Friday, November 5, 2021

Merry Christmas to Me!

 Since I've been divorced for over 15 years and don't have a partner purchasing gifts for me, each year I purchase a Christmas gift for myself in the $75-100 price range. As soon as I got a sneak peek of this gorgeous autumnal design from Beth Seal of Summer House Stitche Workes a few weeks ago and the Pacific Northwest Stitch Summit (PNWSS) retreat, I knew this was going to be my gift to myself this year. The design is called Emily's Bliss after poet/author Emily Brontë who authored the sentiment in her poem Fall, leaves, fall.

If you would like to see a quick video clip of this beautiful design finished as a drum (finishing supplies provided with the kit), you can see it here on Beth's Instagram account. This design is ONLY available as a kit through the Homespun Needlework (Cross Stitch and Samplers) group on Facebook. Beth designed it exclusively for them and it is being kitted up and sold through Acorns & Threads in Portland, Oregon. Today was finally the day the kits were made available to pre-order through the Facebook group. I ordered the linen option (32 count Natural Light Linen from Wichelt) with these absolutely silks from Gloriana Threads.

Since this is a gift to myself, I am not counting it against my stitch from stash budget. One of my exceptions is gifts and there are only two occasions per year (my birthday and Christmas) when I purchase stitchy gifts for myself, so I choose not to count those purchases.

Now comes the most difficult part. Since this was a pre-order, I have to be patient and wait for it to actually ship to me! LOL

Monday, November 1, 2021

Monthly Recap: October 2021

I feel like I had a very productive month in October. I attended the virtual Pacific Northwest Stitchers Summit (see my recap here), had a few new starts, and four cross stitch finishes. In addition to that, I had a diamond painting finish as well. Here's how things went for me in October. 

Stitching Recap:

Number of Days Stitched: 24

Projects Worked: 7

  • The Stargazer - Mirabilia
  • All the Trimmings - Fat Quarter Shop
  • Garden Party - Satsuma Street
  • Two Birds in One Tree - Modern Folk Embroidery
  • Friendship Sampler - Threadwork Primitivies
  • Haunted House Sampler - Twin Peak Primitives
  • Fall Gnomes (Diamond Painting)

New Starts: 3

  • Seeds of Friendship: The Ball - Summer House Stitche Workes
  • Haunted House Sampler - Twin Peak Primitives
  • Quaker Garden - Blackbird Designs

Finishes: 5 (four cross stitch and one diamond painting)

Stitch from Stash Recap:

Balance Sheet:

Starting Balance - 1 Oct 2021$ 12.86-
Monthly Allowance - Sept$ 25.00
Finish Credits$ 78.00
Purchases$ 74.68-
Current Balance - 31 Oct 2021$ 15.46

Finish Credits Earned This Month:

Purchases This Month:

That's my recap for the month of October 2021. I hope you've all enjoyed following along with my progress in these monthly update

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Finish: Friendship Sampler

 With only a couple of minutes to spare until midnight, I managed to put in the final stitches on Friendship Sampler by Threadwork Primitives to get in a late Saturday night finish. I started this piece in April 2020 as a stitch-a-long with my Instagram friend, @brittneyxstitches.

I purchased this beautiful sampler as a kit from Tomorrow's Heirlooms Needlework in Glen Ellyn, Illinois as they have the exclusive rights to this design. If anyone is interested, the kit is still available on their website with several different configuration options, including both linen and Aida.

Design: Friendship Sampler
Designer: Threadwork Primitives
Fabric: 36 ct Oaken from Picture This Plus
Fibers: Called for (WDW & Classic Colorworks)
Stitch Count: 129 x 156
Started: 4 April 2020
Finished: 30 October 2021

Stitch from Stash:

Based on the stitch count, I'm claiming $24 for this finish ($20 base plus a 10% bonus each for hand-dyed fabric and fancy floss). This brings my current balance to $15.46 and gets me back out of the red again. Woo hoo! 

Finishes in 2021: 18

Current WIP Count: 50

Friday, October 29, 2021

Finish: Quaker Garden

I'm back with another finish. This is Quaker Garden from Blackbird Designs (BBD) which I stitched in memory of Barb Alan who was half of the BBD duo. This piece was designed by her many years ago and has always been one of my favorite BBD designs, so this seemed a fitting tribute to her. I've wanted to stitch this design for a long time, but was never able to find the chart. Thankfully, a very dear friend of mine generously loaned me her copy of the chart so I could stitch it. 

Since this piece was a tribute to Barb, I left her initials in place as charted rather than replacing them with my own as I would typically do. I also added the years of her birth and death in backstitch below her initials.

Design: Quaker Garden

Designer: Blackbird Designs

Fabric: 40 ct. Scroll Verdal from BeStitchMe

Fibers: Called For

Started: October 13, 2021

Finished: October 29, 2021

Stitch Count: 210 x 90

Stitch from Stash:

Based on the stitch count, I'm claiming $26 for this finish ($20 base plus a 10% bonus each for hand-dyed fabric, fancy floss, and specialty stitches). This brings my current balance to -$8.54. I've made several purchases this month which has put me slightly in the hole, but not too much, thankfully.

Finishes in 2021: 17

Current WIP Count: 51

Friday, October 8, 2021



I had the wonderful pleasure last weekend of attending the Pacific Northwest Stitch Summit (PNWSS) virtual retreat hosted by Acorns & Threads. This was my fourth time attending an Acorns event, three of which have been held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jeannine (the shop owner) said she is hopeful they will be able to start offering in-person events again next year (2022), but also hopes to continue offering virtual options as well since that gives people who might not otherwise be able to attend a chance to participate. While I love attending in-person events, having a virtual option is nice as well. It's makes it so much more affordable since I don't have to worry about transportation or lodging costs.

The designers for this year's PNWSS event were Cathy Habermann of Hands on Design, Tracy Horner of Ink Circles, and Beth Seal of Summer House Stitche Workes. I'm not quite as familiar with Beth's work, but Cathy and Tracy are definitely two of my favorite designers.

The three pieces they designed for the retreat are called Seeds of Friendship. Under that main umbrella, there is Seeds of Friendship: The Book, Seeds of Friendship: The Basket, and finally, Seeds of Friendship: The Ball. Here is a photo of the three pieces in their intended configuration.

Aren't they lovely?! While designed to go together, each piece could also be used independently. In addition to the Aztec Red linen from Weeks Dye Works and Gloriana silks being used on all three pieces, another cohesive element to the designs is the use of some simple embroidery details on each piece. I haven't done any embroidery in over 40 years, so it should be interesting when I get to that part. LOL (Note: I didn't link to the Weeks Dye Works site because I was getting a certificate error when I tried to visit their site.)

The Book was designed by Tracy (Ink Circles) and includes a pattern for the stitch book as well as for a fabric pillow to sit inside to help the book hold its shape. Alternatively, instead of using the pillow, you could place any 4x6" item inside the book instead (photo album, journal, an actual book, etc.).

The Basket was designed by Cathy (Hands on Design). Each section of the basket has a repeating cross stitch design on the inside and the embroidery on the outside. It's not visible in the photo, but in the inside bottom of the basket has an adorable little scene with squirrels and spools of thread.

The Ball was designed by Beth (Summer House Stitche Workes). The top linen section has a really pretty little leaf motif and each of the wool sections around the sides has a repeating embroidery pattern. There is a small washer whip stitched to the inside bottom of the ball which can be lined up with a coordinating magnet hidden in the bottom of the basket to secure it in place and prevent it from falling out. Very clever!

If you would like to hear the designers talk about their projects, be sure to check out Cathy's FlossTube #61. Tracy and Beth were still at her house and made a special appearance in her video. They did a bit of a recap of the retreat from the designer/teacher view and showed off each of their designs.

A couple of people have asked me on Instagram about whether these charts will eventually be released for general purchase. On the final day of the retreat, Cathy stated there are no plans at this time to release these designs publicly. That's not to say it couldn't potentially change at some point in the future, but for now, it seems retreat participants will be the only stitchers with these designs. Take heart though, there is a way you CAN get one of the retreat charts!

