A couple of polls and requests for feedback

Unfortunately WordPress won’t allow polls on their blogs, so I’d appreciate it if those who want to vote could leave a comment, especially regarding the future hosting of this blog.

Karen and I have previously discussed that this blog gets far less contributions by people posting their finishes, than any of the blogs on Blogspot.  While personally I prefer WordPress as a blogging platform, there are a greater number of Blogger blogs out there than WordPress.  So, I put the following question to you:

“Would you prefer this blog to be hosted on Blogger or WordPress, and if moved would you be more likely to contribute by way of posting your finishes or would this not be a factor?”

The next question is related to upcoming tutorials, so I’ll raise a separate post for that question.

Thanks in advance for your time in giving feedback, it’s much appreciated.

In the meantime, I hope you like the new format – hopefully this makes the text a bit larger and easier to read 🙂



Next year’s tutorials

Just a quick post to touch base regarding the planning of next year’s tutorials.  Karen and I have been looking at potential tutors for the list of tutorials we have on request from the survey you completed at the creation of this blog.

What I’d also love to know is whether, since that survey was taken, there are any other topics you’d like to see covered.  If there is a specific technique you’ve seen on someone’s blog or website, and you’d love to know how to do it yourself, please leave a comment with the blog details and the project, and I’m more than happy to contact the blog owner to see if they would be willing to run a tutorial for us all.

Likewise, if you are familiar with any of the techniques from our previous survey, and you’d like to offer your services to write up a tutorial, we’d be thrilled to hear from you … as the time will be arriving very very soon to start coordinating class times for next year (I know, I can’t believe it myself!).

Thanks again for your continued support of the blog – we look forward to another great year of learning and sharing 😀

Anne S

PS:  Here are the results of the previous survey for your information (since then the bourse and flanged pillow tutorials have already taken place – and I have a needleroll tutorial sitting in the wings ready for next year).

Lining a tin

51 votes
Mattress-style pincushion 41 votes
Stitcher’s bourse 39 votes
Needlebook (with needle pages) 38 votes
Pillows – flanged 38 votes
Emery strawberry 35 votes
Sewing pouch/purse 34 votes
Lining a basket 33 votes
Needlecase (for needle packets) 33 votes
Covered book 31 votes
Flat-fold 31 votes
Scissor case 31 votes
Tassels 31 votes
Ornaments – pendibulle 27 votes
Pillows – tuck 26 votes
Tin topper 26 votes
Tote bag 26 votes
Ornaments – humbug 25 votes
Cording 24 votes
Tape measure cover 24 votes
Treat bag/sachet 23 votes
Bellpull 20 votes
Scissor fob – stitched 19 votes
Biscornu 18 votes
Scissor fob – beaded 18 votes
Quilted wallhanging 17 votes
Needleroll 15 votes
Bookmarks 9 votes
Other 1 vote

Kudos or Complaints?

It’s that time of year when we’re starting to put our heads together from the admin side of things for future months of the Focus on Finishing blog.  And perhaps it’s time we ask for some feedback from you all whether there are parts of the blog you dislike, or don’t use much – or if there are parts of the blog you love to death, and would like to see more of … also if there is anything we haven’t thought of, and you’d love to see added.  We’d love some feedback, good, bad or indifferent, so we know we’re on the right track … or whether we’ve gone slightly off the rails …

Over the next few weeks we’ll be looking into possible tutors for upcoming classes – using the results of the survey when we first opened up the blog for business.  Some of the classes we plan to teach ourselves, some we’ll be asking for volunteers, and some people we think would be just perfect for a particular technique, so we’ll be approaching those people directly while keeping our fingers and toes crossed 😉

A HUGE thank you for those of you who have run classes for us already this year, without whom the blog would be a tad boring!  And another round of thanks go to those of you who take the time to post your finishes for us all to see – when we see people participating that way it’s more motivating for us to continue, as at least we can see the tutorials are being useful.

Don’t forget it’s a very simple process to sign up for posting – you just need to set up a WordPress account (no blog at all is needed), then drop one of us an email (links in the sidebar) requesting to be added as an Author, and Bob’s your Uncle!

