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

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

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

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    

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