SUNSHINE AND HUNKY FIREMEN

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super duper cosy long weekend. It’s been lovely here in my little corner of the northeast of England. Spring has properly sprung. I even made a start on buying my annual bedding plants. I have to empty my planters and replenish the compost and dig one of my front borders and then I can plant the fresh plants. There’s so much more to get done during the warm months but it’s so worth it when you see the fruits of your labour.

So, what have all of you been working on over the last few weeks. Are you working on UFOs or have you got a special gift on the go; a wedding gift, special birthday gift or just a gift for no reason. I can tell you that a quilted gift can be a great addition to any home not to mention that it brings comfort during difficult times. With that in mind, here is my sewing update. I received a gift a couple of weeks ago. My Sarah gifted me a Lush Knot Wrap.

DSCN1281

It’s a printed panel which Lush uses to gift wrap their bath bundles. When I saw this panel a few weeks ago, I just loved it. I love the bright cheerful colours and especially the naïve drawing. At the time, I did not have a plan of action for the use of said knot wrap. And after spending a few days studying it, I decided that I was going to turn it into a wall hanging. So, I stitched ripped the hem, gave it a good press and squared it off. Then I added some corners because the design was on point and I wanted it to hang upright.

DSCN1283

I chose a small print which contains a few of the colours in the knot wrap. I loaded it into my longarm. My longarm hasn’t been working for many months and finally it’s up and running again.

DSCN1288

I added some tradition type quilting in the corners and then went mad adding some naïve stitching all over the knot wrap panel.

DSCN1294

I just let loose and stitched to my hearts content. I love the panel so much that no matter what the stitching is like I couldn’t help but love the finished article. I plan on hanging this piece in a prominent place where I will see it every single day. It makes me happy whenever I look at it.

DSCN1296

Since taking this photo I have sewn in all the loose thread and hand finished the binding. I plan on adding some handing pockets perhaps this afternoon. I wish I was talented enough to draw naïve pictures that I could turn into blocks. Perhaps I should give it a try. I suppose that’s something else to add to my bucket list. So, tell me what makes you happy. Do you have a happy wall hanging that makes your day???

Speaking on making your day. Something quite interesting happened to me last week. One afternoon, as I sat in my front room after doing all my chores, a fire engine pulled up and parked across the street. I didn’t think anything of it until my doorbell rang. I answered and who do you think was at the door … three big firemen. They claimed that they got a call out saying that there was a smell of burning plastic at/around my address. Well I can tell you no one was more surprised than me because I couldn’t smell anything burning. The boss man called the controller for more information and it just happens that the report was for a few doors down for which there was no emergency. I suppose the kids might have been playing tricks. The boss man fireman did say well you’ll have all the neighbours talking now!!! I don’t need a fire engine parked outside to make the neighbours talk. I can do that quite easily all by myself. Hahaha

DSCN1279

So, I guess that’s my report for this week. The weather has been lovely and spurred me on to get things done. My bucket list is growing nicely. And life is getting more interesting by the day. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching. It really does make life better.

Lucie x

SUNNY SUNDAY SPECIAL

Hello my lovelies on this super-duper sunny Sunday. It’s bright and breezy here in my little corner of the northeast of England. It was so lovely this morning that I stepped out and did some digging and pruning in the garden. I had a Clematis that needed some tender loving care. It looks a lot less wild and woolly now that I have given it a short back and sides trim. It always feels so good when you see the fruits of your labour. My garden is going to be a wonderful place this summer.

I have been a little busy in the sewing department this past week. I recently found a little pile of UFOs which I have made a start on finishing up. Today’s particular show and tell is a whimsy that I designed and pieced 2012/2013. I can’t believe that I didn’t finish it at the time of piecing of it. I added the finishing touches, a few buttons to embellish, a few days ago. And it now hangs in my living room. I am so pleased with the finished result.

DSCN1198

DSCN1204

DSCN1202

So, the moral of this story is don’t give up on your UFOs. You may lose interest in them but once they are finished, you will have a great sense of accomplishment.

I have another little bit of progress to show you. Most of you will know that machine quilting is my preference but this little UFO is being hand quilted …..

