A bit of festive stitching

I have had a really great weekend, my tree is up and I have been sitting finishing my ornament stitching while watching the snow fall gently down, not enough to give us a snow day tomorrow sadly so I will be back at work. Many of my friends who live further South than me have had more snow so although we have had some the transport will still be running tomorrow.

This is the last week of term though and I have some holiday coming up so that is good, I am really glad to get to the end of the teaching time.

Not that I don’t love my job and my students but this term has been a very busy one and a poorly arm has not helped so really looking forward to doing nothing, (by that I mean lots of reading and stitching and watching TV ), and spending time with family.

I finished four ornaments to the point of being stitched and stuffed this afternoon so I could take pictures and have another three that I finished later on. These all need their hanging ribbons added but am pleased with how they look so far.

Xmas ornies Dec 17

Two of these, the top one and middle right, are JBW designs, the others are from a sampler called ‘I Still Do’, by Ink Circles.

Xmas ornies Dec 17 5

This one is Merry Miniatures 1 from JBW – in the UK her designs can be found here at Wye Needlecraft. In the US they can be found at 123 Stitch. The bell charm on this design is from Rinhoobead on Ebay.

Xmas ornies Dec 17 3

This cute little tree I have stitched a few times and it is from JBW’s Christmas Keepsakes 2 designs. They have so many pretty tree designs and I love the way that the designs are made up of smaller motifs.

Xmas ornies Dec 17 2

Xmas ornies Dec 17 4

These two motifs are from a large Quaker sampler that I have had for about 11 years, it is meant to be an anniversary sampler but I bought it for all the snowflake like motifs. The Ink Circles web site does not have this design listed any more but still has lots of other lovely stitching.

This is a real return to my roots and it is very fitting that this is my 10th blogaversary as on one of my very first posts all those years ago I put up this picture of some cross stitched ornaments that I had been making to fund raise for my trip to Nepal.

I still have all those lovely snowflake designs and think I might make them again for next year’s ornaments as I have enjoyed my return to cross stitch a lot.

Xmas ornies from first post

I have also just realised that I still have some of the Christmas fabric that I mentioned buying in one of those first posts, that makes it almost vintage lol! I am very proud of the fact that I have bought no new Christmas fabric this year at all, the first time that has happened for 10 years.

Have no major crafting plans for the next couple of weeks, need to finish off a few things from the WIPs pile if I have chance and then will spending time with Ellie and the rest of the family and meeting my great-niece Ava for the first time, will finally get to give her the rabbit that I knitted for her!

Take care and thanks for visiting , will return next week with a the rest of the ornament finishes for your perusal! Don’t forget to like this or any post up until the end of the year to enter into my giveaway.

 

 

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More things for the stitching wish list

I had a lovely time yesterday helping Kerry with the pattern for the groom’s outfit for her wedding next year. Although I could not help with any cutting out I did help with amalgamating two patterns into one design and advice on buttons and fabric placement.

It is nice just to have someone to share ideas with when you are making really important things and it was great to have a catch up as well.

Still slow progress with the cross stitched ornaments but I have been collecting new patterns so I thought that I would share some in case you have a yearning for pretty snowflakes or some Scandi designs in your life.

I have created a new Cross Stitch Pinterest board, Pinterest wasn’t around when I was last seriously cross stitching so it is wonderful to browse so many lovely things. I love snowflakes so was really pleased to find these beautiful designs at X-Stitch Magic.

Cross stitch snowflakes 1

 

This next one has no source or pattern but I love the look of the snowflakes on linen, I don’t know if my stitching is neat enough for me to do this as really need counted fabric.

Cross stitch snowflake tree on linen

This is beautiful as well, will see if I have any linen colour aida to replicate something similar. Not certain of the source for this but it may be this blog, she certainly has some beautiful cross stitch.

Cross stitch snowflake cushion on linen

This is a gorgeous free chart as well from Kissy-Cross . Again it looks beautiful on the linen colour fabric with the touches of red and green.

Cross stitch reindeer

This lovely free Scandi style sampler available is from here.This would be great to personalise with a family name or just to say Merry Christmas

Cross Stitch Scandi Sampler

I am planning another Slow Stitching Sunday and am hoping to finish one more ornament in the coming week.

I also have to finish my Steampunk pirate hat as I am away next weekend with Ellie at Steampunks in Space at the National Space Centre so very excited about that. I will return with lots of fab costume pictures again.

Meanwhile take care and have fun with whatever you are doing. Thanks for visiting.

