Sunday, 10 January 2016

January TUSAL


It's TUSAL time again, the first one of the year!  For those of you new to blogging, the TUSAL is a project run by Daffycat, click on the button on the right hand bar for more details.

Here is my ORTS tin posing with the current stitching project:

The new project is one of Nora Corbett's Alphabet Fairies.  This one is C.  I'm using a 32 count Murano called Oceanic Fantasia from Crafty Kitten.  I chose this fabric because it will work well with S and also because C features a solid stitched background which none of the rest do.  I'm not a fan of solid stitching so it makes sense to use a lovely fabric instread.

I also debated which threads to use.  The letters are all charted in Crescent Colours (now called Classic Colourworks) but you don't use much of some of the colours so I wondered whether it was worth buying them.  A friend sent me some she wasn't using when I started J so I looked at those and realised I needed a few of them for C too.  So I sat down and made a list, nearly all the colours feature in at least 3 of the designs I have (C, E, J and S) so it was definitely worth getting those.

I tried a new-to-me supplier - Patchwork Rabbit and I have to say I was very impressed.  I ordered them Friday lunchtime and they were with me less than 24 hours later.  All nicely wrapped in a waterproof envelope because it does rain here and the postman will carry the mail in his hands on the way to our door.

I had another new start and a partial finish on Friday this weekend.  My loose rotation said to start the design for the Christmas Ornie SAL blog on the second Friday of the month.  Like the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL blog I have a cunning plan to enable me to join in with the SAL and complete a larger piece at the same time!  Here is my finish for the theme Music:

And here is the chart cover:

I'm using an amazing fabric called Country Mocha by Willow Fabrics.  It's a 35 count linen and I love it!  The Christmas Cubes fit a 100mm x 100mm cube when they are done.  I'm using the recommended DMC except for the snow which is B5200 instead of Blanc.  It just pops better on a neutral fabric.  I also changed the words Jingle Bells to 814 instead of Black.  It's Christmas not Hallowe'en!

Now, do you remember I mentioned I was going to be reviewing something which you don't usually associate with art work?  Well, it's not artisan soap and it's not toilet roll!  It is teatowels!  Look at these:

These are based on brooch designs and would make great stitching motifs.

I'm sure many of you recognise this design from the Bothy Threads kit?

And my favourite of all:

All three of these teatowels come from the lovely people at All Tea Towels.  A name which does exactly what it says!  They sell teatowels, from the comic to the fine art, there really is something for everyone on their website.  The website is nicely arranged in categories and easy to browse too.

The parcel arrived quickly and very well wrapped in waterproof plastic (remember the postman?) with the teatowels themselves wrapped in tissue paper inside.  They are nice and thick, two are 100% cotton and the Dictionary design is a cotton/linen blend.  Not sure of the count LOL.

I can't comment on what they are like for drying up the dishes because they are just too nice for that!!  I intend to make two of them into totebags and the third will be a little gift for someone I know.

The website gives some suggestions as to what you use them for (other than drying dishes) and there's even a link to a blog called My Tea Towels dedicated to tea towels!  Would you believe it?  And you thought cross stitch was a niche subject!  (Actually the blogger is really interesting, she tells some great anecdotes about where she bought her collection of teatowels.)

Anyway, I can thoroughly recommend the All Tea Towels website if you are searching for something a little out of the ordinary as a gift for that person who has everything.  I bet they haven't got a Tunnock's Teacake Wrapper teatowel!

Disclaimer - I was not paid to write this review and I am not affliated with the company.  I did, however, receive three lovely teatowels free of charge.

Back to stitching.  The eagle-eyed among you may have spotted the addition to the Mona Lisa teatowel.  A very small stitched Mona Lisa.  This one is a freebie from Mr. X-Stitch back in July and I've been stitching it off and on ever since then.  I'm stitching over one on 28 count evenweave.  That's a petite 28 needle for scale.  I've done all the interesting bits and just have to fill in with 3799 for about 20 rows!

Finally, the next Blog Hop will be the Secret Stitching Sweetheart for Valentine's Day.  Full details to follow or you can look at last year's to see how it works and sign up by leaving a comment.


