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Monday, 29 June 2015

Summer is here...

My Summer SAL, "Wee Summer" by Heart in Hand is now in it's frame, I changed it on the Summer Solstice.

The same evening I was playing with the camera and captured some lovely snaps in the garden

The sky seems to be have been wonderful recently, all pink in the evenings....

and sunny days.  A little heatwave forecast for this week...

Flowers are blooming ....

and we have a new addition in the garden.  DH had a great gift for Fathers Day.  He just needs a name.  Any thoughts?  What about Hector Spadendig.... does that sound like it could have come from G O T lol.

Only 1 stitch project to share with you, the LHN SAL.  Pear Tree, just it's border to add this week.
I have stitched a small something else, but its a gift so will have to remain secret till its received.

and the challenge, I can hear you all asking ...... for May and now June (yes it was the reveal yesterday) well......... they still need to be finished.   Wasting time and procrastinating far too much over which fabrics/trims to use for them both.  I just need to get on with it and do it!

Charity knitting pile grew with 4 more hats.   Total items for June was 2 cardigans, 9 hats and a pair of children's socks.

Adult sock is finished and the second one started...

Yesterday I went to a quilting exhibition.  It was organised by the lady who recently came along to teach us at the community centre.  It was in conjunction with a festival in their village.  Lots of beautiful quilts on show and things for sale.  A phone call with exciting news for me last night regarding the raffle.  I have to go collect my prize this evening.  I'll share what it is with you next time together with some photos that DH took whilst we were there of the lovely things on show - I didn't have time to take pics, too busy chatting with the quilters and learning how they make such magnificent pieces to craftwork.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love and blessings to you all

Thursday, 18 June 2015

The longest day ... already!

This weekend sees us coming to the Summer Solstice, the longest day.  It will also coincide with Fathers Day here in the UK on Sunday.  I hope all dads everywhere have a wonderful day.  My thoughts will be also be with those like me who have angel dads.

Last year DH brought me a posy of the first of the seasons sweet peas on Fathers Day and this year we have just one bloom so far, he brought me that yesterday from the bottom of the garden.  Perhaps its with not being in the open at the allotment that they are later at home?  The smell is wonderful.

The plants in the boxes just outside my kitchen window are Sweet Williams, my own late dads favourite.  they are the best they have ever been and have been blooming for quite a few weeks now with lots more buds to open yet.
Plants in the greenhouse are coming along nicely too and we've had our first little cucumber for tea.  So different from the shop bought ones and so tasty.
Last time I mentioned that I was going to a painting workshop at the Craftshare group.  What an eye opener that was.  The tutor, Jayne, created such a beautiful seashore scene and in only 2 hours.

She uses the Bob Ross method of painting.  I'd never heard of him, perhaps you have?   We have a class in August where we will also be creating a sea scene like this.  Something to look forward to, but I wont be rushing out to buy paints and easel I don't think at the moment!

A little charity knitting  has flown off the needles....

I've also been to the new improved local larger library now its had its refurbishment and as it was adult learners weeks there was a knitting group with a proper teacher to help solve your problems.  She was kind enough to chat to me about my sock knitting and instruct me as to how I can start them off better and not end up with a loose join in the top.  It worked out well so I also have a pair of socks on the needles now (forgot to take pic of those). 

A lot more knitting happening than stitching but I did a little parlour evening stitching last night and my current WIP, Pears by LHN from an old JCS ornament magazine, looks like this ...

I still haven't made up last month and this months challenge design, they still sit on the table awaiting inspiration for finishing them.  Perhaps this weekend it will come.....

Hope all the UK readers are enjoying the lovely sunshine we have been having this past week.

Blessings to you all

Jo has asked which issue the pears came from. 
It was the JCS ornament edition dated 2006.


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Sunshiney evenings .... less crafting!

The weather has been lovely recently. 

We had an evening stroll in the park.  Just a short drive from us and somewhere I had not been before.  How is it that you drive past somewhere for years and then suddenly think you might like to go and see what's there? 

It was lovely ...

Flowers blooming in abundance .....

Spotted some outside gym equipment amongst the mature trees, put there by the local council to encourage exercise, might have to try that next time!

