Easter finishes

Over the Easter weekend I had an exceptionally lazy and indulgent four days stitching my little heart out while watching old movie DVDs. The result was to finish three projects that I started in February/March during my Mum’s recent visit to Australia. The dragonfly was an earlier WIP that’ll be the subject of my April WIPocalypse post 🙂

“Flying Geese” by Laura J Perin
Stitched on 18ct French Blue monocanvas
with recommended threads
Started 20 February 2019 – Finished 22 April 2019
“To All a Good Night” by Knotted Tree NeedleArt
from the 2018 JCS Christmas Ornament issue
with a mix of recommended threads and substitutes from my stash
Started 3 March 2019 – Finished 22 April 2019
Mirabilia Retreat dragonfly by Nora Corbett / Mirabilia
Stitched with kit fabrics and threads
Started 10 February 2018 – Finished 22 April 2019

WIPocalypse – March 2019

Yet again progress on my WIPs has been very minimal during March. Mainly due to feeling unwell for so long, and when I returned to work I just didn’t have any energy for stitching at the end of the day. I did manage to get a tiny bit of stitching done during the month, though, on an older WIP so at least I have something to post this month! 😉

This is the free chart we received at the 2018 Mirabilia Retreat on the Central Coast. I’m not entirely sure I like how the date appears so I decided to start my stitching session with unpicking the existing stitches. I’ve decided to stitch both sides at the same time and in the same stitching order, so the wings are going to turn out (hopefully) relatively symmetrical. Here’s the progress I’ve made so far, but I’m ready for a change, so I think it’ll be rotated out with something else in April.

Question of the month:

What newer designers and product creators (fabric or floss dyeing, etc) out there have you discovered and recommend?

Truthfully I haven’t really been looking for new designers or artisans, I’m a bit stuck in my ways and happy with the ones I already know – that’s not to say I don’t see the odd design that someone is stitching in one of the Facebook groups and might have a quick glance at their Etsy shop etc if I like what I see. I have to say, though, I haven’t found any so far that I’d add a “favourite” tag to. My favourite fabric dyer still remains as countrystitch.com, and my favourite designer this year is probably Needle Delights Originals (Kathy Rees) because I’ve bought a truckload of her canvaswork designs this year and kitted them up.

A lack of crafty updates

Sadly I became quite sick in early February with some virus that has had me nauseous and wanting to be physically ill on and off for six weeks. Sadly that meant a few weeks of annual leave were spent laid up in bed or on the sofa apartment-bound. This all coincided with the final visit from my Mum, which sadly meant no fun road trips for us on this trip, and our all travel plans had to be cancelled. On the positive, though, we had plenty of girlie one-on-one time at home watching TV and movies and just generally chatting. Mum has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and these types of days will gradually become less and less, and she’s no longer able to travel on her own. It breaks my heart to see her memories disappearing, but I try to stay positive and just respond the same way for the 5th time I’ve heard the same story on any given day – I still treasure the conversations and the laughter that we always have 🙂

As for crafts, my gigantic plans for the year became scuppered very early on, and I’m very behind with blogging and crafting. I did eventually manage a bit of stitching while I was on ‘holiday’ though once the nausea started to wear off, and this has been the result so far …

Dimensions: Stacked Tea Cups

This kit was a gift from a dear friend in the US, and I’ve been itching to stitch it ever since it arrived. I decided the colours were exactly what I wanted to work on and made a start on it before Mum arrived for our holiday. This was also my chosen project for “New start January” in an Aussie Facebook group called JK’s Groupies. Eventually I managed to finish it during my recuperation. I really need to take a better photo in daylight without all those ugly shadows! I also want to stitch this one more time but on a 36ct linen next time with DMC – I’d love to see the comparison, because I hated stitching on that awful cardboard-like Aida and I have more Dimensions kits to stitch up.

