Monday, 20 May 2019


IHSW or International Hermit and Stitch Weekend always starts on the third Friday of the month.  It's a chance to lock yourself away and focus on your stitching for the weekend.  You can take part on your blog or via the Facebook page.  Links at the bottom of this post.

Once again I was working on my Discworld Mappe.  I am determined to get 2 weeks every month on this project.

Here's where I was on the 15th:

Here's the part I worked on this weekend:

And here's the piece right now:

The little banner says "Circumfence"

The Circumfence is a sturdy wood-stakes-and-ropes barrier running almost a third of the Rim of the Disc, constructed by the island nation Krull.  Hapless ships and vessels continually get washed toward the Edge, and by means of the Circumfence, Krullians are able to salvage many useful things; for example, many houses are constructed from parts of ships.  In the old days, people who ran into the Circumfence would get captured by the Krullian navies and serve as slaves or even sacrificial victims (see The Colour of Magic).  Nowadays, Krullians rescue these people and charge them heavy salvage rates, a much more peaceful but just as profitable use of the barrier.

I'm also making steady progress on my evening piece.  This is the project I stitch while The Small Boy is in the bath.  The current project is The Queen of Hearts by Mrs Peggotty.  Here's where she was last IHSW:

And here is where she is now:

stitched on 22 count white hardanger

The idea is to do as much of the background as I can before starting on the more interesting part of the Queen.  Some evenings I get a lot done, others not so much. Last night all I got done was that scrap of pale pink with the thread attached.  The previous night I managed those three dark stripes down the right hand side which was much more productive.

A few people have said that they don't do Facebook and asked if I could host a link-up for them, so here it is! Just add your name and the link to your actual IHSW post, not just your blog home page.



The next IHSW will be 21st - 23rd June so make sure you note the date in your diary or come and join us in the Facebook Group - IHSW on Facebook. If you don't do Facebook then you can check in here.

Finally, Stitch Maynia!   For Maynia this year I am stitching on the same projects I started last May.   I started one Just Nan small per day so this year I am stitching one strand on each project on their relevant day.  Here are the projects for Days 16 to 20:

Isn't it weird how different all the fabrics look from last year to this?

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

May Gifted Gorgeousness Link-up Post

2019 GG

Welcome to the May 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.

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 I left off last GG post:

This is where it was at the end of April:

Here is the portion I have been working on this week:

The turtle flipper is huge, it starts on page 2 and continues through page 3 and into page 4.   I decided to get all the dark green on pages 2 and 3 done plus the little banner.   When I came to fill in the medium green I realised I had made an error.  There is a two line overlap on the charts but I had stitched those two lines twice!

You can possibly see the two lines where the brown thread comes out of the backstitch?  I was not going to frog and restitch all that banner again so I decided to stitch the backstitch of the edge of the Disc in one strand to see how bad the problem was.  I stitched the backstitch accurately as it follows the curve of the Disc.  This means the banner is two rows lower than charted and the flipper pattern is two rows lower.  But with very little tweaking it works.  I removed two rows from the flipper before the bottom of page 3 which is where the backstitch line stops and it's all good for page 4 now.

Now I have done more of the fill-in medium green I am stitching the second strand of backstitch.  I decided to make the perimeter of the Disc two strands to make it bolder than the one strand used everywhere else.

Here's where I am today:

I managed a few days on Gathering Eggs by Nora Corbett.   This was a gift from Carol:

stitched on 32 count Vintage Country Mocha linen

I fully finished two Easter themed designs.  Nest Egg by Satsuma Street was stitched on gifted fabric from Tiffany and the Daffodil Egg chart was a gift from Riona:

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 "May 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.



Finally, Stitch Maynia!   For Maynia this year I am stitching on the same projects I started last May.   I started one Just Nan small per day so this year I am stitching one strand on each project on their relevant day.  Here are the projects for Days 11 to 15:

Friday, 10 May 2019

Finally Fully Finishing Fun for May

Hosted by Rachel the Ten Hour Stitcher

This new 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).

This is a rather old piece which was previously finished in my patented "chuck it in a bag for 20 years" method.  I decided it was time it got scrapbooked as I would never want to use it as an actual bookmark!

This was a kit from Textile Heritage Collection called Fairytale Bookmark stitched in 2000 when my initials were JMM. 

Stitched on the 14 count aida band provided using the non-DMC thread also provided.

