Saturday, 30 September 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, 15 September 2017

Bea from Thoughts & Musings

Before we meet this week's Blogger of the Week, I'd like to announce the winner of the competition I recently held to celebrate our 26th Interview.  I featured 9 photos taken from the first 26 interviews and asked you to identify the bloggers who stitched each design.

Well done to everyone who took place; the random number generator selected Faith from Faithfully Stitching.  Well done Faith!  Please email me to let me know which store you would like your e-voucher from.  I see you are a HAED fan, so either them or one of the other online stores you use.

As well as Faith receiving a voucher, Irene left this comment:

If I win, I do not want a voucher, but I would like you make an offer for this initiative https://www.casacenina.com/a-needlework-project-to-be-born-again.html for people who suffer in my country. 

I think this is a great idea, it's a very worthy charity and I will definitely be doing so.   They have a selection of PDF designs from a wide variety of designers, all raising money for rebuilding after the Italian earthquake.  Thanks to Irene for that suggestion.  I recommend that you all visit the website and maybe buy a pattern to help the fund.  They have nearly raised EUR 15,000 so far!


On to Blogger of the Week.  This week's Blogger has been taking a little break but I am hoping that being featured this week will prompt her into blogging again.  After all, she will be celebrating her 10th Blogaversary this October which is a great reason to start making blog posts again!  Please welcome Bea from



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

Hi, I'm Bea Lapp, living in Prince Rupert, BC Canada with 2 spoiled cats, Snowy and Yoda. No family left as I had no siblings and never got married.

Snowy & Yoda


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

I learned to knit when I was about 6, hooked rugs when I was in university, but as I got older I wanted to try something new. At a Creative Circle party I ordered what I thought were 2 small, easy crewel kits but they turned out to be cross stitch. I looked at the diagrams, thought "I can do this" and off I went. By the time I was finished the 2 kits, I was hooked. I can't show you because it took years before I thought to take pictures of what I was doing. I can be a little slow on the uptake at times! lol


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

First blog post was 17 October 2007. I had read a couple of friends' blogs and just thought I would give it a go and see if I liked it. I chose 'Thoughts and Musings' because I originally thought of it like a diary, daily activities and what I was thinking about. But I found it so much fun to share my stitching and then I found the blog stitching community, so it became more a record of what I was creating and I like it that way.


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.?

Hmmmm, I don't consider myself a serial starter, but I usually have 5 or 6 WIPs on the go of various sizes and complexities. That way if one is boring me or driving me crazy, I can switch out. I'm organised within a project, but overall I just wing it, which is probably why rotations don't work for me.


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

I'm more drawn by subject than designer. I love cats, angels, dragons, unicorns, castles, Victorian style houses, dresses, etc. I'm not fond of flowers, landscapes, but there are always exceptions as I have done both.


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

Probably the first piece I ever altered. I was doing a birth announcement and the pattern didn't have room for all the information I wanted to put in.The info was under a floral arch and I needed to make it taller - I was scared to death that it was going to look lopsided and out of place, but it worked. And it was before my picture taking days, sorry.


7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

I was about 1/3 of the way through a project in q-snaps and had to put it down. Now, I normally set my work down so the stitching is sitting flat on the table, but this time I didn't and when I got back one of the cats had walked across it, torn the fabric and put claw holes in it. Unsalvageable, so had to restart. This is the finished piece.



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

I would love to learn Hardanger although the thought of cutting threads makes me VERY nervous. And I really want to learn to sew so I can have more flexibility in finishing my pieces.


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 bag of them. I make a lot of ornaments, some pillows and usually frame the bigger ones.


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

I think this one. My Canadian roots go back about 250 years and I cannot imagine living anywhere else.



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

Don't tell anyone, but I love punny jokes. "What do you do if your dog chews a dictionary? Take the words out of his mouth."


12. Anything you would like to add?

While cross stitch is my favourite craft, I've recently rediscovered my love of knitting and rug hooking. Now if someone will please discover the way to expand time so you can fit 24 hours in every 5 minutes I'd be a happy camper.