“Stacked Tea Cups” by Dimensions
Stitched on 18ct white Aida (hideous kit fabric)
with kit threads

Started 12 January 2019 – Finished 15 February 2019

Elizabeth’s Designs: Ladybug

This was a WIP from 2018, and all I had to do was to stitch on the ladybird charm … five minutes later and it was all finished! 🙂

“Ladybug” by Elizabeth’s Designs
Stitched on 32ct natural Belfast linen (I think)
with recommended threads
Started ? 2018 – Finished 15 February 2019

Keslyn’s: Santa’s Hat & Boots

Next was the April Christmas ornament in a Facebook JCS Christmas Ornament SAL. I really struggled with this one initially because of my ‘fuzzy head’, but I persevered and managed to finish it eventually – but oh boy it wasn’t much fun, and it took me a fair few days to complete it!

“Santa’s Hat and Boots” by Keslyn’s
(from the 2018 JCS Christmas Ornament issue)
Stitched one-over-one on 28ct white Lugana
with recommended DMC threads
but I attached small bells instead of the ‘Bead Landing Sticky Gems’

Laura J Perin: Flying Geese

After I finished all that over-one stitching, I started a new canvaswork project – Flying Geese by Laura J Perin. I thought the larger threads and canvas would be easier for my head to manage. It’s been a bit slow going, but hopefully this will be finished over the next couple of months.

Sweet Valentines

The great thing about taking an extra week off work after Christmas is having more time to stitch and have a general overdue tidy-up at home. I came across this wee chart that has been kitted up for about 12 years as I was tidying up a pile of stitching ‘stuff’ – I figured rather than putting it back in it’s storage box where it belongs, I’d just suck it up and get it into the Qsnaps to get it stitched up. It took me two days to finish, but I really love it. And that also means another new start and another finish ticked off my 19 in 19 challenge for the year … bonus!! 😀

“Sweet Valentines” by The Sweetheart Tree
Stitched on 28ct white lugana (I think!)
Changed the red thread colours to be 309 and 816 instead of the chart colours (which were 316 and 3726)
Started 6 Jan 2019 – Finished 8 Jan 2019
Stitch count: 40H x 40W

Last finishes of 2018, and first ones of 2019

I’ve come to realise today just how woeful my online activity has been over the last 12-18 months or so, and my online albums are missing a lot of information and projects haven’t been added at all … my blog used to be the ‘source of truth’ for all my projects and chart information etc, but not any more. After spending an entire day today doing a bit of a tidy-up (nowhere near finished yet though), and trawling through a few years of photos on my iPhone (!), it’s prompted me to add the details of my last finishes from the end of 2018, and the first finishes of the new year. So, without further ado, here are the details …

“Joy” by Rovaris
from the 2018 Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornament issue
Stitched on 32ct Belfast linen with recommended DMC threads
Stitch count: 36 stitches high x 71 stitches wide
Started and finished 28 December 2018

“Special Delivery” by Pickle Barrel Designs
from the 2018 Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornament issue
Stitched on 32ct Belfast linen with recommended DMC and Weeks Dye Works threads (except using DMC B5200 instead of WDW Whitewash)
Stitch count: 51H x 55W
Started 28 December 2018 – Finished 29 December 2018

Finished – Glendon Place: City Sidewalks ornament

“City Sidewalks” by Glendon Place
from the 2018 Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornament issue
Stitched on 32ct Blue Sky hand-dyed Lugana by Hand Dyed Fabrics with Stephanie

Stitched with a mix of Weeks Dye Works and DMC, using my choice of beads because I didn’t have all the ones as charted
Stitch count: 78H x 68W
Started 29 December 2018 – Finished 2 January 2019

“Two Stags and a Star” by Blue Ribbon Designs
from the 2018 Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornament issue
Stitched on 36ct evenweave from Sew-it-all

Stitched with recommended Weeks Dye Works, except using B5200
Stitch count: 57H x 37W
Started 3 January 2019 – Finished 5 January 2019

WIPocalypse – November 2018

2018 WIPocalypse

What can I say … another three months have gone by, and I’ve only just managed to pick up my needle and do a bit of stitching! My foray into the world of crochet has taken over my crafting world for the last few months, and I’ve been engrossed in learning more and more … but I just realised the end of the year is almost upon us, and I started to feel a bit guilty for leaving my stitching WIPs neglected for so long.