DSCN1206

I have kept this hand quilting job simple. I have used rulers and circle template shapes to mark the quilting. And so far, it’s looking pretty good. I can’t wait to finish this job so I can show you. I think everyone should have a hand quilting project on the go at all times. It’s a wonderful quiet technique that looks so good once it’s finished. It’s a relaxing occupation that brings much satisfaction. Once again, I will have a great sense of accomplishment once this one is finished.

So, tell me. What have you been working on lately? Have you got some hand sewing on the go or are you a machine girl like me? After this little taster of hand quilting, I think I will make a conscious effort to do more. The secret to my enjoyment is to keep it simple, choose your own quilting designs and use a nice thread.

Well I guess that’s my report for this week. 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

ROLL ON SPRING

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying the last bit of winter. It almost feels like spring here. The temperature is spring-like here today. We even saw a little sun for a few minutes. Roll on spring.

Well the past week has been full of this and that. I did some painting in my hallway. Thank goodness I had Sarah’s help because this almost sixty-year-old happy stitcher doesn’t have the stamina to decorate rooms anymore. As well as that little bit of decorating I did a wee bit of sewing. I’ve been helping one or two ladies finish projects. Here’s one of those projects.

I was given the fabrics and a photo of the finished project but no instructions. So I started cutting and sewing …..

DSCN1125

And joining rows together …..

DSCN1127

And ended up with this little quilt top …..

DSCN1130

DSCN1132

Which I turned into this …..

DSCN1136

It’s not identical to the picture but a pretty good adaptation. I think my friend will be pretty happy with the finished result. And now that I managed to make this one, I think I’ll make a similar cushion cover for myself.

I made a drop of soup yesterday. I was chatting with a friend of mine, Ann, on Saturday and I was mentioning that I was on a slimming programme again and I was fed up with salad especially in the colder weather. Well Ann suggested I make some soup. She had a pretty simple recipe for a lean soup which she inspired me to make. So, I set to and made a lovely drop of soup yesterday. I can’t impress upon you how lovely it was to have a warm lunch both yesterday and today. The soup was even tastier today than it was yesterday. I will be sure to make more soup and more regularly now that I have to confidence to try again. Sometimes I just need a little nudge.

DSCN1144

In my quest to do more of what I love, I set today aside to do just that. I loaded a quilt and stitched a freemotion quilting design. This is the back of the quilt as the design didn’t show up very well on the front for photography purposes. I love this design. I will use it again on the next quilt that comes up. It was great fun to stitch especially after the first few minutes when I felt more relaxed about stitching it. I spent so many years using a digital quilting system and now I’m going back to basics and stitching basic freemotion designs.

DSCN1146

Doing more of what we love is so important. We get to an age where we no longer have anything to prove to anyone. We women spend our whole lives trying to prove that we’re worthy. I’m not sure why but we do. It’s time to stop that. So, you can be sure that I will be posting more photos of my freemotion work in the near future. If I can do this anyone can.

It’s been a pretty good day in my little corner of the northeast of England. We got a preview of spring which was lovely. The crocuses are starting to flower. And the daffodil leaves are poking thru the ground. I’m quite sure we have more cold and winter-like weather to endure but knowing that spring is around the corner is making the rest of winter a little easier to handle.

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

BOOGIE BOARD PRACTICE

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

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

DSCN0901

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

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

DSCN0878

DSCN0881

DSCN0907

DSCN0886

DSCN0904

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

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

DSCN0846

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

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

DSCN0889

DSCN0897

DSCN0911

DSCN0911

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

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

DSCN0849

DSCN0851

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

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

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

 DSCN0915

 Lucie x

SUMMER RECAP

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super weekend. It was a lovely quiet weekend in my little corner of the northeast of England.

Well I guess summer is over; the kids will start going back to school tomorrow (in my area) and the weatherman says that meteorological autumn has arrived!!! Autumn is my favourite time of year. We had a super summer …. I’m hoping for a splendid autumn.

So, let’s see. What have I done this summer? Well all in all it was pretty quiet around here. I spent loads of time relaxing and soul searching while designing and sewing all kinds of stuff. I did a bit of freemotion quilting …..

