Posted in WIP's and Plans, WIPGO 2021

March update and April plans

Hi Everyone

The procrastination bug has bit me hard over the last few weeks and I’ve been struggling to find the motivation to publish anything for this blog and do anything with the Hot Cross Stitching (HCS) website. A lot of it is to do with the amount of time I spend in front of the computer for my full-time job and knowing that I need to make some big changes to the HCS website. The good thing is that about a month and a half ago I received some great feedback on my website, and a lot of it was to do with the mobile view of the site. Now I’m needing to work on improving the site so that my message is clearer and people can easily navigate through it.

To help put the procrastination bug into perspective, I have gone as far as cleaning the house and trying to improve my office/craft space! I’m not a huge fan of cleaning and in many instances people will look at the spaces I work in (at home) or my stitching space and wonder how I can find anything or complete tasks. When the spaces get a clean and look a lot better for it, I have been known to end up in a very grumpy mood because it means that I have to head home (if I’m at the coast) or tired and sore.

The positive thing with this side of procrastination is the amount of stitching I’ve been able to get done!

March Cross Stitch Update

In March, the WIPGO numbers 10 and 24. Which meant that I needed to work on Moonlit Waters Fairy and Black and White Rolled-up Daisy.

For a lot of March, I was stitching on the Black and White Rolled-up Daisy because I wasn’t really feeling the motivation for working on Moon Lit Waters Fairy. The image below shows my progress of Black and White Rolled-up Daisy:

I finally go my bug for Moon Lit Waters Fairy in the last week / week and a half of March and once I really got into it I really didn’t want to put it down when April arrived.

As the months are progressing for WIPGO, I’m finding that I’m needing to adjust my goals for the projects because trying to get 250 stitches for both projects per day is a bit too ambitious. Especially when thee are some days when I’m really tired and not wanting to stitch or frog what I’ve stitched because I’m tired!

April Cross Stitch Plans and Update

The WIPGO numbers for April were called on 27th March and they are 21 and 3. Which means I’m stitching on Fight Like a Girl and Pink Daisy. The images below are my progress before for Pink Daisy and Fight Like a Girl before April and what they should look like when they’re completed.

For the Pink Daisy, I need to go to a craft store and pick up some more threads at the higher end of the DMC range (e.g. 3825). I’ve also fallen back in love with Fight Like a Girl and I’m really enjoying working on it!

At the moment I’m finding that alternating the weeks I’m working on these two projects is working really well. It also helped that I had Pink Daisy with me at the coast for the last week of March / early April, so I could work on it a bit.

A lot of the parked threads you’re seeing are parked threads and me waiting to purchase some of the threads I need, so that I can move them out of the way. My biggest challenge is getting the stitches to align with the pattern because of some updates I’ve made to the pattern and converting it over to Pattern Keeper.

This is my progress for Fight Like a Girl. Because of how big this project will be, I’ve decided to do the backstitch as I go and at the moment, I’m glad I’m doing that. It really adds to the project and helps me with my motivation to keep going!

April Life Update

Tomorrow (Sunday 11th April), I’ll be competing / participating in my first Fun Run since 2019! I’m participating in the 5.4km leg of the Canberra Times Marathon event and it’s going to be really interesting to see how it all goes. I’ve been struggling with really tight muscles at the back of my right heel since December 2020 and I’ve only run the 5.4 km distance once since then and that was last weekend!

It felt really good to run and I made the silly error of not stretching properly after the run and I’ve been hobbling around for most of this week. That said, I’ll ensure to stretch after the run tomorrow and we’ll see how things go! It’s also meant to be quite cool and really windy tomorrow, so hopefully I can make the most of them at key points of the run!

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Posted in WIP's and Plans, WIPGO 2021

WIPGO 2021 – February Achievements and March Plans

Hi Everyone

I’m not sure about you, but for me, February felt like a whirlwind! This had a bit to do with it being a short month, but more to do with the projects I thought I was going to work on for WIPGO. I ended up changing my mind on some of the projects and I started a couple of new ones!

February WIPGO

In my post for the end of January, I noted that the patterns/projects Autumn Castle and Rainbow Zebra had been called for February. Knowing that February is a short calendar month and how socially busy I would potentially be, my goal changed for what I wanted to achieve for the February projects. Rather than 250 stitches per day for both projects, I wanted to at least get a page finish which I did and I was able to make a start on a new page for Autumn Castle. The first two images below show what the project will look like when it’s completed and what it looked like at the start of February.

This achievement gave me the excuse (as if I really needed one!) to start a new project because I really wasn’t feeling Rainbow Zebras – as colourful and beautiful as it is – I’m wanting to make some more progress on stitching my own designs. My other excuse is February is my birthday month and in the cross stitch world, I’ve noticed that some people choose to start a new project on their birthday or during their birthday month.

February new starts

Pisces drawing and quote

The image of the two fish and the Pisces symbol I found as part of a Pinterest search and I downloaded from the website www.rawpixel.com as a free image. Over the top of the Pisces image I’m going to be stitching the following quote that I found on Pinterest as well:

Pisces

Not everyone gets the same version of me. One person will tell you I’m a beautiful soul. Another will tell you I’m an ass-hole. Believe both. I act accordingly.

– Unknown

I’ve tried to find out who originally said this and I’ve found slight variations to the way the quote is written. There have been suggestions that the actor Tom Hardy had said words along these lines, but I’ve not seen any confirmation, so I’ve attributed the term ‘unknown’. This quote may seem a bit brash and harsh, yet when I first saw it as part of other searches I was doing, it resonated with me.

I’ve chosen to stitch this pattern on 25 count (I think) fabric that may be ivory or white. At the moment, I’m stitching around the letters and words of the quote. I’m not sure what colour I’ll use for the words yet, as I’d like them to stand out but not take away too much from the beautiful artwork!

Pink Bottlebrush Mini

This pattern is 100% my own and will be available on the Hot Cross Stitching website for purchase. I’ve named the flower a bottlebrush, even though I’m aware the flower type may actually be something starting with ‘G’. I’ve got the name ‘geranium’ on the brain and the image searches confirm it’s not right!

