Sunday, 24 October 2010

Much Stitching Not Much Blogging

Once again apologies for not having blogged for some time but I have been stitching and I hope the photographs in this blog will make up for it. First of all I finished The Wool Gatherer. I wasn't keen on the mats for it so got Chris, my framer, to mount and frame it for me. I am very pleased with the result.

I started the Swiss Alpine Mandala which I am enjoying stitching. This is the first time I have stitched a Chatelaine using all silk. It has been put on the back burner for a bit because I am stitching things for Christmas.

Next up are the teapots. I have managed to keep up with them but there is now a huge snag. I have been stitching away at November only to find out that by mistake JABC had sent the teacup design with the teapot buttons. I am now going to have to unpick a whole pumpkin which was nearly finished so there is no way that November will be started by November because I have to wait for the right chart to come! The teacup designs are totally different from the teapots and I should have realised there was something wrong especially as it says at the top of the chart November Teacup. It just shows you read what you expect to see.

For a bit of fun and because I wanted to stitch something quickly I finished the little Just Nan bunny.

My daughter bought me the Gingerbread House bell pull from Victoria Sampler last Christmas and I have recently completed that. I have still to make it up but that shouldn't take long.

I had treated myself to The Gingerbread Stitching House again from Victoria Sampler and I am enjoying that as well, although I am not looking forward to making it up. I am not sure I can get all the items needed here in England so I think there will be a little experimenting going on.

I have so many lovely things to stitch in my stash it is hard to choose what to stitch when The Gingerbread House is finished. I am torn between The Toy Gatherer, some Drawn Thread Gardens and some Just Nan Christmas small items. I think Just Nan will win because I already have the frames.
I saw a completed Japanese box, Chatelaine, on somebody's blog and that is tempting me to buy the download but I think I had better clear some of my stash first.
We are off to Paris this weekend so I will be taking a small piece of stitching with me, it helps pass the time on the train.
Happy stitching everyone and thank you for calling by.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Five finishes

I know I haven't blogged in some time but I have been stitching. I have five finishes and probably more starts than I should have. Because the camera is charged ready for our holiday there are no photographs but I will put this right next time when I get back. Happy stitching everyone and please don't give up on me just yet.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Anyone for a cup of tea?

Apologies for not having blogged for some time but my photographer has been ill and I am not very good with a camera. The photographs on this blog are taken with my new camera which I have still to get to grips with.
I managed to finish the April teapot just before the end of April so contrary to what I said before I decided to stitch May. ( A woman is entitled to change her mind after all.)

I wonder how many of you guessed what the April teapot was going to be. We can't decide what the May one is, either a waterlily, tulip or magnolia who knows.

The June teapot was finished in excellent time and my daughter mounted and framed it for me. I now have more mounting board so the others will be mounted in time. The plan is to use the same frame but change the picture each month. I wouldn't have room to display them all at the same time.

I have done some more work on the Wool Gatherer and love the pastel colours which I know are not every body's favourite. I found that the design on the mini swag, for want of a better name, at the bottom is not symmetrical. Mine will be. I hope to finish the whole thing by the end of June. I have the Alpine Garden, Chatelaine Designs, just waiting with all threads, beads and fabric ready to go.

I have made a start on the next Christmas ornaments for Yoyo's SAL. I decided to start with the dove, not too much stitching.
You know how you are advised to read all instructions first well guess who didn't? Having merrily cross stitched away with pale grey I noticed that there were different symbols for different stitches. My cross stitching with two threads should have been half cross stitching with one thread. Reverse stitching was necessary. Then I could hardly make out where the half cross stitches were because of the colour of the thread against the fabric. Lesson learnt read all instructions first. This half cross stitch raises a question do you do the first half of the stitch or the second? The instructions said the first but I thought it would look better with the second. I wonder what everyone else thinks about this? I haven't stitched enough for a photograph yet and I am rather worried about Yoyo.
I have also done a little on my UFO see blog I've started so I'll finish eventually.
Progress on this is going to be s...l....o....w.

Because of illness we have had to cancel our holidays for the early part of the year but this has meant we are able to enjoy our garden so I have include a few pics to show an English garden in June when ours is at its best.

