Sunday 30 April 2023

A-Z Challenge 2023 - letters U-Z

Hi all!

So here's the final week of my A-Z Challenge, stitching on 26 WIPs during April related to 26 letters of the alphabet. This week it was the letters U-Z. Look out for four shoe-horns!

Day 21 - 24th April - U is for... USA by Soda Stitch.
I find all of the Soda Stitch designs fun, and this was no exception. 45 minutes of stitching saw some progress to the right of the first tower. Enjoyment rating 7.5/10.

Day 22 - 25th April - V is for... Gatekeepers by Whispered By The Wind (stitched on dark vintage grey).
I was desperate to stitch more of the gate but couldn't find the Etoile, so had to settle for stitching a raven instead. He took 25 minutes. Enjoyment rating 10/10!

Day 23 - 26th April - W is for... It's The Most Wonderful Fright Of The Year by Sue Hillis Designs.
This fabric makes a real change to the usual plain ones so is really fun to work on. I managed 40 minutes on this, finishing off the half-started letters. Enjoyment rating 8.5/10.

Day 24 - 27th April - X is for... Advent Calendar Cracker (Xmas) By Durene Jones.
This wasn't the WIP I had planned for today but the chart I needed for X wasn't in the wallet with the WIP. With the change of plan I was hoping to get this one finished in time for the Smalls SAL but, alas, only 40 minutes was not enough. Enjoyment rating - well, you know I love these - 10/10.

(no picture, but you'll see it in the FFG SAL on 10th May)

Day 25 - 28th April - Y is for... Happy Delivery Couple (Yuletide) by Soda Stitch.
This was supposed to be yesterday's stitch. Luckily I found the chart so was able to switch this WIP from Xmas to Yuletide. I only did 35 minutes of stitching, but it was enough to stitch a bit of hair. Enjoyment rating 8/10.

Day 26 - 29th April - Z is for... Lickle Snooze (Zzzzz!) (magazine chart).
And finally... Lickle Snooze, a WIP I hadn't touched for over eight years! I managed 35 minutes to finish the bunny's other ear. Enjoyment rating 9.5/10.

So this week's winners are Gatekeepers and Lickle Snooze (I won't count the Advent Calendar as it would be finished anyway). So my top four WIPs to finish now look like this:

Gatekeepers - 10/10
Mouse reading book - 10/10
Basket Case - 9.5/10
Lickle Snooze - 9.5/10
Mouse with books - 9.5/10
UK - 9.5/10

OK, so that's six, but who's counting!

So that's it! I've now worked on 26 WIPs this month, and I've ended up both frustrated and exhausted! As predicted, I enjoyed working on some more than others, but they were not necessarily the ones I had in mind. At least it's confirmed which WIPs to whip next.

Question is, would I do this challenge again? And I think the answer is no. I may have been a serial starter on numerous occasions, but a serial WIP-worker is much harder!

So now it's on to May. Because of the Coronation, I did think about 'Monarchy May' and work on my King and Queens all month. But stitching time is reducing again so I'm sticking to the Advent Calendar instead. Back to the bling!

Take care,
Rachel x

Sunday 23 April 2023

A-Z Challenge 2023 - letters O-T

Hi all!

Here's week three of my A-Z Challenge, stitching on 26 WIPs during April related to 26 letters of the alphabet. This week it was the letters O-T.

You will notice that my stitching time is beginning to slide again; not helpful in the middle of this challenge, but that's life!

Day 15 - 17th April - O is for... Let's Bloom by Ursula Michaels.
These designs are always good to work on for visibly quick progress. This had a full hour, with every stitch being enjoyable. Enjoyment rating 8.5/10.

Day 16 - 18th April - P is for... Privet Drive Snow Globe by MIYAStitch (etsy).
I found it difficult to pick this one up, despite the fact I love Harry Potter! I managed 40 minutes of stitching; enough to finish the globe and add a bit of sky. Enjoyment rating 6.5/10.

Day 17 - 19th April - Q is for... UK (including the Queen Elizabeth Tower) by Soda Stitch.
Being the UK, and with all the Coronation stuff going on, I knew I would enjoy this one. 45 minutes working on the clock face of the Queen Elizabeth Tower confirmed I was right. Enjoyment rating 9.5/10.

Day 18 - 20th April - R is for... Mouse Reading Book by CutePatternsByMaria (etsy).
Again, I knew I would enjoy this cheeky chap. A mere 20 minutes resulted in not much progress, but that doesn't mean I didn't love every stitch! Enjoyment rating 10/10!

Day 19 - 21st April - S is for... Shell Cottage Snow Globe by MIYAStitch (etsy).
Given that I haven't really enjoyed the other three snow globes, it was no surprise this one followed suit, although 20 minutes was not really long enough to get into the swing of it. Maybe longer would have helped. Enjoyment rating 5.5/10.

Day 20 - 22nd April - T is for... Pretty Little Toronto by Satsuma Street.
Given that this had only 10 minutes of work before I picked it up tonight, any progress was going to be really noticeable! I didn't quite manage all of the clouds, but 55 minutes went a long way. Enjoyment rating 9/10.

