Cross Stitch Update

Oops. This was supposed to publish on Friday morning but it didn’t. Thankfully a blog reader asked me why there was no Cross Stitch Update. It was a scheduling mix-up. I am putting it in today so you don’t miss what I was up to. Here’s the post…

Memorial Day weekend happened since my last update. I did have a little extra time away from people and for me, that means more stitching or quilting time or gardening time. I took advantage and did some of all of it! Later in the week I had grandkids here and then I had ZERO stitching so it all balanced out.

I’m writing this on Thursday night at 9:30 pm. I have grandkids staying overnight and it’s past their bedtime. I didn’t take the time to iron the cross-stitch pieces…Sorry. I’m sure you understand. Onto the report.

I finished my Black Dog Sampler from The Scarlett House. I started this as my New Year New Start. Several of you stitched along with me. My original intention was to stitch a section each quarter. Well…this last month or so I’ve been on a push to finish anything that might go quickly. This was on that list so I decided to just stitch it and finish it.

Hopefully, that won’t be a disappointment to any of you.

I opted to change up some of the yellow. In some places I used the conversion but other times, for this yellow, I used Needle Point Inc silk in the color #474. I just wanted the piece to be a little “warmer”. The original yellow is what my daughter Kelli calls poison yellow.

I stitched mine on 40 count Dirty Tea Cup from Needle and Flax Linen. I very much liked the linen. Happily, I stitched this on a fat quarter and have enough to stitch another piece on it.

I looked and looked through my stash for frames from the thrift store and just didn’t have anything that I was happy with. I ended up taking it to the local framer and we picked out a frame for it. It is something she had on hand. It will be a couple of weeks before this one is done as the gal that does the lacing will be out of town for a bit.

I am so happy to have this one finished. I’m still working on not having too many UFOs…but then the first of June rolls around and there are more things to start…right?? I put away all of the threads for Black Dog Sampler. Then I pulled out these two and got them ready to start stitching. For me, that means labeling and putting the threads into Floss Away bags. I’m a gal that bags everything up. I started that way and honestly, I like this method a lot.

I ended up starting the Snip, Snip chart first. These are really going to stitch up fast.

Not too long ago I bought a Nurge Embroidery Hoop. I had heard two different Flosstubers talk about them. I think it was Mischievous Stitcher and Antique Needleworkers. I thought I would give them a try.

I just order the smallest one first to test them out. It’s only 3 47/64″ x 4 21/64. I stitch with a hoop and prefer a hoop. I think it’s because I started out embroidering first when I was a teenager and I think it just feels natural. I also like the surface of the linen laid out before me. I feel like I see the holes better. Keep in mind, 99% of the time I’m stitching on a tightly woven linen with small holes. It’s what I like.

I wanted this hoop so I could stitch in the corner more easily. With a circle hoop, it can be a little challenging to get right up tight into where I want to stitch…especially borders. I ordered the smallest-sized hoop with the intention of stitching the corners of borders using it and then switching to my favorite Morgan hoop as I stitch the rest of the border.

It turns out the linen for the Snip, Snip piece is narrow…and again, I wanted to use a hoop so…I grabbed this little Nurge Hoop and gave it a try. Hmm…

I love it. The hoop is especially perfect for this project. The linen fits perfectly with it. I very much enjoyed this hoop.

I think I’ll like it for other projects too. I ended up liking it so much that I ordered the size up from this one and hopefully it will be here next week for me to give it a try. If you are interested in the Nurge Hoops, you can find them HERE. I’ll try out the size up and let you know what I think. I don’t ever plan on going the size up…the small and extra small are the only sizes I’ll use. I really don’t like a much bigger hoop.

Here is where I ended the week on stitching Snip, Snip. If I keep going I will have these stitched in no time. I only stitched one evening and then one afternoon when I was sitting with one of the grandkids to get them to sleep.

I am LOVING this stitch. I’m actually super excited about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if I finish this one next week. I had trouble putting it down. I can’t believe I am already over half way done. After this one, I plan to start the next one, Itch to Stitch.

There is still time to join the stitch along. You can order the supplies HERE. If you only ordered one of the charts and want to stitch the other one too, you can also do that.

