A Needle Book

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The free cover kit with the October issue of Cross Stitch Crazy is this adorable sunflower needle book. It even comes with a silver butterfly charm! Although you can’t see in the photos, there is an additional piece of felt so when you fold the book over you have two pages inside the cover. The backstitch on this one is a bit tricky on the flowers, and so is the cross stitch in two yellow shades of floss. Lots of quarter stitches in this! Keep a sharp needle handy to pierce the Aida blocks.


Butterfly Garden

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I have had this kit designed by Susan Bates for years, ever since I saw it advertised in a British magazine. I fell in love with it and had to have it… Amazon to the rescue! But it sat in my stash for ages. I finally decided to get it out earlier this year and it plugged away at it little by little. I took progress pictures along the way but never got around to posting them. After months of work, here is the finished product!

It is washed and ironed, but it will be a while before I get around to framing it, as is usually the case! I have a box full of things I stitched 10-15 years ago (or more) and have not done anything with yet.


How Crazy is This?

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Many weeks ago, I was contacted by Cross Stitch Crazy magazine and was asked if I would allow them to mention my Mason jar tutorial in an upcoming issue. Of course, I said yes! I created the tutorial after making up an elephant for one of my daughter’s preschool teachers. And in just a few weeks, my daughter will be starting 5th grade!

You can find the Mason jar tutorial here.

Be sure to check out issue 259 of Cross Stitch Crazy, which contains so many neat designs. I’m very partial to the Halloween designs by Emma Congdon, and just love the way they are framed in embroidery hoops decorated with ribbon.

XXX
Carrie


What is This Pattern?

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You never know what you will find while in a thrift store! Recently I was visiting my parents, and we went to a church-run thrift store. I found a scroll frame in a bag, along with several finished cross stitched pieces. The bag was all stapled shut, so I could not see exactly what was inside. But the parts seemed to be all there, and the price was great, so I decided to take a chance. Back at my parents’ house, I opened the bag and found that the frame was not only all there, but it was a tabletop/lap model, and included three sets of scroll rods in different sizes. Score! I can pretty much only stitch hands free now, and I have not been able to find additional rods for my lap frame (it was made by a handiman, not a major company). But what I was really taken with was this half finished design of yellow roses. There were other designs in the bag, completed and partially completed, but I threw them out. Most of them were stained badly, and the only one that wasn’t was just not to my taste at all. But these roses are beautiful, and expertly stitched. The stitcher put a basting thread down the middle of all of the pieces she did, which I thought was interesting. I might have to try that sometime. I did a Google search for yellow roses cross stitch patterns and even tried to search with my image, to no avail. I’m not sure why this piece was never finished, or why it and the frame and other pieces were thrown in a bag and donated. Perhaps the stitcher died, or could not see to cross stitch any more. Even though I don’t know who she/he is, I would love to give this a home on the wall.

If you know what this pattern is, please let me know! I would love to finish it.

XXX
Carrie


The Home Stretch

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I now have the first house done in row 3, plus half of the bottom border. Two more houses to go!

Sorry, bad lighting + camera phone = poor quality photo.

I think I will tackle the rest of the side and bottom border first, then the extra snowflakes, and finally the last 2 houses. I really want to get done with this project so I can start something new, like this awesome sugar skull from the October 2018 issue of Cross Stitch Crazy.

I just love how this looks on black fabric! But it might be hard on the eyes.

I also really need to finish up the deer in the woods and get some work done on a Summer Ball. And all those Egyptian charts… I guess they will have to wait a while! ūüôĀ

XXX
Carrie



House #7 in Progress

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This 3 day Easter weekend I am going to take it easy and try to get in as much stitching time as possible. I would love to complete gingerbread house #7 by Sunday night. Here is my progress from yesterday and so far today:

I’m definitely slower at stitching than I used to be. I have to get up and walk a lot, and my hands get tired. But this pattern is so easy to follow and has such few colors and full stitches only, so that really helps. I think after this house is finished I will work on the bottom border. Then I will just have 2 houses to go!

XXX
Carrie


Llamas!

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The new issue of Cross Stitch Crazy is out, and I absolutely adore these cute llama charts! I am especially taken with the pink one, because what’s not to love about a fuzzy pink llama?

