Monday, 24 December 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness - December 2018

Here's my final Gifted Gorgeousness (GG) post for 2018. As Christmas approaches, it's been a busy month for gifting and receiving. The other participants in this month's GG can be found on Jo of Serendipitous Stitching's blog post here.

Here is a collage of this month's stitching that I gifted:
On the left:
 Mitten Men - Just Nan for Deb
I believe in Santa - The Primitive Hare for Julie
Top down on right:
Oh Christmas Tree - Little House Needleworks (TBC)
Il Neige - Francoise Prax for Gill
Wee Snowman - Hand in Heart Needleart for Clare

From Deb (no blog) as part of Needlecraft Haven's Christmas Exchange, I received this ornament;

while Clare (Aimetu's Stitching) sent me this beautiful felt stocking to put out for Santa tonight.

Finally, Deb instructed me in how to make this Christmas wreath for my tree. I look forward to making more of these next year.

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Needlecraft Haven Christmas Exchange 2018

I love a Christmas exchange so there was little chance that I would not take part in Needlecraft Haven's. Christine organised this secret exchange for us. All but one of the participants received their ornament by 1st December, which was our opening day. We therefore delayed posting pictures of our exchange gifts until the final one had arrived.

Deb (no blog) sent me this beautiful 'Stitchmas' tree ornament with ribbon and snowman fabrics.
Needlecraft Haven Christmas Exchange 2018 - from Deb

I stitched this snowman for my partner, Gill (no blog) and I also included some charms that I thought she would like. Until now I hadn't stitched any of the designs from the book 'Miniatures au point du croix' as miniatures but just as standard projects, two over two, Since I enjoyed stitching this design as a miniature, I've decided to complete some more designs from Francoise's book in miniature as she intended.
Il neige - Francoise Prax from Miniatures au point de croix
Fabric: 32ct (I think) White opalescent linen. Stitched one over one
Threads: DMC 498

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Winter knitting

You can tell it's getting colder as the knitting needles come out.

I recently finished this snood for my sister. I call it 'Mary's Sampler Snood' as it was knitted with a selection of stitches that I like. Fortunately my sister likes them too. I don't think the photo does it justice but it was the best I could get.

Snood - knitted with my choice of stitches
Wool: Rico Design - Ito Iro
Having admired the sock making of Julie (Julie's Stitchyknitter Journal) for a number of years I've taken the plunge and have started knitting my own socks. I'm using Winwick Mum's basic 4ply tutorial and here is my progress so far. It looks small but it fits. I've tried it just to be sure. The fun and games will start when I get to turning the heel.

Basic 4ply socks - Winwick Mum
Wool - Bergere de France goomy 50, Imprim Prun
Until next time, I'll leave you with another Christmas song. This time it is Chris de Burgh and 'A Spaceman came travelling'. As a teenager, I was a big Chris de Burgh fan and saw him play at Dublin a couple of times.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Online Advent Blog Hop - 7 December

I'm taking part in Jo of Serendipitous Stitching's advent blog hop. This link will take you to all those taking part.

The Christmas design I wish to share with you today is the one that got me back into cross-stitch when I stopped working full time. It is Victoria Sampler's Jingle Bells Christmas Tree Farm. I fell in love with this design and had to have it. It was stitched quickly as I wasn't busy with other craft projects as I am now.

Jingle Bells Christmas Tree Farm - Victoria Sampler
Fabric: Zweigart 28ct Smokey Pearl linen
Threads: VS Accessory Pack

The theme of this year's Advent Blog Hop is "My favourite Christmas Song". It was hard selecting one but in the end I opted for a more modern song. I use the word 'modern' loosely as 'Fairytale of New York' from the Pogues featuring Kirsty McColl was released in 1987, reaching number 2 in the UK singles chart. My favourite lines from the song are:
"I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true".
which I think captures the hope that many of us feel at this time of year.

I hope you enjoy listening to it.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness - November

It's Gifted Gorgeousness time again. This is a SAL hosted by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching where we show crafting that we are gifting to others or that has been gifted to us. Full details are here.

I have at last finished the cardigan for my mum and it is in the post on its way to her. I liked this design and I have plans to knit this again but next time it will be for me.

