Thursday, 8 November 2018

New Start - Midnight Manor - 10 hours

Hello all!

Following the completion of A Shower, my next new start for 2019 is another piece I've been wanting to stitch for a-g-e-s. Admittedly it's a little late for this Halloween but at least it will be ready in plenty of time for the next one!

Midnight Manor by Waxing Moon Designs
Stitched on 16ct Tangerine over-dyed aida by 2 over 1
Stitch count 113 wide by 121 high
Started - 28th October 2018

This is how it will look when finished, although I will be making a few small changes including getting rid of the spider and making the pumpkins pumpkin-coloured.

I may also add yellow lights in the windows, as I did with Mini Midnight Manor, and stitch the moon with glow-in-the-dark thread, although need to be careful not to unbalance the simplicity of the design by introducing too many colours. We'll see. Either way, I'm definitely looking forward to stitching more of this - sometimes it's really nice not to have to think about different symbols and colours changes!

Take care,
Rachel x

PS for those who are still interested, I've now put a link on my previous post to the free monthly charts by Palkolap. It's just above the pictures of the charts. :)

Saturday, 3 November 2018

People's Choice SAL - Birthstones

Hi all!

So here I am back for the second month of Jo from Serendipitous Stitching's People's Choice SAL Thanks to Jo for hosting this unique SAL where we will be posting about a different theme each month.

This month's theme is Birthstones - something for which I have definitely done no direct stitching. So let's see what I can shoehorn.

The only thing I've stitched which remotely resembles a birthstone is QS Emerald Dragon by HAED (but then the dragon isn't really green so the title itself is somewhat misleading!) I started this back in 2013, before I started blogging, so other than on my Large WIPs page it's never actually appeared on my blog. I've only reached the 10 hour mark, having given up because I found the confetti stitching too frustrating. I adore the colours and am really hoping to pick it up again one day, maybe when I can better cope with confetti (and perhaps when I can count all my other WIPs on one hand!)

Stitched on 18ct Sandy Pool aida from The Crafty Kitten

I've recently stitched a couple of Patchwork Hooties by Pinoy Stitch which could be shoehorned into birthstones - the one on the left could represent Citrine for November, the one on the right Amethyst for February.

But... preparing this post has given me an inspirational idea about the following charts I have in my stash and which are on my 2019 reserve 'if-I've-got-time-to-spare' stitching list (although I have to admit my fingers are itching to start them now, so that might have to change). These were doing the rounds a few years ago but have only just moved close enough to the top of my to-do list to warrant kitting up. They are freebies by Palko-lap and are available here.

Like most people who have finished them, I had intended to stitch each one with multi-coloured variegated thread which reflected something during the month, eg February would be pink/red for Valentine's Day, October black/orange for Halloween etc., but now - and this is a rare light bulb moment - I've had the idea of stitching them in a single-colour variegated thread to match that month's birthstone. Admittedly, some of the motifs will seem a bit strange, such as red snowflakes in January and blue leaves in September, but, you have to agree, it will make them unique!

So here are the fabrics and variegated threads I will be using to represent the respective birthstones:

January garnet * February amethyst * March aquamarine * April diamond
May emerald * June alexandrite * July ruby * August peridot
September sapphire * October rose quartz * November citrine * December blue topaz

What do you think? If I'm feeling adventurous I may even add some blending filament for a bit of sparkle, especially to April otherwise that could look very plain.

Next month's theme is Dragons. I'm already looking forward to that!

Take care,
Rachel x

Thursday, 1 November 2018

October Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Hello there!

Another month gone and another month of steady progress to show you on a couple of projects I started for Debbie's Challenges back in 2015/2016.

During October I finished and framed Pretty Little Paris (posted previously) and made progress on:

Winter Alphabet by Lizzie Kate
started 26th January 2016; last worked on last month
continued alphabetically (the gap is for a picture which covers two rows and three columns)

Hufflepuff by theworldinstitches (etsy)
started 11th February 2015; last worked on August 2015 (oops!)
finished the top section and started on the name

In November I plan to finish Winter Alphabet and make further progress on Hufflepuff, the last Challenge piece I will be stitching on in 2018.

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday, 26 October 2018

Smalls SAL - October 2018

Good afternoon everybody!

Once again it's time for the Smalls SAL, run by Heather of Stitching Lotus. Is it me or do the months come round more quickly towards the end of the year?

For October I decided to stitch another Hootie. I chose this one because it's in colours I don't stitch with very often, so thought it would make a nice change.

Purple Patchwork Hootie by Pinoy Stitch (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct Cloud Lilac over-dyed aida from 2 over 1
Stitch count - 41 wide by 42 high
Started - 1st October 2018
Finished - 4th October 2018
Total stitching time - 8 hours 5 minutes

The only colour change I made was to the two diamonds in the middle of his chest - the charted 208 was too similar to the 209 around it so I used the paler 211.

And... it will come as no surprise to you that he's been made up into a little hanging ornie using coordinating fabric and barley twist cord:

I'm not planning on stitching any more Hooties until this time next year, so my Parliament of owls will have to consist of just two for the time being.

Next month, I'm going bananas!

Take care,
Rachel x

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

New Start - A Shower - 10 hours

Hello all!

Finishing off  French Country Snow Globe meant I had a gap in my stitching schedule for another new start. Out of the remaining projects I would like to do this year I chose A Shower by Soda Stitch.

Soda Stitch charts were doing the rounds a couple of years ago and when I saw them reduced to 20p each I bought quite a few (at that price who could resist?) I have to say it's been really fun to stitch so far and I am so glad I have finally jumped on the Soda Stitch bandwagon.

Here's the 10 hour photo then:

A Shower by Soda Stitch
Stitched on 16ct Margarita over-dyed aida by sewitall 2 over 1
Stitch Count 60 wide by 53 high
Started - 28th September 2018

I reckon I'm about half way through so don't think it's worth showing a picture of how the finished piece should look - if I continue my current rate of stitching you'll see this as a finish soon enough! I've decided to leave all the backstitching until last, then watch the design pop off the page as it's added. Can't wait!

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday, 19 October 2018

Pretty Little Paris - finished and framed

Hello all!

So here we have this month's finish from Debbie's Super Duper Ultimate Crazy January February Challenge 2015. This is finish number 34 out of the 59 starts and is, of course, Pretty Little Paris by Satsuma Street.

At the end of September I had made this much progress:

And now with final additions of Sacre Coeur and the Montgolfier Balloon:

Pretty Little Paris by Satsuma Street
Stitched on 16ct Apricot Sunset hand-dyed aida by The Crafty Kitten 2 over 1
Stitch count 111 wide by 104 high
Started - 19th February 2015
Finished - 9th October 2018
Total stitching time - 39 hours 15 minutes

And, continuing my fully-finishing-off streak, here it is framed. I really wanted a blue frame to bring out the Eiffel Tower but my usual frame supplier,, didn't have the right shade, so I opted for the same as London - a 13mm red stain frame with non-reflective acrylic glazing.

Here are London and Paris together:

As it turned out, the two frames are slightly different in both colouring and texture, even though they are supposed to be the same. I guess, like most things, different batches are not exactly identical. Not that it bothers me; it was never my original intention to frame them as a matching pair anyway.

I really enjoyed stitching both Paris and London this year, watching landmarks take shape in weird in wonderful colours. It's no wonder the Pretty Little Cities are popular although, having said that, I haven't seen any around for a while.

I have a few others Pretty Little Cities I would like to stitch 'one day', the first of which will be  Toronto. But don't hold your breath waiting, I am fairly certain it will be quite some time before it makes an appearance!

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday, 12 October 2018

French Country Snow Globe - started and finished!

Hi all!

So, here's a new started-and-finished project to show you, one that was sitting near the top of my to-do pile for quite some time and which filled the 'new start' gap left after I had finished Haunted House Bell Pull.

I was originally only going to stitch the snow globe, then decided I actually quite liked the border but not the background, then thought actually I do like the background after all so stitched it as charted! It was also a good excuse to also bring out some sparkly fabric and variegated threads:

After ten hours of stitching I only had some of the background left to fill in so thought that instead of showing a ten hour progress picture I'd just plod on to the end. And here it is:

French Country Snow Globe by JBW designs
Stitched on 16ct Tin over-dyed aida with sparkles 2 over 1
Stitch count 83 wide by 87 high
Started - 26th August 2018
Finished - 28th September 2018
Total stitching time - 15 hours

The variegated threads are by ThreadworX - the green is 1048 Woodland Green, the red 1089 Bleeding Hearts and the white 10302 Reflections, which has very very pale red and green running through it (so pale in fact you can hardly see them!) The variations are quite subtle, and hardly visible in the photos, but I didn't want distinct colour changes so were perfect in that respect.

The background is actually the repetition of the word 'snow' although takes some concentration to figure it out!

I didn't think this piece was important enough to warrant framing so, surprise surprise, have made it into an ornie. Naturally some of the sparkles have rubbed off, and will continue to rub off, but at least I found some suitable fabric and finished it off with red barley twist cord. It's stuffed a bit too much for my liking but it'll go down in time.

So, having finished this project, I had an empty 'new start' space again. In the last two days of September I made a fair bit of progress on my next new project although won't show a picture until I reach the ten hour mark, But, as a tease, I will tell you it's by Soda Stitch. ;)

Take care,
Rachel x