Friday, 25 January 2013

Stitchy update

Hello hello!
Is it really almost the end of January? Already? How did that happen? I'm sorry I have been absent for so long, the last few months have been rather chaotic here. It seems we are in a season of Big Changes and it looks like that is set to be the theme for this whole year. On top of everything else my migraines have been really playing up to the point where I finally gave up trying to hit most of this months' deadlines and as January is the month most of my family & friends seem to have picked for their birthdays this is Not Good (we have 18 birthdays crammed into this month, no make that 19 now with the arrival of a new little girl!). Now I know I contributed to this by having my three offspring in this month, believe me I am especially aware this year as we started the month with my eldest boy turning 21 & followed it three weeks later with my younger son & daughters' 18th birthday! Family planning this is Not! Well bit by bit I hope to catch up with everything & get into some new routines...
The other day I finally managed to finish reloading all the photos onto my old blog posts - YAY!!! This has been one of THOSE jobs, so I am really pleased & relieved that I only have the tutorials left to fix now. Thank you for bearing with me while I sorted this out, I'm hoping to have the whole blog fully restored very soon now :-)
Today I thought I would share with you some of the stitching I finished for Christmas 2012. My stitching time from November was seriously hampered by those darned headaches but I managed to finish a wee present for my awesome friend Lori (do go visit her blog here or her facebook page here). It was a free chart I found on the Glory Bee website here which was screaming her name! ;-)  
I used dmc threads instead of the specialty threads listed with the design, added a wee silver charm and ribbons at the top, and backed it with this fabric from my stash... 
This year instead of working on Hubbie's Christmas Somebunny in secret we sat down together with the charts & he picked two designs for me to make into cushions. The first one I completed for his Christmas present & the second one I hope to stitch for him later in the year. It was rather weird working on it in front of him but far less stressful! 
The last stitched gift I finished was for my eldest son. The design was a free chart featured in one of the "track it down" pages of Cross Stitch Crazy magazine (I think it was issue 172? I'm sorry but I can't for the life of me find the website now!) Again it seemed a very appropriate design for him & I found a smart black frame in our local Tesco for it which will match well with my son & daughter-in-law's decor. 

Every year I have plans to make lots of stitched decorations for the house & I ALWAYS run out of time!!! (Sound familiar anyone??) This year was no exception but I did complete one of the circular decorations from Cross Stitch Gold magazine designed by Amanda Gregory...
I really enjoyed stitching this, it is the first time I have used black evenweave & I was a bit apprehensive. I chose this fabric in my local quilt shop to back it with (I'm pretty sure it was a Moda fat quarter?)...
...and this is where we ended up hanging it for Christmas...
I also made two of the gingerbread men from Cross Stitch Collection magazine issue 214 (although the second one wasn't actually finished until a few days after Christmas). Now I have a bit of a "thing" for gingerbread men, I LOVE them! Both the edible & non edible kind ;-) So when I saw these I knew I was going to stitch them sooner rather than later. I wasn't so keen on how they were finished in the magazine as little stuffies, I did try the first one kind of how they said but the sharp corners at his neck, armpits, & groin left the fabric badly puckered and basically he looked a bit odd :( So I did some digging on the internet & found this blog. Oh boy! If you ever want to know how to make a VAST variety of shapes & styles of stitched ornaments go here! Truly the mother load! So I tried following some of this lady's suggestions & made the little gingerbread man up with mount board, wadding, and lots & lots of fabric glue.
This is the fabric I picked for the backs of them, another Moda fat quarter from the same shop...
 The second one came out better than the first one, with a bit more practice I think the edges would be more even but it's hard to ensure he stays centered on the board & wadding (face down so you can't see him) while fighting with all those gluey edges! Overall I am happy with how they came out, they look way more "biscuity" than the ones in the magazine, more like proper gingerbread men, do you know what I mean? I took step by step photos of how I made the second one so let me know if you would be interested in a wee tutorial? 

Anyway this is where they ended up spending Christmas...

This year I have decided to spend one day a week throughout the year stitching Christmas things so I will be making the third gingerbread man in the set & the other three black circular decorations in that set at some point. Firstly though I am planning on finishing a bigger Christmassy WIP/UFO. This has the added benefit of ticking the "Christmas Stitching" box and the "UFO" list in one go -clever huh?! It is a DMC kit in The Snowman range that has been on the go since late 2011, I really like it but ran out of steam working the two colors of  Light Effects threads used for most of the snow. Even with Thread Heaven I find large amounts of any metallics except Kreinik really hard slog & so this project ended up back in a drawer last February. I DO want to finish it though so I brought it back out, persevered, and this is where I have gotten to now...
Out of the two pages of chart in this kit this is the bottom page completed (except for the backstitch) so I am half way there now. I am planning on spending one day of every week tackling UFO's this year so this project should get two days of attention each week, I will keep you updated on how it goes... 
I hope you have a lovely weekend however you are spending it, thank you for dropping by my little corner of blogland today!  


  1. Happy birthday to your kids! Lots of celebrations with those milestone birthdays!!!
    Love your finishes...and a tutorial is always welcome!
    I like your idea about spending one day a week on Christmas stitching and I might join you doing this....although no doubt, it will still be a mad panic to get things finished at Christmas! :)

    1. Thanks Rhona! I will start drafting a wee tutorial then, well I figured even if I didn't manage to keep up with the "Christmas Stitching Day" for the whole year I would still end up with more done than if I didn't try it ;) Oh I don't think I will ever totally eliminate that mad panic at Christmas, but I might make a dent in the Christmas to stitch list lol Have a great weekend! Helen

  2. Hi! Hope the migraines aren't so gruesome now, poor you!
    I love my stitched hanging, it's in front of me on the wall beside the fire :-) The backing fabric is stunning it's almost a shame to hang it up as it's hidden then, lol! You are so clever with the gingerbread men, they look so professional, I'll have to check that site out. You should do a tutorial :-)
    I really have to get my blog updated this weekend, been really slack with it!
    hugs, Lori xxx

    1. Thanks Lori, glad you like your pressie, the fabric is one of the ones I couldn't resist last summer in the States ;) Awww thanks, I will start drafting a tutorial for the gingerbread men...Looking forward to seeing your update, have a great weekend, hugs, Helen xxxx

  3. Hey girl...belated Happy birthday on your Kids, if I have missed them...I love all the things you have made, as usual...I am a Gingerbread Man person, so those were especially my favorite!! I hope you have a better year of those nasty migraines...Not to worry on being late with blogs, they are always good when they arrive anyway!! Love you girl! Cath xox

    1. Hey there Cathy, will pass that on to them! Thank you fellow gingerbread man fan ;) I am just taking it day at a time with the headaches, a whole week free would be awesome at this point, I guess the blog will just have to wait it's turn at the moment... have a great weekend, Helen xoxox


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