New Year New Start??

A lot of cross-stitchers do new starts on special days like birthdays and holidays or anniversaries.  I like the idea but with my birthday, Christmas, and New Year all in a space of two weeks’ time, I am not going to make three new starts.

I am just going to make one new start…a New Year start.  Last year I started my Anniversaries of the Heart and finished that in November.  Whatever I start on New Year’s day, I’m committing to finishing before the next new year.  So it’s hard to make a decision as I have so many things I’d love to start.

I thought I’d show you a few of the charts I have and maybe you could help me figure out which I want to stitch the most.

Ever since finishing Anniversaries of the Heart, I’ve gotten so I somehow like the pieces I stitch to meaningful to my family.  I’d rather stitch something that might someday be an heirloom vs something to sit out at a holiday or get passed on to Goodwill.

Here are some projects I have thought about and wondered if I should kit up for my New Year, New Start.

This is Barbara Ana Designs Love Never Fails.  I would stitch this Kramer and I.  I’d put our anniversary in the spot where it says 1853.

I’ve liked this one for a long time…

There is also Teresa Kogut’s Faith Hope Peace Love.  I even made the tiniest of starts of this.  I had trouble with the white showing on my fabric but think I have a way to work around that.


I bought this immediately when the chart came out.  I loved it.

This is the piece I am leaning towards… the most.  This is a Barbara Ana Design, All Creatures Great and Small.  I have loved this.  I bought it before I had any idea I could even stitch on 40 count linen.  It was my goal to someday be able to stitch.  I made a tiny start on it but not so much I wouldn’t call it a new start.


Here is a closer picture of it…

Several other cross stitchers have just finished this and so many have whined a little about it.  There is a lot of stitching in it.  Their whining makes me nervous.

This is a Teresa Kogut piece called Pet All the Dogs.  I loved this one when it came out and immediately bought the chart too.  I have loved having the big house on the Heaven and Nature piece that I am currently stitching on to act as a fill-in piece.  I take it with me when I am going to the doctor’s office or stitch on it when I don’t have to concentrate on what I’m stitching.  This would be a good fill-in piece.

I was given a gift certificate and bought the For the Birds charts.  There are nine of these.  I planned to stitch one each month putting all the charts onto one big piece as I did for Anniversaries of the Heart.  Each block would represent a grandchild.


This one is also high on my list to want to start.  This is Little Birds by Blackbird Designs.  This one is really big.  It would be the biggest piece I’ve stitched.


See the area where my finger is.  I think I would move the stars and butterflies a bit and then put the initials and maybe the birth year of our five kids.  I think I could do that easy enough and it would be a family sampler.


A kind blog reader sent this chart, A Saviour’s Praise by Shakespeare’s Peddler.  It uses Anchor floss and it is now available to JoAnns on a spool vs in a skein.  I’ve tried three JoAnn’s in my area and none have the floss on a spool.  I did find out that the Cedar Rapids store has it so I think next time I visit Buck I will get the floss.  I was going to buy it online but discovered you have to buy two spools of each color as the minimum.  UGH.


So..this one I don’t think I could have the floss in time to stitch.

I bought this kit and it’s my birthday gift to myself.  I love it.  I’ve never stitched on black so am a little nervous.  The second I saw it, I knew I wanted it.  I’d keep it out all year even though it’s Christmasy.  There are several places I have for simple fill-in stitching with this one.


This is a Blackbird Design project called We Live in Hope.  I want to personalize this one for my grandparents who came from Sweden.  I’ll change some words and things around to personalize it for them…but might include Kramers grandparents who came from Germany too.  I love that they all set out in a boat, heading across the ocean for something they thought might be better.  I love the words, “we live in hope”.


This is also a Blackbird Design that I’d love to stitch called Oh Joyous Day.
This I might change to be a birth sampler for myself.

I’ve already decided that I am going to stitch this soon…I don’t know quite when but this one is kitted and ready to go.  If it’s kitted, that means I’m serious.  This one is small and shouldn’t take long.  I really want to stitch it though.  It describes perfectly how I feel about myself.


Last up, I’ve made the decision to start this as a Sunday stitch.  It’s The Apostle’s Creed by Heartstring Samplery.  I really like it and it’s very fitting for my house.  I won’t start it until the new year though.  Then every Sunday, I’ll pick it up and stitch on it.  That makes for slow stitching but I like the idea.

I did a big push to finish Anniversaries of the Heart and am now doing the same for Heaven and Nature.  I’ve put aside stitching a Blackbird Design the first weekend each month.  I hope to go back to that in the new year but I’m unsure of which one to stitch.