Now, don’t forget, put your thinking caps on and give us that feedback – any different classes you want to see?  Any tutors you think would be wonderful?  Anything you would like to see being done differently?  Anything extra you would like to see?  Want to know what the winning Lotto numbers are??  OK, so we can’t help you with that last one, but we would seriously love the feedback 😀

Hugs to you all,

August FAL theme

The first theme for our new FAL themed months is stitching accessories!

This month’s class is a pinkeep, so we’ve decided to tie the theme in with the class, so that people who want to do the class will have a chance to participate. However, we’ve decided to expand the theme to include all types of stitching accessories, such as scissor fobs, biscornu, needlecases, scissor cases, pincushions, tape measure covers and needlerolls, so there are plenty of finishing choices.

I’ll post some tutorial links and pictures of finished accessories to (hopefully) give you some inspiration in separate posts below.

Happy finishing!

August FAL – stitching accessories tutorials

If you’ve never attempted any of these types of finishes before, here’s some tutorial links to get you started. I’ve pulled out the most basic, straightforward tutorials with beginners in mind but there are many others on the tutorial links page:

  • Biscornu here – very clear instructions with loads of pictures
  • Mattress pincushions here – in French but with loads of pictures. I used this one for my first mattress pincushion and found it easy to do from just the pictures.
  • Needlecases here and a slightly different style here
  • Needlerolls here – nice, clear tutorial with good explanations and pictures
  • Scissor fob here
  • Scissor case here – in French with lots of pictures and scissor pocket here (Becky will be doing a class on this one at a later date too, which will have more step-by-step photos if you want to wait for that)
  • Tape measure cover here – in Japanese with lots of pictures. I’ve used this one myself and found it very clear and easy to use

August FAL – inspiration!

Looking for inspiration for this month’s theme?

Try The World’s Largest Collection of Smalls blog as a starting point for loads of pictures of stitching accessories, which are all grouped by category. Check out everyone’s gorgeous scissor fobs, needlecases, pincushions, needlerolls, pinkeeps, biscornu, scissor pockets, and tape measure covers, along with all the other beautiful finishes

Think outside the box: for example, mini biscornu make wonderful scissor fobs, like this cute patriotic fob by Linda in Iceland:

and these 3 colourful fobs by Melanie in Australia:


Or why not try out a strawberry fob, like this one by Blackbird Designs in last year’s JCS ornament issue, beautifully stitched and finished by Cathymk:

More thinking outside the box; needlerolls don’t necessarily have to be vertical designs – here’s one I made using a horizontal design, which I adapted slightly (Homeward at Last by JBW Designs):


and if you don’t fancy the idea of hemstitching the ends, just use banding, like this one stitched by AnneS:


If you’ve got plenty of time on your hands, why not create a matching set of accessories, like this beautiful set of LHN designs stitched by Becky:

or these fabulous Quaker accessories stitched by Nicki?


I couldn’t find a tutorial for a needleminder, but the basic idea is quite straightforward. Michelle has made a couple of beautiful needleminders recently (I’m totally drooling over the Quaker one):




Sarah Moon (top) and Flower of Courage needleminders, stitched by Michelle (Cozyegg)

The instructions she used came with a kit but think metal ornament finishing forms, magnets (inside and out) and any kind of trim for the edging and it’s not too hard to work out how to create your own. Or you could try a basic pincushion or fob with magnets inside to hold your needles or pick up dropped pins, like these great examples by Barbara:


and Lelia:

And finally, if you’re up for a challenge and want to try something completely different, what about a chatelaine to hold stitching tools? Here’s an example of one designed by Guilia Punti Antichi:


and a gorgeous one created to her own design by Helen:


So what are you waiting for? Drag out your stitched pieces and your finishing supplies and get finishing! And don’t forget to post your finishes to the blog so we can all admire them. If you’ve not already signed up to post on here you’ll need a WordPress account (free, no need to create a blog) and then you’ll need to email me to add you as an author so you can post. It’s quick and painless (honest!)

Have fun!

Page updates

I’ve added Niky in Italy’s blog to the Inspiration page.  Niky is a prolific stitcher and accomplished finisher, who does wonderful work.  I can’t find an online album for her, but there are loads of beautiful pictures of her stitching and finishing on her blog.

I’ve also added 2 tutorials to the tutorials page showing how to add a zipper to a project.  I used both of these tutorials when I made my zippered project bag recently and I thought they might be useful to include here.

U-handblog zippered pouch

Twelve22  zippered pouch