A BIT OF DOODLING

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fab day. It’s been another of those bright and breezy days in my little world. I didn’t go very far today. I spent a little time in my sewing room  mooching around and then decided to mooch around my bedroom where I finished emptying a wardrobe that will be collected by a charity next week. Collection day can’t come soon enough.

I am very pleased to tell you that I have finally finished My Sweet Dresden Town quilt project. The binding and the label have been added and all in all I am very pleased with my effort. In fact, I think I’m more than pleased, I am ecstatic. This is one of those projects which I took from the drawing board right thru to the label and binding. There’s no better feeling in the world.

DSCN0965

DSCN0966

DSCN0969

One of the quilting designs I used on My Sweet Dresden Town quilt was something I called Double E’s. It fills all the negative areas nicely and it’s rather easy to stitch out. I have doodled it out on my Boogie Board just to give you an idea of how it works. You can stitch this out either using your domestic sewing machine or a longarm.

DSCN0974

I’m looking forward to drawing the curtains, lighting a scented candle and doing a bit of knitting while watching some mindless TV. The sun is expected to set at 17:46pm. I love this time of year. I came across a quote that I really liked which I wrote in my notebook recently. The quote is: Paradise is not a place, it’s a feeling. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you who wrote or said it and I couldn’t find it on Google. I totally agree with this quote.

DSCN0976

So, I guess that’s my report for today. We’re already halfway thru the week. Can you believe how quick the weeks are disappearing? At this rate, it will be Christmas before we know it. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

GOING TO TOWN STITCHING

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a brilliant day. It’s been pretty productive day here in my little world. You may remember that last week I loaded my latest finished quilt top, my Sweet Dresden Town, in my longarm quilting system.

DSCN0927

Well today was the day to start quilting my Sweet Dresden Town. Quilting one of my own designs is always quite exciting. Seeing a project come to fruition is so satisfying. So, I did a little simple stitching in the borders …..

DSCN0950

And then did some random stitching in and around the town patches. I call this stitching pattern Double E’s.  I tried to keep the design small in order to fill in the negative spaces enough so that the patches pop.

DSCN0953

DSCN0956

I spent all day in my sewing room working on this quilt. I managed to finish the stitching but didn’t get the loose thread sewn in. Custom quilting creates a lot of loose threads but only because you travel from one area to next stitching different designs.

DSCN0959

I am so thrilled to have gotten as much done as I did today. Tomorrow I will sew in the loose threads and join up leftover scraps for the binding. And I’ll bet that even though I’ll be using some of those scraps for the binding I will still have scraps leftover!!! It seems the more scraps you use the more scraps you have, only they’re smaller. I can’t wait for tomorrow to come now.

I have mentioned several times that I have been doing some knitting in the evening while watching TV. I knitted several pairs of socks and thoroughly enjoyed it so I went on to knit something a pullover. I chose some yarn in a colour I would never have used before. Isn’t it amazing how our colour choices changes after a while. I’ve kept the knitting design really simple because I’m using variegated yarn which makes the whole project more interested because of the colour changes.

DSCN0961

It’s been another good day in my little world. As well as quilting my Sweet Dresden Town, I made some soup for our supper. I love chicken vegetable noodle soup which some fresh bread. Oooooh yum. It’s the perfect time of year for soup and other comfort food.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I sure hope tomorrow is full of as much goodness as today was. I’m quite pleased with today effort. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

PUMPKIN SEASON IS HERE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all having great autumn days. The weather has been typical here in my little corner of the northeast of England. It’s been breezy and wet at times but generally I have been enjoying every minute. The heating has been switched on in the evening just to keep the damp away. I have been lighting scented candles; I really enjoy watching the flickering flame.

I have finally completed the centre blocks and inner border of my Sweet Dresden Town. The different components have been hanging on my design wall for months. In the past few days, I have been admiring it and finally took the decision about whether I need another border. And the decision is that yes it needs another border to frame it up. I know exactly what fabric I want as the last border. And it will be purchased this weekend. The backing fabric has been pressed and joined and the whole lot will be ready for longarm quilting very soon. You may not be able to tell but I’m rather excited about getting this one finished.