The three designers also collaborated on this beautiful set of circular designs titled Around My Friends. The set was created to celebrate and honor the 25th anniversary of Acorns & Threads this year. Jeannine didn't know anything about this extra project and as a surprise to her, they gifted her with the models during the retreat. Her face when she opened the box and pulled out the models was priceless! 

If you would like to get your hands on these three beautiful designs, the chart will be available exclusively at Acorns & Threads. It is charted for Gloriana silks, but also includes a DMC conversion. Click here for all the details and to purchase online.

Each retreat participant was gifted not only the chart, but a full kit as well! These designs use the same Gloriana silks used in the Seeds of Friendship designs, so there wasn't any floss included since we had it already. The kits we received included the chart, linen (36 ct Platinum), red trim from LadyDotCreates, a little make & take kit to make the "acorn" pins, as well as a full finishing kit with precut mat board for each of the three designs. How incredibly generous!! I just want to send a big thank you to each of the designers for the extra kit! 

In closing, I also want to thank all of the crew at Acorns & Threads for putting on such a wonderful event! Of course, we have to start with Jeannine as the shop owner who is at the helm of everything at Acorns & Threads. Up next is Jeri who always does such a great job as the event manager. Tasha has been a big part of things as well since they've moved to virtual events. She takes care of helping everyone on Zoom with any technical issues that arise as well as things like helping people change their name on Zoom reminding people to mute, etc. Of course, we can forget Jenn who does such an amazing job with the giveaways. Finally, there is everyone else who works behind the scenes putting together the kits, getting them shipped, sending invoices, holding down the fort at the shop during the event, etc. Events like these wouldn't be possible without the entire team, so I just wanted to publicly say thanks! 

Speaking of the giveaways, I was actually one of the lucky giveaway winners during the retreat! The prize package I won included the Be a Pineapple chart from Hands On Design (shown above) and the Chronicles of Oline Marie - Volume I by Summer House Stitche Workes (shown below). 

All in all, I had a great time! I'm already looking forward to the next one!

**PNWSS logo image used with permission of Acorn & Threads

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Unicorn Sighting!

Thanks to the generosity of a very dear friend, I am currently in temporary possession of one of my long-time unicorn charts. Woo hoo!! Since I haven't been able to find a copy to purchase, she is loaning me her copy so I can stitch it. The package arrived today along with another purchase I made last weekend during the Pacific Northwest Stitch Summit retreat hosted by Acorns & Threads.

Not only did my sweet friend send me the chart and a lovely card, but she also included a piece of the called for fabric! It's 30 ct Garden State Java by R&R Reproductions. She said she decided not to use it after she got it, so she sent it along to see if I might want to use it. I agree with her that this is a SUPER stiff fabric. I might try doing a small test swatch in one corner to see how I feel about stitching on it. If I decide I don't like it either, I'll just substitute and use one of the myriad neutral fabrics I have in my stash. Now I just have to be patient waiting for the threads to arrive. LOL

The other package I received today was the beautiful PSL/coffee-themed project bag. I ordered it last weekend from Denise at DotDotGooseDesign on Etsy. She was also attending the PNWSS retreat and graciously offered all attendees a 10% discount. I had already been eyeing this bag in her shop, so I immediately went and purchased it before they were all gone! I'm glad I did because, as of this writing, they are all gone! She has lots of other cute bags available though. I have several of her bags and absolutely love them. They're vinyl front bags and very well made. If you haven't checked out her shop already, you should!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Finish: Garden Party

 Can you believe it? I'm back with another finish. This was my fourth oldest WIP started back in 2018, so it feels really good to get this one done.

Design: Garden Party (Cool Colorway)
Designer: Satsuma Street
Fabric: 32 ct Antique White Jobelan
Fiber: Called for DMC
Stitch Count: 109x127
Started: 2 March 2018
Finished: 6 October 2021

Stitch from Stash:

Based on the stitch count, I'm claiming a $14 finish credit for this piece. This brings my current balance to $11.86 which means I'm now officially out of the red! Woo hoo!!


