Thursday, 30 October 2008


Yesterday morning I took one look out the window and headed straight back upstairs for my gloves and hat – snow in October? In southern England?? So how appropriate that for the Christmas ornament mini-SAL this month that I stitch with Leena, I stitched a Just Nan ornament called ‘Snow Faces’.

Design: Just Nan, Snow Faces
Linen: 28ct Sugar Maple Fabrics ‘In the Clouds’
Floss: WDW and DMC as charted

This weekend I was having a bit of a finishing frenzy (all these Christmas ornaments I stitch, now I need to finish! I love the stitching, bit ambivalent about the finishing, it just takes SO LONG to get it just right), and I managed to also finish up some lovely Lizzie*Kate squares sent to me in a distant Fair & Square round (I won’t reveal which one, because then I will feel guilty about how long these squares have been sitting in my finishing drawer) from the lovely Melissa – I used a tuck pillow kindly gifted to me by Becky, and I attached the signature square to the back of the pillow, and did some arty-type fraying. I think it’s turned out rather well if I do say so myself.

After a furious bout of dusting (yuck) on Tuesday night, I rewarded myself with some quality stitching time on Spanish Wine – been a while since you’ve seen an update on this I fear. But I slowly stitch away at it, and I know that one day it will be done. I managed to finish Band 3 (yay!) and get a start on the centre motif.

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Giveaway Winner!

I was all ready to stay up last night and wait for H to come home from his European Supply Chain Awards dinner - he was in black tie, which I thought would be perfect attire for a giveaway draw! Alas, I fell asleep before he came home, and so the job has been put off until today. But, a quick trip to and... we have a winner!!

Congratulations to:

!!SALLY of Stitchyangel's Treasures!!

Sally, please drop me an email (email address is in my profile) and let me know your address, and I'll pop this in the post for you straight away!

Another update to come later today :)

Happy stitching!

Monday, 27 October 2008

An Old Friend

Finally, this month I’ve had some time to get out an old friend and put in some stitches on Paradigm Lost. The Snowbird SAL seems to be losing momentum a little bit, but I’m going to persevere with my Thursday stitching and finish it to my revised timeline – end of 2009 (yes, I have just like that given myself an extra 12 months – average lifespan of a worker bee, but a manageable extension for myself!). I’ve been stitching on it (on and off, to be fair) since March 2007, so I think another 15 months should just about cover it :)

I also managed to stitch an ornament for the mini SAL that Leena and I stitch each month, but I seem to have forgotten to load up the photo onto my memory stick (I am at work you see – shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone), so you’ll have to wait for a photo next time!

Don’t forget, you’ve about a day and a half left to sign up for the giveaway :)

Happy stitching!

Friday, 24 October 2008

A Giveaway!

I’d forgotten that last month I had ordered a copy of the JCS Hallowe’en ornament issue – and then Paula sent me that gorgeous Hallowe’en pinkeep for the HOE exchange, remember, and she also included a copy of the magazine. So now I’ve got two! But I don’t need two. So I thought – this looks like a giveaway, smells like a giveaway – IT IS A GIVEAWAY! So no matter if you’re nearby, faraway, a faithful or a first-time reader, simply leave a comment on this post before the end of Tuesday 28th October (UK time) when I will draw a winner. You never know what else I might just slip inside the winner’s parcel :)

Happy stitching!

PS In case you are curious what is in the magazine, it boasts not only Hallowe'en ornaments by Just Nan, Mosey 'n' Me, Sweetheart Tree, Monsterbubbles, Homespun Elegance, Prairie Schooler, La-D-Da, and SamSarah Designs (among others), it also, amongst the usual columns and designs, features a design by My Big Toe Designs and one by Carriage House Samplings. Good luck to all!

Monday, 13 October 2008

And the Last One Arrives!

