Saturday 26 June 2021

June 2021 WIPGO Goals Review

 Numbers called for June's WIPGO board were #1 and #17.

My first project was Valentine Bakery from Stitching with the Housewives.  I bought this around Valentine's day and added it to my WIPGO board in the hope of having a little Valentine finish for next year.  The 10 hours of stitching time was enough to start and finish this pretty stitch.  I stitched on an 18 count aida that I hand dyed with Vintage Blue Nylon and briefly dipped in tea/coffee solution afterwards.  Not entirely sure I like the tea/coffee mottle - having trouble convincing my brain that it doesn't just look dirty.  But I guess by the time I cut it down and stitch into a little display pillow, I won't notice it too much.It's only small at approx 2.5" x 3" or so.

The Original - not my stitching

Number 17 is another new start project on my board.  It's the Love Lives Here pattern by Country Cottage Needleworks.  I love that house, the two sweet trees and the four birds on the fence.  Would quite like to live in a cottage like that - looks like a happy kind of place.  

This is what my 10 hour start achieved.  Not too bad and certainly a very pretty WIP to add to my ever growing basket!

I wonder what numbers July's draw will call for.  

Thursday 24 June 2021

Catch up on cross stitch finishes

I've been stitching a little faster than I've been blogging recently, so I have a few finishes to catch you up with.

True Friends is the design from my first ever Cotton and Twine Subscription Box back at the end of January.  I absolutely loved stitching this and enjoyed everything about the subscription box, from the pattern and threads to the frame that was included and the little sweet treat and gift heart too.  I will gift this to a friend later this summer, but for now I admire it as it awaits being passed on.

This design is from a new-to-me designer called Jeannine McGowan who designs under the name of The Blue Flower.  Jeannine released a number of patterns at this year's Needlework Online Expo in March and this is just one of three that I purchased.  It's called Language of Flowers: Spring.  

I stitched with the DMC alternatives to the silk recommendations.  It was a little too dense perhaps to use two threads on this 20 count fabric, but I needed double strands for the blended colour ways that were charted.  Next time I'll know better.  Gives it great texture and it still looks nice.

I also achieved a finish on the Shine On Sampler cross stitch SAL a teeny bit ahead of the Fat Quarter Shop SAL schedule.  I love that Bonnie and Camille made a cross stitch design of their new sampler quilt from the Quilt Bee book.  It was deceptive though - so many more stitches than I had imagined are in that piece, but I don't regret a single one. And, of course, the actual quilt sampler from the book is on my to do list, hopefully for 2022 ;-)

Monday 21 June 2021

Embroidery Trio for a little corner


Finishing up this adorable Un Chat dans L'Aiguille pattern has been an absolute pleasure.  This is Quand Salome se promene a velo (When Salome Rides Her Bicycle).

As you can see she has been finished in a wrapped hoop (pretty co-ordiniating Tilda fabric for the win) and joins two previous finishes from Un Chat Dans L'Aiguille in the play area of our living room.

Enjoyed every stitch of making this corner pretty!

Friday 18 June 2021

Cross stitch Stitch Along - La Finestra del Tempo

From the minute I first saw these Crocette a Gogo calendar months, I have been itching to stitch them.  

Currently, there are two releases of these La Finestra del Tempo (Time Windows), January to April in part 1 and May to August in part 2.  

I think they are beyond adorable, and I can't wait to see what the September to December release will bring!

So, I decided to invite my new Flosstube friends and you, too, to join in stitching them with me in a casual little SAL.

The plan is to start on Sunday 1st August, stitching one calendar chart per month, starting with January. We'll be sharing progress on IG using the #finestradeltemposal. I can't wait to see everybody's stitching and any colour changes, little tweaks along the way.

So, can I tempt you to join us?  

If you'd like to stitch along, just pick up the patterns from the Crocette a Gogo Etsy shop, kit them up with fabric and floss and have your needle poised for August 1st.  

Hope to see you then!

