Monday, 8 August 2022

Stitching Friends Summer Blog Hop 2022


Regular followers will know that I host a number of Blog Hops throughout the year, each with a different theme.  Four of them are the same each year but the Summer one varies depending on what I feel like!   Most recently we have been connecting with our Stitching Friends across the globe.

Several years ago I designed a little ornament for an exchange on this theme - Stitching Friends are Friends who Count.  It's a pun on being important to us and counting crosses!  Who else understands the excitement of a new "must stitch" chart or the sheer joy of a Happy Dance for a finish.

I had 10 people sign up for the Hop and assigned each one a blog for them to visit and write a little piece about their stitching friend.  I asked them to choose a design they thought their friend might like.  Just for fun, I asked people not to reveal the name until the end of the post!  So why not see if you can guess each one as you go?

These are the participating bloggers, in no particular order:

As previous years, I am going to feature a surprise friend myself!  This blogger did not sign up for this particular Hop but does take part in some of my other Hops and also in Gifted Gorgeousness.

This year's blogger is British multi-crafter who does cross stitch, knits, quilts, makes bags, dolls and assorted other gorgeous items.  She is the proud owner of a WIP sampler which is now considered an adult, having been started in 2004 and celebrated it's 18th Birthday last April!

I had a think of what I might show that she would like and also what might give you all a clue as to who it is.

Here's a clue from My Lovely Sewing Tools by Marie Suarez:

Another clue in Home of a Needleworker by LHN:

Final (and biggest) clue:

Patrick Wood Rabbit

So we have The Lovely Homely Bunny?

Or maybe it's something which appears in each of those designs?

Keep thinking - it might come to you in a flash!

If not then click here for the answer.  Do pop over and ask to share a cup of cocoa with her!

Finally, I hope you enjoyed hopping around and trying to guess who each stitcher was talking about.  My next Hop will be the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop at the end of October so stay tuned for sign-ups.

Saturday, 6 August 2022

The People Chose Outer Space


This SAL is all about what you want to see on the blog.  I asked for suggestions for themes and then put them up to the members of the IHSW Group on FB to vote for their choice.  Now we are working through the choices.  This is what has been chosen:

August - Outer Space
September - Sea Creatures
October - Wild Animals

Space - the final frontier...
Not something I have stitched a great deal either, considering I am a bit of a Sci-fi fan.

I have this adorable Darth Vader:

Dark Side from Dorkstitch on Etsy

"I love you to the moon and back" is a lovely sentiment:

Barbara Ana - freebie from Cyberstitches

As is "wish upon a star"

Andree Langhorn - cover kit from Cross Stitcher 195

This one I designed myself for my friend's granddaughter.  The name Danika means "Morning Star".  The little toys were based on the characters from the nursery furnishings the parents has chosen.  I charted them myself.

And now it's over to you.  All you have to do is make a post on the theme of Outer Space, 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.  Anything, 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 Elephants, or Green, or Holidays, or Warmth etc.   Really anything which could be illustrated in cross stitch.

Sunday, 31 July 2022

July Stitch from Stash and Pie

 It's time for some end of the month Pie!

Continuing to hit my 14 days goal on Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow.  This month I continued with Block 5 which went from here:

to here:

stitched over one on 25 count Cassia Rose evenweave from Chromatic Alchemy

I should get that finished in the first day or two of August and then go across to Block 8, if I actually finish it.

So far the number of days is:

Block 7 - 13 days
Block 6 - 16 days
Block 2 - 19 days
Block 3 - 20 days
Block 4 - 15 days
Block 1 - 17 days
Block 5 - 25 days and counting

After my 14 days on Hawk Run Hollow the WIPGO board chose Chatelaine's Gardens of London.  This is a VERY long-term project the way I am stitching it.  But I am enjoying every part of it.  I showed the whole piece for my WIPocalypse post, but here are the four individual Gardens I have been working on plus the borders around them:

The left hand side of the outer border is complete, the rest is half done

There are four different speciality threads in the outer border

The rose border has a silk for the leaves and a variegated thread for the outline of each rose

The whole piece so far:

stitched on 32 count Cotton Clouds Linen by Crafty Kitten

I'm using a mixture of the charted DMC, some speciality threads where they make a real difference, some substituted Jodyri and some DMC subs, often a blend of two shades to give a subtle shading,

I have a separate pie for my bath-time stitching:

All of those pieces have been shown already.

Finally, on to Stitch from Stash:

The Shannon Christine charts are the 12 Days of Christmas series which come out in pairs each month.  The JCS Halloween is one I collect every year.  I could just get the digital version but I like to have the physical copy in my stash.

July WIPocalypse New Starts and Stash


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 "22 in '22" for this year.  Since my last post I have stitched on 4 of them.

3. Chatelaine Gardens of London
stitched on 32 count Cotton Clouds Linen from Crafty Kitten

5. Carriage House Samplings Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow

stitched over 1 on 25 count Cassia Rose evenweave from Chromatic Alchemy

9. Just Nan Mermaid Heart

stitched on 32 count grey-green Linen

17. Jardin Prive 12 Days of Christmas

stitched on 32 count Millenium Blue linen

The full list can be seen here - WIPocalypse and 22 in 22

Finally, Measi always gives us a topic to discuss too.

July – What five patterns do you really want to purchase (or start) right now?

All of them!  There are some further up the list than others.  First up will be this design from World of Cross Stitching magazine coming out at the start of August.  I don't subscribe any more but I can get it via Press Reader and my Library Card for free.

