Framed at last!

Hi everyone,

At last I’ve put these cross stitch projects into the frames. I’m always happy to frame my own pieces and usually buy custom sized frames but this time the quote came in way over my budget. I decided on some cheap and cheerful frames, not a perfect fit, but they’ll get my needlework out of the drawer and onto the walls in time for Santa’s visit.

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll recognise all the projects. First up is the most recently finished one, Quilt V by Whispered by the Wind, though you will remember that I changed the blocks so much that it barely resembles the original. I chose a white frame and border, and because it’s an off-the-peg size, it isn’t perfect but it’ll do until I save up.

This is the finished piece.


Here it is in the frame. Claire and I both stitched this one as part of a SAL group.

The next one is Cirque des Coeurs by Ink Circles. I think I only wrote one post about this one. It was completed while I was away on holiday in 2014. You can see lots of close up detail and watch it grow here. Claire gave me the idea for the thread choice and I love it! CIMG3397

I decided on a crisp white border and frame again. This time, it’s a perfect fit.


Finally, another Ink Circles one. It’s called Cirque des Cercles. I made it in the suggested thread on black evenweave.

Stage 12

I had originally chosen a black frame and border for this one but they sent me a white border by mistake. I was in two minds about sending it back but I think they must have known what I had in mind to frame. All black would have been too much I think. I’m very happy with the white and I’m pleased I thought about it and tried the piece in the frame before asking for a colour swap. I stitched this one as part of the SAL with Claire as well.

IMG_20151219_144404856I hope you get plenty of time to craft over the Christmas period whether you celebrate or not. I’ll be back next Sunday with an update on Kokeshi Friends 🙂

Avis x


A little surprise…don’t tell!

Hello everyone,

I’ve been making a little birthday present for my Great Niece. Her birthday isn’t until next month but I like to be organised you know. It’s a very simple, lined drawstring bag.


I absolutely adore this fabric. I bought it just after my Great Niece was born and always had in mind that one day I’d make her a bag from it. Soon she will be four years old. Those turtles are so cute! I lined  it with the same solid blue as I made the drawstrings from and it has a box shaped base so it’ll stand up on its own.


All in all, a good afternoon’s sewing. I really enjoyed that 🙂

Avis x

A Cardinal for Christmas

Hello everyone,

I’ve got a finish to show you that I’ve been working on for a while.

IMG_20151019_121023508My lovely friend Claire sent me this kit all the way from France. She’s so kind 🙂 I’ve had it for a while and I just fancied making something small for a change so it was the perfect choice. It’s actually quite stitch intensive but I found it so easy to pick up for just a few minutes here and there.

This is a fabulous quality kit. I highly recommend it (I’m not being sponsored for writing this) and when I see others in this series, I’m going to buy them. It comes with 14 count plastic canvas that has holes small enough to grip the thread. I was wary of trying plastic canvas, but for this type of project, I’m converted. Thank you again Claire 🙂 

IMG_20151019_121113030I was always intending to back it with felt and hang it in the tree with red satin ribbon. However, there are instructions in the pack for making a cord from some of the leftover thread if you prefer. Claire mentioned using fabric glue to attach the backing. I had intended to sew it on but Claire knows best when it comes to finishing. I opened a bottle of fabric glue that I’ve had for years. It sometimes amazes what I find in my craft drawer that I’ve never used. I always knew it would come in very handy one day 😉

What crafty item do you have that you have never used and how long have you it?

Time to fly!

Avis x

Happy Dancing! SAL Completed

Good morning everyone,

I have a finished piece to show you today WOOHOO!

Both me and Claire have finished the Friendship Quilt V by Whispered by the Wind, though both of us have significantly changed the original design. That means we have something unique.

You will remember that last time I shared an update I had completed 23 of the 25 blocks. Here is block 24.


This is block 25.


So, at last it is done!


At some point in the future I’ll frame it and put it up on the wall 🙂

Next time we’ll be revealing the first stage of our new project. Me and Claire are doing the same project again. I’m so excited to be starting something new and colourful at last.

Please visit the other blogs in the group. Most of us are posting updates some time today and there are many gorgeous projects to enjoy. Simply click on the names below.

Claire, Gun, Carole, Jule, Wendy, LucyAnn, Kate, Cathy, Jess, Jacqui.

