DAY 29 MESSING AROUND CHALLENGE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all having a fabulous day. It’s been another very interesting day. I seem to be getting my spark back as I accept the new normal. Everyday is getting better and better. The more I immerse myself in the new normal the better I feel. For anyone who has accepted the new normal, give it a go and see what happens.

It’s Wednesday, the hump of the week. Most days I don’t know what day it is or what I’m suppose to be doing. I found that just going with the flow has helped me to build some kind of routine in these strange times. The To-Do Lists have gone out the window and I do what needs doing on any given day. It’s quite liberating really.

So, it’s day 29 of my self-imposed messing around with art supplies challenge. I am amazed that I’m still going with it! This is my effort for today …..

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Once again, I have kept it quite simple. It’s a simple case of layering, that’s all. Looking at my two-page spread now, it looks like a work palette that needs to be discarded. It was quite fun to work on as I just let go and created it step by step.

I am slowly but surely making progress on my hexagon quilt. I have almost finished joining up the panel which will square off one side of the quilt top. That will leave one more side to deal with and I can add a plain border to square it up ready for quilting. I feel a nice sense of accomplishment already and it isn’t even finished yet.

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Well, my friends, I guess that’s my report for today. It’s been a good one. 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 and messing around with art supplies.

Lucie x

DAY 27 MESSING AROUND CHALLENGE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re having a good start to this current work week. We are starting our sixth week in lockdown. The sun is shining brightly reminding us that there are good things to come. Things will get better but life will never be the same as we remember it. For some that might be a good thing.

It’s day 27 of my self-imposed messing around with art supplies. Yes I said Day 27 …. I can’t believe it either because that means there are only a few days left of April !!!!! Time sure does fly. Are you ready for today’s messing around effort? Well, without further ado here it is …..

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Today’s art journal page spread is very simple. I ripped a page out of a dictionary, trimmed it down and pasted it down. I added some simple stencilling, I did a bit of stamping and cut the subjects out and pasted them in place. I shaded everything using my water colour pencils. Bish bash bosh, that’s my art journal page for today. You see how easy it is. Anybody can do it. And you can use any format you wish.

I promised you a photo showing any progress I made on my hexagon quilt last week. I have been working on this project for a couple of years. I dragged it out again last week because I felt I needed to do some sewing, even if it was just something simple. At the moment I am busy filling in the shaped edges to even them out a little more before adding a plain border.

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It’s starting to look like this now …..

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I have no idea what I will use for the plain border. I will dig around my stash to see if I have anything big enough that tones in well with the hexagons. Once that’s done, I’ll have to decide on a backing and how to quilt it. All this will take a while but it will get done by Christmas.

So, it’s another lovely day in my little corner of the northeast of England. We haven’t had much rain this past month, this unusual for April. I watched our Prime Minister make a speech on TV this morning. Yes, Boris Johnson is back at the helm after contracting and recovering from the invisible enemy. He seems to be in no rush to ease lockdown and with good reason too.

Well, my friends, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something worthwhile. Until next time,

Let’s keep on stitching and messing around with art supplies.

Lucie x

STAYING HOME AND BEING WELL

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all safe and well on this glorious day. If you look outside everything looks just as it always did but it’s not just any ordinary day. We are in lockdown due to the war against an invisible enemy.

I count myself lucky. I have a roof over my head. I have food in my fridge. And I have the company of my Sarah and Maisie the dog. Maisie the dog is unaware of the war going on all around us.

We have taken government advice which of course is to stay home and save lives. I believe anyone who chooses to take this advice is a hero. So, congratulations to anyone who has hunkered down until it’s safe.

Sarah and I take Maisie out for her morning walk together. That way we all get a bit of fresh air and a leg stretch every day. As Sarah and I both live in the same household we are safe to walk together while keeping our distance from strangers. This morning we met absolutely no one. Early morning is a great time to step out. We have a small garden we can hang out in whenever we feel the need as well.

I’m finding it hard to find my feet. I can’t seem to concentrate on anything for any length of time. This morning I forced myself to do a few household chores and some cooking. I have a ham cooking in the slow cooker and if I have enough flour (I couldn’t find flour at the supermarket for love nor money) in the flour bin, I might bake some oatmeal raisin cookies.

