Saturday, 4 June 2016

The Patchwork Sampler - Part 3

It's been a while, mostly because my health has not been too brilliant lately and I've not had much energy left to do fun things like write blogs, I have however managed to do some more stitching and today I'll show you the progress of my Patchwork Sampler.

First of all is the little bit of Celtic style braid, I have no idea where I got this pattern from, I copied it from a previous sampler I'd done 15 years ago while pregnant with oldest. I did the braid using some threads from the DMC 2013 New Colours Thread pack, which as far as I know has only been available as a pack in the USA, the colours themselves have not been released individually (I find this quite annoying but well... thank goodness for internet shops and international shipping!). The colours I used are:  3898, 3891, 3994. The fabric is some evenweave I have leftover from something.

Next is a flower border made using a pattern from Borduurblad from part 6 of the Spring free pattern series "Lordena's Surprise" which at the time of writing was still free, you have to sign up to the site to get it and when you order they will put your personal information as a watermark on the pattern to stop people from sharing it online.

I used DMC variegated threads 101 and 108. The butterfly I made using DMC 444 - I did that on the fly as it were, making it up as I stitched. Stitched on 18ct antique white Aida.
Then there is my mini sampler in a sampler using bits from several sources. I started with the seagull on the pole which is part of the free summer pattern by the Snowflower diaries (If you have never seen her work go look! She is doing this amazing monthly pattern series that I still need to find time to make!). The little 3 stitch high chain border is row 5 from the 2014 Randje per Week, which is no longer available for free but they are doing a new one this year with just alphabets!

The crab is from the summer edition of CrossStitcher - from the seaside stitching special that was included in it - I may have skipped the backstitching as I didn't want it to be as detailed as in the pattern. The seagulls at the top are also from this special.

At the very bottom is a little starfish made with spiders web stitch (as I remember it's called)  and I did a bunch of feather stitching to the side to make seaweed, with colonial knots as a little extra on it.
 I used: DMC B5200, 830, 930, 3811, 3826, 382. The fabric is some 18ct Aida I had dyed using Dylon paints while testing if it worked before painting the background for the pirate ship last year.
Last of all is this band that is also made on 18ct Aida. It's 2 rows of straight sided feather stitch that are going in opposite directions. I had planned to do woven straight sided feather stitch but I liked the way this looks so much I decided to leave it as is. I used a single ply of Caron's Watercolour thread - colour 289.

So you can see... I've not been very talkative - but I have been very busy!

Thursday, 12 May 2016

The Patchwork Sampler Project - Part 2

This little thing is a mere 29 x 17 stitches and says "I aten't dead" which my spell checker firmly says is spelled incorrectly. Which is correct but then Granny Weatherwax isn't the best of writers and doesn't know much about correct spelling - the message was an important one as she often went borrowing (putting her "self" into animals and borrowing their bodies) and she didn't want to be mistaken as dead. Those of you who have not read any of Terry Pratchet's Discworld books, and the witch ones in particular are probably a bit confused and all I can say is go forth and read them! I use them as a cure for feeling down in the dumps and I am certain they have saved me from more than one depression as it's hard for feeling down in the dumps to progress to depression when you are laughing so much you cry.
I used a scrap of pale yellow 14ct Aida and some craft thread I hand dyed with Dylon fabric paint (yes paint!) The pattern I made myself and you can stitch it yourself with the pattern above to make a micro sampler or a badge for those times when you decide to go borrowing - or just for a nap.

When digging around I found some more stitched bits I may include and a few I'm a bit uncertain about. One of the ones I may include is a skein of DMC thread using a pattern that DMC had in their 2013 catalogue that's stitched on white 18ct Aida with some normal DMC and some gold metallic DMC Light Effects thread - I'm not sure which colours exactly as it's been a very long time since I stitched it. I added the back stitched border today and did the same to the ombre band I showed yesterday.

I have started the border on the next scrap, I'm not sure what I'm going to do pattern wise but the backstitch was done in 3891 - a bright cobalt blue (only available in the 2013 "new colours" thread pack which is only available in the USA)

See you soon!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

The Patchwork Sampler Project - Intro and first part.

Over on deviantArt #StitchingPirates is having another competition, this time the theme is "sampler". Although I already have a band sampler going I want to make something just for the competition. I have decided to dig into my bag of scrap bits and see what I can make with them. I am going to keep to a seam allowance of 3 stitches (so 3 squares of Aida or 6 threads of evenweave) and backstitch a line which will later be used to whip stitch the sections together. The line will also help me see where I need to stop stitching the patterns used on each bit.

