Cross Stitch Update

Before I let you know if I started the New Years’ Eve 12×12 or what I stitched on, I’m going to answer a couple of questions that came up.

Jannelle asked:
QUESTION! How much of a size difference is there when changing out the cloth, like going from a 28ct Aida to a 40ct Linen. Is this going to shrink the design too much, and make it too dense to pick out details? Or does this just depend on the design? Thank you!

I thought I would just do some math for you so you can see the difference.

This is project I stitched called Heaven and Nature by Teresa Kogut.

I absolutely love this.  The original was stitched on 40-count linen and that’s what I used.  The stitch count on this is 284 x 360.  That lets us know the coverage area.  Being I stitched my on 40 count linen, the piece ended up being 14 1/4″ x 18″.

I feel comfortable that it isn’t “too small” to see the details.

Now if I was going to stitch this on 28 count that means that 28 threads are in 1 inch of linen.  That means that 14 stitches would be in one inch of linen.  That means this project would end up being 20 1/4″ x 25 3/4″.  That would be huge and take up a lot of wall space.  This would be the same size as 14 count Aida.

I noticed in the question that Jannelle uses the term “too dense”.  I am not sure if she means the thread would be too dense.  It won’t.  On 40 count one would only use one strand of floss.  By doing that, the threads almost seem to embed themselves into the fabric.

If “too dense” means the project would seem squished.  I don’t believe that is true as the proportions of the design stay the same.

An added bonus to stitching on a higher count is that you will use MUCH less thread.

As for me, I like the old fashion look.  I like things smaller.  They seem more delicate…but I am sure many others prefer the look of Aida with two strands of floss.  This is totally one of those you-do-you situations.  Whatever you prefer is great.

Becky asked:
Will you make a working copy of the Black Dog Sampler, then draw it into quarters? You said you’d do the border first, all of it?

Hi Becky…I have no idea what I’ll be doing.  I know that sounds terrible as I’m supposed to be hosting the stitch-along.  I typically don’t make rules in advance as the second I do, I break my own rule.  I’m guessing I’ll stitch the border until I’m sick of it and then I’ll want to see how the colors are going to look together so I’ll pick that basket of flowers that is the third motif down on the left side.  Who knows?!?!?!


If you want to divide yours in horizontal fourths…do that.  If you want to divide it into quadrants, do that.  If you want to divide it into vertical fourths, do that.  If you just want to randomly stitch wherever and guess how much one-fourth is, do that.

I counted the motifs and letters then counted each of the sides of the borders as one item and came up with 52.  That means you can stitch either one letter, one motif, or one side of the border each week and you will be able to finish it by the end of the year.  Hmm.  This might be a little more my speed.  Then I can flip around and stitch anything when the mood strikes.

I don’t want anyone who doesn’t like stitching letters to get bored…I don’t want anyone who doesn’t feel confident about their stitching to get bogged down on this project…so you do you.  The goal is to finish stitching by January 1st, 2024.

Cindy asked:
“Jo, you mentioned Blackbird weekend SALs. Where would I find information about them? Thanks so much!”

Blackbird Weekend SAL is not anything formal.  You can go to Instagram and search #blackbirdweekendsal and see what others are stitching on.  It started with Brenda and Laura of Brenda and the Serial Starter.  You can find them on floss tube.  You can stitch on anything that is from Blackbird Designs and you stitch over the first weekend of each month.  I like to stitch Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so I can see some progress.

I stitch my “All Joys for Thine” over the course of three months (first weekend only) and was close to a finish so just stuck with it the third month and finished it.


I really like this piece.  I am starting a new Blackbird Design project this weekend…I think.

Now onto my stitching…Are you curious about what I stitched?  You might remember I was thinking about doing the New Year’s Ever 12×12 working on 12 projects for an hour each on New Year’s Eve day.  I ended up taking the day and fit as much stitching as I could in one day.  I decided I wasn’t going to do the one-hour-only thing.  I decided I wasn’t going to work on 12 different projects.  I was going to do a bit of a snowball stitch instead.

If you’re a Dave Ramsey person or are familiar with him, he encourages people to tackle things by starting on the project (for him bill paying) that is the smallest, conquering that, and then moving on to the next project that is the smallest.

