Posts Tagged ‘“A” is for Applique’

Unfortunately not a lot got done in happy longarm quilter land today. I feel like I’ve been chasing my own tail most of the day. Actually, this morning went quite well. I ran a few errands with great success but from lunchtime onward things started to go downhill rapidly.

My sewing room is well on the way to being tidy. I donated a whole lot of scraps to Quilts for Comfort which of course made room for other things. The room feels more spacious already. I plan on spending another hour or two sorting and shifting tomorrow morning.

My plan was to load Sue’s quilt in my longarm quilting system today so I could start stitching in the morning but the backing is a bit short in one direction. So after supper I phoned Sue and discussed it with her and we have come up with a solution.


The backing problem happened after I tried to do a printing job with my A3 printer that just didn’t want to work for me. So I gave it up for a bad job until tomorrow. I know a workman should never blame his tools but in this case my printer just didn’t want to work. I was so frustrated because things just didn’t progress as I had planned. Never mind tomorrow is another day. I just hope things work better tomorrow.

After spending the afternoon moving from one disaster to another, I decided I deserved a treat. So as soon as my kitchen clock read five o’clock I mixed this drink. On warm sunny days like today five o’clock is Pimms o’clock in happy longarm quilter land. My drink was really rather refreshing. I think Pimms is a very civilised drink to have while making our evening meal.


So although I had a frustrating few hours this afternoon, I tried to make most of my sunny day. The weatherman says tomorrow’s weather should be much the same as today. Today’s sunshine has given me lots of extra energy so I’m hoping to get more tidying done in my sewing room and perhaps I might even do some Freemotion Quilting done. I’m having withdrawal symptoms …. I have several blocks stashed away from my “A” is for Appliqué challenge that need joining but I think I will use the quilt as you go type method to join them together which means Freemotion Quilting the individual blocks. Projects such as this are perfect for fitting in between longarm quilting.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be doing some appliqué work. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something that you really enjoy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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It’s been yet another busy day in happy longarm quilter land. I kicked off my day with the usual morning routine which consists of walking the dogs and emptying the dishwasher. Once that was done I disappeared into my sewing room to start longarm quilting Brenda’s quilt ……

Brenda's Quilt 1

Brenda's Quilt 2

Brenda’s chose the very funky Buzz quilting design by Hermione Agee. It’s one of my favourite designs because it stitches out beautifully every time. I used a lovely fine rich sand thread to stitch it out.

Brenda's Quilt 4


I have a little bit of “A” is for Appliqué news for you today. I received photos of Donna’s beautiful January and February blocks. The theme for January was I Love Hearts and here is Donna’s block …..

Donna's I love Heart January copy

Click on the photo to zoom in.

The theme for February was On the River and this is Donna’s block ….

Donna's On the River Block February copy

Click on the photo to zoom in.

While we’re thinking about “A” is for Appliqué I will announce the March theme…… A Basket Full of ….. So it can be any basket you like and fill it with your favourite thing. So mine basket will be full of flowers. I guess I better start drawing. This is block #12. Once March’s block is done I’ll have enough to make a good size quilt. Yippeeee. I am planning on using the Quilt as You Method on my blocks. And I hope to start the quilting soon.

Now last evening I ran trial. I wanted to find out if Bohin Milliners Needles are as good as quilt makers are reporting for English Paper Piecing. So I threaded my needle and started joining my diamond shapes together. I did a whole hexagon shape worth of diamonds and I can confirm that my verdict is yes the Bohin Milliners needles work really well for joining EPP shapes together.

EPP using Bohin Milliner Needles

I was a bit sceptical about using such a long needle but it worked beautifully. So guess I guess I will have to purchase a few more packets of Bohin Milliners needles from The Contented Cat. I believe they are the only stockist in the UK. I started buying needles last summer after hearing that they were really good. And I’ve been using them ever since. I’ve been quilt making for twenty years and now I really appreciate good tools. Bohin needles are at the top of my really good sewing tools list.

So it’s been a pretty good day in my little world. I enjoyed working on Brenda’s quilt because everything went well. I managed to load the next quilt into my longarm quilting system. I hope to get that started in the morning. And I also chose a background fabric to appliqué my little houses onto. I even traced the stitchery lines using my little light box. I look forward to getting that started.

To all my Irish friends, I wish you a very happy St. Patrick’s Day.  

