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Archive for the ‘Gentle Goals 2017’ Category

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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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all been enjoying a fab weekend. It’s been a typical spring weekend here in my little world. The sun has been sparse but that didn’t deter me from getting on with things that needed doing.

You might remember that I cut and pieced some strips to be turned into a Bargello type quilt top recently.

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Well yesterday after running a couple of errands I disappeared into my sewing room and got the job started. After cutting loads of strip sets I flashed up my sewing machine and sewed to my hearts’ content. I sewed and pressed and sew and pressed until I was 3/4 of the way thru the job. I resumed the work this morning and this is what I ended up with …..

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This ended up a larger quilt top than I thought it would. A nice generous single bed size quilt. And the best part is that I purchased nothing for it. Every scrap of fabric comes from my stash! I didn’t think that would be possible. I’ve even found something to use for the backing. I’m really pleased with the progress of this quilt and the result so far. I hope to get it longarm quilted sometime this week in between appointments and chores.

It’s been a rather productive weekend in my little world. My Sarah is busy finishing up her end of year assignments. Despite all the upheaval running in the background of our lives, Sarah has managed to hit all her targets and deadlines. I am so very proud of her. She’s so talented and uses everything she has at her disposal to produce original pieces. Thru all the rubbish going on I did my best to set the very best example I could. I’ve taught Sarah to be strong, to stand up for herself and to never let anyone but herself be in charge of her happiness. We’ve put quite a lot of effort into rebuilding our new lives and somehow, we’re getting there. It’s a quiet satisfying life with no chaos now.

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While I was working in my sewing room yesterday and today I had a little company. My Maisie, when she’s not snoring, oversees my work and inspects for quality control …..

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Maisie was a little off colour last week. Enough so that I was getting a little worried when she went off her food. Maisie never goes off her food! Rest assured she’s taking interest in food and eating well again after her three fast. She’s due for a haircut this week.

I received a few lovely comments about my last post. It seems that somehow, I managed to inspire one or two quilt makers/crafters to progress on their ongoing projects. You may not realise it but it’s positive comments like these that spur me on to make progress on my own projects. So, while you’re thinking that I’m helping you move forward, you’re helping me too. So, keep the positive comments coming and I may just be able to finish a few more of my UFOs by summer’s end. Thank you for inspiring me.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be progressing on my Patchwork of the Crosses. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something your truly enjoy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching ♥ ♥

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had an enjoyable weekend. Here in the UK we are enjoying a bank holiday weekend. Tomorrow is the holiday. I’m hoping the sun shines as brightly tomorrow as it has today.

While the sun was shining brightly this morning I decided to do a couple of little jobs outside. I bought a few sacks of pea gravel that I wanted to spread around my gravel garden. It’s a job I dreaded but knew wouldn’t take more than a few minutes. The gravel garden looks fab again. Those few minutes spent tidying in the gravel garden has spurred me on to purchasing my annual plants this coming week. We’ve had a couple of mornings where we had frost last week. I’m hoping that the possibility of frost has past now so I can pretty up my garden.

I have a wee bit of sewing progress to show you today. I make quite a lot of lists in order to keep my life straight. So, I’ve always got a notebook/diary type thing which I consider my bible. As I have four weeks left in the current notebook I decided to set up the next one. So, I started the process by making a cover for said book …..

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As you can see I kept it simple and straight forward. I used a few bits of brightly patterned/coloured fabric which I cut into strips and joined together and did some easy quilting. I kept it simple because that way I know I can cope with starting and finishing in one session.

Last weekend I started a project that I have been putting off for a few weeks. I always struggle choosing colours and prints for my projects. And as I was determined to use only what was in my stash I struggled even more. I finally settled on these fabrics which I will turn into a Bargello style quilt. It looks nothing at the moment but I think when it’s done it will look reasonably good. I was hoping to make progress on this project this weekend but something came up and I set the project aside until next weekend.