Now it is finally fully finished mounted on a fairytale scene from Monet

In the same bag was the Jane Greenoff design Woodland Walk which I posted about here - The People Chose Speciality Stitches.  I decided not to add anything to it on the grounds that if I was going to do that I would have done it at some point in the last 20 years.  So a simple frame and it's an FFO.

The third piece was not quite finished back in 1998 when it went to live in the bag.  There were approximately 20 orange stitches to complete.  Then I whip stitched around the edge with a bead per stitch and added a ribbon hanger.  Done!

This is a better photo of the colours of the ornie, it's a very dark red not bright red.

According to the packet, this was a cover gift from Needlework magazine in October 1998.  Happy 21st Birthday!  What is funny is that the description says "a traditional pin cushion for you to stitch in an evening".  Or two evenings separated by 21 years....

Finally, let's see some newer projects.  For Maynia this year I am stitching on the same projects I started last May.  I started one Just Nan small per day so this year I am stitching one strand on each project on their relevant day.  Here are the projects for Days 6 to 10:

I got a lot done on Day 10 because I went on a train journey so I stitched all the border on this one and on the third one in the series which I did not start last year.  The second one is for Day 11 of the SAL.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Mon TUSAL en Français

Bonjour!  Don't worry, I'm not going to do the entire post in French.  Back in 2018 when I was compiling the list for the Easter Treasure Hunt I managed to miss off our dear friend Jocondine.  I apologised profusely and she suggested as penance that I should do this year's Mystery Phrase "en Français".  So that's what I did.  Now I must apologise to anyone who was totally confused and did not understand what was happening!

Fortunately the majority of you managed to figure out the phrase and provide a translation too.  The phrase was:

Partir à la chasse aux oeufs


To go hunting for eggs

Thank you to Jocondine for the extra challenge finding a phrase this year.  I think we'll go back to English next time.  I am being very, very nice to both Leonore and Ariadne for fear they make me do a German or Greek phrase!

The next Blog Hop will be the Summer Postcard Blog Hop which lasts all summer.  I think I might make that one an International Theme this year.  Watch this space!


And now it's TUSAL time, the Totally Useless SAL where we all show our ORTS and link-up on Daffycat's blog.

Here is my TUSAL jar with my current project:

You can see my spooky conversion of Lavender & Lace's Enchanted Alphabet in the photo.  I completed the lettering last year so I'm adding different motifs throughout this year.  This weekend I added four pumpkins from a Just Nan design - two in the W, one in the P (most appropriate)

and one gourd-like pumpkin on the I

stitched on 32 count Murano in Tigerlily by Sparklies

I'm thinking of Ghosts for next month.  There's a lot of places a ghost can pop out of.

Finally, because it's May that means it's Stitch Maynia.  This project took the idea from the DUCJC and March Madness of new starts and went with a start for each day in May.  Last year I started 31 Just Nan Smalls to go with the batch I had already started for March Madness in 2017.  I have finally finished all the 2017 starts and I'm currently stitched Day 1 from 2018 so this year I decided to stitch on the same design I started last year for each day.  So here are the first five designs:

I'm doing just one strand per day on each one.  These are used as travel projects, lunchtime projects and crafty coffee morning projects with the goal of one finish per month.  Once Butterfly Lace is complete I will pick up the Butterfly Needlebook and work through that one.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

The People Chose Flowers

Regular followers will be aware that for over 3 years now I have run a themed SAL on the first Saturday of each month.  First we spent 26 months doing The Alphabet Club and then 12 months of the Zodiac.  Now I have decided to listen to the People and post about your choice of theme.  Each month I ask for suggestions on the blog and then make a poll in the IHSW Facebook Group from those suggestions.

May - Flowers
June - Mermaids
July - Finishing

Floral designs must be the number one most popular subject for stitching along with An Alphabet.  Flowers have appeared in samplers since the earliest day, often as stylised borders or motifs.  Now you can stitch everything from reproduction styles to realistic floral pictures via personified flower fairies.

My very first finish back in 1993 featured a stylised basket of flowers in a mini sampler from Anchor:

The next year I moved on to a series of four designs by Sue Cook based on the artwork of Alphonse Mucha.  This one is Flowers:

In 2012 I worked my way through the Flower of the Month series from World of Cross Stitching magazine and stitched all 12 as greeting cards sent out to various friends in the cross stitching world.  Here's a collage of them all:

I tried a different technique for the flowers.  I did the backstitch in one of the colours used and then coloured the highlights of the flowers using felt-tipped pens.  Very quick and effective!

