Saturday, 28 June 2008

A Beautiful Exchange from Aniza

I’ve been admiring all the beautiful exchanges sent and received for the ABC Exchange and was keen to see what treasure I was going to receive – and I wasn’t disappointed! Aniza was my partner, and this lovely treat arrived for me all the way from Malaysia. She stitched it with her own hand-dyed threads, isn't she talented?! (Please excuse the photos.)

It's just gorgeous. Although I’ve stitched a few needlerolls before, I’ve always sent them away to other homes, so in fact this is my very first needleroll to keep. I’m delighted with it – thank you Aniza. She also included a lovely piece of fabric and, of course, some of her own hand-dyed thread, which are beautiful. Thank you so much Aniza!

On the down side, my car failed its MOT this morning, and we woke up to a large leak in our spare bedroom... This could be a costly weekend, hopefully the plumber will arrive soon and the news won't be too bad :(

Hope your weekend is shaping up better than mine :)

Happy stitching!

Monday, 23 June 2008

Christmas in June

Hurrah, this weekend I managed to finish the ornament I started last month for my monthly Christmas ornament mini-SAL with Leena – Tournicoton’s Petit Noel. I’m looking forward to finish-finishing this one, as it’s meant to be four small separate ornaments joined together with ribbons to make a long hanging ornament/wall hanging. I plan to start doing the finishing for all the Christmas ornaments I’ve stitched so far (9 this year already, whoop whoop!) in the autumn – it’s too nice to stay indoors doing finishing over the summer :) Yes, this is me being hopeful about the British summer.

Design: Petit Noel by Tournicoton
Linen: 32ct Vintage Country Mocha
Floss: DMC and Kreinik as charted

Happy stitching!

Saturday, 21 June 2008

ABC Exchange

Although I was a day late in posting my SBEBB ABC Exchange, I knew it hadn’t got far to go so I just waited for that last little extra to arrive – arrive it did and I sent it off to Hazel,who emailed me the next day (yes, the postal service here is pretty wonderful compared with back home!) to say that she received it and loved it – phew, because I’d never finished a treat bag before :) Here is what I sent her:

Design: EEF Alphabet Basket
Linen: 32ct Lakeside Linen ‘Examplar’
Floss: DMC and GAST as charted
Finish: treat bag

Hazel has more and better photos on her blog if you’re interested.

Now I hope my ABC exchange comes through soon – I’ve been so impressed with everyone’s amazing stitching for this exchange that I’m really keen to see what arrives for me :)

The hen weekend in Galway went really well, but although I took my camera with me I didn’t actually take it out of the case, so no photos to share with you – we didn’t do much sightseeing it must be said!

I’ve been busy stitching (when not travelling!) on my secret project, so I’m afraid no photos to share – I’ve even had to co-opt my Paradigm Lost SAL Thursdays :( as I’ve been feeling quite under pressure to get a few exchanges out. I’ve finished up the last one for this summer though, with a view to getting on with the secret project in a very serious way, so hopefully will have some photos to share before long. And this weekend is my mini-SAL with Leena so I’ll be stitching away at the ‘E’ and the ‘L’ of Tournicoton’s Petit Noel design, and will share my progress with you at the end of the weekend.

Have a safe and happy weekend, and of course happy stitching!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

More Freebie Exchange

Katrina posted that she received the HOE Freebie Exchange I sent her, and that she’s really pleased with it, which is a relief as it was another ‘first’ finish for me and I hoped she would like it. I stitched a freebie from Shepherd’s Bush called ‘Scatter Sunshine’, which unfortunately for you all I can’t post a link to as it was a paper freebie that I received with an order I placed some time ago from a stitching shop (I can’t remember which one now, sorry folks!). I stitched it on 28ct Waterlily Jobelan, and pretty much completely changed the flosses from the charted ones as it was charted mainly for Crescent Colours floss, which I don’t have a lot of (sadly!) in my stash, and I thought it would be more in the spirit of the exchange to use floss that was already in my stash – it was a freebie exchange after all :) So this is a mish mash of DMC, Crescent Colours, Olde Willow Stitchery, Carrie’s Creations, Weeks Dye Works, GAST and Atalie threads. I finished it as a pillow, using my quilting skills (such as they are!):

Katrina says it goes perfectly with her stitching chair, and when she isn’t occupying it, the pillow will :)

More photos are on the HOE blog, here.

I was away last weekend on the north Devon coast for a hen weekend – we had absolutely gorgeous weather, and I had a great time. The region is really beautiful, and the coast is just amazing – wonderful beaches too! Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so sorry no photos to show you. I’m on another hen weekend this coming weekend, in County Galway in Ireland, and I’ll definitely bring the camera this time. I’ve just checked the weather though, and apparently it’s meant to be 14C and raining – boo!

Happy stitching!

Monday, 9 June 2008

Freebie Exchange Arrived from Shay - WOW

OMG, wow. I am completely and utterly charmed by what Shay (no blog) made for me for the HOE Freebie Exchange.

She clearly put a lot of thought, time, patience and effort, not to mention considerable skill and talent, into this exchange for me - I feel honoured! She stitched me this really lovely scissors keeper, and personalised it with my name and the exchange and the date - I've posted quite a few photos, but I wanted in some way to do this exchange justice (although that is debatable given my lack of photography skills!)

Front of scissors keeper: see my name?! It closes with the pink ribbon and the dainty crystal heart
Back of scissors keeper
Inside of scissors keeper - see where Shay has stitched 'HOE and May 2008' (next photo shows the date better!) The beautiful scissors came in the keeper!
I tried to show the detail in this photograph, so you can see the sumptuous silk lining, and the skill with which Shay put this all together

Wow. Seriously wow. Thank you so much Shay, I just adore this scissors keeper, and it's already sitting beside my stitching chair waiting for me to sit down and stitch tonight.

