Friday 23 February 2024

Smalls SAL link-up - February 2024

Good morning one and all,

Here we are again - the last Friday of the month - so it's time for the Smalls SAL. Entries can be anything Small you have cross stitched during the month, be it an individual piece, part of a set, a portion of a big design, or even an unfinished Small if you haven't been able to complete it. All Smalls, or part(s) thereof, are welcome!



I have three Smalls this month - a Christmas piece, a new start, and a monarch.


Here is this month's Nordic Christmas Sampler. This is the Star which was charted as Day 1. I swapped some of the colours and am not that taken with my interpretation but am not going to frog and restitch:

Nordic Christmas Sampler Day 1 - star by ZindagiDesigns (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct White with iridescent pearl/opal flecks
Started - 1st February 2024
Finished - 5th February 2024
Total stitching time - 8 hours 15 minutes


Second is a new start and finish. After a break from stitching for eight days (yes, I know.... shocking... but rather forced upon me than by choice!) I wanted to stitch something simple so started the February Geometric Square by Magical Quilts And More which will be finished as a biscornu. The back is not as detailed as the front because... well... what's the point?! I thought it apt that I should start this on St. Valentine's Day with appropriately coloured love-themed fabric and thread:


February Geometric Square by Magical Quilts And More
Stitched on 16ct Cloud Pink aida with Jodyri thread #53 Tropical Bay
Started - 14th February 2024
Finished - 19th February 2024
Total stitching time - 10 hours 25 minutes


Finally, at the end of last month I was at a bit of a loose end so stitched the next monarch, Victoria. Goodness knows when her actual 'A Monarch A Month' post will appear but at least she's ready to go!) I'm not sure I like her features and expression, but she was rather haughty so they kind of work:

Victoria from Kings and Queens by Bothy Threads
Stitched on 32ct Vintage Grey murano
Started - 27th January 2024
Finished - 30th January 2024
Total stitching time - 6 hours 45 minutes


Now it's your turn.

You know the format - please link up using the URL of your Smalls SAL post, with a title (usually your name) and a thumbnail. The link will stay open for 10 days.


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I look forward to seeing your Small accomplishments this month!

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday 19 February 2024

A-Z of WIPs Challenge 2024 - C and D

Good afternoon!

The A-Z of WIPs Challenge 2024 is a little SAL being attempted by Serendipitous Jo and myself to stitch our way through our alphabet of WIPs at two/three per month, starting with A and B in January and finishing with Y and Z in December. 



Last month you saw A and B so this month it's C and D.


C is for... the Happiness Delivery Couple (and the Christmas Tree) by Soda Stitch
Started June 2020 - last worked on April 2023.
I thought I'd continue working my way down this one so concentrated on mainly the hair and skin. I don't like the boy's big mouth so will be adapting it into a grin similar to that of the girl. This WIP will probably reappear for Christmas In July.



Stitching time to date - 8 hours 25 minutes


D is for... Dragon Shelf by CrossStitchAlexaKiss (no longer on etsy) stitched on Fairy Dust Multi Pastel aida
Started July 2021 - last worked on July 2021.
After having not stitched on this one since the day I started it, this soon became a WIP I didn't want to put down, hence the amount of progress. Another couple of years of this SAL, and little Horace here could become a finish!



Stitching time to date - 6 hours 40 minutes


As with last month, I'm again really pleased with the progress I was able to make on these. This Challenge is working well so far.

Next month E and F, involving some sorcery and a trip to Continental Europe!

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday 17 February 2024

Link-up For Fully Finished Gallery SAL - February 2024

Hello all!

It's supposed to be the 10th of the month but I'm a week late; thank you for your patience!

But here it is, February's edition of the Fully Finished Gallery SAL, the place to show your cross stitched FFOing achievements since your last link-up.

And, seeing as it is this SAL's 5th birthday, it's an extended version, where I've asked willing participants to show some (or all!) of their Box Of Shame so that others can not only be nosey, but also perhaps help with pieces where you are stuck for ideas.

Now, you've probably all posted your SALs but seeing as I haven't read them I have no idea what you've done so I'm going to post this as if it were on time.



I have just the one finished piece I want to show this month, Golden Snitch In A Bottle, finished as a mini pillow with coordinating fabric and barley twist cord. That's three of these four Harry Potter themed bottles FFOd; maybe the final one will appear next month.



Now it's your turn.

Please link-up using the URL of your FFG SAL post and not the home page of your blog, adding a thumbnail of a finish and either your name or your blog name as the caption. The link-up will stay open longer this month, closing on 29th February.


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And please don't forget to follow other links and support fellow fully-finish-offers.


Now for the Box Of Shame!

I currently have 60 pieces in my Box, many of which form complete or partial sets. I'm not showing everything, but most, starting with the ones I know what to do with, and ending with the ones I don't. It's an insight as to what might appear in this FFG SAL in the coming year.


Ten Dragons by StitchItPicasso. These are going to be made into bunting using the coordinating felt, fabrics and ribbons as shown, but I haven't decided quite how, i.e. whether to have the fabric on the back or the front, and whether to mount the dragons on card, or leave them as they are:



Five Durene Jones Doggies. I've made a start FFOing these into a patchwork cushion. Getting the warp/weft of the fabric straight and to line up with the aida is a bitt fiddly, so it's small steps on this one. The paler bottom fabric will probably be the backing fabric:



Four Valerie Pfeiffer Solos. These will be FFOd as mini pillows. I've done one, but hidden it as I want to complete all four before showing them:



The three Dolphins and three Scarlet Macaws are going to be triple hangers, with the pieces hanging one below the other. Looking at the photos, I think I need brighter fabric for the Macaws:



Let's Be Frozen, Grow Your Own and Pandas are all going to be framed. I just haven't got around to ordering them yet!