Happy stitching every one. Thanks for calling by.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

The Peacock framed and other bits and bobs

My framer has been waiting for the green mounting board for the Peacock Tapestry for some weeks. It eventually arrived and I collected the finished work this week. It is BIG. I am really pleased with it and it has replaced Inspirations in my hall.

Sewing has had to take a back seat for a while so I have only done a little of the Wool Gatherer which I am enjoying.

I managed to finish the March teapot in April!

This is part of April's which I expect I will finish in May. I think I will miss May and start on June so that I have a chance of finishing one before the new month starts.

Last but not least I have managed to keep up with Yoyo's Christmas SAL, in fact I am slightly ahead because all six santas are now finished. The photograph shows the last four. My next target for the SAL is six bird ornaments. I will put a photograph on next time I blog.

Happy stitching everyone. I will try to blog without such a time gap next time.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

A little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Now the Peacock Tapestry is finished I am able to get on with other things including housework, not my favourite especially when you know what you have got in your stash. I have made some progress on The Wool Gatherer which I am really enjoying stitching (no blends).

I have made a little progress on the teapot which should have been finished by the end of March but wasn't. I must do better this next week.

I am on target with Yoyo's Christmas SAL and must try to finish the next Santa and start the last one this month.

The garden is looking lovely at the moment with masses of daffodils and other spring flowering plants. I was amused to see a sparrow recycling a little bird's nest which had been in the acer last year. The great tits and blue tits have had their annual battle over the possession of the nest box and as usual the blue tits won. We have another box but it is obviously not so desirable. My husband tells me the crows are back pulling the white winter coat out of the pony in the next field for their nests. Summer is on the way.
I hope you all had a lovely Easter and best wishes for a fruitful stitching week.

Monday, 29 March 2010

A finish and a start.

For those who are followers of Speedy Stitcher's UFO blog you will know I have been working hard on the Peacock Tapestry. I am pleased to say it is finished.
With the help of encouraging comments and the purchase of The Wool Gatherer by Shepherds Bush which I could not start before the tapestry was finished I managed to get it done before Easter.

What a joy it was to open my new kit. Then the problem started. It took me close on two hours to sort the threads. If I had not had the DMC colour swatch I don't think I could have managed it. When all the colours are together they look so alike yet when you have sorted them you wonder why you had a problem. I have made a small start and it was great not to have to prepare any blends.

I intend doing this alongside Chatelaine's Alpine Seasons Garden now that I have collected all the threads etc needed for the design. Happy stitching and Easter to you all.

Monday, 15 March 2010

TUSAL and Before the Last Wind Down

Unfortunately I haven't any shamrock in my garden so I thought I would go for a crock of gold but the sun went in and the crocus closed up. Perhaps the little girl at the back is looking for a leprechaun! My TUSAL seems to be filling up quite quickly possibly because of the wastage from frogging and making blends for the Peacock Tapestry.

I am about to make the last wind down on the peacock tapestry and I am putting a photograph in which, hopefully, will be the last before I can show the completed project. What a happy day that will be.

Because the two projects I am hoping to start when the tapestry is finished are large ones I have bought the 12 teapot designs from JABC and I have made a start on March. I think it is meant to be a crock of gold and you can just see the outline of the shamrock appearing.

On a completely different subject altogether I think we may have had a disastrous winter in the garden. It looks as though our huge New Zealand Flax, which flowered for the first time last year, has succumbed to the hard frost as has one of the bottle brush plants. The sweet bay has been badly affected but we think they will survive. We are half way through March and not one daffodil in flower yet, so much for global warming.
Happy sewing and gardening everyone.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

What a weekend!

Last weekend was one of those you prefer to forget. My sister and brother-in-law had come for the weekend so that we could get on with the costumes and that was where the trouble started. We were working on the girl's dress and it would not go right. It was frogged so many times we just could not believe it. We pressed it, we tacked it, we unpicked it and still it would not lie properly. At half past four on the Friday we discovered the router had called it a day. Husband and brother-in-law dashed into town and bought a new one. My sister carried on sewing and I fiddled with the new router with help from everyone to get it going. At half past seven my sister called it a day, the skirt was still not right but with the help of AOL my router was working. Hurray!
On Saturday morning I found that I could not get onto the internet on my tower so another call to AOL and the problem was quickly sorted. After that the day went well. We tried a different approach with the skirt and we were able to finish the costume. We finished the boy's on Sunday.
When you look at the photos you will see that the boy's has skirts too, this is because boys were dressed in skirts until they were 6,7 or maybe 8 years old. Today's children find that very amusing.