Flat Collared Cardigan
Stylecraft Alpaca Tweed

Saturday, 3 November 2018

A Halloween Exchange

At Needlecraft Haven we had a Halloween exchange and I stitched this Just Nan design for my partner, Dusty. Thankfully, although my parcel to her got damaged in the post, my ornament was undamaged.

Pretty Wicked - Just Nan
Fabric: Crafty Kitten 32ct Belfast Lavender Haze
Threads: Suggested DMC threads

I received this lovely pack of goodies from Deb (no blog). Needless to say the chocolate didn't last long. I think the socks must have been scary as we had no 'Trick or Treaters' come to the door this year.

Needlecraft Haven Halloween Exchange 2018

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop 2018

Will it be Trick or Treat?
Smell My feet - La-D-Da
JCS Halloween Collection, 2008
Fabric: Crafty Kitten 32ct Belfast Lavender Haze
Threads: Suggested DMC threads 
It's time for the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop organised by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching. Follow the blog hop to collect a letter to complete a mystery phrase. Comment on Jo's blog with the correct phrase and you could win the chart for JBW's Smiling Jack-O-Lantern and some other goodies.  A list of all the blog participants can be found here. 

This year I have the letter N:
Source: Heypik

Hop over to to collect your next letter in this spooky blog hop.
Before you leave, this little chap would like to say 'Hi' in his own way:

Boo - Val's Stuff
JCS Halloween 2012
Fabric: Crafty Kitten 32ct Belfast Mottled Sage
Threads: Suggested DMC threads
Happy Halloween!

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness - October

I'm a little late but it's time to show my Gifted Gorgeousness for October. This is organised by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching and if you are not familiar with Gifted Gorgeousness and how it works, full details can be found here.

I'm still knitting the cardigan for my mother. Between family visits, a deep cut on my right forefinger and burning my left hand, I've had limited time to knit. Nevertheless, I've now only got the neck band to knit, then sew it together and it will be finished. Since I could, I've laid it out as if it were a finished item in the photo below.

Flat collared cardigan

Stylecraft Alpaca Tweed in Duck Egg
When finished, the WIP shown below will be gifted to a friend who owns a dog kennel. I think she will like 'Noah's Welcome Mat' by Plum Street Samplers (PSS). Here is the link to the PSS blog post showing the finished design with a link to a pdf copy of the chart.
Noah's Welcome Mat - Plum Street Samplers
Fabric: 32ct Zweigart Belfast Platinum 
Threads: Suggested DMC threads

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness - September

Gifted Gorgeousness (GG) is the brainchild of Jo (Serendipitous Stitching) where we show our gift related crafting (made and received). You can read about how GG works here.

Between holiday visitors and the hot weather I've done very little crafting during the past month. However in the past week, I've knitted on the cardigan for my mum. I'm now on the second sleeve and once that is done, I will start sewing it together to add the border for buttons.

I love the basket stitch on the sleeves but I really have to concentrate to ensure I make the increases as instructed while keeping the pattern. It doesn't help that I sometimes forget to change my row counter at the end of each row.

Flat collared cardigan
Stylecraft Alpaca Tweed in Duck Egg
In Needlecraft Haven's 2017 Valentine Exchange I received some DMC threads as part of my exchange from Clare (blog post here). Using these, I stitched a  free friendship design from Passione Ricamo (found here). I'm undecided as to how I will finish this but as it has been stitched for a few months I thought that maybe by posting it, it will give me the necessary push to finally finish it.

Amitie - Passione Ricamo
Fabric: 40ct Edinburgh Natural(?) linen
Threads: DMC 776 and 777
Until next time, I hope you all find some time to spend doing what you enjoy.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness - August and Smalls SAL

Gifted Gorgeousness is the brainchild of Jo (Serendipitous Stitching) and if you are not familiar with this monthly blog post, you can read all about it here.

As it continues to be very hot, very little stitching has been done here. In addition we have had visitors most of the past month, so there hasn't been time for it either. Nevertheless I managed to stitch this small card for a wedding greeting later this month. It's taken from Told In A Garden 'The Bookmark Collection'. This is a delightful collection of small designs by Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum.

