New pictures and new albums on my Flickr account

New pictures and new albums on my Flickr account

I’ve started out my dream of a year of stitching and stitching posts by updating my Flickr albums with as many photos as I can find missing. There all rather short on details and/or descriptions, but it’s all about the pictures anyway, right?

I’ve also updated the links in the sidebar to reflect the new albums and add in some old ones.

Actual posts for my 2015 (and one 2014) finishes will hopefully show up before too long.

New albums for finished projects: 2014 Fantasy Calendar, Box of Delights, A Good Marriage and Olde Irish Blessing

New album for current project: Animal Tree

New photos added to albums: So Many Books, So Little Time, Illuminated Medieval Sampler, Dawn Star, Defender of the Kingdom, Autumn Queen, Aurora Castle and Book of Ink Circles

Here's to new beginnings

The new year comes around and what happens?

That’s right – blogs get dusted off and resolutions get made to keep them up this year. And yes, I’m doing it too.

I had great crafting intentions last year. I was going to focus on a set of WIPs and make some progress on them. But as usual, real life got in the way. Ill health, family needs, special occasions and a new and absorbing project all got in the way.

I did have finishes last year, even if I didn’t share them much of anywhere, let alone here. This year, I’m back to hoping I’ll make some progress on those WIPs as well as finish that new project.

So I’m going to update my links and albums and then I intend to share my finishes for last year and my plans for this year. It may all completely fail yet again, but that’s okay if it does. And if it doesn’t, well hey, that would be awesome.

The first WIP to come up on my random rotation was Dragonfly Quaker from Wiehenburg-Online. I bought this with a gift voucher from a lovely friend and converted the DMC to HDF silk. I stitched two motifs 1-over-1 on a 28-ct linen, then got to the third one where the silk colour was very close to the fabric colour and stopped.

That was in 2010.

Dragonfly Quaker 007

Dragonfly Quaker as it was when I stopped stitching in 2010.


I was nervous, going back to that third motif, but I’ve found it much easier than I expected to stitch (the fact I have had to get glasses with progressive lenses in the years since I started is probably a factor as I can manage to see it with my glasses on, allowing me to watch TV and stitch which I couldn’t do with my old glasses).

Anyway, I’ve now done another motif and it is looking really pretty. I can see why I fell in love with it, and while the small stitching is a bit more work, it’s worth it when I see the result.

Dragonfly Quaker 008

Dragonfly Quaker today after completing a third motif. (Excuse the camera shadow in the photo – it’s the one where the motifs showed up best.)


I may have had a mix-up with the silk colours (two I thought were different look like they are the same), but I shall continue with the colours I know are okay and go back to the others later, when I’ve sorted it out.

On to motif four.

Like a number of other stitchers, last year I started keeping my thread tails (aka orts) in a jar to see what I ended up with at the end of the year. I’m about to throw them out so I can start over for 2015, so here’s my filled jar.

2014 Orts

Orts for 2014

It’s actually very pretty. All the nice blues at the bottom are from the border of Illuminated Medieval Sampler, while I suspect the reds and oranges in the middle are from the March block of the 2014 Fantasy Calendar. I’ll be interested to see what colours I end up with in a year.

It’s January and that’s when I (and I’m sure many others as well) look back at the blogs I’ve neglected of the last year and vow to do better. This, obviously, is one of them.

I’ve learned that hard way that hard and fast goals don’t work for me, but having a general plan I’m allowed to change is a better idea.

We’re moving house from Auckland to Wellington in about 10 days, so one of the things I’ve had to do recently is go through and sort and tidy my stash. I got rid of a lot of charts I’ll never stitch (and kept a good number of others I’ll probably also never stitch) and looked through all my projects and made decisions about what I really wanted to try to finish.

I found that I had 12 stitching projects that fall into that category and one quilt I’m hand sewing. So that’s 13 WIPs I’d like to make some progress on in 2015.

I also have two focus projects, but they are both gifts, so I won’t be naming them or sharing any photos here until they have been given to their intended recipients.

I’m going to try a 10 hour rotation where I work 10 hours on my focus project, then randomly pick one of the others for 10 hours. Back to the focus project (and when I finish one, I start the next), then another random pick etc. Will it work out? I have no idea. But I’m going to give it a try.

