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Friday, March 11, 2016

Free Pattern Friday: Super March Edition!

Well, if I'm getting back into the blogging swing of things, that means Free Pattern Friday is also due for a return.  Since I've missed the past few weeks, I have a super sized edition with 3 different free cross stitch pattern links to share!  Actually, this could even be considered an "international edition" of FPF.

First of all, March is my birthday month, so I'm going to spend FPF's sharing charts with one of my favorite sweets: cupcakes!   This is a cute and sweet (no pun intended) chart from one of my favorite UK designers, Lesley Teare.  It's the perfect size for stitching up and making a quick little birthday card, keychain, or magnet.  You can find the pattern and key to save in JPEG format on Lesley's blog archive.

And since my birthday is coming up this weekend specifically in March, I also have a cute little birthday chart to share.  This cute little bear and his snail friend are surrounded by lots of colorful confetti and comes from the Russian design blog Aliolka Designs.  Normally finding cross stitch patterns on Russian websites indicates a red flag for pirated patterns, but I'm happy to report this blog is totally legit!  She even has some alternative color schemes for this same pattern on the post if you're interested in changing the colors up a bit.  The pattern for this design can be found here in JPEG format.

And last but not least, March is also the time of Saint Patrick's Day (which is also the birthday of one of my oldest friends).  St. Patty's is not until next week, but since FPF will come the day after, now is time to share a themed chart.  It's actually the perfect design for when Easter is in March like it is this year because it combines Irish themeing into a Faberge style Easter egg.  This comes from the Facebook page of another one of my favorite UK designers, Durene Jones.  You can find the chart for this free cross stitch pattern here, although I think you might have to log in to Facebook to access it. 

Happy stitching!
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If you ever come across one of my posts that contains a chart that breaks copyright law, please email me and let me know right away. In picking and posting my free cross stitch pattern posts, I make every effort to ensure the designs I share are legitimately free charts.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Long Overdue Update

Hello readers!  I hope you haven't all given up on me, LOL.  It's past time for a new stitching update from me, but I just have been so busy with work and personal issues over the past few weeks I haven't really found the time to blog much.

As I reported in my last post, I had some major carpal tunnel like flare ups in my wrists at the end of January the derailed my Crazy January plans.  I had hoped to pick it back up in February, but that didn't happen.  By the time I was feeling better enough to stitch, I had to get some projects for my round robins done, and well, there you go.  Best laid plans.  Hopefully next year's challenge will go better!

I did consider doing a new project a day type challenge in either April or May but I think at this point I don't think I will do that.  I really, really want to finish the stockings for myself and my family for Christmas this year, and if I want to get through all that, I'm really going to have to crack down to have them finished in time.

So since early February although I haven't been blogging, I have been stitching.  Thus I have A LOT of updates to share with you.

First of all, last check in I was working on Sweets to the Sweet for WOCS.  Well, that one was finished:

It was done on 14 count white aida with charted DMC threads.  Didn't make any changes on this one except I didn't attach the charm that came with the pattern.  I really like this one, and might do it again, but will probably do it in different colors because by the end I was really sick of that shade of red.

After that, it was time to finish up the motif I was working on in Ink Circle's Garden of Stars for the Sampler Round Robin I'm in:

The only thing I didn't like about working on this one was that I only got to work in one color.  Seriously though, the size of this project is MASSIVE.  I had no idea from looking at the model photo.  Even if you stitched it 1 over 1 I'm sure it would still be huge.  The linen on this project was a little fiddly too, which was a little frustrating (had to frog a few things).  Over the past year or so I've been doing round robins, I've really become comfortable with stitching over 2 now, but I have to say I think I prefer evenweave over linen because I just don't like the variances in thread thickness or the transparent quality that linen has in many cases. 

But, moving on.  I also finished up the next square for the WOCS "sweets" theme.  This is Chocolate Box by Little House Needleworks:

For various reasons, including time and convenience, I did this one much different than charted.  The original has a 2 part border surrounding the chocolates, complete with beads.  Since the deadline on this one was coming up, I decided to only do the chocolates themselves and I left off most of the lazy daisy, french knot, and backstitching embellishments.  This is also on 14 count white aida, and I used the DMC floss conversions in the chart.

The first project in my Lizzie Kate round robin came to me, so I finished up my section of that one.  I forget the name of it at the moment.

Overall it was a pretty quick stitch and nicely cheerful.  It was weird to completely start a new project for someone though, LOL.  Usually the project owner does a bit before they send it out into the world for the RR's I've participated in before. 

My section for February for the sampler round robin was also a really quick stitch:

This is part of Country Cottage Needleworks Snow Sampler, and surprisingly I actually got this done in all one night which is unusual for me.  I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture of the whole thing before sending it on though.

So that's it for the finishes, which brings me to my current stitching.  First up is the next project in my Lizzie Kate Round Robin:

I'm doing the February Block of the Monthly Stamps Flip-It series.  The floss colors were a bit modified by the project owner, but I think it will still be very pretty when finished.  I'm actually a little farther along on it than this, but I haven't taken a new picture lately.

My work project is another WOCS square, this one for the Snowman theme.  Here's what Let it Snowman looks like lately:

He's much father progressed than the white blog I shared after his start during January.  I'm pleased with the way he's turning out, but I'm thinking I will skip a lot of the fussy backstitching on this one.  I just don't think he needs it really. I'm hoping to have him finished and on his way soon!

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