TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a great day. Phew!!! It’s such a busy time of year. I feel like I’m trying to wrap up all the chores I wish I had done earlier before the last day of the year. Isn’t it funny how we become anxious about things that don’t really matter? I’ve had one or two chats with myself about such things that don’t matter of late. It’s very hard to reason with myself at times.

So, along with a few chores I’ve also had a little playtime in my sewing room. I embellished my hexagon wreath …..

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As you can see, I kept it simple. A couple of gold bells, a bit of raffia and some fake holly leaves and berries and Bob’s your uncle. I quite like my little wreath. It’s such a simple make which is the perfect evening armchair project for this time of year.

 A few weeks ago, I treated myself to a few long quarters of fabric to make a new notebook cover. Well the fabric sat onto of a pile for a while. I kept looking at it longingly trying to work out a plan of action. Today, I decided that it was time to piece said notebook cover. So, I found a blank notebook in amongst my stationery and pressed the fabric and started cutting it up. Once again or as usual, I kept the piecing simple and straight forward.

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I layered up the little quilt top and added some stitching using some of my much loved Aurifil thread. My Aurifil only comes out on special days to be used on special projects! I used some of the fancy stitches on my sewing machine. I don’t use fancy stitches very often but you’ll notice that I still kept it simple.

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I use this notebook every single day. I write my To-Do List in it. I draw chicken scratch diagrams for new ideas. I write notes regarding things that I don’t want to forget such as appointments and phone numbers. I generally go thru two notebooks a year. After today’s little sewing session, I ready for the new year ahead.

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Apart from buying fresh food, I’m ready for Christmas. My fairy lights are up and twinkling. My wee Christmas Tree is decorated. My scented candles are lit every evening. And the stockings are hung on the fireplace. The Christmas spirit has arrived at happy stitching manor, finally. The only thing that could possibly make me feel more festive is a dusting of snow of the big day.

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So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you’re all enjoying the run up to the festive season. I notice the shops are getting busier and the traffic is pretty bad at times. Tis the season alright. 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

KEEPING SEASONALLY BUSY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been having a great time in this run up to Christmas. I cannot believe that the new year is just around the corner. Did you know that there’s only 27 more sleeps until Christmas?

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I have been keeping busy doing this and that. I have been working on a few Christmas presents ….

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As you can see someone will be getting a pair of socks which I knitted with my very own hands. And someone else will be getting a couple of candle mats. I really enjoyed making the candle mats, I wasn’t really sure how to go about it but I think the mats turned out pretty good. I’m sure the recipient of the candle mats will appreciate them. And the last item I crafted was a knitting needle roll. If you’re a knitter, you can never have too many of these.

Nowadays, my Christmas present list isn’t very long. And I don’t hand craft as many presents as I used to. Sarah and I are both looking forward to the holidays. We’re planning on having a nice relaxing quiet time making new happy memories.

My Sarah and I have collaborated on a project recently. Sarah machine quilted a quilt for Quilts for Comfort and I added the binding. Our little pile of charity quilts is growing slowly. Life has been rather full of quiet activities for both of us and so the charity quilts are growing a little slower than we would have hoped. Slow and steady is good.

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This is the time of year when I ponder what’s been happening over the past year. It’s been a quiet year of rebuilding. You can all rest assured that the simple life that I’m living nowadays is very fulfilling. Life isn’t passing me by, I’m enjoying every minute.

This past week, I helped one of my friends finish one of her projects by doing a little freemotion quilting. Boy oh boy did I ever enjoy machine quilting this jelly roll race type quilt. I filled each strip with one of three different stitching designs. Not only did I get a good old freemotion quilting practice but also, I was doing something useful. I’m quite sure the recipient of this quilt will cherish it for years to come. Does anyone else find that hand finishing the binding is quite satisfying. I sure do, especially when the rain is going past the horizontally.

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I have truly enjoyed every minute of crafting over the last couple of weeks. A little knitting and a whole lot of machine sewing, kept me occupied. And not only was I busy but I found inspiration. Just when my mojo was almost non-existent, by working on my Christmas presents, I tripped on a little bit of inspiration. I guess I better get my sketchbook out and start drawing new designs to work on after Christmas.

I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Stay warm and safe. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

A BIT OF DOODLING

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

GOING TO TOWN STITCHING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

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 …..

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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 …..

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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 …..

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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.

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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 …..

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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,

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 Lucie x

FORMING A NEW PLAN OF ACTION

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been enjoying a glorious autumn. It’s been lovely in my little corner of the northeast of England. It’s starting to cool off and even some of the trees are already turning to autumn colours. We had a very dry summer so it’s no wonder that the leaves are changing so early.

I’ve been keeping very busy with household chores. I planted up my outdoor planters with violas …..

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I love violas. I love seeing their smiling faces when I pull into my driveway. I especially love the bright yellow and deep purple varieties.

I have been tidying up my bedroom. In fact, I changed my bed and added some new and extra storage. And because I changed my bed I decided to buy a new duvet cover which I promptly turned into a quilt using  quilting design called Rococo by Hermione Agee of Lorien Quilting …..

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I did a little more longarm quilting recently …..

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This quilting design is called Feathered Garden by Irene Steele. It stitches out really nicely and looks really good on this sampler.

Now that the cooler weather has set in, I have a hankering to knit!!! So, I went back to knitting socks. I started these socks last spring and carried off where I left off yesterday afternoon while I was watching a few recorded shows on TV …..

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It looks like I’m well on my way to finishing this UFO of the knitted variety. I made a picnic basket type of bucket at the end of last year and tucked it away behind my longarm quilting frame. I kept tripping over it until today when I decided to use it to store my knitting projects. I don’t know why I waited so long to use it.

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The last week or so has just flown by. I’ve had so many little jobs that needed doing which kept my mind occupied. I’m hoping to soon have the time to form a new plan of action for the next few months. I have a short list of gentle goals. I seem to be well suited to creative pursuits. So, I think I’ll include plenty of creativity in my new plan of action.

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 keeping 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

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.

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

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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 ….

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And this shot is with the button embellishment …..

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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????

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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