A Cross Stitch Update

Lookie, Lookie.  I finished a big one!

This is New Castle Bouquet by Teresa Kogut.  I’m so thrilled to have it finished.  I actually finished it at Halloween time but was bound and determined not to show it until it was framed.  But…it’s not framed and I got tired of searching for a bargain frame.  It finishes at an odd size so there isn’t a frame at the thrift store that will just fit it.  Every time I’ve gone I have my tape measure in hand.  I measure a lot but can’t find anything.  I think I am going to bit the bullet and have it professionally framed.

I’ve never done that so I’m a little nervous about doing that.  Any advice you all can give?  I’ve heard from lots of flosstubers that they use Total Framing.  How expensive is it to get something framed?

Newcastle Bouquet took me about 3 months to finish.  I don’t get a lot of stitching time so projects take me quite a while…plus that border was intense.

Do you remember that I took an entire day and one evening of indulgent stitching to try to get the frame of the border done, only to find it didn’t match?  That was on this project.  I ended up switching linen and tossed the other away.  This is Vintage Country Mocha linen and I love working with it.  It’s 40 count and is now my 2nd bigger project to do on Vintage Country Mocha.

The white flowers didn’t show up the best so I ended up switching the color out and used a DMC.  I’m not sure which color.  Sorry.

I put this all in a Flosstube video.  You can watch it HERE.  You can also push the button and see my video right here.

From there I ended up thinking I was going to stitch this…

This is also a Teresa Kogut design called Faith Hope Peace Love.

I ended up not because I couldn’t figure out how to change the colors to make it show up on my linen.  The white flowers around the edge weren’t showing up.

It’s not enough done to even call it a start really.  I have come up with an idea on how to stitch the flowers in the outer border so I’m looking forward to picking this project back up at some point.

So then I decided to jump into a different Teresa Kogut design, Heaven and Nature.

This is intended to be a Christmas sampler but once I get it stitched, I’ll be leaving it out all year.  There are two Christmas trees under the house but other than that, and the “Let Heaven and Nature Sing”, it’s not especially Christmasy.

I have the main vine of the border done all the way around.

I am stitching this on Vintage Country Mocha and am happy with it except, the angel’s body didn’t show up at all if I used Fawn, the called for thread.  I ended up switching to this DMC 945.  I am content with it now.

I almost have one page finished and I’m excited about that.  I have a long way to go though.  The chart is NINE pages.

After Buck mounted the television in the living room into the wall…

I realized I could do a little decorating on the top of the vintage organizer piece that used to be where the television sat.  I thought I’d get a dough bowl.  A rectangular one could work great.  Then I realized I have nothing to put in a dough bowl…so I pulled this out and stitched in a couple of nights.

This is Heart in hand “Needle and Thread”.  It was a quick stitch…not finished yet, but I hope to.  I figured I’d get to once I get the actual bowl.

After that quick stitch, I thought I would start this…
I started one night and stopped when I got this far.  I was using the called for colors and I don’t like it.  The dress is so light compared to the picture on the cover of the chart.  So, I stopped stitching it.

A couple of days later I ended up pulling out this DMC 930. I like it MUCH better and think I’ll likely use it instead.  The other blue isn’t cutting it for me.  What attracted me to the chart was the pretty blue, but my dye lot isn’t that pretty blue.

I’ll be starting this over.

I’ve been watching lots of flosstube while I stitch.  I’ve noticed many have birthday starts and new year starts.  I decided to join the throngs.

I ended up buying this chart, A Pleasant Sampler, by Hello from Liz Matthews.  One of the reasons I picked it was because I love the verse…

I’m hoping you can read the verse here.

I was especially excited because it uses silk and I want to try silk thread.  Silk thread is more expensive and this project only uses five different silk colors.  So it was perfect as I didn’t have to spend a ton of money to give silk a try.

This project also uses four different specialty stitches.  I thought that would be fun to try too.

