A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


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.

FSBfinished-01 FSBfinished-04

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.

FSBfinished-02 FSBfinished-03

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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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:



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


Song of the Weather – September

I haven’t done any cross stitch or Hardanger since before I went on holiday. I’ve been crocheting and sewing and reading but just haven’t felt like stitching. I’ve just remembered though, that I didn’t get around to uploading a pic of the last SoTW that I did, so as I’ve nothing else to show at the moment, I thought I’d do it now.

I liked this one very much. It was lovely to stitch and worked up nice and quickly. I like how it looks too.

There weren’t many Kloster Blocks which meant I was onto the interesting stitches sooner. I like doing the round Eyelets and can usually get them even now so I’m pleased with those. I love Rhodes stitch and these hearts are particularly nice. Lots of texture. I hadn’t done Pine stitch before, which is the one in the Kloster Block squares, but it was a simple stitch and very quick to do.


I loved the Satin stitch braid. The couching was very relaxing to do once I got started and I think it looks pretty. There was only a small amount of cutting to do – always a bonus – and those double wrapped bars didn’t take long. The new stitch, Gamma stitch, was simple with the brilliant instructions that come with these charts.

I’ve got the rest of the SoTW downloaded and printed now, but I can’t remember if I’ve started October’s or not. I may check later and maybe do some stitching. I’ll see if I’m in the mood or not.


Song of the Weather – August

Just a little late, but I’m gradually catching up. I quite enjoyed doing this one once I’d got those pesky Kloster Blocks out of the way. For some reason I kept miscounting where my start point was on them and had to frog them three or four times, which was the point at which I gave up and put it all away.

When I finally fished it back out and started again, it went perfectly first time. I have no idea what the problem was originally.

The Eyelets were simple enough. I’ve done those several times before. The central Buttonhole Flower was easy and the French Daisies were easy too, once I’d worked out that I needed to have them facing the same way before stitching. A simple matter of turning the piece before doing each quarter.


I was a bit apprehensive about the picots on the woven bars as I’d heard they were tricky, but again, as long as I made sure to stitch from left to right, they gave me no problem. I’m quite pleased with how they turned out.


Song of The Weather – July

I think this was my favourite month so far. It definitely had my favourite surface stitch on it and I loved one of the filling stitches.


The little Ermine stitch is nice but the one that I really love is that Buttonhole Horseshoe. It was great fun to do and easy with the brilliant instructions, plus it looks so textured and interesting.

I had a few issues with the twisted bars. The first one of each pair went fine but the second one kept going pear-shaped. I’m still not happy with them but they’ll do. I love, love, love the beaded diagonals though. They were so easy to do, again with the excellent and clear instructions and they look fabulous. I wanted to keep doing more so I was quite disappointed when I finished them.

SAL by Mabel’s Fancies.


Song of the Weather – June

I finished this in record time this month, mainly due to having a small window in between finishing my week one project and starting the week two one. The other reason is that I loved this one and really enjoyed stitching it. It helped that I was familiar with all the surface stitches too.


The border of Pekinese stitch looks very effective and I like how it looks on this much more than when I did it on the Papillon SAL. I like this variation of Leaf stitch and the Rhodes Windmills were easy and look lovely.

I’d done the woven bars before on an earlier SoTW, and I was happy with my fourth attempt at doing one of the Split Twists, and then the other three came quite easily.

I’ve just pulled out everything I need for next month’s week one and it’s sitting in my project bag. I’m really looking forward to starting it. In the meantime – on with the Flower Book.


Song of the weather – May update

I’m quite pleased with this. The surface stitches aren’t the most interesting ones that we’ve done but look pretty all the same. The cutting was much easier this time. I think I’m finally getting comfortable with it. I must make sure that I don’t get too complacent and make a mistake next month though.

The uneven bars seemed to take ages, but there are quite a few of them. Mine are nicely uneven, but maybe not in the way that was intended. They were definitely improving as I went along though, so that’s ok. I’m happy with my Fan stitches. They were fun to do and I think they look ok.

05MayNow to see if my printer will co-operate as I try to print off the next installment of the Papillon SAL.


Song of the Weather – April update

And yes, it’s in May, but only just in May so that’s an improvement. I¬† have high hopes of getting May’s done in the correct month.

I really enjoyed this one. I loved the surface stitches. Rhodes stitch is one of my favourites and once I’d figured out what I was doing, I liked doing the Portuguese border. I had some difficulty with the Bullion knots and they’re not particularly even but I’m fairly pleased with how they turned out. I think I finally got the hang of them but for a while there, I thought they were going to replace French knots as my nemesis.

04AprilThe cutting seemed to go a bit more smoothly this time as I wasn’t quite as terrified. My Double wrapped bars aren’t very even but I was having some problems getting the thread to stay tightly wound and not go all over the place. They’ll do. My Greek crosses could be better but I enjoyed doing them and now that I’ve done those, I feel fairly confident that I could do better next time.

The next one looks lovely but I’m going to do the Papillon SAL next¬† and leave May until the end of the month. Hopefully it won’t get left until June.


Song of the Weather – March update

Yes, I do know that it’s April now and the post title says March. There’s a reason for that. I’m a little bit behind on this SAL. March’s has been sitting on one side ever since I got to the bit with the cutting. Chicken? Me? Surely not. With April’s not yet printed though, and May’s due in a few days, I thought I’d better get a move on so I gritted my teeth and got the scissors out.

I managed to cut only where I should have, did the wrapped bars and then the Square Filets. I liked doing the filets. They were so much nicer to do than the Dove’s eyes. I’m not entirely satisfied with the wrapped bars though. They could have been pulled a bit tighter, I feel, and they’re not even. I guess that’ll come with practise.

03MarchThe pale purple stitches in the centre are Queen stitch. I’ve done that a few times before and I like doing it. There are some French knots, which are fairly even so I’m happy with those and the stitches right in the corners are Basque knots. The were great fun and similar to a stitch that I did on The Great Escape.

Must get April and the latest Papillon printed next and then I can get cracking on those.