Friday, 8 September 2017

Vickie from Reading and Stitching

This week's Blogger of the Week discovered my blog last September and has been an enthusiastic participant in a number of my Blog Hops already.  So it seems right that she should be as enthusiastic about this latest venture!  She's one of those crazy people doing the Year of Starts so there's always lots to see on her blog and plenty of inspiration.  If you don't like the project she's stitching today, hang around, there will be seven more by next week!  She's also quite keen on Disney as one or two of the other Bloggers have been.  Please welcome Vickie from



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

My name is Vickie Hartwell. I live in Bella Vista, AR. which is in the northwest corner of the state. I have a wonderful husband who I met on the yahoo dating site over 14 years ago.  We have 4 furbabies, Brigen a 12 year old yellow lab, Gibbs my 7 year old lab,  Bert, 6 year old cat and finally Tiger Lily, 1 year old.    I am a high school special education math teacher and I just started my 20th year of teaching.  I have always taught special education and I love it.  I love Disney!   Cinderella's castle is my happy place!!

Inspirations



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

I started stitching when I was 12.  My grandmother had a set of the Days of the Week tea towels that I started embroidering.  We stayed at her house every other weekend so I worked on them while I was visiting.  We went to Wal-mart one day and I found a cross stitch goose pattern that she bought me.  My love of stitching started with a goose.



3. How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start?  

Is there a story behind your blog title?  I first started blogging when Yahoo had their Yahoo 360...then in 2007 I moved over to blogspot.  My blog title “Reading and Stitching”  is a combined title of my two favorite hobbies.   You will always find me with a book.  I love to listen to audiobooks in my car as I drive to work.  My go-to genres are Historical Romance and Murder Mysteries.



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.?  

Right now I am attempting the “Year o Starts” from the Stitch Maynia group on Facebook.  I am starting one new project a day for the entire year.  So far I am doing well on the goal.  I am however, focusing on one project, my HAED Faery Tales.  I work for 30 minutes on my new start then move to my HAED.   I guess I am organized due to the year of starts but you couldn’t tell it by my sewing room!!

Mill Hill Christmas Village



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

I am drawn to Disney designs, and as I call them “Fancy Lady” patterns.  I love to stitch people in period dress - the Victorian dresses are so pretty.  

Happiest Celebration



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

My favorite piece is my “Eye of the Tiger” piece by Cross my Heart.  I actually had this hanging in my classroom, until I was moved to a smaller room.  My second favorite piece is my “Summerball” by Sandy Littlejohn.  I just feel like I am at a ball with Jane Austen’s characters.

Eye of the Tiger



7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?  

I was working on the HUGE Sistine Chapel design. I followed the pattern for over 30 pages when I found some areas were not matching up.  I counted, recounted and there was no mistake. When I contacted the designer about the possible error….I was told to keep going it would eventually match up.  Ummm...No….so I tossed the whole project.  I loved that project!!!  



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

I am a terrible finisher.  I would love to learn to finish something that looks great instead of like a two year old finished it!



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 HUGE box finished but not FFO’d projects.  I want to finish them but they all just go in the box!  My favorite way to finish is a project is to frame it. Boring,  I know...but I like things framed.  When I finally frame them, they go up on my wall.

Augusta 12th Hole



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

I think the one project that represents me is my “Cinderella’s Castle”  I have always loved that story, and my favorite place to be is sitting on main street, staring at the castle.


Mirabilia Cinderella



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

My husband and I lost our marriage license after the wedding. He thought I had it and I thought he did when we checked out of the hotel.  Neither of us had it so we had to drive an hour back to the town we got married, get another copy of our licenses, FedEx it to the preacher, and have them FedEx back to county courthouse!  We still laugh about this!!!!

Amazing Grace



12. Anything you would like to add?  

Thank you so much for allowing me to share my stitching story.








