Cross Stitch Update

Update 6/8/22… Get a PDF chart of the alternate wording here!

I’ve been everywhere with my cross stitching this week.  I’ve got tons of ideas floating around in my head but no firm plans of what I’m stitching.  Read on and you’ll see what I mean.

I was looking on Instagram and saw this…
There is a stitch along being hosted for this project.  When I cropped the photo I made sure to include the info or who is hosting and the hashtags they are using so you could check it out if you want to join.  Oh, my word.  I am so tempted.

This is Come to the Garden by Teresa Kogut.  You can see that the group has divided it up into six parts so if one followed along and kept up, they could be done stitching in 6 months.

I loved the flowers and loved the colors but the verse wasn’t my favorite.  I had a plan that when I stitched this I would change the words at the bottom to say:
“I come to the Garden alone,
while the dew is still on the roses”

For those of you who don’t know, that is the opening to a religious song.  It was sung at both of my parents’ funerals and at my niece Jody’s funeral.  I wanted to find a way to add their initials to the piece when I stitch it to commemorate them all.

The piece is pretty full so it will be a challenge to get the initials in but if I stitch them over one, I think I can figure it out.

What makes it all the more tempting to start the stitch along is…I have it all kitted.  Wouldn’t this be lovely to stitch in the summer with the blooming flowers?  Oh, my word.  TEMPTATION.


UPDATE:  I talked to Kayla when she was home over the weekend about my hesitation to start because of the changes I wanted to make to the chart…  Kayla said, “You watch the kids, and let’s see what I can do”.

Kayla started out by making a working copy for me.  She used her Cross Stitch design program called Mac Stitch.  They have a program for both Windows and Mac.  You can even download the program for free but you can’t save what you make with the Free version.  If you want the full program and are able to save, the program is $45.  That seems reasonable.

She was able to type in the words I wanted the sampler to say.  She was able to… size and format them the same size as the original words.

She used white-out to cover the previous words and then she taped the new lettering in the way I wanted it.  I was just thrilled.


With that she had to alter the two flowers at the bottom on the sides.  It really won’t look much different than the original.

While she was at it, I had her make and place in the initials of my Dad, Mom and Jody.  I also had her make the year 2022 and we put that in too.  We ended up not putting my initials in as I’m still alive and I will add a pocket with that info on the back.

She did an amazing job and now…I guess I have to start it and stitch it.  RIGHT??  I’m so impressed and so happy that she did this for me.  To be honest, I’m terrible at making myself do this kind of work so I likely would have kept putting it aside and putting it aside.  Now I can stitch it.  YAHOO!!

I will be starting this on June 12th and I hope to keep up with stitching this so I can have a finished pieced by Christmas time.  The chart was broken up into six months worth of stitching so hopefully I’ll finish it in the 2022 year.  Kayla made the date be 2022 so I guess that’s the goal.

If you want to join in stitching Come to the Garden by Teresa Kogut, jump in.  It was an open invitation on Instagram so you’re welcome to join too.

I have other temptations in my life as well…  I got the threads ordered so now I’m finally ready to stitch these…

This is Keeper of the Pins by With Thy Needle and Thread.

I picked up the small embroidery hoop at the thrift store.  It was 25 cents.  I’ve never used this style before and thought to give it a try.

I picked up these two small stitches as I have nothing that is cross-stitched in my dough bowls that are patriotic.


Both are smaller and shouldn’t take too long to stitch…

I also went to Pinker ‘n Pumpkins blog and printed off lots of patriotic freebies.  They are really small and would stitch up quickly.  I also found this freebie from Nebby Needle.

(Picture courtesy of the Facebook Page)  Nebby Needle has great freebies and other great designs as well.

If you click on the links above the photo, it will take you to the free patterns.

I also have it in my head to start something else so I would have something that would be easy stitching to take with me to the retreat at the end of July.  I really don’t what to take something that is a lot of looking up and down and counting.

That all brought me to another thought.  Maybe I should slow down on my All Creatures Great and Small.  I had been working thinking I’d try to finish it by the 4th of July…but, now I see that maybe I shouldn’t.

Here is where I was last week.
I could easily take this with me and finish the border at the retreat.  That would something perfect to stitch on as I have the border pattern memorized.

I know the motifs at the bottom left require quite a bit of fill-in.  I could easily stitch the animals in the hill at the bottom but not stitch all of the green hill until the retreat.  That would just be fill in then.  AH!! YES!!  That’s a perfect plan.  So…I’m slowing this piece down with the goal of just having the animals stitched by the time I go to the retreat.  I could always stitch a little more but that will be my main goal.

Then once I’m back from the retreat, I push this into full steam ahead mode.  I really didn’t get anything stitched on this over the week so I’m not going to show you any progress pictures.

I started my stitch-along piece.  Kayla was home and we were sitting at the table so I decided to start.  I’m loving it so far.  I’ve stitched this much and I’ve not had a single knot.  Silk is so nice to stitch with.


