How do you teach someone to cross stitch? Part 2 – Learning styles and abilities

Hi Everyone

The way we learn is unique to us and when we find someone who can explain things or show us things in a way that clicks for us, makes them a very special person! It can also say a lot about the teacher. Their ability to ask the right questions, observe your body language and properly hear what you are telling them, to then adjust their way of communicating with you. Resulting in you feeling supported and (hopefully) confident in your abilities to have successfully learnt the intended lesson or perform a specific task.

Learning styles

There are many different ways in which we learn. Sometimes it depends on what we’re that will determine the best way in which we can put it into practice. Sometimes it depends on how our teacher presents the material to us that we need to learn that can make the world of difference. The YouTube clip below shows how this can be true for both sides of the coin via the use of scenes from popular or famous movies through the decades…

‘Learning Styles’ – uploaded to YouTube on 10 November 2010 – shows the main learning styles via popular movies.

In support of the above YouTube clip, the website Learning-styles-online.com (viewed on 29 July 2018) suggests that there are 7 different ways in which people prefer to learn.

Visual learning means that you or your student prefers to use pictures/ diagrams and videos that assist you with understanding how to do something. Additionally, you or your student may find it easier to have someone sit with you and show you how to thread the needle and make the crosses on the fabric – regardless of which fabric it is. Furthermore, you or your student may find the use of colours and patterns to assist with the learning of a new task. Click here for further information.

Image from the Work Ready Training website – originally posted on 18 September 2018

Logical learning means that you or your student uses logic, reasoning and systems, to understand how and why cross-stitch works to then put it into practice. From a teaching perspective, explaining why we do cross stitch may assist your student with understanding the logic of cross stitch. This may also relate to the pattern they choose to stitch. Click here for further information.

Verbal learning means that you or your student finds it easier to listen to someone talk or reading a set of instructions (words only). Learning-styles-online.com suggests that you or your student read the instructions to yourself out-loud. By doing so in a dramatic and varied way, it may make the instructions sound more interesting and you or your student may pick up on the keywords that will assist with achieving the desired outcome. Click here for further information.

Physical or tactile learning means that you or your student needs to get your hands dirty to learn. Learning-styles-online.com uses the example of pulling apart an engine and putting it back together without the assistance of instructions to learn how the engine works. From a cross stitch perspective, you and your student can sit together and go through the motions of cross stitch. Click here for further information.

Image from the Work Ready Training website – originally posted on 2 October 2018

Aural learning is about the use of sounds and music to enable you or your student to connect to what you’re learning, because it enables you (or your student) to visualise the way something moves or the actions you need to take to complete a movement. Alternatively, the music in the background can assist with triggering memories the next time the sounds or music are heard, resulting in your or your student being able to remember the process of cross stitch until it becomes second nature. Click here for further information.

Social learning means that you or your student enjoys studying in group environments or being around other people whilst learning, because it enables you to bounce ideas off others and increase your understanding of the topic at hand. Which is where stitch ‘n’ bitch sessions can be a perfect way for your or your student/s to learn cross stitch, because you’re able to bounce off each other and share different tips and tricks you’ve learnt along the way and see how others stitch as well. Click here for further information.

Social learning image from the ATD website article on ‘how to be a catalyst for social learning’

Solitary or one-on-one learning means that you or your student finds it easier to learn on your own because there are less distractions. Which also means that stitching at home in silence (or softened background noises) may be your preference or your student’s preference. Click here for further information.

What about learning disabilities?

This is a little different to the learning styles that we have just looked at and learning disabilities can have a major impact on the way in which you teach someone to cross stitch. In the YouTube clip below titled ‘Common Learning Disabilities’, Dr Audrey Huebner from the Mayo Clinic, briefly talks about the common learning disabilities and what they mean.

‘Common Learning Disabilities’ by Dr Audrey Huebner from the Mayo Clinic – uploaded on 14 April 2017

It’s important that we talk about learning disabilities because it will (hopefully) help you and your student be more comfortable around each other and both of you will be able to communicate in a way that works for both of you. On a personal note, I always have and always will struggle with maths and doing some calculations in my head. At times when I’m doing cross stitch, I’ll joke about how I need to go back to school and learn how to count because I’ve stitched either too many or not enough crosses. I’ll also joke about how I need to get my eyes checked because as I get tireder as the day progresses, I make more mistakes. The eye sight thing and making mistakes can happen to anyone and everyone. However, I absolutely acknowledge that people who have legitimate eye sight problems will need some extra help with the way they see a cross stitch pattern and fabric – just a hint for what the next post will be about!

If you are teaching someone with a learning disability, the following clip by the CreativeMentalist may help you with providing praise and feedback to your student. Additionally, your student may find comfort and reassurance in hearing and seeing what she has to say.

‘8 Things kids with learning disabilities need to hear’ by CreativeMentalist – uploaded on 2 January 2015

Another clip that may be of interest and use for you as a teacher is ‘Students with Disabilities: Special Education Categories’ by Teachings in Education. The presenter briefly goes through the 14 different categories by defining what they are and provides some tips on what teachers can do to help their students learn a task or concept.

‘Students with Disabilities: Special Education Categories’ by Teachings in Education – Uploaded to YouTube on 7 April 2018

I hope that this post has given you some food for thought and that you consider some of the different ways in which may approach the way you do your cross stitch. In part 3, we’ll take a look at physical abilities and disabilities and some tools of the trade that may help you and your students.

Until next time, happy stitching!

Related links:

How do you teach someone to cross stitch? Part 1 – Who is your student?

Hi Everyone

Have you ever been approached by family, friends, friends of friends or colleagues and asked if you could teach them how to cross stitch?

I’ve been contemplating this question for some time now and wondered what the best approach would be. Many years ago I would have just jumped straight into it with whomever my student would be. Not really considering their preferred learning style, choice of pattern and materials, their age and abilities, let alone my teaching style!

This series is going to cover all of these things and more in case you are approached and asked to teach someone to cross stitch. So without further adieu…

Why age matters

How old we are and our life experiences can make the world of difference in how we learn new things and sometimes, how long it takes us to learn those new things.

For example, the blog post by the TEFL Academy (posted on 16 January 2017) titled ‘6 Differences between teaching adults and young learners’ talks about the importance of using different approaches based upon the age of your student. Based upon the blog post by the TEFL Academy, you will need to consider the following things if you are teaching adults or children and adolescents:

Adults Children and teenagers
Are autonomous and independent and prefer to work things out for themselves, with minimal direction. You will need to be in charge and provide the young learner with clear instructions on what they need to do with their needle and thread and fabric.
You may find that you and your adult learner can spend a lot more time on the cross stitch project due to extended attention spans. Your young learner may have a genuine interest in cross stitch, but will need a bit of variety to keep them interested. This is where the choice of pattern is crucial. Starting off on a small picture that the young learner is interested in will make the difference.
Keeping things fun is still important for your adult learner. This is where stitch ‘n’ bitch sessions may be more applicable. Having a relaxed environment where there is minimal pressure may help your learner with being anxious about learning something new. Keep it as fun as possible for your young learner – especially for your very young learners. Their key interest is play and having fun. How you do that is up to you!
Finding the motivation for why your person wants to cross stitch is important. It’s just like you needing to find the motivation to stitch a project. This may be closely linked with keeping it fun and having a design or project that they really want to stitch. Finding the motivation for why your person wants to cross stitch is important. It’s just like you needing to find the motivation to stitch a project. This may be closely linked with keeping it fun and having a design or project that they really want to stitch.
Depending on the type of relationship you have with your adult learner, having some ground rules may still be necessary to ensure you both are on the same page. Each person is different. Use your judgement on this one.   Discipline. How you approach this may vary from person to person. For example, setting up some ground rules may help for some people. The challenge will be following through on the consequences should any of those ground rules be broken. E.g. running with scissors, poking others with needles and scissors = no stitching for x amount of time.
Life experience will play a very large part with your adult learner and it can have an enormous impact on their motivation for wanting to learn how to do cross stitch. It will be worth having a chat with your learner to find out why they want to learn cross stitch. Also, you may find that you learn something from your learner while you’re teaching them! The TEFL Academy recognises the enthusiasm and curiosity that young people bring to learning. It will be worth keeping this in mind and trying to enhance their enthusiasm and curiosity while teaching them cross stitch. For example, linking story telling with cross stitch may be one way of keeping it fun and piquing their curiosity!

What about gender?

In this day and age, gender shouldn’t matter – anyone can do cross stitch – what does matter, is the way gender can influence the way you teach your student and how your student learns.

If your student considers themselves to be male, they may initially feel embarrassed about learning how to cross stitch, even though they have a strong interest in it. All because cross stitch and embroidery has historically have been considered something women and girls have done – even though some of the most famous fashion designers are men – e.g. Karl Largerfeld, Hugo Boss, Pierre Cardin, Giorgio Armani and Tommy Hilfiger to name a few. To put this into context, the flosstube video below is the first one from Shaun/ Sean who has wanted to do cross stitch for a long time, but has felt embarrassed and fearful about taking it up, because of the perceptions around who does cross stitch.

Flosstube clip by Sean/Shaun – uploaded to YouTube on 30 January 2019

So what I’m trying to say here is that some of your male students may need some extra praise and encouragement to help them feel comfortable with doing cross stitch. The patterns they stitch may help a lot too. The same may be for your female students and other students who are part of the LGBTQI community who are really interested in cross stitch, but feel uncomfortable about taking up the craft because of some old perceptions about our craft.

So what do you think so far? Have you already taught someone to cross stitch? Has their age and gender had an impact on how you have taught them?

Until next time, happy stitching!

Creative Flair – when it’s in your genes, there’s no escaping!

Hi Everyone

As I’m writing this post, I’ve just gotten back from spending some awesome time with my sister and her family. Yesterday (26 October) my nephew turned 5 and today was a great time to catch up with my nephew, my sister and her family and celebrate 5 years of my nephew being with us!

One of the really cool things with spending time with my nephew, is that he’s really into art and being crafty! At the moment he’s really into water colour painting and drawing and experimenting with colours. This area of art isn’t my strong point, so I found it really fun to experiment with my nephew and have fun working with kid logic. For example, we had fun figuring out what would happen if we mixed a dark blue with bright yellow and how much of each colour we used to make the final colour. We also found that the paint brush would be very thirsty for some colours and not so much for other colours.

As I’m reflecting on today, many things are coming to mind. I’m remember what it was like to have that kid wonder of ‘what if’ and not worrying about the result, because we don’t know what it will be and therefore we have no expectations. When I was in late primary school, we had the friendship bracelets.

It became so much of a craze that I remember making a number of them and selling them at school for about $0.50c (50 cents) to about $1 to $2 depending on the complexity of the design. I remember spending many nights in front of the t.v. with one end of the bracelet pinned to my pant leg or the bean bag and I’d be madly tying the knots in preparation for the next day. Below are a couple of the bracelets I’ve held onto. They’re quite simple in comparison with some of the others I’ve made and sold.

Rainbow friendship bracelets. Diagonal design going from left to right. This image shows a close up of the design to show the darker and lighter reds, blues, greens and an orange and yellow and darker and lighter purple and pink.
Rainbow Friendship Bracelet made out of DMC cotton
This overhead shot shows two friendship bracelets that show the front and back of the bracelets. Both are rainbow diagonal going from left to right.
Overhead view of the rainbow friendship bracelets

It’s also important to note that with the selling of these bracelets, I had a limited market because I went to a small country school. When I graduated, there were a total of 74 students in the entire school and 8 people in my year. So my market was pretty small and there was someone else making the bracelets as well. Mine were better though!

