Wednesday 25 July 2018

Testing, Testing 123.........

So something extraordinary has happened - I've picked up a needle and thread again after a long hiatus.  Even stranger is that since April, I've started a HAED, a Mirabilia AND uploaded not one but two videos to YouTube - three things I never thought I'd hear myself say again!

Blogging seems to be on the decline, but I see the hardcore stitching bloggers are still in action!  Being short on time, I find Instagram a faster way to chart my progress and to connect with stitchy friends, but I thought for old times' sake I would attempt a blogpost as an update to what I am stitching on currently.

Band Sampler by Susan Haverson, taken from SANQ:

WIP Part 3

Band Sampler Parts 1&2 Complete

I'm currently working on the penultimate band of the final part on this one, stitched on 40ct linen using the recommended DMCs.

Elle Brode des Lettres Carmin by Reflets de Soie taken from The Gift of Stitching Magazine:

Elle Brode Close Up Part 1

Elle Brode WIP 2

I've actually completed the bands started in the above photo, I just don't have an up to date photo, but this one is stitched on 40ct flax linen using AVAS Soie d'Alger and Soie de Paris and some silk ribbon.

HAED Mini Tears of Yesterday, artwork by Zindy Nielsen:

Mini Tears of Yesterday Materials


I was after an easy mindless stitch to take my mind off things, so I opted to start a HAED of all things!  Love stitching on her though and she is currently a few rows further along as she is the piece I have out at the moment.  Stitched on 28ct evenweave 2 over 1 in continental tent stitch subbing out the kreinik in favour of PTB.

Miss Cherry Blossom by Mirabilia:

Miss Cherry Blossom Materials

Miss Cherry Blossom WIP 2

Stitched 2 over 2 (skin will be 1 over 1) on 28ct Brittney Opal in The Milkybar Kid by Jodyri Designs using the recommended threads and beads, except the kreinik has been subbed for PTB.  I checked out any new releases I'd "missed" during my hiatus and this one immediately jumped out at me, so I bought my first stash in over a year and started her straight away!

Alice by Aury TM:

Alice by Aury TM Complete

Alice Close Up Threads

My first finish since OCTOBER 2016!!!  Stitched on 40ct pearl grey linen using my choice of silks mainly and sparkly threads.  I don't think this chart is available anymore, but I loved stitching on her and thanks to Wimbledon managed to finish her after leaving her languishing for a long time!

Although I don't have anywhere near the time I used to for stitching, I've enjoyed picking up my stitching regularly, even if that has only been once or twice a week for a few hours.  It's a battle now between books and stitching, quite often books win.  I've read over 50 so far this year which is hilarious considering that I probably haven't read a total of 50 book in the last 10 years combined!

I will try and update the blog with these current WIPs and any new starts, so I'll be checking in every so often.  Progress is slow, but although neglected, my blog is a good way of looking back on what I've stitched and I'd like to keep it up to date for my own records.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday 16 March 2017

Spring Destash!

Yes I know, it's been a while!  There is a very simple reason for my absence - I have not done any stitching since my last post.  No you read that correctly, your eyes did not deceive you, I have not picked up a needle and thread since 1 January 2017.  With this being a stitching blog, that sort of gives me very little to write about lol!

I thought I might stitch as January went on, but alas no.  February was the same and then I decided to pack away my Lowery and stitching accoutrements, as I was sick of the sight of them sitting there unused.  I don't feel optimistic about March either, so maybe April will be my month?!  Who knows!  To be honest I'm not worried about it, although it feels odd not to spend most days doing a little bit of stitching as I have done for the past 6 years, I have neither the time or the energy for it at the moment.  I still have a few projects swimming around in my brain that I am excited about, so I know the desire is there and will surface at some point.

Ultimately eating away at me is the fact that The Drawer is full to the brim and the spare room littered with poster tubes full of completed stitching - is there any need to add to it with more of the same?  Maybe I have come full circle and am back to where I was in my teenage years where it was enough to complete a project here and there as the mood took me once or twice a year.

Anyway, I hadn't touched or been near my stash in about 3 months and I knew that it might help my lack of stitching if I had a good sort out so that I could see the wood for the trees so to speak.  I finally summoned the nerve last week and the result is a little Spring Destash Sale, so if you want to take a look, click on the For Sale tab at the top of the page. (Edited to add: all items have now sold - thank you!).  Some of the fabrics I dearly love - but 28/32ct just isn't my jam anymore so there is no point holding on to them.  I have kept a few pieces (I could never part with my nom de plume fabric!) but it's mainly all about the 36/40ct these days.  Threads are always hard to part with but there are only so many you can stitch with and only so many varieties of the same colour you need!

If you've reached the end of this post thank you and to all of you that have messaged and emailed me during my stitching hiatus -  thank you.  I hope that I will stitch again at some point this year, but until then.........