DSCN0608

DSCN0625

DSCN0748

I worked on UFOs …..

DSCN0778

I attended my Sarah’s graduation ceremony …..

20180703_114242

And I went to The Festival of Quilts …..

20180810_102533

20180810_102442

20180809_132215

20180809_132224

20180809_132151

20180809_132132

20180809_130645

20180809_130608

20180809_130555

These photos represent just a very small selection of quilts I saw at the show. I couldn’t possibly take photos of everything I saw. These photos were taken using my phone so the quality isn’t great but you will have some of idea of what I saw. I can tell you that there weren’t many hand quilted quilts, the bulk of the quilts were machine quilted. Those that were hand quilted really stood out for me. Here’s a quilt which I recognised as being pieced and quilted by a blogger that I have been following for some time.

20180810_102959

20180810_103019

Allison Reid of New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting. I especially liked the quilting on Allison’s quilt. If I remember correctly Allison took a class to learn how to quilt feathers which she later quilted on her Carrie Nation Variation quilt. So, well done Allison. Your quilt looked splendid hanging in the exhibition.

Another interesting part of the exhibition was Nancy Crow’s Mono-Printing. Her quilts are mono-printed and later freemotion quilted. The mono-printing is more in league with what my Sarah produced in university but I can appreciate the process and would definitely like trying to make a small sample for myself.

20180809_122547

20180809_122604

20180809_122610

All in all, I have to admit that going to The Festival of Quilts was the highlight of my summer. We travelled some 400 miles to get to the venue and back safely. On the days leading up to the event I was trying to find a good enough excuse to pull out. However, I faced my fears and made the journey. And I’m glad I did it.

It’s already the third day of September!!! As I mentioned above, the kids are returning to school this week. The one thing I miss doing is buying new uniform and school shoes not to mention a new pencil case. My goodness how things have changed.

As I sit here this afternoon remembering what I did this summer, the rain is showering my parched garden. And the people are scurrying past the front of my house trying to get home from work asap before they get really wet. My garden must be sighing at the arrival of a little moisture.

I do have some sewing progress. Don’t get too excited because it’s just a small sewing fix. Earlier in the year I used this tool to make a fireplace hearth runner…..

DSCN0836

DSCN9258

Ages ago, I sat quietly at my table drawing a little diagram for which I could use my magic Dresden ruler again …..

DSCN0840

So, I chose a background and five different fabrics …..

DSCN0843

After doing a bit of cutting and sewing, I produced this quilt top …..

DSCN0846

I will be adding some freemotion quilting and turning this quilt top into a bag. I don’t need a bag but it’s my go to whenever I need a sewing fix. I look forward to finishing this project sometime in the near future.

So, I guess that was my summer report. I really enjoyed every single day of this summer. The weather was glorious and I thoroughly enjoyed the peace and quiet. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something you really love doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

WORKING MY WAY THRU MY STASH

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been enjoying this summery August day. It feels like the months are escaping me. It’s already mid-August and the kids will be heading back to school in a couple of weeks!!!

I went The Festival of Quilts last week and I seem to be having a hard time getting back into the groove. So, I decided to treat the next couple of weeks as a holiday. Everyone seems to be getting out and about and jetting off to warm faraway places, so I thought I could consider this time between now and the week when the kids head back to school as my holiday time. I’m going to step out to do some sightseeing or at least try to on days when I really feel like bunking off.

DSCN0811

I have a little sewing progress to show you today. You might remember this panel which I freemotion quilted a few weeks back …..

DSCN0625

The plan was to turn the panel into a bag. Well I’ve done it. Here’s some photos of both sides of the finished bag before some simple button embellishments were added ….

DSCN0818

DSCN0822

DSCN0824

DSCN0826

DSCN0815

And this shot is with the button embellishment …..

DSCN0829

I’m quite pleased with my effort. I really enjoyed my freemotion quilting session and I really enjoyed turning this panel into a bag. I generally keep my projects simple nowadays. I’ve worked on more complex blocks and large quilts in years gone by, but now I quite like keeping things simple enough that I can visualise the finished project. The best part of this latest finish is that I bought absolutely nothing to bring this bag to completion. It feels good to be working my way thru my stash.

