Pumpkin Time

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It’s still summer, and I do have that new bicycle project to start on. But sometimes you just need a break to work on something really simple. I love these Bent Creek Zipper kits because they are stitched on 18 count fabric over 2, and with pearl cotton – only one strand! Woo-hoo! The kit came with a really dark brown shade of DMC for the pumpkin, which I thought looked really off. So I found this skein of Chrysanthemum from Weeks Dye Works in my stash and it looks like a wonderful pumpkin shade!

But after I had stitched quite a bit of the pumpkin, I realized I was probably going to run out of floss, and I didn’t have another one. I could order one, but the odds that it would be an exact match would be pretty slim. So I started strategizing. I stitched the far right side of the pumpkin, then the far left side. To do the middle sections I would stitch a couple of rows, jump over to an empty spot, and stitch a couple of more rows. This way if I had to pick 2 solid colors of DMC to fill in, they would not be all in the same place. As I stitched more and more, I filled in the empty areas I had, in a sort of zig-zag motion. When it was getting close to the end I could finally sigh with relief and I completed the pumpkin with about 7 inches of floss to spare. Whew!

The photo doesn’t clearly show the colors. The raven is black and the stem is dark green. The star is a brown color stitched with the only variegated floss that came in the kit. The pumpkin is made up of two shades, orange and coral.

XXX
Carrie




Autumn

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While I love stitching quick and easy designs, especially smalls that I can use to decorate my home throughout the seasons, the downside is that they usually take about as much time to stitch as they do to kit up! Finding a design, printing it out, gathering the floss, finding the right color and count fabric in a large enough piece (while not being so large as to ruin something that would be perfect for a large stitch), oversewing the edges on the sewing machine, and mounting in a hoop or frame is very time consuming! I feel like I will have to soon kit up a bunch more designs. But in the meantime, here is the start of my new stitch, another freebie from Cheryl McKinnon (Tiny Modernist).

I love how her free designs only use a few colors and have no fractional or backstitches. These are the perfect projects for sitting on the couch watching TV or waiting in the car or doctor’s office. This design will have a pumpkin, squirrel, a couple of leaves, and an acorn on one side which will all be reproduced mirror image on the other side.

XXX
Carrie



Stripey Santa

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I’ve started this new freebie from Durene Jones called Stripey Santa, but I’m not liking the chosen shades of red. It seems like they are too similar instead of creating a distinct “striped” look. I think I am going to leave the lighter color since I already have so much of that done, and rip out the darker and try to find a color in my stash that is even darker yet. Stay tuned!

XXX
Carrie


Witches Brew

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I started another new freebie from Tiny Modernist and got this far and just had to laugh. This sums up how I feel about spiders pretty well!

I adore this project but I wish it had some purple in it. If I had planned ahead better, I would have done the wording in purple because now the pumpkins and cauldron below need to be done in black. Oh well, it should still turn out cute.

XXX
Carrie




Forest Wolf

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I started this new project by Durene Jones of a forest scene that is designed to look like a wolf’s profile. It will fit in perfectly to the area where I live! I am enjoying this project because it is whole stitches only with no fractionals or backstitch and it does not contain many colors. There are large areas of one color and the counting is very easy due to my magnetic board chart holder with magnetic rulers that keep my place line by line. I need projects like this when I am in a lot of pain and can’t concentrate well. This one will probably take a long time to finish, as the last couple of weeks my back pain has been acting up something fierce and I have been spending most of my days laying flat on the hard floor to help relieve it. For every 15 minutes spend sitting I am finding I need a good 45 minutes of laying. Now if only I could figure out a way to stitch while laying down! But it is hard enough even being able to watch TV that way, so I think stitching will have to be a rare treat for the time being.

It took about 10 days to get from the top photo to the bottom one.

After

My brain fog is bad and I can’t recall which magazine I got this out of, although I am almost certain it is one of the British ones. I will have to look it up and post once I figure it out.

XXX
Carrie


Reindeer Feed

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I’ve had this project in my to-do pile for a few months and finally decided to get going on it. It is stitching up super fast, although the fabric is a bit much for my eyes! I am not sure if the linen is 32 or 36 count, but these Xs are tiny!

When finished it will be made up into a small sack and filled with something… although I am not sure what. My first thoughts were either rice or oatmeal, although I would hate for something like that to go rancid after a while. Maybe crumbled up paper would be a better bet.

The pattern is from CrossStitcher magazine January 2022 issue and was designed by Cheryl McKinnon of Tiny Modernist.

XXX
Carrie


Merry Christmas Robins

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It has been months since I started this free cover kit from The World of Cross Stitching magazine October 2021. I believe I first started it in the waiting room at the hospital, last November. And then after that I put it away and just didn’t have any interest in it. I decided I need to get all my WIPs finished, so I dug it out again.

