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Archive for the ‘Applique Projects’ Category

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 ♥ ♥

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all having an enjoyable summer. We’ve been having the best summer ever. The weather has been rather kind to us. We’ve been able to spend some time outside in the garden; mostly sorting the things and making the garden more manageable. Everything takes time but we’re getting there.

I’ve spent quite a lot of time sorting some legal aspects of my family life. I’m juggling three different kinds of lawyers all at once. I can understand why it takes so long and so much effort to qualify as a lawyer. I think I’ll stick to what I do best.

On the creative side of life ….. I have been designing now blocks for a project. At the moment, I’m doing the prep work to bring those blocks to life. The best part of designing is seeing your drawings come to together. The most difficult part is choosing the fabric. Here’s a little sneaky peek at one of my blocks …..

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It’s the perfect day for flashing up the Barbeque. We’re going to enjoy a few sausages cooked on the barbie. We’re thoroughly enjoying doing all the things everyday people do. Somehow, I’ve managed to simplify life back to the basics. Simple is really good.

It’s a while since I posted here but only because I’ve had quite a lot on my plate lately but I’m surviving. I make up a To-Do List every week and try to get thru all the tasks on it. Somehow, I get thru each week having completed my tasks but wondering how the heck I did it. I guess I must be a strong determined woman. I hope to bring you more project progress soon.

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

Happy stitching

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super-duper weekend. My weekend has been absolutely wonderful. Having company is the best way to spend a winter’s weekend. Even better is celebrating the Chinese New Year by having Chinese food!!! Letting someone else prepare food and clean up afterward is fantastic. It’s something that should happen more often.

Today, I have some lovely UFO progress to report. In fact, I have a finish to show you ….

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I have really enjoyed hand quilting this little whimsical winter block. I love all things wonky. I find wonky is very forgiving because it doesn’t have to be spot on perfect. Wonky is a very good description of me.

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This after we enjoyed some lovely sunshine. The sunshine spurs me on to get loads done. I spent the past week going to appointments and doing a little strategizing. However, in between all the coming and going I did have a chance to do a little painting, furniture painting. Before I started the job, I wasn’t sure it was going to work but I went ahead anyway. I would rather try than wonder what if? I started off with this old chest of drawers ….

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The idea came from a pin that someone forwarded to me from Pinterest. And I quite liked the idea so I had a go. This is what my chest of drawers looks like now ….

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I am so pleased with how this little decorating job turned out. I have a whole lot of old fashioned pine furniture to which I could be working magic tricks with to breathe new life into it. The furniture is outdated however, still sturdy and serves to store various household and personal items. So, watch this space for the next piece of furniture I decide to decorate.

It’s been such a lovely day in my little world. I ran a couple of errands this morning and then settled in to relax and enjoy an afternoon filled with chit chat, cups of tea and cake and making plans for the weeks ahead. Spring seems like a long way off but it’s only just around the corner really.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be doing some quilt marking in order to finish hand quilting my Sweethearts Dozen quilt. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching   

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super day. It’s been a lovely day in my little corner of the northeast of England. It’s not warm but we’re getting good bright mornings. I kept very busy with painting furniture and working on curtains. It’s been a good productive day in my quiet little world today.

Well I can finally show you a little proper progress on one of my 17 UFOs!!! I started hand quilting my little Button Club winter block. It’s not finished but I am making some progress. The whole centre of the block has been quilted and I have marked and made a start hand quilting the border. I even found the special hand painted buttons that will adorn this wintery whimsical scene!!! Just finding the buttons was quite an accomplishment. I use small quilts as door banners. This one will be hung on my living door. Soon.

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I’ll take this opportunity to remind you that I am hosting a wee giveaway to celebrate the arrival of 2017. The names will be drawn on Monday January 31. To enter please click here and follow the instructions regarding how to enter.

So far 2017 has been pretty good. I spent a lot time considering life in general in 2016 and now that I have made a few new choices and decisions, my future is looking much brighter. Life is what you make of it. I have simplified a lot of my day-to-day routines lifting a great weight off my shoulders. There comes a time in a woman’s life when she must dispose of what doesn’t bring joy or happiness. I’m not a special person. I don’t have special super powers but I do know that anything is possible if you work at it hard enough. Is it not Cinderella who sang A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes. Well 2017 is the year that some of my wishes will come true. I’ve already started working on it.

I’m quite excited today because I’m having company for the weekend. We have a couple of simple outings planned and a few jobs to be done around the house. But best of all it will be a relaxing weekend. No hustle and bustle for me. I might even make more progress on another UFO!

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will hopefully be finishing the hand quilting on the winter block. I would like to post a photo of it hanging on the door next week. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy doing. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching ♥ ♥

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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 ♥ ♥

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all be keeping busy and are well on your way to be ready for Christmas. I’ve been getting plenty done and I’m almost there. I have been concentrating on nothing but Christmas for weeks. I’m getting really excited about it.

I’ve done very little sewing lately. I have fallen in love with knitting socks. I’ve lost count of how many pairs I have knitted but it’s quite a few more than I thought I could ever knit. My lovely friend Lynne has taken me under her wing and pointed me in the right direction as to where to purchase nice sock wool. And she has introduced me to carbon fibre double pointed needles. I think these new-to-me needles are the bee’s knees and the cat’s meow all wrapped in one. They feel comfortable to work with because they don’t feel cold like metal ones. And the metal tips stay sharp unlike bamboo needles. So, if you haven’t tried these carbon fibre double pointed needles, I can confirm that they work for me.

