A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


A whole lotta latte #3

I’ve managed to squeeze in some time to do some more to Latte. The top teacup is almost finished but it looks a bit washed out in the photo. The sun was actually shining so the detail was lost on it. The pink flowers look quite pretty on the yellow background though.

Latte-03Hopefully I’ll finish the top soon and can start working my way down the stack of cups.



Flower Sampler Book – Inside cover pages

This is the scheduled three-weekly post for the SAL that I’m doing with several other crafty blogs.

This time I thought I’d do the inside back cover. This features pulled thread work, not my favourite thing to do. It just doesn’t feel right pulling those threads so tightly that they leave holes, although I do realise that is the whole point.


It should have buttonhole stitch on top of that centre Four-sided stitch section, but I just didn’t want to do it. I didn’t like the way it looked in the provided pictures and I was pretty sure that my version would look even more untidy. So, as it’s my sampler book, I left it off.

The other stitches on there are Pulled backstitch, Pulled satin stitch and Pulled eyelets.

I had time to spare after stitching this, probably because I didn’t do the buttonhole stitch, so I did the inside front cover too. It serves as an index page and is just a list of the various pages done in backstitch. It didn’t take long.


As you can see, I haven’t pressed either page yet, which is why the index page looks so lopsided. I need to press them once I’ve worked out where the edges are, so they can be firmly creased with the iron. Once that’s done, I’ll stitch them into the covers.

The only page left to do now is the pattern darning so I’ll do that for the next update hopefully, and then I’ll just need to do the assembly. Hooray!

Next though I’m going back to Precious Dreams and Sunken Treasures.

For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:
Avis at Sewing beside the sea
Claire at Claire93
Kate at Tall tales from Chiconia
Gun at Rutigt
Alison at Minerva’s meanderings
Jule at From the boudoir
Elizabeth at Garden 4 therapy
Wendy at The crafter’s apprentice

Do pop over and have a look at their beautiful creations.

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My stitching buddy

Sammie is still intrigued by all the dangly threads and interesting fabric when I do cross stitching, but sometimes she will just sit by me and let me stitch now. Not always, but if she’s feeling sleepy she might.


She snuggles up to my side and lets me know how adorable she is.

Sammie080115-02bI usually have the chart at the side of me and when she settles down on it, I do find it a bit tricky to stitch.


She did investigate the possibility of getting on my lap last time, but found there wasn’t quite enough space for her. Also she was patting my fingers every time I pulled a thread through, which was making me a bit nervous. It made for a good photo though.



December’s Cottage – framed

The last one, all framed and finished.

I found a lovely fabric for it. It’s green, with red in it, and it also has blue. Ok, so there’s no blue in the stitching, but the greens have a bluey tint to them so I think it goes quite nicely. It’s from the same Honey Bun as all the rest were.

I am so happy to have finally finished these. I had no idea it was going to take so long to get done. It’s not that it was a time-consuming process. It’s more that I have so many other things that I want to be doing and it was taking time away from them. Doing four or five would have been fine but twelve was definitely pushing it.

Having said that, I’m chuffed to bits with how they all look on the rails. It may have taken almost a year to do, but it was worth the effort.


I have lots of the Sandhill Plums fabric left so I’m planning on using it for other things now that I know which colours I won’t need for the Cottages. I’m using some for a cushion . At least, I hope it’ll be a cushion. I have to get a zip in it yet.

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November’s Cottage – framed

Another one of the fabric-framed Monthly Cottages. The colours in this one didn’t appeal when I received it, nor when I was stitching it. It did grow on me slightly while I stitched but it wasn’t a favourite.


Now I have it framed, I like it a lot more. I’m really happy with the fabric colour that I picked to go with it. I think it tones down the green and red of the house and blends in with the autumn colours.

Just one left to upload. It is finished, I just need to get a photo of it and another one of all of them up on the wall.


New projects for the New Year

As a reward to myself for finishing all twelve of the CCN Cottages by the end of the year, which I will do any day now, I’m going to start not one but two new projects in January. The first is one that I’ve had planned for a while and is a stitch-along with Tree. It’s the start of a new series by Little House Needleworks, with all the designs to be book covers. The first one represents Around the world in 80 days. This is all my lovely stash for it.

AtWstashThe threads are gorgeous, mostly overdyed. I’m really looking forward to using them. The fabric is 32 count Belfast linen in Light Sand.

I’ve just discovered a stitch on my sewing machine that works nicely to edge the fabric. It’s a very cheap machine and as I know nothing about sewing I’ve only used the straight stitch and zig-zag before. I think the stitch was called arrowhead stitch and it seems to be working quite well to stop any fraying.

This is a close up of the design. It’s lovely, isn’t it!