I have made a few changes from the kit. Instead of using the teeny tiny little piece of Aida they give you, I swapped it out for a piece of white 28 count Jobelan that I had in my stash. Because of my arthritis, I cannot stitch “in hand” any more, so I need to use a larger piece of fabric which I can fit into a hoop. I think the Jobelan makes it look much richer, too! I also did not include the wooden snowflake charm. I think I will save it for another project. I am also going to finish it off as a cushion instead of a card, so I will save the card and envelope for something else. But the card they gave with the kit was red with white polka dots and I happen to have calico fabric exactly like that! I recently used it on a reindeer design. So I think I will stick with that again for this finish.

XXX
Carrie


Happy Holidays

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Back in November I posted about wanting to start this Bent Creek Happy Holidays chart but not knowing which fabric and floss color scheme to go with (you can read that post here). I ended up going with the pale green fabric and the red, green, and yellow floss. I think that choice was a winner!

This piece stitched up very quickly. Instead of using the snap from the chart, I opted for a tiny green button from my stash.

Because I didn’t want the Weeks Dye Works “Noel” floss to be too overpowering, I used regular DMC floss for the outer red border and the yellow blocks at the top and bottom. I think this was a great choice. They complemented the overdyed floss and made the lettering stick out instead of everything just blending in.

This will eventually be finished off as a small cushion or flat fold.

XXX
Carrie


Fuzzy Snowman

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I had a fun New Year’s holiday spent stitching! This fuzzy snowman from Sisters & Best Friends was one of my favorite projects ever! It stitched up so quickly, in just a couple of days. And the embellishments are just adorable.

The chart pack contained the button nose and scarf, but not the threads or fabric. I used DMC from my stash and a piece of 7 count Klostern fabric from R&R Reproductions. My snowman doesn’t have the fuzzy feel to it like the stock photo, because I didn’t have the appropriate floss, but I think he is cute nonetheless.

Although I don’t mind doing french knots, they can be intimidating when you have a bunch of them together all in one spot, as sometimes they don’t all end up the same size. I think these turned out OK!

I can’t wait to get this little guy fully finished! I have a bunch more of these chart packs in my stash but I don’t really care for them, as they all have a theme, like summer or patriotic and I like my snowmen to be just “regular snow guys”. So I may try to unload the other charts off on a stash unloading page.

XXX
Carrie


Stitching In The Dark

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What a miserable weekend! Our power went out Thursday morning. I woke up at 6:00 a.m. to the sound of horrible wind. It had been predicted that we would be having an awful storm. I decided to get up and use the bathroom in case the power went off. Sure enough, it did, about 2 minutes later. But only for a few seconds, and then it came back on. It kept going back and forth from full power to half power, so we knew we needed to turn the breaker off so our appliances would not be damaged. Before my husband did that, I filled up a couple of jugs of water and woke my daughter and told her to find some clothes, get dressed, and use the bathroom. She was able to get herself ready for school and then we shut the breaker off. A few minutes after that, the power went out in the area anyway. My husband had an awful time driving her to school, as trees were down everywhere and he had to keep turning around to find an alternate route. When the power finally got turned back on Sunday afternoon, we had been without it for 79 hours. Luckily because it was so cold outside (in the 20s) we were able to put all of our food on the porch and we didn’t lose anything. Unfortunately because it was so cold outside, it was really cold in the house. And we live in an area with so many trees, we get very little sunlight. Even when all the lights in the house are turned on, our home is very dark. But, for about an hour a day when the light was decent, I would draw up a chair next to the kitchen window and work on a new project. I first started with the Merry Christmas Robins but that proved impossible on 28 count white fabric. Instead I started an Emma Congdon design I had already kitted up, on 14 count Aida.

There will actually be gingerbread men on this mandala when it is finished!

XXX
Carrie


Ho Ho Ho!

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I have had so much fun stitching this Ho Ho Ho Rudolph from Lizzie*Kate! I did mess up on the counting on the snow pile, which made the border closer than it should have been. And I changed the border from white to blue so it would show up better. My fabric was apparently a lot lighter than the color in her stitched model. I also changed the stitched snowflakes to Mill Hill beads.

Now I just need to figure out how to finish this little guy off. I can’t decide between a flat fold (which I have actually never made before!), an ornament, or a mini pillow. I really don’t need any more tree decorations and I could use a bunch of mini pillows for decorating, so that is probably what I will go with.

XXX
Carrie



Trick or Treat (In November!)

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I forgot to take progress photos after completing the words Trick Or Treat, so this has been a work in progress for a while now. Working on this project has been so much fun and it was such an easy stitch for a change. I have tried taking the project into a dark room to check out the glow in the dark fabric but it is a pretty dim glow. I have no idea how long ago the fabric was made and if the glow aspect fades over time. So I am a bit disappointed with that, but if I ever want to stitch the other 3 designs in this series I wouldn’t have anything except plain white Aida to stitch them on, anyway.

My plan is to frame this in a wooden hoop that I paint either black or orange and then wrap ribbon of the opposite color around. I’m not sure if we have any of those plastic spider rings laying around the house, but it would be cute to finish it off with one of those!

This design was created by Emma Congdon and it can be found in the October 2019 issue of Cross Stitch Crazy magazine. (And while you’re reading the magazine, find mention of my mason jar tutorial on page 67!)

XXX
Carrie


Santa’s On His Way

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My newest project is a Bent Creek Zipper Kit, called Santa’s Reindeer. This is my progress for the last couple of days.

This is going to be much larger than I expected. The fabric is supposed to be 18 count, although I checked it in several places and it is definitely 20 count. But it is to be stitched over 2 threads, so I am ending up with a 10 count project. I was thinking this would be small enough to make into a small cushion to use as an ornament or decoration but I don’t think that will be the case. At any rate, I am loving this project. The counting is so easy and the pearl cotton makes this one stitch up so much faster! There is no separating of floss and because it is only one strand it is not tangling or knotting at all. There is also large areas of one color, which I love. My brain fog has been so bad lately that counting is difficult, and my hand pain makes it hard to hold onto anything, such as bowls and cups, my phone, and embroidery hoops. I love that my sit-on stand has a hoop adapter so I can stitch hands free!

XXX
Carrie


The Home Stretch

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I am so close to finishing this project that I started in 2012! I finally came up with a system to make the grass at the bottom not so terrible. I started with the darkest brown which is not only the easiest to see, but also has the least amount of stitches. I used a Post It to keep my place on the chart and then crossed off my stitches with a marker. I did all of this color in a huge area. Then I moved on to the medium brown, which also was easy to see and marked that off with a different colored marker. Then when that was done I started with the third and final grass color, a pale brown that is harder to see against the fabric color. I started on the right hand side and stitched only the bottom stitches. After doing a large section that way, I went back and filled in with that color up to the top, and this was so easy to do while watching TV because there was no counting involved. After doing the right side of the pattern this way, I then moved on to the middle. Now that the middle is done I am working on the left side. After this area is filled in I will only have to do some backstitching in the grass and this project will be DONE! I am determined to get this finished before the end of the year so that it does not turn into a 10 year project. 9 years just sounds so much better 🙂

XXX
Carrie




A Circular Design That Isn’t Circular…?

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I was worried that the pattern looked like it extended too far out to the right, and I thought maybe I would not have a big enough piece of fabric (this was just a scrap piece left over) or that it would not fit entirely in the hoop. I am using a 7 inch hoop to stitch the design, and it is meant to be framed in a 7 inch hoop. I always use plastic hoops to stitch with and wooden hoops to frame. After I stitched the outside border and it all came together, I didn’t have to worry after all about it being too large. But there is another problem… the design is not circular, like the model in the magazine. It is more… oblong. I’m not sure if my hoop is just bent out of shape and it will be fine when I use a sturdy wooden frame. I have noticed plastic hoops not look terribly round when they are taken off of a project. Or it could be that my fabric is not made up of entirely square Aida blocks, and this is my biggest concern. The only way to know for sure will be to take a ruler and measure out an exact number of stitches both vertically and horizontally and see if they give the same exact length in inches. If they don’t, I have no idea how I am going to make this look good when it is finished, except to either rip out the white border all around, or to rip out the stitches at the sides and re-do them closer to the edges of the hoop, to make it “look” like it is round.

I was loving this project but now I am thinking it is more of a headache than it was worth.

XXX
Carrie


Winter Cardinals

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Cardinals always remind me of my grandfather – they were his favorite. When I saw this adorable design of a male and female cardinal in one of last year’s copies of The World of Cross Stitching I knew I wanted to stitch it. After finishing up the Home Sweet Home hoop design I thought it was time to get started on this.

The fabric is navy blue 14 count Aida and even with my daylight lamp it is proving difficult. Although it is only the beginning of September, it is quickly turning dark and dreary here.

I noticed that I made a mistake somewhere in the tree branch, so I decided to skip that area of the design for now and instead concentrate on the border design. I don’t think it will make a difference in the finished design or how everything fits together, but I think it will be easier to stitch the top part of the design first and then work my way back around to the branches.

XXX
Carrie