Mouse Reading Book and the UK were my favourites this week, with both making it onto my short-list as Hot Springs has now been completed and night Lantern relegated! My new top four now look like this:

Hot Springs - 10/10
Mouse reading book - 10/10
Basket Case - 9.5/10
Mouse with books - 9.5/10
UK - 9.5/10

Just one more week and the final six letters left now. I wonder what my final top four will look like?

Take care,
Rachel x

Thursday 20 April 2023

Mischievous March - all four National Parks finished!

Hello all!

As you know, Mischievous March is one of two mini new start binges I like to have each year with the aim of starting - and finishing - four projects during the month.

My track record for actually finishing them has not been good, with only 1/4  and 3/4 finished from 2021 and 2022 respectively.

This year however, by dedicating the majority of the month to these new starts, I amazed even myself and have now finished all four - yes, all four - pieces; three during March, and one in April. And here they are:

But I didn't stop there.

I continued on and backstitched a frame around each one and then added the name of the park - the former because I thought the stitching might look better framed, and the latter to remind me which park is which! The picture is backstitched in two strands and the name in one. I did think about stitching all of the names and frames in brown or black or dark grey to keep them consistent, but decided that picking out one of the darker colours from each design would be better. So here are the designs as they look now:

Grand Teton National Park by TeenyWeenyXStitch (etsy)
Started - 4th March 2023
Finished - 8th March 2023
Total stitching time - 13 hours 35 minutes

Grand Canyon National Park
Started - 11th March 2023
Finished - 17th March 2023
Total stitching time - 13 hours 25 minutes

Rocky Mountain National Park by TeenyWeenyXStitch (etsy)
Started - 18th March 2023
Finished - 24th March 2023
Total stitching time - 13 hours 35 minutes

Hot Springs National Park by TeenyWeenyXStitch (etsy)
Started - 25th March 2023
Finished - 16th April 2023
Total stitching time - 13 hours 55 minutes

For designs of only 40(ish) by 45(ish), I'm really impressed with the detail, especially from a distance. I'm pretty certain these will not be the only four designs out of the 63 I will stitch!

But, as you know, I'm now in the full swing of my April A-Z Challenge, so my concentration is elsewhere for a while.

Take care,
Rachel x

Sunday 16 April 2023

A-Z Challenge 2023 - letters I-N

Hi all!

Here's week two of my A-Z Challenge, stitching on 26 WIPs during April related to 26 letters of the alphabet. This week it was the letters I-N.

Day 9 - 10th April - I is for... Italy by Soda Stitch.
I was looking forward to this one but didn't achieve much because I had to keep frogging, even though the pattern wasn't difficult! I gave up after 40 minutes, having only stitched a little more of the colosseum. Enjoyment rating should have been higher than 6.5/10.

Day 10 - 11th April - J is for... Mouse With Books (he's rather Jolly!) by CutePatternsByMaria (etsy).
This jolly little chap had 90 minutes of attention, and with no frogging! I love these mice, so the enjoyment rating was a high 9.5/10.

Day 11 - 12th April - K is for... Spring Keyhole Stamp by SweetAnnet (etsy).
This is quite a bitty pattern to follow and it wasn't floating my boat at all. Still, 55 minutes adding a bit of colour made quite a difference. Enjoyment rating was 6/10.

Day 12 - 13th April - L is for... Night Lantern Stamp by SweetAnnet (etsy).
As this was by the same designer as last night's WIP, I thought I wouldn't enjoy this one as much as I did. But there are only five background colours left to stitch so it's going to be an easy finish. Enjoyment rating was a surprising 9/10.

Day 13 - 14th April - M is for... Mexico by Soda Stitch.
This was another one I was looking forward to stitching, but a meagre 20 minutes meant not much was achieved (you can just about see the outline of the steps on the right). Enjoyment rating was anticipated to be higher than the actual 7/10.

Day 14 - 15th April - N is for... Netherlands by Soda Stitch.
This was a much better evening, with 70 minutes of stitching on a wonderful whirly windmill! Enjoyment rating was a good 8.5/10.

So adding this week's favourite two to last week's top two, the top four WIPs to finish are now:

1) Hot Springs - 10/10
2) Basket Case - 9.5/10
3) Mouse With Books - 9.5/10
4) Night Lantern - 9/10

Next week, the letters O to T are going to have to work really hard if they want to move into one of these top four spaces!

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday 10 April 2023

Link-up For Fully Finished Gallery SAL - April 2023

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.

Since the last FFG SAL I have been so busy stitching that FFOing has almost been neglected! My Box Of Shame is getting bigger, but whilst I'm in the mood for stitching and undertaking silly monthly challenges that's what I'm going to do!

But I have finished three more Advent ornies since last month - the three that were shown in March's Small SAL. They are Bauble, Penguin and House:

Still keeping bling alive!

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 remain open for 10 days, closing at 6am UK time on 20th April.

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.

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

Next month's post will go live on 10th May at 6am UK time. Hope to see you there (and with maybe something other than Advent bling!

Take care,
Rachel x