Cross Stitch Update

I was a busy stitcher this week.  I worked on several different projects.  It was so fun after last week the only project I worked on was A Changed World.  Before I get to what I stitched I have a cross-stitch question.

Robin asked:
When I search the 123Stitch website for Vintage Mocha Linen there are other choices. I understand the stitch count but there are choices between Edinburgh, Cashel, and Belfast. Can you tell me the difference and which you prefer?

When I first started stitching this confused the heck out of me.  Once it was explained to me, it was easy.  Here goes…

28 count linen is also known by the name Cashel
32 count linen is also known by the name Belfast
36 count linen is also known by the name Edinburgh
40 count linen is also known by the name Newcastle

The names are just another way of identifying the count.  I could say, “I prefer to stitch on 40 count linen.”  Or I could say “I prefer to stitch on Newcastle linen.”

Both sentences mean the same thing.

Renea asked:
I love your wall. I am a long-time fan of your blog and you inspired me to start cross stitching again after many years of not cross-stitching. I would love to learn how to cross stitch on linen but am pretty scared to try as my eyes might not like that fabric. Do you have any suggestions for a smaller project that I could try the linen fabric? Thank you

The Blessed stitch along that we are doing would be perfect…you can still get kits from The Stitchery Nook.  HERE is the link.

Heart in Hand has some small cute charts. You can check them out with this link.  I would start with something small that is pillow or ornament-sized. HERE is a link to some of their charts.  I think Stacy Nash has some pieces that are smaller but she’s more primitive.  It really matters what your style is.

Nanette wrote:
Love your wall! Every time you post about cross stitch, I end up buying more charts. Looks like we have very much the same taste. I now have more than I can stitch in years!

HA.  It’s a problem for many of us.  I was watching Brenda and Laura from Brenda and the Serial Starter on Flosstube the other day and the two of them said, collecting charts and cross stitch goodies vs stitching the cross stitch chart are really two different things.  I saw Judy at Patchwork Times say that as well.  I totally agree.  Here is my example…

I am completely and totally in love with this chart.  It’s Rachel Howells from The Scarlett House.


The red color is amazing.  It’s just great.   It’s a reproduction sampler so it’s a little funky..but so fun.   That border, that border, that border.  I just loved it so much.  What a great red! I love the green partnered with it.  What great colors.  In my dreams, I want to stitch it.  Will I ever stitch it?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But, I bought the chart.  I have taken the chart to bed with me looking at it and studying it on three different occasions already.  If I see someone stitching it on Instagram I pull the chart out and look at it all over again.  If I am stitching a different chart and need a different green color,  I might remember this green, pull the chart out to see the name of this color, and pull it to use in my other project.  I truly think there is more to a chart than just stitching it.  But…someday, I just might stitch it.  Yet I have a chart with no immediate intentions of stitching it.  Is that wrong?  I don’t think so.

I decided I’m not going to worry about having a few more charts than I’m able to stitch because I totally enjoy charts for more than just stitching.  They are almost like a book to me.  Besides, there is a Facebook group called Stash Unload Cross Stitch Only and people sell preowned cross stitch stuff on there all the time.  There is an outlet for it should I even not want the chart anymore.

Now to what I was busy stitching.  I told you last week that I was so close to a finish on A Changed World but then ran out of the color Raven.  Because I was out of the thread and was waiting for it to come in the mail, I decided to grab my All Creatures Great and Small by Barbara Ana.

On my All Creatures Great and Small by Barbara Ana, I was here when you last saw it…

I decided that I didn’t want to leave the tedious part for the end…meaning the leaves around the border.  So, I was on border patrol.  It’s not exciting to stitch an easy repetitive border like this but…It is great to do if there is a television show I am into and don’t need to concentrate a lot on what I’m stitching.  I added the wavy brown line of the border to make it around the right corner.  I added leaves across the top from the barn and to the right.


I added Adam and the do-dads to his left.  I started a gray cat but it’s not finished.

For a long time, I was worried I wasn’t keeping up with my commitment to this.  I wanted this top row finished by the end of March.  I’m not that far but I can see if work on it this week, I’ll be a lot closer.  I hope to push this to my focus piece and stitch on it pretty heavily from now until Good Friday when I start A Saviour’s Praise.

It wasn’t exciting stitching this week but it’s stitching I’m super happy to have finished.

I hung a shelf in my living room and the shelf looks SUPER bare so I decided to pull a small project to stitch.  I decided to treat myself and stitch something new from the cross stitch Market.  In this Blackbird Design book…

was this…A Heart Remembers.

