Posts Tagged ‘Use up Your Scraps’

Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a brilliant day. The sun has been shining here in my little corner of the northeast of England. Taking my Maisie for a walk this morning was so enjoyable. The sun was mixed with light breezes making it very comfortable.

I got up pretty early this morning because Sarah and I had a plan of action for today. However, I desperately wanted to move forward with my current UFO which I am very happy to tell you that I have joined all the blocks together and I’m so pleased with how the quilt looks at this stage.

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The next step is to find something in my stash to use for the outer borders. I’m not sure if I have any of the printed fat quarters I used for the appliqué. Those prints would be great to piece together to turn into the outer border.

Once I finished joining all my blocks, Sarah and I moved onto our plan of action. We decided to piece a few wee quilts. The little quilts only just 16” x 20” in size and we used mainly Jelly Roll strips and other fabric in our stash. I managed to piece and bind two very simple little quilts …..

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And Sarah, the big show off, pieced and bound three little quilts …..

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I know these five little quilts will be appreciated. So spending a few hours piecing them was a pleasure. It was a good way of using up some of my stash, scraps of leftover wadding and calico for backing. The best part is the feeling you get from doing something useful.

I’m sure I’ve probably mentioned it already, but it’s a bank holiday this weekend here in England. Usually the bank holiday weather isn’t brilliant. I’m hoping that the weather between now and Monday is as good as todays was. I have one or two outings planned not to mention a couple of trips to the tip to dispose of surplus to requirement household stuff. Hopefully I will be able to scrounge up a some packing boxes in order to pack up a few things to be put in long-term storage.

So for this evening, this very happy and super ambitious quilt maker will carry on hand quilting the Sweethearts Dozen. I had set it aside for a while because I had hand quilters block but I’m back on track now. I hope to show you some progress photos next week. I hope you all have a super cosy weekend doing bank holiday stuff. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a great day. We’ve had lovely summery weather here today. The pollen levels are very high but after taking antihistamines both Sarah and I feel more comfortable. Today was just like the lazy hazy days of summer that I remember when I lived in Montreal.

My Sarah and I kicked off our summer adventures on a quiet note by going to the cinema. Although Sarah goes to the cinema quite often, I have not been in over twenty years!!! So it was a real eye opener going to a movie and seeing how much things have changed in twenty years. We both enjoyed the movie which was The Boss starring Melissa McCarthy. It was a good laugh. After realising that I have lived such a sheltered life for such a very long time I decided that I won’t wait another twenty years before going to the movies again. It’s good to go out and do normal everyday things.

Today I have decided to announce a summer giveaway. I have been thinking about what the prize could be. So I decided that I should personally hand select a couple of fat quarter bundles and add a little something to each bundle every few days until we have two nice prizes. You don’t have to do anything too strenuous to enter the draw, just leave me a comment which includes where in the world you live. I will post anywhere in the world. The names will be drawn in the old fashion way, from a hat on July 8. Good luck everyone.


I spent the day doing this and that and nothing of any great consequence. I did a little sewing using some scraps. For some time now I have wanted to make a notebook cover. So in the spirit of getting a sewing fix I dragged out a few scraps leftover from my Sweethearts Dozen Quilt and cut up strips and started sewing them together. Then I needed to layer up the small quilt top I produced with the scrap strips and added some top stitching. I did some in the ditch quilting and some fancy stitch quilting. I’ve kept today’s project simple but even so I know I will appreciate it.

Simple notebook cover

So it’s been a pretty good day in little world. The sun was shining and the birds were chirping making the day all the sweeter. I wish the whole summer could be like today.

So for this evening, this very happy and ambitious longarm quilter will be finishing up the notebook cover. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something summery. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching ♥ ♥

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a very productive day. Mine was a busy day but I can’t honestly say it was all that productive. However, tomorrow is another day and by all accounts it might be the perfect day to stay home and accomplish lots of good stuff.

Let’s start with yesterday shall we. I didn’t post yesterday because I had a rather busy day. I disappeared down the road to Burnopfield where I attend a sewing session for Quilts for Comfort. It’s such a nice sewing group that the time just flies by. The sessions are held in a lovely old building full of character. We have a lovely spacious room. It’s warm and cosy and there’s even indoor plumbing!

