IsoMaynia – week three

Another week of stitching in isolation, which means another batch of crafty projects getting some love and attention.

15 May: New start – Tilda group needlework accessories

I didn’t actually put needle to fabric at all for this one, but I did manage to get two of the projects started by fussy-cutting a few of the pieces ready for later.

16 May: WIP – Spike stitch basket by Crochet Society

I made a bit of progress on a crochet project I started in March. I didn’t quite get it finished on the 16th, but I got up and finished it the next day on the 17th. This is using Caron Pantone yarn.

17 May: New start – Christmas Bullfinch by Punochka

I started the February ornament choice for the JCS Christmas ornie SAL group on Facebook. Hopefully I’ll get this one finished early next month when I move to a 10-hour rotation again, instead of daily project changes.

18 May: Project and accessory bags

While not a ‘new’ project, I decided to make a few more vinyl fronted project and accessory bags so went ahead and did all the fabric cutting and quilting.

19 May: New start – Surface embroidery

Unfortunately I’ve mislaid my download file so I can’t give credit right now to the website hosting this image, but I’ll add the details later. Stitched with a DMC Variations thread. I hadnt decided yet what I’ll use this one for.

20 May: New start – Time in the Meadow by One Day in May (Creations by Melissa Grant)

This design was a free one that I received from One Day in May with an online order. I had to reduce the size of it a lot to make it small enough for its intended use. I used a Cottage Garden thread for the bird and border outlines and a single strand of a hand-dyed silk thread for the flowers and stems.

21-23 May: Tilda quilted pocket challenge

I managed to finish the surface stitchery (Time in the Meadow) from the day before and used it to adorn my latest Tilda challenge project. This pocket is far from perfect, but it was a great learning curve, and once again gives me more experience to build my confidence back up again. For the first time I didn’t start something different each day, but rather opted to focus on this one project until it was finished, so this project ended up spanning three separate days (two after work evenings and Saturday afternoon).

IsoMaynia – week one

What an amazing boost to crafting goodness IsoMaynia has been for me. My engagement with my crafts has been through the roof, and it’s been wonderful to do some sort of creative endeavour every single day in May.

Here are the projects that were at the end of my needle for IsoMaynia through the first week of May:

1 May: Tilda Zippy pouch challenge

A Tilda Facebook group challenge, this was a totally new project to me, and got me back using the sewing machine and hand-sewing the binding on – first time using the plastic sheeting as well. The small one was the size for the challenge, and I chose to make a larger one as well for the designs I want to stitch each month for an annual Hallowe’en SAL challenge (of which I’ve been woeful at these last couple of years).

2 May: Stitching is the Berries by Periwinkle Promises

I’d actually started this one the week prior, so I’ve included a before and after shot to show how much I achieved on the day. The border is made up of lots and LOTS of queen stitches, and it’s using a different stitch technique that I’ve never seen before. I’ll be honest I struggled with it quite a lot, but after a while I grew to like it, and I ended up doing a few other projects using the same technique. It’s not my normal choice of colours, but I love the richness of the reds and it’s been fun to try some different stitches again. This is a kit that came with the fabric and threads and the finishing kit with the tin etc. Bought from a friend unloading some stash last year, it’s been fun to work on so far.

3 May: WIP – Raphael’s Raspberries by Forget-Me-Nots in Stitches

Oh my goodness this has been an unloved UFO for so very long – probably about five years now I think. I managed to get about six queen stitches done before throwing it in a corner for whatever reason. After the Periwinkle Promises queen stitches, though, I found I whipped through these ones pretty quickly. I think another full day of stitching and I just might have got all the main body of the stitching done … I think I’ll have to return to this one in June and get it finished. I have the matching sweet bag to go with it, so then I’ll set that up as a new start and a bigger challenge.

4 May: My other car is a broom by Lizzie*Kate

This was a kit put together by a LNS in Berry that has since closed down. In hindsight the fabric choice wasn’t great and the stitching disappears on it (the picture on the left is closer to the colour IRL). I wish I’d subbed the fabric for a darker one now, but it’s too late for that now (and I can’t be bothered unpicking the green and doing it again). I managed to start and finish this one on the same day, which is great – it was my first IsoMaynia finish 😀

5 May: Patch Coeur Août by Un Chat dans l’aiguille

A different challenge today doing surface stitchery. This is a kit that I bought on my last visit to Paris with Mum, so it was time I gave it a try. I always felt a bit intimated by it, especially as the instructions are all in french, but the stitch diagrams are clear enough to work out what the stitches are, and I managed to translate the key areas of the instructions to get me on my way. Thoroughly enjoyed this one, although I’ve now learned how sewing the ends in the back can pull on the front stitching and it stuffed up my buttonhole wheels in the lighthouse – I’ll just redo them later when I pick it back up again. It’s actually a lovely change not having to follow a chart and count for every stitch 🙂

6 May: Moose Joy by Angel Stitchin’

This was the January ornament choice by a JCS Ornie SAL Facebook group. I started it in January (so I’ve included the before and after photos), but just wasn’t feeling the love for it. I think it was more to do with my battling with depression and not having any mojo than anything being wrong with the design itself). I didn’t manage to get it finished on 5 May, but the next day I put the final stitches in place. Using my own choice of threads.

