Saturday, 15 February 2020

February Gifted Gorgeousness Link-up Post

Welcome to the February Gifted Gorgeousness link-up.  The link-up date continues to be the 15th and I will keep the link-up open until the end of each month so you have plenty of time if you are late posting.

The format remains exactly the same, there is a list of rules on the main sign-up page if you want to check what is required but basically anything connected to the word "gift" is allowed, whether it was a gift TO you or is a gift FROM you.

We do have a nice new logo and a new sign-up page - remember to add your blog here as well as at the bottom of this post for your February post.  If you have the link in your sidebar on your own blog, don't forget to update it to the new sign-up page.

My main project for Gifted Gorgeousness has been my Discworld Mappe by Lyndisfarne Designs, which will be a gift for my son.  This is where it was at the end of January:

And this is the portion I have been working on in February:

I have stitched on this for 10 days so far this month.  Once I complete two more columns of the dark gold and the backstitch for the area I will have reached my goal for February.  I think I'll go up a page and complete the backstitch there too.  Then I'll be ready to move to the right in March.

And the whole piece at the moment:
stitched on 32 count Murano custom-dyed by Sparklies

I finished my Just Nan Christmas Friends project, the chart was a gift from Mouse:

stitched on 28 count beige evenweave

The current Just Nan small was also a gift, but I'm not sure who it was from.  There is a little Post-it note which just says "Enjoy!".  So Thank You Mystery Person for the gift of Crystal Heart.

stitched on 32 count Lavender Murano

Gathering Eggs by Nora Corbett was a gift from Carol, I got four days on her at the end of January:

stitched on 32 count Vintage Country Mocha Linen

The final gifted project for this month is the 12 Days of Christmas by JBW.  Two of my friends bought two charts each for my Christmas present.  I started one design per day for the 12 Days of Stitchmas and have completed the Second Day: 

stitched on 40 count white linen, 1 over 2

Now it is your turn to show us your Gifted Gorgeousness for the month.  Please use your name or your blog name in the field and NOT the words "February Update" so I can easily see who has linked up this month.  And link to the actual post, not just your blog.  It is easier if you copy and paste the link, rather than typing freehand.



Edit to add - Mini is having a giveaway this month - Miniz Diary

Finally, the Valentine's Day Blog Hop was a great success.  We had 25 participants.  I think this was the most we have ever had!  Poor old Shelly in Arizona had a computer issue and posted late but everyone else got their posts up on the day.  If your Sweetheart hasn't revealed herself by the end of Sunday, let me know and I'll let you into the Secret!

In the meantime, here are all the Valentine's together:

Friday, 14 February 2020

Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop

Happy Valentine's Day and welcome to the Secret Stitching Sweethearts Blog Hop.  My annual chance to show some stitchy love to our fellow stitchers.  Over the last month my inbox has been filled with various lovely stitched and crafted pieces on the theme of Love and Friendship.  Then I sent out them to randomly allocated participants who will be showing their Valentines on their blogs today.

Please hop round and see if they have found their Secret Stitching Sweetheart yet.  The following blogs are participating this year:

As the organiser of this Blog Hop I don't usually get a Secret Sweetheart for myself but this year two people sent in two photos!  Just click on the photos to see who they came from:

Finally, don't forget to leave some lovely comments on all the participating blogs, share the love!

Monday, 10 February 2020

Finally Fully Finishing Fun for February

Hosted by Rachel the Ten Hour Stitcher

This SAL is designed to motivate us all to do something with that box of Finished pieces instead of just storing them under the bed.  We will all be linking up on Rachel's blog on or after the 10th of each month (10 Hour Stitcher - 10th of the month).

I did my very best to not leave things to the last moment this month.  I had some framing to do which needs a little bit of time and space.

The first one is Cast Your Spell by Stacy Nash, finished in October 2017:

The second one is Smiling Jack O'Lanterns by JBW, finished in October 2018

This is actually a plastic frame.  The fabric was a little bit too short so I trimmed it with some scrapbook paper offcuts.

I also finished a project, Just Nan's Christmas Memories Ornament:

stitched on 28 count Platinum Cashel linen

I've finished this as a pillow ornament but I am thinking of adding some ruched ribbon trim to co-ordinate with the twisted ribbon stitched around the edge.  I have never done a ruched ribbon trim so we shall see how successful that was next time!

