Thursday 27 August 2020

Jumping off Trees - Lockdown SAL

Whilst not recommended in real life, it's the measure that I am using for most of the SAL, for where to measure my next stitches from.

Lots of progress, as you can see below, and on my BFF's blog 

This time we began our joint march into the variegated green, you'll see from our blogs that we have both done this very differently, the variation is perhaps more apparent on here, as you see on the left hand side.  We saved the first time to do together, but not sure that this will be a common practice.

What did I make of the variegated?  Hmm?  Well... it's different. It requires a different mindset, as it's recommended to stitch one full stitch at a time.  I'm quite happy that the darker end of my variegated thread ended up underneath the medium trees, but right now the colour combination feels a bit 'off' against the minty green of the grass on the right hand side.  I shall reserve judgement until we get more of the pattern stitched.

My plan for next week is to continue on up the medium trees, I'm enjoying trees, did I mention that once or twice?  And maybe spread sideways into the house, but right now I'm enjoying stitching with 2 threads, so maybe I will save the skinny stuff till later...who knows.  Stay tuned to find out more.

Thursday 20 August 2020

Blue coming through

Yay, those lovely trees are all stitched now!  Barring the backstitch of course.  I was SO tempted to do some back-stitching too, but it turns out that there are still some stitches around the trees that I would have to work around if that were the case.  Added a little more to the grass, but I wasn't really feeling 'the love' for that colour this time round, so I decided I needed a bit of a change.  And so it was time for some work on the bluebells.  

My BFF wasn't to be outdone (we've discovered a fun competitive edge with these joint projects), so she made a start on some bluebell stuff too.  Once again though, we're handling this quite differently, so I'll let her tell you about that over at

I'm nervous about straying too far from stitches I already have in as starting points, so these few bits may have to satisfy my need for bluebells for a wee while, and next time I will probably return to do more grass. (and although my BFF and I have both stitched some of the same grass, we've attacked it from different angles too).

Once again, we stayed on for an extra half hour past our normal Skype time, as we were just having so much fun with this stitch. (and with our nattering too, but I might tell you more about that in a different post, as it was unrelated to crafts or the SAL directly).

Probably a walk again next week, weather permitting.  Lots to talk about, and plan for.  I have more stitching WIPs underway though, so you may get an update once I make some more progress on that side of things.

Saturday 15 August 2020

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL

It is the 15th of the month, and that means it's time for the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL, hosted by Jo at

Once upon a time, there was a pattern that decided to break away from its cheeky origins.  That pattern is Clare Crompton's Finding Mr Right, which I made some changes to in order to stitch it for my parents for their Ruby wedding anniversary, 10 years ago. 

There are few patterns that I have enjoyed enough to want to revisit, although I have been known to do that in my knitting, and when I find clothing that fits perfectly, I've been known to buy it in several colours. 

This pattern, currently a fast- moving WIP, is a revisit.  You've seen it already in the Ruby Wedding sampler, and now I'm re-stitching, 10 years later, for my parents' Golden Wedding anniversary next month. I'm planning to change around some of the details from my original 'revision', with my old nemesis metallic thread for the heart, as well as some changes to the wording.  By not attempting to simply recreate the 40th one in gold, I hope to symbolise the changing nature of marriage, whilst emphasising the unchanging love they have for one another by re-using the main border of the pattern. Butterflies and flowers will be in various shades of gold DMC thread, with maybe a couple of extra sprinkles of my metallic gold alongside, depending on whether my patience has given out by then. 

Thursday 13 August 2020

Trees and unexpected pleasures - Lockdown SAL 2 continues

There is an increased amount of Tree number 2 completed for this week.  But that is not the unexpected pleasure.

The sun was shining, we had already decided to have the walk that we had postponed last week.  But this week, we decided to do an 'in-the-garden' SAL, socially distanced of course, cozily cocooned in my BFF's garden in portable chairs. (unexpected pleasure number 1)

Oh - it was SO nice to be stitching in person again, finally I got to see the hand-dyed Aida my BFF created.  And to talk about other projects that we have in the planning stages.  I have so many projects whirring around in my brain, it's a wonder I have any time left to work on anything!!  From stuff that has been WIP material for years now, to new projects that are still being planned, to new and exciting projects recently underway.  Once I categorise what I have, I may share a bit more around these on the blog.

