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

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.  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.  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.

 

Latest stitching efforts (picture heavy)

As I mentioned in my first ‘return from the dead’ post last week, I’ve managed to do a spot of sporadic stitching here and there over recent months – often the sessions were weeks apart, and each spurt of stitching energy was short-lived.  Anyhow, here are the updates and the WIPs and finishes that happened while I’ve been away …

It seems I never showed the final finish of this piece, which I finished back at the end of January:

Autumn Leaves by The Prairie Schooler

“Autumn Leaves” by The Prairie Schooler
Finished 25 January 2015
Stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
with recommended DMC threads

Here’s one I managed to finish in June – which now means I’ve stitched everything in that particular leaflet.  I was going to on-sell it or use it as a trade chart, but think it may come in handy for any future exchanges that I do, I think some of these squares are really cute:

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“Autumn Leaves” by The Prairie Schooler
Finished around 14 June 2015
Stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
with recommended DMC threads

At some point I decided a change of pace was in order, and I picked up a canvaswork project to stitch on.  This was my next finished piece, finishing it in early July – and one of the first times in ages I truly enjoyed my stitching experience, even with all the metallic ribbons!  Unfortunately I had run out of the turquoise ribbon, or it would have been finished much sooner!

Navajo by Northern Pine Designs

“Navajo by Northern Pine Designs”
Finished on 5 July 2015
Stitched on 18ct eggshell mono canvas
with recommended threads

Next up are all the current works in progress … I’ve just signed up to a bunch of other stitch-alongs in one of the Facebook groups I belong to, so there will soon be a pile more WIPs added to the pile – I’ve chosen SALs where I already have a project that is high up on my to-do list, so it’s motivating me to start stitching them.  Anyway, in the meantime here are the current WIPs:

“Flight of the Bumblebees” by Ruth Schmuff – this one is a very old UFO that I’ve started making a conscious effort to get finished.  Unfortunately, as per my normal luck, I’ve run out of one of the gold metallic braids, so I’m waiting for a stash parcel to arrive with the replacement (I had a splurge a month ago to finish kitting up some other charts that were missing threads).  I”m pretty pleased with how this one is going, though, and it doesn’t have too much more to go before it’s finished.

Flight of the Bumblebees by Ruth Schmuff

“Blue Birds” by Laura J Perin – While I was on a ‘canvaswork roll’, I decided to drag out a freebie from Laura J Perin I’ve had sitting in my stash for many years.  Sadly, though, I ran out of the navy Pebbly Perle that was used around the border, so once again another design sits unfinished.  A wonderful fellow stitcher, though, came to my rescue quickly and sent me a card of the thread I need.  As soon as I find my card of blue Tiara thread, which has apparently gone into hiding, I’ll be able to finish this one off pretty quickly.  I just LOVE the colours of this one!  If anyone is interested, the chart is still available for download at the Rainbow Gallery site.

Blue Birds by Laura J Perin

Wedding Sampler for Elie – This is a self-designed wedding sampler that I’m stitching for a close male friend.  I struggled the whole way with this one, so I haven’t pulled my finger out and started it, and the wedding was nearly 3 years ago!!  I’m still not 100% with the fabric and thread choice, but I’ve decided in this case I’m my own worst critic, and I should just continue on with it.  I think the groom will love it regardless of how it looks – the contents of the sampler are very personal to him, so hopefully it will be treasured.  I’ve shown a picture of what the whole thing will look like once it’s finished.  The photo isn’t very good at all, the fabric is a buttery creamy colour.

Elie's wedding sampler

Elie's wedding sampler

“Halloween Mystery Sampler” by Lizzie*Kate – This one was a gift from my Mum for Christmas when the designs were first released.  I also purchased the Tin Roof fabric that was recommended for this one, but really didn’t like it at all, so it sat in a box for ages while I found something else.  I’m still not 100% with this choice either, but I certainly like it a lot better than the Tin Roof one!  I started this one as part of a Sampler SAL, and really enjoying stitching it!

