A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


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Flower Sampler Book – Ta Da!

Oh yes, it is indeed finished. I am so very happy. The shame of having such a tiny update to post three weeks ago, spurred me on to get it done. And to be honest, it didn’t take that long once I settled down to it.

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Stitching the pages to the inside cover was the most fiddly bit. There are seven pages squeezed in there. I started with the middle one and worked my way out and found the first few easy enough. The last two were tricky as it was hard to see where I was stitching into. I got there though and the book is now nice and fat.

A couple more photos, this time showing the book open. In the Hemstitch Square page, you can see that there’s fabric inside the page so it shows through the holes.

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I’ve posted photos of each page as I’ve gone along, over the past couple of years, but I thought it’d be good to have them all together. There are quite a lot of them so I’ve made them into a gallery. Click on one to see them all full size.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do for the SAL next. I think it’ll probably be another old WIP out of the ¬†box of abandoned projects. I’ve got a few to choose from ūüėČ

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
Lucy at Lucyannluna

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

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Flower Sampler Book – Assembly #1

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

I hesitate to call this an update as I’ve made hardly any progress. I’m tempted to blame my craft room sort out as that has taken a lot of my time over the past couple of weeks. I could also blame the cat as Sammie was very clingy for a couple of weeks after her operation, and took up residence next to me on the sofa.

I won’t though, as I could have done some stitching if I’d really wanted to. The truth is that I’m a bit intimidated by the assembly of this book, that has taken me so long to stitch. This is the one page that I’ve done so far.

FSBassembly-01Each double page has to be folded in half and teeny-tiny stitches are done all around the outside edges to close it. I’m stitching in ecru thread, joining ecru stitches that are on ecru fabric. It’s really difficult to see, even with a mag-light. I managed to do the one above in one night, but couldn’t face doing another. I haven’t picked it up since.

Two of the pages need a piece of fabric inserted between them, but there are no instructions on how to secure it, so I’m not quite sure what I’m doing with those. The single pages need to have their edges folded over so they’re the same size as the inside cover, then they get stitched in place. I’m struggling a bit with the folding to size bit. I may do a row of hemstitch around the outside which will be a guide.

I will get this finished, and hopefully in time for the next update, but I’m making no promises.

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
Lucy at Lucyannluna

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


11 Comments

Flower Sampler Book – Pattern darning

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

I only just got this finished in time for the SAL post. I was doing the last bit of darning and the hemstitch late last night, but I really didn’t want to post an update with it not quite completed.

FSB14-01I rather like the effect of the pattern darning and it was fun to do. The left side has an assortment of things on it. There’s a vine¬†running up the side, with a bit of darning in it. There’s¬†a bit of cross stitch in the corner and for the foliage and some very simple darning in the flower. The centre panel has some blocks of different patterns of darning. The centre of the flower is done in Bullion knots. Not my favourite thing to do, but they didn’t come out too badly.

FSB14-03The right side is all about that large flower with several different patterns in the petals, plus a fair bit of cross stitch in the leaves and the corners. There’s a caterpillar made from another Bullion knot and a French knot. I’m rather pleased with him. I still need to attach a small charm, but needed to get it pressed first.

FSB14-02All the stitching is done on this now. I just need to sew the inside covers in place, do a bit of titivating – beads and charms, and sew the double pages in half. Then they get attached to the cover and it’s done. I’m hoping to get that lot finished for the next update in three weeks.

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
Lucy at Lucyannluna

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


10 Comments

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.

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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.

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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.


16 Comments

Flower Sampler Book – page six #2

This is the scheduled three-weekly post for the SAL that I’m doing with several other crafty blogs and I’m quite pleased with the amount of progress that I’ve made this time.

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Page six is now finished. Hooray! I have to say though, that it was probably the most fiddly bit of stitching that I’ve ever done.

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The Hemstitch square was fine to do, although the cutting was a bit scary. It was interesting how the cutting was done, compared to Hardanger, and I like how it looks neater, with no whiskers. The Satin stitches around the outside of it just finish it off nicely. The Wrapped bars and Dove’s eyes are teeny-tiny. It was fun working in a sort of miniature, although a bit tricky at times. The dove’s eyes looked small through my Maglight, but without it they really are minute.

