Sunday, 20 October 2013

Belated happy dancing

I finished stitching the bell pull about a week after my last post - so that's about 5 weeks ago - but it took me another fortnight to block it. My scroll bars had stretched it out of shape and made all of the blocks rectangular. It's not quite measurement perfect, but I'm much happier with it now:

Fruit Bellpull, (c) Theresa Wentzler. Stitched on antique white Quaker cloth in DMC. The first photo was taken with the flash - the focus is better but the colours are bleached out a bit...

Taken without the flash. It's a bit yellow because of the artificial light, but I think the colours are closer to this one. Basically I'm not a great photographer and I should have taken these in the day time, on a sunny day, but hey, this is what I have! I LOVE how it has turned out.

Having finished this piece I felt I wanted to do a bit of WIP-busting, so next I pulled out Eeyore's problem. And finished it about a week ago - pic to follow. This weekend I've been finishing off the green cardy I started ages ago (the one with the uneven fronts) and working on gaelic banner. It would be lovely to finish GB before the end of the year, but we'll see!

Hope everyone found some quality crafting time this weekend - I did! Happy stitching folks x

Friday, 6 September 2013

Getting ever closer...

As promised, another photo of fruit bellpull. I'm sooooo close now - I predict a happy dance this weekend!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The leaves are done!!

I'm getting so close with fruit bellpull - I've completed the border and the leaves of the final block - peaches -  I took this photo on Friday, before a lovely weekend away. I've started the peaches now, and will post a photo once I have better light!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

And the winner is...

Thank you to everyone who commented on my blog this week - its always fun seeing who comments on a giveaway post! I decided to have two winners for my giveaway, as so many took the time to comment. I took the list of names to our stitch and bitch at Sonia's on Wednesday, and Louise and Pam did the honours...

The winners were Monique and Ana Christina - please could you both email me with your addresses, and I'll pop something in the post!

I've been working on fruit bellpull all week, this is the last photo I took on my iPhone, at the start of the week:

I'm a bit further on now, but the more recent piccies are on my proper camera, and I can't be bothered to boot up my laptop! Having a VERY lazy Sunday....

Happy stitching folks xx

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Not very clever...

During the week I tried to update my wish list and stash list by moving 4 things I recently bought and putting them on the stash list. Instead I managed to overwrite my stash list with my wish list. I don't have another copy of my stash list (I don't think), and it also listed completed projects, many of which I have passed on. AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHH

So the question is, can I be bothered to reconstruct my stash list? It is quite helpful...

Pants pants pants

Updated to say THANK YOU to the wonderful Aurelia of Eglantine Stitchery managed to find a cached version of the list. I have literally just danced around the house at a level on met when I've finished a huge TW. You are now my most favourite person in the world!

Off to add the 4 charts to the list that I bought earlier this month, update the page, and then settle down to some stitching. FAR more fun than trying to reconstruct the list!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

A week in stitches

Last week I was off work - we had plenty of holiday to take, and so we decided it would be lovely to spend some time pottering at home. We did spend lots of time in the garden, and took the opportunity to catch up with good friends, but it also meant I could focus on my stitching. I had 4 things that I wanted to do in my head: finish a quilt top that I'd started the previous weekend, start the quilt top made from the other half of the jelly roll (two quilts from one jelly roll - brilliant idea for a book!), finish the BBD Summer / Autumn / Winter and pull out fruit bellpull again - I think I managed 3.5 out of 4!!

This is the quilt top: 'Strip the Willow' made using half a jelly roll of French General's 'Papillion'. I have planned the colours and cutting for the other quilt (clues are in my last TUSAL post), but I didn't start cutting or stitching yet.

I finished BBD's Summer / Autumn / Winter, the Loose Feathers pattern from 2011. I had some 'fun' re-charting it to say 2013, and then somehow managed to screw up the placement of my initials and the date and motifs, despite lots of counting, charting and double checking. I moved the motif between the Z and the J twice - the second time only by 1 square, but it does look better where it ended up!!

I pulled out TW's fruit bellpull on Sunday afternoon, this is a before photo of the grapes block - I've stitched a bit more green since then.

And finally, a progress so far photo. I'd love to get this finished before I start teaching again in late September. Always the optimist ;)

Don't forget to comment on my last blog post if you'd like to be entered into my 300th post giveaway. Now, where did I leave that needle...
Happy stitching folks x

Thursday, 8 August 2013

300th post!!!

