Sunday, 31 December 2017

All About Blogger of the Week - Pinned Post - Scroll down for the interviews

As a long-time subscriber of the now defunct Cross Stitch Collection magazine, one of my favourite articles was their Blogger of the Month.  When the magazine ceased publication I decided it would be fun to continue the tradition but make it a weekly feature (more bloggers for your money!).

I started by inviting some of the followers of my blog to see if there was any interest in doing interviews and articles and this blog is the result!

If you would like to be interviewed and considered for a post on the blog, please email me at joanneperry179@gmail.com with a link to your blog.

I do hope you enjoy reading the posts and leave comments for the interviewee.  Hopefully it will inspire you to visit their blog and add a new blog to your Reader.

Just for fun, here's the full version of the design I "cut-up" for the header:


Designed by Elissa Hudson, stitched as a birth sampler for some friends.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Mary from Mary's Stitching Spot

This week's Blogger of the Week is a newer-to-me Blogger but I am glad that I found her blog, she has stitched some gorgeous ornaments and a wonderful version of the Hands On Design's Summer Chalk on a stunning red fabric.  To see all these and more after the interview, pop over to visit Mary of:



1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

My name is Mary and I am from Tampa, Florida.  I currently reside in Paducah, Kentucky with my husband Bill, 3 sons (Bradley, Blakley and Brentley) and 2 dogs named Max and Hana.


2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

A roommate of mine showed me how to cross stitch in 1992 and I did 2 projects for my nephews.  Then I stopped until 2000 when I became pregnant with my first son.


3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start?  Is there a story behind your blog title?

I started my blog in 2011 as a way to show my work and to see my progress.  I am afraid that it is kind of boring but I love some of the SAL's I have participated in this year because of my blog.  My title is Mary's Stitching Spot because I was trying to make it sound cozy like sitting in comfortable pj's with a warm drink and just relaxing with cross stitch.


4. How would you describe your stitching style?  Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?

For a long time I stitched nothing but smalls because I found it was easier with my sons when they were younger.  I am now branching out to more larger and challenging pieces.  I am on a journey of self discovery with my cross stitch.  I use to stitch only cute/seasonal projects but I want to do more.  Not ready for HAED's but you never know.  I do like to rotate between projects so I don't get bored but I try not to have more than 7 or 8 WIPS.

Words by Palko-Lap



5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

I want to try Mirabilias one day.  I am on a Tempting Tangles, By The Bay and The Prairie Schooler kick.  I have always loved Rosewood Manor.  I love quaker designs as well.


6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

There are a few but the most recent cross stitch I am proud of is the Circle de Cirque by Ink Circles Design that I made for my son, Bradley. I also did the SAL from Palko-Lap's blog (see above) and I loved picking my own colors.



7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

I have had a few over the years.  The worst for me is getting permanent pink marker on my project after it was completed and the fabric was white linen.


8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?

The 2 things I have always wanted to do are Hardanger and Knitting.  Not sure if I ever will but will admire other people's beautiful work.


9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces?  Or is everything FFO'd?  What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

I have a small box of shame.  I try to FFO projects,  especially if they are ornaments, pillows or smalls.  I have a basket where I put my smalls that I rotate seasonally.  I need to do more for summer and spring; I tend to stitch a lot of Fall and Halloween. No matter how much I stitch I still feel like it isn't enough.


10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

Besides seasonal, I love Quaker, animals, and nature. My daisy biscornu is one of my most favorite pieces.



11. Tell us a secret about yourself.  Or a joke.  About anything!

I am very unorganized and forgetful.  I am trying hard to work on this however.


12. Anything you would like to add?

Thank you so much to Jo for finding my blog, and me, worthwhile to have as the blogger of the week. I really appreciate the time and energy that goes into it and I love to get to know other stitchers in the community.
















