Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week

How do you deal a "stitching slump?"

I try not to worry about it and enjoy just sitting and watching TV or reading - something I don't really do when I'm stitiching.

If it lasts more than a couple of days I'll reorganise my stitching nest and tidy it up - looking at all the lovely things waiting to be stitched is always a good incentive. I have very few HDs so looking at charts is always good.

I try picking up the needle and stitch one length of floss - no more no less.

One of the things that helps the most is chatting on Aion and reading all the blogs 'cos enthusiasim seems to be catching and I soon get the itch to stitch.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

From UFO to HD without a single stitch

Last evening I made a decision.

I turned an UFO into a HD without a single stitch.

When I first discovered Chatelaine Designs and the wonderful Martina Weber the Mermaid Treasure Box and Toys was just about to start - I enthusiastically signed up and waited with baited breath for each installment.

The online class has 12 installments and by the end you will have a box and some 'toys' to keep in it.

After a couple of months I had finished the box top and was ready to move onto the sides. Then Mystery Sampler 1 started and I got totally engrossed in that.

The box top was still on the frame and leaning against the hearth when last night inspiration struck - it's finished.

No sides, no toys just a lovely mermaid.

I really like the finished box but just not enough to start stitching the sides - especially when it's more of the same in blues - not my favourite colour. Yes I now if I don't like blues why sitch a sea theme.......................................hindsight is a wonderful thing.

So it's off to the framers at the end of the week - what a lovely feeling HDing is!!!


Thursday, May 19, 2005

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week

How many strands of floss to you prefer to stitch with? Why?

How long's a piece floss? Sorry. Seriously I think it really depends on the fabric. I prefer to stitch on 28 count and 2 strands gives a lovely coverage if stitching over two - however if stitching over one then a single strand gives a lovely delicate appearance to your work.

I've just about finished a small scissor keeper/key fob designed by Sue Hawkins and this uses six strands - now that is a really interesting effect.

So a short answer this week. Must go stitch..............


Monday, May 16, 2005

Frogging made easy

Once a month the Silkweaver Stash of the Month (SOTM) parcel arrives on my doorstep, carport, outhouse (depending on the mood of the postie).

Each month there is some fabric, some thread and some odds and ends and/or gadget. It's complete pot luck and I usually like what I get.

This month I got this:


This is Judy's Boo Boo Stick. The handle is made of walnut and the brushes are sturdy - it's a well made gadget. However, I was sceptical of its usefulness. The blurb that came with it explained how it will help you safely and neatly remove stitches.

I had reason to try it out this weekend. Whilst stitching my own design for the Aion Mail Art Design I decided that one of the colours wasn't right and that I would have to frog a whole section. What an ideal opportunity to try the Boo Boo Stick.

I snipped the front of the stitches then on the reverse of the stitching with the large brush I used an 'upward circular motion'. May I take this opportunity to say this is something everyone should have in their work box. It removed all the snipped stitches perfectly. I went back to the front of the work snipped the remaining stitches and repeated the 'upward circular motion' on the reverse and hey presto easy frogging!!!!!!!

The small brush is more gentle and apparently can be used on the front of the work to clean up any stray fibres.

Now when will my next SOTM parcel arrive.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Stitching Blogger's Question of the week

Given the option, would you rather buy a chart and get the material and floss together yourself, or buy a pre-packed kit?

I really enjoy the whole process of kitting up a project - sourcing the materials, ticking them off when they arrive and doing all the preparation before putting that first stitch in.

Over the past few years I've amassed a really good list of online suppliers both UK and USA that means I get almost anything called for. I update it regularly when I stumble across new suppliers - especially if someone starts stocking something in the UK that I could only previously get from the States.

I occaisionaly buy kits mainly when there isn't a chart only option. Even then I will usually have to change the fabric as I never stitch on Aida.

The one exception (and I know I'm not alone in this) is that I buy full kits from European Cross Stitch for Chatelaine Designs. There are several reasons for this - Martina's designs use many different threads, silks, crystals, beads etc and it can take ages to get everything from all the different suppliers. You can often arrange to pay for your kit in installments and as Chatelaine projects aren't cheap this is a wonderful opportunity. Also they come so beautifully packaged that it's like getting a birthday present from a special friend.

So that' s my answer - a bit of everything really.


Update on the Mystery Sampler

I have finally remembered to both take a picture and bring the camera with me so here is the progress as at 7am this morning - yes I was stitching the windows at 6.30am!!!