Two Hearts - Told In A Garden
from The Bookmark Collection
Fabric: 28ct Cashel Natural (I think)
Threads: Recommended DMC threads
As mentioned in the previous post, I received this summer themed card and gifts from Justine. Hopefully the sun will stay so that we can get to the beach in September when the new school year has started. We tend to go then as it won't be so busy during the week.

A Summer Exchange

Over at Needlecraft Haven, our summer exchange this year was slightly different. We stitched a summer themed card for our partner and included a summer recipe and a sweet treat.

I received this lovely card and delicious chocolate from Justine. I haven't tried the strawberry recipe yet but I will. I thought the tissue paper was pretty so I've included it in the photograph as well.

For Justine I stitched a free summer design from Il Telaio Povolaro which can be found here. I stitched it using Weeks Dye Works 4141- Clam Shell on Crafty Kitten 32ct Murano Moondust. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photograph of my finished stitching.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Christmas in July

With the heatwave that seems to be covering Europe, Christmas is really the last thing on my mind. However, that doesn't stop me taking part in the Friendly Stitchers' Christmas/Winter in July exchange.

This year my exchange partner was Mouse (Tales of a Stitching Mouse) and here is my exchange gift from her. The mitten design is one I have admired so it's lovely to have my own ornament.

Friendly Stitchers' Christmas/Winter in July Exchange
from Mouse
Of course, it's not difficult to guess what was in the ornament I stitched for Mouse. Possibly the most surprising thing is that it wasn't a Just Nan design! (Yes, I have the Christmas mice; I just haven't started to stitch any of them yet).

Not a Creature was Stirring - Casey Buonaugurio
Just Cross Stitch December 2009
Fabric: 28ct Cashel Lambswool)?) linen

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness - July

Gifted Gorgeousness is the brainchild of Jo (Serendipitous Stitching) and if you are not familiar with this monthly blog post, you can read all about it here.

This month I start with a belated 'Thank You' to Julie of Julie's Stitchyknitter Journal. Julie had offered this Silver wedding anniversary pattern on her blog and I received it in late May. I have a family Silver anniversary next year and this design will be perfect. Thank you, Julie.

After a wet June, summer is definitely here! It's very hot and we've had some thunderstorms. It's probably not the best weather for knitting but that is my current gifted gorgeousness project. I am knitting a duck egg coloured long cardigan for my mother (photo below). I've completed the back and the front left side is almost finished. Finishing this will keep me busy for a few weeks.

Flat collared cardigan
Stylecraft Alpaca Tweed in Duck Egg
Until next time, I hope that everyone enjoys pleasant weather.

Friday, 29 June 2018

1920's Farmer's Wife quilt

I've been following Fabadashery's progress on her 1920's Farmer's Wife quilt. Like Frances I bought the book a couple of year ago and have admired the different blocks in it numerous times. I've delayed attempting to start it because I had no idea of what colours I would like to use.

Last year I bought five fabrics to make a heart designed mini quilt. When I pulled it out recently I realised that this fabric would be ideal for the Farmer's Wife quilt. So I ordered a fat quarter bundle of Andover's Blue Sky by Edyta Sitar from Plush Addict. I will probably add to this fabric selection with some solid colours but for now I can make a start. All I need to do is find the time!

Andover Blue Sky - Edyta Sitar

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness - June

Another month has gone and it's time for Gifted Gorgeousness hosted by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching. Each month we show our gift related craft work. For details of how Gifted Gorgeousness works, please read here. A different Gifted Gorgeousness for me this month. I can't show my cross stitching as it is for an exchange.

As an aunt, I get regular requests for Barbie clothes. So since I was visiting my niece who loves Barbie, I thought I better make some clothes. Though there are many free online links for Barbie clothing, my favourite 'go to' resource is 'Barbie VĂȘtements Ă  coudre pour Barbie' by Annabel Benilan. Yes, it is in French but sewing knowledge makes up for my lack of familiarity with French sewing terms. I made two outfits and the pieces are interchangeable. Making such small clothes is not my favourite past-time but at least they were well received. Here they are.

