WIPocalypse – May 2018

2018 WIPocalypseI haven’t been doing any progress at all on my WIPs since I finished Mirabilia’s Red in blues – instead of working on my stitching I’ve been pottering along on my crochet journey and building my confidence a little bit with that. The highlight has been creating a blanket for my Mum, which I managed to finish and give to her on Mother’s Day during my visit home this month.  She was so thrilled with it, and has been showing it off to everyone that comes to visit. I’ll put photos at the end of this post 🙂

I have managed to wee bit of progress on one of my WIPs, though, and I’ve been making more progress on that since finishing Mum’s blanket. This one is Rosewood Manor’s “Quaker Diamonds” – I really love the colours in this one, but I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of the Valdani threads to work with, or the colour changes every two minutes. It’ll be worth it in the end, though, as I think it’s a lovely design.  This is what it looked like at the start:

21231231_10154870636933148_7712644173986707034_n (2)

And how it looks now … I decided to scroll down and work on the bottom section after I got a bit bored with the middle bits 😉

33021441_10155507693828148_2750015564754714624_n

33689100_10155520147223148_452724591341600768_n

UPDATED TO ADD: Actually I just remembered that I did have one other small update – I managed to stitch the scissor fob for Cindy Valentine’s Bee Keeper Scissor Keeper and Fob. That means the stitching is entirely finished, and I just need to put them together 😀

Before:

img_4711

Bee Keeper Scissor Keeper by Cindy Valentine

After:

30415194_10155421737078148_2377573726175625216_n

And because I’ve been so slack with the WIPocalypse updates these last few months (because I had nothing to share), here’s a catch-up of the questions from the last few months:

25 March – What newer designers and product creators (fabric or floss dyeing, etc) out there have you discovered and recommend?
To be honest I can’t say there are any – maybe because I haven’t been looking at all. I like to stick to my trusted favourites if I can, and truthfully haven’t had the need so far to look elsewhere …

29 April – Talk to us about your longest-running WIP or UFO.
My oldest UFO is definitely an old design by Stoney Creek – one of my first ever XS projects, and I’ve stuffed it up so badly over the years, I don’t know where to start to frog it – and if I frog it I’m going to have problem with the dye lots because most of the thread colours have changed (the tree in the foreground probably needs to be frogged entirely). Also I didn’t do the content in the ‘background’ with only one thread, so it’s a total disaster really. I don’t have any love for this one, so not sure if it’ll ever see the light of day as a finished piece. (This isn’t the most current photo – because the tree in the foreground isn’t in this one!!)

img_8610

Nature’s Resting Place by Stoney Creek

27 May – Where do you love to shop for stash?
I now buy locally if I can from a FB supplier – but I still struggle with getting Rainbow Gallery threads for my canvaswork projects and have to order from overseas for those on the whole. After a poor experience from my normal go-to place for threads, I’m on the hunt for another store – the next time I need specialty threads I’ll be trying some new ones out. Otherwise 123stitch is probably still a favourite if I don’t buy locally.

Now here’s my pride and joy for the month – my Mum’s blanket! I had literally just sewn in the remaining ends and handed it to her, and within seconds she’d laid down on the sofa to try it out – she looks so happy here, it really warms my heart!! ❤ Originally it was going to just be a lap blanket, but I thought if I made it bigger it would be more useful anywhere, especially when she’s laying on top of the bed watching TV. She adores it!

 

6-day Kid Blanket” by Betty McKnit
Using 6.5 balls of Lincraft Cakes in Lovely Lilac
(YouTube tutorial videos are also available, which is great!)

 

Advertisements

WIPocalypse – February 2018

2018 WIPocalypseAfter making the decision to try to finish stitching the blue conversion of Mirabilia’s Red in time for this month’s Mirabilia retreat, I really pulled out all the stops and smoke was coming from my needle! I managed to do it, but only just, and oh my goodness I was shattered at the end of it all!

I have to say, though, I’m so incredibly proud of her – she’s one of my favourite Mirabilia finishes (the other one is Enchanted Mermaid) – and I was very pleased to see that she took 3rd place in the unframed category voting at the retreat! Here she is in all her beautiful glory (albeit a bit wrinkled from the journey to the retreat):

IMG_4632

“Red” by Mirabilia – using Beverly’s blue conversion
Stitched on 32ct Haven by Picture This Plus
with Beverly’s choice of threads and beads (with a couple of small bead changes by me)
Started 30 April 2017 – Finished 4 February 2018

I then sat in a stitching funk for a week or two before deciding to finally put the finishing touches into this very, very old work in progress.  This has been a gradual work in progress over so many years it’s not funny!  It finally got stalled again last year when I couldn’t find my gold paillettes – I managed to find a supplier in the US and bought a few vials ready for any future projects.  This is probably the most challenging canvaswork project I’ve ever attempted, but it’s now done and dusted and in the finished pile.  I don’t ever want to use metallic cord for drawn thread ever again in this lifetime, but gee I’m proud of this one!

