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

PERMISSION TO PLAY DAY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable day. I experienced beautiful sunshine today. The sun makes everything better. I ran errands and did mundane chores but best of all I gave myself permission to play.

In my quest to change things around to make life more interesting, I decided that I need to make more time to do the things I enjoy the most. I seemed to have spent many years doing things that I thought, as a woman, I should be doing. Well that way of thinking has been chucked out the window and a new way of life is taking over.

So, while I was working my way thru my To-Do List for today, I came to one task which was to try out the replacement foot control for my sewing machine which I bought a few days ago. My sewing machine was doing strange things and after studying the problem, I decided that it might very well be the foot control which was worn out. So, I plugged to new foot control in and tested it on a fabric test sandwich and so far it’s working well. While I was sitting at my sewing machine amongst the mess that is my sewing room at the moment, I decided to do a little more sewing. So, I dragged out some scraps from the fabrics I gathered for my new project and started to join them together. I didn’t worry too much about the ¼” seam allowance rule and I used up odd shapes and simply joined them all together. I must admit I did use a rotary cutter and a ruler to trim a few straight angles to make the adding on job easier. And needless to say, I pressed all the seams as I went along. This is what I produced …..

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Now these two crazy patchwork blocks will eventually be incorporated into my new project. Not only that, but while I was sitting happily sewing, I came up with another idea to use the smaller scraps which I produced while joining all the bigger scraps. These scraps along with a piece of iron on interfacing and a piece of netting will become something else which I may or may not incorporate into this new project but either way, I will enjoy trying to make this idea work.

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Isn’t it funny that when you use up your scraps your actually produce more scraps???? I have plenty of bigger scraps that I can turn into smaller scraps. I’m hoping that my simple fix for my beloved sewing machine that’s been doing funny things is exactly what it needed.

It’s rather nice stepping away from traditional quilt making. And I know it won’t be to everyone’s taste but I think exploring new techniques and avenues is good for the soul. This is how we develop new trends, colour schemes and unusual techniques. After all, beauty is all in the eye of the beholder.

So, I guess that my report for today. I have a rather busy week ahead of me. So, I might not have the chance to play again for a few days. However, you can bet that I will be itching to worm my way back into my sewing to have another play. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. For all my friends who are experiencing cold winter temperatures, stay warm and safe. 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    

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

SEASONAL UPDATE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super-duper day. I’ve noticed something in the air. Until today I couldn’t quite work out what it was. I found myself feeling a bit anxious since the weekend. And then I heard something on the news at lunchtime today which helped me work out what’s up. Christmas is in 43 days and I’ve got not much of anything ready. I used to be so organised when my Sarah was a little girl. By the time she broke up from school for the holiday everything was ready to go. I wonder if, as we grow older, Christmas becomes more relaxed.

So, I have reviewed my latest To-Do List and rejigged it to reflect the holiday season approaching. I managed to tick two different seasonal jobs from my list already. And I have a new Christmas project finished and ready to enjoy. I designed and pieced this cushion cover over the summer but forgot about it until this past weekend …..

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I kept this project simple by using up a few of my scraps and a fat quarter for the background. Less is definitely more in this case. The iridescent ribbon pretties it up nicely. And digging around in my button jars was great fun too.

Still in keeping with the spirit of the season, my friend mentioned she wanted to make seasonal wreaths using hexagons. So, I offered to help her work out how to do it. This is what I came up with so far …..

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Once the actual wreath is pieced, we could add any kind of embellishment we wish. I dragged out some ribbon for hanging and the bells can dangle from the centre hole. However, after giving more thought, perhaps raffia or jute twine might do just as well for hanging. I suppose the sky’s the limit. Working on this little wreath project kind of put me in mood for the holiday which has creeped up on me. I’m looking forward to the quiet days between Christmas and New Year and all the stuff I dream of doing. We all know that whatever we plan will most likely not happen!!! but it’s nice to dream.

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So far, it’s been a pretty good week in my little world. I had a nice lunch date yesterday. I tend to be pretty quiet nowadays but when I get the chance to step out for a bit, it makes a nice change of pace. My quiet little life is perfect for me at this stage of life.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I’m about to head outside to sweep a few leaves up and move a little planter into it’s rightful place by my front door. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s on 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

END OF ANOTHER BRILLIANT WEEK

Hello my lovelies. Have you had a good week? Mine has been brilliant. I’ve done a bit of this and that and thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

I ran a few errands this morning and a wee bit of fabric may have found it’s way into my bag …..

