Sunday, 27 December 2015

Whittling the WIP list down.

I'm on a finishing roll at the moment. In between working on my weekend project of the Harry Potter Banner as mentioned in my previous post I have been busy slaying parts of the PR Mystery Sal piece.
I think the last time I posted an update on her .. yes by now we all know the end result of this beautiful design,  I had finished part 13.  Well 14 was done and dusted some time in November and I am half way through  part 15 so she is not far from finishing.  This was my progress after finishing part 14 before started 15

Just after finishing the Harry Potter banner on the 20th November I decided I needed a WIP change of pace. I  switched to the Red Quaker sampler that I have been stitching as part of an Aussie Sal this year.  This morning I finished this project. Happy dancing all around, another finish for the year.  A total of 2,  I'm on track with last year rofl. 

Stitched on 32ct white linen 2 over 2 using Dinky dyes Silks 160 Pink diamond and 176 Rosewood. Started on the 29th March 2015 finished on the 27th Dec 2015.

Wow that is two projects started and finished in the same calendar year  What is happening to me?

I have enjoyed stitching this design. I am not normally one for samplers, especially traditional samplers such as this but it was fun to do.  At present I am thinking of hemstitching the edges and turning it into a table runner for the top of my cross stitch cabinet where I keep all my stash. 

Saturday, 26 December 2015

A well kept secret - my first finish for the year.

I don't normally make it a habit of stitching gifts for people. I hate stitching to deadlines, but this year I broke that rule early on with a rather large project that I have been keeping secret most of the year. No updates on the blog were posted just in case my daughter happens to follow my posts.

My oldest daughter turns 23 today.  Like most parents through her later teen years we had our ups and downs and a bit of a roller coaster ride with her at times. She is not a bad kid, I am thankful that there was never problems with being in trouble with the law or drugs,  just your typical rebellious behavior. As she slipped into her 20's this started to ebb but she still had no real direction in her life and didn't really look to be applying herself in the job finding department.

Early this year she accompanied me to the hospital to my final appointment where they told me I would be having surgery some time early in the year.  I think this was a pivotal moment for her because afterwards we started to see some serious changes in her attitude.   She started helping me around the house more, knowing she would be needed when I was laid up after surgery for a number of weeks,. She actively started looking for work and the bit that floored me the most. She actually apologised for all the angst she had put us through and her crap attitude and behavior.

That was when I knew I was going to make her a very special gift this year.   Emma is a huge Harry Potter fan, being the first lot of kids to grow up with the books etc. Once she got bit by the HP bug it became a huge part of her growing up. She loves the books, the movies, everything Harry Potter. Nearly every Christmas and birthday something Harry Potter in nature is given to her ever growing collection, but this year this one thing couldn't be bought it was made.

The family and some of my Aussie facebook groups are the only ones that knew I was stitching her the huge Harry Potter Banner from Cloudsfactory.  I could only work on it on weekends as she stays at her fiances parents place on weekends.  So from the 28th of February until the 20th of November I stitched away when ever possible all the little elements and characters.  I decided even though it was huge to get it framed to keep it pristine and she was given it last night (Christmas night ) as an early Birthday present in front of all her friends and family who were here for Christmas.

Needless to say she was gobsmacked.  She did cry a little. She admitted she had no idea at all.   I puffed up in the knowledge I had kept it a total secret from her all year which isn't easy. The best bit was I had shown her this chart about 2 years ago and she had said you need to stitch this Mum and my standard reply was.. why don't you learn it's an easy one lol.

I don't normally review patterns that I finish and post about but I would like to start doing something along those lines to pass on some helpful information for anyone who needs it.

The chart is very easy to read and follow.  You can either stitch from your computer via adobe as it arrives in pdf format or print it out if you like a hard copy to cross off  like I do. I stitched this piece on 32ct over 2 with DMC,  by memory I think I used a fat half cut of fabric.   You can use aida if you wish as there are minimal fractional stitches and some french knots but I would recommend only going as low as 28ct  on evenweave to make the characters slightly bigger. I used 32 ct as that was what I had at the time.   Some of the little elements end up very small on 32 count.

I only used the recommended DMC light effects metallic thread in certain elements and not all where it is recommended,  as I hated using it.  Nasty stuff in my opinion. I should have changed it to Rainbow Gallery  Petite Treasure Braid.
Also I would recommend anything other than white fabric.  Some of the elements such as owls etc are stitched in B5200 but I found they were not showing very well so I went back and back-stitched around them to make them pop a bit more.  As I said previously I had the fabric on hand otherwise I would have considered doing it on a parchment coloured type of hand dyed fabric  such as colour cascades Gold-digger old map style   or something very similar.

I thoroughly  enjoyed doing this project and have a few more of the clouds factory charts on my to do list for other family members. Youngest daughter is a huge Dr Who fan so I guess the clock or something is next.

Happy Stitching everyone,

Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

It has been a number of months since my last post and I have been very busy in that time but I wanted to pop in this evening.. it is 9.28 pm Christmas night here and wish all my stitching friends around the world a very Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays where ever you are in the world. 

I hope that you get to spend this time with loving family.

Happy stitching everyone, 

Saturday, 19 September 2015

The rotation has left the building.

Being a stitcher with many WIP I often have a rotation of sorts so that my many (currently 10) WIP get some love.  I've tried many different rotations that are around.  

