Monday 28 February 2022

Temperature SAL and Februrary round up

My Temperature SAL is to make two cake bands using the flower from Jardin Prive's design. I'm making a winter one using January - March and October - December, and a summer band with April - September. I'm stitching every Sunday for the previous week - my days sit so they follow on. Here's how it works: 

I am quite enjoying my Sunday stitching, each flower is easy to complete whilst watching tv. I find the temperature so interesting especially how some days the day and night temperatures are very close resulting in a petal being all one colour, yet some day the gap between low and high is much bigger covering two colour bands. It is surprising too how quickly another week passes and how many flowers have been stitched. 

My stitching in general is doing well, I am stitching most days and can see my to do list being completed. This year I am stitching many Smalls, mainly the letters for my Alphabet Tree and the Temperature SAL, but also box lid coverings, Needlecraft Haven  exchanges and the JCS Stitch Along ornaments. 

I do have some large projects but not really stitching, more finishing. I am trying to get my tablecloth done with it's hardanger edging. This will be my holiday stitch, unless I have something that needs doing on a time schedule such as an exchange. It's easy to take my tablecloth away as all I need is Perle cotton which fits in my new sewing box and the cloth. I don't need a chart as it's the same design repeated. 

I do find this time of year is when I can get muddled with my blog posting. January's FFO and GG are usually catching up from Christmas, then February straightens out but then I find I am ahead of myself, it's hard to explain but I have a feeling I need to start writing a list in my journal instead of relying on my Finishes page.  I don't record my stitching time but I think a note of which item was blogged when might help, I think this is because I have so many small projects this year - in January I stitched 17 items and in February I have stitched 15.

February has been a difficult month, our daughter who lives in Cardiff caught Covid just before her birthday. We had to postpone our visit to celebrate and of course could not visit because she was isolating, thank goodness for WhatsApp. 

Sadly last week Hubby's mum passed away, it was quite sudden and unexpected so came as a shock to us all, added to by the fact it was 32 years to the day that Hubby's dad passed away. 

Life has been surreal over the last 3 years and it doesn't seem to be getting any better; I feel like I am going from one thing to another - from October 2019 our life has been a round of changes; life changes for us and family members, health, holidays, meeting friends - nothing seems to be as we plan without an upset. This seems to be happening to the world too, my prayers are with Ukraine and it's people, it all seems like a dream or movie at times and to be honest some days I'm finding it quite hard. 

Prayers, hopes and wishes that we all enjoy better times soon, take care x x

Friday 25 February 2022

February Smalls


Mary at Mary's Thread is the host of Smalls SAL, a super idea to appreciate the our smaller projects. On the last Friday of the month we share our small stitching items that we have completed but not necessarily fully finished. Mary has a link up post on her blog so we can pop over to see everyone's work, I love see everyone's stitching. 

I have stitched four more letters for the Alphabet Tree, I'm doing our immediate family initials. These are our daughter, her boyfriend, Hubby and our son's letters, mine is next. I am planning to do our parents initials next, I'll be doing a very special S for my mother-in-law who passed away suddenly on Wednesday.

My next small is something for me, I love my sewing box but it's too big and the wrong shape to fit properly in my new travel bag that our son gave me for Christmas. The only option was to find a better sized box and make a travelling sewing box. Durene Jones' 2016 freebie was perfect in size and design. 

Finally here's my snowman bookmark. I've stitched this as part of the JCS Stitch Along on Facebook. The February design was 'A Friendly Snowman'and is another Durene Jones design. I decided to make a bookmark, I just have the backing to do and to trim the fringing. 

Thank you Mary for hosting this great SAL. Happy stitching everyone.

Sunday 20 February 2022

TTSAL February - Summer


The theme for this month, and next, is summer. I had plans to stitch a summer ornament for my tree but as yet it is unstated. A good job therefore that the summer theme is over two months. 

I have however reached the summer side of my tablecloth. It takes me as long to track out the hardanger spacing as to do the buttonhole edging, but it is growing if slowly.

The Facebook album is open for Summer stitching as it the Needlecraft Haven gallery. I wonder what summer stitching everyone has been doing. 

Tuesday 15 February 2022

Gifted Gorgeousness in February


It's the 15th of each month which means it's Gifted Gorgeousness time, the time each month when we share our latest gifts. These can be gifts given or received, or any item made using fabric, threads, buttons, ribbon, chart, backing fabric that has been gifted.

