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Top 5 Cross Stitch Things to Perfect (and 5 I may never)

This post reminds me that mistakes are a good thing, as it means that I’m still learning and that I have the ability to do what I love and share these things with like-minded people. I also accept that I may never perfect these top 5 or they may be replaced with a new 5!

5. Keeping track of needles and pencils

Prior to receiving a needle minder as a birthday gift, I was regularly dropping needles and jumping up from the couch or chair to look for the needle amongst the cushions and dust and dirt on the floor. I would be doing a similar thing with the lead pencils when the couch would eat them or I’d accidentally drop them on the floor.

4. Counting Crosses

Every so often I joke with family and friends that I need to go back to school and learn how to count and get my eyes checked. This is based around me miscounting how many stitches I need to do and tracking where I am in the pattern when I’m tired or distracted, resulting in me needing to unpick parts of the picture and re-stitch it. I’ve also been clever enough to mark off parts of the pattern that I’ve not even stitched yet!

3. Getting my measurements right

If you’re anything like me, you’ll love to make the most out of your fabric stores that have been built up from trimming up other cross-stitch projects. This means that at times I come up a bit short when I’m trying to find the right amount of fabric for a project I’m working on or I have just completely misread the measurements at the front of the pattern.

White Horse

This has often left me stressing as I’m stitching, whether or not I’ll have enough fabric to fit the design on it. I’ve even made the mistake of stitching a picture around the wrong way! This happened when I first started the picture and didn’t pay enough attention to which way I had the fabric in the hoop. Which meant that I stitched a landscape picture in a portrait view and I give full credit to the professional framers who framed up this picture for me. They have done an amazing job with the product I gave them.

“Catch of the Day” by Bryan Moon – published/distributed by Dimensions

2. French Knots

When done well, French knots can really add that extra bit of detail to a picture that other types of stitches may not. It is also the one type of detail/stitch that I’ve never mastered! Admittedly, I’ve not practiced them much to help my cause. If anything, I’ve either avoided or delayed stitching some patterns that have this stitch or I’ve used beads in their place.

One of the things that I love about living in this day and age, is having IT devices and an internet connection at my finger tips and being able to look up anything that I need to. Which means that I can watch numerous YouTube clips on how to do French Knots. I’m also able to purchase a variety of needle minders and related tools to help me keep track of my lead pencils. I also love that technology enables me to have digital cross stitch patterns and digitally mark off the areas that I’ve stitched.

1. Cutting/Sewing Straight

For many years I’ve joked with family, friends and colleagues that if I can’t walk straight when I’m sober, then so help me when I’m drunk! This inability to walk straight extends into my ability to cut straight, sew straight and draw a straight line. This is causing me headaches, as I’m attempting to make a quilt out of the various country themed cross stitch pictures I’ve stitched over the years. I’m not following a specific pattern or plan which is adding to the fun of trying to cut and sew straight! Instead, the images below are what I have in my mind of how I want the quilt to look – both images I came across on Pinterest.

With these two images in mind, below is progress to date for my country quilt and you’ll see that sewing or cutting straight really isn’t my thing!

Country quilt progress as of April 2019

What I’m really excited about with this quilt is that I’m getting closer to finishing it. Also, by not strictly following a pattern, I’ve been able to problem solve on the go and talk with a variety of people to try and figure out how I can get past my creative blocks. Which means, watch this space to see how I fix the blue borders around the cross stitch pics!

Until next time, happy stitching everyone!


I am an avid cross stitcher. I was first introduced to cross stitch when I was primary school age. Paused for while during my teens and then took it up again in my early/mid 20's and I haven't looked back. To mitigate the amount of time I'm sitting down stitching, I'm a regular member of the gym and I'm a runner. To keep me motivated, I participate in short to medium length fun runs. Which at times feel torturous, but I feel really good at the end of them! With these activities in mind, this blog is about the combination of my experiences with running and cross stitch and encouraging people to think differently about cross stitch - it's not just Grandma's who do this anymore!

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