I decided to drag out my Egyptian Garden Mandala and given it a bit of love over the last week.  The colours are starting to look a lot bolder, and I’m totally in love with the bright cobalt blue silk that’s starting to make a statement in those edge borders and flowers.  I’m still hating that fabric with a passion, and if I wasn’t so far along with the project I’d seriously consider starting it again – it’s a real labour of love, that’s for sure … emphasis on the word LABOUR … and I can’t wait to get it finished so I never have to drag my needle through that horrible fabric ever again.  It does look really stunning, though, so that’s what’s keeping me going!

Now on to the monthly questions – the current one, plus the last two I missed …


25 November – What new stitches or techniques did you learn this year?

I can’t say I’ve really learnt any new stitches this year … but as I mentioned earlier I have learnt how to crochet, and that journey has meant an awful lot of learning of new stitches and techniques.  It’s actually been quite invigorating to learn something new, and it’s given me a confidence boost to start tackling other techniques in my stitching wishlist in 2019.

28 October – Do you prefer to stitch on a rotation or one project at a time?

To be honest it depends on my mood – I actually love doing a rotation when I’m in the right frame of mind, and it really helps me to get a lot more stitching done.  Every now and then, though, I just want to stitch on something that is calling my name … so I often dither between the two.

30 September – How do you keep your stitching stash organized?

I keep my kits and patterns kitted up with fabric in large file boxes in groups of project size (eg Large/BAP, Medium, Small, Ornaments etc). My threads are kept in flossaway bags on metal rings and then in larger file boxes in their groups (eg silks together, overdyed floss together, DMC floss together, pearl cottons and other specialty fibres together). My charts are generally in ring binders. My works in progress are in tubs on their scroll bars or Qsnaps along with their chart and threads in project envelopes.

WIPocalypse – August 2018

2015 WIPocalypseI managed to avoid a lot of my other crafts for a while this month, and got a bit more progress under my belt for my cross stitch WIPs. Reviewing my year’s goals last month lit a bit of a fire under me, I think, and got me to focus on ticking off a few more items if I could.

The first thing I did was to find three smaller, older WIPs and finished them all off … that means one more  done on my list!

“Starry Snowman” ornament by Homespun Elegance
from 1998 JCS Christmas Ornament issue
Stitched on 28ct Cashel linen (colour putty??)
with recommended DMC threads

Sue Hillis Design-Spool Ornament

“Spool Ornament” by Sue Hillis Design
from 2007 JCS Christmas Ornament issue
Stitched on 28ct antique white Cashel linen
with recommended DMC threads
All I needed to do was to add the buttons and it was finished!

A small Hardanger design I did myself

After I did that wee burst of quick finishes, I decided to go back to Mill Hill’s Three Kings and put some serious progress into this one over one weekend.  I intend continuing on this one now until the two kings are fully finished – I only have a couple more stitches to do on the right-hand king before starting the back-stitching and then the beading. It’s not the easiest fabric to stitch on at night, so it’s more of a weekend project while I have a bit of daylight to work with.

How it looked when I started (ie where I finished during the last session):

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And how it looks now … I can’t wait to start adding the beads to this and seeing this piece really come to life!!

Mill Hill-Three Kings

Now on to the monthly question, and review of the year’s goal progress to date – it’s been fun ticking a few items off the list finally. I can’t see me reaching many of these goals by the end of the year, but I’ve made more progress this year on goals that I ever have I think … it’s been fun!

26 August – Which is more satisfying to you and why – the process of stitching a piece, or the finish?
I think it’s more the process of stitching than the finishes themselves, but in saying that I do love to see the final stitches go into something as well, especially if it’s been a tedious project that I’d kind of fallen out of love with. It’s still all about the ‘process’, though, in the end.