Posts Tagged ‘“A” is for Applique’

I hope everyone has had as brilliant a day as I have. It was lovely and sunny in happy longarm quilter land. Everything always works better with a little bit of sunshine. I finished longarm quilting Nancy’s lovely Irish Chain quilt and I loaded the next little quilt into my longarm quilting system which I plan to start stitching on Monday morning. And in the afternoon I went on to work on my Art Doodle Journal bag.

I stepped out at lunch time to dispose of a bag full of clothes which is far too big for me and also to purchase some milk. My thinking was if I get a few errands run today it will give me more time to play over the next two days. Well you’ll never guess what I found when I came home……

Entrance Blocked

Yes. There was a police van parked across the entrance of my driveway. As I approached my house, my first thought was that there was some kind of an emergency hence the police van parked where it was. There was no emergency; the policeman had stopped a tipper lorry for some reason or other. It’s a shame the policeman didn’t see fit to lead by example……..

I thought you might like to see a little progress photo of my “A” is for Applique, The Bird and the Bees block tonight……..

The Birds and the Bees Progress

Most of my patches are tacked down ready for the fine hand stitching. I will be adding a butterfly and the bee button will be sewn on after the quilting stage. My creative friend Sandra hand painted this very cute bee button for me. I’m so lucky to have such a talented friend. If you would like to purchase a bee button like mine you can get in touch with Sandra here.

I have recently had the pleasure of doing something really worthwhile. You all know that I have more quilts than one family could use up in a lifetime. And still I carry on making more. Quilt making for me is like an addiction but not one that’s harmful to my health! I have joined the Quilts for Comfort Family by donating some of my recently finished quilts to bring comfort to teenagers who are going thru difficult times. All I did was go thru a stack of quilts which I made during January’s Use up Your Scraps month. So from now on when I decide to use up a few more scraps I will keep Quilts for Comfort in mind. The next one I make will be pieced using boy prints. For more info about this challenge click here. It’s really nice to do something worthwhile.

This afternoon after all the excitement with the police van I disappeared into my sewing room and started to play with my new fabrics and I made the first prototype of my Art Doodling Journal bag. I cut fabric, layered it up, did a little bit of quilting and presto voila ……….

Art Doodle Journal Bag

I have cut and layered two more panels to make a couple more bags which I will tweak a little. I’m quite pleased with my first attempt. I love the Japanese type fabric that I used. I may just have to get some more next time I head up to Stitchin’ Heaven.

I’m very pleased to tell you that Lilly Pilly has finished touring. My Sarah hung my Lilly Pilly quilt in pride of place which happens to be in my living room. Now every day I can look at the quilt and be reminded of all the fun I had using up my scraps while working on this lovely quilt. I am delighted with how my Lilly Pilly looks hanging in my living room.

Lilly Pilly in Pride of Place 2

So that’s my report for today. It’s been another smashing day. I got quite a lot accomplished today. And I have some new ideas brewing. Now if we could just add a couple of hours to each day I could get even more done.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be doing some hand quilting. Whatever you decide to do this evening, I hope it’s something worthwhile. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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It’s been a rather busy day for this very happy longarm quilter. After running a few errands first thing this morning I headed up the Hill to have a consultation with my lovely creative pal Sandra. We caught up with everything that has gone on since our last visit which for us can be quite a lot. It seems we’re both at a stage in our lives where we’re trying to get as much done every day as we possibly can. In my case I’m trying to do as many things on my bucket list as possible. Sandra and her lovely Amy run the very successful Crafts House in Gateshead.  A lot of you will have heard me post about this crafty establishment. It’s where I go when I need to escape from the craziness of life as a mother and longarm quilter. There’s plenty to do in happy longarm quilter land at the moment and everything will get done in good time. Today I helped Sandra with something that’s very close to her heart. So keep your eyes open for some interesting news on the horizon.