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be doing some appliqué work and perhaps drawing a block for the March “A” is for Appliqué block. I hope you have a super cosy evening working on something that makes you happy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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What a fabulous day it’s been in happy longarm quilter land today. I got loads accomplished at a quiet speed. I did a few household chores but I spent a huge chunk of my day sitting down at my hobby table drawing blocks for my Festive Whimsical Applique & Stitchery Quilt project. I managed to draw all but one block today ……


Then I traced all the shapes onto freezer paper ……


And ironed it onto fabric …..


I can’t believe how much I got done today! I just worked quietly and methodically while doing other bit and pieces around the house. I answered the phone and replied to some emails. I had a flying meeting with Susan to hand over her lovely finished quilts. And I loaded the next quilt into my longarm quilting system ready to start stitching in the morning.


This quilt was pieced by Molly who has chosen a lovely vintage looking quilting design. I can’t wait to get started.

I just realised that I forgot to announce the theme for February’s “A” is for Appliqué block. I’m running out of ideas so I thought I’d go with On the River. So the same rules apply, which is there are no rules. Just piece a block that represents your idea of On the River. There’s one more month to go now. We’ll soon have 12 block to join together to make a quilt. I haven’t decided if I’m going to join mine in the traditional way with sashing or perhaps go off piste and do something funky. So watch this space.

Anyone who reads me regularly will know that I have been teaching beginners for a while now. I thought I’d throw in a tip for all the beginners as well as experienced quilt makers tonight; when taking your sewing machine to classes always bring your user manual. You never know when you’ll need it.

Well it’s been a brilliant day for this very happy longarm quilter. I feel good about all that I have accomplished today. I got so much done on my Festive Whimsy. This means I have loads of evening armchair hand sewing to do. It’s pretty exciting to see my own design grow into something interesting.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be doing some appliqué work. I hope you have a splendidly cosy evening working on something that makes you happy to be alive. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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Has anyone experienced good weather this weekend? Well for the most part it’s been horrible here in the UK. Some of our southern counties are still experiencing flooding and the rain is set to carry on for another few days…… Perhaps February will bring drier weather.

I’ve had pretty productive weekend. I did loads of planning and plenty of Freemotion Quilting. It’s been brilliant bringing my doodles to life by stitching it on fabric. I think I can honestly say that I have surprised myself with what I was able to produce. I have been working on a Freemotion Quilting Sampler which I hope to teach beginners and intermediate quilt makers who want to learn how to do Freemotion Quilting using the quilt as you go method. Here’s a little sneaky peek …..

Freemotion Quilting Test Run

Freemotion Quilting Sampler Block Test Run

Freemotion Quilting today

The fabric and wadding just happens to be scraps leftover from bigger projects. I have loads of Wonderfil 50wt thread and here you can see the simple tools I work with……

Tools for Freemotion Quilting

Now earlier today Pam asked me what kind of sewing machine I use for Freemotion Quilting. Well the short answer is that I prefer my Bernina 550 and 750 for Freemotion Quilting. However I can do FMQ with any machine with a bit of a warm up. When it comes to Freemotion Quilting practice is always your best friend.

You might have noticed that in amongst my simple tools is a needle. It’s an easy thread needle which I use for sewing in any loose threads. You will notice in this next close-up shot that the top V of the needle is open making it super easy to thread. This makes it so easy to get the job done.

Easy Thread Needles

It’s been a great weekend in happy longarm quilter land. I really enjoyed my extended Freemotion Quilting sessions. I did a little bit of drawing related to the quilting designs which I stitched. Tomorrow it’s back to longarm quilting. I loaded a quilt on Friday ready to get started on Monday morning. So I’ll have a good rest tonight and tomorrow I hope to meet the longarm quilting challenge.

I have a wee bit of progress to report on my latest my December “A” is for Appliqué block. All the components are ready and just need to be joined together and that’s me finished. My January block is ready for fine hand stitching.DSCN9234


So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be doing some drawing and appliqué work while watching Call the Midwife. I hope you all have a super cosy evening doing something fantastic. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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Okay. So that’s another week finished. We’re three weeks into the New Year. Is everyone having fun yet? Well I think I am. I’ve done a lot of crafty creating over the last few weeks. And of course you all know how much I enjoy creating. I’ve designed new projects and tried new techniques. Long may I be able to carry on in this fashion.