At the moment the picture looks like a lot of random pink stitches scattered across the black fabric I’m using. I still have a lot of colours I need to purchase! I’m stitching the pattern on 14 count black Aida and I’m not sure if I will have enough fabric for it, but I really needed to make a start on it. I’ve been eyeing off the full size pattern for a while and editing the mini edition off to get it to look the way I wanted.

February WIPs

Aside from the new February starts, I also did some work on Gundaroo Mini Mushrooms and Dew Drop Daisy. Below are progress shots of both projects as of February 2021:

March WIPGO Plans

The numbers 10 and 24 were called for March for the WIPGO Board (see below), which means that I should be working on Black and White Rolled-up Daisy by me and Moonlit Waters by Heaven and Earth Designs.

Since these two projects have been called, I’ve been focusing on Black and White Rolled-up Daisy. I’m really happy with how this one is going and I’m debating whether or not I’ll work on Moonlit Waters this time around. If I don’t work on it, I’m contemplating working on some of my own designs, but I’m not sure which one.

Black and White Rolled-up Daisy

As slow going as my motivation is for this piece, it’s nice to see some progress being made.

Progress of Black and White Rolled-up Daisy as of 14 March 2021 – Designed by Kristen Gawronski

Aside from seeing the progress on this piece, another part of my motivation is to have something significant to show on my website. Currently the site is offline as part of some significant changes that need to be made.

Moonlit Waters Fairy

I’ve barely worked on this project, so I’m not going to include any progress pictures here. When I did recently put a couple of stitches into the project, it felt strange to be working with one strand over one 25 count fabric! What I like about this project and many of the others I’m working on now, is that the pattern is on Pattern Keeper!

Well, that’s it for me this time. I do aim to publish some more posts soon,

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Posted in Hot Cross Stitching Business

New Hot Cross Stitching Pattern Releases

Hi Everyone

We’re coming up to a month since the Hot Cross Stitching website went live and I’ve released some more cross stitch patterns to the site and joined Instagram!

January 2021 Releases

When Hot Cross Stitching went live, the following patterns were immediately available to purchase as PDF downloads:

Cover images for Hot Cross Stitching patterns

For the regulars of my blog, you will know that I’ve been working on the Mini Mushrooms picture for a while now. I’m hoping that it will come up soon in WIPGO (see related reads for more information) so that I can get some more progress on it.

I’ve also been working on Dew Drop Daisy and Black and White Rolled-up Daisy for parts of last year. Also, as of yesterday (Saturday 20 February 2021) I’ve picked Dew Drop Daisy again because I’ve been itching to be working on some of my own patterns again!

February Releases

Because many of the releases in January are plant based, my aim for February is to keep with this theme and include some buildings and scenery/landscapes to give people some variety.

Cover Pages for February 2021 pattern releases

Because I’ve been working on all of these patterns to get them ready for the website, when they are ready, I just want to stitch all of them! So much so, I’ve made a start on the Pink Bottle Brush Mini project on black Aida as part of one of my WIPGO squares. This pattern has a lot of confetti in it and it’s fully compatible with Pattern Keeper which is a huge blessing and making my life 10 times easier to stitch it!

One of the other really cool things is that when I was working on the Lily pattern, I hadn’t realised until much later that there’s an insect in it! My eyes keep being drawn to the yellows and purples and blues.

Plans for future patterns

Birds, New Zealand landscapes, Australian beaches, cats and dogs, old buildings and ruins to name a few are patterns I want to release for March and future months.

Based upon what you’ve seen so far and what my plans are for future patterns, is there something specific that you would like to see as a pattern?

Related Reads and Links

Posted in Cross Stitch Haul and Stitching Progress, WIPs and Finishes

Finishes, Haul and WIP’s 2021

Hi Everyone

Wow, it’s the end of January 2021 already! Where has the month gone? Here in Canberra, Australia we’ve had a pretty mild summer so far and it’s a vast difference to last summer thankfully!

As I’m writing this post, it’s overcast and there’s a very light drizzle rain. The temperature is comfortable enough for me to be barefoot with the windows open for fresh air and jumper to keep me warm enough. Over the last couple of days we’ve had some really nice rain falls to help put a little bit of water into the dams and water the plants.

WIPGO Update

All of which has been a really good excuse (if I really ever needed one!) to get a bucket load of cross stitch done. WIPGO has also made the world of difference and provided me with the additional motivation I’ve needed to make some significant progress on my projects. For the month of January, the numbers 13, 18 and 6 were called, which meant that I needed to work on Gingerbread Train (allocated to square number 6), Four Seasons Kittens (allocated to square 18) and square 13 being a free space where I could leave it as is or do whatever I wanted with it. For example, I could start a new project, buy a new project or threads, or work on another project that may or may not be on the board shown below:

My WIPGO board as of 31 January 2021

The squares you see coloured in with a lavender or light purple were the numbers called for January. The cross or X and green Y mean that I have finished that project and met the goal or challenge I had set for that project. Also, the purple squares will never be called upon again for the rest of 2021. Which is why I have set my board up like I have in case I’m unable to meet the challenge I’ve set for each project and many of them are big projects, so I’m not going to be able to complete them by the end of this year.

The light blue squares are the numbers called for February. Because I finished the Gingerbread Train (second allocation, square 20) earlier than I expected, I get to replace it with another project that I’d forgotten about. Initially I was going to have Curglaff in square 20, but with the number 13 called in January, I started stitching it anyway because I wasn’t sure when the number 20 would be called and I really wanted to work on Curglaff (see January Finishes for pictures).

Autumn Castle

This project has been selected for square 4 and the image below on the left is what I’ve stitched as of December 2020 and the image on the right is what it will look like.

This project has been riddled with counting problems and fudging that it will be interesting to see how things go. It’s also a good thing that it’s on the WIPGO board so that it can get some attention!

Rainbow Zebras…or maybe a change?

