Cross Stitching Update

I’ve turned into a convert for sure.  I am committed to cross stitching for sure.  I still love quilting and will continue to quilt but cross stitching really has found its way back into my heart.

I did a lot of cross stitch back in the late 80’s when Kelli and Kayla were little and even into the early 90’s.  It was something I could do as a mom in the living room while the kids played around me.  Back then I was an aida cloth stitcher.

Then in the mid 90’s  I moved on to making LOTS of dolls, rabbits and the like.  I even did shows and sold them.  I had a sales rep that went around and got orders.

Then I went to quilting full force….Cross stitch lost its way.  I had an active life running around now FIVE kids. I didn’t have time to stitch.

Then in November of 2013, Kelli, Kayla and I went to Spring Green, Wisconsin and visited Country Sampler.  Oh my.  They had AMAZING quilts but they also had cross stitch.  I was in love again.  I ended up buying this chart and all the supplies to make it.

countrysampler-last
I went home and tried.  UGH.  It was hard.  My old eyes weren’t having it.  I was so bummed.  It sat in a drawer.  I didn’t touch it again.  I figured that chapter in my life was over.

Then in November of 2016, I saw this…

B51 Gratitude Turns What We Have into Enough Inspiration Boxer
I was bound and determined to stitch it.  Kelli and I traveled to Osage, Iowa to  The Stitchery Nook.  The ladies there were super helpful and talked to me about lights and magnifiers.  I felt hopeful.  I think I wouldn’t have had any problem if I stitched on aida cloth but I really wanted to stitch on linen.

So still feeling hopeful, Kelli and I ended up deciding on this light for me.   Here is the LINK.


I went home and it worked.  At first I was really slow but I didn’t care.  I was stitching.  That’s all that mattered.  I had to use the magnifier all the time.

I didn’t cross stitch a lot but some.  I enjoyed it when I did.

Then last year when Kramer got diagnosed with cancer, I needed a portable hobby to take with to all the appointments and hospital stays.  Cross stitch moved front and center.  I as so thankful to have it.

By now my eyes were used to it.  I could cross stitch without the light and magnifier.   I’m not as fast in hospital light but I can do it without much trouble.

Well now I’m cross stitching regularly.  The trouble I’m having now is deciding what to stitch.  It’s March and the cross stitch designers are coming out with all of their new designs.  Kelli and I both decided that we are going to each buy a couple patterns from our joint account.

I am in love with these samplers…..The problem?  The are all on 40 count linen.  That is small.  For those of you who don’t know about cross stitch, linen comes in different “thread counts”.  That means how many threads are woven in an inch.  28 count is common.  That means for every inch there are 28 threads.  30 and 32 count are popular too.  40 count is a more challenging.  That means there are 40 threads woven across every inch of fabric.  When a person makes a stitch, they go over 2 of those threads.  That means at 28 count, there are 14 stitches in an inch.  At 40 count, there are 20 stitches in one inch.  That is a big difference.

It is harder to see as the threads are closer together.  Can I do it?  Can I commit to a project so big.  It will take for forever.

TERESA KOGUT Newcastle Bouquet Creative Whims image 0
…and besides that, which one would I choose?  I love the one above.  Isn’t the border marvelous?

…and the one below.  I love that is says, “Pet all the dogs”.  Oh my.
TERESA KOGUT Pet All The Dogs Creative Whims image 0
…and I love this one too.  It says “Let Heaven and Nature Sing”.  It’s obviously Christmasy…but not terribly.  Oh I love them.

TERESA KOGUT Heaven & Nature Creative Whims image 0
But this…I love it too.  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

I am putting the link to the video in.  The part about this sampler is at the end so you’ll have to fast forward to see it…but it’s amazing.

Can I do a project that is this in depth?  Can I stick to it?  I just don’t know.  I feel like I want to try but I can’t decide which one and I can’t decide if my eyes can do it.

I had an idea….I dug through my patterns.  I thought I had a small project that was supposed to be stitched on 40 count linen.


