I’m so glad that I started doing regular cross-stitch updates. It’s made me do some crazy things…like this week. I actually fully finished TWO things!!!
Check out my two little pillows…no matter that they aren’t in season. I’m just thorough happy that they are finished.
A crazy thing happens to me. When I know I have to make a cross-stitch post on Fridays and I know I don’t stitch anything very quickly, I know I need to come up with something that will make the blog post a little more interesting…so, I finished these as my “a little bit more interesting” item this week.
Normally I would have let these sit for a long time and probably would have even forgotten about them. Not this time. I just tackled them.
I put it off because I want it to be perfect and I know I’m not one who can do it perfectly. So things sit. Last week I watched a floss tube of The Proper Stitcher. She was saying finished is better than perfect. Me, my philosophy has always been it’s better in the drawer so I don’t have to fret over how not perfect it is…
I decided to take her advice and just finished the two pieces.
These were both stitched in DMC floss which is supposed to be colorfast. I looked a the bottom of my iron. It looked clean so… Continue reading →
Before I share my stitching this week I thought I would answer a cross-stitch question that came it.
“Your work is lovely! I do cross-stitch in the fall and early winter…but have never seen patterns like these. They have a beautiful antique feel to them. I especially love the background cloth (so much nicer than the standard white that comes in kits). Do you have any tips on where I could find similar things?”
Cross-stitch is typically done on either Aida or Linen types of fabric. I used Aida in the ’80s and ’90s for cross stitch. I didn’t know there was anything else. Aida is like this…
It’s easy to see the holes. It’s obvious where to put your needle up and down. When stitching on this you simply make an “x” as shown in the first stitch on the left.
It does come in other colors and has gotten to be MUCH better and nicer than what I stitched on in the ’80s. The one below is sold through Amazon. You can find it HERE. Aida is not expensive.
For the more primitive look, you’ll want linen. It is harder to stitch on, but I love the look and it’s worth it to me to stitch a little slower. Here is more of what linen looks like.
The reason it is slower to stitch on linen is that you need to count two threads over when making your “x”. Look at the photo below. On the left is Aida cloth. On the right, linen.
The strands of linen aren’t always a uniform size so that makes it harder too. They have come out with a fabric called evenweave. It is similar to linen only the threads that make it up are all uniform in thickness. If you’re new to cross stitching on linen. Evenweave is a good option.
If you want to stitch a sampler like the one below. The sampler is Hanna Hinsen by Hands to Work. You can find it HERE. This is stitched on linen and must be stitched on linen if you are going to put the verse in it. The verse is stitched “over one”.
Here is a picture of stitching over one vs stitching over two threads.
Often on samplers the words are stitched over one but not always. Over one is harder and more tedious as you don’t see much progress quickly. It is doable though. I don’t suggest it for a first project.
What got me back to cross stitching was that I discovered linen. I liked the more primitive look of linen and I loved all the options of colors…
I saw this little piece by Lizzie Kate. It was unlike anything that I had seen. I was bound and determined that I was going to stitch it. I wanted it to look like the picture and it was stitched on linen so WATCH OUT WORLD. I was going to do it on linen even if it was harder than Aida.
This chart is what brought me back to cross-stitch.
There are mistakes in this but I don’t care. I’ve still pretty proud of it.
My favorite linen is Vintage Country Mocha. It has a mottling between the two colors shown. You can get it on any count of linen or Aida. It is the easiest linen that I have worked with. It seems the most versatile too.
As far as stitching goes….I’ve learned to “do the sewing method”. You can watch this video to learn more about that.
When I first started I did this method where the stitcher does the first slant of the “x” all the way across and then comes back and does the second slant.
I do the sewing method now like the video shows and like my stitches MUCH better. Try both and see what you think.
Here are some shops online that I recommend Needlecase Goodies on Etsy
Nancy owns this shop. She is local to me and has fast reasonable shipping.
Fat Quarter Shop
Yep, the same Fat Quarter Shop you buy fabric at, now has cross-stitch.
I don’t like them as well as other places but they sometimes have stuff if I can’t find it at the other two places.
You can always google to see if a shop is close to your area. I have two that are an hour away from me. I really like The Stitchery Nook in Osage Iowa. They also have an online presence. I’ve had good luck getting thread from them when I couldn’t find it elsewhere.
Cross stitch has really taken off again. I think it’s the current “hot craft” nowadays.
Pat in Michigan asked:
“How do you press/iron the linen to remove the wrinkles, but not risk any of the threads bleeding. Thanks for your advice.”
Well, I just go for it! I press from the back and use a light flour sack dishtowel that is pretty worn on top of the cross-stitch piece so I don’t directly iron it. I do use the wool pressing mat… THIS ONE.
If you aren’t familiar with the mats, the wool obsorbs the heat so the object gets heat from the mat and for the iron. I love mine.
