My friend Lindy is an extraordinary needle artist. The first time I met her she was wearing a sweatshirt upon which she cross stitched a vintage Santa Claus (large enough to cover the front of the shirt). She used waste canvas to do this. I tried to channel Lindy’s skills as I struggled with my tiny flower. Waste canvas is not the easiest  material to use and, even with all of my years of stitching experience, I had not stitched with it before now. That’s one of the many things I really enjoy about this Basic Counted thread course. It’s forcing me to try things I normally wouldn’t try. I seriously doubt that I will ever stitch a large Santa Claus but a small flower, here or there, maybe so.


Wow…I’ve discovered I’m a lazy cross stitcher! For years I’ve made my Xs without much thought. Until now, that is. Right off the bat, with Lesson 1, I’m training myself to use the Danish method of cross stitch. I was always aware of the technique which requires stitching half of the X in one journey then crossing over it on the return journey.This method requires much more thought about proper stitch placement!! Something else I’ve learned in Lesson 1 is to chart a  pattern as it turns a corner (think of the borders on a sampler, etc). I’m pleased because this will come in handy when I am designing my own projects. I have totally gotten my money’s worth out of this class already and I’m only half way through lesson 1! Stay tuned for more revelations.

I mentioned recently that I joined the Embroiderer’s Association of Canada. I like joining different organizations to meet new people. Another reason I joined EAC is to take the Basic Counted Thread individual correspondence course…six lessons in 12 months, stitching, researching, collecting thread and fabric samples. Just my cup of tea!! The first lesson covers counted cross stitch; which I’ve done for years, but something tells me I will be learning something new. Check back to see what I’ve learned and how I’m progressing through the lessons.

Mission Accomplished

June 10, 2010

Charlie’s sampler is finished, framed and ready to go into the mail. I have another big project in the works with details to follow in the coming weeks. Until then I will play with the DMC alphabet. As always, stay tuned.

Charlie’s Sampler.4

June 3, 2010

Mission accomplished…almost! I added some cross stitched hearts as well as charms that I purchased at Michael’s. They now carry a full range of jewelry making supplies; many of which can be added to stitching projects as I have done here. I ended the piece with a row of Rice stitches. This is a versatile stitch seen on needlework since the 16th century. The small stitches, or legs, that are stitched on top of the larger cross stitch resemble grains of rice. It’s a fun stitch and gives a feeling and look of texture. I thought about adding one more band but decided against the symmetrical look; which, as my family and friends will tell you is very unusual for left-brained me!! I will soon have the sampler in a frame so check back to see the last pictures.

Charlie’s Sampler.3

May 27, 2010

I have not stitched as much as I had hoped since my last post. I have finished Charlie’s name and another row of Back stitch. Up next, some embellishments both stitched and three-dimensional followed by one more row completed in a specialty stitch. This sampler is actually smaller than originally planned but that’s okay!

Charlie’s Sampler.2

May 16, 2010

I added Charlie’s name and birthdate in cross stitch over one with a row of back stitches above and below it. The letters came from the Heart in Hand chart I used for Colin’s sampler. Now to stitch his last name, also in cross stitch, followed by two more rows of speciality stitches. My plan is to finish the sampler by adding some type of embellishment (most likely antique buttons) in the space around the names. I haven’t made my final decision on that yet. More updates soon!

Charlie’s Sampler.1

May 6, 2010

I have lost complete control of what I thought was a straightforward project. The more I looked at the Ray of Sunshine design I realized that I needed to revise it; in part because I stitched this same design for one of Charlie’s older sisters. Sooo, I am now pulling elements from three more charts! The two bands I’ve already stitched come from Ray of Sunshine. The first is a row of Scotch stitches. I love this stitch especially when I use overdyed thread. The change in direction brings out the varied shades of the Americana thread. The next band is a row of Smyrna Cross stitches, another of my favorites. Coming up next is a band of Back stitches followed by the little guy’s name and birthdate. Stay tuned.

Just 9 days after my sister became a grandmother for the first time my cousin became a grandmother for the fourth time!! What’s extra special is that it’s her first grandson; all of which means I need to shift gears just a bit and work on another baby gift. (Yes, I must confess I knew Charlie was on the way but hadn’t started anything yet.)

For this gift I plan to use Summer Louise Truswell’s Ray of Sunshine Birth Sampler,  but in name only.  I have stitched this particular design more than once and have never completed it as originally intended because parts of it I just really am not fond of. Why waste time stitching something you don’t like, right? What I do like about the design is the many specialty stitches. My supplies include 28 count Desert Sand linen and Weeks Dye Works Americana thread. As always I will post pictures of my progress.

Welcome to the world Charlie!

Family Letters

April 18, 2010

In a recent post I mentioned The Embroiderer’s Alphabet, one of the booklets in the DMC Library. I printed it and really enjoyed looking at all the uniques alphabets and borders. I have decided to use family initials from several different alphabets to create some sort of keepsake. My plan is to use the letters in combination with a few spot motifs then, perhaps, stitch a border around all of the elements. I know it doesn’t sound like much right now but stick with me to see how it progresses!