This morning we all stepped out for a bit. On our travels we stopped for a delicious coffee and we purchased a few art supplies for my Sarah’s college assignments. Sarah’s really enjoying the subject this term. And she’s producing some really super pieces. I hope to post a few progress photos before she hands in her assignment.

This afternoon while my Sarah was working her magic with her new art supplies and hubby was ruling his empire from his workshop I disappeared into my sewing room.  In between running up and down the stairs doing laundry, I started preparing to work on my next workshop sample. I started by auditioning two different kinds of wadding ……



In the end I opted to use my very favourite Warm & White. It happens to be a little denser than the Quilters Dream Angel that I tested first. Don’t get me wrong the Quilters Dream Angel is lovely but I felt happier working with the Warm & White for this particular project. After making that decision I could move onto making my sandwiches …..


Twelve sandwiches to be exact. I will be working on a Freemotion Quilting Sampler. You all know how much I enjoy Freemotion Quilting. In fact it will be quite a treat for me to work on this project. I hope to start stitching tomorrow. And of course I will be drawing the quilting designs on paper for the booklets to be handed out in class. I put a lot of effort in devising classes. My goal is still to be sure that anyone who takes a class with me knows more at the end of the day than when they joined us in the morning. I believe a light hearted atmosphere is conducive to learning.

I have spent a little time working on my “A” is for Appliqué blocks just lately. Last week I worked on my December block by doing the fine hand stitching that holds the patches securely to the background fabric and a wee bit of embroidery to embellish it. This is how it looks at the moment ….


I have some words to add to the block; if friends were flowers I’d pick you. The theme for December is Your Favourite Quote. There are two more months/blocks to complete the challenge. I look forward to joining all my blocks to make a pretty quilt. There were months when I didn’t think I would be able to find the time to make a block but somehow I managed to catch up. It’s quite fun to work on a project in a slow and measured manor.

I’ve had a rather good week. I have that great feeling of satisfaction after getting on nicely with several projects. I longarm quilted two quilts, loaded a third into my longarm quilting system. And put the finishing touches on a couple of other projects that appear on my workshop list. My gentle goals 2014 are progressing nicely. I hope next week unfolds in a positive way.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be doing some embroidery work all the while keeping my notebook close to hand to record any Freemotion Quilting designs to be included in the sampler I am working on. I hope you have a super cosy evening working on something splendid. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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It’s been another very good day in happy longarm quilter land. I guess you could say that I’m really back into the groove after my good long Christmas break. I say it was a long break but I spent lots of time working on project samples for classes. I got lots done during my long break.

Yesterday I posted a photo of the quilt backing that goes with the quilt top that I planned on longarm quilting today ……


Well I did work on Sue’s quilt top today and it looks great. I truly believe this is a special quilt. And I’ll tell you why. Sue pieced the centre blocks of this quilt using shirts that belonged to her friend’s husband who passed away a while ago. This memory quilt will most likely be cherished by Sue’s friend for many years to come. The quilting design chosen is Hearts in Bloom designed by Irene Steele, which is a very popular quilting design. And I used a cream colour thread. And it looks great and I have no doubt it will bring comfort in difficult times. I think this concept of a memory quilt is a super idea. Well done Sue. What a lovely friend you are. I would love to think that someone would do for me what Sue did for her friend.


Click on the photo to zoom in

It was really rather cold but bright here today. I stepped out to run a few errands. I got a lift into town with my hubby and walked back after I had done my shopping. The air was fresh and did me a whole world of good. On my return I loaded the next quilt into my longarm quilting system. I’m looking forward to working on the next quilt possibly tomorrow. The quilt tops are coming in steady now. And I’m spreading the work over weeks instead of days. I’m adding the quilt tops to my gentle goals 2014 list.

I did get to play with my “A” is for Appliqué – I Love Hearts block for a bit this afternoon……


I plan on tacking the patches in place this evening. I was hoping to get that done last evening but I didn’t work as fast as I had hoped. Never mind the block is well under way now. And besides it’s not a race.

Well the week is almost over. I’m looking forward to the weekend. For no other reason than it’s the weekend. So far it’s been a good week. I’ve been productive enough to satisfy my To-Do List. I’m still doing battle over the repairs to my sewing machine but at least now we know where the machine is at the moment. Something we didn’t know yesterday.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be doing some appliqué work. I hope you have a super cosy evening working on something that makes you happy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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Well we’re just about the hump of the week. Wednesday has come and practically gone which means we’re more than halfway thru the work week. However it was my first day back to operating my longarm quilting system.

