Stitch Along 4: Framed at last

As promised, I’ve taken a photo now the Wedding Sampler has been nicely framed.

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Do excuse the reflections; it’s a sunny day and hard to find a wall without the light directly on it.

Just in time to pack it straight back into a box, but that’s life, I suppose. It will have to wait until I’ve found a suitable spot to hang it in the new house.

Two weeks tomorrow till the move. I pack a little every day, but I’m deferring packing the rest of my sewing room. It’s my refuge from the cardboard madness out there…

Until the next time.

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Stitch Along 3: The Wedding Sampler, finally finished

It’s embarrassing to realise that we’ve been married 17 months yesterday, and I wanted to have this wedding sampler ready for our first anniversary. Only 5 months late, then…

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Last time

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The finished thing

But it’s done. At last.

The plan is to have it framed with a pale grey mat and a brushed silver frame. And then it can hang there and look pretty instead of faintly reproachful.

Next time I’ll have a new counted cross stitch project on the go. It’s in black and white and grey, a photographic portrait of the Husband of Chiconia which I took myself and converted into a cross stitch pattern. I don’t know whether I’ll be able to join the next SAL, or whether all my sewing things will be lost in a welter of cardboard boxes, packing tape and deep confusion. I need something to do with my hands in the evenings, so maybe it’ll survive the mayhem!

Linking up with:

Avis:  http://sewingbesidethesea.wordpress.com

Gun:  http://rutigt.wordpress.com

Claire:  http://claire93.wordpress.com

and Jule:  http://fromtheboudoir.wordpress.com

Do hop over and see what they’re working on.

Stitch Along 3: small progress

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Wedding Sampler last time

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Wedding Sampler now – whoops, a little wonky!

My efforts this time have been pretty unimpressive.

In mitigation, we have had rather a lot on, and my attention has been consumed by recent events. Still, I am managing to creep closer to completion. Next time, probably, I’ll have it done, and then it’ll be on with the next stitchery project. I have several to choose from: something for the Husband, who chose it and will wait patiently till I get round to it; something pretty from my cross-stitch flowers book; or something for me, a portrait of the Husband in black, white and grey. I’m going with the last one. It’s from a black & white photo I took, which I then converted into a cross stitch pattern. Actually, I’m sorely tempted to do it as a tapestry, in half cross-stitch, and make it large enough for a cushion cover. That way, I can lean on the Husband even more than I already do!

Today, I’m linking up with:

Avis:  http://sewingbesidethesea.wordpress.com

Gun:  http://rutigt.wordpress.com

Claire:  http://claire93.wordpress.com

and Jule:  http://fromtheboudoir.wordpress.com

Do hop over and see what they’re working on.

In other news: I have had my second order for the GFree Bakery, and this time they want savoury items too.  So this afternoon and Monday morning will be spent in the kitchen, whipping up more gingerbread, a carrot cake, a batch of chocolate fudge brownies, chicken and mushroom pies and vegetable frittata.

Obviously the last lot of stuff went down well enough to justify a new order, which is nice…

 

Stitch Along 2: Wedding Sampler progress

It’s a miracle I have anything to show you.

Since my last SAL post 3 weeks ago, I’ve hardly stopped. In between mad stitching on existing projects, I’ve committed to yet another baby quilt, agreed to make my SIL a quilt for her 40th birthday in October, and have signed up as a volunteer quiltmaker for Aussie Hero Quilts, making quilts and laundry bags for Australian service people on active duty. On top of that we had a 6 day, 2400km trip south to Coffs Harbour, and have just got back from 4 days in Cairns, another 1400km on the road. So my bottom has not been in contact with my sewing chair for quite a while.

I decided there was nothing for it but to take the Wedding Sampler with me and work on it in the evenings. I was a bit dubious about whether I’d actually get round to doing any stitching….

This is what came up to Cairns with us.

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And this is what came back.  Progress!

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Today, I’m linking up with:

Avis:  http://sewingbesidethesea.wordpress.com

Gun:  http://rutigt.wordpress.com

Claire:  http://claire93.wordpress.com

and Jule:  http://fromtheboudoir.wordpress.com

Do hop over and see what they’re working on.

Stitch Along: Wedding Sampler

This is my first Stitch Along post ever, so I hope I have the etiquette right….

A while ago I realised I was simply ignoring my Wedding Sampler, a piece of embroidery I’d started with the aim of having it ready for our wedding anniversary 3 months ago. Quilting has proved to be simply too interesting and productive as an alternative, and the poor thing has been sitting beside my seat on the sofa all that time, untouched.

Until, that is, I realised that two people I already follow were in a Stitch Along, for the express purpose of mutual encouragement to actually finish embroidery projects. I asked if I might join in, the ladies graciously agreed, and here I am.

Screen shot 2014-04-21 at 1.17.00 PMThis is before I recommenced work. It’s been like that for months.

