Alphabets and initials are done


This seems to be moving along quite quickly.  My progress as of last night.  I have all the lettering done.  

I did in fact use three initials for my immediate family (with one exception – one of my grandmother’s gets three initials because  my grandfather died and she remarried so she has both my grandfather’s last name initials with her first name initial)  so in the first initial row I have my Mom, my sister, the next two are grandmothers and last in that row is my Aunt (Mom’s sister).  Next row is my Dad, my two brothers, my three uncles (Dad’s brothers).  Last row is of course my name and then my three grandfathers.   I was lucky because I just winged it.  I knew I wanted to put all all the ladies initials on one line and then all the gents and it worked out beautifully.   There are dividing lines between each line of alphabet/initials – I have started to add one.  and borders all around but I wanted to make sure I was going to be able to stay within the charted border with the text and it ended perfectly.  I’ll add all those border lines in but first I want to get the bottom line in so that I can work on some of the fun motifs at the bottom in between adding in the lines.  

I did have to rip out one of the “H’s” because I got carried away  adding stitches to it and now that I look at the photo I see one of the H’s is missing one stitch in the middle so I need to go fix that.    Yes, there are three sets of HR initials in the family.   Just like in quilting, I find the mistakes or omissions in cross stitch are more easy to pick up looking at a photo than the project you have in your hands.   Now to go fix that H.

Catherine Dickenson 1840 Chart – progress

I love doing alphabets – they seem to move along so quickly and its more interesting when every two letters is a different color.   That “just two more letters, just two more letters….” syndrome sets in and I end up stitching later than I had intended.


Again, here’s what the chart looks like.  I have the first three rows of letters completed and the next two rows are initials – initials of Catherine Dickenson’s family members.  Those two lines will be replaced with initials of my family members.  My plan is to use all three initials of my immediate family members – parents, sister and 2 brothers – and then only first and last initials for grandparents and I think I will have room to add my mother’s sister and dad’s three brothers.  One of my grandmothers I will use three initials for – my “first” grandfather died when I was a baby so I don’t remember him but she remarried so I’ll use her first name initialr, her first married initial and then her last married initial.  I’m going to use the style alphabet that is in the first line and a half of the chart – all capital letters.

I ended up using all the called for threads except for the gold color – my called-for gold was too brown and there’s already two shades of brown in the letters so I picked a brighter gold.

Here’s my progress as of last night.

cd progress

What’s next, you ask??

I know you are just waiting to hear what I’m going to be stitching on next.  🙂 Well after I went digging through the smaller frames to see if I had something to fit Walk Beside (I don’t, it’s an odd size – I need a 7″ x 10″ frame so that has been ordered along with another small one), I pulled out the basket of charts and decided upon a lovely little sampler.  I like small or smallish samplers.  While there are many large ones that are just beautiful, I know me and I know I would get bored stitching them and the ones I do really like are charted for linen so that rules them out for me..  So far I have been really good finishing what I start.  I do have Farmhouse Christmas – but that was planned as year long project which I will get finished by the end of the year if not sooner.  I also have the Dog Declaration and that is a large project – which I have been working on in between projects and that I hadn’t planned to get done until early next year.  So unlike my knitting and quilting projects – I do not have lots of WIPS (works in progress).  And my plan is to keep it that way.

One of the projects I had contemplated working on next was Vintage Birds – sort of a companion piece to Vintage Flowers.  But I would have had to order the pattern and I’ve cut myself off from pattern and fabric ordering (of course that was after friend Judy showed Coming to America.)  I actually had also been searching for that chart so do have that one coming still and I think there is a back ordered pattern I’m still waiting for.  But I have a lovely little collection of patterns to choose from which will keep me happy for quite some time.

Okay – rambling – what chart is it I have picked – It’s a reproduction sampler, Catharine Dickenson 1840.DSCN0861

The two “buds” on the center floral motif are 1 over 1 – I think what they call “buds” are those two striped sections near the bottom of the stem – and I will just change that so it works for me.  I know many people stitch reproduction samplers exactly as they are charted and there are debates about whether or not you should change the name in the sampler to your own if the original stitcher’s name is in the chart.  I’m not going to open that up for debate here  – but I likely won’t be putting her name on the sampler but will include mine instead.


Here’s the fabric and threads I’ll be using.  It’s 16 count, hand dyed Aida and the color is Regency.  It has a slightly greenish gray mottled look to it.  I had most of the called for threads but I may change just a few.  The gold is brighter than called for since the called for overdyed floss was more brown in the skein I had – there’s a lot of different shades of brown so I wanted the gold to stand out a bit more.   I may also switch one of the browns to a darker gray but will wait to see when I get to it. I also chose a lighter shade of gray.  The stitched area will end up being about 8.5″ square.

This afternoon I picked up one of the perforated paper sled pieces I had previously started and finished one off and got a small start on the next since I had room on the same piece of paper to add one more.


And I don’t think I had previously shown this elf one holding a package which I finished about two weeks ago.


Teach…Guide…Walk Beside

walk beside

This was a fun stitch.  I made some changes to the design to accommodate the alphabet I chose to replace the one over one alphabet in the chart.   I also discovered that in more than one place the image on the chart cover does not match the  charted stitches, so adapted those (either choosing charted section or the way it looked on the cover photo) as I felt like it.  I also changed a color or two and like how it turned out.  I especially love the border and corner squares.


It will get put aside for the moment until I have time to dig through the frames.  I think I might have one that will fit this.  The stitched area on the fabric I used is about 5″ x 8.25″.  I started this June 6 so it took about a week to stitch.

Now on to the pattern adoption recipient from last week and this week’s chart to be adopted. Remember – it is your responsibility to check back next Sunday if you put your name in as an adopter of a chart to see if you have been selected and must have a US mailing address. I think I still have one or two recipients from May 23 who haven’t responded with their addresses.  If I don’t get an email with mailing addresses, the charts will just be tossed back in my stack next weekend and put up for adoption. I’ve got stitching (and other stuff to do) so I am not sending out individual emails to each person asking for their email –  if you want to adopt charts you need to check back to see if you have been chosen.  As for being chosen – the adoption of Vintage Flowers goes to Ruth Chow. My email address can be found on my blog in the section under my photo so please send me a private email with your mailing address rather than leaving your address in the comment section. Thanks.

EasterPeepParade - With Thy Needle and Thread This week’s chart for adoption is Easter Peep Parade.  Leave a comment with the word Easter in it if you are interested in adopting the chart.

Now I need to clean up and put away my flosses while I contemplate just what I might want to stitch on next.

A delicious dinner

When I was trying to figure out what I wanted for dinner tonight (as I was cleaning out the fridge to figure out what needed to be added to my grocery order for tomorrow), I realized I had all this bits and bobs of leftovers that would make a delicious quiche.   Although I normally would make my own pie crust, I most reserve home made crusts for actual dessert pies, plus I had one lone premade crust in the fridge so I put that to good use.


It’s not pretty (but it was delicious)  – the premade crusts just fit into this large pie tin without leftovers to make a fancy crimped edge – but this is a super heavy pie tin which helps pies bake evenly so it’s my favorite one to use.  It’s basically a Denver Quiche  – diced ham, green bell pepper, onion and cheese.  After I stuck that in the oven I was thinking fruit salad or green salad or……and then I spied the pineapple and  decided  Pineapple Casserole it would be. Yum  two of my favorite things and they went very well together and of course there’s leftovers of each.  Although I’m not big on eating leftovers – both of these I am more than happy to eat as leftovers.  I’m even contemplating for tomorrow heating up a bit of pineapple casserole and adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!  Fruit and dairy – would that make it a breakfast food? 🙂   And yes, I did have to take a bit of a scoop out of it when it was piping hot from the oven – I wasn’t going to eat yet for a little while so I had to make sure it was good!

Quick Progress Update

So here is the chart cover for the project I’ve been stitching on this week.  I should be able to finish this one off later today.

walk beside

Here’s my progress so far.


I’ve got the flower buds to add to the top border, the motifs in the top right border corner and next to the word “Teach” and the two sheep in the bottom.  I started one of the sheep last night but the white is not showing up enough – I don’t want them looking like the photo in the chart cover – you can’t tell what they so are.  I was thinking about gray or black but in looking at it just now, I think I may actually just go with the gold color used in the piece and make golden sheep.   I think they are sheep anyway – they have longer legs but maybe they are freshly shorn so their legs show more. 🙂

As has  been my usual M.O. the past few weekends – I got off to a slow/late start today but  laundry is going, kitchen is nearly cleaned up, so time for a coffee break before tackling the breakfast bar which has stuff piled on it from one end to the other. I just opened the door to see what it is like outside — another day of hot and HUMID!  Best to just stay inside and stitch.

ETA – Oh I resolved the issue of the alphabet being stitched one over one (which I can’t do on Aida cloth) by moving the words to the left a bit and respacing them and then found a small alphabet in The Ultimate Sampler Motifs Source Book by Brenda Keyes to use instead.  The alphabet was laid out in the chart in two lines just the way I stitched them so I just needed to make sure I counted back from the right side of the piece to get my starting place and then stitched in the box around it to make it fit.

June 6, 2021 – Framed and Fully Finished!

Well I haven’t accomplished the chores I had thought about doing today – eh, I’ll get them done later this week.  I have accomplished a lot in the last 2 hours tho.  I’ve fully finished three separate cross stitch pieces.

First up the pencil box.

I even had a piece of the recent felted wool packets I had bought that had the perfect yellow to match the paint I had used so glued a piece of it on the bottom so it will not scratch a table and also put a piece inside in the bottom  for the pencils to rest on.  And all set even before I need to mail it to the gift recipient.

Berry Bird is now finished and inserted into it’s tart tin (from Sassy Jacks Stitchery).  This was a really easy project to finish. and I love how it turned out.   It’s a regular little tart tin with removable bottom so I used two tiny strong magnets along the edge of the bottom insert to hold that into the fluted tart rim,  Cut a piece of sticky board and a couple layers of quilt batting the same size as the bottom of the tart pan.  I used the bottom tart insert to center it over the stitching and then draw a line around it about 1″ outside, cut on that line and hand stitched a running stitch about 3/8″ from  the edge.  

berry bird tart

Layered sticky board (sticky side down but with paper still covering it), then  four layers of Warm and Natural Batting, and stitching centered on top right side up.  Pull the threads to gather in the running stitch making sure stitching stayed centered.  Then I loosened the threads a bit so I could peel back the paper from the sticky board, tightened threads and tied them off and pressed the back edges against the sticky board.  The center of the sticky board was not sticky enough to just keep it attached to the tart tin; I tried hot glue but glue won’t stick to the nonstick metal of the tin, so hot glued a strong magnet to the middle of the back of the stitching and that’s how it holds against the metal back.  I can remove the stitch piece and insert a different one if I want to.  I think I will take this one to work and with the magnets in it, it should attach to the locker cabinets attached to our desks so I can enjoy it there.   I have several more tart tins so can’t wait to make some other designs to finish like this.

And I also framed Souvenirs of the Heart.

souvenirs of the heart framed

vintage flowers

Now on to the pattern adoption recipient and this week’s chart to be adopted. Remember – it is your responsibility to check back next Sunday if you put your name in as an adopter of a chart to see if you have won. I think I still have one recipient who hasn’t responded to last week’s adoption list and if I don’t get an email with mailing addresses, the charts will just be tossed back in my stack and put up for adoption at a later date. I’ve got stitching (and other stuff to do) so I am not sending out individual emails to each person asking for their email so if you want to adopt charts you need to check back to see if you have been chosen. My email address can be found on my blog in the section under my photo so please send me a private email with your mailing address rather than leaving your address in the comment section. Thanks.

So if you have a US mailing address and would like to adopt the chart Vintage Flowers, please leave a comment on this post with the word Vintage in it.

Last week’s adoptions are as follows:

He Is Risen – Terry Davis

Holidays – Shelley Powell


Walk Beside

walk beside

I finished the stitching on Berry Bird last night but forgot to take a photo – I’ll post that later.  So last night started on Walk Beside.  I’m using most of the called for colors but changed one or two.  There was a grayish color I changed to a blue and I haven’t decided what color I’ll make those two sheep on the bottom that are barely showing up in the pattern photo.    Plus I’m going to make some other changes.  The alphabet within the red square are petit stitches – quarter stitches on Aida or the equivalent of one over one on linen.   I really hate when descriptions of patterns don’t include if they have one over one stitching or petit stitch.  Even if I would have bought the chart in person – it says nothing on the back of of it about it and only if you purchase the chart an open it up does it tell you.  Oh well, I plan to just make some adjustments.

I started on this last night as I was contemplating how I want to redo that alphabet area (or put something else there).  After getting part of the upper left motif in the border done I realized the chart has an error – one stitch code is not in the right place compared to the other two places that have that same motif that make up the corner sections.  I don’t believe it is a design element – just an error since the cover image looks to be stitched the way I changed it to – so I ripped that back to fix it because it just looked wrong and would have bugged me.

walk beside progress

Then, when I put in that little blue scrolly design, on the left side it starts with sort of 

x                                                                                   x

    x x x                                                         x x x


It has a stitch above and below the three stitches that follow it as shown in my little example on the left above in red.   It’s a symetrical design except it  ends on the right as shown on the right in my example – the bottom stitch is missing after the three end stitches.   That “might?” be a design element – I can see it is actually stitched that way on the cover image – but that TOTALLY would have driven me nuts so I changed that.

I think If I change the placement of the words a bit – move them to the left a little and I think “Walk Beside” really needs to be centered over the scrolly motif – I may have enough space to stitch the alphabet in 1 over 1 on the Aida.  I’m going to work my way from left to right and after getting the words in figure out if my plan will work or if I need to extend the border to the right just a bit to fit it in.

I do love the way the border looks with my color tweak from Muddy Puddle (a gray) to the blue I used.

theeads used


What a differenced a week makes

Last weekend it was in the 50’s for a high temp and in the 30’s at night.  As of 6pm today – it’s 91 degrees!  That’s hot for where we are.  The good thing is (1) I don’t really have to go outside but (2) when I did go out to take some photos shown below, it is not really humid and since we’ve been so droughted, the mosquitoes are not out by me.   But I’m glad I didn’t have to be out in the heat all day.

Progress so far on Berry Bird – I’m nearly finished.  I hadn’t noticed until last night that the little strawberry that the bird holds in its beak and the eye section are stitched over one (since linen was called for) but of course since I’m stitching on Aida that doesn’t work.  So in order to get the pupil in the eye I will just put in a french knot which will work perfectly.   For the strawberry in the mouth – I was going to make a small one without the seed dots but I think I like it better without, so will just leave that off.   I’m still contemplating what Blackbird Design I want to work on for Blackbird Weekend SAL but will finish off this project first since there’s just a leave and three strawberries to go.


Three frames I ordered  arrived today.  Here’s photos of two of them – the 3rd one I have to assemble myself.  I’m not sure what the criteria is for whether they assemble it or they send it to you in pieces with the stuff to assemble yourself – they just say that some frames may not be preassembled.  I have only gotten two (including the one in this order) that were not preassembled.  It seems to be square measurement frames – at least  from my personal experience so far – that are sent in pieces.  The one I need to assemble also came from a different location than the others so maybe that’s part of it too.  Who knows, but I’ll get that one put together – just a bit of wood glue and sliding the brackets they send along into the precut slots.

Anyway – here’s one I ordered – the stitching is just sitting below the frame but I hope to get this framed this weekend.  When I ordered this I was hoping the dark green frame would be similar in color to the green vines/leaves in the piece and I absolutely love it.  It has just a bit of distressed look along the edges and is perfect for this piece.  It’s also wide enough that it could stand on a shelf instead of hanging on a wall.


The frame below is not actually the one I ordered for Vintage Flowers but it does look very good with it.  I will have to wait until I put together the one in pieces (which is the actual one I ordered for this stitch) to decide which to use.   This frame is actually not the size I ordered – I’ve already emailed the company and with their excellent customer service in the past I’m sure we can come up with a plan to rectify the issue.  This frame (in the correct size) is the style I ordered to use with Farmhouse Christmas.  It’s one of my favorite styles and is available in several colors – I should have taken a close up because my photo below doesn’t really show the details of the frame.  But seeing it in person confirms it is the frame I definitely want to use for Farmhouse Christmas so hopefully it is still in stock so they can make me the original size I requested..

VF frame

On to the next stitch


I finished Vintage Flowers last night. Love it and I think the frame I had ordered it might be the one scheduled for delivery tomorrow.

So since I put the final stitches in while dinner was heating up, I pulled floss (I happened to have all the called for colors) and a piece of fabric for a new little stitch, of course, and got a good start on Berry Bird.

berry bird

I have a little fluted black tart tin that it will be mounted in when done.  I got the stems leaves and sgtart on a strawberry done while eating my lunch at work.  I may have to look at the patterns I want to work on soonish to see if there are any Black Bird Designs in there since it’s Blackbird Weekend (first weekend of every month) SAL.  If I remember correctly, one of the small projects I have been wanting to start is a Blackbird.

And yesterday some fabric I ordered about a month ago – which is hand dyed after your order it hence the lag time – arrived and it’s gorgeous.  It’s even prettier than I can capture in a photo.  The  bottom one is more tan – it’s showing grayish in my photo –  with great mottling, the middle more yellowish than it is showing – called Butter Creme – and that Burgundy Wine is my most favorite.  Definitely an Etsy shop I’ll go back to when I want something other than neutral colors and I like that you can pick your color and then pick what count fabric you want it dyed on.  All of these are 18 count – which has sort of become my “go to” count since I can use just one thread on it.