Saturday, 1 May 2021

April 2021 roundup - not much stitching to share

May 1st

Where has the time gone??   I had a seemingly busy month, with little free time to sit back and reflect on the week on the weekends. Looking back on my calendar – what have been the major things keeping me away from my needlework and my blog?

You may be aware that I’m involved in Scouts – I am a District Leader and I support Allan and his family – particularly his son Chris, by helping out at Bailey Reserve Scouts as assistant Cub Leader.  It has been 15+ years as a Cub Leader and I’m enjoying myself immensely.

Cuboree is a week long adventure camp for Cub Scouts, and although not immediately involved, I supported Allan who is now one of 6 leaders who have attended all 10 Cuborees. 

I spent the week of 12-16 April at work then coming home and falling asleep with very little stitching to show for my efforts.  I was working on my Meteo de Moutons 2021 for this week and have completed March. 


I am enjoying how much variety of colour I am achieving this year, merely by allocating one colour per degree and where 2020 blended from blue to green, putting a range of pinks to represent the teen degrees has made for a colourful March


April 11 was also the annual event to support Road Crew – the guys who provide the infrastructure of Concerts and Events – the ones who are doing it particularly tough during Covid – Support Act is the organisation behind Roady for Roadies.  The weather was a bit horizontal for me to participate in the walk, but I attended with Allan and he got to catch up with some friends from his past.  I just hope for better weather next year!

It was one very cold snap that weekend, and that of course is when we found our heater had given up the ghost and blown a valve – one call to the estate agent and a visit from a plumber meant no heat for 3 weeks.  It wasn’t too bad, the weather has been mostly temperate, with the exception of that one weekend.   


My hair is blue again – I’m enjoying this colour.  I don’t mind the regular maintenance (top-up) to keep it fresh.  So for the foreseeable future, I will remain blue.   Acting as taxi service for Allan’s mum last week, my darling HoneyB got an owie!  I am fortunate that the driver who misjudged their parking effort stayed around to swap details – so now HoneyB is waiting for a new door.  I didn’t realise how emotionally attached I have become to this car until I had to leave her at the repair assessors.

This past 10 days has been full on Scouting.  I had a full day of Leader training, followed by ANZAC day, then after work all this week has been :  Grey Wolf badge Presentation/Wood Bead Presentation/District Leader Meeting/Bailey Reserve Cub night and Scarf Presentation.

 


I do have a wee bit of stitchy stash – I ordered from Etsy and received these 3 Murano 32count fabrics.  All have a marbled appearance and I have plans to stitch Historie de Moutons on the tan, possibly Dreaming Girl SAL on the burgundy and the light blue will stay in reserve for the time being.

 


With such a full on month, it is not surprising that WIPGO March fell in a heap,  I did manage to stitch only the borders on the 12 days of Christmas – all that metallic gold thread.  Last night, I noticed a 10 stitch counting error. It is the top row on this pic - it wasn't immediately noticeable.  This meant stitching one outer border again.  I did not pick up SOHRH at all, so did not complete that one challenge.

By putting emphasis on my list of WIP and setting the list in January meant that I was putting more emphasis on those projects before putting emphasis on stitching that has a determined timeline – such as Meteo de Moutons – and starting new projects such as Dreaming Girl SAL, let alone finding a week or more that you cannot stitch at all.  So here I was last night, getting flustered because I had not picked up a project (SOHRH) in the month it was called.  I now have a deadline for my Halloween stitch and also Delft House Row and these will have to take priority over the May WIPGO panels called.  22 Christmas ornaments & 19 – Let’s Sew – Ursula Andrews

 

So I set out a table to look at where I am with my current WIPS and WishLists

Started

Not Started

Finished

2021 Meteo de Moutons

Dreaming Girl SAL

Queen Bee

Shores of Hawk Run Hollow

Historie de Moutons

You are my Everything

English Floral Sampler

Delft House Row

Love Ewe

12 Days of Christmas

Raise a Glass

Hocus Pocus

Robert Burns Halloween

 Christmas Heirloom tablecloth for 2020

How doth the busy bee

Jeremiah Junction Stitchers Panel

 

 

Let's Sew

 

 

Mermaids of the Deep Blue

 

 

Kingfisher

 

 

 

….  And this is not even all that is in my basket.   If I take a wander into the box of charts, that centre column will grow..  I’d like to see the 3rd column grow this year.

