“Getting Ready” #10 – SAL update

It’s time to share progress which was made over the last 3 weeks, and how my SAL project has evolved from this

GR 25 03 18

to this

GR 15 04

I’m still a long way from having this piece finished, but things are taking shape.

The list of SAL members seems to be growing . . . for this update we welcome Megan, aka Lindashee, who has decided she could do with some group motivation.  And Timothy is back!   So the complete list of links is now:

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

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

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

Oh and before I say goodbye until next time . . . I received a lovely email from Terri, with the attached photo.

P1030538 (2)

Now the photo is Terri’s stitching, of one of my free charts:  “square in a square” . . . so that in itself was a lovely treat, for me, to see one of my charts stitched and framed.  The reason I’m sharing here, on the SAL post is because Terri has been following our SAL adventures and our 3-weekly updates helped to motivate Terri while she was busily working on this.  So, there may officially be 26 now in the group . . . I’ll also be thinking of Terri (who doesn’t have a blog) in future, wondering what she’s working on.  And maybe there are some other silent stitchers out there, stitching along with us?

Next update  6th May.

hooking & stitching – 2 new starts

I have been hooking and also finding time to work on a new cross stitch project this month.

Having the quite large “Getting Ready” for the SAL means it’s nice to have something quicker & easier to pick up occasionally.  So


I have made a start on “Row of Cats” – a kit by Bothy Threads that Avis gifted me for Christmas.  There will be a total of 9 cats, so I feel I’m off to a good start.

And while stitching cats . . . I’ve decided to start crocheting a mouse!

crochet mouse 01

This will be a Manfred the Mouse (pattern by Pii_Chii) and published in

crochet mouse 03

This one is bringing me out of my comfort zone slightly as some body parts are worked running on from each other, rather than individual body bits to assemble at the end.

crochet mouse

So for the head, you actually begin with the pink nose, stuff, decrease, change colour and start increasing to make the face!  Very clever!  I don’t have any pale grey in my yarn stash, so my mouse will be a more denim blue/grey, with a very bright pair of lime green dungarees!  Having lots of fun so far!

Oh and while showing a few of my WIPs . . . I was really delighted the other day to receive an email from a stitcher in the US, along with a photo.

Photo is from Kathy B and the design is one of my free chupin’s Xstitch charts that you can find in the tab at the top of my blog.  This design is called (very boringly) “Quaker in Blue”.


I had two lovely surprises by mail . . . one by email and one by snail mail.  The email was from a stitcher in the Netherlands – a lady called Marietje who sent me a photo of one of my Chupin’s Xstitch design she had stitched up. 


This is “Sleeping Dragon” and he/she looks gorgeous in variagated red.  Thank you so much for sharing the photo Marietje – it’s always lovely to see my little designs stitched up.

The snail mail was from a blogging friend, Monique la Bretonne.  Now, Monique was one of the un-birthday gals for June . . . and she decided to send me a little unbirthday treat in return.


The bookmark is recto verso – this is the other side


Thank you very much ladies – I do love receiving mail!

“Quaker in Blue”

I was so chuffed to receive some photos recently, from a forum friend, mamoures.  She belongs to a cross stitch club: “Si le point m’était compté”, full of very talented stitchers, and they all had a stitch-along, using one of my free charts!  They chose “Quaker in Blue” but stitched in a variety of colours . . . and then they all brought their stitchings/finishes along to a club meeting for a mini exhibition ^^

Mamoures sent me photos, but I’m afraid I don’t know ladies’ names, nor who stitched what, although I do know that mamoures stitched this pink version.




Just look at all of those different versions of the same chart!!!   There are bags, banners, boxes, cushions, needle books, framed pictures . . .  It really is a pleasure to see.  People rarely leave feedback for free charts, and they don’t realise just how uplifting is it, to know that someone is actually stitching my designs.

sneak preview of purple placemats and more

During my slight breather from present making, I got out the sewing machine to work on a bit of quilting to make something for myself.  Idea being, to make a new set of place mats to replace the old ones so that, when family gathers together for Christmas, we can christen the new mats.  I am keeping things very simple. I chose a large piece of fabric I bought years ago (3m for only 10 euros) and my mats will be done in just that fabric. No patchworking – just straight line quilting. It’s a practice project, to build up confidence and learn to sew straight – mind you, it got off to a rocky start the other day as I managed to catch my index finger under the needle (while foot was still on the pedal) and “ouch” . . . needle went straight through my finger lol.  It looked rather like one of the joke shop nails only this one really did go right the way through.  Luckily, my other half kept his head, found the pliers, and pulled the needle out with a very steady hand (while I felt about ready to faint ^^).  Finger bled profusely for a while, but the hole is healing.

So, not only is this a project to learn to sew straight, it has also taught me a valuable lesson: don’t put finger too close to needle while sewing lol.

Anyway, here is a photo of my straight line quilting

purple place mats1

I’m happy ^^  I’ve quilted all six mats already and have begun attaching binding.

A big thank you to Avis, who has a wonderful tutorial on her blog Oh Sew Tempting (if you look in the mug rug tutorial) on how to make and sew binding.  She makes it look so simple, and it really is, if you follow instructions carefully.

Here is a close up of one corner of my first mat

purple place mats2

Binding is machine sewn all around following Avis’ tutorial, and then finished off by hand on the back.  I’ll show you more photos when I’ve completed the set of six.

And other chat . . . DebbieRose of Sew Rosey has been very industrious in the run-up to Christmas and has been cross stitching more of my little FREE “Tis the Season” designs.


AND Kate of By the Babbling Brooke also made a little decoration, stitching on perforated paper.

jingle kate

You can find these designs, and others, on my FREE page.

“J’aime les romans policiers” stitched by biqui & ambre

I was very chuffed to receive photos the other day from  biqui who stitched one of my FREEs.  She stitched a bookmark to give as a birthday present and I love her choice of fabric for finishing.

kdo anniv barbamama

kdo anniv barbamama 1

And another photo, from Virginie – ambre – who made a bookmark for her cousin.


This chart is available to download in both French and English on my FREEs page.

detective bookmarks

“Tis the season” stitched by Avis

Avis of Sewing Beside the Sea has been a busy little bee – she stitched another one of my Christmas designs so now has TWO little  “ravioli” with red ribbons to hang in her tree


edit: and Avis has just sent me photo of a third decoration ^^










You can download these charts on my FREEs page.

You’ll notice even more decorations in the background – you can see more of those and how to make them over on Avis’ other blog (dedicated to patchwork) Oh Sew Tempting.

stitched by Masha

I received a bit of “fan mail” this morning, from Masha who sent me a photo of two decorations she’s just finished, using my “Tis the season” and “Roi des forêts” charts.  


It’s always immensely satisfying to see someone else’s stitching . . . and it looks like Masha’s  xmas preparations are well underway.

You can download these charts, and others in the series, on my FREES chupin’s Xstitch page.

chupin’s Xstitch frees stitched by Avis and reine

It’s been cold, wet and miserable all day but two stitching friends brought a ray of sunshine to my day because they have been stitching some of my free charts ^^.  Avis of Sewing Beside the Sea is getting ready for Christmas and has made a little tree decoration


and reine stitched “J’aime les romans policiers” changing the original design a little.

mp reine

Thank you to both ladies for allowing me to post their photos in the photo gallery.