While I was out today the postman pushed something interesting thru my door. Have a look at this little book. I love this little book because it fits it perfectly with the “A” is for Applique programme which is running at the moment. Not only that but it works for my Art Journaling as well. This little colouring book called Whimsical Designs Coloring Book is by the Piece O’ Cake Designs girls, Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins. Along with the great designs there’s a super little section on How Colors Play Together. This is definitely my choice of books for this week. I will find oodles of inspiration over the months while I’m designing my “A” is for Applique blocks from this book.

Whimsical Designs Colouring Book

This style is just the kind of thing that I like. And when I have designed applique blocks recently this is the style I have strived to achieve. Here are a couple of samples from the book……

Whimsical Designs Colouring Book Sample 2

Whimsical Designs Colouring Book Sample

You know I always thought you had to be a brilliant artist to design anything. Well I finally see that it’s not the case at all. I think it’s more important to develop your own style and stick to your guns. Figure what you like and go for it. Why not please yourself now and again. So that’s exactly what I plan on doing.

The jobs on my To-Do List have increased by a few this weeks. Luckily nothing on the list is life or death. So I can carry on at the same pace as I have been for the last few weeks. I have plenty of variety to choose from. There’s never a dull moment in happy longarm quilter land.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be stepping into the sewing room and loading Nancy’s quilt back into the longarm quilting system in order to finish quilting the side borders tomorrow as planned. And then I will pick a simple project that will help me to unwind. Whatever you decide to do this evening, I hope it’s something that makes you smile. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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In more ways than one, the temperature has been soaring here.

Hot Hot Hot

It’s been a busy day in happy longarm quilter land. My phone, my email and the doorbell have all been running red hot all day. What fun. I kicked off the week by working on Nancy’s Irish Chain quilt. Nancy chose soft shades of green and cream fabric for this quilt and decided that she wanted the sections treated differently. So I did some of this in the border……

Nancy's Irish Chain

and some of this in the blocks……

Nancy's Irish Chain 2

I will probably be working on this quilt for a few days. I had to cut my work short today because I had several appointments. Now the house is knee deep in quilt tops that need longarm quilting. All in all it has worked out really well having all my appointments in one day because I can now concentrate on my work list for the next few weeks.

I meet up with talented people all the time. Jen popped in with two quilts this morning but she brought a few bags that she made. Feast your peepers on these……

Jen's Bags

Click on the photo to zoom in.

What a lovely job she’s done on these bags. They’ve got lovely neat pockets inside and the fabrics she’s chosen are perfectly matched. So if you’re looking for that perfect gift for a special someone I’m sure Jen would be willing to sell one or two of her beautiful bags. I can put you in contact with Jen if you’re interested in purchasing a bag. They really are lovely.

After shutting my longarm quilting system down, and in between appointments I worked on my “A” is for Applique – The Bird and the Bees June challenge block. I chose the fabrics and pressed the freezer paper shapes onto it. I’m looking forward to seeing this block shape up. This challenge is a lot more fun than I thought it would be. You know it’s not too late to join in. And as there are no special rules other than the monthly theme, you can make you blocks as simple or as complicated as you wish. It really is fun…..

It’s been a lovely day in happy longarm quilter land. The Irish Chain quilt in my quilting system is shaping up nicely.  And I’m really pleased to have done a little work on my “A” is for Applique block. I’ve had company on and off all day. It’s nice to chat with people. I spend a lot of time alone in my sewing room when I’m longarm quilting so the occasional visitor gives me a chance to have a chat and find out what’s going on in the big world around me. I’m a prolific chatterbox. Today has just zoomed by. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be either working on the little hand tied quilt or some applique patches. Whatever you decide to do this evening, I hope it makes you deliriously happy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥


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It’s been another brilliant weekend. The weather has been behaving itself today. We had quite a lot of sunshine which permitted me to mow the front lawn. We’ve had quite a bit of rain which helps the grass to grow at a rate of knots. So the job is done and it looks tidy. My Sarah and I visited our supermarket to stock up the larder for another week. While Sarah put the groceries away I mowed the lawn. It’s really nice to get help; it certainly helps me get more done.