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This side, with the drawn threads drove me crazy. I did the cross stitch first, as per the instructions, and to make sure I spaced it correctly, I tacked out the outline of the drawn thread section first. I still managed to get it wrong but couldn’t face frogging the left side flower so there are only three threads either side of the drawn threads at the top instead of four. I can live with that.

Then I managed to cut one of the threads wrong – my biggest stitching nightmare! I managed to patch it ok using a thread pulled from the edge of the fabric and I’m pretty sure you can’t tell the difference.

The most fiddly bit, which made me feel that my fingers are really huge and clumsy, was pulling the very short threads back through the fabric and securing them behind the cross stitch and back stitch, and then weaving¬†the longer cut threads through and securing those. Unless you’ve done it, that sentence probably makes no sense, but take it from me – it was ‘interesting’.

Once that was done though, I could do the pretty stitches and I loved doing that. Despite the problems I had with it, and the odd mistake, I really love how it turned out.

A close-up to see the stitches. From top to bottom:
Diamond hemstitch
Herringbone stitch
Hemstitch
Somersault stitch
Long-legged cross stitch
Tied hemstitch
Long-legged cross stitch
Zig-zag hemstitch

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Now that’s finished, I’m going to do some on Precious Dreams for a while, before picking this up again ready for the next SAL update.

For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:
Avis at Sewing beside the sea
Claire at Claire93
Gun at Rutigt
Eleanor at Sun and cake
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.


15 Comments

Flower Sampler Book – page 6

This is the scheduled post for the Stitch-a-long that I’m doing with several other crafty blogs.

I have not got a lot done. I have done¬†some stitching, but on a simpler, less important piece, because Sammie is still mesmerised by the threads and fabric. I’ve started waiting until she goes to sleep (proper sleep, not a cat-nap) and then very quietly sneaking my stitching paraphernalia out and getting in an hour or two before she wakes up again. I don’t mind this as I love having a cat around again, and if she needs a lot of attention, even better. She is gorgeous.

So, I should also mention that I’ve skipped ahead to part seven of the sampler book and have started the ¬†pulled thread section instead of the pattern darning. The reason for this is that for a large chunk of part six, you’re instructed to use whatever colours of thread that you like. As it’s a kit with a limited supply of threads, I’m not sure which ones I’ll have enough of, so I’m going to do the other parts first and then go back to it knowing which threads are spare.

This is it so far.

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I’ve started on the right-hand side and have managed the frame for the cut thread work plus about one-third of the cross stitch and back stitch. At this rate it will take me several months to finish it, but it’s not a race so it doesn’t matter. As long as there’s some progress, I’m happy.

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For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:

Avis at Sewing beside the sea
Claire at Claire93
Gun at Rutigt
Kate at Tall tales from Chiconia
Eleanor at Sun and cake
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.


8 Comments

Flower Sampler Book – page five #2

This is the scheduled post for the Stitch-a-long that I’m doing with several other crafty blogs. I’ve struggled a bit to get this piece finished in time as it’s quite hard to sew with a lively kitten on your lap. She was fascinated by the thread going in and out and I had to watch her closely so I could move the fabric before she pounced. I didn’t have the heart to move her as I seem to be her favourite place to snuggle up.

I did get it finished eventually though. I’m not completely happy with it as it proved to be quite a bit trickier to do Hardanger on 28ct linen than it is on Hardanger fabric which is usually 22ct. The cutting went fine though. Phew.

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There aren’t many stitches but some of them weren’t as easy when I’ve done them¬†before. The trickiest bit was tucking the points in after doing the cutting. I can usually get it quite¬†tidy with Hardanger fabric but as fast as I stroked them behind the Kloster blocks, they popped back out again so it is a bit untidy in places.

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You can just see them in the close up. I’m quite happy with the dove’s eyes and corner needleweaves, but the corner spokes weren’t easy and don’t look very neat.

