Thursday 28 August 2014

New Start - Star Trek The Next Generation

Good evening everybody,

In my last post I said I wasn't in the mood to start a new project but..... I found two lots of Star Trek characters hiding in my stash and couldn't resist starting them! I am quite a big Star Trek fan, as is my daughter, so these fill a gap as I do not want to stitch a big Star Trek project. They are designed and sold by Pixel Power and are of The Original Series and The Next Generation officers. For their size I think they're rather cute! Pixel Power do lots of other TV characters so I may have to return for The Twelve Doctors, Red Dwarf, Star Wars and Game of Thrones (among others!)

Here is what they will look like:

Star Trek - The Original Series Officers

Star Trek - The Next Generation Officers

And this is where I am up to at the moment:

Star Trek TNG by PixelPower
Stitched on 16ct Navy aida 2 over 1
Started - 26th August 2014
Stitching hours to date - 4 hours 30 minutes

I started on TNG first and changed Worf's uniform from red to yellow as that is his usual colour. I am not going to stitch the characters in a row but as a 2-3-2 so that the finished piece is square.

Next up is Riker.

Take care everyone and thanks for dropping by.

All the best and
Happy Stitching :)
Rachel x

Tuesday 26 August 2014

QS Hang in There - finished and framed!

Hello fellow stitch-a-holics!

I'm back sooner than anticipated with a finish! I worked on Millie during Bank Holiday Monday, promising myself that I would stitch her until she was finished. I achieved this at 12.10am this morning! She has now been washed, ironed, thoroughly dried and framed. I am so happy with the result and guess what?..... yes, my mum has claimed her for her room!!!!

The "green" peg is a little bizarre as it contains blues, greys, golds and mauves. I had anticipated altering it to all greens, but there were so many colour changes that I decided to leave it. Also, some of the blue sky effect faded in the wash. At first I was annoyed but I still like the paler colour. She was not easy to frame either as the fabric at the top and bottom stretched a little during washing. I have put wadding behind her which helps hide the pucker marks from where I had to straighten the fabric. You wouldn't notice if I hadn't told you though!

So, here she is completed before framing:

And after framing, with her details:

QS Hang in There (aka Millie) by Karen Middleton
Heaven and Earth Designs
Stitched on 16ct hand-dyed Sky Aida 2 over 1 (no background)
Stitch count 150 wide by 173 high
Started - 6th May 2013
Finished - 26th August 2014
Total stitching time - 85 hours 30 minutes

The frame is, as I have mentioned before, from It's a 20mm mahogany frame with a 40mm royal blue top mount, a 6mm terracotta bottom mount and anti reflective acrylic glazing. Perfect in my opinion!

I have sent pictures off to HAED showing her progress and framed. I can't enter their reward programme as I haven't stitched the whole project but I thought it would be nice for them to see a finished piece of work - MY finished piece of work!!!

With Millie completed I am officially down to 8 WIPs or 7 if I discount the one I am going to re-start (but more about that when the time is right!)

The whole point of finishing Millie was so that I could commence Mini Space Traveler, but at the moment *shock, horror* I don't actually feel like starting a new project! Which means I shall be carrying on with a current WIP - Mini The Owrd Lord. I just love the autumnal colours in this picture and very much feel in a browny-terracotta type mood.

See you soon then!

All the best and
Happy Stitching :)
Rachel x

Friday 22 August 2014

QS Hang In There - 80 hour update

Hi all!

The end is getting nearer and the light at the end of the tunnel is definitely getting brighter!

I'm really enjoying Millie now that I know the end is so close. I can see a noticeable difference every few stitches as the gaps are being filled in. This is only possible due to constantly changing colours (which is getting to be really quite monotonous - 1 stitch here, 2 stitches there... oh look, there's actually a block of 5 over there!) You don't want to see how bulky the reverse is with all the fastening off and a few cheekily carried threads!!!

But enough whinging, here are the usual pictures:

After 70 hours

After 80 hours

Millie herself is actually completely totally utterly finished (yay!) leaving me with just the green peg and a bit of shadowing around it to stitch (although her left eye looks a bit weird so that may need a bit of adjusting). The task of trying to discern the background from the cat has not always been easy but I think I have done a fairly good job.

I have already ordered and received the frame for Millie from good old! I uploaded the 60 hour picture and worked with that to find the right colour mounts, frame and overall size. The choice was actually very easy and it cost just £25. I reckon the shop I used to use would have charged over £60 so that's a bargain in my book. OK, I have to stretch and mount it myself but I don't mind that at all. In fact, it gives me the satisfaction of truly finishing off my own piece of work.

