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Friday, 25 August 2017

Sunflowers finished and MORE Christmas

Just a quick post as I promised - for now I have a finished Van Gogh, mwahaha! OK, not exactly as promised - for `tis not framed. Yet. I had every intention of running out today and not returning without a frame but, alas, in my great excitement I forgot that I was skint. So no frame, I`m afraid, until I get some money - in the meantime though, here`s the finished picture:

It took 23 days, on and off, and I can`t tell you how excited I was when I stitched that blue signature last night! 😀 Not only is it my own personal Van Gogh but it`s also the first piece in a very, very long time that I stitched just for myself - and I`m so happy with it I don`t even feel guilty! 😉
In other news, I got my subs copy of Crazy 234 yesterday, with the little Durene Jones Christmas stocking freebies in it - how sweet are these? I`ll def stitch them again because this time I can finish them with the red/green pieces of felt included in the kit and these`ll look adorable on the tree - tee hee, I`m not even thinking about giving them away! What monster have you unleashed, Vincent... 😂

Saturday, 19 August 2017

tree of life, a bit more Christmas and sunflowers

This week there are two new publications out in the UK shops and, in a way, my stitching`s on the cover of both. 😀 One of them is the free gift with the latest issue of The World of Cross Stitching, and the other is this folksy tree of life cushion in Cross Stitcher 322.

As I have mentioned many times before, I love, love, LOVE stitching blocky designs... and folksy designs... and designs with shades of red, green and brown, so this Amanda Butler cushion felt like it was made for me. It grew so fast that I could hardly believe it (have I mentioned how much I love blocky designs? That`s another reason: because you can actually see it grow). It took roughly two weeks and it was one of those projects where I felt sad when it was finished, I enjoyed it so much - from the green blocks to the vines and flowers to filling in the gaps with DMC 352.

3,5 hours

16 hours

23 hours

38 hours

45 hours

58 hours - finished 😊

Deer on the flip side 😁 - love the texture of the dark green leaves` back!

And here it is in the magazine, all made up into a folksy wee cushion, complete with cheerful yellow bobbles:

 Next up, after all the autumn colours, here`s a bit more Christmas: the free gift with WOCS 259 is a set of 3 cute cards, designed by Helz Cuppleditch, of a moggy playing with a stocking, a robin and a cracker.

I like how the cards repeat the snowflake motifs of the stitching:

Finally, in other news: I`m plodding on with my Van Gogh Sunflowers. I`ve been away on holiday and had another commission stitch finished in the meantime (also by Amanda Butler but this is a wildlife pic, just wait until you see it in WOCS, amazing and cute rolled into one!!) so according to my calendar, I`ve spent 17 days so far working on this and I reckon another 4-5 should do it so fingers crossed, by the time of my next post I`ll have it framed...? #wishfulthinking 😂 Happy stitching, peeps!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

It`s beginning to look a bit like Christmas...

Is it August yet? Oh yes, it`s the 2nd - then it`s not too early anymore to put my Santa hat on, tee hee! There are two publications in the UK shops this week and they both signal the start of Festive Stitching Season - yay! 😊
First up, my little Popcorn bear, this month`s free gift with Crazy 233.

He is not TOO Christmassy as such, is he? No, not yet. Apart from that tentative robin, he could be skiing in the Alps for all we know, right? That is, if you don`t use the aperture card... 😉

But here`s something that couldn`t be more Christmassy if it tried: a stocking with an elf and presents in Gold 140:

This lovely Faby Reilly design looks deceivingly smallish in the photo but IRL it is MASSIVE! Here`s how the project arrived:

I didn`t think of measuring the fabric but judging by that IKEA cushion under it, it must have been around 70ish x 90-100 cms. The chart was on 4 (well, 3 and a bit, really) A3 sheets and besides the threads, I also got a summary of the specialty stitches featured in the design.

If you need to brush up on your eyelet sts and spider web sts,
Faby has great tutorials on her website.

So as usual, my first task - being a `hand-held stitcher` - was to figure out how to handle this huge piece of fabric. I had to use my biggest binder clips but these, combined with the weight of the fabric, made the whole thing so heavy that I had to rely on my trusty magnets as well (I have a magnet board that holds my chart and the whole thing swivels on a Lowery frame so this time I just attached the top binder clip to one of my strong magnets and it took the weight off my left hand).

That`s the bottom right quarter of the fabric and those few blue stitches are the middle. Since I want to hold as little fabric (especially stitched, i.e. even heavier!) in my left hand as possible, for as long as possible, I had to get to the rightmost part of the stocking - which meant a wee bit of skipping:

I loved this look btw - it`s a bit like a map, isn`t it? And the `Lego colours` just make it so cheerful! 😊 Once I reached the `toe`, I could really get going. 

10 hours

26 hours

48 hours

Once I started the top half, I could finally take the binder clips off, and as an added bonus, the bits with specialty sts grew really fast because they covered large areas quickly.

Finally, after 88 hours, it was all finished. Excuse the even-more-than-usually badly lit photo - I had to take an aerial shot so I`m standing on a chair here and the flash just couldn`t cope. 😁

Anyway, here`s a much better picture, with proper lighting and the stocking all made up - looking fantastic, even if I say so myself. 😉 Happy stitching!