Wednesday, August 30, 2023

All Kinds of Crafty Starts

I wanted to get in another post before the end of August and I'm almost at the wire! Aside from stitching, I've also started a crochet project and wanted to show that to you. Let's get started.

First is a finish! It's Gathering Acorns by Luminous Fiber Arts. I stitched this on a neutral linen in 32 count. The floss I chose caused some drama because it was kind of old. OK, maybe really old, I think about ten years old. Plus I didn't plan ahead. I just chose the floss because I liked it. It's Terra Cotta by Weeks Dye Works. So the old dye lot didn't match the new ones and I knew I was going to run out. After pleas to fellow stitchers to see if they in fact owned old Terra Cotta floss by Weeks, I received some from a kind person. But it was still very light. Then the light bulb went on in my head: why not do color blending? I found some Terra Cotta by Gentle Arts which was too dark, combined the two and there it was! The perfect solution!

The difference is not noticeable at all. So, after that long explanation, lesson learned. Plan ahead. Sorry about the non-ironed status of this project. I think I'll finish it as a pillow. I've already looked in my fabric collection and found a couple of good possibilities for the backing.

Next, a new stitching start. This is the time of year I start thinking about what kind of ornament I'll make for Matt & Steph, my son and daughter in law. As I flipped through the 2019 issue of the Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament Issue, I found this sweet little bird. It's Christmas Bullfinch by Punochka.

It's being stitched on 32 count Vintage Country Mocha lugana in the called for DMC. I think that the snowflakes will show up really well on this fabric. What a sweet, simple pattern. Not sure how I'll finish it yet.

I remembered this project that I started a few years ago. Fresh Pumpkins by That's So Kelly is such a cute fall pattern that uses a very unique color, a kind of turquoise-ish blue.

I'm stitching this on a light color lugana and it might be 36 count. It actually seems somewhere in the middle of 32 and 36 count. I really need to keep better track of the fabric I use. I did a major color conversion to use flosses I had. It will be finished very similarly to what's pictured.

Last but not least is my crochet start! This is Perfect Pockets Shawl by Sonja Hood. It's still available on Etsy. I saw this online last fall and bought the pattern right away. 

It uses half double crochet and double crochet stitches and is so easy so far. Yay! Perfect for a non expert crocheter like me. The yarn is a taupe color Yarn Bee yarn from Hobby Lobby. I'm going to put it away for a while because it's pretty hot here and as this shawl grows it's extremely warm on my lap!

Finally, Rigby had a rough day yesterday. Her day started off with a routine vet visit that included three shots. I was told that she might be lethargic. Then, to top it off, we got some stormy weather that included a LOT of thunder, one of her least favorite things. 

She hasn't been a lap cat at all since coming to live with us, so this was a surprise. She's back to normal today. But this was kind of sweet.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to ask any questions and leave comments. Thank you for visiting!


Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Finishing Frenzy!

 I've put in a lot of stitches on a lot of projects lately, but today I'm going to show you some finishes. Yes, finishes plural! These three projects are ones I've been working on for a while and could see the finish line on each. So once I picked it up to work on it, I decided to stitch to the finish!

The first is Christmas Tiny Town by Heart In Hand.

I stitched this on some kind of linen in the called-for flosses. Do you think I can get it fully finished before Christmas?

The next finish is Seasonal Bouquets by The Sunflower Seed. This pattern is an oldie and I don't know if it's available anymore. Charts for a bouquet for each season are included, along with little triangle buttons to decorate the vases.

This is my first project on 40 count linen. I wanted to see if I could do it. It's by Colour & Cotton and the color is Taupe. I know. It looks light gray. But I like it a lot and I think that the light color of the fabric made it easy to stitch on the 40 count. I used the called-for DMC flosses. It's so tiny. I painted a little square frame white and this will fit perfectly. My plan is to stitch each season and change them out accordingly. I hope to have a full finish for my next post.

And last but definitely not least is Small Animal Sampler by Bobbie G Designs.

I'm so glad to have this done. It's stitched on 28 count black Jobelan which is the perfect fabric for this. Buy I'm not gonna lie - stitching on dark fabric is not easy for me. It was so easy to get one thread off and there are a few mistakes in this project. It's stitched with the called for DMC. I'll frame this one.