 

I’m not even looking at my wishlist pile of patchwork and quilting…. That is also sitting over in the corner feeling neglected.   I’m craving the instantness (is that even a word?) of starting and finishing a small project in a weekend.  For me, patchwork is an instant fix.

 

So here are my goals for May:

Meteo de Moutons – Stitch April temperatures and finish the temperature index

WIPGO 22 – Finish Let’s Sew – attempt a finish and reduce my WIP pile

FFO – the banner for Allan

FFO – the stitching bee

Bonus stitching :

Start Dreaming Girl SAL

Get some colour into the 12 days of Christmas

WIPGO 19 – Christmas Ornaments.  This could potentially be changed to my Heirloom Tablecloth


I will have to clear up my sewing area as over the past month it has become a bit of a storage area for scouting files.  I’m sure once that is clear, I will find more items to add to my pile.

 I’ll also do my best to keep you up-to-date and leave less of a gap between blog posts.  Life changes in a heart beat.

SMILE & POINT YOUR TOES

 

 

Monday, 5 April 2021

Combined March/April catch up.

 Hello Stitchy friends,  I admit it has been over a month since I posted.  March was an unbelievably busy month, with most weekends taken up with activities.   As I work full time, weekends are usually given over to thinking about my blog and stitching.  I did create a draft post on 8 March, but just did not complete the entries, so have added today’s entry to try to catch up.

Blog Post 8 March 2021

Instagram – I’ve finally stepped into the hash-tag brigade this past fortnight and learning as I go.  I don’t yet follow too many people and am careful with the hashtags I’m using.    Of course, I have become inspired to join yet another SAL – and I’m way behind on this one. 


Dreaming Girl by Barbara Ana has caught my eye – some like -minded stitchers have been posting their pics on Instagram and wow… so many different versions..  Of course, I see this stitched with Blue Hair and I ‘m eager to find the right variegated floss to start this as soon as possible.

Wipgo 21 – March is well underway.   My 2 projects called are the Jeremiah Junction Stitching Panel - cobbled together from 3 patterns released about 2004 and have been waiting all this time in my 'to-do' pile


There is also my own Halloween design.  So I have been able to put some time into stitching up my model stitch.  – stitched on vintage Murano 32 count
 

My last post showed a lovely bunch of flowers received for my birthday – Liliums have the reputation of staining if you let the stamens fall on the table.  I trimmed them all as they appeared, and thought to experiment and make the stamens to make a ‘tea’ and dye some fabric and floss.  I don’t have access to any mordant such as alum – particularly cost prohibitive as I was only going to need about 2 tablespoons – so I winged it.   

The fabric and floss I used to dye will not be used for anything permanent and it will be interesting to see if my fingers stain when I use the floss in particular. 
So this is the result of my efforts - I discovered that the lilium adheres well to the fats on my fingers and the fats that remained in the cracks of the plastic bowl (note to self - next time use glass)  Although there is not much colour on the fabric, the floss appears to have coloured up well..
 

Watching Off the Grid Needlearts floss tube – I noted the use of a timer app  - to track and regulate how much time you can put towards individual WIP’s   - interesting concept and I’m going to have a go at this.  I like structure and setting aside dedicated time to several projects may be useful to keeping track of how much time I stitch. 

Blog Post 5 April

Looking back at my draft post from the beginning of March – and leading up to today – 5 April will see what happened – it has been a busy March.


March 12-14 I was at a group Scout camp.  It was dismally wet.  I hid for 4 hours on the Saturday during a downpour and stitched.  I took the Kingfisher stitch and was able to add to that design.  A number of stitching days were taken up with other functions which, although important, do cut into valuable stitching time.

A bit of a wind up to WIPGO 21 – I worked on the 2 numbers called. 

10 is my own design – stitching on the model for Robert Burns Halloween, so understandably, I cannot show too much of this until I have finished and am ready to release the chart for sale. 