Halloween Mystery Sampler by Lizzie*Kate

“Quaker Christmas II – Songs of the Season” by ByGone Stitches – This is another one I’m really struggling with, as I can’t stand the fabric I chose to stitch it on.  It’s on a 35ct Weeks Dye Works fabric, and it’s just dreadful – it feels like I’m stitching on an old rag!  Anyway, the chart itself is at least enjoyable to work on, I just need to forget about the immense size of this one and keep focusing on one motif at a time.  I haven’t worked on it for well over a year, then when Mum came to visit a month or so ago I sat and stitched on it while we were both sick and watching TV all day.  It was a good design to work on when you didn’t have to concentrate too much!  I actually managed to do a lot more than I thought I had … I’m now almost 3 pages down, and only about 12 left to go … haha.

Quaker Christmas II - Songs of the Season by ByGone Stitches

As to what’s coming up next, there are a lot of decisions to be made … lots of SALs and lots of designs to choose from that will fit within each SAL – some decisions are going to be easier than others, that’s for sure!  I’ll do a separate post for my own sake so that I can refer back to it and help myself choose closer to the start times!  But I’ll also be continuing to work on these as well, as all my SALs chosen don’t have set finish dates … that means I can easily slot them into my rotation along with these other projects as well 🙂

Crazy January Challenge #4

I’ve been in a lot of physical pain with my leg this week, which has meant having to keep it elevated with an icepack on it … the perfect position being sat up in bed … which means the perfect position for stitching, and the chance to complete my canvaswork project.  This also means finish #4 for my Crazy January Challenge for the year.

From Nancy's Needle-Lavender Blue Celtic Knot Quilt
“Lavender Blue Celtic Knot Quilt” by From Nancy’s Needle
canvaswork stitched with recommended threads
(and the project uses almost ALL the thread skeins in total)

It also means plenty of TV viewing time so I’ve started watching season 1 of The Tudors today – along with a few other TV shows I’ve had taped from during the week … all-in-all a very lazy and relaxing couple of days! 😀

Canvaswork updae

My weekend plans didn’t quite go as planned, so instead I sat in my room and got some ‘needle’ practice in … and loved every little stitch.  Here’s how my canvaswork piece looks like after a full day today and a few hours yesterday (inbetween sleeping half the day) … another 1-2 weeks and this one will be finished 🙂

From-Nancy's-Needle-13Mar11
“Lavender Blue Celtic Knot Quilt” by Nancy’s Needle

And after that quick little preview, it’s time to settle in for the night and my final 1/2 hour of stitching … then it’s back to hydrotherapy in the morning 🙂

UFO sighting and action

As I mentioned earlier today, I went to my first Guild stitching group today.  It was a pleasant experience, and I love the fact that many of them do cross stitch or don’t actually FROWN on cross stitch!  I wasn’t entirely sure what to take with me today, but I figured I was soooo close to finishing Sapphire Star that I really should just pull my finger out and finish it off … and sure enough I managed to finish it while I was at my Guild meeting.  Unfortunately it’s very overcast here tonight, and the photo is taken directly under the bright daylight lamp, so the photo is far from the best (I’ll try to remember and take better ones next weekend) … but nevertheless it’s a finish, and I’m totally in love with it! 😀

Laura J Perin-Sapphire Star

“Sapphire Star” by Laura J Perin
using recommended threads, except substituted Pearl Cotton for
the pale blue Hi-Lights thread used in one of the borders
(I soooo have to take a better photo of this one!!!)

Alas, this wasn’t on the list of my Crazy January Challenge, so I can’t cross off another one of those projects, but it feels wonderful to get this piece finished finally after all this time.  And of course the Shepherd’s Bush needleroll from last night was on the list, so I’m sitting relatively comfortably at 3 out of 15 finishes for the year … and 2 out of 24 Christmas ornaments …

And on that note I need to go clear the mountain of rubbish that’s currently sitting on top of my bed so I can actually get in there tonight … then I just may put a few more stitches into Bittersweet Season, as that is the other ‘WIP/UFO’ that I was working on at the Guild today – a few more nights stitching and I think this one will be finished too 😀

January Challenge – Day 5

I was very naughty today, as I was in the mood to stay home and do some chores … and lots more stitching … so when it was time to go into work I called the office and asked if I could have a last-minute RDO … no pressure, as I could just as easily jump in the car and come to work, but I’d really appreciate having the day off.  It got approved (yippee!), and I’ve spent the day mostly stitching, but also catching up on some blog reading, helping my elderly neighbour move her paintings around on her lounge room walls (bless her), doing 3 loads of laundry, ironing all the linens for the rest of the January Challenge pieces, and attaching the canvas to the stretcher bars… and did I mention lots more stitching?  … so, all-in-all a very productive day haha.

