Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday morning chat.....

Good morning everyone!  I remember at the start of this year thinking about trying to blog more regularly and keep up-to-date better on my blog reading.  Well, can’t say March was too successful a month for that!!! Here I am scraping in at the end of the month having last blogged three weeks ago!!!  April can only be better…right?!?!?!?

I don’t even feel I have much to show stitching-wise although there is nothing like checking back on your last blog post to realise that you’ve done a bit more than you thought!!!

First up, I need to share what has been occupying my time a little more than stitching – my quilt.  Oh yes, I have become well and truly hooked on working on this!  Here’s a picture of  before it was quilted to let you see the overall design…

And here it is quilted and with the binding halfway done as in, the binding is attached and I’m now in the middle of hand sewing it to the back….

This evening is our last class and those seven weeks have gone in so quickly!  I have loved this learning curve.  There was one week when I was quite discouraged (precision sewing on the machine is not my strength!) but with the encouragement (and help) of our class teacher and my friend Margaret I got back on track and haven’t looked back since.

Another quilt on the horizon?  Oh yes!  Hoping to take another class in the autumn and probably dabble here at home before then.

You may remember last time I was talking about how I’d grand plans of finishing the first quarter of SL’s Mary Gail by the end of March.  Well, I can’t say I’ve managed that but I do have a bit of progress to share….

Next up is BBD’s Hannah Lovina Joslin and straight off I have to apologise for such a terrible picture!!! Only when I got it ready to post did I realise how bad it was!!!  I have not done justice in any way to this beautiful sampler with my picture-taking!!! 

I’d say only a couple more Wednesdays and I’ll be reporting a finish.  Several people on this IG SAL have finished and the rest of us are all nearing completion.

Finally, having neglected the BBD LF’s since my last blog post I did pick it up at the weekend and have a very little bit of progress to share….

Yes, the poinsettia in the top right corner has been started!!! 

And that’s about all for this time.  Thank you for all the lovely comments last time round. I really do appreciate hearing from everyone.  It is such a boost and an encouragement to hear from others. I hope all is well with you and yours and that some Spring weather is starting to appear.   And now let me hit ‘publish’ and get back on track with my blogging!

Until next time……

Monday, March 10, 2014

Letting Mary go first......

Hi everyone!  As it’s Monday, and I usually try to work on Scarlet Letter’s Mary Gail (but haven’t managed to today!) I thought I’d start off by sharing my progress on her. 

She tends to get pushed to the side a little, mostly I think because I’m looking on her as a year long project so in my head I’ve got plenty of time!  Who am I kidding, here it is March and when I started out in January my ‘plan’ was to complete the bottom right hand ‘page’ of the chart by the end of this month!!!  If I don’t step up a gear I doubt that that will be happening!  I think I’m going to try for a Mary March (March Mary?!?!) and make sure I give her more attention.

Next up is BBD’s Hannah Lovina Joslin from Honeysuckle Manor.  Such a pretty one and I’m exercising huge self-control only stitching on her on Wednesdays.  I think all of us in the IG SAL feel much the same way.  She is very hard to put down!

I’ve changed the house slightly, it’s more like the house of the person I have in mind for the personalization.

I’ve been good to my word and worked a little more on BBD’s Loose Feathers 2011.  I’m going to be having a little company on this one.  Cindy of Never Enough Thyme suggested we have a mini SAL and keep each other going as she’s been in a similar situation as I was with this one.  Having company is exactly what I need to keep working on this one!

And remember the quilt class?  Well, here are my strips all ready to be sewn together.  After I uploaded this picture I realised there was a bit of fluff on one of the squares – ignore it – it’s not there any longer!!!!!  

Sewing the strips together is the next part and I’ve been feeling a little daunted by that but Deb over at Threadgatherer said what I needed to do was use pins, pins and more pins so, hopefully I can keep everything aligned and by the end of class this evening I’ll have something resembling a quilt top!! 

Until next time……

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Falling back in love.....maybe......

