SAL 52: Border country

What with all the hand quilting that’s been going on round here, I haven’t quite reached the bottom.

Here’s the Before shot, pre single-strand backstitching on the ‘lace’ strip at bottom right:

And here’s where we are now. The two short ‘lace’ border strips on either side finished, but I didn’t manage the narrow border across the bottom. However, as I’ve now finished my hand quilting marathon, hopefully I’ll do better next time, when I hope to have that extra border done, finishing off the bottom of this tiled section. Then it’s just the last bits of the outer borders to go!

As always, the SAL group is working on a wide and gorgeous variety of stitchery, so I urge you to go take a look at their work. We’re all over the world and in all different time zones, so if their SAL posts aren’t up yet, try again later. Here’s the list, and a big welcome to our newest member, Jackie.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnn, JessSue,
CindyHelenStephLindaCatherineMary Margaret,
Timothy, Heidi, Connie, Jackie

See you next time, on 8th October.


The Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook: Viv’s page

When the idea of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Sketchbook was first proposed, Viv was one of the first to jump on board with gusto.

Before the Sketchbook reached her, however, we lost her in July 2016. This was a great sadness on two counts; first for those who loved her and miss her still, and secondly because the Sketchbook also needs words as well as the beautiful images which have been contributed. Viv’s great skill was with words, and the lack of her contribution left something of a void.

Viv’s daughter Sally has kindly consented to allow us to feature one of Viv’s poems to amend this lack. The piece which has been selected is called ‘Conjunctions’, and discusses the importance of building and maintaining the connections between us, a sentiment particularly appropriate for the far-flung Sisterhood.

I was asked to letter and insert Viv’s poem.   I have done this in a connected way, with each verse linked to the next with paper and thread. I thought about adding some pieces of patchwork, another of Viv’s passions, but ultimately felt that her words were splendid as they stood, and needed no other adornment or distraction. I’m happy with the simplicity of the execution.

You can see my own page about the Sketchbook project by clicking the link at the start of this post. Alternatively, go to the blog created for this project by Sandra, for a different perspective.

So, I give you Viv’s contribution. She’s with us after all…

SAL 51: back again

It’s that time again.

I ducked out last time, a bit too much other stuff going on but here I am again. I’ve managed to get a bit of stitching done, but it doesn’t look much as I’ve also had to do a fair bit of unpicking!

Here’s where we were before:

And here’s afterwards:

There’s a lot of backstitching to do in that strip of lace. I’d done a load of it, and then decided two strands looked bodgy and ugly, so out it all had to come. I’ll be doing the backstitching with a single strand, and then it will look a lot more like lace and less peculiar. There’ll also be another strip on the other side, a different design.

Do go and see what all the others are up to. There are lots of us now, all over the place and in different time zones, so if they don’t have their posts up when you check them out the first time, do try again later.

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnn, JessSue,
CindyHelenStephLindaCatherineMary Margaret,
Timothy, Heidi, Connie

Gadget crisis…

I’m beginning to get very frustrated….

My embroidery project is making poor progress right now. I have to thread the embroidery needle constantly, for which I need a threader because it’s two strands of floss and they’re floppy and a bit fluffy, and the needle is a fine one, which I prefer. Currently, my needle threaders are lasting about 2 minutes. The little wire loop that passes through the needle’s eye just pulls right out of the plastic handle. I have run through two packs of three threaders in the last three weeks. SIX threaders. It’s not like I’m being rough or careless, they’re just not robust enough for constant threading.

So, I’m putting the problem out there. Does anyone own a rock solid, cast iron, bullet proof needle threader? Something that’ll thread a fine embroidery needle. And if so, who makes it and where can I buy it?

Please help, before I toss my cross stitch out in frustration 😦


SAL – taking a short break

Hello again, it’s time for the Stitch Along.

Last time… No new progress 😦

I’m sitting this one out as I haven’t been able to make any progress this time round for various reasons too dull to mention. I’ll be back for the next one, I feel sure! I’d hoped to finish the two small sections on either side of the dark tiles at the bottom, but no such luck. Life gobbled up my creative time, and I’m not in the right mental space right now to calmly and carefully cross-stitch those motifs…

Do go over to the other members’ blogs in the Stitch Along and look at the lovely projects they’re working on. Many of them are in later time zones, so it might be a good idea to hold off for a while to give everyone a chance to get their work posted. Here are the links to their blogs – check them out, you won’t be sorry:

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnn, JessSue,
CindyHelenStephLindaCatherineMary Margaret,
Timothy, Heidi, Connie


SAL 49: another big bit

The blue sampler is coming along well 🙂

Here’s where we were before:

And now:

A couple more smaller motifs either side of these two, a bottom border, finish the two side borders, and we’re done! I’m beginning to be impatient to finish this one, as I have the next project lined up. Not cross stitch this time, but needlepoint. Just simple tent stitch, but a lovely design by Kaffe Fassett:

As always, the others in the group are working on fabulous projects which you can see by clicking on the links below. We’re in different time zones and post at different times on the same day, but if there’s nothing new there the first time you check, it’ll be well worth your while going back for a second look.

ConstanzeDebbieroseChristina, Kathy, Margaret,
CindyHelenStephLindaCatherineMary Margaret,

See you next time, on 5th August.

ScrapHappy July

Once again, it’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

This time, I’ve gone to my two largest scrap boxes: blue and teal/ aqua. I have about twice the amount of both as I do of other colours, so it was easy to dive in and find plenty of variety.

I really love both of these, especially the tiny little scraps of beloved fabrics I’ve had for many, many years. There are pieces that sing to me, that instantly take me back to past times and places, to brilliant memories and huge learning strides.

The quilt that comes into being from all these scrappy blocks is one I will want to keep for myself… forever.

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps – no new fabrics. It can be a random or formal quilt block, a pillow or pincushion, a bag or hat, a collage or rag rug. Anything made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address shown on the Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. You don’t have to worry about a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at):

Usually has a scrappy post:

Gun at (in Swedish and English)
Titti at (in Swedish only)
Heléne at (in Swedish only)

Sometimes has a scrappy post:

Eva at (in Swedish only)
Sue at (in English only)
Nanette at (in English only)
Lynn at (in English only)
Norma at (in English only)
Lynda at: (in English only)
Birthe: (in Norwegian only)
Turid: (in English and Norwegian)
Susan: (in English only)
Cathy: (in English only)
Debbierose: (in English only)
Tracy: (in English only)
Jill: (in English only)
Claire: (in English only)
Jan: (in English only)
Karen: (in English only)
Moira: (in English only)
Sandra: (in English only)
Linda: (in English only)

See you again, same time next month!