Friday, 1 September 2017

Melanie the WIP Slayer

I came across the week's Blogger of the Week fairly recently.  Which does show that there are more bloggers out there than one person can follow!  As soon as I saw her beautiful stitching I knew I wanted to feature her on this blog.  She really is the Queen of Mirabilias and has some lovely conversions too.  As well as an awesome version of The Book of Spells.  Please welcome Melanie,



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

I'm Melanie and I was born in Iowa and raised in Illinois. I had the good fortune to meet an Iowa boy at my first (and only) post-college job in Clinton, Iowa, and we've been married for 26 years and have a 16-year-old son. We live in Wisconsin now, but are Iowans at heart. We three bipeds share our home with one dog, five cats and two goldfish--our own little menagerie!



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


I started stitching when I was in college at the University of Illinois, I think sophomore or junior year (it's been so long I can't even remember!), so right around 30 years ago. My mom had come for the weekend and we were shopping (one of our favorite things to do together) and came across a cross stitch shop; they had a chart of Chief Illiniwek and I just thought it was so cool. My mom bought that and a small kit with two unicorn heads to practice on, and my obsession was born.

Chief Illiniwek


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 around the beginning of 2012 as a way to try to encourage myself to finish some of the many WIPs I had at that time; I made a list of 20, with the intention of only working on designs I had already started (or at least kitted)--that didn't last very long at all! Of the original 20, only 11 are completed more than five years later. Not long after I started the blog I think I counted 62 WIPs in various stages of completion; it's not an exaggeration to say that I probably have twice that many now.

The name I chose for my blog is a fairly obvious reference to the TV series (not the movie!) Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which had a subversive sense of humor that I really enjoyed. As I was trying to "slay" some of my WIPs, the name just seemed to fit.


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.?
As may be obvious from my previous answer I am a serial starter! There is just something so satisfying about pulling out a pattern and the threads, picking the perfect fabric and putting in those first stitches...I'm seriously addicted to that part of the process.

That said I am fairly organized; even with all of the projects and supplies I have I can almost always find what I'm looking for in my craft room pretty quickly (no one else could, but my system works for me!). I recently added some storage, and the bin on the left says exactly how I feel when I'm in my craft room.



I started stitching models for Karen Kluba of Rosewood Manor about seven years ago now, and that has brought some discipline to my stitching. While there usually isn't a strict deadline, I do try to get the pieces done in a timely manner. Working for Karen has been a dream, as I love to feel like I'm contributing to an industry that has been such a big part of my life, and it has the added bonus of adding to my framed pieces collection--after the models have been out for a while I get them back, already framed. Here are a couple of my favorites, Past & Present and Bucklebury Sampler.

Rosewood Manor - Past and Present

Rosewood Manor - Bucklebury Sampler

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

Without a doubt my absolute favorite designer is Nora Corbett of Mirabilia Designs; I have every chart she has ever made, even though I could never live long enough to stitch them all! I have loved her work ever since I discovered her patterns back in the '90s; the first one I ever stitched was Villa Mirabilia, and the second was Blooming Bride. Since those I have finished probably 60+, and I never get tired of them; even as a child I was drawn to pictures or movies of beautiful women in gorgeous dresses, and Nora is the best at creating designs along those lines in my humble opinion.

I call my guest bedroom Noraland, because it is the room that a lot of my framed finishes are displayed in, as well as original art by Nora. I have added a few more since these pictues were taken, but you get the idea!




Just over a year ago I started stitching the smaller Nora Corbett line of designs for Wichelt, and it's like a dream come true; it almost feels like stealing when I get paid because I stitch so many of these for pleasure. The first two should be released in either September or November, and I am anxiously awaiting that day!

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

This is pretty much an impossible question to answer, as I love so many of my finishes (otherwise I wouldn't stitch them!). However, two fairly recent finishes do come to mind, as I just love the fabrics and frames that help tell their stories and bring them to life. The first would be Nora Corbett's Wherefore Art Thou:


Wherefore Art Thou


And the second is Mirabilia's Andromeda:

Andromeda


I think hand-dyed fabrics are probably the my favorite addition to this craft, followed by the variety of fibers that are out there now; they can add so much to a design!