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It’s time again to start thinking about making a notebook cover. My current notebook is coming to an end and I’ll be using some of these long quarters to fabricate said notebook cover. I love the cheerful colours and as I use my notebook daily will enjoy using it. I didn’t really need to buy new fabric but I thought as I have been pretty good at using up what I have for a good while, I deserved a little treat. And besides, the new prints might bring me inspiration. I look forward to cutting into these new babies and piecing something gorgeous that I’ll see every single day.

The weather was very co-operative today. I hadn’t planned to spend anytime outside, in fact, I was going to disappear into my sewing room to have a sewing fix. However, because the sun was shining and the wind was virtually non-existent, I decided to step out and start my autumn garden clean-up.

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I clipped and chopped until I filled two reusable garden waste bags. There’s a fifteen-foot Buddleia in one of those bags!!! That’s almost three times my height!!! I worked in the garden space just outside my sewing room. It was getting quite overgrown and scary looking. After an hour of clipping and chopping I managed to clear three-quarters of that area of my garden making it look much tidier. I will dispose off the garden clippings at the tip tomorrow on my way to my sewing session.

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My companion supervisor, kept an eye on me while I quietly worked my way thru what looked triffids. She stood just off to one side trying to take in some of the lovely autumn sunshine.

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Maisie is in pretty good shape for an old lady dog. She’s twelve now and she loves all of life’s comforts. Once we came inside she assumed her position on the end of the sofa and snored for an hour. It’s hard work supervising outdoors.

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I recently finished piecing my latest project and loaded it into my longarm quilting system a couple of days ago. I’m really looking forward to finishing the quilting and binding but in the meantime …..

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My design wall is looking so sad. So, tell me ladies, what are you working on these days? I was thinking perhaps, that while I work out my next design, I should probably use up some of my scraps to make a couple of cosy scrappy quilts that my Sarah and I can use on cold winter evenings while watching TV. I bought a large piece of fleece a few weeks ago, which would be perfect to back a couple of cosy scrappy quilts. In the meantime, I can workout what my next theme is. Writers get writers block well I’ve got quilt designer’s block at the moment. I’m sure the inspiration will come soon enough and my design wall will be covered is loveliness again.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. It’s been a fine week in my little world. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. We all need to do more of what we love. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

SLOW MEASURED PACE TODAY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super-duper day. It’s been a good productive day in my little world. Somehow, I managed to add the last borders onto my Sweet Dresden Town quilt project. I have been working on and off on this project for some months now. I am so thrilled to see the quilt top finished and loaded into my longarm quilting system. I’m hoping that by this time next week the quilt will be quilted, bound and labelled; ready to unveil to the world. I’m quite pleased with this project. It’s a whimsical view of the neighbourhood I would love to live in. There are a couple of real-life landmarks which can be found in my little corner of the northeast of England.

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I will be adding some simple quilting to this quilt using a very pale green thread and the binding will be a scrappy multi-coloured affair. Instead of introducing new fabric for the border, I plan on using up all the scraps from the patches.

With My Sweet Dresden Town all but finished, I’m already looking for a new project to sink my teeth into. I still have plenty of fabric in my stash that needs using up. I would like my next whimsy to be a combination of simple pieced blocks and simple appliqué blocks. This year has been all about the Dresden Plate, so perhaps I should find another favourite block to work with for my next endeavour. I’ll let you know when I decide on my next theme.

I worked in my sewing room all morning and part of the afternoon on my feet. While working I wore these …..

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I am determined to break these beauties in enough so I can wear them out and about properly. They are more comfortable than when I first purchased them but they’re not like slippers yet.

Today is Wednesday, the hump of the week. Only two more workdays left to this week. I feel like I’ve been very busy lately but somehow, I don’t have much to show for my efforts. I must try harder. I don’t seem to be taking many photos these days. Rather than taking photos I seem to be enjoying life as it comes.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. It’s been a good day here at happy stitching manor. I have enjoyed my quiet time working at my slow and measured pace. And even though I worked quietly and slowly, I still made good progress. Speed isn’t important. I think what’s important is to enjoy every moment of what you’re doing. 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