Hobbiton movie set tour

At the moment I’m visiting my parents in New Zealand, at the same time that relatives from the UK have come visiting (hence the reason I’m visiting now instead of Christmas).  One of my requests for the trip was to drive down south to Matamata to visit the Hobbiton Movie Set – my relatives decided they’d like to do it too, so we spent a day together doing the tour, then finishing with a drive over to Mt Maunganui beach and an awesome pub meal at the Rosie O’Grady’s Irish pub.  Here are just a sampling of photos from the trip to Hobbiton … it was an awesome day out! :)

Diptic

Diptic (2)

Diptic (3)

 

2015 Smalls SAL – February

2015SmallsSAL

This month I decided to work on one of the pieces from Grandma’s Stitching Treasures by The Cat’s Whiskers.  This is the scissor pocket from the set … or at least it will be once it’s finish-finished :)  It was really enjoyable stitching this one … now I’m looking forward to stitching the remaining two pieces – the scissor fob and the needlebook.  I think the scissor fob will be the next one to be stitched.

2015/02/img_3026.jpg

Stitching Small SAL

2015SmallsSAL

Well, so far my SALs have been going OK this year … I managed to put the final stitches into scissor keeper late last night – I opted not to re-do all the stitching, and just decided to change the bee’s flight path so that the back-stitching was closer to the right-hand border margin.  Funnily enough, though, the scissor pocket cover model looks the same as mine on the corners, but with one cross less on the top and bottom borders … so I think perhaps there was either an error on the chart, or the instructions changed at some point. Oh well, either way, it’s done now … and just needs to be made up. Next month I’ll probably do the scissor fob to match, then this little set will be done and dusted!  Sorry, but I can’t get a good photo of this one for love nor money – I need to charge up the proper camera, I think, rather than trying to use the iPhone like my lazy self has gotten into the habit of using!

10940478_10152620300338148_3369269700213471775_n 10940440_10152620300258148_6265425105763249782_n

“Bee Keeper” by Cindy Valentine Designs
stitched on 28ct Quaker linen in Misty Blue
with recommended DMC and Mill Hill beads
Started 11 January 2015 – Finished 24 January 2015

Missing a post about Halloween Ornie SAL 2015 + WIPocalypse

It appears I seem to be missing a post I could’ve sworn I’d made about joining the Halloween Ornie SAL for 2015.  I haven’t been accepted by the blog owners yet, but I’m still going to go ahead and do the SAL even if it’s just on my own blog for now :)  In fact I got so excited when I first heard about the blog that I went ahead and created my own button just for the occasion ;)

Halloween ornie SAL

And funnily enough, it seems that this SAL has spurred on my first finish of the year – the January theme is Witch, so here is my January finish:

The Floss Box - Halloween Ornament #5

“Halloween Ornament #5″ by The Floss Box
Stitched on 32ct Thunderstorm Belfast linen
with recommended DMC floss (except I change the cat’s eyes to yellow)
Started 17 Jan 2015 – Finished 18 Jan 2015

2015 WIPocalypse

I also just realised that I haven’t managed to do my January post for the 2015 WIPocalypse, so here goes my first post for the year.  You’re supposed to introduce yourself and outline your plans for the year … well, I’ve already outlined my stitching plans in the last couple of posts, so I won’t repeat myself here.  For those of you who don’t know me already yet (if there is anyone else reading this haha), my name is Anne, and I’m a duck-loving stitcher … hence the name of the blog, Feather Stitching.  I’m … cough … 48 years old, single and working in a job with some really long working hours. My stitching time is much more limited to what it used to be, so at least one day a week you’ll find me playing hermit in my bedroom with stitching in hand trying to ignore the outside world and catching on a week’s worth of recorded TV.  Born in England, I moved to New Zealand when I was 5, and as an adult followed my job to Australia, where I’ve now lived for 11 years.