I seemed to have gotten quite a lot done today but nothing of any great consequence it seems. The next quilt was loaded into my longarm quilting system. And I cut another hundred fabric diamonds for my paper pieced star quilt. Now that I have worked out a little system the job gets done in no time at all. Here’s how I approach the task. My paper diamond templates are 2” so I cut strips of fabric WOF 2-1/2”. Lay the strip on the cutting mat and place a paper template at one end. The strip is still folded in half and if you feel confident you could cut two strips at a time.

Cutting Fabric Diamond Shapes 1

With your rotary cutter and a small ruler cut along the right hand side leaving a generous ¼” allowance.

Cutting Fabric Diamond Shapes 2

Then line up your ruler along the left hand side and eye up ¼” allowance and rotary cut.

Cutting Fabric Diamond Shapes 3


Cutting Fabric Diamond Shapes 4

Now move the template along and repeat the process. This method works really well for me. I feel quite comfortable working with a rotary cutter. I’m already enjoying this paper pieced diamond project. I usually choose to do hexagons when I turn to paper piecing so diamonds are a nice change. Perhaps after the stars I might decide to do some tumbling blocks…….

Last evening I started hand tying a little quilt. For the benefit of the beginners who read my posts I thought I would describe the process of tying a quilt. Click here to view the How-To description. And don’t forget that you can add buttons and yo-yos for tying your quilt if you wish to make it a little more interesting. As my little quilt is intended for a baby I did not add anything but thread in the interest of safety.

Simple Trip Hand Tied 1

I have another “A” is for Applique block to show you today. This block was pieced by Donna. And once again she has produced a masterpiece. Feast your eyes on this ……


All the participants of the “A” is for Applique monthly challenge have surpassed my expectations. I wonder what they will pull out of their magic hats for June ……..

Well it’s been a lovely day. I got plenty accomplished which always leaves me feeling pleased with myself. I will spend the rest of the day relaxing in readiness for another busy week ahead.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will do a little more work on the little hand tied quilt. Whatever you decide to do this evening, I hope you’ve had the chance to enjoy some lovely sunshine. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥


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What a difference a day makes. It’s been a fabulous day here in the northeast of England. The sun was shining and it actually felt quite warm. How lovely to feel the sun on my shoulders. The birds were very busy in my garden. I have two nests that I know of; the first one in a nesting box which happens to be housing wrens. And the other nest is in my rose arch and that one is for blackbirds. And both nests are within a metre of each other. One of the little wrens has been singing his/her heart out most of the afternoon. I spent most of the day in my sewing room playing with scrappy log cabins and therefore I got a really good look at the bird antics. It’s nice to be able to witness nature at its best.

I started working on some scrappy log cabin blocks a couple of days ago. So once I had finished running my errands this morning I disappeared into the sewing room and just carried on the job until it was finished. And here are the blocks on my design wall…..

More Scrappy Logs

I purchased my design wall a couple of months and I have used it several times now. It’s really nice to be able to lay my blocks out to see what they will look like; especially when it’s something scrappy. I really enjoyed my play today.

I’m hoping to step out tomorrow for a little more sewing time. I have chosen a project to work on. It’s another Use up Your Scraps project using diamond paper template for English piecing. The diamonds will form stars eventually. I love being creative and there’s no better way of being creative than using up scraps.

Scrappy Diamonds

Almost all the “A” is for Applique, Happiness is blocks are in. There’s just a few more to come but there’s no rush. This evening I have the pleasure of posting the latest reveal. Feast your eyes on this block and you can click of the photo to find out the background. Just when you think things can’t get any better something like this comes up. Thank you Meredithe for letting me borrow your photo.

