Christmas progress!

I’ve been working like a busy bee the last few days…

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I tracked down another skein of the DMC 115, so I managed to finish the stitching for one of my Christmas presents.

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Which meant I could get started on this one! It’s also a Gail Pan design, but this one is stitched in Cottage Garden Threads “Bush Christmas”.

I must say, I love having a local patchwork shop – and Jess over at A Patchwork Quilt is AMAZING. I had the original thread this pattern called for in my stash but I wasn’t feeling it with this particular pattern so I browsed a few of the other CGT colours. If you haven’t checked them out, you seriously should – they’re hand dyed and the colour changes are so subtle, but the best thing is they’re pre cut strands!  I messaged Jess on Facebook to see if she had this in stock and she popped it in the mail for me the next day (because I do so many BOMs through her, she had my details on file ;P) and so I was all ready to go.

I also learnt from the previous design that I am pretty awful at freestyle drawing straight lines, so I made sure to use a ruler when tracing this pattern. I think it looks a lot neater.

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I also made a start on the Moda Bakery “Trifle Dish” sew along that Jess is doing on FB – there’s a group of us who are sewing this, some with fabrics she has chosen, the rest with their own from their stash.  I am remarkably behind – this is month one, and we’re already on month two!

When I went to sew this though, I realised that I’d never actually sewn HST before. I thought I had, but apparently not!? So a few google searches later to get a couple of tips and I had a pile to trim up and sew together.

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I think I did okay for my first go! This is block one of five – I haven’t done any of the other cutting but I’m planning on cutting up the rest of the blocks this week and at least putting the pieces into bags so I can get it out of the way.

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And despite seeing a few “whoopsies” on the FB group, guess what I promptly did? Argh!!!

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All better now! I still need to sew the border on, and give it a press, but I’m pretty proud of myself. The points don’t line up perfectly but I think it’s a decent attempt for my first go, and I’ve picked up a few tips for the next blocks.

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I also came across the Farmer’s Wife Quilt. FabricDirect.com.au are doing a sew along – it’s about to go into month 8, so I’m already behind, but seeing as that seems to be the story of my life I messaged Eve to see if I could still join in. I’ve seen so many pictures and blog posts of this around and I love the modern take on this – I need a new BOM/project like I need a hole in the head, but I’ve been really interested to see all the different colour schemes people are using on this, as well as the stories behind the blocks. Plus, it’s going to (hopefully…) be great at skill building, especially as for this QAL it’s starting with the easier piecing and moving up to the more complicated.

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I went into Spotlight today to pick up some needles and some template plastic. Turns out they had a 30% sale on fabric. Someone take my credit card away from me, honestly. I picked up these GORGEOUS fabrics though to make a quilt for my nephew – still tossing up a few designs, and I want to see how my interwoven quilt turns out to see if I want to do something like this, or if I want to get a few more different fabrics in, but it’s the first quilt that I’ve decided I want to make without following the exact pattern, so fingers crossed!

Back to some more stitching – with all these projects I’m aiming to do at least some kind of craft each day otherwise I’ll never get anything done!

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WIP Wednesday

I swear, things would be finished a lot easier if I didn’t have CDD – Crafting Deficit Disorder!

But, I’ve been working steadily still –

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Started a new Gail Pan stitchery which is another Christmas present.  I traced this out months ago but finally pulled it out as I realised it’s less than 2 months til Christmas and I really need to get a move on!

I appear to have run out of DMC 115 though – I swear I have one floating around but my craft room is an absolute mess at the moment so I think I may have to duck down to Spotlight to pick one up.

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I’ve been making some decent progress on my dachshund cross stitch – the shape is starting to form! The ear is probably just over half done but I’m loving the colours in here and how complex they are.

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I am in LOVE with this range – it’s Color Theory by Moda. I went from these….

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…to 160 of these! I just need to pick them out in groups of 7, sew them into rows, then sew those rows into a quilt. So far the sewing machine has been working like a charm, so here’s hoping that it works out well! Fingers crossed…

I also have to make a start on another Moda BOM – a lot of the ladies in the FB group have finished Month/Row 1 already and given that Row 2 starts in 3 days, I need to kick my ass into gear!

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!

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!

Progress – and some new projects!

Wow, I’ve been incredibly slack at not only my own blogging, but also keeping up with everyone else! Sorry about that – I expect I’ll be going on a commenting spree shortly, I have tons of posts lined up in my reader that I need to comment on, as well as a bunch more from the WIPocalypse that I need to actually start reading.

I’ve been keeping up with my craft at least, and have some updates! No more updates on the cross stitches at this stage as I’ve got other things in the rotation, but I’ve made a bunch of progress on the wonderland latch hook:

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I think from my calculations, this is about 70% complete? I’m putting most of my energy into this one as I can’t wait til it’s finished (although I may put off the binding for a while) and it will look soooo good. As a reminder, it’s almost as big as me and is about 1.3m wide. Yeah.

I also received my first delivery for the “Best Friends Forever” block of the month from Jess over at A Patchwork Quilt. Love the stitcheries and the fabrics – I doubt I’ll be starting this one for a bit and will probably have a few months at once to start with, but at least I can quilt as I go.

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The fabric is Rosalie Quinlan’s “Candy Bloom” and by the end of the program I should have the entire set for use in the quilt. So colourful!

I’ve also signed up for Rosalie’s new block of the month, “Simply Blessed”, also from Jess (sign up link is here) and will be doing it in the French colours.

I honestly did not need another project but I am in love with the stitcheries – plus, at least these stitch up faster than my cross stitches!

I spent the last couple of days down at Rosebud with the hubby and spent a lot of yesterday relaxing and stitching. I could’ve taken some of my current projects, but in my typical fashion I’ve instead decided to start two more projects, adding to my WIP list!

These are both projects that I need to have completed by December – oh sure, it’s months away, but given my tendencies to purchase or start new projects, I wanted to at least start them and work them into my WIP rotation so that I wouldn’t be madly trying to finish them in time.

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This is for my nephew – I’m planning on having it finished up in time for his second birthday at the start of December. Isn’t it such a cute design!? I love how colourful it will be in the end.

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This is going to be a Christmas present – I don’t want to reveal too much of it, just in case, but it has three snowmen on there and is just adorable. There’s a bunch of satin stitch in the scarf of the second one, and you all know how much I love that…

Here’s hoping that next post, I can have some more progress pictures to show you (and haven’t started any more new projects!!)