I ended up picking this up as my birthday start.  I’m not going to go full-on and only stitch this.  My hope instead is to work on it on and off over the year and finish it by my next birthday.  I hope that’s a reasonable goa.

I bought myself a Christmas present…and it is going to be the Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs.  I bought all of the charts.  I’ve been a good girl though.  They have come and I’ve put them all aside and not looked at them much at all.  I’m waiting for Christmas.

I am stitching mine all in one piece.  It will look something like this.

Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs

I have looked online enough to know that several people have changed the colors on the house in the upper left corner to what you see below.  That conversion can be found HERE.

I will really look closely once Christmas gets here and study it.  Then make a decision on what I’ll likely do.

The cross-stitch piece is supposed to use as a way to record family history.  There is a block for each month of the year.  There are places in the block to record initials or names.  For example in January are Kelli’s, Kayla’s, and Jasper’s birthdays.  I’ll record all of their initials in that month.

I don’t know what else I’ll add.  Some people add maiden names or pet names or grandparent information.  I’m super excited for Christmas as I’ll lay it all out and start making some plans but really can’t until I see all of the charts.

In a perfect world, one of these would be stitched every month throughout the year.  I don’t want to become a slave to the project and want to savor it so, I’m giving myself two years…and hopefully, I’ll have it done.  Besides the twelve months, there are two bonus charts so that is extra stitching too.  But, who knows…maybe I’ll become super focused on it and stitch right through.  I’m going to let the project speak to me.

I bought myself a big magnetic chart holder and have loved it.  I flipped my chart over so you can’t see it as that’s a copyright kind of thing but you can see how big the board is.  There is more room on it than the old one I had.  It’s perfect for samplers and projects that have many pages.  I made a working copy and taped my pages together.  You can see the tape line and how much of the chart can be seen on one surface.  There is room for a needle minder to hold my scissors and not be in the way too.  You can find it on Amazon HERE.

That’s what’s new to me with cross-stitch.  I can’t tell you enough how happy that I am that I picked up cross-stitch again.  I’m also super happy that I got brave enough to try some big projects!!

42 thoughts on “A Cross Stitch Update”

  1. Love your cross stitch projects! The questions that arise and how many individual changes you can make is so different from the old days, and I like it! It’s similar to fabrics in quilting.

  2. Antoinette Vitrano

    Absolutely beautiful! I recently took up cross stitch again after many years and I’m so glad I did. You are an inspiration.

  3. Quality picture framing is not cheap. I owned a shop for 25 years (sold in 2018). Most important is to use acid free board to stretch /pin the fabric to, and UV glass that will block UV rays. In order to minimize costs you could order just the frame and the UV glass and do the stretching/framing yourself. If you choose this route, go in and talk to the framer. Buy the acid free board, go home and do your work, and return to the shop and let them measure your project. So the frame will be an exact fit.

  4. It is absolutely beautiful Jo! When you started this pattern that is what got me interested in learning cross stitch. That border!!!! I have yet to start as I don’t know where to even begin. What pattern, fabric, threads or where to even get them. I was told “just to buy a kit”. SO perhaps A new thing for the new year. A new start

  5. Have you thought about buying a frame that is slightly larger than the correct length or width, and then have your son cut down the side that is too large? I know you said he has a woodworking shop in your garage. It might mean dismantling the glue in the corners, but it might be worth a try. Your cross stitch samplers are just gorgeous!

  6. I love your cross stitch pieces you have made and chosen to make! Beautiful work!!! I recently began embroidery work. Working on pillowcases to give to my daughter and daughter-in-law. Each have commented how they love the vintage pieces. I enjoy working on them while I drink coffee in the mornings and then again in late evenings.

  7. I would put a professional frame soon my Christmas-Birthday list. If you have a Michaels in a comfortable drive away, I have had good luck with them. Also some JoAnns do framing. Plus they have coupons. Happy Creating

  8. I’ve had good luck with framing at Hobby Lobby. I just waited for a sale. I look at the beautiful designs out now and it really makes me want to start a project. I refuse to until I finish a few I have started already. It’s fun watching your progress!

