Posts Tagged ‘Operation Taking Flight’

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a lovely day. It’s been a bit dreary and wet here in my little corner of the northeast of England. So Sarah and I decided we would have a nice quiet weekend indoors. We did a few chores. Well actually we did a lot of chores! I’m still trying to sort and tidy things. It’s amazing what you accumulate over fourteen years!

I’m not posting about my sewing progress today. I recently posted my end of year Operation Taking Flight report, well I have another little something to report on a similar subject.

I forgot to tell you that Sarah’s embroidered panels will be part of a display at her university until Christmas. She must be doing something right because she was invited to take part of in a research project. The project is basically embroidered as desired and the subject matter is the face of a person who she believes has taught her something valuable. So here is a sneak peek at Sarah’s piece …..

Sarah's Pilot Research Project

Well believe it or not this embroidery work is based on a photo of me. Sarah decided that I should be her subject because I taught her to stand up for herself. Even though I’m certainly not an oil painting I was really pleased to have been chosen as her chosen subject!  Not to mention that I’m so pleased that I taught her something she considers important. I’m looking forward to seeing all the embroidered art received from all the different students involved in this research project. I think there will be all manner of interesting techniques and media used to produce the artistic embroidered pieces included in this research project.

So it’s been an interesting day mooching around indoors. Apart from doing a few some chores I treated myself to a quiet afternoon of stitchery work and mischief. The strain of family issues has been rather trying over the last few weeks. The embroidery work on my Sweethearts Dozen is soothing my soul at the moment. I’ll be sorry when the embroidery work is finished. I guess I will have to hand quilt the Sweethearts Dozen in hopes that it will be as soothing as the embroidery work was.

So for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious longarm quilter is enjoying chilling out. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something you love doing. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching ♥ ♥

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fab-u-lous day. I’ve had an interesting day connected to Operation Taking Flight. I can finally reveal a few new things about it now.

Well folks the first year of Operation Taking Flight has come to an end. My Sarah and I have survived!!! This morning we headed out first thing to attend Sarah’s exit tutorial. So we now know her grade for her final assignment which is a 2.1 and her overall grade will either be a first or a high 2.1. Yippeeeee. I feel quite relieved because this means she will carry on next year. I really envy her. I would love to be learning something new right now. A change of pace would be lovely. So here’s a little look at the hand and machine embroidery that forms part of her work …..







Sarah is studying Textiles and Surface Design. Thru the year she has described the techniques she’s learned and how much she enjoyed it all. I may be biased but I think Sarah’s work is exquisite and I think if she carries on working hard she will have a wonderful career. Textiles and Surface Design opens up a whole new world into interior design, gift and stationery, fashion and illustration. Sarah is a quiet creative soul. She pours her heart into every piece she works on. Today, I’m so proud of Sarah that I could burst. In a period when we’re both struggling with family challenges, it was so nice that Sarah got excellent grades. And all that positive news while the sun was shining brightly.

I decided not to post any of my sewing progress today. I just want to bask in the glory of the today’s positive news about Sarah’s grades. Now we’re going to concentrate on having a wonderful summer full of simple but nice outings and working on lovely projects. We’re going to enjoy life as it comes one day at a time. Before we know it September will be here and Year 2 of Operation Taking Flight will be in full swing. Time flies, that’s why we should make the most of each day.

So for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious longarm quilter will be doing some very enjoyable stitchery work. At the moment this stitchery is soothing my soul. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something you truly enjoy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching ♥ ♥

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a good and productive day. In my quest to use my waking hours wisely while enjoying my last few days with my Sarah at home, we set out first thing this morning for her dental appointment. Most of my regular readers will already know that Sarah passed her driving test yesterday and insurance has been arranged for her to drive Miss Daisy. So we headed off to a 9:10am dental appointment. We didn’t have far to go and plenty of time to get there in good time. After the dental appointment I made up another errand in the next town. So we headed off to purchase some new curtains for Sarah bedroom. Sarah has been busy redecorating her bedroom in between sorting and packing all the things she holds dear. You’ll be very glad to know that we found the perfect curtains to match the wallpaper which I chose. So our little journey out killed to birds with one stone; Sarah got a little experience driving our beloved Miss Daisy and I got some lovely curtains. I’d call that a result.



Once we got home, and I must stress that we made it home safe and sound without committing any offences, I had a well-deserved cup of coffee and a very delicious lemon muffin. Soon after I headed to my sewing room to start longarm quilting Pat’s quilt …..

Pats Quilt #1

I even went on to load quilt #2 of this pair of quilts. I hope to get this next one done tomorrow morning.

