Cross Stitch Update and NEW STICH ALONG!!

I did a bit of a thing.  I broke the bank and bought this Blackbird Design book that is out of print and was WAY overpriced.  I’ve been wanting this book for a long time.  I’ve put myself on alerts through eBay and watched as bidding for the book has soared to well over $100.  I watched the book for well over a year hoping against hope that at one point the book would come into a price range that I could remotely justify.  It really hasn’t happened.

I have a love-hate relationship with eBay.  Several times I thought I had the book at $60 only at the last minute for someone to outbid me with the prices again flying over $100.

The book came up for sale one day.  They were asked $69 with shipping included.  The top end that I thought I would spend was $60.  I had waited for a long time and just couldn’t find it for that price…$69 was about as close as I was going to get…so I decided to just buy it.

My justification is that there are several patterns that I want to stitch in the book.  If I stitch 6 of them, that’s about equivalent to paying $12 a chart, and often that’s about the going price of charts.  Besides, once I’m done using the book, I could resell it.  I’ll likely get the same price for it…and Kelli wants to stitch a few of them and I’m going to loan her the book.  Considering all of that, it’s not such a high price.

I wish the publisher would just reprint books like these.  Think of the money they could make if they would just reprint??!!

This is the book I ended up buying…A Fine Collection by Blackbird Designs. 
The book has pieces designed to stitch for each month although in general, they are more seasonal than monthly…and some are just cute and I’d love to stitch.

Here are a few of my favorites…


I’d skip the heart button on this one…

This one is supposed to be for February…

This is the one that started my hunt for this book…I just loved the bird with the strawberries.  I plan to stitch this one and have it done for the summer.


I liked these as well. The bird with the watermelon especially caught my eye…another I’d like to have stitched for next summer.


I recently saw someone finish this one and I’d love to stitch it too.


This one is the cover piece and I really like it.  This one is a favorite of Kelli’s.

I think I’d likely stitch this squirrel too.


So all in all, there were quite a few I liked.  I’m happy I just bought it.

I am still on the hunt for these two charts.  Both are out of print and both are high-priced on the secondary market.

This is Blackbird Designs Birds of a Feather,


This is Birds of a Feather Sally Spencer.


If I could find or borrow either of these charts, I’d drop everything and stitch these only until they were finished.  I just love them.  Fingers crossed they will come my way someday.

Now onto my stitching…

Here is where I last was on my Come to the Garden project by Teresa Kogut.  I am stitching this on 40-count Vellum by Picture this Plus with the called-for colors.  Here is where I was last week.

You might remember that I had a goal to get the rest of the border finished.  I thought that was a pretty ambitious goal, but…I did it!!

I also asked your advice on whether I should leave the blue in the piece.  I think I will.  So many of you said to keep it.

There is that finished border.  WHOOT! WHOOT!!


I am happy with how it’s coming along.


Here is where I finished for the week.  This week the goal is to finish the two flower pots at the bottom that I started.  Again, that’s a pretty ambitious goal but I really want to see progress.  I think I can do it though.  I’ll just keep plugging along.


Besides the border this week I stitched the two birds and started on the flower pot.  That’s a HUGE flower that takes up much of the bottom right corner.

All in all, I’m happy with how this is coming along.

The other piece I worked a little on was the Autumn Alphabet by The Scarlett House.  I am stitching this on a piece of 40-count Heartland by Picture this Plus.  Here is where I was last week.

I didn’t get a lot more done on this.  Honestly, I’m losing steam on fall stitching.  I can’t decide if I should just put this away for now and pick it up next September of plug along and finish it.

I think I’ll keep it out for this week and see what happens- then make a decision about it next week.

I hate not finishing and leaving WIPS but I also don’t want to be stitching on something that I am currently not excited about.  I still love the piece and want to stitch it but…fall is fading and I’m wanting to stitch something else.  Tell me what would you do?  Finish it or move on?

GOOD NEWS…I’m so excited.  Liz at The Stitchery Nook got things together and this will be the year-long stitch-along that I’ll be hosting here on the blog for 2023.  This is Black Dog Sampler from The Scarlett House.

The piece is 197 x 143 stitches.  For me on 40-count linen that would be 10 x 7ish.  If you were stitching on 32 count it would be 12 1/4 x 9ish.  It’s not huge.

The plan is to divide it up into something like this…We’d do one section each quarter of the year with the hope to finish in December of 2023.  Feel free to divide the piece up however it works for you.  I know me and I’ll likely not follow my own suggestion and stitch the border first.


I have some ideas for those of you who might want to stitch your own dog on the piece and I’ll share them with you as we stitch along.  I’m excited as this is going to be my dog Izzy on this one!!

Liz has everything together for pre-order.  You can pre-order now on her site.  HERE is the link.  Orders will not be mailed out until the second week of December.  That gives you plenty of time to look it over and be ready for the start date on January 1st.

The chart calls for Glorianna silk but it’s hard to get.  Liz ended up doing a conversion and is using Needlepoint Inc silk instead.  I’m really excited about that as I haven’t stitched with Needlepoint Inc silk.  I love trying new things!!  Of course, you can do the DMC option instead.  I am sure it will be just as lovely.

