Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Stitching update

I had a lovely time away in York and I even managed to squeeze in some stitching.  York is a beautiful city but it was also freezing!  We had a Siberian wind across the UK this past weekend and boy, was it cold with temperatures of 0 feeling more like minus 8 (typical British trait here, discussing the weather whenever we can, LOL).  We did manage a spot of sightseeing but after getting thoroughly soaked on the Saturday and frozen - including snow - on the Sunday, we spent more time in the cottage than out in the city.  I'll have to go back one day and explore further.

I took a lot of pictures on my new camera but I'll just share a couple, one of York Minster, the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe.
 And this is one of the gates to the City with a view of the cathedral spires in the background.
I took this picture outside the cottage we stayed in.  Not much snow left by the Monday morning.  There is a small stream running alongside the road to the left - it really was a pretty spot.

And here is the stitching I managed to do.  It's the O from the Home piece I am working on.  I thought I would get more done but if I didn't have a cup of tea in my hands, it was a slice of cake and if it wasn't a slice of cake it was a glass of red wine!  It was an indulgent weekend away and was the perfect way to recuperate after my recent infection and virus.  Good food, good friends and laughter are the ultimate medicine.
I'm planning on visiting the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia, London this weekend.  I'll take my camera with me - and a full purse.  If previous visits are anything to go by that will come back empty and my stitching stash is about to get much bigger.

Until next time,


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Getting organised

It's a rainy, grey day here which is a bit of a shock after the previous spring days.  Felt like the right kind of weather to spend some time organising my threads.

These are some of the threads that have been decorating the arm of my sofa for the last few weeks.  They've now been wrapped onto bobbins, labelled and 'filed' in numerical order.

Much better way of storing my threads and it looks so pretty too.  I need to invest in a few more of these boxes as I find it's an easy way of storing all the small 'bits' when working on a project rather than trying to thread them back onto the card holder.
This is the one I'm using for the red flowers project.  I waste much less thread this way as I can tuck any small strands into the correct compartment.  How do you all store your threads?  I'd love to know how other people store their bits and pieces - I'm a bit of a storage fan and I've always got my eyes open for ideas!

I'm off on a long weekend break to York with some friends this weekend.  I will be taking my 'Home' stitching with me but I'm not sure how much I will get done.  I'm also going to have a look for a stitching shop there and see if I can add anything more to my ever expanding stock of stitching.

Until next time,


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Stitching update

An update on the stitching I have been doing.  Not much progress I hear you say and you would be correct.  I was going great guns on the 'Home' piece but haven't touched it for a couple of weeks.  I'm about to change that this evening.  No excuse now as I have all the cottons I need.
You're not going mad - I took the photo upside down to avoid casting my shadow over it.  Looks a bit odd.  I've finished the H and decided to stitch all the letter outlines next to see how big the finished piece will be.  It's pretty big.

And here is yet another cushion finished.  I had the pink squares made up for a while but pieced it together with the remains of brown from the thread catcher.  Pink and brown is another of my favourite colour combinations, along with brown and eggshell blue.

I've also started on the Country Cottage Needleworks series, starting with 'Santa's House'.  I had to wait for the fabric to come back into stock and so I feel a bit behind.  I loved the Cottages of the Month released last year although I still have a few to complete in order to have the whole year done.

Really need to get my stitch on!

Until next time,


Monday, 4 March 2013

Tada - one thread catcher

So I finally sat myself down in front of my sewing machine and made the thread catcher from Natalie Birds 'Red Home'.  As you can see I went for a different colour scheme of pale blue and brown rather than the reds in the book.

It also features bunnies which seems appropriate for this time of year

 I had a bit of trouble with aligning the seams on the bottom and the one above is actually my second attempt.  This is the original attempt - it's all a bit wonky!

I was never going to happy with this so started over.  I'm pretty pleased with the final piece and have already put it to good use.  The arm of my sofa is looking like a sofa again rather than a thread holder!  And whilst the sewing machine was out I finished off my cushion I put together from scraps. 

I'm really pleased with how this has turned out too considering it was a pile of sad left-overs that have ben loitering in my sewing basket for almost a year.  So all in all it's been a productive day, especially as I have filled a few pots with primroses and tried a new recipe.  It's been a lovely spring-like day today and it always helps me feel energised and inspired.  I have been doing some cross stitching too - I'll share progress next time.