Spacious room

We get together once a month, so it’s not too stressful. It gives us a chance to catch up on all the Quilts for Comfort news and hand over any finished quilts. And we work on challenges. The current challenge is making postage stamp quilts which use up lots of scraps. I feel quite welcome and very much appreciated by this group. Thank you for keeping me company ladies. We make quilts one stitch at a time. Here are a few photos of yesterday’s action.

Ann quilting her 9 patch challenge

Ann's quilted 9 patch

Lynn organising her postage stamp quilt

Carol choosing fabrics

Val gathering her homework

Sandra rotary cutting log cabin strips

I wasn’t going to post my latest progress just yet because I wanted to wait until all the hexagons were pieced, backed and quilted but I think these three are pretty good so I can’t wait to show you. My work is not by any means perfect but it’s good enough for me. So have little look at these few partially completed blocks …..

Quilts on the Grow progress

I’m really enjoying this challenge. Even the prep work is relaxing. So far I have not struggled and even choosing the fabrics hasn’t been a dilemma. If you’re just tuning in and you’re interested in joining the group, click here for more info. I must stress that this is not my design. As much as I enjoy working on my own designs it’s quite nice to participate in other challenges now and again.

It’s been a pretty busy day in my little world. My Maisie has had a haircut and looks beautiful again. I’ll post a pic when the light is a little better. After a visit to the supermarket my fridge looks a little fuller. And my Sarah is coming home for the weekend. So that makes me very happy. And now I’m going to leave you with a photo of my daffodil trying to grown and flower. It’s a sign of hope to come …..


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

Happy stitching ♥ ♥

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fab day. It’s been a lovely quiet day in my little world. And although I could not concentrate on anything last week, this week has started on a better note. I got both household chores and sewing jobs done in just about equal measures.

First let’s start by rewinding back to what I did over the weekend. My Sarah and I settled in for a quiet day on Saturday. While she was working on stitchery work for her university assignment I disappeared into my sewing room to do a little longarm quilting. I worked on my Clamshell quilt which I must say I am thrilled with. Here’s a few glimpses of the quilt …..

Clamshells Quilted

Clamshells bound

Back of Clamshells quilted

By Saturday evening I had bound the quilt and was snuggled under it while working on hexies. It’s a lovely cosy quilt. Because the clamshells were pieced by hand it feels different to quilts I have pieced by machine in the past. I’m not sure why or if it’s all in my head but this clamshell quilt is softer and mooshier which makes it drape beautifully. Now that I have finished this clamshell quilt I have a hankering to make an apple core quilt by hand. I still have loads of scraps that I could run thru my die cutting machine in order to produce the apple core shaped patches. There definitely is something special about a hand pieced quilt.

Upon my arrival home from running an errand this morning I went straight into my kitchen to make a drop of soup. I tested my new vegetable peeler. OMG, I have been using the same veg peelers for far too long. The new peeler is sharper making the job so much easier. Now you may be wondering what this has to do with patchwork and quilting …. well it reminded me that I need to change the blade in my rotary cutters and to clean and change the needle in my sewing machine. Just like it was so much easier to peel my carrots and potatoes this morning, it will be much easier to do the rotary cutting on my projects. And my sewing machine will give me much better stitches if it’s fluff free and has a fresh needle. New Year = new blade and new needle. Don’t forget, nothing lasts forever. So change your blades and needles regularly.

Sharps replaced

I stepped into my sewing room this afternoon to do a little job that I have been putting off for a few days, just because I thought it would be difficult. Well it turns out that it was easier than I thought it would be. I gathered everything I thought I would need and it made the task so much easier. Sometimes being prepared is what helps you succeed.

Using a template that I cut earlier I used it to rotary cut the backs/sashing for my quilt as you go hexagon quilt along. I laid my new template on the background fabric added an extra 1-5/8” to it each side using a ruler and rotary cut.

Hexagon Template

I used the same template to cut the wadding. As you can see rotary cutting wadding leaves fluff in the cuts in your cutting mat.

Fluff on a cutting mat

Well I have a little inexpensive trick to remove the fluff without too much effort. I use this silicone jar lid remover. By rubbing the silicone mat it catches and pulls the fluff out of the cuts in the mat.

Cleaning fluff off the cutting mat

Now I can move onto the next step of Katja’s Blocks on the Go for Quilts on the Grow. I’m going to appliqué the blocks to the background/sashing piece and add some quilting. So far I have two blocks done and I have enjoyed every minute of it. I was a little apprehensive about dealing with the back/sashing stage but it was much easier than I thought it would be. Sometimes you just have to go for it. So here’s a little progress photo …..

