Mystery Blackwork Stitch Along Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of my Mystery Blackwork SAL! I hope you are all enjoying stitching along 😀

Thank you for all of your lovely photographs. You can send more photos to me via email (address on the right).  Here is the updated gallery.

This is my third part completed.

Stage 4

Please respect my copyright.

Enjoy! See you next week,

Avis x

Mystery Blackwork Stitch Along Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my Mystery Blackwork SAL 🙂

Keep sending me the photographs of your lovely stitching and thank you for all the lovely emails ( I’ll continue to update the gallery. Pop over and take a look before you start the next stage 🙂

Here is the second part completed.

Stage 2

Please respect my copyright.


See you next week, Avis x

Mystery Blackwork SAL Gallery

Here are the “Works in Progress” photos from the Stitch Along so far. If you are stitching along, please send me a photo by email (address on the right) and I’ll include it in the gallery 🙂

If you’ve missed the first part and would like to stitch along with us, you can find it here. You can join the group at any time.

Starting with mine 🙂

Stage 4







Claire Ooh! I can see a little bling on this one 🙂



























Mystery Blackwork Stitch Along Part 1

Welcome to Part 1 of my Mystery Blackwork SAL 🙂

My dear friend Claire introduced me to blackwork a few months ago and I’ve been very happily stitching along with her. Several of my regular readers will have stitched along too!

I have now charted my own design to share with all of you over the next few weeks and Claire has very kindly tested the complete chart. Of course, she has been sworn to secrecy, because this is a “Mystery” SAL. New stages will be released every Friday.

This is a small square project, only 62 stitches across and down. You will need a piece of your regular cross stitch fabric, embroidery thread, a needle and scissors. I’ve used 14 count aida fabric with one thread colour. You may wish to experiment with several colours. The choice is yours. You will need to stitch the entire design with one single thread to get the best finish (in my opinion) as the design is so fine and delicate.

So, be brave!! If you haven’t tried this type of embroidery before GO FOR IT 😀 Come on all you quilters! You know you want to try this. I’m sure you can spare about an hour a week to stitch along with us!

Here is my first part completed. Stage 1

If you are joining the SAL please:

  • Leave a comment to let me know you are stitching along
  • Mention which country you live in so we can all see how many countries are taking part
  • Send me a photo (via email) of your stitching at the end of each stage so I can update the gallery for everyone to see

Finally, before you download my chart, please REMEMBER this! The design is my own and is provided for your personal use only. It MUST NOT be copied, reproduced or sold in any form.  I am sorry if this sounds harsh but my designs and tutorials have been copied and/or sold before. Please play nicely. I like to share 🙂

Click the link below to download 🙂

Enjoy! See you next week,

Avis x

Slowly but surely….

Hello everyone,

Thanks to all of you who have already expressed interest in joining the Mystery Blackwork SAL. You have only 6 days to gather a few items from your stash if you want to start on Friday. See here for more details of what you will need. I do hope you will stitch along with us 🙂

It’s been a busy week for me so I haven’t been able to do any patchwork or quilting for a few days. However, I have done some more of the Narrow Boat cross stitch from Bothy Threads.

Here is where I was up to on the last update.

CIMG2323Here is where I’m up to now 🙂

CIMG2470There is a lot of black back stitch outlining and a few French knots to add when all of the cross stitching is complete. It will give the design a sort of cartoon appearance which I think is quite fun!

When it is finished, it will look like this.

CIMG2471I’ve already stitched the camper van from the same series and it finally has a frame!

CIMG2453So, everything is happening here slowly but surely at the moment. I’ll be back on Friday with the first part of the SAL 🙂

I’m very excited!!

Avis x

Three for the price of one…..sounds good to me!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Without further ado, I really need to welcome all my new followers this week, many of whom have found my blog via Claire, my wonderful cross-stitch friend in France. I know you are all waiting for the Mystery Stitch Along and I hope you can wait patiently for just a few more days 🙂 I’m very excited about it as I’ve never organised a SAL before and I know there are already several people signed up. Hopefully, Claire will correct me if I make mistakes 🙂

The SAL will be open to everyone, the more the merrier. I would absolutely LOVE IT if some of you could maybe try blackwork for the very first time with us. You have 12 days to sort out a piece of fabric to stitch on. Any cross stitch fabric will be suitable. My preference is for 14 count aida fabric but you can choose. My design is about 60 stitches square so make sure your fabric is big enough. Also, you will need some embroidery floss. Traditionally, blackwork was stitched in black, I bet you hadn’t guessed that already 😉 You can stitch in one colour, or if you prefer, a selection of colours. Some of Claire’s SAL members have used variegated threads and they look lovely too. We will be stitching with only one thread, unlike cross stitch where we would normally use two threads at once. I will provide the chart for my design FREE of charge. So, there is something for nothing! Don’t you just love that idea? I will reveal stages of the chart every Friday and there will be about an hour of stitching per week if you want to keep up 🙂 You can send photos of your work in progress to me (email address at the right of the page) and I’ll open, and regularly update, a stitchers gallery. So, watch this space……only 12 days to go!

A couple of my previous blackwork finishes are here and here so now you know what to expect 🙂

In the meantime, I declare another quilt finished 😀 Yesterday, I decided I would quilt whichever work in progress was at the top of the box of patchwork waiting to be quilted.


I’ve named this one Picnic Pinwheels because the fabrics are the colours of the most beautiful flowers in the garden and the size, at 54″ square, is perfect for a picnic rug. I made the quilt top about a year ago at the same time as I made this one and this one. They are all from the same layer cake by Moda called Santorini. Not one scrap of the layer cake is left. I like to challenge myself to leave no scraps. I love the colours and the bold prints which I cooled down by teaming them with my most adorable Moda Bella solids.