The really good thing with this project is that it’s colourful and not full coverage (i.e. there’s still fabric showing through parts of the project).

However, I don’t know what it is about this project, but I’m starting to think I should swap this out for something else. It may have something to do with me working on some more patterns for Hot Cross Stitching that has me wanting to work on those instead of this one.

That said, there shouldn’t be anything stopping me from working on this one, Autumn Castle and working on anything else I want right?!

January Finishes

Gingerbread Train – Designed by Shannon Christine Designs

In an earlier post, I may have mentioned that I had finished the Gingerbread Train by Shannon Christine Designs and posted some pictures. In case you missed it, below is my finish and a comparison image of what the finished model looks like in the Ultimate Christmas magazine/book I got the pattern from:

Curglaff – designed by Michelle Bendy Stitchy

I’m a little surprised by how much I enjoyed working on this project. What made it so enjoyable and exciting were some of the threads I was using and knowing that it was designed by someone who I watch on a regular basis via Flosstube. If I hadn’t watched flosstube and Michelle Bendy or Mich Stitches of Punk Poodle Designs, I’m not sure if I ever would have come across this pattern! So ultimately, I was fan-girling a bit throughout the project!

Designed by Michelle Bendy of Bendy Stitchy Designs
Curglaff designed by Michelle Bendy Stitchy – progress as of November / December 2020
Curglaff designed by Michelle Bendy Stitchy – completed on 30 January 2021

It’s important to note that I’ve only stitched this project once and that the lighting for when I take the photos has a huge impact on how the fabric looks. The first image that shows my progress for the end of 2020 shows the truer colours of the fabric than the second image. However, the second image shows off the stitching!

I stitched this on 32 count (I think! My memory has faded a little) Belfast Linen that I dyed using orange and purple dyes from Spotlight and I stitched it using two threads of cotton over two threads of fabric (aka two squares).

For the word Curglaff, I used Cottage Garden Threads ‘Raisin’ and for the definition of Curglaff and the bath water, I used Cottage Garden Threads ‘Sherbert’. The rest of the project was stitched in DMC threads – some of them were the called for colours, some of them I swapped out for other colours because I didn’t want to go hunting through my other projects for the called for colours!

I might finish this one like the ideas I have for the Gingerbread Train (check out the related posts list at the end of this one) or put it into my smalls finish book…more to come on that one in later posts!

Four Seasons Kittens – Dimensions Gold kit

*Big sigh* I’m looking forward to completing this project. To me, it feels like I’ve been procrastinating its finish for so long that I’ve forgotten when I started it! Which is why having this project on the WIPGO board for this year is so important. I’ve surprised myself during January with how much I’ve gotten done and having time off work has helped too! So much so, I’ve gotten the Spring quarter completed and I’m looking forward to this project’s number being called later in the year. My fingers are crossed in hope that it’s in a month when I have a bit of time off work so that I make some significant progress on it.

Four Seasons Kittens – Dimensions Gold kit – Progress as of 31 January 2021

The above images show how far this project has come since I started this blog and talking about this project back in February 2019. Which further highlights why I’m so keen to get it finished!

The good thing now is that I can breath a sigh of relief knowing that I’ve achieved my goal for this project during January 2021, and I can focus on the projects for February.

Haul

I’ve been aware of a craft store called the Crafty Frog at Kambah, ACT for many years. However, it wasn’t until the major bushfires of 2019/20 that I went to the store to deliver some donations and last week, to purchase something! In the grand scheme of things, Kambah is roughly a 30 minute drive from where I live and it’s a very comfortable and straight forward one. It’s taken me so long to do the trip because I’ve grown accustomed to the stores closer to where I live and being in the mind set that if I’m going to travel that distance, I need to make my trip worthwhile. For example, there may be some other stores I want to visit or a friend or family member.

In this case, I have a friend who lives in roughly that direction (still about a 20 minute drive away from the store), but close enough to warrant a round trip. I’d also reminded myself enough that the Crafty Frog has some specialty threads I wanted to check out and below is what I bought:

Threads purchased from the Crafty Frog – January 2021

Dinky Dyes, Brindabella Threads and CGT (aka Cottage Garden Threads) are all Australian based – the Brindabella ones being Canberra Region based!

I’m not completely sure what I’ll stitch with these yet, but I just love looking at them! The time, effort and creativity that each company / business has put into making these threads is awesome and amazing. To me, they are definitely worth the extra money!

Posted in Hot Cross Stitching Business

Hot Cross Stitching is now Live!

Hi Everyone

This is going to be a really short post because I just wanted to let you know that my business is now live!

You can visit Hot Cross Stitching at www.hotcrossstitching.com.au and check out some of the cross stitch patterns I’ve talked about in some of my posts over the last few months.

Related posts:

Posted in WIP's and Plans, WIPs and Finishes

2021 Cross Stitch Plans, WIP’s and Finishes

Hi Everyone

Happy New Year! I hope it’s been a good start to the new year for you, as much as it can be.

It’s been a while since I’ve published a post because I’ve been on holidays since Boxing Day through to Tuesday 12th January 2021 and enjoying my stitching bubble. So much so, I’ve finished a project I didn’t expect to finish so soon and I have made a lot of progress on another project that has needed a lot of attention!

Plans

WIPGO 2021

In my last post, I talked about many of my Works in Progress (WIP) being part of WIPGO 2021 and below is the board I’ve put together:

WIPGO Board for 2021

How it works in a nutshell

The idea behind WIPGO is that it’s like a bingo board in the sense that the squares are numbered and Jessie Marie who runs / is the organiser for the Facebook group (I’ve come across her on Youtube via her Flosstube channel called Jessie Marie Does Stuff), uses a random number selector app to select two numbers between 1 and 25 per month. Jessie Marie would then post those two numbers in the Facebook group and that would help all participants to use their boards and know which projects they were going to be working on.