The remainder of the summer holiday with the children is planned to be busy, busy, busy so I doubt there will be another post for a fortnight or so. But when there is, I can almost guarantee it will be of a completed project and you can all join me in yet another happy dance!

Until then,

All the best and
Happy stitching! :)
Rachel x

Friday 15 August 2014

A Taste of Tuscany - finished and framed

Hello all!

It's happy dance time! I'm so pleased to have a finish to show you. Here's part four of A Taste of Tuscany:

A Taste of Tuscany by Rico Designs
Featured in Cross Stitch Crazy issue ??
Stitched on 16ct Light Blue Aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 54 wide by 55 high
Started - 4th August 2014
Finished - 14th August 2014
Total stitching time - 20 hours

This final piece has stitched up very quickly but only because I have been able to put in some solid hours of late night stitching due to it being school holidays.

And here is the Tuscany quartet in my custom-designed frame from

And the individual framed pictures up close:

With hindsight I should have made the black mount another 1mm wider but that's only a tiny niggle and was my choice. Other than that I am extremely happy with the frame and have had some really nice comments about it. Thank you.

Being small pieces I did not have to worry about stretching or lacing them so they are only (cringe) stuck onto the back aperture with double-sided tape. Some 2oz wadding was placed behind to make them stand out a little which is just about visible on the photos.

Despite the whiskers and french knot eyes being a pain to get correct (and I am REALLY glad I changed them back from blue to yellow) I have thoroughly enjoyed stitching all four Tuscany pieces and would not hesitate to stitch them again if the need arose.

Yet again my mum has claimed this project for her room. She lives in our front lounge but as that is where I do the majority of my stitching I'm not complaining!

As for my my next ten hour stint of stitching I have already returned to Millie, otherwise known as Hang In There, filling in the odd gaps of confetti. I aim to work on her until she too is completed, so hopefully I'll be back soon with a Millie update. Until then,

All the best and
Happy stitching :)
Rachel x

Sunday 3 August 2014

A Taste of Tuscany - parts 2 and 3 completed and annual target met!

Hello all!

Very long time, no see! I can't believe I haven't posted for over a month! I've had no real progress to show, but it wouldn't have hurt to just let you know that I am still here! At least I have kept up-to-date with all of your blogs and am impressed and totally jealous with the amount of stitching, buying and framing going on!

Behind the scenes I have been preparing for two major stitching projects. The first is a very demanding in-at-the-deep-end restart of a current WIP and the second is a ridiculous amount of stitching within a ridiculous amount of time. I won't reveal any more yet but disclose them when the time is right - probably the next couple of months or so.

On the actual stitching front, I've finally finished the second and third of the four Taste of Tuscany pieces. The variegated green and pink threads that I used for the plants on the first piece didn't work on these two so I frogged the lot and stitched the plants in their given colours with much better results. Finishing parts two and three also means I have met (and exceeded) my target for the year for this WIP! Yippee!

Here they are with their details then:

 A Taste of Tuscany by Rico Designs
Featured in Cross Stitch Crazy issue ??
Stitched on 16ct Light Blue Aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 54 wide by 55 high
Started - 19th April 2014
Finished - 29th July 2014
Total stitching time - 22 hours

A Taste of Tuscany by Rico Designs
Featured in Cross Stitch Crazy issue ??
Stitched on 16ct Light Blue Aida 2 over 1
Stitch count 54 wide by 55 high
Started - 1st July 2014
Finished - 3rd August 2014
Total stitching time - 23 hours

I'm really unhappy with the whiskers on the third piece despite trying to get them right umpteen times. As soon as this has been posted I'm going to frog them yet again and persevere until I am happy. Oh joy!!

EDIT - I have now re-done all of the eyes and whiskers of each cat in the yellow used on the charts. I am now one happy bunny as they look so much better (but I still hate French Knots!)

In anticipation of finishing all four Tuscany pieces (and because I'm impatient) I have already ordered and received the frame from It's a black painted 13mm frame with a mid-green top mount, black bottom mount and non-reflective acrylic glazing. With hindsight I should have made the bottom mount slightly wider but, ho-hum, it still looks fine. It cost just under £20 - about half the price of going to a framers - and was made to my exact specifications. I am really happy with the result and as a teaser here's the first piece framed:

The fourth piece of Tuscany is about to be started with the intention of finishing and framing the complete set before the end of August. I shall then return to my larger projects which have been neglected for far too long and are crying out for attention.

Hopefully I shall be back soon with Tuscany completed and framed. So until then,

All the best and
Happy stitching :)
Rachel x