Thursday, September 24, 2015

Cross Stitching: A couple of smalls

Keeping myself busy between larger projects. . .

The Details
Pattern/Thread/Fabric: Free kit from The World of Cross Stitching Magazine
Finish: Card, using supplies in kit. 

Stitched August 2015
No destination yet - goes into my stock of cards!

The Details
Pattern/Thread/Fabric: Free kit in Goody Bag picked up at the NEC sewing/stitching show (originally Cross Stitch Card Shop I think)

Stitched July 2015
No destination yet - goes into my stock of smalls for cards etc.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Cross Stitch/Sewing: Christmas Holly Cushion

The Details
Pattern: Holly-Word Art, from The World of Cross Stitching Magazine (Issue 223)
Thread: DMC as charted.
Fabric: 14 count oatmeal aida
Finish: Envelope cushion, fabric is Poinsettia & Holly by Martha Negley for Rowan.

Stitched July 2015. I'm keeping this one! 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Cross Stitch: Winnie the Pooh

The Details
Thread: DMC - as charted where available, and substituted by me instead of charted Designer Stitches thread
Fabric: 14 count white aida
Finish: Framed, no mount. Custom frame from Picture Frame Express, framed by me

Stitched June-July 2015. Gift for Tom&Emily (new baby! with a Pooh-themed nursery)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Cross Stitch: Bienvenue a la maison

My latest finish (rubbish photos):

The Details
Pattern:  Bienvenue a la maison, from this book. Slight changes charted by me.
Thread: DMC as charted
Fabric: 28 Count Permin Linen - Natural

Stitched February-June 2015. Gift for S&R's wedding.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cross Stitch: Mothers day card

The Details
Pattern: Free kit from World of Cross Stitching magazine. Lettering charted by me.
Thread and fabric as supplied in kit.
Card finish.
Card blank from Hobbycraft, ribbon repurposed from magazine kit.

Stitced and finished February 2015

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Quilting: Royal Squares

Time for a change of pace around here. I've found myself gradually moving away from blogging - life changes. But this will still be a place to document my crafty life. Expect sporadic posts with little detail! (as if that wasn't the case already).

Today, a quilt!


The Details
Pattern: Royal Squares (free here)
Front fabric: Notting Hill, by Joel Dewberry + white
Back fabric: Notting Hill leftovers + Amy Butler + can't remember
Binding: scrappy, Notting Hill leftovers
Quilted: straight line quilting done on home machine by me
Thread: Guterman, variegated blues

Started 2012 or 2013? Finished June 2015.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Crochet: A Weeping Angel

One of my good friends is a total Whovian and I've been thinking for a while that I needed to do some Dr Who themed projects for her. This was started in November with the intention of a Christmas gift but ended up being finished in January, just in time for her February birthday.

I think this is definitely the cutest Weeping Angel I've ever seen! She turned out pretty adorable and it was a surprisingly hard thing to let her go off her mantelpiece! She stands unaided thanks to a well placed disc of cardboard at the base of the body.

I'm chuffed with the success of my second ever amigurumi project, especially the shaping and attaching the pieces together, which I think I'm starting to get better at with practice. I feel like I need more people in my life I can make 'toys' for!

Don't Blink!
The Details
Pattern: Weeping Angel, by Irene McCormick (free on Ravelry), crocheted as charted
Yarn: Paton's Diploma Gold DK in Charcoal
Hook: 3.5mm

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Tiniest Fox in the World

It was the birthday of a friend this weekend. Unfortunately it had been a busy week, which combined with illness meant opportunities for present buying were limited. Good thing I have boxes and boxes of crafty supplies at home right?!

May I introduce, the tiniest fox in the world. . . (or so I'm claiming)

Embroidery scissors for scale

I knew I had some keyring blanks lying around that would make a perfect small gift if I could find a pattern I liked small enough to fit in one. That proved a tougher challenge than I first thought. . .  which may have been a good thing.

There was just nothing small enough! Solution? Stitching over one thread on 28ct fabric. Much better! (and to be honest, easier than I had been led to believe. I was thankful for my daylight lamp though). As for a pattern. Well, for the first time in my cross stitching life I ended up pretty much making it up as I went along. Which went surprisingly well and is definitely something I'll be trying again.