I forgot to post about this a couple of weeks ago when it started, but I'm participating in the WIPs-B-Gone 2021 challenge over on Instagram. It was organized by Leanne of the Devoted Quilter. You can find her on Instagram and over on her blog. You can click here to find all the details about this challenge.
I selected three of my older WIPs to focus on between September 23 and the end of the year. My goal is to get the stitching completed on all three of these WIPs during the challenge. I'll worry about FFOing them another time. As my friend Abi would say, "That's a problem for future Melissa." :) 

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Finish: All the Trimmings

 I completed this adorable free design today as part of the #AllTheTrimmingsSAL hosted by the Fat Quarter Shop. You can find this free chart on their website on their All the Trimming Mystery Sew Along page. In addition to the free cross stitch design, they are also offering a free quilt design. You can find full details about both projects on the Jolly Jabber blog.

Design: All the Trimmings
Designer: Fat Quarter Shop
Fabric: 28 ct black Jobelan
Fiber: DMC (conversion included with chart)
Stitch Count: 92x120
Started: 7 September 2021
Finished: 5 October 2021

Stitch from Stash:

Based on the stitch count, I'm claiming a $14 finish credit for this piece. This brings my current balance to $2.14-. I'm almost out of the red!

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Monthly Recap - September 2021

I can't believe it's October already! As slowly as 2020 went, it seems 2021 is going by super quickly. Since we are in a new month, I'm back for another monthly recap. September wasn't a very productive stitching month for me. I started off strong, but then didn't do much stitching in the last couple of weeks of the month. Here's how things went. 

Stitching Recap:

Number of Days Stitched:

  • 15

Projects Worked:

  • Jessie Watson c. 1816 - HATS
  • All the Trimmings - Fat Quarter Shop
  • Relentless - Ink Circles
  • Garden Party - Satsuma Street

New Starts:

  • All the Trimmings - Fat Quarter Shop


  • I had no finishes in September.

Stitch from Stash Recap:

Balance Sheet:

Starting Balance - 1 Sept 2021$ 21.46-
Monthly Allowance - Sept$ 25.00
Finish Credits$   0.00
Purchases$ 16.40-
Current Balance$ 12.86-

Finish Credits Earned This Month:
  • None

Purchases This Month:

That's my recap for the month of September 2021. I hope you've all enjoyed following along with my progress in these monthly update

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Monthly Recap - August 2021

Yesterday was 1 September 2021, so that means it's time for another monthly recap and Stitch from Stash update. I did a LOT of stitching in August. My Stitch from Stash took a bit of a hit due to ordering two fully kitted designs released at the Needlework Expo, so I ended up in the red. I should be able to get things back on track this month. 

Stitching Recap:

Number of Days Stitched:

I stitched every single day in August for a total of 31 days. I spent the first eight days of the month wrapping up the Stitching Olympics event in the Stitch All the Things group on Facebook which ran from 23 July through 8 Aug to coincide with the sporting Olympic Games. I also worked in a few projects I was behind on for my WIPGO board this month. I'm actually almost caught up!

Projects Worked:

New Starts:

  • Quaker Heart by Janice Wood in PieceWork magazine - started 4 August 2021
  • The Fruit of Plenty SAL by Modern Folk Embroidery (restarted with new fabric & fibers) - restarted 9 August 2021
  • Paris of My Dreams by Artecy (later frogged with plans to restart on a different fabric) - started 13 August 20201
  • What Remains by Blackbird Design - started 14 August 2021


  • Quaker Heart by Janice Wood in PieceWork magazine - finished 10 August 2021

Stitch from Stash Recap:

Balance Sheet:

Starting Balance - 1 Aug 2021$  52.39
Monthly Allowance - August$  25.00
Finish Credits$    9.60
Current Balance$  21.46-

Finish Credits Earned This Month:
  • Quaker Heart - Janice Wood for PieceWork magazine - $9.60 ($8 base + 10% bonus for specialty fiber + 10% bonus for hand dyed fabric)