7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?
I think I've been lucky, as the only disaster that comes to mind is when I bumped my stitching table and some coffee sloshed out of my mug and landed on the piece I was working on. However, it only caught the unstitched portion of my fabric, and it was a hand-dyed fabric so by the time I rinsed it out you couldn't even tell it had happened. Of course, now that I've said that I'm probably asking for a huge disaster!


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

I've always loved the look of Hardanger, but I just can't bring myself to try it--the thought of actually cutting into a piece scares me too much!

I wish I had some finishing skills, so I could do something with some of my smaller finishes. I am able to put together a decent ornament, but that's about the extent of it. I did do this one for my friend a couple of years ago:






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?

After 30 years of stitching of course I have a box of finishes that need finishing. I tend to do larger designs which would need to be framed, but of course framing can be pretty expensive. My wonderful husband usually gets me gift certificates to the gallery where I have my framing done at least twice a year, so I do have a fairly large numder of finishes hanging around my house; it's actually to the point where I might have to start rotating pieces as I don't have much wall space left!

I've been lucky to work with some talented designers and finishers who have taken pieces and created wonderful finishes with them. Judy Odell has finished several projects for me, but my favorite is this box stitched with Nora Corbett's Pretty Little Things:



Pretty Little Things


And Sue Hillis put together this adorable little flat-fold for me:



10. Which of your projects most represents "you"?
I don't really think of particular projects representing me, as it's more about the process for me. It is still a wonder to me that I can take a piece of fabric and some thread and create an amazing picture with them. Stitching has gotten me through some tough times--no matter what is going on in my life, I can create one small bit of beauty and order in my world with just a few materials.


11. Tell us a secret about yourself. Or a joke. About anything!
When I was bored in school I would try to list all 50 states. Eventually I memorized them in alphabetical order, and to this day (almost 40 years later) I can tell you how many states start with each letter of the alphabet, and can name them all in order in less than a minute.


12. Anything you would like to add?
I'd just like to thank Jo for contacting me about doing this for her blog. I just love that the art of cross stitching can pull together people from all over the world so they can share their joy and passion with others who understand it. And for those who might have read this far, thanks for "listening"! :D




























Friday, 25 August 2017

Competition Time!

We've now had 26 Bloggers of the Week featured here so I thought it would be fun to have a little competition and find out who has been paying attention to the interviews!  It's a Bank Holiday Weekend here in England, the last of the Summer Holiday and our thoughts will soon be turning Back to School and then the countdown to Hallowe'en as the nights draw in.

So why not make the most of the last couple of weeks of the Summer and spend some lazy time reading about your stitching friends?  You could win a prize too!

I have used the Random Number Generator to select photos from 9 of the featured Bloggers.  All you have to do is identify the stitchers and leave a comment with your list.  Comments will be moderated so no-one can copy.   Haha.








The closing date is in 2 weeks time, Friday 8th September and I will choose one person to win a £10 (or equivalent in your currency) voucher to the stitching store of your choice.  Any store which will allow me to buy a voucher online using PayPal that is.

So start browsing and get guessing.   Remember, 9 people have a head start because hopefully they will recognise their own work!




Friday, 18 August 2017

Andrea from Goofin' Off Around the Block

It's funny how some stitchers start blogging, leave comments and it feels like you have known them forever when it's only been a few months.  This week's Blogger of the Month is one of them.  She made a grand total of 4 posts in her first year of blogging but since then she has become a regular blogger and commenter on many of our blogs.  It's always nice to meet new friends and this is a chance learn more about her.  So please take the chance to sit down with a drink and Goof Off with Andrea from:


A big thank you to Jo who puts this together every week.  It’s been a fantastic way to get to know so many of you and make new blogging friends.