This great idea is hosted each month by the lovely Jo at Serendipitous Stitching,  if you visit her blog you'll find the links to everyone's Gifted Gorgeousness posts.

My first gift is a beautiful ornament I received from Elfie at Elfin Stitches, all the way from Australia. I was one of the lucky winners of her giveaway and feel very special that she sent it half way round the world - thank you Lynne.

My second GGs are from Rachel, Ten Hour Stitcher two beautiful letters for my Alphabet Tree. Rachel sent the letters stitched on the fabric, they fit nicely in a card so standard post. I have then finished them to match the other letters. Thank you Rachel the letters are superb, my initials too!

If you would like to help with the ornaments for the tree I'd love to receive your letters. Here's the details: 
Fabric - any pastel colour, any count size
Thread - any make, any colour

Design size - no larger than 2.5" x 2.5" 
Fabric size - minimum 4" x 4" so I have room for the border and fraying

I live in the UK and to help with postage and customs please just stitch the letter on your fabric and send it to me inside a card. I will make up the letters so they are all the same finish.

This year Needlecraft Haven have a Travelling Chart, hosted and organised by Mary. Baked Goods by Little House Needleworks is actually a chart I sent to Mary a few years ago so it is really travelling. It's coming to me first, I stitched it before as an ornament but I wanted to stitch it as part of the travelling year and I have another finishing idea for it this time. It has arrived safely from Mary with a lovely card, time to kit it up and get stitching. 

Yesterday was Needlecraft Haven's Valentine's Exchange Opening Day, this year it's hosted by Mary and is a non-stitchy exchange. Our secret parcel (I'm worried now that I signed the card as the exchange is anonymous - I'm sure I didn't but now the thought is there) had to contain a reusable shopping bag, the type that comes in a pouch and is handy for your handbag. Ideally the bag should be hearts, red or pink and as well as a bag we had to include thread to match the bag colours. 

I won't say who I sent to but in my parcel was a pink flamingo bag with matching threads from Jodyri Designs. The thread has been in my stash for quite a while and matched the bag perfectly. I also included a chocolate bear, we all love chocolate especially for Valentine's.

My parcel is from .... well who knows as it's signed '?' hee hee. I love my shopper, so cute, thank you Secret Partner.

My final GG is from as I received a gift voucher for Christmas from my friend Dusty. There's so much choice but I decided on this design as I have the perfect place for it ... another box! 

My new sewing machine does not have a built in section for spare footers, bobbins, cleaning brush or screwdriver. No surprise really but I have the perfect box and just need to do a cover, this chart is exactly right although I'm not sure what size fabric count I need to make it fit. 

There's so many designs I'm sure I'll be using them elsewhere too, thank you Dusty I had great fun choosing my chart and am looking forward Tom stitching it. 

It's been a lovely Gifted Gorgeousness month and I do already have a couple of items ready to share next month (they are gifts that have yet to be given) happy stitching everyone.

OH OH OH I've had to quickly add to my post as look what Postie has just delivered! 

Four beautiful letters have just arrived for the Alphabet Tree - all the way from Pennsylvania. Thank you so much Suzanne for your superb letters, you are so kind! 

Monday 14 February 2022

Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop

 💕💕 Happy Valentine's Day 💕💕

Jo at Serendipitous Stitching is hosting Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop. Thank you Jo for hosting another super blog hop. 

It's such a lovely hop as everyone sent Jo a Valentine's photo, this could be something we've made or received. Jo sent everyone one of the photos but we don't know who's photo we have, hence the blog hopping. 

This is the beautiful Valentine's photo I received, I love they way it's personalised for the blog Hop but who is my Secret Sweetheart Stitcher.

We had planned to be in Cardiff to visit our daughter for her birthday but unfortunately she has tested positive. She is ok now and we'll meet up soon to celebrate. 

It does mean however that I can put my Valentine ornaments out as we're home. The mantle has my February Drawn Thread and my Love Birds (do you recognise the ribbon hee hee). My tree has carefully balanced boscornus and mini cushions along with hanging ornaments although I have taken one off for the photo ... I wonder why hee hee!

The candles in my Grandmother's candlestick will be lit this year as they are looking old and marked, as well as reminding my of my Grandmother it always makes me think of Beauty and the Beast. 