As I said June 1st kicked off a few things besides our stitch along. I’m also doing Summer Stitch Camp with the Colorado Cross Stitcher. For that, we were supposed to stitch something with a bird. I debated for the LONGEST time on what to stitch. Pretty much 75% of the charts I have include some type of bird. I could stitch virtually anything. I didn’t think I wanted something too big…I didn’t think I wanted something too small and it wouldn’t be a challenge. I thought about something patriotic because I have ZERO patriotic pieces stitched and I have several options that include a bird. Oh, my word…too many choices.

I finally settled on (I’ve typed a chart name in here several times and deleted it.) The final choice is…Threadwork Primitive’s Patriotic Rose. It’s a small stitch. I didn’t have a few of the threads and subbed in something I had. I didn’t make a single stitch in it. My son Buck’s kiddos came yesterday and will be here for the weekend so little to no stitching is going to happen.

I plan to start it this week. I might just stitch it until I’m done. I’m not super hooked on any of the projects I’m working on currently so stitching until I’m finished might be kind of fun.

I told myself if I finished the Black Dog sampler by the end of May I could start a new project on June 1st, I accomplished the goal so I had the option to start something new. I was so excited. I ended up not starting anything new besides the stitch alongs. I was a little disappointed with myself but hey…I still have it in my head that I want to keep working on my UFOs.

So…in light of that, most of my time went into Birds of a Feather by Blackbird Designs. This is where I was last week.

I am stitching this on 40-count Doubloon by Picture This Plus. This piece is actually much smaller than I anticipated. I am using the called for DMC. I didn’t want to pay the money for the silks. I love stitching with them but not enough to stitch this project with them. Plus this is an older chart and dye lots changed. I didn’t want to be frustrated with colors after I had spent the money on silks.

Here is where I am now….

So far it is going absolutely terribly. In fact so bad that I’ve ripped out much of the border TWICE and it’s still not lining up. UGH> I was so frustrated that I set it aside and left it for a few days. It’s hard to stitch on something three separate nights and really make ZERO progress on it.

My daughter Kelli is coming home today. She’s also a cross stitcher. I’m going to hand this to her and see if she can figure out where the mistake is.

In light of that, I set the whole thing aside and stitched on Pet All the Dogs by Teresa Kogut. I’m stitching this on Seraphim’s color Boston in 40 count. I started stitching the outer border on this one. So far, so good but It’s not matched up-I’m trying to be optimistic. Happily, this one would be easier to fuge should it not match. UGH…what is it with me and not matching borders lately.

I’m thinking I would like to get this one into a good spot and take it with me when I go to a retreat in July. There is a lot of fill-in and repetitive work so it’s a good candidate to take to a retreat. In the meantime, I need to get some of the bones in place.

I am telling myself, once I get one of these pieces stitched, I can start a new project beyond Stitch Camp and beyond our stitch-along. Like a big project…like something I have kitted up that I’ve been dying to stitch. Something that is calling my name. Something that I’ll likely take a year to stitch. I can start something new…right?! Can you tell I’m trying to get the gumption up to start a new project? Oddly, I don’t like starting new projects.

I hate putting in the first new stitches. There are so many decisions to make. Where should I start the project, the upper left, the middle, the bottom? Are the colors and the linen working together? Should I make a plan for the project like stitch the border first? Should I do a motif each week…

Then beyond that, the first stitches are always the hardest. Every hole has to be counted. Every stitch needs to be placed correctly. Once the foundation stitches are in, my eye can more easily see where the needle needs to go.

UGH. I don’t like starting new projects.

The New Hampshire Stitcher on Flosstube has just announced in her latest video that she is hosting a stitch along starting in September I believe. She is encouraging others to start a BIG project they’ve been wanting to start but haven’t. Hmm. That has me thinking.

Who knows what I’ll do or where I’ll go in my stitching? Whatever I end up picking up I hope it goes more smoothly than my Birds of a Feather project did this week. Fingers crossed I can get the borders figured out…or fudged it. Right now, I’m super frustrated with it.

What are you stitching on? I’m hoping you are having better luck than I am.

19 thoughts on “Cross Stitch Update”

  1. Thanks for posting this. I didn’t know if I just wasn’t able to find it or something had happened to you. I bet I took out as many stitches as I put in. I don’t know why, because everything else I was stitching was fine and it was a straight forward chart. I guess everyone has something that is a struggle sometime.

