Cross Stitch Update

I have lots of stitching to share with you because I spent last weekend at a cross stitch retreat.  WOW…what a difference a weekend of stitching can make!!  I felt a little ho-hum about my projects.  Many of them weren’t seeing a lot of stitching time thus not progressing.  The retreat was just the kick in the pants I needed.

I brought two projects with that I really wanted to make progress on and a couple of other projects I thought I might stitch on in case I got bored.  I ended up stitching on only two.

Here is where I was on the Christmas Seasons of the Heart.

It is a With They Needle and Thread chart.  It has small pillows for each of the four seasons.  I’ll make them into pillows as shown below.  I’m not putting the tags on them though.  I’m just extending the border in the tag area.

I ended up finishing the stitching on the Winter one…

I really like it.

I am stitching these on 40-count Vintage Country Mocha.  I used the called for colors.

The other project I worked on was…All Creatures Great and Small by Barbara Ana.

This is also 40-count Vintage Country Mocha and I’m stitching it with the called for Anchor threads.  Here is the picture I took at the retreat when I pulled it out of the bag.

I had kind of lost steam on this.  It wasn’t that I didn’t like it…just was a little bored.  This was my New Year New Start.  My goal is to have it finished by the New Year.

Several of you had asked me what happened to it…honestly, I just wanted to stitch on something else for a bit.  I was fairly confident I could set it aside for a bit and still finish it in the next 5 months.  So…here is where I ended this week.

WOW…Great progress right?!

I stitched the words and the corn while I was at the retreat.

Then during the week I jumped up a row and started working on the second row, the left side where the chickens are.

I didn’t get the momma chicken done…but she’s close.  There is a lady and a squirrel along with a couple of do-dads and that row will be finished.  I think I’m almost half done with that section.

The bottom row is almost full coverage so that portion isn’t going to be quick.  I also have to finish the border.  I feel good about this project though.

I’d love to go another retreat so I can stitch a whole day and get the shot I need to push through and get that bottom done.

August 1st was the start date for the Red Bird Stitch Along.  It’s been hot here in Iowa.  I had Carver and Gannon here.  They wanted to play in the front yard and the rule is that an adult has to be outside with them if they are in the front yard.  So they begged me.  I wasn’t interested in gardening so Carver suggested I stitch outside while they played.  Smart boy.  He knew how to get me outside.  I took Red Bird with me.

The lot to the north of me is empty and the neighbor who owns it is really sweet and doesn’t mind if the kids play down by the tree on her property.  It’s about the only shade to be had and the kids love it.

You can see Carver playing.  Gannon was behind the tree.

I had my goodies sitting out.

After a bit, the boys came to check me out and see how I was doing.  They immediately wanted to see my Hand Sewing Companion from Purple Hobbies.  They were fascinated by it.  I am able to hold my scissors, needles and other goodies without them damaging the linen or bag I keep everything in.

Heather at Purple Hobbies sent me two of these in early summer and asked me to try out her prototypes.

In the photo, I am using the smaller one that didn’t make it to production.  The larger-sized one did.  The two are very similar.

It’s super handy.  It would be great if you were an English Paper Piecer.  Needles and thimble in the top, thread in the next one, and hexies in the bottom one.

The units stack on each other like this…

A scissor goes in this hole.  The scissor hole is magnetic so the scissor stays in place, as do needles.  I really like the hand sewing companion for cross stitching.  I know Judy at Patchwork Times uses a lot of Vickie Clayton silk that comes on bobbins.  This would hold all the floss, scissors, and needles…perfect.

As always, Heather at Purple Hobbies gives my readers a coupon code, Josentme (all one word) for a 20% discount off anything you order.  You can find them HERE.

Anyway…back to my stitching.  I just knew I’d get questions about the holder so thought I’d just answer them before they were asked.

Here is my progress on my Red Bird Sampler.  I didn’t do a lot because I got hung up.

Isn’t that red REALLY bright??  I don’t know if I love it.  I went online and did some research.  I didn’t see anyone changing the colors.  I did see a couple of people say something like, “the colors seemed bright but I just trusted the designer and ended up loving it”.  Okay…I guess I’ll go with the colors.  I am nervous about how bright they are though.  Ugh.

I talked with Judy at Patchwork Times.  She is stitching it with silks and she said they were bright but she was okay with it.  I guess I’ll be okay too.  Judy was super helpful suggesting I stitch mostly darker-toned projects so it probably seemed extra bright to me.  She thought they looked good and pointed out that she stitches brighter colored projects.  EXCELLENT point Judy!!

If you noticed, I started on the bottom lower left side.  I know I’ll get questions about that so I’ll just say…I am TERRIBLE at counting out in open areas.  Counting from the upper corner bird down to the potted flower and then down to the bottom row of flowers would be a nightmare for me.  Also, I’m a little weird about liking to start the motifs I stitch from the bottom up.  I decided I could avoid the things I don’t like if I started the stitching on the bottom row.  So that’s where I started.

This stitch is not a race…There really are no rules.  Because I am starting in the bottom left and that’s different than most people would do, I don’t want to impose my preferences on you…that’s why NO RULES.  Start where you want.  Stitch how you want.

For me, I want to stitch this over the course of three months or sooner.  I know many of you are new stitchers so that is fairly ambitious.  I know some of you are stitching other projects as well so a slow stitch is good for you too.

So…If you want to do the three months plan, if you look at the chart there is a bottom row, middle and upper.  I plan to stitch the bottom row over the month of August, the middle in September, and the last upper row in October.  Do whatever works for you.  This should work for me.