DSCN0917

It seems ages since I last worked on my hexagon project. When I sit down in the evening, I knit. I always seem to get a hankering for knitting when autumn arrives. At the moment I’m knitting socks. I’ve lost count of how many pairs I knitted over the last few weeks. I sure am enjoying it but there will come an evening when I want to do a little hand sewing pretty soon. I’ll let you know when that happens.

DSCN0923

I have been keeping quite busy with household chores and making changes to give my home a different feel. It’s a year since I was officially pronounced single by the family court. Making decisions was difficult at times over the last couple of years but I have finally accepted that now I can do as I please when I please in my own home. My top priority was to change the look and feel of my bedroom. This task will be fulfilled this coming week. A few new pieces of furniture will do the trick. And those bits of furniture will be delivered this weekend. I have so been looking forward to this.

Life at happy stitching manor sure has changed over the last few years. Everything is much simpler making mine and my Sarah’s life much easier. There’s rarely any drama. Who knew life could be as good as this???

The leaves are really changing colours now. We’ve had a several blustery days blowing the leaves off the trees and onto the ground. While walking the dog in the morning I have crunched my way thru piles of dried leaves in the park. And the local supermarkets have pumpkins in the produce section. I’m not a pumpkin pie lover but I do like a nicely carved and lit pumpkin.

pumpkins

I guess that’s my report for today. I have been enjoying life of late. My new life seems to finally be taking shape. I still believe in happy ever afters. In fact, I think I’m finally enjoying my happy ever after. I hope you all have a super cosy weekend doing something you truly love doing. We should all be doing more of what we enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

BLOOMING GRADES

Hello my lovelies. I hope you all had a super weekend. The last couple of weeks have been busy in my little world. My diary seems to be filling up more quickly nowadays. There’s always some place to go not to mention the chores and craft tasks on my To-Do List.

I have been pretty busy with designing new blocks and sewing. Here’s a little progress on my current project …..

DSCN0527

I sat quietly and sewed all the roofs and doors on my Dresden Neighbourhood blocks over the last few days.

DSCN0530

And once the that sewing was done I cut loads of piano keys, well actually, I cut strips and joined them together and then cut sections to form a piano key border. And after doing some more sewing this morning this is what the piano key border looks like now …..

DSCN0532

Now this project is really coming together. I sat at the table for several hours today and drew the next blocks. I managed to draw two 12” x 24” blocks!!!! All that’s left to draw is four 12” x 15” blocks to complete the drawings for this project. I am truly enjoying this one. It’s so very different from my other Whimsies.

Quite of few of you will know that my Sarah and I started a journey which we named Operation Taking Flight a few years ago. The Operation was us getting ready for Sarah to fly the nest. It kicked off four years ago when Sarah started taking driving lessons and then subsequently went off to university. Well today I am so pleased to tell you that Sarah received her grades for this, her last year of university. She has graduated with honours. It seems that all the hard work and despite someone’s best efforts to derail Operation Taking Flight, Sarah has smashed it. She’s ready to face the big bad world now.

Last Friday, we had a girl’s road trip. Three us drove down to Sarah’s uni to see all the work displayed in the Degree Show. I must tell you that some of it was a real eye opener. I got Sarah’s permission to take a few photos of her work. So, here’s a little sneaky peek at her display …..

Sarah at Degree Show

20180608_121150

 

Finalist

I can hardly believe that three years of university has come to an end. There were times when I thought it would never end. Now we really get to start moving forward.

So, I went out into my garden this morning to sweep and prune a few straggling bits of growth. While I was out there I went into the secret part of my garden to see if my roses needed deadheading. No deadheading required just yet but I did cut these beautiful roses to bring inside as there were masses of blooms!!! They smell every bit as good as they look.

DSCN0536

It’s been a good productive day at happy stitching manor. My little visit to the secret garden yielded some beautiful blooms and my short session in my sewing room produced some good progress on my new project. And my quiet time using pencils, rulers and templates produced some great drawings for the next step in said project. Being creative is my favourite thing to be doing.