Happy Stitching - put a few in for me while you're there!

Thread Destash

Thursday 5 January 2017

Hard Habit To Break......

Every year for the previous 6 years I have always had a New Year's New Start.  With me currently stitching next to nothing, I thought that 2017 might be the end to that little tradition.  I've put a few stitches in Band Sampler over the past month, but I haven't looked at any of my stitchy accounts/groups on FB or IG for weeks and have just been enjoying the hour or two I have spent stitching for me.

BAND Sampler WIP 3
Current progress on Band Samper - another band bites the dust!
So 1st January rolls around and at about 7pm I decided that yes, I will have a new start please and that it doesn't matter that I probably won't finish it until the end of the year if that!  It's a design I've had kitted up in preparation for 1st January and one I have had in my stash for five years so it deserved to see the light of day:

Elle Brode.... Materials
It is Elle Brode des Lettres Carmin by Reflets de Soie and I have this pattern spread across several issues of GOSM from 2010, but I think it has been recently re-released by Isabelle.  I love samplers, I love anything French, I love fonts and lettering and I love red silk and flax linen so this is pure joy to stitch for me.  Despite using AVAS Soie D'Alger on quite a few pieces, this will be my first time using Soie de Paris so I am looking forward to seeing how it compares to other filament silks I've used in the past.
The stitch count is 250 x 400 and I'm using 40ct, so as it is stitched using only 2 colours of silk (and a bit of ribbon work) it is perfect for me to pick up sporadically as and when the mood takes me - especially as it is an alphabet sampler band sampler.  Here is what I managed to do for a couple of hours on 1st January:
Elle Brode....WIP 1
 It is a strange feeling to love a piece very much but not feel the need to stitch on it for hours on end taking up all my spare time as I have on other pieces prior to this.  I'm not complaining at all - I feel much more balanced than I have for a while.  Rather than stitching taking up all my free time, it now occupies a fraction of it, leaving me time for reading (currently reading Julian Fellowes' latest, Belgravia) and other interests that I have never really talked about "publicly" such as diet, nutrition and wellbeing.
 So the blog may be quiet for a while, I will post when I have some more substantial progress to show.  Keep your eyes peeled for a destash post soon as I have threads and fabrics that really need to find a new home instead of just sitting in my stash when they could be better put to use in yours :)!

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Not Much To See Here.......

Just about squeaking in with a November post, but as the title suggests there isn't much to show stitching wise for the passing of November!  When I did stitch (mostly last week whilst off work), I finished the first part of Band Sampler and being made up of smaller motives it made for a fun stitch:

Band Sampler (SANQ) - Part 1 Complete
40ct with DMCs
I've made a start on the second part as you can see, but I doubt I will finish this one by the end of the year, especially knowing how little I've been stitching these last few months.  It was only an arbitrary thought anyway, so the world will not implode if it gets carries over to next year.
I did buy a new chart (shock horror!) - it was one I had admired for a while but wasn't available in the UK so I contacted the lovely Karla and she got it in for me.
I did think about having another stash clear out but have decided to put it off until Spring to see if I still feel the same and don't do anything I would regret later!  I haven't lost my stitching bug, I still enjoy it when I do pick it up, but there are other interests that I want to pursue and focus on when I have spare time which would be of greater benefit to me shall we say.
I'm still looking forward to starting my planned new projects in January - they might be the only projects I end up stitching for the whole of the year, but stitching with AVAS silks on 40ct linen will always be a joy regardless of when I pick it up!
Happy Stitching!

Wednesday 26 October 2016

OAAT October

It seems that of late I've turned into a OAATer, who would have thought it! I decided to stick with Stéphanie until she was finished, here is what she looked like at the start of October and for most of the month actually as I didn't pick my stitching up for a fortnight......
Stéphanie Desmidt WIP 2
After a lot of over 1 darning on 40ct.......
Stéphanie Desmidt Closeup 4
I was considering having a new start after a brand new chart dropped through my letterbox, but I gritted my teeth and kept on darning.......

Stéphanie Desmidt Closeup 2

Stéphanie Desmidt Closeup 3
Stéphanie Desmidt Closeup 1
Until the happy event on Sunday evening when she was finally finished!
Stéphanie Desmidt 1844 Complete!

I'm really pleased with the finish, considering it is made up of two of the most common and simple embroidery stitches (cross and running) I think the end result is very effective!

Speaking of darning samplers, I've decided that I am going to part ways with Antje Reints.  I still love darning samplers and plan on doing more, it's just that stitching time is short and I need to be stitching on projects that really float my boat.  I wondered what I would do with the fabric, as I had started the central darning cross in the middle and then inspiration struck!  I will use it as my doodle cloth for next year!  At 36ct it's the perfect count to practice any new stitches and I might even make it my practice to add all the different stitches I'll be using, old and new, to it.

