I’ve designed some free cross stitch charts that are available on the Hot Cross Stitching website.
For one of the chart called “I Count My Lucky Stars”, I thought I was being smart by removing the blank pages, to make it easier to stitch. How wrong was I! I started to stitch this pattern with the use of the Pattern Keeper app and the app did well to try and read the setup of the pattern. I hadn’t fully appreciated until then, the importance of all of the pages being there!
In an ideal world, the pages should appear roughly four pages across by four pages down or something similar to the image below:
The dashes or lines we see on the screen show where the page separations are, for one of the patterns I have uploaded to the app. My mistake for “I count my lucky stars” was removing the blank pages, resulting in the pages appearing in one long line, as shown below:
The positive in this is it’s easy to fix! I’ve still got the original pattern with all of the pages – blanks included! – and I’ve been able to replace the pattern that’s available on the Hot Cross Stitching website. Later today or perhaps sometime tomorrow, I’ll go back to stitching the pattern and make some personalisations, to get it to fit on the fabric I’ve started to use:
I’ll definitely be doing some ‘frogging’ (aka picking out some stitches) on the letter ‘a’ and most likely the letter ‘d’ too because I’m not happy with the way the font has been charted. I definitely don’t have enough fabric to stich the charted border. But that’s okay because I’m keen to get the words stitched at least, then I can put it in a nice frame and hang it somewhere in my home where everyone can enjoy it!
The letters are being stitched in Cottage Garden Threads ‘Sherbert’ and I’m using DMC’s 14 count printed Aida. I’m not sure what the exact colours are, but they’re pretty. If or when I stitch this chart again, with enough fabric to stitch the border, I’ll be using DMC’s 828 and 3760 (806). I have 5 skeins of each colour that I need to use! The DMC thread 806 is appearing in brackets because 806 has been discontinued and 3760 is its replacement.
It feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve posted something to this blog – 20th June was the last time! Sooo much has happened since then!
My boyfriend and I were due to go on a holiday up to Queensland at the start of July and the pandemic had other plans for us. The short story is that we decided to cancel our holiday and we’ll reschedule for a later time either this year or next year. I was going to participate in the 5km event of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon weekend and the event got cancelled because of some outbreaks and lockdowns that were happening in Sydney and the Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast areas. Before we were due to fly out of Canberra, the lockdowns for Brisbane and Gold Coast were going to be for three days and there was no guarantee that it would be for just three days. Brisbane’s lock down was extended for an extra few days and the Gold Coast was lifted on Friday 2nd July at 6pm.
We were relieved that we had decided not to go to Queensland for our holiday, as it lifted a lot of stress we were feeling about the unknown. We had decided to cancel the holiday before we knew about the running event being cancelled – though it looked like a sure thing before anything was formally announced. I’ve still taken my scheduled leave as I had been in the headspace for having a holiday for a set period of time and I knew that I wouldn’t be in the right headspace for work if I had made other changes.
It was also meant to be that we didn’t go on our holiday or for me to participate in any running events, because on Saturday 3rd July, I sprained my left ankle and I couldn’t properly walk on it for about 3 days. It’s still a bit swollen and bruised, but I can do most things on it now with minimal issues!
Because of all of this, I have been stitching and designing patterns for Hot Cross Stitching like there was no tomorrow!
New Patterns and finishes
Flosstube Made Me Do It
I have had the phrase ‘Flosstube made me do it’ in my head for a long time it’s taken me a while to find the motivation to stitch any of the designs based upon this phrase. I’m going to create a new series out of this phrase and my ‘stay-cation’ has helped me with this! The image below is my first finish for this series:
This piece is stitched on 14 count printed peach marble Aida, using DMC threads. I’ve framed it in a 16″x12″ black frame that I got from a dollar store from my local shops. I’ve removed the glass from the frame and it’s hanging up on the wall in my craft room/office (aka ‘Croffice’).
The chart for this piece is available for purchase via the Hot Cross Stitching website as a PDF download. It’s fully compatible with the android application Pattern Keeper. If you would prefer a paper pattern, you can contact me via the Hot Cross Stitching website.