  2. I used to cross stitch a long time ago and just picked it back up recently. I did a wedding one with names, date and two rings. It was fairly simple. I did it on 14 count. Then I did them a Christmas ornament with their names and wedding date using 18 count. It was a struggle. I ripped out a little, but I got it finished. I thought of you doing 40 count. Now I want to get back to sewing lol.

  3. Just giving you a heads up… The post prior to this is black background with white letters and not readable. I’m using Chrome on an Android cell phone. This post is readable so I don’t think it is my phone. I know you were having blog problems.

  4. How fun that you completed another! I like the Snips one and it looks good. I always enjoy seeing your projects. Thank you for posting.

  5. Stephani in N. TX

    I just ordered new patterns to return to XS, thanks to you and Judy L. I ordered Snip, Snip and one other of her patterns, but really wanted the Itch to Stitch, just couldn’t think of the name. I’ll have to put that on a “want list.” I have the feeling of going down a rabbit hole. Thanks to you and Judy, it should be a soft landing.

  6. Donna Pheneger

    I understand your frustration with your cross stitch project, Birds of a Feather. I have similar frustration with a sampler that I’ve been working on for almost a year. I bring it out, do some stitching and then all of a sudden, it seems all my stitches are wrong. The rate I’m going with it, my grand daughter will finish it! LOL
    Thanks for the heads up about the New Hampshire stitcher. I enjoy seeing her projects and might start the SAL.
    Love and prayers

  7. I know what you mean about starting a new project. I love bringing together the chart and thread and linen but when it comes to the first stitch, it’s a lot of pressure to get it right. For now, my worst start has been Nature by Teresa Kogut. First linen was too tight, second too loose, but…wait for it…yes, the third one is just right and I love it all over again. Thinking I should audition on a motif to confirm my choices and then commit to ‘the bones’ as you put it. So much to learn…but so much fun.


    I agree Jo, starting a new project is hard! I watch the Flosstubers that get excited about and start many projects at a time. I can’t imagine. I too stress over how much margin to leave and where to start! I can’t wait until I get it going and seeing the progress.

  9. I love your cross stitch updates Jo. I worked on Live on Little pretty exclusively up until May. I just have about half of the bottom water section left to go. But I wanted to work on some Patriotic so I put it away for a while. I am off by 1….yes 1 thread. It isn’t obvious, I have found my mistake and it wouldn’t require a ton of frogging to fix it, but I just don’t think I’m going to. I just want the piece done. I love it but want to do move on to another one. My next big one is Pet All the Dogs. I feel the same about starting new projects.

  10. Sometimes I do the ‘inners’ and make myself wait to do the border — for just that reason. It’s usually SO tempting to work on the border and ……………. well, you know. Enjoy the process as they say!

  11. Marlene Clausen

    Ohhhh!! I LOVE Patriotic Rose. It is a tiny project. I just looked it up online. I hand embroidery and taught myself counted cross stitch years ago. I’ve only done it on Aida Cloth; but, have always wanted to try to do it on linen. Hopefully, one of the local embroidery shop will be able to help me w/the linen and thread and, if I’m lucky, will have the pattern.

  12. I would love to know what your most used sewing notion is. When I went to read more, there was just a bunch of nonsense that came up.

  13. You are a stitching whirlwind, Jo!!
    I am taking a break from a Paula Vaughn pattern that is 80% completed and stitching up some old small Prairie Schooler charts – at the moment I need something simple and quick finishes. So far I have enough done to make 6 pillow-type ornaments or little pillows to put in a bowl. I am looking for a new project to start though… wouldn’t want to miss out on a new stitching adventure! :) I’m also working on layering a flimsy with batting and backing to machine quilt and the same for a wall hanging. I just pieced the outside of a small zippered bag to work on too… my problem is there are so many other things that “need” to be done!

  14. Evelyn Norvelle

    I skipped down to this post so that I could get to the comment section. The “kitting up” and the previous post are both computer code. I get my posts in an email. I also tried going directly to your website. I read your posts on my Samsung telephone. Hope this helps solve the mystery.

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