I ended up ordering some 40 count linen and decided to give it a try….and, I can do it.  I’m slower but I can do it.  I’m confident I’ll be able to speed up as my eyes get used to it.  This is also the first time I stitched with a single thread over two threads in the cloth.

I feel like all of these are a bit of a stretch for me and my abilities but I’ve come a LONG way in the last year.

Of course I could always stitch the samplers on a different thread count of linen but I do like the idea of doing it like the original.  The first three samplers I showed you are not that big so getting linen that is a different count, say 32, wouldn’t change the size into a monstrous size.

I guess first I want to get the pattern and then I’ll decided after looking on the pattern what size I’ll stitch it on.  So friends, which pattern would you buy?  Or would you buy something completely different?  Here is a link to Needle Case Goodies.  The first 10 pages or so of her site is new Market release things.  There are so many things to choose from….so many.  Are there any projects that would entice you to pick up cross stitch?

 

26 thoughts on “Cross Stitching Update

  1. Karen Stewart

    The Lizzie Kate “Gratitude” got me back into cross stitch. Like you, I hadn’t done any since the early 90’s, and then only on aida. Then I saw one of your posts that showed this sampler done. I looked for the pattern on-line and found it at Sassy Jack’s. I’m slow, but loving it! Thank you for inspiring me to try cross stitch again!

  2. Donna

    I’ve been cross stitching for several years now. I really admire the samplers and the work that goes into them but they’re not to my taste. Maybe it’s the linen…never had any luck with it.
    Good luck with them…they’re beautiful!
    Love and prayers

  3. Connie

    I love stitching on linen. And one over one designs are some of my favorites. You will not get the instant gratification working on a larger piece as you do on a smaller piece, but you will certainly be proud of your larger piece when it’s finished. Remember, take a large piece just “a bite at a time”. I like pieces with smaller motifs in them, so I can start and finish a motif or two in one evening- don’t worry, you’ll see your progress and be proud of it!

  4. lisa boush

    I too have found that I love samplers however I stitch them on 14 Aida! And they aren’t huge and come out just beautiful! There are so many lovely colors of Aida cloth these days! So I would encourage people to convert to Aida if you can see it better. It’s all about Happy stitching

  5. Roxanne

    I watched the video and it is amazing. Doing it in sections like she shows makes the whole big stitch sampler idea look much more enjoyable. Her Etsy shop is closed right now but I look forward to checking it out VERY soon.
    I haven’t gone back to cross stitch—partly don’t want to take away from quilting time and since I do some hand piecing while watching TV I already have that time covered and love doing that. Also still have several Prairie Schooler charts I adore and think doing even one of those first before spending more money would be a good idea. Maybe I’ll do like you do and kit one up and see what happens.
    Thanks for the intro to Teresa Kogut. Loved loved that first chart. Wow!

  6. Carla

    So many cute patterns! I love the ones featuring bees! And the “sea hag” is a “mermaid before coffee” slays me!

  7. Elle

    My preference is Lilies of the Field. It would be beautiful framed and the wall where you can see it regularly!

    I love all the cross stitch around our home :-) So much better than purchased crap!

  8. Judith Fairchild

    I don’t think I could handle 40 count linen stitching. My eyes are quite a bit older than yours.

  9. Gwen

    I love to cross stitch on linen and I like the single thread look much better than the old 3-strand on aida. All of the projects look like they would be quite a commitment but would look awesome when finished! When my husband had cancer, I dug out a cross stitch kit that I had packed away 15 years ago (Psalm 23). I took it with to all appointments thinking it would be easy because it was mostly words, boy was I wrong! I love how it turned out. Cross stitching is very relaxing for me.

  10. Laurie Williams

    Wow! Just wow! I loved Consider the Lilies! What a beautiful piece of stitchery. Thanks for including the video so we can experience new things. It definitely changes your appreciation and perspective.

