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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying the run up to the new year. There’s only twenty days left in 2017. Before we hit the new year, I will be celebrating Christmas. I haven’t put any Christmas decks up yet but I have been thinking about it though. I just can’t seem to muster up the energy yet. I am looking forward to the quiet break.

Winter has hit my little corner of the northeast of England. We don’t usually get much snow where I live. And in the twenty-four years I have lived here I can only remember having a white Christmas three times at most. Yesterday, we got a nice dusting of snow. My Sarah and I stood in the front window watching big fluffy flakes falling gently on the ground. It was cold enough that it didn’t melt immediately. We woke to enough snow on the ground which meant that the roads could be treacherous in places, not to mention the black ice in strategic places such as intersections. I stayed home today but Sarah had to make her way to university forty miles away.

Now that winter is finally here I plan on spending more time in my sewing room. So, today I decided to have a little play. I should really have been tidying up but I really wanted to flash up my sewing machine to make something. So, I pressed some fat quarters, layered them up and did some simple quilting …..

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I cut the little quilt up and sewed it back together in a different order …..

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And turned said quilt into bucket bags …..

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It was a pleasure using up some of the fat quarters I purchased a couple of years ago. These prototypes turned out pretty good. Now that I have a better idea of what I’m doing I can make a few more in different sizes. And using up some of my stash is brilliant.

I have been quietly working on my Patchwork of the Crosses. I was hoping to have it all finished by the end of the year but that’s not going to happen. I have joined 36 blocks together so far. This equates to 6 across by 6 down, the blocks measure 11-1/2”, that makes my quilt 69” square at the moment. I plan on adding another 13 blocks making it 7 across by 7 down and should measure 80-1/2” square. And I will finish off with a plain fabric border (not EPP) but keeping the integrity of the EPP shapes. I haven’t decided how I’m going to quilt it yet. One thing I do know is that it will be machine quilted because it will be too big to hand quilt.

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I’ve made great progress on my Sweet Dresden Lollipop quilt. All it needs is a bit of embellishment. I plan on adding a few beads, buttons and yo-yos, just enough to give it some texture. I thoroughly enjoyed designing and piecing this latest quilt. I have no idea where I found the inspiration for this one but I think the brighter fabrics on a white background is lovely and fresh. A cheerful finished project to enjoy in the new year.

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So, you can see that I’m not just lounging around watching television every day all day. I am always working on something in the background. I realised recently that quite often over the last couple of years I have said things like someday when all this is finished, I’m going to start doing this or that. So, with 2018 just around the corner, I’m going to try to make all those things that I promised myself happen. My promises may have to be altered a little but they should come to fruition in some form or other that suits my way current way of life. All too often life chips away at us and we stop believing in ourselves. It’s important to get up every day and try again and again to make things happen. I have new ideas for projects for the new year. And I certainly will carry on stamping my personality to my home. I think I need to be surrounded by a few more girly things. I can start making that happen by decorating for Christmas.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be working on piecing more blocks for the excellent Patchwork of the Crosses project. I’m finally getting somewhere. I hope you all have a super cosy evening working on something that makes you happy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching ♥♥ 

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been enjoying the lead up to Christmas. I’ve done a little Christmas shopping. I made myself a promise a while back, that I was going to start my Christmas shopping early and get as much stuff sorted before the mad rush next month and I must admit that so far, it’s working. It isn’t easy being organised but somehow, I’ve got most of my shopping done. Even some of the food has been purchased!!!

Speaking of food, now that the cold weather has set in I am cooking  a lot more simple meals from scratch. My slow cooker comes out every week. I mainly do pot roasts and such. The leftovers go into soups and casseroles. Don’t ask me for recipes because I seem to just wing it and somehow it always turns out good and tasty. If anyone has any recipes for the slow cooker they wish to share please feel free to contact me. Sunday mornings are pancakes with loads of maple syrup breakfast mornings …..

