Wednesday 30 December 2020

2020 Stitching Review

I cannot believe I stitched 63 items in 2020, especially with all my health issues. In the last few months I have enjoyed stitching some special gifts which I will share in January's GG. 

I do have a page for each year for my list of finishes, you can find it at the top of my blog - this is a copy of my 2020 list. It only shows items I stitched, it doesn't include my card making or finishing the flowers.

  1. Orts Ornie 2019
  2. Night Temperature Quilt 
  3. Day Temperature Quilt
  4. 3 cover kit cards
  5. Tatty Ted for DD's birthday
  6. StNA Block 1
  7. Pansy flower head
  8. Lily flower head
  9. StNa Block 2
  10. Flip It January
  11. Flip It February 
  12. 5 cover kits
  13. Winter Challenge cat
  14. Penguin card
  15. StNA Block 3
  16. Clematis pink flower head 
  17. Camelia flower head 
  18. Flip It March
  19. Flip It April
  20. Easter Exchange 
  21. Lilac flower head 
  22. StNA Block 4
  23. Clematis lilac flower head 
  24. Rose flower head 
  25. Flower cover kit 
  26. Cupcake birthday card
  27. Popcorn birthday card 
  28. StNA Block 5
  29. Pansy yellow flower head
  30. Pink lily flower head
  31. StNA Block 6
  32. StNA Block 7
  33. Flip It May
  34. Flip It June
  35. Flip It July
  36. Flip It August
  37. StNA Block 8
  38. M & P Christmas gifts
  39. Flip It September 
  40. Michael's 30th birthday gift
  41. Jade's birthday gift
  42. StNA Block 9
  43. StNA Block 10
  44. Yellow rose flower head
  45. Halloween Exchange
  46. Scissor fob for Mary
  47. Scissor fob for Julie
  48. Scissor fob for Gill
  49. Blake name ornament 
  50. Happily Ever After ornament 
  51. Christmas Ornament Exchange
  52. StNA Block 11
  53. StNA Block 12
  54. Two Christmas ornaments
  55. Foxes ornament 
  56. Rose ornament
  57. Name gift - Rory
  58. Winter Challenge Robin 
  59. Durene Jones Merry Christmas 
  60. Chocolate gift
  61. Mill Hill Winter Garden
  62. October Flip It 
  63. Birthday gift

I have enjoyed all my stitching, especially the Stitching the Night Away SAL as I knew I'd be giving the blocks to my friends - there's more details in my last blog post here 

But my favourite stitching and finishing is the Bouquet of Flowers. I was overwhelmed with the flowers I received and with the world changing Bouquet of Flowers became a symbol for us all ..... caring, sharing, kindness, love and friendship.

I'm quite an organised person and for some of 2020 I was a little lost which I found quite unsettling; I have spent today planning my 2021 projects and adding blogging dates to my calendar. For the first time I have joined a couple of groups on Facebook and will also be doing WIPocalypse - I'm not 100% sure I have it right but I will be posting about my 2021 plans on 2nd January. 

Thank you for all the kind messages and cards, you all really really helped me. Huge thank you to everyone who stitched a flower, there is still time to do one for next year. 

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2021, enjoy stitching your projects and stay safe x x 

🎉🎉 Happy New Year 🎉🎉

Tuesday 29 December 2020

Stitching the Night Away SAL

This year with Needlecraft Haven I have been doing Stitching the Night Away quilting blocks. They were a free SAL in 2019, the charts are available here

We stitched a block a month, no deadlines just a Gallery for each block. It was lovely to stitch each one in a time that fitted in with my other projects. 

Here's my 12 blocks, the light in some photos was not very good so apologies

Block 5 was stitched left handed as I broke my right humerus ball in May. It took ages to do but kept me occupied whilst bone mending. They look lovely all together, I love all the designs. I used mainly Anchor thread that I had in my stash, I prefer DMC but these colours are lovely.

I knew straight away what I wanted to do with the finished blocks, in fact I decided back in January when we started stitching. The ladies at Needlecraft Haven have been amazing friends for many years and I have two special friends overseas. I decided to make the blocks into coasters and send one to each of my friends.

I printed a message and all my friends' names to use for the back. They went travelling around the world with a message to be opened on Christmas Day ... Postie did get a little delayed and I think one is still travelling. I kept Block 5 for myself as it's quite special. 

Thank you to Loretta at Stitching the Night Away for a set of superb designs. I hope my coasters brought a smile to my friends in these difficult days .... friendship is a gift we can safely give and receive ... stay safe everyone x 

Sunday 27 December 2020

Christmas thank you

I hope you have all enjoyed the festive days with those you love; in person, by video call or by phone. It has been a very different time for us all and celebrations have been different this year. 

For me the most important celebration is that I am here to enjoy it all, a year ago today was my first operation and the start of a very difficult 2020. 