Meredithe's Happiness Block

It’s been a brilliant day. I got a lot more done than I thought I would. I’m really pleased with my scrappy blocks. Now I have to decide how I’m going to take this project forward. I think a little more wonky applique would do this background justice. I had a great visit with Helen and Eleanor regarding a superb hexagon quilt, which I will post about when the time comes. And I even started the preliminary work to finish quilting a UFO. I plan on tying the little quilt and I hope to post How-To photos eventually.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be working on sketching a design for the wonky applique which I will add to my scrappy log cabin quilt. Whatever you may be doing this evening, I hope it’s something to help you relax after a busy week. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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My goodness we woke to dreadful weather this morning. I got soaked walking the dogs. To be honest I don’t think they even wanted to go out at all! As I sit here after supper composing this post the sun is shining brightly. You’d never know that I had Niagara Falls coming thru my landing window before heading out this morning.

As planned, my Sarah and I headed up the Hill this morning. We weren’t going to let the dreadful weather beat us. We packed the car with almost everything we needed. I did forget to include a fat quarter bundle from which Karen was going to select one fat quarter to finish her current sewing project. However I have arranged to post a fat quarter that matches a charm square that Karen provided. Problem solved. I was very upset with myself for forgetting to pack the fat quarter bundle as promised. No harm done I guess.

So this morning we worked on binding Sandra’s “A” is for Applique blocks. Sandra has approached this challenge from the Mixed Media angle and will be turning her blocks into a fabric journal. So today we bound her first two blocks back-to-back forming the first page of her journal. It was an interesting morning. I approached the task as if Sandra knew nothing about patchwork and quilting. And hopefully I covered every aspect of binding. Sandra and I are thinking about taking the “A” is for Applique challenge a little further. I’ll tell you about what we might be doing soon. This challenge has encouraged me to breathe new life into my designs. And although it’s not essential that we design our own blocks for the challenge, it certainly makes it more interesting. I’m finding inspiration everywhere.

Binding with Sandra

I’m dying to use up more of my scraps. Just this morning while I was reading Pomegranate and Chintz daily post, the last photo in the post is a hexagon star….  And it’s like the light bulb went on over my head! I have a pack of 450 paper diamonds which I could use to make some hexagon diamonds using my scraps. Yahoo! It will be the perfect portable project. So thank you Meredithe for the great post.

I haven’t done much any sewing today. However I did do some sketching for my The Bird and the Bees block …..

The Birds and the Bees sketching

I’m no artist but I realise now that there are ways and means to design without being a trained artist. The next step will be to make templates and choose fabrics. I’m having so much fun working on this challenge.

Today I marked a milestone anniversary. It’s twenty years since I landed in Britain. A week after I married hubby I came across to live in Britain. So we all had cake today…..

Cake with my friends

It’s been a great day. It didn’t start off too good but once we joined our creative friends and got stuck into binding and all things creative we just shut the door on the rotten weather and enjoyed ourselves. It’s always the simple things in life that come up trumps for me.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be making templates. Whatever you decide to do this evening, I hope you feel as inspired as I do. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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Hello my friends. How has your day been? Well it’s been brilliant in happy longarm quilter land. I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary but everything just seemed to fall into place today. I had a super meeting with Jay. I loaded the next quilt into my longarm quilting system to start stitching tomorrow. And I hand finished the binding, added eyes to the birds and a label to my Lilly Pilly. The quilt is now ready to hang in pride of place. However I will take it with me everywhere I go for the next week or so just to show it off. I realise that it won’t be to everyone’s taste but I’m sure they can appreciate all the work that went into it.

Lilly Pilly Ready to hang

Lilly Pilly Close up

So now that I can cross off another project from my UFO list I think I should start planning what to work on next. In the meantime I decided to have a little play while I was waiting for Jay to arrive. So I pulled one scrap bin out and dug around to find some neutral sort of colours/prints. Pressed them all and cut them into 2-1/2” strips and started to sew them back together. I’m hoping to turn these strips into wonky log cabin blocks to piece another background for  a simple applique design. I’ve proven that this works well for me so why not plan another such project.