Quilt along hexagon

It’s been a really good day in my little world. I’ve really been enjoying the quiet and the slow measured pace. I’m no longer on the clock and so anything I create brings me joy. Especially when it looks good and I have worked out the best method to approach the task.

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 that makes you happy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fab day. It’s been one of highs and lows for this happy longarm quilter. You can tell things are winding down now. The retail park car parks are absolutely full of cars and people are getting grumpy. For a lot of people panic has set in because they left everything to the last minute!!!

I woke up before it was even daylight today. I’m the type of person who gets up in the morning and starts the day before there’s any traffic outside! After feeding my Maisie and having a shower the sun was finally coming out to play. This is my view of the skyline this morning …..

This morning's sky

I heard that we’re supposed to have a full moon for Christmas! That’s something that doesn’t happen every year.

Now I didn’t do any sewing today so far but I will make up for it this evening. We stepped out this morning to restock the fridge and cupboards. I was hoping to beat the crowds by setting out at 8:30 and we did! Thank goodness for that. I’m not into crowds at this time of year. I have been talking about projects I plan on working on in the new year recently and a couple of the projects consist of curved piecing. Well while tidying up a little I found a tool that I could use for curved pieced blocks called Joseph’s Coat. My friend Helen inspired me to have a go at Joseph’s Coat earlier this year when I saw her sample so I ordered the ruler/templates to get started and haven’t so far. I think this is the perfect quilt block to use up a whole lot of scraps and fat quarters that I have accumulated in my stash for the last few years. I think it’s amazing how often I am drawn to curved pieced blocks which I must admit I find quite daunting. Although the Joseph’s Coat can be machine pieced I think I will sew it by hand. I have been enjoying hand piecing clamshells lately so Joseph’s Coat blocks will be just as enjoyable once I work out a good method.

Joseph's Coat Rulers .Templates

Joseph's Coat Ruler.Templates 2

Friday and Saturday were my last classes for this year. And Sunday I had my last sewing related appointment for this year. So because I had survived year of patchwork and quilting, I decided I deserved to celebrate with this cocktail …..


Fa-la-la-la-la. It’s Christmas. I plan to spend the next couple of weeks having a nice time. I’m going to do a little light sewing. I do plan on finishing Mr. Chillingsworth the UFO. And I hope to play with Jackie the Juki up in my loft. And my Sarah has some textile homework to do. So we have lots of little bits we can keep ourselves entertained with over the festive season. Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you all have a fab time with your friends and family. And hopefully you will have time to do a little sewing of your own. I’m going to be a little quiet over the next couple of weeks but I will post when I have something interesting to tell you all.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be working on clamshells. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something festive. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥


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Hello my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a super day. It’s Thursday which means the work week is almost over. We’ve had another scorcher of a day here in my little corner of the northeast of England.

There hasn’t been any sewing going on in happy longarm quilter land today. I stepped out this morning hunting and gathering fabric to make new curtains for my bathroom. Yahoo! I found just the thing at a really good price. I love a bargain. So I will be making simple curtains next week. And even more exciting is that my new flooring will be fitted at the end of next week. I don’t want to count my chickens yet though.

I posted about purchasing a selection of Anni Downs fabric yesterday. Well I took a photo today …..

Anni Downs collection

I have another collection of Anni Downs fabric which I can add this to when I’m ready to cut it up. The first cut is the deepest! It’s going to make a jolly nice throw.

Yesterday, once I got Dora’s quilt loaded I gave myself permission to play. I gave my sewing machine a little cleaning including changing the needle, I lowered my feed dogs and I stitched to my heart’s content. I started by stitching out a few words …..

stitched some words

And then I filled in all around without a care in the world …..

filled all around the words

I really enjoyed my little Freemotion Quilting session. It seems such a long time since I last did any Freemotion Quilting using my DSM.

bound the motto quilt

This afternoon I dragged out my sketchbook and favourite pencil to draw something for a new challenge. I’m planning a simple block. My block will contain a caterpillar. Recently someone asked me how I design my blocks, whether I use computer software, shapes or a steady hand. Well I don’t use computer software. I use a number of shapes, rulers and a semi steady hand. I’m not an artist so I stick to simple drawings which I know I can turn into appliqué shapes quite easily. Now I need to dip into my scraps to find a variety of fabrics suitable for a caterpillar. I’ll be back with a progress report and more info on this challenge project.

