SAL update : “Getting Ready” #14

I’ve been lazing around, with my feet up, and stitching in the evening, making quite good progress on “Getting Ready”, a kit by Design Works from artwork by Ronald West.

Last time I was here

GR 17 06 18

And this time, I’m here.

GR 08 07

I’ve been concentrating on this area

GR zoom 08 07

also adding some backstitch a little bit here and there.  There’s still a fair bit of fabric to cover in order to fill in that bottom left hand corner, but that’s where I’ll be concentrating on for next time.

Now I’m off to see what progress other SAL members have made since 17th June.  We welcome Catherine back to the group after a short absence.

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina,

Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Mary Margaret,

Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Tony, Megan, Timothy, Catherine

Our next update will be on 29th July. 


a bit of this & that

Summer officially arrived on 21st June, but we’ve already been enjoying fine weather for a while.  Our spa has been set up in the back garden

summer here

Here it was being filled, but since then, I’ve been enjoying refreshing bubbles late afternoon every day.  I’ve also been doing a bit more cross stitch, with my feet up,  and lots of secret sewing.  Sadly, because of the latter, I realise I don’t have time to make un-birthday gifts this month but hope to have some made for July.

While I won’t be sending any gifts out, I was lucky and received some surprise mail in the post though.  A lovely hand-stitched card from Cathy

from cathy

and a little cross stitch kit, plus hand-made card from Carole.

from Carole

This kit was a free gift with Cross Stitch Crazy, and Carole thought I might like to stitch it (which I do! ).  Seeing that lovely design, spurred me into going on the internet and checking out subscription costs for UK xstitch magazines.  I let my subs run out several years ago because I was stock-piling magazines and not really having time to make the most of all the lovely designs.  However, I did miss the delight of receiving a magazine through the post . . . so I’ve just signed up for a 12 months subscription for Cross Stitch Crazy (so thanks for giving me the idea, Carole). 

Most of my stitching time, of late, has been spent trying to make progress on “Getting Ready” for the SAL.  But I did also finish up a small design.

permin robot

A very cute little robot, kit by Permin.  Three shades of grey, black and a bright green.  I’m thinking I might stitch the design a second time but using three shades of a different colour.  Maybe blue, or pink, or green.  In the meantime, I need to get my thinking cap on and decide how to finish this little fellow.  The Permin kit came with enough aida plus a lining fabric and instructions to make a pouch for mobile phone but I’m not too keen on that idea. 

SAL “Getting Ready” #13

My SAL stitching on “Getting Ready” has been rather eratic these past few weeks.  Rather like my other crafting where I seem to have been moving rapidly from one project to another (all will be revealed very soon!).

Last time, in May, I showed you this photo

GR 27 05

I really should have done some backstitch to give the waiter on the left a face, but instead, I just kept threading up my needle with different colours, and stitching a bit here & there.  The result of which looks like this

GR 17 06 18

Not too shabby but still quite a lot to do.

Let’s do some blog-hopping now and see what other SAL members have been up to.

Avis, Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina,

Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Mary Margaret,

HeidiJackie, Sunny, Hayley, Tony, Megan, Timothy

And our next update will be on Sunday 8th July.

SAL “ Getting Ready” #12

Hello everyone!  Needle has been flying in order to have some decent progress to show for the SAL.  I worked on “Getting Ready” for a full week, putting in about 2 hours of stitching each evening.  This is a kit by Design Works, and adapted from a painting by Ronald West.

In order to admire progress, here’s a “before” photo from 6th May.

GR 06 05

And “after”

GR 27 05

Not bad, eh?  I’ve been concentrating on the second waiter but also adding a few other colours when I got bored of stitching with white & greys.  The tub of flowers on the right has a few leaves . . . the vase to the left is beginning to take shape . . . and the green shutters in the middle.  No backstitch added this time as I’d like to complete this big chunk and then bring it to life.

I’m now off to see what my fellow SAL stitchers have been up to on their various projects.

Avis, Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina,

Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Mary Margaret,

HeidiJackie, Sunny, Hayley, Tony, Megan, Timothy

Next update on 17th June. 

happy dancing and a new start

bothy cats finished

I’m having a happy dance with a recent cross stitch finish: “Row of Cats”, a kit by Bothy Threads.  As already mentioned, I wasn’t terribly impressed with the backstitch on this project, which was better suited to stitching on evenweave rather than the 16 count aida supplied in the kit.


