Cross Stitch Update

First off, I’ll tell you how I’m doing on my Heaven and Nature sampler by Teresa Kogut.

When I left you last week, I was here…


I was getting close to a finish but I had to fill in this bottom lower-left corner.


I was really hoping that I would be able to finish it but then as the week went on, I wondered if I would.  Stitching the one flower every day on my floral motif sampler is taking more time some of the days than I anticipated.  I started to think I wouldn’t finish the sampler this week and oh, I wanted to finish it by Christmas being it was a Christmas sampler.  I stitched about a half hour more on Friday and Saturday.

Then about Sunday or so I was scrolling through Instagram and saw this…


This gal had finished her’s.  Well, that was the push I needed.  On Sunday, I stitched three flowers on my Floral Motif Sampler and decided that the next three days I would concentrate really hard on stitching this.

I told Karl about it all and he said, “Mom.  Just take a day and finish it.”  Wow.  Brilliant idea.  I’m off childcare.  I’m off grandma care too as so many of the kids are sick or Kalissa was exposed to Covid.  Why don’t I just take a day and see if I could finish it?

I know it’s not a race.  I just wanted it done to commemorate Christmas…and I like little personal challenges like this.

By Tuesday, I was this far.  The deer, flowers, and owl were finished.

I needed to stitch the antlers, star, and funky bird.  I sat down at about 2 pm and started stitching.  It took over about two hours to stitch the antlers and the star.


Then I went on and stitched the bird.  Before I knew it, I put in the very last stitch.

I sent this picture to my kids…all finished.

For you all, I ironed it.  Here it is…
The little area I finished this week…


…and here is the whole finished sampler.

This is really a big piece.  On 40 count linen it finishes at 14 1/4″ x 18″.  There are lots of stitches in this piece.

The giant house and amazing colors are what initially attracted me to this piece.  Before I bought the pattern I debated for a long time.  I didn’t know if I wanted to put that many stitches into something that would only be up for Christmas.  Then I decided I didn’t care.  I would keep it up all year.  To me, it doesn’t scream Christmas.


The number of color changes in the band of flowers below the house almost did me in…but I persevered.  Once stitched, it looks just awesome.

I love the border…


I think Teresa Kogut is one of my favorite designers for a couple of reasons…one of the main is that she uses colors I love…another is that she puts in motifs that I appreciate.  Just check out all of the stars in this.  Don’t they look like quilt blocks??


I have made a mental note that I love the red color of the house.  It is Weeks Dye Works Brick.

In full disclosure, this is not perfectly stitched. I am off here and there in different places but I don’t think a viewer could tell unless I point them out.  I’m telling you this so that you might be more willing to give cross-stitch a try knowing it doesn’t need to be perfect to still be beautiful.  Somewhere along the right-hand border near the bottom, there is one extra stitch.  I knew that early on and then after that, I didn’t use the right border for aligning and placing the next motif, or else the rest of the motifs would be off one stitch.


The more you stitch, the more you learn to fudge.  It’s like quilting that way.

I did change the color of the angel’s body.  It called for DMC 3864.  It didn’t show up on my linen.  I ended up using DMC 945.

This was stitched on Vintage Country Mocha linen.


I would say in these finished pictures that it is true to color.

I highly suggest Vintage Country Mocha linen.  I love it.  The linen isn’t hand-dyed.  It’s spray-dyed.  That means the mottling of the color on the linen is only on one side of the linen and it means the linen won’t be as blotchy as some hand-dyed linens are.  This linen is typically cheaper than other linen too.  If you want to stitch this piece, it fits comfortably on a fat quarter of linen.  This linen is VERY beginner-friendly.

Can you tell that I’m very excited about this finish??  I really truly am.

I already picked out a frame from The Stitchery Nook.  I’m hoping in a bit they will contact me and tell me my Anniversaries of the Heart is finished and all framed.  When they do, I’ll take this with me and give them Heaven and Nature to frame.  YAHOO!  I love that these pieces are getting finished.

Now to my Floral Motif Sampler.  Here is where I was last week.  Not too far along…


Here is where I was on Sunday after I stitched a couple of extra flowers.


I did extend the black border on the left side…


I’ve gotten into a habit that every time I use black thread, rather than putting the leftover back into my floss-away bag, I leave the needle threaded and put that thread into the border.


The border is easy to stitch but still kind of boring to stitch.  This helps break up the task of having to stitch the whole thing.

After I stitched the basket in the photo below I used the rest of the thread in the border…and did that again when I stitched the bird.


I am really enjoying this piece.  The linen I’m stitching with is Picture this Plus Vellum.  I love it and will definitely be on the hunt for another piece as I’d love to stitch with it again.