Purchases This Month:

That's my recap for the month of August. I hope you've all enjoyed following along with my progress in these monthly update

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Finish: Quaker Heart

 I finished this lovely free design today called Quaker Heart as my August project for #CrossStitchCamp. The design originally appeared in PieceWork magazine several years ago. They now offer it on their website. Here's the link: Quaker Heart

Design: Quaker Heart
Designer: Janice Wood for PieceWork magazine
Fiber: Sulky Blendables Redwork 30 wt cotton
Stitch Count: 58 x 63
Started: 4 August 2021
Finished: 11 August 2021

Stitch from Stash:

I'm claiming a $9.60 credit for this finish ($8 base + 10% bonus for hand dyed fabric + 10% bonus for specialty fibers). This brings my current Stitch from Stash balance to $82.48.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Monthly Recap - July 2021

It's hard to believe another month of 2021 has come and gone already! I'm stitching my third month of my Stitch from Stash challenge and have been doing really well thus far. Even though I've stayed within my budget since starting the challenge on 1 June, I did a much better job in July at curtailing my expenditures. I'll give more details about that later in the post. For now though, let's get to the details of how my stitching went during July.

Stitching Recap:

Number of Days Stitched:

I stitched a total of 25 days during the month of July. I had a few days in the middle of the month where I was in a bit of a funk and just didn't feel like stitching. Thankfully, I found my mojo again by the time the Stitching Olympics event kicked off on 23 July in the Stitch All the Things group on Facebook.

Projects Worked:

New Starts:

  • Merry Christmas by Cherry Hill Studio - started 1 July 2021
  • Winter Bird's House by The Little Stitcher - started 5 July 2021


  • Merry Christmas by Cherry Hill Studio - finished 5 July 2021
  • Winter Bird's House by The Little Stitcher - finished 6 July 2021
  • Farm Folk by Little House Needleworks - finished 7 July 2021 (started 8 Mar 2020)
  • Baby It's Cold Outside by Heartstring Sampler - finished 10 July 2021 (started 14 Feb 2020)

Stitch from Stash Recap:

Balance Sheet:

Starting Balance - 1 July 2021$  7.02
Monthly Allowance - July$25.00
Finish Credits$45.70
Current Balance$52.39

Finish Credits Earned This Month:
  • Merry Christmas by Cherry Hill Studio - $11 ($10 base + 10% bonus for specialty fibers)
  • Winter Bird's House by The Little Stitcher - $5.50 ($5 base + 10% bonus for specialty fabric)
  • Farm Folk by Little House Needleworks - $8.80 ($8 base + 10% bonus for specialty fibers)
  • Baby It's Cold Outside by Heartstring Sampler - $20.40 ($17 base for 10% bonus for specialty fibers + 10% bonus for hand dyed fabric)

Purchases This Month:

That's my recap for the month of July. I hope you've all enjoyed following along with my progress in these monthly update.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

FlossTube #25

 My latest FlossTube video is now up on my channel. Please head over there to check it out. If you enjoy it, please comment, like, and subscribe

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Finish: Baby It's Cold Outside

 This is a piece I started back in 2019 as part of the Baby It's Cold SAL in honor of Leanne of the Lost in Floss channel. Leanne and Barb (Leanne's friend and FlossTube cohort) started a SAL for this design not long before Leanne lost her cancer battle and passed away. After her death, Jen of Quirks and Stitches along with Julie of Gulf Coast Stitches paired up with Beth Twist of Heartstring Samplery to refocus the SAL for Barb in memory of Leanne which is when I started this piece. 

Several stitchers, myself included, decided to add a cardinal to the design in Leanne's memory. If you aren't aware, the cardinal has been a long time symbol of loved ones who have passed on. It was thought when you saw a cardinal nearby, it was a sign that your deceased loved one was thinking of you. This is why you will often see cardinals incorporated into holiday decorations. It's a way to honor your loved ones during the holiday season. With that in mind, I stitch a tiny little cardinal one over one sitting on the roof of the house on this piece.

Design: Baby It's Cold Outside

Designer: Heartstring Samplery

Fabric: 36 count Ale linen (PTP)

Fibers: Called for GAST and WDW

Stitch Count: 159x103

Started: 14 February 2020

Finished: 10 July 2021

Stitch from Stash:

I'm claiming a $20.40 credit for this finish ($17 base + 10% bonus for hand dyed fabric + 10% bonus for specialty fibers). This brings my current Stitch from Stash balance to $69.72.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Finish: Farm Folk

 Since my other two finishes so far this month were also new starts, I decided to grab a project from the WIP pile this time. I'm not sure why I left this piece languishing in my WIP pile for over a year considering it only took a little over three hours of stitching time to have it finished. 

Design: Farm Folk (from the Farmhouse Christmas series)
Designer: Little House Needleworks
Fabric: 32 ct Lambswool Jobelan
Fibers: Called for Classic Colorworks & DMC
Stitch Count: 63x63
Started: 8 March 2020
Finished: 7 July 2021

Stitch from Stash:

I'm claiming a finish credit of $8.80 for this piece. That's the $8 base credit plus a 10% bonus for using specialty fibers. This brings my current balance to $48.82.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Finish: Winter Bird's House

 Since I'm working on winter/holiday stitcher this month, I grabbed an ornament from my pile of kitted projects. This sweet little bird house is from the 2018 ornament issue from Just Cross Stitch magazine.

Design: Winter Bird's House
Fabric: 32 ct Raw/White Petit Point linen
Fibers: Called for DMC
Stitch Count: 33x40
Started: 5 July 2021
Finished: 6 July 2021

Stitch from Stash:

I'm claiming a $5.50 credit for this finish ($5 base + 10% bonus for specialty fabric). This brings my current Stitch from Stash balance to $40.52.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Finish: Merry Christmas

 I'm working on some holiday stitching this month for a Holiday Crafting in July SAL in the Stitch All the Things group on Facebook as well as for the #jollyjuly SAL hosted by Fat Quarter Shop Cross Stitch. The project I'm sharing today was also my project for July as part of #CrossStitchCamp hosted by Sheri (@coloradocrossstitcher). 

Design: Merry Christmas
Designer: Cherry Hill Stitchery
Fabric: 32 ct. Taupe Linen (Zweigart)
Fibers: Called For
Stitch Count: 78x97
Started: 1 July 2021
Finished: 5 July 2021

Stitch from Stash:

I'm claiming an $11 finish credit for this piece. The base finish credit is $10, but I get a 10% bonus for using specialty fibers. The red and green flosses are from Weeks Dye Works.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Monthly Recap - June 2021

I thought it would be fun to post a recap each month showing how my stitching month went, not just with my actual stitching, but also how I did on my Stitch from Stash challenge. I have a dedicated Stitch from Stash page, but it gets cleared out at the start of each month, so I thought this would be a nice way to capture the information in case I want to look at it again in the future. Since a new six-month round starts July 1, my balance will zero out that day.

Stitching Recap:

Number of Days Stitched:

I only managed to stitch a total of 20 days this month. If you've watched either of my FlossTube videos from June, you know I started having issues with back spasms in the middle of the month which made stitching very uncomfortable. I ended up going 10 days without stitching due to that.

Projects Worked:

Since I missed a third of the month, I only managed to work on eight projects this month. I did manage to finish three of the nine though, so that's good.

  • Taj Mahal Mandala by Chatelaine Designs for #257challenge
  • Stitch What You Love (freebie) by Jenn Dewey for #CrossStitchCamp
  • Rainbow Mandala by Shannon Christine Designs for #stitch4pride
  • Midnight Ride by Blackbird Designs for #bbdweekendsal
  • Stitchy Stars by Lori Holt
  • Jane Marshall by Hands Across the Sea Samplers
  • Needle in Hand by Hello from Liz Mathews for #Acorns25th
  • Garden Party by Satsuma Street

New Starts:

I had a total of three new starts during June, one of which I started and finished. The other two are still WIPs.

