SLOW STITCHING

Hello my lovelies. I’s been a while. I was so busy having a good summer that I haven’t posted a report in a whole week!!! How dare I have a good time. Life is a little more carefree these days. I’ve been enjoying every minute of every day. And sleeping, well I’m sleeping so well nowadays. I wake fresh as a daisy in the morning.

So, I guess you might all be wondering if I’ve been doing any sewing. Well the answer is yes, I certainly have. These lazy summer days lend themselves to slow stitching. Not only have I drawn new blocks but I have been prepping them and securing patches in place by machine at my favourite slow and measured pace. And once I have sewn the patches in place I take the time to have a good look at my work. In the old days I didn’t have time to do anything slowly never mind admire it.

We’ve had loads of sunny days in the past week or so but I wanted to make sure that no matter what I could enjoy my days. So, I stitched this simple sunshine to remind of the good days ahead of me …..

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Here’s a little preview of the block …..

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I can’t show you the whole thing because it’s missing some stitching in one section. I’m really looking forward to finishing this particular project because I want to longarm quilt it to see how it all comes together. However, I still have a long way to go. That’s the only thing about this slow stitching stuff, it takes a while to bring to fruition.

I don’t do any machine sewing in the evening. Evenings are for quiet armchair projects. I’ve always got some English Paper Piecing on the go. My favourite is hexagons of course. I’ve shown you this project before but it has grown since the last I posted about it. This one is an ongoing project for which I have no specific use for. It’s just one of those projects that I’m working on because I can.

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It’s warmish and the pollen count is very high in my little corner of the northeast of England. I’m hiding myself away from the pollen and the UV rays. The kids are still in school here. I think the school year ends in about three weeks. At the moment the parks and shops are pretty quiet but watch this space once the kids break up.

The most wonderful thing that happened to me last week is that my little car went in for it’s annual service and came out with a clean bill of health. Yahoo. I’m looking forward to our next road trip which should be The Festival of Quilts in August. Only a few weeks to go now.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. Life is treating me and my Sarah with kindness at the moment. 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

A GREAT FINISH

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super duper productive day. It’s been dark and dreary here but I didn’t let that get me down. I drew up a To-Do List yesterday for today. And I just stuck to it until I crossed everything off my list. Phew! I’m glad this day almost over. Now I get to sit down and relax.

I’ll start my report with my POTC progress. I finally stitched the label on …..

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When the label goes on, that’s it the quilt is finished and ready to use. My quilt, My Labour of Love quilt, will go on to serve me for many years. It will be used and loved probably long after I have gone on to another dimension. I’m hoping that once I’m gone my quilt will go to a loving home. Here’s another little peek at the finished result …..

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And here, my lovely assistants, Chris and Morag, holding the quilt up for viewing. Looking at a quilt from a distance gives you the chance to see the all over effect. You can’t see that when you stand only inches away…..

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Last week, I kicked off a new armchair project. I knew I was going to miss working on EPP. So, I decided on what kind of a layout I wanted and started cutting up fabric …..

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And here is a little peek at what it might look like when I start joining all the hexagons together …..

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I’m quite happy with the look of this new armchair project. It’s one that I will work on in the evening while watching TV and if and when I join other like-minded ladies for sewing sessions once or twice a month.

My weekend was a lovely relaxed affair. We enjoyed a little sunshine and some time spent with interesting ladies. I love the social side of getting together with other ladies who indulge in quilt making.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. It feels a wee bit light so hopefully I can bring you some interesting progress later in the week. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something that brings you joy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching

Lucie x

VISIT TO A BLUSTERY BEACH

Hello my lovelies. I hope you all made it thru Valentine’s Day. My Sarah and I had a great time. There was no pressure. It’s lovely to spend an evening with someone who doesn’t need to be impressed.

It’s been a bit of a busy day in my little world but I don’t seem to have accomplished much of anything. I kicked off the day by collecting my new specs at the optician shop. Then I renewed my house insurance; this is a task I hate doing because I seem to spend ages on the phone. This year I decided to renew online. It took only a few minutes and it was straight forward. I’m good for a whole year now. Yippeee

I went out for lunch with my friend Anne and her husband Malcolm. We went to our local fish and chip place on the beach. The place was packed but the service is excellent and the food is really good. It’s ages since I’ve been to that chippy. After our meal we had a short stroll to look at the sea. The wind was whipping around and blowing the sand all over the beach. I sure wouldn’t like to be in the water today.

It seems that all us quilt makers are of the same mind. We all love stationery. So, Anne gave me this little present which is very welcome indeed …..

