Ornament and TW Updates

HI…  Even though I’ve been quiet on the blog, I have been doing quite a bit of stitching!

Here is my progress through yesterday on my Teresa Wentzler Egyptian Sampler.  I think my husband, who I’m stitching this for is finally starting to get what goes into cross stitch!  I’ve been working on this, on and off, for about a year and a half.  I’m happy to say that I’m more than halfway through with a long way to go!  I’m happy to have finished the frame all the way around and the background in the arch.  A little tedious but not as bad as I thought it would be.  When I started doing the background I had to pull out the staff and the flail on the middle figure but it shouldn’t take much to add those back in now.  I’m loving stitching this!


I spend the week of Christmas with some family and kitted up a Victoria Sampler ornament from the 2015 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Edition to take with me.  When I travel I like to take something small.  There were some errors in the pattern as published, so for some of this I was just on my own.  Plus the accessory pack that I ordered had two different sized stars!  I contacted Thea at Victoria Sampler and she sent me the correct button size.  I love the little gingerbread man buttons!


So for now, I’m just going to keep on working on Egyptian Sampler and ignore all of my other WIPs.  I’d love to finish it up this year.  🙂

Ra Smiles Upon Me (Egyptian Sampler Update)

Here is my latest update on Teresa Wentzler’s Egyptian Sampler.  Its beautiful!  I love the colors and the subject matter.  I’m not really “into” Egyptian stuff, but my DH is so I’m doing this for him.  Since my last post, I’ve finished stitching and backstitching the border and the scarab, finished stitching the falcon (still needs backstitching) and started stitching Horus.  Please forgive the below par photos.   My camera battery is dead and I took these pictures in low lighting with my iphone.

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I’ve also recently finished the VS Pennsylvania Hearts of America.  I have one of these for every state I’ve lived in:  New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Indiana!  I lived for a summer in Denver during college, so I might try to find Colorado and do that one too.  I received mail there, so it counts, right?  I’ll do something with these someday…. when I’m sure I’ll not move again.

The story on the Pennsylvania one is a little bizarre!  I searched for the pattern on google and saw it offered for sale on Amazon.  I thought that was a little weird, but bought it anyway.   When I opened the kit to stitch, I found that the border was already partially stitched – about 15 stitches in the upper right hand corner!  I guess someone started it and didn’t like it and put it up on Amazon.  I finished it and here it is!

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I welcome all comments!

My Stitching Mojo is Back!!!

I haven’t done much stitching for the last couple of years.  One night, my fingers were feeling bored, so I picked up my Lizzie Kate Living with Charm Banner and reasoned that it was easy stitching and that I could finish the last three words pretty quickly.  So off I went and finished it!  This is the only larger project that I’ve finished in YEARS.  I am so excited to have it done and still love it!  I stitched this with all DMC and didn’t attach the little charms that come with the pattern.  If anyone would like the gently used booklets that include the charms, just e-mail me and i’ll put them in the mail for free.

Living with Charm

I was so motivated by a finish that I decided to pick up a Teresa Wentzler design!  I’m not a big fan of dragons, but I like most of her other designs.  My husband loves egyptian stuff, so I started Egyptian Sampler.  I had forgotten how much dreaded back stitching her designs have….  not my favorite thing.  The thing with TW is that when you get to the finished products, the back stitching is so worth it.  So…. here is my new start!

Egyptian Sampler

So shortly after starting this, I put my christmas tree up and realized that my husband needed an ornament like every other member of my family has.  This is based off Victoria Sampler “Humour” Virtues ornament that you can download for free on the Victoria Sampler website.  I stitched, finished, and put it on the tree last weekend.  I bet I’ve stitched at least 20 of these virtues ornaments over the years for friends and family.  I like how each one has a different design but all of the ornaments obviously look like part of a set, but each one has a different family member name instead of the virtue in the design.  So…. here is Will’s ornament photographed on the tree! The fabric is actually white, even though it doesn’t look it in this picture:

Will Ornament

So now that is done and I’m ready to get back to Egyptian Sampler!

Commissioned Stitching

Back in October, I got a very nice e-mail from someone who had seen my Victoria Sampler Virtues ornaments and asked me if I would stitch two for her daughters.  I was so honored to be asked that I would have done it for free, but I charged a very reasonable price and she chose the ones that she wanted, the color of the lettering and the fabric for the back (she chose a red print).