Shay also kindly included some lovely extras: 2 FQ of fabric, 3 skeins of Needle Necessities floss, a journal and matching notecards, and a very handy calendar.

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Lucky Mail Day

What a lucky girl I am (yes, I am still a girl. I will always be a girl. I will be 95 and still be a girl :)... Iris was well enough to be able to stitch a return gift for me on the Crazy Exchange - she has been suffering with bad hands and wrists for 2 months, so I was more than happy to wait for her to recover to stitch my return exchange, I can't imagine not being able to stitch or even use my hands or wrists for so long :(

But the wait was most definitely worth it - just look at this wonderful hornbook she stitched for me!! And, not only did she stitch and finish it herself (and she made the card too!), but her father made the hornbook himself - how talented a family is that?!

Thank you so much Iris, I absolutely adore it - my first hornbook ever! Now, I will have to go and stitch one for myself :)

Happy stitching!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Been Awhile

Well, it's been a little while since I've posted - a combination of travel and work still being a teensy bit out of control (don't I sound like a broken record...).

But, here is a quick update for you on what I've been up to (of what I can share anyway!).

Firstly, I got a message from Suzanne on the Crazy Exchange that she received the floss tag I sent to her in return for the bourse she sent me earlier this month. I used a La-D-Da freebie for the front, and stitched an 'S' from an A Mon Ami Pierre alphabet on the back - 'S' is perfect as it represents the both of us.

Design: La-D-Da 'Rose' freebie on front, AMAP alphabet 'S' on back
Floss: GAST as charted, with one Le Fil Atalie substitution
Linen: 40ct Georgia Clay by Silkweaver

Next, H gave me the second part of my birthday present this weekend - I know my birthday was now several weeks ago, but he wanted to take me to our local quilting shop and treat me, and unfortunately the shop is only open Mondays to Fridays, making it impossible for me to ever get there (they close before I leave work in London, and the shop is in Oxfordshire!). Rustic Angels is a wonderful little shop about 15 minutes' drive from us, and I had been looking forward to their open day this weekend for a good month at least! I browsed, compared, matched, ooh-ed and ah-ed over their models and samples and displays, and finally chose the following, along with 2 quilting rulers big enough to let me square up the 14" blocks I'm currently making (sorry for the blurry photos - I only realised after I've put all the fabric away!)

I have a quilt in mind for most of this, particularly the blues and creams, which I've decided to call the X-Box quilt and will hopefully be able to start in June. Of course, I should finish the other quilt top first, but you know how it is...

Last night, whilst watching Britain's Got Talent (I am so addicted to these programmes, and frankly H is at least as addicted as me, if not more so!), I stitched a bit on Awake the Dawning Day. Whoop whoop, I'm on to the words! The end is nearly in sight!

And, finally, here is this month's goal review. I didn't do so well against last month's goals as I would have liked, but nevermind, sadly I can't spend every spare waking moment stitching and quilting :)

Stitch, finish and send Suzanne’s return Crazy Exchange - YES! And Suzanne received it
Stitch, finish and send the HOE Freebie exchange - YES! Posted by the deadline
Stitch the SBEBB ABC exchange - YES!
Thursdays – Snowbird SAL – keep stitching Paradigm Lost - YES! Well, most Thursdays, anyway...
Christmas ornament mini-SAL with Leena – stitch at least one ornament - SORT OF - I stitched half a really big one, to be finished in June
Keep stitching the other gift - YES! I finished stitching it, and just need to finish and send it
Keep stitching Awake the Dawning Day - YES!
Keep stitching Spanish Wine - YES!
Keep stitching the secret project - YES!
Finish at least one thing from the ‘to be finished’ drawer - YES! Ah, that's the thing that I keep forgetting to show you - photos below!
Quilt – start the sashing and corner blocks - NO, but now that I have the new rulers, I can keep going with this
Make a quilted patchwork bag - SORT OF - I cut and sewed together lots of blocks, but haven't yet ordered the walking foot for my machine to quilt the bag - this is the final part of H's birthday present to me.


SBEBB ABC - finish stitching, finish and send
Fair & Square Round 7 - stitch and send
The other gift - finish and send
Thursdays - Snowbird SAL - keep stitching Paradigm Lost
Christmas ornament mini-SAL with Leena - finish stitching the big ornament from May
Keep stitching Awake the Dawning Day
Keep stitching Spanish Wine
Keep stitching the secret project
Finish at least one thing from the 'to be finished' drawer
Quilt - carry on with Vintage Holiday quilt (sashing and corner blocks)
Quilt - start X-Box quilt
Quilt - finish patchwork bag

Ha ha, I'll be amazed if I manage all that, especially as 2 of my weekends in June are going to be spent at hen weekends in Devon and then Galway! Good to have a stretch challenge ;)

Here are the phtoos of my drawer finish for this month: I finished up the very first Fair & Square sqaures that I received from Sue Wild (no blog) - they are a Just Nan design, and I decided to have a go at a triangular scissors case finish, as instructed so ably by Linda here. I discovered as I was doing the backstitch that it turns out the linen that Sue used was an uneven weave (LOL, that took a bit of headscratching and re-counting before I worked that one out!) so the scissor case isn't 100% symmetrical - part of its charm, I'm sure you'll agree! You can see I used the signature squares to line the inside.

Right, well, I'm amazed you got this far, so thanks for bearing with me :)
Happy stitching!