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

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

STACK OF USEFULNESS

 

Hello my lovelies from a sunny breezy northeast of England. It’s finally Friday. I’m sure there are loads of you sighing because you’re happy to see the end of the workweek. I’m going to enjoy my weekend. I’m going to reward myself for filling the past week with useful tasks. Here’s my stack of usefulness for this week …..

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I lovingly folded and stacked these completed quilts last evening. It gave me great satisfaction knowing that these few quilts, that were a joint effort between our volunteer quilt makers and me, will bring comfort for a few poorly young people who need comfort.

Last evening while I was sitting watching television and hand finishing the binding on a quilt, I was making of plan of action for a quilt I have been asked to piece. So, after doing my morning routine, I gathered up pen and paper and drew a grid and re-divided the grid into different sections in order to be able to spread the colours and prints of the chosen fabric.

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I started rotary cutting, sewing and pressing furiously. At the moment the quilt is in three sections because I plan on adding a little simple raw edge machine appliqué. It will be a lot simpler to add some machine appliqué if I don’t have to push the whole quilt top thru my sewing machine.

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So, as you can see for yourself, it’s been a pretty busy week in my little world. Next week, I have one or two appointments. So hopefully I can go back to working at my slow and measured pace again. Traveling in the slow lane is so great. It gives you a chance to look at the scenery.

I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something your truly love doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

MEETING THE CHALLENGE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you all had a super sunny day. It’s suppose to be spring but it’s not very warm yet. The grass is growing and the spring bulb flowers are peeking out. I’ve got a few daffodils making a little show in my front borders. I love daffodils, they’re a sign of what’s to come. In a few weeks I’ll be shopping for my annual summer bedding plants. I so looking forward to warmer times.

So, what do you think I’ve been doing today. Do you think I met my quilt making buddies for coffee and a natter? Or perhaps I went shopping for new shoes? Did I go out to have my hair and nails done? No ….. I spent most of my day in my sewing room longarm quilting the last of my 5-quilt challenge. Yippeee! Have a little look at my latest charity quilt. I must stress that I did not piece this quilt top, it was pieced by one of our Quilts for Comfort volunteers. For this quilt, I stitched a quilting design called Butterfly Beauty by Hermione Agee using a nice fine white thread. I’m very pleased with how this one turned out.

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The first thing I did this morning is rotary cut seven strips fabric to be joined together and used as binding. I’ve been really lucky to have loads of my own stash that I could use as binding for all the charity quilts I have quilted in the past week. I’m hoping to squeeze one more quilt in before my next volunteer meeting next week. So, watch this space.

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It’s been quite an adventure meeting a challenge I set myself. It just goes to show what you can accomplish when you set your mind to it. I must admit that yesterday I felt like a creature on a hamster wheel running as fast as I could without getting very far. Today I can see just what I have accomplished. I have a nice little pile of finish quilts for all the effort I put into it. Tomorrow I’m having a day off from longarm quilting in favour of doing a few household that I need to catch up on. I may even work on one of my own projects.

It’s been a lovely day in my little world. It’s been busy but that’s the way I like it. I can remember a time when I always felt like I was walking on egg shells. Those egg shells have disappeared making my home a place of comfort and safety. Sarah is really busy working on final major university assignments and helping out with the year end degree show. I think she’s learning a hard lesson about how when you join a committee to organise an event there are always too many chiefs and not enough Indians. I definitely look forward to seeing the end of this final academic year. Operation Taking Flight has zoomed by and we will soon have our whole lives ahead of us.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something relaxing. Until next time,

 

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

THAT GROUNDHOG DAY FEELING

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fabulous day. It’s been a rather busy one in my little world. I got up at the crack of sparrow fart to make enough binding for two quilts. I rotary cut fourteen 2-1/2” strips and joined them together on the bias …..

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And then pressed the length in half in readiness to be machined on two quilts, today and yesterday’s longarm effort.

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I made two labels as well but completely forgot to take photos!!! I hadn’t had my coffee yet.

We had some lovely sunshine earlier which of course spurred me on get some more longarm quilting done. You may have guessed that I was working on a charity quilt again today. That just proves that you read yesterday’s post. It’s beginning to feel like Groundhog Day around here this week. Here’s a little peek at the scrappy quilt which I longarm quilted today …..

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It’s quite similar to the ones I did earlier in the week. Today’s effort was quilted using a bright gold thread again and a quilting design called Buzz by Hermione Agee.

So that was number four and here’s number five in the challenge I set myself …..

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I must stress that I did not piece this quilt, it was donated by one of our Quilts for Comfort volunteers. This one is quite different from the four scrappy quilts I longarm quilted lately. I’m thinking of using white thread on this one and perhaps a simple but girlier quilting design. I’m a girly girl so girly works well for me. I’m hoping to squeeze one more in this week. I’m looking forward to sitting down and drawing some appliqué blocks this weekend. I’m missing working on one of my own projects. I’ll aim to concentrate on my own stuff next week.

