July 2017

This month has mostly been knitting. Unfortunately I’ve need the repetitive calming motion of knitting straight rows quite a bit this month, but at least it means my scarf is coming on nicely.

  1. Fingerless Gloves – I took this with me on some long train journeys so I’ve done quite a bit, just the fingers to go on the second glove
  2. Fringed Handbag – No change
  3. Bead Embroidery Purse -No change
  4. Learning Curve Sampler Quilt – No change
  5. Shoulder heat packs – No change
  6. Lip balm cozies – No change
  7. A peyote stitch beaded case for business cards – its now ~1/3 done
  8. A knitted scarf with beads – I used up all the beads I had added at the beginning so added more
  9. The right cross stitch – I haven’t touched this this month
  10. Ivy trails necklace – I’m about three quarters through

 

My only finish is my EPP panel, which I even managed to write up, so it’s not all bad. I have however finished some of the easier of the long term projects on the list, so lets see what I finish next. I’m hoping it will actually be shorter next month

 

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English Paper Piecing

I started some English paper piecing in about February 2016 and I am now calling it finished. I have square 18” panel as originally I planned to make a cushion cover. However I only have one cushion and it has a cover at the moment, so I don’t really need another one. I’m not sure what I will make with the panel yet but I guess it will be used for something.

For the english paper piecing, I printed the templates (2″ Hexagons)  from the internet,  I think I ended up using two different sites as one set has an extra set of writing on the hexagons. I then cut up the papers myself – yes it took a while but its pretty easy and I almost definitely did it while I was watching tv.

About to take up #epp

A post shared by Shyeni Paul (@makingshyeni) on

I made a template for myself,  by drawing round a hexagon on some card and adding a quarter inch. I then used that to cut the hexagons from the fabric. I used a set of fabric I bought back in 2015 at the Country Living Fair + another piece that my mother had chosen from the same collection. I’m sure I’ve written about it in the past but I can’t find it anywhere so maybe I hadn’t so here goes. My mum took me and my sister to the 2015 Country Living Christmas Fair and at some point I wandered off slightly and bought a fat quarter bundle of this Asian themed fabric (I’m pretty sure its Asami for Makower UK from googling but I don’t have any selvedges). When I then showed it to my mum, she pulled a face rather than a more normal comment. She then owned up to having bought fat quarter from the collection (but luckily not one in my bundle) to put in my Christmas stocking. Just goes to prove how well she knows me.

I glue basted my hexagons, using a pritt stick – its a washable glue that’s fairly removable so I figured it would be ok and it was. Now that I have had to unpick all the papers, I would definitely use less glue to baste the papers. I basted the papers for the hexagons I used to square up the edges at the end of the project and I used much less glue on those ones and they were far easier to remove.

Once I had basted my hexagons I sewed 4 matching ones  together into a diamond shape. I really didn’t want to make flowers. At some point I worked out how many diamonds I would need to make a cushion cover, I think my cushion is 18” by 18”. I only cut out enough hexagons to do the panel. Sewing the hexagons into the diamonds was a very portable little project so I did do it all over the place. I started by using whipstitch to attach the hexagons, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t make them invisible. I then switched to ladder stitch (is that it’s name? when you hold them flat rather than face to face and go across). It much less visible but I had to be careful to keep it tight so they stay next to each other.

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My diagram

Once I had all the diamonds, I planned the layout and drew a diagram for myself. At this point it became less portable but still manageable to do on a sofa. The combination of the two types of hexagons caused some issues with fitting the hexagons together but I just had to ease them together. Its a little wobbly now its finished but I reckon a good press would sort it out. Once I had the diamonds done, I added a few extra hexagons to help square it up. Taking the papers out was a little tricky due to the amount of glue I had used but I got them out in the end.

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The last paper

So now it is done. Sort of. I’ll put it away for now and one day I’ll put it to use.

