the slow stitcher

Archive for January 2007

Beary slow going.

Valentine Bear WIP

I can’t believe how much I’m dragging my feet (or my needle, as it were) with this teddy bear considering it’s only 70×75 stitches. “I don’t like stitching teddy bears,” I said to the husband, and earned myself a “Well, who asked you to choose a teddy bear design?” Yeah, I’ve no one to blame but myself! I’m gunning for a finish tonight, and there’s really not much more to be done so I’ve no excuse. On the bright side, in stitching this I’ve discovered that Solaria Gallery’s designs are so brilliantly detailed! There are 22 colours in this little design. I can just imagine how much more challenging her bigger designs are to stitch.

Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler

This is my main motivation for finishing the teddy quickly! I’ve settled on DMC 3041 instead of a red. I’m stitching this on 32count Belfast, one over one. I think it’ll be nice.

Written by Jean

January 29, 2007 at 7:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


I bought so much floss at Spotlight today, my husband couldn’t resist snapping a picture of me holding up my super-long receipt. I think I bought slightly over 70 skeins, all told, as well as a metre of 32 count Belfast and some crafty stuff for my daughter. About 50 skeins are for Rosewood Manor’s And A Forest Grew. The rest is for other projects and stocking up.

My haul included a few skeins each of 3861, 3722 and 3750. I’m still deciding what to use for the Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler (either 3861 or 3722), and the 3750 is for Long Dog Samplers’ The Token. I ordered Alyce Schroth silks for the two patterns but I’ve been fondling the Beatrix Potter chart and I’m not sure if I’ve the patience to wait for the silks to arrive! Also, I’ve never stitched with silk floss before and am thinking it might be wise to experiment with a small project and see how I like it first.

Written by Jean

January 27, 2007 at 10:42 pm

Posted in Crafting

Quilt square and stashing.

One of the members over at the 123Stitch MB recently lost her grandson after surgery. A memory quilt is being stitched for the family, and I thought I would chip in with a square. I chose this Solaria Gallery freebie called Valentine Bear and am working my way through it. No picture because it’s just three blobs of brown at this stage so I’m too lazy to take it off the Q-snaps and scan it right now. Maybe later, when it has a bit more definition.

I’ve come into some money from my work recently so I’ve been a bad girl and gone on a bit of a stashing binge. Bought some fabric, a few patterns (including Beatrix Potter’s Quaker Sampler!!), more Carrie’s Threads and GAST floss. It’s all been arriving bit by bit, and I’m starting to feel the guilt so I’m getting on the wagon. But not till after this Saturday because Spotlight is having a 20% sale on DMC and I’m going to get all the colours I need for my upcoming projects.

Written by Jean

January 25, 2007 at 1:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

This week’s SBQ.

What company produces your favorite hand-dyed fabric? Are there any
companies whose hand-dyed fabric you do not like? If so, why?

Thankfully or not, hand-dyed fabric is one area of cross-stitching I haven’t become addicted to…yet. So no favourite. Most of the designs I’m drawn to look just as nice on standard fabrics as they would on hand-dyeds, so I’ve not had much reason to experiment yet. But I like the fabrics from Silkweaver, Picture This Plus, Countrystitch and Stitches and Spice. I’ve also recently discovered the beauty of R&R Reproductions’ fabric, although they are a little high-maintenance as they’ve to be dry-cleaned.

As for not liking hand-dyeds, I do think Sugar Maple Fabrics are a bit gaudy. But it’s a matter of taste, of course. They do have some lovely colours.

Written by Jean

January 25, 2007 at 1:28 pm

Posted in Crafting

First 2007 HD and SBQ.


I have just finished the mandala! That also answers this week’s SBQ, which is “Have you had a happy dance yet this year? If so, tell us about it! (Or
just point to the entry that talks about it.) If not, when do you
predict it will be?”

My next HD should be the quilt square teddy, after which I should get back to working on My Paper Doll. I want to start another project but I’m not sure it’s a good idea. I tried a 2-WIP rotation with Santa’s Treasures and Palace Princess and now both of them are languishing as UFOs. Not too sure I’m a rotation kinda girl.

