Posts Tagged ‘cross stitch’

The weather forecast has predicted that we’ll have snow! Perfect for turning the heating up, snuggling on the sofa with the bullies of the bus and carrying on with my latest projects……

Firstly, there’s the matter of finishing off three embroidery hoop pictures I’ve been working on to hang in our recently decorated hallway, stairs and first floor landing. Here’s a sneaky peek at one that’s very nearly completed……

Balancing the scales -  Astrological cross stitch embroidery hoop.

Balancing the scales – Astrological cross stitch embroidery hoop.

My plan is to have three separate astrological hangings to represent the various star signs of the Bully Bus crew – So that’s two Aquarians (but only one embroidery), a Libran and a Leo. All three pieces are currently in varying stages of completion but with the above work it’s finally getting to the exciting bit as I’m nearly ready to add highlights with some sparkling gold thread – They’re all going to look stunning in their final hanging position I’m sure……. 😉

And just to have a break from proceedings from time to time, particularly when my eyes are tired, I’ve also been working on this…..

Recognise this? I've changed the colours to fit in with my living room decor. Any ideas?

Recognise this? I’ve changed the colours to fit in with my living room decor. Any ideas?

You might recognise this design from a previous post I made in 2012 – I’ve made a few changes to the colours I’m using so it fits in better with my existing living room decor. Can you guess what it is I wonder………..? Don’t worry! I’ll reveal a little more in my next post if you’re not sure 😉

Definitely time to turn the radiators up full and try and add a few more stitches now……. Happy Crafting Folks!

I keep lists for EVERYTHING – And this week my ‘To Do’ selection is possibly rivalling a fat, beardy bloke living slightly further to the north of me with a penchant for reindeers, gift wrapped fripperies and the odd bit of ‘Ho. Ho. ho-ing!’!

Sadly, I have no elves to help me in my quest – So I’m working hard and keeping my head down in an effort to tick off the multiple things to be done…….

This month’s theme is embroidery; This week’s offering is a free cross stitch chart designed by me…….. In truth, I created it this time last year but I’m really up against it atm so apologies in advance if you’ve seen it before…….

You know the score – Please feel free to use this design but acknowledge it’s origins when you sell stuff you’ve made…..blah blah!

Use it as a motif; sell stuff with it, but don’t claim to have come up with the original idea. It’s ACID protected – So please don’t try to sell it as your own design – You’ll get put on the fat beardy man’s naughty list straight away….. then there’s the wrath of ME to contend with………. and British Copyright Law!

Until next week……. Happy crafting and watch yer backs!

It’s a new month and a new theme; September is all about ‘Embroidery’.

So I’ve been sat thinking about the 101 things I want to attempt over the coming weeks and how I can tie this month’s theme in with my general list of things to do…….. it’s to the designing table I’ve been………. and here’s this week’s offering……. 😉

It says in Wikipedia that, amongst other things,  ‘Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins.

A characteristic of embroidery is that the basic techniques or stitches of the earliest work — chain stitch, buttonhole or blanket stitch, running stitch, satin stitch, cross stitch — remain the fundamental techniques of hand embroidery today.’

Cool ! I like stitching – Cross stitch is my perennial favourite but I’ve recently been dabbling in freeform machine embroidery after a break of nearly 16 years. I’ve learned to love my sewing machine again; I think that’s a story that’s best saved for another week though……

This week I started out by digging through a box of unfinished projects in a bid to find something to blog about. And I actually turned up a tapestry that I’d started at least 10+ years ago as a soft furnishing idea I’d had for the last house we lived in!

Tapestry work that hasn’t seen the light of day for over ten years!

First things first, I sat down and finished it – There wasn’t that much left to do……… I can’t think why I’d discarded it in the first place. Now I’ve just got to find the time to source some coordinating fabric so that I can make it in to the cushion cover I had originally intended it to be used for (possibly another ten years for that to finally see completion then!) 😉

Detail of part of my old tapestry cushion project – A bit of blocking and pressing might be required to get it looking its best methinks!