If I’m going to have linen and floss to start one of these, I need to make a decision on which one soon.  Any suggestions??  I’d love to hear your input.

45 thoughts on “New Year New Start??

  1. Sherry Bobak

    I vote for Love Never Fails. I’m very sentimental when it comes to love and it sounds like you and Kramer had a really great marriage.

    Reply
  2. Kate

    So many good ones to choose from. I like This Happy Morning and Good Intentions. They are more different from the ones who recently finished – well, in my unexperienced opinion. I know whichever you choose, it will end up beautiful. Happy Birthday!

    Reply
  3. Carrie

    I love several of them that you mentioned but I think you should start either Love Never Fails or This Happy Morning because they are totally different than what you just finished this year. Good Luck in making your decision and Happy Stitching!

    Reply
  4. Jackie Trembley

    Hi Jo! I like the idea of stitching the For the Birds series for your grandchildren. Just my humble opinion, If you could only finish one more project, it seems to me the most important to your family would be the Anniversaries and For the Birds pieces as they represent all the kids, grandkids, and grandparents. The other pieces would be nice to finish if you are blessed to be able to finish more than one more project. Whatever you decide to start, I know your family will cherish it!

    Reply
    1. Samantha M

      I agree with Jackie, my choice would be For the Birds too. It’s such a lovely idea to do a chart for each grandchild, all together in one sampler.

      Reply
  5. Ginny Clyne

    I love the one Love never fails for you and Kramer. I wish I could do these but between the eyesight and the arthritis quilting is about all I can manage

    Reply
  6. Elle

    I don’t think the big one is more work than the recent finish of monthly motifs.

    You want to do them ALL! I would number each one. Put a numbered pieces of folded paper in a bowl and pull one at a time out. Number those new starts in the order they come out of the bowl. That will give you a 2-3 year plan :-)

    Meanwhile, start Good Intentions because it is ready and you really want to do it soon. It’s not going to take you very long.

    Reply
  7. Becky

    Jo, if Creatures is your favorite, go for it! You’re not a whiner and you have perseverance so I vote you don’t let that worry you. I might choose Love Never Fails for myself. I lost my husband almost 2 years ago and am just now getting to the place where I could stitch something about our marriage. I’m almost done with Good Intentions. I changed the color scheme—darkish blue (not navy) for the black, brighter golds and corals, no gray. It suits me better. The two Barbara Ana charts might feel awfully similar stitching-wise. The Plum Street Sampler is cute and doesn’t feel like an heirloom to me. But you know your kids will treasure your work so no fear of Goodwill no matter which you choose. All are lovely in their own way and I’ll enjoy watching your progress!

    Reply
  8. Lorraine

    I would do All Creatures Great and Small because I have always loved the saying and the books. They are all lovely projects.

    Reply
  9. Jean Stein

    I vote for All Creatures Great and Small. Love the animals, and there’s LOTS of variety, so you could measure your progress and not get tired of doing the same thing over and over. What a lot of great patterns!

    Reply
  10. jennifer

    i follow your blog regularly (love all your projects and posts) but rarely comment. however, i’d vote (BY FAR) for the grandchildren sampler. that would be a lovely heirloom piece to stitch.
    you’ve inspired me to work on one of my cross stitch projects that’s been lingering around for 20+ years (!!!). but: i don’t love it as much as you. it’s hard (and aggravating!) to work on, but I’ll push through…

    Reply
  11. Margaret in North Texas

    Wow, you have many to choose from. Pick one that has to do with family—but I can’t imagine any be sent to
    Goodwill! You have so many lovely finishes.

    Reply
  12. Marie

    Hands down, Love Never Fails and maybe put beagles instead of the kitties. They are all really wonderful! I have been seriously trying NOT to fall down the rabbit hole of cross stitch, but seeing all your wonderful stitcheries I have given in. It is brain damage trying to wrap my head (back) around counted cross stitch. So thankful the back-stitching has gone by the wayside, lol!!! Thank you Jo!!

    Reply
  13. Carrie

    I vote for Love Never Ends or This Happy Morning because they are both very different to what you did this last year book. Good Luck & Happy Stitching!!

    Reply
  14. Hedy

    They are all absolutely gorgeous, almost makes me want to start cross stitching again. I felt a shiver when I saw ‘Love never Fails’ and so that’s my pick. Anything you choose will be lovely.