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Not only is Anne’s gift pretty, it’s very functional as well. I was scrambling around last night to find a scrap of paper to make of list of blocks I want to draw for my Moving Forward project. So now I’ll put my notebook in my project box and add to my list as I think of new designs to be added. Thank you for the thoughtful gift Anne.

The sun has been out all day and the windy has been blowing like mad. While I was out walking Maisie this morning, I was wondering if spring would ever get here. I must admit that I’m fed up of being cold. The days are definitely getting longer but it still feels like winter. OK that’s my rant for today.

Between ranting and collecting specs and renewing insurance I also did a little hexagon prep work. You might remember that I cut strips yesterday. Well today I traced the hexagon shape onto the strips ….

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Stuck a pin in the doubled up folded strip in each shape traced to keep all four layers in place while I cut …..

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I use good Fiskars scissors to cut thru all those layers …..

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In no time flat I cut these three piles of hexagons …..

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We all have our own method of cutting hexagons but this works really well for me. I never cut all the hexagon shapes in one go. That’s probably because I’m never sure how big I will make the project. And it also gives me chance to add different colours and prints.

It’s been a pretty good day in my little world. I enjoyed socialising. And I’m pleased to be able to tick one or two things from my To-Do List. So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super duper cosy evening doing something that brings you joy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching

Lucie x

VALENTINE’S REPORT

Hello my lovelies. Happy Valentine’s Day to all. I changed to meaning of Valentine’s Day many years ago. For many, Valentine’s Day doesn’t include the celebration of romantic love. So, I decided to make it about family love. Nowadays I prefer to spend time with my most favourite people. Today, I’m spending time with my Sarah. We’re going to share a simple meal and just catch up on what’s going on in each other’s lives.

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Sarah and I are collaborating on a project which I will tell you more about in the next couple of weeks. It’s quite exciting for mother and daughter to do something creative together. Considering the age gap and difference in tastes … I look forward to seeing what we end up with.

It’s been a dark dreary day in my little world. While Sarah worked on her final major project for uni I stepped out to run some errands. We now have enough food to last us until early next week. When all the groceries were unpacked and put away, I disappeared into my sewing room trying to figure out what to do ….. A few days ago, I decided that I definitely needed another English Paper Piecing project on the go. So, I pressed this selection of fabric and cut it into strips …..

 

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These fabrics will be transformed into something that looks similar this …..

Hexagon Project

I have loads of paper pieces to work with …..

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These hexagon shapes measure ¾” on the flat side …..

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I quite like the diamond shape hexagon layout for which I do not know the name. Is there a name for this layout??? If anyone knows the name of this layout please do let me know.

Isn’t it amazing how many household items are heart shaped or have hearts printed on them. I gathered this little lot in less than three minutes. …..

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I quite like hearts. I designed a whimsy appliqué quilt that has hearts in every single block a couple of years ago. I suppose that’s a testament to how much I like hearts …..

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So, that’s my heart filled report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something that makes your heart sing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie

MORE QUILT MAKING PROGRESS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a great day. I spent a bit of time in my sewing room searching for stuff and tidying. I really must find a good way of storing fabric so that I see what I’ve got!!!

As well as doing a few household chores, I started hand finishing the binding on my Patchwork of the Crosses quilt. It’s the perfect time of year for binding quilts. It’s brrrrr cold and so when the quilt is all spread out in your lap while you sew, it’s also keeping you cosy warm. I use my favourite clips to hold the binding down …..

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And in this case spend hours hand sewing the binding to the back of the quilt …..

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Here’s a little peek at the quilting design I used. This one is called Zephyr by Hermione Agee of Lorien Quilting …..

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I love the big teal polka dots on the fresh green background. I’m really pleased with the over all result of this quilt. My next step will be to make a label. I’ll post more photos when it’s finished.

It’s been a lovely quiet day working at my slow and measured pace. Sometimes it’s good to be in the slow lane. It gives you the opportunity to have a good look around.

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

Let’s all keep on stitching

Lucie x

SUNNY PROGRESS TO START THE WEEK

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fab day. We’ve had nothing but sunshine all day long. The temperatures are still rather cold but the sun was very pleasant indeed.

On Sunday I decided to have a little sewing fix. I miss sitting at my machine creating something. So, I racked my brain trying to think of a little project I could start and finish pretty much in one day. As Valentine’s Day is on Wednesday I decided to go for a heart themed project. This is what I produced …..

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I used the foundation paper piecing technique using this design …..

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And I went on the layer my wee quilt top and added some quilting. I think my little quilt will be used as a mug rug. The next step is to hand finish the binding onto the back of the quilt. It was fun to disappear into my sewing room and do something creative.

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On Sunday I noticed that my design wall was looking a little bare!!!

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So, I prepped another block for my Moving Forward quilt …..

