Monday, 30 November 2009

A couple more quick stitches

It's been fun to be doing some quick stitches and finishes for a change.  The almost instant gratification is wonderful.  Both these designs have come out of the August 2000  issue of Cross Stitch Crazy.

The first was this little hedgehog.  Mrs Tiggywinkle was always one of my favourite Beatrix Potter characters, so I had to do this one.  She is mounted in a card I got free in a magazine.  I have used wadding under the aperture to give a bit of padding. 

The next one was the free cover gift, which I still had after 10 years.  This is the first notebook finish I have done.

Both of these were stitched using DMC threads.  I did substitute the colours for the hedgehog's hat to use colours I already had.

I am hoping that the knitting needles will get an airing today, and that I can finish at least one of the jumpers I have on the go.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Circular Needle Holder

When I made the first of the needle rolls, someone asked if it was possible to make one for circular needles.  The thinking cap has been on and this is the result.  Once the needles are in and the flap is down, it rolls up like the previous holders.

There are three layers for the needles to go in, so this one will hold a large number of needles.  I think, if I did another one, I would do a smaller version, and maybe slightly larger compartments to make it easier to organise the flexible part of the needles.  Having done the first one,  the second should be easier.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Homage to the Frog

Seeing as the frogs seemed determined to stay the other night, I thought I would stitch this to keep them company.  Maybe if they knew a frog was already in residence, they would stay away.

This was a quick fun stitch and makes a lovely card.  The design came from the August 2000 copy of Cross Stitch Crazy.  I have already lined up another quick stitch from the magazine for another card.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Flower of the Month-November

On the Yahoo Hand Embroidery group, they pointed us in the direction of Flower of the month blocks for October, November and December.  I went and checked out the site and thought I would have a go at doing the whole quilt.  I missed October, think I blinked and the month had gone, so I decided to do November.

I stiched this on some fine calico.  It feels lovely to stitch on, so I went and bought enough to do the twelve blocks.  I used 3 strands of DMC threads/ (722,727,3345,367)  Stitches used-outline stitch, split stitch, straight stitch, back stitch, lazy daisy, and fly stitch.

I haven't done any hand embroidery for ages, and it shows. I did enjoy stitching this and with another 11 blocks to do, it should get better.

Thursday, 26 November 2009


The frogs didn't disappear completely, but despite them visiting, I have finished the stitching on 'An Important Flower'.

Despite the delays, it is  finished on time as the last chart was released this month.  Now, I hadn't expected that!  I must say thank you to the ladies at Alexandra Adelaide Needleworks for releasing this design.  It has been a pleasure to stitch this over the year.

It will now go in the finishing pile for a little while.  Hopefully  for not too long as one of my goals over the next year will be to get some of the finished stitching into frames or made into other useful items.  I have a pile that has grown over a period of maybe 10 years or more that need attention.  I'd better get cracking.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Another chart done

Despite having to take a section out and restitch,  I did get to the end of the next chart.

The design has narrowed right down now, so I am hoping that the next section will be quicker to stitch.  Of course it would help if I didn't  miscount and start stitching in the wrong place.

I have also been going through some of the saved projects on the computer and am in the process of getting supplies for them.  Maybe if I get them done I can delete some of these extra files.  I probably won't get to them all in the next week or so, but as the boys are away for 10 days next month, I might as well be prepared and have plenty to keep me occupied.  I am not going to be spending the month decorating this year, this year will be more relaxing, I hope.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Last two postcards

I got there in the end!  I finally got the last two postcards backed and ready to go.

There is enough of the original collage left to make into a wallhanging.  I've made a start, but I need to buy some thread to match the backing fabric.  Never seem to have the right one here, despite the fact that I've started buying thread at the same time as fabric to make sure.  This one must have slipped through.  That means I can't do any more with it until after Wednesday.  That gives me time to decide which way I want to hang it!

I did do some more on "An Important Flower", but it turned out to be one of those nights.  I ended up taking out as much as I put in.  On one section, I was out by one row!  Never mind, perseverance is the key.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Using Offcuts

I have a small pile of offcuts from the crochet hook and knitting rolls.  They have been waiting patiently on the shelf waiting for me to do something with them.  I have managed to use two of them so far.

The first I have made into a pen/pencil holder. It folds over and is closed using velcro, holding up to 12 pens.

The next one was inspired by Rudee. All knitters tend to acquire lots of  cable and double pointed needles and stitch holders.  They are always the last thing your hand reaches when you are trying to find them.