The last time I went shopping for groceries I decided to buy some flowers. My Sarah suggested that sunflowers might make a nice change. So, I aimed for sunflowers. Did you know that the supermarkets sell wonky flowers and fruit and veg????

DSCN0808

I quite like wonky, in fact in many of my own designs I make sure to add a wonky element. After all, nature doesn’t always offer perfection. Flowers, fruit and veg are rarely perfectly symmetrical. Here’s a photo of my sunflowers in a vase. They look beautiful to me. Wonky is beautiful.

DSCN0834

My Maisie dog had surgery recently. Last week it was touch and go whether I would be going to The Festival of Quilts because Maisie’s surgical wound wasn’t healing very well. The vet gave me some magic gel stuff to put on her wound and today all that’s left is a nicely healed scar. Here’s my beautiful Maisie enjoying the sun.

DSCN0763

So that’s my report for today. My Sarah and I will be gathering all the photos we took at The Festival of Quilts and I will be back in a few days with my report our experience of attending the largest quilt show in England. 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

ONLY A FEW DAYS TO GO

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all making happy summer memories. I’ve waited a long time to start making new happy memories. And this is the summer I’m going to do it.

My Sarah and I have had simple happy times over the last few weeks. What with Sarah getting really good grades and graduating university and finally attending the graduation ceremony after three years of study. You would think that’s all a proud mother would need. However, we have one more event to attend before the summer is over. In a few days my Sarah and I will be taking a road trip when we attend The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. Most of you reading will be thinking … what’s the big deal??? Well it’s a while since I did anything that far away from home. The last couple of years I have been on a journey of discovery. Starting all over again at my age can be a long drawn out affair. I’ve done all the basic rebuilding work and now it’s time to start living a little. So why not do something that involves my passion ….. quilt making.

Around Easter, I was invited to attend The Festival of Quilts by the organisers as a blogger. My own personal goal is to have a good look around and tell you the story of my visit to The Festival of Quilts. As a seasoned quilt maker, I know what I will be looking for at this particular show. I have attended this event three times over the last eight years. And every year new stuff is unveiled. This year I will be looking for quilt making related tools, different thread, machine quilting rulers, buttons and perhaps some woolly bits.  As our visit is basically a flying visit I will not be taking any classes.

So, The Festival of Quilts starts on Thursday. Today is Monday. All the prep work has been done. Maisie is booked in for a holiday and I’ve booked us girls a hotel room near to the venue. I’ll fuel up the car put my sunglasses on and we’ll push off early morning for our four-and-a-half-hour journey to Birmingham.

At the moment I’m filled with apprehension. However, I do know that once I have arrived at the venue and have had some refreshments, I’ll be in my element discovering all the new stuff that I haven’t seen yet. And as my Sarah studied textiles she’ll be in her element as well. If I’m honest, I think I’m really looking forward to stepping out and making new happy memories.

I do have a little progress report regarding my “A” is for Appliqué quilt. The photos aren’t great as the light wasn’t very good for photography but you will get the general idea of the quilt and quilting.

DSCN0778

DSCN0780

DSCN0789

DSCN0790

DSCN0793

DSCN0796

DSCN0798

DSCN0800

I still need to add a label to this quilt. It’s a bright and cheerful quilt which I think I will hang. It will definitely brighten up any room.

So that’s my report for today. I shall be back next week with my report about our visit to The Festival of Quilts. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

“A” IS FOR APPLIQUE PROGRESS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all enjoyed a super first day of August. It’s been lovely in my little world.

I have a little progress report on a long standing UFO. If you’ve been reading me for a long time you may remember a little challenge I started several years ago called “A” is for Appliqué. My version consisted of 12 appliqué blocks which I eventually finished piecing but which were put away until recently when I decided to join all the blocks together. It then sat for a long time before I gathered the courage to longarm quilt it. I changed the name to something shorter along the way to The Joanna Quilt. Here are a few progress photos of what I’ve stitched so far …..

