Tuesday, 28 April 2015

SFS - April

For more information as to what Stitch From Stash (SFS) is, please click the button above.

From last month the carry over was € 15.81

This month:

Month: April
Budget:  € 25.00
Spent: € 31.24
Earned: € 20.02
Carry over: ( € 15.81 + € 20.02 + € 25.00) - € 31.24 = € 29.59

My spending:

This month I decided it was high time I added all the "new" colours of Colour Variations to my stash that have not yet become readily available in the Netherlands yet. I also was running low on E168, 712 and 814 so I got them as well as a water removable marker pen as my old one had run out. Total spent excluding the pen:  € 31.24

My subscription stuff:

I have a monthly subscription at Jodyri for the monthly hand dyed fabric, monthly hand dyed thread and a subscription for a set of 5 threads from the standard collection. Last month I had not yet received the package so I'm showing it now:

The theme of March was Bill and Ben - most UK people will immediately think of  The Flowerpot Men, an old 50s programme that was revived a few years ago and brought back to the BBC for the kids of today to enjoy.

April's theme was Amethyst and boy what a grand job Jodyri did with that colour! I don't like purples much but this one is wonderful.

My earnings:

The April ornaments:
This month I finished 2 ornaments as usual using the pattern I've made for my Ornament of the Month SAL. The fabric is 16ct antique white Aida that I got last summer when I was in the UK and the threads are from my stash, most of which were collected before 1995 though of course I have since added any new colours and topped up colours I finished. The pendant bead and the bead on the tassel are the beads my bf sent me and the edging beads are the beads Carla sent me last month.

The bigger ornament is 47 stitches square and the smaller one 35 stitches square so each ornament earns me $ 4.00 each for a total of $ 8.00 which according to the currency converter today is € 7.28

Fob a Month April Edition:
For April's Fob a Month I made an additional pincushion pattern as the pattern was too big for a fob and just the one flower is pretty but more is better! You can find the pattern here: A Fob a Month - 2. The scissor fob is 26 stitches square which earns me $ 2.00 and the pincushion is 40 x 36 stitches which earns me $ 4.00 for a total of $ 6.00 which is € 5.46

Randje Per Week January rows:
Last of all I started and worked on a band sampler - it's a pattern that's given for free in weekly instalments and is called "Randje Per Week" or band of the week in English. You can find the patterns here: Randje Per Week. It started in January so I'm well behind, but this does mean I can work on a month's worth of patterns at the same time. I saw on some photo's on google image search that some people were adding motifs and I thought it was a fun idea to do, so I decided to do a butterfly this month, an old pattern I have in my scrapbook that was cut from a magazine some time in the 80's. The fabric was bought last October and the thread was already in my stash as well.

To make it easier to count I'm going to only count stitching if it's part of a whole month's worth of patterns - so as January had 5 Saturdays there are 5 instalments so 10 rows.  Each row is 103 stitches wide. I have not counted the 3 stitch gaps between the bands and decided that due to the lack of coverage I would also not count the motif in the calculations to give a more fair end result.

Week 1 is 11 stitches high
Week 2 is 6 stitches high
Week 3 is 5 stitches high
Week 4 is 8 stitches high
Week 5 is 6 stitches high
Giving a total of 36 stitches high x 103 stitches wide

36 + 103 = 139/2 = 69.5 stitches square for the calculation which gives me $ 8.00 which is € 7.28

This brings my total earnings at: € 7.28 + € 5.46 + € 7.28 = € 20.02

This month was a good stash month! Not too much enhancement but enough to have the colours I might need and a fair bit of stash use which is the main idea of all this.

Friday, 17 April 2015

A Fob a Month - 2

Welcome to the second instalment of my Fob a Month project! This month the flowers are out in bloom and even my apple tree is joining in, though sadly the flowers are not completely open yet so the flowers you see in the photo are still buds. I decided I didn't want to be left out and found a delightful piece of blossom artwork over on Deviant Art made by VAMPSTOCK as the base of the pattern, you can see the original image here: Blossom Texture Vampstock. I'm sure you can see why I loved it so much that I chose to use it!
Because I liked the flowers so much I really wanted to do more than one on the fob but in order to do that I'd lose the prettiness of the flowers so I decided instead to do the group of flowers as an extra pattern for a pincushion and do a single flower for the fob. This month's pattern means that I have been rather specific with colour however if you have a colour that is close feel free to substitute it but be aware you won't get quite the same result.