Wednesday 16 June 2021

WIPGO update April & May 2021

My goal for WIPGO this year is to work 10hrs on each project in the month in which it is called, and so far I've been managing to keep up with the stitching, even if I am late sharing it here with you.  

WIPGO numbers called for April and May covered these projects:

#3 - Square Tile Sampler - might not look like much but this was a 10 hour start on this lovely tile motif design.

#21 - Celebrate Spring - this beautiful pattern from Madame Chantillly was a real pleasure to work on.  I hope I can get back to it soon.  That little shepherdess needs her sheep!

#19 - Create Every Day  - this little stitch has now been fully finished into a project bag which I have written about here in more detail.

#22 - MFE 2020 SAL - I was sneaking in the stitching when I could to make the 10 hour goal on this one.  When Little Miss was happily absorbed by the Smurfs I managed to tick off the last hour for this WIPGO goal.

I have now moved on to my June goals.  Both of those called are Valentine patterns and I'm going to enjoy them very much.  WIPGO has certainly been motivational for this early part of the year.  Hoping I can keep it up!

Tuesday 15 June 2021

Being sewciable again

As some of the Covid restrictions are slightly relaxing here, it has been lovely to finally be able to get together with friends inside again to stitch together. 

My friend and I are meeting weekly, when we can, to stitch up some of Lori Holt's Great Granny Squared blocks.  My trusty Bonnie and Camille stash has been dipped into again and I'm building a nice little collection of blocks for what I hope will be a quilt for Siblings Together sometime later this year.  It has been lovely to work on these without pressure of a particular deadline and just enjoy the fabric choices and taking time to get all those seems nested well.  There's a lot to be said for slow sewing.

My friend was wanting to try out a little zippy cosmetic bag too, so we stitched little pouches one afternoon.  In full disclosure, mine had to be totally unpicked and re-stitched.  I had switched to first time varifocal glasses that week and I couldn't get used to them at all.  The resulting sewing was not pretty.  I may have had a little huff at the prospect of all the unpicking, but I did eventually return to it and fix things up when I has worked out how exactly to see through my glasses for sewing at the machine.  Ah, the trials of middle age ;-)

Sewing with friends makes me very happy, and I am so glad things are opening up to allow that as a possibility again.  I even have plans to travel to England in July for a lovely, long mid-week stitchy holiday with my beloved TATS buddies.  See you all soon, ladies!!

Sunday 13 June 2021

Create Every Day

Create Every Day - how many of us wish that every day was a day to create, to stitch, to indulge our passion?  Well, it might not be exactly possible, but we could try for as many days as we can, right?  It's good for our brains, good for our emotions and helps balance out our mental health.  I'm ALL for giving it a go ;-)

This cross-stitch pattern is a freebie by Teresa Kogut which I found on the Fat Quarter Shop website here.

Stitching this was the first time I ever stitched with Sulky 12wt thread.  This is a blendable (the Sulky name for variegated) thread from a mixed pack of Sulky Petites.  Each single strand of Sulky floss is said to be equivalent to 2 strands of DMC floss, so with Sulky there's no having to separate strands of floss, you just pull off the spool and go.  I was really impressed with my experience of this thread.  It stitched beautifully, had lovely coverage on the even weave fabric I used and was a gorgeous colour.  It was also a great feel to stitch with, so there will definitely be more Sulky stitching in my future.

I used the cross-stitch piece as a panel for a project bag because what could be more perfect than a project bag encouraging you to stitch more?  Paired with floral Liberty of London and some Essex Linen in Oyster, I love how this large pouch came together.

I trialled the Sulky for quilting this project bag also and it stitched beautifully.  It's a nice change for a slightly heavier weight look in quilting, perfect for a little embellishment on pouches and small stitchy pieces.

All in all, I love everything about this little project, and of course, it won't be long before I have another new start project to put it to good use!

Saturday 12 June 2021

Flosstube Beginnings

I've been busy stitching away here and making sure I keep up the content for my new sewmesarah Flosstube Channel.  Moving into Flosstube has been a steep learning curve but it has been such a great experience and I am so glad I made the leap, even though initially it terrified me.

