6 month wrap up!

Oh dear – I’ve just realised it’s been 6 months since I last posted.  I have no idea how it got that bad – I’ve still been crafting, and have had the intention to post, but then just kept thinking I’d do it later and then all of a sudden it was October.

Here’s a quick snapshot of what I’ve been working on since my last post, though…

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I pulled the Lion Huggable latch hook out of the craft room to try and do it again. I’ve got to say, I’m really not loving this project. I remember why I got rid of it in the first place – I’m at the stage where I need to sew it together and it is driving. me. crazy.

I’m currently stuck trying to sew the ears onto the head and think I may have to pull apart some of the stitching I’ve already done – I’m really hoping though that once I get the head done, the rest of the body won’t be as bad. I need to finish this by Christmas for my nephew, so I’m working to a bit of a deadline.  I tell you, it’s a lot easier to work to a deadline when I’m enjoying the project…

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I attended Stitches In Time with my mum (hey, remember how last year she took me to one of these and it started my stitching obsession? At least this time I didn’t pick up a new hobby).  It was a great day, we got 4 projects and they’re all in Cottage Garden Threads – this was one of the ones designed by Ramona that I have finished. It’s in “Mistletoe”, from memory. I’m dying to start the others, but I need to finish others first.

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I started a new cross stitch (because I clearly needed more…) – I’ve been working heaps on this one as the pattern is the spitting image of our late sausage dog who sadly had to be put down a couple of months ago. He was almost 18 so had a fantastic life, but I miss him quite a bit and I’m hoping that this will be a fitting tribute to him. I’ve done quite a bit more of this, so I’m hoping to put a separate post up with some progress shots.

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I am…incredibly behind on the Frosted Pumpkin Bakery “Once Upon A Time” cross stitch. I’ve still not finished April – and yes, I’m well aware that it’s almost November! I keep meaning to go back to this but just keep getting distracted by other projects.  I really do need to make a move on this one, particularly as I signed up for their 2014 Christmas sampler that starts next month, as well as purchased a few other patterns of theirs – plus I’m sure they’ll put out a 2015 monthly sampler!

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I finished the stitching for one of my Christmas presents..

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And bought a new sewing machine! I’ve got a ton of projects in mind for this for when I crack it open (hopefully tomorrow!) I bought this from a local sewing store and I’m in love with all of the fancy features that it has!

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I finished the stitching for this one, too!

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Block #2 of Rosalie Quinlan’s “Simply Blessed” BOM is complete – I am loving the blue/brown colour scheme on this one.

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As is block #1! Rosalie’s designs so often feature satin stitch – I’m still not a fan although I’m getting relatively decent at it. They also feature a TON of chain stitch, but I’ve luckily come across a different method of chain stitching which I found a lot easier to do, and it means that I can do it quicker with the added bonus of making the stitches tinier.

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I made a bit more progress on my Hogwarts Crest – this is a project I’m going to be stitching forever, at this rate – it’s nearly been 2 years since I started it!

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And lastly, I finished Leanne Beasley’s “Enjoy Today”. I haven’t worked out if I’ll frame these or wrap them around canvas as I need to finish the companion “Live Simply” which is sitting in my stash awaiting to be put into my rotation.

What have you all been up to?  I promise I’ll be making some more posts soon about specific pieces and more regularly as hopefully that’s going to keep me on my kick of making quite a bit of progress!

Stash building

The postman has bringing me lots of lovely gifts this past week! (I think he’s sick of delivering parcels that I have to sign for as well…) A few bits and pieces, and they’re actually mostly all for current projects, which is a change from the usual…

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I’ve ordered some 7 1/2″ and 9 1/2″ hexagon templates for the Best Friends Forever block of the month from Under The Mulberry Tree. I figured that if I’m going to need to make 96 hexagons, having proper templates will be a lot easier.  I still haven’t finished the first stitchery, but it’s definitely going to be worth it.

Also pictured is some of the Cosmo Seasons threads for the Simply Blessed BOM that I’m signed up for. I haven’t received the pack for this one yet (I’m stitching the French version, and the store is waiting for the fabric to come in), but I’ve got enough to start the first couple of months now. It’ll need 16 skeins over the 9 months, so I’ll be needing more either way.

