Cross Stitch Update

Last Friday I had a doctor’s appointment.  I brought my stitching along just in case I had a little extra time while waiting.

I always take my Heaven and Nature by Teresa Kogut as right now, it’s just fill-in work that I’m doing on the house.

I only got in a few stitches as they were very efficient at the office and didn’t have me waiting but a few minutes.

Good news at the doctor’s office.  I’ve lost enough weight and eating well enough that I dropped my A1C (blood sugar) numbers enough that I was able to stay off one of my diabetes meds.  YAHOO!!  That was great news.  I also got the pneumonia vaccine.  Then I was on my way.

The next stop was supposed to be Buck’s house as I was scheduled to take care of the kiddos…but my next stop was road construction.  I sat for about a minute and then thought hmm, I’m going to pull out my stitching.  I didn’t get a lot done but I can safely say I got in 40 stitches.  When stitching a bit house like this, I will take however many stitches I can squeeze in.

I had my stitching with at Buck’s but didn’t end up doing any stitching.

Before I get to what else I worked on stitching wise, I thought I’d answer a few questions that have come in…

Anne writes:
“I am responding to a question you asked about samplers in cross stitch. “Do all samplers have an alphabet?” I read somewhere that samplers in the old days were showcases for a stitcher’s skills at certain stitches, so I think they do not have to have an alphabet.”

I believe that answer to that is no.  Not all samplers need to have an alphabet.  Many samplers that I see don’t.  Check out this one.  It’s “Consider the Lilies”.  I watched a video of the designer stitching it.  She took a picture every night after she stitched on it.

HEARTSTRING SAMPLERY Consider The Lilies image 0

There isn’t an alphabet in the piece, but I still consider it a sampler.

For fun, I am putting the link to a video.  The creator of the sampler took a picture of the sampler after every time she stitched on it.  The part about this sampler is at the end so you’ll have to fast forward to see it…but it’s amazing.  You’ll have to watch at about the 33-minute marker.


I think samplers that have alphabets were mostly done by school girls.  Cross stitch was part of their classes at school.  Many did samplers at ages 4-17.  Learning the alphabet and stitching was incorporated together.  Many samplers have religious references on them as memorizing verses was also part of their lessons.

One thing to note many samplers: “An alphabet generally contained only 24 letters–the uppercase I and J were the same letter, as were the U and V.”

For a person like me whose first initial is a “J”.  This is annoying.  I have vowed that I will not stitch a sampler that doesn’t have a “J”.

I LOVED this piece and wanted to stitch it until I saw that it doesn’t have a “J”.

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This pattern “A Saviour’s Praise” that I’ve been thinking about buying has one alphabet.

A Saviour's Praise Sampler by Shakespeare's Peddler image 0

This is Ann Roberts from Hands Across the Sea…No Alphabet.

Ann Roberts c 1842 by Hands Across The Sea Samplers Counted | Etsy

Here’s another from Hands Across the Sea…Caroline Page.

Caroline Page 1832 ~ a printed booklet - Hands Across The Sea Samplers

Hands Across the Sea specializes in reproduction samplers.  You can find all sorts to one with no alphabet to ones that do.  All are listed as samplers.  The great thing that Hands Across the Sea does is research the gal that stitched each piece.  Check out this link and you’ll learn much about Caroline Page.

Another piece from Hands Across the Sea that has been getting much attention is Jane Hopkins…again, no alphabet.

Jane Hopkins 1875 Sampler Pattern Printed Book – Hobby House Needleworks

I’ve loved this one…another with no alphabet, Jane Surtees.

Jane Surtees 1811 - Cross Stitch Pattern

Then there are ones with incomplete alphabets too.  I’ve loved this one…The Alexanders of Lintrathen.

I completely loved it when I first saw it just because of the colors, coverage, and unique look.  Then after looking closer, I was a little frustrated as there aren’t complete alphabets…and no “J’s”.

I don’t know that it’s especially important how we classify pieces as “samplers” or “not samplers”.  I think it’s most important to stitch whatever you love.

Kathleen wanted to stitch “A Changed World”.  She wrote:
I ordered the pattern but I am unsure what or where to order for the linen. Do you have some suggestions?? I have plenty of the DMC threads. Thanks so much for your great blog.

A Changed World has the suggested linen of Fox and Rabbit’s Baked Clay and lists an alternative of Lakeside’s Meadow Rue.  I didn’t have either in my supply and wanted to use what I had.  I ended up having Vintage Meadow Rue (different from regular Meadow Rue) and decided to just go with it.  Mine is also in 40 count vs the 36 count suggested.  I love 40 count but for some, it’s harder to stitch on.

Being I am doing 40 count the design will be slightly smaller.  If you are new to cross stitching on linen or new to stitching on higher counts.  I HIGHLY recommend Vintage Country Mocha linen.  It is known to be a great linen for starting on.  I stitched my first two bigger pieces on it and am stitching my Anniversaries of the Heart on it.  I LOVE it…I think my Heaven and Nature is on it too.

This is linen that the mottling is actually “painted” on one side.  You can find it here at Jen’s Stitching Niche.  The good news, it’s also cheaper than most other linens.

Country Mocha/Vintage Country Mocha Linen 28 32 36 or 40 image 0

Now onto what I’ve been stitching…
I already told you about Heaven and Nature at the beginning of this post.  Very little was done on that.

For my Anniversaries of the Heart, I didn’t get a lot done.  I really want to finish this block this month, but look!  The month is slipping away from me.  I have to stitch the house and figure out how to the names into this one.

This is the block for my parents. Mine and my sibling’s initials will all be on it too.  I have a tentative plan but have to do some math to see if it will fit.  My mom’s maiden name was Huntington.  That’s quite a few letters.

I am going to stitch primarily on this until the block is finished.  I don’t want to get behind on this at all.  If I do, I’ll never finish by the end of the year and that’s my goal.  I’m a little afraid I’m going to have to set A Changed World aside and just work on this…we’ll see.

Speaking of A Changed World, here it is…
I didn’t get a ton done.  I really didn’t stitch much this week at all.  Two separate nights I didn’t even stitch a single stitch.  The other nights I’ve only stitched 45 minutes to an hour.
It’s hard to make progress at that clip.  It’s not a race though so I’m not going to worry about it.

The last few weeks my focus has been quilting.  It’s what I’ve been in the mood to do, so I quilt and not stitch.  I’m sure in a month or so that will change.  What I really need is to get hooked on a good show on television.  Any suggestions?  A good television show always gets me stitching more.

That’s it for this week.  Don’t forget to check out the progress of Judy and Denise…you can find their blogs here.
Judy at Patchwork Times
Denise at Just Quiltin

10 thoughts on “Cross Stitch Update”

  1. Cheryl in St. Paul

    So much helpful info. I love your blog every day! Keep up the good work and way to go being able to drop a med! You rock!

  2. Oh, I love that linen. Speaking of the letter “J”, I do machine embroidery and the first thing I check in any alphabet is the letter “J”. It’s amazing to me how ugly some of them are. Then there are those that the “I” and “J” look almost exactly the same. Why is that? I’ve never tackled anything with a large stitch count. Don’t think my eyes could take a 40 count but I sure do love that mottled linen.


  3. Judith. Fairhild

    Sitting in the D.s office nomally is oneofthe most boring things we have to do taking a long any handwork or a good book is a great idea. I don’t know how many crochetedthings I finished while waiting in Dr’s offices for mys apps or my husband’s appts.

  4. I’m glad you had a good doctor’s visit!

    I plan to learn cross stitch, and discovered the thrift stores in my area are perfect for booklets/charts, fabric, and kits. People here in in downsize mode, I guess.

    I would love to stitch an antique-style sampler, but will do some easier projects first. Thanks for sharing some different options…it’s inspiring.

  5. You’ve mentioned you like true crime, so you might like 24 Hours in Police Custody on BritBox. It’s a reality show that follows police in Luton, a UK city known for being rough. Under their law they have 24 hours after arrest to either charge or release, and this follows their investigations during those hours.

  6. Jackie Trembley

    Hi Jo. I had to laugh when you mentioned that you vowed not to stitch any samplers where the alphabet was missing the letter “J”! My name also starts with J (Jackie) and I vowed the same thing, lol! I’ve seen some very nice designs but they’re missing the “J” – too bad.

  7. Hi Jo,
    I just happened to find your blog as I have an incomplete baby sampler I made for our first grandchild.
    It, of course, came with a frame suggestion, but since my daughter lives so far away, I didn’t want to put it in a frame and mail it.
    I’m thinking of making it into a wall hanging, like a banner, with a dowel and rope hanger. I’ve been told I need to firm up the material it is on. It is on a linen cloth. I wanted to just add a backing and bias tape around the edges. Do you think this is possible? Have you every seen anything like that? Would you have any suggestions as to how exactly to do it?
    Also, I love your quilts and really enjoyed reading your blogs. I’ve been away from stitching for quite a long time so I am just starting up again. Seeing your work is inspiring!
    Lauren L.

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