The fob is 1 7/8" square.
The pincushion is 3 3/4" square.

What you need to make the example above:
  • 2 pieces of 4 1/2" square for the pincushion, I used 28ct light brown Jobelan
  • 2 pieces of 3" square for the fob, I used 28ct light brown Jobelan
  • DMC thread in the following colours:
    • 602
    • 605
    • 666
    • 818
    • 819
    • 891
    • 892
    • 893
    • 894
    • 4000 (colour variations)
  • Sewing thread
  • Your stuffing of choice
  • 1 skein of pink variegated craft thread 
  • DMC or thread to coordinate with the variegated thread 
Note about fabric choice: if you prefer just use evenweave/Aida on one side and use another fabric for the back.

You can find the pattern here

Instructions: First stitch the patterns onto one each of the sizes of fabric. Press the embroideries face down onto a fluffy towel to make them crease free. Before turning the embroideries over you need to mark the stitching lines.
On the back of the fob count 3 threads from each side and using a chalk pen, light sensitive pen or water soluble pen, mark the stitching lines.
On the back of the pincushion you need to count 10 threads on the sides with a bit of branch and 14 threads on the top and bottom, this will keep the pincushion square.

For both:
Place the embroidery right side down onto the backing, for the fob you need to remember to tuck the cord - see below for instructions - into one of the corners. Sew the seams using a back stitch over 2 or 3 threads to make sure the filling can't escape, leave an opening of about 1 - 2" on one side so you can turn the work. Tip: if you finger press each side of the the whole seam line of that open side down you will mark where your stitching line is for closing the seam later. Trim the corners to about 1/16" away from the seam lines to reduce bulk.

Carefully turn the items and use a chopstick/knitting needle or something similar to carefully poke the corners into place. Stuff them and close the seams.

Use 1/4 of the skein of craft thread to make the cording and tassel for the fob, just loop it round a chopstick that's either held by someone or slide it behind something that will let you stand on the other side to twist, like the slatted back of a chair. Twist the thread till it's really tight and carefully fold it in half. don't let go of the end you held while twisting and take the end that was around the chopstick in that hand too and tie a knot to avoid it coming loose again. You will need a section of 6" for the fob loop and the rest will be used around the fob and for the tassel.

For the cord of the pincushion take the left over thread and fold it in half, then fold it in half again and put the chopstick through the side with 2 loops, twist as before to make the cord but this time use a paper clip or bulldog clip to stop it from unravelling.

For the fob start at the corner opposite the loop, for the pincushion you can start at any corner. Leave 3/4 of the end of the cord loose as you will need that to make the tassel. Cord is best stitched in place by letting the thread follow the curve of the cord - just let your thread show you where it can go between the ridges of the cord and make the stitch so the needle comes out at the beginning of the next place, this will make your stitches almost invisible. At the corners of the pincushion make a loop that's 3/4" and using the thread that's on the needle wrap it around about 10 times before continuing along the sides. When you reach the end bring both ends together and wind the thread around 10 times before fixing the stitching thread in place and cutting it.

To make the tassels: cut the cord of the pincushion at the half way point, unravel the cord and then use a needle to pull each individual thread loose. For the fob and the starting corner of the pincushion cut the starting end so it can unravel and then do as above. Trim the ends to 3/4".

