Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Smalls SAL - September 2017

Hello again!

I'm a bit later than usual for this month Small's SAL posting (and I haven't even posted last month's finish or progress reports either). Must be old age catching up with me! Thanks as always to Heather of Stitching Lotus for continuing the stitch along.



Oh boy, did I enjoy this month's little cutie even if it did include 3.5 - yes, 3.5 - hours of backstitching! It's certainly not a recommended chart for the backstitch loather! I don't usually have to cross off the backstitching as I go but for this chart I definitely did!

September Calendar by Durene Jones
Stitched on 16ct Nantucket from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 43 wide by 56 high
Started - 1st September 2017
Finished - 11th September 2017
Total stitching time - 10 hours 20 minutes


I won't be showing the whole calendar again now until it's completed.

I'm not keen on October's animal but I do like the remainder of the chart, which includes a lot less backstitching and some lovely clumps of colours. See you around Halloween for the next check-in.

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday, 4 September 2017

Smalls SAL - August 2017

Hello again!

Another month has zoomed by so it's time once again to post the Smalls SAL project. As usual, thanks go to Heather of Stitching Lotus for continuing to run this fun little stitch along.



I mentioned last month that we would be going to the seaside for this month's calendar and whilst I suspect some of you may have envisaged buckets and spades we actually have a lion in a dinosaur rubber ring. Of course!

August Calendar by Durene Jones
Stitched on 16ct Nantucket from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 43 wide by 56 high
Started - 1st August 2017
Finished - 6th August 2017
Total stitching time - 7 hours 55 minutes


Here's how the whole calendar now looks after two full rows:



I didn't much take to the lion until I stared stitching him and then found him to be rather fun - probably because yellow is my favourite colour and I'm not stitching much in the way of yellow at the moment.

September's picture is really cute and definitely another one of my favourites. Good job I don't mind backstitching as there's rather a lot for such a small chart. See you at the end of September!

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday, 1 September 2017

August Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Hello all!

It's time again for another month-end round up on the progress I've made on my Challenge WIPs. So, here we go.

During August I finished The Lock (posted previously) and worked on:


Red Foxes from the Young-uns Collection by Gloria and Pat
started 14th February 2015; last stitched on July 2017
stitched the second fox's head and added some more backstitching



Pretty Little London by Satsuma Street
started 5th February 2015; last worked on July 2017
reached the bottom and then continued working left



Slytherin by Theworldinstitches (etsy)
started 25th February 2015; last stitched on January 2017
added the border and most of the snake
(the fabric is not that cream but I simply couldn't get a good photo today!)


I was hoping that the school summer holiday would have allowed me a bit more stitching time but it was not to be. Still, progress is progress and I'm happy with my achievements.

I shall finish Red Foxes in September and work on three more, as usual.

Take care,
Rachel x

Sunday, 13 August 2017

The Lock - finished

Hello all,

Here is this month's customary finish from Debbie's Super Duper Ultimate Crazy January February Challenge (DSDUCJFC) 2015. This is finish number 23 of the 59 starts.

This is how you last saw it at the end of July:


And now:

Heritage Crafts Silhouette
Stitched on 16ct Cream Aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 68 wide by 68 high
Started - 17th February 2015
Finished - 12th August 2017
Total stitching time - 28 hours 30 minutes


Like the previous Silhouette, I knew that this would look like a mush of colours whilst being stitched. And I was right! Thank goodness the picture is clearer from a distance. The colours are really soothing and the blended threads gives a lovely effect. It's amazing what can be created with a few shades of brown and cream.

I have the frames for this one and the previously finished Milk Train so hope to frame them soon.

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday, 7 August 2017

Birds With Umbrella - finished

Morning all!

OK, so this was a silly stitch really, but a fun one nonetheless, full of huge blocks of colour and the sweetest kiss. I don't know why I fell in love with this pattern so much; I just did so was sure to include it as one of this year's new starts.

When you last saw the little birdies they looked like this:


And now all finished:

Birds With Umbrella
Free pattern from my-cross-stitch-patterns.com
Stitched on 16ct Tea Rose overdyed aida by Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count - 100 wide by 98 high
Started - 25th March 2017
Finished - 30th July 2017
Total stitching time - 26 hours 40 minutes


I decided to fill in the gaps in the umbrella with the same colour as used for the trim. In fact, as it doesn't seem to be raining, I think it's more of a parasol than an umbrella so it makes sense it would be pretty. I did think about using beads but they looked a bit OTT so I'm happy with normal crosses.

