Posted in Uncategorized

How many secrets does your cross stitch hold?

Hi Everyone

I hope you’re all well.

As I’m writing this post, it’s Mother’s Day in Australia and restrictions are starting to be lifted a bit more and we’re starting to get some more normality back to our lives! If all goes well, hopefully by the end of July/early August, life will be as close to normal pre-pandemic as possible.

As a result of staying home a lot more, I’ve been trying to catch up on a lot of the Flosstube clips people have been posting and it’s been really nice seeing what people are working on and how they’re going. When I was partly watching and listening to a Flosstube clip, the person at the time said something that I thought was quite interesting and quirky. They are not a fan fudging their stitching. If they make a mistake in their stitching, they’ll frog it (undo the stitches) and re-stitch the correct amount. Because to this person, they see fudging a project as a form of lying and being dishonest. To me, this is admirable. They have the patience and integrity to correct their mistakes.

The biggest ‘secret’ of them all

Nearly every project I’ve worked on and finished has at least one mistake in it and I haven’t been bothered to fix it for various reasons. The biggest mistake I’ve made on a project has been quite recently and I’m contemplating whether or not to do anything about it. Below is the project that I’ve made the biggest mistake and when I realised what my mistake was, I couldn’t help but laugh at myself and wonder why I hadn’t picked up on it sooner! Can you see the mistakes I’ve made?

I can’t remember what the fabric count is. I used DMC’s varigated thread to stitch the project and the pattern was from …

The picture on the left is the finished project. The centre picture show mistake 1 and 2. The picture on the right shows mistake 3. When I was stitching this project – specifically the border, I made the novice mistake of rotated or turned the project based upon which side of the border I’m working on. So the picture on the right will show you that the direction of my stitches on the border is a different direction to the stitches in the centre of the project. You may also notice that the direction of my stitches at the top of the project (the centre picture) is different again and the width of the border is one row less than the other 3 sides. That’s because of my first mistake. When I started stitching the centre of the project, I had started it a row lower than I should have, which has thrown out the balance of how many rows I needed to stitch for the top of the border. If the rest of my stitches had been okay and the direction they should I have been, I could have added an extra row and some extra stitches to balance the border out.

How many secrets can a project hold?

If we don’t tell each other what our mistakes are and have a comparison picture of what it should be, does that make it a secret? Alternatively, if we show each other what we’ve done and show each other what it should look like, does it then become a ‘Where’s Wally?’ / find the mistake puzzle?

With my first HAED – ‘Moon Lit Waters’ that I’m working on, it will hold the largest amount of secrets and I’m totally okay with it! For anyone who’s been following my progress with this project, will know that it’s been a very slow work in progress! Over the last couple of years or so, I’ve been able to complete three pages and I’m starting on my fourth. The pictures below show my current progress, what it will look like at the end and the comparison shot of the cover sheet as a comparison of where I’m at:

Just before Stitch Maynia started, I downloaded the Moon Lit Waters pattern onto the Pattern Keeper app. I needed to purchase the PDF pattern to easily and honestly onto the app, as I’ve been working on the paper copy for too long and the edges are too awkward to send through the scanner.

One thing I had not anticipated or expected with this PDF is the updates and changes that the team at HAED and the associated artists have made to the pattern. I love that they have incorporated the new colours that DMC have released and I’m looking forward to incorporating those colours into the project when I get to it. What had me cursing and swearing as I was trying to figure out where I’m at on the pattern and marking off what I’ve completed. The symbols on the paper pattern have changed a little in comparison to the digital pattern and it means that I’m going to be doing a lot more fudging to make it all work!

When I’m done with the project, it will be for my sister and because of the nature of HAED’s, the odd colour being mis-stitched to me is not a big deal. I know that there are a lot of mistakes and fudging happening with the project and I’m okay with that. I’m going to continue using Pattern Keeper with this project because of the confetti in it and there being well over 100 different colours for it!

Now that I’ve rambled a bit about Moon Lit Waters and some of my challenges with it, have you found some of the secrets my stitching holds?