Friday, 1 December 2017

Lorynn from My Bored Nerdy Self

How can you resist a blog title like that?  Lorynn is a newer blogger which is always good to see.  As people move on to new things it's nice to meet new friends to join us.  She has one project in particular which I love to see growing, I'll add a link to that at the end of the interview.  I also love the story of how she started stitching, so many bloggers have credited their grandmothers, this is a nice change!  Please welcome Lorynn from




1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

Hello! I am Lorynn from Orlando, Florida.  I have an amazing husband, who I have been with for a total of 11 years and we have been married for the last 3.  We have a beautiful daughter who will be 2 in January (where has the time gone!?!?) We also have 2 dogs (a yorkie and a german shepard) and 3 cats.  Needless to say we definitely have a full and active household!  As far as work goes, I am an Emergency 911 Dispatcher.  I dispatched police for 8.5 years and have been dispatching fire/medical services since January of this year.



2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

I started stitching in 2011, when I spent a week with my grandparents in Arizona.  I was actually taught by my grandfather.  He uses stitching as a calming technique and his pieces are absolutely beautiful.  He noticed that I was admiring all of his work and decided to take me to get a starter kit and show me how to stitch.  I decided on a very small lighthouse starter kit that he showed me how to start and then I finished it on the plane ride home.




3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? Is there a story behind your blog title?

I have been blogging since about February 2016.  I started looking up cross stitch stuff online and came across several blogs (Jo’s Serendipitous Stitching being one of the firsts!) that I really enjoyed following and decided I would take a stab at it myself.  I figured I would use it as a way to motivate me to keep working on projects when work and life in general didn’t keep me extremely busy (like it has been lately).  As far as my title goes, I’m a big nerd who loves all things comic books, conventions, video games, science and math and I used to always say I was bored before our daughter came around, thus My Bored Nerdy Self came to mind as a title.


4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?

I would say that I really don’t have a style. I kind of follow all the different examples depending on my mood or goals at the time :-P


5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

Honestly, I don’t really have a favorite designer or style.  If I see something that catches my eye, it’s usually because it has reminded me of someone and I end up stitching it as a gift.


6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

I would say the piece I am most proud of would be the Geisha that I finished and then ended up gifting to a friend as a wedding present because she fell in love with it.  It was definitely the most intricate piece I have completed so far and took me the longest!



7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

The worst disaster was probably when I miscounted and ended up waaaay off and didn’t realize it until I had done several lines of work...I was devastated!


8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?

I don’t know how to use a sewing machine but I would eventually like to learn and maybe start finishing pieces in little pillows and whatnot.


9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

I have several unfinished pieces but when I do finish something, I completely finish it.  I generally tend to frame my pieces and then gift them to others.  It’s just been recently that I’ve been stitching small pieces and actually keeping them for myself.


10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

Probably my little video game pieces that I have done so far.  I plan to do several more whenever time permits again.





11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!

It’s no secret that I am a nerd however the amount of nerdiness that I publicly portray is usually contained.  So secretly, I’ve always wanted to go all out and dress up as a character when I attend conventions but I’ve never been brave enough to!


12. Anything you would like to add?

Thank you for taking the time to get to know me a little bit!


Jo's favourite project - Olde World Mappe







Friday, 24 November 2017

Deborah from A Patchwork of Crafts

This week's Blogger of the Week is another keen participant in my Blog Hops and another keen multi-crafter.  As far as I am concerned the best thing about her is her love of Dragons!  She even has a page on her blog dedicated just to Dragon Finishes.  Please give a warm welcome to Deborah from



1. Please introduce yourself; name, family, pets etc.

Hi my name is Deborah (the biblical spelling and it means little bee so I like bees).  I live in a small town on the North East Coast of England.  This used to be mining country.   I have no pets although I did one summer have bees nesting in the garden.

Can you spot the bee?

However, my brother who lives in Wales makes up for my lack of pets by having seven cats.

Cats!


2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

Now there is a question with a multi layered answer, I recall green Binca at infant’s school and stitching on that but I don’t think I was officially cross stitching till my mid to late 20’s due to a Christmas gift of a kit. (Teresa Wentzler’s The Castle.)