Wonky Log Cabin

Wonky Log Cabin2

I seem to be getting thru my UFOs quite efficiently lately. I’m hoping to pick another one and get it finished over the weekend. I really feel like tying a quilt. It’s a long time since I used that technique to quilt a quilt top. I think I have a nice little red and white quilt top that might just be right for tying.  I will just need to purchase some DMC Perle Cotton to complete the job.

Now last for today, I have a couple of photos of “A” is for Applique challenge blocks. I hope to receive more photos as the participants finish up their blocks.

Suzanne's Block


Lucie's Happiness is Block

I have started planning the June challenge block for which the theme happens to be The Bird and the Bees…… I have chosen all the elements of my block, now I just have to get it all down on paper so I can make templates. I have enjoyed planning my blocks. And for the most part I plan on keeping it simple so that I can achieve my monthly goal. I plan on using my blocks to make a quilt but I can’t visualise what that quilt will look like yet. I know I would like it to be pretty. So fingers crossed for that.

So that brings me to what I might be working on this evening, well I think this very happy longarm quilter will be putting in a couple of hours into crocheting some more granny squares. It’s a while since I picked up a crochet hook. Whatever you may be doing this evening, I hope you’re succeeding at reducing your UFOs too. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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Well the sun has been shining all day and so everything is right with the world. For the moment at least.

I spent the morning consulting with my creative friend Sandra about my mixed media quilting project using my wedding dress fabric. I tested different colour treatments and discussed the end result. I’ve come away inspired with a page full of notes and ideas. Sometimes you just need someone to kick you in the pants to get you started. So now I just need to set one morning aside to gather up supplies and to sit down to do the background colour before I can start appliqueing and stitching. It’s going to be fun.

I spent most of the afternoon longarm quilting my Lilly Pilly. Not photos today. Tomorrow I plan on finishing the job. All that’s left to stitch is the side borders. Hopefully by this time tomorrow I will be hand finishing the binding. So watch for an update about the finished project sometime over the next couple of days.

And now for the moment you’ve all be waiting for ……

Theme Draw 2

First of all I want to thank all the participants of “A” is for Applique for sending me ideas for the theme for the month of June. My Sarah and I put the suggestions in a hat and we pulled one. And the winner is ……..

Theme Draw 3

So ladies and gents, the theme for June is The Bird and the Bees. I look forward seeing all the different interpretation of this one theme. My sketchbook, pencil and eraser are sitting by my evening seat to start sketching my ideas. It took me a while to get going on the May theme but once I got started it just flowed nicely. I suspect the same will happen this time.

It’s not too late to join in the challenge folks. There are no major rules. Just make one applique block each month. This block should be your interpretation of the monthly theme either using a design you’ve found in a book or one that you design yourself. One block a month is not too taxing. You can use your scraps so it won’t cost a fortune. So basically it’s free. I’ve found this challenge quite interesting because it’s made me think for myself. It’s pushed me to design my own block for May. And I plan on doing the same for June. There’s no reason not to join the challenge. Come on, have some fun.

It’s been a good day. I’m that much closer to finishing another UFO. And I’ve started planning a new mixed media quilting project. I spent some time with some very creative ladies. And the sun was shining. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be sketching ideas and perhaps doing some stitchery work. Whatever you may be doing this evening, I hope you’re just as happy as I am. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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Well the weather is certainly no great shakes here in the northeast of England. Today it feels like winter. We’ve had all four seasons in one day. I woke up to Niagara Falls on the top landing with a window that leaks whenever it rains and the wind is coming from the northeast! While I walked the dogs the wind practically knock me off my feet and I nearly froze. I’m really looking forward to putting my winter clothes away. So in view of the fact that I wasn’t going out unless I absolutely had to I decided to amuse myself by finishing up a UFO.