  9. I absolutely love your New Castle Bouquet! It is beautiful! You are such an inspiration with all your projects: be it quilting, cross stitch or childcare! Thanks for sharing your blog! HUGS… and stitches

  10. I hate to take away from small business but perhaps you can have a custom frame made at Hobby Lobby, Joanne’s or Michael’s if there is one near you. There always seem to coupon codes with anywhere from 40-60 percent off that you could use. You can purchase acid free mounting supplies from any of those places as well. Lori Holt has a video showing how she mounts her cross stitch pieces, although you seem to do an excellent job yourself! Like others, I have gotten back into cross stitching because of you. It brings me comfort at night to pick up something to stitch on and relax. I’m picking up my new glasses in an hour which will make it much easier to see. I didn’t realize how bad my eyes were until I started cross stitching again!

  11. I take my pieces to Hobby Lobby. They do an awesome job! You can use their weekly 40% off coupon to offset the cost of the glass. They recently framed my grandfather’s high school diploma dated 1922 for me. It’s magnificent even though it had a big water stain on it. Good luck!

  12. Love your cross stitch! You are always busy with something! Love it! I’m looking forward to watching your #3! You’re my companion in my sewing cave

  13. Your stitching is absolutely beautiful! I also just began re-stitching after about 25-30 years off. Why on earth did I ever quit! I love all things Blackbird and really wish I had some of the out of print charts. Anniversaries of the Heart will be a huge undertaking but now you have me wanting to do the same. I’m also drawn to Hawk Run Hollow but they are just sooo much work. I’m heading over to check out your Flosstube. Thanks for your inspiration!

  14. Judith Fairchild

    Jo, I do enjoy your stitching as well as quilting. You inspired me to pick up a project that was given to me. It was a wool yarn project. The front came out decent but the back is Atrocious! I want to give it for a Christmas gift so it’s definitely got to be framed. Are your backs neat or otherwise, I really want to know so my next one will look better. Thanks

  15. I saw some nice wooden bowls (rectangular) at Walmart. They may not be big enough but they looked nice not exactly vintage looking.

  16. WHOA! Your finish is STUNNING!! It definitely deserves a proper frame. I take my stuff to either Michaels, Joann or Hobby Lobby and do it when they have 50-60% off (sometimes more). They’ve always done a great job. The stitcheries you have for your future stitching are gorgeous but things I’d most likely never finish, they’re so labor intensive. AND not sure my eyes would hold up!

  17. Your cross stitch is beautiful! I recently started cross stitching again after a long vacation from it. The patterns have changed after 20 years. Someday I will get brave and try a project on linen! I just bought some Prairie Schooler Santa patterns and am anxious to start one. Also, I love your YouTube videos!

  18. Please have your work professionally framed by someone who knows how to preserve needlework. I’ve bought beautiful old samplers that were ruined by someone using masking tape to frame them. You might end up spending $100 or more (non-glare glass, anyone?) but you want to preserve your work. Have you thought about designing your own “family” design? Your daughters are interested in handwork, and it would be fun to pass something to future generations that was designed by you for the Kramer family.

  19. Christine Rittmann

    Can you share where you were able to buy all of the Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs patterns that are stitched into the large sampler?

    Thank you.

    1. Christine. Finding all of the Anniversary of the Heart charts in one place was a challenge. I ended up having to order from two different places. 123stitch had most of them…but I looked now and they don’t are missing some. Fat Quarter shop has some. Jen’s stitching niche on etsy had some too. I think you might have to order from a couple of places to get them all. I think the charts are really popular right now.