This next design is one of my favourite Floral pictures, a Round Robin from the days when they were really popular and we often had two running at once!  This one is based on Joan Elliott's Flower Fairies.  I stitched the six flowers in the centre and sent out instructions about placement and stitching for each of the main fairies.  This comes out on display every Summer:

I don't really have a current project which is floral based although a number of the Just Nan smalls do feature flowers as well as Summer Typography:

Now it's over to you. All you have to do is make a post on the theme of Flowers, 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!

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

April Stitch from Stash and Pie

Another very good stitchy month for me.  A large percentage of the month was taken up with the Easter Holidays so between holiday and lieu time I only worked two full days and one 5 hour day.  Add in two train journeys for uninterrupted stitching time and it was a good month.

Here's the pie for the month:

As you can see I got my full fortnight on the Discworld Mappe and saw a lot of progress particularly in the backstitch.  Here's where it was at the start of the month:

And here's where I am now:

stitched on 32 count Murano custom-dyed by Sparklies

First of all I worked on the Widdershins hand and banner as well as the red/white border.  Then I placed the leaping fish:

After that I moved inland and filled in the Agatean Empire followed by a whole lot of backstitched coastline

Next month I am going to start with the turtle flipper on the left hand side and work my way across the landmass to the right of the page.

I managed to get my full fortnight in with two days to spare so I decided to stitch some more on Gathering Eggs by Nora Corbett.  I got a LOT of turquoise skirt stitched:

stitched on 32 count Vintage Country Mocha linen

So that's the stitching.  What about the spending?  Well, most of my money went on train tickets so it was a low-spend month.  The only thing I spent money on was my Just Cross Stitch subscription which was US$ 22 plus US$ 10 postage which converts to £ 24.39

JCS sub 24.39
Total £24.39

Finally, I did find something I was tempted by, this is a design by Stone Street Stitch based on a Neil Gaiman quote and featuring open books makes the leaves of the tree.  Maybe next month

Sunday, 28 April 2019

April WIPocalypse Oldest WIPs

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 "19 in '19" for this year.  You can find the full list here.

This month I stitched on six of my list, including two finishes:

1. Enchanted Alphabet by Lavender & Lace

stitched on 32 count Murano in Tiger Lily from Sparklies

2. Discworld Mappe by Lyndisfarne Designs

stitched on 32 count Murano custom-dyed by Sparklies

3. Gathering Eggs by Nora Corbett

stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain Linen

4. Summer Typography by Just Nan

stitched on 32 count Pink Linen

5. Nest Egg by Satsuma Street

stitched on 32 count Belfast in Marie's Daffodil by Chromatic Alchemy

6. Daffodil Egg by Mill Hill

stitched on 16 count aida

Measi always gives us a topic to discuss too.

April – Talk to us about your longest-running WIP or UFO.

That's an easy one - my oldest UFO is from the 1990s - Ernie Bishop's Noel Banner:

Since I took that photo I have stitched a little bit more on the O for my Longest Day Marathons:

Close-up of the L:

Last time I got them out I realised I had used the wrong Perle for the hardanger on the E so that's all got to come out too.  These will be added to my WIPocalypse one year.  I have 9 projects started pre-2016 and will add one per year to my list.

Here's the full list if you are interested:

DesignerTitle    Start Date

Ernie BishopNoel Letters01/12/98
Craft CollectionArt Nouveau Head14/04/11
Marie SuarezMy Lovely Sewing Tools14/10/11
SamplermakersSpring Sampler01/03/12
Yiota's XstitchCoffee Fairy24/04/12
PapillonAround the World27/04/12
Scarlet LetterEnglish Transitional Sampler11/12/12
Joan ElliottFaces SAL05/06/14
Kustom KraftsLittle Snapdragon01/01/15

My Lovely Sewing Tools is in bold because that's on the list for this year.  It's my favourite out of them all which is why it made the cut. 
My oldest WIP (as in a project currently being worked on) is the Enchanted Alphabet by Lavender & Lace started on 2016.  But this was intended to be a long term project stitching one letter per month and then adding the embellishments a little each month.  Hopefully this will be declared finished this Hallowe'en.

Finally, there is still time to enter the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop.  All the links now go direct to the relevant post so you don't have to search.  Happy Hunting!