1.       Please introduce yourself

My name is Andrea. I was raised in the Pacific Northwest in the state of Washington. As the crow flies, my current house is just a few miles east of the home I grew up in which is just a few minutes north of Seattle. I have a fun-loving husband who has always likened himself to Goofy. I also have a son who is grown and lives south of us a little ways. We get to see him at least once a week…and still like to take him on family vacations.



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

I have been cross stitching for about 35 years. I took a class in middle school where we learned how to knit, crochet, needlepoint, cross stitch, embroider, quilt, and probably a few other needle arts I’m not remembering. Cross stitching was the hobby that really found a place in my heart, so I’ve been stitching ever since.


3.       How long have you been blogging and what inspired you to start? 

I have been blogging for a little over a year, although I really didn’t get into it until March of this year. I started blogging as part of a school assignment for a college class. I have been making so many awesome friends through blogging that I am hooked and haven’t stopped even though the class is long over!


4.       How would you describe your stitching style? 

At this point, I am pretty much a one at a time person…or one quilt and one cross stitch project at a time.  When I am working on a large piece, I’ll usually throw in some smaller projects just to mix things up. I used to be a serial starter, but now I like to see things through to the finish.

Chef Freddie's Favorites - Quilt Top Finish

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

Pretty much anything Disney, for starters…or anything that reminds me of Disney. My last project I finished was a Tinkerbell cross stitch. I am absolutely in love with that piece. Currently, I am working on a piece of Mickey Mouse and his friends all dressed up as Pirates. I am also a huge Randal Spangler fan. I have a number of his charts in my stash.

The start of Goofy and Friends

How the finished design will look:



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

Currently, I would have to say my Tinkerbell finish. However, I’ve got some fun projects planned over the next few months, so that just might change.




7.       What has been your worst stitching disaster?  

Fortunately, I don’t think I have any…at least not that I remember. I am a very…sssslllloooowwww stitcher, so mistakes are far and few between [knocking on wood].


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

I want to sew a quilt where the center of each block is a piece of cross stitch. I’ve got several designed but have a lot of other projects ahead of it.


9.       Do you have a box of finished-but-not-fully-finished pieces?  

Not anymore.  Hubby and I went through and got rid of a lot of “stuff” that was taking up room last year. All of those types of pieces were either fully finished or donated to Love Quilts or WOCS if appropriate.


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

Anything Disney or Disney inspired…and that includes the Marvel universe, Star Wars, and some other movie related things like Harry Potter, etc.



11.   Tell us a secret about yourself.

My dream job would be to be a Disney and/or family vacation travel agent. The Disney theme parks have an extremely special place in my heart. As a teenager, my family traveled to Disney World for the first time together. I was experiencing some difficult things at that period in my life, and Disney World was a magical place for me where I found a temporary escape. During that week, I became a different person. It may sound strange, but that week at Disney changed my life. I am very grateful that my hubby and son have embraced Disney just as much as I have.


12.   Anything you would like to add?  

I love, love, love making new blogging friends. Feel free to stop by my blog any time and leave me a message or “follow” me.


I should also add that as well as being a talented crafter, Andrea is a great wedding planner too!  Check out this blog post for a lovely wedding with a surprise theme:





Friday, 11 August 2017

Dima from D1D2

This week's Blogger of the Week isn't just a cross stitcher, she's a beader, an embroider and a goldworker to mention but three crafts.  She's also an enabler and very inspiring.  I might never try any of the techniques she does so beautifully but I am always excited and enthralled to see her work.  Please welcome Dima from



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

My name is Dima but I'm known online as D1D2. I am Lebanese and I live in Quebec and have been living there since my family settled here in 1990. I am the eldest of four children (I have two sisters and one brother) and still living at home. I'm a stitcher by night but during the day I'm a Software Engineer and so spend lots of time on the computer.



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

The first time I stitched anything I was 13 years old. There used to be a sewing store at one of the malls (back when you could find a sewing store in a mall) and I kept eyeing the cross stitch kits. After lots of begging, my mom finally relented and got me a kit to try. She wasn't very encouraging but showed me the basics and away I went. I loved stitching and I still have the piece. It had many mistakes but still we all start somewhere.


