WIPocalypse – June 2018

2018 WIPocalypseAnother month of very little stitching, but a fair bit of crochet happening. Now I have more crafts on the go, I’m struggling a bit to give each of them air time – perhaps I need a rotation that includes all my crafts, not just cross stitch? Hmmm…

This month I’ve managed to do a wee bit more work on Quaker Diamonds. I’d like to finish the bottom section of the design before I move on to something else, but in all honesty I’m finding this one a real chore to stitch, so I think I’m going to have to mix it up with something else inbetween – either doing actual finishing of some of my finished pieces or working through some smaller kitted up projects for a bit of variety. I do love the finished look of this one though, even though it’s a PITA to stitch ๐Ÿ˜‰

This is how it looked in the last WIPocalypse post:

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And how it looks now:

Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor 24Jun2018

 

24 June โ€“ Tell us what you think the ideal stitching retreat would include.
For me the ideal one is where I’m learning something new, so having some sort of classes are a must. Also having a general room available for stitching or chatting throughout the entire retreat would be great (ie not just available during the day). Obviously having a retail section is also really loved, especially for items that are harder to find locally. Affordable accommodation at the same venue is definitely preferred too.

 

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Quaker Diamonds update

So after posting my WIPocalypse update yesterday morning, it seems I couldn’t put Quaker Diamonds back down again … it became an obsession yesterday to do a complete page finish. Perhaps it was also because once I’d finished the page, I’d intended to take some time out to do housework … my inner voice dragged the stitching task out subconsciously perhaps, so it became too late to do housework. Whatever it was, it was fun anyway … and no, no housework ended up getting done, que sera sera ๐Ÿ˜‰

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WIPocalypse – May 2018

2018 WIPocalypseI haven’t been seeing much 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.ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.ย  This is what it looked like at the start:

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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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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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 ๐Ÿ˜€

Before:

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Bee Keeper Scissor Keeper by Cindy Valentine

After:

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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 โ€“ 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 โ€“ 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!!)

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Natureโ€™s Resting Place by Stoney Creek

27 May โ€“ 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!! โค 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!)

 

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):

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“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.ย  This has been a gradual work in progress over so many years it’s not funny!ย  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.ย  This is probably the most challenging canvaswork project I’ve ever attempted, but it’s now done and dusted and in the finished pile.ย  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!

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“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 โ€“ Gadgets!ย  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.ย  I also find Thread Heaven invaluable for using metallic threads in canvaswork so I get less tangles.ย  I could go on and on … ๐Ÿ˜‰

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.ย  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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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!).ย  The finishes are “Red” by Mirabilia, and “Flight of the Bumblebees” by Ruth Schmuff – pictures will follow on 28 February ๐Ÿ™‚

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.ย  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!

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“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.ย  For the month of January the theme was “winged creatures”, so I chose this design by The Prairie Schooler.

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“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.ย  If nothing else, though, it’s meant I have a WIPocalypse update so there’s something positive ๐Ÿ˜€

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.ย  Here’s how she looked at the start of January (and this photo shows the fabric colours more accurately than the other photos):

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Red (done in blues) by Mirabilia

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

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And how she looks today.ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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Hopefully in my February update I’ll be showing the finished version ๐Ÿ˜€ย  Now onto the monthly question:

27 January โ€“ What SALโ€™s are you participating in this year?ย andย If you are participating in the Olympic Stitching Challenge, what challenge are you accepting?ย  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 ๐Ÿ˜›

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.