Wednesday 13 December 2023

BFF SAL Variations on a theme- Christmas continued

Yes, I know we did it last week,  but my brain is too tired for intense colour work from a book. So Variations again this week and a simple stitch.

I thought both of these were on 14 count Aida, but I think this week's  on the left may actually be 16 count.... ah well!

And my count was entirely off on my second attempt at Let it Snow,  so it has currently been abandoned whilst I figure out whether it gets redesigned or binned!!

Maybe a time out will suggest to me how to redesign to my satisfaction,  but as it's only a gift tag sized piece of fabric then I'm not going to stress over it!

Check out my BFFs update here

Wednesday 6 December 2023

BFF SAL Variations on a Theme - Christmas

It's the first Wednesday of the month,  so it's time for our monthly theme night. Both finished our earlier projects so something different today. 

For me, 2 of these tags from a World of Cross Stitching cover kit. 

Check out my BFFs progress on her blog here

Wednesday 29 November 2023

BFF SAL 14 - More is Less?

Odd how sometimes adding more can make a stitch suddenly less substantial!  I think because I'd been filling full petals previously,  the new pink seems to have had that effect. 

Coming along steadily,  I didn't summon the mojo to catch up,  so I still have 1hr 45 banked to fo that 'off camera' before the next one.   Need to find something small for Variations next week. 

Check out my BFFs update here,  as I know she got there before me this week!

Sunday 26 November 2023

Advent Calendar Blog Hop 2023

Welcome to Advent! Perfectly timed as this evening's Vigil Mass would be for the first Sunday in Advent. 

The Hop is hosted by Jo over at Serendipitous Stitching.

First to talk about our Santa stories... hmm... well.   My own childhood first.  Living in a flat roofed council house in a new town, I remember being worried as we had no chimney, how would he manage?  Oh he has a Magic Key that works just for Santa and Christmas (maybe they thought I'd worry about someone getting in outside that time).

For our own little one (now a 6ft 4 beanpole), we began quite a complex process.  There would be mince pies or other sweet food item depending on what we had in, and usually Baileys or sherry, but then there would be mess left by the reindeer (just the sawdust 'reindeer food' from school fetes).  And sometimes Santa even left a personal handwritten message.  Yikes it was sometimes hard work to remember exactly what we'd said!

I was so well ahead of myself with my Advent stitch that it took a while to remember what it was!!  This sweet Lucie Heaton mouse.  I really enjoyed this little stitch a lot.

Merry Christmas blogpeeps!!

Wednesday 22 November 2023

BFF SAL 14 -Oh no she didn't!!

No, I'm not off to the pantomime.  But I had been cleaning the teenage son's bedroom yesterday...nuff said.  I was therefore too tired to face counting and making mistakes in my SAL. 

So this week I did 8 rows of knitting,  on my gilet instead. 

My BFF has kindly allowed me 105 minutes of daytime stitches to catch up again,  you can see that next time if I finally get the energy.  We did have a corresponding giggle about me allowing her the same amount of time to spend on her knitting!!

Check out my BFFs update here

Wednesday 15 November 2023

BFF SAL 14 - Filling in the Leaves

(To the tune of Bringing in the Sheaves)

Much fun with earworms tonight, one of which my BFF was able to invoke without even singing it!!

I never managed to find my 3364 thread, so I used some free time today to go buy a replacement.  No doubt the original will turn up soon.

A couple of filled leaves and a more fleshed-out petal.  Happy with that for the evening. 

Check out my BFFs progress here

Wednesday 8 November 2023

BFF SAL 14 - Where art thou?

3364 thread that is!  I know I've got some, I used it for the bud. Can I find it tonight to use again... nope!!?

Had fun finally working with a bit of pink, particularly as I picked up the missing 602 at a local shop.

It's most interesting watching these grow separately,  although we did joke today that if I could just use my BFFs almost complete flower, and she my complete vase, that we'd be nearly done. 

I do rather like that bud.

Check out my BFFs update here

Friday 3 November 2023

BFF SAL Variations on a theme - Christmas

Well - as this is a monthly variation,  there is lots to show!

Finished the remaining white and red parts of the Advent Calendar. 
And also made a start on the Snowman decoration kit, which was a freebie with my World of Cross Stitching magazine. 

Check out my BFFs progress here

Monday 30 October 2023

Halloween Trick or Treat Blog Hop 2023

Hello, and a Spooky welcome to the annual Hop.  The Hop is hosted by Jo over at Serendipitous Stitching,  if you didn't start from there, have a look to follow the list.  Collect all the letters along the journey to form a mystery phrase.

I had great fun stitching this lovely piece, Willabella Witch by Durene Jones.   It's forming part of an ongoing self-made Halloween sampler, which is my first decent foray into evenweave, stitched on custom Byzantium 32 count Murano fabric by Chromatic Alchemy.