Side note: I hadn’t realised until recently, that a standard sized bingo board has 25 squares, and to make it easier, it’s the reason why the numbers between 1 and 25 are selected for WIPGO! Also, the numbers for the next month are drawn and posted on the Facebook group on the 27th of each month (in the case of numbers for January, they were posted in December 2020), so we have time to prepare our projects if need be for the next month.

Any rules?

The other cool thing with WIPGO is that there are few rules we, as a collective, need to abide by. We get to make our own rules and goals for our own boards, because everyone is different and the aim is to keep it fun and light. In my case, I’ve chosen to aim for stitching 250 crosses per day for each project that has been selected for that particular month.

Numbers called

For January, three numbers were selected – numbers 13, 6 and 18. The space for number 13 is a free space and we can do whatever we want with that space. In my case I chose to have a new start or free choice because I didn’t want to be limited to anything specific if I didn’t want to. I could have chosen to leave this square blank and just cross it off as being complete.

Which leaves me with squares 6 and 18 – the Gingerbread Train and 4 Seasons Kittens and my goal to stitch 250 crosses for the Gingerbread Train and 250 crosses or stitches on 4 Seasons Kittens per day for the whole month of January or until the project is complete – whichever happens sooner.

Getting organised

Last year when I was participating in Stitch Maynia, I learnt quickly that trying to count my stitches after I’ve stitched them (when using paper patterns) was time consuming and took some of the fun out of it. I tried to make it a little easier for myself by using coloured pencils to help differentiate between each time I sat down and worked on the projects, and it did help a little.

With that memory in mind, I made the most of the coloured pencils at the coast house and made my paper patterns for Gingerbread Train and 4 Seasons Kittens look like a rainbow! Each colour and section on the patterns would represent 250 stitches and a particular day – e.g. red = day 1, orange = day 2 etc, regardless of which pattern it was. That way I would know which section I was going to work on for that day and that it added up to 250 stitches.

When I was sorting out the pattern for Gingerbread Train, I realised pretty quickly that I would have the project completed within the first 2 weeks or so of January (including backstitching and beading)! And if I was motivated enough with 4 Seasons Kittens, I’d have the Spring quarter 90% to 95% complete with some backstitching and French Knots to complete the next time it was called up.

What happens if I reach my goals before the end of the month?

That’s up to me. I can start some new projects to fill in the time until February starts or I can take a break from stitching and do some other crafty things instead or whatever I want (within reason). I can also work on some other WIP’s that haven’t made it onto the board.

In the case of the Gingerbread Train, I have chosen to replace it’s second listing on the board with a different project that didn’t make it onto the board, first time around. So when the number 20 is called, I’ll be working on Curglaff designed by Michelle Bendy Stitchy (the pattern can be purchased from her Etsy store).

I won’t be winning any prizes if I finish any of my projects ahead of time or complete a Bingo line before anyone else. I can however, choose to reward myself with setting aside some money to purchase a new pattern or cross stitch related item for every project I complete or line I complete. I’ve noticed in the Facebook group that some people have allocated certain rewards for every goal they achieve which I think is really cool, and a great way to help with the motivation with some projects that can be a struggle to work through.

For me, the reward is sticking to my goals and achieving them. I struggle to stick to my goals (for many parts of my life, not just cross stitch!) and I’m really excited about this WIPGO board and sticking with it because there are enough elements to it that will keep me motivated. There’s enough structure where I know what projects I will be working on and I have them organised enough so that there’s not much effort involved with bringing them out when they’re called. Then there’s the surprise or random element that keeps it interesting. I don’t know what numbers will be drawn until the 27th or 28th of January and that’s the random element I like.

The reward element may change over time and that’s my prerogative! As I’m writing this and thinking about what rewards I could incorporate are:

  • purchasing a new pattern
  • starting a new pattern or kit
  • creating a wishlist of patterns I would like, that family or friends could purchase for birthday’s or Christmas
  • getting a massage or manicure – or both!
  • road trip to a new craft store (if practical) or one I haven’t visited for a while
  • join a cross stitch class or group that meets face to face
  • learn how to crochet
  • re-organise and improve my crafty spaces (you may get to see my crafty space in future posts and you’ll see why this would be a reward!)

Stitch Maynia and March Madness

I’m still working on how this two months and events can fit into my WIPGO plans or if they can at all. Especially since I’m working full time and who knows what the year will bring work wise!

At the moment I’m liking the idea of participating in both and the idea of starting new things. The tricky thing is being organised and finding the right storage space for them. Which has me thinking about the project bags I’ve seen a lot of people talking about on Flosstube and how I can make them work for the projects I have. However that’s a new and different rabbit hole for me to scamper down!

Cross Stitch Project bags – what are they?

I’ve learnt that project bags come in a variety of sizes and can have handles to that they can be carried like a bag or just have zips, clips, velcro or anything that works well to keep everything contained inside the bag. The image below shows a very small sample of the huge variety of bags available that I’ve seen talked about on Flosstube.

Google image search results to find Cross Stitch project bags

I like the bags that have the clear vinyl at the front so that you can see what’s in the bag and what project should be inside. My struggle is having a bag big enough to fit the boxes I use for some of my large projects (that have over 100 colours), as well as the hoops and everything I need for the project.

The good thing is that there are larger bags that are akin to small luggage/suitcase style bags available to suit my needs and I will need to do some more searches online to see what could work for me. My struggle at the moment is to have something slim enough to easily store away when I’m not working on it and easy enough to take with me when I’m travelling. Yet large enough to fit all of the tools I need for the project without it compromising the project.

WIP’s

I have been stitching the 4 Seasons Kittens by Dimensions methodically since it’s number was called for on the WIPGO board – and even more so since I finished the Gingerbread Train on 16th January 2021.

The first image below shows what I’ve done since 1st January 2021 through to 17th January 2021. I’ve probably spent more time on this project than the Gingerbread Train because of the amount of half stitch this project has. Also, I need to do nearly double the amount of stitches on this project than the Gingerbread Train that is just full crosses, to enable me to be satisfied with reaches the goals I’ve set for it.