Wow, I just logged on to do a run of the mill stitching post, and noticed my last post was number 299 - which makes this one number 300!! That erased my dilemma over what to call this post! I can't believe I have 90 followers, and have had 26,397 page views to date. I *think* I managed to turn myself off the tracking ;) That probably isn't much in blogger land, but for me it's huge, and I am amazed and humbled that people want to read my ramblings and look at my photos. So thank you all, lovely readers.

 So what have I been working on? The 2011 loose feathers design has been my main focus - I did frog and restitch the big white flower, and I am much happier with it now:

I then made a counting error in the alphabet, and had to frog and restitch 3 letters. But it's all sorted now.

I've just got the bottom row of letters to go. I need to figure out how to fit my wide initials into the available spaces, and change the 1 in 2011 to a 3 (I have worked out a 3, just need to think about the spacing). I'm not sure if it would be better to squeeze it all together, or to skip the half motif in the bottom right corner and have more space. Decisions decisions...

A little while ago (2 weeks?) I wanted to stitch a small, so I picked out this needle book by Little House Needleworks. I stitched it in DMC on a  scrap of unnamed overdyed fabric. I love the sheep - too cute :)

It's also TUSAL week - these are my orts. The white ones on top are from the recent frogging... And the background? Well that's something else I've been working on this week, which I will update you on later.

In honor of my 300th post I'm going to have a giveaway... No idea what, as I only realised this was post 300 about 20 mins ago - but it will be stitched by me. If you'd like to enter, please add a comment to this post. I'll draw the winner next weekend.

Happy stitching folks xx

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Flowers and frogs

I'm still making great progress with the Summer, autumn, winter sampler by Blackbird Designs, but I think I've decided I need to be visited by some frogs...

The big white flower in the summer panel should be a lovely two tone thing:

BUT, due to the fabulous variation in hand dyed threads, mine is more of an amorphous blob:

I've had a good hunt through my stash, and I think I'll frog the middle of the flower (flax, on the right in this photo) and replace it with straw bonnet (left in this photo). The edges of the flower ate stitched in caramel corn (the floss in the middle) and I think the latter combination gives a much better contrast. So frogging it is...

Happy stitching folks xx

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Summer weather, autumnal stitching,

I hope everyone (in the UK at least) is enjoying having a sunny summer for once. At times I find the weather a bit hot and oppressive, but I just have to think back to the last 2 summers and I immediately feel much happier! I just wish my office had air con...

I've been making great progress with the 2011 Loose Feathers charts - I've done about 1/2 of the final panel, autumn. I'm leaving the alphabet til last.

I hope everyone else is having a lovely stitchy weekend - if so, happy stitching xx

Sunday, 30 June 2013


I've been meaning to post some piccies of my current project for a while. In fact, I took this one (of the Autumn panel in the 2011 Loose Feathers series) absolutely ages ago:

So long ago that I've now stitched most of Autumn, and most of Summer! I'm planning on doing the alphabet in one go.

I'm on holiday in Skye this week, and brought this with me. The only issue is that I've almost run out of maple syrup - I'll have to stitch the final bird when I get home :)

Happy stitching folks xx

Sunday, 19 May 2013

May Madness

Hello!!! It's been a while. Once again work has been busy, and I'd rather spend my spare time stitching than blogging (sorry guys, but I DO miss you all!).

I had a fabulous trip to Knoxville. I took along Conchiti Drummer (NP Designs), which I started on my trip to Pretoria last August. Aida and simple colours are prefect for planes!! When I got back I carried on stitching it, initially because I was jet lagged and the thought of a TW was terrifying, but after 2 days it was because I couldn't put it down, and then it was too close to finishing to put it down.... So I achieved an unexpected happy dance:

This piece was a gift from Avivah, to say thank you for posting her tea bags - isn't he cute?

I have also picked up that flipping green cardigan (aka, the bane of my life). I undid the sewing up and unpicked the left front AGAIN, and last night I finished knitting it for the third time. You will not believe how often I checked it against the right front! Anyway, the good news is that it actually matches now and I've almost finished reattaching it to the rest of the cardy. Initial trying on suggests it might have worked this time. I really dislike cardigans, I think I'll stick to knitting scarves....