The flosstube community has been hugely welcoming, encouraging and supportive of my baby channel and I even managed to hit 1,000 subscribers in just two videos!! Stunned doesn't even begin to explain how I feel.  I kind of thought a few of my best stitchy friends would pop by, say Hi and occasionally dip in.  But, the flosstube community has really shown up, engaged, shouted me out on their channels and totally accepted everything I've had to show - cross-stitch, embroidery, quilting, whatever.  It has been truly a lot of fun.

Of course, hitting the 1,000 subscriber milestone deserved a little giveaway opportunity for those who have supported me.  So, with Christmas in July stitching just right around the corner, I made a small Christmas patchwork project bag with co-ordinating needle minder and included the sweet 'Snow Joyful' Christmas ornament cross stitch chart by Homespun Elegance.  If you haven't checked out my flosstube yet and might be interested, please pop over there and take a peek.  While you're there you can enter the giveaway - just follow the instructions on the video.

A huge thank you to all of you who have popped over to the blog from Flosstube.  Thank you for following, for wanting to find out a little more about what I'm up to and for engaging.  It has been a fun start to this new journey.  I am looking forward to seeing how it goes from here.

Friday 11 June 2021

Spelling Bee - Progress 7

It's been a while since I updated you on the progress of my Spelling Bee blocks.  There are a couple of reasons for that.  Firstly, I've been pretty busy with other things, but secondly, when I did have time to give to Spelling Bee, I spent a lot of it cutting!

The result is that I only have these to show you - 

I love the fabric combinations in these O, I and parentheses blocks.  This quilt is perfect for playing with fabric combinations.

It's ok that I only managed to make 4 blocks recently, because I have another 7 or 8 blocks in little ziplock bags ready to be stitched together.  Hoping to open a few of those fabric packages this weekend ;-)

Friday 14 May 2021

Flosstube Alert!

 I did a thing today.  A scary thing!  

I put my face and my voice on You Tube for my very first FlossTube video.  I have no idea if anyone will ever watch it, but it seems to me that FlossTube is the place where the cross stitch community is hanging out and I'd like to be part of that, even if it scares the jeepers out of me to be so public.  

I've learned a lot in the last 24 hours about making basic edits to my videos, some clipping, some overlays, some text insertions and a title slide and am feeling very accomplished for a washed up middle-aged woman tonight.  Giving it a go to see if anyone's interested in the conversation.  Time will tell.

Wednesday 14 April 2021

2020 Collector's Heart Cross Stitch

 I found another stitch finish that I have forgotten to share here.  

This is the Heart in Hand 2020 Collector's Heart pattern (there seem to be different heart patterns for different years).  It's quite small, maybe 2.5" x 7.5" in total if I remember correctly.  I think I will finish this on a little board or a mini cushion for displaying.  It's joining the finishing pile!

Tuesday 13 April 2021

Spelling Bee - Progress 6


I have a car and an F now for my Spelling Bee quilt.  Was hoping to stitch up the Bee too, but I didn't get as much time as I thought I would at the machine.  Next time ...

Sunday 11 April 2021

Lori Holt's Sew By Row Cross Stitch

 Lori Holt's Sew By Row cross stitch is finished!!

I tried really hard to catch up and keep up with the Fat Quarter Shop's SAL for this pattern, and almost did except for those might sewing machines.  Boy, there is a lot of stitching in those!!  Actually, deceptively there was quite a bit of stitching in a number of the rows of this design, but definitely all worth it in the end.

I've been protecting this little spot on my wall since we redecorated in the autumn and am so chuffed to hang Sew By Row right beside my Stitching Nook where I can see it often beside these other two pretties too!

Saturday 10 April 2021

Mother's Day in honour

You might remember that I had started stitching Jacob de Graaf's (Modern Folk Embroidery) free Mother's Day Pattern in honour of my lovely mum who left us too soon.

