What a Cutie!

Posted on

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

Posted on

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!

Posted on

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

Posted on

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!

Posted on

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 Étoile

Posted on

It has been a while since DMC introduced their new Étoile 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 –27% Polyamide métallique”. 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?

Posted on

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

Posted on

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

Posted on

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

Posted on

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

Posted on

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!

Posted on

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

Posted on

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


I’ve Been Nominated!

Posted on

I am so pleased to once again be nominated for the British Craft Awards! Last year I was delighted to win second place in the “blog of the year category” and that is the category I am up for again this year. I would really appreciate your vote! You can also vote for several other cross stitching retailers and products during the survey.

Just click on the link below and then choose “Cross Stitching”. Once the survey starts, simply answer the multiple choice questions about each category. When you get to cross stitch blog of the year, choose “stitchingcorner.com” to vote for me. Your votes are appreciated!

Vote now: www.britishcraftawards.com

XXX
Carrie


The Mermaid’s Tail

Posted on

I have been working on the mermaid off and on for the last couple of months but didn’t realize I hadn’t posted any photos of the tail. It is coming along slowly but surely. The backstitch has been pretty tedious. I am not really looking forward to the backstitching with kreinik braid all through the tail, in a sort of checkerboard pattern. But I’m sure the end result will be worth it. The tail will also be full of beads (you can see the blank spots sort of like polka dots!)

Hopefully this project will get me through the long winter ahead, although I do want to get back to work on the gingerbread houses since it is getting to be that time of year again. But I don’t see how I will be able to finish them for this Christmas. I would rather get the mermaid finished.

XXX
Carrie


New From DMC!

Posted on

I just got an email from my DMC rep which said that DMC has created a new floss called Étoile! This premium embroidery thread features an added sparkle. The new 6-strand divisible thread comes in 35 shades, that all feature a unique twinkle effect.  This floss is made of 73% cotton and 27% Lurex. The skeins are 8m/8.7y and will retail for $1.95 each (in the US).

We will be putting in an order for all 35 colors as soon as they are available, probably around the end of September. The 35 colors correspond to the most popular embroidery floss colors, and not the 35 newest floss colors that were just released last year. The numbers will be the same as the regular floss numbers, but starting with a “C”. For example, black floss 310 will be C310 in Etoile.

The floss also will come in a collector’s tin featuring one skein of each color. This will retail for $69.99.

XXX
Carrie


Flip Its

Posted on

Today while rummaging around through my cross stitch patterns I came across some of Lizzie Kate’s Flip-Its. I love these tiny little patterns and these designs are perfect for the upcoming seasons. I probably don’t have all of the Weeks Dye Works and The Gentle Art Sampler Threads colors required on hand, but I have tons of small scraps of linen, and hopefully enough similar shades of overdyed floss from various other companies. I also have a few small square frames just waiting to be painted and filled with a new project.

These designs are all over 10 years old, but they seem like they won’t ever go out of style. I think I will stitch the Halloween design first since it is almost October!

XXX
Carrie


What a Great Idea!

Posted on

I did not come up with this idea for punching holes down the side of the free cover kit to put the floss through. I think I saw it on Facebook. But it is working so well! And although I haven’t gotten in much stitching yet, this is a very easy chart to follow and shouldn’t take long.

XXX
Carrie


Fashion Boutique

Posted on

Look at this adorable free kit that came with the latest issue of The World of Cross Stitching! It’s actually not the style of what I would normally stitch, but red is my favorite color and I am looking for a quick-to-stitch project since things are busy right now. I’m going to take a break from the mermaid for a while since that one requires so much counting. I think I will try to whip this card kit up in the next week, working whenever I get a few spare minutes. At first I was dismayed by the thought of stitching the entire background, but then I realized that the kit comes with pink Aida!

I think I am also going to try a trick I learned from either Facebook or directly inside one of the British magazines, and that is to punch holes down the side of the color key on the chart, to store all of the floss. Normally these kits are so small and easy that I don’t like to wind the floss on bobbins, but at the same time the colors are often similar in shade and can be hard to keep track of. The paper is quite thin, so we shall see how that works out.

You can find this kit with issue 271, which should be available in good bookstores now in the US. In the UK, this would already be an older issue, as issue 272 is out right now and issue 273 comes out in just 2 days.

XXX
Carrie



Fun Finds

Posted on

Our local Humane Society just had their annual rummage sale at the county fairgrounds, where everything for sale is donated and the price you pay for your goodies is a donation as well. Last year I was lucky enough to find a HUGE box of brand new (with tags) cross stitch fabrics in all sorts of colors and counts. It was pretty much all linens, and a lot of it was hand dyed. This year I found two really large pieces of white 14 count Aida fabric and dozens of Just Cross Stitch magazines. They were all from the mid 1980s and I have sort of a collection going for these older issues. I do have the Just Cross Stitch DVDs that contain all the issues of the magazines in digital form, but there is just something about turning the pages of a real magazine. I love reading the articles about designers, and some of them are still designing today! I also love the DMC advertisements, and plan on posting a few of them here in a later blog post. It’s fun to see how many less colors there were back then, and the types of projects that were popular at the time.

XXX
Carrie


Made in America Tax

Posted on

I have just received information from my sales rep at the main wholesaler I use for ordering the merchandise for my store. It appears that there is a new “Made in America Tax” on the ballot. Under a series of proposed tariffs, the price of commonly-used craft supplies and fabrics could increase by as much as 25%, unintentionally putting a tax on products “Made in America.”  Crafters, craft suppliers, small shops, and manufacturers are urging people to sign the petition to tell USTR and Congress to exempt craft supplies and fabrics from proposed section 301 tariffs.

This new tax, as well as the recent decision to make small businesses collect sales tax in each state and even city (which would be about 10,000 different tax locations) could absolutely put small independent needlework stores (like me) out of business. It could also harm anyone who makes and sells finished craft items for a living. Please find out more information about this proposed tax and do what you can to tell our leaders in Washington why it is a bad idea.

You can read more and sign the petition at https://madeinamericatax.com

XXX
Carrie