Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Smalls SAL April

Most of my stitching time this month has been spent on WIPs but I did manage a small birthday card from a free kit which came with an old issue of Cross Stitcher magazine.

I have a stash of these card kits - if the chart isn't with the kit I photocopy the page from the magazine and file it with the kit.   They are kept in a shoe box which is to hand when I need something quick and easy to stitch as I did this month.   Because the fabric and threads are in the kit I can start stitching straightaway and I particularly like the ones that come complete with cards especially when they are illustrated like this one.   I think it gives quite an impressive effect for just a few stitches.

It is for a Special Birthday (one of those that end in zero) for a friend who loves "messing around in boats".

Thanks for popping by.

Monday, 27 April 2015

D E S I G N April

D E S I G N  is an interesting project organised by NCC International

It's fascinating way to read about different designers and why stitchers chose their designs.  

This is what participants are asked to do:

What do I have to do for each month's post?

First, you need a WIP by the designer you want to talk about. Doesn't matter if you only started working on it or just put the last few stitches in - you only need to have worked on it at some point during the year. Then write your post, including picture of your current work and the following questions, interview style:

What project are you talking about this month? - Please include the full name of the design, designer and artist (if applicable), and a link to what the design will look like when finished, if possible from the designer's own homepage.

Have you stitched a project by this designer before?

Would you buy/stitch a design by this designer again? Why/Why not?

What made you choose this particular design/designer?

Did you notice anything that distinguished this designer from others? - For example specialty stitches, fractionals, much/little 'confetti', beads, special fibers...

Feel free to add any other information you want to share in your post.

This month I am talking about Ursula Michael and in particular her Words designs.   She is a very prolific designer and her charts can be found in magazines and under different brands such as Imaginating.   My preferred way to purchase her charts is from the CrossStitch site because they sell patterns as downloadable pdfs which you can print off and/or store for use at any time.  This method not only helps with reducing some of the space my stash occupies in my home but I also like to use an iPad when stitching as I like the way I can easily enlarge and zoom in on the current part of the chart.   Not to mention the fact that the pattern is available instantly without any postage costs.

My current WIP by Ursula Michael is Let's Find Rudolph

This is what it will look like when finished

 I haven't made a lot of progress on it but I'm sure I will be inspired to continue stitching it when we get nearer to Christmas.

I'm stitching it on sparkly white evenweave and plan to add some beads at the end.  I think I may have swapped some of the DMC colours though I have stuck to the overall effect of using red, blue and orange/brown.

I have stitched other Ursula Michael designs.  This is the first of the larger Words designs I finished:

It's called Let's Sew and I stitched it on hand dyed evenweave using variegated thread.  Sadly it is in the drawer of  "finished but unfinished" projects as I can't decide what to do with it.   I thoroughly enjoyed stitching it.

This is a card I stitched for a special birthday on hand dyed fabric.  The pattern was in a magazine - Cross Stitch Card Shop I think, although it is now available as a chart pack separately.

I have other charts in my stash by Ursula Michael and would love to stitch them all.  The birthday card was one of a series that I would definitely use for an appropriate occasion - I particularly like the baby rattle.

What distinguishes these designs from others is the clever way that appropriate words are used to create the picture.    With some of the charts I would make slight adjustments to change the spelling to the English rather than American version e.g. Colour not Color though I have learned to live with Floss for Thread.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my thoughts on this wonderful designer.  Thanks for popping by.

Stitch From Stash April update

Monthly budget for April:          £20
Spent in April                             £3.20
Earned:                                       £7

Time to check in with my Stitch from Stash report - organised by Epic Stitching

I finished my "All You Need is Love" piece at the weekend - just in time as it is going to be a wedding sampler.

The chart is from an Etsy shop called Wonder Needle and I purchased it in June 2014.   When I found out that this song is one the couple are using in their wedding ceremony I thought it would be perfect.  Then I was lucky enough to win some threads from an Instagram giveaway by Riotous Colours and as soon as I received them I thought that the pink variegated perle would be ideal.    What I stupidly didn't do was check whether I would have enough thread and about 2/3 completed I realised I would run short.   I contacted Lisa from Riotous Colours and she eventually found some of the thread in her personal stash so I was able to carry on and finish, thanks to Lisa. The white linen came from stash an I am claiming this finish n my earnings.

I also stitched a small card from an old free kit from Cross Stitcher magazine.   I still need to mount the stitching in the card so I am claiming the stitches in my earnings and will show the finished item in my Smalls SAL update later this week.

My spends were on the extra thread I needed plus a #5 perle I was short of for a Shepherd's Bush stocking I intend to stitch.  I was really pleased that I only needed the one skein - I have all the other colours in my stash.