3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start?  Is there a story behind your blog title?

I started my first blog on 14 February 2013 about getting to work and back, at the time I had limited access to the internet and could not add photographs.   A craft blog had to wait until 9 June 2013 when I was able to add pictures because the pictures are mostly the important bit.   What inspired me, my BFF starting a blog about the Open University journey (she graduates next month).   Why a blog, I have been thinking about that, I believe it to be a combination of having a record of what I have made, having a place to share crafting tales and thoughts without boring family and friends to death and of course narcissism.  As for the title, I Googled several variations and they were taken; A Patchwork of Crafts both reflects my interest in patchwork and the mad way I dot about between the things I give a go, and was not being used by someone else.


4. How would you describe your stitching style? Serial starter, a rotator etc.

My BFF would call it in the zone, something takes my fancy and I start it and whilst I’m zoned in it gets worked on.  However, other things can distract me and projects go on hold.  Sometimes for days, sometimes years.   I tend to have three of four quilts at various stages, a similar number of cross –stitches and more projects in my head (and stash) than is wise.   I also tend to make things difficult for myself overcomplicating (my friend calls it Deborizing) which can make a project take longer than perhaps it needed.  Sometimes it pays off, sometimes not.  I am also parsimonious (that’s polite for tight) and like to use stuff up and recycle or repurpose and not throw things away.


5. Do you have a favourite style or designer you are drawn to?

I think there is a difference between what I am drawn to as an image and what I am drawn to as a sewing project.   I have learned a few lessons about myself, I like what I like and there is no point putting any labels or limits on that as there will be something that comes along that surprises me.   I get equally frustrated with big areas of solid colour as I do with intense tweeding and confetti.  So I need to add into a projects completion time the chance I will get fed up with it at some stage.   I like dragons, drapery, and scenic designs at the same time I like cute and traditional, bright and monotone, modern and old fashioned, so I guess a real patchwork of things.


6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

That is a bit easier to answer, and anyone visiting my blog probably already knows, for cross stitch it is La Scapigliata by Maria Diaz which is the featured post on my blog.



It is just so very effective and Deborized by stitching it one over one on 45 count linen.  

For the patchwork and quilting it is Monument Dragon (beware an epic post for an epic quilting journey).  It was a long time in the thinking before its long time in the making and the quilted dragons well that was the Deborizing on that piece.  



Embroidery, my Christmas card inspired trilogy, mainly the shepherds at the moment with high hopes for the Herald Angels getting started sometime soon.



7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

I mostly refuse to accept that disasters have occurred.  I try to view them as inspiration for a design opportunity, not perfect, unique!  On the cross stitch for my brother and his wife (Arthur and Guinevere, the cross stitch title not my brother and his wife’s names) I did not leave myself with enough fabric down one side to frame it as suggested.
The result, a mount cut to curve around the design.   Very pleased with the result and without the “disaster” not something I would have attempted.



I guess on this All Our Yesterdays design I did have a large area of green grass in the background that had to be unpicked as I has sewn it in full cross when it should have been half (or tent as some call it) and had to cut the threads and use tweezers then sticky tape to get all of the bits off before I could start again. I might have been tempted to leave it but the grass to the foreground was the full cross and it gave the image perspective and depth.



8. Which new technique would you like to try, stitching, finishing or another craft?

I am always finding something to add to the future try list it is amazing how many crafts and, styles there are out there.  Hardanger, drawn thread work not tried that yet, doing a HAED is on the list, so many blocks in the patchwork (currently trying a sampler quilt to work through some of those) it would be nice to make something that is wearable perhaps.


9. Do you have a box of finished but not fully finished pieces? What is your favourite way to finish a project and what do you do with them?

Guilty as charged, at least as far as the cross stitches go.  I mostly frame them although smaller items might become cards.   If the project was not made with a gifting deadline of some sort then it will wait till I am in the framing zone or I find the perfect frame.  They are easier to store unframed and are ready if an event comes along with insufficient warning to sew something in time.


