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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super day. Mine has been a wee bit busy flitting around here, there and everywhere. Tuesday is generally my socialising day which is exactly what I did.

So, the day has finally arrived for me to publish a blog post about Tilda’s new fabric collection called Bumblebee. As usual I wondered if I could do it justice but once I received my selection of 5 fat quarters I knew exactly what I could do to showcase these lovely fabrics. For me these colourful prints would be perfect for Easter and springtime projects. Oooooh and a girly baby quilt would be fabulous pieced in these prints. So, let’s get started.

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I decided to piece a couple of simple drawstring bags using 2 of the 5 fat quarters I received along with something from my stash as the lining. I kept it simple in order to showcase the fabrics. I felt if I cut up these lovely fabrics into small patches I would lose the pretty print. So, here are my drawstring bags …..

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My bags measure approximately 9” x 10-1/2” but can be easily resized to suit the intended purpose. I added a little cotton lace and buttons as an embellishment and satin ribbon for the drawstrings. If you would like to make this drawstring bag, click here for the pattern.

Despite worrying whether my effort would be good enough, I did enjoy meeting this challenge. And it was a great way to start the New Year. So, I’ll take this a little further by hosting a giveaway just to celebrate the arrival of 2017 and all the magical things it holds for us all. So here are the rules to the giveaway ….. please leave a simple comment which includes where you live. I love knowing where in the world you are. It’s fantastic how so many like-minded people connect thru the love of craft so don’t forget to mention where you are. I must add that I am willing to post anywhere in the world. There will be 3 prizes which include the 2 drawstring bags and the 3 Fat Quarters that are left from the selection of 5 that I was sent in order to be able to join the Blog Hop.

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Can you see the Bumblebee???

Remember my dear readers, if you are interested in pre-ordering a selection of Tilda’s Bumblebee fabric collection, SewandSo will be pleased to take your order. And now comes the disclaimer; I have not been paid to publish this review/post and I have no affiliation with Tilda.

It’s been a pretty good week so far. In fact, the start of the new year has been pretty magical. I’ve resumed putting my life in order and choosing the path less travelled. I’ve managed to stick to working on UFOs rather than starting new projects while I record new ideas for projects I dream about starting later in the year. So, watch this space.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be doing some hand quilting. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching ♥ ♥

Hello my lovelies. I hope you all had a very enjoyable week. It’s been a brilliant week in my little world. After being warned by the weather office that a horrible weather was coming our way we were not disappointed. I woke Friday morning to a lovely dusting of snow. I was so excited that I trip over a piece of furniture which mad an almighty noise waking up the whole household. So even my Sarah got to see the beautiful fresh lying snow. As soon as daylight arrived I got myself dressed and took my little Maisie out for her walk. I was walking along crunching snow underfoot enjoying the crisp cold morning whilst Maisie was walking along not revelling in beauty of the snow. She was cold and definitely wanted to go home where it was much warmer and a whole lot cosier. I enjoyed every minute of my morning walk. I’m wishing for another lovely fresh dusting of snow again soon.

I don’t feel like I’ve done much of anything this past week but in actual fact I got quite a lot done but not much sewing. I did a bit of spring cleaning which involved disposing of stuff that was surplus to requirement. I played a little with letters and I did quite a lot of hand quilting. I ran endless errands and did a little socialising. I’ve realised that socialising helps me top up on my levels of inspiration and recharges my batteries.

Do you know what? I can’t believe that it’s already mid-January. Two weeks of the new year have disappeared. Two weeks down and I haven’t made much progress on my 17 UFOs in 2017. I have concentrated on hand quilting my Sweethearts Dozen. I am currently stabilising the outer blocks by stitching in the ditch around all the blocks. I will then do a little diagonal stitching thru the blocks omitting the shapes. I have kept the quilting rather simple for this quilt. I like simple.

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I’ve also played with letters. I was set a challenge to produce a few self-adhesive letters earlier in the week. I was aiming to produce letters which were a little bigger than the templates I had. So, after a little thought I formulated a plan of action and produced these. Little challenges make life interesting.

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My quest to learn something new every day is coming along nicely. As a rule, I research loads of stuff on Google and learn loads about different things on a regular basis. Just recently, I have learned a couple of words that I had never heard before, one such word is prevaricate; which means to speak or act in an evasive way. Thanks to Google for supplying the meaning of this new word for me.