7 May: Aroha (Love) cushion by The Stitchsmith

Bought as a kit while Dad was in hospital last year, I started this one in February as my monthly stitching GTG project … mindless stitching while being able to chat and still make progress. Sadly February was the last GTG we had in person, so I figured I might as well give it some love for a short while. As this was a work-day, I only managed a short time working on it, but got the equivalent of one letter stitched – finishing the letter O and starting on the letter H.

WIPocalypse October

Belatedly adding my update for October, although it’s the first WIP update I’ve made for quite some time. I’ve gone crazy stitching quite a bit since my return home – it’s helped me to take my mind off Dad’s passing and Mum coping on her own. So without further ado, here are my WIP updates and some other finishes.

Just Cross Stitch ornament SAL

I managed to finish all the remaining ornaments for a 12-month long ornament challenge using the 2018 Just Cross Stitch ornament issue – I used my two wild cards to change out two of the ornaments where I didn’t like one or didn’t have all the required threads and nothing to substitute with. The ornies I finished in October were:

Works in Progress / UFOs

I dragged out a few older WIPs/UFOs that were in my to-do-list for the year but that I hadn’t touched yet … I’ve failed my goals this year miserably, but at least I’ve managed some progress on a few projects for the year, even if it’s really small progress …

New starts

When I first came home I decided to start a new canvaswork project – I managed great progress until my fingers got too sore to keep yanking the threads through the canvas, so it’s been put into time out for a while, and I’ll probably pick it up again in 2020 to finish it off, if not before.

‘Lahaina Breezes’ by Laura J Perin

After I finished my JCS ornie SAL challenge, I decided to pick up a quick project that’s been kitted up for years – and finished it in a couple of days.

‘Under the Sea’ by Elizabeth’s Designs

Question of the Month: Do you prefer to stitch on a rotation or one project at a time?

It depends on my mood at the time, to be honest – I work well with a rotation when I’m in the mood, it helps me to progress through projects quickly as long as I have them all set up together ready for me to work through the order of projects without having to hunt for items, or frames, or threads etc. I’ve been doing a screaming rotation of sorts for a while now – just stitching on what I feel like stitching on and not counting the hours at all. I’d like to get back to a formal rotation again, but I think I’ll wait until the new year for that.

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

Final recap of WIP progress to date

While I’ve managed to get a few finishes under my belt in the last six months or so, I’ve also chipped away a tiny bit at a couple more WIPs.  The first one is “Quaker Christmas II – Songs of the Season” by ByGone Stitches.  This is how it looked the last time I took a progress photo:

Quaker Christmas II - Songs of the Season by ByGone Stitches

And how it looks now (or at least how it looked a month or two ago anyway – there’s only been a tiny bit more progress on the right-hand motif since the photo was taken, but I’m too lazy to take an updated piccie just for those few stitches):

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After I finished off Lizzie*Kate’s 2007 Special Edition Christmas kit, I wanted to stitch on something easy to work on – my choice at the time was the “Paris” kit by Country Threads. I was fully intending to finish off the letter R if nothing else, but in truth I’m not enjoying stitching with it in the scrollbars I’ve got it in, so I’ve since shelved it for a while until I find something else to pop it into.  As it is I’m having to stitch it sideways so I could get it on the scrollbars in the first place … that feels really odd in itself really. I’ve actually done quite a bit more than what is showing in the piccie – and I think with a concentrated effort I’d get this letter finished with a good week of stitching, except my efforts have moved on for a wee while to something else.

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I did a bit of online shopping and bought some lovely (balsa probably) wooden crates from Briscoes online (Australian version of the NZ store).  I thought they’d be great to put my UFOs/WIPs into to keep them in one place … except I found that in fact I could probably fill 3-4 crates once I included my older unloved UFOs.  It has made me more determined, though, to get some more of those WIPs whipped into shape and into the finishing pile.  I’d dearly love to get that pile down into just the one solitary storage crate … perhaps by the end of 2018 it may be doable … or 2019 … OK, 2020 if I’m truly realistic 😉 So yes, these are probably just half of the WIPs I have around the place, although they’re all on frames so they up a lot of room and it looks worse than what it is (that’s my excuse anyway).

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In an effort to start whittling the contents of one crate down, I’ve opted to go back to working on a Christmas SAL I started in January, where we stitch a selected Christmas ornie each month from the 2015 Just Cross Stitch ornament issue.  I have all the fabrics chosen ready to go for each month’s project, and I’m way behind in the SAL, so I figured it could be quite a quick thing for me to go through and get those out of the way.  Therefore my current WIPs will be, for the foreseeable future, various Christmas ornaments.  I managed to catch up and stitch April’s ornament, and I’ve made a (very) small start on the May one.