10. Which of your projects most represents you?

That’s getting a little more difficult, so perhaps without over introspection I will say the Monument Dragon, as much for what is not in it as what is, the memories the image invokes and the memories the quilting journey (I did say it was a long one) contain and well it’s a dragon, it would have to be a dragon.


11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke or anything

I did mention I was parsimonious, well I don’t do ORT, well not since the thread ball anyway. Thread is either long enough to sew with (anything over 4” is long enough to sew with) or it isn’t and goes in the bin. Material is either big enough to put in a quilt (anything wider than 1.5” is big enough) or it isn’t and goes in the bin.   I just don’t have the space for ORT.  Then again maybe my idea of usable is someone else’s idea of ORT.


12. Anything you would like to add.


It is great having people visit the blog from all over the world (even if the flag counter is not always capturing the countries) and wonderful when people leave comments (even if blogger does not make that easy).  I equally like visiting others, sharing smiles over successes, wincing with those design opportunities and seeing the wonderful divergence of tastes in patterns and styles that is broadening my own taste.  

Friday, 17 November 2017

Christine from The Alchymyst's Study

This week's Blogger of the Week is another very talented multi-crafter and artist, photographer and wordsmith.  An enthusiastic participant in my Blog Hop, particularly the Mystery Phrase guessing from only a handful of letters.  You can blame her for Hemlock Root & Henbane as I wanted something she couldn't guess immediately!  This blogger is a fashion guru and is raising the next generation of crafters with two daughters who are also keen crafters.  Her other talent is finding the best free charts for the Needlecraft Haven challenges each month.  Please welcome Christine from



1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

Hi, I’m Christine. I live in Cornwall ( that’s the pointy bit in the bottom left hand corner of England for foreign visitors), with my husband of 31 years, where we run our own wedding photography business. We have two grown-up daughters (Eloise lives in Leeds and Naomi is currently studying abroad) and share our home with two cats. I do all kinds of art and crafts, not just stitching, and you’ll find little bits of all sorts of things on my blog.


2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

My mother used to teach needle work in secondary school which is probably why I’ve been stitching my whole life. I can remember making table mats and coasters by adding running stitch borders to squares of binca when I was about 6 or 7, and from there I moved on to stamped embroidery kits. The Holly Hobby kit, I must have stitched when I was around 14 or so.



I probably started seriously cross stitching when it “boomed” in the mid 1980s, this design of lilies by Marc Saastad for Silver Lining was one of my first cross stitch pieces.





3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? Is there a story behind your blog title?

I’ve been blogging for about 10 ½ years. Yes I was surprised too when I went and checked that. I didn’t think it had been that long. My husband and I were both originally chemists, and I used the nickname of “The Alchymyst” on the internet long before I started blogging so “The Alchymyst’s Study” seemed like an obvious choice.



4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?

Oh dear. I am SUCH a serial starter, in all crafts, not just stitching. I’ve got the attention span of a mayfly when it comes to crafting, and I’ve always got multiple projects one the go. Random, and eclectic are very good words to describe my style.

Geeky and weird have also been known to have been used.



5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

I wouldn’t say I’ve one particular favourite designer, more a favourite style. I love samplers and anything which uses a variety of mixed stitches (did I say eclectic and low attention span?), I enjoy doing Hardanger and drawn thread work, and I like a stitched piece to look like a stitched piece rather than looking like a painting. I’m not a huge fan of full coverage pieces for example.



6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

That’s a tough choice. I’ve been lucky enough to have a few of my own designs published, so I suppose I’m proudest of those. I think my favourite would have to be the penguin one I designed for Stitch Magazine. I’ve got a bit of a thing about penguins.



7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

A few years ago I completely fell in love with the first instalment of a mystery SAL, signed up for the series, bought all the threads and beads (and they were pretty expensive), and then found I hated the rest of the design when it was released.

More recently, I stitched a little primitive Santa ornament, and decided to antique it with tea when it was finished. All the colour from the red threads ran, and left me with “Serial Killer Santa”



8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?

