Heartland Sampler

Hooray, it’s finished!


So why did it take so long?

My poor fabric choice.

This is 40 count lambswool linen.  It’s rough and scratchy and I have sensitive skin.  It can shred skin right off my fingers.  Another issue was the color — notice my barely-there sheep and picket fence (on the right, about halfway down.)  Once the piece is on mounting board, this may not be an issue but if it is, I will have to pick a different color and re-stitch it.

This was a fun piece to do and *should* have been finished much sooner.  I am so glad it is out of the WIP/UFO list.  🙂

I changed the color of the house to slate (Gentle Arts) because it would have been washed-out white too.  Other than that and some human mistakes, it was stitched as designed.  The chart was easy to work with, mistake free, so I would buy more patterns from the Scarlett House and would recommend you do too!  🙂

Happy stitching!



As my dad would say…  that’s “finally” in Italian.  🙂



I finished it yesterday.  The weird angles are because it is in a small q-snap as I am picking out the border.

On to something FUN!!!

I was thinking Heartland Sampler (but uh oh… a big house is next and I have had it with houses) or Guadalupe or Quaker Gone Tropic.  I’m feeling lazy so whatever is already in q-snaps is going to win.  😉

I think they all are in q-snaps…

I have 10 starts and 11 finishes for this year.  I know I will be starting my last baseball pattern soon, probably on Opening Day — it’s coming up quick!  Other than that I have no plans to start anything else.  Of course all plans are subject to change.  🙂

I’d really like to knock some things off the WIP–in-perpetuity list.  That’s my only goal.

My youngest son and I planted zinnia and marigold seeds today.  We’ll see how that goes.  Last year we had maybe a 60% success rate.

I’m off to finish frogging that border.  I am almost done and want to get it over with before I have to worry about dinner.

Happy stitching!

Spring sprung

Finished!!!   I finished it into a banner.


I haven’t seen a finish like this.  I did make one for Valentine’s Day a long time ago, but it was quilted, not cross stitched.

After ironing the finished pieces, I made “sandwiches” of the stitching, quilt batting, and cotton fabric.  I sewed these together by attaching wide double-fold bias binding, spaced them 3″ apart between wide quilt binding, and sewed the quilt binding closed.  I left 15″ spare binding on each end in case I want to hang it someplace else sometime.

My phone camera washed out the S and P in this early afternoon light.  (It’s supposed to be mostly sunny all day, but it’s been mostly cloudy.)

I wish I could tell you that the dental woes are over, but they are just beginning.  I am thinking of selling off some finished, framed pieces to pay some of my dental bill.  (I have Primary Sjogren’s Syndrome, and besides dry eyes, dry mouth, and nerve damage, it has decimated my teeth and gums.)  😦  Trying to decide which pieces to part with is not easy.  Maybe seasonal ones that are only out sometimes?  Ones that none of my children have claimed for their own?  It’s so hard to decide.

I finished pesky Abigail Adams and have made progress on the other two.  Not fun, but I am plodding along.

Have you seen the Nashville Market previews?  I don’t see anything that is a must-stitch for me, and that is usually how it goes.  It’s a good thing because I may have to sell off some new patterns too.  😦

I’m going to keep smiling anyway!

Happy stitching!

R and I

The sun was out long enough this morning for me to take better pictures of the letter I and my just-finished letter R.


The fabric is more purple in real life.  On a cloudier day indoors, the pictures made the fabric look white.  I dyed this one myself the other day.  Dyeing fabric might be more fun than cross stitching!  This is 28-count Cashel linen.


Another piece of 28-count Cashel linen that I dyed the other day.

I was hoping to finish one letter a day then work on the Early Americans, but yesterday I didn’t have as much time (DENTIST AGAIN!) and didn’t finish the R until late this morning.

Today I will start the letter P on hand-dyed pink Cashel when I have a chance.  Hopefully this project will be finished soon.  I am so bored with the Early Americans series that I need to just plod through it as much as I can to get it over with — not a good feeling.  I hope I have finally learned my lesson to NEVER sign up for automatics on a series that I can’t see.  If I knew it was going to be 80% boring bland houses, I would have passed on this one.  😦  I am so NOT enjoying it that I am rewarding myself with these letters in between sessions.  Whatever works, right?

I hope your stitching is not boring to you, and that the sun is shining wherever you are.  (It’s been close to 90 degrees every day for about a week and a half… too warm for February!)  Be happy, and stitch the FUN stuff first!  😉



Paul Revere at last!  The Muddy Puddle floss came and I was able to finish him!  Abigail Adams is nearly finished, too.


The letter G… stitched on blue 28 count evenweave.20180221_180953_Burst01_resized

The letter S, stitched on 28 count Watercress Jobelan.

I have the letter “I” finished too, but the picture was not good.  I need daylight to capture the color of the fabric.

The letters are from the Cricket Collection pattern, “Spring.”  I am stitching each letter individually on different colored fabric because I have a finishing idea for them.  🙂

I’ve been down with tooth trouble, which means more time to stitch.  I just wish the tooth trouble was all in the past.  Let’s just say I had NO trouble until I went to the dentist.  They made it bad on the first visit, excruciating on the 2nd, and worse than bad on the 3rd.  $1700 later, and I have a lot of pain.  I had NO pain when I first went.  Not happy… but I am stitching!

Until next time… happy stitching!

Midwinter Stitching

A little progress (and I do mean a LITTLE.)


Quaker Gone Tropic.  On the left is the latest update.  You can see that I didn’t really get much done on this one.  There was an error in the green section on the right, and I ripped that back and re-stitched it.  The county fair is coming up this month and this was to be my entry.   That isn’t happening this year!

It is still a fun project to work on.  I just haven’t been stitching much.  I’ve had a subluxated wrist and a bout of tendonitis in my left wrist, and I am a lefty stitcher.


Heartland Sampler, updated version on the right.

There is definitely some improvement there.  It’s encouraging at least!


Paul Revere, updated version on the right.

With 29 stitches to go for the finish…  I ran out of floss in that color.  Of course it is overdyed, and I don’t have a shop nearby.  Thankfully my order with Stitches n Things has not been completed as of now, so Deb was able to add the skein of Muddy Puddle.  Hopefully one skein is enough to finish the whole project.


Mary Burgess.  A little progress here too!  🙂  Somewhat embarrassing to show you how little I have done this year, but I’m human, and definitely NOT perfect.

I had burned through (or sold off) my entire yarn stash, minus one skein of cotton for dishcloths and two for a shawl (someday.)  I picked up a big skein of baby yarn in white to make these for charity.


These are burial sets for babies and one burial blanket by itself.  I have made hundreds of these sets over the past ten years (though not many at all for the last six years or so.)

I also tried some of the scrubby yarn and made a scrubbie for my kitchen.  I am not too happy with how it turned out.  The pattern was designed for regular cotton yarn.  Mine is very hard where I sewed in the ends.  I knit the scrubbie, and I knit continental style.  My first two fingers are missing some skin because of it.  I had to switch to English-style knitting which is painfully slow.  The yarn was hard to work with too (due to the nature of the construction) so I won’t be making any more for a while.  Too many wrist and finger problems here to want to struggle with that.  Been there, done that, and ended up in wrist braces for 6 – 8 weeks, sometimes longer.  The crocheting also triggered the carpal tunnel I have in both wrists.  My wrists and hands are just so bad!  I have to take it easy because I want to be able to stitch for the rest of my life.

Plans?  Uh…  I guess I will plod along on UFOs/WIPs for a while.  I would really like a finish!  I contemplated starting something smaller, but do I really want another project hanging around?  I won’t be knitting or crocheting for a little while until the tingling/pain/tendonitis calms down.  I still can cross stitch as long as I use a bigger needle (26 or 24.)  I am thankful for that.  I have only a few projects using that needle size going right now.

My UFO/WIP list currently:

Heartland Sampler, 40 ct lambswool linen  (13″ x 7.25″)

Quaker Gone Tropic, 32 count lemon whip lugana  (11.5″ x 28″)

Loara Standish, 35 ct linen (11.5″ x 33.5″)

Cardinal Points, 18 ct Aida (12.5″ square)

Emmanuel’s Song, 32 ct linen  (4.5″ x 18.5″)

Our Lady of Guadalupe, 28 ct jobelan (11″ x 15″)

Paul Revere, 32 ct lambswool linen

Mary Burgess reproduction sampler, 35 ct linen (7.5″ x 17.5″)

Samplers, 36 ct linen  (4″ x 11″)

Betsy, 36 ct linen  (4.5″ x 12.5″)

A Right Spirit, 35 ct linen

Hopefully I’ll finish SOMEthing soon!

Wishing you happy, pain-free, mistake-free stitching!



Class and 2018 finish #1

I finally have a finish!  It was a 3-day project and was fun to do (although the ric-rac row was a bit of a pill.)

fear not

Fear Not needleroll, Shepherd’s Bush, from Shepherd’s fold 2014

Making it into a needleroll is another story.  The last one I did sat for about 15 years unfinished.  Yikes!

I started off January by teaching an introduction to cross stitch class.  I covered the different types of fabrics, different threads, tools like needles and scissors, how to floss toss, thread conditioners vs. wax vs. nothing, etc.  Then the girls got to choose their patterns!  I presented them with a large number of freebies and some designs that were donated by a cross stitch store just for our class.  Three out of four girls chose designs from the store!

So their projects were 2 Lizzie Kate freebies, one Lizzie Kate design, and a freebie from My Big Toe designs.

The girls set out to purchase their supplies.  One girl wanted brown fabric and got a crash course in how to dye with tea and coffee.  She accepted the challenge and dyed her own Aida!  None of the girls chose linen fabric, although it was an option.

For our next class, we started stitching!  I taught them the loop method, how to end threads, stitching one stitch at a time and stitching across a row.  I taught them how to read the chart and how to find one’s place on the fabric.

I think the biggest challenge was their limited supply of hoops.  They forgot to buy a bigger one and one girl really needed a 7-inch.

It was a great experience!  They asked intelligent questions that I just take for granted and it got me to look at stitching through the eyes of a newbie again.  I am self-taught so I made lots of mistakes along the way and would have liked to have someone teach me back then!

I hope I did a good job.  Their mom said they have been stitching away!


I hope I can teach again in the future!  I had a great time!

Did you have someone teach you to stitch, or are you self-taught?  Have you ever taught anyone to stitch?

I hope your January stitching was more productive than mine.  My current projects are all BIG and I feel like I will never finish anything!  Slow and steady, I guess…

Have a blessed week!


A Little Progress

After posting the other day I decided to try an experiment.  What if I stitched just 3 needles worth of floss on a few UFOs every day?  Would that make a dent in the ever-increasing pile of unfinished projects?  Would it maybe break my stitcher’s slump?

The slump is still here.  But I have made a little progress!

You can see a little bit of progress on the wave and fish, and the plant on the right.  Better than no progress!

Even Paul Revere got some stitching done on him!

This one had a little frogging done on it, but you can still see a little progress.

I made a little headway on Emmanuel’s song — very little.  I’m signing off here and getting that one out next.

In case what I am doing isn’t clear:

Today on Heartland, I did one needle of Country Redwood, one of Endive, and one of Picket Fence.  I used them up completely, except for Country Redwood (I ran out of things in this section that needed it.  I stitched the flag today.)  Then I waxed and threaded needles for tomorrow — Endive, Picket Fence, and Soot.  It’s ready to go as soon as I can get to it.

Today on Quaker, I did one needle of aqua, one of green, and one of purple silk.  Then I threaded another aqua, another green, and I have a pink ready to go.  I stick the needles in the fleece that I use to make my q-snaps tighter.

I hope this helps someone who may be in a slump someday.  It is working for me so far, but we know everyone is different.

Happy stitching!


Last time I mentioned losing my stitching muse during Hurricane Irma.  Guess what?  She is still lost, out there floating around somewhere.

I have ZERO finishes to show you.

I’ve been slowly working on a few pieces.  Some were already started and languishing in the UFO pile.

I have no photography skills.  I have neuropathy in both elbows and both wrists, and apparantly I shake when taking pictures, even though it must be a very fine tremor.  I apologize for the quality.

paul revere

The Early Americans by Little House Needleworks, No. 6 Paul Revere

Borrrrrrinnnnngggg…  This project is languishing due to lack of interest on my part.  I just picked it up again this week and am in no hurry to get back to it.  I think I may tear the border out.  It remains to be seen.


A little progress on Quaker Gone Tropic.  It’s still a fun stitch, but the aqua wave is rather long and gets to be … dull… to stitch.  At least I can jump around, which you see I have been doing!  One aqua strand at a time…



This is Lavender and Lace’s Celtic Winter.  My husband suggested I stitch it to sell since I didn’t want the pattern any more and didn’t want to stitch it.  Interesting?  Heck no!  Stitching for money is a waste of time.  You get less than a penny per hour.  I am trying to talk him into stitching it, if it’s such a great idea…


This is my start on Joan Elliott’s Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Sorry for the weird cropping, but I didn’t realize the pattern was showing in the picture.


I actually picked at Heartland Sampler yesterday.  It was kind of fun.  I still hate the scratchy fabric though.

emanuels song

My Christmas stitch for 2017.  Emmanuel’s Song.  LOL  Ugh…  It was moving along fine until a couple of people told me the words were illegible.  I have never been fond of the “new”  Shepherd’s Bush font anyway, so I picked out a row of OVER ONE stitching.  I then had to chart all the lines of words over again.  Today I stitched the bottom row here in my own font.  And what did those same people say?  Suddenly they could read the other font.  I was ready to bash my skull against a wall!  It is staying as is.  I will gradually rip out the offending font and replace it with my own.  While ripping out the third line during school today, I raked my needle across my thumb, slicing it open.  I washed it and put Benadryl gel on it, but it is still itchy.  I am allergic to nickel.  Needless to say I am ready to throw this thing…

I guess I am not getting much pleasure out of stitching lately.  I know this, too, shall pass.  This just seems to be a prolonged episode of stitching funk.  I keep getting tempted to start some small freebies just to have a finish.  Maybe it would boost my morale.  Maybe?  But I haven’t done that yet.  We’ll see what happens as the new year rolls around.

If I don’t come back before next year, a merry blessed Christmas to you and have a wonderful, blessed, prosperous new year!


Crazy September

September has been a wild month.  It started off with a Sunday at church where my son picked up the stomach bug.  He was sick all night long.  The following day, I was supposed to start my methotrexate and had to cancel, since I didn’t want to catch his germs.  The last time I had the stomach bug was in the 1970s.

But that record stretch was about to be broken, as *I* caught it from him.  I couldn’t eat for days, which wasn’t such a bad thing as I lost 5.5 pounds.  The last day I was sick, Hurricane Irma hit.  We had evacuee guests, so I cleaned the whole house with Lysol (which worked, as no one else got sick.)

Irma’s eye passed right over my house around 2 in the morning.  At 2:30, I could no longer stay in bed and stepped out into the screened lanai.  I was joined by my brother-in-law, then my two sons, and lastly my sister-in-law.  We all agreed there was no going to sleep again, and since the power was off and had been since the previous evening, we boiled water on the gas grill and made a pot of coffee.  My brother in law slowly poured the coffee through a filter, and at 4:00 we had coffee!

Once it was dawn, we could see that my screened lanai had lost 5 big screens, my flower gardens were destroyed, and there was a little ceiling damage in the lanai.  All in all, that’s not bad.

The big deal ended up being the lack of electricity (until Tuesday night) and having to drive 25 miles to find gas for the generator.  The day after Irma, we lost cell phone service (why????) and that was a huge pain.  It was out for almost a week.  I couldn’t get or send texts after a while.  I could text at the beginning if I stood at the end of the driveway.  Finally it got so bad that we went for a ride so I could text my daughter.  Sigh….

Another bad thing was that the stores were out of dairy for over a week.  My husband managed to find some coffee creamer somewhere.  Due to the gap in time where he couldn’t find gas for the generator, we lost a lot of food from the refrigerator.

You can see how I didn’t manage to stitch anything.

Post-Irma — I’ve stitched a very little.  I have been doing more punch needle.  I seem to be burned out cross stitch wise now.  I have totally lost interest in the Main Street series and have debated selling the started project.  Yikes!


I finished my first one!  This is a free pattern.


And I finished my second one!  This one is from Punch Needle and Primitive Stitcher magazine.


And my third one, also from PNPS magazine.  The overdyed floss — my first attempt at dyeing my own.  I love how it turned out.

This poor blurry snowman is a free pattern too.  He is supposed to be a coaster, but he will become a Christmas ornament.  You can find the pattern here.


Next was a little stitching, also from PNPS magazine.  This Prim Kitty was supposed to have a periwinkle colored flower.  I changed all the colors.


This was so much fun to stitch, that I did a second one and changed the flower.


I can imagine changing out the flower for different seasonal things — a snowflake, a pumpkin, etc.

Next project was a freehand snowman that I drew, sewed, and stuffed.


I wanted sticks for arms, but we couldn’t find any suitable ones.

Next:  I drew this kitty freehand and made him up.



He was a lot of fun to make.  Not that fun to stuff…

Lastly, today’s cat, also drawn freehand.  The whiskers on this one are wire.


None of them are perfect, but they were fun to make.  If I didn’t have allergies, I am sure I would be a crazy cat lady.  Instead I have one Siberian cat that I am not allergic to at all.  Here she is, sleeping under a clock.  (My husband took the clock down to paint.  Silly cat!)


And that about wraps up September.  If I manage to get anything else done, I will add another post.

May God bless you and keep you safe!