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

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Smalls SAL - May 2017

Good morning!

As it's (just gone past) 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.



I continued with my calendar and had great fun stitching up this lovely little dog:

May Calendar by Durene Jones
Stitched on 16ct Nantucket from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 43 wide by 56 high
Started - 1st May 2017
Finished - 15th May 2017
Total stitching time - 10 hours 50 minutes


Yes, there were a million pink french knots in the flowers, no I don't like doing french knots and yes, they are really scruffy. But it doesn't bother me in the slightest... let's call it my "feature"! I did enjoy the backstitching though and watching each little flower come to life.

Here's the whole calendar so far:

.

I'll be back at end of June with a cute tortoise family.

Take care,
Rachel x

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Dreaming of Dolphins - finished

Morning all!

It should come as no surprise that I've now finished this gorgeous project. It required only a few more hours of stitching, plus a tiny bit of backstitching. I actually finished it a week ago, just haven't got around to posting about it until  now.

This is another finish from Debbie's Super Duper Ultimate Crazy January February Challenge (DSDUCJFC) 2015 and is the 20th finish out of the 59 starts. So, yes, I've now reached the 1/3 mark although, to be fair, 17 were finished in 2015 itself and those I've got left are generally the larger pieces. I've obviously still got a long way to go but I'll get there slowly and surely.

Anyway, here's the last progress picture from the end of April:


And here's the finished piece and details:

Designed by Karen Couchman and featured in Cross Stitch Collection March 2001
Stitched on 32ct Atlantic Depths hand-dyed Opalescent Murano Evenweave
by The Crafty Kitten 2 over 2
Stitch count 211 wide by 122 high
Started - 7th January 2015
Finished - 21st May 2017
Total stitching time - 59 hours 30 minutes
(estimated 69 hours)


It goes without saying that I thoroughly enjoyed stitching the dolphins, especially on the sparkly fabric, which really doesn't show up in the photos. There are only 6 colours in the piece and probably about half of the stitches use blended threads, but there are huge blocks of colour so it was very easy to stitch. Oh and I left out the little fish as I didn't think they were necessary.

However, now that I have unrolled the fabric I am quite annoyed - if you look closely at the top and bottom you might be able to make out distinct stripes where the fabric has more colour. This is where it was rolled on the frame so obviously some of the colour, namely the blue, has faded whilst I have been stitching. It'll be covered by the frame so won't actually show but it is annoying that my finished piece is not on the colour fabric I started out with. I'm trying to remain positive that at least it didn't fade too much and is still a lovely backgound for the dolphins.

I've already ordered the frame for this, along with the frames for a few other pieces, so there will be another chance to see it, and some other finished projects, soon.....

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday, 8 May 2017

New Start - Birds With Umbrella - 10 hours

Hello all!

In between all of my Challenge WIP stitching I have managed to sneak in a couple new starts. They're very slow-going as they're the last projects on my to-do list each month but at the end of April I finally reached the 10 hour mark on the first one:


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


I won't show what the completed pattern will look like but, from the title, I bet you can guess which part I'm stitching first and which parts are left to stitch! It's mostly big blocks of colour which makes it a pleasingly simple stitch. Sometimes less is more.

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday, 1 May 2017

April 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 April was to finish one piece and work on three more. And I succeeded!

I finished The Milk Train (posted previously) and gave attention to the following three:


Dreaming of Dolphins from Cross Stitch Collection March 2001
started 7th January 2015; last stitched on March 2017
worked on the final dolphin - not much left to go on this now



Gryffindor by Theworldinstitches (etsy)
started 4th February 2015; last stitched on March 2017
continued filling in the background and started the lion



Cream by Heritage Crafts
started 9th February 2015; last stitched on June 2015
started working my way down, filling in the background
(note to self... please give the cat his eyes!!)


In May I aim to finish Dreaming of Dolphins and work on three more WIPs. I may also reach the 10 hour mark on one or both of two new starts, depending on how I divide my time between each project. As always, I have an exciting and variable month of stitching ahead!

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday, 28 April 2017

Smalls SAL - April 2017

Good morning!

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.



I continued to carry on with he Durene Jones cute animal calendar and, boy, did I thoroughly enjoy stitching the little mouse and daffodil this month!

April Calendar by Durene Jones
Stitched on 16ct Nantucket from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 43 wide by 56 high
Started - 1st April 2017
Finished - 13th April 2017
Total stitching time - 7 hours 45 minutes


And the whole calendar so far:



Now that I've finished the first row I'm not sure if I'll keep showing the whole calendar each month. Maybe I show it again at the end of August and December when the second and third rows have been completed.

May's chart is very pretty so should be a lot fun to stitch.

See you at the end of May then.
Rachel x

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The Milk Train - finished

Hello all,

Just a quick post today to show my latest finish from Debbie's Super Duper Ultimate Crazy January February Challenge (DSDUCJFC) 2015.

I started this for day 55 of the Challenge and finished it a couple of nights ago. This is the 19th finish out of the 59 starts.