Drawing again

It’s been an interesting day in my little world. I got a little retail therapy when I bought my curtain fabric. I got the chance to draw a caterpillar. And if the weather doesn’t turn wet I think we’ll drag the barbeque out for our evening meal. It seems tomorrow will be a bit cooler and so I hope to be able to do some longarm quilting in the morning.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be doing some caterpillar prep 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 fab-u-lous day. I’m sure quite a few of you are getting ready to go off on your annual holiday. I know one or two of you will be jetting off to my native land, Canada. If you’re visiting Canada this summer please let me know where in Canada you’re going by posting a comment.

I didn’t do any longarm quilting today. However I did load Lesley’s quilt in my longarm system. This is Lesley’s first ever quilt. Lesley patiently attended my beginner’s sampler class for a good while. I watched Lesley learn new skills and her confidence soar from month to month. She’s got a great eye for colour. Lesley has decided that she’s going to throw caution to the wind and start choosing bolder colours for future projects. Lesley has demonstrated to me how much braver she is now with her choice of fabrics for her Four Season Whimsy. If all goes well I plan on quilting Lesley’s quilt tomorrow.

Lesleys quilt

After dropping Maisie off at the grooming parlour this morning we went on to run a couple of errands. My Sarah needed some hangers from Ikea for her end of year display at college. Running and errand also included a cuppa at one of the better known coffee shops. My coffee and cake went down really well. We had a difficult time finding Sarah’s hangers although the store’s inventory showed there were 500 in stock. In the end we managed to find them. So once Sarah has painted them up they will look great with her work hanging from them. Opening night is Tuesday June 23. Things will be a little fraught in my home until then ;-(

My little helper

After yesterday’s big quilting job I didn’t have the energy to work another quilt today but I couldn’t justify just sitting around. So I dragged out a scrap bin and started organising a wee bit.

organise scraps

I pulled different fabrics out and pressed them. And before I even made a dent in the bin I decided I needed to do some piecing. I quite often start tidying and get distracted. I haven’t pieced much of anything using my machine in a long time. So I pieced one block. I feel the need to try new Freemotion Quilting techniques using different designs and perhaps different threads. I picked a simple log cabin because if I keep the background simple I can embellish using something more exciting. All the scraps I processed today only helped the lid to sit better on the bin! There are still loads of scraps left to be used up. If only I had more energy and more hours in the day.

scrappy log cabin

So it’s been a busy day in my little world. I’ve done this and that but nothing of any great importance except for loading the next quilt into my longarm system. The next couple of weeks are going to be really busy with preparing for Sarah’s end of year show, the new bath being plumbed in and hubby going back to work. My aim is to keep calm and to try to find solutions to all the problems that will surely arise. This morning I had a problem with my Kindle in that I thought I lost a whole slew of audiobooks but hubby found a drop down menu that helped locate the lost books! I was very upset to have lost my sewing room entertainment. Technology was sent to try me.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be doing some fine hand appliqué. 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 super day. My day has been rather busy again. It seems all my days are pretty busy lately. I spent most of my day longarm quilting Sue’s quilt …..

Sues quilt 1

Sues quilt 2

This is a lovely girly looking quilt. Sue used a selection of rose floral prints to piece it. So I suggested a quilting design called Rose Garden by Apricot Moon and a cream colour thread. I think the recipient of this quilt will cherish is for many years to come.

It’s been a lovely day in my little world. Christine collected her quilt this afternoon. I was sorry to see it go …..

Christines quilt collection

I’m really in the mood to start using up some of my scraps to piece a scrappy quilt like Christine’s but first I need to finish hand quilting this project …..

Welcome Wall Hanging

This is my Welcome Wall Hanging project. I’ve had so much fun designing this little project. And doing some hand quilting is such a treat. I do so much machine quilting that whenever the opportunity presents itself to do some hand quilting I go for it.

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

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥


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Happy New Year my lovelies. I hope you’ve all had a fabulous festive season. I’ve had a really good one but I must admit I look forward to getting back to normal. Well whatever normal is!!!

So tell me; have you made a whole load of resolutions? Well I have decided not to make resolutions; somehow I never manage to fulfil what I promise to do. So I’ll pass on making resolutions this year. Instead I will make a list of gentle goals 2015. That’s what I did last year and it seems there’s a lot less pressure to live up to expectations. So once again I’m going to be kind to myself by setting gentle goals.

So in the spirit of getting back to normal I made an effort to put the Christmas decorations away this afternoon. There weren’t many decorations adorning my home so it wasn’t a difficult job.