After lunch tomorrow my road will be close to motorised vehicles because the Tour of Britain will be riding past my house. I’m not sure if I should be excited about this event or not. Part of me thinks it’s good and the other part of me thinks it’s a pain in the bum because it means we’re on lockdown for at least four hours. I’ll let you know how it all went when I next post.

At the moment all the residents of Happy Longarm Quilter Manor are counting down the hours. Thursday is U-Day, Operation Taking Flight has finally arrived. I’ve taken you all on my rollercoaster ride of emotions over the last couple of years. I’ve been preparing my Sarah as well as myself for what’s to come. It’s time to re-invent myself once again. Another stage of our lives has arrived. I hope to pass this test with flying colours. You will read about all my escapades over the months and possibly years to come. I’m not going to let the empty nest syndrome beat me. And I have no doubt Sarah will enjoy every minute of her adventure at university.

So it’s been another interesting day in my little world. And I have no doubt that the next few days and weeks ahead will prove interesting as well. Are you packing your teenager off to university this week? And are you coping? Let me know what’s going on in your world.

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

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super day. We’re finally enjoying summer like weather in my little corner of the northeast of England. I’m going to enjoy every moment of it because it may only last four days!

I haven’t done any sewing today. I started loading a quilt into my longarm this morning before I stepped out but I never got any further than measuring the quilt top and unwrapping the wadding to let it relax. I’ll get the loading done first thing in the morning before the sun comes around to my sewing room. We have finally arrived to the time of year when I need to vacate the sewing room by a certain time because it gets far too hot for me as well as my tools.

My Maisie is feeling the heat so she’s been lazing around …..

Maisie trying to keep cool 1


And this is the wee fan I use when the heat hits me …..

Quilter keeping cool 1

I’ve been so looking forward to having a proper summer but I’ve forgotten just how sticky things can get when the temperature rises! I’m not a sun worshipper so you won’t find me lazing around in the sunshine. I’m glad for the bright days and the aircon in the car. And the fresh flowers my garden provides this time of year …..

Fresh flowers from the garden 1

On my travels today I picked up this little hanging plaque …..

Sign x

And the other side reads like this …..

Sign 2x

My Sarah and I did coffee with our creative friend Sandra this morning. And after having coffee(s) we went off on a little fabric related adventure. We visited Hilary at High Street Quilting. We discussed a little Quilts for Comfort business with Hilary and then we were let loose in the shop. I fondled fabric to my heart’s content. My Sarah is working on a specific project for which she selected a small selection of fabrics. Sandra chose a few goodies and of course I purchased a few bits to add to my Anni Downs stash. I’m either going to have to use some of my stash or build an extension to store my fabrics!

Quite of few of you will know about our Operation Taking Flight. I’ve been writing about it for quite a while now. Well it seems OTF has been creeping up on me more quickly than I would have liked. My friends and acquaintances have asked me what Sarah will be doing now that college is finished and we have discussed it. From all the discussions (thank you to anyone who has listened to me) I have been able to come to terms with letting Sarah fly the nest. In fact I have somehow managed to view the positive side of OTF. While I was out this morning I saw this printed on a decorative box ….. Create the life you imagined ….. So this is my new motto. Starting now and in conjunction with OTF I’m going to create the life I imagined. I liked the quote so much that I recorded it in my notebook, I should have purchased the box that said quote appeared on. Perhaps I’ll go back to the shop where I saw it tomorrow.

It’s been a great day in happy longarm quilter land. The sun is warming my old bones. And it’s spurring me on to get things done. However the heat is slowing me down a little. Today reminds of the lazy days of summer I had in my younger carefree years.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will probably be doing some stitchery work. I hope you 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’ve been soaking up the sunshine today. The sun makes me happy and spurs me on to get lots of jobs done. Well I haven’t stopped all day. I left the house around 9am and never stopped until it was time to start making my evening meal. I am pooped now!

My Sarah and I set off first thing this morning. Sarah had a long list of things she needed for Operation Taking Flight. I can now reveal that we were quite successful at hunting and gathering everything on her list.

Once we got home and settled in for the rest of the day I got stuck into different things. I did things like making a label for a quilted project. I spent most of my afternoon in front of my laptop composing newsletters, designing an invitation and gathering and sorting all the components of the info booklet for my Four Seasons Button Club Whimsy project class. It’s an amazing feeling seeing everything come together. And then I went on to preparing for tomorrow and Saturday’s beginners classes at Stitchin’ Heaven. I have stacks of stuff to bring with me when I’m teaching my beginners.