I loaded Frances’ quilt onto my longarm yesterday afternoon ready for start stitching this morning. This simple little cot quilt was a pleasure to work on. Frances chose a lovely brushed cotton fabric as her quilt top and between us we chose a Stars & Loops design by Vickie Malaski of Designs by Vickie. I stitched the design using a lovely fine cream colour thread. It looks fantastic. I also squared off the quilt and machined the binding on leaving the hand finishing for Frances to do. I had a lovely time working on this wee cot quilt today. I envy the little baby who gets to use this quilt.



While I was in the sewing today I loaded the next quilt into my longarm quilting system. Those of you who have had a quilt top longarm quilted before might know that each layer gets loaded in separately. So I started by loading this backing fabric ……


I love this wide back. It’s quite unusual. I don’t think I can purchase this here in the UK. Tomorrows quilt is pieced by Sue and there is a story to tell but I will save it for when the quilting is finished and I can show you. It is an interesting story so be sure to come back tomorrow so you can read about it.

Do you remember the block I designed yesterday for “A” is for Appliqué January’s theme? Well while my supper was simmering on the cooker I went back into my sewing room and traced the appliqué templates onto freezer paper. The whole process of tracing and cutting didn’t take very long. I always imagine that it will take much longer to get to the point where I tack the patches to the background fabric but it doesn’t. And it’s a nice quiet pursuit; quite a relaxing occupation really. So if you haven’t tried freezer paper appliqué please do. I think every patchwork technique is worth exploring.


Last evening I went shopping. And look what I purchased …..

JSPANTO113 Fastasy Flame 2

CSPANTO46 simple texture



Yes I have been meaning to purchase a few new longarm quilting designs for a while now. So I finally took the time to peruse my favourite designer site last night and took the plunge.

Well it’s been an interesting day in happy longarm quilter land. I thoroughly enjoyed my longarm quilting session. I had a few disappointing/concerned minutes while trying to find out exactly what’s happening with my Bernina 750QE which I sent away for repair last week. I hope for some positive news tomorrow. Either way I will let you know how things work out for me. I can tell you one thing for sure; nothing is ever easy or straight forward.


So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be working on some appliqué patches. I hope you have a lovely cosy evening working on something that makes you happy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥


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So it’s Tuesday. Isn’t it? I’m still having a hard time keeping track of what day it is. I’ve kept the week relatively free of appointments but perhaps if my diary had more dates taken up with meetings I might have a better idea what day it was! Never mind next week is going to be a pretty busy one so I have no doubt things will start falling into place.

First thing this morning I went back to the task of adding the borders to my beginner’s sampler quilt. However the job was interrupted by a little trip out for some DIY supplies for hubby but as soon as I got home and after a cup of coffee I went straight back to the job and worked at it until it was finished. It looks fantastic. Now I’m really looking forward to longarm quilting it. That’s another gentle goal that I can tick off my Gentle Goals 2014 list.


While I was working in the sewing room I did something I had never done before. My hubby treated me to a new tablet for Christmas to which we downloaded an app which enables me to watch catch up TV. So while I worked I watched Father Brown mysteries from the BBC. I find it amazing that I could watch TV shows that were playing last week on my tablet. Now I’m sure there are plenty of you reading this thinking OMG it doesn’t take much to make her happy! Well the reason I’m amazed is that technology quite often defeats me. Nothing is ever easy. And there are times when I think I just can’t be bothered if I have to struggle to make something work. Today was a really good day because things just seem to fall into place. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but for today I’m not going to worry about it.


I bought this flannelette/brushed cotton sheet a few days ago. I have washed it and need to iron it and then I’m going to turn it into another design wall. Hubby purchased a couple of long lengths of wood to hang it with. I already have a smallish design wall which is very well used; there’s always something sitting on it. So the natural progression is to make a larger one for my scrappy creations. So I’ll let you know if my design wall recipe works.


At the end of my creative session today and while my supper was simmering I sat quietly and started to draw out my “A” is for Appliqué January block. The theme is I love Hearts in honour of Valentine’s Day next month. It’s quite amazing what you can do with a ruler, pencil, eraser and a few basic templates. My black and white drawing doesn’t look very exciting but add a bit of colour for the patches and a lightly printed background and it will look great.