So what stitching have I been doing since the start of the year?  I’ve still been working on Prairie Schooler’s Autumn Leaves, which is relatively close to a finish really, but I put it to one side while I started my monthly SALs.  Unfortunately, though, my January Smalls SAL isn’t quite going as planned ‘cos I’ve totally stuffed up the border for my first project choice – I didn’t read the chart properly, obviously, and thought the little corner crosses were the same as all the other crosses around the border … I only worked out how wrong I was once I was stitching with that hideous DMC metallic floss and doing the beading on the back section.  Now I’m in a quandary what to do … either rip out the entire border (and the sunflower centres) and start again (which I’m kinda loathe to do, ‘cos I hated stitching that border!), or perhaps just unpick the bottom bee’s ‘flight trail’ and make it sit closer to the border on the right, which is how it’s supposed to look … that’s probably what I’m going to do, as truthfully I don’t love it as much as I thought I would, and now I just want to get it over and done with so I can move on to something I enjoy more (like the Halloween ornie I stitched this weekend).  The only reason I really pulled this one out of the ‘to-do’ pile is because it’s been sitting kitted up for too many years to mention, and I want to get as many of those part-kits completed this year.  The design is “Bee Keeper” by Cindy Valentine.  Anyway, this is where it’s currently at – if I leave it as it is, it only has the sunflower petals, backstitching of one bee, and the front piece border left to be done:

10926832_10152608437108148_7661510079894065066_o

And here’s the latest progress piccie of Prairie Schooler’s Autumn Leaves:

10854230_10152608437038148_1283617171500342092_o

And that’s basically my stitching summary for the last month or so.  I’m hoping I’ll still get the Smalls SAL finished in time for the end of the month, if I can summon up the ‘suck it up courage’ to finish it and not throw it into a corner where it will hide for the next two years … ;)

More stitching plans for 2015

After doing a quick rushed post the other day about my wishlist for 2015 stitching, I’ve had more time to think things through and formulate some more plans.  Other than working to a rotation of sorts, I thought it might be fun to join some other groups to give me more motivation to post progress each month.  As such I’ve chosen groups that already fit within my current stitching plans so it doesn’t become too much of a chore (although I’m shocking with deadlines/commitment stitching so it may do the opposite … in which case I’ll put the brakes on!).  So what have I decided to try for 2015?

2015 WIPocalypse

First up is the 2015 WIPocalypse challenge.  I’ve always loved this challenge, even though I haven’t always been good at posting on time over the last 12 months or so!   If nothing else, it reminds me to post a blog update once in a while, so it’s worth it just for that in itself! ;)

SFS button_2015A

The first new group is the Stitch from Stash group – sadly I missed out with the official sign-up for the group and can’t join properly until the middle of the year for round 2, but I figure I’ll just do it myself here every month in the meantime. As it is, my budget has been next-to-nothing (well in fact it has BEEN nothing) for the last few months, so it should be easy to maintain for a while longer ;)  The group lets you have $25 each month for stash which I think is very doable for replacing threads etc (I’ve got enough charts/kits to last me a few lifetimes).

2015SmallsSAL

Then there is the Smalls SAL group – I’ve been thinking over the last couple of days whether to add a slot into my rotation dedicated to stitching smalls, so this could work out well.  I’ve already got a slot for small-medium sized projects, which could still remain, but I have so many charts for needlerolls and scissor cases etc that I think it could be a good idea to dedicate some time to them each rotation and get some of those smalls stitched up!  I guess that also means my ‘stitched but awaiting finishing’ pile will be building higher this year all going well ;)

That means my rotation will now look like the following (with some current and next-in-line projects included):

