Category Archives: Stitching

JCS Christmas Ornament Issue 2012

Cover of Just Cross Stitch 2012 ornament issueThinking about buying the 2012 Just Cross Stitch annual ornament issue? Before ordering, you might want to preview the ornaments. Anita, of Anita’s Little Stitches, recently posted pictures of the stitched ornaments. What do you think? Which ones are calling you to stitch?

I am a bit disappointed with the issue because it does not contain a Britty Kitty ornament, but it is filled with some really cute designs.

A couple of my favorite ornaments: Christmas Eve by Pickle Barrel Designs and Roaming Reindeer by Blue Ribbon Designs.

Halloween patterns galore

JCS Halloween Collection cover

Just CrossStitch magazine is putting out a special Halloween collection with 50+ designs. Do you see that Britty Kitty under the Halloween tree on the cover? You know what that means … I have to have it so my other Britty Kitty ornaments have more whimsical friends to keep them company.

You can pre-order the JCS Halloween Collection now to be the first on your block to receive it in September 2011.


Blackbird Designs Newest Book

I’ve been eyeing the new book from Blackbird Designs, A Stitcher’s Journey. The book contains a collection of class projects the designers taught during 2010. I’d seen photos of several class projects on the Blackbird Designs blog that I really liked, so I was excited about the possibility of being able to purchase the charts without attending a class or retreat.

The cover of A Stitcher's Journey by Blackbird Designs

The designs on the cover are lovely, but aren’t the ones I wanted to stitch. I haven’t been able to find out much about what other designs are included in the book. I was wavering on purchasing the book for that reason, until I found the Needlecraft Corner website. Needlecraft Corner has put together linen and floss packages for nine of the designs in A Stitcher’s Journey and listed them along with a photo of each project on their website.

It’s great that Needlecraft Corner is offering these packages, because it is so hard to find all the different colors of R&R Reproductions hand-dyed linens. The site doesn’t say what size each piece of linen is, but I suspect they are the exact sizes needed for the different projects.

The designs that Needlecraft Corner listed are:

  • Experience Leland’s Needlebook
  • Tulip House
  • Tulip House Stitching Companion
  • Tulip Pincushion
  • Thistle House Sewing Box
  • Birds and Berries Needlebook
  • Birds and Berries Pinbox
  • Prairie House Sewing Case
  • Heart in Bloom Sewing Tray
The mint panel from the garden ball

Well I Thought I Was Done

Last night at my local stitching group I proudly showed off my accomplishments at the end of the evening. I was only six beads away from finishing another panel in the garden ball project.

As soon as I got home I settled on the sofa, pulled out the panel and quickly added the last few beads. Then I took a photo of it and texted it to my friend Val to let her know that I finished the panel.

After sending the photo I started looking over all the panels and suddenly noticed that something was different about the one I just finished.

Upon closer inspection, I realized what was wrong. Big mistake, some serious frogging in my future. Funny, nobody noticed the mistake when I held it up at the meeting. LOL.

Garden Ball Mint Panel.

Did you spot the big mistake?

I guess I was just too anxious to get finished. It’s so close, only details on 4 more panels and then I can start that assembly.

Will She Finish in Time?

Progress on the garden ball project

Progress on the panels for the garden ball project

Question: Will Amy finish all of the panels for the Garden Ball project before the finishing class on Thursday night at the EGA Meeting?

Answer: It’s doubtful. But I do have one panel completely stitched and beaded, so I will be able to start working on the finishing.

This weekend I worked on the letters I want to substitute for the word “GARDEN” that is on the pattern. In the pattern the designer said that she encourages stitchers to be creative and make changes to the fabric and threads called for. Then she went on to say that the only rule is that the letters must spell GARDEN. Well, that just brought out the rebel in me and made me want to change them. I’m going to stitch my name in place of the first three letters, and then fill out the other three spots with the year and a couple of extra flowers.

Check out Liz’s blog to see what the garden ball will look like when it is finished. Her post includes great tips for finishing the project too.

It’s Going to be a Zigouigoui

Tomorrow at the BASG meeting I’m going to turn this pretty square into a little cushion called a zigouigoui.

I’m experimenting with posting from my phone. I took the picture of the stitched square with the phone on my camera and I’m anxious to see how it will look on my blog.

Pagoda Pincushion

Pagoda pincushion

The March project for my EGA group was a pagoda pincushion. Each stitcher personalized the pattern that appeared in The Gift of Stitching (on page 40 of the July 2009 issue) with different color fabrics and flosses. I stitched mine on 28-count antique white monaco with pink and blue DMC. The center of the pagoda base was blank in the pattern, so many stitchers, myself included, filled it with motifs such as monograms and flowers.

The pagoda is the most complex piece I’ve ever made (in terms of turning a stitched piece into a 3D object). It was good practice for another project the EGA group is doing, A Patchwork Garden Ball by Twisted Oak Designs. We got the garden ball kits in February, with the idea we should stitch three motifs each month to be ready to learn how to finish it in August. So far I’ve got one motif done. I’m a little behind on that one.

Presencia Floss & Just CrossStitch Magazine

I noticed an advertisement for Presencia Finca Mouline embroidery floss on the inside back cover of the March/April 2010 issue of Just CrossStitch magazine. According to the ad, this floss is “now featured in Just Cross Stitch Magazine.” I hadn’t noticed it listed on any patterns, so I went back for a closer look, and sure enough, I found a couple of patterns that called for it—the Little House Needleworks Easter design on page 18 and a Spring needle case design on page 42. They appear to be moving towards using this Presencia floss as a DMC alternative instead of Anchor floss.

I’ve never heard of Presencia threads before. According to the Presencia website, it is a Spanish company that has been selling thread for over 50 years in Europe and South America. They are now marketing the thread in the U.S. via an independently owned, but similarly named U.S. company. They offer 100% Egyptian cotton threads and also some rayon threads. The retail price for the cotton embroidery floss is $1 per skein.

I’ve heard that Beverly’s Crafts in Santa Cruz no longer carries DMC floss and now sells a different brand. I wonder if this is the floss that Beverly’s is selling instead of DMC.

Special note to Sue: Did you see the pretty Bluebird pattern in this issue?

Needle Case Progress

Peyote beading requires an enormous amount of patience. I learned that while I spent several evenings working on my needle case. I finished the bottom tube section at a stitch-in with friends last week. Several of us worked on the needle case project that evening, with help from Liz, who was happy to see that we were making progress on the project and enjoying it.

Liz’s pattern makes a beautiful needle case with a red and white striped center surrounded with rows of gold beads, but somewhere along the line I misread the pattern and my needle case developed a red and white spiral pattern. I liked the pattern that was emerging, so I just kept on beading rather than ripping it out and starting over.

Liz blogged about the Americana needle case project and included a nice photo that even shows the top. Take a look at Liz’s blog so you can see what the needle case is supposed to look like and read more about the first project she presented as our new EGA evening programs officer.

After doing the main tube, the tube for the cap should be a snap. Yeah, right. Then the next challenge is learning to do peyote in the round and attaching the round pieces to the tubular pieces.