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I also ordered some more fabric from Quilted Fabric Delights, who are closing down. I really only needed a fat quarter, but the minimum order was 1m and it was at a steal, so I couldn’t help myself. I also grabbed a couple more cosmo threads for the BFF stitching – by the time I went to purchase them, most of the colours were sold out!

Lastly, I got the Toymaker kit from Cinderberry Stitches – I have no real plans for who this will be for but it’s the full kit including all of the fabric needed and it was at far too good of a price to pass up.

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Block three of the BFF block of the month came too – every month when I get it, I admire the new designs.  I can’t wait to get to this one (in say, 6 months!?) but it’s been great seeing the fabrics as part of the club, as well as the designs. It’s definitely keeping me motivated.

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And lastly, the April month of the Cottage Garden Threads collectors club came – with an adorable design! It’s also got the thread case pattern which I signed up for – I don’t have any plans for it right now, although I’m going to have to especially as I get more of these each month! But as a collectors club member, we got a 20% (I think) discount of the pattern, so I added it to the pile.

With all of these purchases I’m really going to have to go through and sort out my craft room! I’ve got some things in piles but then I’ve been pulling out various patterns and fabric to decide what I want to do, and some areas are getting totally out of control. Time for an overhaul in the future.

I’m alive, and crafting!

I swear, I’ve still been doing craft. I just haven’t posted about it. I’ve been keeping myself busy this last month with Oz Comic-Con in both Perth and Adelaide, and the inevitable “conflu” which comes afterwards.  But! I have managed to make a sizeable amount of progress towards numerous projects, and even (gasp) two finishes…

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I’m working on “New Beginnings” by Melly and Me still – this one is getting towards the end of stitching, and even though it’s meant for a December present, I’ll be glad to knock it off the list.

Previously I was doing each animal at a time however that was resulting in a ton of thread changes, as I’m getting closer to the end and past the halfway point I’m working on a different system, of trying to finish one colour each day. I think it’s achievable, and it’ll keep me encouraged to finish it. So, fingers crossed, this time next week, it’ll be done!  Yesterday was finishing off the pink (above), and today I’ve been working on the orange at work because it’s incredibly dead.

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This is a progress picture of my most recent finish – I’m not going to put a full picture up as it’s a Christmas gift. Look at all of the damn satin stitch in this snowman! That being said, working on this project has managed to downgrade my immense hatred of satin stitch down to a moderate dislike, which is always a positive change. Maybe eventually I’ll come to not mind it? (ha!)

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Speaking of satin stitch, look what finally got worked into my rotation!? Rosalie Quinlan’s “Best Friends Forever” block of the month. I’m incredibly behind – I’m about 2/3 done on the first stitchery from installment one. Which has four stitcheries. And I’ve also received installments two and three, and by the time I finish this single stitchery, I’ll probably be onto installment four…

However, I finally allowed myself to buy a couple of things to help out with the quilt that I was refusing to allow myself until I’d started it, which I’ll post about in the next few days. Any excuse will do!

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It’s going pretty well – I managed to do some stitching on the flights (Melbourne -> Perth -> Adelaide -> Melbourne) by pre cutting lengths of thread and taking just one needle. Couldn’t take the scissors but this worked out quite well as I didn’t need to keep tying off the threads. I’m still tossing up whether to do all the stitchery, and make the hexagons at once, or to do the hexagons as I go…

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Doing this one also made me realise that I’ve never actually done chain stitch before, or if I had, it was years ago and I’d totally forgotten how to. I think I’ve managed to nail it! I found an amazing tutorial online which essentially reverses the chain stitch and makes it far, far easier to do than the traditional method, and I think it looks just as good. I was hesitant about doing the chain sttiches (particularly as they’re so prominent – just like my favourite satin stitch!), but I’ve actually become pretty fond of them quickly.

Even though I’ve been making tons of progress, I feel like there’s heaps I still need to do – I’m behind on the Once Upon A Time sampler – April was released and I haven’t even printed off the pattern! Let alone the border and January. I also need to go back to a couple of other stitchery projects that are WIPs such as the “Enjoy Today” I started at the beginning of the year, and keep working on the BFF quilt otherwise I’ll end up having a millon hexagons to stitch and will chuck it in the too hard basket!

