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NEW BFFs

One more day to go and October is finished! Woohoo. Another day closer to Christmas! We’ve had four seasons in my little corner of the northeast of England. We started off cold and wet first things this morning and then it warmed up like summer. The sunshine came out to play mid-afternoon. And we ended on a cloudy note; I have no doubt it will rain this evening. So we have about covered everything in one day.

While the weather was going thru its full range I spent most of the day in my sewing room doing various jobs. I kicked off the day with a bit of a printing job …..

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And then moved onto working on Rachel’s quilt …..

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And I carried on until the job was done. Rachel picked a quilting design called Sparkle by Patricia Ritter and I stitched it in a nice fine rich sand thread which blends beautifully with Rachel’s fabrics. I’m sure she will love this quilt.

The postman brought me a squishy parcel yesterday …..

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This parcel is from Pat who has been reading my blog for years. After reading one of my posts a few weeks ago Pat decided that she would make some blocks, 25 blocks to be precise for Quilts for Comfort. Thank you Pat, I’ll make sure these lovely blocks get turned into a fab quilt and I’m sure the recipient of this quilt will love it. It always amazes me how kind and generous people can be.

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After yesterday’s squishy parcel, today it seems the parcels just kept coming. First, this one was collected from the post office depot by hubby because we missed it yesterday …..

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Over the past year or so I have been collecting tweed because I want to do some woolly appliqué. I love all things Sue Spargo style hence the tweed. I’m going to enjoy my collection of tweed sometime soon. Now if I could just make a little time to have a go that would be brilliant.

And now for the last parcel …..

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I love my new ankle shoes. I suppose I could call them boots. They’re not super trendy but it’s what I have been trying to hunt and gather for months. Last spring I got it into my head that I needed desert boots. And these are perfect. From the minute I put them on I knew we were going to be BFFs. I think Elvis would have been proud of me. Do you love shoes too?

My day started just after 6am. I had so many things I wanted to get done and I’m very pleased to tell you that I did everything on my list and more. Three loads of washing, longarm quilted one quilt, a printing job for tomorrow’s Freemotion Quilting Sampler class, playing with a pile of tweed and I finished the day by spiral binding the printing job. Woohoo. It’s been a good day in my little world. My feet never crossed the threshold. I guess that’s why I got so much done. I wonder how much more stuff I can get done this evening?

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So for this evening, this very happy longarm will try to relax by joining a few hand pieced blocks. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something that makes you as happy as I am. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

 

 

 

I SPY NEWS

Hello my lovely readers. It’s been a super day in my little world. I stepped out this morning to meet with a couple of like-minded ladies. We drank coffee and ate delicious treats and solved all the problems of the world. When I left early this morning the sun was shining so brightly that I was over heating in the car. Later this afternoon threatening clouds came out to play. So I decided to hide in my sewing room for the rest of the day. I needed to work on something that I could start and complete before it was time to make my supper. So I chose to add a few extra stitches to Linda’s bright and cheerful I Spy type quilt. I fell in love with this quilt because there are so many different prints that draw your eye around the quilt. I did a simple freehand meander all over in a blue thread that matches the backing fabric. After having worked on this quilt I’m quite tempted to add an I Spy quilt to my To-Do List. It would be a great way of using up my scraps. I love the simplicity of this quilt. Once again less is more.

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Click on the photos to zoom in.

I will be out and about tomorrow but I plan on doing some more longarm quilting on Thursday. And this is the quilt I plan to work on.

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This one was pieced by Rachel and I believe it’s a disappearing nine patch. I quite like this quilt as well. Have you ever made a disappearing nine patch? Once again it’s a great way to use up your scraps or even a great stash busting project. Rachel has chosen an interesting quilting design for this quilt and I look forward to working on it most of the day on Thursday.

