Wednesday 29 September 2021

The Loneliness Of Autumn - 190 hours

Hello everyone!

I managed to fit in another 10 hours on this SAL this month, meaning I am now up to where I should have been at the end of July.

I started a new colour, 741 medium tangerine, at the beginning of the ten hours and have more or less finished 9/16 pages. I think you can see the progress when comparing the 180 and 190 hour photos. It's mainly around the yellow already stitched, and quite sparse in the top quarter, but there are big chunks of it from there down, and especially to come in the bottom half:

If my estimates are accurate, the end of the next ten hours should just about coincide with finishing 741.

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday 24 September 2021

Smalls SAL - September 2021

Hello all!

It's the last Friday of the month so time for the Smalls SAL. Thank you, Mary, for continuing to host this fun little SAL. Pop over to Mary's Blog to see what other participants have been stitching in the way of Smalls this month.

Each month I stitch a small project specifically for this SAL which doesn't appear elsewhere on my blog.

This month it was a Patchwork Hootie, a design I always seem to stitch in September! I've previously stitched yellow, purple, blue and pink ones, so this time I chose green, swapping out the charted colours for ones I preferred. Here's the result:

Green Patchwork Hootie by PinoyStitch (etsy)
Stitch Count 41 wide by 42 high
Stitched on 16ct Lichen over-dyed aida by
Started - 6th September 2021
Finished - 15th September 2021
Total stitching time - 10 hours 25 minutes

Hopefully it won't be too long before he join the others.

Another Hootie next month, but this time one with a spooky theme for October.

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday 18 September 2021

French Country Butterfly - started and finished

Hi everyone,

During the last few months I have had to make a number of impromptu train journeys and occasionally stay away from home. Not wanting (very selfishly) to miss a day of stitching, I carried a small and easy project with me which I could pick up and continue without having to think about symbols and colours. The result is this:

French Country Butterfly by JBW Designs
Stitched on 16ct Rhododendron over-dyed aida
Stitch count 62 wide by 48 high
Started - 18th June 2021
Finished - 16th September 2021
Total stitching time 6 hours 55 minutes

The butterfly is stitched using ThreadworX 1094 Party Time variegated thread. I must admit, I'm very happy with the delicate result.

Take care,
Rachel x

Wednesday 15 September 2021

The Loneliness Of Autumn - 180 hours

Hello everyone!

Here's another 10 hours on The Loneliness of Autumn, a design by Leonid Afremov which I am SALing with Leonore, and trying to catch up on. This is where I should have been at the end of June.

I thought during this ten hours I would move on to the next colour, but it just so happened that the colour and the ten hours finished at the same time.

So here are two sets of pictures. They look very similar, the only really noticeable differences being in the density of the tree trunks and some of the branches and shadows.

Here are the 170 and 180 comparisons photos showing where I worked on the bottom quarter:

And here are the comparisons between the end of the sixth and seventh colours. This is now 35.73% complete after (give or take a few I might have missed) 23,796 stitches:

So it's definitely onto colour number eight now, medium tangerine 741.

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday 10 September 2021

Link-up for Fully Finished Gallery - September 2021

Hello all!

It's the 10th of the month so time for another Fully Finished Gallery SAL, the place to show your FFOing achievements since your last link-up.

The link-up for this SAL opens on the 10th of each month and stays open for 10 days so you can join in whenever you're ready.

At the moment it seems I am unable to FFO more than than one thing each month, but one is better than none and means I have at least kept up-to-date with all my Smalls SAL pieces. So, FFOd this month was August's Smalls SAL piece, Dragon With Chick.

All I did for this one was cut an aperture in some coordinating card and stick the stitching inside with some wadding for padding; no ribbons, stickers, or anything. Sometimes less is more.

Now it's your turn.

Please link-up using the URL of your FFG SAL post, 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 remain open for 10 days, closing at 6am UK time on 20th September.

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And please don't forget to follow other links and see what fellow fully-finishers have been up to; an encouraging comment can go a long way.

Next month's FFG SAL post will go live on 10th October at 6am UK time. Hope to see you there!

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday 6 September 2021

Tokyo Paralympics New Start #13 - Watercolour Dolphin

Hi all!

So, here we are at the final new start to accompany the Tokyo Paralympics.

When Tiff and I set out on our 17 day run of new starts for the Tokyo Olympics, we did not expect to carry on with another 13 new starts for the Paralympics, but it honestly took very little persuading on both our parts! Check out Tiff's blog to see her interpretations of the dragons I've been stitching, and read fascinating facts about various Paralympic sports.

