Monday 30 August 2021

Bank Holiday Fun

It's a Bank Holiday weekend here in England, and after a busy few days with work and family visits, I felt like a crafty day was on the cards today. So out comes the machine and the rulers, along with the cross stitch needles. 

Both have had a good day today. Progress so far on a seasonal cover kit by Emma Congdon for World of Cross Stitching. 

And I got started on the second part of my Big Quilt.  The top has been finished for about 3 years, just awaiting a house move for my mojo to return.   You may notice the non-symmetrical side to this quilt, the intention is to work on the top and bottom panels separately as lap quilts, and then join the two using Quilt As You Go techniques.   
The reverse is also pieced, as I have insufficient of the silvery fabric to make a full top. 
(In fact, can I tell you something...? The silver fabric is actually the reverse side of a black piece, it is much nicer this way up!) 

I also joined the seam on a panel of my 'Graduation Quilt'... Four years after graduation and with no particular end date in sight.  It is a reversible quilt pieced entirely from strips. 

Ironically, I like the reverse better than the busy multi coloured front!

OK, back to making the most of the time left in the holiday!! 

Sunday 29 August 2021

BFF SAL 4, finally done!

Finally, the piece is done and I have to admit that I like the picture a lot now that I am finished!!

Reading the associated article in the magazine, the picture is of Ravello, on the Amalfi Coast

See the real world view on the website

Meanwhile, here's my finished version :

Friday 27 August 2021

BFF SAL 4 more catch up

Getting closer, but still not quite there.  There's maybe 50 or less stitches left to go, but I have run out of steam again today.

One more post I hope! 

I had a really bad workday on Wednesday this week, so we managed a bit of a natter on Facebook Messenger while I worked a single colour on my next diamond-painting. (I couldn't even face turning on the laptop to get on Skype!) 

But as it is intended to be a gift, I have nothing to share from the night. 

Hopefully back to normal next week! 

Tuesday 24 August 2021

BFF SAL 4 playing catchup

My thread order did not arrive as quickly as I anticipated, 

and I will admit to also being distracted by a lot of quilting too....

so I've not managed to get completely finished with the SAL this week.  I may pick it up tomorrow on our Skype session, or I may finish it during the week. I think it will depend on how bad the work day is beforehand.

But hey, any progress is better than none, right? 

Thursday 19 August 2021

The first step - Patchwork Quilting - Bed Runner

One day I will tell you the whole tale of this quilt.  But for now, as it's a very long tale, this is The Bed Runner Formerly Known As Side Panel Number One.

The rail fence squares are stitched in the ditch (or the furrow, to appease my BFF's sensibilities). In between lie some hexagons, with half-hexies in the border creating a pleasing diamond pattern.

It's had so many varieties of patterns in my head and in template that I have to admit it stalled in a bag, unloved and unfinished, for maybe close to 3 years!!

But having moved home and having space (and time) to do my crafts again, I decided to resurrect it, before starting on any other quilting projects or even the completed top I'd planned to do next.

The materials are from a single duvet from my first house, my parents' lightweight bedroom curtains, and some leftover materials from my first quilt, which I will share too one day.

Here it is, lying in its rightful place on our bed!

BFF SAL 4... so near

... And yet so far!  I wasn't quick enough to order my missing threads, so my BFF got her SAL adaptation finished before me.  Mind you, we were always kind of expecting that, as mine is 900ish stitches more. 

Happy with my progress, and I shall finish and post before our next Skype meeting I think. 

Having been bitten by this project which we picked in a bit of a hurry just to have something we both liked,  we had some discussion about our next steps.  We'll share the outcome of that with you when we come to blog about our next session.

Hahaha My BFF posted before reading and we had not discussed keeping it secret...  So next time, as you'll see on her blog, is a RAL - Random along, anything crafty (as currently knitting and quilting are calling me too).  But things which we can complete whilst nattering that don't require too much brain pain. 

Check out my BFF's update on when she's posted. 

Monday 16 August 2021

BFF SAL 4 Extra Time 3

Getting close to a finish on this one now.  There are some threads I need to replace before that, so I'd better get ordering and hope they turn up by Wednesday evening!!

I like how very different the redesigned pieces look, it's testament to how differently we started on the stitch.

I think I actually prefer the zoomed in images to the finished version of the full pattern.  And it's certainly aided my confidence in my ability to adapt a pattern!!  We'll show you the whole thing once we complete the SAL.

Check out my BFF's blog, not sure whether she's planning on updating separately or adding to this week's full update.  But it's always worth the visit anyway. 

Sunday 15 August 2021

August Gifted Gorgeousness

Finally, a special finish in time for GG this month.  I started on this piece, Toy Room Birth Sampler by Durene Jones, back in October 2020, with the delusion of being finished in time for the baby's birth in December!  Well, as most normal people realise already, it's hard work packing up your whole house to move out of the area, and tends to leave less time for hobbies.   So before the move in January 2021, this was how it looked, a far cry from being finished! 

So then I decided, it will be ready before my brother and sister in law go back to Canada... As they had a period of work still requiring them to live out there.   Now I don't know quite how long I'd expected to have available here, needless to say I was still unpacking some of our boxes from the move when they went back in early February!   I've taken a lot of stitching photos in the time since, but not many progress pics of this stitch. It only started to feel like progress when I finally got to start backstitching here, even with some oddments of cross stitch still left to do

Progressing to complete backstitch and missing just a few eyes and the lettering. 

A new deadline now, they were coming home to stay, finally!! So aiming for early August/late July 2021.

Now, the banner was supposed to say 'Welcome to the World', but somehow that only felt appropriate for a small baby, not an 8-months bundle of movement. So I settled on baby's name alone, with date and birth weight under the toy shelf. 

