed the circles here there and everywhere……

DSCN9740

There are two more sections that don’t appear in the photos because my design wall is long enough.

My next step is to blanket stitch the circles in place. And if I’m lucky I’ll be able to join all the sections and load the quilt into my longarm to start stitching is on Friday. I think the stitching will add to the whole design making more interesting again.

I feel good about being able to pull this project together in such a short time. And no, I don’t wear a cape or wear my nickers over the top of my street clothes. I’m just a normal everyday woman who is determined to help. Every now and then I get the chance to help someone in need of comfort. This week it just so happens I’m able to do it.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I will definitely be back soon with a progress report on my latest challenge. I hope I’m able to stick to the time frame I set myself. Sometimes life gets in the way but we just around the obstacles and carry on. I hope you all have a great evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x