Cross Stitch Update

I had a busy week with cross-stitch.

First off I spent a little time early in the week putting things together with Liz from the Stitchery Nook putting the final things together for the cross stitch retreat so we could get registration opened up.  Several of you had contacted me as you were looking ahead at your calendars hoping to squeeze in a retreat over the summer.  Everything is together and sign up for the retreat has started.  You can read all about that HERE.  We are so excited for you to come.

I had a question come in from a blog reader Liz:
“What is the difference between using DMC threads vs. the threads I’ve seen you using on the linen?”

The threads I use are typically called over dyed thread.  The company gets thread and then dyes it a second time to get variegate colors.  Can you see the pumpkin with the “B” on it?  You can see the color of the thread?  Notice that it is not one solid color.  I wouldn’t be able to describe the color using one word.  I might say it’s a lighter orange and variegated to a burnt orange color.


Some threads show more color variations than others.  Notice the “L”.  That is also an overdyed floss but I don’t notice the change in colors as much.  That’s typical of overdyed floss.

If you were stitching with DMC floss there is no color variation.  It would all be the same shade of orange throughout each pumpkin.

Overdyed floss is more expensive.  It’s harder to find…I like it better though.  I like the variation in the colors.  I think it makes the pieces look more vintage and give them more depth.

I do want to note that I still often use DMC though.  Often time designers will call for overdyed floss and it’s only needed for 20 stitches within the piece.  That is silly to pay for the expensive floss in those cases.  Then I use the DMC.

Some designers make patterns that call for DMC thread or Anchor (which is also not variegated).  In those cases, I use the called for floss.  I am using Anchor floss for my All Creatures Great and Small project.

I hope that answers your question.

Now…The stitch along.  How are you coming on that?  So many of you are sharing your progress on our Jo and Judy’s SALs page on Facebook.  You can find that HERE.

Judy and have noticed that many people have worked ahead and might be ready for another project.  I talked to Liz at the Stitchery Nook and we’ve been talking about what might be next.  We are thinking about this…


We’d love to propose that we stitch it with silk floss.

Each time we do a stitch along we’d love for you to experience or try something new.  Our idea was to stitch this with silk floss so you could give silk a try without putting a ton of money into it.  What do you think??

Liz is checking into things with pricing and we’ll let you know if it can all come together.  It’s a whole supply chain thing so Liz has calls out and is investigating.

In a previous post, I had mentioned that I use both poly-fil and crushed walnuts when I finish little pillows.  Several readers were curious as to why and how I do that.  Because of that when the 25th rolled around and I needed a Christmas item to stitch for the #25thDaySAL (when you stitch something Christmas on the 25th of each month) I picked something small that I could readily stitch and make into a pillow.  My plan is to do a little video of me stuffing the pillow so you can see.

I picked this little freebie chart “Joy” from the Nebby Needle.  I found the freebie HERE.  It only took me an hour to stitch this.  I started finishing it but this is as far as I got.  Watch more coming up next week for a video on this.


I ended picking up another small chart for the #25thDaySAL.  This is a chart called “Merry Winter” from Country Rustic Primitives on Etsy.  You can find the chart HERE.  It’s a PDF download.  They have several other things that I’d love to stitch that are small and quick.

I will turn this into a little pillow for the dough bowl too.


I stitched most of this the same day I stitched the “Joy” pillow.  I had just a bit of the snowman left the next day so I decided to finish it.

I’ll have to find something new to stitch next month when the #25thDaySAL rolls around.

I was watching Lori Holt’s latest floss tube and she mentioned the days of the month that she stitches on.  She said on her anniversary she stitches a type of anniversary sampler.   That reminded me.  I had planned on that back in July when it was my anniversary but I didn’t follow through.  I had even put a tiny amount of stitches into it but didn’t pick it back up again the next month.  So…I pulled it out.  It is the Forever and Ever piece by With My Needle and Thread.  I pulled it out and stitched on it on the 26th as we were married on the 26th.

This piece really isn’t that big so I think it will stitch up fairly quickly if I sat down and just stitched on only it but, that’s not the plan at this point.  I’ll continue to work on it once a month or so until I can’t stand it anymore and just pick it up and finish it.

Another reason I picked this up was that I thought it will work on my sampler wall to fill in a long narrow section.  Plus…I just really love it.

This linen is 40 count Fox and Rabbit’s Eureka.  The color is closest to the color you see around the label in the photo below.


It’s a pretty color and I really like this linen.

Over naptime, over the last bit, I’ve been working on this small chart from Blackbird Designs.  It was in their new book that I bought from market called A Heart Remembers.  I only stitch on this when I’m sitting by someone to get them to go to sleep at naptime.  It looks like I will have this finished up in the next week.  I only have to finish the “M” and then the “E”.


I also worked on my All Creatures Great and Small by Barbara Ana.  I had hoped to have the top section done by the end of March but that didn’t happen.  I hope to really concentrate on this coming up…but who knows.

The chart is really split up into four sections.  I was hoping that I would do a section each quarter of the year.  If I go with that, I’m behind.  I didn’t complete the section.  I did, however, get a lot of border done and in the next two sections, there is only the border along the two sides so really, if you consider that, I’m not terribly far behind…

and I do have these two motifs finished.  I’m trying to decide if I should drop down and start the next row or finish the first row now that we’re into a new quarter.


I did have a little talk with myself and thought that maybe rather than stitch another little small thing over naptime I take this and just work on the border.  That would be easy and I have the border pattern memorized so it would be easy to stitch.  That would really add some progress to this.  So…I think that’s the plan.

The week I did the star motif above the bird.  I stitched the tree closest to the horse.  I stitched the horse and everything to the right of it.