I hope you enjoy these patterns, please do share a link to yours if you make them!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Ornament of the Month - April And Tons of Tiny

This month's Birthstones are Diamond and CZ. As they are both more or less the same thing to look at with the untrained naked eye (I'm sure there are people out there who can tell the difference at 10 feet but I for one can't tell the difference unless an expert tells me hehe) I decided to do just one colour this month. The inspiration was diamonds themselves and how they have facets and sparkle so much. This resulted in a LOT of backstitching, a bit more than I like to be honest which is why this blog post is so very late, I kept thinking "I'll be done soon and can post both together". However the back stitching seemed to last for months!
Here you can see how much back stitching there is - over 60 inches of it! But I have to admit that it really looks nice once completed. This being the garland finish it's 2 1/4" square. This month I finished the edges with some of the beads Carla sent me as they looked perfect for the job and the pendant is one of the string of Swarovski bicones my bf sent me as a surprise in March. I did the stitches of the "diamond" elements a bit differently on the garland finish than I had done for the ornament that I'd finished first as I decided to do all of the stitches into the centre instead of huge stitches across going round in a circle.
Here you can see how I'd originally intended it, but in a way it's nice to have small differences in these things and shows there is no one way to do it. As always I have made the ornament finish a bit bigger by using the border I made for the wall hanging around it which makes it 3" square. I used the same beads and bicone for the decoration of the ornament.

Both designs are stitched on 16ct antique white Aida with 3 colours of DMC - pattern can be found here: Ornament of the Month - April - The hanging loops are made with DMC 762

The more curious of you might be wondering how the garland looks by now - I had the same thought so got them all out, strung them together in the order I made them and hung them on my obliging apple tree and this is the result:
They might seem a bit far apart but if you consider that they may be draped around a Christmas tree or hung across the room and there will be only 12 of them then you can see why I'd want them to be spread out a bit.

Now for the Tons of Tiny section! What is Tons of Tiny? In short it's a SAL where you stitch small projects and talk about them and hopefully also send your used and useful patterns on to someone else who might enjoy them. Last month I offered 4 tiny cat patterns and Carla was the person who asked for and will be getting them! Linda, sorry I keep meaning to sit down and translate the instructions before sending the Paddington patterns to you - I will make it happen this week!

This month I have done a bit more than I will count now as I have not yet posted about them and want to do them in a separate post, I will count these next month.

Since my last Tons of Tiny post I have been busy making things. Of course my Ornaments that you can see above are part of this but I won't post the photo's again so close to the others hehe.
 Then there is the needle book I made during the last IHSW - you can find the pattern here: Pattern: Blue floral needle book
There is my double sided scissor fob for the Fob a Month project, you can find the pattern here: A Fob a Month - 1.
Carla has decreed that a double sided fob counts as 2 Tiny's so this project counts as 2.
And last of all the Sophie Card that was a freebie from the CrossStitcher magazine a couple of months ago, there is stitching under the dress that was ironed on with fusible interfacing but you can't see it on the photo - I even back stitched a belly button!

All in all I added another 6 Tiny projects to my total which brings my overall total to 17.

This month's patterns that are on offer are a clown with a balloon (I don't have a cover photo on hand so used the actual embroidery for the photo) and Miffy with a ball. Neither pattern has a colour code but I will give suggestions for each and you could even do the clown using colours of your own! Please note that these are used patterns that I coloured in with pencil and have since used a rubber (that's an eraser for the American's out there ;) ) to remove as much as I can - the patterns are still legible.

I will be sending one of these to 2 people, just comment with which one you'd like and I'll get in touch with the new homes for snail mail addy's some time next week (at the latest by the next Tons of Tiny post). Please note that you are only supposed to request one of these if you are planning on making it yourself as part of the Tons of Tiny project, these patterns are not for resale! If you were given a pattern in the month before you can still join in!

If more than one person asks for the same pattern I'll write the names on a bit of paper, drop them in a jar and let one of the kids pull a name.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Ornament of the Month - April

It is at last the first Friday of the month and with that comes the next ornament - April. April's birthstones are Diamond and CZ which were a bit of a challenge to choose colours for but after a long time looking at photo's I decided that overall they were shades of grey, with darker greys and lighter greys and very very sparkly. I would suggest that if you wish to have a really sparkly ornament you use some Kreinik blending filament "Solar Silver" 001L as that has a nice shine to it as well as the multi colour sparkles that real diamonds have.