So I looked at the pile of UFOs in the sewing room and decided to finish this ……

Blanket Stitch Applique Cushion Cover 1

You’re probably thinking that I worked on that yesterday. Well this is another one. I produced this little applique quilt to demo how to do blanket stitch  last week on the Hill as part of the “A” is for Applique challenge. I enjoyed doing the blanket stitch work and I like the design so I guess it’s worth turning it into something. So I added some borders and prairie points. Then layered it …..

Blanket Stitch Applique Cushion Cover 2

Blanket Stitch Applique Cushion Cover Close up

Then I took it upstairs to the Freemotion Quilting room and did some quilting using my Bernina 750. Next I squared it up ready to add the envelope back. For the benefit of anyone who would like a simple How-To there’s a description of how I made my envelope back here.

Applique Cushions 1

Applique Cushions 2

I feel really good about being able to cross off another project from my UFO list. Yippeeee. And if that wasn’t great enough, while I was Freemotion Quilting the postman pushed some goodies thru my door which I will enjoy this bank holiday weekend! I found these on the mat …..

New Mags

I love my magazines but that’s not all that arrived. The postman also pushed this thru the door ….

New Book

Anyone who knows me knows how much I enjoy Freemotion Quilting and this book, Fabulous Bags to Stitch & Make by Jenny Rolfe is right up my alley. I’m really going to enjoy experimenting with the different designs and techniques in this book. It looks like the UFOs will be neglected while I play.

I’ve had a brilliant week. I’ve celebrated a milestone anniversary. And Sarah has taken three exams leaving only two more to go. I’ve played and I’ve rested. And now I have plenty of interesting books and mags to read over the long weekend. I’m considering loading my Lilly Pilly into my longarm quilting system to work on over the weekend. It would be great to be able to cross that off the UFO list. I’ll let you know next time I post if I decided to get started.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will start perusing the new literature that arrived today. Whatever you may be doing this evening, if you live in the UK I hope you’re warm and cosy indoors until the weather picks up tomorrow. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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I spent this morning celebrating. Celebrating what you might be asking???? Well it’s twenty years to the day since I got married. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been married for twenty years. Hubby and I haven’t spent anything near twenty years together owing to the fact that he works away from home. Perhaps that’s the secret of staying together this long ….. When I reminded hubby on Monday that our twentieth wedding anniversary was today he emailed back: Wow! 20 years, 20 cars and 200 sewing machines …..

Twenty years ago

I disappeared into the loft yesterday morning in search of my wedding dress. It’s clear to me now that I will never wear that dress again. And my Sarah isn’t likely to want to wear it either. So I have decided that I will do something crafty with it. It’s going to be hard cutting it up; the first cut will be the hardest. I have decided to do some Mixed Media Quilting using the fabric. I’m going to beg my creative friend Sandra to point me in the right direction when it comes to painting and stuff. There are metres and metres of fabrics in this dress. It was a very simple dress but it made me feel like a little doll while I wore it. We’ve moved the dress from house to house  and now that it’s twenty years old it’s time to do something with it. So I’ll let you know when I cut the dress up and just how emotional it was.

Twenty years old

A couple of weeks ago I went internet shopping for some new longarm quilting designs. I previously posted three of the five designs I purchased. Here are the remaining two designs. I’m really looking forward to using these. I have a few quilts of my own that need longarm quilting so perhaps I will get the chance to use a few of these designs on some of my own creations.


LQPANTO252 Zephyr

I kicked off the celebration this morning by mowing the front lawn. I decided to do this tedious job first thing because it was dry out. Then I dragged Sarah out to Starbucks for a coffee and then Ikea for some cushion fillers. We had a pretty good morning. This afternoon was spent messing around with magazines and cooking supper. And this evening, I plan on doing some Freemotion Quilting on one of my “A” is for Applique lesson samples which is a cushion cover. It’s going to be a quick simple job. Now that I have purchased some cushion fillers I feel the need to get the job done. This will reduce my UFO count by one. Yippeeeeeee

A is for applique session sample

So you already know what I will be doing this evening. What are you doing this evening? Will you be working on a UFO? Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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