This is how I left it at the end of March:


And now:

The Milk Train
Heritage Crafts Silhouette
Stitched on 16ct Cream Aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 68 wide by 68 high
Started - 24th February 2015
Finished - 8th April 2017
Total stitching time - 29 hours
(estimated 34 hours)


I really enjoyed stitching it (no surprise there) and am so pleased with the result as it looked like a square of mushy colours whilst I was stitching it! The use of blended threads definitely highlight the subtle colour changes when looked at from a distance. All I need to do now is find a simple brown frame for it.

If I seem a bit quiet on the posting front at the moment it's simply because I've got nothing to blog about! I may soon reach the 10 hour mark on a new start, which will involve a post, but other than that I'm just beavering away on WIPs which will appear in my month end update.

Oh, and of course I'm failing to keep up with blog reading again. But I should be able to catch up over the Easter holidays.

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday, 1 April 2017

March Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Back again!

Another month, another progress report on my Challenge WIPs. True to my hopes for March I finished Coffee and worked on three more.

These were:


Dreaming of Dolphins from Cross Stitch Collection March 2001
started 7th January 2015; last stitched on February 2017
finished the third dolphin and started on the final one who has both the tip of his nose and tail



Gryffindor by Theworldinstitches (etsy)
started 4th February 2015; last stitched on 22nd August 2015
started the red background



The Milk Train by Heritage Crafts
started 24th February 2015; last stitched on February 2017
continued working my way down and left


If things continue to go to plan, April should see me finish The Milk Train and again work on three more WIPs. Fingers crossed.....

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday, 31 March 2017

Smalls SAL - March 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.



This month I carried on with my Durene Jones cute animal calendar. The cake is supposed to have "best mum" written on it, but seeing as Mother's Day is not really an occasion in our house I decided to change it to simply "yum!".

March Calendar by Durene Jones
Stitched on 16ct Nantucket from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 43 wide by 56 high
Started - 1st March 2017
Finished - 17th March 2017
Total stitching time - 8 hours 5 minutes


And the whole calendar so far:



I have to admit I'm really looking forward to starting April's animal tomorrow. I think it's going to be one of my favourites!

See you with that next month.
Rachel x

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Blogoversary Giveaway Winner

Good afternoon all!

Sorry, I was supposed to post this yesterday.....

Thank you to everybody who left comments wishing me a happy blogoversary. Not many people seem to celebrate their blogoversaries anymore so it's nice to be different.

There were only 10 entries in the giveaway this year, giving you all a better chance of winning.

I found a free RNG, punched in the numbers, pressed the magic button and up popped number 10.


.....to Tiffstitch!

Please email me (address on left hand side) and let me know which store you would like the voucher for and I'll see what I can do.

Thanks go to the rest of you for entering, and if you didn't win, better luck next year!

All the best,
Rachel x

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Little Black Cat Coffee - finished

Hello all!

I have a finish from Debbie's Super Duper Ultimate Crazy January February Challenge (DSDUCJFC) 2015.

I started him for day 33 of the Challenge and finished him a few days ago. He is the 18th finish out of the 59 starts (so still a v-e-r-y long way to go!)

Here's how he looked the last time you saw him at the end of February with not much left to stitch:


And now all completed:

Little Black Cat - Coffee
Heritage Crafts designed by Toni Goffe
Stitched on 32ct Light Blue Murano evenweave 2 over 2
Stitch count 68 wide by 68 high
Started - 2nd February 2015
Finished - 3rd March 2017
Total stitching time - 29 hours 20 minutes
(estimated 31 hours)


I debated whether or not to stitch the blue background, bearing in mind the colour fabric I was using, but am so glad I did as it gives much more depth to the cat himself. Yes, it might have used a skein of thread (exactly) and taken about 10 hours but I do not consider it wasted time.

This project was one of my first ventures into evenweave and if any of you are familiar with Heritage Craft charts you will know how essential it is not to stitch the majority of their designs on aida. I am not usually a fan of evenweave (although I'm gradually getting used to it) but there are so many stitches that use half the depth or width of a normal stitch that I think I would have given up if I'd attempted it on aida!

I'm not going to do anything with him until I have completed the other three in the series (Cream, Tea and Sugar) as I would like to frame them all together, so I'm afraid it's into my Box of Shame he goes. One of the remaining three is on my list to complete this year, the other two will probably have to wait until 2018 before they see daylight; but they will see daylight and they will be finished.

For now it's back to more of my DSDUCJFC pieces..... I think.

Keep stitching,
Rachel x

PS There's still time to enter the giveaway on my previous post if you want to be in with a chance of winning an e-gift voucher.

Friday, 3 March 2017

3rd Blogoversary Giveaway

Good morning everyone!

It's the third of the third and I'm three years old today!! Happy blogoversary to me!



Goodness me, just where has the time gone?

I started this blog in order to keep track of the big projects I was stitching at the time, but during the past three years have basically ditched them all in favour of lots of smaller projects. I would not have predicted that back then. What a good/bad influence the blogosphere and all of you wonderful stitchers have been on me!