It's only a few years later that I realized why she never encouraged. Turns out I inherited the stitching bug from my grandmother (it skipped a generation as neither my mom or aunt stitched) who incidentally had terrible eyesight which I also inherited. Fearing my eyesight would get worse they wouldn't allow me to do any stitching. In any case, I was a student and should be spending that time studying. So for years it stayed on the back burner until I graduated and landed my first job. My brain was so used to being busy from studying, homework, etc that I was having a hard time sleeping and getting my mind to unwind. This brought me back to stitching and I never looked back. I picked up my second kit in 2010.


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

I started blogging in June 2012. Soon after picking up my first kit, I discovered there was a whole world out there to explore. Reading other blogs inspired me to start up my own. I discussed it with my sister who was also thinking of creating a blog for her art. The original idea was we would use the blog together as neither of us had enough to blog on our own. The name D1D2 came from the fact that we both shared the same name with one letter different: Dima and Dina. That never happened and I ended up keeping the blog for myself. As I started accumulating projects and gaining more experience I found that I had more than enough to sustain the blog on my own.

Initially, I was only known as D1D2 to readers, but as I expanded my online presence to Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/dimasantina/) my real name came out.


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 started off with one cross stitch kit (pre-blog and incidentally never finished), but once my stash grew I became a rotator. I always try to keep the number of projects running at the same time to a small number. When I was doing only cross stitch I liked to keep it to 3: a small, a medium and a BAP. This was really because I had a single frame to hold a BAP and one q-snap for the medium project.

That's changed since discovering other types of embroidery, but space is still an issue. Now I don't start new cross stitch projects until the current WIPs are done. I always have a piece of whitework (sometimes more than one), beadwork or goldwork running. I rotate between projects based on my mood and where I'm sitting to stitch. For example, summers are for whitework as I can sit outside to stitch and you don't have to carry a lot of material and threads when you do whitework. When it rains I stitch on other projects that I currently have in rotation. When it's movie night or I'm travelling I mainly do cross stitch as I don't need my table frame.


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

When I started I bough a lot of Teresa Wentzler on ebay. After discovering other techniques, I found that although there are some designers whose work I admire, it's really the technique that I'm looking at. It's just a matter of finding the right design to push me to learn. I do know that any whitework technique is a favorite. So far I've tried:
  • Cross stitch, canvas and blackwork embroidery
  • Whitework: Hardanger, Monogramming, Punto Antico, Schwalm, Hedebo, Casalguildi, Sardinian knot stitch
  • Goldwork
  • Ribbon embroidery
  • Bead embroidery
I find I'm attracted to the complexity and the process more than anything.



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

There isn't just one specific piece. I guess it's whatever I had just finished. The best feeling is putting in that last stitch, getting up, taking a step back and looking what you've accomplished.



Below: Pearl Butterfly by Alison Cole



7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

Since pretty much all of my projects are really learning pieces, there are always issue that can occur as I try to get used to a new way of stitching. Except for projects that I've lost the enthusiasm for, there has never been a stitching disaster that was so bad that I had to ditch a piece. I take it as a learning experience, fix it and move on. When I went to seminar last year, I accidentally cut the wrong thread in the center square on my project. It took me a few hours but I fixed it (what's a few hours compared to the 60 that already went into it) and it was a great opportunity to learn since the teacher was right there.



Below: Fandango by Barbara Kershaw




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

I try to stick to a plan but the plan is flexible when opportunity strikes:
  • Japanese embroidery, this *might* happen this fall I'm still finalizing details
  • Tambour beading
  • Thread painting
  • Mountmellick embroidery
  • Portuguese whitework
The list keeps growing.



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 for pieces that are finished but not framed. Most will probably stay there, but some will eventually get framed. I'm not a great "finisher", but I'm slowly getting the practice in. I've made a few ornaments, stitching accessories.