In high school I was very much into writing and wanted to do something with that. I did a fair bit of cooking and craft classes to get my creative fix and did a bit of cross stitch at home. It was also at high school that I was introduced to quilting and photography. It was pretty cool developing the film in photography and learning how the whole process worked. I also knew early on that with photography, that if I had to do portraiture and tell people how to pose in photos, that I didn’t want to take it any further. I really don’t like telling people what to do and how to look to get a particular result. There’s also the pressure of getting the picture taken in a quick and short period of time and to that’s too much pressure.

I digress! I can’t help but wonder what things my nephew will be interested in and how everyone in his life can help to influence him in a positive way. I’m curious about whether he’ll stick with painting or progress onto other forms like pastels, charcoal and pencils. Or move onto mediums like pottery, origami, woodwork, metalwork and photography.

The really cool thing has been seeing that the creative flair remaining strong in my immediate and extended family. My grandparents on both sides of my family were creative with their photography, knitting, painting, gardening and music. I remember my grand father on Dad’s side, bringing out the piano accordion or mandolin on Christmas Eve and would play us some tunes. Sometimes he would sing as well. There was a few times there where he had tried to teach some of my cousins and I how to play the mandolin . My fingers were too small at the time and they haven’t grown much since!

Many of my aunts are creative with their painting and gardening and one of my uncles has taught himself to play the guitar. One of my cousins is/has been in a number of different bands and has performed on stage with his band. Another cousin of mine is creative with her hairdressing and make-up artistry. Meanwhile, my sister and her fiance are creative in their own rights with their talents in music (drums and possibly guitar), pottery, drawing and photography.

So my nephew has no escape from this strong creative flair and I can’t wait to see what comes of it!

Halloween Cross Stitch – Admiring from a distance

Hi Everyone

As an Aussie, Halloween has never been a big part of my life. I love horror and thriller movies, tv shows and novels. I’m facinated by ghost stories and urban legends. All of which has sometimes caused me to be a little scared a times, when I’ve needed to drive home late at night, the fog’s starting to roll in and I think to myself that this would be a great start to a ‘Supernatural’ episode!

Meanwhile, over the last few months when I’ve been watching Flosstube, a lot of Halloween themed cross stitch has caught my – especially some of the designs that the Sunshine Stitchers have shown as part of their WIP’s and finishes. In their latest episode (shown below), checkout the framed Halloween projects in the background.

Sunshine Stitchers – Episode #50 – 29 September 2019

Another flosstuber who’s caught my eye for Halloween things is Javagirlstitches – episode 15:

The awesome thing with flosstube is that everyone who shows us the projects they’re working on, also talks about where they got their patterns from and fabrics. I love this because I’ve started doing some searches on the Internet and it’s going to get me into a world of pain soon. All because I’ll want to buy all of the things and then want to stitch all of the things when they arrive in the mail and I’ve already got enough on the go! Or have I?!

The patterns that have caught my eye include (but not limited to):

The Cottage Needle’s petite cross stitch of ‘The Classical Sorceress Witch’ (loosely translated from the French title on The Cottage Needle’s etsy store. Les PETiTES CROiX De LUCIE Le Sorciere Classical Witch):

The Cottage Needle’s ‘Classic Sorceress Witch’ – image captured from Pinterest – pattern available from The Cottage Needle’s etsy site.

‘Halloween Balcony’ cross stitch pattern by Alena Koshkina, which is available from the Mybobbin Crafts Online store:

Image from Pinterest

I love the colours that Alena has chosen for this pattern and the colour of fabric just makes everything pop!

“Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow” by Carriage House Samplings, which is available from the Everything Cross Stitch website:

Image from the Everything Cross Stitch website.

“Halloween Night” by Alena Koshkina which is also available from the Mybobbin Crafts Online store:

Image from the Mybobbins Crafts Online Store

‘Sleepy Hollow’ by Glendon Place and it’s available from Sandra’s Stitch Stash. I saw this pattern as part of Gary’s (from the Sunshine Stitchers) WIP parade. He’s done a fantastic job on it!

Image from Sandra’s Stitch Stash

Last, but not least is ‘Fright Night’ by Lewis T Johnson and sold by Geko Rouge. My jaw dropped and my eyes widened when I saw this one! Just wow! The detail!

Image from Geko Rouge website

The awesome thing with all of this, is that this is just a sample – a tiny sample – of what’s out there! As I was scrolling through Pinterest and the different website I visited to put this post together, I came across more and more images and projects that I wanted to add to the list to share with you, let alone add to my collection!

Honourable mentions should go to Heaven and Earth Designs, 123Stitch and Hands On Designs. All three websites have some amazing Halloween themed pieces to work on.

Until next time, happy stitching!

Cross Stitch, Footy Finals and Blogging

Hi Everyone

It’s been a big week. I’ve successfully completed my first full week at my new job, finished my second week of three days at the gym and I’m exhausted. I’ve been really tired and slept through the majority of the night, but my quality of sleep hasn’t been great. I know that a lot of it’s to do with not drinking enough water, I’ve been taking on bucket loads of information and my muscles are sore (a good sore though!).

In the lead up to this weekend, conversations and news items on the tv have grabbed my attention about footy finals and I’ve been mulling over in my mind, what I want to write about this week for this blog post – both of which I’ll talk about a little later.

Cross Stitch

For all of this week I’ve been able to get some cross stitch done and I’ve managed to stick to one project! I’m still working on the fishing project and I really should have taken a progress shot last week, so that you could see how much more I’ve done. However, the picture below shows what I have been able to do over the last few months – most of which has been done over the last few weeks…

‘Fishing on the River’ / ‘Out Fishing’ – Designed by Collette Bispham – my progress so far

The strands of floss you see to the left and right of the WIP are for when I get to the next stages of the pattern. Also, in an earlier post, I had called this pattern ‘Fishing on the River’. I had used this name based upon sub-heading the Cross Stitch Gold magazine had used. Meanwhile, I’ve found that it’s been called ‘Out Fishing’ on the pages of the actual pattern and its details. As a result of this, I’m gong to call this project the fishing project just to keep it simple. Also, it’s the only fishing project I’m working on at the moment.

The other important thing to note with this project, is that I’ve chosen to use a brown Aida, rather than the recommended cream Aida. It is still 14 count though. I decided to use the brown Aida because I had the right amount for the pattern and enough excess for framing (or whatever I choose to do for the finish). Also, I thought that it would give the project an interesting finish because of the brown border the finished project has.

Now that I’ve taken the fishing project out of the hoop and ironed it to show you the progress, I’m itching to start a new project or move onto an existing project. I’m still umming and arrring about a new Christmas project. A lot of this is due to the patterns and fabric for the projects are in my stitching corner (I’m currently residing in my lounge room on the chase part of the couch), and I can see them every time I sit down to work on the fishing project or any other one I choose to work on. What’s holding me back at the moment, is figuring out which threads I use – DMC or Anchor threads. The patterns have listings for both brands and I have no doubt that I have all of the called for threads. Two things that are holding me back on starting a new project are:

  1. It’s another new project. I have so many other projects at the moment. Do I really need another one? Also, if I do start a new project, which one should I start? Should it be a small, easy one that I can finish in about a week and finish as a card? Or should it be one that will take a few months (at least) to finish?
  2. Where and how am I going to store the project if start a new one? Many of the YouTube clips I’ve watched over recent months have talked about and shown us their project bag collections and new additions to that collection. I don’t have anything like that at the moment and I’m starting to think that I need to have some. I do have a couple of Lincraft bags I use as travel bags for my WIPs and I’m currently using them for existing projects that I’m actively working on.

I’m also leaning towards going back to my mini mushroom project.

Mini Mushroom WIP – image taken back around the end of June 2019

I’ve stitched a lot more since the above image was taken. I’ve really enjoyed seeing it come to life so far because it’s one of my own designs and like any project, I love seeing it come to life.

Additionally, I had a reminder come up on my IT devices about finishing and sending off a finished project to the framer’s, to then enter it in the 2020 Sydney Royal Easter Show. I haven’t finished my intended project for this show, but the reminders about the framing, reminded me of the plan/s I have for my stitching and what I want to achieve with it. I will achieve and complete those plans. It will just be on a slightly different timeline to what I had initially intended for them!

Footy Finals

It’s also the AFL (Australian Football League) Grand Final this weekend and NRL (National Rugby League) semi-final. I’m not a regular follower of the NRL, but I’m mentioning it now because the Canberra Raiders have made it to the Grand Final – 25 years in the making! So for the next 7 days at least, there are going to be a whole heap of local businesses getting behind the team with Raiders paraphernalia, green decorations and green food. It would be so good if the Raiders won because it’s been so long between drinks and if I had to support an NRL team, why not my home team?!

Meanwhile, today (Saturday 28 September 2019) is the AFL Grand Final and it’s going to be HUGE! We have Richmond Tigers versus the Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants. The Tigers have been part of the AFL for over 100 years whilst the Giants have only been around for 8 years and this is their first grand final. The Tigers have a number of flags under their belt – most recently, a couple of years ago. So, I’m really hoping that Giants win because they’re such a young team.

Update – The Tigers won. Their experience meant that they completely thrashed the Giants – 114 to 25. That said, it was a history making game in so many ways. What I hadn’t realised until the commentators said it, 100 years ago, the Tigers were in their first grand final, now 100 years later, the Giants were in their first grand final.

Blogging Mojo

I feel like I’m loosing my blogging mojo. Or at least, I think I need to re-adjust the direction I move with my blog. This may assist with me practising what I’m preaching with regards to promoting cross stitch and the designers who are having such a huge influence on the direction that cross stitch is going.

Alternatively, I’m thinking that I could have posts a lot like everyone else’s, and have weekly or monthly updates and have WIP (work in progress) parades, finishes, full finishes (e.g. framed, cards etc.) and starts. The challenge I’m working through with this, is the fear I have of being over-looked or my posts being considered ‘yawn-fests’ because I’m talking about very similar things to everyone else. The slight positive is that I’ll be stitching things a little different to everyone else!

Your help is needed

Any feedback you can provide on what you want to see and read about cross stitch would be great! Do you want to know about what others are doing? What I’m stitching?

Until next time, happy stitching!

Cross Stitch Xmas Ornaments and Bucket Loads of Cross Stitch

Hi Everyone

What is it with Murphy’s Law that as soon as I properly relax on a holiday, that I then get sick? The upside to spending a week and a half on the couch and binge watching Netflix, is that I have been able to get a bucket load of cross stitch done!

Moonlit Waters Fairy Progress…

The deal/rule I have with myself at the moment, is that I’m not allowed to move onto another project until I’ve completed a page. This rule applies to the larger projects I’m working on and it drives me a bit batty when I start getting an itch to start a new project. So, as a result of this rule and getting sick, I was able to finish a page on the Moonlit Fairy project (see below) and start some work on some Christmas ornaments and Christmas related projects.

Progress of Moonlit Waters from earlier this year.
Progress as of 22 September 2019

Christmas Ornaments…

The Christmas ornament I completed last night (20 September 2019) was Snowflakes from Ultimate CrossStitch Christmas Volume 19 2018. I bought it during my Christmas holidays at the coast and I want to stitch all the things in this issue.

Ultimate Cross Stitch Christmas Volume 19 2018 magazine cover

One of the things I really enjoyed with this project, was stitching on plastic canvas. All of the projects I’ve worked on in the past have been on Aida or Evenweave, so it was a nice change to work on something different. The main challenge I had with working on the plastic canvas, was it being clear plastic and getting my bearings with where I needed to put my next stitch.

