Monday, 25 May 2015

WIP Update!

I've spent the last few days switching back and forth between projects that require no thought whilst stitching (TV stitching :)) and projects that need my concentration!

I'm still stitching away on Jodyri Butterfly quote (TV stitching) and should be able to get a bit more done by the end of the month, so I'll show that one then.  However I have reached my monthly goal on Confetti of Hardanger and completed parts 10 -14!  Although not every filling stitch is perfect, stitching white on white does hide a multitude of imperfections :).  Here it is, along with a little glimpse of some of the filling stitches:

Confetti of Hardanger Parts 1-14
 Most of the filling stitches I had worked before in other projects, but picots, curled V in a fan and edelweiss were new to me.  I need more practice with edelweiss, but as this was the first time I'd stitched one I'm not going to beat myself up about it!  It's all about tension..........which I hate! I wasn't the biggest fan of picots either (they tend to divide most stitchers and indeed knitters and crocheters!).  I appreciate that they make a nice silhouette, but they are a pain to get evenly sized and spaced!
The offending picots!
I've really enjoyed stitching this project!  I remember thinking when I first signed up for the original SAL on it back in 2012 that I wasn't up to the skill level then - it's nice to see that my stitching has progressed!  I will admit though that I have some terrible hardanger habits, I tend to eyeball the number of wraps and weaves rather than count them........something to work on..........
Part 2 of Milady's Blossom Garden was also released, it was only a small part again and required just an hour or two of stitching, so I figured I might as well put it back on the frame.........
Milady's Blossom Garden Part 2
This part included the first drawn thread band using hemstitch and diamond hemstitch.  Oddly in the photo it looks as though I used a cream perle, but it is definitely white the same colour as the fabric!  I love drawn threadwork and am on the look out for more involved drawn threadwork band samplers.  For someone who was once afraid of cutting into her stitching I seem to have overcome the fear pretty well!
As far as monthly goals go, I just need to give my goldwork a bit of attention and we're done!
Happy Stitching!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

The End of an Era!

It was with a tinge of sadness that I opened a stash parcel that I received yesterday because it was my final thread club package from Michelle at Jodyri Designs!  I have been a member of Michelle's thread club right from the beginning with thread number 1(Sapphires in case you wondered) and yesterday received thread number 250 (To Kill A Mockingbird).  I am now the happy owner of every regular cotton that Michelle has in her collection - as well as a few *ahem* limited editions, silks and perles............

I love Michelle's threads and they will always hold a special place in my heart, not least because she named one of her limited editions with me in mind last year lol!  I still have a few in her Solos and Tie Dye line that I would like to add to my collection and I'm pretty sure some more perles will be making an appearance in my stash at some point.  I've got several kitted designs that I've chosen Jodyri Threads for, including The Drawn Thread's Butterfly Garden which I can't wait to start - so plenty of Jodyri stitching going on instead of just Jodyri stashing :).

Anyway this brings me to my stash report for the month.  I'm actually quite pleased with how little I've been stashing compared to previous months - the sister stash method seems to be working for me!  Here are my purchases for the month: my Jodyri threads, a hoop seat frame and a goldwork book!

May's Stash
I never thought I would be the owner of a seat frame!  I know that some stitchers use them for cross stitch, but for the most part I use scroll frames as I like the entire width of my fabric to be stretched.  Also in the past I've stitched mostly larger designs and just could not be bothered to keep moving a hoop around all the time and creasing up my fabric (the same reason why I've never used Q Snaps).  For my smalls I use a hoop that the entire design fits in, but I've never felt the need for a stand......until I began my goldwork.  It is very hard to couch metal threads with just one hand!  You need both hands free and so all of a sudden the seat frame became a must have and essential tool.  Funny how things change, so never say never!
I absolutely adore the goldwork book.  It is everything I hoped for, especially as I have been patiently waiting for it to be published for months!  A review of the book can be found on Mary Corbet's website if you are interested.  I can see a few more in this A-Z series being added to my needlework book collection - probably Crewel, Stumpwork, Embroidery Stitches 1 & 2, Needlepoint and possibly Ribbon Embroidery when it is published in September.  Every page is jam packed full of step by step photographs and full of inspiration (I've had them all out of the library at some point so know exactly how useful each will be, I don't think I have ever bought a book "blind"!).
I've been working on Confetti of Hardanger and Jodyri Butterfly Quote and have almost reached my "goal point" on both for the month so will be back with a WIP round up in the next few days.  Part 2 of Milady's Blossom Garden came out yesterday so I expect that may get stitched up too, especially seeing as we have ANOTHER Bank Holiday weekend in the UK.......
Happy Stitching!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

A Sneaky New Start

How has your stitching week been?  I've been stitching up my Threadporn projects, which I'll reveal at the end of the month, but for now here were my thread choices for them. 