Those 13 WIPs are (in alphabetical order and with the most recent photo I can find – headings link to the Flickr album for the project):

Aurora Castle – Pegasus Originals

Aurora Castle

Stitched on 25-ct Confederate Grey Lugana.
This looks amazing, but is totally boring to stitch. If necessary, I’m allowed to do 5 hour rotations on this one.
Photo is dated February 2005

Autumn Queen – Mirabilia

Autumn Queen

Stitched on 32-ct white Belfast linen
She’s the last of Mirabilia’s four season queens I need to stitch. I’ve been working her on a frame and adding beads as I go, so I can’t do any more on her until my floor frame is set up in Wellington.
Photo is dated October 2013. I thought I’d worked on her more recently than that, but maybe I didn’t take a picture. She’s packed for travel so it’s too late to check.

Cinderella – Mirabilia


Stitched on 32-ct Evening Dreams Belfast from Silkweaver
I wanted a change from the queensw and started this one, but the fabric has gone really soft after the dyeing, and I always only manage to stitch a bit before I get annoyed with it and put it away again.
Photo is dated May 2013, which is probably about right.

Dawn Mist at Eilean Donan – Heritage Stitchcraft

Dawn Mist at Eilean Donan

Stitched on 32-ct cream Belfast linen
I’ve had this chart for years and years and got distracted by other, shiny things. But I still love it and would like to do more. I’m also more practised at confetti stitching these days.
Photo is dated February 2005

Dawn Star – Character Creations

Dawn Star

Stitched on 25-ct ivory Lugana.
I charted this for myself with the artist’s permission. I started the next page from what you see here and the pinks didn’t match, so I put it aside in frustration. Jennie persuaded me to go back to it, because it is a lovely design.
Photo is dated November 2010.

Defender of the Kingdom – Heaven and Earth Designs

Defender of the Kingdom

Stitched on 25-ct mocha Lugana.
This one I have continued to work on slowly. Very slowly, as I started it way back in 2005. But I’ll get there eventually.
Photo is dated October 2014.

Dragonfly Quaker – Stickideen von der Wiehenburg

Dragonfly Quaker

Stitched on a South African one off hand-dyed. I think it’s 28-ct.
This was a gift and I’m doing it with HDF silks. However, it is pretty small and I found the fabric a bit fussy to work with. I still love it though.
Photo is dated March 2011.

Hexagons are Cool – Kerry Dustin

Hexagons are Cool

Paper Pieced Hexagons.
I started this in 2013 for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary as it has Doctor Who fabrics scattered through it. I now have 900 hexagons to join together and I’m on to my second strip of 10.
Photo is dated June 2014.

Illuminated Medieval Sampler – Chatelaine

Illuminated Medieval Sampler

Stitched on 32-ct Tiger Eye Belfast linen from Silkweaver (discontinued).
I’m working on this slowly as well. It’s great to have the border done finally. I’m working with this on my floor frame and beading as I go.
Photo is dated February 2014.

Second Chances – Ink Circles

Second Chances

Stitched on 32-ct Starquest Opalescent Lugana from Silkweaver.
The reason I stopped on this one is simple – it is SO small. But I love the motifs and the colours so I’m going to stick with it. I think I’m allowed 5 hour rotation slots on this one if I’m finding it hard to see.
Photo is dated July 2009.

The Dragon Trainer – Character Creations

The Dragon Trainer

I don’t know off the top of my head what this is stitched on. I’ll look it up.
I started this as a model for Character Creations as it’s my favourite design of all. I couldn’t keep up and in the end another model was stitched for me. But I would still like to finish mine because I still love it. (I’ll need to set up a Flickr album for it when I have a moment; I’ll link it once it exists.)
Photo is dated January 2015.

The Ice Dragon’s Kingdom – Dragon Dreams

The Ice Dragon's Kingdom

Stitched on 32-ct white opalescent Lugana.
This is a favourite Dragon Dreams design and I loved stitching it up to this point. But the dragon is stitched with Marlitt and it is so horrible to work with I gave up. I’ve decided to pull out the little bit I’ve done and stitch it with plain old cotton floss because I want to stitch it but not to hate it while I’m doing it.
Photo is dated December 2006.

Too Many Books, Too Little Time – Heaven and Earth Designs

Too Many Books, Too Little Time

Stitched on 25-ct Mushroom Lugana.
I started this in August 2014 due to a sudden rush of blood to the head. It was probably a bad idea, but I love the design, so I’ll work on it if it comes up and just enjoy myself. (I’ll need to set up a Flickr album for it when I have a moment; I’ll link to it once it exists.)
Photo is dated January 2015, but stitching was done in August 2014.

