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

 

SEW CREATIVE ON SUNDAY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying a super weekend. It’s a bank holiday here in the UK. Yahoo, three days of peace and quiet. So, I got up early and did my household chores and disappeared into my sewing room and had a little play. Here’s what I have been prepping …..

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I’m hoping to be able to give myself permission to play in my sewing room again tomorrow. I really would like to start machining these patches in place. Note that I keep my designs simple nowadays. Doing this kind of appliqué work gives me a chance to use my scraps. If you look closely you see that even the background is pieced using leftovers from other projects. Piecing the background is a boring chore but it’s definitely worth the effort. Not to mention that when I next purchase fabric to be used for backgrounds I won’t feel guilty.

Well that’s my report for this fabulous bank holiday Sunday. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

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

Lucie x

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I guess that’s my report for today. I am so pleased to finally be getting on with my new How Does Your Garden Grow. My favourite part of any new project is prepping the blocks. I’ve had a great time prepping a few blocks this afternoon. I suspect this project will move quickly because it’s a subject that’s close to my heart. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

CUSHION COVERS IN THE SUN

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a great week. It’s been a great week in my little corner of the northeast of England in terms of productive accomplishments. I longarm quilted a few charity quilts and designed and pieced a couple of new cushion covers. I kept the design simple and doable in one session. Here’s a little peek …..

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I am the queen of meander freemotion quilting but this time I kept the quilting very very simple by quilting in the ditch. I used that funky sewing machine foot that helps me stitch along the seam without wibbling and wobbling all over the place. I love it when a plan comes together.

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The sun has been shining all day long here. The last few days have been sunshine free for the most part. And don’t let’s get started about how cold it’s been. It was like winter! I have really appreciated seeing the sun today. Perhaps that why I zoomed thru making not one but two cushion covers!!! The sun spurs me on.

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So, I guess that’s another week behind us. We’re almost halfway thru the year. I suppose 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

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

A TASTE OF HAND QUILTING

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been enjoying a fine spring day. We’ve supposedly seen the back end of Storm Gareth but the wind is still mighty strong. I stepped out into the garden this morning to pick the litter blown into my borders and that wind was soooo strong. When I finished my little litter picking session my garden was sparkling clean. My new garden waste bin is almost full and will be ready for collection next week.

I have done a little more sewing since I last posted. Every new quilting stitch, whether by hand or machine, brings me closer to a better life. So, working on my big bag and putting the finishing touches on it feels great. I used some of my very favourite background fabric and some funky bright fabric to piece this big bag.

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And of course, I added a bright half Dresden Plate to jazz it up and some bright side ties. All in all, it’s a pretty simple project but very useful for what I want to use it for. Can you guess what I’ll be using this bag for? No?

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I will be storing my hand quilting project in it while I’m not working on it …..

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This is a UFO from years ago. I came across it while I was searching for something else, quite a happy find. I have started the process by stabilising the centre block and its patches.

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I’m planning on giving it a simple quilting job. I am a great fan of geometric designs. So, I will be hand stitching nesting circles all over the centre block. I’m not sure how I will proceed with the rest of it yet. By the time I have finished quilting the centre I will probably know exactly what to do with the next section.

So, it’s been a good day in my little world. All little work and a little play make for a happy well lived life. We all have a different definition of a well lived life. My definition is to stay away from drama, be the best me that I can be and I keep my expectations at a reasonable level. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching, it really does make life better.

Lucie x

FRIDAY STITCHING SUNDAY BEST FABRICS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

DAFFODIL FIND

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying the tail end of winter. Because I have friends and family in Canada, I know that the weather has been horrendous lately. In Québec, they have had so much snow and then rain and then snow and more rain. When things start to thaw, they’re going to have fun and games. While here in the UK today, we’ve had super brilliant sunshine. I went outside to take a photo of my daffodils and I could hear the birds singing beautifully. It was up rather uplifting listening to the birds for a few minutes.

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While I was outside, I spotted these lonely snowdrops sitting there looking pretty sad. I think I’ll plant a few more snowdrops to keep these lonely ones company in years to come.

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It’s been a busy company of weeks. We’re finally putting the house back in order after a decorating job. Deciding what pictures to hang where seems to be our most difficult decision at the moment.

I do have a little bit sewing to show you. I have been doing some hand quilting recently. I finished the job over the weekend. Have a little look at this simple but interesting hand quilting.

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DSCN1153I took a couple of simple circle templates and used them over and over again to produce this quilting design. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that bring interest to a project. Now that I have finished this little project, I have a hankering to work on another hand quilting project. So, watch this space.

Now that spring is just around the corner, I’m feeling so much perkier. Quite a while ago, I decided that I would always choose to look at the positive aspects of life which I believe enables us to lead happier lives. Never expect someone else to make you happy. You have to choose to be happy.

It’s been a pretty fulfilling weekend in my little corner of the northeast of England. The days are getting longer and the temperature is rising. I may be wrong but we may have escaped having anymore winter storms. Autumn is my favourite time of year but spring comes in a close second. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s keep on stitching, because a little stitching makes life better.

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

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