I had looked at my piece and thought, oh, I have the row almost done.  Then I looked at the chart and there are a lot of little thing packed into the area I still need to stitch.
I am really enjoying stitching on this.  I just wish I would get caught up with my plan so I feel better about it.  I’m bound and determined being this was my “New Year, New Start” that I want to finish in this calendar year.

That’s what I stitched on this week.  It was fun to stitch on a few small things.  I hope to have a video together for next week so you can see how and why I use both walnut shells and sand.

Lori Holt also mentioned that she stitches something patriotic on the 4th of every month.  Hmm.  I’m considering that.  I would love to have a small piece stitched for my dough bowl.  I get so tempted by everyone’s ideas.  UGH…I should probably just stick with my own stuff and then I wouldn’t get behind on my All Creatures Great and Small.

That’s it for this week…

22 thoughts on “Cross Stitch Update

  1. Linnea

    Hi Jo, I finished up the March Installment of the SAL today, ready to work on the second installment. I’ll share my WIP photo in the facebook group for the SAL. I’m sure enjoying this, especially in linen! I realized today I’ve learned to read my work already, that impressed me greatly.
    As for another SAL I’d love to participate. I have a lovely collection of silk threads from Sublime Stitching. She’s an artist by trade and creates her own designs along with reaching out to artists and working with them on patterns for her shop. I’ve not used any of the silk thread collections I’ve purchased from her yet. They’re made in France! Beautiful palettes.

    Reply
    1. Carla

      Crosstitchers are the biggest community of enablers ever, haha! I was all set to finish the first section of Blessings, but the white pumpkin kicked my butt! IDK, what my problem was, but I kept getting off and having to redo. I’m thinking that being that the contrast is low, it’s too easy to make a mistake. Hopefully today I’ll finish that one up. Your pieces are looking great!

      Reply
      1. Jo Post author

        Carla, I have trouble stitching with white thread as well. I think you’re exactly right that there is something to do with low contrast between the thread color and the linen.

        Reply
  2. Donna

    I really love your updates on your cross stitch – you’ve done some beautiful work.
    I’ve never stitched with silk floss so that will be a new experience for me – I hope it comes together as I’d love to participate.
    Do you by any chance have a list of “video blogs” that you listen to on a regular basis? I haven’t listened to any – there are so many to choose from!
    Love and prayers

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      I’ll add a list ones I watch to the next cross stitch post…I love Saltbox Stitcher along with Brenda and the Serial Starter.

      Reply
  3. Stearns Carol

    You are certainly the energizer bunny when it comes to stitching. Do you use a magnifier? To read the pattern? I may need to get one of those or stick to 14 count.

    Reply
  4. Ellie

    I love seeing your cross stitch projects ! I haven’t picked it up again but seeing what you do certainly makes it tempting! I’m anxious to see your videos on stuffing pin cushions as I’m hoping to make some. Happy stitching!

    Reply
  5. Rachel Summy

    Jo, like your idea for another cross-stitch SAL! Hope it all works out as I’m enjoying cross stitching again as are others! Thanks for all you do!!

    Reply
  6. Rachel Summy

    Jo, I’d be interested in participating in another SAL! Like your idea of trying and learning something new! Thanks for all you do!

    Reply
  7. Kate

    Thanks for letting us see your beautiful work! I am enjoying the SAL. What is advantage of using silk floss?

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      I don’t know that there is an advantage Kate. I think it’s just something else to try and experience. I think it’s equivalent to adding toppings to a pizza. As is great but adding something more might make it even better.

      Reply
  8. Gail L Piper

    Hmmm… silk floss – I’ve never worked with that and a one-color project would be great as it would give me a chance to try it without too much expenditure.
    I have printed off a few of those free charts that you mentioned – “Bloom” is done and will be a small pillow soon! I am almost finished with a project that I started years ago and recently picked up to complete. I started a new project this week – it’s good therapy when the world is going awry – and am procrastinating on “proof-reading” a finished Paula Vaughn that will be framed (we won’t talk about how long ago I finished it…).
    For me, stitching is a great way to “escape” and to feel a sense of accomplishment – and the projects add some beauty to our surroundings.

    Reply
  9. Faye

    Hi Jo! I am excited to get started on the April portion of the Blessings SAL. I would also be interested in another SAL using the silk floss. I love what you have done to finish your smaller stitching projects. I have started stitching Christmas ornaments which I will use as gift tags as well this upcoming Christmas.

    Reply
  10. Ginger

    I would love to do a stitch along using silk threads. I think a one color chart would be perfect to start with and I love the one you chose. Count me in ! Love seeing your work Jo…..both stitching and quilting, and also all of your other projects.

    Reply
  11. Lisa

    Hi Jo. I was wondering what you spray on your finished cross stitch before you iron it. I watched a video of you squaring up a piece of linen and then ironing it and I couldn’t figure out what you sprayed on it before you ironed. I have really enjoyed the SAL and it is my first time using linen. Thanks for getting me interested in cross stitch again.

    Reply
  12. Pat

    I am going to try to send you picture of my start this is my first project so avoid mistakes I am using 11 CT and had to rip out at times I am using highlightet to keep my place give to credit for harder pieces you do long time before I am there like it but I am so slow do not love too hard

    Reply
  13. Karen Smith

    Jo you are a motivator! I am enjoying this stitch along and plan to work with you on the next one. I am willing to try the silk floss.

    I do have a question-How to you store floss? I have seen bags and 3-ring notebooks or Shaker Boxes, etc. Do you have a recommendation? I have not done cross stitch since the 1980s so back at it and enjoying it.
    Thank you for this Stitch Along and for continuing with a new one.
    Karen in Ohio

    Reply

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