I do spray a little spray starch on it if I can’t get the wrinkles out. I know it’s not recommended but I haven’t had a problem yet. That’s just me and I don’t want to say that’s the right way and have you ruin your cross stitch piece… but yes, I do use a light spray with spray starch. THIS is my preferred spray starch.
I haven’t had much stitching time. I spent quite a bit of time last week preserving and canning. It’s that season so I do what the season demands. It’s not cross-stitch season. For me, that is the winter months. Beyond that, I’ve really been in a HUGE sewing mood…and I’m going with that.
I’ve been thinking about my stitching lately. I started my Anniversaries of the Heart on January 1st as my New Year/New Start. It’s a thing some cross-stitchers do. They start a new project on January 1st with the intention that they will finish it over the course of a year.
I am doing pretty good with this. I’ve been keeping up or catch up the next month. If you look I have nine blocks done. Really, it’s only 8 months’ worth as chart #7 has a bonus chart, the alphabet in the top middle is the bonus chart. That was supposed to be stitched if I were to keep up.
Well…this is the December bonus chart…One blog reader added her dog to this block and I’m tempted to add Rosie. We’ll see.
It has a bonus chart that is two spaces wide so, in December I should stitch the December block plus that double block. UGH. That’s a lot of stitching in one month. I don’t think I’d be able to get that done.
SO…I am changing courses to ensure that I finish this in 2021. I am going to try to stitch two blocks this month. That might mean not stitching a lot on anything else and that’s okay. I’ll feel better in the end if I double up and stitch extra. So…I am going to stitch block #9 which is a block for our daughter Kayla and her family.
Then I think I am going to drop down and start working on the bonus double block that you see in the picture above.
We cut the burlap a little bit bigger than the hoop. I pick up hoops at the thrift store.
Then we take a Sharpie marker and draw our design.
Away we go. The kids need help tying the knots but other than that, they can do this themselves now.
This one is was so cute.
She decided she wanted to make it into a pillow. She picked the butterfly fabric for a backing. (Thanks blog reader for sending the fabric) I decided it might be best to put fabric behind the burlap to stabilize it.
I got out my Featherweight and the girls sewed their pillowcases.
We learned all about what right sides together means. We learned to backstitch at the pillow opening.
We learned about turning things right side out and stuffing.
I sewed the opening shut for them. It was a little hard for them to hold everything together and stitch it shut.
She had me pose with her pillow and she took my picture. Here it is finished…
Carver wasn’t here the day we did that so he saw the girls’ pillows and wanted to make one. Here he’s working on his tractor. He’s enjoying stitching too. Thanks so much to the blog reader who sent the yarn scraps. They are so appreciated.
For now, all I’m really teaching them is technique and a running stitch. It’s technically embroidery and not cross stitch but this is a great place to start. The kids are learning not to wrap the needle around the hoop.
Sadly being babies are here, we’ll be sticking with the plastic needles in case the kids aren’t careful. They are loving it though. They have really impressed me with how independent they can be while doing this.
Now to my stitching. I’m still working on A Changed World by The Scarlett House. I did a little experiment with the border. Originally I thought the border to be kind of plain. It’s hard to see but there is a little white “flower” in the zigzag and in the center of the flower, it is supposed to be blue. I had it in my head that I thought I would like it better if the “flower” was red. Hmm. I tried it. You can see the red on the left side of my stitched piece and white at the top.
I ended up liking the original white so I’m going to pull out the red I experimented with. I am so glad I gave it a try. I would have regretted not trying it.
On Thursday I only had three here for childcare. The girls asked if I would stitch with them. I said sure. Who isn’t going to turn down an invitation to stitch?? So I pulled the red thread along the left out. Then I started to advance the white across the border. A few stitches in and I realized that I had made a mistake. Oh no!
I had to rip out quite a bit. I ripped from the sixth zigzag all the way across the top. I had started that corner flower on the upper right. Bummer.
I started stitching the zig-zag again and hopefully, I’ll get a little stitching time and be able to replace what I pulled out.
I also stitched on my Anniversaries of the Heart. This is the August block, #8. This one I am stitching for my parents and will have the initials of my siblings on it. I LOVE the sunflowers on this. I am hoping to get the house stitched by the time I show this to you again.
I had very little stitching time this week. One day I did ZERO stitching. Most of the other days I didn’t quit working at night until 9:30 pm. It’s garden season here and plus I had Kalissa and Craig kids for an overnight. That all equals little stitching time.
One night I did get a chance to watch Lori Holt’s floss tube.
She was working on the piece below, A Savior’s Praise by Shakespeare Peddler. Oh my. I loved it. I’ve been pretty good lately about not buying charts or linen or even much thread. I might treat myself and buy this one.
Needlework Expo is coming at the end of the month. All of the designers are releasing their latest charts. I told myself I could put in an order and get something…so if nothing else comes along that I like better, I think I’m going to purchase this.
It’s a danger of watching too much floss tube. I see all the stuff others are stitching and want to be stitching it too.
That’s where I am at with my stitching this week…slowly working through the projects I have and dreaming of stitching even more!