Screen shot 2014-06-27 at 7.44.41 PMThis is since I joined the SAL. It’s definitely progress, even if it’s not that impressive. The amount of empty space in this design is actually a disadvantage, since it increases greatly the amount of counting you have to do to ensure the next stitch is in more or less the right place. There’s nothing like a deadline to make you get cracking…. That, and taking a conscious break from other all-consuming projects, of course. There’s probably another 3 or so SAL posts for this one, and then I have the next embroidery project lined up, involving doing a lot of single colour infill. Hurray for no counting!

Today, I’m linking up with:

Avis:  http://sewingbesidethesea.wordpress.com

Gun:  http://rutigt.wordpress.com

Claire:  http://claire93.wordpress.com

and Jule:  http://fromtheboudoir.wordpress.com

Do hop over and see what they’re working on.

Decisions, decisions…


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I was not totally idle while I was away.

The wedding sampler has moved along nicely. The left side still needs a few embellishments and then it’s done. The right side is all still to be done apart from the initial. The counting is getting easier, and I find that the more I’ve done, the easier it is because you have something to count from, rather than placing stitches in the middle of a big empty space.

Screen shot 2014-04-21 at 1.17.20 PMWhile I was away, a book I’d ordered second hand from Amazon arrived.  The cover does not begin to communicate how gorgeous the designs in it are.  Some time, probably a long time down the list, I’ll be doing some of them. For now, I’ll just turn the pages, wondering wistfully when I could start one of the projects, and what I’d use it for. A girl can never have too many cushions, bags or pictures, for example.

Screen shot 2014-04-21 at 1.18.00 PMAnd finally, my island loot. A very small bit of loot, to be sure, but when I tell you it’s Barbadian Sea Island cotton, woven in 1200 thread count shadow stripe, and feels like silk, you will probably understand that it’s hugely expensive and that’s why I’ve only bought 40 inches of 60 inch width fabric. It’s going to be turned into my favourite nightdress (I know this in advance, you see), embroidered and embellished with lace. I will probably wear it to death… But for now, I’ll just stroke it a bit (not too much, I don’t want it getting grubby) and store it away in tissue paper on the cedar shelves of my fabric cupboard.

Tomorrow I’m hopefully collecting my sewing machine. And cutting out lawn hankies for all those who’ve been promised one, plus a couple extra for people who deserve one. And maybe, just maybe, making a start on quilting Happiness, which is sitting folded on my sewing room visitor’s chair, pinned and ready, with needles and quilting cotton already set out. On the other hand, the garden desperately needs weeding.

Decisions, decisions…

A Slow Sunday…

After the long slog last week, I’m taking it a little bit easier.

Which is not to say that I’m idle. Evenings have been devoted to making strides on the wedding sampler for our anniversary. It’s beginning to look as if I’ll get it finished in time, although framing as well is too much of an ask. See for yourself (and this daylight shot is a bit more accurate for colour, finally):

The sampler's taking shape.

The sampler’s taking shape.

Visualise this with a wide brimmed pink hat and pink pants...

Visualise this with a wide brimmed pink hat and pink pants…

I’ve finished the holiday top I was making with a beautiful dark blue and white batik trimmed with the turquoise I didn’t use for the binding on Isfahan. The pattern is very simple so the fabric can play the lead role. It’s Kwik Sew 3601, but I tweaked it a bit to add the large bands at the bottom of the sleeve and hemline – mostly because I didn’t have quite enough fabric! I also had to make the sleeves in two pieces for the same reason. Luckily the pattern’s busy enough that you don’t see the seam down the centre of the sleeve. It’s loose, cool and comfortable, and is going to look very good with my pink sun hat! One of these days, I’m going to get an overlocker/serger. It’ll make some projects so much easier! I may have to venture onto eBay for the first time in my life: the thin end of the wedge…

Hand work for the trip, and a subject close to the Husband's heart.

Hand work for the trip, and a subject close to the Husband’s heart.

And finally, Anzac Day is approaching on 25 April. The Husband has spent most of his adult life in the Australian Army Reserves, and  I’m from a family where four generations have served either in wartime or in the Reserves in some form. So we both think that remembering the sacrifices made by our servicemen so that we can enjoy all the freedoms and privileges of Australian life is very important. I needed a holiday handwork project, and the Husband wanted something appropriate to Anzac Day. I think both our requirements are satisfied with this. It’s a kit, but quite a nice one.

Tomorrow is the start of the final week before we go away, and it’s beginning to get crowded with stuff I have to do. High on the list is sandwiching and pinning Happiness, so it’s ready to start hand quilting when I get home. Once that’s done, the decks will be officially clear to start on Amistad, Broken Bottles and the rest. I shall be taking my camera on holiday with me, and hope to come back with lots of photos of flowers, shells, landscape, local crafts, sunsets, sunrises and whatever else takes my fancy. The island is exceptionally beautiful, has a very long history and some fabulous  historic houses and gardens, and best of all, my oldest BFF. Excited, moi? Some mistake, surely…

More soon.