Four Seasons Kittens by Dimensions – Progress as of 17 January 2021

To help put this progress into perspective, below is the progress I had made on the project by the end of 2020:

Four Seasons Kittens by Dimensions – Progress as of December 2020

Because of the significant progress I’ve made on the Spring quarter of this project, I think I’ll be able to get it done!

2021 Finishes

Gingerbread Train designed by Shannon Christine

Gingerbread Train – designed by Shannon Christine – pattern from Ultimate Christmas

I really enjoyed stitching this project. It was colourful and fun and I really like the patterns from Shannon Christine Designs because they are easy to read and I love her colour choices.

This pattern called for it to be stitched on 28 count Sky High evenweave fabric. At the time I may not have had 28 count fabric or enough for this pattern, so I stitched it on 14 count Aida from Threaded Needle that had the green marble look you see in the above image, printed on one side of the fabric. All threads are DMC and all bar two colours are the called for colours. The two colours I altered were because I didn’t have them in my stash at the time and I don’t think it’s detracted from the pattern in the slightest.

If I were to stitch the pattern again, I would ensure to give myself enough room to stitch all of the letters for ‘Sweet Christmas Wishes’ and I’d see if I could adjust the font for the letters or change the colour I use for the outline of the letters. I might also have the white dots as beads instead of individual white crosses.

The other really good thing about this pattern, is that it got me over my reluctance to use beads in patterns. This pattern reminded me that as long as I’m careful with getting the beads on the special beading needle and I remain patient, everything will be okay!

For now I have this project ironed and rolled up with my other completed but not FFO’ed (fully finished objects) projects. I’m thinking that I could turn it into a sign that could be hung or nicely displayed somewhere. My mind will probably change multiple times before I finally finish it too!

Related resources and reads

Posted in Uncategorized

End of year WIP Parade 2020

Hi Everyone

*Big Sigh* Wow, what a year it’s been! Happy holidays and happy new year to all of you. I hope all of you have been able to celebrate the holidays as well as practical. I’m so thankful that this year is ending very differently to what last year because this time last year in Australia – especially along the East and Southern coast – so much was on fire. Now, as I’m writing this post, I’m at the coast with my boyfriend and we can breath easy, the sun it out and it’s a lot more comfortable (weather wise) than last year!

I’ve been doing a lot of stitching this month and trying to get myself a bit more organised for the new year. I’ve been working a lot from home, so my motivation to spend more time than necessary in front of the computer screen and my craft room has been reduced significantly. I’ve also been battling analysis paralysis with some of my computer related cross stitch tasks and confidence levels for ‘putting myself out there’ on social media. But it’s a necessary evil if I want things to progress!

I’ve also been running a bit more which has been good. I’ve got a new pair of shoes that have bluetooth in them that enables them to talk to the Map My Run app. As I’m running, the app gives me feedback on how I’m running and what I can do to improve it! For example, I might be looking down at my feet too much because of something that’s interfering with the footpath (plants, uneven sections etc.). The app will tell me that I need to straighten my back up a bit and pretend that there’s a string attached to the top of my head like a puppet. Straightening up should help with the way I place my feet when running and reduce my risk of injuries and make running feel less like an effort.

WIP Parade

But without further adieu, here is my WIP (works in progress) parade for 2020. It will include many patterns you have seen over the year and a few new ones:

12 Days of Christmas designed by Rhona Norrie

It’s been a long time since I last worked on this project. I’m thinking it must have been June or July this year when I started it and I haven’t touched it until about a week ago, for the lead up to Christmas.

Ryan’s been a good boy designed by Durene Jones

Similar to the 12 Days of Christmas project, I haven’t worked on it since June or July this year and as part of getting into the Christmas mood, this project came out again and got some love.

Gundaroo Mini Mushrooms designed by Kristen Gawronski for Hot Cross Stitching

I have been working steadily on this project for a while now and towards the end of November, maybe early December, I finished another page (que mini happy dance!). I’m now working on the bottom of the project and playing fabric chicken to see if I need to add more fabric.

Meanwhile, the images below show the progress of the project over the course of this year, with the final image showing what it will look like when it’s finished.

Black and White Rolled-up Daisy designed by Kristen Gawronski for Hot Cross Stitching

As excited as I am to have started this project and even happier that it went smoothly into Pattern Keeper, I’m already needing to fudge things to figure out where I went wrong and what I’ve accidentally marked off.

Pink Daisy (November or December new start) designed by Kristen Gawronski for Hot Cross Stitching

I had been procrastinating this start for way too long. I had been debating about starting this project and another one I’m still trying to perfect the pattern before I’m happy with starting it, let alone releasing it for sale.

Start of Pink Daisy – Designed by Kristen Gawronski for Hot Cross Stitching
Pink Daisy – what the pattern should look like when it’s finished

Gingerbread Train designed by Shannon Christine

I haven’t worked on this project since June or July this year. When I was going through my projects in preparation for this post, I was reminded of how cool this pattern is and how much I want to eat jelly lollies when I’m stitching it!

Boo Sheet (November new start and finish)

This particular pattern had been a free one as part of the online Mittagong Stitcher’s Retreat I had been part of in late November. I was able to get it stitched in about 2 days and I stitched it on 32 evenweave I had purchased from Spotlight and dyed using orange and purple fabric dyes, also from Spotlight.

Curglaff (November new start) designed by Bendy Stitchy

I have been wanting to stitch this pattern for a while. It’s designed by Bendy Stitchy (check out her YouTube channel) and inspired by Mich Stitch (she also has a YouTube channel)! At the end of each episode, Mich reads a random word from a dictionary she has on old English words that are rarely or no longer used, and ‘curglaugh’ had been one of those words.

I’m stitching it on the same fabric as Boo Sheet and this time I’m using some specialty threads that are made by Aussies! I’m really excited about this because I’m supporting an Aussie business and I’ve never used such fancy threads before. I predominantly use DMC and Anchor because they’re readily available and aren’t as expensive as the specialty threads. That said, these threads are well worth it! They are beautiful and I appreciate the time and effort the team has gone through to create and package the threads.

Curglaff designed by Bendy Stitchy (C) 2020
Cottage Garden Threads

Fight Like a Girl designed by Tanya Amity, Illustration by Elena Gnedkova

It’s been way too long since I’ve worked on this project. The good thing is that it’s included in my new WIPGO board for 2021. When the squares for this project have been called, I’ll hopefully be able to get a lot more work done on it!

Check out the related posts section for more information on WIPGO.

Autumn Castle designed by Evgenia Kolesnikova

This project has received a very little bit of love in November, but nothing substantial enough to notice much of a difference. Similarly to ‘Fight Like a Girl’, it’s on my WIPGO Board and it will get some more love in 2021!

The first three pictures below show what the project will look like when it’s completed and what my earlier progress had been at key points during 2020. The fourth picture is my progress as of December 2020.

Progress as of December 2020

Three Dogs by Luca S.

This project has not been loved for some time and it’s long overdue to get some attention. Thankfully it’s on my WIPGO board and it will get the attention it deserves next year!

Trio of dogs progress

Moon Lit Waters Heaven and Earths Designs

Whenever I look at this project, I’m reminded of why I started stitching it and then when I start work on it again, I’m reminded why I paused it. Which explains why I haven’t worked on it for a while and why I need to do more on it.

Merry Colourful Christmas by Tilton Crafts (December new start)

This is a very new start, so I don’t have any comparison pictures. I’m currently stitching it on 25 count (I think) and using all DMC threads. I’m using two threads over two squares and I’m playing a bit of fabric chicken with this project because I haven’t properly measured it out!

Merry Colourful / Merry Christmas designed by Tilton Crafts
Cover page of pattern by Tilton Crafts

Moonlight Owls designed by Jenny Barton

Honestly, I forgot about this project when I first started drafting this post. Thankfully, drafting this post has meant that I’ve remembered that I have this project and I now have it in the same bag as the projects 12 Days of Christmas, Ryan’s been a good boy and Gingerbread Train.

Rainbow Zebras by Artecy Cross Stitch

Like Midnight Owls, I forgot I had this as an active WIP! How could I forget something as colourful as this?! Because I’ve forgotten about this project, it hasn’t seen much attention, but that will change in 2021.

Barnyard Cats by Dimensions

I completely forgot about this project. It didn’t even make to my WIPGO board! That said, like the Trio of dogs, I’ll try and include it when the number 13 is called and it can get some attention then!

Four Seasons Kittens by Dimensions Gold Collection

This project has been dragging on for longer than what it really should be. Thankfully I have remembered to include it in my WIPGO board and it will get some attention next year!

Until next time,

Happy Stitching and Happy New Year!

Related resources

Posted in Tips and Tricks

Why do you procrastinate your cross stitch?

Hi Everyone

I’ve been having a bad case of analysis paralysis over two projects I’m keen to start but scared to at the same time. Which has me wondering how many other stitchers have similar experiences?

Finding the right piece of fabric

Having the right piece of fabric for a pattern can make the world of difference with the finish for the project. This can range from the count size to the physical dimensions and ensuring there’s enough of a border to help with finishing it – e.g. framing. It can also be the colour of the fabric. Many people have trouble with stitching on dark fabric regardless of what the count size is and how awesome the project may look on that colour.

I’m currently stitching a project on a 32 count Belfast linen that I’ve dyed myself and I’m finding that without some really good light and regular breaks from it, my eyes are getting tired and I’m struggling to properly focus.

This is the linen I’m stitching on that requires good light and regular breaks.

I had considered using this fabric for my Dew Drop Daisy project, but seeing how my current projects are working out on it, I’ve made the right decision not to use it for Dew Drop!

Hand dyed purple fabric by Kristen Gawronski

I’m also considering using the purple fabric I’ve dyed myself for Dew Drop Daisy or the Pink Bottlebrush (aka the Pink Grevillea). It’s roughly 25 count fabric and I don’t think I have enough fabric for the pattern. That has me wondering, ‘should I adjust the pattern to fit the fabric?’ or ‘purchase the fabric I need for the pattern?’

It’s a daunting pattern

It may be your first Heaven and Earth Design or similar pattern and you may not know where to start. Or there’s a lot of colour changes and you may not have all of the tools you need to make a start. Alternatively, you’re working on a Chatelaine (see European Cross Stitch Company) and they are beautiful, big and challenging in a positive way. Check out the Flosstube channels Teresa Little Stitcher and Jessie Marie Does Stuff – both of them are working on Chatelaine’s and they’re going to be beautiful!

In my case, one of the patterns I want to work on is huge and I’m wanting it to be part of the Hot Cross Stitching collection. So my challenge is to try and reduce the size of the pattern and number of colours required without losing any of the key features that make it such a good looking picture. If I don’t make any changes to the picture, I would need over a meter’s worth of material (including enough to frame it) and over 300 threads. Some of those threads would be for just 1 stitch! To me that’s not cool and if the pattern is going to be part of the Hot Cross Stitching collection, then some significant changes need to be made!

Too many patterns to choose from

How big is your collection? Are you in a situation where you have many patterns to choose from, but none of them are pulling at your hands to say ‘stich me!’, ‘stitch me!’?Which results in spending a lot of time on the internet or your local craft store searching for a pattern that grabs your attention. Alternatively, are all of the patterns wanting you to stitch them at the same time?

I’ve certainly told myself on multiple occasions that I’m not going to purchase another pattern until I’ve finished some of the ones I’m currently working on. Let alone started ones that have been in my collection for many years. Then I see an ad or I’m told about a designer or pattern that looks really cool. Before I know it, I’m looking things up and buttons are pressed and I have another PDF pattern in my collection!

The good things is that I’m not alone in this. I regularly hear people in the stitching community talking about ‘being enabled’ by other stitchers. It’s what we do and one of the best forms of marketing!