A couple of hours of stitching while watching TV, a scrap of fusible interfacing and some green felt later, this little guy was all done.

The Details
Pattern: I winged it, with inspiration from this photo on Pinterest for the shape and a bit of guidance from this free pattern (unfortunately no longer available, I have the magazine it originally appeared in) as to actual stitching
Fabric: Scrap misc. 28 ct
Thread: Misc kit leftovers in stash
Finishing: Keyring blank with felt backing

Here's hoping he's well received! To be honest I'm very tempted to keep him for myself. Good thing I still have a few keyring blanks to spare!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Currently Monday #13

Work charity bakesale this week!

Time and Place // 9.26 pm. Couch in lounge!

Eating and Drinking // Homemade coffee and walnut cake + about to make tea

Reading // Mary Barton, by Elizabeth Gaskell, which is the same thing I was reading two weeks ago. I’m about 25% through, but it’s just not grabbing me.

Watching // Covert Affairs!!! I love TV shows that have really well done ‘will they – won’t they – they have to – just kiss already’ relationship tension between the main characters, and this one definitely has that. I’m holding out for Annie and Auggie to become a couple already and we’re not even half way through the first series (of five!). I've already ordered the DVDs of seasons 2 and 3.

Listening // Taylor Swift. Because sometimes I feel like the pop-iest of the pop :-D

Making // Quilt top back! I also started a new cross stitch project next week. That I need to take a photo of quick while it’s still at the stage where you can’t really tell what the finished product is going to look like (it’s a gift)

Hating // Being sick for no apparent reason, as I was this weekend. Bllllaaaa.

Loving // That it feels like Spring may eventually emerge from the darkness. I swear the days are getting lighter.

Anticipating // A friend's birthday celebration and some exciting book events coming up (you can find my book blog here


Sunday, February 8, 2015

A quilt top and owning our mistakes

You learn a lot of life lessons through crafting, I find. Patience, perseverance, being kind to yourself, owning up to your mistakes, the importance of continuing to learn. All things I've learnt.

This week I finished a quilt top. I started it way back in 2012. The pieces have moved country with us, and I can honestly say that my entire life has changed since I started it.

For long lengths of time the pieces of this one sat in 'the naughty cupboard.' I wasn't far into it when I discovered I'd made some pretty unfixable mistakes and I wasn't sure what I should do. Give up? Unpick the whole thing and try and start again (knowing the fabric probably wouldn't survive a second attempt)? Just keep going, hope for the best and not care that at the very least the points wouldn't match and at worst it wouldn't come together at all?

Eventually I decided on the lets-keep-going route. It would be a learning experience. Only my second quilt top after all. I can't tell you how many things went wrong with this top. Every stage of the process felt like a battle. It tested all of the lessons that I mentioned. From those initial mistakes came problems later down the line. A mistake in the maths in the pattern (hubby checked) meant the final top has one block more of one type than it should have, and one less than the other type (I didn't have the fabric to make another block and honestly by that point I didn't even care any more).

But it's finished. And I love it just as much for the mistakes as for the bits I got perfectly right. I'm still not sure how the quilting is going to go - the mistakes mean this thing doesn't lay as flat as I like.

I'm going to finish it though. And when I do, I'm going to use it, with pride. And a happy reflection upon how our mistakes make us who we are just as much as our successes do. Sometimes you just have to own that for what it is.

 And sometimes you have to try and not care when the cat decides to wander over your just completed half-white quilt top.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Currently Monday #12

Winter sunsets from my office window

Time and Place // 9.49 pm, on the sofa in the lounge (a different lounge to last time I did one of these things!)

Eating and Drinking // After Dinner Mint ice cream. Which is tasty, but given the weather may have been a bad decision. I can't feel my fingers. Or my mouth.

Reading // Mary Barton, by Elizabeth Gaskell and The Chimes, by Anna Smaill (releasing in the UK on Feb 12th from Spectre)

Watching // We got Netflix! (ages ago, but still). Currently binge rewatching Scrubs.

Listening // The Swedish duo First Aid Kit have been top of my playlist since they were on Graham Norton.