  • Stitch What You Love (freebie) by Jenn Dewey (this was my project for #CrossStitchCamp)
  • Stitchy Stars by Lori Holt
  • True Colors (freebie) by StitchLife Magazine

As I mentioned earlier, I had a total of three finishes for the month.

Stitch from Stash Recap:

Balance Sheet:

Starting Balance - 1 June 2021$  0.00
Monthly Allowance - June$25.00
Finish Credits$36.00
Final Balance - 30 June 2021$  7.02

Finish Credits Earned This Month:
  • Stitch What You Love - $11 credit ($10 base plus 10% bonus for using silk)
  • Midnight Ride - $11 credit ($10 base plus 10% bonus for using hand-dyed fibers)
  • Jane Marshall 1857 - finished 25 June 2021 - $14 credit

Purchases This Month:

That's my recap for the month of June. It was fun tracking all the details throughout June knowing I was planning to do this recap. I hope you all enjoyed seeing it, too!

Friday, June 25, 2021

Jane Marshall 1857 Finish

Design: Jane Marshall 1857
Designer: Hands Across the Sea Samplers
Fabric: 40 ct. Mallow linen (Zweigart)
Fibers: DMC (conversion included with chart)
Started: 10 January 2020
Completed: 25 June 2021

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Recent Finishes

 I'm back today with a few recent finishes to share. Of course, if you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen these finishes.

Friends and Family 2020 Mystery SAL

This sampler was the 2020 free design by Fox and Rabbit for the Linen & Threads Mystery Sampler SAL. I stitched my version on 40 ct Mallow linen using ThreadworX 1089 (Bleeding Hearts) over-dyed cotton. I started this piece on 1 January 2020 and completed it on 26 May 2021.

Stitch What You Love

This is another free chart. It was designed by Jenn Dewey (@theoilrainbows on IG). I stitched it as my June project for #CrossStitchCamp hosted by Sheri (@coloradocrossstitcher on IG). I was inspired by Brenda of Brenda and the Serial Starter on FlossTube. She loves red samplers and is going through some medical issues right now, so I stitched this in her honor. #fortheloveofbrendasal I started it on 1 June 2021 and finished it on 2 June 2021.

Midnight Ride

I stitched this piece over a total of three stitching days for the #bbdweekendsal organized by Brenda and Laura of the Brenda and the Serial Starter FlossTube channel. My version is stitched on 32 ct. Salt Marsh Green linen from R&R with the called for fibers. I started it on 1 May 2021 and finished it on 5 June 2021.

I'm hoping to have one or two more finishes this month, so I'll be back with photos when they're done.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

FlossTube #21 - Show Notes

After a 15 month hiatus from FlossTube, I'm officially back! I decided to step away from it last year right as the whole lockdown began due to the pandemic followed immediately by learning my dad was entering hospice. He ended up passing away one year ago today. Now that my life has settled down once again into more of a "normal" routine, I started considering making FlossTube videos again. After pondering about it for two or three weeks, I decided today was the day.

Show Notes:

  • Live Simply Sampler - Jeannette Douglass Designs
  • Count the Cups - Ardith Design
  • Spooked Mystery Sampler Part 1 - Lizzie Kate
  • Midnight Ride - Blackbird Designs
  • Jessie Watson c.1816 - Hands Across the Sea Samplers
  • Sunnyside Sampler - The Drawn Thread
  • Sally Spencer - Birds of a Feather
  • Friendship Sampler - Threadwork Primitives (Tomorrow's Heirlooms exclusive)
  • Jane Marshall 1857 - Hands Across the Sea Samplers
  • Bee Sampler - Lila's Studio (started on World Bee Day - May 20)
Haul Links:
Freebie Links:
Flosstubers Mentioned:

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Stitch Planning & Tracking

 I'm one of those stitchers who loves keeping track of all my WIPs, new starts, finishes, etc. I've been doing it since 2005 using a spreadsheet I initially created in Microsoft Excel, but then moved it over to Number on my Mac when that application was introduced in 2007. I've been pretty happy keeping track of things there and will continue to do so, but I decided I would also like to track what pieces I work on from day-to-day. Obviously, some type of calendar would be a much better fit for this purpose than a spreadsheet.

