Border Rug – Progress 12

I’m back to working on this a couple mornings a week now and making progress. I finished Band 5 and I’ve just started Band 6.


I’ll finish the light green diamonds across the middle and then turn the rug around to work on the other side. Once I have this much stitched, I can start the next steps. There will be more outlines before I actually stitch the fill-in stitches for the triangles along the edges and the diamonds themselves. I also need to work on the outer border on the other side.

Here is the whole rug so far.


When Band 6 is completed, it will be time to stitch the very large band for the center of the rug. Can’t wait for that one – it’s going to be very colorful!

Norfolk Diligence Sampler – Progress 5

And now for a project that is moving along delightfully!

This is on 40 linen over 2 threads. It’s my first time on 40 ct. and I’m finding it slow going but I’m not having any difficulty. Thank goodness for these good eyes. I’m working on Page 2 now and the bottom of the second band. Here is the first pansy all finished. I’ll continue across the row – two sets of stems and leaves and two more pansies.


And here is the whole project so far. I had to scroll up a little so you don’t see all of the checkerboard section now.

NF Sampler-5

I’m really enjoying this and love the design.

Is there anyone out there who is working on this (or have completed it)? I have a question about the section with the verse to stitch. Thank you in advance.

Many thanks to cross stitchers

I’ve had quite a few comments and emails about my dilemma with Father Christmas and Cats. Thank you all for taking the time to advise me on my options.

Has anyone tried an overdye thread for these large backgrounds? I’m afraid of the striping of colors – that happens with needlepoint too. I’ve decided not to do this.

What about a colored canvas? I could stitch the rest of the design and not worry about stitching the background at all. I’m not sure I would like the look, but I’ve done small pieces without the background being stitched, so why do I have a hangup about it for a larger piece… I found a linen that is the exact color of one of the background colors, but it would cost me $57 to buy a large enough piece. I think I’ll pass on this one as well.

Several people said I could start over and use one strand of floss on 32 count even weave or linen. I like the idea and I would have to order the fabric, but this would enlarge the project quite a bit. On the 25 count, over one thread, it’s 14″ x 20″. If I do over 2 on 32 count, it would be 22″ X 31.5″. Way too big for me. On 40 count over two, it would be 17.5″ X 25″.

Currently, I have the mandala on 32 count linen, stitching over 2 threads. The sampler is 40 count linen, stitching over 2 threads. I think that’s enough linen to be working on at any one time. (I’m not counting any needlepoint projects that are also being worked on right now.)

I have another piece of Lugana the same size. I’ve played with using one strand over one thread on the margin of the current piece and it looks good. So I’m going to work on the grid this afternoon and start over on that. I’m also taking the advice of about 3 people and starting with Father Christmas himself. Then I can do a little of the background each time I work on the piece and eventually get it all done. ONE more thing I’m going to do. I’m not going to use so many colors for the background. I’m going to cut that in half, using one color for two different symbols. That should help eliminate constantly starting and ending threads.

Another person mentioned working across one row for a while so you always have an open row below where you are working. That way there would be no open little spaces to try and fill in later. I might try that too.

One more comment on all the other services available online – I love all my tech devices but I’m not into online services very much. There just isn’t enough time in the day with all my stitching, reading about 100 blogs, and reading books (not to mention occasional housework, etc.) to deal with Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. I know about Needlepoint Nation, etc. but I just don’t have the time. Remember, besides all the stitching I do from other designers, I also design my own small rugs and stitch them. I’m getting old and I have a million more things I want to design and stitch. So it’s just this blog and the website (which is terribly out of date too). That and two emails keep me more than busy……

Thank you all once again! Super people everywhere……

Blackwork Journey

Do you like blackwork? Do you use it in any of your projects? I found this website a while back and it’s just wonderful.

Elizabeth Almond has a project called “Save the Stitches” and it’s free on her website. Blackwork Journey  It’s a very large project and is being uploaded one section at a time. Here is a photo of the first page of the first file:

Save the Stitches

You can see that she only used black thread and some metallics for highlights. It would be a great reference if you don’t want to stitch the whole piece. Enjoy!

Cross Stitchers – Advice Please

I started an HAED design last year and didn’t get very far.  I’ve only been cross stitching for two years and haven’t completed lots of designs. But there are so many beautiful designs out there and I want to continue buying and stitching them. Here’s the design:

Father Christmas

And here’s where I am today – about 4.5″ X 1.5″ of background on the top, left of the design.


I’m using two plies of floss on 25 ct. Lugana. I’m finding it frustrating to fill in all the little holes when I get to the last 4-5 colors. There are about 12 shades of rust and orange to do the background. So I have questions and I’m seeking your advice.

1. Should I be using just one ply of floss?  It would make the project easier to handle, but would it cover well?

2. If I want to change to one ply, what do I do with this piece that is started – start over with a new piece of fabric or rip it out? Would the fabric be okay if I rip out that much?

3. If I continue with two plies, what advice do you have for me to keep going and not get so frustrated. You can see that the last four squares are not completed yet. I just couldn’t force myself to continue today.

I love the design! I want to get it done so I can hang it up each December. Help…..

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me. I truly appreciate it.

Chatelaine’s Persian Iris Mandala – Progress 25

I’m finally back to the mandala, two mornings a week. I’ve started the buildings area to the right of the mosque. The wall and arches are done and I almost finished filling in the arches this morning.

2nd corner-1

Since I’m not fond of the gold top stitching, I’ve promised myself that I would do that as I go along. Next week, I’ll start the gold work on the wall and arches and alternate the gold thread stitching with adding some cross stitch buildings on the top of the wall.

Here’s the whole project so far.


Do you use rayon thread?

I’ve used Marlitt from Anchor a few times and didn’t like it. I’ve done some things with DMC Satin floss and have learned how to tame it and love the shine. And now I’ve been introduced to a new rayon thread called El Molino (also called Zirayon) from Presencia in Spain.

I ordered some threads I needed from Michelle at Come to the Point in San Rafael. It’s my closest LNS at 40 miles from home. She got the threads together and sent them off, then sent me an email to let me know they were on the way. She also said that she included a spool of El Molino for me to try.

I was surprised when I opened the box. It’s a large spool, about 4 inches long, and contains 118 yards for just $1.50 (they are on sale)! It’s not stranded like the others I’ve used – it’s like a perle. Yes, it will fray at the ends so I will be using short lengths. I’ve done some practice stitching to see how things go and found that it works better on slanted stitches on 18 ct, rather than straight stitches.  I do like it and wanted to get more. Michelle sent me a spreadsheet with the colors she had on hand and I picked out some. Then told her to hold the package because I wanted to see the colors in person. I drove down last week and came home with over 20 of them. The shine is wonderful and I’m thinking Christmas ornaments right now for using some of them. The bright red you see says “Color No Solido” which means that it is not colorfast, but there is another red as well. The photo below doesn’t show all of the colors I got or the whole line.

El Molino

The open spool on the right is the one she sent me – my favorite color, teal. Michelle is selling some of her threads on sale – trying to switch to only natural fibers in her shop. So if you are interested in trying a heavier, beautiful rayon thread, send her an email or give her a call. Her website is :  and her email is:  When you go to her website, you can also sign up for her newsletter, so you can keep up with her monthly sales. (And she is a delight to work with!)

If you’d like to see all the colors, this page has a color chart. She is out of some colors, so you may not be able to get some of them.