AtWpicThe other project is a fairly last-minute addition to my plans for 2013. It’s one that Tree stitched earlier this year and I really liked it so she very kindly let me have the chart and the left over threads. I kitted it up with the same fabric that Tree used as it looked so nice, and I’m adding it to my January starts because it looks like a nice quick stitch. This is the chart and rather long piece of fabric.

OAstashAnd a close up of the design. It’s called Outrageous Owls, it’s by Glendon Place and it’s very, very cute.

OApicDecember’s Cottage should be finished in a day or two, just in time for me to start on one of these. I’ve got a long list of projects that I want to do in 2013 and I’m hopeful of getting quite a few of them done. Once this last Cottage is done, that’ll be fifteen finishes this year, which isn’t bad at all for me. All small ones, mind you, but I’m still very pleased with that amount.

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Around the World – part seven

I finished another section of this at the weekend while I was watching Strictly Come Dancing. I’ve never watched it before, but seem to have got slightly addicted to it this time around. Bizarre, as I know nothing about dancing. Good for stitching to though.

The finished bit.

07Completed151212It’s a big one, eh? Lots of stitches too, so plenty of photos coming up. Once I’d got the outside cross stitch and the medium green backstitched vine done,  I did the centre. I was itching to do that as I’m loving using the thicker threads.

It uses four stitches. In the centre is a large Pulled Square Eyelet. Working out from that there is some Satin Stitch. Around that is Whipped Backstitch, which I loved doing. It looks so much nicer than plain backstitch. Then around the edges is Petite four-sided stitch. Here’s a close up of just one side of it so you can see the stitches better.


Once I’d finished the centre, I tackled the other two green stitches. Then came the pretty bits.I didn’t want to do the colours as randomly as in the design, especially looking at how I’d done them in the other four-petalled shape at the top of the piece, so I’ve done them a bit more, umm logically. Two of the petals are pinks with some blues, and the other two are blues with some pinks. That way the petals mirror each other.

This is a close up of the blue petal, with pink highlights.

07BluePetalAll the close-ups of the individual stitches are from the pink petals so you can see the differences. The large stitch in the centre of each petal is a Maltese Cross. It’s done in two parts. First the base is stitched with some threads going under others and then another thread is woven around it. It was easy to do and I think it looks really pretty, especially as the base is done in the metallic.

07MalteseCrossIn the points of the petals are some Lazy Daisy stitches but the new stitches to me are the green ones which the blue Petite Rays are fanned out from. They got a bit distorted once the Rays were stitched but they still look effective. They’re Turkish three-sided triangular stitches.

07PetiteRayStitchThe other green stitch is a Fly stitch and it’s used to support the Queen stitch. I made a mistake and did the first Queen stitch in two strands and thought it looked too bulky. On checking the instructions, I realised why. It should be done in one strand. It looked much better once I changed it.

07QueenStitchSeveral new stitches in there for me, as well as some that I’ve done before. I rather enjoyed doing this part and it didn’t take as much time as I thought it would. Part nine should be released any day now but I’m going to do the final Cottage before I do part eight and get completely caught up. I made a start on the Cottage last night. Just a few stitches, but it is a start. I’m going to enjoy this last one. It really is a lovely design.



A whole row of books

After I finished October’s Cottage, I had planned to carry on with that Papillon SAL, but then I realised that I needed something to stitch that required a little less concentration. Out came the Book Quote one and I now have a finished row of books. Woot!

I just need to do the text on this now and it’s finished. I was quite keen to carry on and complete it but then November’s Cottage arrived and now that I’m up to date again with these, I decided to make a start on that straight away. I have to say that I’m not loving this one as much as the others, although I’m hoping that once I get a bit further into stitching it I’ll change my mind.

Changes this month? The turkey will have to go. I can’t be doing with turkeys in November. Other than that, I’ll be stitching it to the chart. I now have a cunning plan for what to do with all of these cottages and have just ordered some fabric from an Etsy shop – Patchworks Plus. Hopefully I’m not dreaming up finishing ideas that are beyond my crafting capabilities. We shall see.

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The Hamilton cross stitch

I sort of forgot to do a progress report on this after the last Grand Prix, mainly because I was still stitching away on it. Once again I didn’t get much done during the actual race as it was another exciting one, so I wanted to try to get a bit more stitched before putting it away. Especially as there was a long break before the next race. And, as I won’t be stitching during the next two races. So, I carried on for another week and a bit. Then I just got busy with holiday planning. Very busy, so no stitching and not an awful lot of updating of stitching on the blog.

So, before I vanish across the pond, this is what the piece looks like at the moment.

The Hamilton cross stitch
I managed to get the rear wing more or less finished, plus his helmet and I’m happy to have got his number one in place. There’s still a lot of fiddly stuff left to do in that central section but once I get out towards the tyres on the right it should go fairly quickly again.