I used my little 25-cent hoop from the thrift store and ended up liking this style.  I’ll likely pick up a few more if I see them there.

If you are stitching along and have started, you might see a few inconsistencies between mine and the pattern.   Do you see the heart by the letter “B”?  I accidentally put the tip-top stitch of the “b” on the wrong side so there wasn’t enough room for the heart the way it was charted.  I just modified the heart.  It was easier than ripping out.

See my initials “JK”?  To the left of them is a leaf.  I got my initials in one stitch too close to the leaves.  I ended up modifying the tip of the leaf so it would all fit.  It’s much better than ripping out.

I put too many stitches along the bottom edge and will be ripping some of those out.  I just started stitching as I was chatting and didn’t even look at the pattern.

The assignment for the month is to stitch about half of the chart in June and the other half in July.  When I looked at the chart, the “E” is about half.  So I’ll finish up that stitching here sometime in June and save the rest for July.

I’ve had several people contact me wanting to know “instructions” for the stitch along.  Hmm.  I didn’t really have any but I’ll put something together for tonight’s blog post.

So far, I have totally loved this.  It’s MUCH easier stitching than the last SAL.  It’s much easier for me.  I am not the best at counting when it comes to leaves and vines.  Speaking of the “Blessed” Stitch Along…did you see I finished mine into a pillow?


I did a tutorial on how I finished it.  You can find that HERE.

The main thing I stitched on is…Forever and Ever by With Thy Needle and Thread.

Here is where I was when I last showed it.

I’m stitching on 40 count Eureka by Fox and Rabbit.  I love their linen…LOTS!  I’m using the called for colors.

I like that it’s long and narrow.

Here is where I ended the week.


Sorry…I didn’t bother to take it out of the hoop and iron it.  There isn’t a lot to see yet.  Next week, I promise I will.

This piece is such a pleasure to stitch. The colors are so soft and appealing.  I just love it.

All in all, I didn’t do much stitching or sewing at all this week.  The farm where my son-in-law works still doesn’t have all the crops in the field.  They are really close now but all week the weather has been amazing and they have been working super late.  Kalissa is working the overnight shifts this week so…Grandma(me) is on tap to juggle the boys.  I don’t mind but my crafty endeavors get set aside when this happens.  So…not much stitching progress in this post…mostly just stitching dreams.

This has been my tough week in terms of losing my husband to lung cancer.  It’s been three years as of yesterday.  I decided to just drop the other things I was stitching and focus on this piece as it’s more of an anniversary piece.  I’m stitching with the hope of finishing it by our anniversary at the end of July…but who knows if I’ll get that far.  After all, you just read this blog post and saw all the crazy plans I have!!  HA!!

With that, I’ll close out this post.  Happy stitching everyone.  For those joining in the stitch along, let me know if you have questions.  I’ll try to answer them in the evening post.

32 thoughts on “Cross Stitch Update

  1. Sandi

    I love seeing some of the patterns that you show. Makes me want to buy more patterns. I’m so sorry about your husband. Hugs to you,

    Reply
  2. Jessica Lamar

    As a true beginner i was hoping for real instructions, like how to start, where to start, how many threads, size of needle, use a hoop or dont, and not just a few pics of your progress so far. Is the “stitch along” really just working on our own and submitting an occasional question? Is your info going to be on your blog, or whee is the stitch along?

    Reply
  3. Donna

    The new one you’re doing is going to be terrific! And Kayla did an awesome job with redoing the pattern at the bottom for you! I follow Pinker N Pumpkins blog also and have saved many of her patterns. They fit really well in the RV!
    Believe it or not, just starting on Blessings. Tea dyed my fabric yesterday so if it’s dark enough, I’ll start on it really soon.
    Love and prayers

    Reply
  4. Carolyn in NC

    When I used to use those tension hoops like the one you got at the thrift store I intentionally used the part with the “squeezy” handles on the top of my work. Yes, I know it was intended to use the other way, but I found I liked holding onto the handles with my left hand as I stitched with my right.

    Reply
  5. Becky

    I’d love to have the new version of Teresa’s pattern that Kayla did as I love that song also! She did a great job, I just looked at the program and not sure I could do it..

    Reply
  6. Kate

    Your stitchings look so good. If you didn’t point out the differences, one would never notice. After watching your tutorial for Blessed, I finished mine. I kind of framed in green and am very happy with it. Since I stitched on Aida cloth (18), mine is larger than yours on the linen, so didn’t need anything else. I hope your many good memories of Kramer helped you during these times of loneliness at this time.

    Reply
  7. Sara Kenny

    Love your version of “In the Garden;” which was my mom’s favorite song. Cannot wait to see your stitching progress.

    Reply
  8. Pam

    I love to read your cross stitch updates, Jo. Do yo always make your working copies big like that? How big do you enlarge and then you tape them together?