Hi everyone!  Given that today is Wednesday and it’s the IG SAL for BBD’s Hannah Lovina Joslin I think it’s about time that I sat down and updated the blog otherwise the pictures I took almost a week ago are going to be out of date!!!  I’m planning on stitching on this one tonight.  Last Wednesday I got started with some house building and this is where I’m too….

I’m going to continue with the house this evening and maybe try and get some of the grass stitched at the front of the house. 

I have really managed very little stitching in the last while. Life has been busy, the final clearance of my parents’ home and taking that next step of putting it on the market.   As such I have no emotional attachment to the house I’d left home when my parents moved to this house and the longest time I ever stayed there was probably a week. Having said that, doing the paperwork and handing the keys over to the estate agent made me realise that this very much a chapter closing, not just in my life, but for my parents as well.  Now we just wait and see if anyone likes it enough to buy it!

I have pulled a WIP out of the depths of my stash.  Back in 2011 I had started on BBD’s Loose Feathers for that year, the one with the three birds and the alphabet top and bottom.  I had loved the first section but, let’s just say that while stitching the middle section, I started to fall out of love with it.  It was just something about the large bird and all the browns.  So, I ground to a halt and it has floated around here every so often popping up to let me know it hadn’t gone away!!!!  Don’t know why, don’t know how, but sure enough, I’ve felt inclined to pick it back up again.  I checked back through my blog posts to see if I could find the last time I shared a pic of this one and it was in January 2012!! That’s how ‘out of love’ I’d become with it!!!

I still have this middle section to finish but I’ve done the border so I can start the next section and added some of the berries (or whatever they are!).  I’m thinking that as I like the 3rd section (winter) so much I might get started stitching on that and then come back and finish the middle bit.

And for a total change of direction…….I’m going to a quilting class (aimed at beginners)!!!!   Yes, me who is a complete couch potato come the evenings is heading out to a 2 ½ hour class each Monday evening for the next little while along with my friend Margaret.  Now, to be honest, this Monday past I started to sew some of the pieces together so this picture is a little behind the times….

But I wanted to let you see the fabrics I was using.  The reds are from a French General jelly roll and the background fabric is a cream with a small floral print.  So far, so good.  I’ve really enjoyed it although now that we’re putting pieces together I’m doing that thing of starting obsess about everything being ‘perfect’ both my stitching and putting the fabrics together.  I’m trying to curb that!!!!

And that’s about all that has been going on around here.  I feel like I’ve stitched very little this past week or so but hopefully I can rectify that soon.  Poor Mary Gail is feeling a little neglected and I really need to watch that I don’t forget about her.

Hope all is well with you and yours and that the Arctic weather in parts of the US is starting to ease.

Until next time……

Friday, February 7, 2014

Some hearts, some flowers & a little bit of Christmas....

Hi everyone!  Well, now that it’s February I’m going to start off with something that has been waiting a long time to actually be put together!!!  I stitched this February Word Play piece back in 2012 when Linda of Keeper of the Crowes very kindly passed the chart on to me after I’d admired it on her blog.  As you know, I can be something of a procrastinator when it comes to the finishing part.  Stitching?  No problem.  Finishing?  A completely different matter!  I’d great intentions of having it finished- finished for last February.  Obviously, that didn’t happen but, here I am, two years later having finally put it together last week…….

Such a sweet piece, makes me smile every time I look at.

Having come to terms with ‘that’ sheep in Simple Guidance I have everything stitched but the personalisation. In the original two full names are stitched but I’m not sure I’m going to finish it that way. I’ve a couple of ideas rolling around in my head so I’m putting this to one side for now while inspiration comes to me.

Up next is my progress on Hannah Lovina Joslin from BBD’s  Honeysuckle Manor.  This is our current SAL piece on Instagram on a Wednesday.

I’m loving this honeysuckle border and didn’t want to put this one down on Wednesday night!  One thing, it would appear this booklet is becoming increasingly hard to find.  We’d no idea when we decided on stitching this piece that there would be a problem finding it but a number of people were hoping to join the SAL and weren’t able to.  So, I guess what I’m saying is, if you have this booklet hang on to it, if you don’t, and would like it, look for it sooner rather than later!