  1. Focus piece
    – English Garden Sampler by Teresa Wentzler
    – Egyptian Garden Mandala by Chatelaine
  2. Medium-large projects
    – Autumn Leaves by Prairie Schooler
    – Christmas Elf Fairy by Mirabilia
    – Coffee & Tea series by Little House Needleworks
  3. Stitching smalls & needlework accessories
    – TBC
    – TBC
  4. WIPs & UFOs
    – Flight of the Bumblebees by Ruth Schmuff
    – Cottage Etui by C A Wells
  5. Focus piece
  6. Small-medium projects
    – The Formal Garden by Heritage Collection
    – Bliss by Bent Creek
    – Christmas bird by Heart in Hand
  7. Large-BAP projects
    – Quaker Christmas II by ByGone Stitches
    – Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor
  8. Focus piece
  9. Canvaswork
  10. Christmas ornaments & freebies
  11. Finishing

December WIPocalypse 2014

As normal, I totally missed the December deadline … truthfully I haven’t been doing too much stitching, with some more long hours at work that cropped up.  I’m finally enjoying a fortnight off work over the Christmas break, and catching up on some chores, including my final catch-up for the year here.  I spent Christmas Day with my closest friends in Sydney, which was wonderful – we sat superglued to the lounge sofas for 4 days and watched all 4 seasons of Game of Thrones – that also meant I got a bit of stitching done, although I was more distracted by the TV, 2 dogs and 2 cats to get any finishes under my belt ;)  So, here goes the most recent stitching recap, and the final one for the year:

Finishes:

The first finish I had was Poppy by Mirabilia – this is a gift for my hairdresser, whose favourite colour is red, and she asked me to stitch something for her.  I just need to frame it now for her and give it to her in the New Year :)

Mirabilia-Poppy“Poppy” by Mirabilia/Nora Corbett
Stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Belfast by Countrystitch ~ colour Winter Sky
with recommended threads and beads
Started Sep 2014 – Finished 30 Nov 2014

The Drawn Thread-Summer Arbor “Summer Arbor” by The Drawn Thread
Stitched on 32ct Light Mocha Belfast linen
with recommended threads but substituted the brown beads
Started 7 Dec 2014 – Finished 23 Dec 2014

Lizzie*Kate-The Greatest Gift is Love“The Greatest Gift is Love” by Lizzie*Kate
(from 2001 JCS Christmas ornie issue)

Stitched on 32ct Natural Belfast linen (I think)
with a mix of recommended and substituted threads
Started 23 Dec 2014 – Finished 23 Dec 2014

Works in Progress:

While I was away at Christmas I managed to start the following two new projects (I took those because they were relatively easy to stitch so I didn’t have to concentrate on them 100% while being distracted by the TV and chatting to company).

First up was Red Lace Sewing Case by The Drawn Thread.  Sadly I ran out of thread for this one, stupidly thinking one skein of Gloriana silk would be enough, and no doubt a replacement skein won’t match the same dyelot, but I’ll have to wait and see once I get around to a stitching order. I was surprised just how quickly that design chewed through the skein of Gloriana! This will eventually be going to a new home (hence the hiding of the letter in the centre), so hopefully it won’t look too bad when the new skein arrives …  The only change I made was to use two strands of silk for the alphabet – I used one initially as per the design instructions, but I hated the look of it, so doubled the strands (sadly that wasn’t the reason for running out).

1501259_10152549310298148_6943350996164834711_o

Then I ended up starting a Prairie Schooler design called Autumn Leaves. This has been in my stash forever! In hindsight I wish I’d chosen a lighter fabric so the colours pop more, but I chose 32ct Lambswool that I thought the design called for … presumably they used a different linen to the Lambswool I chose! :/ Oh well, I’m sure I’ll still love it when it’s finished … (sorry, but the weird colouring of the fabric is due to my bed’s duvet cover behind it!)