And unexpected pleasure number 2 - my BFF gave me the gift of a fabric-sizer ruler, so I can tell the count of my stashed fabric.  Whilst most of it is 14 count, there are some others which I am not sure are 16 or 18 count, so this is a big bonus.

Head over to my BFF's blog on for her progress on our SAL.

Friday 7 August 2020

Stitching Friends are Friends who Count

Eek!! I am a barrel of nervous excitement - my FIRST EVER BLOG HOP!!

The blog is hosted by Jo over on, check out her blog for further details.

I've lurked in the background and pottered about between other people's crafting/stitching/quilting blogs for several years now, but as my blog was never focused on crafts itself, I never really felt like I could participate.  But lately, COVID-19 lock-down has led to many more stitching sessions, many more photographs being taken, and regular blog posts between my BFF and I.  Which means I have crafty content to share too!

Anyhow - enough about me, you get to find out a little about the Stitching Friend that I have been allocated in the hop.  The idea is to talk a little about my friend, and then suggest something I think they might like, based on their blog posts.  You get to guess who I'm talking about as I go along, but I will be kind and share a link to their blog at the end, just in case you can't guess it.

So.... wow.  That's all I can say. Wow. This lady stitches it ALL... I have to admit that I was entirely overwhelmed on my first look at her blog.  There didn't (at first at least) appear to be many easy themes to her work.

She described herself as having 50 (fifty??? again - WOW) plus WIPs on the go.  She's also currently taking part in a Spring into Summer New Start Binge, where she gets the fun parts of stitching on something new every single weekend.  That's something that seriously appeals to me... if only it didn't have to result in a massive increase in WIPs at the end of it.  I think she started this Binge with the idea of starting and finishing small projects, but as there's at least one HAED design in there, then I think that went out the window pretty quickly!

Her Blogger blog dates back to 2013, which is similar to me, however, unlike me, she had a blog before this.  Unfortunately hacking issues drove her to move platforms.  But that loss is our gain here on Blogger. 

What else can I say?  Oh yes, my Friend does not only stitch (many, many things), but her blog also showcases some of her knitting.  I'm a knitter too, not that you'll find any on my blog as yet.  My Friend knits the item which, as a fellow knitter, scares me the most - SOCKS!  It's that turning and shaping malarkey, I always felt sure I would end up with a strange boggled shape.

So - having had quite a mooch around my Friend's blog, I finally did start to see a theme among some of her stitches, she has a fondness for stitched sayings and quotes.  So I'd recommend Claire Crompton's 'Finding Mr Right' - the pic is unfortunately only from an ebay listing which is selling the magazine pattern, as I have only a bad photocopy on hand and not the original any longer.

The eagle-eyed among you may recognise the pattern from the Ruby Wedding sampler I completed for my parents.

So... in case you hadn't guessed by now, my Stitching Friend is - hop on over there to continue your journey.

Thursday 6 August 2020

I'm really a tree.... Lockdown Stitchalong number 2

Well - we were supposed to be out walking last night, but the car was in for repairs, and by the time I'd walked back and forth for my other commitments in the day, I was wiped out, so we reverted to Skype for our session.

Which means I could finish my first tree.  And then I did a little bit of the greenery underneath, but mostly so I could get over to the next tree... the trees are filling me with joy in their tree-ness.  I'm really enjoying stitching this pattern.

And we compared some patterns for the next SAL, as well as discussing ideas for the all-new-but-old anniversary sampler.  I think we'll keep you in suspense as to the next project though...for a while at least.

So here's progress so far, one complete tree and a stump of the second one.

Head on over to to see my BFF's update.

How do you keep yours?

Had one of those jealous moments this week, a fellow crafter was sharing pictures of her GIANT craft room that was bigger than our entire ground floor.

It got me thinking about storage, and how we store our threads, when they're in use and when they're waiting for the next pattern.

