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Archive for the ‘Quilts for Comfort’ Category

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’re all enjoying some gorgeous summer weather. It’s been lovely in my little corner of the northeast of England. It’s a super time to get things done in and outdoors.

I have been progressing on different projects as well as trying to keep up with chores and other important issues. Everyday life throws up challenges which need to be dealt with.

First, I would like to reply to a comment from Bryan regarding my Quilts on the Grow which up until just this morning, was in my UFO pile. The main progress for the moment, is that I was actually able to find it quickly!!! Hooray 😊 I have quite a lot of these quilt as you go quilt blocks done right up to the hand quilting part.

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I’m tempted to switch from my Patchwork of the Crosses project to my Quilts on the Grow project for a few weeks in order to make a little head way on it. All of my hand sewing projects make great evening armchair projects, especially once the prep work is done. So, watch this space Bryan, hopefully you will see my Quilts on the Grow grow and grow.

I have a little longarm quilting progress to show you today. My Burnopfield Belles colleague Lynn was struggling to quilt this quilt using her domestic sewing machine. So I took the quilt top, wadding and backing fabric away and loaded it into my longarm and did this to it …..

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This is an example of what working together produces. Lynn pieced the quilt beautifully, I took it away and machine quilted and I will be returning the quilt to Lynn for binding. We both come away from this collaboration feeling like we’ve done something worthwhile. This quilt, once it’s finished, will be handed over to Quilts for Comfort. Being part of the Quilts for Comfort crew that works on these quilts gives me a sense of accomplishment. I know that every single stitch will produce something good. Belonging to the Burnopfield Belles is brilliant as well. We meet once a month to learn something. Everyone has something to offer. We have several ladies who lead sessions in teaching us new techniques and revisiting old ones. Not only do we learn from each other but we support each other as well. It’s amazing how a bunch of ladies with life experience can put the world to rights. I’m thankful for being part of something that brings comfort.

My Sarah and I stepped out today. I rarely go into Newcastle but today I had some specific business that needed taking care of. Once my appointment was over, we headed off to have a sandwich before heading home. We sat quietly people watching while eating. Lunchtime on Northumberland Street is rather busy so there were quite a lot of interesting people to look at. One thing that I looked for is men wearing nice shoes. As I understand it, you can tell quite a lot about a man by the shoes he wears. To my surprise there are a lot less men who wear socks and sandals these days; I’m not a fashion expert but I think socks and sandals do not look good at all. It was the perfect day weather wise for people watching. I’ll be heading back to Newcastle again soon to finish today’s business, and I’m going to make a point of taking the time to do some people watching again.

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All in all, it’s been quite an enjoyable day in what is usually my quiet little world. I’m always up for an adventure. My next trip out to Newcastle will be nearer my birthday so perhaps we can have a better lunch than a quick sandwich but I hope to do some more people watching.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be choosing between the Patchwork of the Crosses and a Quilts on the Grow project. 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 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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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all enjoyed a fabulous weekend. Happy quilt maker land has enjoyed some splendid spring like weather. The sun was so welcome. Winter is well and truly on its way out. I witnessed a flock of Canada Geese earlier in the week going back to their summer habitat. And best of all, the grass is actually starting to grow and my shrubs are in bud. It’s all good positive stuff.

The past week has been quite interesting. I have been busy doing something and nothing. I designed a few blocks for my new project and I finished piecing the bag I started last week …..

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It’s only a simple bag but like most bags it will be useful. This style of bag, I consider to be my signature bag. I don’t even need a pattern because I designed this one myself a few years ago. Sometimes, simple is good because it’s very achievable. Who doesn’t love making something they know they can achieve.

This coming week is going to be a busy one for me. I have a couple of meetings and if I’m lucky I might even be able to squeeze in a little socialising! I’m hoping to be able to do a little sewing. I have a few drawn blocks I would like to piece. My new project is going great guns. I really enjoy watching a project come to life.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be enjoying a little EPP work on my Patchwork of the Crosses. 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 the bright and breezy sunshine. It’s been brilliant day in happy quilt maker land. I spent some productive time in my sewing room.

I decided to make a banner for the upcoming Quilts for Comfort event for a display table that the Burnopfield Belles will be adorning with some of their fine handy work. I kicked off the process by producing the required letters yesterday. I applied them to the background fabric and added a simple border. And I decided to longarm quilt it, so I loaded it into my system. I couldn’t wait to flash up this morning to get started. I quite enjoyed my little bit of freemotion quilting this morning. I sat quietly this afternoon and hand finished the binding. All that’s left to do is add the label and it will be ready in good time for the big event.

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My sewing machine has been well used this week. I’ve done quite a lot of hand sewing lately but my sewing machine has been ignored for a while. I decided to make a start on making a craft bag …..

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I wanted a simple sewing fix so as you can see there’s not a lot of piecing being done but I did use a couple of the fancy stitches on my machine. I’m looking forward to turning this fabric in a bag. Watch this space.

I recently embarked on an adventure of hand piecing a few dozen 6” blocks. Here’s one of four Churn Dash blocks I produced. I absolutely love hand piecing these small simple blocks ….