Has anyone else had to hit the supermarket since the official lockdown started a few days ago here in the UK? Well I went first thing yesterday. I went at 7am to my local Morrisons supermarket and was turned away because I wasn’t NHS staff. 7am to 8am is reserved for NHS staff. I don’t begrudge that. I feel we need to support our medics. So, I came home and waited it out until 8am and went back. It was all quite surreal. Even getting in the car and driving to the supermarket. I felt like I was driving thru a warzone that didn’t look any different than usual. I seemed to be on high alert on the lookout for police. I’m glad the journey to and from the supermarket only takes about 10 minutes from door to door. Once I got in the supermarket with my trolley, I was really aware of personal space. I felt like a ninja trying to avoid coming too close to anyone else. For the most part everyone was very accommodating. I got most of what was on my list except the flour. There were plenty of fresh veg and meat and fish. Milk and dairy were well topped up, they didn’t have skimmed milk but I can live with semi-skimmed for a while. There was no pasta but it wasn’t on my list, I just happened to notice the shelves were empty. There will be hundreds of people with dozens of bags of pasta which they will still be eating next year! The freezer sections were a little thin on the ground but the supermarkets are doing the best they can to keep up with the demand of people stockpiling. I must admit that I was glad to leave the supermarket and get back into the fresh air. Ninja style doesn’t suit my slow and measured pace.

So, now we are left to re-invent ourselves to suit the situation. I have been soul searching in order to decide how I’m going to go forward once life returns to some kind of normality. I truly believe that life will never be as it was. The economy will take a hot minute to improve. Employment will change drastically. And life will be very different from what we’ve been living.

I remain of the opinion that stitching of the sewing, knitting, crochet, needlework etc variety makes life better one stitch at a time. It keeps your mind occupied and your hands busy. You produce something that you can be proud of. You make history with every project you complete. The sense of accomplishment is amazing.
My sewing endeavour at the moment is my hexagon UFO. I started this project at least two years ago. And slowly but surely, I can see progress. And the progress feels soooo good.

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As I write this post, I can see cars going past my house in both directions. All of these journeys are supposed to have a specific genuine essential reason. I can see familiar people walking their dogs and getting some fresh air while avoiding contact with others. There are no groups or crowds gathering anywhere that I can see. For safety’s sake this is how it must be for now.

I guess that’s my report for today. This is my account of how this invisible enemy is affecting me and mine for the time being. I am prepared to follow government advice that will hopefully save lives. Whatever you may be doing at the moment, I hope you are all safe and well at home sweet home. Until next time,

Let’s keep on stitching. And let’s all be heroes by staying home saving lives.

Lucie x

ANGEL WATCHING OVER ME

Hello my lovelies. I decided to pop in today to let you all know that I’m fine. I’ve had a bad case of writer’s block but with all that’s happening in the world at the moment, I thought I’d pop in to see if I could somehow lift your spirits.

First of all, how ya all doing??? If you’re anything like me you’ll be staying away from the madding crowd. My Sarah and I have been practicing social distancing for the last week as advised by the government. I have only stepped out for essential food shopping and to collect meds. There has been no socialising except thru digital messaging and the rare phone call. I, of course, have plenty of UFOs to work on but with all that’s going on and things changing almost hourly, I’m finding it hard to concentrate on my projects. However, I’m sure that I will settle down into this quiet isolation period and get some stuff done. As well as my projects, I have loads of tidying to do in the garden. Sarah and I have been demolishing an old deck type patio which had become dangerous. With the help of a borrowed crowbar we lifted the whole thing and there is no more danger of breaking our necks. When things start taking a turn for the better, we will take the rubbish to the tip.

The bulk of the schools in the UK closed on Friday for the foreseeable future. We have no little kids in our household to worry about entertaining in a state of isolation for the months to come until the Covid-19 situation improves. We have only been under “house arrest” since last weekend and already I feel a little cabin fever creeping up. So, I can only imagine what the mommies are going to do with small kids for the next few months.

This whole situation seems surreal to me. It feels like we’re war against an invisible enemy. I have no family here in the UK. They live in Canada and I imagine that things must have a very similar feel there to how things are here. In all my years on earth I have never experienced what it’s like to be at war, not up close and in person anyway.

My only advice to all is have patience and be kind whenever you can. Find chores and projects to catch up on. And this may be the perfect opportunity to get some much-needed rest. Make plans for the future. This is the time to plan how to make your dreams come true.

Over the last few weeks, I have observed some interesting night skies …..

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And some lovely sunrises …..

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I have officially launched the gardening season …

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And look there seems to be an angel in my garden …

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I really enjoyed hanging out in the garden for a bit this morning. I dead headed the hydrangea after seeing that the leaves are sprouting. I did a wee bit of pruning and filled the garden waste bin.