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And displayed some of the blocks I have finished piecing for my Moving Forward quilt project to cheer the place up a but …..

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Looking at the colours and prints on my design wall, I notice that my tastes and the way I design things has changed quite a lot in the last couple of years. I’m not afraid to put loads of colours and patterns together anymore. Eventually when this project is finished, I’m hoping it will be nice and interesting.

I treated myself to a book last week. I don’t buy many books nowadays. This book has been on my wish list for quite some time. It’s Free-Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 by Lori Kennedy of The Inbox Jaunt. I have been following Lori’s blog for quite some time and I want to be like her when I grow up. Lori does such nice Freemotion quilting. If you haven’t seen her work do pop into her blog and have a look. The book is packed full of good info and step by step freemotion quilting designs.

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Now the moment I’ve been waiting for. Here’s a little sneak peek at my Patchwork of the Crosses in the process of being quilted. I thought long and hard about how to quilt it. In the end I decided on an all over quilting design.

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It’s been a great day at happy stitcher manor. The sun has been following me all around the house all day. I had the best time ever longarm quilting my quilt today. I baked my favourite oatmeal muffins and cooked some chicken in the slow cooker. I have such a great sense of accomplishment today. And it’s only Monday. Hopefully the rest of my week will be as productive as today. I’ll show you more of my quilt once it’s bound and labelled.

Well I guess that’s my report for today. I’m looking forward to having a great creative week. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something that gives you a sense of accomplishment. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching

Lucie x

TGIASF

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fabulous day. If you’re wondering about the title of this post …. Thank God it’s a sunny Friday.

It’s finally the last day of the working week. I’m always glad when Friday comes around. I enjoy the weekend because everyone is a little more relaxed.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow because I’m going to be spending most of the day with like-minded ladies sewing. There’s nothing more fun than spending time with other ladies who enjoy quilt making and who have been thru a similar life. We’ve all got kids that have grown and are about to fly the nest or who have already flown the nest. We all learn from each other how to approach the next steps in life.

I’m not sure if it’s the sunshine that’s making me feel really good today or perhaps it’s the fact that I finally finished sewing the border on my Patchwork of the Crosses quilt top this morning. I’m definitely doing a happy dance. I don’t think anyone has the right to be as happy as I feel at the moment!!!!! After finishing what seemed like the mammoth task of hand appliqueing the hexagons onto the border, I went on to loading it into my longarm quilting system. I have no excuse for not quilting it next week …..

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Now some of you might be wondering why the border took so long to finish. Well it’s because I wanted to keep the shape of the hexagons and squares on the edge of the quilt centre. I could have trimmed a straight edge but I think the shaped edge makes it more interesting.

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I purchased my backing fabric before Christmas in hope that I might finish it over Christmas but that didn’t happen. It’s a Moda wide back designs by Basic Grey and the collection is Grunge Hit’s the Spot. It’s a beautiful fresh colour. I can’t wait to see it finished and on my bed.

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I spent some time doing chores in between everything else. The washing machine was whirring away while I was vacuuming the downstairs. And I layered up a lasagne for our evening meal. Umm umm, lasagne, garlic bread and Caesar salad. Yes sir, life is good. And I even got to do some more quilt making related stuff by prepping another block …..

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I’m really getting back into my Moving Forward project. I’ll be transferring the leftover fabric from my POTC box to my Moving Forward box. Waste not and all that.

Well I guess that’s my report for today. I’m looking forward to a great creative weekend. I hope you all have a super cosy time doing all your favourite things over the weekend. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching

Lucie x

FEBRUARY OFF TO A GOOD START

Hello my lovelies. Well we seem to have made it thru the end of January and the beginning of February. And if you’re reading this you also survived the very rare Blue Moon. I find January and February the hardest months to get thru …. less than four weeks to go. I can already see that the days are getting longer.

It’s been a brilliant day here at happy stitching manor. I’ve been a productive happy stitcher indeed. My washing machine has been whirring away. I’ve answered emails, placed a couple of online orders and once all the boring stuff was done I immersed myself in a little English Paper Piecing …..

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This quiet repetitive work nourishes my soul. It’s slow sewing to which you do not see quick results but there was a time when it was my solace.

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I flipped the page on my calendar yesterday …..

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Isn’t that a great quote? Believe you can and you’re halfway there. I must remember that next time I attempt a new technique that I’m not very confident about.

And here’s another quote that we should all remember when we’re rotary cutting the patches for a new project …..

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My Sarah bought and framed this print for me for Christmas. It’s going to look great in my freshly painted sewing room.

