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!


Mel in Dubai said...

Fantastic finishes, and I just LOVE the Ghastly Ghostly Ghouls needlebook finish!

Dani - tkdchick said...

Wow! You've done a bunch of fantastic stuff!!! Congratulations. Well when you were in Canada you weren't in my neck of the woods and didn't let me know!!!

cathymk said...

Such a lot of absolutely fabulous finishes!! Just gorgeous, every one!!

Jennifer/OH said...

Wow, what a great post. I love all the photos. What an amazing number of finishes. You complete more things then I can even THINK about stitching (much less actually DO!)
If I had to pick a favorite it would be the "Ghastly Ghouls" needlebook, but they are all wonderful. Great work.

Melissa said...

Hi Stephanie,

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving the nice comments. It's far where you live now from Duncan but I'm embarrassed to say though I've been to the Island I haven't been to Duncan yet.

Wow, I'm so impressed with all your stitching. I don't know what else to say but that as I scroll down to find more and more lovely finishes! I will definitely be back to browse some more!

Annemarie said...

Stephanie, do you ever stitch anything for yourself? Surely you must have given up sleeping in order to achieve all this, and all of it is gorgeous too!!
My favourite must be the Just Nan needlecase. I've recently
(half)stitched this for a Halloween Neighbourhood RR! Your finish is just beautiful!

Andrea said...

An array of lovely gifts and exchanges. I have loved drooling over this post. Great finishes one and all.

saras said...

Would you tell me how you did the finishing on your needlebook, well the book with the pins in it? Did you just hand sew on the liner? And is the extra just the linen fabric? Or is it two seperate pieces that you connected? :)

staci said...

My goodness! Each one is more beautiful then the next!!! How on earth could you part with them??? Wonderful, wonderful exchange stitching~~I'm sure you have some super happy exchange partners out there!!!

Cheryl said...

Oh my, so many gorgeous photos!! How on earth do you find the time to stitch so many lovely pieces?! Im impressed!

Hazel said...

Wow fab post! Love all the stitchery! xx

Sally said...

Wow, Stephanie, what a lovely stitchy filled post!! I love everything here but especially The Sampler Girl bag. This is one of my must stitches!

Angela said...

Well done on getting everything done. They all look lovely. Maybe it's now time to stitch yourself something.

Sachiko said...

Woooow!!Everything looking gorgeous!

Shari said...

Hi Stephanie,
just found your blog, via Hazels! WOW!!!!!! I love all the exchange pieces. I really do need to get my self involved in a group that does this!!!! Love it!!!!

Lennu said...

Oh dear Stephanie, thank you once again for the gorgeous ornament you sent. I see it every day, it's hanging there so that I can admire it. I really, really love it!

You've been so busy stitching, what a lovely post with lots of photos! All the gifts and exchanges you've sent are wonderful, you've done great job with everything.