Hubby and I got engaged on Valentine's Day in 1986 - this was us then and us last December - what a cute pair we are 🥰

I hope you've had a lovely Valentine's Day and have enjoyed the Secret Sweetheart Stitcher blogs ... I'm of for a hop around to find my photo 💕

Thursday 10 February 2022

Fully Finished Objects in February

Rachel, Ten Hour Stitcher, hosts Fully Finished Objects, a super chance for us to show and tell about the crafty items we have completely finished. Thanks Rachel, your FFO prompt each month really helps me finish my projects instead of them still in my project folders. I love seeing everyone's finishes, so inspirational.

My first finish is for Needlecraft Haven's Seasonal Challenge. Each season Christine posts two freebie charts, one Christmassy and one seasonal. I stitched the Christmas choice - Christmas Robin by Leasley Teare.

I used plastic canvas and reversed the image to stitch a second one. I've attached them to our ribbon card hangers that are used for our family cards each year. They are so cute and they cover the ribbon knot just perfect.

My next finish was for the Topsy Turvy SAL. January was Easter stitching and I chose to do a Lace Egg, a free chart from Jardin Prive. I used plastic canvas with DMC variegated thread.

The backing is foam felt and the ribbon is from our Panettone box at Christmas, it's the perfect colour match. I do have a chocolate version on my to do list.

The Alphabet Tree ornaments are growing, I have now stitched and finished both Zs. I don't think I''m going to stitch the whole alphabet of each design but we'll see as I am enjoying them. I'm doing our family initials next - the flower design for the girls and the Assisi design for the chaps. 

In a strange but delightful way I am including another stitchers work in my FFO post. The lovely Rachel has stitched my initials for the tree in a beautiful pastel green. Rachel sent them flat in a card and I trimmed and finished them as the others, they look super, thank you Rachel.

My new sewing machine is super, I have used it for a special gift (secret for a while longer) and to finish my mini cushion for Jo's JCS Stitch Along on Facebook. All the designs are from Just Cross Stitch's Christmas Ornament magazine for 2021 and January's stitch was from The Little Stitcher. 

I had some grey/blue fabric in my stash and a little bit of my robin ribbon so I decided to do a mini cushion. It was lovely sewing it up on the machine. I even stitched along both edges of the ribbon in white between the red ribbon stitching and the ribbon edge, I have never managed such precise sewing before. The photo with the flowers is to show the size, it will be on my sideboard like this at Christmas, maybe against my candlesticks.

I am absolutely thrilled with my final FFO. I love upcycling boxes and have had this Radley watch box for a few years. Inside is a cushion that my watch was on and whilst using my new sewing machine I found it made the perfect handy pin cushion. It's the right height so easy to pop pins in and out and holds quite a few. The top is inset so I decided to stitch something to fit inside. 

Durene Jones' Stitch was the exact fit if stitched on 22ct. I used foam felt to mount it as it is slightly bendable and made it easier to fit in, it's glued in place with the edges gently eased under the rim. The design had space at the top for a charm but stitching on 22ct made the space too small for any I have. I did however find a fabric covered button in my button box that matched the box colour, I have no idea where that came from, maybe a blouse many years ago. 

I am so delighted with my pin box, hopefully I'll need to get the sewing machine out again and use it, meantime it looks lovely on my side table as it's too nice to be put away.

It's been a lovely month of FFO and I have a few more finishes but they will have to wait until next month. Happy stitching and finishing everyone. 

Tuesday 1 February 2022

Topsy Turvy SAL - Summer


It's winter and I know some of my stitchy friends have snow but for our Topsy Turvy SAL this month we're stitching summer designs ... this actually is our theme for March too. 

I am hoping to do more on my hardanger tablecloth and also start a summery design I have had in my stash for a while. 

Here's a few ideas for summer: 

Jardin Prive has a super design with her season trees

Durene Jones has a huge collection of free charts on her Facebook page 

Lizzie Kate has a cute summer stitch too

The design choice for summer is huge: flowers, butterflies, birds, houses, beach or seaside, almost any design could be used. This is my mini cushion for summer, it was a set from Mausimom's blog that I stitched in 2016 for the Needlecraft Haven Four Seasons SAL. 

You can join in TTSAL by posting on your own blog, with Needlecraft Haven and by joining the Topsy Turvy Group on Facebook. The 20th of each month is photo sharing day, happy stitching.