Oct/Nov WIPocalypse

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Life got crazy at work, with some major hours being put in, so I’ve been locking myself away from the online world for much of the last two months.  I’ve now taken two days off as time in lieu (even though I’m probably due about 2 weeks of time off!) and thought I’d make the most of the time to do a catch-up.  While I haven’t been having evening meals half the time during the working week, never mind stitching, I have managed to do a wee bit on the weekends – in fact some weekends I’ve had some major stitching marathons just to make me feel ‘normal’ and I didn’t have the energy to do anything else.  So this will probably be a big post stitching-wise, with a few finishes under my belt.  Here goes …

Stitching finishes:

The biggest stitching news was finally finished my version of Angel of Love by Lavender & Lace.  I have decided to leave off her wings and I think of her now as my ‘regency lady’ for some reason.  I have to say I absolutely adore her, and think she looks just fine without the angel wings.  I really really enjoyed doing the beading – apparently there are just over 4,000 beads in her, and I enjoyed stitching every single one of them on!  I’ve added a photo of the detail in her skirt – just stunning!!

Lavender & Lace-Angel of Love“Angel of Love” by Lavender & Lace
Stitched on 28ct hand-dyed linen by Silkweaver, colour Dark Tan
with mostly recommended threads and beads – I substituted the DMC metallic with Kreinik braid

L&L-Angel of Love beading

Another piece I absolutely ADORE is the result of completing my Canvaswork rotation slot – while I was a bit concerned about the high level of coral pink in this initially, the final result is a tremendous blend of colours that work so beautifully together … these pieces as such FUN to stitch, it’s almost always a disappointment when they’re finished …

Northern Pine-Surf & Sand
“Surf and Sand” by Northern Pine Designs
Stitched on 18ct Eggshell mono canvas
with recommended threads and beads

After finishing Angel of Love my next rotation slot was Christmas ornaments and freebies, where I managed to whip up a couple of finishes:

Prairie Schooler-S is for Spring freebie
“S is for Spring” freebie by The Prairie Schooler
Stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
with DMC threads – I substituted the pink threads with blue ones (I bet you didn’t expect that from me LOL)

Margaret Lee Rigiel-Starshine Penguin
“Starshine Penguin” freebie by Margaret Lee Rigiel
Stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Lugana (can’t remember who the dyer is, sorry)
with a mix of recommended threads and substitutes

Poissons Bleus freebie by Si le Point Compte
“Poissons Bleus” freebie by Si le point compte (website no longer around)
Stitched on 32ct Ice Blue Belfast (I think)
with DMC variegated thread

Stitching WIPs:

I’ve tried to go back to my rotation as well, which means Quaker Christmas II saw the light of day again in September, and I’ve almost finished the top of the chart now.  Not sure if this will seen the light of day again before Christmas, but it will eventually get done for, say, 2018 … 😉

Quaker Christmas II 21Sep14

Next up in the rotation was Poppy by Mirabilia – she’s now become my focus piece as she’s a gift for my hairdresser, Giselle, whose favourite colour is red.

Poppy 5Oct14

Miscellaneous:

Before my hours got mental crazy at work, I started putting together a quilt top for a lap quilt, to start getting used to my new machine (thanks again Alison), and using a cheap jelly roll I bought at a craft show a few years ago.  Sadly this is the state it remains in, but hopefully I’ll get around to finishing this one soon:

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I also managed to frame my Bluebell pixie in a discounted white frame – sadly the joins aren’t perfect in the frame (I only realised when I was framing), but it’s for me so I think it’s fine:

 Bluebell framed

WIPocalypse Topics:

8 October – Are you a Halloween or Christmas stitcher?

The answer is a yes on both counts … although I have to say that Halloween is one of my all-time favourite stitching themes.  I don’t even celebrate Halloween, but I just love the ghostly ghouly designs, and the bright colours.  I’ve been going through phases with my Christmas stitching – I used to stitch quite a few Christmas ornaments, but these have tended to tail off over recent years and I’m focusing more on larger pieces.

6 November – What are your favourite and least favourite materials to use in your stitching?

Least favourite would have to be rayon threads, DMC metallics and Kreinik Blending Filament – and perhaps even Weeks Dye Works.  As for favourites, I love all the different threads and textures of canvaswork, and adore stitching with silk threads (Gloriana, Belle Soie and Au Ver a Soie in particular).  Cotton threads I love Crescent Colours threads and Needle Necessities/Threadworx the most.

Aug/Sep WIPocalypse (late as normal!)

