Tuesday, January 22, 2019

On A Roll

I'm totally thrilled with the jingle bells DH and I made.  They're stainless steel and the pic in my last post is them just after they went in the forge.  I've added handling a welder's torch to my "things I never thought I'd do" list.  It was quite daunting, as I had to pick it up off the rest, light it, carry it round (that was the most daunting part, as I felt like there was a good possibility that I would either set one of us or the basement on fire! lol) as well as heat the steel.

Jill Oxton's Christmas Emu is ready to FFO.  The pattern is from Issue 47 (2001) of her magazine "Jill Oxton's Cross Stitch and Beading".

Liberty House Hanging Pouch by Homespun Elegance is finished.

Cathy Coombes Fill With Love from the 2007 Just Cross Stitch Christmas edition is finished.  That's the fifth finish.  According to my system, that means two new starts...the first for finishing two projects,  the second for finishing another three.  That works out perfectly, as it's past time to start some spring designs.  Some FFOing is in order, too!

Miss Mary Mack has had a bit of love.  Working my way down her dress.  I've always enjoyed monochromatic stitching and this is no exception.

There's only nine pieces to sew on Grey's quilt.  The bottom one had the offending pieces frogged  and then it will be on to the sashing!  Hoping to get to that sometime this week.  Each block is 10 inches square.  The sashing will be black and 3 inches wide.  The quilting will be in the ditch around each block.  If there is enough burnt orange, there will be three borders...black inner and outer borders and a burnt orange inner border.  The quilting on those will be in the ditch, too.    


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Forging Ahead

Instead of my regular job yesterday, I got to heat this jingle bell "to be"  in the forge, then hold it while Wolfman beat it.

Spring Friends by Brittercup Designs is finished.  It was a fun, quick stitch.  Having an FO led to a new start (totally logical lol) and another FO, which was......

I Can Drive A Stick by Lizzie Kate has been on my to do list ever since it was published in 2015.  It was stitched with DMC 310 on a scrap of 14 count mint  (what was I thinking)  green aida which I tea dyed.  The beads across the top line were a substitute for individual cross stitches.  I think it is cute and can't wait to finish it.  I'm thinking about doing it as a flat fold.

FFG SAL 2019 Image

That makes three FOs lurking in the wings waiting to be completely finished as part of Rachel's Fully-Finished Gallery SAL 2019.  It looks like a lot of fun, without a lot of restrictive rules.  It starts on February 10th and Rachel will have a link up widget.  Looking forward to seeing how everyone else in the SAL is FFOing their pieces.

Scatter Hearts by Shepherd's Bush is another case of "what was I thinking".  It wasn't possible to get a photo of this very fuschia fabric that wasn't washed out.  It's very bright in real life.  One of those times when I should have listened to the voice in my head that said "add more dye later if you need to!".  There's just a little back stitching left and adding a few 1/4 inch heart shaped beads, which need to be painted white.  It's 14 count aida and on top of the "waves" on the bottom section, there are clear beads attached.

Liberty House Hanging Pouch by Homespun Elegance is well on the way to being finished.  It's stithed on 22 count tea dyed evenweave with mystery floss.  The camera is washing out all the colors lately....this is the color of old, old fabric.  The green border is looking a little bare, so there'll be tiny red seed beads attached somewhere along the way.

I'd like to a big chunk of the smalls finished by the end of the year, but don't want it to feel like a chore and I'd like to get some new starts in there, too!  When Scatter Hearts and Liberty House Hanging Pouch are FOed, I'm going to choose one of these cute bunny designs to stitch for spring.  The cute little bunny in the red dress has caught my eye and I think she may be it! 

That should bring me up to the end of the month, when I'll spend a couple of weeks on the Dimensions kit In Harmony.  Then FO three small projects, start a new small and back to In Harmony.  If all goes to plan, I'll have this year's small WIPs finished and maybe the big one, too!  

My crafty plans are fluid and apt to change at any moment....without warning! lol

There's no such restrictions when it comes to knitting, as there are only a few WIPs.  Last night I cast on kai-mei by Cookie A from her book Sock Innovation.

The yarn is Djinni by Dragonfly Fibers.  It's hand dyed merino, cashmere and nylon and is just lovely to knit with and wear.    

Monday, January 7, 2019

WIPocalypse 2019 - Kickoff Post

Welcome to my blog!  I'm taking part in WIPocalypse this year and this is my introductory post.

I'm an Aussie and moved to North Carolina about five years ago.  I live here with Wolfman (husband), a minature poodle, a blue heeler and two corn snakes.   I've been cross stitching for 36 years, quilting for 20, knitting for 15 and am in the process of learning the basics of crochet.  