I’ve wanted to stitch this little pillow for a long time.  I even tried to buy the chart from some crook.  I didn’t know it was a crook at the time…UGH.  It happened because the chart was out of print and really hard to find.  The chart was in the book released at Needlework Market so I grabbed the book immediately.


I pulled some thread and a scrap of fabric and started stitching.  I really got quite a lot done.  I had kids here this week providing some backup childcare for my neighbors.  So as I tried to get their little one to sleep, I sat by her and stitched.  The stitching was successful but getting her to nap was not.

I am stitching this on 40 count Heartland by Picture This Plus.

Here is a good laugh for you.  This is the shape of my piece.


I’m using the thread called Pea Coat from Weeks Dye Works.


Another reason I started this was that I’ve had several people ask why I use a combo of crushed walnuts and poly-fil when I make my little pillows.  I thought I would put a video together so you can see how I stuff pillows.

I finally got stitching on my Blessed Stitch Along piece.  My fabric is Picture this Plus Ale 40 count.  I’m really enjoying this so far.  I’m so glad you are stitching along.  I told you last week we started a Facebook Group for the stitch along.  You can find it HERE.  I’ve had so much fun seeing your progress.  I’m so happy Judy suggested that we do this.  As bloggers, it’s so hard for Judy and me to interact with you.  This had been so fun for both of us.

Just look at that dark orange pumpkin.  This is why I like variegated thread.

I was stuck here as I was out of thread last week.

I was so bummed but was finally able to get the Raven thread I was missing.

I stayed up a little later one night and finished it up.  YAHOO!!  I’m just thrilled to have it finished.


I started this back last year with Judy at Patchwork Times and
Denise at Just Quiltin.

We started it together on August 1st.  I finally got mine finished.


I have the frame for it and hope to get it framed over the weekend.  I am so excited to have it framed.

Kelli was home this week and brought her stitching to share.  She is stitching His Eye Is on the Sparrow.  It’s HUGE.  It’s a Heartstring Samplery chart.  It’s looking so good and lucky her, her border met up.


One more thing before I go, I filmed a video this week when I was trimming up my A Changed World piece.  The video shows how I cut linen so it stays on the grain.  Here is the video.  Feel free to push play and watch.

I don’t know how many of you will find it interesting but thought I’d share as long as I was cutting the linen.

Today is the 25th so I am pulling a Christmas project and will be stitching on it tonight as part of the 25th stitch along where people stitch on a Christmas piece each 25th of the month in the hopes of having something finished by Christmas.  I’ve had fun with this so far and hope to again.  I don’t have anything kitted and don’t even know what I’m going to stitch next.  I hope I can make a decision quickly so I don’t get bogged down and waste my stitching time.

Stop by next week and see what I picked to stitch.

..and one more thing.  I have the details for the retreat and will be sharing them on Wednesday morning here on the blog.  It will be July 28-31 at the Stitchery Nook in Osage Iowa but for the rest of the details, you’ll have to stop back on Wednesday.  See you then.

21 thoughts on “Cross Stitch Update

  1. Nance in Reno

    Do you handwash your project before framing? I know to wash my hands before stitching, but especially with large projects that take months to stitch and go many places . . .1

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      No..I never wash my pieces after they are finished. I don’t feel they are dirty and I don’t want to risk any floss color bleading. I think that was something people did more when they were stitching on white Aida in the 1980s.

      Reply
  2. Jane Bergstralh

    Thank you so much for this post! I just got the chart for A Savior’s Praise, and I love your idea of starting it on Good Friday. I do not know how large a piece of fabric I need or where to start. Please let me know if you have some advice.
    I also loved Remember Me and will look into this book. Thanks for that too. Oddly, I recognized the tatting in the picture. That is the same pattern and colors as the tatting on a pair of pillow slips I received for my wedding! They were made by a member of my dad’s Lutheran church in Seguin, Texas, in 1966. The slips are long gone, but I saved the tatting. I also liked your fabric choice for this piece.
    Your stitching and blog have inspired me to try cross stitch again. I’ve always used 14 count, but A Savior’s Praise would be huge in that size. I called 123 in Texas to ask about a small piece to try 40 count linen. She suggested the cart Eleanor Rigby from Blackbird designs. I’ve received the chart and linen and started last night. Definitely a magnifying glass project!!!
    Where do you get your linen and threads? I don’t have the threads recommended, but will use DMC, two strands of blended colors.
    Ps. Just finished Tops and Bottoms last week. So many triangles (!) but a happy quilt.
    You are in my thoughts.