I’ve chosen my next new little project. I’m hoping I might be able to start and finish it all in one weekend. These prints were purchased to make simple bunting. I haven’t decided how to approach this task but you can bet that I’m going to keep it as simple as possible. It’s going to look fab hanging in my sewing room. Change is as good as a rest.

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It’s been a good week in my little world. It was quiet leaving me plenty of time to catch up on different things that needed doing. It helped keep my stress levels down. I do appreciate weeks that don’t have many disasters to be dealt with. It seems that February is off to a good start. Next week will be busy but hopefully the disaster count will be low again. I’m hoping for a productive weekend so that I can show you some proper sewing progress.

So, that’s my report for this last day of the week. I hope you all have a super-duper weekend doing things you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep stitching

Lucie x

ONCE IN A BLUE MOON

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable day. It’s already the last day of January. Can you believe how fast the month has come and gone!!!!!

Yesterday one of my readers comments mentioned quilts that are pieced using hankies. Well I pieced just such a thing a long time ago. I dragged my hankie quilt out of the back of beyond last evening. The quilt is made up of simple foundation pieced basket blocks and fabric that was printed to look like ladies’ hankies. After all these years, I look at the quilt and see how crude it looks with that wee bit of hand quilting but I still appreciate the work that went into it. I didn’t use a pattern, I just made it up as I went along. It’s quite a girly looking quilt. I wonder why I didn’t make more girly quilts??? I quite like them. Way back when I made this quilt, I wasn’t labelling anything I made. I reckon this quilt must be nearly 20 years old and as you can see was well used and loved. It’s a shame I didn’t have the foresight back then to label my projects. Nowadays, I’m a great advocate for labelling quilts.

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I have been hearing on the news that we’re supposed to have a super moon tonight. I find it quite interesting that they also call it a blue moon. I wonder if that’s where the expression once in a blue moon comes from. You can bet I’ll be watching for that blue moon tonight.

I’m very pleased to tell you that I finally pieced the last of my Patchwork of the Crosses blocks yesterday. The next stage is to add the little pale squares that connects them all together and then I can sew the last row of blocks to the main body of the quilt top. I’m hoping to be doing that this weekend. I’ll be super happy when this quilt top is all pieced and on my longarm system in readiness for machine quilting. I reckon sometime in the next couple weeks I’ll be able to use it in earnest. Yippeee

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It’s been a fabulous productive day in my little world. I was able to tick off all the tasks listed on my To-Do List. I even fuelled the car and ran it thru the carwash. That in itself was an adventure because for some reason the wash cycle was interrupted while I was sitting there!!! The operators soon got it started again and we were on our way with a clean sparkling car. Life is full of adventures isn’t it.

So that’s my report for today. I’m still trying to figure out how to use my Freebie fabric which I posted about yesterday. Perhaps this weekend when it’s quiet, I’ll come up with a bright idea. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something interesting. Until next time,

Let’s all keep stitching

Lucie x

FREEBIES

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable day. My day was full of this, that and the other. I did plenty of jobs that needed doing. The washing won’t do itself don’t you know.

The best things in life are free. Finding the perfect piece of scrap fabric for a certain part of a project ….. oh yah! When a perfect stranger smiles at you while you’re out dog walking … yeehaw!!! When you find inspiration just when you need it most ….. yes please. When your friends and family are on call whenever you need emotional support ….. invaluable.

Speaking of free things ….. while I was prepping my sewing room in readiness for painting last autumn, I came across a whole lot of stuff that I didn’t even realise I had. I gathered up a serious pile of fabric that was tucked away here there and everywhere! So, this afternoon’s task was to go thru this bag of fabric and work out how to store it and/or use it.

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I sat on a little stool and emptied one little pile after another out of this big bag. I loosely divided it up by colourway, sort of. A lot of this fabric was purchased many years ago with no plan of action. To be honest, it took me longer to fold the bag than it did to empty it!

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So, now I have to work out what I’m going to do with all of this. One things for sure, I’ll be getting my books out for inspiration. In the meantime, I’ll store the fabric in bins as neatly as I can, until I have a proper plan of action.

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This free fabric would be great for prototypes of some of the new designs/projects coming from my drawing board. Once made up, I can practice my freemotion quilting on it. It’s quite amazing, that little pile of fabric has inspired me to design and make new projects. I quite fancy making a couple of scrappy quilts with a twist; perhaps some string piecing would suit the fabrics. The sky is the limit.

It’s been a pretty good day in my little world. I got plenty done giving me a sense of accomplishment. Since becoming a single parent, this finding my feet malarkey has been quite difficult but I think I’m finally turning the corner. I’m actually enjoying making choices and decisions on my own. My new designs have changed, even the colours I use in said design samples are quite different nowadays.

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

Let’s all keep stitching

Lucie x