Written by Jean

January 19, 2007 at 1:18 am

Posted in Crafting

Almost done.


I’ve been making headway with the mandala. Even though it’s a pretty small pattern at 75×75 stitches, it’s difficult for me to work on it in big blocks of time because of the kids. But I’m getting there! I should be able to finish it in the next couple of days or so, after which it’s framing decision time. I think a simple cream frame would be nice, don’t you?

I’ve also signed up to stitch a quilt square for someone who lost her baby son 19 days after he had heart surgery. That’s due end-February, but I’d need to send it out about two weeks ahead of the deadline because it has to be mailed to the UK. I’ve chosen a freebie design from Solaria Gallery of a teddy bear holding a heart.

Well, it’s time for me to go to bed! The weather is nice, cool and rainy, just perfect for sweet dreams. G’night!

Written by Jean

January 16, 2007 at 1:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

This week’s WIPs.


Yes, yes, I know I got very little done considering the dog’s bowl is tiny. My excuse is I was working on a little project that will be gifted:


This is Ink Circles’ free breast cancer mandala pattern, done on 18ct caramel Aida with DMC and Carrie’s Threads. I think I put too much Retayne in the water when rinsing the Purple Pansy floss, because it’s pretty washed out. But I like the overall effect because the pink in the ribbon is a strong colour and the unrinsed floss would have made everything a little too gaudy for my taste.

Written by Jean

January 12, 2007 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

First 2007 SBQ.

Do you dream of running your own LNS/ONS? If so, tell us about your dream. If not, tell us about your cross stitch dream… maybe you dream of designing, dyeing your own floss or fabric, etc.

K and I were talking about retail the other day, when I said I would like to open a little crafter’s hangout where people with all sorts of craft hobbies could gather to work on their stuff while having coffee and light snacks. We could have craft highlight days where we’d give a free lesson on a certain aspect of a craft, and people could pay a nominal fee for a coffee and snack while attending it. Craft is catching on in a big way in Singapore so such a cafe could just work! There is already a scrapbook store with a similar concept and it’s doing pretty well as far as I can see.

Running a cafe would be a very consuming endeavour, though. I’m not sure I’m addicted enough to cross-stitch to actually pull it off. I used to have a little plus-size clothing business and it was difficult enough as it were. F&B is way harder. As for designing or creating my own fabric or floss, maybe someday yes. But for now I’m happy to stick to my dream of accumulating as much stash as I can!

Written by Jean

January 11, 2007 at 11:01 am

Posted in Crafting


I’m feeling quite sluggish about stitchy things. I put in some stitches on My Paper Doll last night, and now I’m feeling strangely unmotivated to work on it some more.

There’s also the matter of Retayne-ing some of my hand-dyed floss for a small project that I’m doing as a gift. Rinsing them was fun at first but quickly became a chore. And I have so much of it to get through too!

Also, I think I need to organsise my fabrics and odds-and-ends stash box soon. It’s getting to be quite a mess and finding things I need is becoming more difficult.


Written by Jean

January 8, 2007 at 1:25 pm

Posted in Crafting

My Paper Doll update #4.

Yeah, I know I take bad pictures.

Not very much done this week as well, but I did finish the dratted yellow pyjamas. Next bit to do will be the dog and its bowl, right below the pyjamas. Then there are a couple of small bits on the left to finish before I move the fabric and work on the stuff to the right of the doll.

I really hate stitching with white floss, and one of my next projects – a Moira Blackburn – is almost entirely white. Sigh. By the way, Moira seems to hand-draw her charts; I was looking at mine yesterday and realise there are quite a few spots in which the symbols seem to have been whited out to correct mistakes. There are also hand-written instructions such as “fill-in” in areas with blocks of colour and symbols like circles are irregularly shaped too. I would’ve thought it’d be easier to use CAD software than to draw a huge design on graph paper by hand!

Written by Jean

January 5, 2007 at 2:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized