United Stitches

I’m excited – happy mail today!  I’ve signed up for “United Stitches”, which is Rosalie Quinlan’s 2015 block of the month (I’m still working on 2013 – Best Friends Forever & 2014 – Simply Blessed, we don’t talk about those just yet…)

Unlike the previous ones though, this is designed around a ‘stitch and switch’ theme.  Each set of stitcheries is numbered, and actually comes with two stitcheries of each design.  The intention is that you stitch one for yourself, and one for someone else – either in a sewing group, or as a round robin, or by posting on the Facebook group and finding someone to swap with, and most people will select whether to do the odd or even designs.  The team over at Creative Abundance have been posting up pictures of all the stitcheries, and I have to say they are ADORABLE!

I’m going to be doing this one with my mother, who is the one who took me down the rabbit hole of craft addiction, so it seems only fitting. I predict as usual she will be way ahead of me, as I tend to take on far too many WIPs at once, but it’ll be nice to do even if it takes me a couple of years!!

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The pack arrived today and includes a fat quarter bundle of the “Chirpy Lola” fabric which is gorgeous, all of the Cosmo threads needed, extra linen for the quilt, the quilt instructions, a tin to keep all the swap cards, a 4 1/2″ template for the stitcheries/blocks, and the first two stitcheries.

I can’t start it just yet as a) I want to get up to date with the Story Time Sampler and a couple of other cross stitch projects, or reach a certain point, and b) I meant to order some thinner stabiliser as I don’t want to use Parlan on this, but totally forgot to! So I’ll be ordering some of that shortly now that I have the requirements for the full quilt.

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This is the finished quilt that Rosalie finished – isn’t it just so bright and adorable?? I think putting it together may be a bit of a challenge, but to be honest, once I’ve reached that point I’m hoping to be more confident with some of those blocks.

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The Story Time Sampler is trucking along and I’m definitely going to reach my goal of finishing all of the frames before the next clue is released on the 31st (which is Sunday lunchtime here due to the time differences).  The frames are all so intricate and so require a lot of concentration when counting, although I’m pleased to report that I have remembered how to count properly so haven’t had to rip out whole frames any more!!

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One of my friends who is also stitching this came over for dinner tonight and we were working on this together so I managed to make some decent progress – I’ve begun the last frame! I probably won’t finish it until Friday evening but I’ll definitely have it done, which means that I can hopefully put some solid progress in on the banner and knock out some of that before the clue is released.

I’m determined with this to stay up to date and having the frames is helping so I can jump straight into the stitching – I managed to stitch up Alice incredibly fast and on the day that the clue was released, so I’ve proven to myself that I *can* knock things out and I can stay on target – and I’ve got a couple of other friends who are doing this as well to keep me on track 😉

Is anyone else doing either the Story Time Sampler or United Stitches? I’d love to see your plans and if you’re staying 100% true to the design or making a changes to give it your own personal touch!

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Story Time progress

Not much progress yet, but I’ve been plodding along with this – I’m still determined to finish the frames (and hopefully the banner) before the next clue is released at the end of the month.

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I’ve just started the frame for July, so I’m doing well – I’m aiming to finish at least one frame a day which will bring me to the 31st, and hopefully I’m ahead of schedule so I can knock out the banner too.

I adore all of these frames, they’re all slightly different, but I have to say I’ve been having the worst time counting lately! The first green frame I had to rip out three times, and then the second brown one I was half a stitch off. Knock wood, I’ve got all the frogging out of my system, as the last two that I had started are correct, but it’s been doing my head in!!

I’ve been seeing a few posts over on the FB group about people concerned about the green (Weeks Dye Works in Seafoam) blending in and being unable to see it well, but I haven’t seemed to have that problem. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s on linen, or the different count – one thing I learned from doing the designs from the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery was that hand dyed fabric holds the dye differently depending on if it’s Aida, or linen, or even the different types of linen.

Either way, I’m loving stitching with the WDW and the colour variegation, and I’m really looking forward to stitching this one up this year.

2015 Projects: Cross Stitch edition

Once again, I’ve been neglecting my blog! I have been stitching up a storm though, so here’s some of my progress lately!

I’m trying to set myself a list of projects to work on this year – these are all projects that I’ve either started, or am planning to start sometime this year.  I’m not going to set myself goals like last year in terms of “finish x amount”, I would like a few finishes, but my aim is to at least make progress on every one of these and hopefully post a before and after at the end of the year with my progress.

I’ve got cross stitch, embroidery, and quilting projects, which I’ll blog about separately, but I’ll start with the cross stitch as that’s what drew me back into crafting again a couple of years ago. So, without further ado:

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2014 “Once Upon A Time” sampler by the girls at the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  I am abysmally behind on this one as you can tell – I’m really wanting to try and smash this out by the end of the year and try and work on it in between other projects. The blocks are so adorable, but I got behind and then just struggled to catch up and ended up bailing on it for quite a while.

Stitched 2 over 2 on 28 count linen from Picture This Plus (I forget the colour, but it’s the recommended fabric).

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The 2015 “Story Time Sampler“, from the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I’m actually on track (if not slightly ahead!) of this one, as the first clue – Alice – was released on the 15th along with the frames, and then will be on the 31st and then at the end of each month. My goal for this is to get all of the frames stitched before the next clue is released, which, barring any major difficulties I should be able to do – I’m hoping having the frames will make it easier for me to keep up compared to last year!

Stitched 2 over 2 on 36 count linen from Picture This Plus in Crystal Storm.

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Remember my Grey Blob? Yeah. “Mini Watching It Fly” from Heaven and Earth Designs – I’ve been doing this one forever. I pulled it back into my rotation about a month ago, and I’ve very nearly finished the top page! The stitchy bug for this one has come back and I think a large part of that is finally being able to see the clouds form (even if it did take hundreds of stitches in B5200 to get there). There’s still a crapload of grey in this but once I get across to the next set of pages at least it’s got some more variety (and then I’ll start cursing all of the confetti).

Stitched 2 over 1 on 18 count Aida.

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My tribute to ‘Dogloaf’, my sausage dog who died late last year – he had an awesome life and was nearly 18, but it was still very upsetting as I’d grown up with him. When I found this pattern I fell in love with it as it looks so similar to my dog. As much as it feels like a couple of the colours are identical, I love the shading that’s going on here.

Stitched 2 over 2 on 32 count linen (I think?)

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This is a new kit which I haven’t started, but it’s a small one and the design is quite cute.  I don’t have any specific plans for it – maybe somebody will come along that I can gift it to, who knows – but I’ve had this kit for a couple of years and want to at least make a start on it.

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I started doing this one ages ago for a friend’s wedding, but circumstances changed so I shelved it. It’s still adorable and I’d like to finish it at some point, whether for someone specific or if I’ll just stitch it up and leave the name blank, but I want to pull it out eventually. This one has delightful blended stitches which is always fun, but I’ve made a decent start on it at least.

Stitched 2 over 1 on either 16 or 18 count Aida.

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So close on this one! The fiddly border was annoying me, and then I got distracted by something else.  I really should finish this – it’s so close that it’s on the list to definitely try and do this year which I should be able to! This is another one from the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery and is their 2014 Christmas Celebration Sampler.

Stitched 2 over 2 on 36 (?) count linen in Crystal Gingerbread from I think Picture This Plus – I purchased a kit on Etsy for this one.

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I have no idea where the front of this is! This is a set of Christmas ornaments that I bought as a Dimensions Kit ages ago, back when I very first started getting back into cross stitch. I haven’t touched this in about 3 years and have no plans for whether I’ll gift them or keep them, but I’d like to get at least a bit further on these!

Fairly sure this is 2 over 2 on 14 count Aida?

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Hogwarts! Another one I’ve had forever and sporadically pull out – one of my friends has just finished this and it looks amazing, so I’d like to knock a bit more of this out. Maybe finish the outline, or at least the middle part of the crest?

Stitched 2 over 2 on 18 count Aida.

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This is going to be another new start – Mini Red Riding Hood by Heaven and Earth Designs. I stumbled across this and fell in love – I’ve already got all of the threads, bobbined up and everything, along with the fabric, ready for me to make a start. I can’t bring myself to pull this out yet though until I at least finish a couple, or at least get up to date on a few, but I’m itching to start this one. Someone I follow on Instagram is stitching this up at the moment and I just ADORE it.

Well – that’s my cross stitch projects for the year, there’s a ton of them but I’m looking forward to trying to make some decent progress on them. I’ve decided that 2015 is going to be the ‘me’ stitching year after making so many gifts last year, and this year I want all that time and effort to go towards things that I can display – some people found it surprising how much time went into making things!