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“Very Merry Christmas” by Medina Originals
(from the 2015 Just Cross Stitch Christmas ornament issue)

Started some time in April 2016 – Finished 3 September 2016
Stitched on a mystery 32ct fabric that I can’t remember
with recommended DMC threads

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Well I did say it was a small start … haha.  I’ve actually done a wee bit more since then, although at my current rate of progress it’ll probably be another week away before this one is finished.  It’s stitched on 36ct hand-dyed linen with one strand of thread, and I’m feeling my age when I’m stitching this one at the end of a long business day staring at a computer screen …

And that, I think, is all the stitching updates I have for now!

WIP’s and UFO’s

This is especially for Kathy of the Blig Blog … here are photos of the current state of all my UFO’s (I could pretend that they were WIP’s but seeing as the majority haven’t seen a stitch put into them in over 12 months, 95% would definitely be deemed as UFO status!):

Macaw by Ross Originals Beaded Fish WIPs
Macaw -&- Beaded Fish

EG-01May07 TW English Garden Sampler
Egyptian Garden Mandala -&- English Garden Sampler

Le Jardin Silk Sampler 21Jan05 Flight of the Bumblebees at 2Jan07
Le Jardin Silk Sampler -&- Flight of the Bumblebees

TW Noahs Ark Winter Queen 01Jun08 1
Noah’s Ark -&- Winter Queen

Designs by Lena Rose-In the Dark needleroll 1 With Love & Affection
In the Dark Needleroll -&- Love & Affection

st-wildflower-needleroll Apricot Elegance
Wildflowers Needleroll -&- Apricot Elegance

Hussif by Monica Hunt XS Bookmark
Monica Hunt Hussif -&- Classical Garden Bookmark

Nature's Resting Place Beehive Needlecase
Nature’s Resting Place -&- Wool Beehive Needlebook

Oriental Poppy & Cornflower Summer Fruits
Oriental Poppy -&- Summer Fruits Pincushion

Pomegranates, Snail & Gold Bug HOCS Hussif
Pomegranates & Beetle – Martha Schmidt Hussif

Thimble Pipkin Thimble Pipkin Thimble Pipkin
Stumpwork Needlework Accessories

Goldwork Pea Pods Wool Embroidery
Goldwork Pea -&- Wool hot water bottle cover

Honesty & Heartsease stumpwork Bullion Roses
Honesty & Heartsease -&- Bullion Rose Facecloth

Frog Longstitch Butterflies & Hearts needleroll
Long stitch frogs -&- Butterflies & Hearts Needleroll

Dragonfly Common Hawker Dragonfly
Stumpwork Dragonfly

Berry Delightful Bag Mediterranean XS
Berry Delightful Bag -&- Mediterranean Village XS

quilting-ufo-2
Vicki’s Cot Quilt

Stitching Leporello isn’t included in the photos, as I’ve been stitching a complete section each time, so no individual section is in progress at the moment. And I can’t put my hands to either a photo or the actual project of GCC Ornamental Delights, so I guess that one won’t be getting stitched in a hurry haha.

Very sad that some of these projects are over halfway and never finished, however there are many there that are barely started … I’m sorely tempted to just unpick the bullion rose facecloth, for example, as I don’t know if I truly ever want to finish it, the same with a couple more projects in there … will see how I feel after one more stitching session on them, I guess, before I make the ultimate decision to turf out. It’s funny when you look back through the photos and remember why you stopped working on them … for example the Lorri Birmingham Butterflies & Hearts needleroll, I really hated the colours used, as I felt the wording etc just faded into the background, so no doubt that whole piece will be unpicked and started again from scratch with my choice of threads 🙂

I’ve already gone out and pulled numbers out of the hat for the first round, and highlighted the text in bold in the main list in the previous post … and I’m really looking forward to starting my rotation – I just want to finish my current piece first … although I guess I could just choose to start at the “free choice” slot and start counting my hours, that way I can continue with my current project and be starting my actual rotation at the same time – ooh, I like it when a plan comes together!!! 😀

That means my new current rotation is as follows:

  1. Focus Piece:  CA Wells class projects
  2. Medium/Large:  Lavenderblue Celtic Knot Quilt – From Nancy’s Needle
  3. WIP’s/UFO’s:  Berry Delightful Bag
  4. Focus Piece:  CA Wells class projects
  5. Small/Medium: Jumpin’ Jelly Beans – DKT Originals (freebie)
  6. Large/BAP’s:  Egyptian Garden Mandala
  7. Focus Piece:  CA Wells class projects
  8. Christmas Ornaments
  9. Finishing
  10. Free Choice