I feel this will not be to everybody’s taste, but this spoke to me so strongly when I started.  There is a lot of backstitch – and am happy with the lettering and have almost finished the verse and will be moving onto the pixies.

24 is listed as Jeremiah Junction Stitching Panel.  I can’t remember stitching the whole 5 allotted days on this but am happy with my stitching progress on this. 


JJ designs are notoriously backstitch heavy and the little section I did complete has now got definition.  I am now aware just how much stitching is involved in such a deceptively simple chart.  Like all my projects, this will be heartily satisfying when finished.

Of course, now I remember why I ran out of days to stitch.  I stitched a small project for Allan and that remains a mystery until I can finish it properly – thinking now a small banner rather than a pillow…  I should have a flurry of FFO’s shortly.

Part of my own discipline is when stitching the 2021 Meteo de Moutons, that the previous month is completed before the end of the current month – ie; February temperatures HAD to be finished before the end of March.  This was the project I took with me to Queensland for my quick 60-hour turnaround trip to visit my Grandchildren. 


I am really happy with the colours chosen for the temperatures.  Last year, using one colour for 2 degrees and blue fading into green shows a soft transition through the seasons.  This year, by using one colour per degree and defining the range of 10 degrees by a simple shade, using pink for the teen degrees, this design is showing a massive variety of colours.  This is helped by a wider variety of temperatures, particularly in February.  I hope to have the time to stitch the temperature index as well as the March temperatures this month in April.

I’m still learning my way around Instagram and have yet to start Dreaming Girl.  All the parts have been completed, so there is no pressure to have this stitched with everybody else (and I sort of miss that concept of SAL pressure), I still have to be happy with the colour of fabric to stitch on and may have to wait for my start for my Etsy order to arrive.

Did I mention a trip to QLD to see my grandchildren? 


Both Allan and I made plans to head North on a flight, arriving 8pm Thursday evening, but having to depart 60 hours later as Allan was scheduled to work Sunday night.  It was going to be a rush trip, but as Lachlan was turning 1 on the Saturday, it was important that he met grandparents before that milestone. 

We arrived in time Thursday to surprise them with the opportunity to read a bed-time story and tuck them in.  Claire will be 3 at the end of May and knows our voices and faces due to many video chats this past 12 months, but it was almost overwhelming for us to be there in person. 

We spent Friday with them, giving them a chance to play with us.  Saturday, my nephew Andrew, who lives in Brisbane joined us for the picnic in the park and that was good for the cousins to meet up.

Brisbane had a minor outbreak of Covid and because of that, was declared an Orange Zone.  This meant we had to apply for a permit to return to Victoria on Sunday and on our return had a Covid test and arranged our isolation until the test returned negative.  This meant no return to work for Allan until Monday evening and I returned to work on Tuesday.     A couple of busy days at work and next thing we knew it was Easter weekend.


I had received some stitchy stash during March – an order from 123stitch arrived.  I had ordered some John James needles and of course, some charts to travel with them so they wouldn’t be lonely!

One chart in particular, The Stitching Bee by Little House Needleworks spoke strongly to me on arrival, so of course I started stitching this at 10.30pm on 31 March. 


I used a scrap of evenweave (possibly 28 count Berlin) and grabbed some overdyes.  It is charted with only 4 colours – I kept to the basic 310 black DMC and added Stitches and Spice ‘Gold Rush’.  I originally went with Needle Necessities 119 for the ecru shade but found that it blended into the fabric.  I really like blue with yellow and swapped it out with Stitches and Spice ‘Pacific Dreams’. 

The small amount of green in the pattern was an unmarked overdye – I suspect it might have been an old 6 strand sweets.    The wings and petals I used Dinky Dyes ‘Ice mint blue’ and Kreinik blending filament. 

I had so much trouble capturing the sparkle in the photo, but believe me, it is there!  Although there is no outlines on the chart, as the wings and petals melted into the fabric colour, I chose to outline both.  I used Kreinik very fine braid on the bee wings and am really pleased with the result.

Trying to take closeup photos of the sparkle, I found a stitching error but am not going to change it out.  There are 6 stitches in a row, where I’ve stitched \ before I stitched /       

This does not make any difference to the finished stitch, but I know where it is.