Firstly there was the 10 hour rotation.  Stitch on a project for 10 hours then swap. My problems with this - clock watching, it made me obsessed. Not to mention I was often switching projects every few days which was annoying as I had just got into one and it was time to switch.

Then I went to the weekly rotation.. I had the same issue with the 10 hour.  It might take me a good week to really get into a project if I have been busy and then it is time to switch again.  This progressed to switching every two weeks and then that became the once a month switch.  Now I often work on a screaming monthly rotation working on the project that screams at me the loudest for a month.

However of late I'm finding myself stitching on one project for longer and longer.  I have so many that are half finished or closer that  I am chasing a finish.. something I have not had many of in recent years.

Since 20th of July I rotated back onto the Passione Ricamo  starting part 11. This what where I was up to at end of part 10

Part 11 completed 

Half way through part 12

Part 13 finished as of 19th September (photo taken at night so fabric looks more purple than blue) 

I've actually started replacing the long rows of beads with 1 strand of satin DMC B5200 and 1 strand of cotton DMC B5200. The lower straight rows are stitched at the moment as I still need to remove the beads on the sides and top. I'm much happier with the stitches. I was not happy the straight rows did not stay well 100%  straight. 

At this time I plan to move on to part 14 unless another WIP screams at me louder!

Happy Stitching everyone, 

Saturday, 1 August 2015

UFO's - not the space kind.

UFO's as stitchers we all have them. You know what I am talking about those Un-Finished Objects -  projects we have not stitched on for at least 12 months or more that go from being  WIP status to UFO status.

I currently have two. One of them is Joan Elliott's The Sewing Room. The last time I stitched on this piece was November 2012!.. Yikes.. almost 3 years since I had picked this piece up.  I was about half way through the piece too.

So for the last week of  May one of the Aussie Facebook stitching groups I belong to decided to have a little UFO week long challenge. To select a WIP or UFO that had not seen any love for a while. After a week this was my progress.  

Not as much progress for the week as I had hoped but something was better than nothing. So happy was I to get back into this project I decided to continue working on this piece for June and into July so by the 18th of July I had made great progress on  the chair area. 

So no longer in the UFO pile I hope it doesn't take me another 2.5 years to pick this piece up again :)

Happy stitching everyone, 

Monday, 8 June 2015

Samplers, and Fairies for the months of April and May 2015

Hello everyone,

It has been a while again, Life has been a blur since I went back to work and only now have I found time for an update.
Last post I was back stitching on Twisted band sampler still on limited duties at home.  In 10 days I had gone from this

to this on the 18th of April

Heaps of progress and so glad those greens where over.. I was getting so tired of green lol.

By this stage I decided I needed a break from stitching on the black. My eyes are not what they used to be, and grabbed my Red Quaker Sampler for a quick update for Aprils section, which I managed to get done in a few hours on the evening of the 19th of April.

After this I decided some time on Firefly Fairies would be fun so switched projects again and spent a month with the fairies again. The green fairy is now complete minus a few beads.

 I have found a rotation on a monthly bases keeps me stitching and I get a fair bit done before I rotate onto the next project,  and I don't burn out constantly switching.  I've previously tried the 10 hour stitching rotation.. this got tedious fast, then a weekly rotation.. now I do a loose month long  rotation and found this to be the best.  Would love to hear from others who have a rotation and hear what works for you.

Happy stitching everyone, 

Thursday, 9 April 2015

A bit of this and a bit of that

April already, Easter has come and gone and the weather in Australia is cooling down. We are entering Autumn (Fall) here though you wouldn't know it,  as it is still fairly warm during the day just a little cooler in the morning and at night.

My last update was a while ago and a heap has happened since then. I have progressed on the PR Mystery Sal - photos below and forgot to update you all about it and March's IHSW which kind of didn't happen, the reason being is that on the 25th of March I went into to hospital for surgery.

All went well and I was home after a few days. I don't resume work until the end of April and I am on limited housework duties which gives me a heap of stitching time, so I will have lots of updates on WIP and some new projects.

Before my op I had been working on my PR Mystery Sal. I have now completed up to part 10.  Parts 11-14 are waiting for me not sure when I am going to get around to them. Too many WIP not enough time lol.

I'm still not sure about the long beaded rows. I picked up some DMC white satin thread the other day. I am going to do a few stitches next to the beads and compare and decide which way to go next time I get this project out. 

While recovering from surgery I decided to do a new start something a little simpler while my head was still not quiet into complicated stitching.  Some of the Aussie girls on Facebook are part of a Sal and one of the two design choices is The Red Quaker Sampler a free design  available from which I have chosen as my Sal piece. I'm not normally into traditional samplers but one of the other ladies is doing this in purples and it looks simply stunning.  We have split the design into 12 parts for the year.  I  have selected to do mine in two Dinky Dyes silks. Rosewood 176 and Pink Diamond 160 stitched on 32ct white linen.

I started stitching on the Sunday evening after coming home from hospital - the 29th,  once my brain had de-fuzzed some what and by Good Friday I had managed to get January - March complete. 

Since Easter I have been working on Twisted band sampler again. My last up date on this WIP was back in December last year 

Yesterday morning (Wednesday 8th) I took a quick photo to see my latest progress as sometimes it feels I'm getting no where with some of the specialty stitches and was quite surprised. 

Since then I have finished band 6 and 7 and half way through band 8. Told you I wasn't allowed to do much of anything but stitching at the moment.. total bliss :) 

Well that is it for the time being hopefully it won't take me another month to post an update. 

Happy Stitching everyone,