Friday, 21 April 2017

Dearest Edward

What a surprise - four calling birds arrived this morning.  They are very sweet, even if they do call rather loudly - they make telephoning impossible.  But I expect they'll calm down when they get used to their new home.  Anyway, I'm very grateful - of course I am.
Love from Emily

12 Days of Christmas (Correspondence) - John Julius Norwich

Joan Elliott has gone for the modern Calling Birds (1909 version only) rather than the traditional Colly Birds (1700s onwards) which are blackbirds.  I expect she liked the blue rather more than black!

If you are interested in the different versions, check out this Wiki page - The Twelve Days of Christmas.  Two versions have Canary Birds, some have Coloured Birds and one has Ducks Quacking (1864), so Emily got off quite lightly there!

I have decided to stitch all the background parts of each block with just one strand so they don't overpower the main feature.  I also changed the French Knots to tiny over one crosses to make them more even.

Here is the whole piece so far.  I have stitched all the red on the second Angel and will continue the border this month.

Theme-tas-stitch is hosted by Kerry

Each month Kerry is giving us a theme to stitch to (or shoe-horn our existing stitching into).  We link up on the 21st of each month.  The theme this month is:

April Showers - What pieces do you have that contain water?  It might be rain, river, sea or lake - see how many stitches you can make!

We need a gigantic shoe-horn for this one, nothing watery at all unfortunately.  The first piece is my Just Nan So Many Stitches project.  I started this as part of March Madness for Theme-tas-stitch and then have continued to put 30 stitches per day into the project.  Today I added some Ice beads.  Ice is frozen water.

Stitched on 32 count Antique White evenweave

That was the small shoe-horn, now the large one.  What needs water to survive?  What do we always say when it rains?  "Oh well, it's good for the garden".  So here's a little garden:

This is Just Nan's Spring in the Square - Day 112.  So that's 1,120 stitches doing just Ten-a-day for the FB challenge.  Recently I've been adding lots of colour to the flowers.

Here's a larger garden:

This is Gathering Honey by Jannlynn.  Last time I stitched on this I completed the top left hand corner which was very time-consuming with all the colour changes and fiddly fractionals.  This time I have finished the entire border (yay!) and the top right corner.

I stitched the bees first:

And then added the honeycomb around them.  For the bottom left corner I will backstitch the bees after the honeycomb because some of their legs got a little lost doing it first.  The honeycomb is three strands of thread and the legs are only one.

Hopefully I can complete the bottom left this month and then focus on the bottom right next month.  That's more fiddly flowers.  Then there's some writing to add top and bottom and it's done!  So if not a May finish, then it should be one for June.

Finally, thanks to everyone who took part in the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop.  The competition is now closed and I will be drawing and announcing the winner in my TUSAL post on Wednesday.  My Blogaversary draw will continue until the end of the month.  Don't forget, anyone who links up for GG gets an extra entry into that draw.  


  1. I know I am a broken record, but I continue to love, love, love watching your 12 Days progress. It is gorgeous! I'm also loving your 10 a Day and 30 A Day projects grow. Well, let's just say it, I really love watching all of your work develop!

  2. Such nice progress on the 12 Days, Jo! I enjoyed reading about the variations in the lyrics on the Wikipedia link that you included, too--thank you!

    Please visit my blog--you won my chart giveaway and I need your address :)

  3. Beautiful stitching.I love the honeycomb effect and Your JE 12 Days becomes more lovely with each post.

  4. beautiful stitching...i love your projects so much.
    love your honeycomb so much..
    big hugs and smiles x

  5. Great progress on all your projects. Gathering honey is looking amazing....I absolutely adore this design.

  6. Beautiful progress. You are really moving along on your beautiful projects. Love the little bees.

  7. 12 Days continues to delight, your JNs are both growing quite well, and I love those bees on the Janlynn project! (and your shoehorning stitchy pieces into the category was fun)

  8. Ha Ha you made me laugh at the Shoe horns. I love love Gathering honey.Pls make it your focus piece, would love to see it finished.

  9. Gorgeous stitching but I'm not sure about the shoehorning - you've really stretched that one!

  10. So much lovely progress. 12 days is coming on so well. I love the colour of the birds. Shoehorns gladly accepted fit themeTasStitch. I did a seahorse! Beautiful work on the two just Nan's. They are so delicate. I love the honeycomb border on gathering honey.

  11. Twelve Days is growing well.
    The honeycomb border is gorgeous.
    And yes, ice is definitely water

  12. Great shoe-horning work Jo! They all look magnificent but the standout is the amazing honeycomb section with the bees. Wowsers that looks so effective.
    xo Alicia

  13. I love the Calling Birds blue, they are so cute!
    Oh my, Gathering Honey, I'll have to think about doing that one! The bees and honeycomb look great.

  14. Ice - water .... I guess that fits in, but watering the garden ... now that is a bit too far lol. They all do look so lovely though.

  15. I would love a garden just like the one on the Gathering Honey design. Great stitching on all the designs!

  16. Gorgeous stitching Jo! I love your shoe-horning... ice is water and gardens need water! All your WIPs are just beautiful. Love that honeycomb stitching :o)
    Hugs x

  17. Calling Birds look lovely Jo, I love your bees, the honeycomb is very effective

  18. Lovely stitching ! I like the border of gathering honey.

  19. I love all your projects, they are all very beautiful and you are making really great progress.

  20. So much information about the 4 calling birds. I never really thought about them before. Who knew? Your Water/Rain projects look perfect to me.

  21. Enjoying your creative shoehorning! You have been so productive! In love with your 12 days of christmas stitching - that used to be one of my favourite christmas songs when I was little x

  22. Oh, I really love the honeycomb around those gorgeous bees, Jo. And your blue calling birds look great, too (as does all of your other stitching - natch!)

  23. Lovely update on 12 days of Christmas, love the blue birds.
    Beautiful bees!!!

  24. Great progress, and great shoehorning! I'm in love with Gathering Honey. The bees and honeycombs are stunning, and I do now understand the name of the design!

  25. Oh I love the bees in Gathering Honey, they look supercute! =) Your birds look amazing and thank you for sharing the link about the 12 days of Christmas, I will look into it (sounds intersting)

  26. Awesome progress on 12 Days of Christmas! Gathering Honey is gorgeous, and I love your shoe-horning this month :D

  27. Seeing a picture of all of your progress on 12 Days of Christmas brings home how much progress you've made on it. Look all your other projects.


I do enjoy your comments and will reply where relevant, so please make sure you are not a "no-reply" person!
If you are a robot then please pretend there is a word verifier and go away. I have removed it for the commenting pleasure and ease of my human followers.