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WOWZERS!!! I really can't believe that the year has flown by so fast :) 2014 is nearly at an end (eek!). As I had planned on from the beginning, I'll be taking my SFS Skip Month in December (for the joy of Gift Stitching!), so this is my very last SAL post!!!
First, I just want to thank everyone for all the really wonderful comments on my last entry for October! I'm so sorry that I haven't responded yet, but I've been out of town visiting family and I haven't been online! Without all of your encouragement, I wouldn't have been able to keep writing this year and I can't thank you enough for reading :) I'm really looking forward to catching up with other blogs soon too!
Wonderful News: Mel @ Epic Stitching will be running a SFS SAL in 2015, but it will be structured quite a bit differently. The first sign-up opportunities will go to participants from 2014, but it may be opened up to other active bloggers so if you're interested, please keep a close eye on Mel's blog so as to not miss out!
I'm not sure if I will be joining in 2015, since I really want to focus on my Sampler of Samples. I've got a long list of new techniques I'd like to try, and I'm going to aim for doing one sample per month so that at the end of the year I'll have at least 12 to put together :) Although I'm planning on using as much stash materials as possible, most of these techniques (like Crazy Quilting) involve embroidery or other methods.
The new structure of SFS focuses exclusively on counted thread work (cross-stitch and specialty stitches) with new bonuses for finishes, which is a really great idea and an exciting new challenge, but I think most of my work will fall outside those lines. I'm still in the planning stages, and haven't made my mind up yet, so I'll let you know!
Stitch From Stash (SFS) 2014 - The Year in Review
I thought it would be really fun to have a quick look back at my posts:
I started off the year Stashing instead of Stitching! Thankfully, The Great Stitchy Karma Guides smiled upon me, and I found supplies that were all special to me in some way :) In January (Month #1), I picked up all kinds of dollar store goodies and my very first Evenweave fabric! February (Month #2) saw the miraculous discovery of one of my very favourite designs EVER, and the purchase of supplies to stitch it.
May (Month #5) was a Treasure Hunting bonanza, and I was lucky enough to find my very first Stitch Dictionary ("Creative Needlecraft", which I will review in future!) along with a veritable rainbow of stitchy goodies :) I also shared some thrifty tips!
Finally, in June (Month #6), I bought some finishing supplies and found a lovely pattern book with a gorgeous vintage design that I am still intending to stitch soon ;)
(I also bought some finishing supplies in April (Month #4) that are not pictured)
This year I stitched a lot of small seasonal ornaments, which has been really fun :)
In July (Month #7) I worked a little Forget-Me-Not Bouquet in Fine Crochet, and this was the start of my Sampler of Samples project that I'm going to continue next year!
August (Month #8) saw the Final Finish of my Spring Variation of Just Nan's lovely "Christmas Hearts" freebie, which I stitched for the JN SAL in March. September's finish (Month #9) was another Just Nan design, my Variation of the "Autumn" section of the "Harmony" Sampler! I made so many silly mistakes stitching this that it almost didn't get finished, but with some encouragement I managed to persevere and I'm so happy that I did :) In fact, I'd like to stitch a little something for the other three seasons (although not necessarily from "Harmony") sometime in the future!
Speaking of Seasonal Stitching, I finished my very first cute Hallowe'en stitchery in October (Month #10)! I had some really amazing comments on these two Happy Hallowe'en Friends, and the Two-Tone Whipped Backstitch Border is something I'm looking forward to trying in festive colours for Christmas!
