Saturday, 28 February 2015

Stitch From Stash Update February 2015

Carried forward from January:£10.51
February budget: £20
Spent: £19.76
Carried forward to March:£14.26

Thanks to the post from Wyrd Needles on the Small SAL update for January I satisfied my craving for new patterns by downloading some of the freebies on the Cyberstitchers site.   There were more than enough designs I liked to keep me busy for the rest of the year.  For copyright reasons I can't show you any of the patterns but I hope to be able to show you at least 1 or 2 of the projects I plan to stitch from this great site.

I found 4 chart booklets for a total of £1.10 at the local charity shop.   Not sure I will ever stitch the Bessie Pease Gutmann but my Nana had one of these prints in her bedroom so I bought in memory of her

I have added to my stash this month but I believe that at least one purchase is exempt from the monthly calculation as it is part of a auto ship which I signed up for in 2013 (and should have been completed by now).

It is the delightful Shepherd's Fold series of kits from one of my favourite designers, Shepherd's Bush.  This is number 4 in the series of 6.

You can see the rest of the designs in the series here and hopefully the completed items on this blog at some time in the future.........................

The other items added to my stash were also from Shepherd's Bush - the 2014 stocking and charm pack which I ordered from The Crafty Kitten last year but I was only invoiced this month.   In the spirit of Stitch from Stash I will include this purchase in my calculations.

Isn't it gorgeous?  I have stitched at least a dozen of these delightful stockings and still don't have them for DH and me.  So even though I don't have a plan to stitch this one immediately I wanted to add it to my collection for inspiration purposes.

The pattern and charms came with my monthly fabric fix from The Crafty Kitten  I was lucky enough to receive an annual subscription to one of  Dawn's Fabric of the Month clubs so this is stash enhancement without any cost to me - I think that's allowed.

I finished one small piece from stash this month which gives me a credit of $4 which I've converted to £3.50.    The chart was from an old magazine and the aida and DMC from stash.  This little dancer is destined to be the centre of a cushion for a little dancer.

Most of my stitching time has been spent on my 3 SALs - Mirabilia's At the Met, Clouds Factory Zodiac Sampler and The Frosted Pumpkin Story Time Sampler.

I also made a start on one of the Blackbird Designs charts that were inspired by the Beatles (as mentioned in my January SFS update).   I started Blackbird and although I haven't had the chart for longer than 6 months the linen and the hand dyed thread both came from my stash so no pennies were spent on this project.

Other than that I've been quite restrained and have contented myself with updating my wish list but not actually buying.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Smalls SAL February

Thanks for dropping by.

This update is a day late but at least I completed the stitching task.

My Smalls finish for February is a small design from an old magazine of a little ballet dancer.  I liked the way that it looks a bit like a pencil sketch.  The plan is to make this the centre piece of a cushion I intend to make for a little ballet dancer in the family as a birthday present later in the year.

I'm looking forward to reading other blogs for this SAL as I am always inspired by new ideas.
Click here to see what everyone has been doing.

Friday, 20 February 2015

D E S I G N February

What is  D E S I G N ?

This new way of sharing information about our stitching passion is run by NCCIH and this is their explanation:

DESIGN is a somewhat recursive acronym and stands forDesigner Everybody Should Instantly Get to Notice. How clever of me, right? Right? Okay, moving on. It's also a monthly blog challenge for cross stitchers (or possibly other crafters as well). Each month you get to present a designer of your choice, be it your favourite or someone you just discovered, you only need to have an ongoing WIP by them - and answer a few questions about them. Easy as that.

I had every intention of taking part in January but somehow that month came and went while I was still thinking about which of the many many designers I love I should write about.    So here is my February entry.  Who knows I may go back and add another one for January......

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.

The designer I have chosen to write about this month is one I met in person at a Stitching Show last year.  She had a small stand but I fell in love with every one of her designs and best of all her kits came with the option of linen/evenweave as well as aida.

