Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Stitching Along With Those SALs

At the beginning of the year, like many other bloggers, I make plans for which projects I will stitch in the coming year.  I always start off well, staying on target, the WIPocalypse helps with this.

Then as the year progresses, things crop up, Weddings, Babies and of course, the SAL.  Now there are two types of SAL (Stitch a long for the newbies).  The first is where two or more people decide to stitch the same design together.  Like The Spooky Countdown which Giovanna and I are both stitching.  It is easy to say Yes or No to one of these, you already have the design and it fits into your schedule.  Or people suggest it and you think "No, not really me, I'll pass on this one".

Then there is the second type - The Mystery SAL.  Cue Scooby Doo music.

You know the designer, you like the designer, you like the subject matter from the title.  But you don't know what the design will be like.  And everyone is getting excited about it.  And excitement is contagious.  And you know you won't catch up if you start later, and what if it is discontinued and you kick yourself for evermore for missing out.  And all the other girls are doing it, Mum, I'll be the only one not, what will we talk about at school now?

Yes, you are transported back to school and the dread fear of missing out on the latest craze.  So you dutifully sign up and somehow juggle the other projects you already have.  This is what happened with the Joan Elliott SAL.  She announced it via her FB fan page and everyone jumped in.  The border was released this month with one face due to be released for the next eight months.  Here is my progress so far:

There are three more boxes to be stitched at the bottom.  I have got bored stitching those fiddly flowers in the side panels so moved onto the centre.  The centre box has been charted with a title and more flowers but I wanted something different so I chose some of Joan's butterflies from the Butterfly Fairy chart.  They are an absolute pleasure to stitch and look lovely too.

The fabric is a piece of Jazlyn evenweave from the Crafty Kitten called Snapdragon.

So I figured that I could fit this in OK with all my other stitching committments as long as I didn't take on any other projects.  I'm only doing the one Round Robin this year so this kind of takes its place.  So I'm feeling quite smug as I resist not one, but two Hallowe'en Mystery SALs.  Even though Hallowe'en is my favourite and my best (as Lola would say).  And then I get an email entitled "A Gift from Sharon", that darned woman has signed me up for another Mystery SAL!

Looks good, doesn't it?

I do have a nice little extra finish to show you today.  While deciding on which fabric to use for the JE SAL I toyed with the idea of stitching it all over 1 for an extra delicate look.  As an experiment I chose one of Joan's seasonal fairies and stitched just her face:

I stitched her on 28 count tan evenweave and changed the metallics to bright shades of DMC.  I also substituted french knots for the beads and used a sewing cotton for the backstitch.  I mounted her on another calendar page:

This is a lovely calendar called Light & Landscape by a photographer named Fran Halsall.  This page shows Scott's View in the Scottish borders and the caption says "named after the famous author, look across a tight bend in the River Tweed to the Eildon Hills, under which there is said to be a doorway to the kingdom of an Elvish Queen."  So maybe my Autumn Fairy is really an Elvish Queen?  She does look rather regal.

BTW I decided to go with stitching over 2 with an option for over 1 on the skin for the whole project.  In case you were wondering.

Finally, don't forget the Summer Postcard Blog Hop.  This year's theme is Gardens, click on the picture of the garden to the top right of the blog for more details.  I have received a few pictures so far and I think I will start sending them round to people very soon!  If you have already signed up then send me your photo as soon as it's done.  If you haven't signed up then what are you waiting for?  Get clicking!


  1. I love love LOVE that fabric (jazlyn evenweave) you are using. It is beautiful! Thanks for being my first follower, have taken your advice and added email addy to my profile :-) happy stitching

  2. Oh I love love love your JE SAL!! I don't do Facebook so missed that completely :( But it is looking lovely and I do love the changes you've made to it :)

  3. Autumn Fairy looks right at home on that beautiful landscape.

    You changed the middle of the SAL already and its only month 1... why doesn't that surprise me!!! lol. It certainly looks pretty so far.

  4. Spendid look for this face and I love the idea of calendar page, the result is so great ;) bravo !

  5. Love your new calendar page! So many SALs now it is hard to keep up!

  6. What a funny post :) I can't wait to see all these SALs coming to life. Your little fairy looks absolutely beautiful x

  7. Oh Jo ! The allure of sals! I'm right there with you but I usually decline because I have a gazillion BAPs to work on. I'm sure you'll find a way to do the Halloween sal too. Love the little Joan Elliot finish. So sweet! Hugs!,

  8. Oh I can't wait to see your progress on the Frosted Pumpkin Mysterious Hallowe'en Town....Kudos to Sharon! Come on, you know you wanted to stitch this! :) ((hugs))

  9. Yaay you're doing the Halloween SAL :D The first part is due out tomorrow... very excited!

  10. Love that Halloween SAL...must stay strong...

  11. Beautiful Joan Elliot finish! Hope you can figure a way to do the Halloween SAL. lots of fun SAL's out there and only so many stitching hours- LOL.
    love Annette

  12. Beautiful fairy! I hear you on the allure of SALs - I'm considering the one just launched by The Primitive Hare, because I'm obviously not stitching enough projects yet :-)

  13. Beautiful finish Jo and great new start.


  14. Looks like you have yourself signed up for some great SALs. The fabric for your JE is very pretty and you have made great progress on the border. I like the touch the butterflies add. That Halloween SAL looks too cute!

  15. Ha! I know that feeling, but I try to resist it now, having more than once spent about a squillion pounds on kitting up a mystery sal only to find I hated it after the 2nd installment.
    Hope you have better luck with yours

  16. Oh my, over 1 ... you must be very brave. Yes I can share in your worries. I have signed up to too many sals/goals/etc and am struggling a bit. I might time to sit down this weekend and see where I stand. I have finished the library book challenge (which shocked me ... I signed up for a rather large number and it took me half a year to read ... so I'm gonna bump up to the 'just insert an IV' one). But your halloween sal is gorgeous, so you might as well make even more time. You know no eating, no sleeping, no cleaning type of time. Stitching, stitching, stitching, while surrounded by cobwebs.

  17. Lovely progress on the SAL!
    It looks nice the Halloween SAL!!!
    Lovely seasonal fairy.


  18. Love the SAL - what pretty fabric….and what a lovely finish. She's beautiful!

  19. A very thoughtful post, Jo. Love your new starts and your fairy is indeed gorgeous. I, too, love SALs, especially mystery SALs and especially Halloween mystery SALs.

  20. Hello

    Found your lovely blog while surfing.
    Those SAL's look great - it's not very easy to resist new starts (:
    Your stitching is lovely too, very neat.
    Happy weekend (:

  21. You are soooo right about mystery SALs!! I find myself too easily sucked into them. SamSarah just announced a Halloween one and I am doing my best to stay away (although it will probably go on my wish list). Love you JE SAL (that was worth the join)

  22. Awww...Jo...have I messed up your stitching for the next few months. I'm sorry :( I do hope you enjoy it anyway and you can always print off the charts and stitch it next year. I am just going to do a floss toss for mine and see if my fabric works.


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