“Warning”–finish one a month #November

Earlier this month I showed you a sneak preview of a finished cross stitch & quilting project . . . showing only a full photo of the back.  I can now show you the front!

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This is an original design by Lindashee and the chart is now available to buy as a pdf download in her etsy shop LindasheesStitches

She has also designed a warning sign for cat lovers.  So dog-lovers and cat-lovers, hop over to have a look.

I stitched on 20 count aida, in 1 thread, because I wanted to keep the cross stitch panel small enough to have fun with contrasting fabrics and make a 16” cushion cover. But the design can be stitched on any type of aida/evenweave and is perfect for beginners because there are only full stitches and no backstitch.

When I first started the patchworking, to make my cushion cover, I originally made it like this.

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However the outer fabric kept making me go cross-eyed because of the white on black, so I ripped apart and added a softer grey instead.

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let the present making begin!

Like many crafters, I enjoy the run-up to the seasonal festivities because it’s a good excuse to have some quality crafting time.  And rather than crafting simply because I love crafting, it’s the time to come up with a few ideas and make gifts for friends or family.

This year the present making has begun.  So no actual seasonal crafting (although I will soon be making some tree decorations) simply making things that can be used all year round.  At the moment I’m concentrating on cross stitching, patchworking and sewing, but I may find time to add knitting and crochet to the list of pressies to be made.  The following photos are gifts for two sets of people who never visit my blog, so I can safely share.

On the cross stitch front, I’m busily working on a butterfly

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This is a very easy Dimensions kit I bought because I was looking for something fairly quick to stitch for a butterfly lover.  Leaves & backstitch to come . . . then some patchwork & sewing to make the actual gift – in theory, a wall-hanging.   And a sneak peek . . . 

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of a finished cushion cover which I’m very excited about. 

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You’ll notice I’m not showing you the centre panel . . . just the patchwork and quilting detail.  This is because . . . the cross stitch design I stitched is a brand new design by my daughter, aka Lindashee, and has not yet been made available in her new etsy shop:  LindasheeStitches.   From what she tells me, it should be available in her shop by the end of November.

I offered to be her proof stitcher and thoroughly enjoyed stitching this new chart which is perfect for dog-lovers.  So, while I can’t show you the completed front properly, you are allowed to see the back of the cushion.

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Made using a velvety silver-grey fabric with contrasting red poppers to fasten.

I am also busily making a few small un-birthday gifts for November – hope to get them posted very soon.

happy un-birthday (October)

This month I decided that Tony, of The Yarn Blabber, would be the lucky un-birthday boy because I wanted to make something to coincide with Hallowe’en. Aside from being a talented knitter, crocheter and cross stitcher, Tony is also an English teacher, living in Spain.  He mentioned a couple of months back that he was planning on doing some seasonal crafting, to have a little display for various festive occasions.  Hallowe’en being one of them.

I found the perfect little design to stitch on Cyberstitchers.  A freebie by SanMan Originals.  And delved into my stash of scraps to make a dash for the finish.

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I originally toyed with the idea of making a wall-hanging, but ended up making a bag.  That way, Tony can go “trick or treating” if he fancies, or simply hang the bag up (and it’ll look like a wall-hanging).

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Posted along with a packet of paper drinking straws . . . hope they arrive without being too squashed!

“a little bird told me” – happy dancing

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I’m happy dancing, not only because of a finished quilt, but because the recipient of above quilt is now safely here.  Little Mona, born on 29th September by C-section and weighed in at 3.200 kilos.  Mother & baby are well, father is very proud, and 7 year old, older sister, Cléo is thrilled to bits.

This quilt is something I began making this summer – totally inspired by the bird fabric (“Tweet”).  I really let rip with colours and prints . . .

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Quilting was kept simple though, as that’s never my strong point.

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finish one a month #1 (or unbirthday gift for August).

Early August I shared some photos with you of a whole variety of unfinished projects, some going back 10 years, that are hiding away in my drawers.  And I publicly declared that I needed to give myself a kick up the backside, in order to finish off one a month.

I took an easy option for the first project which was already quilted and cut to a 17” square, destined to become a cushion cover.

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It didn’t take long at all to make the back and sew together.