Click to enlarge.

The top is rolled around the frame so you can't see a couple of inches at the top. When I finish the centre motif I've finished part 3 of 6.

Click to enlarge.

I was hoping to thave the saying finished by tomorrow and start the centre motif over the weekend. DH is away so I've got lots of stitching time booked!!!! However, as you can see I'm on a bit of a roll so am well ahead of schedule. Just got the door, roof and some shrubs/trees o the right to do and then it's on to part 4.

I really want to enter this into our village show at the end of July. The last part is released first of June and I'm a bit behind. I think I could still do it if I get some serious stitiching in. I need to allow three or four weeks for framing so I will need to finish on or before Sunday July 10th which gives me just over 8 weeks. I've also got to get a piece of Mail Art done for the Mail Art Exchange on Aion and I'm going to a stitiching weekend with the Cross Stitch Guild in six weeks - we've also got a big conference at work so I'll probably loose a week of evening stitching in June also.

Better go get that needle out.


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Bought any good stash recently?

I've bought some really good stash recently.

I love my Gingher scissors.

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I had wanted a pair for ages but wasn't aware of a UK stockist and then Jayne's Attic started to stock them. I know they are rather pricey but they are by far the best scissors I have ever used.

I placed an order with The Silver Needle, they are in the States and stock the most amazing range of tools and accessories (posh phrase for nick knacks). This time I bought a baby ort collector

Baby Ort Collector Posted by Hello

Mine is pink, purples and yellows and is really cute. I've popped it on the little table next to my stitching nest and it's really useful. Flap bit is heavy with a pin cushion on it and that goes on the edge of the table and the bag bit hangs down. I'll take it when I go out and about stitiching. I'm going on a stitching weekend with the Cross Stitch Guild in June and it will be really useful then.

I also got a couple of mesh project bags from the Silver Needle.

I've begun to collect Dragon Floss and Olde Willow Stitchery threads from Jayne so there's been a couple of delivery of them. This morning I got a lovely piece of fabric also from Jayne. Its Polstitches Rustic Rhubarb

Hosted by

I'm going to use it for the Mail Art Exchange on Aion so I can't really say any more here but watch this space. I also bought something else for this piece but don't want to say what it is yet.

Also my Silkweaver Stash of the Month parcel arrived this week - some fabric, threads and a Judy's Boo Boo stick!!! I really enjoy getting this even if some of the items aren't that useful I think I'll get it for a few more months and then I might switch to the fabric of the month one for a bit.

I think that's about it for now. Off to stitch on Mystery Sampler 1 I'm on a roll now the over one is finished - will take piccie tonight promise...........................


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Do you finish all your finished pieces? (pillow, frame, etc,) If so, how do you finish the pieces? If not what do you do with them?

Finished pieces - what finished pieces (see previous entry). Actually I'm very good at when I do eventually finish a piece I take larger pieces to the framers almost straight away and do smaller ones myself within about a week.

I also love finishing ornaments so again normally done in about a week.

I've never done a pillow although I like the idea of the tuck pillows and have found a UK supplier so I may go down that route later in the year.

What is your opinion of Internet "freebies?"

I love internet freebies. Firstly they are usually quite small so are useful quick in between pieces and good for gifts. Secondly you can use them to 'try out' new designers and get a feel for how their designs stitch up. I think we should all say a great big thank you to those designers who are willing to share some of their hard work for free.


I must be a very slow stitcher

This year I have had three finishes.
  1. An easter ornament for the Easter Bunni Exchange on Aion.
  2. Chris the Cricketer for my son
  3. my Aion name badge for the GTG.
I don't stitch in rotation and I don't have many WIPs so I conclude I must be slow. I read many blogs and am amazed and in awe at how many finishes some people achieve.

I'm still plugging away at the Chatelaine Mystery Sampler I and will take a piccie tonight to post. I've managed to finish rather a lot of over one stitching which slowed me down both mentally and physically. I'm on a bit of a spurt at the moment so maybe I can show some real progress over the next week!

My WIPs are:

Mystery Sampler I - Chatelaine
Ornament from Nuneaton GTG
Just Nan And Many More needlecase
Mermaid Treasure Box - Chatelaine

Waiting in the wings are:

Alpine Seasons - Chatelaine
Piece of mail art for the Aion Mail Art Exchange

And the list of things in the stash pile is too large to mention and getting larger each week.

I always have one quite large piece on the go and maybe that's why I feel slow......................time to stitch.