Slowly making progress on the Christmas makes – next up a Embroidered flower embroidery hoop.

Now I have got my sewing Christmas makes (Trees, Stockings) out of the way I have been able to focus on finishing some of the embroidery makes I have been working on over the last few months. First one completed is a embroidered flowers embroidery hoop.  The pattern is one I put together using a pattern from Crossstitcher magazine (April 2018).  The original pattern was too big to fit in the hoop I was using so I used bits from the pattern to fill the hoop.

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I covered the hoop with fabric by sewing strips of 4cm wide fabric together and folding the raw edges inwards, I then wrapped this around the hoop.  I created a loop using 2 strips of 20x4cm wide fabric (place pieces right sides together, sew around leaving top edge unsewn, turn out the right way and slip stitch the gap closed).

Sneaking in a little crafty cross stitch sampler

I managed to get all my Christmas makes completed in plenty of time this year (yey!) which meant I had time to fit in a sneaky make for myself before starting up again with other makes.

This cross stitch project I have been wanting to make for sometime but previously haven’t found the time to squeeze it in so was very pleased to be able to get started.  I saw this crafty sampler in CrossStitcher magazine Issue 287 (January 2015) and really liked the added the details of the buttons and safety pins.  I managed to get it all finished over Christmas – supported by a ridiculous about of christmas treats!

I opted to use grey aida instead of the white, and picked out some purple buttons as I have a load of buttons in this colour at the moment.  Some of the colours are slightly different to the original pattern too – there was no chance of getting out and finding the exact numbers over christmas so I substituted some in from my stash!

 

Now I just need to get a frame sorted so I can get it displayed up on the wall.

Now time to get cracking on 2018’s make list!

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Sneaking in another cross stitch cushion amongst all the crochet blankets! 


Crochet blankets have been taking over a bit recently so I haven’t had much time to work on my other projects, I finally managed to squeeze in a week of cross stitching and have managed to get this cushion finished and ready for gifting. 
I love this cross stitch pattern from 365 Cross Stitch Designs, volume 5 2016 and think it’s worked out really well on the green background I was wanting to use. The fabric is some I had in my stash from Ikea. I’ve got my eye on a few more cross stitch patterns from this issue too so it hopefully won’t be long until a few more cross stitch projects pop up! 
Now it’s time to get back to the crochet blankets – I have so many ideas for them I can’t see me stopping anytime soon! 

Time for a bit of cross stitch with this very cute elephant pillow 



I came across the cross stitch pattern for this very cute elephant picture in CrossStitcher magazine issue 281 (2014), and I knew it would make the a perfect gift for a friend whose birthday is coming up. I also found some fabric which was an ideal match to make it into a cushion, this fabric is from the Indian Garden range by The Craft Cotton Company, I love the bright colours and bold patterns of this range. 
I love how this cushion has turned out I Think I may need to make one of these for myself…..

Some more Sneaky cross stitch in amongst the crochet and Christmas makes 

I loved the pattern for these cross-stitch mason jars when I saw it in CrossStitcher magazine issue 279 (June 2014) and I’ve managed to sneak in a little bit of sewing over the last few weeks amongst the Christmas makes chaos to get it completed. I changed the colours slightly from those used in the pattern based on colours I already had in my stash. Now its time to get it framed and up on the wall! 

Starting off a marathon session of crafting this weekend with a swoop and a hoot! 

My list of craft projects is getting a bit out of hand and I have been waiting for a chance to catch up on them and get a few crossed off.  The chance has come this weekend and I am going to make the most of it and try and crack on with some projects! I was excited to get started and decided to start on finishing off a cross stitch project I had almost finished – a cross stitch owl in started a few months ago from 365 cross stitch designs volume 2. 

Once I had finished the cross stitching and got the back stitching finished it was time to make it into a cushion, I chose to make a flap back cushion and used Laura Ashley Gosford plum fabric. I really like using Laura Ashley fabrics as  it is nice and thick, making if perfect for cushions as it gives them good structure and is also hard wearing – if you have made something you want it to last for a while! 
   

 

Also to increase the strength of the back of the pillow for each of the flaps I double over the fabric rather than making a hem along the top of each edge. These two flap prices are then laid over the cross stitch fabric right sides together – ensuring there is an over lap so that it will hold the cushion pad in.  Next sew around the edge of the cushion, this secures the two flap pieces to the cross stitch picture. 
One the two back flaps were sewn on, I turned the cushion right way around and sewed a line in a purple thread an inch from the edge of the cushion. I chose a dark purple as I wanted it to stand out and it was similar to the purple used in the cushion. 
   

 Very happy to get this one finished from my list it has been on it for a long time and I’m even happier with how good it looks!  I have had a space ready for it to go for a while and it looks perfect! I can’t believe how good the owl looks, it stands out so well from the background it almost looks three dimensional!    

  
Let’s see how many more finished projects I can get done in the next few days – the clock is ticking! 

A momentous framing occasion – the end of a very long project, its time to celebrate!