This holder will hold narrow stitch holders and cable needles on one side and double pointed needles up to 8" on the other side.  It certainly saves scrabbling in the bottom of the knitting bag for them.  I couldn't find my other double pointed needles to take the photo, which just goes to prove the point.

I have a few other offcuts left.  Some are quite small, so it might take a little imagination to think of something useful to make them into.  A little more thinking time is required,  and, oh yes, some time to do it.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

The post just keeps coming

This time, I have a postcard and an ATC, both from swaps on Stitchin Fingers.

The postcard is from Marja and I love the background colours and the felt leaves.

The ATC is from Pauline, it is wonderful.  It looks as if she has used a leaf skeleton and then stitched veins ove the top.  It is lovely and I am grateful to both ladies.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

September's Section Complete

Nice to know I am only a little behind, lol, but progress is progress!  This is the next section complete and the design gets narrower as we go on now.   I have already made a start on October's charts and then there is only Novembers to do.  It feels exciting to see the end in sight.

I've also done a bit more on J's jumper.  The neverending black jumper now has a front to go with the back, and a cuff for the first sleeve is almost complete too.  I am hoping that I'll get to work on this a bit more over the weekend as the boys are away.

Friday, 20 November 2009

More Lovely Post

I had two lovely cards arrive in the post, one was totally unexpected.

The first was this fabric postcard from Robbie.  It is fascinating and there are so many unusual elements to the card, I really wanted to be able to speak to her to find out how it was done.  Fortunately, I have found her blog and could read all about the process.  Thanks Robbie I keep going back and looking at it some more.

The other card was a complete surprise from Sue.  I love the way she has used fabric to cover the card and use it for the background of her stitching.  Thank you for the lovely surprise Sue.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

In the flow

I seem to be in the flow with this one now and each section seems to be getting done quite quickly.  I only have one more chart printed off, so I must get to the library to get the next section or else this will come to a standstill again.

At the moment, it makes a good lap cover when it is spread out, but there is quite an art to keeping all that fabric out of the way while stitching.  I can't wait to see how big the finished design will be.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Fabric Flower Bowls

I had some fun making these little bowls.    I made them in two sizes by adapting the size of the template.  I thought they were ideal for holding trinkets and other small things. I am going to keep one of the little ones on the mantelpiece in the living room for the boys to put in any rogue pins and needles they find.  According to them, there are a lot of them around!

You can find the tutorial for making them at Poppy Lane. They are wonderful for using up small pieces of fabric and are quite easy to do.

I did think the flower shape, before sewing up into a bowl, would make lovely coasters.  I have some coordinating fabrics in the trunk, so I think I'll get them out and make a set.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Autumn ATC

There was enough of the leaf collage to make an ATC.  This is for the November swap on Stitchin Fingers, so this can be sent off this week.  Once the postcards have been done, that is the end of my swaps for this year.  I have really enjoyed participating in all the swaps this year, but I am looking forward to concentrating on some other things for a few weeks.  Thank you  to all the ladies that have participated and contributed to make this an enjoyable experience.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Autumn Fabric Postcards

Anyone stopping by on Saturday, could have been forgiven for thinking I had gone back to my childhood.  I was surrounded by leaf templates and spent around three hours, cutting out fabric leaves and then bonding them to fabric.
I ended up with a large collage of autumn leaves.  I cut out 6 postcard size pieces with recycled felt as the backing and then spent the next few hours hand sewing around the leaves.

Some way through doing the second postcard, I pushed the needle to go through the fabric.  Instead of the sharp end going through the fabric, I ended up with the eye in my finger.  Every time this happens, I think to myself, "Now I know why they use thimbles."

A plaster over the end of my finger got me through the rest of the second and the third postcard.  However, on Sunday morning, my finger was red, swollen and throbbing, so I had to resort to machine stitching the rest of the postcards.

I put buttons on a couple of the postcards, but the boys prefered them plain.  I've run out of anything suitable for the backing, so I can't complete the other two postcards until later in the week.  I need just one more to complete for this exchange and get them all posted out.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

First Knitting Needle Roll

I was very organised yesterday morning and was ready to start stitching at 9am.  This is the end product, and it's one I'm quite pleased with.  I told my boys they could get me one for a pressie!

This has been made slightly different to the other rolls as the fabric wasn't long enough to do a fold over flap.  I made the bottom section as before and stitched in the compartment, then I made a separate flap for the top.

The two pieces were then sewn together with the binding covering the join.  It is the camera angle that makes the flap look crooked.

It is then rolled up and fastened with ribbon as before.  This size is suitable for the shorter size needles.  Most of the new needles I buy seem to be in the shorter size, so this isn't a problem, but as I have some needles that are much older and longer, I will do another roll to accommodate the longer needles.

