Margaret and Mary

Since my last post, I had gone back to working on Mary Burgess.  And unfortunately, the frog has been keeping close by my side.  This is as far as I had gotten (I still have a leaf to rip out) —


Mary is a kit from the Essamplaire.  I especially hate frogging when it is a kit because one never knows if that will cause a thread shortage.  This is silk on 35-count linen.  Mary has some lively colors and she is the oldest known Rhode Island sampler.  I was born and raised there, so Mary is especially meaningful to me.

I thought that maybe if I switched projects, the frog would leave.  No such luck!  I started Margaret Havelock last Sunday and finished her today.  I probably could have finished yesterday, but that darn frog was active as ever!


Margaret was stitched with DMC floss on 32 count linen that I dyed myself.  I’m a much better dyer than stitcher.  I loved the colors on her sampler, and I am especially fond of simple schoolgirl samplers like this one.  I always enjoy every stitch (except the frogging) and it has gotten me thinking.  Sampers are my real love.  Pictures not so much.  So WHY would I stitch anything else?

I woke up this morning with my neck out of place and I couldn’t crack it back in, which causes a nasty headache.  Heat didn’t help.  Tylenol either.  And while I was in pain, I remembered a conversation I had with my doctor several years ago.  I thought it could be helpful for someone so I decided to tell the story,

My neck was hurting horribly.  I am not big on going to the doctor, but I went this time.  This was before we knew I have Ehlers-Danlos (the hypermobile type.)

“Do you do projects?”  She asked me.

“Uh… I don’t know what you mean.”  I had to admit.

“Projects.  You know, like knitting or anything like that.”

I told her I was a knitter and an avid cross stitcher.

“Aha!  A cross stitcher!”  She went on to tell me that she had treated another stitcher for horrible neck pain.  She solved the issue by purchasing a needlework stand and keeping her work at shoulder height, so that her head wasn’t tilted down.  She said if I wanted to stitch into my old age, I needed to get a stand and STOP looking down at my work.

I have to say that this works.  But yesterday I took Margaret out of the stand and worked through 2 baseball games and I got a good ol’ case of Stitcher’s Neck.  Today Margaret went back into the stand until I got to the last row (too hard to reach at that point, even with adjustments.)

I took Mary back out this afternoon and started working on her, and DUH forgot to put her in the stand.  I noticed quickly enough that my neck is fine and I will put her in the stand, I promise.

Happy, pain-free stitching, everyone!


Quaker Update

It’s been a rough Spring, between tooth problems (dentist tomorrow- again!), colds, allergies, etc.

I took this picture this morning.  Yes, Quaker Gone Tropic should have been done by now.  No excuses, other than massive allergy problems that miraculously clear up if I go outside or leave the house altogether.  Wheezing (haven’t had asthma in over 10 years) sneezing, congestion, headaches, and a nonstop cough have kept me from stitching.  We have tried to figure out what I am allergic to, even getting rid of the new furniture and rugs temporarily, and while it helped it didn’t end it.  I got rid of my mattress topper, my foam cervical support pillow… and still feel like my airway is going to close permanently.  I have coughed so much that I have lost weight.  Whatever it is, it is miserable.


qgt april 11

In this picture, you can see that I finished page 6 and page 8.  Since I took this shot, I have finished page 5.  (I only had a little more palm tree and the orange plant to go.)

There’s a problem here.  Neptune/Poseidon or whoever he is is DOWN one row altogether.  He should be one square higher.  I haven’t decided whether I will rip him out or not.  What would you do?

This one should be finished in a couple of days, barring repeated disasters at the dentist.  I will be glad to see it done!  Then on to the next UFO.

Rant ahead:  If you don’t like rants, stop here and happy stitching to you!

I have so much stuff for sale on Etsy and eBay,, and sales are little to none.  I hate how much shipping costs,  and I don’t make anything on shipping at all.  When you consider what I paid for the pattern, or the pattern, frame, mats, framing job, etc., I almost always lose money.  Charts are barely moving.  My finished pieces – forget it!  I never will figure it out.  Someone is always willing to pay more for a wrinkled stitched-on-14-count-Aida piece made in China than to pay for mine.  I was hoping to make back SOME of the money lost to the dentist but that doesn’t seem likely.  I had one person make an offer to buy a piece a couple of months ago, and they barely wanted to cover the cost of the materials, never mind the framing.  And how about my labor?  I would much rather be selling something else, but stitching is all I have so when I need money, this is what I try to do.  I would NOT recommend it to anyone.  Same for knitting.  I found out I was allergic to wool one day when I wore one of my lace shawls.  Welts up and down my arms and everywhere it touched.  This shawl had been washed and blocked.  I was so sad to have to put them up for sale on Etsy — about 12 of them.  All lace, all made with laceweight yarn.  I priced them at half of what others were going for, and watched people buy shawls that were straight knit stitches, just rectangles and triangles, made with acrylic yarn for more than TWICE what mine were priced.  I ended up donating mine to charity, and of course lost the money paid in listing fees.  Maybe I need to become a hoarder, instead of an antihoarder.  I don’t like anything hanging around that I won’t/can’t use, like cross stitch patterns that I stitched, books I didn’t enjoy, shawls I can’t wear, fabric I don’t like, and the list goes on.  Rolaframes?  All the rage.  Mine are on eBay.  (I hate them.  I can’t get the fabric tight and neither can my husband.  I love my q-snaps.)

What do you do with used charts?  Craft supplies you dislike?  Do you hoard them, sell them, swap them?  Suggestions are welcomed.  Do you ever sell your work?  Where?

Happy stitching to all!