It’s been a pretty good day in my corner of the northeast of England. I spotted a city grass cutting crew out and about. I guess that means that spring has properly arrived. Easter is just around the corner which is when I kick off my own garden spring clean. I’m a fair-weather gardener. I sure hope we have good weather for Easter.

So, I guess that my report for today. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something seasonal. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

STILL ROCKING WITH CHARITY QUILTS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a lovely first day of spring. I enjoyed some lovely sunshine. It wasn’t super warm but it was lovely. The temperature is slowly creeping up, finally!

So, what have I been doing today. Well I’ve been doing much the same as I have been doing the last few days. I longarm quilted another charity quilt …..

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I must impress upon you that I did not piece these latest quilts. Quilts for Comfort is the charity I volunteer for and we have loads of lovely volunteers who piece quilts and several ladies, such as myself, who quilt the few quilt tops that come in. Margaret and Jenny pieced the quilt tops in my current challenge. Today’s effort was quilted using a bright gold thread, which I believe lifts the darker fabrics and a quilting design called Cotton Puff by Vickie Malaski. I love a scrappy and these latest quilts have been fun to work on.

I’m having so much fun quilting these scrappy quilt tops that I loaded another. This is number 4 of 5 maybe 6.

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It seems that we all purchase gadgets, sometimes because they look good, without knowing what we’re going to do with them. Some years ago, I purchased a Sewline glue pen. I had no idea what I was going to do with it but it looked pretty and so I convinced myself that I needed it. Over the years I used it twice until recently when I have used it over and over again and needed to find a refill because I used it so much that it was empty. I use my glue pen for appliqué prep work nowadays. And it does exactly what I want it to do. FYI: I have added a little photo tutorial about how to prep fine hand appliqué work on the How-To Info page. You can find the different pages on the right side of this page by scrolling down. The document is printable. I shall be adding another photo tutorial about how I approach the actual fine hand appliqué stitching soon.

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It’s been a superb day in my little world. Having such brilliant sunshine was a real treat and for some reason I feel inspired to get on with all my projects so I can design more! I wish we could add a few more hours to each day.

So that’s my report for today. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something you truly love doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

THANK GOODNESS IT’S FRIDAY AGAIN

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable day. It’s Friday. This is the day when I look back on the week gone by and take stock of all that’s gone on and everything I’ve accomplished. By all accounts, it’s been another great week in my little world.

It’s been a dreary day in my northeast of England. It hasn’t stopped raining since last night. I count myself lucky that it’s been raining and not snowing!!! I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

While the wind was blowing and the rain was lashing the windows, I disappeared into my sewing room to do some longarm quilting on a charity quilt that I loaded yesterday. I used a bright gold yellow thread and the quilting design is called Simple Texture by Celine Spader. Here’s a little peek …..

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I stitch and stitched until the quilting was done. Have a look at the back of the quilt. It looks neat and tidy. And I suppose if you wanted to you could use this quilt on both sides.

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As this quilting is part of a challenge I set myself, I went on to load another charity quilt top to longarm quilt on Monday. It’s another scrappy quilt; it’s quite fun to look at all the different fabrics in these scrappy quilts. I even recognise some of the fabrics as some that I have used over the years. Sometime over the weekend, I’ll search out some fabric suitable for binding. I guess I should make miles of it as I have at least five more quilts to longarm quilt and three of those are scrappy quilts. Multi-coloured binding will work rather well with the scrappy quilts and it will be nice to use up my scraps. The problem with using scraps is that it makes more scraps!!!

I started a to compose a simple tutorial to show how I approach the prep work for hand appliqué work this afternoon. I’m hoping to come up with the words that will explain how I got to this stage …..

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I’ve taken oodles of photos but I’m never quite sure how and what to say. I suppose if I say everything, as if the person reading knows nothing about appliqué, I might get all the info down.

It’s been such a good week. I’m always happy when Friday rolls around. Tomorrow, I’m hoping to spend some time with like-minded ladies. A little socialising is good for the soul. My Sarah and I, we’re working on our happy ever after. Every week, every single week brings a surprise.

Well I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a super cosy weekend doing things you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x  

MONDAY REPORT

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fabulous first day of the week. Do you realise that we’re almost halfway thru the month already??? It’s amazing how quick time flies.

I don’t have much sewing progress to report today. I mainly worked on securing my Dresden Houses in place. I have secured all the roofs and the dark doors and windows. I’m working on securing the light doors and windows in place now. I am really enjoying working on this small piece.

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The light wasn’t any better yesterday but I did manage to get a shot of last week’s Quilts for Comfort finish …..

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The pink and grey bubble quilt was collected this morning to be delivered to the hospital. This is how it looked when it escaped thru my front door …..