If you’re able to see any of the secrets, I am in awe of your eye sight! I know for certain where some of the secrets are, but my memory has faded a bit with what the exact secrets are. I’d like to think that I’ve blended them in well enough with the rest of the project, that it hasn’t thrown the intended design off at all.

What secrets do your projects hold?

As a stitcher, would you go back and fix it all up or would you leave it? Also, how honest are you with your stitching? At what point do draw the line and allow the mistake to remain in your project and you try to work around it?

Related reads:

Posted in Stitch Maynia, WIP's and Plans

Stitch Maynia. Big versus small projects

Hi Everyone

Since I’ve started watching Flosstube, I’ve become increasingly aware of Stitch Maynia and each year I’ve been increasingly tempted to participate. because it looks like a lot of fun and I’m really good at starting a bucket load of projects! My challenge will be to finish everything that I start!

Based on what I’ve seen on the ‘Net and Flosstube, Stitch Maynia had started in May 2015 and based upon the year 2015, Stitchers were encouraged to started 15 new projects. The projects could be whatever the Stitchers wanted them to be and the aim was to get as many of those projects completed by the end of 2015. If Stitchers hadn’t been able to finish their 2015 starts by the time 2016 rolled around, they would need to include those WIP’s (works in progress) and whatever new starts they wanted to make up the 16 projects for 2016 Maynia. If Stitchers had completed all of their 2015 Maynia WIP’s, then they would be able to have 16 new starts for 2016 Stitch Maynia!

If I participate in Stitch Maynia this year, it would mean that I would need to have 20 new starts and I could start these in any which way I want – as long as they’re all started by the end of May.

Big versus Small Starts

Considering that there are meant to be 20 new starts this year, having 20 big starts may be overwhelming because of the amount of floss each project would need, where to keep it all, how to manage it etc.

Big Project Starts

Working on a big project is a challenge within its self because of the shear size of it, the amount of colours it may require, the length of time you need to spend on stitching it and that strong sense of achievement when you’ve finished it. To me, a big project is something that will take years to complete – especially if it’s the only thing I’m focusing on. Heaven and Earth Designs (HAED’s) are the first thing that comes to mind when I think of big projects. In some of my earlier posts, I’ve talked a bit about my progress on my first HAED – Moon Lit Waters.

My first HAED

If you choose to do at least one large project, check out the Pattern Keeper app if you haven’t already. It will let you know which designers are compatible with the app and if you’re trying to narrow down what to stitch, its compatibility with Pattern Keeper may be the decider!

If you choose to do 20 big starts as part of Stitch Maynia, the awesome thing is that not all projects need to have a bucket load of colours to give it that wow factor. One of the trends I’ve noticed with a lot of the Flosstubers is the amount of people who are in love with samplers – especially samplers based on or inspired by ones from over 100 years ago. Many of these samplers don’t have a lot of colours in them. Some of which are just mono-chrome or use variegated threads and make the most of the different hand-dyed fabrics available.

Another option for your big starts is to be part of a Stitch-A-Long (SAL) that releases patterns at the start of each month and by the end of the designated time frame, you will have a beautiful large piece.

Small Starts

To me, there’s something exciting about starting a new project – once I’ve decided on what I’m stitching and I have everything kitted up (unless I’ve chosen a kit). The excitement is in the new beginnings, fresh starts and seeing something come to life on the fabric. It also has bit to do with my attention span and getting the itch to start something new every few months or so.

Therefore, to me a small start is something I can complete within a week or two – a month maximum. It may just take me a while to fully finish it!

One of the things I really enjoy stitching are cards for various celebrations – even though I don’t stitch them very often. Partly because I struggle with fully finishing them as cards. However, with Stitch Maynia I now have the excuse to stitch a heap of Christmas and birthday cards and related paraphernalia! It may also prompt me to start some Halloween projects that I’ve been eyeing off for a while now and talked about in some of my blog posts.

The other cool thing with stitching cards is that I’m able to use some of the off-cuts of fabric I have floating around the house!

A bit of both?