Having managed to finish the Word Play pillow I kept going and put Sleigh Bells together.  Now, this one isn’t quite finished-finished yet, I want to add some trim round the edges but thought I’d share a picture this time round.

And I’ve stitched my first Christmas ornie for 2014!  This is Homespun Elegance’s Festive Redbird….

I stitched this one using some fabric from my stash and a mix of the suggested overdyes and DMC. I’m a bit undecided about the ‘4’ in the year.  It is as charted but every time I look at it it catches my eye and not in a good way.  So, that might change!

Another week almost over, it’s feeling like February is going to go as fast as January!  I’m hoping to pick up SL’s Mary Gail this weekend as I’ve been neglecting her a little bit and I really need to get back to her.  Whatever your plans are for the weekend – have fun!  I know many of you are still in the grip of severe ice and snow so stay warm!  For those of us in the UK where it seems to be doing nothing but rain, rain, rain. I hope you’re not affected by flooding and can stay dry!

Until next time……

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sheep, flowers and sleigh bells.....

Hi everyone!  Well, much as I enjoy January for being a clean slate and having plans the other side of that is that you start stitching but then it feels like you don’t have much to share!  So, this post is mainly an update of what I’ve been working on but, keep reading,  I am sneaking a first finish in towards the end!

First up, you’ll remember my dilemma of the sheep with the broken leg.  Well, aside from a bit more progress, I re-stitched the area but didn’t see much improvement!  Poor thing still looks like it has a leg problem!!!  I’ll give it one more go and see but I don’t want to work too much at it in case it ends up looking worse!! 

However, I did look more closely at the cover picture on the chart and, lo and behold, what do we have……a sheep that looks like it has a leg problem!  So, maybe I need to take a chill pill and accept this is how it will be (although, you can guess, it’s always going to catch my eye!!!).

Next up, a little bit of progress on SL’s Mary Gail.  This is my first larger project on 36ct (my comfort zone is very much 32ct and I rarely stray!).  I’m not disliking the 36ct but I do feel I’m slower on it but I also know the more I work on it the quicker I’ll be.  So, I’ll get there!!

This has to be my favourite WIP at the moment.  Hannah Lovina Joslin from BBD’s Honeysuckle Manor booklet. 

I’m stitching this one in a mix of the suggested overdyeds and DMC.  I may need to rethink the GA Lambswool as I’m not sure how well it’s going to show up on this fabric – I’m not using the suggested Sheep’s Straw, going with fabric out of my stash, Antique Ivory – but I’ll stitch a little more of it (for now it’s only on the flowers in the vase to the right of the centre flowers).

And finally, my first finish of 2014!  And yes, it’s a Christmas-themed one….

I had started this one before Christmas but it was put to one side while I focused more on finishing A Sampler Story. 

This is from Country Rustic Primitives, called Primitive Sleigh Bells Cupboard Keep.  The chart was passed on to me by my dear friend Heidi (no blog!) after I’d seen her finish of this one on Instagram. I stitched this using the suggested DMC and on some evenweave fabric from my stash (not sure what it is!!!!).  At least I’ve given myself plenty of time to ‘finish finish’ this one!!!

And that’s all from me in my little part of the stitching world.  I can’t believe how fast January is going, usually I find it’s a month that seems long but, not this year! 

Hope all is well with you and yours!
Until next time……

Monday, January 13, 2014

Plans & schemes for 2014...

Hi everyone!  First of all, thank you for all the lovely comments that were left on my last post. I really appreciate how many of you took the time to write, it really did my heart good (as they say here!!).  Throughout the year, even though I wasn’t blogging all that regularly, so many of you stuck with me encouraging me to keep going.  There were a number of new folk who left comments so thank you for that also!  I still haven’t made it to the framer yet this month but hope to before too long.