Whew, the last one made it safely! Jill F received her Fair and Square Celebrate the Season: Autumn squares and tell me she likes them, always a relief :) I stitched her a Lizzie*Kate design – it’s supposed to be on gingham linen, but Fair and Square rules are strictly no varicoloured linen, so I chose a colour called ‘Haystack’ instead – seasonal if not quite what the designer intended, but I think they turned out nicely.

Design: Fall Squared, Lizzie*Kate
Materials: WDW and GAST as charted, on 32ct Country Stitch ‘Haystack’

Now, I just have to wait to get my partner info for my single, solitary, only exchange in November – Fair and Square Christmas Round. See, I have been good, listening to my advice to myself and not signing up for a million exchanges :)

Thank you also for all the kind words about all the finishes in previous post – it was a busy time for me, so thank you for taking the time to comment :)

Happy Stitching!

Friday, 10 October 2008

Exchange-tastic (Photo Intensive)

I have a raft of finishes for exchanges to catch you up on, so beware: this post is going to be fairly photo-filled. Before I left for Canada, I had 2 exchanges and 1 gift to send, and on my return in September, I had 5 more exchanges to send, so here’s the update with what I’ve been madly stitching (in fact, looking back I can see that the last time I put a single stitch in anything destined for myself was…early August!!).

First – Joke kindly sent me this gorgeous Shepherd’s Bush needleroll for a Crazy Exchange, so according to the Exchange rules I had 30 days to send something back to her. Knowing that Joke likes Bent Creek designs, I elected to stitch this door knocker which had recently caught my eye:

Design: Hospitality Door Knocker by Bent Creek
Materials: GAST and Weeks as charted on Country Stitch 32ct 'Haystack'
Finished as: Door knocker

Second – back in May, my partner in the SBEBB Garden Exchange was Mylene, and by careless accident I stitched Mylene Peony by Crescent Colours and finished it as a pinkeep. I was mortified to find out that not only had someone else stitched her this design for an exchange, but that they too had finished it as a pinkeep! Imagine, getting the same thing twice? So I vowed (A) to be more thorough in future when selecting designs to stitch for exchange partners and (B) to stitch Mylene a replacement so that she had a proper surprise for this wonderful exchange. This is what I came up with:

Don't you just love The Sampler Girl designs? I do :) Here is the full design before it was finished, for a better appreciation of the whole thing:

Design: In the Garden with Jane Austen by The Sampler Girl
Materials: GAST, Weeks, Crescent Colours and DMC as charted (with one substitution) on 28ct Stitches ‘n’ Spice 'Wintered Marble'
Finished as: Treat bag

Third – It was the lovely Leena’s birthday in early September, just as I was getting back from holidays, so being the occasionally organised person I strive to be, I did manage to stitch, finish and send her a birthday gift before I left in mid-August. I don’t know how she did it, but she actually managed to hang on until her birthday before opening it – I know I wouldn’t have :) Leena and I stitch Christmas ornaments together in a little SAL, so of course I thought it would be perfect to send her a Christmas ornament.

Design: Joy by Prairie Moon
Materials: Crescent Colours Belle Soie Silk as charted on 28ct Permin/Wichelt ‘Blush’
Finished as: Christmas ornament

Yes, there’s more – I love Fair and Square exchanges, not least because there’s no finishing involved (so I can’t panic about it not turning out!) and also because you know who your partner is, and you get to have a bit of a chat with them and find new friends, which is kind of cool. So for Round #9, I was paired with Clare who also lives in the UK – I love meeting/finding other UK-based stitchers, as sometimes I feel a bit alone here with no LNS and no friends IRL who stitch. So it’s always nice to meet lovely people like Clare who live nearby (ish) and also love to stitch! Clare loves quaker designs, and is working on Papillon Creations’ Simple Little Quaker, so I stitched this small companion piece for her:

Design: Tiny Little Quaker by Papillon Creations
Materials: Dinky Dyes ‘Gum Leaves’ on 32ct Cashel 'Cream' (I think?)

