Cross Stitch Update

I’m going to start today’s cross stitch update with a question from a couple of blog readers.

Cindy asked, “I notice you don’t start your work in the center of the cloth. How do you start your work?

Cindy, I rarely start in the middle.  Many of us who were cross stitchers and came back to it later in life have a habit or thought that we must start in the middle.  Back then we all did and the reason is that most of the projects we started were from a kit or we had precut pieces of fabric and didn’t know how to do the math to start anywhere different.

Nowadays designers give us stitch counts and we often buy fabric on our own that isn’t.   precut.  If you want, you can still start in the middle…I prefer not to.  I like getting the border done first and making sure it all matches up.  Then I feel comfortable filling in the border or working in the middle.

I’ve gotten so I like to work from the bottom up in many cases.  That allows me to stitch the vase first…and then put the flowers in the vase, it seems more natural to me and gives me a better chance to get my placement of the motif correct.

To be able to start where ever you want I do have a few tips.  Check your piece of linen to make sure it is square.  If the linen comes to you with a crocked cut, it can screw up what you’re doing.

Find the stitch count on the pattern.  Then add however many inches extra you want outside of the border.  The Standard is 2-3 inches.  I do 2 but I’m framing my own stuff.  If I’m squeezing something out of a scrap piece of linen and know it’s going to be finished as a pillow, I am perfectly willing to leave a smaller margin.

How I do the match…on this piece, the stitch count is Stitch Count: 225×295.

I am stitching on 40-count linen.  So I divide each number by 20 as there are 20 stitches in every inch of 40-count linen.  This gets you the size of the stitched area also known as design size.

That means my design size is Design Size: 11.25″ x 14.25.

If I add 2″ to each side of the design, I would need a piece of linen that is 15.25″ x 18.25″.  I would be able to easily fit this on a fat quarter of linen.  They are about 17″ x 28″.  This varies slightly by the dyer.  So I know if I stitch this on a piece of 40 count linen, I can start it by placing my first stitch 2″ in and 2″ down from any corner and the piece will fit on the fat quarter of linen.

To get the linen size you always take the stitch count and divide
For 36 count, divide by 18 same for 18 count Aida
for 32 count, divide by 16 same for 16 count Aida
for 28 count divide by 14 same for 14 count Aida

Then add 2-3 inches more on each side of the numbers you get.

I hope that helps.

Judy asked, “I love the hymn “I come to the garden alone”. Is it possible to share that pattern? I’d be willing to pay your friend who did the lettering.”

Judy is referring to the change my daughter Kayla and I made in the wording.  Mine is based on an old church hymn.  The wording is available HERE on the blog.  It’s completely and totally free for anyone who wants it.

Now to my stitching…The calendar turned to October so I picked up my Red Bird Sample Stitch Along piece again.  Here is where I was last time I showed it off.


This is a Brenda Gervais chart from With Thy Needle and Thread.  I am stitching it on Shrekie’s Tan by Needle Bling Designs and it’s 40 count.

I ended up finishing the stitching.  I was ready to be done so I just finished it.


Somehow the tail of the middle bird ended up a stitch or two too far down and to the right but I left it.  I’m not super picky about stuff like that.  The only people who know are the ones who either stitched it and studied the chart or the people I told.

Someone told me not to tell people but that’s not me.  I want everyone to see that you can still have beautifully stitched pieces without everything being perfect.


I had very little time for stitching this week.  Izzy, my foster dog took up time and I’ve been sewing away on my deadline project.  Sadly stitching took the backstage.

Several nights I only had 30-45 minutes to stitch so I pulled out a small piece.  If you only have that amount of time, I can still see progress if I’m stitching a small piece.  On a large piece, that amount of time is hardly noticed.

Here is where I was last week on Ye Old Crow Sampler by Heart in Hand.


This is where I am this week.

I have it in my mind to just finish this over the next week so I can sew it into a pillow and have it to enjoy for the rest of the season.  I’m getting pretty close to half finished.

I have to say there is something gratifying about stitching small pieces.  They finish quickly.

I think I want to put the pompom on the pillow so I ordered some black ones.  They are here and ready to go once I get it finished.

I did take enough time to finish up my “Be Ye Thankful” piece but I haven’t gotten pictures taken or a blog post written.  Soon I hope.  Then I can show that off.

Speaking of showing things off.  Kelli brought the cross-stitch items she’s been working on and did a little show and tell.  I don’t know everything about the pieces so if you have questions, put them in the comment section and either Kelli or I will answer them.

This is Kelli’s restart of Pandemic from Long Dog Samplers.

This is Pins and Orts by Heartstring Samplery.  I have this stitched by not fully finished.


This is Take Heart also by Heartstring Samplery.  She got stalled out on this.  There is a tiny spot of over one stitching.  She hasn’t done over one stitching so she’s nervous.  I say just do it!!


Kelli is on a Heartstring Samplery kick as she’s also stitching Blessed Assurance.  This she is hoping to be a Christmas present for her husband’s grandma.
All of the Heartstring Samplery charts can be found HERE on her website.

Before I go, Liz from The Stitchery Nook asked if I would share some news about her exclusive to the cross stitch shop.  You might remember the people from the retreat all got an exclusive Christmas ornament chart from Waxing Moon Designs.  She is the same one that designed out “Blessed” stitch-along chart.

After I showed this picture you see below from the retreat, several of you were wanting the chart.  You can get it now.


Liz sent the pictures below and sadly I can’t figure out how to enlarge them.  HERE is the link to order the chart.

You can order floss, fabric, or whatever else you need to make the ornaments.  You can even get the sparkly fabric that makes it seem almost like it’s snowing.

Liz’s daughter also made some wonderful charm pulls for scissor fobs or to embellish your project bags.  So fun.  Here are three of the four designs she made.

Isn’t the ice skate so cute?  This is one that one of the gals at the retreat stitched.  I haven’t finished mine yet.  I need to.  I’m not very good at stitching things “off-season”.  I’ll probably pull this out in December and finish it up.

I want to warn you that this chart is only available through The Stitchery Nook.  You won’t be able to find it anywhere else.  The pattern only is $8 so why not stitch one up and have it ready to give as a gift?


Again, HERE is the link to the shop…

and I think that’s all I have for you in the cross-stitch department.

11 thoughts on “Cross Stitch Update

  1. Ellen

    Where do you start your cross stitch? I’ve been stitching since I was a girl (lots of years ago) and I have always started in the upper left corner. I work my way across and down. I guess everyone has their own method!

    Reply
  2. Judith Fairchild

    All those lovely pieces to look at. I like them all.
    Kelly’s pandemic piece is beautiful. That’s a lot of fine stitching. I hope we get to see her piece when it’s finished. Your “I Come to the Garden piece is gorgeous.

    Reply
  3. Donna

    I love seeing what you and Kelli stitch. Amazing work.
    What are the measurements of the finished pieces by Waxing Moon mentioned above?
    Love and prayers

    Reply
  4. Kate

    What a great finish! You are also making much progress on the crow sampler. It is hard to believe that Kelli can accomplish so much cross-stitching with working and three little ones – she is a “chip off her mother!” She is doing great with her stitchings.

    Reply
  5. Gail in Ohio

    I too love that skate ornament pattern… may have to order it!!
    I pulled out an old chart (I have so many from years ago…) that has small pieces that could be made into ornament. I finished 3 of them already and am going to start on another chart soon! (I was lucky to work at a shop back in the ’90’s that sold cross-stitch supplies and bought oodles of patterns, fabric, etc. with my discount. And now I may get some of it stitched up!!! Yay!!!)

    Reply
  6. Margie

    I agree with Kate. Can’t believe what she has stitched. Please keep us posted. Friday is my favorite day for your blogs because of cross stitch!! Thanks.

    Reply
  7. Susanne Scheurwater

    I have a question Jo. When stitching on 40ct linen, are you using only one thread, or 2???
    Always look forward to your Friday x stitch updates.

    Reply
  8. Sharon Browne

    I love all of the cross stitch projects you are working on and I love the ones you have finished. I really love Ye Olde Crow Sampler! If my eyesight were better I would attempt one myself.

    Reply
  9. Candie

    Kelli’s Pandemic piece is so pretty! I couldn’t NOT buy the pattern. Is she stitching that on 40 count linen? I’m just doing the math to figure out the size of linen I’ll need. I haven’t worked on 40 yet, but hers is beautiful. I want mine to look as intricate as hers, but in blue. Thanks for sharing the conversion for the different sizes!

    Reply

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