Her name is Gill and her company is called Itching to Stitch (great name)

The WiP I want to show you is a lavender sachet stitched on white Cashel linen using DMC and variegated threads.  It uses a mix of cross stitch and specialty stitches 

This is what it will look like when finished 

Included in the kit is a lovely backing fabric although there is enough linen to use for the back as well.   And the kit also came with lavender for the inside.   Why isn't it finished?  A good question.  I originally intended it to be a present for a dear friend until I remembered that she is allergic to many scents so I din't want to risk it.   It WILL be finished soon though.

It's not the first project I've stitched.  This coaster design is taken from a needlecase kit 

This is the needlecase kit and at some point I know I will love stitching the whole thing.  As you can see it comes in lots of different colours - one of the hardest things was choosing just one.
Would I stitch more projects by this designer - definitely yes.

Here are just 3 of the ones I would put at the top of my to stitch list although i don't think there is anything Gill has designer which I don't like.

What most attracted me to Gill's designs?

I have a passion for stitching words, I love the way she personalises designs, the little extras in the kits such as the lavender are a lovely touch and as I've already mentioned she designs for linen/evenweave using variegated threads.

Starting a new business is tough and I do hope that Gill does well so if you like the look of any of her designs I have featured please do check out her website. She offers chart only options as well as kits and will personalise charts for you at no extra cost so if you ordered the True Love wedding design you can ask for the appropriate names to be charted for you.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL update February 2015

It doesn't seem like a month since I posted the first update in this new SAL organised by Serendiptious Stitching 

It's such a lovely idea to share details of projects etc which have been gifted to us or stitched as gifts.

As per my previous post I didn't get chance to do this update yesterday (15th) when it was due.

Because most of my stitching time has been taken up with the 3 SALs I joined in January I don't have a lot of progress to show.

One of the SALs is Mirabilia's At the Met and I was gifted some of the threads (the beautiful Caron Waterlillies) so an update on that seems appropriate

There is lots of black (it calls for 5 skeins) so the progress there isn't obvious.  The swirly sections at the bottom are done in one of the Waterlillies.

This was a banner I made for a baby shower using hessian with cotton patchwork fabric bonded to it - there was no need (or time) to stitch on the letters as it will only be used for a few hours.

I stitched a quick little project which is destined to be a gift for a little dancer - made into a cushion with this as the centre.

As I hoped I did finish the Christmas Village piece which was gifted to me as a UFO.  It is currently at the framers.

Thank you for popping by and sharing my enjoyment of my stitching passion with people who understand.

Valentine Blog Hop - belated

I am so sorry that I didn't post this lovely photo on Valentine's Day as I was supposed to.   Unfortunately "life" intervened with my plans.   We spent the day at my step daughter's and I saw (and showed to the family) the beautiful photo with the intention of updating my blog when we returned home late afternoon.   I don't know if it was the excitement or an allergic reaction to their dogs (or a bit of both) but DH wasn't well and we ended up getting the doctor out.  He still wasn't right yesterday and I have to confess that this commitment to the blog hop went right out of my mind and this is the first opportunity today that I have had to do the post.

So thank you to the stitcher who made these beautiful ornaments and sent me the photo.  They are so unusual and I love the colours.

I hope that Jo who arranged this will forgive me - you can see who else took part on her blog here 

Thursday, 5 February 2015

WIPocalypse Update 4 February 2015

Thanks for stopping by.

February 4 – Topic: How do you overcome that feeling that you’re in a rut with a particular project?

This topic set by Measi who runs the Wipocalypse is quite relevant to me this month though I don't think I have a proper answer.

I have one WIP on my list which hasn't had any progress made for months (Dominique by John Clayton)   I did get it out when I was sorting out projects for January but I'm just not inspired by it.  I don't know why and I don't have any suggestions for how to get out this rut.   I have always been a stitcher who likes to have lots of projects in progress and in planning and this sometimes means that one or two become UFOs.

