THE FESTIVAL OF QUILTS TICKETS GIVEAWAY

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying a productive time. Things are pretty busy here at happy stitching manor. I have been working quietly behind the scenes on my latest creation. I must admit that I have absolutely and thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of my creativity. I think this project is the best I have created so far. I can’t wait to share How Does Your Garden Grow. So, watch this space.

 

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I’ve popped in today because I have once again been offered free passes to attend The Festival of Quilts this year. However, due to previous commitments, I will not be attending this time but the good organizers of the festival have set aside 5 pairs of day tickets for me to giveaway. The show runs from August 1st to the 4th. I think it’s going to be a great show. There’s always loads of beautiful quilts

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to see and the wonderful Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company will be in attendance. I would love to attend one of her lectures. Jenny’s story of how she got involved in the patchwork scene is a very interesting and inspirational one.

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As well as Jenny, there are oodles of super vendors selling things that you cannot live without!!! I always look at the tools and gadgets carefully. Attending The Festival of Quilts is always an adventure for me. Things change from one year to the next, including the roads! I always manage to get lost but that’s all part of the rich tapestry of life.

So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. If you live in the UK and you are planning on going to The Festival of Quilts enter my giveaway draw. It’s quite simple, all I ask is that you tell me what patchwork technique you enjoy the most (pieced blocks, appliqué block, strip patchwork, freemotion machine quilting etc) your name, and what town and county you live in. You can do all this in a comment. Click comments at the top of the screen, scroll down and enter your info in the comment box. Come along ladies, step right up and bag yourself a free pair of day tickets for The Festival of Quilts. You know you want to. The draw will close on June 27th. Good luck everyone.

So, that’s my news for today. I will be back soon with some progress news. I have loads to share with you but I really want to make a little more progress before the big reveal. 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

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

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

FEATHERED VISITS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying the month of May so far. It’s been pretty good in my little corner of the northeast of England. It seems the weather has taken a downturn for the moment. It’s brrrr cold. It’s a bank holiday weekend and quite often we have rain on these holiday weekends. So not much change there. I have a great weekend planned full of chores and fun things to do. So, watch this space.

I have been doing a little bit of designing and block piecing of late. I finished piecing the project and spent part of the morning adding a border …..

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And here’s a little sneaky peek at two bits of my quilt top …..

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I might reveal a little more once the quilting is done.

Now while I was piecing and attaching the border to my latest project, I saw some movement outside my window. It took me a little while to work out what said movement was. There was a wee robin flying around my back garden gathering twiggy bits. I suspect that the wee robin is building a nest somewhere nearby. And of course, the wee robin was moving far too quickly for me to snap a photo. However the wee robin kept flying into my little teapot ornament to have a rest …..

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I don’t think the robin is building a nest in my teapot because the opening is far to large but it was nice to see it standing/sitting in the teapot resting now and again. We always had a resident robin in years gone by but I haven’t seen it in a while. I hope the wee robin visits me again and often. I’ll be sure to top up the feeders and bird bath regularly just to encourage such birdy visits.

So, I guess that’s my report for this week. I hope you’ve all had a productive week. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a bank holiday weekend here in the UK. I there’s nothing like a long weekend to get a few seasonal jobs done. I was kind of hoping to plant my annual bedding plants this weekend but the weatherman is forecasting frost at night so I’ll leave it for a few more days. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. I plan on doing some hexie work while watching a new episode of The Bletchley Circle. I do enjoy a good murder mystery. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

SUNNY CATCHUP ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a superb weekend. Storm Hannah was supposed to be rumbling thru but it seems she has missed my little corner of the northeast of England. I have no doubt that some kind of bad weather will come thru at some point this week. I am quite appreciative of the lovely sunshine today but a few days ago it was dark a dismal out so I decided to make my own sunshine …

The Dresden Plate happens to be one of my favourite blocks of late. I am currently designing and piecing a new project for which I need a sun. So, I decided to use a yellow Dresden. The Dresden Plate is such a simple buy rather effective block.

With the coming of the good weather, I have been hankering after planting up my planters with summer annual plants. I bought some but I’m still a wee bit worried that we might get some frost at night, so I’m holding off for a few more days. We’ll be entering May in a couple of days and by then we should be past the risk of frost. Although I haven’t planted any annuals yet, I did add three herbaceous perennials to one of my front borders.  They were an absolute bargain and they were calling my name. I will need one or two others to fill in the blank patch in said border but I made a good start for now. My Clematis is starting to bloom nicely. I gave it a really good prune and was worried that it might not reappear this year but it has. Lucky me!

It seems Fridays are the day of week that changes everything in my little quiet world. I was sitting quietly in my little den answering some correspondence when a helicopter came into view. It was hovering over the houses across the road and making its way to the green space just a few doors in readiness for landing. This has happened a few times before. The last time a helicopter landed in the green space it was because one of our Royal family members was bestowing a visit upon our neighbourhood. It was Prince Edward visiting Bede Academy which is just a few minutes away from my home. In previous times, I wasn’t quick enough to grab my beat-up old camera in order to take photos of the event. Well this time, I got a couple of snaps. So, here’s a photo of the helicopter shortly after landing and a photo of Prince Edward walking from the helicopter to the waiting car ready to take the Prince to the school.

 

A couple of weeks ago it was hunky firemen and this week it was a Royal!!! I wonder what will happen this Friday???

With summer looming, life just seems so much better. I look forward to every single day. That isn’t to say that every day is a great day but I pick and choose all the positive aspects of life to focus on. I am on another creative journey at the moment. The project I have been designing is coming together nicely. I’m making plenty of time to concentrate on it. Creativity is my drug of choice. I stay away from drama and toxic people. They seem to put a damper on life which I don’t appreciate considering that I do my best not affect anyone else in adverse ways. Life is simply too short.

Well that’s my report for this week. I am so looking forward to seeing what my garden is going to look like in six weeks time. So, tell my how does your garden grow these days??? 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

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 MOTHER’S DAY

Hello my lovelies on this glorious sunny Mother’s Day.  It’s the perfect day here in my little corner of the northeast of England. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and I’m just mooching about doing something and nothing.

I have a wee bit of sewing news. I am slowly making progress on my latest hand quilting project. I am thoroughly enjoying the quiet repetitive soothing hand stitching. Everyone should hand quilt at least one patchwork or whole cloth quilt in their lifetime. So, feast your peeps on this …..

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Contrary to popular belief my quilting stitches aren’t all even. And my chosen quilting design won’t be to everyone’s taste. And I’m sure the quilting police would have plenty to say about my appliqué work, however, this project wasn’t designed to please anyone else but me. I have learned not to take life too seriously. I think finished is much better than perfect. I am so pleased with the result of this project so far, that I will be hanging it on the wall for all to see. Warts and all.

I had a little stroll in my garden this morning. My garden isn’t huge, so when I say a little stroll, I’m not kidding. The sunshine and blue sky makes me feel like I live in a castle, albeit a small one. I digress, the point is, I found some lovely growth. My tree peony has flower buds on it …..

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I never really liked this tree peony but it fills quite a large space in a back border and also gives me some privacy from the neighbours. Also my peony shrub is making good progress …..

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My borders are in need of a little more pruning and mulching. All in good time.

As I mentioned earlier, today is Mother’s Day in the UK. So, to all the special mamas today, I wish you a very special day spending time with your children and grandchildren of all ages.

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Well I guess that’s my report for this week. It’s been quite an interesting week. And good progress is being made in all aspects of my life. I hope you’re all having a super cosy day doing things 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