Dani asked if I made it to the LNS in Knoxville - of course I did! I found a fellow stitcher at the conference and we bunked off for a morning. Luckily I phoned to double check their opening times and found they had recently moved to a new property. I'm so pleased I bothered to phone them, and that I skipped out on the conference to go - it's probably the nicest LNS I've ever been to. Everything was laid out so prettily, with lots of stitched pieces for inspirations - lots of smalls in baskets and displayed on shelves and dressers throughout the shop, as well as the usual walls of framed pieces. I took a billion photos, and I will share them in a follow up post.

The bad news is that my credit card had to be sent off to ICU after the visit, and it's still in recovery. They had a SALE on. Oh yes! There were about 8 boxes of charts for $2 each. What is a girl supposed to do??? I also picked up a BBD (Autumn) that I've wanted for a while, a few Stacy Nash Primitives, some lovely fabrics and some overdyed threads that I needed to complete some pieces in my stash. So what did I buy? Well here we go:

Autumn - Blackbird Designs
Blackbird sampler - Hand in Heart
Spring cottage - The Prairie Schooler
The fox and the grapes - The Prairie Schooler
Celtic Birds II - The Sunflower Seed
Tulip Tree Sewing Book - Stacy Nash Primitives
Peacock Sewing Roll - Stacy Nash Primitives
Birds of a Feather - Stacy Nash Primitives
Gem Show #1 6 - Courtney Collection
My Stitching Treasures Accessories - Jeanette Douglas Designs
Stitchers Accessories Rose Fantasy - Dessins DHC
Rune Sampler - Dracolair
Mackintosh Roses - Art - Stitch
An Emblem of Love - With Thy Needle
Bad Hare Day - Bent Creek
The Curse of the Raven - Carriage House Samplings
The Raven's Roost - Carriage House Samplings

Two large pieces of pale beige overdyed fabric, which I manged to loose the names of already...

And some offcuts of fabric:
36 x 11 of Angel Hair (30 ct) by Weeks
12 x 26 of a lovely un-named sage green (32 ct)
12 x 12 'echo' (28 ct)

And about 30 skeins of weeks / GAST / Crescent colours.

(Shown on the other bit of beige fabric, ready for my new start as soon as I have posted this and cooked our dinner!)

I was rather chuffed. Bank manager less so....

Right, I'm about to start Blackbird Designs Summer / Autumn / Winter, on one of the pieces of un-named beige fabric. I'll conveniently forget that I needed to order Summer and further threads online when I got home...

Happy stitching folks xx

Monday, 8 April 2013

Greetings from Knoxville!

Well I made it across the pond on Saturday, and spent yesterday acclimatising to the lovely warm weather and pootling around town - KX is a lovely city, it felt really relaxed and family friendly, lots of street cafes and parks etc.

Before I felt I managed to finish the quilt I started and I did most of the large leaves on the grapes block of Fruit Bellpull:

I also took a pic of my ORT jar for the TUSAL today:

Trying to work out if I can get to a lovely-looking cross stitch shop today, before my conference starts. It's 7 miles out of town and I don't have a car.... So tempted to take a taxi ;)

Happy stitching folks x

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Happy Easter!

It's been a lovely sunny day here today, and the snow is melting. Not fast enough for my liking - it's still quite deep where it drifted, but our spring bulbs are fighting through!

Today I started a new quilt, using a lovely set of 3" squares of vintage prints that my friend Jamie gave me about 2 years ago. I've only got 3 more blocks to make, then I can start putting it together. I'll probably spend much of tomorrow working out what order they should go in!

I never posted a TUSAL pic this month. Only 21 days late, but here it is. The layer of dark reds/pinks near the top are from the cherries.

My plan for this evening involves stitching, watching TV and eating some Easter eggs :)

Happy stitching folks xx

Friday, 29 March 2013


I finally finished the cherries last night. What can I say - my last 3 days in work before Easter were exhausting, it really impacted my stitching time. Not that that's a problem - I'm now off work until the 6th, when I fly to Knoxville for a conference - yeah!!!

Anyway, here's a pic of the cherries block:

And of the bellpull so far... grapes next :)

My stitching plans for this holiday and typically vague. I might start a new quilt, I might try and fix that b****y green cardigan I knitted, I might work on my lace, I might do something else entirely. But for now the bellpull has my attention...

Happy stitching folks x

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Snowed in (ish)!