27973470_10155290419153148_7582114042519667598_n

“Flight of the Bumblebees” by Ruth Schmuff
Stitched on recommended congress cloth
with all recommended threads and embellishments
Started 1 January 2007 – Finished 17 February 2018

28 February – Gadgets!  Show us your favourite stitching gadgets!
Oh my goodness, I have so many stitching tools that I love, I’m finding it hard to decide what to post. I guess the two things that I just can’t live without are my lap and floor stands and my OTT-lites.  I also find Thread Heaven invaluable for using metallic threads in canvaswork so I get less tangles.  I could go on and on … 😉

Oops, I just realised I never posted my first WIP finish for the year – I managed to put the final stitches into Mill Hill’s Starfish back on 10 January, so that’s another WIP crossed off the list this year!!

“Starfish” by Mill Hill (kit)
Stitched on 28ct Cashel linen by Countrystitch ~ colour xxx
with kit threads and beads

 

Spooky time by Lizzie*Kate

I’m now all caught up with the Hallowe’en ornie SAL – here goes my choice for February’s theme of Candy corn.  I’m terrified of spiders, so stitching that charm on wasn’t much fun … I have a feeling that’ll be giving me nightmares in the future when it’s on display 😉

Spooky Time by Lizzie*Kate

“Spooky Time” freebie by Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 32ct Thunderstorm Belfast linen (no longer available)
with Silks4U silk threads

 

On a stitching roll …

I’ve had two major finishes this month for the February WIPocalypse, but you’ll have to wait until Tuesday before I show those (unless you’re friends on Facebook, in which case you’ve already seen them!).  The finishes are “Red” by Mirabilia, and “Flight of the Bumblebees” by Ruth Schmuff – pictures will follow on 28 February 🙂

This last month is quite possibly the best stitching month I’ve had in ages for finishes … after I finished Flight of the Bumblebees I decided to stick with canvaswork for a while longer and picked up a new start that was going to be my canvaswork choice in my upcoming rotation.  I managed to start and finish this one in a matter of days – and reminded me just how much I love doing canvaswork … the interesting stitches and all different thread textures never cease to amaze me and give me so much joy to stitch!

28379423_10155310426533148_2736851498063912464_n

“Earth Spirit” by Northern Pine Designs
Stitched 18ct Sandstone mono canvas
with recommended threads and beads
Started 17 February 2018 – Finished 18 February 2018

After Earth Spirit I decided to grab some fabric and start catching up on my monthly SALs – starting with the Hallowe’en Ornie SAL.  For the month of January the theme was “winged creatures”, so I chose this design by The Prairie Schooler.

28276688_10155310426538148_6184314255044573433_n

“Eeek” (from Bump in the Night chart) by The Prairie Schooler
Stitched on 32ct Thunderstorm Belfast linen (no longer available)
with my choice of threads: basic black silk by Hand Dyed Fibers and an amber silk by Silks4U
Started 19 February 2018 – Finished 24 February 2018

The next item on my list for today is to stitch the January ornie from a JCS Christmas Ornie SAL on Facebook … then it’ll be time to catch up on the February ones for both Halloween and Christmas.

 

WIPocalypse Jan 2018

All of a sudden I decided I’d attempt to finish Mirabilia’s Red (in blue) before I attended a Mirabilia retreat … considering I’m back at work full-time again after Christmas, this is possibly a very tall order.  If nothing else, though, it’s meant I have a WIPocalypse update so there’s something positive 😀

Here are my before and after shots … sadly I had to frog almost 2 inches of the dress two days ago, so that’s slowed progress down quite a bit.  Here’s how she looked at the start of January (and this photo shows the fabric colours more accurately than the other photos):

24067985_10155084511618148_2150418771564681100_n

Red (done in blues) by Mirabilia

And how she looked before the frog came to visit … darn you, you annoying frog!!

26904700_10155227594358148_8172771393148845569_n

And how she looks today.  I decided to give the bottom of the dress a miss for a while and work on the cape instead. I also can’t quite work out which stitches need to be done in 310 and which ones in 939 where the cape meets the dress, so I thought I’d stitch all the sections around there first, and come back to those to make a decision afterwards 🙂 Still not 100% sure I’ll be able to get her finished in time for the retreat, but I’ll keep going anyway just in case a miracle happens 🙂

27072535_10155233974863148_1192700607895764846_n

Hopefully in my February update I’ll be showing the finished version 😀  Now onto the monthly question:

27 January – What SAL’s are you participating in this year? and If you are participating in the Olympic Stitching Challenge, what challenge are you accepting?  What are your goals?