One of my favourite backing fabrics:

Finally, today is the deadline for the Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop.  I will be emailing the photos out with further instructions on the 12th or 13th February so watch your Inbox for my email.  I have already received a bumper crop of hearts through my Inbox so it's going to be a good hop this year.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Let's Go Round Again - the Rotation Starts Anew

This year I'm going for a similar rotation to last year - SALs first, then Discworld, then free choice.  The only change I have made is to put the Alice SAL after Discworld because the magazine is released around about the 23nd of the month.

So the first day in February was spent working on my Christmas piece; the 12 Days of Christmas by JBW.  Most of the borders have been done now so it doesn't take long to fill the motifs in.  Or it wouldn't, if the frog didn't visit!  I stitched the darker yellow twice because I had got the red ribbon wrong.

stitched 1 over 2 on 40 count white linen

The next three days were spent on my Hallowe'en piece; the Scary Apothecary series by Hands on Design.  I have put three of these in my "20 in '20" list this year but if I finish all three I might add an extra one.  This is Bat Balm:

stitched on 28 count linen in Radioactive from Chromatic Alchemy

After that I moved on to the Discworld Mappe by Lyndisfarne Designs.  I finished the banner at the bottom of the left hand corner and then moved across to the landmass in the centre of the piece.  I plan to stitch the coast for the whole of page 14 and then see if I can fill it all in this month.  My goal is a page a month this year and this one is 60% full coverage.

stitched on 32 count Murano custom-dyed by Sparklies

Finally, if you signed up for my Secret Sweetheart Stitching Blog Hop, I need the photos by 10th February.  If you haven't signed up yet, there is still time!  Send me an email and I'll add you to the list.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

The People Chose Penguins

This SAL is all about what you want to see on the blog.  Each month I ask for suggestions for themes and then put them up to the members of the IHSW Group on FB to vote for their choice.  This is what they have chosen:

February - Penguins
March - Coffee
April - Modern Samplers

Penguins.  Penguins.  Thanks Christine.

Unfortunately it would appear that the only penguins I have stitched were in my pre-blog, pre-digital camera days and were given to a friend whose son liked penguins.

So it's going to be a short post today LOL

I was given this lovely book from Lakeside Needlecraft before Christmas:

There are designs from 60 different designers within the book including this cute Penguin from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery:

And these two from Heather Nugent:

There are also numerous Penguin designs in the magazines I collect and plenty online.  I rather like this one by White Willow Designs:

Several years ago I sent a very long piece of fabric to Sharon from Shebafudge to stitch a design called Penguin Parade by Mary Hickmott on.  This is what the design looks like:

This post shows Sharon's start - Shebafudge - Crazy January Challenge 2014

I wonder how she got on with it?

Now it's over to you.  All you have to do is make a post on the theme of Penguins, mention The People's Choice SAL (you can copy the picture I used at the top of this post and in my side bar) and my blog. Please link up using the URL of the actual blog post, not the home page of your blog. I look forward to seeing what you all post.



Finally, I need your suggestions for the next poll. Any thing, no matter how obscure, weird or random will go into the poll. Keep the theme suggestions to a single word or two - so you could have Cats, or Blue, or Holidays, or Warmth etc. Really anything which could be illustrated in cross stitch.

Looking forward to reading them all!

Friday, 31 January 2020

January Smalls, Stitch from Stash and Pie

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Mary's Thread

This year my Smalls will be my JBW 12 Days of Christmas ornaments which I started on Boxing Day 2019 for the 12 Days of Stitchmas.  I completed the first one on Day 9:

stitched 1 over 2 on 40 count white linen

I finished the 6th Jessica Savage Word on the 16th January:

stitched over 1 on 25 count blue evenweave

I was hoping there would be more than 6 of these.  Maybe I will design two more myself.

This is the latest Just Nan Small; Christmas Friends:

stitched on 28 count beige evenweave

I would love to complete 12 Just Nan Smalls this year.  Last year I managed 8 but then stalled on this one.

As usual I have prepared a Pie to share with you all; a Stitching Pie.  I include my main focus piece for each day.  A "day" may only be an hour of stitching or it may be 5 hours but it all averages out.  