My loose plan is to complete the stitching then FFO one project a month and slip in a few new starts.  I'll be working on a screaming rotation (work on whichever project is demanding the most attention at the time!).  I'll also be continuing to work from stash, unless there is something I can't substitute. 

Spring Friends by Brittercup Designs is almost finished.  The fabric is Zweigart Belfast linen in a lovely spring yellow....which is not showing up at all! lol  I did a floss toss for the colors.  The brown of the rabbit was the result of a fabric dyeing session.  White floss was dropped into a pot with leftover tea, brown and orange dye and I like the result!   There's only 6 leaves and a butterfly to stitch, plus a couple of charms and it'll be ready to FFO as a box topper and be part of a spring display. 

Another one on  Zweigart Belfast linen...this time in burnt orange.  This is French Country ~ Scaredy Cats by JBW Designs.  I'm thinking about finishing this one as on a styrofoam block with some Halloween fabric and a wide orange ribbon.  It'll be part of a Halloween display in October.

Last year I started all the Shepherd's Bush designs that were in the JCS Christmas magazines for Stitch Maynia.  There just happened to be 18, so it worked out perfectly.  Nine were FFOed and these will join them as little cushions on a wooden tray as part of a Christmas display this year.

Dutch Tulip, a freebie by Threadwork Primitives was started on a piece of tea dyed even weave sometime last year.  It'll be part of a summer/4th July display.  

More tea dyed fabric...on the left is Liberty House Hanging Pouch by Homespun Elegance, which will hang from the fireplace with a red, white a blue pick.  The black rectangle on the right is the beginning of Miss Mary Mack by La-D-Da.  That's on 14 count aida.  This might be finished on another styrofoam block, with a big, black bow on top and large shiny, black beads down the side for Halloween.

Flower Power - November by Ewe And I Are Friends is being stitched on 14 count Rustic aida by Zweigart using some Madeira floss I received as a promotion about a million years ago.  The colors are gorgeous and perfect for this design.  This will probably be finished as a flat fold.

Four Christmas ornaments were started and put to one side sometime last year.  The red aida will be switched out for blue on Let It Snow-Man by Prarie Schooler (JCS Christmas 1999).  There's a piece of hand dyed ice blue aida that will look much prettier.  Some clear beads will be added to the background and it'll be finished as a pillow.  

Second from the left is Fill With Love by Designs by Cathy Jean (JCS Christmas 2007).  It's such a sweet design and may be finished as a tiny "hanging" with a couple of twigs.

Christmas Emu by Jill Oxton from Jill Oxton's Cross Stitch and Beading magazine (Issue 47, July 2001) is going to be super cute when it's finished and will probably end up being a pillow.

To Thee Love by Brightneedle (JCS Christmas 2004) only has a few stitches in it, but will make a sweet little stocking (as finished in the magazine)

I enjoy monochromatic stitching and Double, Double will be part of a long wall hanging with four Prairie Schooler designs.  It's another one where the fabric color is really washed out.  It's a deep canteloupe color and the first time I'd used procion dye. It's stitched on 14 count aida.

Bygone Stitches' Quaker Christmas on 22 count even weave was my porch stitching for a few Sundays last summer.  It's such a lovely design and a joy to stitch, it might be coming out as my ten stitches a day project for the year.  

In Harmony is a Dimensions kit, based on the artwork of Collin Bogle.  It's on 16 count aida and will be framed and given to Wolfman as a Christmas gift (if it's not finished earlier.  It's been part of the rotation for almost four years....time to get it done!

Carol, over at The Polka Dot Chicken painted some cross stitch fabric and it looks fabulous.  She's inspired me to do the same for Scatter Hearts by Shepherd's Bush.  I'll run out this afternoon and pick up some fuscia pink RIT dye.  It's perfect timing, as I'd made a working copy of the pattern this morning and was thinking about the colorway.  

That's 23 projects on the go....a great start for WIPocalype 2019!  Thank you so much for visiting.  If you'd like to leave a comment, I'll be able to pop over to see what you are stitching.  :)

Monday, December 31, 2018

2019 Machine Sewing WIPs

I couldn't sleep, so I started sorting through my WIP box about 2.30am this morning.  I ended up with 4 categories - machine WIPs, hand piecing WIPs, knitting WIPs and cross stitch WIPs.  Each project has been listed in my 2019 journal (an A5 notebook), where it can be crossed out as it is finished.

I decided on a screaming rotation (work on whatever is "screaming" to be done), which is my favorite.  Grey's lap quilt is right at the top of this list, as there are only 8 blocks to go before the sashing.  I'm still working on a layout which will work.