I was excited about this as this would give me some finishes AND it would give me progress on a larger project.  This would make me feel better about starting a new project.  I really don’t love having a lot of projects started.

Closest to a finish was this piece…

Notforgotten Farm’s A Happy life.  I am stitching this on a scrap of Vintage Country Mocha in 40 count.  I’m changing the colors of the floss and making it a little less primitive by leaving off the top vine and moving the word life up so that it is even with the word happy.


I started stitching it and got a few more words stitched but then stalled out as I didn’t like the blue color.  It’s the called for color.  So rather than rummaging around and finding a color I liked, I just set it aside again.


I wanted to make the most of stitching time so I found another project that needed attention.

Next, I picked up Autumn Alphabet by The Scarlett House.  I am stitching this on a piece of 40-count Heartland by Picture this Plus. I used the called for flosses.  This one stalled out when the seasons changed.  I started this at Halloween and hoped to have it finished by Thanksgiving and that didn’t happen.  Here is where I was when I last left it.

I was able to finish the stitching.  Here it is all stitched.  Oh my word…I love this one.


The colors are even better in person.  I’m so glad I finished stitching this one.


I debated about buying the board that this is mounted to.  I looked it up and it’s $20.  That was more than I like to spend on finishing a small project.  Hmm.


I did find out that there is a companion piece that just came out…Maybe I could get a board and then magnet the piece to the board and only have to buy one board.  But, As of this moment, I’m not completely in love with this version.  There are other things I’d rather stitch.


Hopefully, I can get some time and go dig through the things I’ve picked up at the thrift store, and maybe I already have something here to finish it.  I don’t plan on ordering a board.  I’ll watch the thrift store if I don’t find something by Fall then maybe I’ll consider getting the board.

Another project I put time into was Heartstring Samplery Apostle’s Creed.  I am stitching this on 40-count Thornfield by Needle and Flax.  It called for Harvest Basket by Gentle Arts but I am using Trail Dust by Classic Colorworks for the lettering instead.  Here is where I was last week.


A chunk of my stitching time on Saturday went into this…  I finished the top flowers.  I added more lettering.

I am currently ahead on this project.  As of today, I would need to have four rows finished to keep up with my goal of one row a week.  I need to stitch one big crown in the row of crowns and then I’ll have one page finished.  There are five pages in the chart.

The picture of this does not do it justice.  It’s actually really pretty.

That’s all I stitched on the long Saturday of stitching.  Between not sitting down to stitch until almost 2 pm and then having the new puppies here, I really didn’t stitch a ton extra.

Next, I worked on We Live in Hope by Blackbird Designs project.  I am stitching this on a 40-count Picture this Plus linen called Legacy.  Here is where I was last week…

Here is where I am now…

The only thing I got done on this was the alphabet at the top of the piece.  It took quite a while because I had to change floss colors after every two letters.


I am so happy with this piece.  Every stitch I put in, I love it more and more.  I think next week I am going to try to fill in the band below the alphabet and then stitch the words in that space.

I’ve been talking to my sister.  She’s a master at genealogy.  She’s helped me get info on my paternal grandparents.  Our Grandpa landed on Ellis Island and my Grandma landed in Boston.  That means I can’t put a port of arrival there.  I think I am going to put “Coming to America” where the sampler has Chesapeake Bay.  Then I’ll put in some kind of divider and then some version of my name depending on what will fit.


I’ve got a ways to go but I’m getting really excited about this piece.  Part of me wants to drop everything and just finish it but…I think I’ll try to hold another week or two before I do that.

I squeezed in a new start.  I have lots of projects going so I don’t know that another new start was the best idea…but I did it anyway.  Having one new start was WAY better than having 12 new starts…or even 6 new starts that I originally contemplated.

This is Rudolph and Friends by With Thy Needle and Thread.  It’s on mystery linen with called-for flosses.  I only stitched on this one evening.  This is tiny- only 3×3 on 40 count.


I plan to not make it be Rudolph and just a deer taking anything Christmasy off it.

The last thing I worked on was our stitch-along, Black Dog Sampler by The Scarlett House.  I am stitching mine on a 40-count Dirty Tea Cup by Needle and Flax.