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I’ve been keeping busy working my EPP project. I enjoy the prep work as much as the sewing …..

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I’ve spent many hours painting the sewing room. I seem to have spent more hours sorting thru sewing supplies and reorganising storage than the actual painting …..

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And whatever I do, I have a supervisor who keeps me right …..

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With Christmas looming, I have completed a wall hanging which I plan on using as a door banner …..

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We recently had a rather impressive full moon. I stepped out in the morning to get this photo. I’m not a great photographer and my camera isn’t very fancy, so I was tickled pink when I snapped this shot of this impressive full moon …..

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Life is finally settle down at happy quilter manor. The cold weather has brought out every winter woolly I own. My Maisie enjoys the fresh mornings and she runs circles around me during our walks. We had several hard frosts this past week. De-icing the car first thing isn’t my favourite pastime but it needs to be done if we’re heading off early. There’s only a few more weeks before the Christmas holidays start. I look forward to a more relaxed schedule. I must admit that to everyone’s dismay, I am hoping for a wee bit of snow for Christmas.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be either knitting socks or doing some EPP. I hope you all have a super cosy evening working on something seasonal. Until your read me again,

Happy stitching  ♥♥ 

Hellooooo my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying autumn. We experienced our first morning frost this week. It was lovely and fresh with true blue skies that particular morning. Maisie and I both enjoyed our morning stroll.

The last few weeks have been pretty busy doing one thing and another. I can’t even remember what and or if I accomplished much of anything to be honest. The painting and decorating continues. It’s a job I dislike and of course it drags on and on once you get started. Sarah and I are doing it ourselves hence the length of time it’s taking. One thing is for sure, it will be so nice when it’s finished. We’ve chosen some interesting colours and we are also in the process of repurposing furniture which will be moved around to suit as needed. It’s rather nice stamping our own personality to our home. We’re keeping it simple but it’s going to be a little more girly than it has ever been. And why not!!!

I have been working furiously on a UFO which I finished last week. I call it the Sweet Dresden Lollipop quilt.  Here are a few sneaky peeks of my sweet project …..

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I very rarely use white as a background because I find it too stark. In this project, I finally succumbed to using white. Well the effect is striking but I love it. So, you can bet I will be using white more often. I have several metres of plain white which I have had in my stash for a good long while that I could use in the next project. So, I better start designing the next project.

I’ve disappeared into my sewing room last week with a small selection of fat quarters. I needed a short sharp fix of sewing. I needed to choose a small useful project that would give me a sewing fix. So, I chose to make a notebook cover for my 2018 notebook …..

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Some simple sewing was just what I needed to distract from all the drying paint around me.

I attended my monthly Burnopfield Belles meeting last week. I handed in my prepared block as promised …..

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We all went home with homework last month and so a variety of blocks were handed in ready to be joined together using the quilt as you go method sometime in the new year. As a treat to us volunteers, Sandra lead a crafty session. Sandra guided us thru the steps of making this lovely Christmas card …..

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It’s amazing what we can make with a few scraps of fabric and card blanks. I came away from the session feeling very accomplished and having had a good fun afternoon.

Life has definitely moved on for the likes of me and my Sarah recently. Every day is becoming more positive. Things are settling down and falling into place rather nicely. Sarah is doing well in uni and I’m finally finding my feet again. I read a quote yesterday that gave me something to think about. Live less out of habit and more out of intent ~ Amy Rubin Flett. I’m still working on my To Be List. So far, I have accomplished being useful and being kind. And I’m going to keep trying to be the rest of my list.