Next, Joke was, in addition to sending me a Crazy Exchange and being the recipient of the door knocker above, also by coincidence my partner for the HOE Prairie Schooler exchange! So this is what I made for her:

Design: Sewing Ladies, from The Needle’s Eye leaflet, Prairie Schooler
Materials: DMC as charted on Sugar Maple Fabric 40ct ‘Nostalgia’
Finished as: Mattress pinkeep

And – still more! – Fair Squares! Jen R was my partner for the Hallowe’en Round, and I stitched her a motif from ‘Sleepy Hollow’ by Cross-Eyed Cricket – one day I’ll stitch the whole thing, but not this day :)

Design: Headless Horseman from ‘Sleepy Hollow’, Cross-Eyed Cricket
Materials: DMC as charted on a 32ct Country Stitch Lugana fabric which I can't now remember the colour name of!

And, finally, Cathy B was my partner for the HOE Hallowe’en Exchange. I kind of made up the finishing as I went along, so the final article didn’t quite match the picture in my head, and I was a bit worried that it would arrive with Cathy in one intact piece, but Royal Mail seems to have done a careful job, as she assures me she likes it and it did indeed arrive safely.

Design: Ghastly Ghostly Ghouls, Just Nan
Materials: DMC as charted on Country Stitch 32ct 'Cappuccino'
Finished as: Needlebook

Phew! Now just one more exchange in the post – my Fair Square Autumn squares to Jill F – and I’ll update you about those when they arrive at their destination.

October is looking much more relaxed stitching-deadline-wise – and I’m going to try and keep it this way as I’m a bit of a stress junkie, but these past 8 weeks have been a bit crazy altogether. Of course, now I can start stitching all those things I’ve promised myself that I will be giving away as Christmas gifts. The fun never ends :)

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

More Beautiful Squares!

Yesterday, I had a lovely package arrive from Jen R – my Hallowee’en squares from the Fair & Square Hallowe’en Round! She stitched a pair of beauties for me – using Jeannette Douglas’ Hallowe’en Pumpkin Ornament design from the recent JCS Hallowe’en issue. I’m so glad that Jen stitched them, because as soon as I got the magazine I admired Jeannette’s design, but thought that I probably wouldn’t stitch it myself because although I love the look of the fiddly stitches, I sometimes can’t be bothered to stitch them for myself. So I am thrilled that Jen bothered for me!

These squares are definitely getting finished off as a hanging ornament (eventually!)

Thanks a million Jen, I so love them!

Happy stitching!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Fair Squares

Two days, two sets of Fair Squares! First, the Round #9 squares arrived from Clare. She stitched me these beautiful squares from a Prairie Schooler freebie – I just love them. Check out the really cool signature square as well. I’m thinking of finishing it into a floss holder a la Staci here, once of course I work out how she does it ;)

And then, the lovely Jill sent me my squares for the Fair and Square Autumn Round. I’m a Brightneedle fan, so these are great – also in my stash and not yet stitched so saves me the effort ;)

Isn’t the over 1 stitching on the signature squares amazing? These I’m thinking of making into a floss tag.

I didn’t explicitly set any September goals, and you’ll know from my previous posts that I’ve been quite busy doing exchange stitching these last several weeks, so I didn’t achieve anything goal-wise beyond meeting my exchange commitments. Hopefully October will see a bit more variety in my stitching.

- stitch and send Fair and Square Autumn Squares to Jill
- Snowbird SAL: stitch Paradigm Lost on Thursdays
- Christmas ornament SAL with Leena: stitch one ornament
- Finish 5 Christmas ornaments this month
- Start stitching secret stitching (my ref Munro banner)
- Start stitching baby gift (my ref Sailing Home)
- Carry on stitching AMAP pinkeep
- Carry on stitching Spanish Wine
- Finish at least one non-Christmas thing from my finishing drawer
- Quilting: spend at least one day quilting this month

Happy stitching!