POSITIVE STEPS FORWARD

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all having a great day. It’s been a bit productive around here today. We’re starting to experience positive steps forward. Now that the tips are open again, I have been sorting and tidying. I expect to make my first trip to the tip this weekend. I’m going to fill the car full of rubbish and recycling and make the trip worth it. My utility room, which housed plenty of surplus to requirement stuff since lockdown began is now looking much tidier.

Today, I will show you my 44th art journal effort. Today’s theme is under the sea …..

Fish

It started off like this …..

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I didn’t do too much more to it apart from adding the fish which were cut out of a dictionary page, a bit of pen doodling and water colour shading.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to splodge some paint of fabric with the idea that I would add a bit of fabric appliqué and some simple quilting. Well here’s how it looks after a little bit of stitching …..

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You will note that I kept this piece very basic. Even the stitching is very basic. All in all, I am pleased with the piece. My goal is to turn it into a wall hanging of some kind. The edges need finishing first. Normally I would add binding but I want the piece to look rustic. So, I’ll have a little think before I do anything else to it.

After finishing joining all my hexagons together and adding a border, I switched to a hand quilting project. It’s been going quite well. I have so far marked and moved my quilting hoop three times over two evenings making great progress. Here’s a little peek …..

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It’s been a while since I’ve done any hand quilting. Once you get going and if you’re in the mood it goes well. This quilt is for Christmas. I hope to get it finished in time for Christmas this year.

The sun has been shining on a off all day here. The temperature seems to be climbing again. Although I must admit that we still need to dress for cool temperature today.

Well, my friends, that’s my news for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something interesting. Remember to stay safe, safe alert and be well. Until next time,

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

Lucie x

AUTUMN AND WINTER TO-DOs

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying the fresh autumn days. During my walk with Maisie in the mornings over the last couple of weeks, I crunched leaves under my feet and found one or two white feathers confirming that I’m on the right path to happiness.
So, let’s see. What have I been up to lately? Well I have been knitting up a little storm …..


This piece is going to be turned into a pullover or possibly a cardigan. I haven’t decided yet. Once I finish knitting up the back, I will make up my mind.

I have been attempting to work on a traditional patchwork technique called Cathedral Windows …..

I plan on turning this piece into a cushion. I dragged out a few red fabrics from my stash and cut them up and sewed them back together in a different order and so far, the piece looks like this. For this technique I used my sewing machine to piece the beginnings and now I’m adding the finishing touches by hand. I really do enjoy hand sewing. This is the perfect armchair project while watching some mindless TV shows. I will show you the finished project eventually. It might make a nice Christmas gift once it’s finished.

A few weeks back I pieced and machine quilted a quilt for a special occasion. I only showed you a small area of the quilt at the time. The quilt was a wedding present for a special couple. Well here is a better view of the quilt. I completely forgot to take a photo of the whole quilt before wrapping and gifting it. I received a message from the lovely Sheila asking if I could post a better view of the finished quilt, so I hope this does the trick.


With winter just around the corner not to mention Christmas in only 72 sleeps and we can expect short daylight hours and very dark nights, it’s important to find lots of things to add to our To-Do List to keep us busy indoors during the winter weather. Well I have a suggestion for all my readers who live in my neck of the woods. You may or may not know that the Knitting & Stitching Show event is taking place in Harrogate between November 28th and December 1st at the Harrogate Convention Centre. And the good folks who run and promote the event have offered me 5 pairs of tickets with which to run a free ticket giveaway. So, ladies and germs, here’s your opportunity to have a grand day out at a crafty show. To be in with a chance to win a pair of free tickets just post a comment. In the comment please tell me what your favourite craft is and in what county of England you live. Unfortunately, since the Knitting & Stitching Show is held here in the northeast of England, I will only enter the names of those who live in England. I shall be pulling the winners on October 27th and announcing the winners soon after. Good luck to everyone who is brave enough to enter my giveaway. If you’re wondering how to  comment, just scroll up to the title of the post and click on it and then scroll down to the bottom on the post and you’ll see the comment box. For more info about the show click on the picture below to be taken to the website.


So, my friends, I guess that’s my news for this weekend. I hope you’ve all been enjoying this glorious autumn. I look forward to seeing a few more pumpkins around over the next few weeks. And I’m going to carry on crunching thru the fallen leaves underfoot. I’m going to carry on adding events to my To-Do List to keep me busy thru the winter months. It’s important to always have something to look forward to especially during the dark cold months. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,
Let’s all keep on stitching because one quilting stitch at a time, life gets better and better.
Lucie x

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

 

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

WAITING FOR SUNSHINE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying a glorious Monday. It’s a holiday here in the UK. I seem to have spent quite a lot of time waiting for the sun to shine this weekend. It’s sunny as I write this post but for most of the weekend it’s been dark and dreary. While I waited, I decided to do something useful. I have been working on piecing a new design this past week or so. And because it didn’t look like we would get any bright weather making it more interesting to step out into the garden to do some tidying, I decided to load my quilt into my longarm and give it a simple quilting job. I love adding texture to my appliqué designs. Here’s my little bit of sunshine while there was none outside …..

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Somehow, I managed to machine quilt and hand finish the binding on this quilt all in one day. Mind you I did very few household chores and basically concentrated on my quilt.

A few days ago, I decided to play with some fabric scraps. I simply gathered up mini scraps of fabric and cut them into small triangles which I placed on a foundation fabric approximately 6-1/2” x 10”. I just kept adding scraps and moving them around until I was happy with the layout. I chose a thread colour that I liked and began to sew the scraps in place. When everything was anchored down, I chose a piece of course grain ribbon which was on a gift set which I got for Christmas and a piece of cotton lace which was also on a gift parcel. I played around with the scraps of ribbon and lace until I decided to set them out in a hashtag design. Then I decided to add some netting to form pockets which I filled with a paper word in one pocket and a few loose buttons in the other.

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Don’t even ask me what I will do with my play time effort! I may add another border and then place it in a frame or possibly just square it off and add a binding but I’ll be sure to play around with this liberating technique again. My effort, to me looks like a mess but I think if I have another go, I might learn to accept my freestyle pieces of work better. I have plenty of fabric scraps and oodles of embellishment supplies. As hard as I try, I am still all about the ¼” seam allowance brigade. I spent so many years making traditional quilts that it can be quite difficult to step away from the quilt police rules. I have said it before and I’m saying it again today, it’s OK to give yourself permission to play often. This is how we introduce new trends.

It’s been a lovely quiet weekend here in my little corner of the northeast of England. Like millions of others, I watched the final episode of the Line of Duty last night. I won’t spoil it for those of you who have not watched it yet but I did not expect that ending at all. The good news is, the BBC have commissioned another series of Line of Duty for next year.

So, I guess that’s my report for this week. I hope to give myself permission to play again sometime soon. Who knows how my next mess of fabric scraps will turn out? 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

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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 …..

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And joining rows together …..

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And ended up with this little quilt top …..

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Which I turned into this …..

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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