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Look what I received today. For the last couple of years, I have made an effort to keep flowers in the house at all times but recently I have been more lax about it. Flowers seem to cheer a room up. So, when these arrived I was rather grateful. Thank you to Sandra and David for the lovely bouquet.

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So, that’s my report for today. It feels a little light but it’s a little news. I’m hoping to prep the new blocks I designed last week for my Moving Forward quilt project this week. I have so many tasks listed on my To-Do List but there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in a day not to mention energy. The best thing to do is keep breathing and everything will fall in place. 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

CIRCLE PROGRESS

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable day. It’s been a lovely day in my little corner of the northeast of England. We even had lovely warm sunshine. That doesn’t mean it was toasty warm, the temperature only got as high as 5C. But still the sun was so nice.

I’m back today with a little progress report on yesterday’s challenge. I didn’t hit the ground running this morning because I had a hair appointment pretty much first thing but I did one or two household chores before leaving for my appointment. There always seems to be so much to do when you want to get on with something else. Having said that I made good progress and I am exactly where I wanted to be this evening.

The first thing I did when I jumped back in was to secure the circles on the quilt top. My sewing machine produces a pretty good blanket stitch …..

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Once all the circles were secured in place I joined all the sections together. The reason I didn’t join all the sections together and then add the circles is I thought it would be easier for me to push just three row sections thru my sewing machines while sewing the circles in place rather than a whole 85” quilt top. I was pleased to see the whole project joined into one lovely quilt top. It brought a smile to my face. And now the quilt top as well as a layer of calico and the soft fleece backing is loaded in my longarm system ready to be quilted tomorrow.

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The most difficult part will be to choose a quilting design and thread colour. The reason I added a layer of calico is to stabilise the quilt. You see, because I’m using fleece as a backing fabric, it’s not necessary to put wadding in between. However, I feel the calico gives it a little more oomph and will stabilise the whole piece of work.

I’m looking forward to binding this project. I think I’m going to use up all my leftovers to piece said binding. A pieced binding is quite a lot of work but brings more interest to the quilt. Not to mention that it uses up little leftover bits that you can’t bring yourself to throw away.

So, today once again, I’m feeling good about my accomplishments. And I feel great about being able to help. It’s the one thing that I can do. I’m not a great cook and so I can’t have bake sales to help. I’m not a great author who can write beautiful interesting prose. Having said all that, I can make a quilt now and again to help when it’s needed. I will be back tomorrow with photos of the quilted quilt for you to see.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I hope you all have a superb evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x

A NEW CHALLENGE

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super-super day. My day had lots of sunshine in it. I could actually feel the heat in the sun. It gives me hope that spring is just around the corner.

I’m quite excited today. As of last evening, I started working on an emergency quilt. I’ll tell you more about this when I have finished said quilt. Just let’s say that I stepped forward to make a quilt that may bring comfort to someone. My brief was to make a quilt using the colour scheme of pink and grey and that it needed to be a little bit longer than our usual. I started by searching my stash for pink and grey before I put myself forward. I wasn’t sure that I would have enough but by the time I stopped pulling pink and grey I had enough fabric to make two quilt tops!!! I also managed to find a sponsor who was happy to donate scrounge some nice soft fleece which I will use as backing.  It was meant to be.

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My next step was to work out what block design I was going to use. I feel that this quilt needs to be made in lickety split time. So, whatever I did it needed to be a quick make/finish. So, I decided on uneven brickwork type rows. I set to and rotary cut strips of the different colours while I watched the 6 o’clock news. Then I sat down and sketched a plan of action breaking the rows down into sections. And then I sat down to watch some TV and did some hand appliqué because I planned to get up early and start the cutting and joining up process at dawn.

As per my plan, I got up just before dawn and settled in to my work. Maisie sat in the sewing room with me and supervised my every move. By 8am this is where I was …..

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I had to shut down because I had an appointment but I carried on when I got home …..

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Standing back and looking at it I thought it was a little bland. So, I started hunting down a Accuquilt die that I thought might jazz up this quilt. So, I cut some circles …..

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Thee circles are back in Bondaweb which will make the next step pretty simple. I ironed the circles here there and everywhere……

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There are two more sections that don’t appear in the photos because my design wall is long enough.

My next step is to blanket stitch the circles in place. And if I’m lucky I’ll be able to join all the sections and load the quilt into my longarm to start stitching is on Friday. I think the stitching will add to the whole design making more interesting again.

I feel good about being able to pull this project together in such a short time. And no, I don’t wear a cape or wear my nickers over the top of my street clothes. I’m just a normal everyday woman who is determined to help. Every now and then I get the chance to help someone in need of comfort. This week it just so happens I’m able to do it.

So, I guess that’s my report for today. I will definitely be back soon with a progress report on my latest challenge. I hope I’m able to stick to the time frame I set myself. Sometimes life gets in the way but we just around the obstacles and carry on. I hope you all have a great evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until next time,

Let’s all keep on stitching.

Lucie x