Since there are meant to be 20 new starts this year, there’s nothing wrong with mixing it up and having a combination of big and small projects. Which means that you should be able to get a sense of achievement by the end of May because of the small starts being finished or nearly finished. And you should also be able to see a bit of progress with some of your bigger projects.

Theoretically, this will satisfy my need to stitch a mixture of small, medium and large projects. I’ll be able to continue working on my current WIP’s and get some small cards done. My main challenge will be deciding on what to start and when. I can plan something to the last inch of its life. My struggle point is putting those plans into action! Mostly because I’ve put so much time and effort into the planning phase, that in my mind I’ve already put those plans into action and I feel like my job is done. Funnily enough, I’m not always able to follow other people’s plans as well. There’s something about my need for independence and flexibility. There’s also an element of trying to follow something exactly and then there’s a change to my routine and I struggle to get back to the regular program.

But I digress…I’m still hopeful that I’m able to stick to the plans and projects I’ve put together for Stitch Maynia and that I can keep it flexible enough to keep me happy. The other thing that I’ll be testing during this maynia month is the use of coloured pencils on my paper patterns I can’t load into Pattern Keeper. My aim is to use a different coloured pencil for each day that I work on those patterns so that I can see how much progress I’m able to make. My goal is to stitch a minimum of 200 stitches for each medium to large project before I can move onto the next project. I’ve found that for most projects this is achievable because I’m able to spend a couple of hours at least on them, and for most projects I’m able to easily get the 200 stitches in!

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

Related Reads:

Posted in Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized

The Joys of More Stitching. What are you gaining?

Hi Everyone

I hope you’re all doing as well as you can at the moment. As I’m writing this post, it’s Good Friday and it’s been raining steadily for a few hours and it’s wonderful! I’m loving the sound of the rain and knowing that there’s barely a breeze to blow it all away. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is predicting a range of 8 to 20 millimetres of rain! This is where I’m so thankful to be home to enjoy the rain, have Flosstube playing on the tv, be surrounded with my cross stitch stuff and be writing this post.

Meanwhile, by the time I publish this post, we will have experienced Easter and Australia and New Zealand will have celebrated/commemorated Anzac Day on Saturday 25th April. It will have been the first Anzac Day that Australian’s and New Zealander’s will not have been able to have special dawn services and parades that are typically held at National/State and Territory memorials. Many people however, chose to stand in their driveways with candles to hear the last post and special service being played online.

Technology

I have a love hate relationship with technology. It has made life 10 times easier for many of us until it stops working and something breaks! When technology is working, I love that I can still talk with friends and family over the phone or by using apps such as Skype and Zoom. Technology enables me to find out what’s happening around me without actually getting out there and “getting my hands dirty”. There’s a time and place for that and Bear Gryles will always be in the back of my mind when it happens!

Technology also means that I can catch up on what’s happening in the world of cross stitch. You Tube and similar applications has for many years, been a fantastic platform for all crafters to share with each other what we’re working on, what we’ve learnt and how to do things. Flosstube has also helped me come across so many other designers that I otherwise would not have known about, based upon my own interests and Google searches. Because of Flosstube, my stitching collection will continue to grow and I’m going to need a number of companies and individuals to sponsor me so that I can stitch on all of the things full time!

Things I want to stitch because of Flosstube…

Because of Flosstube, I want to stitch:

  • Many of the Halloween patterns from Autumn Lane Stitchery (available on Etsy);
  • Sky Blue Street by Soda Stitch Canada;
  • all of the colourful cats by Kitty and Me Designs (available on Etsy);
  • Fight Like a Girl by Tanya Amity;
  • Halloween Night by Alena Koshkina;
  • Fright Night by Lewis T Johnson; and
  • Colourful Zebras by Artecy Cross Stitch.

This is not an exhaustive list by any means. There’s still so many more I want to stitch that many Flosstubers have shown and talked about. Let alone the numerous patterns I have had in my collection for years that I haven’t started yet and the projects I’m currently working on!

Nature

I’ve always had an appreciation for nature and what it can offer – even though it’s a struggle to get me out there at times! If I can’t leave my home or I don’t want to venture too far, I love being able to sit out in my backyard and enjoy the sunshine. Or on days like today, I love being able to sit hear the window and listen to and watch the rain coming down nice and steadily. Also, without nature, I wouldn’t have some of the beautiful photographs I have on my walls. More broadly speaking, as cross stitchers, we wouldn’t have some of the beautiful projects to work on that have been inspired by amazing landscapes, animals and gardens the world has to offer.

Right here, right now

Mindfulness has been a big thing for many years and is more important now than it has ever been. What are you thankful for right now? What did go right for you today? Do you have a roof over your head? Some warm blankets and a comfortable bed? Do you have running water – hot and cold – and food in your pantry? Do you feel comfortable in the clothes you’re wearing right now? What sounds can you hear right now?

These are a lot of questions, but ones that I ask my self a lot and very similar ones as I’m putting one foot back into reality, to test the waters and remind myself that life is still pretty good!

My other ‘right here, right now’ moments tend to come when I’m going for walks with my boyfriend or I’m sitting out in the backyard or generally chilling out at home. I’m really lucky to live near some bush land and we have kookaburra or family of them that lives nearby. Some days we can hear the kookaburra laughing away or we’ve spotted it as part of our walks around the block. We also have a number of houses around the neighbourhood who have dogs and early in the morning or early evening (the typical witching hours!), the dogs will have a howling session. It’s awesome! The howling sessions always make my boyfriend and I laugh and it reminds me of my family’s Jack Russell, Russell. In Russell’s younger years, I would get to have a howling session with him whenever I arrived home at my parents farm or would head out there to visit. If Holly the Blue Heeler was around, she would join in and howl along too. These sessions would always make us laugh and howl along with them.

Dream on

Many years ago I use to dream about what I would do if I won the lottery. Like many people, I would have done the standard things like travelling, buying a house, sharing it with family and friends and make some donations.

Now, I still dream of travelling, but it involves taking a year or so off work to do it and road tripping to many parts of Australia I’ve never been to or I want to see again. I’ll still have my moments of wanting to hibernate and needing a few days to recharge the batteries. Which will work out perfectly, because that would enable my boyfriend to go fishing and I can get a bucket load of cross stitch done.

Saving time and money

As much as I miss the freedom at the moment to be allowed to go out and do whatever I want (within reason), I am not missing the journey I have to take to get to work and paying for parking. On average, I pay $39 per week for parking and however much money it is for fuel consumption and the general wear and tear my car experiences when I drive it. Additionally, I’m not missing what my imagination does to me when I’m walking through Civic when it’s dark to get to the gym. In my mind, I worry about people jumping out at me from the shadows and being assaulted in whichever shape it may be. Civic is the centre of Canberra and a central location for many homeless and low income people to be, because of the services that are available to them. Towards the end of the working week, Civic is also known to be the location for people to go to unwind, catch up with friends at the pub or a food place. So, early Thursday or Friday mornings at Civic can be an interesting place to navigate (especially in the warmer months) because of the number of people recovering from the night before. Being a short female, and keeping an eye out for potential dangers isn’t fun! I’ve been lucky to not be severely impacted by this. I have had the occasional encounter with someone asking me for money and they’ve been good when I’ve told them I don’t have any on me.

That said, as you can see in the image above, Civic can be pretty at night if you forget about any of the dangers that the location may have. For about a week each year, we have an event called Night Fest, that encourages people to come out at night and experience Civic and nearby locations under different lights.

Because of this stress, time and money saving, I’m able to sleep in a bit and go for more shorter walks with my boyfriend and we’re able to meet in the kitchen for tea/coffee and lunch.

What about you? What are some of the things you’re happy to be missing out on? What have you been able to do as a result of what’s happening at the moment?

Until next time…

Happy Stitching!

Related Reads:

Posted in Uncategorized

Digital versus Stitched Pattern Cover Sheets… Does it matter?