The only problem is, these charts utilize Madeira Lana threads to give the llamas that fuzzy look. It is a 50% wool, 50% acrylic blend that turns fuzzy when applying a wire brush to it after stitching is completed. I have searched online to no avail, this thread simply doesn’t seem to be available in the US. Rainbow Gallery does make a thread called Wisper that is supposed to create the same effect, but it does not come in as many colors as the Lana. And it is 70% mohair and 30% nylon, so it is a bit different. I do have some kid mohair threads in my stash which I have never stitched with because they are so fuzzy. I figured using them would be a royal pain. But I will have to dig my stash out and see if I have any colors that would work for this design (I highly doubt I have two shades of pink, if I have any bright colors at all).

I just love how they painted wooden hoops in bright colors and framed these designs in them. This whole set would look so cute hanging up by my desk!

You can find these charts in the June issue (255) of Cross Stitch Crazy.

XXX
Carrie


Margaret Sherry

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The cross stitch world lost a beloved designer recently, Margaret Sherry. Margaret designed adorable critters that stitchers just loved, and she will be greatly missed in the stitching world. Margaret’s daughter issued the following statement:

“It is with the deepest sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Margaret Sherry, aged 72. She passed away peacefully and surrounded by family after losing her battle with cancer. She was a devoted mother and grandmother and she has left a huge void in our family.¬†Margaret was an incredibly talented and inspirational artist, who over many years created a massive range of much-loved characters for cross stitch magazines and greetings cards. She was aware of, and extremely humbled by, her following, and her wish was not to let her characters die with her. Therefore, she passed the legacy on to me, her daughter, to continue the company and ensure The Margaret Sherry Collection and the vast catalogue of published and unpublished designs continue to be released and enjoyed long after her passing.”

Here are a few of my favorite Margaret Sherry designs I have stitched.

   

RIP, Margaret. You will be missed.

XXX
Carrie


What a Cutie!

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My little Cinco de Mayo mouse is finished!

I’m now going to go back to working on the gingerbread houses because that is a project I can stitch on hands-free. In the future, I might use one large piece of fabric on a scroll frame and stitch several of these mice on it, then cut them apart. Then my hands won’t hurt so badly when I stitch.

XXX
Carrie


Furry Tales

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Way back in January, after I had finished my Valentine’s Furry Tales mouse, I started on a new mouse but never took a picture of it or blogged about it. I didn’t get very far when I had to set it aside to deal with Girl Scout cookie season, catching up on things after Christmas, and more health issues. But this weekend I decided to see if I could get any work done on it. I did take a picture to mark my starting point, and was able to work for about 20 ¬†minutes at a time, several times.

This is what I started with. Not much, eh? The green 28 count fabric seemed like a good choice at the time (I know, it appears brown in the photos). Now, not so much. I really wish I had stitched this on plain white aida. The green and white floss is proving very trying on my eyesight!

And here is what I have now:

Can you tell what theme this mouse will be?

I’m stitching this one in a hoop, which I never do. Generally my left hand is not needed during stitching because I use a lap frame, but all of my scroll rods have other projects on them (and this was quite a small piece of fabric anyway). Between holding the hoop and looking down at the pattern and project, I can’t get in more than 20 minutes of stitching at a time, but I am pleased with how much progress I made on this little guy. I’d love to find a type of frame that not only lets me stitch hands free, but also allows me to look straight ahead while stitching instead of having to bend my neck down. If you have ever come across something like that, let me know!

XXX
Carrie


It’s Finger Stitchin’ Good!

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If you have an obsession with cross stitch, and with KFC fried chicken, you’re in luck. You can now purchase cross stitch charts from your favorite restaurant. KFC has set up an Etsy shop called HandmadeByKFC, where 5 patterns are available for instant download at a cost of $4.50 each (kits are also available but it looks like they are only being shipped within the UK). All of the proceeds go to charity, and supposedly you can even get free chicken by actually stitching one of the patterns. But the details on how to get your free chicken are not very clear, and that offer is definitely only for residents across the pond.¬†A spokesperson from KFC UK & Ireland siad: ”The real secret behind why our food tastes so Finger Lickin’ Good isn’t the secret recipe – it’s the way we bread it each day by hand. What better way to share that with our loyal fans than by inviting them to hand craft their very own KFC masterpiece whilst giving back to our local communities in the process”.

If you are interested in these charts you better hurry, because these patterns are available for a limited time only.

View the Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/HandmadeByKFC

XXX
Carrie


All Things Alice

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I love Alice in Wonderland, both the books and the Disney movies. I even dressed up as Alice one year at Disney World for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. But I have never cross stitched anything Alice related, probably because Disney does not license many cross stitch charts to begin with. But I just found a ton of Alice charts on Etsy, and a few of them really stood out. At first, I figured these patterns were totally illegal if they had the likeness of the Disney Alice characters, because there is no way these small time designers get permission from Disney to make money off of their copyrighted images. But, Etsy is somehow allowing people to get away with this, and Disney is obviously not going after anyone.