DSCN0756

DSCN0765

DSCN0772

DSCN0775

DSCN0776

I decided that this one would be all freemotion quilted using simple designs. It’s a bit funky and I have fallen in love with it because it’s a little bit quirky. It’s cheerful and the different blocks and the quilting draw your eye around the to the next surprise. I am really looking forward to getting the quilting done so I can take it all in in one go. It’s difficult to see the whole quilt when it’s loaded in my longarm. I have one or two other UFO quilt tops that need to be quilted. Perhaps I’ll be able to finish a couple more this summer.

So that’s my report for today. I have really enjoyed working on my “A” is for Appliqué quilt. It’s very satisfying seeing a project thru from start to finish. I hope to post photos of the finished result soon.  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

SHORT SHARP SEWING FIX

Hello my lovelies. I trust that you’ve all had a super-duper weekend. I hope you made the most of the last weekend in July. Can you believe that the month is almost over!!!!!

Last week I started working on a new little project. Every now and again I need a short sharp sewing fix. Short sharp means a small project which can be completed quickly. You might remember me posting this photo last week …..

DSCN0713

Well I have completed this project by adding some of this …..

DSCN0716

Which I added some simple freemotion quilting to …..

DSCN0719

DSCN0725

Boy did I ever enjoy quilting this ……

DSCN0728

DSCN0731

I set aside that little house panel to add some freemotion quilting to this …..

DSCN0734

Then the magic started. I layered up the two components and added some pockets and then went on to bind the piece …..

DSCN0740

DSCN0736

DSCN0743

Can you work out what it is yet?

DSCN0748

I plan on flipping it over the arm of my chair and keeping my remote controllers and anything else that I feel the need to keep close to hand while watching TV up in my den.

When I bought these four fat quarters I had absolutely no plan for cutting into them. I don’t buy fabric as often as I used to, so when I do it’s because I really need it to finish something off or I just really like the fabric selection.

It was a quiet weekend in my little world. My Maisie girl dog had dental surgery on Friday and needed to rest from the trauma. Maisie is doing very well all the while healing up nicely. She looked like she’d been thru the wars when I collected her from the vet hospital Friday evening. Maisie is a few teeth lighter and my wallet is much thinner.

So that’s my report for today. I’m pleased with my latest finish. Life really does get better with every stitch I take. 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

GLORIOUS DAYS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying a glorious summer. This past week has been quite over whelming in my little world. Between celebrating a birthday and my Sarah’s graduation ceremony everyday life seems quite mundane. I would like to thank each and everyone of you who sent messages and gifts to congratulate Sarah in her success. We don’t have any family here in the UK so every card, email and comment sent was so appreciated. It makes Sarah’s success so much sweeter knowing you all celebrated along with us.

There wasn’t much sewing going on this week as you might imagine. We were in and out all week doing various things and waiting in for a couple of technicians to fix a couple of things. However, this morning I decided that I really needed to do some machining. So, I cleaned the bobbin area of my Brother sewing machine and changed the needle from universal to a topstitch. I lowered the feed dogs and placed my Supreme Slider mat on the bed of the sewing machine. And in no time, I was off on a magic sewing ride. I stitched some twisted ribbon designs, swirly circles, some dinosaur ferns and some funky leaves. I used some Aurifil 50wt thread in two different colours and I chalked diagonal guidelines to keep me on track but apart from the guidelines everything was freehand stitched. I was so good to let loose and be creative. Freemotion quilting is like is like drawing with thread. My Brother sewing machine chugged away while stitching all kinds of swirly designs. It was very satisfying. I have promised myself another machining fix soon.

DSCN0618

DSCN0620

DSCN0625

DSCN0628

DSCN0631

The weather is still summer glorious here in my little corner of the northeast of England. My little Maisie was struggling with the heat last week but she’s had a haircut on Friday and is feeling much better. As I understand it, my hometown is very warm and people are dying in the heat. So, to all in Montreal, this includes my own family, do take care of yourselves.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope to be back sometime this week with some sewing news but in the meantime, I’m taking full advantage of these glorious days. Winter was so long that it’s wonderful to be able to enjoy some warm sunshine. I hope you all have a super cosy evening keeping cool. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x