My main goal whenever I post something is to inspire others to try new things and/or get on with their existing projects. You know the old saying what goes around comes around ….. well that saying is very true. My friend Lynne popped in earlier this week and she brought me some sock wool. A couple of weeks ago, when the autumn weather truly set in I had a hankering to start knitting. My tools were ready to be used but the wool was sadly lacking. The same evening of Lynne’s visit, I casted on the appropriate number of stitches and got started. The morale of my story is that inspiration goes round and round. We get together and spur each other on to start and finish projects. Both my socks are ready for me to start knitting the heel. I wouldn’t have gotten that far if it wasn’t for Lynne’s generous nudge in the right direction. Sometimes a little nudge is all we need to move forward. These are my Christmas socks. I can’t wait to wear them.

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So, for this evening this very happy and super ambitious quilter will be doing some EPP work. My Patchwork of the Crosses is progressing nicely but nowhere near finished. It’s not a race as long as I am enjoying the process that’s all that matters. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you thoroughly enjoy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching  ♥ ♥

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable week. It’s been a busy one for me doing this and that and not getting very far in any of it. I spent most of the week preparing for winter. However, we seem to be experiencing an Indian Summer at the moment because the temperature reached 20C today!!!!

My outdoor planters have been planted up and have already started to grow and fill in. I didn’t plant anything exotic, just the normal pansies/violas, ivy, and conifer type plants. And of course, I have added some spring flowering bulbs to the mix.

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I made a label and hanging pocket for my latest longarm effort.

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And I hope to hand sew them onto the back of my quilt this evening.

Now that the days are growing shorter and cool autumn temperatures are about to arrive, I have started using my slow cooker again. I have had several successful meals using said appliance. I tried cooking my ham in it. And it’s ooooh so good and easy. The ham comes out moist and succulent. I’ve made pot roast a couple of times and once again the beef was tender and delicious. This coming week I’m going to try making soup. There’s nothing more comforting than a hearty bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day.

As well as preparing for winter, I am also preparing for the future. I’m on the very important journey of rebuilding my life. So to keep me on the correct road facing forward rather than looking back, I bought these …..

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I think these sturdy red boots will see me thru the time it takes to reach the end of my journey to my sweet comfy place. Those of you who know me personally know that I love red. So, I chose sturdy red boots to see me thru my journey. I feel the need to knit some cosy socks to wear with my sturdy red boots. My boots arrived this morning and I wore them all day around the house and already they are pretty comfortable. It usually takes me ages to break shoes in. I guess these boots really were made for walking.

I’m looking forward to the weekend. I will be spending tomorrow with some like-minded people. I have no doubt the day will whizz by in a flash.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be securing a label and pockets to the back of my Sweet Dresden Lollipop quilt. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you thoroughly enjoy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching ♥ ♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying the beginning of autumn. We’ve had some dull and blustery weather lately. I’ve been watching the leaves tumbling to the ground. It’s a bit sad seeing the trees lose their leaves but I must admit that autumn is my favourite time of year. I’m already snuggling under patchwork quilts in the evening and as the days get cooler I’m starting to wear my cosy woollies. In the week or so, I’ll start wearing my boots. And the menu has changed to winter warming soups and stick to your ribs casseroles. Yahoo.

I attended a Burnopfield Belles meeting a couple of weeks ago. We started a new challenge for Quilts for Comfort. We have a small library of traditional block design instructions. We have all chosen a block design and we will all make a block including layering and quilting by the next meeting. You’ve probably already guessed that we’re using the Quilt as You Go method of joining the blocks together. I chose the Churn Dash block which is kind of my go to block when I don’t know what to choose. I scratched around and found some fabric that would be suitable for a boy’s quilt because we have decided that we’re going to make a boy’s quilt.

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Once my fabric was chosen I was off. I love sitting quietly of an evening hand sewing. So, I pieced my block by hand.

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Now I will layer it up and add some simple hand quilting, enough stitching to hold the block firmly together while going thru the wash. I love a nice simple challenge.

This morning while I was in my sewing room the blackbirds seem to be popping in regularly to use my bath. One after another they landed and had a good old splash around. This photo isn’t very clear as it was taken thru the window which has a film on it to protect against the bright sunshine.

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Speaking of birds …..