Hi Everyone

I hope you’re all going well. I’ve been working from home for the last two weeks or so and I’m finding that I’m not as inclined to be in front of the computer as much. I’m also finding that I don’t even want to go near my craft room unless I’m working now. But I digress…

I’ve been watching a bit of flosstube and I’ve fallen in love with Autumn Lane Stitchery. Cassandra and her husband Aaron are awesome. Aaron’s the designer of all of their patterns that are available on their Etsy store. I absolutely love all of the Halloween themed designs they have and I’m keen to start stitching some of them when we get closer to October! Below is one of their recent flosstube episodes to give you a bit of a taste what they’re like.

Autumn Lane Stitchery Flosstube episode 5 – Uploaded to YouTube on 13 April 2020

One of the things that I’ve been mulling over for a while now, and Autumn Lane Stitchery have reminded me of this question – how important it is for the project cover sheet to be stitched?

Digital Cover Sheets

I’d never really thought about it too much until Java Girl Stitches talked about one of the patterns she stitched by Shannon Christine Designs (two examples are shown below that I’ve purchased).

From a design and small business perspective, I understand that it may not be possible for businesses to pay someone to stitch a model, or wait for the model to be stitched before the patterns are released . I’ve also found that from stitching perspective, if the cover image is really cool, then I won’t care if it’s not been stitched. I’m placing enough trust in the designer to convey the way the finished picture is meant to look, that I’ll purchase the pattern and stitch it.

A similar thing can be said about photos that have been converted to cross stitch. On some of the social media groups I’m part of, some people have shared their progress of projects from photos and they look really good! Jan Hicks is one example, where she has converted some of her travel photos to cross stitch patterns – aka Jan Hicks Creates. Other examples include Cross Stitch Collectibles and Mystic Stitch. The images below are from the Mystic Stitch website.

Stitched cover sheet

For the majority of the time I’ve been stitching, I’ve only known cover sheets to have a stitched image on it. For example, below is the cover of a pattern that’s currently in my WIP (work in progress) pile.

When I started stitching, seeing a stitched image would give me really good idea of whether or not I’d be able to stitch it. It seems strange to say that because in theory at least, any pattern can be stitched. It’s just a question of how long it will take to stitch it! What I’m finding as time goes on, is I’ll gauge a picture by how much back stitch is in it versus how big the project is and how much confetti stitching it may have – e.g. a HAED.

Being able to see the actual stitches (rather than the digital stitches) helped me in my early years to see how the stitches needed to look. Also, aside from following the pattern, seeing the finished picture helped to reassure me that I was on track, and that my finished project looked as close as possible as what it was meant to be.

Summary

I’ve found that at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if the cover page is stitched or digital. The most important thing is what the picture is of. The picture needs to jump out at me and make me want to stitch it. It could be because of the colours or the theme – e.g. Shannon Christine’s Craft Room picture. It could also be because of the main subject – e.g. a cute puppy sitting under a Christmas Tree.

What do you prefer – a digital cover image or a stitched one? Does it matter? Why?

Posted in Uncategorized

Halloween Cross Stitch – Admiring from a distance

Hi Everyone

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

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

Sunshine Stitchers – Episode #50 – 29 September 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image from Pinterest

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

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

Image from the Everything Cross Stitch website.

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

Image from the Mybobbins Crafts Online Store

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

Image from Sandra’s Stitch Stash

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

Image from Geko Rouge website

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

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

Until next time, happy stitching!

Posted in Uncategorized

Some of My Favourite Stitchy Places and Things

Hi Everyone

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something and the last few posts have been a bit intense and not the usual light-hearted posts I’ve shared posted before. So my aim for this post is to bring back that light-hearted vibe that I hope you all enjoy, by talking about some of my favourite places to stitch and things I use while I’m stitching.