So, tell me what have you been doing to keep busy this winter and during our time in isolation. Sometime after Christmas I finished knitting my purple pullover …..

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And a few days ago, I dragged out my hexagon project. I’m just working on squaring it up before I add a plain border to it …..

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I have been trying to make a plan of action for the next few weeks. My notebook is full of scribbles and lists …..

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And look another feather. There must be an angel watching over me for sure.

I don’t spend much time in my sewing room anymore. Most of my quilt making projects are of the slow stitching variety which work really well as armchair projects while watching some mindless TV in the evening. Having said that, when I do disappear into my sewing room my little Maisie joins me in her capacity as project manager. Maisie will soon be 14 years old. She has a number of physical ailments now but she’s hanging in there nonetheless. We treat her with care and kindness. She has been our devoted companion for such a long time she deserves to be treated like a princess.

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Today is Mother’s Day here in the UK today. Well I am very grateful that my daughter is with me today. So, to all the mothers who cannot spend some time with their children today due to isolation, I wish you a very happy day. Life is an adventure these days. I reckon isolation may be the very best thing we can do at the moment. Just view our isolation as saving lives. This is our way of helping the NHS. Who knows, we may all be heroes.

So, my friends, I guess that’s my news for this weekend. I hope you all have a super cosy day doing things you enjoy doing. Remember, this too shall pass.

Until next time,

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

 

Lucie x

CHARITY QUILT SEASON

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had splendid day. It’s been bright and wonderfully productive day in my little world. I have spent day mooching around doing small jobs around the house. I planted more annual bedding plants, sewed four labels onto quilts and generally just tidied around the sewing room and various other areas of my home.

I longarm quilted a quilt top which I received as a Christmas gift. I have been looking at it for months while my longarm system was not working and longing to get it quilted and ready to use. Well yesterday was THE day. I must tell you that this hexagon quilt top was pieced by my Sarah using hand-picked scraps!!!!! The backing fabric was a bit of a dilemma for me. I wanted something different. Something that would set off the quilt top. While digging around my sewing room a couple of weeks ago I came across the perfect backing fabric. It’s bold and bright and just fits with the bold and bright hexagons. After seeing the finished quilt on my laptop screen, Sarah said “I never imagined you would want such a bright quilt”. Well who wouldn’t to brighten up their life with this magnificent piece of work. So without further delay here is the quilt, you might want to put your sunglasses on before you focus on the following photos …..

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Is it cheerful enough for you? I love it. It’s going to go at the foot of my bed. And I know it’s going to make me smile every time I go into my room. Do you have a quilt that cheers you up??? I can tell you without a word of a lie that this kind of an accent can make your day. So, don’t be afraid to use colour in your projects.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been longarm quilting charity quilts. I have done three so far and I hope to do a couple more over the next couple of weeks. I must tell you before I write anything else that these quilt tops were not pieced by me. The charity is Quilts for Comfort and we have volunteers who donate finished quilts and we have a few groups who are not capable of quilting the quilt tops they piece. So that’s where I step in, when I can. Some of the quilt tops are a little skimpy, so I look thru my fabric stash and see if I can find something to add borders making a quilt top a more friendly size. And once that’s done, I load it onto my machine and quilt it and then bind and label it ready to hand over to our Quilts for Comfort chairman who stores and delivers a great number of quilts a few times a year to the RVI hospital in Newcastle Upon Tyne. It’s a great cause that makes me feel quite humble. Here are three of the quilts I have done some work on recently.

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So, as you can see, I do keep pretty busy. I have been working on my newest project for which I hope to post some progress next week. The blocks are coming along nicely and I am thoroughly enjoying doing the fine hand appliqué work. It’s a soothing repetitive work that slows the day down after a busy demanding time.

Well, I guess that my report for today. 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

FRIDAY STITCHING SUNDAY BEST FABRICS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super fine week. It’s been pretty good in my little corner of the northeast of England. We had quite a lot of sunshine and almost equal amount of cloudy weather. Never mind not every day can be perfect.

With the dry weather we’ve been having I have been itching to get out into the garden to start my spring tidy. I will be cleaning and oiling my cutting tools so I’ll be ready to start pruning my shrubs. I am a little concerned about frost at the moment. I will review the situation next week, perhaps I’ll be able to get started then.