Barbie in shorts and
sleeveless top
Barbie in culottes and
short sleeved top

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness - May

I'm just back in time from an extended holiday to post my May Gifted Gorgeousness update. At the beginning of April I posted about a baby quilt which was ready for hand quilting. It's finished and it is now in its new home in Canada. 

Fabric: Moda Big Sky, Bears-Teal and Mustard; Makower Linea Zinc;
Makower linen texture Sunflower; Makower Essentials Tiny Dots light cream;
unknown brown/grey fabric and Makower Linea Ebony for backing

I enjoyed making this quilt a lot and I love how the colours complement each other. Once again, thank you Rita Norton for the inspiration. So great was my enjoyment, I've already decided on the design and fabric for my next quilt. Details on what I'm making will follow in a later post when I'm ready to start that project.

If you are unfamiliar with Gifted Gorgeousness, the idea is that you post about your stitching/crafting which is either a gift or made from items you have been gifted. It is hosted by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching and full details of how it works and how to join in can be found here.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Smalls SAL - April and Needlecraft Haven Monthly Challenge

Another one for two this month for the Smalls SAL organised by Heather, Stitching Lotus and the monthly challenge, hosted by Christine at Needlecraft Haven.

To summarise, for the Smalls SAL you stitch something small during the month and share a link up to your blog post at Stitching Lotus to show your finish. Over at Needlecraft Haven, Christine posts a small free design each month which we can stitch and finish as we like. Alternate months are a Christmas design.

A Bee Design - unknown
Fabric: 40ct Newcastle white linen
Threads: Atalie - Carmen, Les quatre saisons; DMC - 3371;
Weeks Dye Works - Whiskey
As you can see I finished this month's design as a scissor fob. This free design can be found at Suzi's blog, here. The fob is sitting on a baby quilt, which is almost finished. I am sewing the binding at the moment so I should be posting a picture of the completed quilt within the week.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness - April

Let me start by saying sorry to those of you who have commented on my blog and perhaps left a question. I have just discovered that not all my comments come through to my primary email, some go to my gmail account only. That is why you have not heard from me. Why this happens I have no idea and it only seems to have started since I changed phones some weeks ago. I must have made some change to my phone settings without realising it.

Now on to Gifted Gorgeousness which is hosted by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching. Full details of how Gifted Gorgeousness works can be found here.  This month's stitching is a gift from Jo. I guessed the phrase in last year's Easter blog hop and she sent me this Just Nan design as well as the charm pin.  Given my love of Just Nan, this was an ideal gift for me. Isn't the rabbit charm pin just delightful?

Tiny Bunny Biscornu - Just Nan
Fabric: 32ct Belfast pale lilac linen
Threads: Recommended DMC threads
Chart embellishment pack

In answer to your question, Jo, here is my finished Just Nan's Diamond Bouquet. This was completed around 1998 and was my second Just Nan sampler (Bee Blossoms was my first).

Diamond Bouquet - Just Nan
completed as a class project at local needlework shop

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Ready for quilting

Recently, in our wider family, a baby boy was born. This was just the excuse I needed to make a quilt. Originally I planned to make a scrappy design but when I saw this finish from Rita Norton, there was no going back.

So after converting my dimensions from inches to centimetres, here is my quilt (or play mat) based on Rita's design ready for the quilting to commence. The finished size will be 100cm x 120cm. I just love those bears.

Fabric: Moda Big Sky, Bears-Teal and Mustard; Makower Linea Zinc;
Makower linen texture Sunflower; Makower Essentials Tiny Dots light cream;
unknown brown/grey fabric and
Makower Linea Ebony for backing

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Smalls SAL - March and Needlecraft Haven Monthly Challenge

For the second time I've been able to combine these two stitching updates.

The Smalls SAL 2018 is hosted by Heather and the Needlecraft Haven's monthly challenge is provided by Christine.

This month I kept to a simple finish and completed this free design from Cuore e Batticuore as a card.

