Thursday 30 July 2020

I want to be a Tree.... Lockdown Stitch-Along number Two

There used to be an insurance TV advert with that one on... Prudential (I discover from my awesome Google skills and not my poor long term memory).

But last night, after much planning and searching for fabrics etc, we got to start on our second 'lock-down stitch-along' (yeah I know we can leave the house now, but the name kind of stuck with me, and anyway, until we are stitching in each other's houses again, it's still a bit of a lock-down situation).

I had planned to use a blue bit of fabric from a 'craft item of the month club' that my BFF and I were formerly subscribed to, however, on investigation, it would appear that the piece of Aida I had in mind was the same colour as my BFF's unsuitable bit, and thus much too dark for the light sky of the project.  So - white it is, as that I had plenty of in my 'stash', having more often chosen cream as a background for my random projects rather than white.

The start of a new project always brings up an age-old question - where to begin.  Now, I was taught (by my BFF) to always start in the middle (or close to it) - do my readers have any other starting points?  And if so, why do they appeal?  So, looking to the centre of my pattern, I went for the largest single colour I could immediately see close by, which in my case happened to be the first of the trees which form the middle ground of this design.  I got not only the entirety of the darker colour, but a fair amount of the next colour in too (mind you we did stitch way past our normal timings, over-running by 35 minutes, which was delightfully naughty).  Excuse the trailing thread, I fastened in ready to start again next time.

Weather permitting, we intend another walk next week, so the next SAL will be in a fortnight's time - pity, as this pattern has taken both our imaginations and I will miss stitching on it!!

Keep an eye out on my friend's blog at to see quite how differently we deal with the start of this project... it will be interesting to find out when we start to look similar...

Tuesday 28 July 2020

The Missing Link

Well, last week, as mentioned,  we decided we'd go for a socially distanced walk, having missed being in each other's company physically rather than digitally. 

This gave us much more time to make a few plans for the start of our next stitch along project.  So, here it is, all prepped and ready to go tomorrow on Skype (we established that prepping was best done outside the Skype sessions otherwise we'd be slower to get started).

You can just see teeny bits of the pattern peeking out from below....Bluebell Wood by Joanne Sanderson.The pattern comes from the magazine you see below that.  My BFF stitched a beautiful bespoke wedding sampler for my hubby and I,  and the picture was published in the magazine the following year.  My BFF will tell you that tale over on,  but I will share a picture of the real thing here (hopefully a better image soon)

Thursday 16 July 2020

Life INSIDE the Washing Basket - finally a finish

Lots and lots of pics this time!  Never did get round to a second posting, as I only just put in the last 'special dispensation stitches' 5 minutes before this week's Skype session.  So, here it is finished off, and then a little trimming required to facilitate easier stitching-up.

So - was the experience any easier, having wrong sides facing rather than sewing together inside out?  I have to admit, it didn't feel that way at first, with 3 abortive attempts to manage the seams and the outlines.  I still have an obvious ladder where I have stitched, but as it's neatly sewn, I am happy with that.  Here's a couple of shots from along the way:

That last little side was the hardest one to sew, working with the stuffed article was odd.

And then I was done!!  The finished biscornu (minus a button which I am still to decide upon for the centres) - my BFF decided on something different for finishing, but I will let her tell that tale over at

And here, finally, in pride of place on the mantelpiece (for now at least):

Stay tuned for more stitch-alongs, we have something else in mind for our next project, but we plan to take a socially-distanced walk next week, so we may spill the beans on our plans before we actually get the chance to start it.  Really looking forward to it, I have very much enjoyed the process of working on the same project simultaneously, and watching how our projects grow and differ as they go along.

Friday 10 July 2020

Life INSIDE the Washing Basket - nearly almost almost..

Getting so close to the end I can feel it now.  Back-stitch duly begun this time, and no more fighting to see what colours are underneath those backstitch lines.

We did a little bit of what I call 'Tech Support' nattering first, getting my BFF up and running with her new automated tripod/selfie stick for blog photography, as it works via Bluetooth which she'd not experienced in the past.

And then we had a quiet evening's stitching, peppered with small snippets of conversation (this week we were stitching a day later, as I'd been house hunting again so had bits and pieces to share).  And meanwhile my BFF was stitching up and 'birthing' the (almost) finished project.  We discovered (after she had stitched up) that this was a project which should be stitched with wrong sides together rather than 'bagging out', so some hilarity ensued whilst she was pushing seams on stiff Aida through a very small space.  But the birthing process was completed, and you can see what it will look like over at

So - this is my completion so far, a bit more backstitch to go, for which again I have special dispensation to complete outside the session, so that I can get to the making up part next week.  I'll post again once that one is done.  You can really see what a difference the backstitch is making on this particular project!

Friday 3 July 2020

Life INSIDE the washing basket - Lockdown stitch-along - special dispensation

Having been given permission to work outside the rules in order to finish the cross stitch, I got to do a bit extra work with the stitch along this week.  I found it quite soothing to be finally filling in those last chunks of green - although there were a couple of purple and blue ninjas along the way too!

Have to admit it took a lot of willpower to stop after the cross stitch and not make a start on all that backstitching too - it makes such a difference, as you can see on my BFF's blog of the finished side.

So here's my second little update photo.  That lightest green at the top centre keeps making me look twice, but it's definitely all stitched now!!

Thursday 2 July 2020

Life INSIDE the washing basket - Lockdown stitch-along - more tulips and a lot of dotty green

The title says it all, really.  Added more yellow in to finish off the tulip heads (stems are yet to materialise).  But as it was a bit of a dark and murky evening outdoors, it was hard to find some of the other symbols, buried as they were underneath the backstitch.

I felt like I should have made lots more progress, particularly as my BFF finished the backstitch by now (check out for her updates).  And at one point, I needed task lighting to brighten the work up enough to figure out what was next.  So we resorted to one-way viewing, my BFF left her camera on and I turned mine off.

I've been given special dispensation to finish off the remaining cross stitches outside of the stitch-along, for fear that I leave my poor BFF nothing to write about whilst I catch up. (as she's a more prolific craft blogger than me, that didn't phase her, but it felt stressful to me, which would be defeating the object of nights together where we have fun).

So - stay tuned over the next few days, for an intermediate update.  Meanwhile, here's the first update picture.