2016 in Review (Updated with Photos)

As 2016 draws to a close, I have gone through my project file and my planner to see what I accomplished this year.  I noted, added, and reflected on my completed crafts (and not completed crafts.)

There were 134 completed projects in my Excel file, which was sadly incomplete.  I shipped a huge box off to charity in May and forgot to write down what I sent.  I usually photograph everything, too, but my husband was in a hurry to go to the post office and I forgot.  I made project envelopes, zipper bags, washcloths, scrubbies, scarves, hats, burial angels, burial gowns, burial blankets, pajamas, prayer shawls, lace shawls, etc.

I finished 37 cross stitch projects this year.  My worst months were January and March (due to working on Spiritdancer) with ZERO finishes each.  My best month was July with 15 finishes (most of them small.)  I had 6 starts that I did not finish this year, and 3 older projects remained UFOs.

My 6 unfinished projects for this year:

Heartland Sampler, Quaker Gone Tropic, Winter, Isabella’s Garden, Joyfulness, and A Right Spirit.

3 old UFOs:

Loara Standish, Cardinal Points, Madonna of the Garden

Oldest UFO finished this year: My 2006 start of Mirabilia’s The Petal Fairy

December starts:

Little Sheep Virtues No. 12  Joyfulness, by Little House Needleworks (current school project)

Winter by the Cricket Collection (started Dec. 22nd)

December finishes:

Primitive Hive, by Ewe & Eye & Friends


December stash acquisition:

I ordered a bunch of patterns by the Cricket Collection.  I had so much fun stitching Beach-y Mood that I ordered January, Winter, Spring, and August.  I debated ordering December but couldn’t figure out how to get rid of the santa in the “R”, so I ordered the December cottage from Country Cottage Needleworks.  My youngest son was born in December.  My older son was born in August, and I am a January baby.


The Cricket Collection charts use lots of colors, so they aren’t the least bit boring.  The charts are sturdier than most, and they are crystal clear!  So easy to read!  I don’t have to blow them up on the copier or squint to make out the symbol or struggle with similar-looking symbols.  This is my floss box for “Winter.”


I use these boxes only if a project has a lot of colors.  One section is temporarily holding thrums (or scraps); one has my small scissors; the piece of linen is holding spare needles.  I usually have a Star De-Tailor in there too, but it is in the zipper pouch for this project right now.  If I was using thread conditioner (oops, I forgot!) that would be in there too.


December was a wild month.  There were two quick, fruitless house hunting trips at the beginning of the month, followed by my parents visiting the following week, then a birthday, followed by my son graduating from college with his Master of Science in Meteorology, followed by another family member visiting.  So there wasn’t much time for stitching.  And then, due to my age, I have had my “monthly friend” since the 8th!  I have lost so much blood that I am horribly anemic.  I haven’t felt like stitching, at least not physically, though mentally I have!  I keep hoping THIS IS THE END of that, but every other month, there it is.  It has never lasted this long before, though.  I am worn out.

Goals for 2017, Lord willing:

To finish all these started projects!!!  I ordered two Rolaframes and I am hoping that will help me get the two BIG projects going (Loara Standish and Quaker Gone Tropic.  QGT outgrew my q-snaps.)

Moving!  And I hope to have a great stitching spot in the next house.  🙂

Selling off stash — probably on eBay, instead of moving it.  Lambswool linen, used patterns, etc.

I have no other specific goals in mind.  I would just like to have a productive year!

May God richly bless you with a happy, healthy, joy-filled year!


November Wrapup

November was a strange month and not a very productive one as far as stitching is concerned.

The month started with a bang:  We were scheduled to list our home for sale on November 1st.  The agent listed it a few days early.  By day 2 we had multiple offers!

This involved packing up closet clutter, having professional photos taken, and showing our home 5 times in 2 days.  S-T-R-E-S-S.