I’m having an easier year this year with SALs, and only intend participating in a few of them. I’m not starting until February, though, so I’ll be playing catch-up with the JCS and Halloween ones:

  1. Hallowe’en Ornie SAL – One of my all-time favourite SALs each year. I’ve got my January ornie decided, just need to kit it up with fabric and threads. I’m always a bit haphazard with these as life gets in the way, but the great thing is you can jump right back in when you’re ready, and Jo does an awesome job keeping the SAL active.
  2. JCS ornie SAL (Facebook) – Another SAL I ended up ditching last year as life got in the way, but I’m hoping to continue with this one again this year and using the ornies I didn’t stitch last year as my ‘wild cards’ for months I’m not too keen on the design. Often, though, I’ll still stitch designs I’m not keen on originally, as I’ve found the stitched version is a lot nicer, and it’s good to taken out of your comfort zone every now and then.
  3. Stitch from Stash – I’m not doing this officially with any formal group, just keeping myself honest and doing it on my own. I am in an Aussie Stitch From Stash challenge group, though, so that helps to give me a kick every month. My financial situation has changed dramatically since the apartment move late last year, so stitching stash is no longer a priority.
  4. Gifted Gorgeousness – Thanks to Jo for bringing this one to my attention. Once I manage to get back into some new starts etc this year, I’ll be contributing to this blog as I have a number of different charts etc I’ve received from friends over the years that I’d love to see finished.
  5. WIPocalypse – obviously 😛

I’m not doing the Stitching Olympics, as I’ve already got my rotation sorted for the year and want to get back into a routine again after Red is finished. I think doing the SO may derail me, so I’m going to forego it for now … but never say never haha.

 

Final stitching stash – it’s a goodie!

After being generously gifted a copy of Walking the Water’s Edge by Diane Herrmann, I needed a piece of vintage eggshell mono canvas so I could make a start. I didn’t know of any local suppliers (but now I do, woohoo) that sell coloured canvas, so I made a big enough order to warrant the postage and ordered from a US supplier. Not for the first time with them, I’ve had to wait for well over 4 months for this order to arrive – and even then I was contacted just before Christmas saying they couldn’t get the chart or three of the threads for Bora Bora and what did I want to do. I ended up cancelling all the Bora Bora part of the order and getting a refund, then jumped online and ordered directly from Needle Delights Originals (and managed to get a pre-Christmas discount too, so the savings paid for the postage – double score!!).

I have to say I’m REALLY impressed with the kit from Kathy that turned up today at the same time as the other order – the canvas is cut to size and already edged with tape ready to be put onto stretcher bars.  I have to say it’s the most excited I’ve been about a stash haul in quite some time … I’m sooooooo in LOVE with Bora Bora and all those scrumptious and luscious bright threads. I don’t think it’ll be very long before I cave into temptation and start stitching this one! I think this just might be the project of choice in my canvaswork rotation once I start it in February.

26169794_10155193918673148_239708897986428435_n

I also ordered the kit for Double Delights – Charbleu while I was at it … another one with lovely rich colours that will be a really quick stitch.

26219949_10155193918628148_8228018787790122691_n

Next up were three more canvaswork designs – strangely enough also by Needle Delights Originals 🙂 I don’t have the threads for these ones yet, so it’ll be quite a long time before these are stitched unless I substitute from stash (although I’m not sure I have any threads I could use really). Anyway, I’ve got plenty to keep me going for now …

26229621_10155193918588148_5194789889855404353_n

This was the rest of the delayed order – some Congress Cloth, 30ct Legacy linen, the previously-mentioned canvas, and Floss-away bags primarily (and a few stretcher bars).

26230757_10155193918648148_316406856627759184_n

The Congress Cloth, Legacy linen and AVAS threads are for me to stitch this little beauty I bought a few years ago from Gay Ann Rogers – Pride and Prejudice, the Needle Book Edition. Note this is NOT my work, but taken from Gay Ann’s website. The full range is shown at the link above, however not normally available for sale – I just bought the needlebook instructions, and not the bookmark. I couldn’t decide which fabric to use, so I bought both – if I don’t use the Legacy linen for this one, I’m thinking of re-doing my version of CA Wells’ Pyramid Etui so I’ll likely use it for that as an alternative.

nbook-bookmkopt

So all-in-all a very very VERY good stash day indeed! I’d better make the most of it, because 2018 is my year to stitch from stash … not that I’ll need any with this lot 😉

 

WIPocalypse 2018 kick-off and craft goals for 2018

I didn’t want to set too many ‘goals’ this year because I have a tendency not to meet them … instead I’m thinking of these goals being like the Pirate’s Code, they’re more ‘guidelines’ 😉 It’s my lofty wishlist, because it’s full of my crafty hopes and dreams for the year even though it’s unlikely most of these will be fulfilled 😉

Cross stitch and embroidery

I still have way too many WIPs not yet finished, so I’d like to whittle a few of those down by the end of 2018 – although I have a large number of new starts I want to do too. It’s going to be a fine balance of new fun projects as well as getting some older (and perhaps not-so-loved) ones done at the same time.  I won’t list out the new starts in detail (aside from a couple), but I’ll give details of existing WIPs and what progress I’d like to see on them.

