Tuesday 30 January 2018

New Start - Haunted House Bell Pull - 10 hours

Hello all!

Each month after I have finished my compulsory stitching (one Smalls SAL piece, one finished piece and progress on two WIPs) I should, in theory, have enough time left to work on a new project. And in January I did!

I'm not really a Halloween person, although have stitched a few small pieces, but I fell in love with this chart (and its bigger sister piece) as soon as I saw them. Stitching away I managed to reach the ten hour mark before the end of the month:

 Haunted House Bell Pull by Stoney Creek
Stitched on 16ct Cloud Stone over-dyed aida from sewitall.com
Stitch count 50 wide by 200 high (I'm not stitching the full chart)
Started - 23rd January 2018

The final piece should look like this but I'm not going to stitch the words at the bottom and perhaps not at the top, although I've left enough room just in case I want to write something there.

And here is its big sister which I plan to stitch next year:

There are quite a few other Stoney Creek Halloween charts I like too, but that's a dangerous road to go down... !

I have made some thread substitutions - the chart calls for 5 lovely glow-in-the-dark Kreinik blending filaments. I'm not a big fan of Kreinik but thought I would give it another go so purchased the necessary spools. I stitched a few areas but think the threads are horrible (even with Thread Heaven) so happily ripped them out! The orange and pink have now been substituted for normal DMC 741 and 956 and the white, lime and yellow for DMC glow-in-the-dark E940, E990 and E980. I'm much happier now!

Which means, I have 5 spools of unwanted Kreinik to give away:

If you would like them, please leave a message when you comment and I will pick a winner and contact you by email on 5th February (I will post worldwide). All I request is that you only enter if you actually think you can use them rather than just hoard them. They'll suit someone with a bit more patience for using Kreinik than me!! Good luck if you enter.  :)

Back soon,
Rachel x

Friday 26 January 2018

Smalls SAL - January 2018

Good afternoon everybody!

It's the start of a new year for the Smalls SAL and thanks as ever go to Heather at Stitching Lotus for running this SAL for another year.

After stitching on the same project each month for the whole of 2017, this year I've decided to stitch different smalls each month, just to give me (and you) some variety.

So here's my first project of the year. The chart for this cheeky chappy (sadly named Rupert the Raspberry) appeared on my blog back in April 2016 when I was stitching the April A-Z Challenge. I said he'd make an appearance one day and, almost two years later, here he is!

Raspberry from Fabulous Fruit
Designed by Jenny Barton in Cross Stitch Crazy magazine issue 192 (I think)
Stitched on 16ct Shrimp over-dyed aida from sewitall.com 2 over 1
Stitch count - 32 wide by 39 high
Started - 1st January 2018
Finished - 4th January 2018
Total stitching time - 6 hours 25 minutes

He was such a fun little stitch - really easy but also very effective. Even the backstitching was fun to do! I'm planning three more of these fruity-fellows this year but don't know when they'll appear.

And I've actually finished him off too! He's been made into a little hanging ornament which lives in the kitchen above the fruit bowl.

I hope you like him!

Back next month with a little tweety.
Rachel x

Sunday 21 January 2018

6 Box of Shame Finishes - Christmas Pals

Good afternoon all!

I'm still on a roll making ornaments... so may I present another 6 finished Box of Shame pieces.

These are the Christmas Pals Ornaments by Dimensions which I stitched as part of my 31 new starts for Debbie's Ultimate Crazy January Challenge 2016. I finished the first four in 2016 and the other two in 2017.

Using my usual finishing technique, they are all the same, only with different colour marble-effect backing fabric and matching (or as near as possible) barley twist cord:

These give a better indication of the backing fabric:

And (because I'm feeling just a little bit proud of myself) I thought I'd show them all individually too:

I must admit, having finished 18 ornaments so far this year, I now find it hard to understand my previous aversion to doing them; there's nothing to it really except having time and a bit of patience for the fiddly bits.

I might take a bit of a finishing break for a while (I think I deserve it!) but, since I am also eager to continue and already have appropriate backing fabric and cord for all but one of my remaining ornament pieces, there could be more finished-finishes soon...

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday 15 January 2018

12 Box of Shame Finishes - Lizzie Kate Stamps

Good morning!

I think I might just be living proof that miracles do happen because... I've done it... I've actually finished off some ornaments from my Box of Shame! And because I'm so proud of my achievement this is quite a picture-heavy post.

One of my major flaws over the last few years has been not enjoying finishing off my cross-stitches as ornaments. Although they give a sense of satisfaction once completed, my head tells me that creating ornaments at an hour and a half each is taking valuable time away from stitching. But, for some reason, 2018 has brought a complete change of attitude and I have plunged into my Box of Shame with unprecedented enthusiasm!

And do you know what? I actually enjoyed making every single one of them. In fact, once the ball was rolling I couldn't stop!

So, what have I finished?

Well, back in 2015 I stitched the 12 Lizzie Kate Monthly Flip-It Stamps (changing November's from a turkey to a poppy) each one during its relevant month. I knew that I wanted to finish them as hanging ornaments and I knew I wanted each one to have a different backing fabric with coordinating barley twist cord.

Here are the fabrics (all by Tilda) and finished designs before I started working on them:


And... drum roll please... here are the twelve completed ornaments:

And individually...

Yes I know they're all the same but my mind just wouldn't let me finish them differently.

Each ornament was interfaced before being hand sewn and finished off with 2mm barley twist cord in a colour to match the background of the month, or at least as close as I could get. Admittedly the first couple took quite a while but once I'd mastered the corners, the stuffing and the cord the remainder were finished off much more efficiently.

Having now stitched them together, a couple of the backing fabrics don't really work but I'm extremely happy with the rest of them.

I am over the moon that they are all completed and no longer in my Box Of Shame; it's an achievement I can definitely be very proud of considering how long they've been in there. Now they'll each get a month's outing on our calendar and will no longer cause me guilt!

And now I'm on a roll (and have filled in a good proportion of my Box Of Shame status bar) I've got no excuse not to do more, so watch this space - the miracle may continue!

Take care,
Rachel x