It will likely be a few years in the making, but I'm going to have fun along the way. 

And now you get to collect the letter 
A, and Hop along to the next blog, which is 

Wednesday 25 October 2023

BFF SAL 14 - ah - vase

Yay! Got my 503 and the vase is complete. 

So pleased with that, when stitching I felt like I could see where the new thread began, but the photo above doesn't seem to show it so I shall take that as success. 

Check out my BFFs update here

Wednesday 18 October 2023

BFF SAL 14 - error 504 Denied

All last week I was itching to stitch 504, the lighter shade of teal on the vase. But my thread box showed it absent. 

No matter, says I, I will get some at the shops.  On arrival at the shop with hubby in tow, proceeds to the DMC rack. 503, 505 says the labelling!!  Oh bother she says in the voice of Winnie the Pooh.  It's been discontinued.   Alternative located as 3813, and thankfully present and purchased. 

So this evening I got to stitch all of that colour, which turned out to be not a lot.  On going back to 503 I discovered that I ought to have replaced that whilst picking up my 3813.  Grrrrrr I hate running out of the thread I most want to be stitching.

I shall look through the entire selection of required threads for next week and replace any needed,  as it made me most cross with the pattern through no fault of its own.

Check out my BFFs progress here

Thursday 12 October 2023

BFF SAL 14 - One of Those Days

You know Those Days? Where if it can go wrong,  it will?  Yesterday was one of them, having had a hard day at work then spilling chilli on my carpet!

I merrily finished off 502, a short break with 503, added some white jumping off from that, then went to the 975 at top and bottom of the vase... and then yikes!!  The tops of the vase didn't meet up as expected!  So the last 20 minutes were spent frogging that oopsie, and "off-camera" time used for reinstatement.

Pleased with progress in the end anyway. 

Check out my BFFs update here

Wednesday 4 October 2023

BFF SAL Variations on a theme - Christmas

It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for our Variations SAL. 

The Advent Calendar has been coming along steadily "off camera" with these to show

However tonight I was most excited to do the first of the even numbers,  in white thread on red Aida.

I'm very happy with my snowman,  he just wouldn't have looked right in any other colour!

Check out my BFFs update here

Wednesday 27 September 2023

BFF SAL 14 - a new beginning

Can you believe we're up to 14 now??

It's always exciting getting to start something new, what do I want to stitch it on, do I have enough fabric and threads?

Hard to see in a picture but this is on a pale dusky rose aida, which I believe is 16 or 18 count,  I have yet to establish which.

The outlines here look like a half eaten apple to me, which is definitely not the case!

Check out my BFFs update here to see what she started with - as usual we are taking a quite different path despite starting in precisely the same spot!

Wednesday 20 September 2023

BFF SAL A Baker's Dozen - the cakes are ready!

All neatly finished in time (for the end of our session), and in time to honour the start of the Great British Bakeoff (I believe it goes by a different name when exported to the USA).

I've enjoyed watching this grow, but I will be glad not to be changing threads so often!

We had an in person get together on Monday, so we were able to take some time to find a project for BFF SAL 14 next week. 

Check out my BFFs update here

Wednesday 13 September 2023

BFF SAL A Baker's Dozen - I ate cake

No... I mean... I have 8 cakes LOL.   Have been doing a couple then backstitch as I go, somehow that is less irritating. 

Of course now that means we have to start working out what's going to be the project for SAL 14.  Good grief, who knew that Lockdown SAL would grow into a set like this!

Check out my BFFs update here

Wednesday 6 September 2023

BFF SAL - Variations on a Theme 1 - Christmas

And now for something a bit different.  The first of our 'Variations ' evenings. A chance to cheekily start something new without first finishing something old.

We will take a theme and stitch something on that theme for the first Wednesday of each month.   This being the autumn,  it's of course time for a Christmas stitch. 

I'm working on an Advent Calendar by Durene Jones.  This appeals due to the single thread colour in each panel.  I'm not quite following the pattern for colour choices,  with finishes in (DMC) 777 and 550 thus far, rather than the recommended 817 and B5200

I'm really enjoying the stitch this far, and managed to complete a single panel within our session.  

Edited to add my previous finishes too

Check out my BFFs progress here

Thursday 31 August 2023

BFF SAL A Baker's Dozen... let them eat cake

It was great to be back to our session this week,  I missed it a lot while on my holidays.  Had a lovely time in the sun but very grateful to be home in cooler weather now.

Dotted about completing the cupcakes I could reach with the colours I had out of the box. So added their backstitch at the end because the remaining cakes required decisions as to how they're laid out,  or what colours to use, given that we're adapting an existing piece to fit.  And I didn't have that amount of thought energy... so fun left for next week. 

