Stitching Finishes

Farmhouse Christmas is finished.   It took several Olympic events to finish off all those holly leaves in the border but I am so glad they are done.  And this project was finished well before my self-imposed deadline of November.  This one will hang on my wall year round. I just love it.


Also while on vacation I finished Ever So Grateful.  Here it is, finished as per the chart.


I say as “per the chart” because I’m thinking I may not finish this one as a pin pillow as originally planned.  It’s a bit large for that since I did it on larger count Aida since I knew I’d be working on it in the car or in a place where I wouldn’t have my super bright stitching light so 14 count made it easy to stitch.   But I just happened to be looking at the frame stash and have a frame that I think it would look really well in.  Now I didn’t leave a lot of top margin because I had originally not planned to frame it but there’s enough for me to be able to frame it however it would need something more added to balance/center it in the frame I have so I think if I stitch the vine and berries across the bottom it will be the perfect size for this frame.  For the time being I’ll set it aside while I decide for sure whether I want to frame it.


I also did just a bit of stitching on Fly By Night.  I’ve got the bird/hat all outlined and want to get the border lines stitched and then it will be a good bus stitching project – just filling in everything in the bird in black.


Minimal stitching done on the bottom border of Strawberry House to make sure the colors I planned to use were going to work since I didn’t have all the called for an am substituting.  I think they are going to look very good on this fabric.

Strawbry house

And lastly, progress on A Changed World. Last night I finished the whole green triangle strip below the dog, gave the dog his collar, finished the church door and added some blue to the church windows (I’m going to fill in the windows when I have a color I want to add to them on the needle rather than threading up for just a few stitches), and started the tree by the dog.  So that was my stitching week in review. 🙂


A Changed World SAL update and a bit of a rant on other things

If you’ve been following along, you know that Judy and Jo and I were all planning to start stitching on A Changed World on August 1, post updates on the SAL on Fridays, and you are all welcome to join in stitching along with us at any time.  And if you’ve been following along you also know that I started stitching on mine early  – I think the weekend of the 17/18th I started.  I think this project may be doomed but I am carrying on. 🙂

a changed world


When I started, the first row I started with was the wavy divider border above the row of buildings.  As I finished the last stitches of it, I realized I had the color symbols reversed in my head and stitched it in white instead of black.  Ripped that all out an started over.

I had finished the whole building row except the church door and stained glass windows — I still need to add those but opted to move to the row of trees and dogs and flowers above the houses.  I wanted something I didn’t have to think too hard on to work on while watching the Olympics one night.  Just as I was putting the last stitches of a section again, I realized I hadn’t paid as close attention to the chart as I should have.

changed wold

That row of triangular shapes I’m stitching on in the photo above – when I first stitched them I only left one stitch between each one instead of three! Rats!!!   Ripped them back out and am redoing it right this time.  I will definitely pay more attention since I’ve ripped way more than normal on this one already and have a long way to go.

I have several more stitchy things to share but will save those until tomorrow.  I just got back today from a wonderful visit with my parents, my sister and her husband  – none of which I have seen in almost 2 years due to my breaking my arm and then Covid.   It was a wonderful visit, with game playing (we have  always been a board game/card game/dice game  playing family and that hasn’t changed), lots of good food, much Olympic segment viewing which made for lots of cross stitching time hence my two projects I finished while there) and my sister and her hubby moved into a new home during Covid so I had not yet seen that.  And I even got to see one of my nephews who stopped by one night when my sister made a delicious birthday dinner for me. 

So my rant below regarding Covid and people making crazy comments is below –  if you’re just here for the cross stitch talk, you’re done reading for today. 🙂  Tomorrow I’ll show two finishes and Sunday I will resume the cross stitch “chart adoption” free offerings.  One of those finishes I have to show might even be a framed finish if I feel like doing the framing later today.