Here it is all finished and looking beautiful, if I do say so myself.  Thank you Jacob for the generosity of this free pattern.  I'm hoping that I will make it into a little cushion to fully finish, but am mulling that over for now.

Stitched on: Vintage Blue dyed, mystery 20 count even weave

Thread: DMC 48

Friday 9 April 2021

'Tucked Away' Pouch


Last month I had the privilege of pattern testing Just Jude Designs 'Tucked Away' Pouch.  

This is a beautiful versatile pattern for two sizes of pouch with those gorgeous twisted tucks. I made the smaller one, which was still a fairly generous 8" x 6".  You will certainly have fun playing with your fabric choices for these pouches.  The whole time I was stitching I thought this would be a perfect project to preserve the very last little scraps of your most treasured collections - maybe a Denyse Schmidt line, or Heather Ross, or Bonnie and Camille?  Or, imagine the little tucks in an ombre gradation ... so many possibilities!  As you can see, I went with a little rainbow of scrappy leftovers from my Kindred Spirits Quilt and a little piece of natural Essex Linen.

As always with a Just Jude pattern you can expect beautifully clear written, step by step instruction supported by plenty of photographs to keep you on track.  Fancy a little post-Easter sewing treat? Then hop on over to the website to purchase your own copy.

Thursday 8 April 2021

Spelling Bee - Progress 5


I managed a few more blocks for my Spelling Bee quilt in March.  

And these ones too.  

I have a few of the little picture blocks cut out for my next stitching session - very cute!

Wednesday 7 April 2021

March 2021 WIPGO Goals Review

Little bit late sharing March's WIPGO review with you but I did meet my goals in the month so another big smile on my face for that!  My WIPGO focus projects were numbers were my Bee Happy Needlepoint and the Shine On Sampler cross stitch.

I'm pleased to show you the before and after of my 10hrs progress on Bee Happy (a needlepoint kit from Historical Sampler Company).


Before March I hadn't quite finished the border.

Ten hours of WIPGO goal focus later and the border is filled out and I've made a good start on the central background stitches.  It's lovely to see this progress and in order to keep seeing progress, I've decided to make Bee Happy my Daily Thread project for April.  (My Daily Thread is a new to me motivating initiative whereby I will try to stitch at least one thread length into a given project every day of a month.)

The Shine On cross stitch sampler from Bonnie & Camille's Quilt Bee book was a completely new start for me since my book hadn't arrived at the beginning of the month.  It showed up a few days into March and I was able to make good progress in my 10 hour time goal, even catching up to the third week of the Fat Quarter Shop SAL.  I'm still up to date with that but just haven't managed any more recent pics.

WIPGO might seem rather arbitrary, but there are no WIPGO police and I have set the "rules" of my board, so I can change them if needs be.  So far, so good though.  I am managing the 10 hours goals on two projects a month and am still finding ways to stitch other things besides.

This weekend will be the first of my 10 hour focus sessions for April's numbers.  I'll share that with you soon.

Tuesday 6 April 2021

Spring Baby Quilts

Last month I got to play with a pretty spring fabric palette to stitch up two baby quilts for imminent arrivals.

For my cousin's baby I cut some charm squares from my stash and whipped up a Charm Pack Quilt.  You can find the details for this quilt here on an earlier post.  This is a great stash buster and given that I've not been doing much fabric shopping it was great to be able to use three different white on white prints from my stash for all the various borders because I didn't have a big enough piece in just a single print or solid.  I do love being able to raid my stash and still coming up with something pretty.

Believe it or not, I still haven't finished this one yet.  It's currently taken up residence on the back of a dining chair waiting for me to finish hand-stitching the last section of the binding.  So close!  I'll pop up a pic when I finally do get it over the line.

The other baby quilt is for someone who has made a BIG difference in Miss CT's little life.  Susan, CT's habilitation worker from Guide Dogs, is expecting (may even have had) her own first little bundle of joy.  I think everybody needs a Susan in their lives.  She is such a ray of sunshine and just what any family adapting to life with their child's visual impairment needs.  We have been so blessed to have her support for four years now, so I really wanted to make a special quilt as a way of thanking her at least a little for all she has done.  