  20. Your cross stitch is beautiful, and you deserve to treat yourself to professional framing. It’s ok to step outside the box once and have that lovely piece professionally framed. Give yourself permission to do so. Michael’s or Joanne’s coupons are a great way to ease any money concerns. Especially if you can get a 40-50% off. I don’t know anything about Total Framing – but if others recommend it that’s a good thing. They might have coupon deals also.

  21. I absolutely love your finish! I fell in love with this chart at first sight, but the size intimidated me. The highest count I’ve ever stitched on is 32. Not sure my eyes could handle anything higher. I have my cross stitched framed at the Craft Gallery in Findlay, Ohio. Teresa Kogut gets some of hers framed there, too. I just dropped 3 off for framing the other day. Paula, the owner, has a great eye for frames. I’m pretty sure that she frames things for out-of-state customers by mail.
    I also love all your current and future projects. Happy Stitching!

  22. As far as framing, ask how the framer mounts the stitching. If they use the word “sticky” anywhere in the conversation, pick up your Sampler, turn around, and walk out. If they use the term “archival’, then you may listen to what they have to say.

  23. Love your finish! Awhile back I went and looked for my old cross-stitch supplies and I still had everything! Years ago I gave a finished piece to a cousin and I miss it so I might have to redo that one. One thing I did when I was cross-stitching was to buy the frame pieces. I don’t know what company made them but you could buy individual lengths and then put the frame together yourself in the size you want. I also used to cut my own mats. So much cheaper than having something professionally framed.

  24. That is beautiful! As far as framing, it has been a LONG time since I framed cross stitch however, you used to be able to buy two sides and then the other two sides in a different size and then put them together. I did at least one custom sized piece this way. Don’t know if that type of thing is still available or not. Think I got my pieces at Michael’s.

  25. Margaret Waldrup

    When you have a non-standard size cross stich piece …… Frame it with mat board to a standard size frame. This can be done with any odd shaped art work. Enjoy!

  26. Enjoy seeing all your projects! Always inspiring me. I cross stitched several precious moment pictures. Gave it up due to my eyes. Am having right cataract surgery tomorrow. Maybe I will be able to see better. I also have glaucoma. Mostly do quilting and sewing projects. Keep on stitching and sharing!

  27. Lovely. I especially like the wide border and keeping it enjoyable.
    I buy stretcher bars and stretch mine like oil paintings. To get to a “standard” size I sometimes sew a border on the work something like a mat. I do not use the same fabric color and nothing that overpowers the stitching. If the fabric size allows I may add a stitched border.
    I admit I never cover in glass, they lose the tactile feel of stitch work.

  28. I’ve had many diamond painting and stitched pieces framed, and while I like the ones I had done at Michael’s, my local small business framer does a spectacular job. There is a cost though. I’m in Canada, and a simple chunky frame without mat 12×20 starts at $100. Some of the larger 24×30 matted at Michaels were $200-250 range and twice that at the small custom shop. I use the small shop for the exceptional works, those ones you’ve spent 100’s of hours on. Like with my quilts, there are the fast, duty-bound quilts you don’t mind using recycled fabrucs and a sheet for the backing – then there are the meticulous quilts with half as many hours quilting as piecing that only the best quilt shop fabrics are worthy.

  29. After our local shop owner retired, my daughter and I began using Michael’s with a 50% off coupon. Depending on the staff, we have got great suggestions of materials to use that have really enhanced the piece we are framing. Sometimes we just say we’re going to think it over, leave, and come back another day with a new staff member. It can be costly. But the pieces we finish are the larger pieces, more of the statement pieces that we see frequently in our homes and it makes the cost worth it. We finish most of the pieces ourselves so the expense isn’t with every piece.
    And I have to say, I can see the piece you finished as a rectangular pillow on a bed or chair. Maybe with deep red cording. It is beautiful.

  30. I would love to do a cross stitch Christmas Stocking made out of burlap! I saw one in a Better Homes and Garden’s magazine 2017. I need a paper. I am not ready to “do my own thing”.

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