10845884_10152549304643148_7925177249164251277_o

Recap of 2014 accomplishments:

It looks like I had a relatively poor stitching year compared to normal, thanks to some mental working hours.  Then again, though, some of the projects were quite large in comparison to other years, so all-in-all I’m still pretty stoked with my progress this year.  Here are all the projects I completed in 2014, including 1 older UFO and 2 WIPs carried over from 2013:

Crimson Fire Sampler by The Victoria Sampler LizzieKate-Cross Stitcher in Residence Mirabilia (Nora Corbett)-Valentine Fairy Lavender & Lace-Angel of Love Mirabilia-Poppy Periwinkle Promises-Blue Bell Sampler Accent Prairie Schooler-S is for Spring freebie Margaret Lee Rigiel-Starshine Penguin Poissons Bleus freebie by Si le Point Compte Lizzie*Kate-The Greatest Gift is Love Plum Pudding by JBW Designs Victoria Sampler-Christmas Heart Beyond XS 5-3 Shepherd's Bush-Joyful Night LHN-The Merry Skater Northern Pine Designs-Blue Bayou Butterfly Quartet by DMC Dance in the Rain-Lizzie*Kate Jardin Prive - Eiffel Quaker Green Apple Co-Chambered Nautilus M Designs-Thistle Needleroll pastels Northern Pine-Surf & Sand The Drawn Thread-Summer Arbor

Rotation plans for 2015:

When I was sticking to my rotation it really worked for me this year – and it gave me a place to start again when I did fall off the rotation wagon.  Therefore I’ve decided to keep going in 2015, but I’m leaving it as very much a ‘fluid’ rotation again – if I feel like stitching more than the allocated 10 hours for each slot, I’ll do so … whatever keeps me enjoying my stitching, and actually doing stitching, is what I’ll follow next year :)  In saying that, though, there are a few projects that I’d really love to work on during the year – I wouldn’t call them goals as such, rather a wishlist of sorts … but I know I change my mind on a whim where my stitching is concerned, so I won’t be too surprised if I change my mind again during the year!  Anyhoo, here are a few projects that are currently calling my name for my rotation next year:

Medium-Large projects:

  • Christmas Elf Fairy – Nora Corbett/Mirabilia
  • Trick or Treat Box – Just Nan
  • Three Friends – The Drawn Thread
  • Sweet Pea Pixie – Mirabilia
  • Lavender Rose Sewing Case – Fancy Work
  • Very Berry Needlework Accessories – Forget-Me-Nots in Stitches
  • Coffee & Tea series – Little House Needleworks
  • Witchy Way – Just Nan
  • Christmas Sampler – Jeanette Douglas
  • With My Needle – Just Nan

WIPs & UFOs:

  • Red Lace Sewing Case – The Drawn Thread
  • Autumn Leaves – The Prairie Schooler
  • Flight of the Bumblebees – Ruth Schmuff
  • Cottage Etui – C A Wells
  • Egyptian Garden Sampler – Chatelaine
  • English Garden Sampler – Teresa Wentzler
  • Sailor’s Valentine – C A Wells

Small-Medium projects:

  • The Formal Garden – Heritage Collection
  • Wee one birds (various) – Heart in Hand
  • The Tea Room – Country Cottage Needleworks
  • Sitting Pretty – Valerie Pfeiffer
  • Bliss – Bent Creek

Large-BAP projects:

  • Quaker Christmas II – ByGone Stitches (carried over from this year)
  • Quaker Diamonds – Rosewood Manor
  • Christmas Flip-its – Lizzie*Kate
  • Bluebeard’s Princess – Mirabilia

I can’t see many of those getting done, but I can certainly see a few new starts from that list getting started! :D  As long as I enjoy the journey and continue to enjoy what I’m stitching, I don’t really have any other ambitions other than that :)

Oct/Nov WIPocalypse

11402901674_5cd19d2dc5_o

Life got crazy at work, with some major hours being put in, so I’ve been locking myself away from the online world for much of the last two months.  I’ve now taken two days off as time in lieu (even though I’m probably due about 2 weeks of time off!) and thought I’d make the most of the time to do a catch-up.  While I haven’t been having evening meals half the time during the working week, never mind stitching, I have managed to do a wee bit on the weekends – in fact some weekends I’ve had some major stitching marathons just to make me feel ‘normal’ and I didn’t have the energy to do anything else.  So this will probably be a big post stitching-wise, with a few finishes under my belt.  Here goes …

Stitching finishes:

The biggest stitching news was finally finished my version of Angel of Love by Lavender & Lace.  I have decided to leave off her wings and I think of her now as my ‘regency lady’ for some reason.  I have to say I absolutely adore her, and think she looks just fine without the angel wings.  I really really enjoyed doing the beading – apparently there are just over 4,000 beads in her, and I enjoyed stitching every single one of them on!  I’ve added a photo of the detail in her skirt – just stunning!!