I had the chance to do a wee bit of work in my sewing room in between celebrating over the past week. So here’s a little progress report. I longarm quilted this little quilt …..

Floating Nine Patch Quilted 1

Floating Nine Patch Quilted 2

Floating Nine Patch Quilted 3

This quilt is one I hand pieced in my armchair over several evenings. I used nine fat quarters to piece the nine patch blocks and some yardage for the rest but the nine patches would be perfect to use up your scraps. Nine patches of any size make great armchair projects. If you’re like me and you can’t sit still in front of the TV of an evening nine patch blocks are perfect to keep your hands busy. It makes a change from hexies. I plan on keeping this quilt for myself. It will make a great throw to snuggle under on cold winter evenings.

Along with a bit of longarm quilting I did sit down at my sewing machine to start piecing a few pineapple log cabin blocks. You might notice that these blocks are done using a foundation technique. It’s not difficult but it does take a little getting used to. The best part of foundation piecing is that the blocks are very accurate making your whole project square.

Pineapples 1

Pineapples 2

So there you have it, you’ve seen my last finish for 2014 which still needs a label and the first project started in 2015. And in fact the last project of 2014 can be added to my Let’s Finish it Up Club page as my first finish. So if you have joined my Let’s Finish it Up Club and have something to report as finished send a photo attached to an email and I will be ever so pleased to post it. We all need a bit of inspiration and now and again a little push to finish up ongoing projects at times. I’m sure with your help I will be able to finish up more projects than I would without you.

Well I guess that’s my catch up report for the first day of the New Year. It’s been a great day which unfurled at a slow measured pace. I didn’t get anything earth shattering done. I think the first day of the year is perfect for reflection; for planning which road to travel during the year ahead. Unfortunately I did not manage to work out how to approach life in 2015. It might take me a few days before I can figure that one out.

So for this evening, this very happy longarm quilter will be hand piecing some Japanese Folded blocks together. This is another job which will soon be completed. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something that makes you happy. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥

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Hello my lovely readers. It’s been a super day in my little world. I stepped out this morning to meet with a couple of like-minded ladies. We drank coffee and ate delicious treats and solved all the problems of the world. When I left early this morning the sun was shining so brightly that I was over heating in the car. Later this afternoon threatening clouds came out to play. So I decided to hide in my sewing room for the rest of the day. I needed to work on something that I could start and complete before it was time to make my supper. So I chose to add a few extra stitches to Linda’s bright and cheerful I Spy type quilt. I fell in love with this quilt because there are so many different prints that draw your eye around the quilt. I did a simple freehand meander all over in a blue thread that matches the backing fabric. After having worked on this quilt I’m quite tempted to add an I Spy quilt to my To-Do List. It would be a great way of using up my scraps. I love the simplicity of this quilt. Once again less is more.


Click on the photos to zoom in.

I will be out and about tomorrow but I plan on doing some more longarm quilting on Thursday. And this is the quilt I plan to work on.


This one was pieced by Rachel and I believe it’s a disappearing nine patch. I quite like this quilt as well. Have you ever made a disappearing nine patch? Once again it’s a great way to use up your scraps or even a great stash busting project. Rachel has chosen an interesting quilting design for this quilt and I look forward to working on it most of the day on Thursday.

I have been rather busy of late. And there are times that I feel like an ostrich, burying my head in the sand. So subsequently I have no idea what’s going on in the big busy world of patchwork and quilting. I subscribe to a few magazines and read several blogs but I feel like I’m missing out on something. So I’m hoping to spend a few hours investigating all those latest trends. I would like to see what everyone is using templates on here in the UK. I have my eyes on some templates that are designed by Meredithe Clark in Australia. So if anyone knows of a stockist in the UK please share your info with me. Isn’t it funny how everything vintage is coming back; we started making blocks using templates and moved onto the rotary cutting system and now we’re going back to templates. Only the templates we can purchase today are so much nicer than the cardboard templates we used way back in the beginning.

Well it’s been a pretty long day for me. I got up really early and left the house much sooner than I needed because I was worried about the traffic. A lot of the roads in and around the northeast of England are being worked on. I hate being late. I hate letting anyone down.

So for this evening, the very happy longarm quilter will be hand piecing/joining some blocks rows of hand pieced blocks. I hope you have a super cosy evening doing something relaxing. Until you read me again,

Happy stitching. ♥ ♥



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