Sitting down and finishing the piece actually got me thinking some more……. It’s been ages since I’ve done any tapestry; I kind of forgot how nice it is to sit and quietly stitch my way through a larger, more time consuming project. It’s very satisfying to see a design gradually spring to life over a period of days, rather than quick-fix crafting that’s done and dusted in a few hours. With this in mind I decided to plan out something that’d keep me quiet for a week or so…… An on-trend, mandala inspired tapestry cushion.

This was my initial starting point – a tried and trusted design originally intended for use in cross stitch projects.

One of my ACID protected designs – I use it constantly in cross stitch projects but decided to apply it to tapestry work this week for a bit of a change 🙂

All my designs start out on the computer – actually plotting something out from scratch can be a bit laborious to begin with but once the initial idea is complete it becomes very easy to manipulate it, change colours etc in a matter of moments. So I started with a conjectural view of the original design as it would look when worked as part of a tapestry rather than cross stitch………

The initial design looks just as good when worked as a tapestry rather than cross stitch.

Then I started playing around with it a little bit by adding a background colour and repeating, rotating and flipping the basic motif……

Looking good!

And also added a few more design elements to create something which could be used as a tile for further repeats…….

Looking gooderer! As Keith Lemon would point out 😉

I went through exactly the same process with a bay design before alternately placing each element together to create a larger block of four tiles in total. And finally altered the outside edging to make the whole design look like a more cohesive, finished end product.

Hey Presto!

I can’t wait to get stitching this design!

I’m really pleased with the finished result – Albeit only as a computer generated image at the moment. I think it’ll look great if I actually manage to complete it. I said I wanted to design something which would take me a week or so to create but I’m guessing that if I’ve got it done by Christmas 2012 I’ll deserve a rather large pat on the back for all my efforts…..

At any rate, I’m off in to Leeds tomorrow to gather supplies ready for the task in hand. Wish me luck!!!!!

Phew! It’s been a scorcher of a week – cloudless blue skies and a blazing sun from first thing in the morning until last thing at night. Lovely!

In truth, it’s been way too hot to stay inside for the last few days so my crafting adventures have been a bit thin on the ground this week; Instead I’ve ditched assorted projects in favour of the odd spot of sunbathing and lots of gardening…. Quite a welcome change really.

Here’s the only bit of sewing I’ve done this week – I think it may possibly fall more within the realms of embroidery though…..

A pair of cross stitched VW splitties – not quite finished yet but both destined to embellish different sewing projects.

Both these pieces of cross stitch are destined for separate projects I’m working on. The smallest one is going to be used to embellish a scented heart shaped sachet that I’m going to hang in the wardrobe of my camper van and the larger piece is going to be incorporated into a much needed needle case for any sewing on the go that I may need to work on.

They’re both my own designs…… and without wanting to sound like a right royal misery guts, I don’t really want to share them with anyone. They’re also ACID protected; For more info click here.

If you are interested in a bit of VW themed stitching there’s a couple of free VW themed charts that you could use here.

And I’ll share one of my designs with you too….. Suitably patriotic to help you celebrate forthcoming events in the UK throughout the Summer.

I wonder how many people actually do make a point of acknowledging the original designer when they make use of their free ideas?

Maybe it’s a bit late in the day to be setting to work to make a cross stitched Union Jack heart – what with the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations set to take place in only a few days time. However, it’s an easy chart to follow as it only uses whole cross stitches and a simple backstitch to outline the shape – easy enough for even a complete beginner to have a go at!

Please feel free to use this motif in your own work but remember to acknowledge the original designer when displaying or selling your finished work 🙂

Here’s the chart to make the job a bit easier…..

This motif can be produced quickly and easily; It is suitable for complete beginners as it uses only whole cross stitches and simple backstitching to add definition to the outline.

