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Hallowe’en SAL – spiders and cobwebs

Halloween ornie SAL

After having an extra long weekend I managed to catch up on my Hallowe’en Ornie SAL by completing the missing March design.  I ended up stitching a smaller ornament instead of starting a larger project, which was my initial plan.  Anyway, here’s my final choice – a freebie design by Jacquie Morris.  The March theme was “Spiders and Cobwebs”.

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“Owl” freebie by Jacquie Morris (design still available on her website)
Stitched on 32ct Frosted Pumpkin Belfast linen by Silkweaver (the real colour is more red/orange than the photo shows)
Stitched entirely with DMC 310

Hallowe’en SAL 2017

Halloween ornie SAL

Crikey, I’m not doing too well so far with my commitment stitching – I’ve just been plugging away at Chatelaine’s Egyptian Garden Sampler in the odd days when I haven’t been working mental crazy hours at work.  This last week, though, I finally got my fabric gridded up so I can start stitching my focus piece for the Hallowe’en SAL this year.  It’s my intention to find work on a larger design for most of the monthly themes, then I’ll do an individual ornament as well if I get time (or have the inclination).

Anyway, this week I’ve  managed to catch up on 3 of the 4 monthly themes, with just March left to do. I’ve already decided which one to stitch on, I just need to get it kitted up and on the Qsnaps, and I should be able to knock it over in a few hours as it appears to be quite a quick one (although that could be famous last words!!).

Here’s my progress so far on Prairie Schooler’s When Witches Go Riding, and the monthly themes I’ve covered on it so far are:

  • January – The Moon
  • February – Witches
  • April – Winged Creatures

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I’ve decided to change all the colours around, and using a random selection of overdyed threads from my stash that are somewhat similar to the charted DMC threads.

Mid-summer stitching frenzy

This summer in Sydney has been unbearable with the hottest January on record since records began – which means you’ll generally find me indoors hiding from the heat and sitting in front of the electric fan the entire weekend.  It’s been too darned hot to do much of anything else, and even my stitching chair is now covered in a towel to make it more comfortable and less hot to sit in … bring on Autumn, is all I can say!!

So what stitching have I managed to do so far? None of my WIPs have been touched since my last finish, but I have picked up some very small new starts to meet my SAL commitments in the two SALs I’ve joined this year.  And here they are:

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“Blue Snowman” by The Little Stitcher (2016 JCS Christmas Ornie issue)
Stitched on 32ct Vintage Country Mocha Belfast linen
with recommended threads (DMC) but changing the brown nose to orange

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“Merry Christmas to You” by My Big Toe (2016 JCS Christmas ornie issue)
Stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Lugana by Countrystitch ~ colour Limestone
with recommended DMC threads

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“Boo!” freebie by The Prairie Schooler
Stitched on 32ct sage green (?) mystery linen
with recommended DMC threads
For the Hallowe’en SAL theme of “Moon”

This next finish was so much fun to do, but it took me a couple of nights to get back into a good ‘canvaswork rhythm’ – now I’ve finished, though, I’ve got the bug back to do another one … I think I’ll be heading back into the stash pile this week to drag out a bigger one to work on very very soon! It’s so much fun to work with other threads instead of just DMC cotton floss, not to mention the amount of pleasure I get from working different stitches again – it’s so addictive!

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“Holly and Ivy” freebie by Laura J Perin Designs
Stitched on 18ct eggshell monocanvas

with recommended threads

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Lots of stitching finishes

Ever since I’ve been eating healthier, and sleeping better, I’ve managed to find my stitching mojo on a regular basis.  As such, it’s seen a bunch of finishes over the last two months – most of them new starts, with one UFO from the start of the year.

First up I was trying really hard to do a catch-up for a Halloween Ornie SAL I signed up for this year.  Unfortunately I found HAEDs at the start of the year and my sole stitching focus went into those for a while, then working life got turned on its head for a bit and crazy working hours became the norm once again.  I decided in October I really did want to catch up on the SAL, but I didn’t want to stitch a heap of ornies.  At the start of the year I’d planned on working on two larger projects, that each had a block containing something that would fit within the SAL monthly themes.  Because of me starting so late in the piece, I ended up just stitching one larger piece with a couple of extra ornies thrown in for good measure.  This is what I chose for the monthly SAL, which I stitched in strict order of the themes for the year (with the exception of the two ornies, which I stitched first):