Check out my BFFs update here

Wednesday 9 August 2023

BFF SAL A Baker's Dozen continued

The vertigo is abating slightly,  so this week I managed to get some Stitching in.

Filling in each colour as I go, and following the pattern for these, later there will be design choices required,  but for today I celebrated merely Stitching. 

Back in 3 weeks time after a well earned summer break.

Check out my BFFs update here

Thursday 3 August 2023

BFF SAL... not quite

Apologies for the absence last week,  it's been a weird fortnight,  which saw me fighting with vertigo.   And as I need to swap to more magnifying glasses for cross stitch, I didn't manage anything this week either, as it was triggering an attack of dizziness. 

But my BFF and I enjoyed a long fun night, looking at Etsy shops for patterns for me, we're going to change things up on the first Wednesday of each month with a themed stitch.  This gives us any excuse for a new start without letting the main BFF SAL projects stall for too long.

I think I've decided what to do, but you'll have to find out more next month.  Hopefully I'll be back to a stitch next week!

And I did manage 2 rows of this knitting.. so there was craft worked anyway.  I'm enjoying this as something that still allows me to craft whilst I wait for the vertigo drugs to chase that away.

Wednesday 19 July 2023

BFF SAL - A Baker's Dozen

A new start,  and a serendipitous Friday Freebie from Durene Jones on her Facebook page. 

This needs a bit of adjustment to fit the theme, but nevertheless it looked like a task we'd be equal to.  So.. the containing item is taller than the pattern (as wider looked harder to adjust).

I'm stitching on 14 count white Aida, as I got a pack of 75 x 75 squares at Christmas,  which gives ample space around the 37 x 50ish design as adjusted.

The container took longer than I'd anticipated,  but it leaves us both in a good place to begin the main part of the design next week. 

I look forward to seeing this one take shape.

Check out my BFFs Bakers Dozen here

Wednesday 5 July 2023

When is a Puddle not a Puddle? - BFF SAL 12

When is a Puddle not a Puddle?  When it's a cushion of course!

One super cute sleepy cat on a cushion (not in a puddle),  where he will remain for a while until we decide on a finish plan. 

I finished off the night with a teeny bit of knitting,  I've started on a chunky gilet for the winter... something big enough to give a knitting challenge,  but small enough to hopefully be finished before the Knitting Muse leaves,  as she is something of a fickle companion who will up and leave just as quickly as she arrives!  Not enough to see progress, so this is as much as I have to display. 

Check out my BFFs update for the week here

We have a plan for BFF SAL 13, but you will need to wait a couple of weeks to find out what'snext,  as I have some choir rehearsals taking over the next week and can't fit in a SAL session. 

Thursday 29 June 2023

Nearly almost a Kitty - BFF SAL 12

Yippee,  cross stitch is complete for me this week. 

And I had time to start on the backstitch,  not as much as my BFF though!

The question of how to finish it off will be addressed (or not) next week I think.  We had something in mind but now not entirely sure about the plan. 

Check out my BFFs progress here

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Cat in a puddle? BFF SAL 12

Honestly,  it's not really in a puddle, but the cushion stitches seem to give me that vibe.

Although,  given how warm it's been this week,  maybe it's melting!!

It was good to catch up and melt with my BFF anyway,  still trying to decide what to do after the cats.

Check out my BFFs progress here

Wednesday 14 June 2023

Sitting kitty? BFF SAL 12

The cat has really taken shape this week.  Looking forward to the backstitch bringing it alive.

It was,a quiet evening,  this pattern is not so easy to converse as it required a lot of counting.  That being said, we're both very much enjoying it anyway. 

Checkout my BFFs update A Patchwork of Crafts

Wednesday 7 June 2023

Cat..ching us by surprise? BFF SAL 12

Ironically the detail in this stitch looks much better on photos than in reality where it's still feeling like a cat shaped blur.

I'm enjoying this, even though the stripes are proving to slow down the process a bit.   And I do like the sleepiness of the cat, there's something quite peaceful here. 

Check out my BFFs update A Patchwork of Crafts

Wednesday 31 May 2023

Positive Mental Cattitude - BFF SAL 12

As someone rightly guessed last week,  a feline is our subject this time. 

And am very much enjoying the stitch, I think because it looks more and more real with each addition. 

Starting to get some other colours in, quite looking forward to the backstitch when it comes to it!

Check out my BFFs update.  A Patchwork of Crafts

Wednesday 24 May 2023

BFF SAL 12 ... a tale of two....

Well that would be telling,  and you know we don't do that right away!!

We started with the same area of the pattern,  and in typical fashion of Same But Different,  we've gone in opposite directions from there.

I'm fairly certain that most people will be able to tell what this one is, and as a certain blog post of Jo's led me to buy this book, I think she may recognise it.

