Thursday, 31 December 2015

I'm Done With Stitching!

Well, stitching in 2015 that is!

A few days ago I put in the final stitches in to my final finish of the year, Catherine Agnes by Indigo Rose, gifted to me by the lovely Dana (you may know her as Parksfarm here and there) and she was right - I loved (almost!) every stitch!

Catherine Agnes by Indigo Rose Complete
I stitched this using 28ct Quaker and a mixture of Jodyri Antique and Regular silks (with a Caron Wildflowers used just to outline the cutwork) and it was packed full of speciality stitches (closeups of which you can see here if you are interested).  It did include the stitch that a lot of stitchers love to hate (except the crazy ones that love them, not mentioning any names you know who you are!) and I was very proud of myself that I powered through and did them at great cost to a now very bent straw needle - Bullion Knots, 28 to be exact !!!!
Bullion Knots and Eyelets
Not perfect but the best I've managed thus far!
Now that piece is completed I have the final results of my stitching for 2015!  With a clean slate for the start of 2015 I managed to have 50 starts and 50 finishes - more finishes than in the past three years combined!
I didn't start the year intending to have that many finishes, I knew I would have at least 27: 12 freebie projects, 12 hardangers and the 3 medium size projects I'd picked last year. 
The number of finishes would explain how I managed to smash my Operation Threadporn goal total!  At the start of the year I wanted to use 12% - 15% of my hand dyed thread collection in my projects, but was dubious as to whether I would ever manage it!  I can now reveal that in 2015 I managed to use 26.43%, which I am chuffed to bits with as when your collection is in the four figures that's a lot of different threads!  I loved stitching from stash, in the truest sense, as 92% of my finishes were stitched from stash - patterns, fabric and thread, changing threads and fabric to suit what I had already.  Of course it helped that I didn't purchase hardly any threads, especially in the latter half of the year - my sister was right, having a percentage as a goal was a real motivator!  The last few months I have only bought #8 and #12 white perle, white #9 beads and black AVAS - all needed for current projects.  The whole challenge really did cure me of my need to own all the threads - I knew my favourites before, but now I'm really sticking to them, quality over quantity and all that.  Consequently I've halved my stash budget for 2016 so as not to be drawn into temptation again!
The other part of Operation Threadporn was to try and fully finish more of the pieces that I stitched, which worked until about halfway through the year, then all I wanted to do was stitch!  The fact I told myself I "had" to do something was probably the reason for my rebellion!  However on the positive side, the 10 FFOs I did have were 10 more than I would have done last year lol!  I'm never going to be a finisher - neither me or my friends that love my stitching have the room in their houses for it to be displayed properly.  As much as I love my stitching, I don't have the room for all the things I finish - so they go in The Drawer where they take up far less space as I am not giving up stitching!  I'm still trying to figure out where I can display ONE of these (and I have many that I want!!) as wall space is already scarce in my little apartment!
The other thing I was keeping tabs on this year was the number of different stitches I used in all my pieces.  I gave up counting sometime in September, by which time I had already used 60 different stitches, so my total for the year will come in at around 70, probably 80+ different stitches used in 2015.  That pretty much confirms that although I am interested in all types of embroidery, its history and technique - counted threadwork is where my heart lies and where it will settle.

So having already discussed my (lack of any real) plans for 2016 here, I leave you with four little teaser shots for the projects I've kitted for January - not including Mabel's first piece for her SAL as until I see the design I cannot pick the colours :).  One of them is my New Year's New Start for 2016, by a designer that I have not stitched before and the others to be stitched as and when the mood takes me in January and beyond:


January 2016 New Starts
Answers on a postcard.........
Thank you to everyone that has stopped by my blog this past year and to all of you who comment/email/message me and encourage me in my stitching - I hope you are all having fun planning your new starts for 2016!
Happy Stitching!

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Autumn Tree of Stitches

After a lot of cross stitch I was finally ready for some more speciality stitching!  Part of the reason why I like to have several pieces on the go is so that it keeps my interest as I find if I have too much plain cross stitch it drives me crazy, as does too much fiddly stitching, so I like to switch between the two!

Anyway, I've finally finished Summer (Autumn) Tree of Stitches by Abi Gurden and I am so pleased with the way it turned out!  I've wanted to stitch this for the longest time, it's been sat in my stash since its SAL days.  I'm so glad I took this year to actually stitch all those designs that I kept saying I was desperate to stitch but could never find the time in my stitching schedule for some reason.

I won't bore you with endless pictures of each part (there are 12 parts), but if you want to know more details of threads and stitches used for each part, you can see close-ups of all that stuff in my Flickr album.  Here is the finished piece:

Summer (Autumn) Tree of Stitches Complete!
Stitched on Jodyri Designs 28ct Brittney Opal Fall Trees (LE) with Gloriana, AVAS, HDF and Dinky Dyes silks, Caron Wildflowers, PTB and delica beads

I've got a small cross stitch piece on the go from GOSM for easy TV stitching and hopefully this weekend will finally make a start on Catherine Agnes - ugh I hate starting pieces lol!
Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Final Operation Threadporn Finish!

Before I show my final Operation Threadporn finish, here is an update on the goals situation:

  • Finish A Flamestitch - DONE
  • Finish Summer (Autumn) Tree of Stitches 
  • Start and finish my final Autumn/Winter new start - Catherine Agnes by Indigo Rose
  • Complete October, November and December SOTW Hardanger squares - DONE
  • Complete Snow Poem Tree by Erynne Chard (freebie, blog no longer available)  - DONE
  • Complete Winter Solace by By The Bay Needlearts (freebie from a past BTB newsletter) - DONE

  • No stash spends for the remainder of the year unless I run out of AVAS on Flamestitch - still  staying strong, only black AVAS purchased for A Flamestitch
  • Try and properly finish a few things here and there
  • Kit up a few projects from stash in preparation for next year! - DONE

  • So just two projects to carry forward to December, Summer Tree of Stitches and Catherine Agnes to start and finish!

    Here is my finish of Erynne Chards's Snow Tree Poem.  In the end I decided to keep it simple with just one colour of silk and beads, but did go with two colours of metallic as PTB15 is one of my faves and I couldn't resist!
    Snow Poem Tree by Erynne Chard
    It was hard to photograph as it is so sparkly with all the metallic and AB delicas!  The fabric is 28ct Jazlyn Twilight Enchantment by The Crafty Kitten and the threads are Night Smoke 5301 (HDF) and PTB 10 and 15.
    I will write a post at the end of the month on Operation Threadporn, my thoughts and musings on this year long undertaking of mind - including the final tally of threads used for the year of course!
    Thanks for visiting and also to everyone who left a comment on my last post, I really appreciated it!
    Happy Stitching!