Smalls SAL Challenge, Belated November Project

Shepherd's Bush Christmas Treat Bag kit
Shepherd’s Bush Christmas Treat Bag kit, my version, for the November 2014 Smalls Challenge

Above is my belated submission for Stitching Lotus’s 2014 Smalls Challenge (see the icon on the right), the Christmas Treat Bag Kit by Shepherd’s Bush. I think I’ve been late for about 80% of these monthly challenges, and I have yet to finish the July Challenge, Eileen Bennet’s “Very Victorian… Acorns” Sampler (last heard of here). On the plus side, focusing on results instead of failures, I have completed many of the month’s challenges, and I have done more cross stitching in this past year than I have in quite awhile. There’s nothing like a little external motivation, even if it is voluntary.

I grabbed this kit on my way out of town to go spend Thanksgiving with my family in northern California (due to my teaching schedule, I had to leave at the crack of dawn on Thanksgiving day).  I bought this kit over a decade ago and it was stored in a plastic bin with all kinds of other kits I bought years ago. When I was looking for a quick kit at the last minute, I couldn’t believe how many old kits full of unrealized potential were in this box. I have, literally (and I don’t use that word lightly) dozens of old cross stitch and needlepoint kits–many I had forgotten about completely.

The whole process was like an archeological dig as I painstakingly worked my way through layer upon sedimentary layer of ancient fabric and floss artifacts. Each kit seemed to inspire one of two polar opposite reactions: “Wow! I had forgotten how pretty this pattern was! Why aren’t I stitching this right now?” and “What was I thinking when I bought this?” It’s funny how our tastes evolve over time — I remember being head over heels with some patterns that I can barely stand to look at now.  It’s a good time for destashing.

Overall, this little Shepherd’s Bush kit was a quick stitch except for the beading (again, I had forgotten how long that takes), and the results are quite nice. The kit calls for the design to be made into a little treat bag (see below), but, honestly, I can’t imagine using it as a bag so I’ve decided to make it into an ornament instead.

Shepherd's Bush Christmas Treat Bag
Shepherd’s Bush Christmas Treat Bag

As you can see, the kit comes with a star and moon charm too, so that should make a nice addition to the ornament’s decor. It also comes with two satin ribbons, but within twenty minutes of being open in a house filled with five kids under eight years of age, the ribbons mysteriously disappeared. You don’t exactly have to be Sherlock Holmes to solve that “crime.”

Giveaway: if you would like my used “Christmas Treat Bag” pattern and instructions, leave me a message below letting me know, and I’ll send it along. I will also include the leftover floss and beads (the floss is just DMC, so it’s easily supplemented, and there are plenty of beads left to do the entire design again). This is a cute and easy pattern and there’s still time to finish it before Christmas this year, or the next, or the next…

A Finish: Shepherd’s Bush “Folk Heart Roll”

Shepherd's  Bush, "Folk Heart Roll"I’m so happy to have finished this project. This is one of those kits I bought on an impulse just because I liked the colors and the hearts and the lace and the black checkerboard design and the… well, you get the idea. You’ll have to take my word for it that I’m not much of a “hearts and flowers” gal, but something about this design’s simplicity and “folkiness” spoke to me. After all, there’s no explaining love.

Unfortunately, the kit sat in a bin in my “office” for several years waiting to see the light of day. And then, one day, I needed a simple project to get back into the swing of cross stitch and there it was. After I started stitching, of course, it was completed in no time flat.

By the way, please pardon the hoop marks!

If memory serves, this is the third Shepherd’s Bush needleroll I’ve completed. The other two were Christmas themed and were given as gifts. I can’t decide what to do with this one. I don’t feel like making it into a needleroll because I’m afraid it will just sit around collecting dust, but I can’t think of what else to do with it except perhaps get it framed. With some minor modifications, it would make a lovely birth sampler for a little girl. Any finishing ideas, gentle readers?

Coming out of the Closet, Literally

In an effort to make my June 9th deadline for clearing all (or at least a big chunk of) my “family and friends” stitching, I decided to look through my closetful of FUFO’s to see if there was anything that would do in a pinch. I hang my completed cross stitch from pants hangers and drape a plastic bag over them to keep the dust out.

Now, I’ve been stitching for over 25 years, and seriously stitching for at least the past ten, so I’ve got quite a backlog, as you can see.

Finished Cross Stitch ProjectsIncluding this little gem from Linda Reeves (does anyone know if she’s still around? Whatever happened to La Broderie?):

La Broderie, King WinterPardon the atrocious lighting, especially since it makes it so difficult to see the wonderful, rich reds and browns of this pattern.

Can you believe I only found one design I was willing to part with that was both ready to go and appropriate for the occasion?  It was this adorable little guy all done up in silks, “Peter’s Patch” from Shepherd’s Bush:

Peter's Patch by Shepherd's Bush

Pardon the creases. Several years ago, I made the companion piece, “Sophie’s Roses,” for a cousin’s baby, Rose (get it? roses for Rose? nudge nudge, wink wink), and it was a big hit. This is the Shepherd’s Bush I love–colorful, bright, and full of specialty stitches. Now, who’s going to be the lucky recipient?