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Once again, as in previous years I am doing a low-key Christmas. I have put just a few decorations up, a few twinkling fairy lights, a tiny Christmas tree, a bit of tinsel garland, a wreath or two and I’ll be making paper chains to give it all a vintage look. I like vintage. And I love candles; candles add warmth and atmosphere to any room.

As 2016 draws to a close, I ponder the past year. Most of you who have been reading my blog posts for a while will know that my family life has changed somewhat since the turn of the year. I am now a single parent waiting for all the legalities to be sorted out. When all this kicked off just after the turn of the year I thought it was the end of the world as I knew it. I have since lived and learned that life doesn’t end when your husband decides he doesn’t want you anymore. In fact, I have learned that life has so much more to offer than I ever realised. I lived a very sheltered and isolated life for decades. During the months since separating from my husband I have experienced things I could never imagine existed. I’ve had good days and bad days from which I bounced back stronger and wiser. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. My brand new shiny life is waiting for me whenever I’m ready to get started. 2017 doesn’t seem to be such a scary place to be going  to anymore.

I mentioned earlier that I haven’t done much sewing lately. Well here’s a little peek at the latest project I started …..

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As you know I love appliqué work and earlier this autumn I went to a Quilts for Comfort volunteer meeting where my friend Sandra taught a fab session of quirky raw edge appliqué. This flower design is her creation which I resized smaller and added to my current project. Inspiration comes from so many different places but none more often than directly from creative friends. So, thank you Sandra for inspiring me to push on with this little project. I love this flower and I so wanted to add it to something. I have other ideas of how to use this beautiful little flower on other projects. I hope to come back in the new year with photos of this current finished piece.

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I have received several messages from concerned readers in the last few days. So today I thought it was important that I post something to reassure you that Sarah and I are fine and we’re both really looking forward to Christmas. Life can be a scary place sometimes but I have grown as a person over the months and realised that the most important part of life is family, reasonable health and finding joy wherever possible. The past is in the past and dwelling on it doesn’t do anybody any good. It’s time to move forward and enjoy life to the best of our ability. 2017 will put us all on the right path again. I wanted to thank everyone who has been thinking about Sarah and I. Your good wishes and kind thoughts have been greatly appreciated. And should I be silent for too long again, please feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to email you with news.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will possibly draw some new blocks for my newest quilt design. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something Christmassy. I wish you all plenty of joy during this festive season. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a great week. Autumn is in full swing here in my little corner of the northeast of England. I’m keeping up with collecting and disposing of the fallen leaves. I love this time of year. I love closing the blinds and settling in for the evening. I don’t quite go into hibernation but I think if I had the chance I would!!!

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I was hoping to finish all the info on my Moving Forward block but I had a little mishap yesterday which prevented me from the finishing the job. However, today I will reveal some of my favourite supplies that I use which give me really good results. So, let’s start with how I secure the patches in place. For this part of the process I use the finest thread I can find. In years gone by I used 100wt Silk thread spun by YLI. It can be a wee bit tricky to find in shops but there are plenty of vendors on the internet. In the last four years or so I have been experimenting with 100wt Invisifil by Wonderfil.

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I’m very happy to report that the Invisifil works really well for me so I am happy to recommend it. This thread is so fine that your stitches just melt into the fabric giving you invisible stitches which is exactly what you want. Along with the Invisifil I use Bohin appliqué needles, size works really well for me. Between the fine thread and the fine needle, I am able to make small stitches by taking a tiniest bite of the edge of the appliqué patch and the tiniest bite of the background fabric. This is why my stitches are obvious.

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It hard to believe that some 22 years ago when I first started quilt making I stayed away from appliqué work. I couldn’t face the fine stitching. Nowadays I think nothing of design my own appliqué projects and thoroughly enjoy the whole process from start to finish. I believe it’s good to experiment with different tools and supplies. Sometimes we crossover using tools meant for other techniques that work really well. So, have a go and if you find something that works well for you share it with us so we can benefit too.

I have a little tip for you today. Now and again there will be a little fabric fraying on your appliqué patches. You know those pesky loose threads that can be difficult to tuck in under while you doing the fine hand sewing??? Well if you find yourself with 3 or 6 loose threads you will need a cocktail stick and your trusty fabric glue pen. Tease away a tiny little bit of glue from your glue pen onto you cocktail stick. A little glue goes a long way to taming the loose threads. All you need to do is running the gluey cocktail stick along the loose threads while directing them under and between the layers of fabric. Once the threads are hidden press it down with your finger and continue sewing the area. Fabric glue is water soluble so when you wash the quilt there will be no traces of it.

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At this point, I must stress that this is the method I use for appliqué. I’m sure there are other ways to approach this task. I choose the more relaxed approach. I shall return next week to show you how to make really good circles. And hopefully I will be able to collate all the info in one printable document to help you along.

After my little taste of knitting over the last few weeks and thoroughly enjoying myself, I added knitting socks to my To-Do List. I ordered some sock yarn and go started …..

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My knitting needles are a size 2.5mm. When I saw how fine the needles are I thought I would be at it for ages but what you see is what I produced in a couple of hours one evening!!! I am enjoying this fine knitting. I hate to say it but I might be hooked. It looks like a few different people will be getting socks for Christmas.

It’s been a good week in my little world. Winter is just around the corner and I’m enjoying autumn. The quilts and the woollies are definitely coming in handy now. There’s nothing nicer than snuggling under a handmade quilt while stitching something else.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be doing some fine hand appliqué with my favourite tools and supplies. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing what makes you happy. Surround yourself with people who appreciate and love you and make the most of everyday you have with them. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching

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