Monday, 28 July 2008

A Finish - One of the Few...

I was busy finishing a surprise this weekend, so decided to finally get around to finishing some Fair Squares which the lovely Marg sent me way back in February. I’m trying to finish at least one thing out of my finishing drawer each month in an effort not to have all these beautiful squares languishing there forever! I decided to finish these lovely ‘Think Spring’ squares as a pincushion, in honour of Marg’s extremely large (100+!) collection of pincushions, and I also intended to practice my tassel-making, which isn’t brilliant, for each of the corners of the pincushion so I sat down with (what eventually transpired to be) a too-large piece of cardboard, not enough floss, little patience and sticky fingers (from the heat). So, as you can see, my pincushion ended up rather plain – but still gorgeous as even my ham-fisted attempts couldn’t ruin the lovely squares from Marg!

I saw from Hazel’s blog that she is sending me a PIF which I signed up for on her blog – now I’ll be hounding the postie as I’m very excited about this!

Happy stitching!

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Surprise Envelope for ME??!!

Royal Mail managed to surprise and delight me – although not as much as Joke from the Crazy Exchange did by choosing to stitch me this gorgeous needleroll using the Shepherd’s Bush ‘Shepherd’s Roll’ pattern and I just love it – not only has Joke finished it beautifully, but she stitched me sheep, and I love sheep!

She also kindly sent me some lovely extras, and you’ll notice that one of the chocolate fingers has inexplicably gone missing… Thank you Joke – I think I have a great idea (I hope!) about what to stitch for you, so needles to the ready...

Here is my weekly update of Paradigm Lost – this big ol’ motif is going to take me some time!

Happy stitching!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Jigging Around

Finally, those last 80 eyelets are FINISHED – and yes, Awake the Dawning Day is now done! Thank you for all your lovely comments throughout the (inordinately long) time I stitched this wonderful design.

Design: Blackbird Designs ‘Awake the Dawning Day’
Linen: 28ct R&R Linen ‘Iced Cappuccino’
Floss: WDW as charted

I heard from Marne (who signed up for a PIF an embarrassingly long time ago) that she received the PIF gift which I finally managed to send her (nearly using up the full 365 days!) – happily it managed to land on her porch on her birthday, which is a bit of happy coincidence. I had previously stitched her a scissor fob and scissor case, and so now I stitched her the matching pocket – I chose to finish it as a zippered pouch, and it was my first time ever putting in a zipper, so hopefully Marne (who is a very talented sewer and quilter) will allow me some leeway in the not-quite-perfect finish that I executed for her!


Design: Reflets de Soie ‘La Brodeuse et l’Oiseau’
Linen: 32ct Silkweaver 'Sapphire Sky'
Floss: Crescent Colours Belle Soie ‘Ocean Tide’

And, finally, the delightful Hazel nominated me for an award:

Now, I’m supposed to nominate 5 people whose blogs I think are very creative, but let’s face it people, we’re all here crafting busily away, so we’re each as creative as the next! So give yourself a pat on the back, because I’ve just nominated YOU! Well done you!

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Little Tree

This weekend was the weekend of Leena’s and my little Christmas ornament SAL, and this weekend I chose to stitch a small freebie from Drawn Thread ‘Tree Keeper’ (yes, it’s meant to be a scissor fob rather than an ornament) which you can find here. It’s a teensy little design (particularly as I stitched it on 40ct linen), and didn’t’ take me long. I started a second ornament, but ran out of time and didn’t manage to finish it as H and I were glued to the telly watching Padraig Harrington see off all challengers in the very exciting Open Championship – H as you can imagine was jumping up and down and fist-pumping through much of the back 9. So I plan to finish the second ornament for next month’s mini-SAL and will post a photo then. In the meantime, here is the titchy Tree Keeper (sorry the photo isn't brilliant):

Design: Drawn Thread ‘Tree Keeper
Linen: 40ct Sugar Maple Fabrics 'Brindlewood'
Floss: WDW as charted

Happy stitching!

Friday, 18 July 2008

She Slowly Stitches

Well, I haven’t really felt motivated to blog, but I thought I should post a few photos of my progress on my [seemingly endless] projects – it’s not that I’m a slow stitcher (well, not that slow), but more that I can’t find enough time to do it every day, and so I forego things like blogging when I want to spend more time stitching. I need at least a 27-hour day, or maybe I just need to retire from my actual paying job…(hope my husband is reading this and taking notes).

I did stitch on Paradigm Lost last week, but couldn’t find my blogging mojo, and so didn’t post a photo – here is this week’s progress instead. This is now 26 weeks after I joined the Snowbird SAL for PL, and all in all I’m pretty pleased with my progress. I have swallowed the bitter pill of realisation that I won’t get around to finishing it in 2008, but I’m hoping for an early 2009 finish. Luckily, the date is at the bottom of the design, so I have some space to manoeuvre.

I’ve also spent a little time on Awake the Dawning Day – I think you people must really love either this design in particular, Blackbird Designs in general, because I always get a lot of really lovely comments on this whenever I post a progress photo. I’m hoping though not to post too many more – you’ll see that the verse, date and initials are all now completed, as well as 5 of the 85 remaining eyelets that I counted up last time, so with only 80 eyelets to go, the finishing line is surely in sight.

This weekend is the third weekend of the month, and therefore my mini-SAL with Leena, so hopefully I’ll report back on Monday with photos of the Christmas ornament(s?) I’ve stitched.

Wishing you all happy stitching until my blogging mojo returns more forcibly.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Ah, Aren't They Lovely?!

Well, Mercy was hoping for closer to 5 days than 10, and I think USMail and Royal Mail teamed up quite well, because the lovely squares she sent me arrived on Saturday. I was dashing out to the wedding though, so didn’t have a chance to open it until Sunday, and frankly on Sunday I was a bit too tired and emotional to post about it!

But aren’t they great! I really love them – Mercy thank you so much! She tells me they are a design called Une Poule au Jardin by L'R de Rien – I just adore the style of it. Mercy you’ve chosen really well :) And, for the final round of Fair & Square, Mercy included some goodies for me – these are being banned from here on out, so I’m even more thankful to Mercy for including the thread holder, mesh zippered bags, gorgeous smelling cream, nail file and post its – things I can always use :)

The wedding ended up being quite big (around 180 people) and had a joint hockey-farming theme (she is a hockey player, he is a farmer). She had a beautiful off-white dress with amazing red roses picked out in sequins and beads. The church was very sweet, a tiny little local thing set in fields – very picturesque (although on a hill, so the gusting and swirling wind was NOT FUN with a dress on! At least it didn’t rain). Her father does Morris dancing, so we had lots of Morris dancers jingling around bashing sticks and waving hankies – all very celebratory! Dinner was GORGEOUS, with a choice of grilled king prawns, a hog roast, roasted lamb or BBQ’d steak, as well as lots of yummy salads and greens. I admit I tried a little bit of everything, and it was all very very delicious. Obviously still managed to find room for the fruit pavlova to finish! Then to the dancing, and all us hockey players strutting our stuff amidst the farmers and aunties and uncles – my legs are still aching. But definitely a good weekend – don’t you just love a good wedding?!

Happy stitching!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Paradigm Found!

After six weeks of stitching deadlines, a large project at work, and not much time to stitch, finally July looks a little calmer, and I've been able to pick up my needle for things other than exchanges with deadlines fast approaching. Paradigm Lost really suffered in that six weeks; I didn't put a single stitch into it. But this Thursday I was able to rejoin my SAL-mates and this week I nearly managed to finish the crowned heart - soon I'll be on to the huge motif that covers most of pages 5 and 6.

I woke up early today to get ready for a wedding (haven't managed to get a card, or a cardigan, yet) and it was pouring with rain - oh no! But the weather is clearing up a bit now - hopefully that carries on and it is at least dry for the day; my shoes in particular are definitely not meant for wet weather! I'll have my camera with me, so hope to get some good photos to share with you.

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Catching Up

So the news wasn’t too bad, the car will cost about £400 to fix, and the leak was sorted out for around £200 – but just think of all the stash I could have had ;) It’s money well spent for peace of mind though!

Mercy has let me know that the squares I sent to her for the Fair & Square exchange Round 7 have arrived safely. Mercy is an avowed Hallowe’en lover – she even has a Hallowe’en ornament tree! – so despite the time of year I thought I would stitch her something Hallowe’en-y – and Lizzie*Kate’s Hallowe’en Flip-It caught my eye:

Design: Hallowe’en Flip-It by Lizzie*Kate
Linen: 32ct Permin/Wichelt 'Natural'
Floss: GAST and DMC as charted

I used the style of the design to chart out a signature square. Now, don’t look too closely, or you’ll notice that I did one of my infamous counting mistakes and the signature square is significantly narrower than the main square – oops!!

I’ve been busily stitching away on my secret, but I did get one evening to spend on Awake the Dawning Day, so here is my progress:

As you can see, I’m nearly, nearly finished this one – I have just a few words, some initials, the year, and 85 eyelet stitches (yes, sadly, I did count them!). I’m hoping that a little applied effort in between secret stitches will see this one finished off by the end of the summer.

And, finally, because it wouldn't be a new month without a goal round-up!, goals achieved (or not, in fact) for June and proposed for July:

SBEBB ABC - finish stitching, finish and send – YES Hazel received this
Fair & Square Round 7 - stitch and send – YES Mercy received this
The other gift - finish and send – NO, still not managed to finish it
Thursdays - Snowbird SAL - keep stitching Paradigm Lost – NO, sadly did not put one stitch into PL this month
Christmas ornament mini-SAL with Leena - finish stitching the big ornament from May – YES, hurrah, achieved a goal!
Keep stitching Awake the Dawning Day – YES
Keep stitching Spanish Wine – NO
Keep stitching the secret project – YES
Finish at least one thing from the 'to be finished' drawer – NO
Quilt - carry on with Vintage Holiday quilt (sashing and corner blocks) – NO, didn’t get around to any quilting in June
Quilt - start X-Box quilt – NO
Quilt - finish patchwork bag – NO

As you can see, it was a busy busy month for me, and not much of it stitching or quilting! Hopefully July will be a calmer month, and I will be more productive. Here’s what I’m hoping to achieve:

Stitch, finish and send a birthday gift
The other gift – finish and send
Thursdays – Snowbird SAL – keep stitching Paradigm Lost
Christmas ornament mini-SAL with Leena
Keep stitching Awake the Dawning Day
Keep stitching Spanish Wine
Finish the secret stitching
Start the other exchange piece
Finish one item from the ‘to be finished’ drawer
Quilt – carry on with Vintage Holiday quilt
Quilt – carry on with patchwork bag
Quilt – start Xbox quilt

Happy stitching!