Finally got finished and ready to frame, this is something I do for myself.  I was finally happy with the way it looked, but I couldn't quite find one of the clips that hold the back of the frame on.  Needless to say, I found it when I pushed the piece into place and it broke the glass in the frame!! 

So, I now have a bonus frame with no glass waiting for a new picture.  Luckily I was able to purchase the same one again as a replacement, and luckily my local hardware store is a very reasonably priced source of frames!! 

So finally, here is the finished article, shown without the glass before I put it in. (handy for photos as no reflections). 

Check out who else is participating in Gifted Gorgeousness on

Wednesday 11 August 2021

BFF SAL 4 - A stitch among friends

Tonight I felt the need to stitch an abundance of green.  Unfortunately the two colours of green I most needed to do, I need to buy new supplies for.  So I pootled about around the rest of the picture, filling in mostly in the pale bits of land at the top left. I did get a bit of green in, finishing the darkest of the two greens in the tree, and doing a little bit of the other dark green.

Lots of time tonight for nattering, both about my BFF's project for the Primary children in her church, and about plans for our respective quilts.  It's been SO long since I picked up a needle for quilting, I've lost a lot of confidence, but I have a grand plan for some simple work on a quilt whose top I finished some years ago now.

Check out my BFF's update on

Tuesday 10 August 2021

BFF SAL 4 Extra Time 2

It's been a hit and miss week for time on the SAL this week. But starting to feel like I'm getting somewhere eventually. I reckon another 3 sessions might finish this one, as there's no backstitch to think about?

Old Hobbies

Occasionally I get the urge to knit.  Now I used to be quite a prolific knitter and made myself several cardigans over the years.

However, I have fallen into bad habits with my knitting of late.  I have started and failed to complete at least 2 or 3 adult pieces. I purchased wool to make a jumper for my mother, and realised that the texture of the wool meant that it was being used at an alarminly fast rate, and was looking nowhere near likely to be a jumper.

My mother got the wool in the end, and made a cardigan for my 10 year old niece.  So at least it wasn't wasted! 

Next, I purchased some brightly colored chunky wool to make a jumper for myself, but a chance remark from my BFF's mother about the Halloween shades meant that all I could see was Halloween when I looked at it.

So the wool went to live at my Mam's in disgrace!  It was then turned into hats for the local seafarers charity at our church.

Next came a brightly colored chunky which I decided was to be a jumper for me.  I lost interest and ended up pulling it out to start afresh.

It's currently being knitted into a poncho which I bought in a pattern book years ago, you will have seen it in a plain colour on my BFF's blog regarding her occasional forays into the world of yarn.  I like the colour of hers better, the cables get entirely lost in the pattern of the wool itself.  But I'm determined that this time I will actually continue with the knit, so here's a quick picture of progress, I figured that if I share it then I will be more likely to want to complete it!!
'Scuse the toes!! 

Diamond Dash

Start to finish on this one - 10 days.  I've not yet found a frame for it - I may need to buy a different sized piece of mount board, as I think it will fit in one of my spare frames but the current mount would cover too much of the image.

I've really enjoyed the process and found it almost meditative at times.  But it will never replace cross stitch as my top craft.  Its advantages over cross stitch (no backstitch, no worries about how far my thread is travelling at the back) are so far outweighed by the overall pixelated nature of the finished image.  I somehow sense that a much bigger image is required to allow it to look sharper. 

I do think this one looks slightly sharper than the dragon my BFF and I wound up completing as a one-way -'round robin'. 

Not certain what's next, but I think I have my eye on a Star Wars image which may be a Christmas gift. 

Back to other crafts in the meantime! 

Saturday 7 August 2021

Stitching Friends are Friends who Count - Summer Blog Hop

Welcome to Jo's Summer Blog Hop, hosted by Jo over at

The idea of this Hop is to take a look at another stitcher's blog and give you a few clues to see if you can guess who I'm talking about.  I will keep you in suspense till the end of the post.

My Stitching Friend this time round also lives in what I'd call the North East of her country.  However, Google describes it as the Mid West... So I guess that England is not the only place with confusing geography!! (the Midlands being distinctly nowhere near the middle of England and definitely 'down south' to me!) 

She is a prolific stitcher, with a multitude of WIPs.  Like me, I suspect she may be a woman with strong faith, as one of her current WIPs is a beautiful whitework piece the Agnus Dei byvModern Folk Embroidery. 

One of my favourite pieces of her work is her Elizabeth by Gay Ann Rogers, the details are just stunning and must need so much patience!! 

Her project preferences tend to be quite focused on needlepoint and embroidery rather than counted cross stitch, so I struggled a little to find a common ground between her work and mine.  But as a possible suggestion for a piece she might like, how about a recent finish by Teresa Wentzler, which my BFF and I did as a SAL.

 The original pattern looks like the first image, I've adapted it to my own tastes and mounted on a notebook which will be used for hymn lyrics and chords. 

If you haven't guessed by my clues so far, my Stitching Friend is

Check out her site and have fun Hopping around with us! 

Wednesday 4 August 2021

Closing the Gap - BFF SAL 4

This week I worked on filling in the gap on the right.  It's one of those with similar symbols next to each other so has been put off for some time. But having discovered that my neon yellow highlighter works well on the dark parts of my pattern, it was time to give it a go.

Feels like it's getting closer to completion.  Not close enough for either of us though, and it's proving to be complex enough to hinder chatting, so we've allowed an extra time session again before next week, to be spread however we wish across the week.

Check out my BFF's update on

Sunday 1 August 2021

A Diamond of my Own

Finally I made a decision on my next diamond-painting project.  Not sure whether this will stay with me, or be gifted, but I am having fun starting from scratch on this one, rather than jumping in at the ninja-hunting stage!!