My BFF suggested that I share a picture of my latest 'innovation', where I discovered my thread cards fit quite nicely in the fold of my sofa while I am using them on a project.  I just have to remember to pack them up when I'm done and not leave a needle in there just in case!!

The same card also clips nicely using that magnet, onto my standing lamp, which is metallic.

Do you keep your threads in any odd places?  Let me know in the comments..

Tuesday 4 August 2020

For real this time

Now this one really IS a wedding sampler.

I completed this one for my younger brother and sister-in-law, who married almost 3 years ago.  The couple are great friends to me and my hubbyman, and their relationship had grown from friendship into something much deeper, they'd been together around 8 years when they got married.  So - I wanted something that would speak to those sentiments, and that would reflect both their marriage and their friendship.  I also knew that I didn't want images with wedding dresses in, these always seem to be more 'bride-focused' and miss out the fact there's actually a husband in there somewhere.

So here is 'A Marriage Is..' by Janlynn.

I really enjoyed stitching on this one, and the recipients loved it.  My sister-in-law does a little cross stitch herself, so she knew just how much work had gone into it.

A rare favour

I'm not normally one who would offer to stitch on a project (particularly unseen) for anyone else.  However, a friend from church had an aunt who was in the final stages of life, and she (the aunt) was very concerned about her unfinished WIPs or cross stitching projects.  So my friend asked did I know anyone who would be able to take on the task.  Before I knew it, the words were out of my mouth, offering to finish it, in the hopes that I could help fulfill those last wishes.

Fast forward to a week later, when my friend brought the kit to church.  Eek!!  The image was a very traditional 'icon' style, which is definitely not to my own tastes, although I love religious imagery, one of my many current WIPs is Bucilla's Mother and Child - which will eventually get (at least one) post of its own.  It also contained MASSES of metallic threads.  I've had experience of metallic threads in the past, and it was not a thing I was looking forward to revisiting.

Here she is, in her final finished glory, looking particularly iconic in a well-chosen frame from a local hardware store.  I actually enjoyed most of the stitching, as the pattern was printed on very large paper, so it was easy to read and highlight.  The metallic work, well, I reduced the amount of it to make it palatable to my own tastes, having tried a slippy metallic thread alternative I was still unimpressed and decided that I just needed to get on with it.

Have to admit, I'm quite happy with the result, as was my church friend.

Monday 3 August 2020

Special things

Sometimes we'll have those projects that just 'speak' to us, this is one of mine. My BFF is a major dragon fan, as you'll be able to see over at  But as she is also a much more prolific cross stitcher than me, it was hard to find just that design that both contained a dragon, but wasn't something she would have stitched for herself already.

Finally, on a day out in a craft shop (sorry I cannot remember which one, it was a long long time ago now, perhaps even longer than the ruby wedding sampler in my last post), I found this.

The words spoke to me of who, and what my BFF, is to me. And my BFF, who is not a woman of great emotional displays in general, was very touched by both dragon and sentiment.

The writing (which is the reason I knew my BFF wouldn't make it for herself) was much easier than I expected.  The dragon itself was an easy stitch, but it was one of those items for which the back stitch required coming up and down in holes which were not there, it was ironically actually one of the hardest projects I've ever back stitched. Normally, of course, I would have picked my BFF's brains as to alternatives, but here I had to manage all by myself.

So it will always hold a special place in my stitching memories.

Something old, something new

No - not wedding samplers.... well - not quite... on this occasion.

But as I am taking part for the first time in a 'blog hop' this weekend, I figured I'd best attempt to have a bit more craft-related content for my match to read... much as I loved the OU journey myself, I'm not certain that it will have the same draw for my crafty readers.

Not the greatest of photographs, but here's one I completed (wow) 10 years ago, for my parents' ruby wedding anniversary.  It will be their Golden anniversary this year and I haven't managed anything, mostly because coronavirus took over the world and lost focus on everything else in the meantime.

Wondering whether a revisit to this pattern with some changes to colours and numbering might be a possibility? (It being August now, there's not an awful lot of stitching time left before their anniversary).

Time to go play in the 'stash' and see whether I can drum up anything.