Now that I have more finishes, I really need to get to fully finishing these and the other projects I have in my "Finished Cross Stitch" box. Yes, there are a few more in there!

For those of you who like Flosstube videos, I just posted my video #84. Hard to believe that I've been making videos for 6 years. So if you're interested, I'll post my channel HERE.

Thank you for visiting today. I hope you liked seeing my finishes. See you soon.


Monday, July 17, 2023

The Block 8 Conundrum

This blog is a place where I post about all of the crafty type of things that I do. It's heavy on the cross stitch because that's my main hobby, but you'll also see sewing, crochet, beadwork, and whatever else I'm working on.

Today I want to talk about crochet. You see, I've come across a little issue in a project that's currently in my crochet WIP pile. A few years ago, I subscribed to Annie's Block of the Month Stitch Sampler Afghan Club. Each month they sent yarn and an instruction booklet for three crocheted blocks. The initial kit also contained the crochet hooks needed for the project. I chose the beige colorway which is made up of four different shades. The kit even included a board for blocking.

I consider myself a solid intermediate crocheter and this project seemed like a perfect fit for my skill level. So I got started and whipped up blocks 1 through 7 with no problem. In fact, it was a lot of fun watching each one form with its own unique crochet stitch. Let me add right now that there are instruction videos for each block that are very helpful. Until I came to block 8.

Blocks 1-7, and 9, in no particular order

Block 8 confused me from the very start. I followed the written instructions. I watched the video. Watched it again. And again. Still my block looked like a confused mess. I asked people who completed this afghan and got some good advice. One person told me to write the instructions in list form (in the instruction booklet they're in paragraph form). Another advised me to skip this one for the time being and go on to block 9. I could go back to it at the end. Someone else said to just crochet this block using the instructions for one I already did successfully in the block 8 color.  

So I went on to block 9 with great success! I will go back to #8 at some point and if it doesn't work, I'll substitute a different one. But I'm asking anyone who is reading this if you've crocheted this afghan, and if you also had trouble with this difficult block. Or is it just me? Please let me know. I will keep you posted.

After I put my crochet away, I decided to do some stitching. 

I've been working on Small Animal Sampler by Bobbie G Designs for quite a while and I'm ready for it to be finished. So I think I'm going to stitch til I finish it. It's being stitched on 28 count black Jobelan with the called-for DMC colors. Only some of the border and all of the backstitching in the border left to do!

Thanks for visiting today and letting me vent about the elusive Block 8. I'll take any advice, even if you haven't crocheted this particular afghan. I plan to be back soon with more stitching goodness. Until then, happy stitching!


Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Back To Blogging!

I'm back. I know, I know. How do I explain an almost three year absence from blogging? Not going to make excuses. It seems that blogging has somewhat fallen out of favor with some crafters. I say some because when I look at my list of blogs I'm following, I see many that have been blogging for a long time and still are keeping this mode of communication alive. So I'm jumping back in with a tiny splash.

I've updated the look of my blog (that took a while because I haven't done any layout fixes in a long time and Blogger has changed some of their methods), and am now ready to get back into blogging regularly. Oh and I know that my Cat of the Month already says "July" but it will be July soon, and I couldn't find my June cat. I'll get better.

Since I last posted, a lot has changed in my life. I'm now retired. Hopefully this time it will stick. We've come out of the pandemic, thank goodness. That was getting really old. We lost our little cat, Moxie and then adopted two more cats because we didn't like being cat-less.

Rigby and Casper

Rigby is three years old, and Casper is a year and a half. They're both very good cats with personalities like no other cat we've ever had. We adopted both of them from the Feral Cat Program of Georgia. 

One thing that hasn't changed for me is stitching and crafting. As some of you may know, I have a Flosstube channel. Now I know that not everyone likes Flosstube and that's fine with me. I get it. I still enjoy reading stitching blogs as well as watching Flosstube videos. Here's the link to my Flosstube channel, CraftyCat Stitcher: .

So as far as the stitching goes, it's still my favorite hobby and I devote lots of time to it. I still consider myself the slowest stitcher in the world. Ha ha. But that doesn't put a damper on my enjoyment of cross stitch! I also continue to collect new charts because there are soooo many beautiful ones out there. Do you agree?

Sewing and crafting are also favorites of mine. I consider finishing a cross stitch project in a non-framed way pretty crafty. And I enjoy it. My latest sewing project is this lovely flag.