[Stepping on to my soap box now re something that has just been annoying me ever since I heard it and I don’t want anyone leaving any comments about what I say while on the soap box – its just something I feel the need to say and I don’t care if you agree with me or not, but irregardless of whether you agree with me or not, any comments left re the Covid issue will be deleted and not debated on my blog — there are always those who when I ask for no comments to be left on a topic (which I rarely do) still feel the need to do so.  Just don’t.   My blog, my feelings, my journal of what’s going on in my life so I make the rules 🙂 

And my soap box comment is this — Now that I have finally been able to spend time with family since we are all vaccinated and our respective state rules have been relaxed – at least for the time being  (but with the surge of the variant who knows how long that may last)  it made me remember the Dude who I recently saw on TV that  when asked if he was going to get a Covid shot said “no, I don’t believe it’s as serious as the government says it is and I’m not worried about getting it [Covid].”    Thinking about that just irked me all over again.  Here’s my response to the  “Dude who is not afraid of Covid”.  Get you head out of the sand or wherever you have it stuck,  and wear a mask or get vaccinated and stop putting others who can’t get vaccinated or wear a mask for health reasons or others who aren’t eligible for vaccination yet – kids, etc. – at risk.   

Nearly 2 years is a long time to go without seeing family that is only about 3 hours away.  Coming from a very huggy family – 2 years is a long time to go without a hug from another human being, or to sit down with them and laugh and play games and drink a glass of wine and eat a meal and talk and  laugh some more.  It’s also such an incredibly long time for the health care field and care givers to have to deal with Covid and all its issues – they need a break.   [I could go on but I’ve stepped down off my soap box now – just had to get that out of my system.]

Speaking of laughing – some day I’ll tell you what “Alexa”  (you know those electronic devices you can ask questions of  – that “Alexa”) thought one of us had asked her.  She was on the counter not far from us and clearly she was eavesdropping on our dice game and picked up on a word that she thought one of us said and started giving us information on what she thought we asked her.   We were laughing so hard we couldn’t talk – sometimes you have to wonder about the information available to some of those devices and why anyone would even ask her some of the questions she has answers for! 🙂


Ever So Grateful



Every so Grateful was one of the projects I had kitted up earlier this week and those colors and the design were just calling to me.   So far I haven’t done any of the blending of colors I had mentioned before because I like the way they are looking.   Had dyed floss can look so different when strands are pulled out of it and actually stitched.  What may look like a mucky grayish brown (the color I was to use for the alphabet which is called Wood Brown) looked more  brown in the pattern image than the floss did in the hank and I liked the darker brown look.  I pulled a favorite brown to substitute instead (Pecan Pie – both are GA colors) but decided to stitch a few stitches just to see how the Wood Brown looked.    AHA! it looks dark brown just like the color in the chart image – no real hint of the grayish I saw in the hank.   Excellent!

The vine and alphabet stitched up very quickly.



Two More Projects Framed

Most of the day I have been going back and forth between a cleaning task and then go stitch for a little bit, go do another little cleaning task, stitch a bit, fold laundry, stitch a bit. steam clean the kitchen floor, stitch a bit. I had thought about sitting outside to stitch a bit but dang – the humidity is horrible and at 6 :30PM it’s still 90. I did go out just a bit ago to take some photos of the two projects that I finished the framing on today. I had to be quick about it tho because my camera lens kept steaming up because of the humidity.


The Friendship Tree stitching was finished mid March but I couldn’t decide which frame to use.  I had three different frames all about similar size one with ornate carving which was pretty but I think took away from the design, the 2nd I decided left a bit too much open space around the design so I think this one fits it very nicely.  This one will  be a gift.

The other one I finished is Catherine Dickenson1840 and I think this may be my most favorite finish to date.    Stitching  was started and finished in June.


Kitted Projects

With every hobby/artistic outlet I have,  there seems to be a part or step to it that I don’t like doing but it’s one of those necessary steps in the process to accomplish what I want so although I don’t particularly care for it I do, of course, do it.

  • With quilting – it’s layering quilts.  Once I get them all ironed and laid out on the table to pin, I’m fine but I guess it’s more the thought of having to layer a quilt that holds me up.
  • With knitting – it’s blocking the pieces.  It doesn’t take long nor is it difficult, but it’s my least favorite part.
  • With weaving – it’s getting the loom warped.  Again, ,not difficult, I’d rather just be able to jump right in and weave.
  • And with cross stitching – it’s the pulling floss to get a project ready to work on.