    Reply
  15. Tina in NJ

    Jo, no opinion on which piece to do first. However, I would like to pass on a hint. When you do the black sampler, put a white cloth or towel on your lap. It should help you see the holes in the fabric better. Of course, this may work better with Aida cloth than evenweave linen, but it’s worth a try.

    Reply
    1. Judith Fairchild

      I have a suggestion. Choose by numbering them and drawing the numbers. Listing them that way since it’s your choice. I think the live in hope honoring yours and Kramer’s grand parents would be great. Especially if you know the date they landed here. Then the Grandchildren. That’s wher I would havevto flip a coin as to who’s on 1st.

      Reply
  16. NJ

    I have The Lords Prayer stitched by my Grandma so I’d want to do The Apostle’s Creed. And Pet All Dogs makes me smile (but we only have neighbor dogs and they get petting often).

    Reply
  17. Christina Coats

    Belated Birthday Greetings, glad you had so much fun surrounded by love of your family.
    Love Love For The Birds charts, would be perfect for another family heirloom! As for the black linen I found keeping a white pillowcase on my lap underneath made stitching so much easier.

    Reply
  18. PATRICIA DAVIES

    White on off-white fabric. I stitch the white and then outline with black or brown thread.
    Sampler of grandkids- great idea but add extra fabric of additional babies.

    Reply
  19. Donna

    Boy, you have some wonderful charts there. Two that strike me – We Live in Hope and All Creatures.
    Good luck – looking forward to seeing what you chose.
    Love and prayers

    Reply
  20. Meredith

    All Creatures is wonderful, but I might be tempted by A Saviour’s Praise. Love the verse,and the border is spectacular! Let me add one more temptation: Three Things by Moira Blackburn. The verse is so meaningful, the birds and animals great, and it is a really fun stitch. Whatever you choose will be perfect!

    Reply
  21. Beth

    Jo, everyone of these are beautiful. Another suggestion about black. With a dark color we cannot see the shadows which of course we can with light colors. As well as the white in your lap you can try a light from the side. You may be able to see the texture better. Also there are charged online for comparison of all the threads. Meaning you can substitute, which you do anyway, but you can get an idea of the colors and then use what you have. Also there could be a color chart for Anchor. On a funny note about houses and fill in. I just finished a house that was a bear. There was no rhyme or reason for the brick house. What a chore. Any of your charts would be fun. You need to do which one you emotionally need to do.

    Reply
  22. Mary Jo B.

    I vote for Pet all the Dogs or This Happy Morning. I think the one with the dogs would be great to do, and so appropriate for your home. But then I saw the black background for This Happy Morning and that is also a winner. Tough choice to make!

    Reply
  23. Sandy

    Wow, there are so many great charts to choose from. My first choice is Love Never Fails as it is a personal favorite of mine. The verse was read at our wedding and printed on our wedding programs. My other choices are as follows:
    2. All Creatures Great and Small
    3. For the Birds (for your grandchildren)
    4. Little Birds (for your children)
    5. This Happy Morning.
    Anything you decide to work on will be great. You do amazing work. Do what YOU love most!

    Reply
  24. Ellen

    For a long term project, I my vote if for “all creatures great and small.” It’s so beautiful and such a lovely verse.
    I have stitched on black and it looks great. Try it, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    Reply
  25. Cindy in NC

    I think Love Never Fails or This Happy Morning (because of the barn) would make a wonderful tribute to Kramer. You could replace the words in the box in This Happy Morning with your names and wedding date. You might even be able to work in yer kids initials and/or birthdates among the leaves of the vine.

    Cindy in NC

    Reply
  26. Elaine W

    I would go for All Creatures or the black one. I like the idea of the For the Birds, but what if you have more grandchildren? Whatever you choose it will be fun to follow your progress.

    Reply
  27. Beverly

    All Creatures Great & Small or Pet All The Dogs gets my vote. Animals are a big part of our lives & deserve the honor of your fine cross stitching :)

    Reply
  28. Kathy Fransham

    Love Never Fails would be my choice, because you and Kramer had such a good life together and it would be most meaningful to your children.

    Reply
  29. DebMac

    My choice would be the “Love Never Fails” by Barbara Anna. I bought the chart when it came out but have not got around to stitching it yet. Love, love that Pennsylvania Dutch feel. Second choice would be “A Savior’s Praise”. It is a beautiful sampler when done and is one I regret not having purchased as yet. We share very similar taste in cross stitch so you can’t really make a poor decision here. I haven’t decided on a New Year’s stitch yet myself.

    Reply

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