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      Jane
      I get most of my stuff from The Stitchery Nook in Osage Iowa. They have an online store too.
      I’m so glad you’re trying out different options. That’s exactly how you find out what works best for you.

      Reply
  3. Nancy Summa

    Your Changed World is gorgeous! A beautiful piece. I have A Saviors Praise as well. Perhaps I will start it with you on Good Friday. I love reading your blog. You have so much great information and a gift for writing. Thank you for sharing your craft, your family, your life.

    Reply
  4. Judith Fairchild

    Your finishing your August start is fabulous! With everything you had going on. It’s a large nicely busy piece. Way to go Jo. Love the work you do.

    Reply
  5. MarianneK

    I used to do reproduction samplers way back when my (now 32) daughter was little. You brought back so many fond memories when you mentioned taking the chart to bed! I used to do that, and I’d bring the chart with me in the bathroom while my daughter took her bath.
    Your wall is beautiful. And the frames perfect! I used to have mine framed at a place that made them out of bird’s-eye maple.

    Reply
  6. Jane Weiderman

    To Renae: Most of my friends and I use Mageyes when we stitch. It is a plastic headband with a magnifier lens. They come with 2 different sets of lens depending on the strength of the lens. #2 and #4 or #5 and #7. You can find them on Ebay.

    Reply
  7. Kate

    Your stitchings are beautiful! Thank you for sharing. I also thought it was interesting about the different linen names.

    Reply
  8. Robin

    Thank you for answering my question Jo. It was such an easy answer! I started stitching the chart “Beatitudes” by Little House Needleworks before I started your SAL. I wish I would have waited because I’m stitching Aida cloth that is too large. Oh well, live and learn. I’m just getting back into cross stitching and Beatitudes was too large of a project for me. No going back now, I’m more than half way done. I’m so tempted to buy A Savior’s Praise but I need to follow my lenten promise and not make any unnecessary purchases. Wow, it’s harder than I thought it would be. I should have given up cussing……, that would have been easier.

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      I think you’d be forgiven for buying A Saviour’s Praise. It’s so appropriate for an Easter start.

      Reply
  9. Carla

    Jane B, I can’t believe I didn’t notice that tatting! How wise of you to save your edging. But drat, now I want to get my tatting things out! My husband has family in New Braunfels so he was in that area a lot as a kid. It’s beautiful in the hill country. And thanks Jo for the update, the reminder that is the 25th, and the info about the linen names. Blessings!

    Reply
  10. Gail L Piper

    LOVE your gorgeous cross-stitched pieces!! I was inspired to pick up some words-in-progress that had languished for years and even started a new small project that will be a small pillow. Next thing? Go through the pieces I finished years ago and have them framed or made into pillows or something – I may need to take out a loan!
    I understand perfectly about buying charts that don’t get stitched – they are all so nice to look at and think about starting when that proverbial “someday” rolls around… (It didn’t help that I used to work at a store that sold charts, fabric, and supplies – my collection is quite large.)

    Reply
  11. Ginger

    I have noticed several people have commented about trying linen after having stitched on aida for most of their cross stitch projects. For those of you who are wanting to try linen but worry about it, I suggest starting with 28 or 32 count and maybe even one color floss just to get the hang of it. Then you can try moving up to 36 or 40 count. A magnifying lamp or glasses is really helpful too.

    Reply
  12. Paula

    I have a question regarding the higher counts and how to read the pattern when you stitch over two. I hope I can make it understandable what I am saying. I have only stitched over one so far. I like to grid and use that for counting. How do you count over when you stitch over two? If you have a pattern do you read it like each stitch is over two and then count that number over to know where to start stitching? Boy I hope you can answer that.

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      Paula. Every two threads are counted as one stitch. So if you are stitching “over two threads” you would count two threads over for every ONE stitch.

      Reply
  13. DebMac

    Just a caution about using spray starch, Best Press, or anything of the sort on cross stitch; spray it on very lightly and on the back of the piece if there are overdyed elements. I have had a couple of cases where the spray affected the color and the mottling of the linen. I use a dry iron first and spritz only if needed. Those wool mats are wonderful for pressing stitching; so much better than bath towels. I always press from the back and it’s amazing how much better those little stitches stand up.

    Reply
  14. Nancy White

    Congratulations on finishing “A Changed World”!…it’s beautiful! Love the picture of Kelli and her “His Eye is on the Sparrow”. I have that chart to stitch also…maybe she will inspire me to get started!

    Reply

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