I did some kitting over the week…what a mess.

Before I went to the retreat, I looked up the pattern you see below…I planned on buying it while I was at the Stitchery Nook and kitting it up.  I was certain I had some of the thread already so I pulled what I had and made a list of what I needed.

I’m set to start this one anytime.  I don’t think they will take a long time to stitch.

At the retreat…I got sucked into a couple of projects.  It’s totally okay as I have been planning on stitching these sometime.  The “some time” just got moved up to soon.

This is Christmas Garden by Blackbird Designs.  I don’t even know who started talking about this first…Maybe Nell…I don’t know…maybe Tracy??  Whoever it was asked if we’d like to have a stitch along.  I said sure.

I immediately went downstairs to the cross stitch shop and bought the thread.  I already had the book.  It’s from this book…You can find it HERE.

I have loved this piece for some time.  Then Olivia at Pumpkin Hollow Quilts on Flosstube started it as her New Year New Start.  She just finished it in July.  Oh my.  I loved it even more so when a stitch-along was mentioned…I jumped in with both feet.  I don’t know if I’ll keep the words “Christmas Garden” on it.  We’ll see.  I have a lot of stitching to do before I have to worry about that.

I think we’re going to start over Labor Day weekend.  Again…no real rules.  I’m going to try to have mine stitched by the time our group gathers together for our next cross stitch retreat…so, I have a year to stitch it.

I also got sucked into this piece.  This is another I’ve long wanted to do.  A year or two ago, MANY online cross stitchers were stitching this.  At the time, I had talked to Nell and she told me she was stitching it and she would pass her chart to me when she was finished.  I was thrilled.  Then her bird ate the center of her chart…NO JOKE.  She ended up buying another chart and was stitching on that at the retreat.

Nell was sitting next to me.  She put in her last stitch and then handed me the chart.  Oh my word.  Her piece was a “WOW”…and HUGE WOW!!

The colors on this are so great.  I just love it…LOTS.  So I went down and bought the thread for that too.  Good thing I had set aside some money for buying goodies.  I really didn’t buy anything that I hadn’t planned to stitch at some time.  I’m totally okay with it and thrilled to be starting these projects.

I don’t know when I’ll start Feast of Friendship.  In the next month or so likely…but I would like to finish All Creatures Great and Small so I don’t have so many projects going at once.  The colors are just perfect for fall stitching.  Hmm.

While I was kitting, I decided I better kit this up too.  I got the Winter one stitched so want to keep going and do all of the seasons.  The Winter one was so fun to stitch.  I’m hoping I can stitch this and still enjoy it this Fall.

I am a little frustrated with myself because I didn’t plan ahead for this and buy the floss while I was at the retreat.  I did so well with my other projects.  Oh well.

I have one more piece of news from the retreat…I asked Liz about my Floral Motif Sampler.  You might remember that I dropped it off back in February.  Liz ordered the frame but it didn’t come in.  It was on back order and never came.  I ended up taking it home with me unfinished.  Some of you might have been super upset about that…NOT ME!!  I’m thrilled.  I’m going to frame it myself.  The amount of money I’ll save in framing it myself will pay for the new thread and goodies from the retreat.  WHOOT>>WHOOT!!

Now I just need some time.  That won’t be soon.  I’ve had stuff going on every single day for some time and it looks that way for the next couple of weeks too.  It’s all good.  School will start before I know it and we’ll be back into a predictable routine.  I just looked…two weeks before school starts.  WOW!

Before I sign off…

Kelli sent me a picture of her Pandemic project.  Oh my.  If you read the post earlier this week, at the retreat she restarted this.  She’s loving 36-count linen stitched with one thread.

Doing this on higher linen and with one thread, really put a fire under her.  It’s so fun watching her progress.

That’s it for this week…Go forward and STITCH!!

11 thoughts on “Cross Stitch Update”

  1. You have gotten so much done with all the stitching projects. It’s so exciting, and what fun just to be some place that you don’t have other duties and can spend extra time on the stitching. Kelli’s stitching is really looking good!

  2. Good for Kelli!! I don’t think I am ready for linen just yet, but maybe some day. Your seasons of the heart, is it all four seasons in the book or just two. I really like it. Yours looks so nice.

  3. Wow your such a gogetter! I enjoy your daily visit. You have inspired me to dig out my cross stitching again. Love your quilting also. Remember to take care of yourself.

  4. Beautiful samplers and stitching, Jo. I’ve never tried counted cross stitch because I don’t think my eyes would be able to concentrate on it enough, but I love seeing your makes. Kelli’s is looking fabulous.

  5. Great update! Love seeing all your progress. But now you’ve gone and done it – I’ve had my eye on Christmas Garden for quite awhile but haven’t even finished Floral Motif so I’ve been holding off on deciding what/if to stitch next. Also really love Lilies of the Field. Hmmm, watching you stitch Christmas might just tip the scales!

  6. “Go forward and stitch!” Okay , Jo! Got it!!! I’m for sure taking some time to stitch tomorrow. It’s time I had a finish!9

  7. Cynthia Russell

    Your stitching is beautiful, and while I love your projects, a lot of mine tend to be beach oriented and I do love color. You lost me at stitching on 40 count linen or 36 over one thread. 28 count linen over 2 threads is my smallest, and I don’t want to stitch under a magnifying glass all the time. I’ve never been to a retreat, but that would be fun. Great stitching.

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