 

A little Christmas finish

Thankfully my arm was less painful yesterday so I managed to do some machining, finishing off a couple of Christmas versions of the cottages I made at the end of last year.

Christmas Cottages 1

The tutorial for these can be found here at Retro Mama’s site, I originally found this idea on Pinterest and made nine of these in floral fabric which I gave away to friends at knitting as pincushions.They are so cute I had to try some Christmas versions.

The charms I got from Ebay from Rhinoobead and they are so cute. I thought it would be nice to have a tree outside the window and a wreath on the door.I might add some beads to the trim on the roof as well.

I do love making these little houses and obviously so do lots of other people, there are lots of lovely ones on Pinterest including these beautiful examples by one of my favourite bloggers Charise who creates amazing paper pieced designs. I love the way that she has fussy cut the fabric to put people, flowers and animals in the windows and doors, she is so clever!

Cottages - Charise Creates

She has a book coming out soon called Super Cute Paper Piecing which will be on my wish list, I have not really done any of this type of piecing before but since I love my English Paper Piecing would like to have a go at some of these.Her fabric combinations are always gorgeous. She has lots of information about the contents of the book on her blog so do go and have a look.

Super Cute Paper Piecing Book

I am getting on well with the cross stitched snowflake that I started this week, thankfully finger movement has been lots easier as well so I am much happier.I hate sitting watching TV without doing something productive, seems such a waste of time.

The sky is a beautiful blue here and it is sunny but very cold so I am planning a lovely day of stitching, very much a slow stitching Sunday, this has been my first weekend in three weeks where I have not been working Saturday so have been really enjoying it.

Hope you are having a good weekend whatever you are doing, take care and thanks for visiting and for all the good wishes about my poorly arm, your thoughts and prayers have obviously worked!

 

 

 

Slow Stitching Sunday

One of the blogs I regularly read, Tanya’s, often has a reference to Slow Stitching Sunday, hosted at Kathy’s Quilts blog , which is all about taking your time to hand stitch rather than machine stitch.I usually end up spending part of Sundays slow stitching anyway as I love relaxing on the sofa watching movies, just the thing after a busy week at work!

I have been mainly doing slow stitching this week anyway, and am getting much better at left-handed stitching, and left-handed typing, cooking and everything else. I am very pleased to tell you that I have managed to complete an ornament this week 🙂

I  have been experimenting with different ornaments for this year as I usually make 10 as gifts for special people plus new ones for my tree. I made this lovely Dresden one a while ago, I have backed it with a felt  circle and stuffed it under the backing.

Nov - Xmas stitching 5

I do like it but it was very fiddly, each blade is only 2 inches long and about an inch wide before being folded and the middle is not that neat so I have added the charm to disguise that.I could not see myself making another 9 of these so will keep this for me.

So I have gone back to good old cross stitch, this was the first thing that I ever really got into after enjoying needlepoint but finding it took a long time and when the children were little I used to make birthday cards for them and friends as well as lots and lots of Christmas stitching.

I have completed three designs so far,this one I found part completed in a box, I have no idea of where the pattern came from, just completed it from what I had already done and added little seeds beads.

Nov - Xmas stitching 3

This little tree is from one of my favourite designers,  JBW Designs , I have made quite a few of these over the years and love the way the little motifs are included in the design.

Nov - Xmas stitching 4

This is the one that I have been working on very slowly this week, it is taken from a larger Quaker Christmas motif design from ByGone Stitches and does still need some beads adding. It wasn’t until I had finished the centre and two of the star bits that I realised that it is not symmetrical but decided to leave it as it was.

Nov - Xmas stitching 1

I love the full design and one day might have the time to stitch it all.

quaker-christmas

All are stitched on sparkly Aida and everything comes from stash! I am making a serious attempt to use what I have in the craft room these days, partly on the grounds that I hopefully only have just over four and half years until I retire and sell up and move to Spain so need to use the stash rather than have to move it all.

So I am looking forward to an afternoon of loveliness with lots of cups of tea and indulgence in some of my favourite things. Hope that you are all having a lovely weekend and thanks for visiting.

 

January thoughts

Hello and hope you are all having a good start to your crafting year. I have been thinking a lot about goals for this year, not resolutions but things that I want to get done and so thought that putting together a list on the blog would give me a point of reference.

I like the idea of looking back at what you have done and looking forward to the future, January being named after the Roman god, Janus, the god of doors because this month is the door to the year. The Roman god Janus represents all beginnings and possesses the ability to see all things past and future which I think is a lovely idea and why he is represented with two faces.