All in all it’s been a successful day. I didn’t get any sewing done but not every single day has to be filled with sewing. I know it’s hard to believe but life goes on even if I don’t sew. I plan on doing some kind of sewing this evening and I know I’m going to enjoy it. I do have a little progress to show you even though I didn’t do any sewing today …..

Fine Hand Applique progress

This is how my latest appliqué project looked first thing this morning. I did more prep work last evening and I couldn’t resist laying out the patches to see what the big border would look like once I’ve added the appliqué. I am really happy with the look.

So I guess this takes me to what this very happy longarm quilter will be doing this evening. Well I think I’m going to put a couple of hours into tacking the appliqué patches to the big border of my current appliqué project. I hope you 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 had a fab last day of March. Can you believe that we’ve all survived the first three months of 2015???

My day kicked off rather early. The wind was blowing a hooley thru the night so I didn’t sleep very well to begin with not to mention that I was getting up very early with my Sarah to see her off. Sarah was attending an interview in Leeds regarding a University place. There was quite an eerie feel in the air. I’m not sure if it’s because it was dark and windy or if it was because the birds were already singing at 5am. Sarah caught the very first bus into Newcastle in order to catch one of the first trains south. I drove her to the bus stop and waited until we could see the bus coming and when she stood at the bus stop just before it arrived she smiled and waved at me. And then I was plunged back in time to the first ever time I left her at school all those years ago! Today once again she stood there all confident and ready for all the adventures to come. Operation Taking Flight is progressing nicely for Sarah.

After seeing Sarah off and as a distraction I turned myself into a lady who does coffee. This was a diversion from what was originally planned. Some days it pays to be flexible. The original plan was somewhat different but a power failure turned an enjoyable meeting into one that was even more enjoyable. We hit one of the better known coffee shops where we drank lovely cups of coffee and ate devoured treats and discussed our current and long range creative pursuits. And we even bounced creative ideas off each other. I headed home fully inspired and thinking I could create anything I set my mind to. So watch this space.

I don’t have any sewing progress to report today. However I did manage to load a quilt into my longarm quilting system. I’m hoping to start stitching this one tomorrow.

Anne Hs no. 2 quilt

Although it hasn’t been a particularly productive day sewing wise it was nice to get out and about. You would be very surprised where inspiration comes from. I have a few new ideas forming which I probably shouldn’t be entertaining at the moment but I think I need to get started because it’s a long range plan. If I manage to pull this one off, there will be nobody more surprised than me.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be working on red hexies. I hope you all have a super cosy and peaceful evening doing something that you really enjoy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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Has anyone seen the sun today? Somehow I think I might have misplaced that old sun! We’ve had a pretty wet day here in the northeast of England. All in all it’s been a pyjama/duvet day. However I have been out and about instead of hiding in my sewing room or under a duvet. Hubby will be flying off to work on Saturday so we decided to have one more session of retail therapy by visiting the Living North Christmas Fair at the Newcastle Racecourse this morning. As per usual it was rather busy and there was plenty to see. And of course I came home laden down with some lovely things. No fabric and no craft supplies.

I don’t have any sewing progress to show you today as I didn’t progress on anything except hand piecing one tiny block for Mr. Chillingsworth. Once I got home from stepping out I decided to do a printing job for a Christmas Surprise class to be held in two weeks.


You may not believe this but I purchased a wee Christmas tree today; a live potted one which I plan to adorn with a few white fairy lights and perhaps some festive baubles. The tree will reside just outside my front door for a couple weeks during the festive season. I usually purchase a poinsettia plant but I thought a wee live potted tree would make a nice change. I can’t believe there are only 48 sleeps left until Christmas. So bring on the festivities. I’m ready to party.

I have spent some time making a list of projects I want to tackle next year. I find inspiration everywhere I go and I take that inspiration and build on it. So from my list I have started gathering things to help me tackle the projects on my list. I can’t wait to get on with it but I can’t seem to get started. There just seems to be so much to do lately. So Saturday is the day. I will disappear into my sewing room and not come out until I have completed the first project I started a couple of weeks ago and have made a good start on the second of my projects. Quite a few of my projects are traditional with a modern twist. I haven’t figured out how I’m going to add a modern twist to all these projects yet but that’s the challenge. I quite like using basic techniques. Existing basic techniques are tried and tested so why re-invent the wheel if you don’t have to?


As part of Operation Taking Flight my lovely talented Sarah has been trying to find ways of supplementing her income. So she has been experimenting with resin and as such has opened an Etsy shop to sell her creations. Click here to see what she has been making lately. My kid is one clever chick; nothing fazes her and as such she’s willing to try all kinds of different artistic techniques. I would like to say that she gets that from me but I’m not sure that would be true.