I would like to say that I learned a new technique this past week but I haven’t. I do have a few Craftsy classes stored up for watching which I know for sure I will learn something new. So, I had better set some time aside to watch said classes in order to learn something new.

I am aching to start a new project but I’m determined not to start anything new until I make considerable progress on my UFOs. I must admit that I have worked on my Tilda Bumblebee Blog Hop project which I will post on Tuesday next week. So, don’t forget to pop in on Tuesday to see what I’ve done. I’m quite excited to be able to tell you that I have met the challenge I set myself for the beginning of the new year.

My friends know me so well. They know what I like and what’s dear to me. Here’s a little something I received as a Christmas present …

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I have added all my appointments and special dates on my new calendar. I have hung said calendar in a prominent place so that I can glance at Mr. Poldark several times a day.

I recently came across a great quote which I want to share with you today ….. Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny ~ C. S. Lewis  Isn’t that a nice thought?

It’s been an interesting beginning of the year for me. Things sure have changed since this time last year. I have done a lot of soul searching over the last eleven months. One of my new year’s resolutions is to concentrate on the future. We can use the past as a learning tool but the future is really what’s important now. I have so many things to be grateful for and I look forward to enjoying all the magical things that 2017 has in store for me.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be doing some more hand quilting. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching ♥ ♥

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fabulous day. I filled my day with this and that; did a whole lot of useful tasks. I kicked off my day with a trip to my dentist who proceeded to sort out my silly smile. I no longer look silly. The procedure was pain free. Hooray. All this followed by a trip to the tip to dispose of Christmas rubbish and a few other surplus to requirement things.

I received an email from Viv today asking a question about Dresden Plate blocks. It occurred to me that not everyone knows how to turn a simple Dresden template into a Dresden Blade. So, here’s a little tutorial showing what I do ….

Quilting adds texture

I always start with freshly pressed fabric. I find that if you remove the creases you can trace and cut more accurately ….

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Take your fabric shape and fold in half on the length aligning the sides …..

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Now sew across the top using a 1/4” seam allowance …..

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I like to clip the corner because it helps remove some of the bulk and gives you a sharper point …..

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Now make sure your sides are aligned and finger press a guideline down the back (spine) of the blade …..

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Now turn your blade right side out and push the point out carefully with a dull pencil (I use a sharpened chopstick) …..

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Align the seam with the folded guideline and press …..

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Now repeat the process until you have enough blades to form a plate. Wasn’t that easy???  I love the Dresden Plate block. It’s so easy but very effective.

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I didn’t get any sewing done today. So, I have no progress to show you but I’ll make up for that over the weekend and post something next week.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be doing some more hand quilting. I hope to make some headway on my Sweethearts Dozen over the weekend. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching  ♥ ♥

Hello my lovelies. Here I am again!!! I hope you’ve all had a super fine day. Here in my little corner of the northeast of England we’ve had plenty of sunshine which spurred me on to get a few things done. Things that I just was not looking forward to doing! Well most of the unpalatable task have been done and I hope for another day filled with sunshine soon so I can finish the rest.

For me sunshine is a positive thing. It fills me full of hope and energy. I know they say that money makes the world go around, but I think we need a wee bit of hope and lots of energy to help it along. In January, every year, I go on an economy drive. So, money may be in short supply but I’ve still plenty of hope and energy left today.

I have been going on about working on and possibly finishing 17 UFOs in 2017. I have joined oodles of others in the same quest. Today I’m going to show you how I am trying to learn something new every day, which is one of my new year resolutions, by trying to link up with the 17ufosin2017 page. I’m not even sure it will work but I’m going to give it a good try but first here are some of the UFOs I wish to finish in 2017.

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This quilt top needs to be longarm quilted.

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This Whimsy quilt top needs to be longarm quilted.

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This snowman quilt top has been marked and is ready for hand quilting.

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This Quilts on the Grow project needs to be finished.

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My Sweethearts Dozen quilt is in the process of being hand quilted.

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These are the components to my Beach Huts quilt which needs to be finished.

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My newest design needs to be completed before I can start piecing the blocks.

As you can see I have quite a lot of hand quilting to do. Hand quilting, although very relaxing is very time consuming. It’s the perfect craft to accompany mindless TV programs. I have spent hours catching up on my shows while hand quilting. So far, I have found only seven UFOs but I’m convinced that there are quite a few more lurking in the hidden corners of my sewing room. I shall add them to my list as I find them. And I will show you my progress as the year unfurls.

