Wednesday Work in Progress.

I thought I’d share something slightly different from my crafting today and focus on one of my ongoing projects rather than a completed one. I’ve resisted doing this before mainly because cross stitch projects in progress have a tendency to look very crumpled – I use a wooden embroidery hoop for my projects so there are lots of hoop marks and other creases from gathering the fabric while I sew. 

I picked this project back up tonight for the first time in weeks though and thought it might be good to share it at this stage in an effort to keep me on track with it and get it finished sooner rather than later.

It’s a little over half finished I would think, as well as completing the rest of the oval of cakes there are quite a few individual stitches to go back and do (each rectangular frame has a single contrast colour stitch in each corner for instance) and the back stitched words to go in the labels etc.

When it’s finished it will go in and oval embroidery hoop which will be a first for me. The project as a whole is fun and colourful to sew even if at this stage I’m not sure what I’ll do with the finished piece as it’s probably not something I’d put up myself. 

I’ve got 28 more days on my 100 Days of Cross Stitch so I’m aiming to finish this in that time frame too.


When crafting goes wrong

I was planning to write a post today about having had a successful sewing afternoon yesterday. I can’t though, it was a complete and utter disaster. It was so much of a disaster that after twenty minutes of painstaking unpicking of tiny stitches I gave up and binned my little project. What was I going to write about instead? I found myself wondering,  before realising that I was still going to write about my sewing afternoon. I’m happy enough to talk about all my successful projects so it seems only fair and balanced to acknowledge the disasters too.

I was planning to make some dribble bibs for a friend’s soon to be born baby. Cotton print on one side and terry towelling on the other. So what went wrong? Pretty much everything. It started well enough, I used out my new rotary blade to cut the fabric and fell instantly in love with how easy it was to cut everything out. The first stage of sewing went okay, but not brilliantly, and then it just kept getting worse. It made me so glad I’d decided on a practice run using a cheap cotton I’d had in my stash ages rather than one of the lovely fabrics I’ve bought for this project.

I came to the conclusion that the terry towelling I have is the wrong absorbent layer all together – it’s too thick, the loops are too big (trying to unpick anything from the towelling side of the fabric is virtually impossible), and it’s far too quick to shed white fluff everywhere. If I’m entirely honest the shedding of the fabric would have been enough to make me reconsider using it – I described it as being the glitter of the fabric world, and in my books anything glitter like is a very bad thing.

I’m off to the fabric shop to buy a different backing fabric. I will definitely be looking for something nice and soft, and absorbent, but something that doesn’t make my table look like Queen Elsa’s been for a visit. Hopefully sometime soon I’ll be able to write another post about my successful bib making!


A last minute card.

First thing this morning I realised I needed to make a card for some family friends who were celebrating their first wedding anniversary today. I knew it needed to be something that was quick to make, but something that was also pretty special so decided to revisit a card I’d made for my BFF’s wedding a couple of years ago and make something similar.

I quickly gathered everything I needed – card blanks, embroidery silks in the wedding colours, a heart template, hammer and nail (plus scrap wood to protect my work surface) and got to work. Within an hour I had this end result.

I’m so happy with how this version of the card worked, and I’ve heard back that the couple loved it too. 


Hearts for Manchester 

Following last week’s attack in Manchester crafter Beth Clarke put out a call for crafters to make hearts. She’s collecting them and she and her mum will take them and distribute them in Manchester as a “little act of kindness”. 

I thought this sounded like such a lovely idea so have sewn a trio of little stuffed hearts, decorated with heart shaped buttons. They’re very simple but every last stitch was stitched with love and well wishes.

There’s a Facebook group for anyone interested in making hearts, based on seeing how many they’ve received already I decided to keep my contribution to three hearts even if it was tempting to just keep cutting and sewing.

They’re planning to make their first drop of hearts on 5th June so if you are interested in getting involved there is still time.


100 Days of Cross Stitch – the halfway mark.

Yesterday was the 50th day of my 100 Days Project. You can read more about it here and here but the short version is that for 100 days I’m cross stitching a 10 x 10 stitch square using a palette of 10 colours.

Here’s a shot of the whole piece


I’m still having so much fun with this project. There are definitely challenges starting to crop up – having only 10 colours means I’m having to either discard ideas or get slightly creative (who’d have thought I’d miss brown?), having only 10 x 10 stitches means some ideas just won’t fit, and having an even number of rows and columns means that some ideas just don’t work because they need any odd number of rows and/or columns and off-setting them just looks odd.

Reaching the halfway point though has reminded me just how long 100 days is (this is not the first 100 day long project I’ve done, and it never fails to surprise me how long it takes to get to the end). This second quarter seems to have gone faster than the first did though so I’ll be back soon enough with my third quarter update!


A perfect pin

I’ve been loving the recent(ish) trend for cool and quirky enamel pin badges. I’ve only bought a couple so far, my wishlist is ever growing though – seeing other people’s purchases on Instagram is a pretty wonderful opportunity for virtual window shopping!

Last Sunday at The Handmade Fair I did spot a badge that I couldn’t resist adding to my tiny collection. 

This is made by Hawthorn Handmade, a stall that had me oohing and aahing over their gorgeous modern embroidery kits. I resisted the temptation to buy one on the day as I currently have far too many projects queued up already (I did take a card though and have got the website bookmarked now ready for a future purchase). When I saw this pin though I had to buy one  – it couldn’t be more fitting if it tried!



I reached the halfway point on my current knitting project today. Well it’s not really halfway I suppose, or not if the two halves have to be equally sized in any way. I did at least get to cast off

which feels like the definite end point of this first major section of two that isn’t actually half. The fact it’s stripey does mean though that my next challenge is weaving in these ends 

which is never the fun part of a project. Once I’ve done that I can cast on the other not actually a half and knit until it’s finished and I get to do all of this again. It’s a present that has to be given in a few weeks time so then I will be able to put together a proper finished object post.