Below: Hana Beaded fob and scissor case



Although I try to finish every project I start, some projects I stitched because I took a class to learn a technique. If I find that I don't like a technique or didn't think I was quite ready for it, the project gets set aside. No point in wasting energy where there is no interest.



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

This question is really hard for me to answer. I asked my family which project they thought most represented me and they said Stargazer. Stargazer was my first Mirabilia and the first project I ever had framed. It hangs in my bedroom above my bed. Now that I think about it, it does perfectly represent me even down to the choice of fabric color. I'm a bit old fashioned and live in my head a lot of the time. Although I love looking at flashy colors I tend to stick to the safer more classic colors that will last longer. I actually bought a different fabric for this piece that was blue with sparkles in it, but changed my mind at the last minute and got the safer cream fabric.





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

I like to use really long strands of thread. I always get disapproving looks from my teachers (especially my whitework teachers!). I just dislike stopping my stitching because I ran out of threads. I'm trying to be better and cutting shorter lengths but it's still hard, especially when I have a long line of satin stitch to do :)



12. Anything you would like to add?


Thank you for organizing this Jo. I've really enjoyed reading these interviews and discovering new stitchers.


Friday, 4 August 2017

June from Butterfly Wings

We have a titled stitcher as our Blogger of the Week today.  She has a beautiful garden and often shares her wonderful rose and lily photos as well as her stitching and other crafts.  She recently celebrated a special Zero birthday with some gorgeous cards and gifts from her stitching friends.  Please welcome The Lady Mayoress June from



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

Hello everyone my name is June, I live in Devon with my husband .
We have one daughter, 5 grown up grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
I just hit 70 this year but still feel sweet sixteen . We live a rather full life more busy than ever.
We are Mayor and Mayoress of our town for our 2nd year .
We both love our garden, lunching out and holidays, we have fun and have been married for 50 years this last March.
I am sad to say no more pets after my little dog Poppy passed away  a few years ago.



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

Well I started to stitch at school at the age of 5/6 I made my mother a little mat that sat on top of the TV.
I really loved cross stitch, but never did stitch again for a long time.
I lost my youngest daughter and this hit me so hard, and I saw a design in a magazine and thought I may stitch this one to take my mind off things, and that was it I was hooked and I have been stitching for over 20 years.  I also run a cross stitch club.



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 now for about 6/7 years, I was inspired by our friend Carol of Stitching Dreams.  It took me time to start the blog I was no good at using the PC still have trouble but I did it and love it.
Butterfly wings is my blog name.  Why? because that's what I am,  never staying to long I flutter .



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.?

My stitching style is always changing, I can't stay with one design I work on lots at one time; large and small.



I like stitching all seasons, love anything pretty but again love to change so I really love any designs I just love stitching, it's good for me, I go off in my own world stitching is a total relaxation for me.  I am not organised I try to be, I do kit up my designs ready to stitch and save them in boxes,  I hate that bit I just want to stitch.

Brooke's Books September Cake


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

I have many favourite designers, but I will stitch any beautiful design that hits my heart strings you know that feeling I just have to buy that one when I see it .



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

I love most of my work hard to say so many.

Nora Corbett Petal Fairy


7. What has been your worst stitching disaster?

Worst stitching disaster is I never seem to join up a square, so now I stitch both ways around and that seems to help.



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

I do other crafts too.  I like knitting toys, making felt ornaments and a little card making .





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 love box finishes that's my new fad .

iStitch Mystery 2011



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

The projects that represent me are: flowers, birds, butterflies, cute little rabbits and children, you see I have never grown up, haha, and I love my garden and nature.



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

I have no secrets, but I do love playing Jokes on my husband to get him out of bed.  I will ring the door bell and say so and so is here  but now he knows all my jokes.



12. Anything you would like to add?

Just like to add that I love my blog and all the beautiful friends that come to visit me each day.  And hoping that more of our friends will come back to blog land, I find that the other new type of sites are not the same, call me old fashioned but I still like blog land the best.
I have met so many beautiful people on here, so thank you Jo for asking me to take part today.