  11. Marlene Clausen

    Have hand embroidered since I was a little girl (I’m 70); but, gave counted cross stitch a try in the late 80’s. Of course, I LOVED it!! I bought a special lamp, a glider rocker, and I was set. At that time I was not a quilter. I set it aside when both my chair and light were damaged beyond repair in a long-distance move. Eventually, hand quilting grabbed me and I had never given up embroidery. I, too, have always wanted to move from Aida cloth to linen. Lately, I have been looking for a good light that will work for all my hand sewing. When I find one that works for me, I will be ordering linen and giving it a shot.

  12. Chris

    I liked the Blue Birds and Bee Different on the link. I have never stitched on linen, I don’t know if I ever will. I personally say to do what makes you happy. More likely to finish it and love it if you do.

  13. Kathy Wilson

    Hi Jo! I have cross stitched in the past. It’s been awhile tho. I like the Christmas one. You could remove the stars and and balls from the trees to make it a year round sampler. They’re all beautiful!

  14. Martha Cummins

    I have been cross stitching for 32 years. I too was a quilter, but when I went back to work I wanted something I could do during my lunch hour. My supervisor taught me how to cross stitch. I immediately fell in love with it. I have only done one 18 count piece and two 16 count pieces. The rest are done on 14 count Aida and 28 count Jobelan over two threads. I just finished number 82. Most of the pictures are hanging in my home. Twenty-five pieces were gifts. If you are having trouble with doing small stitches, you can convert most cross stitch patterns to any count size you fabric you want to stitch on. You don’t have to stitch on linen if you are uncomfortable. There are lots of different even weaves to choose from.

    Happy Stitching

  15. Jean Wad

    Like you, I’ve recently come back to cross stitching. I love linen, but have some trouble seeing it. Good light and magnification help. When you change the colors of your projects, who is it that you go to? You tell us you do it, but I’ve never gotten the connection to whose colors you tend to like better. I did go to a website you recommended, though, and got away with only ordering three things (the seasonal alphabets) — -not too bad. Also, would appreciate any suggestions as to what to do with finished pieces. A person can only use so many framed pieces — running out of wall space.

  16. Mari Keenen

    I restarted cross stitch last summer. I hadn’t stitched since the early 90s too. Seems there are a lot of us out here.

    I have gone crazy and probably already have more charts that I can complete along with quilting, crochet, work and grandkids, but I plan to keep trying :)

  17. Jo Dempsey

    I second the magnification glasses, they have made a world of difference! You could also consider 20 count aida in place of the 40 count linen. There are so many dyers that dye aida along with linen now. 123stitch.com has fabric calculators for both linen and aida. Just input the #of stitches by width and height add in your margin and it calculates the size of fabric you need. I use it for every project! The size wouldn’t be much different in that size aida and the holes would be easier to see!

  18. Joni

    Love this designer! Thank you for the wonderful intro. I would tackle the Heaven and Nature one first or Pet All the Dogs. I love the idea of keeping a pictorial diary of your stitching progress. I love the idea of linen, I’m just a bit chicken to try it! I’m your age, so better jump in now.

  19. Maureen Sorenson

    Hello to all of you cross stitches. I have been designing original cross-stitch patterns for 43 years and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. It’s the love of my life; it is what makes me smile every day; it’s what allows me to endure every day; and it the best stress reliever ever. I am happiest when I have a threaded needle in my hand. I absolutely love providing you with hours of stitching enjoyment.

    My best to all of you out there.
    Maureen Appleton-Sorensom

  20. Jackie Trembley

    Hi Jo, I purchased the Plum Street Sampler’s “Shepherd’s Song” and I cant wait for it to arrive! All the samplers you picked are so nice – my favorite of those was “Pet all the dogs“.

  21. Beth T.

    Newcastle Bouquet is amazing…and I love the sentiment of Pet all the Dogs, so already I am torn. I stopped doing cross-stitch in 2003, when we had a litter of puppies and kept four of them. Too much going on, too many little ones interested in thread (and, potentially, needles). By the time they had stopped being naughty, all my time was devoted to quilting. But it is a huge joy now to see you stitching. Your little Rosie is being quite the good girl to snuggle up with you while you work. Whichever project you choose, I know I’ll enjoy watching your stitching journey.

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