Making // A quilt top is being assembled! I also have a small cross stitch in progress, just a cover kit to keep my hands busy while I wait for supplies for a bigger project to arrive

Hating // When it starts to snow half way through my walk to the train station in the morning. Has happened three times now!

Loving // Watching snow blizzards from my 12th floor office. So pretty (and much nicer than walking to the train station in them).

Anticipating // A London trip planned for March. We're seeing three West End shows in four days!!! :) 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Cross Stitch: Spring Chicks Finished

I started these Spring Chicks back in April last year! But finishing my Christmas projects has put me into the mood to finish off some other outstanding projects as well.

Sometimes things don't turn out the way you intended. I started these off for a spring-themed pillow, but by the time I finished I realised that the colours I'd chosen didn't look quite right for what I had in mind.

No matter. Things not turning out as one expected has its own rewards. Throw in some card blanks and ribbon and these two chicks have turned into some lovely cards for a few birthdays coming up. Yay for serendipity (and another project off the WIP pile).

In other news the sadness that is winter continues to mean artificial light photos. . . 

The Details
Pattern: Freebie, I think it was from the Coats Craft website, but can't find it there anymore
Fabric: Misc 14ct cream aida from stash
Threads: Assorted DMC of my own choosing
Finishing: Card blanks and ribbon thanks to HobbyCraft

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sewing: Kindle Cover

Just after Christmas my three year old Kindle gave up the ghost. I turned it on one day and there was a large white blot across the screen that just wasn't going to go away (the technologically minded husband confirmed it).

My Kindle has become probably my most beloved piece of electronic equipment and it quickly became clear that I couldn't live without one for long. Enter Kindle 2.0.

The cover I made three years ago had been starting to look more than a little tatty, so Kindle 2.0 also called for Kindle cover 2.0

Cover 2.0 is a little more sophisticated than version one, reflecting my increase in confidence and sewing skills over the last three years. Fewer raw edges, tidier top stitching (though I admit sewing through the six+ layers of fabric and catching them all hasn't got any easier with time, even with the addition of a walking foot).

Look at those lovely corners! The fabric is some gorgeous Amy Butler I had stashed away, Josephine's Bouquet Ink from the Cameo collection. In fact this entire project came from stash, apart from 40p of elastic.

Some brilliant guidance came from this tutorial, which I made a few (minor) adjustments to. Right, next on the agenda is a bag to keep our new Sat Nav in!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Christmas Project #2

My second Christmas project was our annual ornament from 2013! It was started to late to get it finished in time for Christmas that year, and with all the turmoil that moving country brings was still a fair way off by the second half of 2014. But by Christmas it was hanging proudly on the tree.

You've seen this one in progress here. I picked it for our annual ornament the year we moved to the UK because it sort of has an air of travel around it (with the postmark and all) and the move was certainly a leap of faith!

I think it is the dear husband's favourite in our annual ornament series so far, and I have to admit the finished product looks pretty special (it is backed simply with red felt). For me though, it will always make me think of the grief it gave me. It had one of the most unnecessarily complicated pattern symbologies I've ever come across, and the fabric and thread in kit were bad enough to make me feel like giving up plenty of times.

It was worth sticking with it in the end though. . .

The Info
Dimensions Gold Collection "Faith" Ornament (kit)
Fabric and threads as kitted
Finished according to kit instructions

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Christmas Project #1

Remember those three Christmas projects? They all got done and were in place a week before Christmas! I vowed I would take photos before they got packed away and waited for a day with good enough light. . . and promptly forgot. They got packed away with the rest of the Christmas bits and pieces! Fortunately our Christmas box is easy to access and they've been unpacked again so I can show you.

The day with a good light still hasn't materialised, so excuse my artificial light photos.

I've done an annual ornament each year for other half and I since the year we got engaged and I try to pick something thats representative of the year that's past. I felt like this design reflected the new addition to our lives in 2014 quite nicely:

The design is finished as a flat ornament with a silver twisted cord trim. My first successful border trim attachment finish! It's backed with a scrap leftover from one of my other Christmas projects (that one coming soon).

The Info
Pattern: Christmas Cat Tree, by Brittercup Designs (Just Cross Stitch Ornament ed. 2011)
Threads: DMC, charted by me. The tree is 4050.
Fabric: 32 count Permin Linen, Lambswool