A Day (or two) to Cross Stitch

Karl had July 3rd off and on Thursday night at supper he asked me what I was doing on Friday.  I said work like usual…write blog posts, manage the house, and sew on a deadline project.  Karl told me he had Friday off and thought that maybe I should take Friday off too.  I said, “What could I do?  We really can’t go anywhere?”  Karl said, “Mom, if you could do anything you wanted at home tomorrow, what would you do?”  I said, “Cross stitch”.   Karl said, “Mom, take the day off and cross stitch.”  So I did.  I seriously NEVER do that.  I didn’t write a blog post.  I didn’t clean anything.  I just did cross stitch stuff.

I didn’t necessary do cross stitching.  I kitted some stuff up and did a lot or organizing.  I keep my project in these zipper bags.  I love them.  I have the smaller letter sized ones, find them HERE and I have the larger legal sized paper ones, find them HERE.

A blog reader sent me a couple of these about 6 months ago. I loved them and worked to find more and finally found a place on Amazon to order them. Now, all of my projects are in these bags.  Kelli loves them too.  They are so inexpensive too.

I had bought this pattern a year ago and about 3 months ago ordered the floss for it but I didn’t have the floss packaged up.   I use Floss Away bags to store my floss (find them HERE).  I write on the bag and keep the floss for a project all together with the big binder rings.  Over the years I’ve stored floss many different ways.  This is what has worked best for me.

I have a renewed interest in the project as I’ve been watching Nicole’s Needlework on Youtube (actually binge watching from her first video) and saw her complete this.  There is nothing like seeing a completed project to make me want to start a new project.

I treated myself to this chart after I finished Seeking Refuge.  I already had the linen for it but I needed to see what I needed for threads….I had most of the DMC and I took time to wind it on the bobbins.

Thanks to those of you who have sent me floss in the past. I so appreciate it especially when I am kitting up projects and know I have thread and don’t need to buy much. It’s so appreciated.

I treated myself to this chart when I last went to Rochester for doctor appointments.  Do you notice and trend here?  Treating myself to charts.  Ugh.  It’s dangerous.  I might be spending much on fabric for the sewing room, but cross stitch supplies, yep, that’s my weakness right now.

I love the design but think the linen is to dark.  Hmmm.  So that lead me to the computer to look for linen for that…and the missing floss I needed.  Here was my list…yep a mumble, jumble mess.

The problem from there was that there is no where-seriously-no where at all that has blue corn from Classic Colorworks.  UGH.  It’s not like I needed to start the project.  I just wanted to have it all kitted and without that color, I can’t…I’ve heard another color substitutes well….we’ll see.  The unavailability is due to covid.  Doing all of thkitting and organizing work took me much of the day as there were other projects I was reviewing and looking for linen for.

It’s gotten a little hard for me…I’ve gotten so I like higher counts of linen and much of what I previously had kitted I picked a lower count linen for.  I’m still debating on lots of projects.  We’ll see…

Right now I’m working on Newcastle Bouquet by Teresa Kogut.  I just started so I have a long time to ponder future projects.

I’ve been so excited about this ever since it was released at spring cross stitch market.  I had been trying and trying to finish my last piece so I could start this.  I have to say this though.  That border scared me.  I’m more or less a beginner cross stitcher again.  Yes I stitched back in the 90s and started up again very casually two years ago…but there is a big difference between stitching something like this….

which is stitched on 28 count…to stitching the big samplers like I currently want to stitch.  One stitch off on the border on a piece like this Lizzie House Needleworks Season’s Greetings is not noticeable…but a stitch off on the big samplers especially on the border can really be a big deal.

So after I kitted things up and placed an order on Friday, I decided to try tackling that border again.  You might remember that I was off and had to rip out a little…well this time, I was determined to do it right….

I stitched and stitched and stitched.  By 11:45pm on Friday, I gave up.  I still wasn’t all the way around….but I was fearing it wasn’t going to line up.

I ended up going to bed and decided on Saturday, I was going to conquer that border….Not the whole thing.  Just get the line I was working on to match up.  Sad news….I stitched some more and crap.  I was off….by two stitches horizontally and two vertically.

Crap. What could I have done? I was so frustrated. So I started counting and recounting. I finally found the mistake and I was going to have to rip out the entire bottom and much of one side. If you’ve ever cross stitched, you know, ripping out takes MUCH longer than putting the stitches in. I remembered to take the picture when I got to the bottom row.  I had actually stitching about two sections on the side already.

I stitched and stitched and stitched.  No joke, I ripped and stitched ALL of Saturday.  ALL of Saturday.  At about 7:30 that night I was this far and realized I was one thread off…I didn’t completely match up but I was okay with it.

Darn it.  I decided I could fudge that.  It happened in the perfect spot to hide the extra thread.  No one (except all of you reading this) will ever know.