It took only an afternoon to make this, and what took the most time was sewing the buttons on. I was very happy that I had all of the materials in my craft room for this. Would you like to make one? You can find the instructions for this on the Instagram page @teamegner. It's in her DIY section on her profile page. The one shown in the instructions is quilted and is lovely. However, I'm not a quilter and just wanted this to be an easy project for me so I opted to skip that part. 

So this is my comeback to blogging. I hope you enjoyed what you saw here. My goal is to share all of my stitching with you, along with anything else crafty that I do. If you're reading this, please leave a comment so I'll know I'm reaching fellow stitchers. Please consider subscribing as well. I do appreciate it.

I'll see you soon. Happy stitching.


Sunday, July 19, 2020

At Least I've Gotten Some Stitching Done

I've been away from my blog for far too long, so it's good to be back with a post. I haven't slacked at all on my stitching though. The rotation is still going well and really seems to be working for me.

I participated in a "Christmas In July" exchange in a Facebook group. We were to stitch an ornament and send it to our exchange person during the month of July. I chose this little Blue Ribbon Designs piece that I found in the Just Cross Stitch ornaments issue 2019. It's called "Trimming The Tree".

I enjoyed stitching this and it's one that I would stitch again for me.

"Bluebird Garden" by Artful Offerings is nearing a finish!
I have a bit more to do on the pedestal and then the border, and that's it. I'm using the called for colors on 32 count Jobelan in a khaki color. Fabric names escape me and this is one of them.

"Salute To Abigail" by Blackbird Designs also received a few stitches.
I am SO happy with this project. It's being stitched on 32 count linen in the color Mink by R&R. I remembered a fabric name! Congrats to me. I did do a floss conversion from the called for silks, and I think it's a pretty good one!

Here's Plum Street Samplers "Clementine".
Clementine looks a lot like a cat I used to have. The threads are a mix of DMC and overdyeds, but mostly the called for. The fabric is ???? Jobelan, 32 count.

It seems like I've been working on "Tulip's Praise" by Gracewood Stitches, Kathy Bungard for a loooooong time.
It's just a big project. I'm maybe 2/3 of the way done. It's being stitched on 18 count Jobelan in antique white and I'm using all DMC, which is what it calls for.

My former "unicorn chart" is up next. This is "Easter Parade" by Blackbird Designs.
Isn't he the cutest rabbit? The fabric is 28 count Jubilee in the color "Northern Skies" by Sugar Maple Fabrics. I have never used Jubilee fabric before but I like it. It's pretty heavy, and reminds me a little of canvas. I chose it because I can't look at this fabric without thinking Easter!

And then we have an actual FFO! I finished stitching "Fragments In Time 2018" by Summer House Stitch Workes.
Then I finished it into a little pillow/pincushion! I'm very happy with the backing fabric because it goes so well with the design, AND it was in my fabric stash. I trimmed it with some chenille trim and filled it with crushed walnut shells, which is my filling of choice. This will be a gift.

I also did this.
When was the last time I planted flower seeds? This really brightens up my deck.

So that's all of the stitching for now. I am working on a non stitching project that I'll be back soon to tell you about. Until then, happy stitching!

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Stitchmaynia My Way

So Stitchmaynia 2020 is now in the books. For those who aren't familiar with this yearly stitching event, I'll explain. Stitchmaynia was created by a couple of stitchers (who I believe run the Stitchmaynia Facebook group) in 2015. Its purpose was to encourage stitchers to start a new project each day in May.

Now many of us stitchers love to start new projects. For me, though, 31 new projects is just too overwhelming. Last year I did WIPmaynia, where I worked on a different project each day. Other people also modified their Stitchmaynia plans to, for example, starting new projects on the first 15 days. This year I decided to do what I did back in 2018 -- start a new stitching project on the first of May, and then another one on each of the Mondays in May. Five new starts sounded perfectly reasonable to me.