Oh, and I also need to work on my latch hook lion at some point, along with “50 shades of grey” cross stitch as it’s become dreadfully neglected, as well as bind my epic latch hook of epicness. And let’s not even talk about the other cross stitch projects that I’ve started and have set aside… I have commitment issues to projects!

I’m on a roll…

I’ve actually been consistently working on my craft projects, but not only that, I’m making tons of progress! Clearly it’s the apocalypse, because normally I’m awful at actually finishing things.

I’ve managed to finish the March block of the Once Upon A Time sampler, ahead of schedule. I’m going to try and work on the border a little bit, then do January when I’ve finished April as it’s on the other side of the linen.

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I’ve also finished all of the stitching for the ark on New Beginnings, and have started on the (adorable) animals, which is what I’m currently working on.

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And lastly, I’ve managed to finish and put the border fabric around my mystery project. I just need to get some more fabric so I can finish it completely. I can’t put up a picture yet, but here’s a sneaky pic at the fabrics I chose (kudos to my mum, for helping out) –

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I haven’t had a chance yet to look at all the blogs linked up in this month’s WIPocalypse, but I’ll get there shortly, I promise!

All this progress means that I may finally be able to start the Best Friends Forever BOM – which is good, as I’ll have month 3 before I know it, and the Simply Blessed BOM is starting soon too. Eeeek.

March WIPocalypse check-in

It’s that time of the month already! The March check in post for the 2014 WIPocalypse. This month’s topic is favourite places to stitch. Technically, we are meant to show it, but my craft room is a mess at the moment as I’ve only recently turned the room into a craft room, so I still need to sort it out.

I’ve taken over the front room, and have a desk set up there with my laptop as well so that I can watch things on my computer while I’m stitching. Multitasking is one of my strong points, apparently. I keep all my projects in individual folders so that I can grab them as I need them, and the current WIPs that I have in my rotation are kept there. It means that when I decide I want to change projects, they’re handy and everything is all together (fabric, patterns, threads) as I need them so I don’t have to go hunting.

March has been promising for my WIPs! Obviously, I knocked one off the list – the large latch hook that I posted about last week. Technically it should still be on there as I do need to finish binding it, but I’m waiting on some binding to be posted out to me as this one will be hung up.

I managed to finish the February square of the Once Upon A Time sampler:

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How aodrable is the happy little frog!? Sadly I haven’t made any further progress on either March, the border, OR January, but I’m hoping I can knock off most of March by the end of the month. I’m still tossing up whether to work on the border exclusively, or block by block when I have the time.

I pulled out “50 Shades of Grey” and while I’ve only done a little bit of work on it, I’ve been setting myself goals of 10×10 squares (eg. I’ll finish 3 squares tonight) and I’m hoping that will make it more manageable! I really do need to finish this page, as it’s the ‘worst’ in terms of absolutely nothing going on in the pattern, once I get across to the next pages I think this will keep my attention and stitching speed up as I’ll be able to see more of the actual design.

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So. Many. Similar. Shades.

My snowmen is going well, however! I’ve been taking advantage of being very quiet at work to stitch in the back office when all the work is done and I’m waiting for my late arrivals.

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I love these fat little snowmen. It’s currently on hold though as I need to work on another project, plus I’ve just about run out of the DMC thread and I need to grab another skein (and hope the dye lots match).

March’s Cottage Garden Threads club was delivered this week, as well. I just love these colours -

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The design is lovely, too. The design from last month was very intricate, but it didn’t call out at me to stitch it. This one is a completely different story! It’s definitely going in my ‘to stitch’ pile that keeps growing. I also need to sketch out the progressive sampler (and also get some fabric big enough) at some point and make a start on that too.

My other project is going well, the stitchery is almost complete however I can’t put a photo up just yet as it’s a gift for someone at the start of April.

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I did, however, get the mini charm pack in the mail (it was a good week for craft goodies) that I’ll be using for the outer border. Such bright colours! I just need to finish up the stitchery, and then pick out the squares I want, and sew it all together. The design calls for it to be framed, but I’m tossing up turning it into a wall hanging or wrapping it around canvas, so I may take a trip down to Spotlight on my days off and sort.

How is everyone else’s WIPs going? Hopefully it has been a productive month!

It’s finished!