Seeing as the canvas was nicely tacked down today, I opted to spend a great deal of the day stitching on my canvaswork piece – and I’m amazed at just how fast it’s been stitching on this one, the piece grew at a most phenomenal rate!!  It’s one of those designs that is pretty much entirely in satin stitch and in a consistent pattern, which means once you’ve got one set of stitches done you can pretty much continue the repeats without having to check the pattern … sheer bliss!  So without any further ado, here is the MASSIVE progress on today’s challenge piece (designed by From Nancy’s Needle).

The blank spaces above are for a pearl cotton that I’m missing … but it’s on order so hopefully will be arriving over the next couple of weeks … hopefully …

I’m not sure which project will get started tomorrow … we’ll just have to see which fabric falls into my hands tomorrow night, but I’m out for dinner at a friend’s farewell party so don’t expect too much progress tomorrow, I’ll be lucky if I get a dozen stitches in for a change!

One other thing I did do today was to put Sapphire Star back onto the stretcher bars to tighten up the tension, so that’s not ready to be picked up once again after the 16th of January … 😀

TGIF

Yep, “Thank God It’s Friday!!” – it’s been a long week, with some medical visits and loooong working hours.  Not really in a chatty mood, and not a great deal to share, really, except that I’ve picked up an old favourite project once again to try and get closer to a finish.  I’m not sure whether I’ll get much chance to stitch this weekend, as I’ve ended up bringing a big pile of work home with me … depends on how I feel on Sunday whether I’ll do work or have some ‘me time’ instead hmmm.  Here is the latest update photo of where I’m at with Laura J Perin’s Sapphire Star.  I decided I truly detested the pale blue thread that is used, and instead substituted with a pale DMC perle cotton and I’m much happier stitching with that instead 😀  Not much more to go before this one is finished now!  (Sorry, but the photos are really weird – not sure what the camera has done, but it’s certainly not accurate!! – The bottom ‘blurry’ one is the closest to the colour in real life.)

The other news is that FINALLY my border packs have arrived from a certain ONS.  Alas, this is a really popular and well-known ONS, but for me this has been an extremely arduous ordering process and one that I’ll never repeat with said ONS.  Hard to believe that these little items were ordered way back in January of this year!!!  Oh well, it does mean that I can finally now clip in the little snaps and sew on the little buttons and my Summer Snapperland can then come OFF the scrollbars where they’ve been residing for 9 whole months 😀  I really can’t wait for that one to be done and dusted – then I just have to save up to buy some framing supplies for it and get it all framed up to go on the wall 😀

The final good news is that, after about 5 months (!), TiVo have also FINALLY come to the party and replaced my TiVo that was faulty … which means tonight I’m making an effort to get it set up so that it can be taping all my shows while I’m away on holidays … which is now only 3 working days away WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!

And on that note, it’s time to go back to Mr TiVo so I can get an early night … I need to be up at the crack of dawn (yeah, OK, 8am then!) to get my hair cut – it’s all excitement at Chez Annie here 😛

Penguin Hugs & Photo Hunt

Here’s my latest stitching finish that I’ve been working on during this week – I put the final stitches into it last night while Katie and I watched the last episodes of Dark Angel (great series, shame it got axed at that point after the 2nd season). This design is supposed to have all the white stitches overlaid with a half-cross of blending filament … I managed to do the snow beneath the penguin’s feet, then got totally fed up with it (I truly detest BF), so I didn’t bother doing the BF in the border – I think it still looks alright to me that way 🙂  (The fabric looks kinda grey in this photo, but it is a lovely light blue in real life.)

Paw Printings-Penguin Hugs
“Penguin Hugs” by Paw Printings
from 2004 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issue
stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Lugana
with recommended DMC

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This week’s theme is ”Colourful”.

Colourful

Pacific Pohutukawa