My first new start on May 1st was "Gathering Basket" by Blackbird Designs. I chose 28 count Jubilee fabric in the color "Rendezvous" by Sugar Maple Fabrics and I'm stitching it in most of the called-for colors. I love this project and cannot wait to get back to it.
The first Monday project start was "American Coast", a kit by Chessie & Me. It came with 36 count linen and all of the threads, which happen to be silk. I didn't put a big dent into this start even though I stitched on it for several days. Cute project though.
The next Monday I started "Fragments In Time 2018" by Summer House Stitch Workes". By contrast to my previous Monday start, I made considerable progress on this! I would say that I have probably 75% of it done. No idea why. I'm stitching it on 32 count evenweave in a neutral beige color. I have a lot of unidentified fabric in my stash that I use even if I don't know the name of it. I'm using a combination of overdyeds and DMC for this one.
Monday #3 was time to start "Clementine" by Plum Street Samplers. Oh, that teeny-tiny start. I was working on another project at the time and was glad to get this much done! It's being stitched on another unidentified fabric, 32 count neutral and I changed many of the colors to what I had "in stock".
Finally, on the last Monday in May, my project choice was "Seasonal Bouquets" by The Sunflower Seed. I've had this pattern for a long time and have always intended to stitch it, so now was the time. I'm stepping out of my stitching comfort zone for this one, stitchy friends. That fabric you see is 40 count! I'm such a daredevil! The color is Desert Taupe and it's from Colours & Cotton. Really, though, the color is a pearl gray to me and a beautiful color to stitch the summer bouquet on. I'm using all of the recommended DMC threads. The pattern comes with little triangular buttons to sew onto the flower pots, but I don't know if they'll fit because I'm stitching it on such a small count fabric. It's fine either way.
Here's what I have decided about 40 count fabric. I think I can stitch on it comfortably in a light color, but probably not a darker color. That's fine. I really like the tiny stitches and the way this is coming out.

Here's to a successful Stitchmaynia, done my way. These five new starts brings my WIP total to 23 and that's about all I can handle comfortably. I need to get some finishes in! Actually I do have a finish that I have not shown here, so I'll save that for next time. I hope you enjoyed seeing these new starts! Happy Stitching!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

April Stitching Wrap-Up

Here's what I want to know: Just where did April go? How could it fly by so quickly? I must have had my nose in my stitching the entire time because I have no idea.

I do know that I've done a lot of stitching. Oh, and cleaning and going through stuff in my house. I think a lot of people are doing that. I've seen questions online about where to take donated items right now. I even cleaned out my laundry room. I planted flower seeds and am attempting to "root" romaine lettuce. I'm watching old episodes of Project Runway and Top Chef.

But back to the stitching. I found an old project that I totally forgot about. It's the Tortoise and The Hare by Prairie Schooler. I don't know what happened there, if it just got misplaced or what. But it's a cute design and I had enough done that I was interested enough in continuing it.
Plus, the colors are so pretty! I'm stitching this on 20 count white Jobelan, with DMC in the called-for colors.

I worked on one of my favorite WIPs, Bluebird Garden by Artful Offerings.
The entire body of the bird is finished. Now I just have to stitch his pedestal and the rest of the flowers. Oh, and the border.

Just for fun, I decided to start something. This is Turkey Bay by Plum Street Samplers.
 I originally saw this on the wall at Dyeing To Stitch in Virginia Beach, VA. It was stitched one over one on 25 count fabric, and I just loved the way it looked and instantly purchased the chart! I'm stitching it two over one on 20 count evenweave. I was happy with my progress after only two days of work.

How about a finish?! I finished stitching Little House Needleworks Sampler Month July.This chart came in a pack of two charts, July and August, and included the floss for both projects.
It was stitched on a 28 count mystery linen in a neutral color. I know exactly how I would like to finished this, so stay tuned! The "August" chart will be a start in the near future.

I framed my Barn Cats finish.
This Prairie Schooler finish is so cute, and I found the perfect frame for it in my stash.

And last but not least is my birthday start. Yes, I had a birthday last week and decided on a major start.
It's Cardinal Points by Long Dog Samplers. I'm stitching it on white Edinburgh 36 count linen, 2 over two in the called for Gentle Art threads. It doesn't look like much, but I'm really happy with my start.

So now on to Stitchmaynia. I'm doing my own version. I started a new project on May 1st, and then will start a new one on each Monday in May. I'll include those in my next post. I'll also continue working on a WIP rotation in between starts, so I'll also be doing WIPmaynia. It keeps it interesting and fun.

I hope you're getting in some stitching and enjoying the process as much as I am. It's good to have something to focus on, especially right now. I hope you're doing well, and you come back to visit my blog again!