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The finished panel

 

July 2017

June went so quickly. I was really determined to have a few more things finished by now but it wasn’t to be. I do have some changes to the list though as I did put quite a bit of time into doing things.

  1. Fingerless Gloves – No change
  2. Fringed Handbag – No change
  3. Bead Embroidery Purse -No change
  4. Learning Curve Sampler Quilt – No change
  5. Shoulder heat packs – No change
  6. Lip balm cozies – No change
  7. EPP pillow case – No change
  8. A peyote stitch beaded case for business cards – I did a little more
  9. A knitted scarf with beads – Added a few more rows
  10. The right cross stitch – I did some more, but because there are so many decisions to be made , its taking me a while

I finally have some finishes though:

  1. The wire wrapped seaglass necklace – Its finally been moved on, and I’ve worn it twice
  2. A beaded necklace – I wanted a quick project as I have so many long term ones
  3. The wrong cross stitch – I put some time into this at the beginning of the month and now is sitting one its shelf

I’m going to try and get another long termer off the list this month but I’m not sure which one yet, so lets see what happens

A finish at long last

 

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My completed ‘Wrong’ cross-stitch

I finished this cross stitch. Finally, it felt like I was working on it for ages. While I did like the process, I think I might stick to smaller projects in the future. In fairness I think I finished it quite quickly but because I’ve had so many long term projects on the go, everything has felt quite slow. Maybe I just need to stagger things a little more.

Progress Shots 

I showed you my planning before. But pretty much every time I started a motif I went and looked at what I’d decided and changed the colours a little. I actually cut down the number of colours I was planning on using quite a bit. For instance all the leaves are more or less done in the same colour which wasn’t the original plan. I just felt it need some cohesion as I was going along. I worked symmetrically adding one colour at a time, which meant I could change colours as I was going along.

The finished object and the plan

How I chose different colour combos

Most of the time I knew straight away which colour combos I was going to use, but when I didn’t my deciding goes like this. Put it next to the area its going and take a picture. Looking at the pattern through the screen, changes it a little and distances you. I find it much easier to tell what looks better after having taken the pictures. In general I’m pretty happy with the colour choices. I’m not entirely convinced by the pale pink but not sure what else would go there, so for now it stays.

Front and Back

I always think that my cross stitch is a pretty good analogy for my life in general. From the front, it looks pretty perfect (Even if I do say so myself – and yes I know I still been to iron off the markings ect) and the back is mildly chaotic. I’ve never been some one who could align all my stitches perfectly on the back as well as the front. However as it doesn’t seem to stop me making it look lovely or (as far as I know) make it any harder, things are unlikely to change. I’m also not really a finisher, which is why it’s on my shelf and still hasn’t had the markings ironed off.

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With my other treasures 

 

June 2017

I’m pretty sure I have no change on the list this month, I’ve done loads on both cross stitches though, so hopefully they might be done this month. It is actually a bit frustrating not to have many finishes so hopefully I’ll get one or two this month.

Anyway, here goes:

  1. Fingerless Gloves – A couple of extra rounds
  2. Fringed Handbag – No change
  3. Bead Embroidery Purse -No change
  4. Learning Curve Sampler Quilt – No change
  5. Shoulder heat packs – 2 cut out
  6. Lip balm cozies – No change
  7. Wire wrapped seaglass necklace -No change
  8. EPP pillow case – No change
  9. A peyote stitch beaded case for business cards – I did a little more
  10. A knitted scarf with beads – Added a few more rows
  11. The wrong cross stitch
  12. The right cross stitch

Finishes this month include:

  1. A shoulder heat pack – I finally did the hand sewing and gifted it.
  2. Curtains – Actually all I did was sew a tube on some fabrics I owned, in order to fit a tension rod through. I’m trying to keep the pieces as whole as possible, so when I move I could reuse the fabric

May 2017

I’ve mostly just been doing cross stitch this month – so my list is pretty much the same. However I’ve done a lot on one of my cross stitches and I used my sewing machine this month – I actually wanted to as well not just making myself do something, which is a good breakthrough. I’ve also decided to scrap the cover for my hot water bottle. Which I think means my list stays the same size