You will get something like this to pop up when you follow the link to order.  Push the arrow button and the drop-down menu from there will show.  You click on the items you want.  You only need one type of fabric, the pattern, and one type of floss.  You are welcome to order whatever components you want.  If you already have the pattern, of course, you won’t need it.  Just get the items you need.


If someone in your life needs a gift idea for you for the holidays, feel free to have them simply call the shop.  Liz and Sherri will happily help them place an order for the kit for you.  You can find their shop info HERE.

I think a cross-stitch kit would be a great idea as a gift!!

I hope many of you will join in on the fun.  I think it will be a great stitch.  You can divide things out to do one motif a week or however you’d like.  I think it’s a totally do-able sampler even for newbies.

That’s all that’s interesting in the cross-stitch department around here.  Feel free to share what you’re working on.  I love reading about your cross stitch too.

17 thoughts on “Cross Stitch Update and NEW STICH ALONG!!

  1. Nance in Reno

    You’re 2/3s the way through the alphabet. I’d probably finish the last eight letters before putting it away.

    Reply
  2. Kate

    I like the progress you are making on the Come to the Garden. It will be so pretty when finished. I’m glad you splurged with getting the book. You will use it for several and if Kellie likes any, she will undoubtedly use it too.

    Reply
  3. Joy in NW iowa

    Love your new book! You are making such good progress on your ‘come to the garden’ piece. I just love it!
    It’s another gray day….but I’m going to my favorite quilt store with friends. Then out for lunch!! Woohoo!
    Have a good one!

    Reply
  4. Slly

    I would put the piece away as it is. When you pull it out next fall it will be a “quick finish” piece. Those always seem to be so rewarding! So instead of drudging through and finishing it now, let it become one you look forward to starting again next fall.

    Reply
  5. Lori

    Wow! that is a great book, the designs have such simple charm.

    So, if a book is out of print and you cannot get it anywhere, what are the copyright laws? Can you copy patterns out of the book then?

    Reply
    1. Linda H

      As a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years.

      Reply
  6. Sherrill

    Ooo, I used to have that book but no clue if it’s still around! I don’t recall all the cute stitcheries in it. I’ll have to hunt around and see if it’s maybe still here somewhere. Love the way your garden stitchery’s coming–SO PRETTY!

    Reply
  7. DebMac

    The price you paid isn’t horribly out of line. Expensive but so many, many charts to stitch. Not that I’ve stitched them yet as I keep getting sidetracked. I’ve been waiting on fabric for Sally Spencer for almost a year that I’ve already paid for. That is one I hoped to have done in 2022. Maybe in 2023… Enjoy your book.

    Reply
  8. Linnea

    Look at you go on Come to the Garden! It is so pretty and I love the border on it. I just purchased the Black Dog Sampler and it arrived yesterday in my mailbox. All I need is the fabric and floss! I think I may look and see if I have colors in my stash and just order those I am lacking. I like to stitch using all floss same content (all silk or all cotton) and I have silks from Sublime Stitches. I’m hoping I have them all and I’ll just make a note on my working copy of the conversion I make. That will be a first for me. This will be my 4th SAL with you, Jo!

    Reply
  9. Donna Pheneger

    I’m glad you finally were able to get the book you wanted. Yes, it did seem expensive but since you’re going to be doing several of the patterns – so worth it!
    I do have a question about your Come to the Garden – you said one of your daughters redid the bottom for you – did she have a special computer program or did she find a website for that purpose? I have a pattern I’d like to reword also.
    Love and prayers

    Reply
  10. Faye

    I placed my preordered the Black Dog Sampler for the stitch alone. I am looking forward to participating in the stitch along.
    I loved seeing the projects in your new book!

    Reply
  11. Toni W.

    I did the same thing with A Fine Collection. $50 was my limit, but I ended up getting it for $57.50. I had to look back in my purchase history to find the details – it was in 2020! I thought it was just last year. Time flies! I love the chart for the new SAL, but I’m on a self-imposed stash spending freeze for the rest of the year. I’m doing my best to stay on it. 12 days down so far…49 to go!! LOL!!

    Reply
  12. Carolyn

    I am thinking of joining in on the stitch along. I am trying to not do with cross stitch what I have done with quilting and have too many unfinished projects going at once, but I have three black dogs, so when I saw the name of the chart I thought I should join you.

    Reply
  13. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Awesome job getting the border finished on Come to the Garden! That four-leaves/three-leaves is hard to maintain, isn’t it? I remember you missed a leaf in a couple of the motifs on the bottom border, so, of course, I had to count them again!! The second flower from the top has 3/3 on the leaves, just in case you want them to all be the same. Doing a fix like this on cross-stitching seems to be much easier than fixing an oops on a pieced quilt!! Love seeing your cross-stitch pieces and the joy they bring you!

    Reply
    1. Susan the Farm Quilter

      Well, I went back and counted again and I was the one that missed the flip from the bottom half of the design to the top half of the design. I’mm shut up now!

      Reply

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