I know I make a lot of pinwheels but look at them. How can I cure this addiction? Do I really want to be cured? Nah! I think my Picnic Pinwheels could be the eye candy in my conservatory for the next few months. I’ll be spending a lot of time here, sewing in the glorious daylight, hopefully hand stitching the binding of many more quilts (still my favourite pastime ever!!).


So, don’t forget to sort out your fabric and embroidery thread. Be there or be square a week come Friday 🙂

Have a wonderful crafty week! I’m linking to the Made It Challenge over at Woolhogs. Pop over and take a peek at all the goodies made by other bloggers this month 🙂

Avis x

Something to look forward to…’s a mystery!

Happy weekend everyone!

Where did that week go? I hope you are all well and happy and you are getting lots of lovely sunshine as we are, here in the UK.

I have a couple of small finishes to share with you this week. You may remember my Strawberries and Cream post here. I’ve now finished the two table toppers. The larger quilt top will have to wait a little longer 🙂

First up is the scrappy one.

ImageI enjoyed experimenting with the free motion quilting.

ImageHere’s more detail.


I think it might work well with the plain side up for a change. Two for one……bargain 🙂

Next, the hexagonal kaleidoscope strip style one.


I played safe with the quilting here.


Also, binding the unusual shape was a new challenge for me but I found there was very little difference to binding 90 degree angles. You all know how much I love to bind 😀


So, I had fun, fun, fun! I hope you have all had fun this week too 🙂

My Starry, Starry, Night quilt has been entered in this months “Made It” challenge at Woolhogs. You can pop over and vote for your favourite projects, which are not all sewing and quilting, and visit lots of lovely blogs.  The nice thing is that the winner is chosen at random. The voting is just for fun 🙂 So enjoy!!

Some of my regular readers will know that Claire recently introduced me to blackwork embroidery. You can see a couple of my finished pieces here and here. If you visit Claire’s blog you will see lots of progress from all the stitcher’s on the latest “Stitch Along” here. There are still a few stages to go. What a difference a change of colour makes.

Also, today I’m letting you into a little secret 😉

In a few weeks time, when Claire’s SAL is finished, there is going to be a Mystery Blackwork SAL here. It will be a small project, designed by me and it will last for about 6 weeks, with the chart being released in installments. That’s the mystery part! So, you all have plenty of time to sort out some embroidery floss and a small piece of aida fabric. You could also use linen or evenweave or your other favourite cross stitch fabric, though there won’t be any cross stitches. I’ll give more details later but would love to know if you’d like to join in the fun. I expect the stages to take about an hour per week to stitch so everyone will be able to find time to stitch along.

It’s going to be another busy week ahead for me. I hope I manage to get time some time to sew.

Thank you for all your lovely comments and emails. They make me very happy 😀

Happy crafting!

Avis x

Starry, starry, night…..paint your palette blue and purple!

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all having a wonderful crafty time. Welcome to my new followers and all the lovely crafting people across the globe 🙂

I have finally plucked up the courage to quilt a large quilt top which has been waiting in my box for almost two years. I think this was the third top I ever pieced. The fabrics screamed at me in the shop. I just had to buy them!


I quilted it with a surfy sea sort of pattern as the colours and prints are very watery.



The back is a gorgeous solid purple which is a perfect match for the purple marble on the front. I like a solid backing as it shows off the quilting….and I get a nice reversible quilt. Two for one…..bargain!

ImageNow you can get an idea of the size. It’s massive!


Now, what’s next? Come on everyone….follow me over to see Claire. Part 3 of the SAL is now  available. I must get stitching!

Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

I’ve just entered this quilt in a challenge here:

There are some wonderful entries. Don’t forget to pop along and vote for your favourites 😀

Avis x

Next up, the teal version!

Hello to all my lovely fellow bloggers and readers from all around the world. Isn’t the world wide web wonderful for linking us all together?

My pinwheel bug has mutated…..into the Trip Around the World Bargellow-ish bug. It’s quite a serious illness which makes people repeat things.

It’s quite a serious illness which makes people repeat…….. ha-ha only joking 😉

As you’ve already seen two of these here and here, I won’t comment much further. This version is just two of the previous ones side by side. I quite like the effect.

ImageThe colours are white with robins egg, turquoise and teal from light to dark. I couldn’t decide which way around I preferred to look at it so both photos are included. I haven’t made two tops!


Hopefully I will now recover and do something different. I have a SAL to catch up on here. Come and join in the fun 🙂

Happy Thursday,

Avis x

In the pink!

Hi everyone,

The sun is shining brightly outside but all I want to do is sew indoors. Very strange….but I’m enjoying looking out at the blue sky when I lift my head to refill bobbins 🙂

I’ve continued with the Bargello Trip Around the World theme this week and used up more of those lovely Michael Miller prints. This one is fit for a princess.

ImageIf you are anything like me, these images should conjure up memories of ice cream, candy floss, sugared almonds and dreamy fondant icing on cupcakes.


I think the ivory hearts is my favourite of all these prints. How girly are they?


I’ll be doing some quilting after lunch today and then tonight I’ll be sewing the first part of the new SAL with Claire. The chart is free and the design only requires a small piece of aida (or other fabric of your choice) and some scraps of embroidery floss. I’m sure Claire will welcome you aboard if you want to join in the fun 🙂 The small design is probably just right for a gift card. It uses only cross-stitch and blackwork. Of course, you don’t have to stitch it in black. If it is anything like the previous SALs which Claire has organised, there will be all manner of colours and fabrics used. You can see previous finishes of all the participants here.

Whatever you plan to do today, enjoy!

Avis x

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