My first and biggest Christmas thank you is to all my online friends. The messages, the flowers everyone stitched, reading everyone's news kept my spirits up and really helped me day by day ..... thank you all so so much x x 

It seems a long wait until mid January for Jo's Gifted Gorgeousness to say thank to my friends for their gifts so I've posted today

A huge thank you to my good friend Julie who herself has had a very difficult year. She has knitted me these super socks which are perfect for in my walking boots. My aim in 2021 is to build my strength up by walking everyday. The choccies will be saved a while as we have quite a few sweet things to munch on. I quite like mint Matchmakers on cold frosty nights with a hot chocolate - thank you so much Julie.

This beautiful needlecase was made for me by Christine. She is so talented, doing many crafts including this year lots of dress making. Christine is a member of Needlecraft Haven and organises our Seasonal Challenges and Christmas Exchange. Thank you Christine, this will make a perfect travelling case.

I have been friends with Brenda for over 20 years, we met through 123stitch message board when I was searching for a chart. She lives in Canada, I'm in the UK and over the years we have exchanged letters, emails and this year had our first video call. I have a full set of DMC threads, this is mainly thanks to Brenda who sends over the colours I need. Thank you Brenda for again topping up my floss box. 

Gill, another member of Needlecraft Haven, sent these great socks. I love the design with the cute deer and toadstools. The thread colours are lovely, very autumnal, I'll look at my plans for 2021 stitching and see if I can use it. Thank you so much Gill.

Thank you Mary for the super ornament which is already hanging on our tree. Marybis also a of Needlecraft Haven and a fellow blogger, she takes part in all our activities and over time we've swapped exchanges many times, always great fun. Thanks again Mary.

My final Christmas thank you is to my super Hubby. He's been absolutely amazing all year taking me to all the hospital appointments and treatments and looking after me at home. He surprised us all with gifts at the Christmas table with sweatshirts personalised for us all - Team Hearnden !

I am so so lucky, in so many ways - thank you everyone 🙂

Saturday 26 December 2020

December Smalls SAL


This SAL is all about small stitching, any little project you have stitched, it doesn't have to be fully finished. Here's the full details about Small SAL 2020 - thank you Mary.

I have finished the Stitching the Night Away SAL with Needlecraft Haven - I have actually made them up but I'll share that in FF or GG in January although some blog visitors will know already (wink wink) 

I didn't used variegated thread for this one as it was a little complicated to follow, I'm not sure why. I added the star in the centre to give some detail. Here's all the finished months together, apologies for the dark photos.

Thank you Mary for hosting this SAL, I'm looking forward to taking part in 2021. 

Thursday 24 December 2020

Merry Christmas

I know it's Christmas when I have iced my cake. I stitched this band many years ago and our snowmen candles adornment each year, never lit. I say each year I should really stitch a new one.

This year the festivities are very different with restrictions in every country. I wish you all a good Christmas whoever you are with and wherever you are ... 

🎄🎄🎄 Merry Christmas 🎄🎄🎄

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Gifted Gorgeousness December


It's the final Gifted Gorgeousness of 2020, a super idea hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching that I have enjoyed all year - Merry Christmas to all the GG bloggers and especially to Jo

It's a tricky post this month as I have quite a few gifts I cannot share as they are Christmas gifts - my January post will be full!!

These cute frames were a gift to me many years ago, I spotted them in my stash and decided to stitch them for our daughter and her partner. They live in Wales, about two and a half hour drive away, and will be here for Christmas but I sent these at the end of November with their chocolate advent calenders, they've put them on their tree so have had time to enjoy them.

Every year we have a Christmas Ornament Exchange at Needlecraft Haven. Postie has been very busy this year so our opening day was delayed as it took a while for some parcels to arrive. However last Friday was our Opening Day, looking at the photos on NH there were some lovely ornaments and gifts. 

I stitched this tree for my partner (it hasn't been revealed yet who sent to who so I'm keeping quiet) It is a design by Lisa LeAnn Designs in this year's JCS Christmas Ornament magazine. I read the magazines using Press Reader and signing in with my library card - so many magazines and newspapers all free. 

This design uses speciality stitches which I have done before, all but one. The design has beads on which I did try, and I also tried as French knots but both obscured the stitching so I left it plain. I included a box of Gingerbread Matchmakers, a new flavour I hadn't seen before.

I received this super parcel, what a lovely ornament. It is now hanging on our tree. I've put the socks away for now but will probably wear them on Saturday with my Christmas Jumper (trousers too of course) for our festive video quiz night with our friends. I'm going to stitch the mini bead kit soon, hopefully in time to put it on our tree this year.

Thank you to my secret partner for my beautiful ornament and exchange gifts - wishing you a Merry Christmas 

We had a lovely surprise the other evening, the young girls from across the road knocked the door and gave us a knitted snowman and Christmas message. They have been full of fun and laughter through this year, decorating their windows with rainbows, clapping with us on a Thursday and leading our 'three cheers for the NHS'. What a lovely gesture at this festive time, the snowman looks lovely on our tree.

On Durene Jones' Facebook page I saw a multicoloured Merry Christmas chart so I've stitched it for the girls. We haven't given out or neighbours cards yet but it's wrapped up ready.