I do have a little bit of sewing progress. I have a small stash of special fabric which I purchased about five years ago that I have been saving for Sunday best. Yesterday I got an idea which I wanted to turn into a proper project. I sat down and did a chicken scratch drawing including measurements. I always work better with a drawing. It keeps me grounded. So last evening, I went into the special stash and chose 5 fat quarters and then into another drawer for some brights to offset the quiet. I got my rotary equipment out and started to cut and then sew all the patches together. This is the latest progress …..

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I love a Dresden Plate. And I especially love the funky fabric which I chose to piece this particular Dresden Plate. You will have to wait a few days before you see the finished project.

I am still making progress on my hexie project. I tend to work on hexies in the evening while watching TV. It’s repetitive work which grows slow and steady while I’m relaxing after a busy day of chores and errands.

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I love the word wonky. And this week when I went to the supermarket, and while I was in the fruit and veg section, I found these …..

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These fruits and veg may be wonky in shape but taste the same as the perfectly shaped ones. It just goes to show you that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

So, it’s been a brilliant week in my little world. The birds have been singing in my garden. The school children are full of the joys of spring. I have had a little fix of creativity which makes any day great.

So, I guess that my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Or perhaps you would like to try something totally different, and why not experience something new. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

ON THE UP

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying a very happy and healthy first week of February. I am finally back on my feet after a prolonged period of illness. My energy levels are almost back to normal and I’m looking forward to catching up with everything I should have been doing these last five weeks.

We have been experiencing some rather bothersome weather here in my little corner of the northeast of England; not nearly as bad as the weather my North American friends and family have been experiencing mind you. England rarely experiences extreme temperatures and bouts of snow aren’t very common either. So that means that when it does get cold and we do get snow, it’s quite a hardship. I put the hardship down to the fact that there isn’t the snow clearing equipment like North America has.

So, let’s see what’s been going on. Well the answer to that  question is, not a lot. I haven’t done much sewing or knitting. I have concentrated on redecorating my hallway as that’s what I was doing when the virus hit me. There’s still loads to do but we’re getting there slowly but surely. My sewing room still looks like a bomb hit it. Loads of stuff which usually resides in my hallway is now in my sewing room. And until the redecorating job is done there will be very little new sewing done. I felt quite anxious about this recently but have now accepted that once the redecorating is done, it will be beautiful and worth the effort.

Over the last few weeks, I have been dreaming up new projects. I need a wall hanging for my hallway. So, this particular new wall hanging project presents a few new opportunities. It gives me the chance to explore new techniques and it also means I can use some of my scraps as well as my main stash. Here’s a little chicken scratch drawing of what I’m planning on creating some day soon.

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And these are the fabric scraps and threads I have gathered so far.

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This is part of my weird and wonky project phase. It will give me a chance to stand outside that ¼” seam allowance rule box that restricts me. I hope to include machine quilting as well as hand quilting long stitches using embroidery thread. I can use some of the thread I have been collecting for some time but have never made use of. I want to stamp words and embellish to my hearts content. But ….. first, I need to finish one or two chores. In the meantime, I can keep adding to my list of techniques and things I want to include in this newest project. I’m working very hard at not being distracted by something new and shiny. I have in the past jumped from one thing to another meaning that I don’t finish the first thing I started.

A while back, my Sarah asked me what I would like for Christmas. Well at that time I couldn’t think of anything I needed. So, I asked her to make me a 1” sided hexagon quilt using scraps. Well Sarah worked hard for ages gathering scraps from every in the house. And she spent many evenings sewing hexagon together. And this is what we’ve got now …..

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I plan on adding a border using something in my stash. And I plan to piece a backing using up fat quarters from my stash. Eventually, I will give it a simple machine quilting job and we will love for many years to come because these hexagons with stitched together with love and hope for a cosy future.

Today I will end this post with a little preview of what’s to come this spring. I love having flowers in the house. So, last week I treated myself to these beautiful tulips. I love the colour.

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So, I guess that’s my report for today. The last few weeks have been long and quite frustrating but I seem to be on the up again. My creative mojo is slowly returning. And hopefully the winter will be a short one. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly love. Until next time,

Let’s keep on stitching.

Lucie x    

WEIRD AND WONKY COMING SOON

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all having a great Thursday. Even though we’re well into the new year now I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very healthy and prosperous 2019.

I’m back!!!!! I have been suffering from a chest infection since the beginning of the year. We all know that this is the time of year where all the germs are being passed around in closed quarters and producing epidemics. It seems I’m not the only one suffering. So, slowly but surely, I am rising from the ashes.