For my Hardanger SOTW square, May seemed like a pink month to me for some reason so these were my choices - no hand dyeds again, so they don't count towards my thread totals, but I really love using DMC variations perles for some reason!

May's SOTW thread choices

My freebie project for this month is from Les Chalets des Perelles and I decided to stitch it all in silks as I haven't raided my AVAS stash so far this year, so I chose mainly AVAS, a few HDFs and a Waterlillies silk:

May's Freebie Threadporn Project thread choices
So the stitching is all done, just the finishing to do.........
I also decided to have a sneaky new start on the new SAL taking place over on the Yahoo Stitch Specialists Group, which is exclusive to its members.  It is called Milady's Blossom Garden by Abi Gurden and is a drawn thread band sampler with a new part released each month. 
I decided to crack open my Gloriana stash for this one as I haven't used any yet so far this year.  I still get in the mind set of saving them for a special occasion as they are one of the more expensive brands of silk - but as Operation Threadporn has taught me, there is more joy in using threads than there is in just collecting them :).
So here is my floss toss on good old 32ct white Belfast linen:
Milady's Blossom Garden Materials
Glorianas in Carmine Rose, Birch Brown, Leaf Green and Blythe Green
Dinky Dyes Madi's Rose and a Cascade House yellow silk
And here is Part 1 stitched up:
Milady's Blossom Garden Part 1
I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into the drawn thread work when it appears!
Next week I hope to be in the mood for Hardanger and pick up Confetti so that I can get the last of the squares filled, in preparation for the final mammoth part next month.  I'm thinking next month might be a month of finishes, which means that maybe July could be a month of new starts............
Somewhere along the line this week I passed 10,000 page views, so a big thank you to all of you that stop by and read my ramblings!
Happy Stitching!

Friday, 8 May 2015

An Unexpected Finish!

So how has your stitching week been?  Mine proved to be much more productive than planned!  It was your typical English Bank Holiday weather this past weekend, so an excellent reason to sit in and stitch and watch the snooker (no judging please!).  It appears I was very much in my "stitching zone".  This happens every so often with some projects and is the reason why, on occasion, I have been known to finish a regular HAED page in two days and a (small) Chatelaine in five days!

Anyway, what started life as this, 12 full skeins of silk and 5 packs of beads:
Materials for Plum Pudding
Has now been reduced to this:

Plum Pudding remnants!
The eagle eyed amongst you will notice that there are only five colours of silk in the picture and there are six in the pattern - I ended up with a single length of Boulia left (not sure what happened there!) and also thought I may run out of a bead colour!  It all worked out in the end though.
So you know what's coming..........somehow I managed to finish Plum Pudding!

Plum Pudding by Glendon Place Complete!
Just to recap, it's stitched on 28ct Jazlyn in Candytuft by Crafty Kitten and stitched with the recommend colours of Dinky Dyes silks.
I loved stitching it, it proved to be worth the wait and reminded me how much I love stitching with Dinky Dyes silks - I swear I stitch twice as fast when I use them!
I am happy to say that the lovely Nic is still speaking to me - I shall be cheering her on for her Plum Pudding finish as I know she loves this design as much as me and it has been awesome to stitch on this knowing she is doing the same.
So a slot has opened up in the "rotation", not sure what I will fill it with!  Aside from Box of Delights (parts for which are released monthly), all my other WIPs aren't really far from a finish, so maybe I'll have a blitz on them and get them done first before starting anything new.  Although I do have the first part of a new Stitch Specialists SAL.......
After the Plum Pudding stitching marathon this week I doubt I will pick up any stitching over the weekend, but I might wade through my stash to choose my threadporn threads and kit up a few more projects!
Happy Stitching!

Friday, 1 May 2015

Box of Delights - Block 3

A quick post - Block 3 of Box of Delights is done!  I'm loving working with my Jodyri threads and "discovering" forgotten colours!

My choices for Block 3:

Thread Choices for Block 3
L-R Top: Salamander PB02, Red Dawn, Aussie Plum PB02
Bottom: Jaded Amethyst GG140, April Showers PB18, Madagascan Sunset Moth
 Here is Block 3 complete:   

Block 3
This project never photographs well!

Now on to Plum Pudding for some more Bank Holiday weekend stitching - you've got to love May in the UK :).

Happy Stitching!