Until then,


Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Radio silence

It's been a bit quite around here lately and all because of a wicked cold.  My GP tells me it is an upper respiratory illness which makes it sound tame.  I can assure you, it has been anything but tame!  I'm on the road to recovery but my stitching has taken a hit as has my blog reading and updating.

I took loads of pictures recently to post and it was only when looking at the ones already posted that I realised my camera really isn't up to the job.  So today I have ordered a new one and I'm hoping for some better quality pictures - watch this space.

I will be back soon but in the meantime - does this look familiar to anyone?  This is my stitch holder or as others may commonly refer to, a sofa!  I bet I'm not the only one with furniture decorated in this manner...?

If you recall I purchased a book - Red Home - and planned on making a thread catcher fabric basket.  Looks like I need to get on that asap.  I've already purchased the fabrics and cotton so all I need is time and energy.  Should be completed some time next year then :)

Until next time,


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Money, money, money

I've not been doing a great deal of stitching but I've more than made up for it with my spending!  I thought I would share with you some of my recent purchases - I'll think you'll agree I had no other option but to buy them :)

One of my first purchases was this Malin Maline hanger 'double cake'.  It is the same site I got the 'Pretty Pastries' cross stitch that I have almost completed.  I'm hoping this might give me the final push to get it done.

From: - it is a French website but you can translate it into English if (like me) you need to.  They have such pretty things I am always tempted when I visit.

This is the backing fabric I've picked to back the finished piece - having looked again at the samples on the Malin Maline site I may now swap it for a dotty fabric.  What do you think?
Pretty Pastries by Malin Maline
I also picked this hanger for a recently completed cross stitch that is sitting in a box.  Adding a finish to my stitching was not one of my strong points until the new year of 2012 when I decided that I must:
  • Finish some of my works in progress (believe me, there are many!)
  • Do something with my cross stitch pieces other than hide them in a box
Let's just say I am still working on these resolutions and perhaps this blog will help me along the way.

My new copy of 'Cross Stitcher' arrived this week and along with 'Love Quilting and Patchwork' I can see that my resolutions may not be closer to being realised just yet.  I love the cushion cover on the front of Cross Stitcher and am very tempted to add it to my list of planned projects.

Not the best photo but believe me, it is gorgeous.  I've some more goodies to share but perhaps I'll leave them until next time.  Don't want you all thinking I am a compulsive shopper!

On a final note, my 'Secret Stitching Sweetheart' has been revealed.  The beautiful heart was completed by Christine at  If you haven't checked all the entries out already be sure to head over to Jo's blog  to have a look -

Until next time,


Thursday, 14 February 2013

Secret Stitching Sweetheart blog hop

Happy Valentines Day everyone.  I'm afraid to say I didn't receive a card in the post or flowers or chocolate :(  But I did receive a book I had ordered and that was just as good if not better - what can be better than a present to yourself that you really want?  I was very excited when I saw the package waiting for me on the mat and couldn't wait to open it.

And here it is.  It's 'Red Home' by Natalie Bird and includes ten red themed sewing projects for the home.  I brought this as it has a pattern for stitching a thread catcher and as I am always picking up bits of thread from around the house - or pulling them off my person - I thought this may help me to contain my mess in a stylish and practical way.  You need two contrasting pieces of fabric so now I'm looking forward to my day off tomorrow so I can go to my local fabric shop and have a browse.  And who knows, I may even go wild and choose non-red colours!  I also need to pick some backing fabric for the jubilee cushion cover I made the other day so it may be an expensive trip.

As it is Valentines I decided to get into the spirit of things and join in the Secret Stitching Sweetheart Jo has organised over at Serendipitous Stitching - - please go and have a look.  You may have seen the colours I used for my stitching piece as I posted them a few days ago.  Well, here is the picture I have been sent.

I love it!  It is a beautiful piece of stitching and I love how it has been presented with the lovely spring flowers in the background.  I think I am going to have to up my game and this will certainly provide some inspiration.  I'm off to see what other people have created and see who made this fab heart.

Have a lovely day all and if like me you didn't receive any chocolates then pop out and buy some for yourself because you are totally worth it!


And if you are interested in getting a copy of the book I purchased mine from Red Raspberry Quilts -
It's an Australian company so you pay international postage.  I can't fault the service and the book arrived well wrapped and in the promised timeframe.