I wasn’t terribly impressed by the Lana wool either,  which was supplied to stitch some of the cats & then brush them to make them fluffy. I therefore didn’t use the Lana, and just substituted normal cotton threads (there was more than enough in the kit).  Bothy Threads will be receiving feedback from me about those two issues.   After going cross-eyed with backstitch on cats, I made an executive decision and didn’t stitch cats’ names along the top.  I think it looks nice and “crisp” without.  However, all in all, this was a fun design to stitch.  I changed one cat’s colour simply because I wanted to make him a bit different – can you spot him?  With all cats being quite small, and the various colourful toys along the bottom, it was easy to pick up and make progress even when I only had half an hour to spare.

I’ve given my aida a quick iron for the photo before folding it away.  It will become a cushion cover when I feel in a cushion cover making mood.

In the meantime, one finish means I’m allowed to delve in my cross stitch stash to choose a new project!  I’ve still got a lot of work to do on “Getting Ready” for the 3-weekly group SAL, so I thought it unwise to start anything too big or intricate.  I’m therefore going to start on a very small design by Permin. 

permin robot

Design size is only approx 60 x 35 stitches so it should stitch up quite fast.  This kit comes with a generous supply of thread, and a large piece of dark cream 14 count aida plus a large piece of muslin with instructions to make it into a mobile phone case.  I already know, before starting, that I won’t be making a phone case so I’ve put the supplied fabrics away, to use for something else, and I’ll be stitching on an antique white 14 count.  I checked backstitch first lol . . . there’s quite a lot of it, but it appears to correspond to holes.

happy un-birthdays in May

I had lots of fun cross stitching a couple more freebie designs recently. Two partner designs, with two naughty partners in crime, by Sylvia and called “Der Dieb” and “Der Dieb 2”.  Der Dieb being German for “the thief”.

der dieb x2

I wasn’t sure how I was going to finish these two designs until the stitching was done, and then it came to me.  Two little coasters! Which then winged their way to NanaCathy and Mr E (because I don’t see why husbands of crafters shouldn’t celebrate an un-birthday from time to time!).

dieb 01

I didn’t send the matching mugs & spoons (sorry Cathy lol) but I did make them in two different colours, being inspired by the cross stitched border on each.

dieb 04

dieb 05

They were very quick & simple to make.  Two 5” squares of patchwork fabric for each, and a square of wadding.

dieb 03

I went for contrasting print fabric on the back.

dieb 02

Hopefully these will come in useful to protect wooden furniture from either hot mugs or from cool glasses, with condensation dripping down.  As to which one is for Cathy and which one is for Mr E . . . I’ll let them decide.

ScrapHappy # May

I joined a ScrapHappy group a few months ago, organised by Kate in Australia and Gun in Sweden.  The idea of this group is to encourage each other to use up scraps.  Any scraps, for crafting.  In March and April I delved into my fabric scraps for some patchwork/sewing projects.  For May I decided to do some cross stitch.

If you’re like me, you always end up with lots of threads left over from kits and there often seem to be quite a few small off-cuts of aida/evenweave when preparing fabric for larger projects.  I never throw any of mine out. I keep everything because it always comes in useful for very small designs.

While the sun has been shining, and skies are blue, I decided to start work on a few unseasonal designs.  And stitched up these two in just a couple of evenings.

scraphappy may 01

Colours aren’t necessarily what the charts suggested, but I was using my scrap threads, so made colours up as I went along.  The little snowman to the left is a free design by Lindashee, and the penguin is a free by Lesley Teare.

The “finishing” wasn’t strictly a scrappy finish, although I used only what I had in my stash.  Some scrap wadding to give the cross stitch designs a nice padded effect, and some ready-made aperture cards (aperture is 2.5” x 2.5”).

scraphammy may 02

So two dinky little cards to pop into my Christmas box.  And a feeling of not having wasted some of those leftover threads.

Other ScrapHappy crafters, who don’t necessarily post each month, being:

TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn,  Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean