3-30-23 Stitching Progress

First – Primrose  Bunny is coming along nicely – she has a head.  I changed the colors to a bit darker than charted.

Sort of a milk chocolate / dark chocolate bunny.   

And I was able to get back to my red sampler since my spools of thread arrived  yesterday.

Here’s a reminder of the chart and then where I am right now.  I still need to chart the name I’ll be replacing Hilda’s with – which is my grandmother Hilda.

So I’ve got to finish that largest alphabet and add the numbers  9 and zero.  Then it will just be the name and bottom border.

This is the chart I want to start next and I think there may be a few of us stitching along together on this (or, well, starting it around the same time and working on it as we please) 🙂    I emailed Judy telling her I planned to pull threads because I need to start all the things and I’ve wanted to work on this one ever since I got it last year.  She said she has the chart and said she has another friend who had talked to her about starting this one soon, too.  I have seen someone who is currently stitching it on Instagram and it is so pretty close up – the stitcher’s work is beautiful.

I may leave the words/scripture reference off since the reference is over one.  I’ll wait and decide later because I could just backstitch the over 1 part since the words  “Rejoice evermore” are not over one.  Also there are some satin stitch triangle borders which I will replace with something else.  There are also satin stitches on the large birds’ wings and I will just do regular cross stitch and then get a point need to add the satin stitch over the top in those areas because the satin stitch on the wings gives a great texture look to them and I won’t have to worry about not getting good satin stitch coverage on the aida with  x’s stitched underneath them.

This chart seems a fitting companion piece to Winter Rose Manor.  Similar theme – big house, basket of flowers on the roof, little octagon with flower motif  inside.  I am going to start at the bottom of it and work my way up because I’m undecided as to whether I like that top section  with the big tulips or not.   And since I’m not fond of berry bowls, I may end up just stitching the lower half of the chart.

Primrose Rabbit

animal crackers - primrose - sta y nash

I was going to go back to stitching on In HIS Image but when I pulled it out,  I hadn’t yet decided how much more I want to add into it.   There’ a few more words I want to add but haven’t charted them out to fit in to the spaces so put that aside.

Cleaned up project bags and organized some charts and fabrics trying to decide what I wanted to stitch.  Something Spring (even tho we had a foot of snow yesterday?), Easgter design?   Then it came to me – I wanted to stitch Primrose.   I have a couple of these Animal Crackers charts from Stacy Nash.   So pulled some Victorian Motto floss – three shades of brown and some fabric.    I picked the Victorian Motto because their floss has more yardage than normal flosses/DMC and although I’m stitching this on 18 ct, I want really good coverage so am using two strands.  I’ve got one dark brown ear/side head nearly filled in with the darkest color.   This is a great movie watching, outline and fill-in type of project so I’ll be all set for the rest of the night once I finish eating dinner.

Three French Hens – 11th finish of 2023

As I hoped I would, I was able to finish Three French Hens.   This my 11th finish so far this year – most of them smalls but a couple of those really stitch heavy despite the smaller size.  How if I could just get one of the larger ones done! 🙂   The pile of things to fully finish is growing.

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3 French Hens

I heard on the news last night that I had underestimated the amount of snow we had gotten Friday night into Saturday morning – predicted was 3-6″, I thought it looked like 8″ but we got over a foot of snow.   But I think since it was such a sunny warm day yesterday, probably half of that is already melted.

March 25, 2023 and 8″ of snow?

Yesterday was nearly 50 outside.  We basically had no snow left except in parking lots where it had been plowed into piles.  This was no snow outside my door and this is what I woke up to this morning.  We were supposed to get 3″-6″ but looking at the snow on top of the retaining wall (and my bird feeder which is empty and I’m out of seed) I think we got more like 8″.

And it’s really wet and heavy by the look of it and has started falling/melting off the trees – pretty but please Mother Nature, no more snow for this winter since it’s actually SPRING now! 🙂   It could always be worse and this probably won’t stick around for long so I am glad it happened on the weekend and I don’t have to go out in it.

I stitched as far as I can on the little red sampler last night because I’ve used up the whole 50-meter spool and have to wait for the other two spools I ordered to arrive.  They were shipped yesterday so at least are on their way.  Here’s how far I got.


The bottom three rows are complete across the whole piece so that’s how wide it will be.   I was working on the numbers above those 3 rows and thought I might just get to the end of that row with just the 9 and a 0 to go but no luck.  So the other half of the rows above the numbers to go and then the name at the bottom and a pretty border goes under the name.  Good thing I ordered two spools instead of one because I think I will need to use at least part of that third one.  I was thinking last night when I finished off the spool about how many times I had to thread the needle with new thread for what I have stitched here so far.  When I use two strands I pull out probably just under a yard length of thread to double it and use the loop start method.  That means so far I have had to thread my needle at least 54 times.  Yes, that’s your bit of trivia for today. 🙂    

After running out of thread, I switched back to the Three French Hens Prairie Schooler Santa and stitched a bit on that.


Stitched more on the chicken coop.

3-23-23 stitching update

Since I’ve never cross stitched with the Au Ver A Soi 1003 silks that come on a spool, I didn’t give a thought as to how much thread I might need for the little red sampler I started last weekend.   Last night I was happily stitching along thinking it’s so relaxing to just stitch a one-color project and not have to worry about thread color changes – relaxing until you realize you have already used A LOT of thread.  As in I think I’ve likely used about half the spool but am NOT halfway thru the project, and that particular color was part of a special kit.   Oops!


Here’s how far I was last night when I stopped.  Of course, the reason I’m going thru thread so fast is I am using two strands to stitch this but that coverage is so pretty.  I’m definitely not half done since the width and length of the section I have stitched is only the left half of the design and the right half will use about as much thread.

20230320_5 Plus I’m not all the way to the bottom of the design yet.  I’m working on that border line below the largest alphabet so only about 2/3rds done with the length.   Luckily, I was able to find a place that had the color in stock and have ordered two more spools, which hopefully will be plenty.

I have been wanting to do a green one-color project as well (you know I love green) and found a pretty shade of it so ordered some of that as well.  Hopefully by the time I need it, the new supply of thread will have arrived and, if not, well I might have one or two other things I could stitch on in the meantime. 🙂

3-20-23 – Start-itis again

I have a terrible case of start-itis and although I just started Three French Hens, I needed to start another project last night after dinner.

Here’s the progress I got on Three French Hens.  Nearly half the design is done – Santa needs some boots and some eggs in his basket.   But he has no place to collect those eggs from yet since the coop and hens are not stitched yet.   But they will be soon.


And then I started a small red sampler from Hands Across The Sea.  It’s called Hilda Weiner 1908 and was part of the recent Letters From Europe box released in honor of the designers birthday.  The charts included (mostly red samplers) are from different countries around Europe.  My plan is to stitch the ones at some point that were stitched by girls in European countries I have been to.  This one was stitched in Austria.


I’m working on the first page so that stitched area is only half as wide as the finished width will be.   I love all the research HATS includes in their charts.  Hilda wasn’t particularly fussy – when she found out she left out the “I” in the first alphabet, she just slid it in between the T and U.  There are other letters misplaced and other letters missing (because the German alphabet was based on the Latin alphabet which only had 21 letters.)  It’s like a bit of a history lesson/background with each chart.

So here’s a close up of how far I got after dinner.  The fabric is from my stash –  Atomic Ranch in the color Weathered Stone, 18 ct.  And the floss I chose was one of three red spools that came in the Letters from Europe box.  It is au ver a soie 1003, 100% silk, #681.


I tried one strand but it wasn’t enough coverage; I wanted those letters to really stand out.  So I’m using 2 strands and railroading my stitches and it looks fantastic.

3-19-23 Sunday Stitch

Finally decided last night to pick a new PS Santa’s 12 Days of Christmas chart to start on.  I was looking at the two I had stitched already – five golden rings and seven swans – I decided to pick another odd numbered day so went with three french hens.   Part of the reason for choosing an odd numbered day is I’m not sure the fabric I’m stitching them on is large enough to stitch all 12 on.  So I’ll stitch the odd numbered ones first and then reassess the fabric issue. to see if there is enough to stitch all of them on or if I will stitch all the even numbered days on a different fabric.


Here’s my start from last night.  I did use the wrong color red for his hat but not a big deal.  Especially since  DMC 815 and 902 are very similar.  The red of the clothes in the above photo is a much brighter orangey red than the 815 called for which is what I used  below.  I will have to see when I get to the cuffs on the overalls if there is much difference between the 902 and 815 when I stitch the darker cuffs because when holding the two floss skeins next to each other the difference is very subtle.   I will have to choose a brighter red to use on those chickens tho.  I love their little coop.


3-18-23 Stitching progress for the week

It’s been an exciting stitching week  – I’m calling it a Magpie week as several new “shiney” things distracted me from my planned path.  I made some good progress on In HIS image,  a club kit arrival which I started immediately and finished last night, and a wonderful package of hand dyed aida that a good friend dyed and shared with me arrived and they are so lovely.


I’ll start with the In HIS Image progress since last Saturday.  Here’s the photo I showed last Saturday of where I was.   I worked on this Saturday and Sunday. The photo below shows where I ended up Sunday night.   I finished the border, filled in the house in the lower right and am closing in on a finish of the fill in on the house on the left.


I love the color in the house on the lower right.  It was not one of the called for colors in the chart but I wasn’t fond of the reds used, so found another DMC (356) because I love the terra cotta-ish shade and used that for the house and a lady’s dress.

But then on Monday when I got home from work, I found the first thing that caused me distraction.   I belong to two clubs.  The first, a bag of the month club from Hometown Needleworks (which I will only do for this year and then I will have more than enough lovely project bags for myself and a couple for gifting – her bags are my favorites) and the  second club (which caused the distraction) Scattered Seed Samplers “Fancy Feathers Pinkeep Club.”   I love all the Scattered Seed designs and this one did not disappoint.    The first kit was waiting on my doorstep Monday night and I had to start it right away.


The kit came with everything necessary to stitch the pillow and the little heart, i.e finishing fabric for pin pillow and heart, blue ring for the heart, DMC flosses, a cute little silver charm not shown in the photo and fabric to stitch it on.   The kit is shown stitched on linen, but you could also request when joining that you receive 18 count aida and that’s what I requested.  I actually didn’t stitch it on the aida provided in the kit — I’m not sure what it was but it looked like Rustico to me (that light colored aida flecked with dark threads that I stitched a lot on in the ’90s because there wasn’t much available).  In any event, it was a stiffer fabric than I wanted to stitch on, and I really wanted to use a darker fabric so some of the lighter colors would show up better.  I went stash diving and found one of the “ornament” cuts I had gotten from Top Knot Stitcher.  The fabric I used is Fiber on a Whim in the color Brick and I love how it looks on this fabric.   I put the final stitches in this last night and as I was finishing it, thought about a standard 5×7 frame I had that just might work so at midnight I’m rummaging in the sewing room closet and found to potential frames but the one I initially remembered I think will be perfect.


The dark blue with sort of a taupe wash over it in the frame really matches those colors used in the chart.   I started out using two strands of thread due to my error, but I had all the DMC colors in the stash that were used in the kit, so decided to continue using two stands throughout and the colors really pop so much more.    The large basket should have a second color added to it but after putting in the darker color, I really liked how the unstitched stitches looked with the fabric color showing thru so left it as is.

Here’s a close up of the stitching ( it’s a washed-out photo – the photo with the frame is true to color).


On part of this I tried the “cross stitch railroading technique” which is a way to stitch when using two threads to make your threads lay flatter (not as twisted up) against your fabric.  In the ’90s I stitched probably everything with two strands and had never heard of “railroading” so don’t know if it was known/used back then, or if because I was self-taught I just didn’t know about it, but I can see a difference when looking at it close up.  The places I used it the stitches look more even, flatter and crisper.  See you can teach an old dog new tricks! 🙂

And then the icing on the cake, so to speak, a package arrived this week from my good friend Sheryl.    She has been playing with her dyes and cross stitch fabric and sent me a package of such lovely fabrics.    Sheryl taught  me to dye quilting fabric many many years ago thru a yahoo quilting group she ran and I distinctly remember the day many of us all over the country were having a dyeing weekend from each of our respective homes.  I had things set up on my kitchen counter (where there was not a lot of counter space in that apartment), and having to run upstairs to print off the batch of instructions for the first steps, running back down to do them, running back up to post messages to the group and get more instructions,  and read messages on how others were doing, taking the fabrics down another flight of steps to get to the laundry room sink to do the never-ending rinsing etc.   Such fun (and good exercise with all that running up and down stairs).   My dyes are long gone but I’m glad Sheryl still plays with dyeing fabric.  I can’t wait to figure out what to stitch on these.  They are 18 ct aida and the mottling is so pretty.