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      I do always make a working copy. I don’t enlarge them. This was just the size that was made after all the piece were printed and taped together.

      Reply
  9. Missy Reynolds

    I had to laugh when I saw your small embroidery hoop and that you found it at a thrift store. I just pulled mine out to mend a wedding veil! That thing is at least 25 years old. Since my arthritic hands can’t stand stitching in hand anymore, I use my larger hoop in this style all the time! I like that it is easy to reposition and holds the fabric securely. Thanks for all the links to the charts you feature. I have too many on the “to do list!”

    Reply
  10. Martha

    Your cross stitch updates are great! Your writing and finding Come to the Garden earlier this year are what brought me back to cross stitching. Thank you for your information on changing the wording. I am about half done and wanted to change the wording but didn’t think that line would fit. It was my mother-n-law’s favorite song. Now that there is a SAL I have a schedule to get it finished.

    Reply
  11. Margie

    Kate, am so happy to find someone else stitching with Aida. Mine is 14. Is the 18 a smaller hole? Sorry not sure how else to word it. Jo, you take on so many projects, I think I would get confused. I am working on this red bird stitch along and another from the Blessed stitch along. Enjoying this. I feel a sense of comfort when I am able to sit and stitch. You go Jo!

    Reply
  12. Lissa Davis

    Thank you for this blog. You have inspired me to stitch on linen. Made the purchase of some lovely 32 ct, but haven’t made the plunge. I, too, am a widow, 5 years in November. Sounds like your faith has kept you going.

    Reply
  13. Melinda

    Jo, I love your cross stitch updates. One thought for preparing for your retreat: I go for chemo treatments and take my cross stitch with me. Because I don’t want to deal with charts there, I prepare my projects by doing just half stitches. Then at chemo I got back and finish the X’s.

    Reply
  14. Paula

    I am using 40 count linen and the silk for the first time for the June SAL. You mentioned that you use one thread but do you stitch over one or over two? Thank you.

    Reply
  15. Alberta Price

    It has been years since I did any cross stitch (i am a quilter). I am thinking about starting a piece. I am seeing a couple places where you are mentioning ironing your piece while in progress. I was wondering how you do this and keep the stitches from being smashed and showing them smashed on the piece.

    Reply
  16. Carmen

    I went and looked at the Nebby Needle freebie. I thought it was OK, and saved it. Then I saw the picture. The finish is fabulous. I’m printing it off!

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      I thought the same too. The finished definitely doesn’t look like a “freebie” pattern.

      Reply
  17. Anne Fisher

    I am not a cross stitcher–at least not YOUR version—though I loved doing the other type -yet haven’t for many years. Enjoy seeing all your projects as they progress–and your “wall” too.
    The anniversaries–thinking of you. Marking that date is not easy no matter how many years. Can’t ignore but since mine will be 37 years this fall, it has faded a bit -but thoughts can hit at anytime. And they do that unexpectedly off and on!

    Reply
    1. Judith M Fairchild

      So very true! My Wedding anniversary was May 18th. I find that a little harder in ways. Than the date my husband died. Which is in December. It’s strange how differently people react to loss. I like Jo’s way of doing the stitching to help ease her feelings. I sew quilts to ease mine.

      Reply
  18. Pat Anderson

    I did start the June SAL on June 1st…oh my, I’m trying to do one thread over one thread and it is pretty intense on 40 ct! We’ll see if I am able to finish it! Is there any way that those of us interested in your verse for the Teresa Kogut Come to the Garden pattern from you? Most of us don’t have a Kayla! I haven’t purchased that pattern specifically because I didn’t like the verse as I’m not a gardener (at all!)….I would be happy to pay for it! I bought All Creatures Great and Small after seeing yours and I just purchased Forever and Ever to personalize also…there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      I’ve been enabling!! Oh no. I will talk to Kayla and see what we can do about getting the changed verse to you.

      Reply
  19. Meylonie Schatz

    Jo, The site you posted says the SAL will begin on June 12, 2020. Do you think it’s an old post or did they just have a Senior Moment?
    Love your blog!

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      Hi Meylonie…If it’s 2020 or 2022, I don’t mind. I’ll stitch it either way. Thanks for the heads up.

      Reply
  20. Dot Brooker

    Hi Jo, what a wonderful earworm you have set off with changed wording for that beautiful cross stitch. Used to sing that with my mother who died in 1959, so precious memories. That will be a lovely piece to stitch.
    Your patience with many bloggers is amazing, it leaves me shaking my head over some comments, but you just carry on!!
    Thinking of you thinking of days gone bye and the memories for you and your family.
    Certainly they can grab us at any time, but so precious.
    Dot.

    Reply
  21. Robin K

    I usually don’t read the blog when it’s about cross-stitch but I’m glad I read it today. Kayla is such a nice person changing the pattern for you then to share so much about her pattern making process. I’m very impressed with this pattern you are making so much I’m going to try a little one from one of the resources.

    Reply
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