The chart that I really want to stitch is by CutePatternsByMaria, from the Ukraine. I absolutely love all of her designs! But this Alice in Wonderland design is like a watercolor painting, and so lifelike. It doesn’t have the cartoon-y feel to it like the Disney images.

You can purchase this chart on Etsy here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/595272049/alice-in-the-wounderland
And do be sure to check out the rest of her beautiful patterns.

The next pattern I loved was a splatter watercolor by SilhouetteStitch. At only $3.00, this one is a real bargain. I love the bright colors! And it looks like it would contain whole cross stitches only.

You can purchase this chart on Etsy here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/686292205/alice-in-wonderland-watercolor-cross

There is more to Alice in Wonderland than just Alice, however. I adore the Cheshire Cat (or as my daughter calls him, the Treasure Cat. She could not pronounce it correctly when she was a toddler, and the name has stuck ever since!)

This design is by RockingHorseCS and features the saying “we’re all mad here”. You can purchase this chart on Etsy here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/503831354/cheshire-cat-cross-stitch-pattern-alice

I also love NataliNeedlework’s set of card suits, which gives you patterns for “curiouser and curiouser” and “twinkle twinkle little bat, how I wonder what you’re at”. These are a bit pricier at $4.95 considering they are just words, but they should stitch up in a jiffy.

You can purchase this chart on Etsy here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/503831354/cheshire-cat-cross-stitch-pattern-alice

Which Alice in Wonderland character is your favorite? Drop me a note in the comments below. What I really was hoping to find a chart for (and could not) was something along the line of “don’t step on the mome raths”! That is a favorite quote of my daughter’s and mine. Maybe I will just have to design something myself!

XXX
Carrie


Egypt, my obsession!

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My daughter’s Girl Scout troop recently celebrated World Thinking Day. Each participating troop had to pick a country that they wanted to learn about and my girls chose EGYPT! I was actually pretty surprised (and excited) because I’ve had a fascination with ancient Egypt for a long time. The girls had to learn about Egypt’s climate, religion, people, sports, foods, and more. They created a display, wore scarves to cover their heads, handed out “swaps” done in the colors of Egypt’s flag, and served everyone that attended an Egyptian dish: watermelon salad. Did you know watermelons were first cultivated in Egypt? Part of their display consisted of my books on ancient Egypt and how to read hieroglyphs. Flipping through these books got me interested in the cross stitch aspect of Egypt again, and making me wish I had more pain-free days for stitching. I decided to search Google for Egyptian themed charts, as I’m sure a lot of new ones have come out since the last time I looked. Look at these gorgeous cross stitched creations!

  

  

    

  

I’ll need to search for the kits or patterns for some of these, to add to my collection. What cross stitch theme do you always need more designs of?

XXX
Carrie


DMC √Čtoile

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It has been a while since DMC introduced their new¬†√Čtoile embroidery floss, but I have never had a chance to actually stitch something with it. I decided to take a closer look at this floss and see if I couldn’t find a small, simple pattern utilizing these colors.

DMC says this floss is made of “73% coton ‚Äď27% Polyamide m√©tallique”. I wasn’t sure what Polyamide was, so I decided to Google it. The definition:¬†a synthetic polymer of a type made by the linkage of an amino group of one molecule and a carboxylic acid group of another, including many synthetic fibers such as nylon. Well, I’m glad that cleared things up! Upon further examination of the floss, I found that it is 6 stranded just like normal cotton embroidery floss. Each strand is made up of two thinner strands, tightly wound together. It appears that one of the strands is just plain cotton, while the other is a mixture of cotton and metallic. By winding these two together, you get the sparkle of the metallic at even intervals along the length of the thread.

The colors are very loosely numbered after their cotton floss counterparts, but with a C in front of the number. I say very loosely because some of the colors don’t really match at all. Blanc, for instance, is not white at all, but a dingy gray color. It actually appears to be the same as C415, which is a gray color. At first I thought the floss I received had the wrong label on it, but after searching online I found that others were saying the same thing. I’m not a big fan of the stock photos DMC has put out for this floss, because they obviously have the flashy stars Photoshopped onto them. And the colors do not seem to be the same to me. There is only one light purple skein, and it is much darker than what is shown in the photo above. It also has more of a mauve tone to it instead of the pale lavender that they show. The light pink they show is also much lighter than in real life. That is C603, and it is actually a dark bubble gum pink.¬†Ecru (not shown) has a sort of greenish hue to it. I’m not saying the colors are bad, just that they don’t match the promo photos DMC is using in the media, and they won’t be exactly like their cotton floss equivalents.