It seems I make these every year for someone!  They are so quick to stitch and are so sparkly and pretty when finished.  I’ve been making these for years, but recently I’ve changed the style of text that I use for the names.  Up until a few years ago, I just used the Victoria Sampler standard text style, but the last 4 of these have been with my own made-up font.  I’ve been thinking I should chart it and offer it for free here on my blog.  What do you think?

This is the only stitching I’ve done since I moved to Pennsylvania in October.  I want to…  it just doesn’t seem to happen though.

I did just order a pattern for a friend of mine, who expressed interest in me stitching something for him.  He is a freemason, and chose this Masonic Emblem from Dracolair Creations.  Its stitched on navy blue lugana (my favorite evenweave) and it makes me feel good that he wants me to stitch something for him.  I’m not crazy about the design itself, but I let him pick what he wanted… I’m just glad its not a whole lot of stitching and that I can probably finish it up fairly quickly.

A New Altoids Tin!

For almost as long as I’ve been stitching, I’ve used an altoids tin to hold things like small scissors, needles, detailors, miscellaneous buttons or thread, or whatever. A few years ago, I used a freebie pattern, the “Good Friends” name tag from Victoria Sampler to cover my altoids tin. I was just kind of messing around, not expecting that I could do it and have it look good, and this is what I ended up with:


Well, its been everywhere and somehow, while eating strawberries, I managed to stain the fabric (not sure how this happened) and then noticed how dirty it was and how loose the beads were, in addition to the stains…


I decided this was a perfect excuse to make a new one! I copied the pattern I had used for my name tag, which was borrowed from the Victoria Sampler Lavender Herbal Sachet pattern and stitched it with stuff from my stash. I made sure to use a full cross stitch to attach the beads, which I’ve never done before, but figured it would keep the beads more securely fastened and upright than just a half stitch.

When I went to get a new tin, I was disappointed that I didn’t see any tins that had a white bottom, like my original tin had, so realized that I’d have to cover the bottom in addition to the top.

I kind of wish I’d taken pictures as I went, but didn’t, and this is what I ended up with!




The top is padded with a thin cotton batting and trimmed with ribbon. The sides are covered with silk fabric borrowed from a kit. I wasn’t happy with how it turned out, so I covered it with some trim. 🙂 The bottom is just felt.

Its definitely not perfect, but I’m happy with it! I haven’t decided if I’ll do anything to the inside yet or not. If anything, I might put some sort of magnet in the lid to hold needles. I figure one of the many flat magnets from various businesses I have on my fridge will do the trick.

I have done quite a bit of work on Alpine Seasons, and will post when I completely finish the border that I’m working on.

WIP Extravaganza!!

You could hardly call 6 WIPs an “extravaganza,” but this is more WIPs than I usually have going at any given time, and two are Chatelaines!

We’ll start with the project I’m working on currently that is my current favorite… The Drawn Thread Perennial Border. One thing about this project that I like is the use on only one thread over two on 32 count lugana. I didn’t think that would provide enough coverage on the flowers, and it doesn’t, but I like it anyway. I like that you can see each X, and there’s no concern about two strands twisting up too much and it seems to knot less too. The last flower on the right, is all backstitch, lazy daises, and french knots. This so far has been really fun to work on…


Next is Lizzie Kate Living with Charm Border. I’m doing this one with DMC and am undecided about adding the charms when I’m done. I envision this someday as being a bellpull finish. I like the big blocks of color and total lack of confetti on this one. I haven’t worked on this for about a year and a half… please forgive the wrinkles!


Our next featured piece is Olde Colonial Designs Mimi’s Tape Measure. Ive stitched this one before as can be seen HERE, but with the first one, I lost the pattern, somehow, when I went to pick it up, and wanted so badly to finish it that I bought a second kit just to get the instructions, then since I had everything I needed to stitch another, I decided to do so. This is another that has languished, even though there’s really not much stitching left to go…


The next is the first of two Chatelaines –  Alhambra. For those not familiar with this one, it is mostly stitched with DMC and is lovely lovely lovely. Even though there’s a long way to go on this, I often look at Jenny’s finish and dream of the day when mine will be as beautiful as hers. Jenny’s framing is also awesome…. Also read about and check out these pictures of the real-life Alhambra


The next piece is Victoria Sampler Heirloom Stitchers Sampler. Zero progress. I hate the way the alphabet looks that I started but I know from looking at Christine’s finish, I know this will be awesome if I ever get going on it again!


The last is Chatelaine’s Alpine Seasons, which is my oldest WIP, also known as the Never Ending Chatelaine of Confetti (NECC). AS soon as I get bored with the Perennial Border, I’m going back to work on this, finishing up the outer border and moving onto the next quarter of the piece. I love it, I hate it, and I really want to finish it!