Don’t get me started, I want to try ALL the crafts – Bwa ha ha ha!

Seriously, the one thing I’d love to be able to do is crochet. I have tried. If I’ve got my “Idiots Book of How to Crochet” in front of me with the diagrams then I can manage well enough with simple things, but I just seem to be incapable of retaining the information, which is odd because I can knit pretty much anything.



9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

Yeah, I’ve got a box of unfinished things. I call it my house.

I used to like to frame pieces, but what with how long I’ve been stitching and being married to a photographer, we’re getting pretty low on wall space, and to be honest we don’t have a whole lot more room for cushions either, so I pretty much stick to smalls and ornaments these days. If I do larger pieces then they’re generally for gifts. I stitched this Jane Austen quote for Eloise, if you look carefully you can see her name hidden in it.



And this slightly censored one was stitched for Naomi.



10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

That’s another tough one. I’m going to go with my dragon, because he’s in all my favourite colours. Also he’s kind of meant to be Smaug hoarding the Arkenstone, which feeds my inner geek



11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!

I have an absolutely filthy sense of humour. Cards against Humanity anyone?

I really don’t think I ought to share any of my favourite jokes, there might be delicate sensibilities reading this.








Friday, 10 November 2017

Beadgirl from Books, Crafts and Other Procrastinations

This week's Blogger of the Week is another multi-talented multi-crafter who also loves to join in with my Blog Hops!  My current favourite project is her Year of Stitches embroidery challenge.  Make sure you have a good look at that when you visit Janalyn AKA Beadgirl of



1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

I’m Janalyn Martínez.  I was born in Puerto Rico, grew up in Massachusetts (go Sox!), and now live in Queens, New York.  I have a husband, three boys, and two cats. I’m a part-time librarian.



2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

Since childhood.  My mom taught me the basics of sewing and embroidery, I had children’s needlepoint and cross stitch kits, and I even took some classes in my grade school in quilting and crewelwork (not home-ec, just a school with an odd selection of electives).



3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start?  Is there a story behind your blog title?

Since 2009. (Sheesh!)  I had to give up my original career as a lawyer to care for my oldest, who has Down Syndrome, and I was looking for a way to keep up my writing skills.  I had moved away from the friends I discussed books with and I wanted a way to express my thoughts about what I was reading.  I enjoyed reading other crafty blogs, and I wanted a way to record what I was making.  So it all came together!  There’s nothing special behind the name except that I avoid chores by reading and making things. It’s my therapy, and my way of coping with the challenging aspects of my life.



4. How would you describe your stitching style?  Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?

I’m not even sure how I’d describe it.  I juggle lots of projects at once, not just different kinds of stitching but crocheting, quilting, and beading too. Some projects languish for years, others I push myself to finish by a deadline, still others get done quickly because I’m enjoying them so much.



5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

I don’t have any particular favorite (and that’s just as well, given how often a designer I like just disappears from the stitching world. Remember Monsterbubbles? Birds of a Feather?).  I like anything colorful, quirky, bohemian, geeky, or nerdy.



6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

A design I stitched for my mom almost two decades ago. It’s much larger than my usual work, and much more elegant, and meaningful to my mom because of what it is and when I gave it to her.



I’m also quite proud of the first pattern I designed, a sampler of Arrested Development quotations; I’ve even sold some copies!



(It’s also how I learned pattern-testing is a thing, and an important one at that.)



7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

I don’t have big disasters — just lots of stupid little errors and mistakes, some of which I can work around, some of which I pretend were intentional, and some which just stare at me and keep me humble.



8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?

None! I have too many hobbies already! Don’t give me any more ideas!



9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces?  Or is everything FFO'd?  What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

Are … are there people who don’t? Who actually fully finish everything?


It should come as no surprise, then, that my favorite finishing techniques are the simple ones — pillow-style ornaments that I can stitch up on my sewing machine in just a few minutes, or even better, keeping them in a hoop permanently.