So what did I achieve in 2016? This was very much a year of new things for me, coming really from a couple of courses that I went on at Simply Solids where I learnt to make baskets and had my first experience with zips with my pouch. I also used some of my ideas from Pinterest for pincushions and the little houses and made a sewing machine cover.

Looking at my photos for last year it doesn’t seem as if I did a lot but there also extra things that I did like the gold braid on Ellen’s dress, finishing the tabard for Jamie, a ring pillow and the Christmas ornaments that were also completed. The fact that I changed job roles in the summer has also meant a lot less time for crafting since June though hopefully that has calmed down now.

So plans for 2017. First of all to tackle some of the pesky WIPs. Like most people I am a bit of a flibbertigibbet when it comes to crafting, I see a new thing that I want to do and then go off and do it and don’t finish other things.I have also been guilty of abandoning difficult things which is not good practice!

These all need finishing.The first one needs a frame but is done otherwise, the quilt block is part of the challenge that Helen, Sharon and I did the year before last. I have 6 blocks but need a few more. The cute car hexagons were supposed to be a present for a baby who is now two! The vintage crochet hexis are going to be a bee quilt cushion and the last set of hexis are a long term project which is good for travelling, I have made some more of these in Spain.

Then the new stuff. I would like to go back and make some more of the Splendid Sampler blocks, particularly these stitched ones.

I would also like to make some of the items that I have saved pictures of on the blog.They range from things from books such as the circular tile quilt and the triple hexagon tea mug  to more pincushions, pouches, baskets, mug rugs and bags from blogs, some of Lori Holt Bloom Sew Along and a Dresden block using vintage linen from a magazine.

I would like to do more of Jenny of Elefantz’s lovely embroidery, the hexagon and roses one above is one I have been meaning to do for the craft room but think it would make a great zip pouch as well.

I also need to find a use for these gifted hexagons from my friend Helen, zippered pouches maybe? Probably more likely than a whole quilt given my productivity!

gift hexis 1

Finally there is more cross stitch, something I haven’t done for a long time but am feeling the urge for in preparation for next year’s Christmas ornaments.

Well that lot should keep me going for a while, meantime there is some crochet and lace zips calling me upstairs so I had better go and see what they want!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Note to self, buy a zipper foot

Hello there, the final countdown of Christmas crafting has begun, only 6 more days until we leave for Ellie’s. I have not been well this past week, have finally caught Jake’s horrible chest infection and have been confined to barracks but that answered the question about whether to buy or make the last few presents as I have not been able to go shopping.

Luckily I have lots of stash and lots of ideas and tutorials – thanks Pinterest 🙂 and I set about yesterday to make a pencil case pouch for one of my younger relatives.

zipper-pouch-1

 

I had made the little hexagons out of the cute cat fabric scraps I got from Simply Solids some time ago and used some of my recycled denim and stash fabric for the body of the pouch and have had lots of these cute lacy zips also hanging about.The hexagon was appliqued onto the denim with zig zag stitch.

The only thing I didn’t have was a zipper foot, naively I assumed they came with the machine but after careful checking of all three sets of feet from current and old machines discovered that is not true.

However I did manage to find a foot that only had a metal piece on one side, no idea what it is really for but have managed to cobble it together and it all turned out very well for a first attempt.

I used this tutorial here from Emkie Designs which was very easy to follow. The only thing that I did differently was stitch wadding to the lining pieces to give it a bit more body.

Have also been hard at work with the last of the Christmas ornaments, some bigger versions of the folded one with the addition of Suffolk Puffs, partly because I love them and partly because I have run out of ribbon roses!

I also made another cathedral window one but not sure about it, maybe it is the lack of contrast between the two patterned fabrics, maybe I am just not that into Scandi colours. It also turned out rectangular for some reason.I do like the wooden button though.

 

These are some I made a while ago, English paper pieced and stuffed, I really like the look of these but they took a very long time so not a bulk make ornament.

patchwork-xmas-stars-1

Just the Suffolk Puff tree to finish now and that will be it for ornaments 2016 though at the speed I was getting them done this year might start in Jan for next year!

However did find a very lovely post with links to tutorials for 100 different pouches so might have to make some more of those for gifts… after I have got a zipper foot of course!

free-zipper-bag-patterns

Take care and thanks for visiting, will pop in later on in the week to wish you all festive greetings.