I have been making up some teeny tiny ½” hexies to make something to FFO this small chart and then it will be time to move onto my April WIPGO

 

Numbers 3 & 21 have been called this time.

3 is my Boothy 12 days of Christmas kit.  I hope to get at least the grid of outlines completed and a good start on the first square during April

21, I return to Shores of Hawk Run Hollow and I hope to finish squares 6&7, to finish the boat.

I’m not sure if I will use the timing app.  I did run this for about 3 weeks, but found it annoying that the countdown of the timer stayed active on my phone.  I’m not really one to count how many minutes/hours I stitch.  I am happier to set a timer for an hour, and then re-set it once it goes off, to delineate a set time for a task.   I’m also finding WIPGO a bit limiting, in that deciding in January, what I wanted to stitch, almost precluded finding great designs and starting them as they took your inspiration.  I almost felt guilty about starting the Stitching Bee and seem to be putting off starting the Dreaming Girl SAL

 

My plan for April is therefore :

Meteo de Moutons – stitch March temperatures and the temperature index

Wipgo 3 – Stitch the borders of the Christmas Kit

Wipgo 21 – Finish the ship block on SOHRH

Bonus stitching:

Start Dreaming Girl

FFO – banner for Allan

FFO – The stitching Bee

 

I’ll also do my best to keep you up-to-date and leave less of a gap between blog posts.  Life changes in a heart beat.

SMILE & POINT YOUR TOES

 


 

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Legs in Paddocks, Delft House designs, Sheepies, SAL and more for February

Hello stitchy friends.

I am writing this from a steamy Frankston.  The weather the past few days have been hot and sunny and today a gentle change has swept across the state.  There has been a few gentle showers, but the house is now holding the heat from the past few days and has become so sultry inside.  What is there to do, but to settle down into a comfy chair and stitch.

I seen to have been flirting between so many charts this past fortnight – in no particular order, I made a start on Kingfisher, an Owlforest design part of WIPGO 21 February and #robynsowlforestsal

I did make a couple of starts on this one chart.

The first was on some lovely eucalyptus coloured linen, but the thread count is higher than 36, and I was having a LOT of trouble seeing the fabric properly and I also felt the overdyed floss was being washed out.  So diving into my stash bucket, I found some white 32count Belfast linen and this will make the design and the floss the feature, not the fabric.

 Pictured here is the start I made after a test patch using first one strand, then 2 strands of the floss to see what I liked better.   Pity that when I started this section, I had forgotten that my practice section was NOT in the right place.   I realised after taking the hoop off after the picture was taken.   I have subsequently stitched this again in the right place.   I also have replaced the dark green floss 3 times, finally settling on DMC 4505.  I might put this aside for a day or two, as I want to concentrate on Meteo de Moutons.

 

Here is where I am at the moment. – Legs in Paddocks.  


I really wanted to have all the legs stitched for the year in place before I start stitching the sheep.  The days of the week are represented by individual colours as you can see across the top of the paddocks.  Birthdays are represented by legs that correspond to the colour of the day.  I have selected the colours for each temperature but want to get January completed before I stitch the temperature index.

I have taken further steps into the design world.  I spent valentine’s day at the computer getting a small design completed, having been inspired by a picture of a collection of KLM Miniature Delft houses.  What I can show you now, is a thumbnail of the design, there is also a larger sampler in the works.  


I hope to be releasing designs onto the market from 1st July 2021 as BronnyB Designs Most of my designs in the past have been samplers, band samplers, motif samplers, motto samplers.    What sort of things appeal to you?

I do have a FFO to share. 


I surreptitiously stitched this freebie from Pinker n Pumpkin on the Saturday.  Allan knew I was stitching sheep and it was fun to work with Whisper floss again – blending it with one strand of ecru.  I also used random skeins from the amazing tub of overdyes – floss acquired over the course of the past 15+ years.  I showed it to him after midnight as his birthday gift and was able to fashion it into a card to present it on Valentine’s Day.  I’ve attached a magnet to the back of the stitched piece and a magnet to the front of the card, so I should be able to use this to finish off a few smalls and display them.   This process of finishing an item will be investigated further.