10. Which of your projects most represents "you”?


My Paisley Pumpkin Crazy Quilt.  It started as a Mill Hill kit which I can never resist, stitched on fabric instead of cardstock.  I omitted the plaid border because it would be too much boring cross stitch (there’s a reason I favor small designs), instead surrounding it with lots of different fabrics from my stash.  Then I got to embroidering and embellishing it with threads, yarn, lace, trim, ribbon, buttons, charms, beads, fringe, basically anything I could find that was pumpkin-themed or in the right colors. It’s eclectic and all over the place and incorporates all my different crafty interests, so it’s a good emblem of my work.




11. Tell us a secret about yourself.  Or a joke.  About anything!

I’m a bit of a synesthete: letters and numbers have distinctive colors in my head.  I’ve started a series on the colors of the alphabet:

D is green.  I haven’t decided on the medium, though.





12. Anything you would like to add?

Thank you for inviting me to do this! It was fun.


Friday, 3 November 2017

Faith from Faithfully Stitching

This week's Blogger of the Week is a fellow Christmas Ornie SAL Blogger and a long time follower of mine.  She also loves those rather confusing jigsaws where you don't have the picture!  Obviously an animal lover as well as a keen crafter, please welcome Faith from



1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

I live in Tucson and have been here for 2 years.  Originally from Chicago where I had lived my whole life.  I live with my 2 adult children, my awesome grandson, 4 dogs (all rescues from shelters), a red foot tortoise and the newest addition to the bunch is a cockatiel.


2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

I had dabbled a little with embroidery while I was growing up but it didn’t really stick at that time.  In 1995, I was going through some personal stuff and needed something to occupy my mind and time so I went into a local craft store and walked up and down the aisles.  The second to the last aisle was counted cross stitch. I sat on the bottom shelf and started browsing thru a leaflet they had there and found a simple design to stitch.  I gathered up all the supplies needed, went home, stitched it and an obsession was born!


3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? Is there a story behind your blog title?

I had to go look (LOL) I made my first post in January of 2010 but didn’t really start updating regularly until 2011.  My blog title is a play on my name.  I started blogging mainly to see my own stitching progress.  I had been reading other blogs and liked comparing the ongoing progress on the pieces they displayed.


4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?

Oh goodness… before I really got into stitching groups on Yahoo and later Facebook, I like many others was a one piece at a time stitcher.  Now I think I am a serial starter (don’t you just love starting a new piece, it is exciting!) who wishes I was disciplined enough to follow every rotation I put in place for myself.  Instead I just stitch what I want to when I feel like it.


5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

I LOVE geometric and mandala designs, it is just something about the way they are laid out that attracts me.  I love Northern Expressions Needlework and Ink Circles for those designs.  I also love stitching bunnies (I collect them) and simple holiday designs.  However… I am not opposed to stitching most designs put in front of me!


6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

That is a hard choice because I love so many of them but I think it is between the Spirit of the Eagle and Walk Softly. I stitched these for my Father and they were my first pieces with beads.

Spirit of the Eagle
Designer - Sally Smith

Walk Softly
Designer - Linda K Powell


7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

That would have to be Bunny Collector.  It was my first and LAST attempt at stitching “over 2”. I just can’t get the hang of it for some reason.  I finally gave up on this piece, cut off the extra fabric around it and threw the stitching away!  I may attempt to do it over 1 someday in the future.

Designer – Alma Lynne


8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?

I used to crochet but my hands no longer like that craft.  I also like to sew but the machine still scares me a bit.  I would love to learn to quilt and it is on my list of things to do so the machine and I better come to an agreement soon.  Most of all though I would LOVE to learn how to finish my pieces off into “something” so they can be displayed.


9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

LOL, I have what many call “The Box of Shame” where most of my finished pieces go to rest while I contemplate what to do with them.  The easiest way of course is to frame them but I have even been slacking on that lately.


10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

I also like quotes that serve as reminders for everyday living and encouragement so I think that may be Rules of Life which I stitched in my favorite color…purple!