The cricket pitch all ready for some sporting action .....
A blue evening sky through the tall trees.  The gentle breeze rustling through them reminded me of grandmother willow in the Disney film Pocahontas (I love that film) ......
Someone has been busy with the chainsaw making an old tree into a seat - nice acorns
With the warmer evenings, not so much time for craftwork.  Time is being spent in the garden at the end of the day.  DH and I catching up on the days events and just generally enjoying the flowers and seeing what's new since the day before.

A cardigan for the charity group ....

and a pair of children's pink socks.....

My Summer piece for the SAL is complete and ready to go into the frame later this month and Spring will be put away.  Wee Summer by Heart in Hand.

LHN/CCN SAL stitching and I completed Woodland Snowfall 

Mum celebrated her birthday at the beginning of this month and I made her a quilted snappy bag.  She was very impressed with it, so that pleased me.


There are now 3 things on my table that need finishing off so perhaps the sewing machine needs to come out to play this weekend.

I've had a lovely blog reading session this afternoon and caught up on all your lovely work.  Lots of different designs being stitched at the moment. Some new ones and some oldies that I haven't seen for a while. Nice quilting being created by ladies and lots seem to be knitting and crocheting. 

Enjoy your crafting time whatever you are doing.  We have a painting demonstration this week at the craftshare.  Have I got time to take up another hobby??

Blessings to you all

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Irish Garden

Irish Garden by Liz Turner Diehl

The chart was a gift from a friend December 2007

I ordered the correct 28ct irish linen and the speciality threads from the Liz Turner Diehl website immediately.  Burmilana Wool Blend in black tweed for the cats, Lacquered Jewels thread in smoky topaz and Rainbow Blending Threads in yellow, brass gold and variegated white - these all came as a set just for the design.   The model was stitched with Madeira, I have used DMC as she offered a conversion in the chart for that as well as JP Coats and Anchor conversions.  17 different DMC greens!

When the chart arrived it scared me, 22 pages to it with lots of speciality stitches that I had never heard of.  It sat in my box for quite a while whilst I plucked up the courage to give it a go.

First stitch went in 3rd February 2010.  All the inner borders stitched up lovely.  Simple crosses and Smyrna crosses.  Not so bad I thought till i started the filling in.  Such a lot of quarter and half stitches and then the backstitch to define them.  It takes a lot of concentration and finally it got put away in May 2010 for a little rest.  I'd only done a little bit to one corner.

A 'little rest'...  more like Sleeping Beauty's long sleep!

It didn't come out again until Jan 2014.  I'd done a few projects with speciality stitches and thought perhaps I could tackle it again.  Great encouragement from the UFO stitching group over at Needlecraft Haven each weekend, even when I only did a little, but sadly, it went into hiding again after 6 months.  This last pic (according to my pictures) was taken June 2014.  Quite a bit of progress in that time.

A new year, 2015 had come round and I needed to get it finished.  First weekend of the year and out it came and I've stitched on it nearly every weekend since.  You've all been so encouraging and kind about it's progress and the final stitch went in 28th May 2015, just in time for last weekends meet up so the ladies could see it in person.

Would you like to see a few close ups of the areas?
Inner middle squares spider stitches ...
Rhododendron bushes in the north, south, east and west points of the garden...

Black cats hiding in iris borders ...

or amongst the camelia borders, both of which are framed by trellis panels ...

Fiddly backstitch around the quarter stitches, can only be tackled in daylight stitching time ...

Shamrock Clusters in the four corners ....

The speciality stitch borders.....

Outer borders mirror each other and they are supposed to depict, sorrel, sweet woodruff, peppermint, rue, angelica, herb Robert, lavender and ladys mantle ......

The speciality stitches do give it depth, so I tried to take a couple of snaps to show this ....

and another finished pic ....
Just need to get it framed now!

The chart is no longer available to buy and my copy is off to a new home.

Thank you so much for your encouragement whilst i've stitched this, I'm not sure I would have ever completed it without some friends badgering me to get it out again.

Have you got a project tucked away that really needs to see the light of day?  How long has it been quietly languishing in your workbox.  I wonder who has the oldest UFO...... is it you???

Love and blessings to you all.