Will I stick to this? I have no idea. But I’m having fun planning things out, so I guess that is a good thing in itself.

Finished Quilt Top by rocalisa
Finished Quilt Top, a photo by rocalisa on Flickr.

6 March 2014

Because I never do things the easy way, I decided to do a pieced border from the left over fabrics. Everything in the border has been used in at least one block.

The colours are a bit off (see the previous picture of the blocks and sashing for something closer) but I was taking the picture on my own and had to dot he best I could. I’ll try to take a better one outside when I have someone to help me.

(I also tried to fix the perspective skew in Photoshop, so this is more of an idea than an exact photo.)

My plan is to get more of the fabric I used for the sashing for my backing and use some kind of polyester batting. I want this to be a picnic blanket, so it needs to be able to be washed easily.

I’ll be doing some kind of all over quilting, but I haven’t decided exactly what yet. It needs to get a little cooler here before I go back to quilting and I have to finish Marcus’ Kiwiana Quilt before I quilt this one, so it’ll be a while before I get it completely finished.

Blocks and Sashing by rocalisa
Blocks and Sashing, a photo by rocalisa on Flickr.

Yay, almost there. Here’s all my Doctor Who QAL blocks with sashing. I decided to do a pieced border, so that took a little longer, but see the next photo for the finished quilt top.

Image of Paper Pieced Doctor Who Logo

Paper Pieced Doctor Who Logo

As part of the Doctor Who Quilt Along, I got brave and tried designing my own pattern. I’m pleased with how it turned out and I’ve had several requests for the pattern, so here it is.

I only realised when it was too late to go back and fix it (or at least, I wasn’t willing to unpick that many seams) that I’d missed adding the curve at the top right of the D. that has been corrected and the pattern includes that curve.

Download this pattern from my Dropbox here.

So I have lots of good ideas and then real life gets in the way and I don’t manage to follow through. It’s frustrating, but common in my life.

I signed up for WIPocalypse 2014 and while I’ve been stitching, I’ve also managed to miss the posting dates for both January and February. I’ll see if I can do better in future. I even have the crazy idea of doing a combine Jan/Feb post before we get to March. We’ll see if it happens.

Today, I discovered a Chatelaine SAL. I’ve been working on Illuminated Medieval Sampler this year and finally got part 6 finished. I loved working on it, so I’m hoping to do more this year. I figured this is a way to do that. I just have to keep up sharing what I’m doing with the world as well. I intend to do my best.

I did make a decision about Defender of the Kingdom, with help for my lovely (and enabling) friend, Jennie. I’ve gone back to my original version and I’m really loving working on it. (Heck, I might even manage to remember to post a picture.) It’s lovely to have one project on a scroll frame and one on Q-Snaps so I have the variety and I’d love to make progress on both projects.

So, here we go, another plan that may or may not get followed through.

I’m going to go for simplicity this year and try to work on these two projects and make some progress on them. If I feel the urge, I can do some Autumn Queen too, but I really would like to get a decent amount done on the first two.

We’ll see what happens.

The beginning of the year is a dangerous time as I find I have all these ideas of what I’d like to do – and then, of course, reality sets in and I realise I can’t do all those things.

Anyway, as I wrote my WIPocalypse 2014 post, I said I was trying to decide whether to carry on with my restart of Defender of the Kingdom or to go back to my original one. While I love the speed of tenting 2 over 1 on 28-ct, I’m not as happy with the textural look of it. It’s a lot more “lumpy” than cross stitches 1 over 1 on 25ct, which is what I had done before.

Then another stitcher on the NZ cross stitch Facebook group asked about working on a HAED design and finding that the texture is different between the confetti and the large areas of only one or two colours. It reminded me that I wasn’t convinced I was happy with my restart.

So I pulled out both pieces and lay them on the floor together. I think I’m 90% decided I’m going back to the original one. It’s slower, but I think it looks better. I’m fussy about that and I think I’d be very unhappy if I got to the end and wasn’t happy with how it looked after all that work.

What do you think?

Top is tent stitch 2 over 1 on 28-ct; Bottom is cross stitch 1 over 1 on 25-ct.

Top is tent stitch 2 over 1 on 28-ct; Bottom is cross stitch 1 over 1 on 25-ct.