I have been rather busy of late. And there are times that I feel like an ostrich, burying my head in the sand. So subsequently I have no idea what’s going on in the big busy world of patchwork and quilting. I subscribe to a few magazines and read several blogs but I feel like I’m missing out on something. So I’m hoping to spend a few hours investigating all those latest trends. I would like to see what everyone is using templates on here in the UK. I have my eyes on some templates that are designed by Meredithe Clark in Australia. So if anyone knows of a stockist in the UK please share your info with me. Isn’t it funny how everything vintage is coming back; we started making blocks using templates and moved onto the rotary cutting system and now we’re going back to templates. Only the templates we can purchase today are so much nicer than the cardboard templates we used way back in the beginning.

Well it’s been a pretty long day for me. I got up really early and left the house much sooner than I needed because I was worried about the traffic. A lot of the roads in and around the northeast of England are being worked on. I hate being late. I hate letting anyone down.

So for this evening, the very happy longarm quilter will be hand piecing/joining some blocks rows of hand pieced blocks. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something relaxing. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

 

 

Hello and happy Monday. I hope you’ve all had a great weekend. Mine was pretty good. I kept myself busy and out of trouble. My Sarah made it home safe and sound from London last evening. Needless to say she has a fab weekend. Now it’s Monday and we’re not really back into the groove because Sarah is having her mid-term break from college this week. So of course we have a few outings planned. With Operation Taking Flight well underway we’re going to try to have as many girly outings as we can. Sarah is already considering which university to attend and as such we will be visiting her top choice this weekend. I’ll let you know how that works out for us.

In my last post I promised to come back and reveal where the mysterious chocolate bar was in my photo. Well first let’s start by revealing what you were looking for …..

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And the reason there was a chocolate bar(s) on the worktables is that I always give every student who attends my classes/workshops a Cadburys Dairy Milk chocolate bar. I think eating a wee bit of chocolate keeps you sharp. And if for no other reason it give my ladies a reason to have a little break when they stop to enjoy a wee chocolate bar. So that’s why you’ll quite often see chocolate bars in the photos I publish of my classes. So here is the reveal …..

Spot the Chocolate Bar

Click on the photo to zoom in.

Congratulations to those who spotted the chocolate. Next time I think I will make it a proper contest and offer a nice little prize to a winner.

Since starting a new project for next year’s classes last week I have succeeded nicely. It’s not quite finished but well on its way to completion. All the instructions to date are written and I’m looking forward to filing it away to get started on the next one on my list. It’s really quite fun bringing my ideas to life. And using up my stash is fantastic. I buy fabric and put it away and save it for Sunday best. Well it looks like Sunday has finally arrived!

I don’t have any sewing progress to show you today. I tried to load a quilt into my longarm quilting system this morning but there was a problem. So I am awaiting a reply before I can go any further. Tomorrow is another day.

I stepped out this morning with my Sarah. I needed some project boxes for extra storage and the best place and most reasonably priced were Ikea plastic storage bins …..

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Does anyone else use these bins? They’re the perfect size for what I want and they stack beautifully. In this case less is more. As you can see the top one is already in use.

So it’s been a super day in my little world. It didn’t quite go to plan but how often does anything go to plan for me? I honestly think it’s a lot easier to go with the flow some days.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be hand piecing some blocks while thinking about what comes next. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something you really enjoy. Until you read me again

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

After spending all week racing around trying to keep up with the rest of the world I decided I would try walking by placing one foot in front of the other like everyone does. I’m quite happy to report that it’s so much more enjoyable to walk at the same speed as everyone else. It gives you a chance to see what’s going on around you. Perhaps I should move into the slow lane again and so I can enjoy the scenery.

So let’s start today’s report with what happened yesterday. You might remember that I was teaching a Freemotion Quilting Appliqué class at Stitchin’ Heaven. It was a superb class. We all got the chance to step out of that ¼” seam allowance very restrictive box. Moira declared that it was very liberating to do what we were doing yesterday. And in fact we all decided that this is the ultimate way to learn Freemotion Quilting. So if you’ve wanted to learn Freemotion Quilting you might like to start with my FMQ Appliqué class. If you go back one or two posts you will see a couple of samples of my version of Freemotion Quilting Appliqué. And here is a little peek at the creative process from one or two of yesterday’s students …..