I stitched on this Wednesday night and this is where I ended the week.


To keep up with my plan, I needed to have 13 flowers finished but I’m a little further along than that…which is good.  A few of the upcoming flowers are really big and might take more than one evening.

I’ve had a lot of fun getting emails from a couple of you who are stitching this along with me.  They have been sending their progress.  It’s so fun to see!!

I haven’t decided for sure what I’m stitching on next being Heaven and Nature is finished.  You might remember me telling you about having a new start in the new year.  I do plan on doing that but haven’t given that more thought lately as I was so focused on finishing Heaven and Nature.

I watched a Lori Holt floss tube and she mentioned starting something on Christmas and then stitching on it the 25th of every month.  That sounded like a great idea so then I considered that…that would be another new start.

Then I was thinking about doing a Sunday Stitch starting in the New Year, that would be another new start.

Then I was thinking about starting something and joining in the Blackbird Weekend Stitch Along.  That entails stitching on any Blackbird Designs chart the first weekend of every month.

OH MY!  I’ve been working so hard to finish projects, I don’t know if I want to start that many.  I’ll think about it all but in the meantime.  This girl is going to sew.  I’ve spent enough time with cross-stitch and am dying to hit the sewing room…but you can bet, once I’m there I will be debating my “what cross stitch project to start” dilemma.  My heart is really in both places.

40 thoughts on “Cross Stitch Update

  1. Christina

    Wow Jo, what a beauty, Well Done and thanks for the info we don’t have to have the finished sampler perfect to still be beautiful. Just like life really!
    Love the flowers, and you have done so many, how marvellous to have a son give sensible advice , he really knows his Mum.

    Reply
  2. Martha W.

    Jo, I have never heard of a linen that has been spray-dyed before. Can it be “washed” before or after it is stitched on? I always “wash” my fabric before it is stitched on and after I complete my project. Your sampler is beautiful. I’m sure you will enjoy it all year long.

    Reply
    1. Judith Fairchild

      Congratulations on your finish of Heaven and Ature Sing.
      It is a beautiful piece of work. Not to Christmasy just right for viewing. Somany parts took at. Your grands will have fun finding all the animals. I’ d say it’s a 12 star winner.ihave enjoyed your stitching journey. Your flowers piece is so pretty as it is. Well done altogether.

      Reply
      1. Karen Jempson

        Absolutely gorgeous. So sad hardly anyone does real (by hand) cross stitch, embroidery etc anymore.
        Done by machine doesn’t count in my book .

        Reply
        1. Dawn

          Cross-stitch by hand is the only cross stitch I know. It’s been my favorite hobby for for 30 yrs. now. When my neck and shoulder allows. I appreciate a project coming together; no matter the time involved.

          Reply
    2. Jo Post author

      I dont ever wash my pieces. I haven’t found a need to so I am not sure about that. You’d have to contact the manufacturer.

      Reply
  3. Samantha M

    Your “Let Heaven and Nature Sing” sampler is beautiful, Jo! It’s going to be another treasured heirloom when framed.
    I love the flower sampler too.
    Wishing you and your family a happy, safe and healthy Christmas x

    Reply
  4. Donna

    I love the finish on your Heaven and Nature Sing. So beautiful. And good call on keeping it up year round. I used to have Ebenezer’s Christmas and kept it up year round!
    Love and prayers

    Reply
  5. Kim J LeMere

    I loved seeing it finished and it really is a beautiful piece, you should keep it up year around. So many stars and I think all those borders and animals make it interesting to look at. Your flower a day is making great progress and enjoy seeing your progress. The black border is so dainty.

    Reply
  6. Carmen Montmarquet

    What an absolutely beautiful sampler, I really love it, and love the colors too! Makes me wish I could cross stitch! Even though I don’t cross stitch, I sure love to see what you are working on! Merry Christmas Jo!

    Reply
  7. Kate

    Beautiful!! You do such great work and I’m amazed at the amount you do with the cross stitching and the quilting!! Merry Christmas and may you have a blessed day, in spite of your plans changing. I so hope the family is getting better and no new covid cases.

    Reply
  8. sewhappy

    Beautiful. It was was might you would have time to finish. My goals were not as lofty but I am working on a few simple bags this week. One is from fabric I bought with a gift card from last Christmas.
    Merry Christmas.

    Reply
  9. Elizabeth Carman

    Absolutely beautiful!! You have enticed me to pick up cross stitch again after too many years to count. I picked a Christmas pattern since it might take me until next Christmas to finish it!