It’s been a pretty good day in my little world. I’m really pleased with today’s accomplishments. Because I pushed forward, even though I didn’t feel like it, my house is free of Christmas clutter and is looking a little more spacious. The sunshine, the lovely bright and warm sunshine, has filled me with hope and energy reserved for summer months. I feel like I can do almost anything today. Long may this energy spurt last.

For this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be doing some hand quilting on the elusive Sweethearts Dozen. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until you read me again,

 Happy stitching ♥ ♥

Hello my lovelies and a very happy new year to you all. I hope you’ve all had a super festive holiday full of cheer and happiness. For Sarah and I Christmas was a very special affair. I will tell you more about it soon. Right now, I just want to touch base with you all and let you know that we survived this very special Christmas.

It’s already the fourth day of 2017 and so far, I’m staying true to my resolutions. If you need to be reminded what my resolutions are click here to review them. I’ve gone around and found UFOs but I can’t seem to find a full 17 UFOs for the 17 UFOs in 2017 but I have found plenty that I need to make progress on or even better finish altogether. Just finding the UFOs and making the list is considered making progress as far as I’m concerned. My next resolution, concentrating on the future in order to move forward is coming along nicely. The future is much more important than the past at the moment. And my third resolution, learning something new every day, is a little more difficult but so far, I have found something every day even if it’s only learning a new word!!! My resolutions are not earth shattering but they are keeping me distracted from all the bad things that happen in the world from day to day. They keep me distracted from the sadness and disappointed I experienced last year. So far 2017 has been good to me.

I have something rather exciting to tell you about today. Back in November I was approached by someone asking me to participate in a blog hop!!! I can’t remember ever participating in an organised blog hop. So, after a little thought I decided that the challenge might do me good. So, I accepted the invitation. So here goes.

This blog hop is connected to the new range of Tilda fabric called Bumblebee. Here’s little sneak peek at the Bumblebee range. I didn’t take this photo, I pinched it from an email I received from the blog hop organiser.

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As I have never really participated in an organised blog hop, I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to do. According to the organiser, I can do whatever I like. So, I have chosen how to approach the task but you will have to wait until it’s my turn to see what I do. There are several other bloggers taking part in this blog hop challenge. Here’s the current schedule and who will be participating:

Monday 9th January – SewandSo

Tuesday 10th January – Helen Philipps

Wednesday 11th January – Charlotte Newland

Thursday 12th January –

Friday 13th January – SewandSo – Free Pattern!

Monday 16th January –

Tuesday 17th January – Lucie the Happy Quilter

Wednesday 18th January – Little Black Duck

Thursday 19th January – Very Berry handmade

Friday 20th January – Sew Sweet Violet

This is quite an exciting way to kick off the new year. I love participating in challenges. It will be fun to see how and what this blog hop will produce. I received my Bumblebee fabrics just before Christmas and I knew right away exactly what I was going to make using my selection. So, don’t forget to pop in on January 17th to see what I produce with my lush Tilda Bumblebee fabrics. And please visit all the other blogs to see what’s happening with them. For more info about pre-ordering the Tilda Bumblebee range pop over to SewandSo.

So far 2017 hasn’t brought any life changing news. I am grateful for the peace and quiet today. It’s the first day since the beginning of December where I can sit quiet and take stock and make plans. My house needs some building work done to it due to a horrendous storm back in November which caused some pretty bad flooding. So, that will need sorting out as soon as the winter weather subsides. Also, I had a dental mishap on Christmas eve!!! My dentist is the best in the world and has the situation in hand and will be putting things right for me on Friday morning. Let’s just say I look a bit silly at the moment but I’m not in pain.

After the over indulgences of the festive period, I am pleased to go back to normal simple meals. The cups of tea and coffee are flowing while I sit making my many lists and plans of action for everything I will get done this year. 2017 is definitely going to be a year of completing things. Once everything is complete my brand new shiny life can begin. In meantime, I’ll just carry on carrying on.

I’m going to leave you with a photo of a present I found under the tree on Christmas morning. If you read me regularly this photo needs no explanation!!!

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For this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be doing some hand quilting. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something relaxing. We all need to relax after our busy festive period. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching in 2017 ♥ ♥

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super week. Are you ready for Christmas? Well apart from a flying trip to the supermarket I’m ready to go.

