We’re back now from our little trip (more on that later). I used my train travel wisely, and stitched away on my samplers from the Dropcloth Sampler of the Month Club. As much as I love knitting, its nice to have fallen for another portable craft. It almost makes me miss my commute.
This sampler series is becoming a bit of diary of my year. I stitch the samplers in colour combinations that are meaningful to me at the time, or that are featuring in my life in some way. The fabric I use for backing is starting to be involved in this too. I feel sure that these samplers will become part of a quilt next year, and the plan is starting to come together in my head.
February was blanket stitches, and all about love –
April landed in my ‘craft tambourine’ (as Mr Saz calls it) as soon as it arrived, leapfrogging March since it didn’t require a stitch dictionary and therefore was a bit more travel-friendly. March has some very personal inspiration behind it, and needs a bit of thinking.
And so April was running stitches, and all about growth -
April makes me want to go back to the previous samplers and attack them with the embroidery foot on my sewing machine. But since I’ve already considered them done, I am resisting…
Pretty much all my crafting falls into two catergories – very fast and very slow. Sweaters probably fall somewhere in the middle, but I don’t make too many of them…
It’s working well for me just now. Keeping a balance seems key – if I’m working on a slow sewing project like Swoon I can pick up a quick hat to knit for relief. And when the Beekeepers Quilt or those massive colourwork socks get too much I stitch up a quick potholder, or spin a little sampler. Its helping to keep me sane and focused right now, which is just what I need.
Finishing Swoon gave me a little more confidence in my ability to actually finish big, long-term projects. So I started another -
The first patchwork I ever did was paper-pieced (and small), and this is the first time playing with it since. I even managed to find my old hexagon templates, though, um, I’ll obviously need a few more. This one is destined for another family member, and one with an extremely large bed. I’ll need to get some sneaky measurements of it… Just as Jules said in the comments on Swoon, one stitch at a time is the best way to undertake big projects. I’ll do this the opposite way to Swoon – hand pieced and then machine quilted.
I’m in a kind-of methodical mood at the moment, taking my time with things and being thorough. I did a little spring cleaning (including cleaning and oiling my sewing machine – eww), and came up with a little giveaway. In my embroidery box I found two of the same Dropcloth samplers – the original one shown here. I’ve decided to give one away, and will throw in some hand-dyed silk from the Yarn Yard. It’s lovely, dyed just a few miles from my house, but is a little thicker than I like to use for my embroidery (but is loved by others, I’m sure.) If you’d like these threads and the sampler just leave a comment letting me know, and on Tuesday night I’ll pick someone at random.
I might dig around in my stash and see what I can add in too. Have a good weekend x
I’m not sure where February has gone. How can it be almost over already?
Our house has been very quiet for the last few days and yesterday was filled with worry. Penny had some surgery – nothing life-threatening or serious – but nasty and uncomfortable nonetheless. I picked her up from the vet, drugged and unsteady, and was told that she’d needed 13 teeth removed, as well as three benign lumps under her tail. We inherited her bad teeth when we rescued her, and now the dental work is complete I am armed and ready with brushes and chicken-flavoured toothpaste for when her wee mouth recovers.
And so as she lay slumped in bed yesterday, crying whenever I stopped stroking her head, I realised that knitting anything was going to be difficult. So I switched to embroidery, which seemed easier to pick up and put down for when she woke up and realised I wasn’t there. My little January sampler from the Dropcloth monthly sampler club got finished off, and I made a start on February. Seems only right since the month is almost over, and soon the March design will be arriving…
Happy new year! I was immensely glad to say goodbye to 2012. It was a year that a friend perfectly described to me as containing ‘the worst kind of awfulness.’ It changed me forever, but made me stronger too.
For 2013 though, I have high hopes.
Last month I asked all my family and friends that were spending Christmas with us for one word or phrase. Something that summed up their hopes or wishes for 2013.
Some people offered the same words, and so they were simply included twice. Some people got a little excited about their word and wrote it out three times, so that’s how I stitched it. Round here, animals are part of the family and so their words were included too.
It took a while for me to decide how to finish it, but its now hanging in my office as a reminder of the lovely people I’m surrounded by, and of what they are all aiming and hoping for this year.
My word is at the very end, stitched in a lighter thread. It feels a little like a whisper, not really legible unless you’re up close – hope. This year I hope for happiness, light and life, for me, for my family and friends and for all x
My knitting has been mostly set aside this week, in favour of teeny tiny stitches.
Before I knew it there were three different projects switching around in my hoop. My favourite though is one that’s been made with help and inspiration by my family and friends. I’ll write more about this when its done.
Tonight though, things are very calm. Tomorrow my lovely family start arriving, so Penny and I are making the most of the quiet. Mr Saz is away out with an old friend. (Anyone remember the episode of Friends where Gandalf returns to town to party with Ross and Chandler? It’s a bit like that. I told Mr Saz to take his passport and a snake-bite kit.)
Work has been continuing on my cake sampler by Rebecca Ringquist, and then at midnight inspiration decided it was the right time to start to machine stitch the border -
Often when I work suddenly late at night I undo everything the next day, but I really like this. I was struggling to work with the pink background, but the border seems to bring the hand-stitching and backing fabric together (there’s more pink in the fabric than this photo suggests!)
Then I felt the need to embroider some text at the bottom…
…which meant spending a very happy five minutes looking at cake recipes on the internet.
I think this will be done in the next couple of days, and then its onto my next Cake Themed Craft Project – this cross-stitch pattern from Defiant Damsel on Etsy
The only problem is that I have some storage issues for my embroidery supplies – any ideas?! Maybe just being less messy is the answer?
I haven’t many finished craft projects to show recently, but I am working on and thinking about a few things…
A second Laika, this time in some of the gorgeous yarn ever dyed – Old Maiden Aunt superwash merino in Bitter Bug.
Decorating and planning our new kitchen…
Embroidering a cake, another sampler from Rebecca Ringquist.
Figuring a way to transfer pictures from my garden into a large embroidered, patchwork and quilted masterpiece, hee hee! (I am excited and have a lot of ideas, but the scale of this project is a little intimidating… one to tackle later in the summer…)
Sewing a lovely dress for my lovely sister, Eclair by Colette Patterns
And suddenly working on my longest ever WIP, started two years ago, Lissajous by Cookie A.