My initial purchase for my daily tracking was a Canvo bullet journal from Catherine Pooler Designs. That choice was mainly driven by the fact I had a $20 gift card I could use for the purchase. It arrived in just a few days after placing my order and I went to work creating my initial spreads. Since all the pages are just a plain dot grid, it's up to the individual user to create whatever types of layouts or spreads they want. It's literally a blank canvas.

After doing the spread for May, I quickly realized a few reasons why this wasn't going to be a good fit for me. Firstly, it took quite a bit of time to draw out the calendar and I still didn't get it 100% right. Secondly, it's much heavier and bulky that I really wanted. Lastly, I realized I'm just not a fan of spiral-bound planners. I use a disc-bound Happy Planner for work and much prefer that style because I can easily take the pages out to work on them on a flat surface and then just pop the back into my planner which just isn't possible with something spiral-bound.

Since I realized the Canvo just wasn't going to meet my needs, I decided to look at options from Happy Planner since I knew I liked the disc-bound system. After shopping around a bit, I ended up purchasing the Indigo Skinny Classic planner and the Blue Florals Mini Notebook at Joann. I'll use the Skinny Classic planner to track all of my day-to-day stitching and will be using the Mini Notebook as a project tracker.

Since the planner I purchased is for July 2021 - June 2022, I purchased an undated Skinny Calming Blue planner from the Park Lane line at Joann in order to have calendars to cover May and June until the dated version starts in July. Even though it's from a different company, it's the same size and layout as the Skinny Classic from Happy Planner and the blues work quite nicely together. 

Each month starts with a month at a glance spread. I'm using these pages to keep track of my planned rotation for the month, the called numbers for WIPGO, as well as any SALs or special events I'll be taking part in that month that take place on a certain date. Since May is one of the undated months, I just used a pen to fill in the dates in both the monthly and weekly spreads. I won't have to do that once we get to July since that's when the dated calendars included with the Happy Planner will begin.

After the monthly spread comes all the weekly spreads. There is plenty of room each day for writing down what I'm working on. In fact, there's enough room I was able to document two projects I worked on in a single day on May 6. In the notes section at the bottom right section of the week, I recap the number of new starts and finishes I had for the week, if applicable.

After the five weekly spreads comes a notes page and the divider for the following month. I'm using the notes page to do a monthly recap where I list any new starts and finishes I had as well as any SALs I participated in that month. I also include the number of days out of the month that I stitched as well as the number of projects I worked on during the month.

I decided I wanted to include my WIPGO tracker in my planner, but there really wasn't a good place to put it. I decided to just create one from scratch. I created my WIPGO list in Numbers (Excel would work fine, too) then printed it on some 32 lb paper on my home printer. I prefer using the 32 lb paper when printing pages for my planners because it's heavier than regular 20 lb printer paper, so it holds up nicely and has less chance of writing from the opposite side of the paper showing through. I used a paper trimmer to cut it down to 4⅛ x 9¼" which is the same size as the Slim Classic pages. I used my Happy Planner Punch to punch the disc openings along the left edge than popped it into the front of my planner. 

Even though the Mini Notebook came with ruled filler paper, I also opted to create my own pages for tracking my projects. I did this one a bit differently than my WIPGO tracker. This time I used the Pages application on my Mac (Microsoft Word would also work). I created both sides of the page in order to have the "ditch" necessary to accommodate the disc-binding since I wanted to print on both sides of the paper. I trimmed down a bunch of the 32 lb paper to 4⅛ x 7" which is the same size as the Mini Notebook paper from Happy Planner. I created a custom paper size in my printer settings with those measurements than just double-side printed all of the pages. Once printed, I used the Happy Planner Punch to punch the disc openings then put them into the notebook.

I hope you've enjoyed this peek into my stitch planning and tracking idea. Do you track your stitching? If so, what method do you use? I would love to hear other ideas!