I'm gearing up to prepare for next year, despite this definitely being the time of year where I feel like hibernating! It's time to make plans, thinking about what next year will bring and sorting out sewing projects. I'm hoping to get things in order over the Christmas break, sorting out my sewing stuff ready for a fresh start in 2020. Recently there have been a few stash additions, I've been out in Manchester stocking up and enjoying cheese toasties, and finally sneaking some project finishes in!

As I continue to work on my Manx Log Cabin blocks I realised I wouldn't have enough Essex Metallic for the centres so ordered a bit more from Sew Hot and the other prints were just irresistible:

clockwise from top left: Essex Yarn Dyed Linen Metallic in Oyster; Camo in Yarrow, Gleaned by Carolyn Friedlander; Dottie in Coral Metallic, Basics by Cotton + Steel and Pop Off in Peach Fizz, Pop! by Rashida Coleman-Hale - this print is one of those that I HAD to have and knew if I didn't get some I would wish I had. Honestly it's pretty easy to resist these urges nowadays but when it comes to Rashida Coleman-Hale prints I have no control because they are always fabulous.

This next selection was a surprise treat, a very kind lady that came to one of my classes had been to Standfast & Barracks and picked up these big cuts of Liberty Tana Lawn. She knew I loved Liberty and so I got all this for less than the price of 1/2 metre! These aren't scraps, they are large folded pieces. I'm very grateful she let me buy them from her and these snowdrops have already found their way into my log cabin blocks.

I've been back at my sewing machine, making some banners for an upcoming event. I needed a bit extra, so popped into Abakhan in Manchester on a recent day off work. The banners are made with rip stop fabric, it's brilliant as it doesn't fray and it's very easy to work with. Love these bright warm colours with the dark navy. I will show the finished banners once they are in place!

The staff in Abakhan were so friendly and helpful. It really is an aladdin's cave of fabric and they have so many different types of fabric for all kinds of sewing. 

You can't beat the bargain baskets filled with remnants and next time I'm in town I will try to have a good rummage. I didn't even make it to the quilting section, which was probably a good thing!

My husband and I enjoyed lunch at Northern Soul Grilled Cheese. They have three venues in Manchester now and it's so great seeing an independent do so well. We've visited the original before and this time we went to the restaurant on Tibb Street. The setting is amazing, really well done and such a nice vibe. The staff are all friendly and perfectly attentive, it's brilliant.

Again this is the BEST GRILLED CHEESE! Mark had the mac and cheese and he highly rates that too. We both LOVED the sriracha fries, so yummy! You must go if you come to Manchester, I promise it's all delicious.

We had a really nice walk around, picked up some gifts and just enjoyed each others company. A good day!

At the beginning of the year I started a cross stitch sampler project with the aim of completing it by the end of the year, now I'd like to make this a tradition. A project I can pick up when the mood strikes, one that isn't too ambitious but still captivates me. I've stitched the final few stitches on the sampler and am on the hunt for a frame. So far no luck, despite looking in every charity shop I pass. I'm sure the right one is out there somewhere. Once I've given it press I will post all the details and lots more pictures.

I fleetingly thought I would make things for people this Christmas but it's rolled around way too fast and I haven't had time. I've finished one Christmassy project, which I will share very soon but honestly my sewing time is so precious that it's just been nice working on my quilts in progress. 
We are certainly feeling festive as we put the tree up last week and it's nice breaking out my Vintage Holiday tree skirt along with all the handmade decorations from over the years. 

Things are slowing down and I know lots of people take a break from social media this time of year but having time off work always gives me energy for blogging and there's quite a lot I want to show you and tell you about, I shall be sharing as I have time to write. Right now I'm going to get some planning done, there's lots to look forward to over the coming weeks and I need to keep on top of my to do list! Oh and before I go my teaching schedule at Patchfinders has just been released so click here for upcoming classes.

Hope you've all had a fabulous weekend!