The cross stitched finishes I'm a bit stuck for inspiration are:

Eight Moonrise/Moonset finishes by Whispered By The Wind. Flat hanging ornies seem the best way forward for these, but I already make enough of those and would like to do something different with these two sets:



Five Winnie The Poohs by Designer Stitches. Originally I wanted to FFO these as a patchwork cushion, the same as the doggies above, but they don't quite work so the jury's still out. What I do want to do, however, is definitely use the fabric:



If you have any suggestions for the two above, my ears are open!

I hope you will also take time to open up your Boxes Of Shame (or whatever you call them). In the past I have been told that Box Of Shame is a bit negative; they should be Boxes Of Pride or Delight, or something more positive. I just use Box Of Shame because of the shame and guilt I feel about stitching projects but not finish-finishing them.

Hope to see you again next month... and on time!

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday 9 February 2024

February's FFG SAL will be a bit late

Hi all!

Sorry, but this month's FFG SAL will be a little late.

I'm OK but for once I hadn't prepared this post in advance, and without my camera and cross stitching there's not much I can do from a hospital bed!

I'll update as soon as I'm home.

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday 5 February 2024

The Loneliness Of Autumn - 290 hours

Hello everyone!

It seems as if, for the time being at least, The Loneliness Of Autumn has become a bit of a focus piece and I'm stitching more than 10 hours per month. Each additional hour is one off the 210 hour gap between where I am and where I should be. Tiny steps...

So this 10 hour session consisted of:
 - 8h 35m to finish off colour number 14, 820 very dark royal blue.
 - 1h 25m of colour number 15, 154 very dark grape

Here are the 280 and 290 hour comparisons. The blue is fairly visible as a difference in the darker denser areas, especially in the top right quadrant, the grape not so much as it's mainly confetti on page 1/16 only:



Unless I get distracted, hopefully there will be another update soon.

Take care,
Rachel x

Tuesday 30 January 2024

Calling all FFOers...

Hi all,

I have recently been having a conversation with a blogger who is having difficulty deciding how to fully finish off some of their finished cross stitches. I was going to suggest they send me photos of the finished pieces, or do a post asking for help, but then I had an idea...



The February edition of the FFG SAL will be its 5th(!) birthday so why not celebrate by making the post a bit more special?

THIS WILL NOT BE COMPULSORY but what I'm proposing is that, after showing your FFO(s), you then show a selection of your Box Of Shame pieces. These could be pieces you know exactly how you're going to finish, or pieces you really don't know what to do with, or a combination. You could show one, or show them all; the decision is entirely yours.

My Box Of Shame is overflowing, but I'm more than happy to start the ball rolling in the link-up post. It may be called a Box Of Shame, but I am not ashamed of the actual contents! I have plans as to how most will be FFOd, but there are those where I'm looking for inspiration so maybe we can help each other?

What do you think? Are you up for it?

The FFG SAL link-up will be open between 10th and 20th February so there's plenty of time to prepare. See you there?

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday 26 January 2024

Smalls SAL link-up - January 2024

Good morning one and all,

And welcome to the new home of the Smalls SAL! Once again, thank you Mary for hosting for the last five years, and thank you for choosing me to take over; I'm really excited to be hosting!

I've kept the new logo similar. Judging by the size of the needle, that hoop must be about 0.75" making the design a very small Small indeed!



The Smalls SAL will continue as usual, with the link-up opening on the last Friday of the month and staying open for (yes, you guessed it!) ten days.

Entries can be anything Small you have cross stitched during the month, be it an individual piece, part of a set, a portion of a big design, or even an unfinished Small if you haven't been able to complete it. All Smalls, or part(s) thereof, are welcome!

So let's start the ball rolling with my red-themed Smalls this month.

This is the first of the Nordic Christmas Sampler charts I will be stitching over the next two years or so. There are only four colours in these designs - brown, ecru, grey and red - but that didn't stop me making changes! The red 349 and ecru are as charted, but the brownish-grey 648 has been subbed with a nice silvery-grey 2, and the 869 brown used for the outer and inner borders has been, and will continue to be, subbed with one the other colours, in this instance red:

Nordic Christmas Sampler Day 16 - snowflake by ZindagiDesigns (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct White with iridescent pearl/opal flecks
Started - 1st January 2024
Finished - 7th January 2024
Total stitching time - 5 hours 45 minutes


I knew the borders would be quite time-consuming (3 hours) but also really like them. They will be good for those evening when mindless stitching is required!


Then I have a simple Santa for Clare's Christmas Tree. You will have seen a similar Santa last year but I'm not going to show all of this one here as it's a gift and I would like Clare to have that honour:

Santa, based on Red and White Advent Calendar day 13 by Durene Jones
Stitched on 16ct White with iridescent pearl/opal flecks using 666 and Etoile 666
Started - 12th January 2024
Finished - 13th January 2024
Total stitching time - 2 hours 50 minutes


And, although his details as 'A Monarch A Month' won't be posted for a while yet, the next monarch has finally been stitched (about time too!)

William IV from Kings and Queens by Bothy Threads
Stitched on 32ct Vintage Grey murano
Started - 9th January 2024
Finished - 12th January 2024
Total stitching time - 5 hours 15 minutes


Now it's your turn.

You know the format - please link up using the URL of your Smalls SAL post, with a title (usually your name) and a thumbnail. The link will stay open for 10 days.


Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

I look forward to seeing your Small accomplishments this month.

Take care,
Rachel x