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The dove’s eyes in this side are a bit messier as I was struggling with¬†them where they needed to go round Kloster blocks. The ones surrounded by needleweave were much easier.

I think it looks ok, given the problems that I had so I’m reasonably pleased. I think it’s pattern darning next, so that should be fun, especially if Sammie wants to help.

For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:
Avis at Sewing beside the sea
Claire at Claire93
Gun at Rutigt
Kate at Tall tales from Chiconia
Eleanor at Sun and cake
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.


22 Comments

Flower Sampler Book – page 5

I’m interrupting all the holiday fun for my regularly scheduled SAL post. I’m stitching along with nine other bloggers, and we’re posting our progress every three weeks. Links to my fellow SAL-ers at the bottom of the post.

Due to being on holiday at the moment, I haven’t got a great deal done on my Sampler Book this time. I didn’t bring it with me as it’s on 28 count¬†linen and I can’t actually see it properly without my magnifying light. With this page being Hardanger, I really needed to see what I’m doing. Hardanger is scary.

This is where I’m up to so far.

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I’ve done all the cross stitch, and outlined it with backstitch. All of the Kloster blocks are done too. I like doing Kloster blocks.

A couple of close-ups:

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The next stage is the cutting, and then all the specialist stitches such as needle-weaving and dove’s eyes. I’m still slightly terrified of doing the cutting. I was getting fairly confident at it but it’s been over a year since I did any and this is on very fine, slubby fabric. Yeah, I’m pretty much terrified.

Hopefully the next SAL post will show all the cutting done, and perhaps the stitching. Maybe even a finished page. Alternately, I may be showing you what happens when you cut the wrong bit…

These are the ladies, from all over the world, that I’m SAL-ing with. Do pop in and see what they’ve been working on.

Avis at Sewing beside the sea
Claire at Claire93
Gun at Rutigt
Kate at Tall tales from Chiconia
Eleanor at Sun and cake
Alison¬†at¬†Minerva’s meanderings
Jule at From the boudoir
Elizabeth at Stitch 4 therapy
Wendy¬†at¬†The crafter’s apprentice


13 Comments

Flower Sampler book – page four

I’d forgotten just how much I enjoyed working on this. I loved doing the Assisi, which is something that I haven’t tried before. As with the other pages, there is some four-sided stitch to separate the sections and it’s surrounded by a simple hem stitch. I like doing that. It’s very soothing.

This is the left side, with the bit of text that’s optional. This is the last page with text on it, other than the title page which I need to do for the front of the book.

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The right side.

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And the whole thing.

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The next page has¬†some lovely Hardanger. I haven’t done any of that for a while so I hope I’m not out of practise ūüôā

For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:
Avis at Sewing beside the sea
Claire at Claire93
Gun at Rutigt
Kate at Tall tales from Chiconia
Eleanor at Sun and cake
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.


8 Comments

Remember this?

I’ve fished the Flower Sampler Book out of its box and have started to stitch on it again. I’m going to be posting progress at three-weekly intervals, as I’m doing a SAL with several other bloggers. Avis and Claire are working on the same project but the rest of us are all doing something different. I’ll link to everyone¬†on the first progress post on the 12th October.

Just to remind you what the project is, as it hasn’t seen the light of day for over a year, here are some photos of the parts that I’ve stitched so far.

The cover.

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Page one – backstitch and cross stitch.

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Page two Рcross stitch and a small sampler. I loved doing that sampler and may do a larger one at some point. I could use all my favourite stitches and threads, to my own design.

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Page three – blackwork. I’m not a fan of doing backstitch, so not surprisingly, this wasn’t my favourite part to do. I love the finished piece though.

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There are four double pages left to do, and two single pages which will go on the insides of the cover. Page four, which I’m currently stitching is Assisi. The really interesting, and more advanced pages are coming soon – Hardanger, pulled thread work and pattern darning. I’m quite excited to be working on this again, and hopefully, now that I’ve committed to posting regular updates for the SAL, I’ll get it finished.