Time, space and health

Work and / or family may be your key focus at the moment, and the main time you have to set aside for yourself is when you’re tired and need to rest. If you do have some flexibility with your time and money, space to do your stitching and store your supplies may be limited because of where you live. Alternatively, there may be other factors affecting your ability to try and stitch. Some of which may be associated with the current crisis the world is experiencing.

Personally, I’ve lost a little bit of my stitching mojo because of some discomfort I’ve been experiencing with my right wrist. I’m right hand dominant and a few weeks ago I spent nearly all day stitching and I haven’t done something like that for a very long time. It resulted in my wrist letting me know that it wasn’t happy about it! My wrist is on the mend thankfully, but it put a bit of a dent in my desire to stitch.

Another example is my analysis paralysis about the work I’m doing and what work I need to do next. Ultimately, it’s my fear factor and my logic of the world that is stopping me from doing what I need to do.

Mistakes are made in the project

Mistakes regularly happen in stitching projects – hence the term ‘frogging’, we are regularly ‘ripping’ things out because we’ve mis-counted or used the wrong colour thread. Some people draw the line at how much frogging they do and consider the mistakes as personalisations rather than mistakes and leave them as they are. Which is where fudging happens – working around the personalisation to make it fit into the rest of the pattern.

However, how significant is the mistake that it causes you to pause it and procrastinate? Is the project off my a number of squares and you don’t know where the mistake happened? Alternatively, the mistake happened a while ago and you’re too far gone to frog it and personalising it is significantly difficult? Stitching over the mistake to try and correct it makes the stitches look really bulky and more often than not, the underlying colour shows through revealing the cover-up.

Another mistake could be the mis-calculation of fabric and you’re about to run out of fabric just when the pattern gets exciting. Adding more fabric to where you need it, but there’s the risk of the stitches not holding the join. Or you and non-stitchers can see the crease or join line. The image below is a perfect example of this.

Example of a project where I’m most likely going to run out of fabric.

I had been working on it for quite some time and I’ve put it on an extended pause because of the amount of fabric I have compared with the amount I still have to stitch. You will also notice that I don’t have any space above my stitching at the top of the pattern. If I choose to frame this project, I may need professional help!

Something got lost

Have you lost a part of the pattern or something critical to help you start or finish the project?

I have a zebra project that I started many years ago and I may not pick up again because I lost half of the pattern, and as Murphys’ Law would have it, that’s the part I need to finish the project!

Half finished Zebra project

I have considered purchasing a second kit so that I could finish the project. It would also mean that I would have additional fabric and thread. How awful right?! More fabric and thread! I had also considered and tried as you can see in the above image, trying to stitch the pattern off the cover page. It started becoming a bit difficult because the cover page is framed and I’m thinking it may partly covered by the frame the finished project is in.

As a result, I’m pausing it because I have a lot of other projects I’m enjoying and I’ve started the Rainbow Zebras (my name for the project), so I’m still getting my Zebra fix!

Are you comfortable with this procrastination?

The key question though, is how comfortable do you want to be with your procrastination and reasons why you’re procrastinating? If you jumped in and tested the waters, what could go wrong and what could go right? Are the things that could go right, scarier than the things that could go wrong?

If you don’t do anything with the procrastination, then nothing really happens. Ultimately, you’re stuck. Are you okay with this?

However, if you do make a start on the project or pick it up again, then you have the opportunity to make things right – if there’s an error in the project – or you at least start moving forward. By making things right, you’re no longer feeling uncomfortable because of the procrastination. You have the opportunity to see if your worries or fears are founded. You also have the opportunity to see how awesome the project actually is. It could even be something you’re proud of and want to tell people about!

Until next time,

Happy Stitching.

Related Posts

Posted in Cross Stitch Haul and Stitching Progress

Cross Stitch Haul, Progress and a Fan Girl Moment

Hi Everyone

A fair bit has happened since I last published a blog post. I’ve been procrastinating starting some of my projects, attended an online stitchers retreat, done some shopping and dyed some fabric for the first time! I’ve also gotten some stitching done in between sneezing and blowing my nose because of hay fever.

Online retreat and a fan girl moment…

The weekend we just had (21st and 22nd November) was my first online stitching retreat and it was really cool! It was the Mittagong Stitcher’s Retreat and the organisers did really well to setup Facebook rooms where attendees could do a video style stitch and chat. There were challenges with prizes, free charts that some designers had charted and donated to the retreat and links to some online stores with discount codes.

My nerves got the best of me for the first online stitching room I joined and which added to me being awkward and trying really hard not to fan girl too much. Mich Stitch was one of the organisers for the Mittagong Stitchers Retreat and I love watching her Flosstube channel. She’s an Aussie flosstuber and she had been one of the people in the first group I had joined on Saturday morning. It was great being able to chat with her and two other people in the group who were based in America.

Unfortunately the internet dropped out after a while. But I took it as a hint to get up and go for a walk. Over the weekend my boyfriend and I were at the coast and we had changed internet providers. This was the first time we had used the internet at the coast since signing up with new providers.

The second time around I joined the stitching group, I used me phone as a hot spot and it worked out really well. I was able to meet some new people and my nerves weren’t anywhere near as bad as the first time around, so my fan girling wasn’t too bad and I got to meet Kelly (aka Animal Instinct on flosstube) who is another Aussie flosstuber and I love a lot of the projects she’s working on and has completed. I also got to meet a number of cross stitching Canberran’s. I was buzzing with excitement by the end of it!

Stitching progress

Throughout the Mittagong Stitchers Retreat weekend I was working on the Gundaroo Mini Mushrooms. I’m really happy with how it’s tracking and when I was taking photos of my progress to date, I’m starting to think that I could get away with reducing the number of pages in the project!

I was also able to get some work done on the Black and White Daisy before we headed to the coast and I’m happy with the progress – even though I’m going to have to take a bit more care with this one! I found that I was a bit too relaxed with this piece when using Pattern Keeper and I’ve miscounted some part of the white petal. I’m hoping that over time I’ll be able to amend whatever mistakes I’ve made!