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I added some freemotion quilting to these old specimens. They need a wee bit of embellishing now. I think I’ll add some small beads for eyes.

Autumn is definitely here; the kids have gone back to school and we’re starting to make plans for Christmas. Sarah and I have discussed what we want to do for Christmas this year. Now that I’m a single parent, we can start new traditions. Making new memories is very important when you’re faced with rebuilding your life. Slowly but surely things are falling into place and life is starting to look pretty good again.

I spent some time in garden this afternoon pruning and clipping shrubs. A half hour tidy in the garden makes all the difference. I have purchased some plants for my funky planter that sits beside my front door. A few inexpensive pansies, some ivy plants and some bargain conifers will look splendid. That’s tomorrow’s job.

As we zoom along toward the end of the year, I have this hankering to learn a new technique. I’m not sure what I want to learn but I’m on the lookout for learning another skill. Perhaps I will take up dressmaking. I dabbled in dressmaking many years ago. Perhaps that would satisfy my longing to take up something new.

October got off to good start. The weather has been pretty good. We haven’t experienced any frost yet but there’s always tomorrow. As I understand it, the western provinces of Canada have had snow recently!!! That’s something I really miss living here in the UK. We don’t see much snow in my little corner of the northeast of England.

Speaking of Canada, I would like to wish all my Canadian readers a very very happy Thanksgiving. I hope you all get to share a meal with your loved ones in peace and with joy.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be hand finishing the binding on the Sweet Dresden Lollipop quilt project. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly love. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching ♥ ♥

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all enjoyed a sun filled summer. If I’m honest up until the first day of September I was still waiting for summer to arrive! Now I am looking forward to autumn arriving. I can’t wait to wear cosy pullovers, warm scarves and comfy boots. I feel like knitting and taking on as many woolly pursuits as I can find. The reality is that I have plenty of projects on the go which need my attention first.

I would like to file a “what I did over the summer holidays” type of report but I’m not sure I have enough to fill in the blanks. It’s been a quiet summer waiting for legal stuff to happen. Well you can all rest assured that things are progressing and life has finally started moving forward. While we wait for the courts to do their thing Sarah and I are definitely moving forward by forming our plan of action and setting out our goals for the future. Sarah has her whole life ahead of her. I, on the other hand, am looking forward to a quiet life free of chaos and drama.

The house is finally getting a simple makeover. We bought a few tester paint pots and painted a few patches to see how they would look.

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I have chosen two of the colours, one for the hallway and one for my sewing room. I wasn’t planning on painting the sewing room just yet but I had a bit of a shelving disaster which needed to be sorted quickly. So, I thought while the disaster corner was empty I should clean it before sourcing a new storage unit. Thank goodness for Billy bookcases!!! And of course, it snowballed into a paint job giving the room a proper facelift. Here’s a sneaky peek at the new paint colour and replacement shelf unit …..

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I have been working on my Patchwork of the Crosses pretty steady every evening over the summer.  I have now joined 25 blocks, 5 across by 5 down. I am planning on making it 8X8 for which I am not even halfway yet! I’m not quite sure where the patience is coming from but I am planning on sticking to it until it’s finished. This is my evening armchair project.

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In my quest to brighten up the colours I use in my quilts, I have designed another project which I am in the process of piecing during the day. I am using a white background which makes it much brighter and cheerful. For years, I have used various shades of beige as background. I must admit I really love the freshness of this piece …..

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Life has been full of adventures lately. My little car, Miss Daisy, developed a fault and needed to go back to the dealer to be put right.

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As the dealer needed to keep the car over the weekend they supplied me with a courtesy car. The car is much bigger than what I am used to …..

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I never ever thought I would ever get to drive a Mercedes A Class! It’s a lovely car with a whole load of bells and whistles which I didn’t even know how to use. What a smooth drive compared to my little Daisy the Smart car! As nice as the Mercedes is I really looked forward to getting Miss Daisy back. It’s a relief to see her sitting in my driveway again.