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I got a message from my creative friend on Friday evening asking me if I could produce a quilt quickly for a poorly person who suffered a stroke a few days ago. Well I have been asked to step up to the plate a few times to produce quilts to give poorly people comfort in a time of need. I must admit that I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I got a brief which included using red and grey fabric and fleece backing. I wasn’t even sure that I would have enough of those colours to piece an entire quilt top. Well guess what???? I found sufficient of those colours to be able to piece a generous single size quilt including borders. The only thing missing was the fleece for backing. However, I knew exactly where to get that easily enough. I pulled the fabric and made a plan of action on Friday evening. And after stepping out to purchase red fleece I starting sewing the strips that I started cutting at 5am Saturday morning. By 5pm Saturday evening I had pieced the quilt top and loaded it into my longarm for quilting this morning. As I sit here this evening, Sunday evening, I have quilted and bound said quilt and it’s ready to handover on Wednesday. Here are a few photos of the quilt in question.

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Although I wasn’t sure I could meet the challenge when I received the message on Friday evening, I felt it was important to get the job done. Someone needed the comfort a quilt brings. Once I determined I had enough fabric in my stash to do it I decided that this project would be a great way to pay forward  the kindness I received over the past year since my divorce proceedings started. I’m so grateful for all the support and encouragement I received that piecing this quilt was a small price and a great way to pay all that kindness forward. One good turn  always deserves another.

So, it’s been a rather busy but very productive weekend for me. I consider that I created something worthwhile. Longarm quilting using fleece as backing fabric is quite new to me. So, having another go gave me more experience and was a good learning curve. I have decided that while I didn’t use wadding in between the layers I did add a piece of calico to stabilise everything. I’m quite pleased with the result but most of all I am relieved that I managed to piece and quilt this project within 48 hours of receiving the request. I think I deserve a large refreshing Gin & Tonic this evening as a celebration of my accomplishment.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be doing a little more work on the Patchwork of the Crosses. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something worthwhile. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching ♥ ♥

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying the arrival of spring. My little corner of the northeast of England received a generous dollop of sunshine recently. The sunshine has brought the Daffodils and Crocuses. The grass is finally growing and everyone seems to be in a relaxed state of mind. Spring really is here.

I have been busy working on UFOs and Quilts for Comfort projects. I’ve spent time making a plan to simplify life and slowly but surely implementing the changes. There are lots of ongoing lists. One of my lists is planning our summer holiday. I can see our brand new shiny life peeking out a little bit and starting to take shape.

I machine quilted a few quilt tops for Quilts for Comfort. These tops are donated by wonderful volunteers. And as I have the equipment I volunteer to finish them off by quilting and binding them. So far, I have finished five quilts which is exactly what I was hoping for.

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I did a little more work on my Patchwork of the Crosses as well …..

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It’s a project that I don’t work on too often but it’s the one I turn to when I can’t decide what else to work on. English Paper Piecing is the perfect armchair project. I do the prep cutting during the day and sit quietly in the evening wrapping the fabric patches around the card templates. The repetitive process is very soothing. And accompanied by a good old English murder mystery on TV, I can’t think of anything I would rather do of an evening.

I have spent some more time sorting and tidying and came across this little collection of felt. I have been thinking about what I can do with this little pile of felt which I have collected over the last few years. Every time I went to a craft show, I bought a little bundle of something soft and inviting. Now I am on track to make something different using a little of this collection. This is my chance to have a little play with a different medium. I have been wanting to learn a few new techniques. So, watch this space.

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I have received a few messages of concern recently because I haven’t posted in a while. Rest assured that Sarah and I are perfectly fine. Life’s little challenges have sort of taken over life. We have been busy quietly coping with the challenges presented as they come along. The garden needs a little attention and I have been planning the work to be done inside my home as well. There’s a collection of paint charts and different colour paint has been applied to small patches of wall just to audition different colours. It’s definitely time for a change as we move on from our old life. If I’m honest, it’s quite an exciting time.

Now that spring is here, I’m finding inspiration everywhere. The fresh spring greens are luscious and the deep yellow of the daffodils are so appealing. We’ll soon see the Bluebells blooming. I think I should head over to the beach for a relaxing walk on the sand while the waves roll in. Spring is a brilliant time of year. It’s been another challenging but interesting winter but we seem to have survived once again. I received this little gift last week …..

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So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be work on my Patchwork of the Crosses project. 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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