Posted by: Crazyqstitcher | February 6, 2016

Fancy Herringbone stitch

Sharon over at Pintangle posted a step by step for Fancy Herringbone, yesterday.  Here’s the link Pintangle

The coloured pictures showed it was easy to do but I printed it out in black and I’m blaming that for my little misadventure.

First up is the finished and proper design.  Very nice isn’t it.


and now my mishap pair.   I was so pleased with the first row I decided to do a back to back version.  When that was finished I stopped and looked properly at the 2nd one.  Messy!

I could also blame my mind for being elsewhere .. using up an enormous amount of our peaches.  .. some pics of those here

Posted by: Crazyqstitcher | February 1, 2016

Pincushion – and a thread tip

Two photos today of the inside and outside sides.  Once I got the canvas cut and folded it was simple to stitch the corners with Long-arm Cross stitch and then around the base.  I snipped the inner corners (almost to the corner) as I felt it was a bit lumpy set to one side.

I now have to fill it firmly and add the felt base.





Some time back I read a tip online for keeping long threads that were too many for a bobbin.

I thought someone may be interested to see photos of how this works.    Plaited threads.

Tie the threads (mixed or single colour threads) at the halfway point.  The threads lying across the top are my short ones which will hang outside the plait.



Divide the threads into 3 sections,  you don’t have to have an exact division.






Plait threads.  I had about 3″ not plaited but you can go as far as you wish.




Hang from the cord and when you need any thread, just gently pull it from the bottom.   It may bunch slightly while pulling but won’t tangle and the plait can be smoothed back as it was.  It’s never failed me.

It is ideal for kits of cut threads but I keep any oddments this way too.

Posted by: Crazyqstitcher | January 28, 2016

Pincushion – sides

The 4 sides of the pincushion are now completed.  The next step will be to stitch it into a box shape and fill with wadding.  I will use the lighter green to stitch it together, to match the outer Long-arm cross stitch border.

Posted by: Crazyqstitcher | January 26, 2016

Pincushion 2

I finished the top section of the pincushion – previous blog showed the centre.  It’s been a learning curve for me, just to read the instructions.

I’ve a bad habit of skimming through instructions and with this kit I couldn’t work out what stitch or colour I was to do the borders between numbered areas.  Alas, it wasn’t until after I ‘did my own thing’ with the first green border ( I used rice stitch) that I found at the Very Last paragraph, 3rd page, it said all borders to be completed in Long-arm Cross stitch.

I had to concentrate on counting the spaces on the canvas and with more than a few lapses undid and re-did  too many.  It could be very good training for me and make my future works neater.  :-))  There is always a silver lining.

It’s not the same layout, as I found the photo of the kit and the threads when used were not alike or as bright.  The threads looked insipid, so I altered some patterns and also combination colours.  As I like green there is more of this colour used.

So here are my work and the kit pattern. I’m happy how the design worked out.

The last to do will be the sides.



Posted by: Crazyqstitcher | January 21, 2016

This and that for the week

It really has been days of this and that.  Start one thing, go to another, then a third and back to the first.  Some things were finished.

It’s been years since I tatted and that took a bit of practise the top one’s a bit wonky in the centre.










Then I began a pincushion from a kit project. I have only tried once to make a similar pincushion but never completed it as the edges frayed trying to turn it.

I’ve only managed to do the centre section with many interruptions from families over-nighting. Good company though.

pincushion centre

pincushion centre

and the Bullion rose panel was made for my sister.









Posted by: Crazyqstitcher | January 12, 2016

First 2016 project finished!

View from side

View from side

Different view of top

Different view of top



Claire gave me some good tips for adding the back fabric, (thanks Claire) for using lots of pins but I still was unsure if I could manage the narrow seam, while turning…sooo, I Googled a YouTube demo of the actual machining and turning.  Excellent – but for my next one I’ll leave a slightly wider seam.  Just in case of mishaps I machine reinforced the corners.

The pincushion needs to be Really firm, filled especially in the corners.

The centre top pic is close to real colours- except for the yellow middle, which should look like the green below.

Here’s the link I used to actually see how the back is attached to the front.  So much easier watching than reading instructions.

Posted by: Crazyqstitcher | January 10, 2016

Biscornu again

I completed the outer ring with 2 strands of variegated DMC in Chainstitch.  I also filled in any outer bare trellis bits.  It fools the eye a bit as it’s not regular.  Only one quarter should be seen at any time when the back is on and padded.

I’d far rather repair stitching than try to keep photos and text where I originally place them in WordPress.  most annoying to have them jump around.  I’ll try again.

Now the photo on the right…grrrr NO, it’s now below, and is the one I began with.

You can see that I had brushed the fabric with a little water but obviously had not ironed it dry enough.  When I painted the rose shaded tips it ran past the line.  There are 2 choices for repairing.  I can re-paint the creamy sections or I can embroider over the dye-runs.  I’ll wait until I complete the current biscornu before deciding.

