Christmas Counted Cross Stitch

“Christmas in July” as a sales pitch made by quilting and needlework stores does not appeal to me; I work on Christmas projects in December when I am in the mood. Consequently they take several years to complete! This cross stitch project is a mash-up that I started it in 2015 . As you can see from the photo below, the patterns are by Birds of a Feather, who no longer do counted cross stitch patterns.

When I bought these patterns, I envisioned the designs being combined into one picture. I do not make or collect Christmas stockings…I adore the knitted ones my mother made for me {at birth} and Peter {when we got engaged}. I also hang another knitted one that a dear friend made decades ago. I came up with the mash-up idea so that I “could” buy the patterns. ;-D

The fabric is cotton and 18 squares per inch – my favorite size to work on. Nowadays, I require good light and my readers, because of the size and the dark fabric. My design plan is to stitch the sledding elves to the bottom right of the snowman and Santa will be dancing in the top right. I’m not sure whether the reindeer will make the cut – perhaps he can be in the top left jumping towards Santa. I have a lot of stitching to go until that decision needs to be made.

I work on this one night and then I hand quilt on my quilt along project the next evening.

{Should you want to find some of the delightful Birds of a Feather patterns, 123stitch still has some stock.}












A Little Project for Valentine’s Day

I live in a wonderful neighborhood! We are far enough away from “stuff”, that we do a lot of things together. I recently started a craft group that meets once a month, for those who are inclined. One month I will be showing them a project and the next they will bring something of their own to work on. I kicked off the year with counted cross stitch – but – cross stitch on perforated paper! I started to make samplers for baby gifts on the paper many years ago when I saw a framed sampler in an antique store. This article in Victoriana magazine on the history of using paper says that it was done as early as the mid 1800’s!

You do need to hold the paper carefully, but other than that, it is the same as using fabric.

Perforated paper

I colored in some heart patterns for Valentine’s Day and copied them off. I think the thread stitched on paper look so special.

Perforated paper cross stitch

And then because so many ladies decided to come, I went to Hobby Lobby to buy some more paper. In the cross stitch aisle, I found a lot of interesting items with perforated holes, including a tiny box! What a cute little gift for someone on the 14th. Most of the group decided to do something with the box and then I discovered that there was room for 10 stitches…which meant the hearts could not have one point and be stitched in the center…

Tiny perforated paper box

So we fussed around with the colored pencils and graph paper, and finally discovered that if 4 tiny hearts were arranged symmetrically, asymmetrically, it would look perfect! (two empty stitches on the left side, three on the right…)

Heart pattern

It was a fun morning and I know a lot of ladies are finishing up their teeny, tiny projects.

P.S. Look what’s blooming today!

First daffodils

The Twenty Year Old Rug…….

…turns twenty-one!

I had the best intentions last year – I did plan to finish the Vermont Shells rug! Once it was December though, I was diverted by Santa making and I started to work on a Christmas cross stitch project as well…

Vermont Shells border

I have been working on the green shells (upper right) during the NFL play-off games and they are done. Now to work on the border and clip the tails I have left hanging. After I complete the front, then I turn the rug over and look for “holidays”, which are areas where I need to add some hooking. It’s pretty tedious but it must be done. Then I can find some yarn to bind the border. {sigh}

Hooked rug "holidays"

This is the project I was stitching in December instead of the hooking. I really enjoy working on Christmas during the “proper” month… These two stocking counted cross stitch patterns are from Birds of a Feather. I bought them because I love the designs, although I wasn’t sure what I would do with them as I don’t make stockings. Then, while perusing Pinterest one day, I noticed that many people combined patterns, a mash-up of ideas. I will show you my idea in December when I work on this again. I thought I would go blind while stitching the snowman, and I am glad that he is done!

Birds of a Feather snowman

I also discovered this annoying cross stitch project as I was cleaning and organizing the studio and I am adding that to the current to-do list. It is also a Birds of a Feather Design. I cannot do it while watching T.V. Not only have I enlarged it, but you can see that I have cut or marked the pattern in pieces so I can keep better track of where I am.

Birds of a Feather toile rooster

You Northerners will laugh, but here is the unusual view from the back porch today! It snows in South Carolina once or twice a year and so it is a novelty and quite terrifying for some. It’s been snowing, but mostly “snow pellets” are falling. It’s windy and there are waves on the lake and the birds are frantic for seeds and the suet cakes.

Lake Robinson 1/22/16

Hope you all survive The Big Storm and find fun and creative things to do. I’m heading downstairs to work on the rooster…