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.





Melisa- pinkernpunkinquilting said...

Such a lovely post Bronny. March was a very busy month for you with lots of beautiful projects. I look forward to seeing your progress on each and every one. Have a blessed week and happy stitching.

Bronwyn said...

Lovwly photos of grandchildren and your finishes

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

That was a busy post! I am glad that you got to see the grandchildren, it must be hard for them to not be able to see you in person.
Lovely stitching, the Halloween piece looks intriguing and I love the Dreaming Girl SAL too.
I am enjoying WIPGO, it only chooses two of my projects each month and I chose the other two. Or more.