Wonky lines are easily covered by embroidery stitches such as Chain, Buttonhole, Feather stitch.   You can find many tutorials for many stitches at

The deep yellow around the centre is the way to go when painting then bristle pushing to the outer parts with a little water to spread and tone down.  The brushes I used were Nos 1, 3 and 4 round.

Now to read up on connecting the front to back.  Fingers crossed.

Finished outline

Finished outline

Paint bleed

Paint bleed

Posted by: Crazyqstitcher | January 9, 2016

Biscornu – warts and all

I’m not sure how I’d go with a tutorial but I can tell you what I’ve done so far.  I’ve made mistakes..should I begin with this?

After penciling in Sharon’s Friday Freebie pattern

I should have then drawn the lattice but keen to start I’d not given thought to how I was going to complete the outer section.  It’s impossible to use a ruler over SRE flowers…so you will see how it doesn’t line up around the edges—read, anywhere, if you will.                                             I figure I can fudge this when adding the bottom.

Probably the best I can do is post my next photo and say what I’ve done.

filling the edges

I used unwashed calico (muslin) and Jo Sonja paints.  Traced the pattern, taped to the cloth, with aid of sunlight behind my window.  I ironed fine pellon to the back for stability.  ( a hoop was suggested for embroidery but I found the pellon was sufficient).

I began with the magenta section.  I used a small brushload of the paint mixed with a few drops of water to begin with, to a creamy consistancy.

Each painting must be ironed dry before painting anything else or it will bleed where it should not.  I use Gladbake paper to protect the work.

The green section was dampened slightly but not right up to the lines.  You can push gently with the bristles to the lines and add a little water when pushing the paint to the outer parts if you want toning.

I used  2 strands of thread for the chain stitching, one No 12 Finca crochet thread for the ‘hearts’ and 2 strands DMC lazy daisy stitches.  I’m going to ignore the lattice placing and say I used back stitch on the lines.

I now have to stitch the outline of the green section, then hopefully, will work out how to back it.

In case anyone wonders if a fixative was used with Jo Sonja paints.  No, none used – probably as it won’t be washed.

I might embarrass myself and post my first painting where the paint spread too far.  :-(







Posted by: Crazyqstitcher | January 6, 2016

2016 personal challenge

I hope Everyone enjoyed great Christmas and New Year celebrations and all ready to take on challenges for 2016.

Just a short post today.

I’d planned to try and teach myself various stitch methods but am not organized as yet.  I need to buy the right fabrics and threads.  In the meantime I have painted calico-muslin- and begun a Biscornu. My first.   I used one of Sharon’s patterns

I did leave out a small outline part, which would have been out of the square.  I could have reduced the lot but like the size it is.

The colour is really magenta not deep lilac.  I used Chain, Buttonhole and straight stitches so far.  and now back to the stitching…



Posted by: Crazyqstitcher | December 16, 2015

Christmas baking – long

I’ve been baking for Christmas and Boxing Day.  Our family gather on the 26th December and like others, take a plate or two of goodies.

One of the things I’m taking is almond Bread.  So easy to make, popular and so nice to eat.



I have an old fashioned slicer and the bar tin measures 13 1/4″ x 3″ wide and 2 1/2″ high on the inside.

The original recipe said after baking, wrap in a clean cloth for 5 days before cutting.  Now I am short on patience for some things and this is one.











Recipe follows:- I’ll give the original measurements and the one I use (in brackets) to fit the above tin.

1 cup almonds with skin on…………………………(1 1/4 cups)
4 egg whites………………………………………………..(5)
2/3rds cup sugar………………………………………….(1 cup)
1 cup plain (all purpose) flour………………………(1 1/4 cups)
Slurp of vanilla essence – optional

Beat whites until stiff,  add sugar and beat very well.
Fold in flour and nuts by hand.
Pour into greased loaf tin (I line with Gladbake for easy removal )and bake in moderate oven -no more than 350F (electric oven) for 1 hour.  Keep a watch on it toward the end.
Cool on cake cooler  (I only wait until about 1/2 hour, so I don’t burn myself) and slice thinly with breadknife.  I have a bread slicer which is better and easier – close to 3 ml or 1/8th” would do.

I also turn the slicer handle faster than I guide the bread along so it does not tear.

Place on tray NOT TOUCHING and dry in a very slow oven     DO NOT OVERBAKE.  The colour is pale but not white.  grin.. the Uppercase came with the recipe.

I must have originally used smaller tins as I have a note to myself that the second measurements would make 2 tins.

When cold I wrap, about 12, in Gladwrap.  they are generally a bit curvy so I pick and choose to get as many flat in the groupings.  These store very well for months and can be refreshed in a slow oven if necessary.            Any crumbs from cutting can also be frozen for use over ice-cream.
OHH!!  I forgot to say, I do the mixing in my processor and the whites don’t bulk or stiffen like meringue but it still works as long as the sugar is well beaten.  I’m for an easy method anytime.

next up..what to do with 5 egg yolks left over.


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