I managed to stitch for nearly half the month on the Discworld Mappe which went from here:

to here:

sttiched on 32 count Murano custom-dyed by Sparklies

My original plan was to stitch on the Alice in Wonderland SAL for 3 days per month starting with the border at the beginning of January.  Which I did.  But then the next issue came out on the 23rd just as I completed my 15th Day of Discworld.  So I started on the first block straightaway.  Here is Alice watching the White Rabbit disappear down the corridor:

stitched 1 over 2 on 32 count yellow Belfast linen 

Image may contain: drawing

I rather like the more sketchy effect of only using one strand of thread instead of two.  It also makes the backstitch so much easier as you can actually see the holes in the linen.

I've been stitching the blue borders while I watch TV and the motifs inbetween at bathtime.

When I completed my second 3 day stint on Alice I had 6 days of the month left, one of which was a full work day.  I knew I'd only get an hour at lunch to work on my Small so I used the Tiny Decision app to choose which project I should stitch the rest of the days.  The first day came up as the Brooke's Books' Stitcher's Alphabet (which I showed in my WIPocalypse post) then I spun again for the remaining four days and got Nora Corbett's Gathering Eggs.

Last time I worked on her was the Longest Day Marathon last June and she looked like this:

In four days I finished the purple ribbon, the aqua skirt and started the white fill-in:

stitched on 32 count Vintage Country Mocha linen

I do enjoy stitching her but for some reason she seems to take a long time!

Finally, my Stitch from Stash figures.  I have done this every year except one since the beginning when it was a Blog Challenge.  Now it's on FB and hosted by the lovely Ms Oh Sew Crafty.  It was a very low-spend month, I only bought two skeins of DMC from the local Wool Shop.  I am planning another cheap year with only magazine subscriptions and essential threads/bead purchases.

2 skeins DMC £1.90
Total £1.90

Sunday, 26 January 2020

January WIPocalypse SALs

WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi's Musings

Each month we have to share the projects we want to complete before the End Of The World.

Since 2011 I have chosen a number of projects to focus on that year, starting with my "11 in '11" and increasing to "20 in '20" for this year.  This month I stitched on 7 of them and had a finish too.

Lyndisfarne - Discworld Map
(Project 5)

Just Nan - Christmas Friends
(Project 8 and a Finish)

JBW - 12 Days of Christmas
(Project 9)

Hands on Design - Bat Balm
(Project 13)

Just Nan - Winter in the Square
(Project 16)

Amanda Butler - Alice in Wonderland SAL in Cross Stitcher magazine
(Project 17)

I set my rotation up this year to work on the 12 Days of Christmas and the Scary Apothecary first each month.  Then do at least 14 days on the Discworld Mappe.  After that I loaded a Tiny Decisions wheel with the 7 projects which don't have a set place in the rotation.  I spun it and it chose Brooke's Books' Stitcher's Alphabet.  Long-term followers will be thinking "Didn't you finish that a couple of years ago?"  Yes, I did, back in September 2017.  But I never fully-finished it and I have wanted to design and stitch a title page and add a barcode to the back before I make it onto a soft book.  I realised this is never going to happen unless I put it into my "20 in '20" and so here it is.

I charted up the words My Alphabet Book on graph paper and decided to use a variegated thread that featured the colours in the first three blocks.  I did not see the name of the thread until after I had chosen it.  Most serendipitous!

My next task will be to add a barcode and ISBN to the reverse and sew the thing together.

Measi always gives us a topic to discuss:

January - What SALs are you participating in this year?

Apart from WIPocalypse, my other SALs are

The People's Choice - posts on the first Saturday of each month - theme in sidebar
Fully Finished Gallery - post anything fully finished on the 10th of each month
Gifted Gorgeousness - post anything gifted on the 15th
Christmas Ornie Blog - a different festive theme each month
Smalls SAL - last Friday of each month

The TUSAL - post on the New Moon each month

Alice in Wonderland is a Mystery SAL with a new block in the magazine each month.  I have signed up for the Stitchonomy Year of Mystery SALs although I might not stitch all of them.  Leonore and I have also been talking about a Just Nan SAL for the Summer Holiday as that worked well for me last year.

Finally, I will be continuing with the ever popular Blog Hops this year.  We will have Valentine's, Easter, the Summer Postcard, Hallowe'en and the Advent Calendar.  All at the appropriate time of the year.  I am collecting name for the Secret Stitching Sweethearts for Valentine's Day right now.  Just leave a comment or send me an email.