It's been unseasonable cold this March, and once again we'd had snowy weather. It snowed steadily all day Friday, and we've had about a foot of snow - hard to tell as it's very powdery and has drifted quite a bit. It's actually not too bad around us - all the main roads are clear and our street is passable, but we decided to hunker down and not bother digging the car out! The garden looks really pretty:

I'm still working on the Cherries block of Fruit Bellpull - On Friday night I finished all of the green. I took this yesterday morning, but never turned the laptop on to share it. I've done about 1/3 of the cherries so far, and I'd like to finish the xs today, and the bs in the next couple of days. So I'm snuggled up on the sofa under my lap quilt in my stitching nest. Poor Eddy, there's never room for him to sit down as I've spread the floss and other essential supplies all over the other sofa seat!

Happy stitching folks xx

Monday, 25 February 2013

Green leaves

This is where I've got to with the cherries block... Hope to put some more in tonight

Sunday, 17 February 2013


I finished the plum block on TWs Fruit bellpull.That puts me at the half way point (well, just past it now, as I've completed the border of the cherries block since taking the photo). I've really got into this piece lately, and it's really showing in terms of progress.

I've also been spending a fair amount of time on my lace project (although not much this week). Mostly it's a mess of pins, threads and bobbins, but one of the big leaves is now visible, so here's a snap.

I also missed the TUSAL earlier this week, so here is a photo of my ORT jar. All of the greens with the layer of purple on top are from the plum block.

This week and weekend I've had a cough and cold - I've not felt too ill, just very snuffly, but it's left me quite tired, so my stitching mojo was a little off over the weekend, and I didn't feel up to the drive to Sheffield lace makers.Which I'm annoyed at, because I really wanted to go. Such is life. But I did get more xs done and movies watched than I had hoped :)

Sunday, 10 February 2013

More greenery!

Sorry my blog is being neglected again. As usual I've been busy in work, so I'd rather send the spare time I have stitching than on the Internet. I've made great progress on the plums block of Fruit Bellpull, I've just it in the last bit of green - bring on the purple!

Happy stitching folks x

Sunday, 13 January 2013


Yesterday I finished the BS on the pears block of Fruit Bellpull:

I've started the border of the plums block, which is my third block of 6.

It's also TUSAL time again - well, really it was on Friday - but here are my ORTS as of about 10 mins ago! If you are new to the concept of the Totally Useless Stitch Along, you need to pop by Sharon's blog and read more (and admire her lovely stitching while you do!).

I've been a bit listless this weekend, and couldn't settle to anything, which means I've not made much progress. Maybe this coming week will be more productive!

Happy stitching folks

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

2013 - the year of the Happy Dance?

So these are the two projects I finished over the weekend:

Tatty Teddy 'A New Baby'. It's an anchor kit, but I substituted the aida for laguna.

And then 'Leafy' headband by Happy Living (I found it on Ravelry):

This is done in a lovely soft Debbie Bliss Alpaca and Silk blend - it feels WONDERFUL.

I've finally found my camera card, so I can share a photograph of the other ornament I sent out for the TWCOE - Partridge in a Pear Tree by Milady's needle, from the 2012 JCS ornament edition. I really enjoyed stitching this and was very pleased with how the finishing turned out:

On Sunday I picked up fruit bellpull again, and last night I finished the xs and started the bs on the pears block - a bout of insomnia helped speed the bs along - I'll share a photo as soon as I have completed the block - maybe tomorrow?

Happy stitching folks x

Sunday, 6 January 2013

First Finishes

On Friday I started and finished a new project - My Heart is True pincushion by Nicoletta Farraruto and Blackbird Designs (Eddu got me the My Heart is True book for Christmas). I stitched it on a scarp of linen and backed it with a scrap of lining fabric which matched each other perfectly. I stitched the project in DMC, but substituted the 3857 with 3859, a lovely dusky lilac. I gave the project to Sonia for her birthday:

While I had the machine out I finished Summer Iris into a little cushion, using a piece of duck-egg blue fabric left over from the Teacher's Pet quilt I finished last year - the colour matches perfectly, but you'll have to take my word for it, as I forgot to put a piece of the fabric in the background:

I finished the edges with button hole stitch - the recommended finishing technique for My Heart is True! I did spend a long time debating a natural cotton lacy edging I have in my stash, but decided on a simpler version:

Here's a photo of the two projects together, leaning against a lovely Morroccan lantern my cousin gave me for Christmas:

Yesterday I had a stitch and bitch and crafted pretty much all day, and had TWO MORE happy dances - but the projects aren't in a state for photographing yet! I'm back to work tomorrow, and I'm going to miss all this lovely crafting time. Ho hum....

Happy stitching everyone x