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

Let’s on keep on stitching.

Lucie x

WALKING IN THE SUNSHINE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all have a grand day. It’s been a busy one in my little world. I spend several hours today in my sewing room playing with my longarm quilting system. I can’t show you what I worked on just now. However, I can show a little bit of progress I made on my Sweet Dresden Town …..

DSCN0523

I posted a photo of cut up Dresden Blades last week. I have since cut the Blades different lengths and joined them together giving the units a good press to form this circle. I’ll be adding roofs and doors. I also made even more progress by drawing a few blocks to go with the large Dresden block …..

DSCN0524

I find these blocks very happy blocks. You will notice that I have kept the blocks simple, as usual. I find less is always more. I also appreciate cleans lines, that’s what drives me to keep my blocks simple.

I’m quite excited about this project. Once again, it’s a little different from what I have designed in the past. So, watch for more progress reports about this new project.

All is well in my little world lately. Everything is ticking over nicely. I sometimes wonder when things are going to start going wrong again but the main cause of things going wrong is gone. How lucky am I to be able to enjoy life as it comes again? I recently read an interesting quote and it goes something like this; you never know that you’re living under a cloud until you walk in the sunshine. I can’t tell you said this first but it certainly has given me something to think about.

So, that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something that makes you happy. And perhaps do it in the sunshine. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

UFO PROGRESS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super fine day. It’s been a lovely day here in my little corner of the northeast of England. I find it amazing that although I’m writing from a sunny England that some of you are reading from North America, Australia, the Netherlands and many other places where the weather can be very different.

I’ve spent the last few days living. Along with a few daily chores I’ve worked on one or two UFOs …..

My Dresden Neighbourhood has been hand quilted and ready for the next step. I’m not sure whether I want to add a simple binding and hanging pocket in order to use it as a wall hanging OR have it framed professionally. I have never had any of my work framed professionally. I quite like this particular piece of work so perhaps it’s worth going all out and having it framed.

DSCN0367

I worked on one more UFO …..

DSCN0299

My Moving Forward quilt project has been on the go for almost two years since I started designing it. It’s the first project that I designed in my new life. It’s rather different from what I used to design in the old days. The colours are very different from the muddy colours I used to use. So, I added some borders to frame up the centre appliqué blocks.

DSCN0374

DSCN0377

Dragged out some backing fabric which I had been saving for Sunday best ….. I decided that Sunday has arrived and so I will use this backing fabric rather than buy something new. Nice backing fabric is quite hard to source in the quilt shops in my area. So, when I find some I buy it.

DSCN0370

DSCN0372

Now the quilt is loaded in my longarm quilting system in readiness for quilting over the next couple of days.

DSCN0383

I think the threat of frost is over now. So, it’s time for me to plant a few annuals. We headed out this morning to buy a few annuals. I suspect that I might new a few more but I’ll plant up everything I purchased today and see how far my purchases go.

DSCN0388

I had a little wander around my garden at lunchtime. Everything is looking quite lush at the moment and will need pruning and trimming soon enough.

I’ve got some raspberry canes …..

DSCN0385

Self-seeded Aquilegia …..

DSCN0391

A monster Clematis that keeps on growing …..

DSCN0393

A border full of interesting colour …..

DSCN0397

DSCN0398

A close up of Clematis …..

DSCN0401

And a single self-seeded pansy …..

DSCN0403

This pansy is a real fighter. It survived the winter snows we had in March and is still looking good. What a mighty pansy.

When spring arrives and everything is greening up nicely, it always fills me full of hope. I know that there’s loads of good stuff coming for each and everyone of us. All we need is a bit of hope and a whole lot of patience. Keep your eyes on the prize.

DSCN0381

So, that’s my report for today. Looking back, I can see that I’ve done quite well with regards to progress. I reckon any little bit of progress is good progress. I’m pleased with both my Moving Forward and my Dresden Neighbourhood. My Neighbourhood was really good practice as I have planned a whole new project around that one block. 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

SUNNY FRIDAY PROGRESS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super day. It’s been a proper spring day here in the northeast of England. The pollen count is pretty high and I would imagine that those who suffer from hay fever are suffering today. I used to suffer from hay fever but somehow it seems to have all but disappeared. Who knew that would happen!

