BACK INTO THE AUTUMN GROOVE

Hello my lovelies. I’m back!!!! The summer is over, the mornings are cool and feel quite autumnal and the kids have gone back to school. And yes ….. there’s only 100 sleeps until Christmas!!!

Did you all have a great summer? Were any of you able to tear yourself away from the garden in order to do a little quilt making or sewing of any kind. Well I spent quite a lot of time sewing. As you all know one quilting stitch at a time makes everything better. I worked on one particular project all summer. Yes, I know that sounds like such a contradiction to what I normally do. I usually work on several things at once but I now realise that when I do that, I don’t seem to make much progress on anything. Well I can confirm that once you concentrate on one project full time you actually have a better chance of finishing it. So here’s little sneaky peek at my How Does Your Garden Grow …..

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From that one project …. I jumped into this little one. I really enjoyed my journey into freezer paper appliqué again while working on How Does Your Garden Grow. So, I went looking for this little unfinished quilt top I pieced a while back so I could add some simple colourful flowers and such to it. Goodness knows I have enough scraps to add some colourful flowers to several other projects. The more scraps you use the more scraps you make! I am busy doing the fine hand appliqué work that will secure the patches to the background. I’ll be sure to post more about the progress on this quilt eventually. I think I’ll name it My Little Garden as I wish my garden was this colourful and cheerful.

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While I was working on My Little Garden project, I realised that there’s an event coming up for which I desperately needed to piece a quilt. So, I searched out some fabric from my stash. I started with some background fabric and several fat quarters from a collection called Grant Park by Minick & Simpson for Moda. I chose a simple large-scale Bowtie block design and set to rotary cutting squares. I sewed and pressed my little heart out for a whole weekend. And this is what I ended up with …

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It’s a beautiful quilt that has an old-fashioned feel to it. I used a soft blue quilting thread which fills in the negative spaces quietly with a modern feather variation quilting design which also gives the quilt a little texture. All that’s left to do is add a label. I am busy researching quotes for the quilt label. The quilt is for a special event and it was worth every minute of time and effort I spent making it. I was determined to finish it in lickety split time while still producing a nice quilt that will be cherished for years to come.

It’s been a really good summer in my little corner of the northeast of England. I didn’t go very far but enjoyed every minute of my quiet time. Now, already the leaves are starting to fall from the trees. The trees and shrubs and laden with berries ready to feed the birds and critters over the cold months. And I even purchased my autumn/winter plants to replace the summer bedding a few days ago. I can’t figure out where the months have gone. Oh summer, please come back. All is forgotten. No. Actually I really love autumn. It’s my favourite time of year. I love wearing woollies and boots, scarves and gloves. I love the crunchy leaves under my feet. And I truly look forward to the first snow. The rumour is that we’re supposed to have a brutally cold winter this year. And apparently, we should expect the Beast from the East in the new year. So, the woollies and gloves will be most welcome.

So, I guess that my catch-up report for today. I hope you all a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. I will be doing some fine hand appliqué if I can stay awake. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching. I kid you not, stitching makes life better.

Lucie x

 

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend. It’s been absolutely the perfect day in my little corner of the northeast of England. The sun was shining and the chores on my To-Do List practically did themselves. It was truly the perfect day.

I have been busy drawing new blocks for my next project. I searched my stash for the suitable fabrics and so I was ready to start prepping blocks. Here’s a little look at what I’ve been working on …..

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You may have guessed that the subject of my next project is the garden. I’m going to name this one How Does Your Garden Grow. I do like flowers and plants, so why not indulge myself in a subject that makes my heart happy.

Speaking of garden, I stepped out this morning to do a little tidying up first thing after taking Maisie for her morning stroll. I planned to stay out in the garden for about 20 minutes. Well 90 minutes later I was just putting my tools away. I did quite a lot of pruning and then because it was so nice out, I decided to plant my annual bedding plants. I’m not sure if we’ll be frost free but if the weatherman says that we should expect any kind of frost, I’ll cover my planter with garden fleece.

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At the moment there’s a very impressive flower in bloom in my garden. It’s a tree peony …..

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Isn’t this a gorgeous flower and the colour is exquisite?

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It’s a huge bloom but it doesn’t last very long. So, I step out into that area of the garden to have a look as often as I can. Perhaps tomorrow the petals might be found on the ground.

It’s been a brilliant weekend here. I got so much done. My energy levels are always better when the sun is shining. And you can see that the general mood is improved wherever you go.

I guess that’s my report for today. I am so pleased to finally be getting on with my new How Does Your Garden Grow. My favourite part of any new project is prepping the blocks. I’ve had a great time prepping a few blocks this afternoon. I suspect this project will move quickly because it’s a subject that’s close to my heart. 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

FEATHERED VISITS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying the month of May so far. It’s been pretty good in my little corner of the northeast of England. It seems the weather has taken a downturn for the moment. It’s brrrr cold. It’s a bank holiday weekend and quite often we have rain on these holiday weekends. So not much change there. I have a great weekend planned full of chores and fun things to do. So, watch this space.

I have been doing a little bit of designing and block piecing of late. I finished piecing the project and spent part of the morning adding a border …..

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And here’s a little sneaky peek at two bits of my quilt top …..

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I might reveal a little more once the quilting is done.

Now while I was piecing and attaching the border to my latest project, I saw some movement outside my window. It took me a little while to work out what said movement was. There was a wee robin flying around my back garden gathering twiggy bits. I suspect that the wee robin is building a nest somewhere nearby. And of course, the wee robin was moving far too quickly for me to snap a photo. However the wee robin kept flying into my little teapot ornament to have a rest …..

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I don’t think the robin is building a nest in my teapot because the opening is far to large but it was nice to see it standing/sitting in the teapot resting now and again. We always had a resident robin in years gone by but I haven’t seen it in a while. I hope the wee robin visits me again and often. I’ll be sure to top up the feeders and bird bath regularly just to encourage such birdy visits.

So, I guess that’s my report for this week. I hope you’ve all had a productive week. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a bank holiday weekend here in the UK. I there’s nothing like a long weekend to get a few seasonal jobs done. I was kind of hoping to plant my annual bedding plants this weekend but the weatherman is forecasting frost at night so I’ll leave it for a few more days. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. I plan on doing some hexie work while watching a new episode of The Bletchley Circle. I do enjoy a good murder mystery. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

SUNNY CATCHUP ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a superb weekend. Storm Hannah was supposed to be rumbling thru but it seems she has missed my little corner of the northeast of England. I have no doubt that some kind of bad weather will come thru at some point this week. I am quite appreciative of the lovely sunshine today but a few days ago it was dark a dismal out so I decided to make my own sunshine …

The Dresden Plate happens to be one of my favourite blocks of late. I am currently designing and piecing a new project for which I need a sun. So, I decided to use a yellow Dresden. The Dresden Plate is such a simple buy rather effective block.

With the coming of the good weather, I have been hankering after planting up my planters with summer annual plants. I bought some but I’m still a wee bit worried that we might get some frost at night, so I’m holding off for a few more days. We’ll be entering May in a couple of days and by then we should be past the risk of frost. Although I haven’t planted any annuals yet, I did add three herbaceous perennials to one of my front borders.  They were an absolute bargain and they were calling my name. I will need one or two others to fill in the blank patch in said border but I made a good start for now. My Clematis is starting to bloom nicely. I gave it a really good prune and was worried that it might not reappear this year but it has. Lucky me!

It seems Fridays are the day of week that changes everything in my little quiet world. I was sitting quietly in my little den answering some correspondence when a helicopter came into view. It was hovering over the houses across the road and making its way to the green space just a few doors in readiness for landing. This has happened a few times before. The last time a helicopter landed in the green space it was because one of our Royal family members was bestowing a visit upon our neighbourhood. It was Prince Edward visiting Bede Academy which is just a few minutes away from my home. In previous times, I wasn’t quick enough to grab my beat-up old camera in order to take photos of the event. Well this time, I got a couple of snaps. So, here’s a photo of the helicopter shortly after landing and a photo of Prince Edward walking from the helicopter to the waiting car ready to take the Prince to the school.

 

A couple of weeks ago it was hunky firemen and this week it was a Royal!!! I wonder what will happen this Friday???

With summer looming, life just seems so much better. I look forward to every single day. That isn’t to say that every day is a great day but I pick and choose all the positive aspects of life to focus on. I am on another creative journey at the moment. The project I have been designing is coming together nicely. I’m making plenty of time to concentrate on it. Creativity is my drug of choice. I stay away from drama and toxic people. They seem to put a damper on life which I don’t appreciate considering that I do my best not affect anyone else in adverse ways. Life is simply too short.

Well that’s my report for this week. I am so looking forward to seeing what my garden is going to look like in six weeks time. So, tell my how does your garden grow these days??? 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 MOTHER’S DAY

Hello my lovelies on this glorious sunny Mother’s Day.  It’s the perfect day here in my little corner of the northeast of England. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and I’m just mooching about doing something and nothing.

I have a wee bit of sewing news. I am slowly making progress on my latest hand quilting project. I am thoroughly enjoying the quiet repetitive soothing hand stitching. Everyone should hand quilt at least one patchwork or whole cloth quilt in their lifetime. So, feast your peeps on this …..

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Contrary to popular belief my quilting stitches aren’t all even. And my chosen quilting design won’t be to everyone’s taste. And I’m sure the quilting police would have plenty to say about my appliqué work, however, this project wasn’t designed to please anyone else but me. I have learned not to take life too seriously. I think finished is much better than perfect. I am so pleased with the result of this project so far, that I will be hanging it on the wall for all to see. Warts and all.

I had a little stroll in my garden this morning. My garden isn’t huge, so when I say a little stroll, I’m not kidding. The sunshine and blue sky makes me feel like I live in a castle, albeit a small one. I digress, the point is, I found some lovely growth. My tree peony has flower buds on it …..

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I never really liked this tree peony but it fills quite a large space in a back border and also gives me some privacy from the neighbours. Also my peony shrub is making good progress …..

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My borders are in need of a little more pruning and mulching. All in good time.

As I mentioned earlier, today is Mother’s Day in the UK. So, to all the special mamas today, I wish you a very special day spending time with your children and grandchildren of all ages.

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Well I guess that’s my report for this week. It’s been quite an interesting week. And good progress is being made in all aspects of my life. I hope you’re all having a super cosy day doing things you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

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.

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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 …..

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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

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 …..

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I worked on UFOs …..

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I attended my Sarah’s graduation ceremony …..

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And I went to The Festival of Quilts …..

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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.

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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.

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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…..

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

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

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

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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

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.

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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 …..

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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

DRAWINGS COMING TO FRUITION

Hello my lovelies. I hope you all had a great weekend. I spent mine doing plenty of sewing by attending a sewing session with some like-minded ladies. We had such a good laugh. I find that laughing is the best medicine.

So, let’s start with a bit of progress shall we. I did some drawing recently and this is what I produced from said drawing …..

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The patches in this block still need to be secured in place. My sewing machine gives me a really good blanket stitch. The good stitched along with a little bit of patience produces a very good block. I can’t wait to see how this block will look once the patches have been sewn down. Does everyone recognise the landmark I have included in this block??? I call this landmark Rusty Rita better known as The Angel of the North. I plan to add one or two more local landmarks in the rest of the blocks that make up this current project.

You might remember I produced another little block from this project for framing purposes. Sarah was adding colour to an otherwise very plain wooden shadow box frame last week. Well the paint is dry and the block has been blocked and inserted into the frame and this is how it looks now …..

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This morning I flashed up my longarm quilting system and had a little play. I did only freemotion work this time. I stitched to my heart’s content. It’s so satisfying to stitch and watch the patches start to pop. And depending on what wadding you use, you can create some great texture too.

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It’s been a great day in my little world. The work I’ve been doing lately has been very fulfilling. I’m already considering which of my UFOs to work on next. I have one or two quilt tops which need custom quilting and I have plenty of new ideas that need to be drawn and brought to fruition.

Today was my Sarah’s last day at uni. She drove down to Hartlepool first thing this morning to remove her display from the Degree Show. When all her work was removed from the display boards she sent me a photo of the blank space. It was quite a sad time. Although our new life officially started some six months ago, today was our real beginning. I think there are some exciting times ahead.

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