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I got so involved and spent so much time admiring the work going on that I didn’t take many photos. I wish I had taken more so you could see how good the appliqué pieces were. The ladies worked relentlessly without many breaks. Not because I carry a big threatening stick but because they were enjoying what they were doing. I’m a great believer in teaching in a relaxed light-hearted atmosphere. After all many of us enrol in day classes to get away from the boring or stressful day-to-day rigors of life; why would anyone go from one stressful situation to another?

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It always amazes me how much we can learn from each other. There were so many great design ideas bounced around yesterday; some lovely fresh takes on what designs to appliqué using Freemotion Quilting. My next attempt will be postcards I think. I came away totally inspired and ready to tackle other similar projects in a fresh way.

Now while we were beavering away with sewing machines running and fabric scraps at hand the Parcelforce man delivered these parcels. Rusty the driver thought I was totally strange getting excited about fabric parcels but I don’t care. I always look forward to seeing what treasure lies beneath brown paper. I got so busy that I didn’t take any photos but I can tell you that the fabrics were juvenile prints in lovely lively prints and colours. Yesterday was a wonderful day and it was over before we knew it. Thank you ladies for keeping me company yesterday. I look forward to doing it all over again soon.

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I only got to spend a couple of hours in my sewing room today. What with running an errand this morning which at one point we thought would be unsuccessful and doing a few household chores, I didn’t think I would accomplish much else. However it all worked out better than I thought. I did a wee bit of simple Freemotion Quilting on a small boy’s quilt which I did not photograph, silly me. And then I went on to machine bind a piece of Freemotion Quilting Appliqué which I worked on yesterday because I joined my ladies in the fun …..

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And then I made a quilt label which I plan on securing to a quilt my Sarah just finished last week. I got quite a lot more done than I thought I would. Woohoo!

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Speaking of my Sarah, she’s in London this weekend. She booked a weekend away several weeks ago. It was lovely for her to have something to look forward to. I’m missing her like mad but we have been keeping in touch the whole time. The invention of mobile phones and being able to send and receive text messages is wonderful. Someday I may even get brave and upgrade to using Skype! I think it’s high time that I book something which I can look forward to.

I’ll finish this post with a wee sneaky peek at something I will be teaching next year …..

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I’m quite pleased with this little project but I think I will have to make a few more to make sure I get to keep and use one myself. I’ve really enjoyed using some of the new fabric I have stock piled for projects for next year.

I have a little challenge for you tonight; There’s at least one chocolate bar on the table in the group photo and I would like you to spot the chocolate bar and let me know if you can see it. I’ll be back on Monday with the answer.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be finishing off little bits and pieces and perhaps going on to hand piecing some bocks. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something that makes you as happy as I am. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

What’s happening out there in cyber patchwork land? I can tell you that I have been busy getting ready for tomorrow’s Freemotion Appliqué class at Stitchin’ Heaven. In order to remind myself how it’s done I had little go. I spent a couple of hours Freemotion Quilting using my domestic sewing machine. What fun I had. This is a super technique because you get to step outside the 1/4″ seam allowance box and it’s a great way to use up your scraps while having fun  …..

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I made two new samples and packed all the stuff not including the kitchen sink that I might need for tomorrow. There are two piles of stuff plus my rotary cutting equipment that I need to pack and load in the car in the morning. I’d rather have too much stuff than not enough.

My Sarah needed to run some errands locally this morning so I headed out with her. And as we worked out way thru her list and mine I came across this heart shaped jingle bell wreath which was half price. I see this wreath more as bells which can be used for crafting. There are a lot of bells in this wreath and I will take it apart and add them to everything Christmas that I make over the next while. Most likely between now and Christmas you’ll hear me before you see me. Fa-la-la-la ….. only 62 sleeps to go now.

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I’m a simple person. It doesn’t take much to make me happy. Well today on our travels I purchased a new binder in which to put all the instructions for next year’s classes. When I saw this bright cheerful binder I knew this was the one for me. I’m already working on instructions for my first project. I can’t wait to start filing the new info in my new binder. I love stationery; new pens, notebooks, sticky notes and all that stuff. Does anyone else feel that way about stationery? Or am I the only nutter that feels like this? I kind of wish that everyone enjoyed the simple things that life has to offer.