First time dyeing fabric

Over the weekend I finally dyed some fabric for cross stitch! It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while – especially after watching a number of Flosstube episodes from America. A while ago I had purchased some pre-cut 32 count Belfast linen and some iDye colours from Spotlight, with the intention of dying it and using it for one of my patterns. Over the weekend I also purchased some fabric from the Rosemont The Patchwork Shop in Mogo and I used one of the pieces of fabric for the dyeing job.

I decided to use orange and purple as the main colours and on the orange piece I wanted to try some tye-dying with some purple to give it a bit of a marbled look. Below are the two pieces I dyed. One of the images is a close-up of the orange piece to show you the marbled purple:

The orange piece is the 32 count Belfast linen and I stitched a free pattern from the Mittagong Stitchers Retreat on it. My head is spinning even now, just thinking about it. The pattern turned out really well. I found that I was starting to get a bit of a headache because of the focus my eyes needed to do for the fabric.

I’m really happy with how both pieces turned out and I’m keen to dye some more fabric! I’m thinking that I’ll try my hand at some 14 count brown fabric I have in my collection to see how that goes. Because both fabrics I used for my first dying attempt were light colours and I’m curious about how the iDye colours will go on a darker colour.

Stitching Haul

I mentioned earlier that I had done some shopping at Mogo and I was able to get my fix at the Rosemont The Patchwork Shop by purchasing some beautiful cards and fabric. They have the softest pink Aida there, I couldn’t help but pick up some more!

I’m not sure what I’ll stitch on the fabric yet. The good thing is that I have plenty of patterns to choose from. The tricky part will be deciding on which pattern to stitch on which piece of fabric!

I also have some more haul on it’s way that I will have to show later. As part of the Mittagong stitchers retreat, I purchased some hand-dyed silky threads! I’ve never stitched with these types of threads before and I have a couple of patterns in mind that I think I’ll use them for. When the threads come in I’ll share pictures of them with you and the patterns I’ll stitch them on.

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Posted in Hot Cross Stitching Business, WIP's and Plans

A Hot Cross Stitching Design Start and Progress

Hi Everyone

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I could do with some extra hours of sleep! Hayfever has kicked in for me for another year and it’s going to be a great year for it! Not just because it’s 2020 and what we’ve all experienced to date. But in Canberra and the surrounding area, we thankfully have had some really good rainfalls and the grass and plants are growing really well. So much so that some homes near where I live are having trouble with keeping up with their mowing and the grass has grown so tall that it’s about the same height as me, if not taller! By the way, I’m about 150 to 155 centimetres tall or about 5 feet and so many inches – depending on the time of day.

All day stitching

Halloween (31st October) was the best day for me to get some stitching done. I’ve surprised myself by how much I got done! It also helped that the weather wasn’t great for being outside. It happened to be the day that many south side suburbs of Canberra beat a 40 year record of the amount of rain it received for the day of over 40 mils. I live north side, so we didn’t get as much rain, but it was still a lot.

This meant that I was able to stitch on the second pattern I’ve designed for my business, Hot Cross Stitching, called ‘Black and White Rolled-up Daisy’:

Cover image for Black and White Rolled-up Daisy

I’m stitching it on 18 count black Aida and I’m using Pattern Keeper to track what I’m stitching. Below is my progress to date. I started it about two weeks ago and I’ve started in the top left corner. I appreciate that the photo above looks nothing like what I’ve stitched below. The exciting thing however, is that the stitching I’ve done below is me testing out how well this image is going to turn out. Which will formulate some of the instructions and tips and tricks I can include with the pattern.

Progress of new start as of end of October 2020

On Saturday 31st October, I was able to stitch over 1,100 stitches! Something I’ve not done in a very long time. It was awesome! I had Flosstube playing on the television and I was able to catch up on a few of clips from about 2 weeks ago.

The pattern so far is stitching really well and I’ve learnt a couple of things with this pattern already:

  1. Shorten the amount of thread on the needle. Otherwise the strands will start to fray and break. I’m stitching the pattern 2 strands over one square of Aida and I’m use to using longer strands – roughly one strand that is the same length as my arms if I stretch my left and right arm either side of my body, then fold that strand in half to make it two strands.
  2. Stitching all day may not have been the best thing for my right wrist. I’ve managed to misplace the special support stitching gloves, so I’m going to ease up on my stitching for a little bit to see how things go. I’m also an office worker and I’m right handed!
  3. Swapping the needle for different size may make a difference with my right hand and the wrist.
  4. I want to start another design already! Organising the threads for the next couple of Hot Cross Stitching designs has been interesting. They’re large patterns and my boyfriend is amazed by how many there are and has jokingly asked if I have enough! I also need to add that he’s a very neat person and he copes well with me having my cross stitch all over the place. As much as I try to contain it all, there are times when mini explosions happen, like when I’m organising the next pattern or three I want to start and there are threads and fabric everywhere!

Gundaroo Mini Mushrooms Progress

This project has been a slow and steady one. One of the things I’m liking about this project is the nice mixture of confetti and solid stitching. I tend to know when I’m getting to the sticks and blades of grass when the confetti kicks in and the mushroom tends to be more solid.

The image below on the left is my progress as of 7th November 2020 and the image on the right is my progress as of September/early October 2020. The photo below the two progress shots is what the cross stitch should look like (roughly) when it’s done.

Gundaroo Mini Mushrooms

What next?

Considering how these two projects are going, I’m really keen to start on a couple of my other designs. I’m trying to shrink those patterns down a bit to try and fit them with some of the fabric I already have. I’m also reminding myself that I have other projects that need some love and attention, but at the moment I’m not going to pressure myself to work on them or feel guilty that I’m not because of everything that I’m doing now!

In a couple of weeks time I’ll be taking some time off my 9 to 5 job that will hopefully mean that I can focus a bit more on stitching, converting more photos to patterns and continuing to get the background of the website sorted out so that I can launch it! In between all of that, hopefully do something awesome with my boyfriend to celebrate his birthday – even though he doesn’t see his birthday as anything much to celebrate!

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!