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 ( 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.