Check out my BFFs update later at A Patchwork of Crafts and see if you can guess. 

Oh... and progress from last week's mini stitch... definitely not Father Christmas. 

Sunday 21 May 2023

Once upon a time - An ongoing Saga of The Quilt That Never Was

Once upon a time, there was a Big Idea.

An idea for an autumnal quilt. For me. The idea grew out of my BFF's quilt Hidden Star, the colours gave me a warm cosy feeling whenever I saw that particular quilt.

Now, I had some teal green material in the stash from duvets from my first house (29 years ago), but nothing had ever seemed quite right alongside it.  And then my parents bought new bedroom curtains, so there was part 2, bringing a variety of autumn shades.  Some orange from my very first foray into quilting, a log-cabin variant that I will show you some day.

I found an extremely simple pattern, and completed the main quilt top in a weekend! (more on that later). My BFF has since used the pattern on at least two further quilts where she was looking for an effective but simple top to patchwork.

Then my BFF and I got to talking. And as is our way with such things, the Big Idea got bigger. A quilt with side panels to drop down the sides of our double bed. Some rail-fence squares with sashing and a border, and I now had 2 sides.

So on a day where we could make use of the church floor for space, the huge piece got pinned and sandwiched with wadding.

I think I managed to get the hoop moved on my own only once, and it was so big that my BFF had to arrange it on my lap when we had our meetings (pre Covid so shows how long this has beenaround).   This is not conducive to sewing at home, where one's hubby is less inclined to hang around to arrange the quilt.

So, I needed a solution. The sides were to come off and be quilted separately. And the top would be split into two and quilted as separate entities, with a vague idea of joining the finished pieces, Quilt As You Go style.

Deciding to start the sides first, which was a good plan.  In those days there was a massive commute, as well as an OU degree to study, and my time to craft was limited.  This had the unfortunate effect that every quilting plan stalled along the way.   Nothing ever felt quite right, somehow.  There were complicated templates for hexagonal spirals, but having not drawn them on before starting the quilting, I couldn't get the layout right.

I settled on simple hexies in the end, spaced between the rail fence blocks. The borders used half hexies of the same template, resulting in an interesting diamond shape where they meet. 

And thus it began...6 months after moving house we finally got a bed runner.  I do love the pop of colour from it.

Loaded up the next piece of top, with a simple echo in the pattern squares. And once again life took over, not so much lack of mojo altogether, lack of quilting mojo.

The reverse is pieced too, and I have used a self binding technique my BFF taught me.

So it took from August 2021 till May 2023 to progress to the lap quilt above.  This represents the top half of a double bed, but will likely be adopted for a long while as my craft room quilt, as it's cosy for cocooning in my chair.

I intend to update the blog, and probably this post with progress.   But for now it is time to fancy a different quilt under my needle and take a wee break from the Saga.

I have christened the quilt Parts of a Whole, who knows whether that joining plan will happen or not, but it's been fun to be quilting again as well as my cross stitch.

Thursday 18 May 2023

Gifted Gorgeousness May linkup

Checkout Serendipitous Stitching for a list of participants. I've had quite a stitchy fun time lately so I have things to share for a change. 

This lovely Derwentwater Designs piece was a gift from my BFF a few years ago. Like lots of my pieces, I started at the time then ran out of oomph for a goodly while!  There are multiple blends and a mixture of full and half cross stitches in both one strand or two.  But by far the fiddliest part was the backstitch which also called for mixtures of shades and thicknesses.   It's all worth it though for this beautiful picture. 

Another gift from my BFF,  which she's also talked about on her GG linkup, this lovely DMC thread project card.. not sure if there's an official term for that, even the package doesn't give one?  This was an accidentally re-gifted piece as I gave it to her, it's not the first time we've regifted but it's probably the first unknowingly done so!

The other beautiful piece of the same nature which she has already shared,  has been organised into boxes with some other accessories,  so I can't share it alongside until I get myself reorganised yet again!  Check out her blog to see it.

BFF SAL... or not quite

Last week I was otherwise engaged. But that was just as well,  as my BFF had issues of her own that would have prevented stitch work.

We have a pattern planned for BFF SAL 12, but have not yet quite established our fabric choices.   So this week we had a more random session. 

I have been almost welded to my new comfy chair this week and stitched loads.

I'll talk about some of them in other dedicated posts later and in Hops through the year, so for now I will share just this little cover kit by Lucie Heaton.

During our session I worked a little on this Durene Jones SAL freebie.

And then as I would have been required to leave the comfort of my chair to progress further,  I started another cover kit, ironically also by Durene Jones!

For so few stitches,  we think it's already obvious what the subject matter is here - can you guess?

Check out my BFFs update at A Patchwork of Crafts