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I can’t believe we’re already into March. We’ve had a few sunny days; they haven’t been warm but they have been good and bright. I’m itching to get out into the garden to tidy up but I think I should wait a couple of weeks until the danger of frost has passed. I have a few shrubs that need pruning which need protection from frost. I can already see some of the shrubs coming into bud. Spring must be just around the corner.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’m meeting a friend for coffee and I’m attending an art exhibition. New artists produce such interesting work. I hope to come away inspired. I have taken to leaving a notebook by my bed just in case I find a little inspiration in my bedtime reading. I have been drawing new blocks from which I am producing blocks for my latest projects. It’s magic seeing a project go from paper to coming to life.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be prepping appliqué blocks. 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’ve all had an enjoyable weekend. I’ve had a glorious day flitting around doing this and that. My Sarah was out hunting and gathering art supplies for her final assignments. The best part of my day was finishing the homework I got from my latest Quilts for Comfort volunteer day with the Burnopfield Belles.

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In between tidying, put on loads of washing and picking up litter from my front garden I stepped into my sewing room and started the homework. The Belles have decided to piece a quilt using the Foundation Paper Piecing technique as a group. FPP is a brilliant way to piece a quilt as a group because it’s so accurate. The Anne wrote instructions and demonstrated how it works. I’ve done FPP but it was really good to have a refresher course.

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I’m so pleased to have been able to help. I love joining in and working on something as a group. I have no doubt this quilt will be gorgeous when it’s done. And I have come away with a real sense of accomplishment having pieced 27 blocks all in one sitting!!!

In my last report, I posted about working on some spool blocks …..

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Well last evening I finished piecing the last block making a total of 4 spool blocks. I pieced the blocks by hand and thoroughly enjoyed the process. In fact, I enjoyed the hand sewing so much that I decided that I will hand piece 4 Churn Dash blocks. The project for which these latest blocks are being pieced is a work in progress but also on my UFO list because I started drawing it last year. So, watch this space on further progress reports about this project.

It’s been a great day in my little corner of the northeast of England. We had some sunshine and some blustery wind but all in all it’s been a nice day. I’m pleased with my accomplishments for today and seeing my Sarah progress nicely with her work is always rewarding.

I came across a good quote recently on Pinterest ….. A mistake repeated more than once is a decision ~ Paulo Coelho. This quote is definitely food for thought.

So, for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be doing some prep work in order to produce 4 Churn Dash Blocks. 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. After my recent post, I realised that I miss posting but I don’t have a great deal to report on the sewing front. However, a couple of days ago, I received a message from someone asking for suggestions regarding what to buy his quilt maker wife for Christmas because she has everything! Apparently, the lucky wife has a great number of sewing machines that do various tasks and a very large stash of fabric. I thought this dilemma would might make a good topic of conversation. So, I will start with my thoughts and then I hope that some of you will comment with suggestions.

As a seasoned quilt maker, I have accumulated lots of tools, equipment and my stash is plentiful. We all say you can never have too much fabric but surely that’s not true. I’ve hardly purchased any fabric this year because I’m trying to use up what I’ve got first. That isn’t to say that I haven’t been tempted though! There isn’t any new tool or gadget on the market that I can honestly say I can’t live without at this point. So, I dare say that if I had a partner I wouldn’t be able to help with his dilemma regarding what to get me for Christmas either. If I had a generous benefactor what I would really appreciate as a gift is a booking for a long weekend quilt retreat. The type of retreat where you bring your chosen project(s) and work on them without interruptions such as meal making, tidying up after the family, walking dogs and generally being able to forget about all the mundane day-to-day chores that wives and mothers look after. As I understand it, these retreats are very relaxing and your meals are supplied. That would be the best treat ever and it’s something that I have never experienced.

Now if you’re on a strict budget and couldn’t afford such a generous gift as a long weekend quilt retreat and she has everything a quilt maker needs and more, well this is where I will throw the discussion open and ask my readers to make suggestions please.

I think that Mr. X was quite brave to message me looking for suggestions. I call him Mr. X because I don’t want to spoil the surprise if we come up with a worthy suggestion and perhaps Mrs. X reads my simple ramblings. So, come ladies help me along with some suggestions for a lovely Christmas gift for Mrs. X.

This is the best time of year. I can feel the excitement in the air. The roads are all jammed up with traffic. And shoppers are freaking out because they can’t find the lesser spotted Hatchimals toy anywhere!!! The courier companies are stretched to the limit. We put so much pressure on ourselves to make everything perfect for everyone else. Day-to-day life is already so stressful. I think the best part of Christmas is winding down on Christmas Eve and spending time with our loved ones. It seems that the holiday period is the best time to get together with the important people in our lives. I feel for those who get no company at Christmas.

I have a little bit of sewing news of sorts today. I went to the final Burnopfield Belles meeting for 2016. And we worked on a Christmas Surprise project. I love attending Belles meetings. They are all so enthusiastic and love learning new techniques. Have a little look at the ladies working on their projects …..

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The ladies worked on a hexagon shaped log cabin candle mat. Once the first row was in place they were off. There will be some interesting candle mats adorning our Christmas tables this year. It was a super fun meeting and I for one look forward to resuming our meetings in the new year.

I recently came across an interesting quote that made me think …  Don’t Count the days, make the days count ~ Muhammad Ali.

Well there’s no snow here in my little corner of the northeast of England. It’s far too warm. The temperatures are in the teens!!! That’s far too warm. We definitely need a couple of good frosts to kill off all the nasty germs that give us the seasonal colds and winter sickness bugs. As much as I don’t enjoy freezing temperatures I think we need it now. I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.

It’s finally Friday. I look forward to Friday because it’s the last day of the workweek. Everything seems to slow down on the weekend. It gives us a chance to catch our breath and catch up on what we missed thru the week.

Please don’t forget to comment with any suggestions you might have regarding for Mr. X should buy Mrs. X for Christmas.

So, for this evening this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will be working on the second sock of a pair. 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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