Lavender & Lace-Angel of Love“Angel of Love” by Lavender & Lace
Stitched on 28ct hand-dyed linen by Silkweaver, colour Dark Tan
with mostly recommended threads and beads – I substituted the DMC metallic with Kreinik braid

L&L-Angel of Love beading

Another piece I absolutely ADORE is the result of completing my Canvaswork rotation slot – while I was a bit concerned about the high level of coral pink in this initially, the final result is a tremendous blend of colours that work so beautifully together … these pieces as such FUN to stitch, it’s almost always a disappointment when they’re finished …

Northern Pine-Surf & Sand
“Surf and Sand” by Northern Pine Designs
Stitched on 18ct Eggshell mono canvas
with recommended threads and beads

After finishing Angel of Love my next rotation slot was Christmas ornaments and freebies, where I managed to whip up a couple of finishes:

Prairie Schooler-S is for Spring freebie
“S is for Spring” freebie by The Prairie Schooler
Stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
with DMC threads – I substituted the pink threads with blue ones (I bet you didn’t expect that from me LOL)

Margaret Lee Rigiel-Starshine Penguin
“Starshine Penguin” freebie by Margaret Lee Rigiel
Stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Lugana (can’t remember who the dyer is, sorry)
with a mix of recommended threads and substitutes

Poissons Bleus freebie by Si le Point Compte
“Poissons Bleus” freebie by Si le point compte (website no longer around)
Stitched on 32ct Ice Blue Belfast (I think)
with DMC variegated thread

Stitching WIPs:

I’ve tried to go back to my rotation as well, which means Quaker Christmas II saw the light of day again in September, and I’ve almost finished the top of the chart now.  Not sure if this will seen the light of day again before Christmas, but it will eventually get done for, say, 2018 … ;)

Quaker Christmas II 21Sep14

Next up in the rotation was Poppy by Mirabilia – she’s now become my focus piece as she’s a gift for my hairdresser, Giselle, whose favourite colour is red.

Poppy 5Oct14

Miscellaneous:

Before my hours got mental crazy at work, I started putting together a quilt top for a lap quilt, to start getting used to my new machine (thanks again Alison), and using a cheap jelly roll I bought at a craft show a few years ago.  Sadly this is the state it remains in, but hopefully I’ll get around to finishing this one soon:

01547c546efca4a7aa6f430186b80f6bd7bff98438

I also managed to frame my Bluebell pixie in a discounted white frame – sadly the joins aren’t perfect in the frame (I only realised when I was framing), but it’s for me so I think it’s fine:

 Bluebell framed

WIPocalypse Topics:

8 October – Are you a Halloween or Christmas stitcher?

The answer is a yes on both counts … although I have to say that Halloween is one of my all-time favourite stitching themes.  I don’t even celebrate Halloween, but I just love the ghostly ghouly designs, and the bright colours.  I’ve been going through phases with my Christmas stitching – I used to stitch quite a few Christmas ornaments, but these have tended to tail off over recent years and I’m focusing more on larger pieces.

6 November – What are your favourite and least favourite materials to use in your stitching?

Least favourite would have to be rayon threads, DMC metallics and Kreinik Blending Filament – and perhaps even Weeks Dye Works.  As for favourites, I love all the different threads and textures of canvaswork, and adore stitching with silk threads (Gloriana, Belle Soie and Au Ver a Soie in particular).  Cotton threads I love Crescent Colours threads and Needle Necessities/Threadworx the most.