To kick things off, I’m writing this post at the coast (Malua Bay, NSW, Australia) and the weather is absolutely beautiful! Even if the weather wasn’t beautiful, I would still be really happy to be here. The house is located in short walking distance to two beaches, the local shops that has a fantastic butcher who also makes amazing coffee to warm the soul and local lawn bowls club that serves really yummy Chinese food. The two hard parts are walking back up the hills and going back home and back to reality. To me there’s something about the relaxed lifestyle of being at the coast and so close to the beaches that I love. Additionally, the coast is my third home (the second being my parents place in the country-side). For school holidays when I was growing up through to long weekends or short weekends away, the coast has always been the go-to place where a lot of my memories are from. Also, I’m very much an introvert and alone time is important to me. To escape from people and re-charge my batteries – especially before I moved out of home to my own place. Meanwhile, we’ve just had a new entertainment unit delivered to the house which is going to make it a lot easier for technology improvements and changes and accessing the power points that are behind the unit. Especially as televisions continue to get bigger, gaming consoles are updated and our tastes in movies and television shows change. Which will mean that I have yet another reason to sit down and do some cross stitch! **Sigh** First world problems ‘ay!

If the weather happens to be bad outside and I’m unable to be out there enjoying by sitting on the balcony (if I’m at the coast – see images below) or going for runs or walks, having the television on in the background while I’m stitching is one of the things I love to do. If this is the case, I’ve found having a movie or television show on that has a similar genre to the project I’m working on a real motivator.

Balcony View 1 – slight water view
Balcony View 2
Balcony View 3

For example, when I was stitching the Palamino by Country Threads or Midnight Glow by Dyan Allaire for Kustom Krafts (see below), I was regularly watching Heartland or McLeod’s Daughters.

Completed Palamino. I have used this as part of a country/outback/Australiana themed  quilt. I've used a navy blue trim around it with lime green or avacado green fabric to connect it to other cross stitch pictures.
Palamino by Country Threads
Three quarters of this image has been stitched. The nose and remaining part of the mane of the horse needs to be stitched. I may not have enough fabric to be able to stitch it all.
Work in progress – Midnight Glow – Design by Deanne Allaire for Kustom Krafts

If I’m not down at the coast, I’m definitely chilling out at home with cross stitch in hand and television in the background. If it happens to be a nice day outside, I’ll try and make the most of it by being out at the patio. Which is where I’ll have my earphones on and I’ll be listening to music or an audio book or something from Youtube like Flosstube!

I have considered taking my stitching public – e.g. going to a park or cafe and stitching whilst drinking a coffee or hot chocolate or even going to the library. I’ve been a bit nervous about it. Scared even! In my introverted way, I’ve been fearful of the fabric getting dirty or spilling something on it. But mostly fearful of what others might say – especially if I’m stitching at a cafe on my own and the staff getting annoyed that I’m sitting at one of their tables for hours on end and only drinking a coffee or hot chocolate, when they could have many people sitting at that table ordering drinks and/or food. Then there’s the sharp object thing in a public space that isn’t a knife if I’m at a cafe. I’d like to think that it shouldn’t be a big deal stitching in public – especially since there are knitting and crochet groups who catch up in my local area!

What about you? Are you a home body as well or do you recharge your batteries through your social interactions or being out amongst nature? Where do you like to stitch? Do you need peace and quiet or something noisy in the background?

I love needle minders!

Meanwhile, if I haven’t mentioned it before in my other posts, I’ll mention it here and quite probably in future posts too…I looooove my needle minder! I can’t believe I’ve been stitching so long without one! It has made the world of difference for reducing the amount of times I jump up from the couch cursing and swearing that I’ve dropped my needle and need to find it before anyone steps on it or sits on it. I love it so much that a few weeks ago at the Canberra leg of the Craft Alive Fair, I bought a few more and I wish I had them with me so that I could share pictures of them with you. Hopefully I’ll remember and share them with you in my next post!

Old school paper patterns

I’m old enough to remember very well the cassette and VHS tapes and the joys of batteries dying in diskman’s and walkman’s and the transition from cassettes to CD’s and VHS to DVD’s to streaming music and movies online. I’m also young enough to be championing the use of digital patterns, spreadsheets and apps on my phone or laptop to keep track of my threads, patterns, fabric and cross stitch related things. But there’s something about the physical marking off of an area of a pattern with a lead pencil that I can’t shake. I have purchased a digital pattern and I have briefly had the intention of trying to keep it digital as I stitch but I couldn’t do it. I had to print it off.