So here is my final start. I said yesterday it's similar but different, and now you can see why; it uses variegated thread, but it's not a dragon:

Watercolour Dolphin by StitchItPicasso (etsy
Stitched on 16ct Bermuda overdyed aida
Stitched with ThreadworX 11382 Blue Swirl
Started - 5th September 2021
Stitching time to date - 1 hour 15 minutes

This Blue Swirl thread was going to be used for one of the dragons, and the more muted blue/grey thread of dragon 5, started on day 4, used for this one. But I decided the dolphin needed to be bold and bright, just like the fabric. And, once it's finished, I've already got the perfect backing fabric. :)

Top Paralympic Moment
The whole closing ceremony! Like the other Tokyo opening and closing ceremonies it was reflective of the situation and, once again, included key workers. But the stand out moment for me was what I have called the 'dance of the arms' culminating in the words Paris 2024. I've tried to find a clip and find out who they were but can't. Please let me know if you have more success and I'll update this page with a link.

So, that's it for new starts, again! I hope you've enjoyed following Tiff and myself as we started a new project each day during both the Tokyo Olympics and Tokyo Paralympics. Thanks to not being able to say no, I now have my highest number of WIPs ever! I won't tell you how many, but they're available to count up on a group of side bars on the right if you so wish. At least it's not quite triple figures!!

And for those who have been asking, NO, I will not be starting more projects for the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics next February/March! Tiff and I have already touched on it and have a couple of ideas, but new starts are definitely out of the question for me.

Take care,
Rachel x

Sunday 5 September 2021

Tokyo Paralympics New Start #12 - French Country Pumpkin

Hi all!

This is my penultimate start for the Tokyo Paralympics. I like these types of JBW Designs charts, not only because of their relative simplicity and the hidden icons, but because they stitch up fairly quickly and look fantastic in variegated threads. And what better colour thread to have for a pumpkin than Pumpkin Spice?

French Country Pumpkin by JBW Designs
Stitched on 16ct Lichen overdyed aida
Stitched with ThreadworX 10348 Pumpkin Spice
Started - 4th September 2021
Stitching time to date - 15 minutes

Unfortunately I didn't get to stitch much but, like some of the others, it means I've got more to look forward to when I return to it.

Top Paralympic Moment
It was my third day of seeing no Paralympic action, so my top moment has been picked from the headlines of the day again. And it goes to Omara Durand from Cuba who added the 200m gold medal to the golds she had already won in the 100m and 400m T12 category (high visual impairment, generally run with guides). I remember her reaction with her guide after winning the 100m so can only imagine how they must have reacted to her third gold. Their runner/guide relationship must be very special indeed.

Tomorrow's post will be my final start. It's similar, but different!

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday 4 September 2021

People's Choice SAL - Sewing

Hello all!

It's the first Saturday of the month so time for the People's Choice SAL run by Jo from Serendipitous Stitching. Continued thanks to Jo for hosting this unique SAL which has a different theme each month.

This month's theme is Sewing.

Well, apart from having actually stitched the stitching and sewn them to the fabric etc. to make FFOs, I haven't actually stitched, or got, any designs depicting anything to do with sewing - no bobbins, floss, needles, scissors, sewing machines etc. Nothing!

But I can't leave this post empty, so here are some designs I found which can be entered into this sewing theme:

Let's start off with a cute character which most of you will probably be familiar with; isn't she an absolute sweetie? But she's also lucky, needing no glasses or daylight lamp to stitch!!

Furry Tales Sewing Mouse by Lucie Heaton

Most of you are probably familiar with the name Ursula Michael and her 'words' designs. Here are two of her sewing-related charts:

Let's Stitch Some More and Let's Sew by Ursula Michael

This next chart has been around for ages. The design looks a bit out-dated now but it's still available for purchase so must still be popular. I believe anyone who has a cat or dog will have experienced this to some extent!

Maggie The Messmaker by Dimensions

And finally, something probably all of us enjoy - the purchasing or delivery of new threads, especially if they are speciality threads and/or there are a lot of them. Admit it - we all get that tingly feeling when sorting out new stash!

Sewer's Saying by Durene Jones

I hope you enjoyed my trawl through some sewing related designs. Next month's theme is Leaves.

Take care,
Rachel x

Tokyo Paralympics New Start # 11 - French Country Squirrel

Hi again!