The past week has been a whirlwind. There’s been a lot of socialising going on in happy quilt maker land. Sarah and I are the luckiest girls in the world as we’re being looked after at Christmas. Christmas can be a very lonely time but not this year.

I’ve received cards and oodles seasonal messages. The positive messages regarding a prosperous and happy 2017 are overflowing. For these messages, I thank you my friends. My friend, Viv, popped in while I was out and left a poinsettia plant for me. Like those of you who read my regular Christmas babble about how I can’t keep a poinsettia plant alive thru the holidays, Viv has taken the message on board. So, she bought me an artificial one. I will always have a super poinsettia plant every Christmas! Thank you, Viv, for thinking of me at Christmas.

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I haven’t picked up a sewing needle all week. I knitted for approximately 30 minutes. This Christmas the crafts have been set aside for spending time with people. It seems a long time since I did that at Christmas. During my downtime, this afternoon I hope to turn the heal and progress a little further on the sock I am in the process of knitting. This should keep me going thru the evening.

Today is Christmas Eve. We have been experiencing a bit of bad weather with Storm Barbara and we’re waiting for Storm Conor to hit as well. I hope the weather doesn’t turn as nasty as the storm we had a few weeks back where part of my house was flooded for which I will need some building work done in the spring. The wind was blowing a hooley last night but I slept like a baby.

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So, I guess that’s my report for today. All that’s left is to is wish you all a very happy Christmas. For 2017, I wish you all peace, super adventures, good health and much happiness. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching ♥ ♥

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying the run up to Christmas. The jolly spirit is in the air. I’m beginning to feel quite excited. I can’t believe that the big day is just a week away. This time next week we will be getting ready for the Queen’s speech! And this time in two weeks will be the first day of 2017!!!

I’m back so soon because I have some news regarding Anni Downs Twelve Days of Christmas panel and fabric collection. After putting out an SOS message in yesterday’s blog post, I received a message from Hilary of High Street Quilting. Apparently the Twelve Days of Christmas was so popular that it will be released again and so Hilary has placed an order. The panels and a selection of co-ordinating fabric will be delivered and available for purchase in Julyish. So, anyone dreaming of owning a Twelve Days of Christmas quilt, you will have the chance to purchase same from High Street Quilting in 2017. I’m so pleased to be able to bring good news today.

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I filled today with little bits of chores and a visit to the supermarket. The fridge and cupboards were bare. It’s nice to have a healthy choice of what to make for supper. I dislike food shopping. In fact, shopping full stop isn’t on my list of favourites at the moment. I’m going to do my best to avoid traffic jams and venues full of people. I’m looking forward to settling in for a quiet Christmas. There’s something magical about a peaceful holiday away from the madness.

Has anyone made any New Year’s resolutions yet? No??? Well, let me tell you mine for 2017. I don’t usually make resolutions because I never keep them but 2017 is going to be different. My top resolution is to finish things I’ve started. So, joining the 17 UFOs in 2017 is perfect to help me along with that goal. My next important resolution is to focus on the future. So, instead of dwelling on the past, I’m going to focus on what’s to come. I have learned many life lessons from which to build a better future recently. My next resolution is to learn something new every single day. Now, that’s quite a broad statement which gives me plenty of scope. This means that anything new I learn, whether it’s a new word, a new technique, meet a new and interesting person counts as learning something new. I’m thinking that perhaps I can record my daily something new on a slip of paper and store it in jar. At the end of the year I will be able to review all the interesting things I have learned. I shall call my New Year’s resolutions Gentle Goals 2017.

It’s been a great weekend getting ready for the weeks ahead. I look forward to all the corny television shows and the Christmas treats. Sarah has plenty of uni work to do and I plan on drawing some new blocks in my pyjamas. We even bought some new pyjamas! New pyjamas for Christmas is a tradition I remember from childhood and carried on with Sarah. Does anyone else buy new PJs for Christmas??? Another tradition is eating Clementines. I always know that Christmas is just around the corner when I see the Clementines in the supermarket.

So, for this evening, this very happy a super ambitious quilt maker will be doing some hand quilting. I hope you have a super cosy doing something relaxing. I have no doubt some of you are stressed to the max at the moment. So, while you sit down to watch a new episode of Midsomer Murders this evening do a little hand sewing. I know for a fact that hand sewing makes everything better. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching ♥ ♥