Thus followed a frantic flurry of longer-distance, and unfruitful, house-hunting trips.  Lots of stitching time was lost.  Lots of stress means that when I am home, I don’t always feel like stitching, which is so NOT me.

But there was a little progress and several finishes.



Plant Kindness, by Little House Needleworks, stitched on Aida

This was my stitch-during-school project.


Little House Needleworks “Gentleness”

Another school project, stitched on 32 count linen.  I hate how the white is barely visible.  I changed the color multiple times too.  😦



Little House Needleworks Little Sheep Virtues “Gratitude”

Another school project.  28 count lambswool Jobelan in the called for threads.cam01289

Ewe & Eye & Friends, “Primitive Sheep”

32 count natural linen with DMC floss

And I started EE&F “Primitive Hive” right away.

There was some progress on Quaker Gone Tropic this month.  My camera batteries died and I grabbed my cell phone to snap these pictures, then forgot about QGT.

This is it!  I really made no other progress this month.

If you look at the photo with Prim Sheep and Hive, you will notice that I stitched them on the same piece of fabric.  I left enough room for my framer to frame them (some day.)  This wasted less fabric than cutting them individually, because of all the extra needed to fit in the Q-snap.  Yes, I do use a complete q-snap but removed one clamp for the photo.

You can see scraps of fabric beneath the upper and lower clamps.  That is FLEECE.  Yes, fleece.  Just scraps that I cut up.  You can put your needles into it, whether threaded or not.  I had read a tip years ago to use felt, and your loose old clamps will fit better.  Well, the felt BLED onto the linen.  So then I tried quilt batting.  If you like to put your needles into it, you will deal with lots of bits of fluff and that was a PAIN, especially when it would get caught in the eye or cling to the floss.  So I tried fleece, and it is by far the best!  No bleeding, and no fluff.  Try it!

I think you can see my normal stitching spot in this photo.  My lamp is never far from me!


If it isn’t incredibly hot out (which isn’t that often)  I like to stitch out here because of the abundance of natural light.729-pine-island-drive-14

I never actually stitched here, but this is Home of my Stash.  On the left you can see my flosses in the triple tower.  I got the DMC drawers from the local LNS when it dropped cross stitch for knitting.  😦  They only sold old patterns anyway and had been a yarn store from before I moved here.  In these drawers I store ALL of my floss, including overdyed, all my beads, Whisper, Petite Braid, and beeswax.


The bureau holds the rest of my stash.  The top two drawers hold other stuff.

Drawer 2 holds my patterns and kits.  Drawer  3 holds fabrics.  Drawer 4 holds most of my q-snaps and gadgets (Kreinik threads, charms & buttons, thread conditioner, pieces of fleece for my q-snaps, magnifying glass, Tacky Bob, etc.  The bottom drawer is the Cross Stitch Graveyard, where finished pieces reside until Someday when they get finished or framed, and patterns that I am finished with.


I have been stitching for 25+ years now.  No, I don’t have much stash, but I used to have LOADS of stash until I lost the vision in my left eye in 2001.  I was told that it would never come back, and I couldn’t see well enough to stitch, so I sold or gave away EVERYTHING except my DMC floss and Gentle Arts floss.  Then I got my vision back.  And everything was gone!

I lost my vision in that eye once more in 2007.  I was told it was too far gone and not coming back.  This time, I kept my meager stash.  And my vision came back 8 weeks later.

This month looks to be another hectic one.  My youngest child will turn 10 this week.  My parents are coming to visit this week.  Son #2 is graduating with his master’s degree in meteorology, Christmas, New Year’s, my birthday, my wedding anniversary, and in between finding a house and moving!

I would deeply appreciate prayers regarding finding a home.  Everything we have seen is in terrible condition (but priced too high for us to fix it) and not what we are looking for.

Since Hive is nearly finished, I hope to finish that this month.  I have the Little Sheep Virtues for December ready to be my school project.  I am not sure about anything else at this point!

Have a blessed, peaceful December!