Although this SAL only tracks spends and stitching on Cross Stitch I have found that the good habits I am developing here are also encouraging me to restrict my spending on stash for other crafts.  Having said that I did succumb to buying some beautiful Lynette Anderson fabrics as soon as they arrived in my local Quilting Shop.   Once a month at my stitching group we like to do a joint project and I plan to use these fabrics for the May one so I'm not just adding to my fabric stash.

But before I appear to be like Goody Two Shoes I should mention that we are planning a trip to the Malvern Quilt Show next month so there may be some spending there!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL - April update

It's time again to report on progress in the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL organised by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching

That must mean we are already half way through April as updates are due on 15th of each month - where has the month/year gone?

I had hoped to post a finish in this update as I have been stitching a design for a wedding sampler.  Unfortunately I realised I wasn't going to have enough of the #5 perle (which I won in an Instagram giveaway from Riotous Colours).  Lisa managed to find a partially used skein in her personal stash which has been mailed to me but hasn't arrived yet.  So progress has been stalled.

This is a chart bought from Etsy and says All You Need is Love in a heart shape.  When I receive the additional thread I will measure it and then use a length and count the number of stitches I get from a single length.  I should then be able to estimate if I will have enough.  Fingers crossed.

I was also lucky to win a Mirabilia chart in another Instagram giveaway from an American company called Embroidery Central    I could choose any Mirabilia chart and decided on one of the latest which is called Moon Flower

As anyone who reads my blog or follows me on Instagram will know I am a huge fan of Nora Corbett (Mirabilia) and the colours in this design really appeal to me.   As I am also taking part in the Stitch from Stash SAL another attraction is that I already have in my stash the one colour of Waterlillies needed.  I have checked the bead requirements but as I won't be starting this for a while and I always do the beading last I have plenty of time to sort those out.   I will be strict with myself and finish At the Met before starting this though I may be tempted to sort out the DMC and then do a "floss toss" on some of the hand dyed fabrics I have in my stash to decide on the one I like best.

If you look back at my last Gifted Gorgeousness post here you will see The Caring Fairy which was framed as a gift.  I think there are a lot of similarities in the pose of the figure so they would make a lovely set displayed together.

I also want to share with you this wonderful set of sewing smalls which were made for me by a dear friend

There are 3 scissor keepers for different sizes of scissors, a pincushion, a scissor fob and a drawstring bag.  How lucky am I?     I am really enjoying using them as well.

As always I am looking forward to reading the other posts in this wonderful SAL

Thanks for popping by.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

WIPocalypse April update

This month's topic for this SAL is:

April 4 – Which specialty stitches do you love doing on projects?  Which do you dread?

Many moon ago when I first started decorative stitching (as opposed to dressmaking which had been my main stitching activity) I stitched a few pieces of what is called Needlepoint in the USA and Tapestry in the UK.   Basically wool stitching completing covering the canvas fabric.   Without calling them specialty stitches I learned how to stitch quite a lot of the stitches I started using when I moved onto cross stitch and specifically cross stitch samplers.

I am a huge fan of Just Nan, The Victoria Sampler, The Drawn Thread, Shepherd's Bush and Patricia Ann designs, all of whom use some specialty stitches in some of their designs.

I enjoy pulled stitches as I like the lacy effect they create and my least favourite are probably bullion and colonial knots.   I enjoy drawn thread and hardanger but with both I still find the cutting of the fabric very nerve racking.

I don't mind doing French knots but I have a dread of bullion knots as they never seem to look right.  I am sure the answer is practice as it is with most things   

This month's WIP activity has been focused on trying to keep up with the 2 monthly SALs

I'm happy with progress on the Story Time Sampler by The Frosted Pumpkin as I finished the March frame just before the end of the month and also stitched a length on the banner.   Sherlock is my favourite so far. 

I've made some progress on the Zodiac sampler by CloudsFactory though I am behind and have been stitching Aquarius which was February's instalment.  I love the look of this piece but still don't enjoy using the satin floss. Thread Heaven helps but doesn't solve all the issues.  On the other hand I really love the colours of the WDW threads that have been used.

I managed to complete a small piece for Easter which I will show in my Smalls SAL update and also made progress on a wedding piece which is my Stitch from Stash project.

The Way to Happiness received a tiny bit of attention this month.

As usual I don't have enough stitching time to do all the things I want to do.  Such a common complaint amongst us stitchers but at least we're rarely bored.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Easter Blog Hop

Happy Easter to all

My letter in the Easter Blog Hop organised by Jo at serendipitousstitching is

Here is my Easter collage- I can't wait to see what everyone else has stitched.v

The Easter sheep is newly stitched on Polstitches hand dyed evenweave using a freebie pattern by OakHaven on the Cyberstitches site.

The needleroll was stitched years ago and I can't recall the name of the designer.  I know the carrot button is by Just Another Button Company.

The little Easter bag which holds tint chocolate eggs was a gift from a stitching friend.

The next blog to visit is here

Happy Easter and keep your stitching away from chocolate 😉💐