    Reply
  10. Linnea

    Your Heaven and Earth sampler turned out so beautifully, Jo! You truly are inspiring me to learn to stitch on linen. I don’t think I have any in my stash of cross stitch fabrics, I’ll have to get some. I do have the kit of the Irish Blessing I plan on starting after I finish my final projects of 2021 which will extend into January 2022 and that’s okay with me. Love your flower sampler, too. Isn’t it interesting how certain things take longer than others in the same pattern? At times I am astounded by what features take longer than others.

    Merry Christmas to you! I hope your weekend is bright and filled with blessings.

    Reply
  11. Sue

    Beautiful stitching! Congrats on finishing that big piece. Makes me want to cross stitch again. I like the idea of starting something on the 25th and stitching on the 25th each month. That sounds like it could work for me.

    Reply
  12. Sherrill

    WHOA!!! You select many seriously labor-intensive pieces to stitch!! AND YOU FINISH THEM!! What a concept! LOL I would NEVER even consider stitching something like that as I know it would never get done (sadly). I am just in awe of all that you accomplish–it’s another beauty. Merry Christmas!

    Reply
  13. Jean Stein

    THIS IS A REQUIREMENT! Put that gorgeous sampler back in the hoop and sign it! Bottom right hand corner, just your initials or your name and the date you finished it. I do mine in cursive that I charted on graph paper years ago. I have samplers my mother made when she was a girl in the 1930’s, and I love that she added her initials and the date, even if the sampler itself was a dime-store printed piece.

    Reply
    1. LW

      Yep! Between the tree and the deer on the right – just like Britta’s. Beautiful piece of work. As for the new start – The ones you mentioned for each child’s family but do the families as individual pieces and then you can gift the pieces to each one.. Each child will then have their own special piece of your heirloom work!

      Reply
      1. Connie

        Yes! Totally agree with signing each sampler and also stitching a separate piece for each grand kiddie. They could each be mounted separately and then framed together for your enjoyment but then think how each one will be treasured when shared later!

        Reply
  14. Barbara

    Those pieces look incredible and you did a fantastic job on them! I used to cross stitch a LOT before I did a lot of quilting but I ran out of wall space to hang them so I turned to quilting.

    Reply
  15. Cindy F

    Beautifully done!! I love your piece! I have almost order this multiple times and still might but I have so many projects I’m currently working and many more lined up for next year so it’s going to have to wait.

    Reply
  16. Kris in WI

    I’ve enjoyed following along as you stitch and am amazed as each piece come to life under your needle. Please consider Jean’s advice. After all, we label our special quilts and your cross stitch pieces are exquisite. Do initial and date your Heaven and Nature piece; perhaps under the two Christmas trees? May the blessings and peace of Christmas be with you and your family in the new year.

    Reply
  17. Barbara Firesheets

    Congratulations on your Heaven and Nature finish!! I knew you could do it!! Your stitching is beautiful. Love reading your updates and seeing your progress (both cross stitch snd quilting). Have a blessed Christmas.

    Reply
  18. Rebecca

    So beautiful! You inspired my cross stitch project. I made a daily goal like you do and can’t believe I am making such good progress. It fills my “rest time” when I need a physical break from working on house and food forest.
    I just started my first hand sewn hexi quilt. Since it works center out, it could be a wall hanging instead… we’ll see how it goes. Also inspired by embroidery and enjoying slow sewing.

    Reply
  19. Faye

    Jo, Your sampler is beautiful, I am glad you were able to get it completed by Christmas. I hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas!

    Reply
  20. Pamela

    You do beautiful work! This is absolutely gorgeous! Between you and Judy L I am attempting cross stitch again. I am having trouble seeing and got some lighted magnifying glasses and hope that helps. Judy also mentioned you telling her about the sewing style of cross stitch and I am attempting that too. Do you have any videos of you using that technique? I am going to have to see what videos you have. I am not interested in watching hours long videos. Maybe if I get more involved in cross stitching I may change my mind. I got some black even weave to try and that was a mistake. Maybe I can use it when I get better, but now it is almost impossible for me to see where to stitch.

    Reply
  21. Elle

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! On your beautiful finish. Oh my goodness, there are ‘mistakes’ all over most of my cross stitch pieces in the house as well as those gifted. They simply don’t matter in large pieces. I can’t wait to see how you frame it.

    Merry Christmas Jo and family :-) I know you’re all together at heart.

    Reply
  22. Toni W.

    Another beautiful finish! I have to chime in and agree with a few others who suggested that you “sign” your work, especially on these larger, heirloom samplers. I have several stamped cross stitch pieces of both of my grandmas and I really wish they were dated and initialed.

    Reply

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