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It finishes up at approx 16” which is a common size for cushion inserts.  And this has been folded up, packaged up, and posted off to a very good friend, Valérie.  Wishing her a happy un-birthday in August.  One F/O down, lots more to go!

a sentimental ramble and a necessary kick up the backside

There’s not a day goes by that I don’t regret having started this blog.  It’s been a way to reach out, and “meet” so many wonderful, like-minded crafters over the years.  Each day begins, for me, with a fresh mug of coffee, and a blog hop, as I scroll down in my WP reader, to see what blogging friends have been up to.  Or checking my email, for the notifications I receive when a non-WP blogger has posted.  My coffee usually goes cold, unforgotten, as I start leaving comments or replying to those left here.  Even my husband, peers over my shoulder as I blog hop and admires what you’ve all been up to!  Although he’s always more interested in the photos of gardens, flowers, animals and interesting walks.

I started out as a cross stitcher, more than 20 years ago, but over the years, I have branched out into other crafts, discovering more and more brilliant blogs as I go . . . finding friendship, inspiration, motivation and encouragement every step of the way.

I want to say “thank you” to everyone who stops by to read me and my ramblings.  When I first started blogging, I didn’t expect my blog to become such a big part of my daily life.  It really started out as an on-line journal for myself.  A “Dear Diary” in a sense.  A way of keeping track of projects I had worked on, which explains why I don’t talk or share much about my private life, except our animals and country surroundings.

Anyway . . . (because you’re already wondering if I’m going anywhere with this . . . ) that’s the sentimental ramble over lol.  Now onto the kick up the backside!

I was looking back over some of my old posts which made me realise how fast time really does fly as you get older.  Things I thought  happened only yesterday, happened much longer ago . . . and I realised, I need to get my finger out!

Because, I still have all of the following, in their unfinished state, stashed away in my drawers, and I didn’t realise (until the other day) just how many projects have been waiting for so long, for a full-flung Happy Dance!

There’s this

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Last posted about in September 2016, which got no farther than being assembled into 3 bands, before being folded and put away.

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My hand-pieced “Let it bee” hexie top, still in this unfinished stage since July 2016.

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A quilted cushion front, still waiting for a back, since June 2016.

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Two native American Indians, cross-stitched in 2013, then assembly begun in April 2016 to make wall hangings . . . still waiting.

And when I start looking at other cross-stitched pieces awaiting some kind of finish . . . it goes from the relatively recent, like these

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“Statement Flowers” – February 2017, to these . . . .

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Vervaco Zodiac signs – set of 12 finished in June 2016.

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“Friendship Quilt” finished in October 2015 – this would make a great cushion cover to go with my recent “such fun!” F2F2 quilt, despite having purple, not blue.

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“Cirque des Triangles” finished in September 2014 and still waiting for a frame.

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“Pentacost Two” finished in December 2013.

And it gets worse . . . with these two that date back to around 2007

“Bramble & the Rose” by Ink Circles on left and the “Grand Marquoir” by Isabelle Vautier on the right.  As well as a selection of “smalls” just folded and sitting in a drawer since I can’t remember when (since I never date my work).

And those are just a few . . .

I am therefore going to try and actually properly finish off some of the above over the coming months.  Even if I only manage to tackle one a month.   It seems  silly to have spent so much time (and money) crafting when the results are hidden from view in a drawer.

“such fun!”–happy dancing

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One of my favourite quotes (for all you Miranda fans) . . . and photos of “such fun!”, made with blocks from the F2F2 swap, organised by Kate

Those who follow my blog will remember this adventure began in June last year, when I joined a block swap, and spent 9 months, making and posting blocks to other ladies in their chosen colourways.  Until it was my turn, in February.  My colour inspiration was

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And I think you’ll agree that the finished quilt as just as bright and colourful as these Rainbow Lorikeets.  A big thank you to Kate, the organiser.  But also to Lynn, Sandra, Sue, Susan, Moira, Gun, Esther who were the other official members of the swap.  And a thank you to Avis, who made and sent 3 blocks for my birthday, so I would have a total of 30 blocks for this patchwork.

It’s big.  It’s the biggest I’ve ever made.  Finishing up at 87” x 73” (that’s 220cm x 185cm).

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I added 1” orange sashing to each block before quilting and did the assembly using the QAYG (quilt as you go) method.  Using a splodgy/dotty print fabric on the back and repeating the orange bands.   Each block was quilted differently, by machine, and each block has the name of the maker embroidered on it, very discreetly, in orange thread.  That way, in the years to come, I’ll remember exactly who made what.

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So there you have it!  The swap was a wonderful learning experience, helped boost my confidence and really was “such fun!”.