I have the backing fabric ready to make this into a little cushion but at the moment DD is using the sewing machine to make a Comic Con costume so I'd rather not interfere with the set up. And there was me all raring to actually finish-finish a project for a change! Oh well, what's another addition to my Box of Shame?!

Take care,
Rachel x

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

July Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Hello all!

Time for another month-end round up on the progress I've made on my Challenge WIPs. By now you know what I'm going to say about my plans and how successful I was!

I finished Cream (posted previously) and worked on:


Red Foxes from the Young-uns Collection by Gloria and Pat
started 14th February 2015; last stitched on June 2017
finished stitching the first fox and backstitched some of the fox, leaves and rocks



The Lock from the Silhouettes range by Heritage Crafts
started 17th February 2015; last stitched on June 2017
continued working my way down



Pretty Little London by Satsuma Street
started 5th February 2015; last worked on 26th May 2015
reached the bottom right and continued working left


Another satisfying stitching month for me there then.

I have now recommenced working on all of the Challenge WIPs I hope to finish this year so there will be no more to show over the coming months - only more progress and finishes.

In August... surprise surprise... I intend to finish one, The Lock, and continue making progress on three more. With it being the school summer holiday, and therefore not having to work for the whole of August, I hope to have a little more stitching time and be able to work on a few other projects too. Who knows what might sneakily slip into my plans?!

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday, 28 July 2017

Smalls SAL - July 2017

Good afternoon!

Goodness me, it's the last Friday of the month AGAIN so time to post this month's Smalls SAL project. Thank you once again to Heather of Stitching Lotus for continuing to run this fun little stitch along.



July meant Wimbledon and Wimbledon meant strawberries so this cutie is completely apt. Despite the french knots (which were done when I wasn't feeling in the mood for french knots and consequently all over the place!) he is probably my favourite month so far. I may re-do the french knots but I actually quite like their irregularity. Afterall, nature isn't perfect. Well, that's my excuse anyway. I suppose it depends how much my fussiness wins out.

July Calendar by Durene Jones
Stitched on 16ct Nantucket from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 43 wide by 56 high
Started - 1st July 2017
Finished - 7th July 2017
Total stitching time - 7 hours 55 minutes


And another progress picture of the whole calendar:



August takes us to the seaside. See you then!

Take care,
Rachel x

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Birds With Umbrella - 20 hours

Good morning all!

Birds With Umbrella is one of the new starts I planned for 2017. It only receives attention once I have completed my "compulsory" monthly stitching (i.e. Smalls SAL and Challenge WIPs) so progress has been fairly slow. Last time you saw it, early May after 10 hours, it looked like this:


And now, after 20 hours of stitching, it looks like this:



I've not shown you a picture of the completed piece but I think it's very obvious what it will look like. I only have the second bird and five more lines of ground to stitch so should easily have it finished before the end of the month.

I don't know if the gaps in stitching on the umbrella are supposed to be a pattern or raindrops but, either way, I don't like them. To avoid adding another colour to the minimalist palette, I'll fill them in using the same colour the second bird will be stitched in.

Back very soon with a finish then!

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday, 22 July 2017

6 Box Of Shame Finishes

Hello all!

A while back I ordered a few frames from my usual and trusted ezeframe.co.uk in order to finish-finish some pieces and further reduce my Box of Shame. So far I've only used one frame but as it contains 6 pieces I'm counting it as 6 finish-finishes!

This set of Woodland Folk by DMC went down a storm when I stitched them last year and I have always felt guilty about them being in my Box of Shame. But now they're free and looking fantastic on the wall. So let me reintroduce Toby Fox, Ollie Owl, Bert Badger,  Frankie Hedgehog, Molly Mouse and Sally Squirrel:







The frame is an 18mm mahogany frame with a mid-green top mount, off-white bottom mount and anti-reflective glazing. Each aperture could have been individually sized to fit each piece but I decided to keep the four side openings symmetrical as it looked more aesthetically pleasing. I'm really happy with the result even if it does make the kelp fabric look a little bit blue-ish.

As it currently stands I've now finished off 32 pieces this year out of the 67 which need/needed doing. I'll be framing 3 more next month and also hope to complete some of the pieces which need making into ornaments. But hope springs eternal!!!

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday, 10 July 2017

Little Black Cat Cream - finished

Hello all!