Christmas Joy - 
Fabric: 32ct Zweigart Belfast Vintage Blue linen
Threads: Suggested DMC threads but snowflakes were
stitched with 1 strand of DMC E5200, pearlescent thread

Monday, 2 April 2018

Easter Exchange

It's Easter and time for the Needlecraft Haven Easter exchange. The exchange gifts included a stitched item, a sweet treat and a card. I received an exchange parcel from Clare and she sent me this exquisitely finished egg ornament, these sweet treats and a card. (I see the card is missing as it is sitting on the mantle). Thank you so much, Clare.

My Needlecraft Haven Easter exchange gifts from Clare.

I sent an exchange parcel to Dusty. For this I sitched the upper half of Tralala's 'Duo Printemps' for the card. Along with the chocolate I included a chicken shaped key/scissor fob. As for my ornament ... well ... I really wanted to try something different in a finish. After much searching I finally found what I wanted on Pinterest. A 'cuckoo clock like' finish from La Bottega Della Nonna appealed to me and inspired by motifs from Gazette94, I made an Easter themed hanging ornament. I was pretty pleased with the finish and I've included an photo of it hanging to show it off better.

Easter exchange gifts for Dusty

A hanging Easter ornament inspired by
La Bottega Della Nonna and Gazette94
I hope you all had an enjoyable Easter weekend and that you are not tired of the sight of chocolate eggs.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop

Hurrah, my Internet connection is letting me load me pictures this morning. So, a belated welcome to the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop organised by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching. Each blog taking part features some Easter and/or Spring themed stitching and a letter which will spell out a mystery phrase. Hop over to Jo's Easter Treasure Hunt blog post to start your search to find where to collect all the letters for the phrase. When you know what the phrase is, return to Jo's blog and leave a comment with your answer.

My Easter stitching isn't quite finished so here is a Spring design that I finally finished as an ornament recently.

Spot of Spring - The Drawn Thread

Last, but not least here is my letter 'R' for the mystery phrase. If you 'hop' over to Tickled Pink in Stitches you can collect your next letter.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness - March and Stitcher's Day exchange

It's time for Gifted Gorgeousness (GG) again, which is organised by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching. You can find out more about GG and how to take part here.

Most of my stitching during the past month has been for exchanges. The Stitcher's Day exchange at Friendly Stitchers is completed for me as I have sent and received.

My partner was Meari (Meari's Musings) and I stitched this scissor fob from The Sweetheart Tree as well as this hardanger matchbook needle case. I added Meari's initials and the year on one side of the fob. Unfortunately it was difficult to get decent photos of these, but at least I have a photographic record of them.

The Sweetheart Tree - Stitcher's Favorite Fob
Fabric: 32ct Belfast Flax linen
Threads: Suggested DMC threads
Embellishment: Beads from own stash

 Hardanger matchbook needle case

I received this beautiful and handy thread keeper with two gorgeous Sparklies threads from Chris (no blog).

Thread Keeper with threads from Chris

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day

This year I decided to do some St. Patrick's day stitching with this Celtic knot design biscornu.

As for celebrating the day? Since I don't like Guinness it will be a glass of wine this evening to celebrate.

Celtic knot (top) - Designer unknown
Fabric: 28ct Cashel White linen
Thread: Carrie's Threads - Irish Kiss

Celtic knot (bottom) - Designer unknown
Fabric: 28ct Cashel White linen
Thread: Carrie's Threads - Irish Kiss

Monday, 12 March 2018

In time for next winter

Winter is nearly over and I've just finished knitting myself a bobble hat. It was my first time using double pointed needles. I found that they took a little getting used to; but I got there.

Before I started knitting I read a number of comments from other knitters who made this hat. They suggested making the rib as well as the body of the hat longer. Therefore I decided that my first knitting of this pattern would be a test version. So I bought some inexpensive wool from B&M (in the UK). I made the hat slightly larger than the pattern suggested and it took less than one 100g ball (250 metres) of wool. Next time I will follow the pattern dimensions as I think I would prefer a slightly smaller hat. Nevertheless it's lovely and comfortable to wear.

PondHopper Hat - Alicia Plummer
Variegated grey double knitting wool from B&M (1 x 100g ball)
Needles - 4.5mm and 5.0mm

PondHopper Hat - Alicia Plummer
Variegated grey double knitting wool from B&M (1 x 100g ball)
Needles - 4.5mm and 5.0mm