  • January – Winged creatures (block 5, the owl and bat)
  • February – Mummies and Monsters (block 6, the Frankenstein head at the end)
  • March – Pumpkins (block 1)
  • April – Ghosts (block 2, the teeny weeny ghost hiding behind the tree)
  • May – Spiders (separate ornie, freebie by Lizzie*Kate)
  • June – Free choice (the geometric border)
  • July – Witches’ accessories (block 3, the witch’s cauldron)
  • August – Spooky words (the words in the border)
  • September – Bad fairies (still have no idea what on earth to do for that one)
  • October – Black cats (block 4)
  • November – Skeletons and Skulls (another separate ornie, Halloween Ornament 4 by The Floss Box)

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“Halloween Markings” by Heart in Hand
stitched on 32ct Steel Grey Belfast linen
with a couple of recommended threads, but mostly replacements from my stash
Stitched as an alternative to ornaments for a Halloween Ornie SAL

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“Eek” freebie by Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 32ct ‘mystery’ grey Belfast linen
with recommended threads

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“Halloween Ornament 4” by The Floss Box
Stitched on 32ct ‘mystery’ linen
with recommended DMC threads

After my Halloween stitching binge, I decided to drag out a UFO from the start of the year.  This was one of my Crazy January Challenge pieces (15 starts in 15 days, which I’ve decided really isn’t for me anymore – I want to spend my stitching time working through all those WIPs/UFOs cluttering up my stitching space instead of starting a bunch of new ones!).  Anyway, after a few weeks chipping away at her, I had a few days of work this week and managed some major progress, and finishing her a couple of days ago.  This was significantly helped by throwing a few seasons of Buffy into the DVD player, it was great mindless, and amusing, fodder for the brain while completing a stitching marathon 🙂

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“The Christmas Elf Fairy” by Mirabilia
stitched on 32ct natural linen
with kit threads (Crescent Colours) and beads

The last one, hot off the Qsnaps on Friday night was one I’d originally stitched as a charity quilt square a few years ago.  I’ve been wanting to restitch this for myself ever since, and still had the DMC sitting with the chart ready for the day when I found time.  I decided it was finally time to pull my finger out and get it stitched up so I grabbed some fabric and threw it on the Qsnaps – I love this one, and it’ll beautifully with my ocean/beach theme in the lounge!

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“Chambered Nautilus” by Green Apple Co (original watercolour by Janet Powers)
Stitched on 32ct off-white Belfast linen
with recommended DMC threads

And that’s all for now I guess … I’m not 100% sure what I’ll choose to stitch on next.  I’ve been trying to finish off a lot of the WIPs sitting in crates so that I have a few Qsnaps free to use for new projects, so no doubt the next thing I choose to stitch will be something already started … Mind you, I do still have four ornaments left to stitch to complete the 2016 JCS Christmas Ornie SAL challenge on Facebook – I guess that’ll probably be the first thing ticked off, then it’ll be time to grab one of my WIPs as my next focus piece.  At the moment I’m tossing up between the following WIPs/UFOs – I just may have to toss a coin, because I really can’t decide right now! 😉

2015 Recap & 2016 Stitching Goals

Well my stitching finishes in 2015 were pretty paltry in comparison to other years, but I’m still proud that I managed as much as I did considering the exhausting year I’ve had at work etc.  Here they are all together (with the exception of one last finish coming tomorrow!):

I have a HUGE list of stitch-a-longs and challenges I want to join in 2016 – I have no real intention of actually FINISHING any of the SAL projects during 2016, but I hope to get a decent rotation happening again where I can give each piece a bit of love and dedication throughout the year.  Here is the planned list:

  • 1 Jan – Mirabilia SAL – my choice is Bluebeard’s Princess, which I’ve had kitted up for a couple of years now, the only problem is I can’t decide on the fabric … I guess I’d better make a decision over the next 24 hours or so!
  • 1 Jan – Ornament SAL (12 months) – my choice to kick this SAL off is Victoria Sampler’s Blackwork #3-4 … other ones throughout the year are ones that I already have the fabric cut up and ready for stitching.
  • 1 Jan – JCS 2015 Ornament Issue SAL (12 months) – The chosen design will be the most voted for design from each double page spread throughout the year.
  • 1 Jan to 7 Jan – Crazy 7 SAL – I haven’t decided 100% on all of my choices yet (or even if I’ll definitely do this challenge).  I have a couple of large projects I definitely want to include, but also wanted to have some smaller ones too, which would give me more of a chance to actually finish one of them during the year!  So far my choices aren’t looking too small though!:
    1 Jan – Lizzie*Kate’s Christmas flip-its
    2 Jan – Rosewood Manor’s Quaker Diamonds
    3 Jan – Shepherd’s Bush’s Here We Go A Haunting
    4 Jan – Mirabilia’s Christmas Elf Fairy
    5 Jan – CCN’s The Tea Room
    6 Jan – Shepherd’s Bush’s Finch Song
    7 Jan – Either Country Threads’ Paris kit, or Mill Hill’s Haunted Hotel
  • 10 Jan – Dimensions SAL – my choice is Weekend a Paris
  • 10 Jan – Teatime Stitchers SAL – we have a choice of 3 freebies charts, so I’ll be stitching on of the pansy freebies for this round
  • 12 Jan – Christmas Stocking SAL – I have a Dimensions kit Enchanted Ornament Christmas Stocking that I’ll be starting, but don’t hold out much hope of having it in use for 2016, maybe 2017 all going well!
  • 13 Jan – HAED SAL – I’m still dithering over which one to stitch – I have a choice of three (originally it was two, but I just recently splurged on a piece that I’m totally in love with … and had to choose the maximum colours, so I think I’m a bit insane with that one!!).  My choices are either QS Iris, Blue Daisy, or His Way Home.
  • 14 Jan – Valentine’s Day SAL – Still deciding on a chart to use, but it’s like to be Bent Creek’s Bliss or the Drawn Thread’s Love fob.
  • 15 Jan – 2016 Hallowe’en Ornie SAL – There’s no actual start date for this one, but I figure the first two weeks of the year are horrendous for new starts, so I’ll start my ornie in the middle of the month!  The theme for January is Winged Creatures (bats, owls, crows, ravens etc), so I’m really looking forward to that one 🙂
  • 7 Feb – Country Cottage Needleworks SAL – No idea which one I’m going to decide on in the end, but it’s likely to be one of the beach/seaside designs.
  • 17 Feb – St Patrick’s Day SAL – A nice small one for me this time round, I think I’ll be stitching Bent Creek’s Leprechaun, or Victoria Sampler’s Ireland from the International Hearts series.
  • 27 Feb – Easter SAL – Another nice small one, I’m going to be stitching Bent Creek’s Happy Easter.
  • 26 Jul – Specialty Stitch SAL – I have so many projects to choose from, and this is so far in the future, I’ll see what I’m in the mood for closer to the time.

And just for my own amusement, here are the planned new starts in visual format (and means I’ll have a truckload of WIPs/UFOs for 2017 LOL):

Hallowe’en Ornie SAL catch-up (well halfway, anyway)

Halloween ornie SAL

I’ve been absent without leave for quite some time yet again – work pressures finally got to me to the point I wasn’t stitching, or even living well if truth be told.  Some changes at work have seen the last few weeks a lot more stress-free, so much so that I’ve been back stitching once again … and finally enjoying it.  The thing that has got me back into loving stitching (aside from being stress-free) has been doing some Halloween stitching … and catching up a bit on my ornie stitching backlog.  Following are the results of my endeavours until now (I still have to do the June and July ones yet).

September – “Spooky Words”:

Boo by Lizzie*Kate

“Boo” (from “Boo Hiss Eek”) by Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 32ct Thunderstorm Belfast
with a mix of threads (GAST, Carrie’s Threads, DMC)

August – theme “Black Cats”:

Black Cat (Boo to You) by The Prairie Schooler

Black Cat (from “Boo to You”) by The Prairie Schooler
Stitched on 30ct Guacamole Weeks Dye Works linen
with recommended DMC threads

May – theme “Pumpkins”:

Eek by Lizzie*Kate

“Eek” freebie by Lizzie*Kate
Stitched on 32ct Thunderstorm Belfast
with recommended threads

I’ve done a few other bits and pieces since April as well, even though my stitching has been a bit sporadic – plus I see I forgot to schedule publish my last Smalls SAL piece, so I’ll create a new post later in the week to capture the rest of my stitching news.

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:

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

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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 … 😉