Friday, 27 May 2016

Smalls SAL - May 2016

Good morning all!

It's the last Thursday of the month so time to post about my piece of work for the Smalls SAL, run by Heather of Stitching Lotus. My aim during 2016 is to complete a Christmas Ornament each month. So far it's all going according to plan. I chose another Lizzie Kate piece this month.

Here's the finished piece before being made up:

..... and after:

Lizzie Kate Tiny Tidings XIV
Stitched on 16ct Cloud Brown over-dyed aida from 2 over 1
Stitch Count 51 wide by 48 high
Started - 12th May 2016
Finished - 16th May 2016
Total stitching time - 4 hours 45 minutes
Plus a couple of hours to finish off

I omitted the yellow border around the design as I knew I would be using the gold-coloured cord. I also changed the bauble slightly and added gold beads to compliment the backing fabric. Nice and simple, yet very effective.

I also said I would show you the finish-finished cow piece from last month which Ingrid very kindly and very beautifully made into a pin keep:

 photos courtesy of and with permission from Mii Stitch

The finishing off really is perfect. Thank you, Ingrid, you did a fantastic job!

See you next month with another Christmas Ornament.
Rachel x

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Five New Starts and Four Finishes

Hello all.

Long time, no see! I really enjoyed my blogging break after the madness of April but thought it was about time I returned - with an apology and a long post to make up for my absence.

The apology is for being way behind on reading and commenting on your posts (again). Due to family circumstances I am having to cut down on the amount of time I spend on the blogosphere. I shall continue to read each post I follow but it is likely I will be leaving and replying to fewer comments for a while. Sorry. but I know you all understand that family has to come first.

Anyway, as the title of this posts suggests, I have lots to show you from the last three weeks.

First up are two new starts and finishes stitched as gifts for Ingrid and Justine. Unfortunately I forgot to take photos of the actual finishes but can at least show you how they looked before being made into little hanging cushions. Although they are the same design they do have subtle differences so I'm going to show both:


I Solemnly Swear and Mischief Managed by stitchedupbyleona (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct Tumbleweed over-dyed aida by 2 over 1
Stitched with Threadworx 1033 Ice Tea
Stitch count 133 wide by 107 high
Started - 20th March 2016
Finished - 3rd May 2016
Total stitching time - 20 hours 45 minutes
Plus 7 hours 30 minutes to finish off

Harry Potter fans among you will of course recognise these phrases as those that open and close the Marauder's Map. The words on the original chart were not backstitched. However, the Threadworx thread I chose as a substitute for the original colour did not show up as much as I had hoped so I had no choice but to backstitch each letter. The extra time and effort was definitely worth it and, let's face it, this kind of backstitching is quite easy!

Information as above except:
Started - 30th April 2016
Finished - 11th May 2016
Total stitching time - 19 hours 35 minutes
Plus 4 hours 15 minutes to finish up

The fronts and backs of each one were stitched together into a cushion using whip stitch. The cushion was stuffed, brown braided cord attached as a hanging loop and around the edges (as per my Christmas Ornaments) and a Harry Potter charm added as a finishing touch. The first one took much longer to finish and was not to as high a standard as the second (learning curve) but each recipient was happy.

Next up is another new start and finish which I have called Summer Bird:

Bird by Hobikolik (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct Lime over-dyed aida by 2 over 1
Stitched in Threadworx 11511 Jam Rock
Stitch count 80 wide by 80 high
Started - 14th May 2016
Finished - 17th May 2016
Total stitching time - 7 hours 15 minutes

I had the inspiration to stitch this design four times in seasonal colours as a good excuse to experiment with some hand-dyed threads. Hence I have matching fabrics and threads ready and waiting to stitch Spring (lilacs/pinks) Autumn (browns/yellows) and Winter (blues/purples), although goodness knows when that will be. The colours have turned out quite "blocky" but then there are very distinct colour variations running through the thread. Spring and Winter should be more subtle and Autumn somewhere in between.

Then we have a little Lizzie Kate start and finish:

Boo Club - Ghost
Stitched on 16ct Tangerine over-dyed aida by 2 over 1
Stitch count 78 wide by 38 high 
Started - 13th May 2016
Finished - 22nd May 2016
Total stitching time - 9 hours 10 minutes

The ghost was stitched in glow-in-the-dark E940 instead of the recommended pale cream to give it more of a spooky feel. I also had to swap out the black buttons as the ones provided had minute holes for which I did not have a small enough needle. I'll swap them back one day.

Finally, may I present my last new start:

Ocean Critters - Seahorse by Janet Morningstar
Stitched on 16ct Ocean over-dyed aida by 2 over 1
Stitch count 98 wide by 122 high
Started - 15th May 2016
Stitching time to date - 6 hours 50 minutes

I have had my eye on this rather cute design, and the matching Dolphin, for quite some time so was not surprised when I finally bought them (there are also a crab, turtle and octopus in the collection but I'm not so keen on those). I doubt you will have to wait long before you see this one finished and/or the Dolphin appear as another new start (stitching plans for the year be damned - if I want to start something new I jolly well will!!) This colour fabric has to be one of my all time favourites.

And that's all for now. Thank you for making it to the end of this post!

Take care everyone,
Rachel x

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Smalls SAL - April 2016

Good morning everyone!

It's just gone past the last Thursday of the month so is time to check in with the Smalls SAL run by Heather of Stitching Lotus. I'm a little later than usual as I did not want to interrupt the flow of my A-Z postings. But now they're all over the world's my oyster!!

This month's piece is another Lizzie Kate Tiny Tidings I'm afraid, not the CCN I thought I would be stitching. It's been finished in the usual way with matching Christmas fabric and ribbon; I said I had no imagination!

This time I remembered to take a photo of the finished piece before making it up.....

... and after:

 Berry Christmas
Lizzie Kate Tiny Tidings XIII
Stitched on 16ct Cloud Brown over-dyed aida from 2 over 1
Stitch Count 50 wide by 50 high
Started - 18th April 2016
Finished - 22nd April 2016
Total stitching time - 5 hours
Plus a couple of hours to finish off

I'm so happy that my finishing off is getting easier and neater each month. It makes tackling these smalls so much less stressful!

I also stitched a small piece as a gift for the lady who runs the Dairy Cottage where Justine, Ingrid and I have our stitching retreat breaks. Everything in the cottage is cow related so we thought we would each add a small cow to her collection. Ingrid will kindly be finishing all three into matching pin keeps ready for our next break in just under a fortnight! This is my effort:

Friesian Cow (magazine chart)
Stitched on 16ct Cloud Green over-dyed aida from 2 over 1
Stitch Count 55 wide by 37 high
Started - 2nd April 2016
Finished - 8th April 2016
Total stitching time - 8 hours 20 minutes

I'll show the completed pin keep next month, along with my next Christmas ornie!

Happy stitching :)
Rachel x