Given that Susan is a complete ray of sunshine, what better quilt to make her new arrival than Lori Holt's 'You Are My Sunshine' quilt?  This is a pattern in Lori's Spelling Bee quilt and I'm delighted to have had a very lovely excuse to stitch it.  You can see it got some wavy line quilting treatment.  I'm not sure who was smiling more when I handed it over, me or Susan!!

So you see, it's not all cross-stitching around these parts.  It just looks that way ;-)

Thursday 18 March 2021

More Project Bags

What seems like an age ago, and almost is, I was a guest of the Brit Bee 2014 retreat.  During the weekend we screen printed little memento panels which Mr Flying Blind of a Rocket Cycle had designed especially for the occasion.  

I found my panels recently and decided they really need to be put to use instead of skulking in a box. So, I paired them with some Priory Square fabrics and started to turn them into project bags.  Doesn't Priory Square work perfectly with the screen print ink colours?

In similar vein, I used my Chat Dans L'Aiguille Lotus Flower SAL embroidery as a smaller bag front, and I chose some Christmas fabrics to whip up a couple of bags for festive projects while I was at it.  In for a penny....

I'm really chuffed with how they all turned out, but I think the Brit Bee screen prints were particularly successful.

So much better to have the panels in use, don't you think?

Monday 15 March 2021

Spelling Bee - Progress 4

I forgot to share my latest Spelling Bee progress here with you.

I stitched up L, P and the little dog.

The dog my favourite ;-)

How cute is he with his little embroidered face and red bandana?

Continuing my slow and steady progress with these blocks.  There will be a quilt one day.

Thursday 11 March 2021

Lilipopo Unicorn and Princess Embroidery


I embroidered this sweet free Lilipopo Unicorn and Princess design for my little Miss.

Can you tell she's very pleased to have it hanging in her little area of our living room?  She had to get her own unicorn in on the photo shoot, too, obviously.

This is a very beautiful, very generous free pattern by Lilipopo.  Not sure that my threads did it justice though.  I stitched with some off brand floss and the result is a little bit chunky for my liking - pattern specified stitching with 3 strands.  However, not every stitch is an heirloom in the making so it's perfectly acceptable for its purpose.  Her big smile proves it!!

Monday 8 March 2021

March 2021 - Cross Stitch WIPGO


I was successful in completing my February WIPGO goals of working 10 hours on each project 4 - True Friends and project 20 - O Holy Night Advent Calendar.

I was quite pleased with my progress on True Friends.  As you can see, I manage all the words and the entire outline of the heart.  It was a lovely stitch and I am looking forward to filling in all the little flowers and butterflies in due course.

Progress on the O Holy Night Advent Calendar ornaments looks less impressive, but I did actually manage to complete 5 new little ornaments (except for the backstitch which I'll do all together at the end). There are certainly a very many more hours to work on this one, but that's for other times.

Having the projects on the WIPGO board worked well for February, so I'm excited to continue into March, this time with projects 10 and 24 called for.

Project 10 is my Bee Happy needlepoint from Historical Sampler Company. 

Prior to this month, I've already made a start on the border of this needlepoint.  Everything to the right and off right of the photo is complete but you can see I have some work to do filling in the orange checkerboard squares and the red bordering stitches to complete it.  I very much hope that in my 10 hour time goal for March I can finish the borders off and make a start on the centre.  I'm planning to make this a little cushion for my stitching chair.

Project 24 is the Bonnie and Camille Shine On Cross Stitch Sampler.  I can't show you anything for this one as my book (which has the pattern) has not yet arrived so there's no start yet. Hopefully, it will arrive before the end of the month and allow me time to get a good start on the sampler that I've been longing to do for ages.

I like having plans and so far appreciate the motivation that WIPGO is providing.

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