  1. Fingerless Gloves – A couple of extra rounds
  2. Fringed Handbag – No change
  3. Bead Embroidery Purse -No change
  4. Learning Curve Sampler Quilt – No change
  5. Shoulder heat packs – I put one of the three together but still need to do the hand sewing to finish it up
  6. Lip balm cozies – No change
  7. Wire wrapped seaglass necklace -No change
  8. EPP pillow case – No change
  9. A peyote stitch beaded case for business cards – I did a little more
  10. A knitted scarf with beads – Added a few more rows
  11. The wrong cross stitch
  12. The right cross stitch

As for finishes, the only thing I’ve finished is a simple lariat for my graduation.

 

 

 

Cross – stitch fever

I only bought one needle with me on my stint away from home, and I’ve lost it. However my intense desire / current enjoyment of doing my cross stitches means I’m not really feeling my knitting projects. I have needles being delivered tomorrow, so I’m going to sait my desire by writing  about my cross stitch instead.

As I mentioned last time, I’m doing a cross stitch along with friends. The pattern we actually chose was this very cute bookcase pattern. We chose it because it has a lot of potential for customisation.

Unlike the previous floral pattern, I basically did very little planning. I knew I found the pattern a bit too sweet for my tastes, so needed to keep that under control. Pretty much straight off, I knew I wanted to make the globe look like the old fashioned sepia toned ones – so I struck out on the idea of an antique themed bookcase. Like last time I then went on a google of bookcases, there are some beautiful shelves out there.

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This is my Daddy’s globe and was my first source of inspiration

As I spent a bit of money on colours for the other (polish flowers) cross stitch, I was determined to try and do this one, with the colours I had. Fortunately, the colours I had included quite a lot of muted and vintagey colours. I decided to go with a dark background – the pattern calls for 16 count, and I found a navy one (that could be delivered quickly). I may come to regret this decision as working with the dark 16 count aida is hard on my eyes – its the first time I’ve considered buying a daylight sewing lamp – guess I’m getting old.

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This is how I’m kept track of the length of the shelves

I started the pattern with the shelves. I free placed the first shelf and just worked relatively from there. I did all of the shelves as half cross stitches initally, as I needed to count a lot at that stage and I had a few days in one place. This meant once I staryed moving around I’d done the tricky counting and could just do mindless stitching while on trains. I was expecting the shelves to take much longer than they did but I raced through them.

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Once I started the books, I was enthralled. Having the small sections, means it’s easy to feel like you are getting somewhere. I also really enjoy the process of choosing the next colour. Something that apparently stresses people out. I know you are supposed to make colour decisions in day light but I rarely get to sew in daylight; which I figure also means I rarely see the objects in daylight so why shouldn’t I pick colours that look good together and like I want them to in artificial light. So I just make up the colours as I go along.

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I was in a rush to pack for my Easter travels, so I only took my embroidery threads. As soon as I saw the pattern I knew I wanted to include plenty of sparkly bits – like the embossing on old books. So I’ve left lots gaps, which I will fill in at some point – probably at the end.

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Some deviations have begun

 

I knew at the beginning, that I wasn’t going to do the pattern as is. Its a little sweet for my tastes, especially the hearts. Also who puts pens on the top shelf (you wouldn’t be able to reach) or leaves an apple on a book case (way to ruin your books). After some thought I decided I wanted to add some more plants and trinkets. So I had a google of cross stitch patterns, then used my beading software (easybeadpatterns – I really like it) to draft a few ideas.

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Also as I was going on, I decided that there weren’t enough series of books on the bookshelf. So I’ve slowly been adding some of those as I go as well.

I’ve had a lot of stitching time over Easter, but now I’m back to my daily routine so there’s a slow down in progress, but this is a relaxed project so I’m just going to relax and enjoy it.