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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

cherry cushion

My oldest UFO, my first ever needlepoint tapestry, is starting its new life as a cushion.

This was a very good exercise, because this was the first time I stretched a finished needlepoint tapestry, and I realised how important it is to do this job right. I have not done it as well as it should be. My corners are not quite square, so the tapestry is a bit wonky and as a result it was not easy to fit the embroidery into a square piece of fabric. I will know better next time....

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

two in one day

Last year I was fortunate to "meet" Gudrun, who has a lovely blog, and we have been keeping in touch.

In a picture in one of her recent blog post I saw a fabric I liked very much. I need to make some new cushions for our sofas and I though this fabric would do very well.
Gudrun was very kind and emailed me a close up of the border with the name of the design, "Jolie Jardin."
I could not find it on any of the UK sites, eventually I tracked it down on ebay, from Sew-Creative-Fabric, for a very reasonable price. My fabric parcel arrived today. I like it as much as I did when I saw it in Gudrun's picture.

But that wasn't the only parcel I received today.
The second parcel came from Sweden, a surprise from Gudrun! A beautiful, beautiful present, using the same fabric.


Saturday, 21 January 2012

my oldest UFO, finished and stretching

I have bravely changed my header, as snowdrops are coming up all around in our part of the world. It is probably a long way to spring yet, but there is hope.....

My oldest UFO.
Many, many, many years ago I bought my first needlepoint tapestry kit. I wasn't doing much of any stitching at the time and I had no particular interest in needlepoint, I just fell in love with the design.
And so I brought my kit home and started stitching. From the top. First BIG mistake, as I learnt later.
My stitching looked terrible, and I lost heart. My new and exiting project wasn't so exiting any more. It got pushed around various corners, in the end it ended up in a wooden trunk.

Now, to end up in the wooden trunk is the ultimate in our house. It means "unwanted, uncared for, unloved". The trunk gets very rarely inspected, after the trunk it is usually a jumble sale.
Then one day, in the middle of the Somerset countryside, I came across Jolly Red, a shop owned my Kelly Fletcher, a needlepoint heaven. I wrote about Jolly Red in my 31. December post, so I will not repeat.

I rescued my kit from the trunk and in one of Kelly's workshops I learnt how to stitch needlepoint tapestry. Unfortunately, during my initial attempts I wasted some of the cream Anchor wool, used for the background and that shade was no longer in production. I had to use the nearest shade to it, but of course, it does show. Still, it took a long time before the tapestry was finished, as there were new and more exiting projects around, and even after I did finish it, it was stored, rolled up, in my workroom. Until today.

My oldest UFO, my first ever needlepoint embroidery, finished, washed and stretching, waiting to dry.


It will probably live out its life as a part of a cushion cover, I have not decided yet, but I will let you know when I'll do!

Have a good weekend!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

cross stitch

First of all I would like to let you know that I seem to be having a problem with commenting on some of your blogs, not all, but enough to make me feel frustrated with the blogger the last couple of days.
So, it is not that I don't want to come and visit, I am not able to :(( I hope this will get sorted out soon.

I haven't done much stitching this week, at the moment I am preoccupied with our tax returns.
As most of you in UK would know, 31 January is the last day for submitting tax returns.
If you haven't done it by that date, a big bad wolf will come and eat you. Well, not quite, but he will impose a hefty fine !
At least I wanted to catch up with your blogs, but as I can't, I looked for a subject which would hopefully interest some of you -  cross stitch.

I am not really a crosstitcher myself. I get bored with repeating the same very small stitch over and over. And it is hard on eyes. But -

recently I came across this book.

Quote: "this book is perhaps the first to document all the different motifs by origin used on traditional costumes", meaning Palestinian embroidery.
It is very different from the normal cross stitch kits you buy in the shops.
The book is full of beautiful, colourful designs, enough to make you want to take up cross stitching.

Isn't it beautiful?
I would like to try to use some of the designs on a quilt sometime in the future.

My record on cross stitch embroidery to date is very poor, yet it was probably the first stitch we all learnt.
A few years ago, to try to remedy this fault, and to take a project on holiday, I bought 2 kits, one for me and one for my DD (she is so much better at cross stitch then I am).
This is my one.

I saw these particular kits at a craft show and immediately they caught my eye. Why? Because the designs were so different. They are taken from watercolour paintings of the artist Michael Powell and I just love them. I wish I could afford to buy one of his watercolour paintings. Do have a look at them here .
Sadly, my cross stitch became UFO, but now and then in the summer it sees the light of day and I manage few stitches. A long way to go yet....

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

first week of the year

Festive holidays seem to be long forgotten, although it has been only a week since we celebrated the start of 2012. It has been back to the routine and back to work. The mild weather in our part of the country continues, but we have to remind ourselves that it is only the start of January and anything can still happen.
Have I done any stitching?
I thought I should start a new embroidery project to mark the start of the new year and this is what it looks like so far.

I did a few more stitches on the needlepoint tapestry I was given for Christmas. I also returned to knitting and I am making some progress with my lace scarf.

        I am a bit stuck with regards to the Norwegian jacket, as from this point I will be using only two colours, very similar in shade. I find this very difficult to do in any artificial light. But with the days getting slowly longer now, I should be able to return to this soon.
I have also returned to the "Summer quilt", which I started in the autumn, but which was put aside in the favour of the Scandinavian Christmas quilt. With Christmas behind us, we can now hope for a nice summer. So, a new block stitched today.

Christmas may be a distant memory, but the postman brought a parcel this week, all the way from USA. It is a Christmas present from Cyndi. Cyndi sent this parcel on the 8th December and I know that she has been very concerned about its whereabouts.
It arrived in the end, better late then never. Thank you so much, Cyndi!

As every patchworker knows, you never have enough fabric!
I really like the book, it is a combination of sewing and baking, I love the connection between the two!

I wish you all a very good week!

Monday, 2 January 2012

last walk in 2011

Apparently 2011 was the warmest year for over 100 years here in UK. My initial reaction was to laugh, remembering the last summer (that wasn't).
But of course, they are talking about the average temperature over the whole of the year. Most of autumn was warmer then normally and until now the winter has not really arrived yet, December was very mild, with lots of rain.
On the last day of 2011, after a week of too much visiting and sitting around, we felt we needed a good walk to blow the cobwebs away, as they say. Our usual walk in the forest would had been too wet and muddy, so it was back to Stourhead, with their well maintained paths.

As you can see from some of the pictures, nature is little confused by the warm weather.

Snowdrops already?

But our winter visitors, Canada Geese, are here as usual.

This pair of swans have a permanent home here.

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