I decided to stitch two snowflakes in two different colours – purple and blue and I had contemplated using ModPodge glue to stick them together or double sided tape. My concern however, was that neither would hold very well and I didn’t want there to be much of a gap between the two snowflakes. I could have made the joining of the snowflakes extra decorative with the use of metallic threads for the seam and beads. But I wanted it to be seamless and the focus to be on the snowflake and the clear edge around it, which triggered my light bulb moment. My boyfriend is an avid fisherman and has a variety of fishing lines that I may be able to use to join the snowflakes together!

Packaging of the fishing line I used for joining the snowflakes
This is how fine and clear the fishing line is – best used for fishing in super clear water!

The line was a lot more flexible than I thought it would be, based upon what my boyfriend was initially saying about the line. Also, because of how fine it is and that it’s so clear, on the snowflakes, I can’t see where I’ve stitched with it!

Blue side of the snowflake – can you see where I’ve used the clear fishing line?
Side view of the snowflake
Purple Snowflake

Stitching with the fishing line gave me a new appreciation of stitching with metallic threads and similar threads that can be difficult. They’ve got nothing on fishing line! I appreciate that fishing line is just that – it’s not meant to be stitched with. I can also appreciate how easy it is to get tangled and knotted whilst being used as fishing line and getting snagged. For the majority of last night when I was joining the snowflakes together I was internally cursing and swearing like a sailor because it was knotting up and getting caught on the rough edges of the snowflakes. Then there was the additional challenge of re-threading the needle with the line. Oh. My. Gosh. The line is clear and curling up and not wanting to play nice. It took a large bundle of my patience and stubborn perseverance (this line was not going to beat me!) to get it done before I went to bed.

But it’s done and I love the result of my first attempt at stitching on plastic canvas and using clear fishing line. I don’t know if I would use fishing line again. I would probably use some pretty, decorative paper to line the back of the snowflake so that people wouldn’t see the back or ensure the ornament hung in a way that people couldn’t see the back when it’s on the tree.

Fishing on the River project work in progress…

For the last few days – since completing the snowflakes – I’ve been working on the ‘Fishing on the River’ project whilst trying to hold off on starting any new Christmas related projects. It’s been progressing a lot better since I photocopied the pattern so that I could have a working copy. I found that trying to just eye-ball the pattern and not mark where I’ve stitched doesn’t work very well. I found myself getting a little muddled with where I have or haven’t stitched – especially when it came to stitching the half stitches.

Fishing on the River project – Cross Stitch Gold – Issue 87 – year unknown

My aim at the moment it is to stitch it for my boyfriend for his birthday or Christmas. Whether I get it done by this birthday/Christmas or next year, is debatable at the moment because there are just so many projects I want to work on at the moment!

Projects I’m itching to start…

While I’ve been working on the fishing project, I’ve been really keen to start on ‘The Candy Express’, ’12 Days of Christmas’ and ‘Santa’s Coming!’ from the Ultimate CrossStitch Christmas Volume 19 2018.

At the moment I’m thinking that I’ll stitch ‘The Candy Express’ and ‘Santa’s Coming!’ on the marble green fabric (see below) – even though the pattern calls for ‘Santa’s Coming!’ to be stitched on 14-count white Aida and ‘The Candy Express’ to be stitched on 28-count Sky High evenweave.

Green marble fabric

At the moment I have my nephew in mind for these two projects. He’ll be turning 5 very soon and I’m uncertain at the moment about how much he may appreciate the projects. However, if I stitch some more Christmas ornaments, he may enjoy putting them on the tree – especially if he knows that they are his special ones!

Running Update…

I’ve been very, very quiet on this front because I haven’t really done much for what feels like a long time. Yesterday (21 September 2019) I did some interval running for 3km and it was good to get out and about again.

On 10th November 2019 I’ll be participating in the 5km leg of Canberra Times Fun Run with the aim of getting as close as I can to the 30 minute mark. I’m a bit worried about whether or not I’ll be able to reach that time because of how unfit I’m feeling with running. The good thing though, is that I’m participating in my local gym’s 8 week challenge, which will help me with getting my fitness up!

Until next time, happy stitching and wish me luck with making decisions and progress on my projects!