My philosophy is that this is my hobby, not my work and so I make the "rules".   Ultimately if I have fallen completely out of love with a project and know I will never be inspired to stitch it I will remove it from my stash - give it away or possibly sell it if it's something like an unused kit.   My stitching group has "swap and sell" sessions a couple of times a year where we all take along fabric, patterns and other supplies we no longer want and swap or sell them to each other.  Very little money exchanges hands but it's a fun couple of hours and always illustrates the maxim of "one woman's junk is another's treasure".    

So what progress have I achieved this month?  January was a month of new starts due to me deciding to take part in 3 SALs all of which started this month.

Please accept my apologies for the fact that some of these photos have already featured in other posts as I am in multiple groups.

I did manage to finish Christmas Village by Prairie Schooler which is now at the framers.

It was stitched on antique white evenweave using DMC threads and was given to me by a friend who had stitched part of it and decided she would never complete it.  I was thrilled with it and really enjoyed stitching it.  I've only stitched small PS designs previously but could definitely be tempted by another of their larger designs.  They are a nice relaxing stitch as they use a limited palette of colours with very little confetti or backstitch.

The Beehive Roll by Shepherd's Bush which was gifted to me has now become a WIP.   Not a lot of progress to show but I had to juggle quite a few projects this month

SAL number 1 is the Mirabilia SAL organised by MrsMilkyBarKid via her YouTube channel.   The only rules are that stitchers started the Mirabilia pattern of their choice on 1st January and posted updates on YouTube (flosstube), Instagram (using the hashtage #ytmirasal2015) or their blog.

I chose At the Met and really loved the stitching I managed.  It was a real wrench to put her down and move onto the next SAL project.

The fabric is Autumn Blush Cashel linen and I am loving the way the Caron Waterlilies silk glides through the fabric.  There is a lot of black (5 skeins!) so I decided to use Anchor 403 instead of DMC 310 as I think it gives better coverage.  Otherwise I am using the recommended DMC, Waterlilies and Krenik threads plus Mill Hill beads.

SAL number 2 is a year long project which is released month by month.  It is the Zodiac Sampler by Cloudsfactory       January's release was Capricorn.

The yellow circles which are a feature of every month are stitched in DMC satin thread and as I suspected I am not keen on using it as it is slippery.  Thread Heaven is helping but it's a relief to move to the DMC or WDW sections.  As you can see I haven't completed all of this month's pattern.  The fabric is by The Crafty Kitten and is called Twilight Shadows.

SAL number 3 is another year long project with monthly installments.  This one is The Story Time Sampler by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery 
January's story was Alice in Wonderland - very appropriate as this is the 150th anniversary of the publication of the book.

The first  month also included the banner and the frames for the whole sampler so I was able to start in the middle of the fabric - always my preferred option.

I had originally ordered some fabric from Sparklies which I thought was close to the recommended Picture this Plus fabric used by the designers.  I had thought that either Cancer or Charcoal Slate would be suitable but when I tried the WDW threads which are used for the frames the pale green (Sea Foam) just disappeared.  Instead I used a piece of Misty Morn cashel which was already in my stash and am very happy with it.  I would never have chosen it from the website where it looks to have too much lilac in it which just goes to show that buying fabric online is a real hit and miss affair.

I am also taking part in the Smalls SAL and stitched a little birthday card for a friend who loves tea.

I also stitched a small scissor fob using silk ribbon embroidery for the Stitch from Stash group

My 2 other Christmas WIPs haven't had much attention in January.

Apologies for the repetition of the above 2 but it is bound to happen when I am taking part in more than one group.

I have Merry & Bright in the office for the odd lunch break when I can stitch 

Let's Find Rudolph hasn't had a stitch added.

Finally - and well done if you have made it this far - I made a bit of progress on The Way to Happiness by Jardin Prive 

Not a lot but I have completed section 3 (of 5) by adding the sheep, basket and bunny.

This is where I was at the beginning of the year:

  and this is where I left it 

The folds in the linen tell their own story - it has been folded away for too long.   As has Stitcher's 12 days of Christmas which was also neglected this month.

I'm looking forward to reading about the progress of everyone else.