Monday, 28 September 2015

September WIPocalypse Shopping

WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi's Musings

The focus of my WIPocalypse will be my "15 in '15"which are 15 charts I want to stitch in 2015 (following on from my "11 in '11", "12 in '12", "13 in '13" and "14 in '14" - imaginative, eh?)
Over the last month I have only stitched 1 of my 15 designs but I did finish it!

The finished project is Sugared Almond Cottage by Nutmeg Company:

stitched on 28 and 36 count evenweave

This was such a fun project to stitch and make up.  It is very tiny but there is a lot of detail in there.  I also used a curved needle for the first time.  A John James curved tapestry size 24 for those who were wondering.

The second list I have is my DUCJC and I stitched on two designs from that list.  The first piece I worked on was my IHSW piece - Elizabeth Shephard by Scarlet Letter:

stitched on 30 count linen

I've been stitching the top left hand corner this month.  And also, her name.

The final piece is my evening project, approximately one length of thread per evening while the Small Boy is in the bath.  Book of Spells by The Goode Huswif:

stitched on 40 count Jewel Butterbeer linen

You can see I have almost completed the border for this side of the design.  Then I can move on to some colours!  Mostly grey and orange.  Maybe a finish by the end of this year?

Measi always sets us a topic for discussion and this month we have:

September – Where do you buy most of your stitching supplies?

I would love to say "a sweet little LNS run by an enthusiastic mother and daughter team along with a shop assistant who shares a Birthday with the Large Boy and was happy to chat to him while I shopped in their well-stocked Aladdin's Cave of charts, fabrics and exotic threads and accessories".  But Hobbycraft opened a warehouse store and killed Helen's business.

So now I shop online.  In common with 99.9% of UK stitchers I use SewandSo as my starting point.  They have the widest choice, most things are in stock and their delivery is next day at very reasonable prices.  The website is easy to browse, except for the "Other Designers" category where there are all sorts of hidden delights.  If anything, there is too much choice and you can get overwhelmed by it all!  SewandSo are run by enthusiasts.  If you email or call them they know what you are talking about so I feel it is as much like an LNS as it can be.  It's certainly better than the aforementioned warehouse stores.

Willow Fabrics is a family run business based in Cheshire.  They stock many kits and charts but their website is my number one choice for plain fabrics of all colours and counts.  Many of the more unusual colours you have admired on my blog (eg 32 count Cognac linen) come from Willow Fabric.  Their sales are second to none too.  Which is why I have entire metres of some obscure colours because they were too good to miss!

Hand-dyed fabrics is an evergrowing market and I have two firm favourites.  Dawn and Kate.  Or Crafty Kitten and Sparklies as they are known on the internet.  Both are one-woman businesses run by amazing enthusiast expert enablers!  I feel very torn between the two businesses so I have devised a cunning strategy to help me decide where to shop.  Dawn's fabrics are slightly more muted and subtle, possibly because I usually order 32 count Murano which doesn't dye as brightly as the linens.  Kate's fabrics tend to the wilder side of life!  So that's how I choose.  Muted = Dawn, Lively = Kate.

Here are my two favourites fabrics from each dyer:

Sunlit Heath
"A beautiful blend of greens and golds, like sunlight streaming across a grassy landscape or slanting through a forest canopy."  and named after part of my address because I inspired this fabric.

Purpleberry Spludge - Evenweave - 18 x 27 inch

I also shop online for charms from Ang's Attic and for scrapbook papers and embellishments from Scrapping the Magic and Papermaze.  All three are small, family run businesses who deserve to be supported.  In real life I have a local craft shop which sells alot of scrapbook papers and embellishments too but they cater mostly for the card-making people rather than cross stitchers.  Hallowe'en isn't really a thing for them!

Finally, Hallowe'en is fast approaching so it must be time to launch the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop.  Regular followers will know the format.  Leave a comment here saying you would like to take part in the hop as a Picture Poster.  When I have everyone signed up I will choose a Mystery Phrase and allocate each Picture Poster a letter of the alphabet.  On 31st October they must make a blog post showing their letter and a photo of something they have stitched on a Hallowe'en theme.  On my blog there will be a list of all the contributors so people can hop around and collect the letters to work out the Mystery Phrase.  You don't have to be a Picture Poster to collect the letters and join in with the competition but all Picture Posters do get an extra entry in the competition.

Here is last year's post if you want to see how it all works:


Christine said...

I do love that little cottage.
I used to have an account with Willow's trade section years ago, and they always had an amzing range of fabrics. I really must check out their retail side

Tiffstitch said...

Nice progress on your 2 projects and again, great finish on the little house!

Mii Stitch said...

Lovely post!! Discovered new shops I'd never heard of :) Off to have a little browse!

Brigitte said...

Always nice to see your projects of the month gathered in your WIPocalypse post.
I also buy everything online as I have neither a warehouse craftstore nor one of these small needlework stores nearby. It's just the fabrics that I can buy here because I live at about 45 minutes drive from Zweigart, and whenever I feel the urge to dive bottomdeep into quilting and stitching fabrics I drive there. But I'll browse the online stores that you mention here just to see what they offer. Thanks for the links.

Rhona said...

Sugared almond cottage is gorgeous! What a fantastic little finish!

Elfie said...

Your little cottage is delightful. I like all your projects, actually.

Vickie said...

I found your stitching supplies answers very interesting.

Rose Barrow said...

The cottage is really adorable!!!!! Those fabrics are just yummy!!!!!

D1-D2 said...

It's too bad about your LNS closing. For me, by the time I started embroidering all the LNS had already closed :(

KimM said...

LOVE, LOVE the cottage!!!!! Absolutely adorable!!!

Katie said...

So many beautiful designs. Keep up that gorgeous stitching.

gominam said...

Ooh, Books of Spells looks so pretty, can't wait to see it done for Halloween:) There's no specialty needlework shop near me, I mostly buy from Joann but they don't have patterns, I purchase online.

Heather said...

Great post! I'm still loving Book of Spells :)

jocondine said...

The cottage is really cute and Books of Spells is becoming full of promises. xxx

Sarah in Stitches said...

Beautiful stitching as always! And thanks for sharing this information about different sellers, especially those online. I'll definitely check them out! :D

Kerryp77 said...

I love reading your answers to the monthly questions. I must check out the fabric suppliers. I've heard of them but never had a nose! Book of spells is coming along nicely.

Susan said...

Everything is, as usual, beautiful. Thank you for the links to the various shops. I don't do a lot of stash shopping but I do like checking out different stores.

Julie said...

I've had some amazing bargains from Willow in the past.
Love the cottage!

Stitching Noni said...

Great post!
Unfortunately shopping online does appear to be the way of the future... I have a couple LNS here in Perth which I try to get to occasionally but even with those 2 stores I tend to order by email, phone or online as I don't always have the time on the weekend to get to them for a browse....
I love that purple fabric! :o)
Hugs xx