Since there are only 35 colors, the options are quite limited; there is a dark purple and a light purple, there is a dark pink and a light pink plus 3 burgundies which are similar to each other . Green comes in 4 shades – regular green, darker “Christmas” green, lime, and olive. There are more options when stitching with neutral colors – black, dark gray, medium gray, light gray (plus the white that looks gray), and 6 shades of brown.

In terms of how well this floss stitches up, and how easy it is to use, that remains to be seen. I have found a few free patterns from DMC’s website and I will pick one and give it try. I’m thinking Thread Heaven will help keep the threads from tangling, but I would really like to see how this floss does on its own to give it a fair rating, so I probably won’t use it. I will also take my own set of photos of what this floss looks like and how the shades match the original cotton floss.

XXX
Carrie


Be Mine?

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Finished already! I absolutely loved working on this fun little Furry Tales mouse from issue 238 of The World of Cross Stitching (February 2016). It only took a few days of stitching, working for a few minutes here and there. The photo doesn’t do it justice, but the fabric is a nice light pink. I’m going to finish this off as a pillow ornament with some fabrics left over from my quilting days.

XXX
Carrie



House #6

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I am now officially 2/3 of the way done with this project!

3 more houses to go. But, life is about to get real busy. With January comes paying taxes (I am soooo unorganized this year) and… Girl Scout cookie sales! My husband has already been taking our daughter around the neighborhood for a couple of days. Last year was her first year as a Scout. Hopefully this year will be even better!

XXX
Carrie



New Year’s Resolutions

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I generally do not make New Years Resolutions. They are hard to keep, and you generally end up feeling more frustrated that they didn’t work out than you did excited that they will. But I do have some goals that I would like to accomplish in 2019 in terms of stitching:

  1. Finish the gingerbread houses project.
  2. Finish the mermaid project.
  3. Stitch a few Lucie Heaton’s Furry Tales designs to end up with a collection that I can change out during the year. (I currently have only done one, this St. Patrick’s Day mouse, and that was 3 years ago!)

What do you plan to stitch this year?

XXX
Carrie


House #5

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House #5 is done at last! This project has been a work in progress for a long time. I didn’t get it done in time for last Christmas, and I didn’t get it done in time for this Christmas. But instead of putting it away now that Christmas is over, I plan to keep working on it. It’s just such a fun project. Here is what it looks like in the hoop – it is the third and final house on the top row.

Next I will move on to the third house on the second row. I had to move the hoop anyway, so I decided to give it a quick iron. It’s not perfectly pressed, but at least the hoop marks won’t be as hard to get out once it is completed and washed.

XXX
Carrie


Mermaid Update

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Although I haven’t stitched any more on this recently, I decided to unroll it from the scroll frame so I could get a better look at what I have done so far.

I love this mermaid! I am still going to work on my gingerbread houses for a while, but I can’t wait to get back into this when the weather gets nicer and it is not so dark out all the time. This one really needs a lot of good lighting and attention because it is so detailed.

XXX
Carrie


Gingerbread!

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I switched over to my gingerbread houses project and am having a lot of fun with it. The color changes are very few, and there is no backstitching – yay! I got the top border done (minus the French knots, which I will do at the end) as well as a good amount of the side border. I won’t work on the rest of that until I have to move my hoop down. It is kind of annoying having to use a hoop for this project because the size scroll rods I need are being used on the mermaid project.

I really need to get my husband to make me a new set of dowels in the same size, so that I can have multiple projects of the same size on the go at one time. I am just happy that the sit-on frame I have came with an attachment to hold a hoop or Q Snap. So I can still use the frame and stitch hands-free. This is a must for me because the pain in my hands would never let me hold an embroidery hoop. The frame I have was purchased on eBay about 10 years ago and the company is no longer in business. It is called Stitch EZ cross stitch frame. It is such a great frame – it came with three sizes of scroll rods, a detachable chart holder, and a Q Snap or hoop holder. The sides of the frame and the Q Snap holder have magnets to hold your needles.

Next up is house #5!

XXX
Carrie


The Mermaid

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The tail is coming along nicely! But now that it is November and the weather is getting colder, I think I am going to switch over to my gingerbread houses project. I probably won’t get all of it finished in time for Christmas, but if I can complete 2 or 3 more houses I will be happy.

XXX
Carrie