I really love blackwork, I like how it looks and I really enjoy doing it. I came across a pattern in The World of Cross stitching (issue 178) for a blackwork pattern completed using different shades of blue and green, and a DMC colour variations thread of blues and greens. I really liked the pattern and the colours and got to work on it straight away – however, this was a few years ago!!

After I got started I got side tracked with some other projects I was doing and it got lost amongst the bottom of the craft bag – only to come to light last summer when I found it amongst some other fabric I had in there – it’s like a bottomless pit in there! I fell in love with the pattern all over again and got back to work finishing it off! I really enjoyed stitching it and I had it finished by the end of summer, with the intention of getting it framed and getting it hung up on a spot I had ear marked for it on the wall, however, my frame shopping went completely by the way side and after the Christmas makes started, well there was no way I was getting around to framing it, so yet again the poor project got side-lined!

Finally a few weeks ago I found a frame which I knew would be perfect for it, so got it and got all the bits out ready to do it, and I managed to find sometime this weekend to get it framed! I cant believe I have taken so long to get it finished and framed and up – the wait was definitely worth it though I think it looks fantastic and have had a lot of comments from people who would like one for themselves. I think it has been one of the longest projects I have ever done – serves me right for forgetting about it – maybe I shouldn’t have so much on the go at once!

From now on I am going to make sure I keep a note of all the projects I have on the go so I don’t forget about anything, and I’m off to go empty out my craft bag to find out what other half finished projects are lost and forgotten about in the bottom of it!

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I saved the biggest until last. A cross stitch flowery flurry is ready just in time

 

I had three cross stitch cushions to complete this year for gifts and this final one has taken by far the longest to complete. It was a much bigger pattern than the previous two and had much more detail and I didn’t think it was going to end! But, I have finally managed to get through the mountain of crosses and what seemed to be never-ending backstitching. I was a bit worried that once I had finished all of the crosses, the pattern wasn’t going to stand out very well but the backstitching in the pattern did its job and pulled it all together brilliantly. The pattern is from 365 Cross Stitch Designs (Volume 2)

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Once completed, I created the pillow. I didn’t fabric ‘frame’ the front of the cushion like the previous two as I think the picture itself was enough detail for the front and I didn’t want it to be overshadowed by any fabric colours. I again did a back flap cushion so there I wouldn’t need to fit a zip. I found a red flowery fabric in my stash and used it for the back, which I think complements the colours in the cross stitch really well.

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I cut two pieces for fabric for the back (one for each flap) and made sure I cut them big enough so that I could fold the fabric in half to create each flap. This meant I didn’t have to hem each of them and it also gives the back a bit more strength rather than just having a single thickness of fabric. I then laid them right sides together with the cross-stitch picture, ensuring there was an overlap on the two back flap pieces. Once I had sewn them together I turned it the right way and then pinned a line about 1 inch from the edge the whole way around the cushion. I then sewed along this line the whole way around the cushion. I choose a light blue shade of thread to do this so that it would stand out slightly and it also matched the blue that was used in the circle border of the cross-stitch pattern. This line gives a bit of a border to the cushion without using fabric and I think it finishes the edges off nicely, rather than just having the cushion going straight to the edge.IMG_3680 2

 

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This cushion turned out even better than I had hoped and I’m really pleased with it. It’s a shame I cant keep it for myself!

 

A break from everything crochet…

Alongside completing my crochet projects for Christmas, I’ve also had a few cross-stitch projects on the go! I have been making a few cross-stitch pictures that I wanted to use to create a pillow. Finally, I have managed to get two of them finished – I didn’t think I was going to get there, but luckily, with a bit of time to spare, I managed to.

Make 1: Butterfly cross-stitch

I have made this pattern previously and really enjoyed doing it – I really like the butterfly detail, and it looks really effective despite only using crosses and some backstitching. This time I have changed the colours from those specified in the pattern so that there were some more greens and blues in it so as to match my friend’s lounge décor (she’s the recipient of the gift). The pattern is from the World of Cross-Stitching magazine issue 201 and I completed it on evenweave fabric.

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Make 2: lavender cross stitch

 

This is a great cross-stitch pattern, as aside from looking really good, it is surprisingly quick to put together. Instead of using French knots on the pattern I substituted them for small purple beads as I think it gives a much better effect. This pattern was from Cross-Stitcher magazine issue 229 and again this was completed on evenweave fabric.

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Once the two cross-stitch patterns were done, I made them into pillows. The two fabrics I used are both from Laura Ashley and found both in the offcuts basket. They often have some great pieces of fabric in there; it just takes a bit of rummaging around and there are all sorts of great pieces to be found! To put the cushions together I first machine sewed strips of fabric around the four sides of the pattern to act as a frame.

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I then used two large pieces for the back so it would make a flap opening, as I didn’t want to have a zip fastening. Once I had all these pieces (the cross stitch picture with fabric side pieces attached, and the two back pieces), I laid them out with right sides facing and machine sewed around all four sides. Next I turned the pillow to the right side by pulling it back through the flap at the back and then inserted the pad.

 

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I am really pleased with how these have turned out – and even happier that I managed to get them both finished in time! I now just have one more to finish cross stitching which I can then make into a pillow – I think it may be a close call to get it finished!