I don’t know about you but, I find that there’s something lovely about starting a new year of stitching.  It’s like the slate is wiped clean and there’s a whole world of possibilities for what I might stitch in the coming year.  While I will talk about resolutions I probably prefer to say that I ‘hope’ or ‘would like’ to stitch this, that or the other.  I’m usually pretty good that if I set myself a target I will stay with it.  So, what are some of my plans for this year?

Well, first up is The Scarlet Letter’s Mary Gail.  I have loved this since watching Deb of Threadgatherer work on it last year.  A number of us are stitching this on Instagram and our start date was January 1st. I haven’t really got very far on her yet but I have made a start.

I’m looking on this one as my 2014 project, if I finish it before the end of the year, that would be great, but if not, the end of December will do just fine.  I’m stitching this on 36ct Lakeside Autumn Gold and I’m using the DMC conversion.

Next up is another SAL on Instagram.  You may remember that BrightNeedle’s Lo How a Rose was a SAL in the months leading up to Christmas.  We had so much fun with it that we’re continuing on with a seasonal theme.  Wednesday is the day we stitch and our choice was BBD’s Hannah Lovina Joslin from their Honeysuckle Manor booklet.   Here’s my progress so far……

I’m stitching this on 32ct fabric from my stash (it might be antique ivory) and a mix of the suggested overdyeds and DMC.

I’ve picked up a WIP that seemed to get pushed to one side in the last few months of 2013.  I’m back working on Sheepish Designs Simple Guidance…..

and, aside from the border,  really don’t have too much left to stitch.  Having uploaded this picture my eye has been drawn to how the poor sheep on the right in the grass looks like she has a broken leg!!! I think I might re-do that leg so that it doesn’t look as though part of it is hanging off!  Now that my eye has been drawn to it it always will be!!!!!

Other stitching plans for the year?  I would hope to continue with regular Christmas stitching.  I’d love to stitch some stockings in the mix of ornaments and pillows.  We’ll see what happens.

And that’s about it from me for this time!  Whatever your stitching plans for 2014 are enjoy what you decide on!!!!

Until next time……

Monday, December 30, 2013

A resolution completed....

Hi everyone!  Yes, it’s a wrap!!!! A Sampler Story is finished!! When I started out in January I hoped that I would be able to keep to my plan of two squares a month and, mostly I did.  The last few months, well, I did have times when it wasn’t really what I felt like stitching on but now, of course, I’m really pleased that I stuck with it!!  I put DS#2 to good use this afternoon and had him hold it up so I could get it all in the picture!!!!  I think it comes across a bit bigger than it is but the finished size is 18” x 12” stitched over two.

As I’d planned I personalised some of the squares.....

First up, was the family wedding in May when our daughter was married. 

I wanted to stitch the actual date as well as their initials and thought this square had the most room to do that.

My parents celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in February so I wanted that to be commemorated.

In March DH and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary (don’t ask me where the years have gone, they’ve flown in!!!!).

I added our house number to this square instead of the number that was there.

My initials were in this square.

And finally, I put the final digit in the year!!!!

You do know, of course, I’m now going to go through that stage of missing working on it even though the last few months I wasn’t totally inspired by it?!?!?!?!?!

Thank you to everyone who has left comments, encouraged me to keep going and who has followed my progress throughout the year.  I am sure that without that I probably would have slackened off at some point and it would have ended up as a UFO!

I’ve my sights set on some new projects in 2014 though.  First up will be this one, this is my Jan 1st start and I’m really looking forward to it.  The Scarlet Letter's Mary Gail.  There are a number of us on Instagram who are going to be stitching this so, if you are on IG and would like to join us, you are more than welcome. 

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, we did.  All that preparation in the weeks leading up to it and now, here we are, and it’s over and done with for another year!!!!  There'll be no big excitement here on New Year’s Eve, DH and I will likely spend a quiet evening in front of the tv!! We do have a family wedding to go too this weekend, our niece is getting married in Edinburgh on Saturday so on Friday we’ll be hopping on a plane and heading off until Sunday.  Looking forward to that and wondering how many men will be in kilts!!!! 

Until next time……