So, on to the point of this post. Each year I celebrate my blogoversary by rewarding one of my followers with a voucher. I was trying to think of something different to do this year but have decided to stick to the usual format as it's quick and easy!

Up for grabs is a £10, or local currency equivalent, e-gift voucher for the store of your choice. All you have to do to win is:

1) be a follower of my blog via the link on the left (email followers will not be included) and
2) leave a comment stating that you would like to be entered into the draw

It doesn't matter if you don't usually leave comments, as long as you're a follower you'll be entered if you wish.

Simple!

You have one week until 9am GMT on 10th March 2017 to enter, after which a winner will be chosen by Random Number Generator and a post made. I'll get the voucher out to the winner ASAP once we've exchanged emails and your store has been selected.

Good luck!
Rachel x

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

February Progress on 2015/2016 Challenge Pieces

Good morning everyone!

Another month and another progress report. I'm sure that it's not going to seem like five minutes between these monthly postings.

For February I decided to carry on with one piece from January then pick out two different pieces for the rest of the month. I think that working on neglected pieces last month made me feel a little guilty that others also need to feel loved.

Here are the projects I chose to work on:


Dreaming of Dolphins from Cross Stitch Collection March 2001
started 7th January 2015; last stitched on 4th June 2015 (shame on me!)
almost finished the third dolphin - the pattern, fabric and blues are all lovely to work with



Little Black Cat Coffee by Heritage Crafts
started 2nd February 2015; last stitched on in January 2017
continued working my way down - so close to finishing this one



The Milk Train by Heritage Crafts
started 24th February 2015; not stitched on since then (shame on me again!)
continued working my way down, then in from the right as I needed a change from the really pale colours!


During March I am hoping to finish Coffee and stitch on three more WIPs. I already know which three they will be but you'll have to wait until 1st April to find out!

Back in 31 days with another month-end progress report.

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday, 27 February 2017

Spring Bird - started and finished

Hello all,

In between all of my WIP and Smalls SAL stitching in February I managed to fit in my second new start and finish of 2017.

Back in the spring of last year I purchased some Threadworx hand-dyed threads in seasonal colours not really knowing what I was going to do with them. Then I found a simple bird pattern which I decided I would stitch four times using these threads. Last year I stitched Summer and now I have stitched Spring:

Bird by Hobikolik (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct Dried Petal over-dyed aida by sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitched in Threadworx 1006 Berry Nice
Stitch count 80 wide by 80 high
Started - 23rd February 2017
Finished - 26th February 2017
Total stitching time - 6 hours


Here's a reminder of Summer, stitched using Threadworx 11511 Jam Rock on Lime:



Looking back at my records I noticed that Summer took 7 1/4 hours to stitch compared to 6 hours for Spring. Why the difference? Because for Spring I was listening to music, for Summer I was watching TV. It just goes to show how distracting a screen can be!

Like Summer, Spring has gone into my Box of Shame... but... I already have the backing fabric to make them both into little cushions. Watch this space!

I say this about most of my projects, but I really did enjoy stitching this and am looking forward to stitching Autumn and Winter. However, they are not on this year's stitching plans so I'll have to pencil them in for 2018!

Back in a couple of days with a progress report on my Challenge WIPs.

See you then,
Rachel x

Friday, 24 February 2017

Smalls SAL - February 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.


Continuing on from January, this month's small is Durene Jones' February Calendar animal.

February Calendar by Durene Jones
Stitched on 16ct Nantucket from Sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count 43 wide by 56 high
Started - 1st February 2017
Finished - 7th February 2017
Total stitching time - 8 hours 10 minutes


I have to admit the panda this month was not as enjoyable to stitch as the little squirrel last month, but with 12 different animals in total there are bound to be some I enjoy more than others. Here are the two together:



I expect I'll carry on with the calendar and do March next month.

See you then!
Rachel x

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

6 Box of Shame Finishes

Hello all!

I'm back with more Box of Shame finishes although, to be honest, it's really only one even though I've counted it as six! I started (and finished) these six Lizzie Kate Green Series charts last year as part of Debbie's January Challenge. They were quick and fun to do and I'm so glad they are no longer in my Box of Shame.

Lizzie Kate Green Series
This was a splurge frame which I actually bought last September. I spent a long time deliberating if this set was worth custom framing or if I should make them into ornaments. I decided that, as I would probably never get around to making ornaments, a frame was best. The muted greens and pinks of the fabric were quite hard to match to the available mounts but in the end I opted for a dark red inner mount and dark green outer mount surrounded by a mahogany frame and with non-reflective glazing. I'm absolutely delighted with the result even if it was extravagant for such small pieces.

Shame the photos don't do the pieces justice (the conservatory was too sunny!)


And individually:








I think I've done really well with my Box of Shame finishes so far this year but this one will probably be the last for a while. Apart from the set of six Woodland Folk animals, most of the remaining pieces are for making into ornaments and that is a task I am not overly keen about. I expect I'll keep putting them off and putting them off until one day I get the enthusiasm to start them and have an ornament marathon. Can't see it happening anytime soon though!!!

Take care,
Rachel x