Friday, 28 February 2014

Just Nan SAL February

Time for the February Just Nan SAL update!

This SAL is hosted by the lovely Zeb over at Keep Calm and Cross Stitch. You can find details of the SAL here.

I have been working on a sampler design called Queen of the Needle.
I'm really pleased with the amount of progress I have made this month - I've stitched six bands!

I was able to learn some new stitches this month which was a lot of fun! This is partly how I managed to get so much done - I love to learn!
Here we have satin stitch, Smyrna Cross, Daisy Satin, large 3-colour rose, heart darning stitch and fan vault.
The empty space in the middle is where I will attach a large charm at the end.

Here is how the sampler is looking as a whole so far...

The next band is quite a large one and is all cross-stitch and back-stitch so I am going to concentrate on completing that as March's Just Nan goal.


The February SAL check-in can be found here where you can see what all the other participants have been working on this month ^^

Monday, 10 February 2014

Once Upon a Time February & craft show loot

I was really hoping that February's block would have either cats, bunnies or frogs...

What a handsome frog prince!
I loved stitching this block :D

This is a picture of the whole sampler so far, so we can see that it's going to be a nice size ^^

Holy crumpled fabric batman!


The craft show on Friday was a great success! Much better than it has ever been before :) We got there safe by thinking we had got horribly lost...if we had gone the way we thought we should have gone... who knows where we would've ended up D:

In the end, I was quite restrained ^^

I got some lace, ric-rac and buttons as they are always useful to have around. I got a kit from The Nutmeg Company to make a beautiful box. The lady's work on this stand was just beautiful *__* Then I found another awesome lady who had a stand full of charts from Blackbird Designs, Prairie Schooler, Lizzie Kate etc. I was very good and only bought two, both from Blackbird Designs. 'Midnight Watch' has been on my wishlist on Sew & So for a while so I decided to pick that up, and 'Wild Berries' was shown on the back of the chart for 'Bluebird of Happiness' - I loved it straight away but I had been having trouble finding it from a UK seller so no way was I leaving without it! The knitting chart was actually from Black Sheep (shop not stand) as we went there for lunch on the way home - they had it knitted up in red and I just had to have it ^^;

I was very tempted to get a magnifying lamp as I'm still scared about 40 count fabric. The magnifier I have at the moment is one of those one's that hangs around your neck...and I hate it D: I get really wound up when I use it *lol* So I would like a free-standing one. The one's on display at the show were really good..but I like to research these things a little as they can be quite pricey. So today I will be studying up on magnifying lamps! Does anybody use a magnifying lamp? Any tips on what I should look out for, or any recommendations? ^^

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Winter City Cats and birthday stash

Yes! Winter City Cats is complete.

I managed to stitch all the white yesterday. I thought that it might be nice if that would happen, but I didn't hold out much hope. But then I just flew along. It's amazing what an extended LOTR sitting can do :D

On Sunday it was my birthday and I received a few stitchy gifts from my mum...

I got some lovely charts :D At the top we can see a cute chart from Barbara Ana Designs. On the left is 'Bluebird of Happiness' by Blackbird Designs (this ticks all my dream design boxes *lol*). And finally on the right, yes, we have the famous Snooty Parrots Sampler from Barbara Ana Designs *squeee* I'm so happy to receive this! It's one of the nicest samplers I've seen in a while.

I was also lucky enough to receive a collection from all my friends in work. I really wasn't expecting this as my team of girlies had  got me some Vivienne Westwood earrings, so I was very shocked indeed. I got a joint card from everyone on my last day and when I opened it on my birthday a bunch of money was in there too Y___Y (moved to tears..) I decided to get all the recommended fabrics and threads for my two new samplers :) I got some beautiful threads from Gentle Arts. For Bluebird of Happiness I have 30 count Korty's Special Blend from R&R Reproductions and for Snooty Parrots I have 40 count Vintage Exampler linen from Lakeside Linens. I'm not going to lie....I'm slightly intimidated by 40 count...I keep looking at it and having a bit of a flap *lol* I got all my materials from The Patchwork Rabbit, a new shop for me, and I am delighted by the service! Karla has just been super :) I'll definitely be going back.