Before we collected Miss Daisy and while the Mercedes car was sitting in my driveway these barriers appeared blocking us in …..

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And this inflatable archway appeared just after lunch a few houses over …..

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Stage 2 of the Tour of Britain came thru my hometown again. We hosted them two years ago with great success. Someone once said that no one comes to my hometown a few years ago. Well they were very wrong. Blyth, which is my hometown, is located in the county of Northumberland, has now hosted a number of events over the years, one of which was the Tall Ships last summer and the Olympic Torch in 2012 for the London Olympics. There has been quite a lot of money invested in the regeneration of the area making it more suitable for such events as the Tall Ships, Tour of Britain and such. I got really carried away with watching all the lycra clad men riding their bicycles past my front door, so there aren’t any photos of the bikes whooshing past. It was over in no time flat. I wonder what event my little town will be hosting next summer.

Well it’s September now and the garden is coming to the end of its bloominess. Here is what I found during my latest tour of my little garden this morning …..

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My findings are that I will be spending a few hours pruning back and making everything tidy for winter. I’m quite looking forward to cutting back some of the growth making it looked loved again. I quite like it sparse look in autumn and winter.

All in all, it’s been a pretty good summer. I had quiet moments which gave me time to reflect upon the past year or so. The leaves are starting to fall and some of the kids have gone back to school now. And I know you don’t want to hear this but I am actually looking forward to Christmas now. It’s not so much Christmas day that I long for but the holidays leading up to Christmas and between Christmas and New Years that I look forward to. That break gives everyone a chance to recharge their batteries for the new year to come.

My Sarah will soon be resuming her studies. This is her last year of university. She has already made a start on her dissertation …..

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And for those of you who have missed Maisie. Well she’s still supervising my every move. Maisie makes sure that I’m doing the right thing at the right time.

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So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be doing some EPP moving forward on my POTC project. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you thoroughly enjoy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching ♥ ♥

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been enjoying a fabulous summer. We, here in my little corner of the northeast of England, have had loads of yuck weather during the month of July. It’s been a soggy dull mess. I’m hoping that things will perk up a bit before the kids go back to school next month. No matter what, I’m going to try to make the most of this holiday season.

I started off the year full of good intentions. I was going to work on UFOs and try my best to make progress on said projects but life has a way of happening and derailing my best efforts. I have not been lazy, I have simply committed to resolving family matters. Yes, if you’re reading between the lines your assumptions are correct. However, we have started moving forward after seventeen months of uphill struggle.

I generally plan my days via a To-Do List. I recently read somewhere that in addition to a To-Do List you can also have a To-Be List. So here is my list which I presume will grow over time …..

 

TO-BE LIST

Happy

Useful

Kind

Healthy

Calm

Organised

Settled

Creative

Authentic

I’ve done quite a lot of sorting in the garden. Here’s a little peek at the planter we planted up a while ago. It’s done very well …..

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I recently tried needle felting at my Burnopfield Belles group. Annette lead the session and did an excellent job sorting out kits and guiding us thru the process of making a ladybird (in UK lingo) or ladybug (in North American lingo). The whole process was thoroughly therapeutic. Learning something new as a group is always more fun than on your own. The action of stabbing something with a very sharp needle is the perfect outlet for all those pent-up emotions. Voodoo dolls come to mind. I purchased a few key needle felting supplies a few years ago and only barely touched them. Now I have more confidence and will be sure to have a go in order to incorporate the woolly pieces in my projects.

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In between the chores and the mundane everyday stuff I did some sewing …..

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Yesterday, I started gathering more ideas to build a vision board  representing my goals, hopes and dreams for the future.

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Life has turned into a learning curve for me. The past years have taught me quite a lot. Not least that when your gut speaks listen to it.

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So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious happy quilt maker will be doing some EPP. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing some that makes you super happy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching ♥ ♥