Blessed Stitch Along Month #1

Hello and welcome to the Blessed Stitch Along.  I’m hosting along with Judy over at Patchwork Times.

As many of you know Judy and me… cross-stitchers in a past life, turned quilters are now cross-stitching again.  Being we both end up in the spotlight because of our blogs, we get LOTS of questions from all of you as many of you are talking about returning to cross-stitch, starting cross-stitching, or moving from Aida cloth to linen.   We decided to host a stitch along so we could answer the questions all in one place AND… we’d love for all of you to become addicted to cross-stitch like we are.

Some of you are going to do this and catch on immediately.  Others of you are going to try, get frustrated and give up.  I want you to know that I tried twice to stitch on linen and gave up.  The third time I tried, something finally clicked and I was good to go.

Even once I got going…I still was SLOW and it took some time for me to learn the sewing stitch and now feel comfortable where I am at.  Both Judy and I started back to cross stitch within the last few years.  We don’t claim to be experts but we do claim to be helpful.

To start you need to collect your goodies.

You will need the chart Blessings Around by Waxing Moon Designs.  If you are looking for a kit, you can find them HERE from The Stitchery Nook in Osage Iowa.  They have an online shop and are super helpful.  If you are international and want to stitch along.  No worries.  You can.  This is a link to the downloadable PDF on Waxing Moons Etsy shop.
You need the cloth you’re stitching with.  Some will have Aida cloth and others will have linen.  I have 40 count linen.

You will need floss.  Some are stitching with DMC and some with overdyed floss.  I have overdyed floss.

You’ll need scissors, some type of bag to hold your supplies, and hoops are optional.  I often use THESE BAGS.  I do use THIS HOOP.  Hoops are totally optional.

If you got your kit from The Stitchery Nook I think they provided a needle. This needle will work just fine.  Me, I use Sullivan Ball Tipped Needles.

Please note that there are MANY ways to cross-stitch.  There is no “right way”.  It’s important for you to know that each and every person has who stitches have preferences and what works for one may not work for another.  We encourage you all to keep trying until you find what works best for you.

I suggest you… make a working copy of the key which is the top page you see and a copy of the chart.  Some people like to have a highlighter and mark off places on the chart once they are stitched.  I just like having a working copy so if the dog gets it, she doesn’t ruin my good copy.

If you are stitching on linen I suggest some type of magnification if you need it.  I purchased glasses from Zenni with my distance prescription on the top and 3.5 readers on the bottom.  I also have readers that are 4.0.  These I use only on 40 count linen.

Many people have a stand with a magnifier.  I have this.

I do recommend good lighting.  That can mean sitting in a chair close to a window…or a great lamp.  You’ll have to try and experiment to see what you like best.

Good news…I bought a new overhead phone or tablet holder so I can make a video.  I tried this and am totally in love with this.  If you have any aspirations to ever film a video of you doing something, I HIGHLY recommend THIS stand.  There were some that were cheaper but I splurged because this one had the best ratings.  It’s super sturdy.

I wanted to try it out so I filmed a video with tips and instructions on how I stitch.  I hope you’ll give it a watch.

I tried to show you how I do the sewing method.  I plan to play with my stand a little more and work so I can show you more things…or do a better job at what I’m trying to show.  For now, it was a good first try.

Here are the two pieces I stitched on.  What a difference in size!

I did a little more stitching…I got this far.  That was one thread worth (after I did the examples in the video).  I stopped there.  I have plenty of time to stitch some more later.

Remember, you have all of March to stitch the first two pumpkins.  As I said in the video, I am going to stitch the leaves, then drop down and stitch the “B”.  I noticed that’s a little hard to see in the chart as the orange color symbol is similar.  Do the best you can.  Then I will take the orange color and outline the pumpkin.  After that I will go in and do the fill-in stitching on the pumpkin…then do the bottom leaves.

Most important to remember…everyone has their own technique.  It’s your job to find yours.  You might love the poke method.  You might love linen.  It doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy the process.

As far as updates go.  I’ll do a little piece about the stitch along each week in my Friday post.  I might do a few other things as questions come up but I will always like back to them in the Friday post.  I did make a tab at the top of the blog that says Stitch Along.  You can also look for updates there.

I hope you check out Judy’s blog… she will likely do some things differently and that’s completely normal.  Remember, there is no one way to cross stitch and please let either of us know if you have questions.

21 thoughts on “Blessed Stitch Along Month #1”

  1. I just have to cut my fabric to size and I’m ready. I’ve already started working on a large project from several years ago and it is on Aida. I’m going to try linen for the first time on this stitch along. Can’t wait to start!

  2. I’m ready to start also. I copied (enlarged) the pattern and now just need to decide how to start. I thought I would also start with the leaves in first pumpkin. I’m glad you mentioned about the letter because I am having a hard time determining the correct symbol. It will be fun!

  3. Can’t wait to start tonight! Thank you for putting a tab at the top, it will be very helpful. Wish me luck as I try linen for the first time.

  4. I’ve kitted up and ready to go on this today! First time stitching on linen learning from both you and Judy. Thank you so much for creating this fun event, Jo!

  5. I’ve kitted up and ready to go on this today! First time stitching on linen learning from both you and Judy. Where did you get that cute little gauge/measuring tool? Very helpful gadget I’m thinking! Thank you so much for creating this fun event, Jo!

    1. Linnea, the ruler is called a corner gauge. I got mine from Needlecase Goodies on Etsy. A lot of shops carry them. Many have their store name on them and some stitchers collect them.

  6. Connie Dvorscak

    Kitted and actually started in the middle. Using 36 count linen , 1 over 2 and called for Weeks overdyed floss.
    Looks like a fun pattern…Thanks!

  7. I am not so interested in cross stitching because of my tremor – I don’t have real good control over my right hand. But I am so into quilting and loving it so much that I hope you keep up that part of your blog too. I love seeing the pictures of the quilts that get donated!!

  8. I’ve decided to learn from you and Judy so I’m in. I’ve done a little stitching on Aida but never on linen. I have some 32 count I’ll be using.

  9. I used to do cross stitching years ago. I moved to quilting and knitting. and stopped cross stitching, but I might have to start in again, this is really tempting me.

  10. WooHoo. I just grabbed my kit and sat down in my comfy chair to get started. I can already tell I’m going to need some readers over my regular glasses. I’ve only stitched on Aida so I want to give linen a try. I’m a little nervous but in my years of stitching I’ve gotten good at ripping out. Thank you for sharing your talents with us.

  11. I’m starting back to cross stitching after 10-15 years of only quilting. The biggest difference I’ve noticed? My up close vision is NOT what it used to be! I was going to try linen for this project- WAS – but I can hardly see the 18 count Aida! I do like the Sullivan needle though, and the hoop you recommended. Wish me luck finding the right magnification in readers!

    1. It will get easier at you go Debbie. I promise. I think you have to retrain your eyes and your hands. Before long you’ll have muscle memory that will kick in.

  12. Hi Jo,
    Thanks for doing this stitch along. I have started, I outlined the pumpkin and while doing fill in, I would start on the left and stitch to the right, completing each x as I go. From there do you go back to the left and start again, or stitch from right to left?

    Also, in your video it looked like you stitched from left to right, but then turned your work upside down to stitch from right to left. Just asking if I interpreted this correctly. It looks like you stitch very smoothly.

    1. I like to work right to left…So once I go across right to left, I then flip my piece upside down and work back in the direction I came from. It’s hard to describe. I hope that makes sense. I am constantly turning my hoop as I stitch so I am working in the direction that is more comfortable for me.

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