I have regularly heard on a variety of flosstube channels, that someone has been enabled by someone else because of an episode they have watched. This typically means that someone has loved a pattern or fabric, floss, frame or something that another stitcher has shared on their flosstube and the viewer ‘just had to have it’. I’ve definitely been enabled by a few flosstubers and I know it will continue to happen for as long as we all share our love of cross stitch! That is the inspiration for the next pattern and finish:
This pattern will be available on the Hot Cross Stitching website in coming days and it will be available as a PDF download. It’s fully compatible with the android application Pattern Keeper. If you would prefer a paper pattern, you can contact me via the Hot Cross Stitching website.
I’ve stitched this pattern on 28 count evenweave using DMC threads. It’s framed in a 16″x12″ frame from my local dollar store. I’ve left the glass in the frame for this project. That may change over time as I may change my mind regarding the way I have it framed.
The idea for this pattern has been playing on my mind for the last 7 to 8 months. My biggest struggle point has been getting the flowers to look like the image I have in my mind’s eye. To help with this struggle, I have drawn upon inspiration from nature and existing cross stitch patterns like the Australian native flower sampler by Fiona Jude from Country Threads. Below is my first Hot Cross Stitching biscornu finish:
I’m really proud of this finished piece. It is really cute and small and I learnt a lot as I was assembling it. You may notice in one of the pictures, that one side of it looks a little off. I made the wonderful error of not leaving enough of a fabric margin when I cut the two pieces in half. The images below will show you what I mean:
This project was stitched on 28 count evenweave and the fabric frays very easily. I could have used some form of adhesive to stop the edges from fraying and reduce the risk of the brown back-stitches from starting to slide off the fabric. I’ve also learnt that this is a potential flaw in my design as well and I’ve updated the pattern to prevent this from happening to others.
This project was stitched in all DMC threads and the pattern will soon be available on the Hot Cross Stitching website as a PDF download. The pattern is compatible with the android application Pattern Keeper.
WIPGO WIP Updates
For the month of July, the Black and White Rolled-up Daisy (designed by Kristen Gawronski for Hot Cross Stitching) and 12 Days of Christmas (designed by Rhona Norrie) have been called:
I’ve added some stitches to the 12 Days of Christmas project. I’d like to add more before July is over and I’ll share my progress with you in a few weeks time. The same goes for the Black and White Rolled-up Daisy!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted something and I can’t wait until the end of June / early July to tell you all about some of the things that have happening in my world of cross stitch!
A couple of weeks ago I went to the Crafty Frog store in South Canberra and I picked up a few things I can’t wait to use on as many projects as possible. The image below shows overall, the things I purchased:
What you see in the picture
Starting from the bottom of the picture:
Easy Grab Ball Tip Needle – sizes 28 and 26. I’ve never used these types of needles before and I’ve heard a bit about them on a few Flosstube channels (I can’t remember who exactly, as it’s been a while since I’ve heard anyone talk about them). The special thing about these needles is that the ball tips are meant to make it easier for cross stitchers, embroiderers and hand-sewers find the holes in the fabric they want their thread to go through. The other special thing with these needles is that they are not pointy in any way, shape or form because of the small ball at the end of the needle. Which should mean that I don’t poke myself any where near as much as what I’m doing at the moment! I’m also hoping that I can use these needles when I fly up to Queensland in two weeks time. I’ve never stitched on a plane and there are some strict (understandably so) rules in Australia for having or using certain sharp objects in carry-on luggage.
Heart-shaped pendant – is deceiving because it’s also a thread cutter! Towards the pointy end of the pendant are small indents on the sides that can be used to cut the thread I’m using for my projects. I’ve been aware of this type of product for a a while, because I’ve seen it in some cross stitch magazines and craft stores. By memory DMC have similar products to the pendant you see in the picture. I’m also planning on wearing the pendant on a necklace and using it as part of my trip to Queensland!
Fabric – The pink fabric is 32 count linen that’s hand-dyed and has a marbled colour to it. I have a few ideas of what I’ll stitch on it. At the moment I’m thinking I could stitch the elephant biscornu on it (also picured) or a couple of other patterns I’m charting up, soon to be released!
Underneath the pink fabric is 25 easy count Lugana. The grey squares you see are gridded at 10 by 10 which will make it even easier for me to work on some full coverage projects I’m chomping at the bit to start!