In March (Month #3), I made a Chicken Scratch Easter Egg and shared the pattern:
But I think that my favourite project this year was my very Special Easter Variation of "Christmas My Way" by Keslyn's Designs! I stitched my version of the egg in April (Month #4), but unfortunately wasn't able to finish the ornament in time for Easter, although I did final-finish it in May (Month #5):
This is the first time I had stitched "Over 1" on Evenweave, and I miscounted a lot at first LOL! The specialty stitches were challenging but beautiful, and I really love the bright colour palette I chose. I made a few changes to the design, and added lots of sparkle with crystal beads! I love the way the bow/hanger turned out too :)
Surprisingly (for me, LOL!) the only project I didn't Final Finish this year was my first entry for the JN SAL in January (Month #1): Just Nan's "Rosebuds". I'm hoping to finish this as a small padded ornament too, for my Stitchy Guru Mother ;)
Amazingly, the only month I didn't Stash or Stitch was March (Month #3)!
(I also reviewed Thomasina Beck's great book "The Embroiderer's Story" in June!)
My Final SFS Finish! - Berlin Woolwork Key & Ribbon:
As a little experiment, I tried stitching up a little vintage Berlin Woolwork motif (found online, as part of the large chart shared here) on 28 count Evenweave, "Over 1", using a single strand of DMC. You see, I'd really like to include a Berlin Woolwork flower bouquet or wreath in my Sampler of Samples, but most of the best patterns are VERY LARGE and so I thought this might be a good way to make them more manageable :) Overall, this worked out pretty well.
I did try using two strands of floss in a half-cross-stitch, which is much more like the original needlepoint Continental (or Tent) Stitch, but I think the cross-stitches give better definition. It's a little tedious though, since a single strand of floss is very fragile, so it requires more patience than I'd thought LOL ;)
I changed the original motif by making the Key gold and brightening the pinks in the Ribbon Bow, and I added a few extra stitches on the left bottom edge of the Bow's "ear" to give a little more shading. It's a teeny tiny little design, as you can see:
Happily, The Great Stitchy Karma Gods came through for me again, and I thrifted this cute little frame for $1.00 that just happened to fit the Key perfectly! It's plastic, but it's pretty :) I just folded the excess fabric to the back and wedged the back on (with a bit of difficultly, admittedly, but so far it's held up just fine!).
I added a layer of quilt batting on the cardboard insert I made to pad out the stitching a little bit and I really like the way it made the motif stand out:
Hopefully this little Key will lead the way to a New Year filled with lots of Stitchy Fun! If you'd like to stitch your own Key, you can download the free .PDF chart and colourway from my Dropbox right here. I think it would make a nice Christmas ornament too, with a red or green bow :) And as usual, if you stitch it, I'd love to see!
My SFS Spending This Year:
So, this month I spent $1.00 on my tiny frame, leaving $24.00 of the monthly $25.00 budget free. When I was just adding everything up, I realized that I made a little mistake - an 86 cent mistake, to be correct LOL. So here are my new numbers:
Month #1 - January: $15.02 (Banked: $9.98)
Month #2 - February: $19.89 (B: $15.09)
Month #3 - March: $0.00 (B:$40.09)
Month #4 - April: $6.57 (B: $58.52)
Month #5 - May: $28.09 (B:
Month #6 - June: $8.99 (B:
Month #7 - July: $0.00 (B:
Month # 8 - August: $0.00 (B:
Month #9 - September: $0.00 (B:
Month #10 - October: $0.00 (B:
Month #11 - November (this post): $1.00 (B: $195.44)
Month #12 - December - SKIP MONTH (forfeited monthly amount of $25.00).
In total, I spent $79.56, and I Banked $195.44, for a total of $275.00. So with the $25.00 I forfeited, that means everything adds up to exactly $300.00, just like it should (hopefully!). So I "saved" nearly $200, which is really amazing and feels like a major accomplishment, even though it's all imaginary money LOL ;)
This is the first year-long major SAL I've ever been a part of, and I'm so happy to say that I completed it!! I'd like to say a HUGE Congratulations to all the many stitchers that are a part of this SAL, as it's been so inspiring to see how other people Stash ;)
Happy Stitching, Happy Stashing, and Happy Stitching From Stash!!!
The SFS SAL is Hosted by Mel @ Epic Stitching, and will continue in 2015!