I was going to stitch more on this but my threads weren’t in floss-away bags…I hadn’t made a working copy yet and I was stumped on what I am going to do with the letters.  Some of you noted that all of the alphabet letters aren’t listed.  That’s not the end of the world but I HATE it when the letters for my initials aren’t included….note:  There is no “J” and no “K”.  UGH.


When I pick this up this week I think I’m going to work on getting the border finished.  Then I can stitch anything I want to stitch.

Hmm.  Do I ask Kayla to rechart the letters or leave them?  BLAH.  The good news, there is plenty to stitch before I have to make a decision.

I have to say so far, I really love Needle and Flax linen.  This is the second time I am using it- the other is on Apostle’s Creed.  It’s just the style of linen I love.

That’s what I stitched this week…it was a good week in that I had progress to show on almost all of my projects.  Whoot!  Whoot!!

Did you start the Stitch Along?  How are you tackling yours?

21 thoughts on “Cross Stitch Update”

  1. Jo, have you thought about cutting a board yourself? Scrap wood and a jigsaw is all you’d need! And you could finish it any way you want…just a thought. Love all your work!

    1. Judith A Gebhardt

      Is it because ‘back in the day’ or that time, those letters didn’t exist and it’s staying true to the time period?

  2. Great work! You choose very good projects. I, too, really like the pumpkin finish. It is simple, but yet isn’t if that makes sense. Anyway, all your projects are looking very good.

  3. Yes started the Black Dog on NY Day while at my daughters and love it so far! I think it’s interesting that not all letters are there but it stinks your initials aren’t in it!! I’m going to make a copy and thinking I will do in 4 quadrants, just because..my granddaughter has been at my house helping out with organization, which I’m badly needing, so haven’t stitched in 2 days, not to mention my water stopped working…hoping to have it back today! Happy New Year and much stitching!

  4. I would leave out the 2 doodads above the date and put my initials there. I am sure you can chart them yourself. X and Y are missing, too.

  5. Susan the Farm Quilter

    I’m sure you can find a wooden cutting board at a thrift shop that will be perfect for the Autumn Alphabet!! On the lack of letters for your initials on the little black dog…I see a J and a K (the M, just minus the swoop on the left) on either side of the L…maybe I just can’t read cross-stitch letters, but that’s what they look like to me!! Always fun to see what you do with cross-stitch – not something I will ever do, but I appreciate the work and talent that goes into making them!

  6. Kathy Henderson

    Thanks for showing us our projects. I’ve seen some of these charts at the online shops and they don’t do much for me, but once I see them actually stitched I love them! I’m sure they look even better in person! Okay I’m off to shop for charts now…

  7. Well, I hadn’t heard about NYE 12×12 until you mentioned it, and seeing that I did have several patterns kitted up I jumped in with one foot and several toes. lol I started 8 new ones and worked on one that I had started in November. What was I thinking? At least I know what I’ll be working on for a while. :) Good luck with all of yours. They look awesome.

  8. For your piece that needs a board? Do you have a Hobby Lobby relatively close? I got something similar for a project last year and and maybe paid $6 for it. I got ot when they were having like 50 percent off on that particular brand. I was visiting my local Hobby Lobby yesterday and noticed they were putting that type of stuff out. I think the brand is Spring Things or something like that.

  9. I am getting hooked on cross-stitch because of your blog! I am curious whether or not you use a hoop when doing your cross-stitch. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

    1. I am a hoop stitcher. Many people stitch in hand but if I do, my hand cramps up…also why knitting never took with me. The Morgan Hoop, this one https://amzn.to/3ZhxtJ9 is my favorite. I keep the tension loose so I can still get the effect of stitching in hand.

  10. Have you considered putting both of your grandparents ports on that line with the diamonds between and not putting your name there?

  11. Hi Jo!
    I’m so happy your blog appeared as a surprise today! Can you tell me where you got the APOSTLES CREED?Is it a kit or chart? I’d love to find some other ones like that:Lord’s Prayer, Doxology,& Desirata(sp?)! If anyone knows where to find these,please let me know. Thank you kindly.
    Sincerely, Char

    1. My Apostle’s Creed is from Heartstring Samplery. You can get it HERE as a download. I’ll try to answer your question in more depth on Friday’s Cross stitch update.

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