The girl's costume.

The boy's costume.

Sunday began well and we were sewing quite happily on the two smaller outfits. My brother-in-law had gone playing golf and my husband was off for the day doing his volunteering.
As lunchtime approached I put my top oven on to do a pizza for my sister and me. What I had not realised was that my husband had put my plastic chopping board in there. Have you ever cooked a chopping board?

I opened the door to put in the pizza and was faced with something out of Doctor Who, a heaving bubbling mess of melting plastic. Some time later and after a great deal of help from my brother-in-law, who had returned from golf, it was all cleaned away.

Enough of all that and back to the sewing. I collected mt "Four Elements" pictures from the framer's today and I am really pleased with them.

Apologies for the reflections.
Here is the photo of my latest update for Yoyo's Christmas SAL. I am on target for this at the moment.

This is my latest photo of the Peacock Tapestry which is my UFO on the I've started so I'll finish blog

This tapestry is taking up most of my sewing time at the moment but I hope to do one of my JABC teapots this weekend. Happy stitching everyone and thanks for visiting.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Some progress at last

I have now finished the Four Elements but forgot to take photographs of the last two before they went to the framer, sorry about that. I will post them when I get them back.
I have been working on the Peacock Tapestry, or as it is known in our house "The Perishing Peacock". I did manage to finish all the stitching and backstitching on the chart to the right of the peacock and my next target is to complete and backstitch the leaves on the two sheets to the left of the peacock. This is easier said than done because I have made a start with the backstitching and already found stitches I have missed in four different blends. I have a little more of the border to do and then I will be able to wind the fabric down. I will really feel to have made progress then.

I have also done some more work on my santa ornaments for the Christmas SAL but I am leaving posting those until the end of the month.

My ort jar is in the garden again, this time with his, or is it her?, Valentine's Day hat on. My thanks to Silver Needle who sent my latest order wrapped in heart tissue paper and it seemed a pity to throw it away. I had to go on the internet to find how to make a paper hat, I had done made these as a child but I had completely lost the skill.

This for Yoyo's fun TUSAL.

I have added to my stash by buying the JABC set of buttons and free charts for the monthly teapots. I thought they would be fun and fairly quick to do. I have still to collect all the threads but will post as soon as I have one finished.
Happy stitching everyone. Thank you for calling in and welcome to new followers.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Four Elements "The Green Earth"

I haven't managed to finish "The Green Earth" because I have been trying hard to get on with the Peacock Tapestry see I am enjoying stitching the Four Elements very much because there is such a variety of stitches and threads.

My sister came for the weekend and we indulged (although I am not sure that is the right word considering the problems we had) in our other hobby, making historical costumes for children.

We are making four costumes, two large and two smaller, which are roughly replicas of the clothes worn by two children on two seventeenth century dummy bosrds. These costumes will be worn by children on an educational visit, because the costumes have to be put on and taken off easily they open completely down the back. A problem is that they are often put on over bulky clothing in the winter, school sweatshirts for example.

We don't have any patterns but cut out of old newspapers the pieces we want, ordinary patterns, if there were any, won't do because the armhole has to be large to accommodate their own sleeve and one size must fit all! We had completed the collars on an earlier visit and were now starting on the main parts. They are black, which has not photographed very well in artificial light, with different coloured sleeves. We have photographs which we work from and enlarge on the computer to try to see more detail. We found by doing this that the boy's costume has double skirtings which you may just be able to make out on the photograph. The fabric we have used is a linen cotton mix with silk taffeta for the sleeves. The little white loop that you can see will hold a lace edged linen handkerchief. The girl's costume has the skirt attached but no sleeves added yet. This costume has rounded tabs on the shoulders and waist. I hope to add a photo later when the light is better. The costumes will have to wait for a month before more work on them because my 45 year old Bernina sewing machine is a little reluctant to go through many thicknesses of fabric these days. My sister's Janome has no problem but then it is many years younger.
Happy stitching of whatever kind to anyone reading this blog.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Four Elements Fire