Holiday Stitching

I think I’m starting to get my stitching mojo back!  I did a couple of ornaments for friends… you’ve seen these before, but here they are again with new names!  These are the Victoria Sampler Virtues ornaments with names replacing the virtue words.  People just love these and they are so quick and easy that I end up making them every year!  I know I’ll do more so I just keep all of the fabric and floss and ornament forms kitted up:



I also started a new project – The Drawn Thread Perennial Border This thing calls for a huge amount of colors for such a small project that only has color in the outer most border of the project… How many greens do you really need???  🙂  I like it though and  the flowers look like lots of fun to stitch – lots of different kind of stitches.  Here’s what it will look like, hopefully, when I finish it.

My progress so far, and all of the floss….


You can just barely see the whitework I’ve started in the middle.  I’m using the recommended thread and fabric and I’m hoping it’ll pop a bit more once I’ve added more of the textural stitches.  Its platinum fabric with white DMC.  Maybe I should’ve used the extra white stuff?  Or maybe perle cotton?  Or maybe I pulled 28 instead of 32 fabric?  I just hope it all works out in the end.

A New Family Ornament

I stitched and finished a series of ornaments for my family a couple of years ago.  They are based on the Victoria Sampler Virtues Ornaments… I just replaced the virtue in the pattern with the name of a family member.  Since I have a new neice, I stitched this ornament for her earlier in the week:

Here are the others that I’ve stitched over the years… each one for a family member is different (note, Casey and Carly aren’t family members!). You can find my finishing tutorial here.



Teal is Nice but Lavender is Better

So, I worked a bit more on the whitework on my birth sampler and just couldn’t stop thinking about how much I wanted it to be lavender.  This is especially because all of the pictures I’ve seen of my new neice look like pink threw up all over her.  She’s still cute, but her parents are obviously into the pink girly colors.  I don’t particularly care for pink though, and since lavender is one of my favorite colors, I figured it was a good compromise.

So, Friday night I got in a mood and pulled out all of the teal ribbon.  This involved removing tons of beads… one by one because they were stitched over the teal ribbon.  I got all of the ribbon replaced Saturday morning… then the beads…. then I realize that her name is off center by two stitches and will have to be frogged and redone. Plus I think the letters look kind of bumpy since I used two threads instead of one because I didn’t think it was easy to read with the one thread.  I think I forgot to chart the “y” in her name and that is why… although I remembered to stitch it with the y.

Yes, I realize that I’m being a bit obsessive about this piece…

So here it is….lavender…


I did the best I could on picking a matching floss color…. there didn’t seem to be anything exactly the same shade as the ribbon, so I went with 210.

Now I am happy with it.

Sweetheart Tree Finish and Opinions Needed!

I finally finished up the Sweetheart Tree Stitcher’s Favorite Biscornu last night!



I modified the back, as I normally do if the back is a repeat of the front. I also usually like to do a beaded edge on my biscornus, but I had some leftover teeny buttons and decided I wanted those on the corners, so just stitched up the edges without beads. I’m pretty happy with it! I also stitched up the matching fob as part of the 2009 Christmas Ornament Project:



So…. my brother and his wife are having their first baby girl (after 3 boys) later this month and I was suddenly struck by the desire to do a birth sampler for her. Her name will be Sadie Grace and she’ll be my first neice. So, of course, I immediately thought of the Victoria Sampler Heirloom Birth Sampler and remembered that I had started it many years ago and just never finished it. I had started it for a boy, though, and as you can see from the pics below, the “leaves” in the rose wreath at the top are a teal color, and the rest of the color on the piece is a matching teal.  If it had been started for a girl, it was charted with pink leaves with matching pink for the rest of the sampler. I would want to use peach or lavender for a girl, but I’m wondering if I can get away with just using either of these colors for the rest (would replace the teal band, which is just ribbon woven through the hemstitching).  Leaves ARE green/teal, afterall, but I would need to find a way to tie in the peach or lavender used in the rest of the piece to the top wreath.   One idea is to do an additional ribbon rose in the center of the wreath in the right color.  Pulling out the leaves that are already stitched is just not an option….  I’d have to take out the beads too, and I think the fabric would just look terrible…  I’m trying to find a way to NOT have to start over.   The fabric here is actually platinum, but it looks much lighter in real life!

All opinions/advice are appreciated… even if you think I need to just start over!