I had a bit of a haul in the past couple of weeks.  My order of needles arrived from 123 stitch.  I really am having difficulty locating John James Petites size 26-28 in gold.   The Piecemakers Tapestry needles size 28 are reasonable substitutes, but I do like the really shorter length of the John James.  I have worn a really painful sharp edge to the needle on all my John James, so have purged all the damaged needles and will replace my collection bit by bit.    I have 2-3 pincushions, all with spare needles, at least 4 needlebooks, and a couple of small boxes holding cross stitch needles (keeping them separate from sharps)   What are your favourite needles?

I had placed an order with 123 for the kreinik thread needed for the Mirabilia mermaids, and of course, they would be lonely on the trip so as companions, I bought the needles and added a chart from my wish list.  A sheep chart to work on just as soon as I get a start on Histories de Moutons.  I am waiting until I feel I have a good start on my other WIP’s before I get going.  I can’t remember what chart it is, or where I put it and didn’t think to take a pic of my order before putting it all away safely. 

I took the day off work on my birthday with vague plans to get some work done in my sewing room.  Instead I fell into my local Spotlight and emerged an hour later with a bag full of goodies. 


The intention was to pick up a skein or two of the green needed for Kingfisher, but then thought I might as well pick up floss to stitch the model of Delft Houses,

then I thought to pick up some further DMC in a lilac colourway to stitch an alternate model.  I found a cute thermal lunch box/bag along with some extra lunch boxes to match,

some cardboard bobbins, to wrap my new DMC on (and to replace the plastic ones which inexplicably are all turning brittle and snapping). I found some A4 foam core boards and some polystyrene sheets for a couple of finishing ideas that are floating around in my head, then I found some fat ¼s and picked up a random selection of 10.  Mostly paid for by my Christmas Gift Vouchers, it was fun to shop randomly again.

What are my current WIP’s (in no particular order)

  • ·         Meteo de Moutons 2021
  • ·         Kingfisher
  • ·         Shores of Hawk Run Hollow
  • ·         English Floral Sampler
  • ·         Robert Burns Halloween (model stitch of my design)
  • ·         Mirabilia Mermaids of the Deep Blue’
  • ·         Jeremiah Junction Stitching Panel

 My current wish list to start in 2021

  • ·         12 days of Christmas – kitted but not started
  • ·         Histories de Moutons – kitted but not started
  • ·         Delft House Row – model stitch of my design
  • ·         Raise your Glasses – model stitch of my design (which has not made it onto paper yet)


Have I missed any?   I’m not adding in any of the quilt projects that are waiting their turn in my churning creativity brain of goodness.  I have a baby quilt that is waiting for the fabrics chosen to inspire me.

Time for me to put needle to thread.

SMILE & POINT YOUR TOES

Until next time

Happy Stitching.

Bronny

 

 

Saturday, 6 February 2021

February - Meteo, WIPGO and a few more

Hello Stitchy friends,

It seems to be too long since I last posted. I have some things to share with you.  My last post was to be released with my first floss-tube and that video is still being edited, so I’ll move on.



I have recently spent a week on holiday – although the original plan was a 3 week drive to Queensland and back to see my Grandchildren, Covid-19 restrictions meant plans had to be changed.  We eventually spent a week in East Gippsland – at a wonderful dog-friendly campground, Best Friends Holiday Retreat.  Although we do not have a dog, the owners are friends of our Scouting Family and it was a perfect, relaxing break.  There was limited internet and no mobile coverage at the campground, so a break from social media was welcome.  I have returned, feeling quite rested.
  There was time for bushwalks and a chance to have a close look at a Temperate Rain Forest

This also meant a good time to stitch.  I finished the 2020 Meteo SAL, and made good progress on my WIPGO February block 4 – Shores of Hawk Run Hollow. 


My goal was to finish one block, and as I am currently working on blocks 6-7 am setting my goal to finish the ship and start on the sea during February.   I think I have made reasonable progress over the past few days







METEO de MOUTONS 2021

I have a finish – The 2020 Meteo project. 