I have enjoyed the second of the elements designs very much and finished it in under a week. I am now going to start the fourth in the series "Earth". I am a colour short for "Water". I probably have it with another piece of sewing somewhere but can't locate it at the moment. For the rest of the time I have been working on the "Peacock Tapestry". I have bought myself a "carrot", not the edible kind, but Shepherd's Bush "Wool Gatherer" which I have determined not to start until the peacock is finished. If this does not spur me on nothing will.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Rosewood Manor Inspirations

As requested here is the photo of my completed "Inspirations". I really enjoyed doing this. After making several mistakes with the counting of the vines I found that the best way was to complete the solid areas and then add the backstitched vines.
I think I found a couple of mistakes in the chart but then I am obsessed with symmetry. Please email me if you want more details. Now back to the peacock.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

A New Finish.

Before I show my latest finish here is a photo of the Frosty Nights bellpull which is now totally finished.
The bellpull comes from Framecraft.

My latest finish is Crystal Waters from Victoria Sampler. I really enjoyed doing this and as you can see there is hardly any cross stitch in it. The wispy bits of thread at the side are from where the threads have been pulled out and then rethreaded for the handkerchief hemming. I had one or two problems with that but got there in the end.
I also didn't always find the right place to start a band and occasionally was a thread out so frogging took place. I think I've cracked this one though start from the middle and work to the sides.
The piece is on 28 count white quaker cloth and stitched with a variety of threads as you can see.
I have just started the next of the four designs "Crimson Fire". I hope I enjoy this one as much.

Yesterday we went to the garden centre and while my husband went to look at the tropical fish I browsed a bit amongst the cards and books. I could hear the most wonderful birdsong. When I found my husband I suggested we went to look for the gadget that was making this wonderful sound. I thought it was one of these things triggered by someone walking past. We walked to the area where the sound was coming from and looked around, sitting on top of a trellis and quite happy inside the building was a robin. He was singing his heart out. We often hear a robin in the garden but here in the garden centre and no more than 5 feet away the sound was quite magical.
I almost forgot welcome to the blog Barbi. I have been so busy stitching I haven't had time to visit other blogs. I hope to play catch-up within the next few days.

Friday, 15 January 2010

TUSAL for January 2010

Here is the first photograph of my ort jar for this year for the TUSAL. It isn't very interesting, only a coffee jar. I decided that each month the jar will be photographed at roughly the same place in the garden so that I will be able to see the changes in the garden and the jar in the coming year. As you can see it was rather cold and my jar really needed its stocking hat! I have put on two photographs one more of a close up of the jar. Happy stitching weekend everyone.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Always the optimist.

We have had more snow in the last few days than in the last ten years. This morning we woke up to find there had not been any more over night so on went the washer. I cleared the path to the outside airer and put out the washing. I think I was being a bit optimistic. The sheets nearly dried but everything else just got cold. It was an interesting experiment.

To add to the excitement of the day the doorbell rang at 07.50 I struggled into my dressing gown and opened the door to the man who was delivering a victoria plum tree.
"When am I going to be able to plant that?" I asked.
"I should wait till it thaws," he replied. See below for the area where it is to be planted eventually.

Enough about the snow back to the cross stitch. I was given several lovely charts for Christmas and I managed to finish "Frosty Nights" earlier today. It is by Lavender Wings. I followed the designer's advice and stitched the blending filament on top of the stitches. It certainly makes it sparkle but it does mean you stitch some areas twice. I am going to make it into a bellpull using one of Framecrafts which I will probably get from Sew and So.

I have also completed the second of the Christmas decorations for Yoyo's SAL and started the third


I thought you might like to see one of the ornaments big brother. This was more fun to stitch than the ornaments.

For "Lord of the Rings" fans Gandalf is nearly up to his neck in snow.

Welcome to this blog Fiona. I am off now to start the first of Victoria Samplers "Four Elements" series. I only came onto the internet to refresh my memory about Kloster Blocks and got sidetracked. Bye for now.