So once again it’s been a delightful day in happy longarm quilter land. I got plenty of creative crafty stuff done for one day. Tomorrow I kick off the longarm quilting work. I’m starting with a wee cot quilt and working my way up to larger quilts over the next few days. I have a bit of sit down Freemotion Quilting do to sometime soon which will be a sample for a class at Stitchin’ Heaven. I can’t wait to have another Freemotion Quilting play. I will eventually post photos of my work. This evening I plan to do a little shopping for one or two new longarm quilting designs.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will also be doing some stitchery work and perhaps working on hexagons. I hope you have a splendid cosy evening working on something you really enjoy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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Well it’s been another fantastic day in happy longarm quilter land. I spent part of the morning food shopping and running errands. And once the food filled my fridge and cupboards and lunch was over I went into my sewing room to play. Playing in the sewing room is always the highlight of my day. My friend Helen has a super example of a very simple block keeper roll which I think would be very useful for anyone who has a Block of the Month or a Beginner’s Sampler quilt on the go. The idea is to keep your blocks nice and tidy while still being portable. At the moment my current block keeper is full of blocks for “A” is for Applique and the Beginner’s Sampler quilt blocks I have been working on are on my design wall so I think I could use another block keeper in a different format.. So the long and short of it is that I borrowed Helen’s block keeper roll to make a similar one for myself. Helen has made a few suggestions that would make the keeper roll even more friendly. I don’t have a pattern so mine will be a little different but just as useful. Here are the fabrics I am using ……


I’ve had this Washday selection of fat quarters for several months. And I really like this fabric because it has a vintage look about it. So I was brave today and cut into three of the four fat quarters. And so far this is as far as I got. My next step is to do a bit of machine quilting.


As usual I really enjoyed my sewing session this afternoon. And as I will be out teaching tomorrow I will not be returning to this task until Friday so hopefully I will have another finish sometime over the weekend. Once my block keeper roll has been proven to work for its’ intended purpose I will make another tweaking it by adding embellishments and so on. I love playing in my sewing room quietly especially now that I’ve been working on gentle goals 2014 projects.

It’s been another super day in happy longarm quilter land. Once again I feel I’ve had a pretty productive day. Between having a lovely sewing session in my sewing room, visiting the supermarket to top up low levels in Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard and even finding time to make a pot of soup, I think I’ve scored quite nicely. I know I won’t be anywhere near as productive tomorrow as I have been over the last few days but Friday is another day.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be doing some fine hand appliqué. I hope you have a lovely cosy evening working on something that makes you happy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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Well that’s all folks. All the tinsel and the twinkle have been put away for another year. My living room looks a bit bare now that Christmas has all but disappeared. So I will have to replace that glitz with some flowers I think. Or perhaps I should get all my bright cheerful scraps and make a scrappy quilt ……

It’s been another quiet day in happy longarm quilter land. After my trip to the supermarket to restock the cupboards I made the dreaded phone call. I couldn’t put it off any longer. I gathered up all the info I thought I would need and I phoned my car insurance company regarding the accident that cause Miss Daisy’s damage the Saturday before Christmas. It’s something I’ve never had to do before and I wasn’t sure how it was all going to work. It took 35 minutes and it was all done. Now we can get on with the next part of this unfortunate adventure. I realise that the hassle isn’t over yet. At the end of the day no one was hurt during the accident and we’ve had a little bit of sunshine earlier and I think we have to look on the bright side and get on with life now. So I plan on looking forward instead of back.

Christmas has just finished and the supermarkets have already jumped to the next season. Look what I found on the shelves of my local supermarket today……

Easter Eggs

I guess the Easter bunny is getting ready for a visit.

After stabilising my whimsy borders last evening I moved onto tacking the patches of my “A” is for Appliqué December block. It certainly does look different from the drawing I was working from. The coloured fabric patches adds a little life to the block. I can’t wait to get the fine hand stitching started. The words will make all the difference as well.

December A

It’s been a really nice day in happy longarm quilter land. I worked quietly doing a whole lot of mundane things. All my Christmas decorations are put away and things are starting to feel normal again. I have loads of projects I want to get started on but I need to get myself back into the crafting zone slowly. I don’t want to overdose in the first week.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be doing some stitchery work. I hope you have a lovely evening doing something super interesting. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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