Something different today now that I have started all of the dragons I wanted to. This has been sitting on my to-do list for many years and now seemed an appropriate time to start it, given that it's another on which I wanted to use variegated thread:

French Country Squirrel by JBW Designs
Stitched on 16ct Lichen overdyed aida
Stitched with ThreadworX 10771 Autumn
Started - 3rd September 2021
Stitching time to date - 1 hour 10 minutes

I'm still away from home, but because I wasn't quite so tired I managed to make a fairly good start. From the bit I've stitched, at least it looks like a squirrel!

Top Paralympic Moment
Again, I saw no Paralympic action and, again, I noticed that world and Paralympic records have been tumbling in the pool, none more so than by Jessica Long. Jessica swims in the S8 category (amputations or cerebral palsy) and has now won 29 Paralympic Medals spanning five Paralympic Games. OK, she may have been only 12 when she made her Paralympic debut in 2004, but to stay at the top for 17 years is an achievement in itself! Here are her results:
Athens 2004 - 3 gold
Beijing 2008 - 4 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze
London 2012 - 5 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze
Rio 2016 - 1 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze
Tokyo 2020 - 3 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze
And there's no sign of her slowing!

My penultimate new start tomorrow, and another JBW Designs chart.

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday 3 September 2021

Tokyo Paralympics New Start #10 - Dragon no. 3

Hi all!

For day 10 I started my final dragon. There are 12 in the set but two of them are not really to my taste so are being missed out. This one is in my top three favourites, I think.

Dragon no. 3 by StitchItPicasso (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct Clover overdyed aida
Stitched with ThreadworX 11611 Tropical
Started - 2nd September 2021
Stitching time to date - 10 minutes

It's a very small start! I am not at home and stitching was not appropriate until late evening, by which time I was too tired to manage more than a few stitches. Such a shame, as was really looking forward to working on this dragon and this colour. The only consolation is that when I return to this WIP I'll have a lot of dragon and colour to look forward to!

Top Paralympic Moment
I saw absolutely no Paralympic action so have had to rely on round-up information to find a top moment. It seems that more world records tumbled in the pool during the various swimming heats and finals, but the highlight has to be China winning all five of the gold medals available in that day's table tennis finals. China tend to dominate table tennis in the able-bodied Olympics, and it seems their para athletes are just as good.

Another new start tomorrow...

Take care,
Rachel x

Thursday 2 September 2021

Tokyo Paralympics New Start #9 - Dragon no. 6

Hi all!

New start number 9 was mostly stitched on trains, which meant going at a slower pace than usual and often unpicking stitches as I missed the holes! I think this is my favourite dragon of the bunch:

Dragon no. 6 by StitchItPicasso (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct Sweet Potato overdyed aida
Stitched with ThreadworX 10041 Deep Coral
Started - 1st September 2021
Stitching time to date - 2 hours 10 minutes

The colour of the thread is pinker than the photo shows and very much in-your-face. It's probably not one I would have chosen had I seen it in real life, but is variegated enough to do its job and will definitely stand out among the thunder of dragons I've started so far (did you know that a group of dragons was called a thunder?)

Top Paralympic Moment
I only caught about 15 minutes of the Paralympics, but in that time did see David Smith of TeamGB win the Boccia BC1 gold medal. His reaction of 'yeah' every time he threw a ball was comical, not in a laughing at him way but because of his pure enjoyment. Add that to his red and blue hair and I'm sure he's quite a character!

Hopefully back tomorrow.

Take care,
Rachel x

Wednesday 1 September 2021

Tokyo Paralympics New Start #8 - Dragon no. 1

Hello again!

Because Tiff jumped ahead with her dragon yesterday ,and I'm missing a couple out, we got to stitch on the same one and, quite coincidentally, in similar(ish) colours!

Dragon no. 1 by StitchItPicasso (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct Tin overdyed aida
Stitched with ThreadworX 1022 Rain Storm
Started - 31st August 2021
Stitching time to date - 1 hours 10 minutes

This colour is the lighter version of Cloudy Skies I used for Day 4. I had planned to make each dragon very different, but decided to swap the threads for this and the final project before realising the similarity. Oh well.

Top Paralympic Moment
The Men's 1500m T54 (wheelchair athletes with normal hands/arm use, some trunk use, no leg use) final has to be the top moment from yesterday. Not only was the world record broken but, out of the 10 competitors, 7 came in under the old world record time and every single one of them achieved a personal best. I expect this was a combination of track conditions, advanced wheelchair technology and the general adrenaline of the event, but I can't imagine results like that happen very often.

I'm now going away for a few days (not for work or pleasure) but still hope to keep up with these daily new starts and posts. Apologies in advance if I can't though.

Take care,
Rachel x