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So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be writing up some instructions to be filed in my new binder. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something enjoyable. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

 

What a fantastic day it’s been for this very happy longarm quilter. Autumn is a very busy time of year for me only because it’s the run up to Christmas. Having said that, it seems all year has been busy in my little. So today I decided to step out quietly to hit the shops to do some Christmas shopping. Well I had great success because I can report that I purchased 6 presents. I’m so very pleased with myself. I was even given a Christmas shopping bag in one of the last shops I went into …..

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I mentioned yesterday how much willpower I had to exercise because I wanted to start a new project. Well I chose a class project for next year class projects and got started. Here’s a little peak at the fabrics I used …..

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I got on really well with my project and I absolutely enjoyed my sewing session. Now I need to compose instructions for what I accomplished so far today.

At the end of August I attended a quilt show in Harrogate. There was a stand which I couldn’t get near enough to see properly what was going on; that’s always the sign of a worthwhile stand when you can’t get near. So Sarah and I took a note to look it up on the web once we got home. Needless to say that what was being sold on the stand was something very useful. So I made a phone call and ordered it …..

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This package of tools is good for someone who wants to do machine quilting but doesn’t have the confidence to do Freemotion Quilting. I can report that my trial run with the Parrs Reel Ruler is a gadget that works. I’ve had my Parrs Reel Rulers since the beginning of September but I haven’t had time to play with it until today. It’s easy to install on your domestic sewing machine; just a matter of changing the foot, dropping the feed dogs and fitting the slippery mat. I think I’ll be using mine to quilt blocks and small projects. I bought all nine rulers but you can start with a starter pack. I hope to report some more on this machine quilting tool soon. I believe that Parrs will be launching their new machine quilting too at the Houston Quilt Market this weekend.

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It’s been a lovely day in happy longarm quilter land. I did everything at a quiet relaxed pace. I took time to breathe. Everyone deserves to breathe once in a while.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be peeling the film off my Parrs Reel Rulers and perhaps hand finishing the binding on a quilt. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something relaxing. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

 

Can you believe that we’re already three weeks into October????? And looking outside this afternoon you wouldn’t believe that it’s autumn. The sun was shining very brightly making my sewing room very warm indeed.

I spent many hours in my sewing room today. I kicked off the day by working on a charity quilt pieced by Linda. I really enjoyed working on this quilt as the fabrics are exactly the kind of fabrics that I’m drawn to. Here’s what Linda lovely quilt looks like now …..

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I had lots of ladies coming and going today. Some were collecting finished quilts and some were dropping off quilts to be longarm quilted. It’s always interesting chatting to ladies who enjoy piecing quilts almost as much as I do. I’ll be posting some progress reports about some interesting quilts over the weeks to come.

After spending the morning longarm quilting Linda’s quilt I went on to having a Freemotion practice session. Here’s what I produced today …..

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The reason I practice so much is that I really enjoy Freemotion Quilting. I personally think that everyone can do Freemotion Quilting as long as they practice and develop their own flare. For instance not everyone is suited to curvaceous designs; I think some people excel at stitching geometric designs. I’m not very good at geometric but I really love stitching swirls and such.

For the last few days it’s taken all my willpower not to start a new project. I have loads of UFOs not to mention new projects for next year’s classes to work on. The only problem is that all the new fabric that I’ve purchased over the last few months is calling me! And I’m desperate to start using it. So I am going to refer to a list I have been making of all the projects I want to teach next year and I’m going to choose one as well as some fabric and get on with it. My biggest problem will be which project and which fabric????? I have become very indecisive in my old age. In my young days I had a hard time choosing fabric but nowadays I have a hard time choosing the project because I want to make everything!

It’s been a pretty interesting day for this happy longarm quilter. It made a nice change to have a sewing room full of like-minded ladies. Three of my visitors were rather enthusiastic about having their quilts longarm quilted and getting on with their next projects. And it was lovely working on Linda’s quilt. I hope to hand finish the binding sometime over the next few days in order to hand it over next week.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be reviewing a list and choosing a project and some fabric for a new start. I hope you have super cosy evening doing something that makes you happy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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