Wednesday 28 February 2024

New Start - Female Rainbow Dragon - 10 hours

Good morning one and all!

One of my planned new starts for this year was a dragon to celebrate (or rather as an excuse for) 2024 being the Chinese Year Of The Dragon.

My intention was to start it on 10th February - Chinese New Year itself - but that didn't work out. So, with 8 being the Chinese lucky number, and 10 mine, I gave myself the choice of then starting it on either 18th or 20th. I went with the latter as I wasn't quite up to sitting over a frame prior to that.

Anyway, here is the pattern and my first 10 hours of progress:

Female Rainbow Dragon by PatternNadGavr (etsy)
Started - 20th February 2024
Stitched on 32ct Opalescent Ink Murano

This doesn't really feel like 10 hours of work, but I did start with the most confetti part; after the autumnal blossom and green leaves, most of the remaining colours are fairly blocky.

It seems a shame to stitch over so much of the opalescent fabric, but I do intend to leave a good margin of bling when it's framed.

I'm 'hoping' to get half way through it this year which will equate to about 50-60 hours of stitching. Fingers crossed, five hours per month should be doable.

Take care,
Rachel x

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