This afternoon  between cleaning chores, I decided I wanted to kit a couple smaller projects which meant get the floss pulled and decide on fabric so they are  ready to go.  I still don’t plan to have a lot of projects all going at the same time, but since I’ll be going back to riding the bus in August to and from work, I may need a project to stitch on while riding the bus (many years ago I used to stitch on the bus and also during my lunch hour at work  – it’s amazing how much you can get stitched during that time.)  Also, I’m going to need a car project to work on shortly so went digging through the smaller charts I have in my pile that I wanted to make sooner rather than later.  Plus, I wanted these projects to be on larger count fabric – much better for car/bus stitching or stitching when visiting and not having my bright light to work under.   I pulled three of them.


Fly By Night will be a great car project.  I plan to take this along on an upcoming 3 hr car ride.  Only one floss color and if I can outline the bird ahead of time, I can then just fill it in while riding along.  The fabric is 16Ct. PTP Moonglow Aida.  It’s a bit darker in my photo than in real life.  The called for floss is DMC 310  but I chose Gentle Arts Black Liorice as it may have a bit of shading in it and I think in that large bird a bit of shading will look nice.

The second chart, which I have been wanting to start ever since I got it (and apparently loved it so much I ordered 2 of it DUH!) I recently saw someone finish it on a Flosstube which again moved it to the top of my list, is Strawberry House.  I’ll be using 14 Ct. PTP Shale.  Of the 8 flosses called for, I think I’m using 2 or 3 of the called for.   The rest I didn’t have so substituted other colors.


Sorry for the glare on the chart (I didn’t take out of plastic) – but the house looks white in the image but the floss called  for is Parchment – more dark Ecru (at least the one I have is) so I may go with a white shade instead but pulled both to put in my kit and decide later.  The roof is Onyx which I have but I didn’t really want a black roof and windows because to me they look more blueish in the image and that’s what I liked.  So I picked a blue for that and then picked colors similar in shade to the rest of the called for colors.

And the last one I kitted is Ever So Grateful.   I love Threadwork Primitives charts – such fun designs – and I was looking for something with a turkey on it and all the other charts I looked at by other designers I just wasn’t loving their turkeys but when I saw this one I had to have it.  And the color palette of fall colors are of course my favorite colors to work with in all all things.


I had the called for turkey color and the color for the alphabet, but the orangey/yellow I didn’t have so I pulled both a yellowy-gold and a rusty orange and in the flowers I’ll make some flowers/petals all gold, some all rust and some with a strand of each held together.  The fabric is  14Ct. PTP Ale.

So they are all in a project bag ready to go and I can get the floss and charts and fabric put away again and then switch loads of laundry and see how close to being done my baked potato is so I can finish making the rest of dinner to go with it.  I’m starting to get hungry – especially since when I went outside to take the photos above, one of my neighbors in the next apt building over was outside grilling barbequed chicken and the delicious smell wafting over was torture.

Happy Friday – July 23, 2021

I need to get organized around here and get some stuff done – laundry is calling and other messes to take care of.  I’m on vacation so trying to plan all I want to get done.  But then – it is vacation so I wouldn’t want to throw myself into these tasks too quickly. 🙂

Speaking of unorganization – I haven’t gotten all of the charts adopted/needleminders adopted in the mail before starting vacation – too busy trying to get actual work done – so they will be delayed but will be put in the mail the beginning of August when I return to the office.   And speaking of chart adoptions – there are still several charts that were put up for adoption during the month of July  but the adoptees have not emailed me with their mailing address and I think there were 2 from June that were never claimed which will go back in rotation.  please please please do not put your mailing address in the blog comments.  My email address, as always, is on the front page of my blog under my photo so please send any address information to that email.