Cross stitch WIPs:

  1. Starfish by Mill Hill – this is the first project I wanted to complete in 2018, and I put the final beads into the piece late last night, so one goal ticked off the list already – DONE √
  2. Red by Mirabilia (in a blue conversion) – I’d like to totally finish this, and it’ll likely be my sole project for January as I’m going to a Mirabilia retreat early February and I’d love to make serious progress by then (getting her finished would be even more amazing, but highly unlikely) – DONE √
  3. Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor – 20 hours (ie two rotation slots) or two larger motifs completed – Completed approx 10 hours to date with the largest motif 100% finished (end of May)
  4. Red Lace Sewing Case by The Drawn Thread – add the felt/beads and do the finishing … and finally gift it to the intended recipient
  5. Egyptian Garden Mandala by ChatelaineE – Finish the bottom half
  6. Quaker Christmas II by ByGone Stitches – Complete the motifs underneath Let There Be Peace on Earth (ie up to the three sailing ships) … but if not, at least finish the Let There be Peace on Earth motif in the centre
  7. When Witches Go Riding by The Prairie Schooler – I’d like to totally finish this, maybe doing some elements as part of the 2018 Hallowe’en SAL again
  8. Three Kings by Mill Hill/Jim Shore – I’d love to finish this … but if not, at least finish two of the three kings in the centre
  9. Progress on three other UFOs/WIPs, yet to be decided (but top contenders so far are Paris by Country Threads, Sailor’s Valentine by CA Wells, Cottage Etui by CA Wells, Pyramid Etui by CA Wells, English Garden Sampler by Teresa Wentzler, Raphael’s Raspberries by Forget-me-nots in Stitches, Starry Snowman ornie, and Hardanger scissor fob)

Other needlework WIPs:

  1. Flight of the Bumblebees by Ruth Schmuff – finish this by adding the embellishments
  2. Hearts & Berries by Marg Low – I’d like to totally finish this into the bag
  3. Make a Christmas Wish by Marg Low – I’d like to totally finish this and get it framed before Christmas
  4. Travel Cord Buddy by Michelle Marvig – I’d like to totally finish this
  5. Stumpwork – choose one old stumpwork UFO and make some progress

New starts:

  1. Start (and hopefully finish) at least two canvaswork projects
  2. Start a new HAED (or maybe two – one mini/QS and one larger one)
  3. Choose a project (or two) that has specialty stitches – eg hardanger, band sampler

Crochet

My goals here are much loftier than the cross stitch goals – but probably important to keep the impetus up while I’m learning so that the lessons I learn are more ingrained into my brain cells!

  1. Finish my striped blanket
  2. Make at least one (hopefully different) granny square or other blanket square every week
  3. Complete at least three months crochet projects from “Crate Crochet” (assuming I can afford to continue receiving them for that long and I deem them to be value for money) – DONE √
  4. Make a coffee cup cuff
  5. Small granny square pincushion
  6. Make a shawl
  7. Start an Atlanticus (mandala) blanket
  8. Restart my Spice of Life blanket

Quilting

  1. Make some small pincushions
  2. A very simple goal here of starting a queen-sized bed patchwork quilt for myself
  3. Maybe start my Piece and Plenty quilt
  4. Maybe start my The Blue Collection quilt (but highly unlikely)

I’m already laughing at my wishlist for the year … but if you don’t dream, you don’t achieve 😉

Stitchalongs/Challenges

While my intentions started off great in 2017, my follow-through was woeful. This year the goals are essentially the same, but with everything else in the previous list taking priority, these may or may not happen this year.

  1. WIPocalypse 2018 – my favourite challenge every year, and probably the one thing that brings me back to my blog to post my update each month 😉
  2. Smalls SAL – time to start working through some of my folders bulging to the brim of small freebie designs from last 10 years and actually stitch a few!
  3. Hallowe’en Ornie SAL – I still have loads of Halloween stitch I want to do, including a bunch of new purchases last year by The Drawn Thread – even if I don’t manage the SAL all year, I’d like to make some progress here.
  4. Stitch from Stash 2018 – My change in financial situation this year means being very frugal with my craft spending. I did a big splurge in September, which is finally due to arrive this month, so that’ll keep me happy for a while. The only items I should be buying this year is anything Limited Edition (but unlikely), and any DMC etc I run out of that I need to complete a project.