A rough lay out of how it will look.  The dark squares are the bright orange blocks (hard to see on the pic), with 2 inch sashing and borders.  I'm short one block (ran out of fabric and couldn't count), so will unpick a pillow cover for the extra one I need, then sew the other seven.  I'll use bamboo batting (love that stuff) and stitch in the ditch, as there's enough going on in the blocks, without fancy quilting, too.  It'll end up about 62 inches x 74 inches,which will be a perfect size for hubby.

This coaster just needs the binding sewing down, while a quilted panel wall hanging only needs the binding and sleeve.  These two will probably be the ten minutes here and there projects and more than likely be finished by the end of the month.

This was started as a snow day project, as a scrap log cabin for our queen size bed.  Somewhere along the line I changed the center of the block.  Current thinking is to finish that as a single block for the back of the quilt.

This one needs a couple more applique blocks.  It's William Morris repro fabric and will be pretty when it's done later on in the year.

The binding needs removing and redoing....then it will be done!

 There's about another 30 hst blocks the same as the bottom row ready to press and get this top made into a flimsy.

I love this little  red framed foundation pieced block.  It'll make a cute notions pouch (because we can never have too many of those, right?)

A beak, eyes a bit of quilting and this rooster will be ready for turning into a project bag or embroidery sleeve.

This cute little house was pure process.  I had no idea how I was going to finish it when I started stitching the applique down....still don't! lol  I'm sure it will speak to me when it is ready.

A wolf panel and some coordinating wolf fabric....fmq stipple perhaps?

The apron is cut out and ready to sew.  I don't have a preferred way to sew hems, so I may try this way to see if it makes things move along a bit faster!

I started a "summer" version of Sarah Fielke's Geese Around The World from the book, Quilting From Little Things before the Christmas version I showed a post or two ago.  All the geese are sewn together, so the project is almost half way finished!

Fall placemats are going to be on the table this year!  There should be enough fabric for drink coasters, too.

More pineapple log cabin blocks will be made into quilt ruler covers.  The green one needs to be pulled apart, as it's the wrong size. 

Did you notice I said nothing about finishing?  My theme next year is Embrace The Chaos!  

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Came across this WIP the other day and put a few stitches in it.  It's French Country - Scaredy Cats by JBW Designs.  The color of the fabric (32 count Belfast linen - I think) is a much richer, darker color.  I'd put it aside earlier this year, intending to get back to it, as it needs a bit of frogging on the left side of the W....and never did.  That's what I get for putting it in a safe place! lol

There's enough cross stitch WIPs to keep me going for most of next year, so the plan is to focus on the Dimension's kit "In Harmony" until it is finished, then work my way through the rest from the piece needing the least stitches to the one that needs the most.  Fingers crossed seeing things get finished will motivate me!

This guy just needs a jumper, ears, some facial features and a tail.  He needs to be finished by spring to be part of an Easter display......after the hats.  There's only a night's worth of knitting to go on the second watchman's cap and the third one is cast on.  Then back to the Christmas Balls.  Plus, a socks for pocket book knitting.  

By the next post, the quilting/sewing WIP box will have been sorted and I'm sure there will be enough projects in there to keep me going until this time next year!  I am much more motivated to get the orange and black throw quilt finished, now I've seen what a block looks like with borders on it.  Then on to the three quilts (one which will be a leader and ender quilt), apron, placemats and goodness knows what else is in that box!

I'll be keeping a crafty diary again next year, with a few changes.  This year I kept a diary with a few days per page.  It was a decent size and worked ok, but I'm finding that I'm leaning towards something which lets me write as much as I want, when I want, without leaving blank spaces on the days when I don't write in it.  Next year's journal is a small, lined spiral bound note book from the Dollar Tree.  If it gets filled, it'll be easily and cheaply replaced.   

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


I was recently photo bombed by Bailey.

Hung a newly finished mini quilt on the basement door.

Used a ceramic button that had been waiting for the "perfect" project....and we all know there is no such thing!

FFOed another 9 Christmas Balls.

Hung them with the rest of the balls on the tree.

Found a spare spot on a wall for this one.....

.....and a nail for this one on the pantry door.

Changed the fall display to winter.....

....with a basket of Christmas cross stitch for good measure.

Knitted a couple of slightly slouchy hats for a couple of knitworthy gal pals.

Knit a ribbed watchman's cap for DH, with another two on the way.

Frogged knitting projects to free up needles.  The Abalone Shawl was the only one to survive the frogging!

Took a quilt block and made it into a pillow.

Started a Christmas emu ornament.

Pulled out two skeins of sock yarn to cake up.