Next week I’ll have some interesting news for you. Do you remember my collaboration project?


Well I think it’s about time that Carolyn and I reveal the project and what it’s all about. I’m quite excited about this one. And I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised when we reveal it.

It’s been a rather nice day in happy longarm quilter land. I didn’t spend much time in my sewing room and as I’m out teaching all day tomorrow it will have to wait until Saturday. It’s alright that I didn’t spend much time in my sewing room as I have found inspiration on my travels today. It looks like my notebook will be coming out this evening so that I can record and sketch some ideas before I forget them.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be sharpening her pencil to make chicken scratch drawing and undecipherable notes of ideas gained today. I hope you have a super cosy evening in front of the fire doing something you really enjoy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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Well the summer holidays are coming to an end. I can’t believe how quickly the weeks have melted away. It’s been such a wonderful summer. The weather was as close to perfect as it could be. We were all kept quite busy in my household over the last couple of months. Hubby and I coped quite nicely with the building works going on around our house and Sarah was quite busy getting herself sorted for college. I’m very happy to report that my Sarah has enrolled and will start attending college next week. So Operation Taking Flight has definitely kicked off.  Operation Taking Flight is as much an adventure for me as it is for my Sarah. I’ll keep you posted.

I spent several hours hand finishing the binding on June’s lovely quilt yesterday. And the quilt is wheeling its way back to June as I compose this post.

June's Quilt

Today I handed over a couple more quilts to Quilts for Comfort. I have become an honorary board member of Quilts for Comfort recently. My quilt making/longarm quilting experience might possibly come in handy. My lovely friend Anne, gave me a quilt to hand over last week. Some lucky young person will be getting this quilt to give them a bit of comfort when times are tough. Thank you so much for your generous gift Anne.

Annes QFC

This afternoon I spent some time loading Margaret’s quilt into my longarm quilting system. Margaret painstakingly pieced this lovely quilt using 1” squares by hand and I believe the fabrics are Liberty Tana Lawns which is very lightweight and ever so delicate. Margaret has selected a quilting design but you’ll have to wait until the job is done to find out what she chose. I can tell you that I will be using fine white thread. The back of Margaret’s quilt top is as neat and tidy as the front. Have a look……

Margarets quilt back 2

And here’s a close up of a block…….

Margarets quilt close up

This gorgeous hand pieced quilt is rather large, so I’m not sure how long it will take to longarm quilt but I will definitely post a progress report sometime soon.

Margarets quilt front

Margarets quilt front 2

I recently purchased the latest issue of Quiltmania (July/August 2013). Not only does this issue contain loads of spectacular quilts but there is a great article about Canadian Red Cross Quilts which were pieced by women in Canada to meet the needs of thousands of British people who lost everything in the bombing raids of World War II. Many magazines have published articles about this subject but I never tire of reading about it. Of the hundreds of thousands of quilts that were made by the Canadian women only a few hundred have survived. As a Canadian born and bred, I am proud to follow in the footsteps of these caring Canadian women by making quilts to bring comfort with the few quilts that I have handed over to Quilts for Comforts.

Quiltmania July August issue

Now onto something fun…… My creative friend handed me this length of sequin waste today. This is something I use regularly when I do my art journaling and mixed media work. I hope to take some time out this weekend to work on some mixed media. It’s quite a while since I’ve had my paints and funky art tools out. Thank you Sandra.

Sequin waste

I’ve been asked to teach a class in October. So a couple of weeks ago I sat down and designed a project on paper. Well now it’s time to make a sample. The most difficult part of making any project is always choosing fabrics. So I dragged out a collection of Glacé by 3 Sisters for Moda. And I thought the fabrics were simply fat quarters but it turns out they are ½ metre lengths. Yippee.

Glace by 3 Sister for Moda

After flicking thru all 40 prints I selected 4 and I have matched up 3 other fabrics for the background of which I will choose one on the day. I’ve had that Glacé fabric for several years but I was saving it for Sunday best. Well the weekend may not be here just yet but as far as I’m concerned Sunday has arrived. So watch this space for news on this new project.

Selection 4 plus blender

Once again I’ve had a really good day. It’s always magic to hand over quilts for a good cause. And I had a great little catch up with my creative friend Sandra. I came home full of inspiration for another new project. I find loads of inspiration when I’m out and about chatting with the masses. It looks like my sketchbook and pencil are going to get a good bashing again to record the ideas I have come home with earlier today. Now if I can just decide what fabrics to use to piece this newest idea.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be doing some fine hand applique and sketching. I hope you have a lovely evening working on something that brings you satisfaction. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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