The Top 8 Things I Love About Cross-Stitch

Hi Everyone

I really love cross stitch! What helps at the moment is that I’m recovering from a cold that’s kept me mostly home bound for the best part of a week. Resulting in a bucket load of cross-stitch getting done and not much else!

So without further adieu, here are my top 8 of things I love about cross-stitch:

8. The Internet and Techie Devices

The Internet is a wonderful thing and I love having the option of accessing it through a variety of techie devices. I love that the Internet has enabled a lot of us to connect with each other via Flosstube, Facebook and other groups to form cross stitch communities and share with each other our starts, progresses and finishes. I also love being able to search for a variety of ideas on what to stitch next and any tools of the trade that may help me to finish a project or make it pop!

7. Mobility – Being able to stitch anywhere, anytime

I love being able to take my cross stitch nearly anywhere to stitch. I would love to be able to stitch on a plane if there weren’t any security issues (in Australia we’re not allow to take scissors in our hand luggage, otherwise the scissors will be confiscated. I’m also aware that there are alternate options scissors on a plane. I just don’t want to risk it as I could see my needles or other aspects of my project being confiscated and I’d then be stuffed!) or problems with elbow room.

I do however, love knowing that I can move around the house and sit wherever I want to stitch. This can be applied to any destination I’ve travelled to, once I’m off the plane or whichever mode of transport I’ve taken. I’m happy as long as I have a comfy seat, good light and full charge on my earphones and phone so that I can have some background noise.

6. Fabric

I love that there is so much variety when it comes to fabric and that the possibilities are endless. I love that we can get fabric ranging from Aida to Linen to Evenweave and that it comes in so many different colours. Below is just an example of the variety of options out there…

Fabric I purchased earlier this year from Victoria House Needlecraft

5. Threads. Skeins. Silks. Floss.

When I first started stitching, I thought that the only thread option was DMC cotton or what was supplied via the kits. Based on what I’ve seen via Flosstube, I can’t wait to try the silks and other brands that other stitchers have talked about.

Meanwhile, I love the colours available within the DMC range at least. As much as I might grumble at the time, metallic threads have their place in the world of cross-stitch! I love the texture and sparkle they bring to a project. I’m also really keen to use more of the variegated threads in a project and the life it can bring to the finished piece.

4. Seeing the project come to life

I don’t know about you, but I usually pick a pattern for a reason and when I see that project coming to life, it makes me smile because I’m creating the way that it’s been intended and it reassures me that I’m on the right track. If I’m stitching it for a family member or friend and I know they’re going to love it, that spurs me on even more, just thinking about how they’ll react when they see the finished piece.

Then there’s the special stitches, backstitch and embellishments that really make the piece. Sometimes I’ve contemplated not backstitching because of how much there is. Seeing the finished picture and how much the backstitch enhances the work I’ve put into the project makes it all worthwhile. Also, I believe that the designer wouldn’t have put the backstitch in there if they didn’t think that it wouldn’t make a difference!

3. Tools of the Trade

I love needle minders and I wish I had come across them sooner! Also, I can’t get enough of the hoops. They are a necessity for me to cross-stitch. I’ve tried stitching without a hoop and whilst the project turned out okay, it just didn’t seem right to stitch without it.

2. The variety of options. The endless possibilities

Like the patterns, I love that there are so many different options and possibilities to finish a project. Pillows, biscornus, cards, framing, banners and pin cushions to name a few! As nervous as I am to try something other than framing a project, I’m also keen to see how cool it could look!

1. Starting something new

I love the excitement of deciding on what to stitch next. I love looking through the various kits, patterns and magazines in my collection and searching the Net. I also love that there are endless possibilities to what we can stitch and what we use to create that finished piece. Currently I’m starting to think about Christmas and the possibility of cards and decorations I could make. However, we do have Halloween just around the corner and I do love my horror/thriller movies and tv shows…

What are your favourite things about cross-stitch?

Until next time, happy stitching!