I know she was trying to dye a particular shade of green for one of her own stitches so there are three different lovely greens (green is my favorite color you know), two blues which would be so perfect for wintery stitches because white snow would show up well them (I already have a chart in mind for one of them), that brownish color is gorgeous and then the far left one which my photo didn’t capture well, has just the faintest hint of purple to it.     And then there are the three pieces below.


I know there was some small chart I had been wanting to stitch on a very dark gray so I need to figure out which one that was.  I think the chart called for black, but I don’t like stitching on black but that dark gray is perfect.   The lighter gray with the wonderful mottling in grays and sort of blues is incredibly pretty.  The piece with browns and black – I think that one will be wonderful with a Halloween stitch on it.   Thank you, my friend, for sharing your talents and lovely fabrics with me.  It will make anything I stitch on them more even more special.

So that was my exciting week. The not so exciting stuff – I was an insomniac for about three nights so that gave me added stitching time but slept in late this morning so caught up on some sleep at least.   It’s snowing again – we go from rain and temps in low 40s to snow and temps in the 20s and its really windy and cold the last two days.  Spring in Wisconsin – that’s just the way it is and it could be worse so I’m not really complaining.   Need to get started on the usual Saturday chores since I’m way behind schedule today.

Saturday 3-11-23

Are you bored with seeing this chart yet?  Well, it’s all I’m stitch on at the moment since I still can’t make a decision on what small to start.

Here’s where I was before I started stitching on it last night.


I corrected that upper left corner so now it all meets up perfectly. I got a whole lot of berries (or flowers? ) in the border added and more leaves and then the leaves and stems that the berries go on.  I also ripped out the red ones in the lower right corner and restitched them.


I’ll be glad when I get the border finished.  It’s such putzy work starting and stopping.  But its a bit too far for me to carry across the back, plus I need to go see (when I get off the computer) if I have another skein of that gold color I’m using.   I’m running low so carrying would waste too much of that.  I think I am good tho because that is Ye Old Gold and its one of my favorite golds so I think at some point I bought several of them.  I’d like to get all the border done before I go back to working on the rest of the stuff on the inside.

And this lovely bag arrived in today’s mail.  It’s my March Bag of the Month from Hometown Needleworks and I love this peachy color.   The little scissors, and the point protector and the fob came along with the bag.  I’m not much for fobs on my scissors so I think I will switch it to a zipper pull.

march bag

A snowy friday

We got about 8″ of wet snow  between late yesterday afternoon and this morning.  Pretty but annoying.  🙂


These photos were taken early this morning.  The temps were warm enough that it had already started falling off the trees and the holes in the chain link fence had been filled in last night with snow but is of course now empty.  It’s been gray day all day but the guys who shovel came thru early this afternoon and wherever they shoveled what remained behind is already melted so could have been worse.

More progress on In HIS Image.  That upper left corner, I was off due to a counting error, so just have to finish filling in that area that I ripped back.   I got the words “Made in the image of God” added – those were charted but inside a flower wreath on the chart.  Also, I decided I wanted to switch the berries in the border to a gold color and not the reddish color they were charted as.


I like it so much better and I had planned to take out that red single border line because I didn’t like it, but now with the gold in the berries (or flowers or whatever they are) I like that red border so it will stay.  I still need to rip out those couple of red berries.  I sort of wish I had changed the font to something larger for the top line of text, but I used the charted text and am not going to take that out.  Plus, once that inner red border is in place that will fill up some of the area above those words.  Once I get the borders finished, I’ll decide where I need to add in some motifs or other words.   The other change I made was to the top couple – he was supposed to have a very long beard, but I think he looks much more handsome with my shorter version.