I'll be blogging each section as I finish them to help me keep track which patterns I used from where and with which colours as otherwise I'm guaranteed to forget. I may also include some small things I made earlier but have never finish finished, such as the band you can see below that I stitched once to test some colours.

At the top you can see the first section I stitched on some black 14ct Aida. I used the following 3 bands from the Randje per Week 2015 SAL (top to bottom): 79, 33 and 80. This year they are doing an alphabet sampler, the patterns from the previous SAL's can be bought in book form here: Soed Idee, the book is in Dutch, however the patterns are easy to follow even if you can't read Dutch.

I used the following threads for this section: 4074 and 4124 for the top band, 4022 for the middle band and 4069 and 4205 for the bottom band.

I hope to have a lot of fun with this, I plan on using only scraps of Aida and evenweave - some are bigger than others, they are not all the same fabric count nor are they all the same colour - I have 18, 16 and 14ct Aida and 28 count Jobelan and some 40 ct evenweave in the bag so who knows what will come of this crazy idea! I hope to use all kinds of threads from 6 stranded floss to metallics to silks to perle. There will be cross stitch and blackwork and perhaps even a bunch of speciality stitches i decide to randomly try out and I may even use some beads!

I'm not promising to blog daily (this *is* me we are talking about hehe) but I want to blog as each section is finished.

Have a great day!

Saturday, 9 April 2016


Earlier this year Carla sent me a lovely box with a whole load of lovely things in it, one of them was a Mill Hill kit for Frosty Snowman (Buttons & Beads Winter series - MH14-0304), He's such a character that I couldn't wait to start him and I had a lot of fun stitching him too.

I finished him in March but was going to photograph him in a frame and was having trouble finding one the right size so kept putting it off, then I realised that actually I shouldn't frame him before photographing as then the beads wouldn't show as much as they do when unframed.
I did make a few changes from the original pattern:

:bulletblue: I was supposed to use 3 threads for all of the white and the very lightest blue, but only did 3 threads for Frosty himself, after that I did 2 because it made stitching easier for me as the thread lengths are very long and when doubled are perfect in length but when not doubled it's painfully long. It also makes Frosty look whiter than the snow around him which I like.
:bulletblue: I used Kreinik #4 braid for the letters as I wanted to sparkle a bit more - and it worked beautifully, the letters really sparkles in the light.
:bulletblue: I only used 1 thread to thread the needle for beading as I was unable to get 2 threads into the tiny hole of the needle, and as it's not for use and can't be washed I knew it wouldn't matter much and it also made the bead attaching easier as less threads means it goes through the beads more easily.
:bulletblue: I only did a full cross stitch through some of the petite beads as it was annoyingly difficult to do and it hurt my wrists, after that I switched to just a half cross stitch and to be honest I don't really see much difference in how they lie on the paper.
It took quite a while to stitch, and I have to admit I missed my hoop as I spent most of my time worrying about creasing the paper by accident. I also had to do the back stitching more slowly as normally I work only on the top of the fabric when back stitching, and this can't be done safely (as far as I know) on paper.

Size: 5"x 5"
Stitches: 71 stitches square
Fabric: Perforated paper
Threads: 10 colours.
Beads: 6 different colours of Mill Hill beads, of which 2 are petite size.

All in all it was a fun stitch to make :)

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Easter Eggs 3 & 4

As you may have read in my previous post I'm on an Easter egg ornament stitching binge while stitching up the 6 Easter egg patterns NevaSirenda has made available using her Ukrainian heritage as inspiration. The egg above is the third egg and second largest of them all which I finished into a 3 5/8" x 2 1/4" egg. It was the most complicated of the eggs due to the many colour changes so it's taken me the longest of all of them to stitch. I used yellow silver lined seed beads to stitch it together.
This is the 4th egg, made for 2014, and it's the biggest of the lot! I loved stitching this one, the pattern flowed nicely and I love the end result! I can imagine doing some of the bands as part of a band sampler, just because they are so fun to do. As you can see I also finished this one up as an egg, this time using TOHO silver lined Green Emerald (colour code TR-11-36) size 11 seed beads. It's a 'whopping" 4 1/4" x 2 3/4" finished size.

I used craft thread to make the hanging loops of both of the ornaments.

I'm already working on the 5th one, the 2015 egg and then there will be only one left to make! I am both happy and sad about this, happy because I will finally have done these ornaments that I've been wanting to do for so long and sad because I will have to wait a good part of a year before the next one, if NevaSirenda makes another one.