The giant epic latch hook? It’s finally finished!

I am so proud of myself for pushing through and finishing this one – shows how dedicated I can be if I really put my mind to it! I’ve actually found that I’m making a lot more progress towards quite a few different projects, so something I must be doing is working.

I started this one about 18 months ago – and then promptly put it away. I pulled it out again about 6 months ago (if you’ll remember, I made a ‘bet’ with my husband to finish this before August), and finished it a couple of days ago. It still needs binding, and I still need to work out the best way to hang it, but the actual hooking is done.

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Some stats for you: this is approx 75cm high by 125cm high. There’s 16500 pieces of wool in there. And I don’t want to think about how many hours, or how many episodes of trashy TV shows I watched whilst doing it.

In typical fashion, I immediately jumped into a new project.

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I don’t want to post too much, because it’s going to be a gift, but I have about 3 weeks to do this! I’m well on track – 2/3 of the stitching is already done, and I’m just waiting on a mini charm pack of fabric to arrive in the mail so I’ll be able to finish this one. The design is absolutely adorable, by Janelle Wind, so I can’t to share it once it’s finished and gifted.

I also pulled out my mum’s light box (which I apparently borrowed a few months ago, and we both forgot I had), so I could start tracing the above one, and a few others while I still had it.

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Another Christmas present – I probably won’t start stitching this one for a while, but it’s (seemingly) a small and quick one, plus this way it’ll be ready when I want to start.

I also pulled out my other patterns I have waiting for the fabric to be cut up and designs traced onto, because I’m planning on tracing out all of these ones on my days off, so they’re easily ready for me to pull out.

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I have a lot of patterns. Thankfully, a couple of them are iron on transfers.

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Look what else arrived in the mail! Block two of the Best Friends Forever block of the month. Oh dear – two months in and I haven’t even started either instalment. I probably won’t for another month, at least, so they’re piling up (and calling out to me), but I’m loving receiving these and looking at the patterns, and the gorgeous Candy Bloom fabric.

I haven’t forgotten about my cross stitch, either… (although “50 shades of grey is on a temporary hiatus – I need to work that back into my WIP rotations).

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The February block is nearly finished in the “Once Upon A Time” sampler! Which is a good thing, as we’re 1/3 of the way into March and I’d love to get a start on that. Still adore the design, although now I’m down to all the little fiddly bits that require 3-4 stitches in each colour. This is currently my immediate goal, to finish this block, and then move back to another stitchery project.

I have far too many projects on the go, but I’ve been making decent amounts of progress on all of them. Here’s hoping that keeps up, I’d love a couple more actual finishes this month!

A latch hook disaster!

I’m getting so close to the end of this latch hook – I’m hoping to finish it by the end of the weekend, and for once I think this is an achievable goal.

I did hit a massive snag today though with the canvas – can you see the problem in the picture (hopefully not!) which made me scream in frustration and work out how to fix it?

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Hopefully you aren’t able to see it! In the sky, between the mountain and the tree on the right, I started that column and saw this on the canvas:

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The canvas seems to have been cut somehow! I nearly cried, because there was no way of doing those, and when I tried to do the ones around it, it pulled the rows out further due to the tugging on it.  I think I managed to fix it well though (and here’s a mini-tutorial in how to fix latch hooks while I’m at it).

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There is quite a bit of excess canvas around the edges, so I cut off a section that was a little bit bigger than the hole, and unpicked a bit more. Then I put the wool back through, but tried to pick up both canvases. It was tricky, but I mainly wanted to get it secured around the edges and work my way in.

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Then I secured it at the top, and worked my way around the edges and down towards the middle. It was still a bit tricky to do – and it’s by no means perfect, but it’s a lot better than it was and at least I haven’t had to leave any gaps!

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This is the finished section – because the wool goes in different directions, I can manipulate it a bit more to cover any gaps.

In hindsight, I would’ve (and would recommend) selected a larger piece of canvas as my ‘patch’ to cover it up more, as I had difficulties in some bits even with the double layer, as it is hard to do the edges. But, that said, here’s hoping I never come across a mystery hole in my latch hooks ever again!

Thankfully it hasn’t set me back too badly, and it taught me a new skill at least!

Fingers crossed that no more craft disasters appear any time in the near future…