Our next group update will be on 15th November. See you then!

Another Happy Dance

Good afternoon everyone,

Just a few words and a photo of my latest finish by Bothy Threads. It is part of a series of four New England houses, one for each season and this one is for Spring. I really enjoyed stitching it and hope to get it in a frame very soon. In case you know this design, I omitted the weather vane on the roof because I wasn’t keen on it. Typical eh?

IMG_20150819_172158755_HDR (2)

I’ve just started a new sampler by Design Works called ABC Bears and I’ll show you progress when I’ve finished the letter A.

Avis x

Happy Dancing!

Good evening everyone,

Do you remember this blanket that I started to crochet using a load of brightly coloured left over yarn from a previous project?


This is me snuggling underneath it while I crocheted more and more and more. Thank goodness it’s been a cool summer so far.


Well this is what it looks like now. It’s finished 🙂


I promise you it is a perfect rectangle in real life and it didn’t need to be blocked either. I had to climb to the very top of the step ladders and hold the camera against the ceiling to take this photo. I still couldn’t fit it all in properly. With the side of my face pinned to the ceiling, it took a few clicks to get this photo. I couldn’t really see what I was taking and this one is the best of a bad bunch!

I finished the edges with black, then turquoise, then black again and I’m happy with the way it turned out.


The finished size of this blanket is 52 x 56 inches and I used Stylecraft Special DK yarn. It’s 100% acrylic and won’t last a lifetime but this blanket has been made to be used. It’s already kept me warm during a chilly June 🙂

Now, credit where credit is due. The free pattern is from Not Your Average Crochet. It’s called the As-We-Go Stripey Blanket. I used the pdf version with the photos. I’m in no way an expert at crochet and the photos plus a couple of Youtube videos helped a lot. I’m so grateful to Hannah for sharing her pattern for free and I’ve learned lots of new stitches from her along the way.

If you want to see more versions of this blanket in different colour ways (I appreciate that my ever so bright colour choice won’t suit everyone), you’ll find lots to inspire you in Google images. Go on, have a go at making one of your own.

Avis x

We did it! Join us next time….

Hi everyone,

Guess what day it is today…….it’s Happy Dance day!

At last we have a Happy Dance, me and Claire that is Smile. We’ve now finished Cirque des Cercles by Ink Circles. When we decided this was to be our next SAL project, there was a little doubt in my mind about whether we would ever finish it. However, it looks much more complicated than it really is and it turned out to be the perfect SAL project.


Stage 12

Me and Claire will be revealing our new SAL project next Sunday (28th) and we’ll also be keeping to our three weekly postings from now, along with Gun in Sweden, Jule in Germany and Kate in Australia who are all stitching along on their own lovely projects. Don’t forget to pop along to their blogs to see their progress so far. Just click on their names above. We are all posting some time today Smile.

If anyone else would like to join the SAL, maybe to finish a WIP or to start something new, just drop me an email and then all you need to do is post an update every three weeks on the same day as us, linking to the rest of the group and show some progress. It can be as little or as much progress as you wish but it must be some progress Winking smile. If you don’t have a blog but would love to join in, I’ll happily post a photo of your progress with my updates if you wish. My email address is at the right hand side of this page. You all know you have a project that doesn’t deserve to be left unfinished at the bottom of a drawer. It doesn’t even have to be cross stitch so you have absolutely no excuses. This is the way to get something finished. Go for it!

Now I’m off to choose threads for the next SAL and hopefully there’ll be lots of emails from all of you wanting to join in Smile.

Have a lovely day!

Avis x

Someone has a birthday!

Hi everyone,

It’s my daughter’s birthday today so I just had to stitch a card for her. She loves to play the ukulele so that’s what I decided to stitch.


I had to be a bit sneaky, going up to her room and taking photos of her ukulele while she was out at work, and then yesterday, stitching it while she was at home. I honestly don’t know how she didn’t find me sewing this. Every time I heard her footsteps I was pretending to be stitching something else until she went away again Smile.

I did find some inspiration from various images on the internet for a pattern but I couldn’t use them because I wanted a good likeness to my daughter’s ukulele. Thankfully, I had just the right thread colours in my stash. Some of the tuning pegs were facing different directions, I needed the correct number of frets, had to copy how the neck was attached and I also added some metallic threads for where the strings are wound around the pegs at the top. I lightly padded behind the stitching panel with some polyester wadding.