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Only 2 days to go before the September WIPocalypse post is due … oops … life sure has a way to interfere with plans, and my memory is shocking, so yet again I’ve missed the deadline.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t been stitched, although I have to admit I haven’t been stitching as much as I normally do.  Work pressures have yet again put a hold of any mid-week stitching, although each weekend I’ve made sure I’ve had one day dedicated to stitching my little heart out.

So, here goes … here is what I’ve managed to get up to stitching-wise over the last two months.  I figure I may as well just have this as my September WIPocalypse post as well, as I can’t see me doing any further stitching between now and two days time that will be worth shouting from the rooftops 😉

First up I decided to just keep on stitching on my Eiffel Quaker until it was finished – I just love this one!

Jardin Prive - Eiffel Quaker
“Eiffel Quaker” by Jardin Privé
Started 11 January 2013 – Finished 28 July 2014
Stitched on 36ct antique white evenweave from Sewitall
with French Au Ver A Soie Soie d’Alger silk threads
Stitch count 150 wide x 143 high

I then decided to be responsible (unusual for me!) with my stitching and get a charity quilt block out of the way that I had committed to – I absolutely adore this one, and I’ve left the DMC threads etc all sitting with the chart in readiness to stitch this one again for myself … I love, love, love it! 🙂

Green Apple Co-Chambered Nautilus
“Chambered Nautilus” by Green Apple Co (artwork by Janet Powers)
Stitched for Love Quilts Australia
Stitched on 14ct white Aida with DMC threads

Then last weekend I started back loosely with my rotation, and picked up my pastel needleroll to finish off:

M Designs-Thistle Needleroll pastels
“Thistle Needleroll – Pale Colorway” by M Designs
Started 26 January 2014 – Finished 31 August 2014
Stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
with a mix of Olde Willow, Crescent Colours and DMC threads
(I had to substitute some threads and mix the colours as my Olde Willow threads
had faded so much over the years they were almost white!)

And then my final finish took place yesterday – I only had about 3 hours of stitching left in my ‘small/medium projects’ slot, but I opted to just keep stitching until I finished it (hence my comment about ‘loosely’ following my rotation!). This was a real joy to stitch, with some good challenges, and it just needs to be made into a little pincushion now.

Periwinkle Promises-Blue Bell Sampler Accent
“Blue Bell Sampler Accent” by Periwinkle Promises
Started 31 August 2014 – Finished 6 September 2014
Stitched using kit threads (AVAS silks) and linen fabric

Inbetween working on my rotation slots, I have opted to leave my current focus piece project sitting in the lounge on my floor frame. Every 2nd weekend I spend one day stitching my little heart out on her while catching up on recorded TV … which means I’ve sort of taken her out of my rotation, and I just stitch on her when I feel like sitting in the lounge. The rest of my rotation stitching is done in my bedroom sat up in bed stitching (my most common stitching location these days – I got into the habit of that with my last flatmate as I hated spending any time in the lounge when he was home). Anyhoo, here she is in her current glory (well almost anyway, I’ve actually done a bit more since this photo was taken – she’ll definitely be finished by the end of this year, which is awesome). Angel of Love by Lavender & Lace:

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After I’d finished my Victoria Sampler’s Crimson Fire Sampler, I needed to find another old UFO to take its place, and I chose this piece stitched on Congress Cloth. I managed to finally finish the darned bees on the left-hand side of the fabric, but my thread snapped while I was stitching the 2nd side of the hemstitching rows so I decided to give it a miss for a while and started stitching over on the main pain of the stitching. I hadn’t realised just how much metallic thread is used on this project, and it was a relief to finally get to the bee’s head and have something lovely and soft to stitch with. I opted to stop, though, at the end of the 10 hours rotation slot, but look forward to seeing that slot come around again in the future 🙂

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And next up in my rotation is Quaker Christmas II – this hasn’t seen the light since I did one rotation slot on it back in February, so it will be nice to add a few more stitches to this one … and that’ll give me something to show for my October WIPocalypse post 🙂

Talking of which, I guess I also need to answer the WIPocalypse questions for these two months as well, so here goes:

10 August:

“Tell us about your oldest and newest WIPs.”
Well, I guess my oldest one now is probably Stoney Creek’s Natures Rest. This is possibly one that will never ever be finished – aside from making a massive blue on the tree stump and the need to frog a huge section, because I can’t work out what was wrong and what was right, it was also using some older threads that I no longer have so there’s every likelihood that I will have mis-matched dyelots and this will show, especially with the greys. I don’t have too much love for this old project (my first ever on evenweave fabric, and I didn’t follow the instructions properly so I used 2 strands of thread in the background instead of 1 strand …). Whatever could go wrong with this piece, it certainly did – and it remains relatively unloved because of it!

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My newest WIP according to my rotation records is a canvaswork piece called Sand and Surf by Northern Pine Designs.  My canvaswork rotation is coming up soon, so I can’t wait to get back into working on this one again.  I have a feeling I won’t stop until this one is finished, as canvaswork tends to go quite quickly with some of the big chunky stitches.

Surf and Sand

9 September:

“Who is your favourite person to stitch for, or do you prefer to keep your stitching yourself?”
I have to admit over the years I’ve given most of my stitching away – over the last 10 years, though, I tend to stitch more for myself with the odd gift given out. I like to stitch gifts for people, but as soon as I make a commitment to do something my brain goes into meltdown and it removes the enjoyment of stitching for me – I’d much rather stitch something then decide after it’s finished to gift it to someone.

More beading on Angel of Love

During the week I managed to put in 3 hours of stitching, which seems me finishing my rotation slot for my Eiffel Quaker (by Jardin Prive) – one more slot will see this one finished, I think 🙂  The colours are actually darker in real life.

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This yesterday I decided to have an exceptionally lazy afternoon/evening and spent the entire day stitching my little heart out while catching up on some recorded TV shows.  I really loved stitching on my Angel of Love (by Lavender & Lace) yesterday … I’ve been enjoying stitching on her so much I’ve decided to leave her on my scrollbars in the lounge and will just keep stitching on her when I feel like it (mainly during the weekends) … and I’m not worrying about counting the hours on her unless I get bored and need to force myself to stitch on her (which will be wee while away yet I think).

Angel of Love 19Jul2014

Technically my next rotation slot is an old UFO, but I haven’t got the project decided yet, so I’ve been pottering around on my laptop instead updating picture files and reorganising my online stitching freebies etc … and that’s almost as good as stitching 🙂

 

June/July WIPocalypse

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If you managed to read my previous post, you probably have an idea why there was no WIPocalypse post for June … and I’m back online again just in time to complete my post for July … which means for the 2nd time in a row I’m well and truly late … c’est la vie, such is life I guess!

Anyway first up is the piece that I started stitching a week ago, that I managed to finish today.  I started kitting this one up a few weeks ago but couldn’t make a decision on the threads and fabric.  Last weekend I started it and still wasn’t 100% happy with my choices – I put the last stitches in today then opted to pull one colour out and re-do it, and I’m so glad that I did, because I absolutely ADORE this one now!  As you can see, it really doesn’t look anything like the original version … I much prefer my choice of threads for this one!!  I’ve listed below the threads that I ended up using:

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 “Dance in the Rain” by Lizzie*Kate
stitched on 32ct Shell Wichelt linen
with my choice of silk threads (see below)

The threads that I chose to use were:  Belle Soie Beanstalk, Belle Soie Ocean Tide, Silk n Colors Aged Plum, NPI Silks 471, 336 and 991BB, and Rainbow Gallery Splendor S870.

The other stitching I managed to do over the last couple of months was to finish my charity quilt block for Love Quilts Australia:

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“Butterfly Quartet” – a Stitch Simple kit by DMC

While I was trying to work out how the hell to pay the rent until I found a new flatmate I start making up stitching rolls to sell … I’ve managed to finish 6 since then, although still haven’t worked out how to price them yet – once I do that, though, they will go up for sale, and I’ll also start taking orders for people who want other colours etc (and different sizes).  I’ve been a bit tired the last couple of weekends, though, so haven’t taken photos and worked out the final costings yet (I also had to go back to Spotlight to price up the fabrics etc that I use).  Here’s the first one I made, though, as a sneak peak:

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For the last two Saturdays I’ve also managed to get a few more stitches into my L&L Angel of Love – she is probably what finally kicked my butt into gear and brought my stitching mojo back again to be able to stitch my Lizzie*Kate finish.  I was primarily beading the top part of the skirt this time round, and oh boy is she stunning!!  Photos will never do this baby justice, that’s for sure!!!

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Even though I was on a total stash diet (and still am effectively) for the last couple of months, I did receive a small amount of stash that I’d already ordered previously.  One was a kit that I’d posted about previously that I’d been trying to track down for a few years, and managed to find on one Ebay – don’t even know what made me go put the search words in, but one came up straightaway so I just had to buy it … I’m glad Ian hadn’t moved out at that point or it would have killed me not being able to buy it and knowing one was available!!  The other items were a drawn thread book from the Book Depository and a delightful French design, with the cutest little wooden hoop button.  I bought two copies because one copy is for a dear friend.