The sun’s STILL shining; Time for me to back out into the garden and water the plants. But before I sign off please note that next week see’s the crossover into another month and the new theme of ‘Dyeing’. I’ve got my rubber gloves at the ready and can hardly wait! Until then, Happy Crafting 😉

There’s something very soothing and lovely about a nice cup of tea; Particularly one that’s made using a teapot and some proper loose leaf as opposed to a couple of teabags.

A good cup of Rosey Lee is one of my vices, and whether I’m at home or on the road, a teapot is an absolute necessity; That, and an accompanying cozy of course – as it helps to keep the pot warm and prolongs the whole tea guzzling experience just that little bit longer 😉

I spotted this rather lovely example on the telly the other week……

How marvellous!

………And tracked it down as available to purchase from Debenhams; It looked like a must-have buy……….

However, on closer inspection I found that it’s part of a larger range of patriotic themed wares that go by the name of ‘Street Party’ and has been made to fit one particular teapot that’s shaped differently to mine. The label also reveals that it’s been made in China and imported in to the country – therefore not really flying the British flag and supporting the UK economy 😦 It was with a heavy heart that I kept my money in my pocket and walked away empty handed.

Never fear, thought I………I’ll make my own version – based on classic English design and using locally produced materials that boast bonafide British credentials.

So I dug out an old crafting pamphlet that had been produced in the seventies by a local company just up the road from me called ‘Robin’s’ (based in Guiseley, Leeds) and also selected a few balls of DK weight acrylic yarn made by Woolcraft (spun by Yorkshire craftsmen based over the valley in nearby Bradford). Game on!

21 classic knitting and crochet patterns using odd ounces of wool

The pattern I chose produces a fairly easy and quick to make piece of crochet – it’s pictured at the bottom of the front cover in a striped pink colourway with four matching egg cozies. I adapted it slightly to suit my own tension and also to fit my teapot properly; And I made further changes by choosing to continue the striped pattern from beginning to end, using just double crochet stitches throughout as opposed to a mix of double and half double stitches as indicated in the original pattern.

Quick to make and an easy to follow pattern using single crochet stitches.

The adapted pattern is as follows:
STRIPED TEA COZY
Materials:
3 balls double knitting yarn in Red, White & Blue
3.75 mm crochet hook
Make two pieces:
With 3.75mm hook and Blue make 37 ch. Work 1 dc into 2nd ch from hook, 1 dc into each ch to end, turn with 1 ch.
Work in dc to end, turn, break the Blue and join in White, 1 ch then work in dc to end, turn with 1 ch.
Work in dc to end. Turn, break White join in Red, 1 ch then work in dc to end, turn with 1 ch.
Work in dc to end, turn, break Red and join Blue, 1 ch then work in dc to end, turn with 1 ch.
Continue with striped pattern to 5 ins from beg.
Next row, working in dc, and continuing with striped pattern, dec 7 sts evenly over the next and each of the following 3 alternate rows.
Work 1 row. Take 2tog to end of row, fasten off.
Join both pieces together leaving openings for the handle and spout.
Press lightly on wrong side using a warm iron over a damp cloth.
PLEASE NOTE that permission has been granted to share this pattern and no copyright has been breached.

A BBBB design originally intended for use with a bead loom but also works well for cross stitch.

For a special finishing touch I used the Union Jack chart I published in ‘Adventures with an Indian Bead Loom‘ to create a small piece of cross stitch that I layered up with a few squares of felt and then hand stitched in place with a double edge of clear seed beads. And it’s all finished off with a coordinating pom pom (please see last week’s blog for instructions on how to make one).
I think it looks lovely! And a perfect fit for my teapot; a fine example of retro kitsch.
Must be time for a well deserved cuppa now…………
Next week sees my final delve into retro crafts before entering a new theme and a new month – time for a look at one more gadget methinks. Until then, Happy Crafting!