I’ve always wanted to spend a whole day cross stitching.  I’ve always wondered how much someone could get done if they stitched all day.  Well…if it’s me, you don’t get far.  I only got a little farther than I was when I started stitching 24 hours earlier.  UGH.

As frustrating as it all sounds, I’ve VERY-VERY happy.  I have border fear.  Border fear is a real thing for cross stitchers.  I always worry that my border won’t match up and I’ll have to do exactly what I did on this project….waste my stitching time correcting a mistake….

So anyway..not only did I take Friday to cross stitch…I took Saturday too!!

18 thoughts on “A Day (or two) to Cross Stitch”

  1. I’ve seen some people make a grid with floss across the project to help them see where to stitch. The floss just pulls out later. I’ve also seen people use some type of pens that are supposed to wash off later. I don’t think I’d use the pens though, that seems so scary. What if it didn’t wash completely off… But you could try the floss grid. I’ve never done such a large border (I’m also a beginner cross stitcher) but I’m going to try the grid technique when I do.

    I’ve actually learned a lot from your cross stitch posts. I want to learn how to do the sewing method you spoke about in a prior post on my next project.

  2. You probably know this already but making copies of the pattern and enlarging them has helped me a great deal. I usually do a little then mark it off with a marker – yellow and pink is what I have right now. On the big ones like a Long Dog Sampler, it was a big help. Also, I didn’t jump around a lot with colors. I stay in my little corner to make sure it’s right before moving on. All this to say this is what works for me. :-) Not really a sampler girl but I sure enjoy watching your progress!
    Love and prayers

  3. I’m in love with the samplers from CW Designs too. I have stitched counted thread designs for about 40 years and taken many classes from national teachers. One of the most important things I have learned is to baste a grid using sewing thread. I would at least stitch a grid to make sure the border comes out. If you start in the center of the project and work out, you can easily be off then the border won’t be correct. It’s easier to fudge on the interior. Patience is a virtue. Keep sharing-it’s so inspirational.

  4. I have made a grid, using sewing thread, and it works great, particularly on a large sampler piece, with linen.
    Love all your Sampler patterns. You are inspiring me to get back into cross stitch!!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Un-stitching is a trying process, whether one is hand sewing or machine sewing. Have you tried using suture removal scissors? They have a small hook on one blade that you can catch the stitch with and clip it.

  6. Darlynn Venne

    Good job on that border and perseverance!~ Oh my, now I am lusting over all creatures great and small. Thanks ;)

  7. I’m also going to recommend basting in a grid, especially on larger patterns. However I use sewing thread, it seems to be harder to get caught by the needle, so easier to remove. This is a good use for those old spools of thread that you wonder if they are still good enough for using “for real” or for those odd colors that were bought for a specific project.

    You’ve gotten some very nice patterns, can’t wait to see them stitched up.

  8. I have a spare skein of Blue Corn that I’d be glad to send you. Just let me know and give me an address ☺️.

  9. Judith Fairchild

    I’m glad you took a holiday to enjoy yourself. Although ripping out stitching is a bummer. Enjoy the journey from start to finish. Praying for you and your family .

  10. I’m also a 2nd-time beginner at cross-stitch. I always use a Q-Snap, and I wonder if using that or a hoop would make it easier to count/keep track of your stitches, rather than stitching in-hand. Having said that, I’ll admit I still make frustrating counting errors … grrr! Also, I haven’t tried stitching on linen, but I love the look of it and want to try it. Anyway, I always enjoy watching your progress … both cross-stitching and quilting!

  11. Jackie Trembley

    Jo, that’s great that you took a whole day to cross stitch! Thank you for the zipper bag recommendation! I ordered the larger size and put all my kitted up projects and WIPs in them over the weekend! So much better than ziplock freezer bags! I also quilt (and knit and crochet), but at the moment all I want to do is stitch! I just finished a kit I started over 25 years ago! Now I’m working on a pattern I bought and started about 30 years ago! I love reading your blog. Stay healthy and keep doing what you do!

  12. Niki Theeuwes

    Years ago, I fell in love with a picture of a chart. That designer, Teresa Wentzler, became one of my favorites and I’ve collected many of her charts. They are complex and I’ve so far only finished one. I found that for those, gridding is pretty much mandatory. It’s tiresome and keeps me from getting to stitching right away, but is better than ripping out stitches.

    At one time there was a bulletin board for her works -there were a lot of wonderful ideas and techniques posted that would work for any design. It may still be located at TWdesignworks.com.

  13. Hi Jo! Thanks for the project bag referral. I ordered a set of each size from Amazon. They came in the NEXT day. Wow, such fast delivery. Anyway, the bags are awesome. Thank you for suggesting them. This will help me stay organized and not misplace project items.
    Cindy in northern Illinois

Leave a Reply to Cindy in NC Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top