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And I think that’s probably all my stitching news for the last couple of months … really not too much to show compared to how I normally stitch, but I guess life became more of a priority for a while.  Hopefully now I’ve managed to put needle fabric semi-regularly over the last two weeks (even if it was just at the weekends), my mojo will continue and I’ll get back into it once again.  It had better do that, as I have another quilt block I need to stitch by next month now!!!

I’ll finish off with the last 2 WIPocalypse theme questions:

13 June – Have you ever been to a stitch gathering such as a retreat or a festival? If so, tell us about it!

Yes I have – way back in 2000 I flew to Sacramento, California for a CATs stitching festival.  It was the most amazing experience where I got to meet some online stitching pals and had about 6 classes with well-known American designers/needle artists.  It was my first introduction to pulled thread (I thought I was learning drawn thread so I soon found out I didn’t know what I was talking about, and learnt a new skill I hadn’t expected to).  I went a bit crazy at the shopping mall, meeting some more designers face-to-face, and went to a local stitching shop where I was beside myself with all the thread choices etc.  I think I came home with pretty much an entire suitcase full of class projects and stash, along with my first floorstand and mat cutter!  It was an amazing experience that I’m ever so grateful I got to experience!!

12 July – It’s halfway to Christmas.  Do you start your holiday stitching this early?  If so, what do you hope to accomplish this year?

Truthfully I stitch my holiday stitching whenever I feel like it.  I always used to try to stitch a Christmas ornie a month, but now I just do it when I get the urge, or when I have a rotation slot dedicated to ornie stitching.  It doesn’t bother me stitching Christmas items throughout the year, although I have to admit the closer it gets to Christmas the stronger the urge to stitch something for the festive season!  This year I have no lofty goals, I just want to continue enjoying to stitch – and hopefully have a few finishes by the end of the year 🙂

More Angel of Love

I managed to finish my current rotation slot for Angel of Love today, after taking the day off work.  I was originally going to work from home today after having my latest cortisone injection in my foot, but it wasn’t particularly pleasant today and it started throbbing quite early on when I got home … I sent a note to my boss to tell her I was going to curl up in bed for the rest of the day, and ended up cheering myself up on and off with a bit of stitching.

Angel of Love by Lavender & Lace after 30 hours of stitching

Angel of Love by Lavender & Lace after 30 hours of stitching

Angel of Love progress

Last night I put a few stitches into Angel of Love, and today I managed to stitch the entire day and finished my rotation slot for this project.  She’s coming along quite well, I think.  I prefer to stitch her without the wings, to make her more like a ‘regency lady’ of some sort … but I’ll decide at the end whether to leave her this way or to stitch the wings on.

Once again, it’s a crappy photo taken with my iPhone at 1am … not a clever thing to do, really!!

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Great start with my rotation

I’ve been working really well with my rotation so far this year – much better than any other recent attempts … perhaps this time I really will stick to it!

After washing poor old Angel of Love after the hand sanitizer accident, I put her back on the scroll bars to finish my rotation slot (10 hours each slot) … after stitching a fair bit, I had yet another accident with her!!  My sinuses were blocked up so I reached for my little jar of Tiger Balm so I could spread a bit under my nose to help to clear it … only to find when I tipped up the jar to dip my little finger in that the whole top of the jar had melted in the high heat in my bedroom, and dripped onto my stitching 😦  Now dropping hand sanitizer on it is one thing, but melted Tiger Balm that contains eucalyptus oil as well as other things is a whole different kettle of fish … I had ‘lovely’ splotches on my fabric all the way down in a little row thanks to it leaching through every fabric layer on the scroll bar!  Back she went into an overnight tub soak with some Orvus – the marks haven’t come out 100%, but almost … there will probably only be one part that may not be covered by stitching, but thankfully it looks like a bit of fabric mottling now so I should be able to get away with it.

Anyway, here she is looking sparkly clean after her many washes, at the end of her first rotation slot – the fabric is a lot lighter than it once was before I started stitching and washing her, but it still looks OK I think:

Angel of Love 1

Next up was the medium-sized projects slot, and I have just finished those 10 hours this afternoon – my choice for this slot is Eiffel Quaker, and it’s been lovely stitching on something so simplistic … nice easy blocks of only 3 colours … it’s stitched with one strand of Au Ver A Soie Soie d’Alger thread on a 36ct evenweave.  The hardest thing is putting it down to move on to my next rotation slot … one for UFOs …  I have a feeling the next 10 hours won’t go quite so quickly LOL.  In the meantime, though, here is my Eiffel Quaker as it goes to the back of the rotation tub:

Eiffel Quaker 1