Last weekend I was at loose ends and couldn’t decide what new cross stitch project to start.  I don’t like having too many of them going at the same time, and all the ones I wanted to start were larger projects.  But, with the plan to start A Changed World on August 1 along with Judy and Jo, I didn’t want to start another large project and then have to switch to  A Changed World.     So I “cheated” and started early on A Changed World – it was sitting there all ready to go with fabric and floss pulled.  a changed world

I did confess my early start to both Judy and Jo.  🙂  We are all just going to work at our own pace anyway with no deadline to finish other than “someday” because we all have many other things, crafts, tasks, work to fit in to our days.  Here’s how far I am after a week of stitching on this.  One section nearly completed – just need to finish church windows and door.


I’m using colors similar to the chart image but it’s charted for silks and DMC.  The only DMC I’m using is black and the rest are a mix of Weeks Dye Works (mostly Weeks), with a couple Gentle Arts Sampler Threads and Classic Colorworks mixed in.    And as I’ve gone along I’ve changed placement of a few colors – like the church door which was supposed to be  grayish color but it was too similar to the door frame color and steps so I decided my church door should be blue.  The windows will look like stained glass with several colors in them.   After those are done I’ll have to decide if I want to work on the section above or below the building row — decisions, decisions.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Good morning – well technically morning since it’s 12:13 AM. 🙂 I was looking at something else on line and thought since I was sitting at the computer I’d do this post to answer a question I recently got regarding framing and to post the adoptees of last Sunday’s charts and needle minders.

The question was do I stitch a sort of basting line around the edge of my piece where I want it to end and line that up when putting it on the foam core board and also do I pin it, lace it, both? The answer to all that is No. So far all the things I’ve framed I have not laced; I did start to partially pin one of the first ones and decided I didn’t like that and it made it much more difficult to get even. I’ve not done anything special to get it lined up — perhaps it comes for all my years of quilting and eyeballing those seam allowances, but for me I have found it easy to line things up without doing any real prep work. Now, I am stitching on Aida cloth and I think Aida cloth would be a whole lot easier to line up straight than linen fabric with twice as many threads that would be easy to get off kilter.

What I do is put double-sided sticky tape along the edge of all four sides of the foam core on the back. Next lay the stitching right side up over the foam core side that does not have the tape , pop it in the frame, and then start tugging on the edges to get it centered. When I think I’m close to where I want it to be just eyeballing it, I count the stitches from the edge of the stitching to the edge of the frame to make sure I have the same number of stitches on each side and top and bottom, tugging a bit here or there to get it to line up right and make sure the frame edge follows straight along the same line in the Aida cloth. Once I think I have it where I want it, I start on one edge and peel the paper off the tape and smooth the fabric down over the tape – check it to make sure it is correct (you can pull it back off the tape and reposition). When I’m happy with one side, I do the opposite side. Repeat the process for the other two edges. If I have a lot of extra fabric, I’ll trim it off, sometimes running a second line of tape about 1-1/2″ outside the first line and press the fabric to it. No muss, no fuss and pretty quick to do.

Now on to the adoptees of last week’s charts and needle minders. There were two charts from Farmhouse Christmas.

The adoptee for Grandpa’s Pickup is Quilter 44; for Horsin’ Around it is Lori Campbell.

The adoptee for the Orange Big Top needle minder shown below is Shirley Marvin and the TV w/ clown needle minder is Helene.

Congratulations ladies! Send me a private email with your mailing address and I’ll get those in the mail to you.

needle keepers

Blackbird Designs

I first came across Blackbird Designs many years ago in the quilting world.  Lovely quilting books, stunning Blackbird fabrics – I still have bits and pieces of those Blackbird fabrics in my stash.  I did a quilt look (ETA – okay not a quilt look but a quick look thru photos) 🙂  to see if I had any photos of those early quilts but so far haven’t found any.  Little did I know that I’d be drawn back to their designs in a different format nearly 20 years later.

I mention Blackbird Designs because now I am loving their designs since returning to cross stitch after over a 20 year hiatus from cross stitching.  But I also mention it  because one of the two-person design team that makes up Blackbird Designs, Barb Adams, has sadly passed away earlier this month.  A great loss for those who personally knew her, but also for the quilting and cross stitching communities at large.