Hubby surprised me the other day with this cute robin, I'd seen them in the Lidl magazine. He's got such a cheeky expression, it's funny to see him looking at the real robin's who feed at our window feeder.

Just as I was writing this the Postie delivered a collection of cards and amongst them one from my friend Deb in the USA. I side was this beautiful quilted ornament, thank you Deb it's lovely - Merry Christmas 

Finally here's a gift we received last year that I have used throughout the year and redone for this Christmas. Our lovely daughter made this super cork wreath for us for last Christmas. This is Hubby and I saying cheers in 2019.

Over the year I have decorated it with Easter eggs and chicks, this coming year I'll be using it much more for other celebrations. For this Christmas I dried some oranges and used cinnamon sticks and fir cones to decorate it. It does smell lovely as we walk by and the lights look great when lit up. 

I have a few final gifts to finish and some Christmas stitching to kit up. Tomorrow is present wrapping day as the forecast is rain, we're virtually ready with all the food shopping done apart from the last fresh bits. It's Hubby's birthday on 21st so our celebrating starts then and I'm so looking forward to us all being together on 23rd. 

Wishing you all festive fun, it will be a different time for us all but Christmas love is all around - Merry Christmas 🎄🎄

Tuesday 8 December 2020

Advent Calendar Blog Hop

I have the 8th day ... I always enjoy the Advent Calendar Blog Hop, it's been great again this year, thanks Jo. 

My stitching photo is from last Christmas, it's the ornament I stitched for our daughter and her partner as it was their first Christmas in their apartment. I love robin's, these are so cute and we could all do with a bit of Mistletoe Love. 

This year Jo asked us to share our Favourite Christmas Book, it can be a Christmassy story or a book we love to read at this time of year. 

I don't read this book every year but I do like this story, it makes me smile as it's a typical 'all is well in the end' story. I love Jane Austen's books and also enjoy many of the books written by other authors based around her stories. Victoria Connolly is one of my favourite such authors, I was hooked on her writing as soon as I read 'A Weekend with Mr Darcy'. I hope you'll be able to find a copy of my Christmas choice if you haven't read it already, her other books are super too. 

My Favourite Christmas Book is........ Christmas with Mr Darcy

I hope you saw my previous blog about the Bouquet of Flowers, thank you to everyone who sent a flower. This year our Tree Festival has had to be virtual but the Bouquet of Flowers will be in church in 2021. 

The virtual Tree Festival shows St Laurence's Church during our previous festivals, the church always smells amazing as the trees are all real. There are 60 trees all decorated in different themes, there are some very clever ideas. The Family Tree (5.18) is one of mine from 2012 the year my Dad passed away. 

Here's the link to the video on YouTube, make sure you have the sound on, settle down with a cuppa and enjoy .... Merry Christmas.

I hope you are enjoying this year's Advent Calendar Blog Hop, all the links are put up daily on Jo's post at Serendipitous Stitching, thanks again Jo.  

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas, stay well, stay safe 🎄

Friday 4 December 2020

Bouquet of Flowers - St Laurence's Christmas Tree Festival

Thank you to everyone who stitched and sent a flower for my tree at church this year. Early in the year I decided my theme would be a Bouquet of Flowers to represent all the beautiful flowers I received after my breast cancer diagnosis. 

I put it on my blog and asked if anyone would like to stitch a flower and send it .... I have been overwhelmed by everyone's kindness, thank you. 

I asked for the flowers to be sent as stitched, this saved expensive postage for everyone and meant I could finish them all in the same way so although different they still matched. 

It was quite a big job to mount, lace and add silver zig zag to each one but worth the time as they came out lovely. I used felt foam for the backing and matched this to the colour of each flower. 

Here's all the flowers together and close ups in small groups. I did email everyone to show how their flower turned out. 

Sadly because of the restrictions here in England due to the coronavirus the church cannot hold the tree festival. It is such a shame as usually the church is filled with 60 real trees with each being decorated in a variety of themes. Everyone takes part from individuals like myself to local charities, nurseries, schools and businesses. It's a lovely atmosphere when we are all in church decorating our trees with tinsel and baubles everywhere. 

However the Tree Festival is still happening .... this year we are having a virtual festival. In the summer the church hosted a very successful virtual Flower Festival and have worked very hard to put together this year's Tree Festival. Many of the images are from previous years and include trees decorated by friends and families no longer with us, it is lovely to see them. 

You can read about the Virtual Festival here  - and watch it below .... the Bouquet of Flowers features for 2021! 

As the Bouquet of Flowers tree is a new tree, Hubby and I got our tree out of the attic and decorated it as if it was at church. I put together a few photos to show how much love has gone into this tree from all over the world. 

Thank you again to everyone who stitched and sent a flower, I did received some too late for this tree but I will be putting the Bouquet of Flowers tree up in church at next year's festival and will make those flowers up to be added in. If you'd like to stitch a flower to be added next year please let me know. 

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas - I hope you enjoy our virtual Christmas Tree Festival from St Laurence's Church, Ansley, England.