Barb said...

What pretty tea towels! It's always good luck when you find a new supplier. I have to do all my ordering on line so it really helps to find someone who does a good job.

Vickie said...

Oh yes, much nicer than toilet roll! ;) Your little Mona Lisa is fantastic!

Linda said...

Congrats on the cute finish Jo. Your Mona Lisa is so pretty. Love the tea towels.


Unknown said...

Gorgeous stitching, especially the tiny Mona Lisa - such patience. I've used the Patchwork Rabbit many times and totally agree the service is first class.

Pretty and unusual tea towel and I don't think I'd want to risk using them on drying dishes either.

FlashinScissors said...

The tea towels are lovely! I couldn't use them for drying dishes either!

Such patience stitching the Mona Lisa, that's real dedication!

It is useful to hear your experience of ordering thread online as I now realised that one of the reasons why I had abandoned my Cocoa Sampler was because threads I had ordered by mail (and this was at least ten years ago) were a lot thinner than the ones I had started my sampler with and hence have different coverage over the fabric! But I will finish stitching the sampler!
Barbara xx

♥ Nia said...

I love Nora Corbett's Fairies! Looking forward to see your progress :)
That Jingle Bells looks very pretty too :D

Katie said...

Oh love all your stitching! Love the tiny little Mona Lisa. Beautiful!!

Rachel said...

Lovely pieces and such interesting tea-towels! I may have to go and check out the websites! :)

Heather said...

Lovely stitching and cool towels! Those are definitely a niche craft but I could see how handy they could be :)

Mr X Stitch said...

How great to see a teeny Mona! Let me know when it's done!

KimM said...

I absolutely LOVE tea and everything associated with it.....thank you for providing the enabler, you! ;0)

Kaisievic said...

I love Jingle Bells, Jo and thanks for the link to the tea towel site - so fascinating - another wonderful post, my dear.

Kaisievic said...

P.S. Please sign me up for the Valentine's blog hop!

gominam said...

Tea towels, looks interesting. The ones you chose are really pretty. Congrats on your very nice finish:)

diamondc said...

Jo: Love your stitching projects, I like the Jingle Bells so sweet, oh my gosh that Mona Lisa, wow.
Love your Tea Towels so interesting.


Dani - tkdchick said...

You've got a great new start there and stitched up a lovely ornie!

Sheryl said...

Beautiful Mona Lisa design and interesting about the tea towel site, must go and have a look.

jocondine said...

Lovely Jingle Bells, your "cube" stitching is always great. The tea towel site will be a perfect visit for tomorrow tea time. Too late to stitch a cup of tea in the hands of your Mona Lisa? Amitiés said...

Beautiful projects. I follow you on my blog -
and seen the post for the 2016 TUSAL and joined myself for the first time. I'm looking forward to reading more. Happy Stitchin'! :) xxx

Clare-Aimetu said...

Love the Mona Lisa. I've used Patchwork Rabbit, very impressed with the service

Deb said...

What great tea towels!
I use 5200 white also. Love the pure look.
Very pretty stitching. Congrat on your finish!

Julie said...

Nice tea towels you were sent to review. Your little Mona Lisa is so tiny!
Great start to the Christmas cubes.

ANGIE said...

Hi Jo, your ort is so lovely! Happy stitching!

Unknown said...

I love patchwork rabbit, I use them all the time! Also yay for new starts! x

Bea said...

Lovely tea towels - I wouldn't use them for dishes either. Your Mona Lisa is looking wonderful.

Sarah in Stitches said...

Gorgeous towels! And I love your teeny tiny Mona Lisa. Great stitching!

Brigitte said...

I have just looked up Nora's Alphabet Fairies and they are so sweet. Nice start on the C. And your Mona Lisa looks just gorgeous.
I didn't know that there are such lovely tea towels out there. But the reason may be that it's been a while since I was looking for tea towels. But when I travel I always buy a tea towel with a special landmark or a map or sight of the region where I am - just the typical touristic thing to do, lol.

Leonore Winterer said...

Great start and cute finish :) Those teatowels are awesome, and so is your mini Mono Lisa! I'll have to ge get a good look at their site :)