Designer - Kincavel Krosses


11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!

I can’t think of any secrets off the top of my head.  I am very good at procrastinating and tend to let things pile up which is why I have lots of WIPs and stash!  I also love assembling jigsaw puzzles and that obsession has taken over when I can’t sleep at night.


12. Anything you would like to add?


Just want to say a big THANK YOU to Jo for creating this blog so we can get to know new stitchers and learn about others that we have been following for a while.  Thanks to all who took the time to read about me!  






Friday, 27 October 2017

Sheryl from Sewing After Seven

We are off to another part of Europe for our Blogger of the Week this week.  She has been a great participant in a number of my Blog Hops now and Gifted Gorgeousness too.  She does a variety of crafts as well as cross stitch so there is always something beautiful to see on her blog.  I've added a link at the end to a recent post of a gorgeous book she made for her granddaughter.  Please welcome Sheryl from



1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

My name is Sheryl, born in Kent U.K. and now living in Gijon on the north coast of Spain. I have a son who lives nearby and a daughter and three grandchildren who live in Madrid. I retired from ESL teaching last year.


2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

I remember learning embroidery stitches and making a samper while still at Primary School and my mum taught me how to knit, crochet and sew. I must have been a super boring kid as I can remember taking my knitting to school and in the photo below I´m sporting my first Fair Isle sweater made when I was 15.



3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? Is there a story behind your blog title?

I started my blog three years ago with the idea of just creating a permanent record of my needlework as other girlfriends were doing but I got caught up with the fun of meeting and chatting to other crafters about our shared hobby, seeing what they were making and enjoying the wonderful tutorials and SALs available. I pondered about my blog name for ages endevouring to conjure up something ingenious and memorable but everyone had got there before me and so I opted for `Sewing After Seven´ which is when I do most of my stitching.


4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?

Organised and eclectic. I jump from one technique to another as I´m interested in everything fashioned with a needle, whether hardanger, whitework, crochet, applique, knitting or patchwork. I always have two projects in the making, embroidery which I do in the evening and sewing at any other free moment during the day. I very rarely work on a pattern without knowing what I´m going to use it for and have a dangerous tendency to adulterate patterns and change them to add my own touch of beads, lace, applique, crochet or somesuch with the sometimes disastrous consequences that result from such deviations from the original and result in the entire project being abandoned and banished to the Dreaded Drawer aka UFO cemetery.






5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

No favourite designer. I love embroidery in general but Hardanger, whitework, reticella and schwalm embroidery always draw my attention, as with samplers including speciality stitches and crazy quilting stitches and stumpwork. Also I love fine crochet work.




6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

A quilt I made for a grandson and based on the illustrations by Petra Steinmeyer in the story book The Bremen Town Musicians. I felt very proud when Petra complimented me on my work and asked for more photos of the said quilt.



7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

Not exactly mine but while attending patchwork classes years ago, I was making a cushion cover when the teacher said my little applique houses needed windows and doors but not to bother with embroidering the tiny details as they could be done with a permanent marker pen which she then procured from out of nowhere and proceeded to draw on my cushion making what I considered a horrible mess. Although the cushion is very old and faded you can still appreciate the disaster in the photo.



8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?

Definitely whitework, reticella or schwalm embroidery which would make a nice challenge or bobbin lace making. I also need to learn free motion quilting.



9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

The aformentioned Dreaded Drawer contains mainly completed patterns which for some reason or another lost favour during their execution and where a lot of the considered substandard experiments have ended up. Sometimes I look at that drawer and rescue something like the tiny design below which when stitched a couple of years ago I found annoyingly unsymmetric but which just this summer I made into a pincushion that I now really like. I don´t have a favourite way of finishing a project but prefer to make a design or pattern into something original or useful and not just framed.



10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

Perhaps my little embroidered pouches. I love working with rich fabrics, velvets, silks and satins etc, and mixing applique with speciality stitches and a splash of beads, sequins etc. perfect.




11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!