I did buy this one, it's a new 12 Days design from Shannon Christine being released in parts.  I'm trying to hold off until Boxing Day!

This is one I bought in 2020 and really want to stitch and fully finish for Dark October this year.  It's from Mani di Donna and came with the handle and the bat charm.  I would use it to keep little Halloween Smalls in it.

Next up is a Mystery from Stitchonomy.  All we know about this is that it is called The Cabinet of Curiousities and starts on my Birthday!

There are so many vying for fifth place but I am rather drawn to this one, thanks to Rachel's enabling!  It's a Temperature Chart with a Gothic-twist available from Etsy here - Grandma Be Wildin

There's also the next Zodiac sign after I finish Virgo and all sorts of other goodies in my stash pile.  I am determined not to start any BAPs until I have finished some of those I have going.  But there are a lot of medium sized charts I could fit into the rotation.

Stay tuned to see what happens next!

Friday, 29 July 2022

July Smalls


The Smalls SAL is hosted by Mary's Thread

This year my Smalls will be the Jardin Prive 12 Days of Christmas which I started on Boxing Day 2021 for the 12 Days of Stitchmas.

stitched on 32 count Millenium Blue linen

And for once, the fabric colour is spot on perfect!  I do love that shade of blue.  The  main change I made with this one was the water.  It was charted as yellow with red highlights...  I know we are using a limited palette here but red and yellow water?  The next blocks have a flesh colour added for the people so I decided to add a nice blue to this one.  The fabric provides the highlights.  I always like the swan blocks of a 12 Days design so I am pleased with this one.

My Just Nan Mermaid Heart is considered a Small by the No New Starts Group so here it is again:

stitched on 32 count grey-green linen

Finally, last call for the Summer Stitching Friends Blog Hop.  Names will go out on Monday 1st August, so please contact me before then to be included.

Thursday, 28 July 2022

July TUSAL and my Stitching Library


It's TUSAL time!  

Here is my TUSAL jar with my current project:

Chatelaine's Gardens of London is my focus piece for the second half of this month.  I'm working on borders and backstitch this time.  Adding lots of gold sparkle to the corner gardens.

What's on my Shelf?

This is a new feature I'm going to include on my TUSAL post until I run out of books! I started a Page on my Happy Dance blog for my Stitching Library and realised what a huge task it was so decided to break it down to one book per month. For the next four years...

Title: Twenty to Make Mini Cross Stitch
Author: Michael Powell
Publisher: Search Press 
ISBN: 9781844486571

This is a mini book - only 8.5 x 6 inches in size and each of the designs are small too.

But being Michael Powell, he packs a lot of detail into each design!

Chapel in Moonlight - 40 x 40 stitches

Cottage with Orange Tree - 42 x 42 stitches

14 x 48 stitches

White Village - 32 x 47

Birthday Cake - 42 x 52

There are also some floral patterns and some border designs so a very useful little book.  Unfortunately, I have owned it since 2013 and never stitched a design from it.  Must change that as I do love his quirky houses.

Finally, last call for sign-ups for my Summer Blog Hop on the same theme as last year - Stitching Friends are Friends Who Count. Have a look at this post for last year and let me know if you'd like to take part this year.  I will be sending out names on Monday 1st August so contact me before then.

Monday, 25 July 2022

Spoiler Alert for FFO Gallery

I wouldn't usually show an FFO before Rachel's FFO Gallery but I just can't wait with this one!

As a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people I purchased some PDF charts from various Etsy shops earlier this year.  THis particular design went straight to the top of the stitching list -  

The instructions are incredibly clear and seem easy to follow but there is quite a lot of sewing together bits of felt for the roof so I decided to change it up a little and make a rectangular shop instead.

Here are the pieces all stitched and ready to cut out:

The bookshop where I work is number 98 

The garlands are beads rather than French Knots

I added the brick details down each side to make the corners more decorative

stitched on 28 count Tan evenweave

What's your favourite detail?

I also made a base piece out of the same fabric, just backstitched a rectangle the right size.  I used thick card and double-sided tape to mount each piece, then whip-stitched the fours sides together.  Then I whip stitched the base to the building:

I am really pleased with my roof fabric.  My friend gave me some sparkly white leatherette she uses for making hairbows.  I mounted it on card cut to fit the roof area and then whip stitched it to the building using white sewing thread.  Usually I use DMC cotton in a matching shade to the fabric or stitching but sewing thread is sturdier, especially if you are pulling something taut.

Here is the finished piece:

I used clean old socks to stuff it.  Children's socks are perfect for these projects.

My focus piece for the second half of the month has been my Chatelaine Gardens of London.  I decided to work on the borders this time around.  One of the rose borders was completed and I've been working on the other three.

This one is done:

Here is the whole piece so far:

stitched on 32 count Cotton Clouds Belfast from Crafty Kitten

Next task is to backstitch the remaining roses and then the gold backstitch on the two bottom gardens.  After that there is another border in shades of green, designed to look like an ornamental hedge.

I'm also continuing with my Just Nan Super Summer SAL and stitching Mermaid Heart.  Here it is with two shades of turquoise completed:

stitched on 32 count grey-green linen

Finally, I'm going to be taking sign-ups for my Summer Blog Hop on the same theme as last year - Stitching Friends are Friends Who Count. Have a look at this post for last year and let me know if you'd like to take part this year.