The fabric the heart-shaped pendant is resting on is 28 count Lugana Brittney Gold. My eyes lit up and did an internal squeal when I saw this fabric. I have seen people on Flosstube use similar fabric and I have wondered how they have come across such fabric and I wasn’t sure if I would ever get to see such fabric in-person. The holes on this fabric are quite small for 28 count, so the ball-tip needles will come in handy when I start stitching on it! At the moment I’m not sure what I’ll stitch on it because the fabric is so pretty to me – it glitters in the light! I could stitch the lion biscornu (also pictured) or see if there’s anything else in my collection that could do the fabric justice.
Lion and elephant biscornu patterns – The first time I went to Crafty Frog and had a really good look at what they had, I had a fan girl moment when I saw that they stocked Tiny Modernist’s patterns! I have seen and heard many people talk her patterns and stitch them and I’ve really liked them. I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to buy any of the patterns. The other cool thing with these patterns is I’m looking forward to stitching up some more biscornus because they are fun to stitch and I love seeing it all come together!
Threads – I bought two colours/threads from the Brindabella Threads range, one thread from Cottage Garden Threads (CGT) and one from the WonderFil range (the one on the spool). I really, really love the WonderFil thread because it feels so nice and silky!
I’ll most likely use all of the threads on a couple of charts I’ve got planned – one of which I’ve already started stitching…
New Pattern Progress
I haven’t quite decided what the official name of this project will be, but it is going to be part of the Flosstube Made Me Do It series. The project below is just a prototype and the finished project that will eventually be made publicly available may look different:
This project is stitched on 14 count light blue / baby blue Aida that I’ve had in my stash for a really long time. By memory I bought it from Spotlight or Lincraft – one of those stores. The border and frog are stitched in DMC threads and the words are stitched in the Cottage Garden Threads Oxalis Pearle 8.
The frog you see in this picture is a free download from the Rucni Prace website. I’ve modified it a little to help it fit into the space I needed it to be. The rest of the design is all me with some creative guidance from by boyfriend.
I really struggled to get the circle to meet up properly and there was a lot more frogging (un-picking) in this project than I would have liked. A lot of that was because of the way I had printed out the pattern for the circle and the symbols were way too small for my liking. The words I had changed significantly and I’m quite proud of how they have turned out – especially since there’s a larger gap than I would normally like between “the” and “circle’s” – but I think it really ads to the piece and the amount of ‘mistakes’ that are in it. I’d like to think that many cross-stitchers, embroiderers and crafty people alike will be able to relate to this project and see the humor in it!
Before I sign off for today, I just wanted to let you all know that the website Hot Cross Stitching is back up and running. On the site you will find:
full coverage cross stitch patterns for sale
classes you can sign up to, to learn how to cross stitch
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:
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!
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.
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?
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’:
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.
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:
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.
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!
Swapping the needle for different size may make a difference with my right hand and the wrist.
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.
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!
It’s been a while between drinks (ages since I’ve published a post). A lot’s been going on since I last posted to this blog. My main focus has been on developing my new side hustle – Hot Cross Stitching!
The purpose of Hot Cross Stitching is teaching people how to cross stitch face-to-face and selling selling my cross stitch patterns online. The classes will initially be held in my home town, Canberra with three different types of classes people can choose from – Beginner, Intermediate and Social.
The beginner class will focus on people who have never done cross stitch or it’s been a very long time since they’ve done it. People will learn how to read a pattern, thread their needle, change colours, convert what they see in the pattern to stitching it on a blank piece of fabric. As well as finding the centre of their fabric and marking off the pattern as they stitch/keeping track of where they’ve stitched just to name a few things!
The intermediate class will focus on people who have been stitching for a few years and want to improve their skills and tackle some more challenging projects, whilst having the support of stitching friends around them. People in this class will learn how to kit up their own projects, which includes choosing the right size and amount of fabric they need for their project. People will also be able to use the class to bounce ideas off their stitching friends regarding the different ways to store their projects – especially the threads – and try out some different types of threads such as silks, verigated threads and metalics to name a few.
Meanwhile, the social group is for anyone and everyone – regardless of how long someone has been stitching for. The aim of this group is for people to come a long for as long as they want and to stitch with some friends and chat as much or as little as they want. Over the years I’ve found that I have learnt more through just stitching and chatting and comparing notes. However, I’ve not taken any formal cross stitching classes to be able to compare!
Over all, the aim of all of these classes/groups is for people to connect safely face-to-face, learn something new that hopefully they like and make some new friends. This year especially has been a testament for how important human interaction has been for everyone and the use of art and craft to enable people to have a creative outlet.