I need to get some more fusible interfacing before I can make any more.  I think I need to buy it in bulk so I can keep going. Today, I must finish my fabric postcards.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Another Section Complete

Due to a few nights of not sleeping well, it was good to stitch on this as there was no need to think too much.  I find it fascinating to watch the pattern appearing as the stitching progresses.

I have now started on the right side below this section and am about half way through the next chart.  I may get to do some more later on.

I am going to get the sewing machine out and have a go at the knitting needle rolls today.  I have also had an idea for a holder for  circular needles, but I think that will have to wait until next week.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Two More have arrived

The first, "Orange Blossom",  is from Allyson.  It has travelled all the way from South Africa to the grey skies of South Yorkshire, bringing some welcome sunshine with it.  I love the way she has used the beads

The second is from Dakotah in the USA.  DS2 spent ages examining these in minute detail. 

I look at these and thing I have a long way to go, but I suppose we all have to start somewhere.  I love these postcards to see the different techniques everyone uses.  I'm looking forward to seeing the next one.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

An Important Flower

I like to have some stitching on the side that I can do when there isn't enough time to get out the sewing machine, or I need a break from it.  The An Important Flower has come back out and hopefully, I can get this finished before the end of the year.

The next couple of sections are divided into two parts which makes it easier to feel as if progress is being made.  The left side was completed yesterday and I have made a start on the right side.

Being one colour, it is quite relaxing to stich after a busy day, so lets hope progress to the end will be swift.

Monday, 9 November 2009

The last of the crochet hook rolls

After a couple of restocking visits to the fabric shop, I think I have now finished making all the crochet hook rolls I am going to make.  Here are the next two pairs.

The larger of the two black ones was done differently to the others.  I did 10 compartments each side, facing each other.  These will be folded over together before rolling up.

Hopefully, the lady that requested these will be happy with her final choice.

By request, the next project is knitting needle rolls.  I have all the fabric ready, I just need some more ribbon.  It's amazing how quickly it disappears.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Farewell to Summer

This is my kind of post!  This is the fantastic fabric postcard I received from Leslie for the Fall Swap on Stitchin Fingers.  The colours are beautiful and I really like the way she has finished the edges, gives a real quilted feel to the card.  It is so simple, yet so effective.  Thanks Leslie.

I can't wait to see whose card will arrive next.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Another Fabric Postcard

This one is from Barbara in the USA and  is so cheerful.  The leaf in the centre is made of felt and there are lots of lovely french knots!  It was the perfect way to cheer up a grey day.  I must say that  I agree with the sentiment on the back-"My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance."  Think every stitcher would feel the same.

I really must finish my postcards this week and get them sent out, and as I went to the fabric shop yesterday, the crochet hook rolls need to be finished too.  Looks like this weekend should be a busy one.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Honeysuckle Cross Stitching Complete

It has taken a while, but the stitching for the honeysuckle cushion is complete.  I think there was more stitching in the border than there was in the central panel.

Once the border was finished, it was back to the central panel to do the back stitching and french knots for the stamens.  Fortunately, this didn't take long at all.

This is now ready to be finished into a cushion.  I just have to decide on the fabric and then attempt mitred corners for the first time.

For the first time, I have gone through the whole of this magazine and done all the projects I will from it.  I've certainly got my moneys worth from it and it  means one less in my library.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Mums do have their uses

J has wanted a tool pouch for his bike for some time and at regular intervals, he's has stuck his cycling book under my nose and has said, you can make me one of these.  I decided yesterday was the day to get it done.

It was simple to do.  I bought some black canvas fabric and hemmed a rectangle.  I folded up the bottom and stitched compartments to fit the tools.  Apparently, these are D's tools, so I may have to stitch some more lines in.  I bought some tape and fasteners and made a strap to hold it all together.  The strap has been stitched to the pouch so it won't be going astray.

This is the finished article.  I'm now waiting for D to ask for one.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

A Bargain

At the fabric shop, they have a very large bin outside containing offcuts.  I couldn't resist a rummage the other day on the way in and found this curtain material.  It cost me less than a £1!

The fabric is 100% cotton and the background is a very, very pale green.  As soon as I saw it, I thought cushion covers.

Although they are not matching, they do compliment each other.  Being a pillowcase design, they were very easy to do.  One of these days, I must have a go at zips. (I still haven't got over the fear of inserting zips since needlework at school)

They will look much better after they've been washed and ironed.

  Now I am on the look out for some rectangular cushion pads.  I have a shop bought cover that needs one too.  If I can't find any, I may have to make my own.