So this is finish number 22 out of 59 from Debbie's Super Duper Ultimate Crazy January February Challenge (DSDUCJFC) 2015 and a companion for Coffee which I finished in March

At the end of June I left Cream with only a little left to do:



Five hours later, thanks to there being a couple of good tennis matches on at Wimbledon, he was all finished:

Little Black Cat - Cream
Heritage Crafts designed by Toni Goffe
Stitched on 32ct Light Blue Murano evenweave 2 over 2
Stitch count 68 wide by 68 high
Started - 9th February 2015
Finished - 8th July 2017
Total stitching time - 29 hours
(estimated 31 hours)


The remaining two in the series, Tea and Sugar are not planned for finishing this year but will be completed in 2018. So for the time being Cream becomes an additional piece in my Box of Shame. At least I know it won't stay in there forever though.

Now back to seeing how much more progress I can make on my other pieces. The Red Foxes are calling me!

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday, 1 July 2017

June Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Hello all!

Time for another month-end round up on the progress I've made on my Challenge WIPs. My plan for June was to finish one piece and work on three more. And, true to form, I succeeded yet again!

I finished Gryffindor (posted previously) and worked on:


Cream by Toni Goffe for Heritage Crafts
started 9th February 2015; last stitched on May 2017
continued the background and stitched some of the spilled cream



Red Foxes from the Young-uns Collection by Gloria and Pat
started 14th February 2015; last stitched on May 2017
actually started the first of the red foxes and really did not want to put this one down!



The Lock from the Silhouettes range by Heritage Crafts
started 17th February 2015; not stitched on since then
filled in some of the sky at the top and the lock on the right


So overall another month of keeping to my plans and making good progress.

July plans are to finish Cream and work on three more (again). I really do sound like a broken record but why alter plans that are giving me the monthly finishes and progress I crave?

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday, 30 June 2017

Smalls SAL - June 2017

Good afternoon!

As it's the last Friday of the month it's time to post my project for this month's Smalls SAL. Thank you once again to Heather of Stitching Lotus for continuing to run this fun little stitch along.



So, this month brings us to the halfway point of the year (already?!!!) and therefore the halfway point of my calendar. For June we had a family of cute tortoises:

June Calendar by Durene Jones
Stitched on 16ct Nantucket from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 43 wide by 56 high
Started - 1st June 2017
Finished - 17th June 2017
Total stitching time - 7 hours


They were lovely to stitch, although I can't say I've ever come across tortoises this colour before, or wearing top-hats for that matter!

And another progress picture of the whole calendar:



As the months go past it's clear how the colours each month carry themselves through the whole calendar. Very subtle and very clever.

For July I'll be stitching some yummy looking strawberries so I guess we'll get another splash of red. See you then!

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Gryffindor - finished

Good afternoon!

So here we have another finish from Debbie's Super Duper Ultimate Crazy January February Challenge (DSDUCJFC) 2015. This is the 21st finish of 59 starts and a companion for Ravenclaw which I finished two years ago.

Here's how I left Gryffindor at the end of May with only the name banner left to do:



And now finished with all the boring details:

From theworldinstitches (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct Cream Aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 95 wide by 117 high
Started - 4th February 2015
Finished - 4th June 2017
Total stitching time - 48 hours 50 minutes
(estimated 62 hours)


I like that I overestimated the stitching time so much! I remember doing the same with Ravenclaw and have probably done the same with the others. For some reason these designs obviously stitch up a lot quicker than expected - and that's a really satisfying feeling.

The finished piece has gone into my Box of Shame for the time being but won't be in there long. I've just had some frames delivered so hope to have another framing session soon to further reduce my unfinished-finishes.

As for the other two Harry Potter house crests, I plan to finish Slytherin towards the end of this year and Hufflepuff in 2018 - yes, my stitching plans for 2018 have almost been finalised!!!

Take care,
Rachel x

Thursday, 1 June 2017

May Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Hello all!

It's the end of the month so time for another update on my Challenge WIPs. My plan for May was to finish one piece and work on three more. And I succeeded. Again!

I finished Dreaming of Dolphins (posted previously) and gave attention to the following three:


Gryffindor by Theworldinstitches (etsy)
started 4th February 2015; last stitched on April 2017
filled in the lion, so just the name banner to do now



Cream by Toni Goffe for Heritage Crafts
started 9th February 2015; last stitched on April 2017
worked my way down, filling in the background and continuing  the cream pot
(and I gave the cat his eyes!!)



Red Foxes from the Young-uns Collection by Gloria and Pat
started 14th February 2015; not stitched on since then
finished the rocks and greenery, although ironically haven't started the red foxes themselves!


Once again I'm happy with my progress for the month, finding that finishing one project and changing the others every week or so is really keeping my interest up. For those of you familiar with the term I suppose it's a bit like Turtle Trot..... but on speed!

In June, keeping to my plan, I aim to finish Gryffindor and work on three more WIPs.

Take care,
Rachel x