That leaves one WIP left to finish before the end of the year and I will be very happy to get back to it.  This is where it stands at the moment:

Band Sampler (SANQ) WIP 1
I wouldn't be surprised if this turns into another OOATer!  While I was off work last week, as well as darning my heart out, I also prepped my projects for my January starts for next year.  I have to be in the mood for kitting and cutting so I struck while the iron was hot.  I decided to treat myself to AVAS silks for the Darlene O'Steen sampler that I plan on starting, but more on that next time as I think there have been enough photos in this post!
Happy Stitching!

Wednesday 28 September 2016

2017 Needlework Musings......

This is going to be one of those posts that is more for my benefit than my poor readers.  So if you aren't in to plans and general rambling, feel free to skip...........:)


I think it's fair to say that I am one of life's planners!  My stitching is pretty much wrapped up for 2016, so that's when I start to think about what I want to do in 2017.  What I want to stitch is easy, how I'm going to achieve it, well that's another story!

So as for the what, here's a little selection of next year's projects:

Stitching Plans 2017
I'll be stitching projects from both of the books and treating them as "learning projects" as a way of improving my stitching techniques, reading around the subject and generally enjoying immersing myself in a project.  I'm looking forward to the Hardanger and using entirely new-to-me-threads that thanks to a specialist lacemaking and tatting shop I was able to source online in the UK.  I'm still wavering on which of the samplers in The Proper Stitch to go for.  Being a Tudor nut, I'm thinking maybe I should go for the Tudor Rose Sampler but the other two samplers are beautiful too.
Alongside that will be more samplers including a piece I have wanted to stitch for about five years by Reflets de Soie.  It's a redwork sampler to be stitched using the AVAS silks and flax linen in the left hand side of the photo along with a bit of ribbon work.  At 250 x 400 stitches, I'm hoping the bands of letters will be a soothing stitch to possibly last the year.  Then there are the other samplers pictured which will be stitched on high counts of linen probably using Nina's gorgeous threads.
Once again it will be stitching from stash which is what I have basically done for the past two years.  The only exception would be completing my collection of Nina's silks and cottons and buying linens as and when I need them. My Pinterest board is so full of the many patterns in my stash that I want to stitch that very few on my wishlist make it much further than that these days!
Now for the how.........  I no longer have the time and energy I used to have to stitch.  I'm okay with that, after all my life amounts to more that the number of stitches I make and the stash I buy (or don't buy in my case!).  This means that when I do get a chance to stitch, the project has to tick all the right boxes - otherwise I feel I just as well sit making random stitches in a piece of linen to no end and to no avail!  I've been stitching for long enough to know what I love and what works for me and basically that is what 2017 is all about - quality not quantity I guess.  Taking patterns I love and using the stash that I love to stitch them.  I see no point in starting a project just because I can, which is why despite the fact that I've been contemplating starting another Chatelaine for a while,  I haven't done it because they no longer tick all the boxes for me.  I like to have projects that are easy, mindless, soothing stitching and I like to have projects that are challenging and 2017 is going to be a mixture of both.
Where this leaves blogging I don't know, less stitching means less to blog about - but I'm thinking I should be able to manage a monthly update.  I've really enjoyed the bits of OAAT stitching I've done this year (thanks to Justine), so that will be something I will be taking forward to next  year. 
I'm really looking forward to my projects for next year and a much more chilled approach to my stitching. By now you know that I'm not much of a "social stitcher" and all the hoop-la that goes along with that side of things - but it's nice to share what I've done in this little corner of the interweb :).
Thanks for reading.........
Happy Stitching!

Sunday 25 September 2016

Solo September Success!

Yet again I have had success with Justine's OAAT SALs!  Head on over to her blog to see how everyone else has done - I need to catch up too!

I chose a new start, Alice in Wonderland by The Little Stitcher,  for my Solo September piece and am happy to report I put the final stitch in her last night.

Alice in Wonderland Closeup
I had hoped to stitch her in 100% of Nina's threads, but overcame my OCD about this when it came to the central quote as I couldn't find a colour strong enough for 1 over 2 stitching on this shade of fabric.  I figured that AVAS Soie d'Alger would be a silk worthy enough to sit by Nina's beauties, so went with that - the rest are my  own assortment of Nina's silks and cottons.
Alice in Wonderland by The Little Stitcher
Thank you for another great solo stitching month Justine!  I shall be back with another post next week about my stitching plans and thoughts for 2017 (yes you read that correctly!) and can definitely see myself incorporating a bit more OAAT stitching as it has worked well for me this year.  No more stitching for the remainder of September for me, I have a TBR pile that needs working on, so will dedicate some time to that hobby instead!
I have three WIPs left and plan on working on one for each of the remaining months of the year as well as shoehorning in a new Winter start in the hope of having another clean slate for the start of the new year.
So until next week........Happy Stitching!