Continuing with birthday treats (it was a big birthday ^^) tomorrow my mum and I are going to the Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts show in Manchester. We used to go every year when it was at Aintree but since it's move to Manchester we haven't been (public transport is expensive!). But this year we got sent some complementary tickets so we decided to be brave and drive there D: We have google maps so I'm sure we'll be fine *lol* It's not really good for stitching goodness (mostly card making) but it should be a nice day out and we are also going to stop off at Hobbycraft on the way home.

Today I'm going to start the February block of Once Upon a Time - it's a special one! I can't wait to share it with you ^^

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Stitching questions

Today I come with a slightly different kind of post.
I have been stitching away on Winter City Cats - I'm almost finished! I will probably post an update on that later in the week as I am due to have some new materials delivered soon and I may as well post everything together ^^

Jan's most recent post over at Thread Garden featured a series of 'Stitching Questions'. I really enjoyed reading her answers so I thought I would give it a go myself ^^


1) Which fabric do you most prefer? Evenweave. I find it easier to work with than aida. Lately I've been stitching more samplers on linen which I'm really enjoying, but I think evenweave will always be my go to fabric.

2) What is your favourite fabric count? 32 count. It's easy on my eyes and I like the coverage of my stitches on this count.

3) What colour fabric do you most enjoy stitching on?  My all-time-favourite fabric colour is Zweigart Ivory. If I'm doubt as to what colour fabric to go for, I know this one will do the job :)

4) What is your favourite fibre? I have only ever used cotton. I would one day like to try stitching with silk.

5) How many of the 450 DMC Colours do you own? Quite a lot - I have three bobbin boxes that are full. I keep meaning to get a few more of the missing ones each month so that eventually I will have all of them.

6) Of your last five finished projects—how many used DMC/Anchor as the main floss?  All of them I think.

7) Of the last five projects, if you didn’t use DMC/Anchor—what did you use? n/a. I'm currently stitching the Once Upon a Time sampler from Frosted Pumpkin which uses some Weeks Dye Works, and I have just ordered some Gentle Art Sampler Threads - it will be my first time using them so I'm pretty excited :D

8) What needles do you prefer? Gold plated 26's from Permin. They last quite a while and they come in a little tube which is nice and handy.

9) What is the UGLIEST design you’ve encountered?  I can't think of any particular one that sticks out, but when reading UK cross stitch magazines I do find myself asking '....why?' of quite a few of the designs ^^; 

10) What is the most BEAUTIFUL design you’ve encountered? I find this really difficult to answer... It would have to be something samplery with soft, romantic colours and stitched on an ivory coloured fabric...that would be love at first sight *lol*

11) Who is your favourite designer? I refuse to pick just one! Teresa Wentzler, Joan Elliot and Gail Bussi. I didn't actually know until recently that Gail Bussi was one of my favourites. I was looking through the Just Cross Stitch DVD and every time I was sighing at the sheer prettiness of a design, it happened to be by Gail Bussi!

12) Least favourite designer? I don't have one, but I wish the Cupcake of the Month series in The World of Cross Stitching would finish already D:

13) Will you/would you support a designer whose personal beliefs offended/angered you?  Not consciously. Often I see a design I like and buy it not knowing who it's by.

14) Do you have a lamp especially made for needleworkers/crafters? I have a daylight lamp that I could not live without! My living room is pretty dark so it's become something of a necessity. I don't know how I stitched without it.

15) What brand of stitching lamp do you have/prefer?  The one I have is from daylight, but I want one of those fancy-pants lights that is old-fashioned looking and has attachments! *___*

16) What kind of environment best suits you when you are stitching? Somewhere warm and light and comfy with enough room to spread all my things around me in organised chaos.

17) Have you stitched any design more than once?  No.

18) Favourite design you have stitched and finished? The one that always comes to mind is this one :

It is from Cross Stitcher magazine and it was the first time I had stitched on evenweave. I loved everything about it. As soon as I'd finished I wanted to stitch it again.

19) Least favourite design you’ve stitched and finished? This one...

This is Flower Fairy kit from DMC that I stitched for my Nan. I really dislike fairies. Also, there were hundreds of french knots. I couldn't do french knots. There are two good things that came out of stitching this - my nan liked it and I can now do french knots.

20) Last, but not least, what’s your longest running WIP? Mystic Stitch! I actually started this again recently because I was unhappy with my first go.


I hope you enjoyed reading my answers ^^

I'd love to know other stitcher's responses to these questions so please have a try yourself :D