A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


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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Flower Sampler Book – July update

It’s a good job that I’d already made a substantial start on this page as I lost most of the week to a migraine. I did manage to finish it though and I’m very pleased with it.


The little cottage has lots of teeny French knots in the vines snaking over its walls and windows. I had no problems with them at all. Hooray! I think I’ve definitely cracked it.

I love the trees. It’s a simple pattern on them but looks really effective.


My favourite part, and the best bit of the whole project so far, was the teeny band sampler. I loved doing this so much. I had to keep stopping to admire it and have a quiet squeee to myself. It’s so pretty! The hand dyed thread is a silk and was pure joy to use. So soft and such beautiful shades. I loved the different stitches used too. Nothing that I hadn’t done before but they were combined so nicely. I feel the need to do more band samplers now that I’ve had a taste of one.


This used Algerian Eyelets, Rice stitch, Satin stitch, Couching, Rhodes stitch, Queen stitch, Bullion knots and Four sided stitch. Plus some variations on Cross stitch.

Next month I’ll be doing the page with the Blackwork which’ll be fun as that’s something that I haven’t tried before. I’m looking forward to it, especially as it’s such a pretty design.

For now I’ve started on the first part of the LHN Mystery SAL. So far I’m loving it.


Flower Sampler book – June update

It didn’t take too long to do the first internal page as I’d made a start on it by doing the Four-sided stitch and the Backstitched alphabet last time. I just needed to add the quote.


The Cross stitch alphabet was a joy to stitch. I’m really liking how the Madeira threads look, and the colours are so vivid.


Once I’d done that, all I had to do was the Hemstitch. This was the first time that I’d done this type of Hemstitch and it was easy enough, once I got used to the idea that with the fabric and thread being the same colour, I couldn’t actually see what I was stitching. I think it came out ok though.


The slightly scary part was then cutting along the edge of the Hemstitch. It would have been terrifying if not for having had some practise at cutting with the Hardanger SAL, and also that I was using my lovely Squissors. Again,  not being able to see the stitched threads was interesting as I was quite keen not to cut them. I managed without any mishaps though and I’m rather pleased with how the first pair of pages came out.


I lost three stitching days to a migraine last week so I’m going to give this a few more days before doing a bit on my week three project. I’m loving stitching my Flower Sampler book so I think it deserves some extra time.

In the latest Itch to Stitch, the publication from the Cross Stitch Guild, is a lovely project. It’s a Strawberry Sampler book and is similar to this one only with strawberries, some different techniques, and it’s PINK. I’m afraid I gave into temptation and have ordered the materials pack for it. All the more reason to get this one done fairly soon so I can start the pretty new one.


Flower Sampler Book – April update

Finally I have an update on this. I’ve had a few issues and have spent almost three weeks on it instead of the one that it was supposed to have. The week three project in my rota has been completely missed out but I’m hoping to still squeeze in the latest part of the Papillon SAL and catch up on Song of the Weather.

I was really excited to be starting on the Sampler Book but hit a snag almost immediately. The charts are lovely and clear but the colour key was missing as were the symbols on the chart itself. With so many different pinks/purples/plums I didn’t want to guess the colours so I contacted Jane Greenoff at the Cross Stitch Guild. She sent out the correct charts straight away but missed out the first four parts so I still couldn’t make a start. Jane sent out the rest of the charts for me and while I was waiting I did manage to get the four-sided stitch done on the cover and the first page.
A huge thanks to Jane for getting the charts to me so quickly.

When I did make a start I almost finished the cross stitch but realised that one of the leaves was one stitch too high, making everything I’d done after it also one stitch too high. Sigh. It took ages to frog as I’d been doing the backstitch as I went along too. Obviously checking my count three times isn’t enough to stop me getting it wrong.

Eventually I finished all of the front/back cover and this is what it looks like.

FSB2704I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed stitching this. Even with the delays and mistakes, it was still a joy to work on. I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out and I’m unreasonably pleased with my French knots. I think I’ve finally got the hang of doing them consistently.

FSB04frenchknotsThe knots in the yellow flowers are done in a gorgeous variegated silk but the others are done in the Madeira which is used for almost everything else. I haven’t used Madeira before but I rather like it. It does seem to tangle a bit more than DMC but it’s a bit more silky. I’m so pleased with my knots now that I can do them that I’m going to show off some more, the ones that are attached to the wee bug.

FSB04bugThe creamy squares going down the centre are rows of Four-sided stitch. I hadn’t come across this stitch before but once you get into a rhythm it’s very easy. It’ll be used to attach the pages inside once they’re all finished. The edge is finished off with a rolled hem. This was also new to me but the instructions were very good so I didn’t have any problems. It did take me ages to do the hemstitch to fasten it down. So many teeny tiny stitches.

FSB04foursidedstitchAnd finally, there are the mitred corners. I am chuffed to bits with how these turned out. I was a bit dubious about my ability to get them neat but they came out fine.

FSB04mitrecornerI’ve struggled to put it away to be honest. What I’d like to do is just dive straight into the next section but I don’t want to get behind with the Papillon SAL and I don’t want to get any further behind with Song of the Weather. Also, I do want to get Around the World finished off next month. Then I can go back to my lovely Flower Book.