As you can imagine, I haven’t been doing much sewing; until today that is. My Sarah finished piecing and machine quilting a charity quilt a few days ago and I begged her to let me hand finish the binding on said quilt. What better way to kick off my new year sewing than finishing a charity quilt! I machined the binding onto the front side of the quilt …..

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And folded the binding to the back and hand finished it …..

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This quilt is one that Sarah pieced using orphaned blocks and various scraps. The photos don’t really do it justice. I begged Sarah to keep the quilt for us but to be honest we do have plenty of quilts which I made over the years not to mention the few UFOs which I haven’t finished yet. Quilts for Comfort will do this quilt justice. Here are a few photos to give you an idea of what the quilt looks like finished. I love the straight stitch quilting. It gives the quilt a vintage look which and really suits the scrap fabric. Less really is more.

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Now that I have done that little bit of sewing, I am energised and inspired to carry on working on my hexagon quilt. These are the latest diamond shapes I pieced recently …..

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It’s been a quiet old year so far. I’m hoping to liven it up over the coming weeks. I have a few social engagements booked over the next few weeks. And I’m hoping to catch up with the task of painting and papering my hallway soon. I don’t make new year resolutions anymore. I just  compose To-Do Lists which I tick off as and when the jobs are done. I’m still on track to learn new techniques which will give my creative pieces a wonky naïve spin. I have my first project doodled out and some fabric pulled from my stash and scrap bin in readiness to get started. I took my sewing machine for it’s first spin of the year today and it’s working quite nicely. So now I need to gather my courage and get on with it.

I stepped out this morning to restock the fridge and cupboards. When we came out of the supermarket it was snowing. We ended up with a lovely dusting which needed to be brushed off the car. And because I live in the UK now but I will always be a Canadian at heart the snow made me so happy. I truly enjoyed the short ride home. And once we got home, I made sure to sit by the biggest window so I could watch the snow gently hit the ground.

It’s been a lovely day in my little world. I find that I appreciate life so much more nowadays. I have time to sit and actually see what’s going on around me. I don’t miss the drama and I’m amazed how lovely it is not walking on eggshells anymore.

So, I guess that’s my first report of the year. I hope to post soon with some news about my wonky new (to me) techniques. My stash is just crying out to be used and replaced with more modern fabrics. It’s time I got weird and wonky. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly love doing. Slow down and enjoy life. Until next time,

Let’s keep on stitching.

Lucie x

SEASONS GREETINGS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been busy in a good seasonal way. My Sarah and I have been busy getting ready for our few quiet days of Christmas. We quietly celebrate Christmas here in my home. When Sarah was a wee lass we partied as much as we were allowed. Nowadays we enjoy the peace that the Christmas holidays bring us.

The year will soon be coming to an end. I seem to be giving way to daydreaming about all that I did during the past year. I’ve had ups and downs. I can say that on most days, I had something positive to write in my diary. After giving my accomplishments a bit of thought I have come to the conclusion that I need to take my creative life in a different direction. I’m working on a plan of action and my immediate thoughts are that I want to turn my crafting into a wonky naïve direction. I haven’t worked out exactly where that’s going to take me but I think it’s going to be fun making those plans. In the meantime, I need to step into my sewing room and take stock of what supplies I aim to use in my new crafting endeavour. There are miles of fabric and thread crying to be used. So, that’s my goal for 2019.

I finished all my Christmas crafting over the last few weeks. And although I’m itching to start a new project, I have controlled those urges to start something new and simply worked on my hexagons. Hexagons are always my to-go project when I’m in between projects. Slowly but surely my hexagon quilt top is growing. And while I work on this hexagon quilt top I’m thinking about everything I want to do in the new year.

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It’s Christmas eve and everything I could do has been done. All the food for tomorrow’s dinner is waiting to be prepared. And all but one present has been wrapped. Even the new Christmas pyjamas are ready to be worn. The scented candles are lit, the wooden wicks are crackling adding to our quiet homey the atmosphere. The house is warm and cosy. And best of all my heart is at peace. I know I’ve done the best that I could all year long. I hope you all have a peaceful Christmas.

I guess that’s my report for today. I will take this opportunity to wish you all a super holiday season. I hope you all get to spend quality time with your nearest and dearest. Sarah and I will be spending the holiday making life better one quilting stitch at a time.

Happy Stitcher Girls 2018

Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x