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Archive for the ‘Gentle Goals 2017’ Category

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 ♥ ♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 ♥ ♥

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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’re all enjoying a super sunny Sunday. I happen to know that it’s Mother’s Day in North America today. Here in the UK, Mother’s Day is in March. In my search to celebrate all things good I have decided to celebrate Mother’s Day again! Once my few meagre daily chores were done I treated myself a quiet afternoon of catching up on recorded shows while doing some hand sewing.

The past week has been pretty busy. I spent a few hours in the garden cutting trees down and preparing to take the offcuts to the tip. What a difference a couple of hours makes. I find that every minute I spend making things better makes me feel better. Rebuilding after a breakup takes a lot of effort but it’s very rewarding.

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Although autumn is my favourite time of year, spring is a wonderful time of renewal. My shrubs and climbing plants are reaching for the sky …..

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This clematis is growing really well again this year. I love climbers.

My Sarah and I have been breathing new life into old planters. This planter used to be a triple decker …..

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I came up with the bright idea to chop off one tier. Well somehow with the help of an electric circular saw I managed to chop off the top tier. Now that Sarah has painted it this interesting shade of purple using proper garden furniture paint it looks fresh and ready for another year of showcasing annual plants. Said planter will be moved into its final resting position tomorrow once the paint is good and dry, and planted up with a variety of annual plants. So much can be done using what we already have. Repurposing furniture indoors has been rather interesting too.  I’ve always wanted to paint my existing pine stuff making it look a little shabby chic. I never realised I had the patience to revive old bits of boring stuff making it more interesting and full of character. You can do anything if you try hard enough.

Life is one absolutely wonderful adventure. Every day brings new challenges. Some of my challenges seem insurmountable at times but somehow, I always seem to work things out. Today, my challenge was trying to add someone to my Skype contacts in order to chat. Well given the fact that neither one of us is very tech savvy it did take a little time and effort to synchronise our efforts but we got there in the end. We didn’t give up. This just proves that if you work hard you can do anything.

Today I have no sewing progress. I have plenty of ideas that I am dying to get started but I’m doing my best to make progress on my ongoing projects. It’s taking all my willpower though.

To all my North American readers and any others who are celebrating Mother’s Day today, I wish you a very good one. I celebrate every good thing that happens in my life nowadays. Every little bit of progress I make is well worth celebrating.

Now I have a little bit of gossip to tell you today. I hope you’re sitting down ….. It seems that season 3 of Poldark will be airing here in the UK next month!!! I couldn’t believe my ears when Sarah told me. I guess I had better get the wine in ready for my evening treat of Mr. Poldark with a glass of wine.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be doing some EPP work. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something you truly love. Remember, you can do anything if you try hard enough. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching ♥ ♥

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all enjoyed a super sunny day. My day started off foggy but the sun burnt the fog off and by morning coffee time we were enjoying beautiful sunshine for the fourth day running.

Helen posted a comment yesterday asking how I make my labels. So, I decided to share with you how I make my simple labels. Of course, we all know that we can purchase pre-printed quilt labels but I simply use scraps of fabric which I write on. I tend to stick to light colour fabric with a quiet print. And as I do not consider my writing to be very neat and also because I’m afraid to spell something wrong, I compose the words for my label, centre them on a page and print them out using laptop and printer …..

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Then using a light box or sunny window I trace the words onto fabric. Using light fabric helps in the whole process. I use a Micron pen which I heat set once the tracing is done.

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Once the heat setting is done I press a little hem all the way around the label …..

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I pin the label to the back of the quilt …..

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And using matching thread I attach the label using a small running stitch making sure that I do not sew thru all the layers thru to the front making sure that the label is secure.

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There are many ways to make quilt labels. I keep my labels simple. If you own and operate an embroidery machine you can use it to make your labels. In fact, you can make your labels as simple as mine or as ornate as you wish but do, please do label your quilts.

I’ve read about the dreadful weather in Québec which of course is in Canada. To my Canadian readers who are experiencing life in the flood waters, please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. I hope things have started improving.

The lovely sunshine is making my heart sing. The top of my latest To-Do List is: learn to dance like no one is watching; learn to sing like no one is listening. I think it’s time to start living with all my heart. The past year has been a very quiet one in my little world. Now that spring is here I’m going to start partying. After all, we only get one life, so let’s spend it living well.

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

Happy stitching ♥ ♥

 

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all enjoyed a happy sunny day. My day started out dark and dismal but by lunchtime the sun was shining brightly making life so much more interesting. I’m not a sun baby but I find when the sun is shining it spurs me on to get things done.

I have a short report for you today. It’s only a wee bit of progress I made on my Bargello style quilt. Somehow, I managed to longarm quilt and bind said quilt. I’m really pleased with the finished result. So here are some photos …..

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And here’s the back …..

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The quilting design is called Beautiful Butterfly by Hermione Agee of Lorien Quilting. And I used a soft fine beige thread which sits beautifully on the front as well as the back. All this quilt needs now is a label. In labelling a quilt, you give it provenance. In a few decades when I’m no longer around to tell the story of this particular quilt the label will list the name of the maker, the place where the quilt was pieced and the month and year it was completed. So, don’t forget to label your quilts because every time you piece a quilt you’re making history.

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It’s been a lovely day in my little corner or the northeast of England. Sarah’s academic year is coming to an end. We have discussed loads of plans and projects for the summer. I’m hoping for a good weather so we can spend lots of time outside; especially now that the garden is starting to take off.

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

Happy stitching ♥ ♥

 

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