I’m hoping that over time, I’ll be able to run some classes from a public space at the South Coast as well. But that may happen once I’m no longer working in my current 9 to 5 job.
The patterns people will be able to purchase as PDF downloads are of photos I’ve taken over time and converted to patterns. One of which will be the Gundaroo Mini Mushrooms that I’ve been stitching for potentially a couple of years. I haven’t kept exact track of when I started and it feels like I’ve been working on it for the last couple of years! Below is a sample of images that I’ve converted to patterns, that will be available for purchase:
The website is currently under construction and I’ll let you all know when it’s publicly available. This blog will be connected to the site and my aim over time (and let’s see if it actually happens!), is to use this blog to still talk about cross stitch and a bit about the business as well.
Aside from working on the website, I’ve also been travelling to the coast a bit and as I’m writing this post, I’m at the coast looking out the window from the dining table and at times it’s really hard to concentrate! As I’m looking between the two trees in the image below, I’m on the look out for any breaks in the water that can’t be explained by waves crashing on rocks or boats sailing past.
One of the last times I was here, I was able to see some sprays of water from whales cruising past in the distance! That was something really special, as I never thought we’d be able to see something like that from this window. Normally when my boyfriend and I have been here, we’ve gone for walks to the nearby cliff tops and we’ve been able to see the whales from there and some dolphins. It’s really exciting and special when that happens, because we’re not always lucky enough to get our timing right to see them.
The other awesome thing that’s happened recently (last week to be precise!) is a really awesome experience my boyfriend and I did as part of a birthday present from my parents and boyfriend. We stayed overnight at the National Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra. This particular stay is part of the Jamala Wildlife Lodge that resides within the National Zoo and Aquarium.
When you’re booking your accommodation, you’re able to choose which lodge you stay in an nominate which three animals you would prefer to see. I need to point out here, that the three animals aren’t in the same enclosure together! The need to nominate which three animals you would prefer is part of which lodge is available at the time and which enclosure is connected to which lodge. For example, I chose the Jungle Bungalow and there are 5 lodges that are part of the Jungle Bungalows. One enclosure is assigned to each bungalow and I had the choice of the Sun Bears, Lions, Tigers and Cheetahs. The top three animals I nominated were the Tigers, Lions and Cheetahs and we were lucky enough to share our space with Ravi the male Tiger!
The images above were taken from the room we stayed in and Oh. My. Gosh! It was just amazing to see him doing his thing. For the most part he was on patrol and keeping an eye on things in his enclosure. His brother lives couple hundred of metres away from him (so that they don’t kill each other, the guide told us the next morning!), so he was calling out to him every so often and checking on him every so often. There’s clear window in the brother’s enclosures that enables them to look across a path and into each other’s enclosures!
When we left for dinner, Ravi was on patrol and when we came back, he was up close, next to the window and sleeping. It was then that we really got to appreciate how big he is. We found that he’d had most of his sleep by about 1 or 2 in the morning and he woke my boyfriend up, by calling out to the rest of the zoo from the spot we saw him sleeping at when we got home from dinner. I was sleeping very well at that stage and didn’t hear anything until about 4 in the morning or so.
When it was lighter in the morning, we found Ravi doing his rounds again and there were a few times that we thought he’d come up to the platform you see in some of the photos, but he kept going with his rounds. Just before we left for breakfast he did come up and sit down and it had been the first time during the day on either day we were at the zoo that he’d come up to the platform. We really didn’t want to go to breakfast at that point as we weren’t sure if he’d still be sitting there when we were due to get back. Thankfully he was and that’s where most of the pictures above have come from. It was amazing!
After breakfast we did a guided group tour around half of the zoo, which was really cool. Some of the animals we saw include some cheetahs, rhinos, monkeys, leemahs, zebras, giraffs and an ostrich. I took a lot of photos along the way and I’m wanting to turn some of them into cross stitch patterns for the website.
With all of this in mind, I haven’t done as much stitching as what I would have liked. I’m aiming to make amends for that over the next few days and get some more stitching done this afternoon and tomorrow. The weather from tomorrow afternoon ’til about Sunday/Monday is meant to be raining and indoor weather kind of stuff. So hopefully, I’ll have more cross stitch related things to talk about next time and there won’t be as much time between blog posts!