I have finished the December temperature and added all the required motifs.  As Melbourne was under lockdown for more than 7 months of the year, padlocks do feature.  I added bushfire to the start of the year to symbolise the fires that were so devastating to most of Australia on New Year’s Eve.  In this household, there are 3 birthdays in 6 days in February, There are a few more either side, so a birthday cake will suffice.  In October, I took delivery of a brand-new  Yellow car – my HoneyB CH-R.  The remaining motifs are just random trees and flowers to fill the spaces.

I have also progressed on Melbourne Meteo de Moutons 2021. 


All the paddocks are completed, I have determined the floss colours to use for each degree and stitched the daily symbols across the top to show the days of the week.  I hope to make a start on the legs of the sheep soon with one colour for all sheep.  The exceptions will be to show birthdays during the year with bright legs.

WIPGO JANUARY – As part of WIPGO, the numbers called  for January related to Something Seasonal, Something Seasonal and No Guilt Start.  My last post shows how much was achieved on the Mirabilia Mermaids of the Deep – I have subsequently invested in some equivalent beads and will return to this stitch shortly  I have no further stitching progress to share on this chart since my last post.


However, I do have two finishes for something seasonal.   The quick small chart chosen was Lizzie Kate’s Hocus Pocus (Halloween IS a season!)  This has been FFO’d into a small pincushion already and will sit on my shelf until after Halloween this year.

I found Modern Folk Embroidery through floss-tube and was particularly struck by one design – How Doth the Busy Bee.   

I really enjoyed the stitching of this one.  I used 28 count Lugana from Picture this Plus – one of the fabrics in my stash from years ago, the floss was Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe Golden Leaves and a dash of DMC 797 for the cornflower blue.  This I was inspired to add to the chart by a flower growing in my small garden by my front door.  I really enjoyed stitching this, whether it was the design, floss, fabric – I don’t know, but the whole project just flew under my fingers and I hope to frame this shortly.

WIPGO FEBRUARY - As part of WIPGO 2021, I have changed out block 20 as I have yet to fully design the original choice – ‘Raise your Glasses’  I now have it set for an OwlForest design –

Kingfisher – and will be participating with LadyRobynS as part of her birthday SAL.  Due to there being a bit of an embargo of postage from Russia to Australia, I had to source alternate floss for this project.  I didn’t want to stitch this with just DMC, but went looking for suitable overdyes. 

I found just what I wanted while on holiday – Country Cottage floss as shown (the lime green on the very right is an extra – purchased because it ‘looked’ at me)   I’ll be searching my stash for the right fabric to stitch this on and I should be ready to start this on the 15th February.  Yarram Drapery had a lovely supply of overdyes. and fabrics

HAUL

A couple of weeks ago, I was watching a floss tube, and something was said, that set me off on a tangent (all to do with ships on samplers) and somehow I found myself looking at a book – BRENDA KEYS – ‘ULTIMATE SAMPLER MOTIFS SOURCE BOOK’


– well I snatched that up without a moment’s thought and it arrived this week.   It is EXCELLENT – if you like working and designing your own samplers, this is a great reference book.  There is no history for any of the designs, look elsewhere for that information, this is just grid after grid of motifs, numbers, letters.  I have used this already to plot the lettering for 2021 Meteo de Moutons.

 

I also found a chance to pick up one or two fat quarters from both Quilt shops I visited whilst at Yarram.  (Small country town with it’s priorities quite firm – a good bakery – 3 op shops and 2 quilt shops!) 


Of course the sheepie fabric leapt out at me, but I also have another couple of fabrics to add to an Australiana Baby quilt I have been asked to make.  This is the fabric collected at Trintarabee Quilting

 

FROG VISIT - I have made a decision to rip out all that I have stitched so far on Mermaids of the Deep.  The fabric I chose, was not speaking to me and there was a strong probability, that there would not be a lot of margin on the sides of the fabric for the full design.  Late last night, I selected another fabric, and will be making another start on this later in the month.

 

That should be enough of my ramblings for now.  I do hope to release a floss-tube shortly – there is some editing to be done on my first try, or I may record a fresh one and leave the first try as a blooper reel.