This is how it turned out.


She really likes it so I’m very happy about that Smile. It’s always nice to give something handmade. If you want a free copy of my chart, just send me an email. The address is on the right of this page. You could then make your own little changes here and there to make it like your own ukulele.

I’ve also been making a zipper pouch. There is a link to the tutorial and more photos on my other blog Oh Sew Tempting.


I hope you are all finding more time to craft than I am at the moment. I’m still far too busy for my liking.

Sewing Beside the Sea | All things made with my needle and thread

Update: Sandie from Tigermum’s Creative Corner has sent me photos of her fantastic card which she made from my chart. Isn’t it fantastic? She used DMC 4128 thread to acheive the wood grain effect.


Here are her husband’s ukuleles. You can see why Sandie needed the correct thread now.

24 (1)

Avis x

Cirque des Coeurs

Hello and Happy Sunday to all of you lovely stitchers out there!

It’s a glorious sunny day here today. The holiday is almost over and it’s time to show you what I was sewing while I was away. I didn’t intend to stitch this project initially. I had planned to sew something completely different but that didn’t work out.  Cirque des Coeurs from Ink Circles was, however, already on my “must buy” list to follow on from the other Ink circles design called Cirque des Cercles that I’ve been doing as part of a SAL with Claire.

I’m going to show you the entire completion of the project in one post and hopefully you won’t get bored. It’s a good design to split up into manageable chunks.


The thread I used is called Morning Meadows by Threadworx which I bought from Sew and So. It was recommended by Claire and comes in large skeins. This one has shades of mauve, purple and green. It’s lovely to work with too.


It isn’t easy to find Ink Circles charts in the UK but my OH found The Crafty Kitten web site at Christmas when he bought me the Cirque des Cercles chart. I have to say that Dawn from The Crafty Kitten saved me from having no project to do on holiday because she pulled out all the stops to get the chart to me in time for me going away. I rang her on a Saturday afternoon, not expecting anyone to answer the phone and I received the chart the following Monday, the day which we’d planned to travel. Amazing service! Thank you to Dawn for going the extra mile Smile. For me to be without my needle and thread on holiday is unthinkable. I’m so pleased she could help. What a relief it was for my OH to find the parcel at the door before we left. Lucky for him, he wasn’t going to end up being dragged around every craft shop I could find, while on holiday, in my search for something to keep me quiet occupied.


I love all of the curves and secondary shapes on this design. This close up shows the lovely thread colours.


This next stage reminds me of part of the profile of an old sewing machine. Even when I’m on holiday, I dream about my mean green sewing machine Smile. Can you see the little duck and a snail?


Another close up…


Now, the bottom right hand section is filled in. Time to scroll the frame and finish the top.


I started with the outline of the hearts. You could almost forget that the design is full of hearts until you look more closely.


Here it is, finished Smile. I really enjoyed stitching this design. Now, I just need to put it in a frame and get it up on the wall.


I was going to save revealing this project for a while but WordPress have just informed me that Sewing Beside the Sea is one year old today. That was a surprise to me as I thought this blog was much older than that. I must be mixing it up with my other blog Oh Sew Tempting. Maybe it is something to do with me getting old too!

I hope you are enjoying crafting today Smile.

Avis x

Lighting up the night sky

Good afternoon everyone,

It’s being raining here for the last few days, not exactly what we’d expect here at the end of May. So what better way to spend an afternoon than to stitch a card for a friend who hasn’t been feeling 100% lately.


My friend loves lighthouses. She’s interested in their history and visits them whenever she can. I wonder how many she has climbed so far. I actually live very close to a lighthouse and the view you get from the top of it is truly amazing! As long as they don’t test the fog horn while you are up there, it can be very pleasant Winking smile.

Anyway, I knew I had a cross stitch chart for a lighthouse somewhere in my stash. This one is by Michael Powell. You can find more of his designs here if you are interested.

Thanks to the Royal Mail, my friend received her card this morning even though I only posted it yesterday. She wasted no time putting it in a gorgeous frame Smile. I couldn’t have chosen better myself.


Get well soon, dear friend!

Avis x

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