It taken me a week to think about this question and I still can´t think of anything intriguing. But rather curious, I suppose, both my children were born the same month, the same date and the same day of the week although born five years apart.


12. Anything you would like to add?

I have found that the stitching community is very friendly and if you are stuck with a particular project or technique, there is always someone to ask or a tutorial to follow. I´m grateful to Jo for including me as a Blogger of the Week and to those who visit my blog and take the time to leave a comment.



Jo recommends that you start with this post - Claudia's Book






Friday, 20 October 2017

Brigitte at Brigitte's Place

This week's Blogger of the Week has been an online friend and follower for many years, since I was first stitching the Dark Alphabet project.  She's also been taking part in the Alphabet Club with some delicious German cakes as well as some lovely stitching.  She is one of our multi-lingual bloggers, blogging in English but commenting in both German and French.  Some people are so talented!  So please say Welcome, Willkommen and Bienvenue to Brigitte from


1. Please introduce yourself – name, where you are from, family, pets etc.

My name is Brigitte and I live in the south of Germany in a very nice mountainous region.


2. How long have you been stitching and how did you start?

I started stitching back in the 1990s.  We had a Canadian exchange student living with us for several months and in the evenings she was sitting on the couch stitching on a cross s titch project.  Back then I didn’t know anything about counted cross stitch, the only thing I had seen before was stamped cross stitch.  And she stitched on a Mirabilia angel or fairy. Then she showed me how counted cross stitch works.  And after discovering a German company who sold books and patterns from US-designers I was hooked.

Gathering Place by Stoney Creek


3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? Is there a story behind your blog title?

Some online stitching friends started blogging and I liked the idea to have a blog of my own.  And as you can see from my blog title there is no story behind it, lol.


4. How would you describe your stitching style? Are you a serial starter, a rotator, a OAAT (one at a time), highly organised, random and eclectic, etc.?

Definitely a serial starter.  I’d love to be a rotator but whenever I compile a rotation it just works for a while and I feel great about it.  But then falls apart because I discover something in my stash that I have to start.  This urge can only be satisfied by starting it immediately.  So you could say that I’m the opposite of highly organized, lol. But hey, it’s a hobby and it’s supposed to be fun all over :)

Plymouth Sampler by Brenda Keyes


5. Do you have a favourite designer or style of design you are drawn to?

My first love was the Prairie Schooler, and it still is.  Other than that I stitch what catches my eye, and that goes from traditional samplers to cute designs and everything
between.

Christmas Village by The Prairie Schooler


6. Which piece are you most proud of in your collection?

That might be Good Neighbours by Paula Vaughan.  It was my very first big project and it uses 74 colours (if I remember right) and fractional stitches.  Back then I didn’t even know what fractional stitches are.  So it was a real adventure.

Good Neighbors by Paula Vaughan


7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

I once had stitched and fully finished an ornament for an exchange.  But just before wrapping it up I spilled a cup of coffee over it.  I threw it away and stitched the ornament again.


8. Which new technique would you like to try, either stitching, finishing or another craft?

I’m just happy with cross stitch.


9. Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces? Or is everything FFO'd? What's your favourite way to fully finish a project and what do you do with them?

I have a box and a drawer with not-fully-finished projects.  I fully finish some of my smaller projects but the rest goes into the drawer or box.  For me the process of stitching is the most important.

Summer Arches by Bent Creek


10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?

I would say all of them.

Trousse Mimi Lapin by Les fées brodeuses


11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!

Not really a secret: I love western movies, particularly the old ones.  My favourites are El Dorado and Rio Bravo, I can watch them over and over again..


12. Anything you would like to add?

I love this feature because I love to get to know new bloggers and learn more about the ones I already know.  I hope that you will still find a lot of bloggers who want to participate so that the Blogger of the Week can go on and on and on … :)



Thank you, Brigitte.  Everyone says how much they enjoy this feature.  If you have not been interviewed and would like to be, please email me.  If you know a brilliant blogger, then pass their details on to me so I can discover them too.