A comfy chair with my legs stretched out

Unfortunately I’ve managed to do something to my side of the recliner couch and I miss being able to have the foot rest up while I’m stitching. It was sooo comfy and it gave my legs a good work out when I needed to put the foot rest back into position. The couch still is comfy and I enjoy being able to sink into it while I’m chilling out. I just need to figure out how to re-establish the tension for the wire that normally enables the foot rest to go out/come out.

So these are just a few of my favourite stitchy places and things. I’d love to hear about your favourite stitchy places and things.

Until next time…Happy Stitching!

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5 Ways to get your stitching mojo back

Like writers’ block, there are times when I really don’t feel like stitching. The reasons may vary from feeling tired due to family and work pressures to feeling uninspired with the options I have in my collection. Stitcher’s block is totally normal and these are 5 ways to overcome the block.

1.      Have a break.

Having a break from cross-stitch could be just what you need. Do something other than cross-stitch for as long as you want or need. Whether it be learning a new crafty skill or returning to a crafty project you’ve set aside for some time. Alternatively, it could be going out for a long walk or heading down to the shops and treat yourself to a coffee or drink of your choice.

My break from cross-stitch can vary from a few days to a few weeks. During that time, I’ll be playing video games on a range of consoles, writing, scrapbooking or colouring in. I know when my mojo starts returning when I start looking at the patterns and kits in my collection or browsing websites to see what else is out there.

2.      Browse the Internet

Browsing the Net can be a way of seeing what other patterns are out there and what other people have done and are working on. Apps like Pinterest, and Instagram or sites like Etsy not only show a variety of patterns available, but ways in which the finished pieces can be completed (other than framing).

I looooove browsing Pinterest. I have used that site to find motivation for running, inspiration for quilt designs, cheer my boyfriend up with funny and cute dog and puppy pictures, go ‘ooh and aaah’ over amazing landscape photos and cheer myself up with cute and funny cat, kitten, foal and horse pictures.

Other sites I love visiting include:

3.      Join a club, group or forum

Cross-stitching can be as isolating or social as you want it to be. Online or face-to-face groups, clubs or forums can be a great way to catch up with like minded people. Face-to-face clubs, groups or forums include the Embroiders Guild and stitching sessions that your local craft store may hold. 

Alternatively, if you conduct a search on your preferred search engine or social media platform for an embroidery club or forum, you will find that there’s a lot out there. Facebook is one of my preferred platforms and I’m part of the Australian Cross-stitching group. I love seeing what other members post. Whether it be their WIP’s or finishes or questions about cross-stitch, all of it is motivating and inspiring and many of the designs are absolutely beautiful.

4. Attend a craft fair

As introverted as I am and as stressed I feel at times by attending events with large crowds, there’s something about attending a craft fair that I love. It may be something to do with being curious about the changing trends in quilting, cross-stitch, paper crafts etc. or seeing what new products are available to us. I really love attending the annual Canberra Quilt and Craft Fair in August when I can and setting myself a budget and whether or not I can stick to it! Other challenges I’ve set for myself is to find patterns or kits that I think loved ones would like and others that I would like to stitch for myself.

5.      Flosstube channels on YouTube

This is a recent find and I wish I had come across Flosstube sooner. Typing in ‘cross stitch’ to YouTube led me to Flosstube and I’m hooked! In a nut shell, Flosstube is the video version of blogs and face-to-face cross stitch catch ups. Anyone can post clips to YouTube using the Flosstube hashtag (#) and talk about anything and everything cross stitch. I love finding out what Kitten Stitcher and Stitching Jules are up to with in their cross stitch worlds. For me, it’s the way they present to camera and chat away. Check out their clips and you will see what I mean!

How do you get your stitching mojo back? Have you tried any of these ways? Were any of them useful?