Saturday, 29 February 2020

February WIPocalypse, Stitch from Stash and Pie

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.

My Discworld Mappe went from here:

to here:

Lyndisfarne - Discworld Map
(Project 5)

Nora Corbett - Gathering Eggs
(Project 6)

Mrs Peggotty's Queen of Hearts
(Project 7)

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)

Measi always gives us a topic to discuss:

February 29 – In honour of “Leap Year,” tell the story of a time you had to make some sort of a “leap” in stitching – taking the chance on a new style of stitching, attending a meetup or class, etc.

I guess the biggest leap I took was starting a blog up all those years ago!  I always say I only started so I could take part in the TUSAL but in actual fact it was so I could post about anything I wanted instead of derailing Forum posts by saying "but look at this thing I stitched"!

I also took a leap this year and started a new project on Leap Day.  I just rummaged through the folder I keep purchases in and found this one.  It is by Plum Street Samplers and is entitled Fox Few.  One of a series of piles of animals.  I stitched one fox:

stitched on 32 count khaki evenweave
(which is more green in real life)

So how did that last minute decision affect the pie?

Over half the month on Discworld this time.  This is the portion I focused on this month:

Lots of land and all the backstitch too.  The plan for March is to fill in all the land on the right of that photo.

How about Stitch from Stash?  I joined a survey website last year called Prolific.  They send me various different surveys to fill in online and I earn between 10p and 50p per survey.  You can cash in the money once you have £5 earned.  I had managed to get mine up to £20 so I cashed it in and bought this gorgeous kit which was less than half price on Lakeside Needlecraft's website!

I don't usually buy kits because I have no intention of using the aida but it was the only way to get this design.  I saw someone stitch the First Day as an ornament and it is absolutely stunning so I have invested in it!  I also bought four skeins of DMC I needed to top up my supplies. 

Bothy Threads £20.15
4 skeins DMC £2.72
Total £22.87

Finally, I do subscribe to a couple of magazines but this month I signed up for the Press Reader app.  It's a fee app and if you have a Library Card you can sign in with that and get free magazines!  You can't download them but you can screenshot and keep relevant pages.  Just Cross Stitch have decided they will no longer mail to the UK so I will be switching to their digital service.  I wanted to see if Press Reader would let me download the whole issue but it won't.  It's good for browsing but I like to keep my magazines for future use.   However I have already saved a couple of pages from WOCs and Crazy which are also on the app.

Check it out and see if your Library is registered.  If not, then ask them whether they belong to another magazine subscription program.  It's a great way to support your local Library too.  It was the Library Manager who let me know about the App.

Friday, 28 February 2020

February Smalls

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 Second Day in February:

stitched 1 over 2 on 40 count white linen

I completed and fully-finished a Just Nan Small.  This one is the Christmas Memories ornament:

stitched on 28 count Platinum Cashel linen

I have added a ribbon trim to this but you will have to wait until Rachel's FFO Gallery to see it

Then I started the next Just Nan; Crystal Heart:

stitched on 32 count Lavender Murano

Finally, the lovely Clare from Aimetu's Stitching is asking for some help with her smalls.  Each year Clare decorates a tree for her church's Tree Festival with stitched ornaments.  I have donated ornaments in the past and this year she is asking us to join in again.  The theme is A Bouquet of Flowers.  All she needs is the stitched piece, she will fully-finish it for you.  Just leave a comment on Clare's blog to get involved.  This is the Joy Tree from 2 years ago:

Monday, 24 February 2020

February IHSW

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 - IHSW on Facebook.

I started the weekend working on my Alice in Wonderland SAL, designed by Amanda Butler for  Cross Stitcher magazine.  I showed that in my TUSAL post yesterday so here's a quick reminder of the block I completed:

stitched on 32 count yellow Belfast

The White Rabbit only took two days so I used my Tiny Decision app to choose what to work on for the rest of the month.  Mrs Peggotty's Queen of Hearts came up.  in 2018 I stitched Alice and the Flamingo by this designer and loved her.  But the Queen is proving a different kettle of fish.  I started her as my bathtime stitch but progress was very slow and she fell by the wayside.

Last time I showed her was in September 2019 and she was here:

stitched on 22 count white hardanger

This is the portion I've been working on this weekend:

And here is what she looks like now:

I'll work on her for another five days and see how much boring background I can get done!

I did have quite an Alice themed month as I bought a new book for stitching inspiration:

As well as stitching the Alice in Wonderland sampler I decided to stitch just the backstitch on some random linen and make a little book up:

This page isn't finished yet.  I want to chart the gloves from the book and add a charm or maybe some ribbon.

The inspiration for doing this is a FB group about slow stitching.  Run by Paula MacGregor, it's all about making little fabric books from things in your stash.  There's embellishments and freehand embroidery and little buttons and so on.  Of course, mine has to be cross stitched themed and the Alice SAL seemed the perfect subject.

Here's a link to the project website if you want to learn more - Paula MacGregor - Ellen's Legacy

Finally, the next IHSW will be 20th - 22nd March 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 by leaving a comment on my post. 

Sunday, 23 February 2020

February TUSAL


It's TUSAL time!

The project on the left is the Alice in Wonderland SAL by Amanda Butler for Cross Stitcher magazine.  The border was published in issue 353, and the first two blocks in issues 354 and 355.

stitched on 32 count yellow Belfast linen

I thought I'd show my thread holder.  I printed a playing card, covered it in sticky backed plastic and punched holes down each side.  I have just used the colours which appear in the border because I am working on that each evening.  Whereas the blocks themselves get two or three days dedicated to them so I use my master set of threads.

Here are the first two blocks completed:

I am a little disappointed that the rabbit is not the Tenniel version:

But is the Tim Burton version:

I do hope she doesn't do too many different illustrators for this SAL.  I don't want to have to chart my own designs for it!

Here is the whole piece:

I finished all the larger motifs between the blocks plus the green leaves and I am now working on all the roses, hearts and butterflies.   One colour at a time.  The vines will come with the beads at the end.

The second project is also Alice themed but I will save that for the IHSW post tomorrow as I'll be working on it some more tonight.

Finally, Mini asked me to let you all know that she has a Gifted Gorgeousness Giveaway on her post here:

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 35 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

FFG SAL - 10th of each month
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.