So, let’s see what’s been going on in happy stitcher land. Well last evening I carried on hand quilting my Dresden Neighbourhood quilt …..

DSCN0320

DSCN0317

It seems to be taking forever to stabilise the centre but I didn’t give up. I’m hoping to finish the centre this evening and then I will have to decide what to do with the rest. I’m looking for texture so I think I’ll stitch some geometric shapes around the Dresden. I’m going to keep it simple. I have discovered that when we make something too complicated we sometimes turn a project into a UFO. I don’t want to add this Dresden to the UFO pile.

As I sit in front of my laptop looking out the window this afternoon, I notice that the garden shrubs and plants are coming on a treat. My little trees are lush with fresh leaves and my shrubs are growing bushy again. It seems last week it was cold and nothing was growing yet. A few days of sunshine and everything looks and feels very different.

I seem to be more enthusiastic about creating these last few weeks. I have new ideas for projects and my colour choices are changing. I’m not sure why this transformation is taking place but I think it’s all good. So, in view of my changing tastes in colour palette I decided to treat myself to a collection of thread …..

DSCN0327

DSCN0323

My postman attempted to deliver said threads yesterday while I was out so I went to collect them from the post office this morning. I spent ages just looking at them and trying to choose what colour fabrics to use in my next project. Receiving these thread spools has inspired me. I’m quite excited about starting to design something new. I feel the need to pull my sketchpad and pencil out to get started.

It’s a bank holiday weekend there in England. Monday is the holiday. And the weatherman has promised reasonable weather. I think it will be a good weekend to work in the garden. So, when I’ve tidied a part of the garden I’ll treat myself to a little drawing session. I’m quite sure I’ll find enough inspiration in the garden to design a whole quilt project.

I guess that’s my report for today. I’ve had a brilliant week. And it looks like it’s going to be a great weekend as well. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

A BIT OF HAND STITCHING

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fabulous day. I was let out on good behaviour today. While the sun was shining, my Sarah and I set off to run a few errands. It was such a beautiful day and although we didn’t get everything that was on our shopping list we got other things that weren’t!!!

The last couple of days have whizzed by. I didn’t do anything extraordinary. I just plodded along appreciating life as it is. I played in my sewing a wee bit and did some chores. My wee bit of sewing consists of going back to my Neighbourhood Dresden Project.

DSCN0308

Originally, I thought I might quilt it by machine. Well I changed my mind and decided that I will hand quilt it. So I gathered up all my favourite tools and supplies …..

DSCN0302

I use a hoop because it helps me produce nice stitches. I use hand quilting thread because it’s strong and smooth. For this particular project I am using a sharps needle. I coat said needle with silicone from my Thread Heaven pot. I use a thimble because since the day I started hand quilting I have used a thimble to protect my finger.

DSCN0305

After an hour of sitting quietly hand quilting I started to see a change in the quilt. It started showing signs of texture …..

DSCN0315

I normally use wool wadding when I know that I’m going to be doing some hand quilting but originally, I had planned to machine quilt so I used a cotton/poly blend which is working out pretty well. It was nice to do some hand stitching on something other than my hexies …..

DSCN0311

As you can see my hexie quilt top is growing albeit slowly. There have been evenings when I can hardly keep my eyes open while sitting in front of the TV. However, if I keep my hands busy I seem to be able to stay awake. Being able to craft be it sewing, knitting or paper craft is definitely a God send. It keeps your mind occupied and is something we can share with others. You’ve got to love a crafty person!

So, life has become quite interesting of late. I am busy with this and that. I have been socialising a little more than I did this time last year. And I am thankful for all the positive things that come my way.

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

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

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 …..

DSCN0073

And this …..

DSCN0076

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

DSCN0078

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.

DSCN0086

DSCN0089.jpg

DSCN0092

DSCN0080

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