One of the Flosstubes I watch – my favorite – is Brenda and the Serial Starter (Brenda and Laura).  They started several months ago a Blackbird Design Weekend Stitch Along which is the first weekend of every month, many cross stitchers stitch on their Blackbird Designs projects that weekend and share with a hashtag what they are working on  (I don’t do Instagram, etc so haven’t seen all the many projects being worked on but I know there have been a lot of stitchers joining in.)  I’ve been a bit lax with my #BBDWeekendSAL projects – I did do this one, called Spell of the Moon,  which is still waiting to be finished into a pin pillow.


So recent events have me thinking about Blackbird Designs in general and looking thru my books and patterns and trying to decide which of their designs to start on next.  There’s a couple I’m leaning towards  – I do especially love their “black bird designs” as in blackbirds or crows.  This one I’ve been wanting to start.

midnight ride


It’s called Midnight ride.  Another one – that is stitched into a strawberry shape but could also be made just as a regular rectangular piece (which I think is the way I would go) is from the Winds of Autumn Book – upper left corner of book cover.


Not a great image of it but they don’t have a separate photograph in the book of the entire image not made into a strawberry so I can’t show it to you, but the bird has lovely designs on it’s body and there’s a house, pumpkin, acorns and vines.

I also have a CD of Just CrossStitch Christmas Ornaments from 1997 – 2013 – the magazine would put out special issues each Christmas from all different designers and back in the late 90’s I always bought every issue (which I ended up getting rid of when I quit cross stitching around 2000-2001.   I know there are several Blackbird ornament designs in those issues and actually bought the CD because of one specific Blackbird Design Christmas ornament (of a black bird) I had seen finished on a flosstube and the only place the chart was still available was on the CD.  So today, since I had to pull the printer out for something else, I may go thru that CD and see if there are any charts I need to print before putting the printer away.

One of the quilt designs I know I made (and gave away) was from this book – which was a four part book series to make christmas quilts.

christmas memories

 My favorite parts were the santa hat and the string of lights. And a pattern I love (but its 10 years or older now) that I’d love to have and would likely have me pulling out my sewing machine to get started on it right away is  Midnight Silhouette.  I don’t know why I love it so much but I do so if you know of a source, let me know.  You could help me get my quilting mojo back! 🙂


I may need to content myself with stitching Midnight Watch, a cross stitch chart clearly based on the quilt design.

One Gorgeous Frame!

I am over the moon with this frame. It’s even more gorgeous in person that it looked on my computer screen. And it’s a very substantial frame – it is 1-1/2″ wide from back to front – looks sort of like two frames set on top of each other.


I can’t wait to see this project framed in this frame.  It’s going to be beautiful.


As to what I’ve been busy stitching on this week – well still doing my “Christmas in July” stitching.   I finished off the three Quaker sleds stitching.   I started the North Pole Sled Co – that is obviously for the largest size sled.  I finished off Santa and his elf last night and got part of the blue background started.  This will be an easy one to pick up and put down since it’s all just background fill that needs to be done.  I’m enjoying stitching these much more using only two threads rather than the pattern called for three strands.  Three strands was just more difficult to stitch – making it harder to pull the thread thru the holes since it was so dense.


And this week I also started and finished the three Saltbox Houses sled designs.

saltbox sleds

It may be time to pull out the sled and sled finishing box to get these fully finished.

Quaker Sleds

I decided to start on the Quaker Sleds designs (see yesterday’s blog post for image of chart front) late yesterday afternoon and these are going much more quickly than the other sled designs I have stitched. They are only 3 or four colors in them so they go much more quickly than others than have lots of color changes. I love how they are looking and although these will be gifted, I may need to make another set to put on sleds for me later on. The charts say to use 3 strands of floss on the 14 ct perforated paper, which I did on the previous ones I made but I made these with just 2 strands and it worked out well and has good coverage so I think I’ll use 2 stands from now on.