Category Archives: Memes

SBQ x 2

Two-by-two is the way I seem to be answering these lately 🙂 Here’s the latest:

Do you have rules in the way you stitch? (i.e., Do you start in the middle? Do you determine which blocks to stitch first? Do you always start from the top or the bottom? Do you have special paths to prevent wasting thread?)

I always like the ‘rules of cross stitch’ I read on some BB somewhere a while ago. Rule 1: Thread goes in needle. Rule 2: Needle goes in fabric. Everything else is negotiable! That pretty much sums up the way I stitch, though my stitching has changed slightly over time – I used to care about using the least amount of floss and having neat backs. So I would take a path to accomplish those goals. Now I care much more about neat, well-formed ‘x’s, so I don’t worry so much about the backs. As to where I start, I usually start somewhere interesting :giggle: Gridding allows me to start wherever I like, but lately I’ve been a bit lazy about gridding, and have only done a few lines. I started Petal Fairy in the middle because of that. See… no rules! Just whatever suits me at the time.

Have you done any charity stitching, been in one, or would like to organize one?


(That one was easy!)

SBQ – Behind Again

Well, I’ve pretty much given up trying to stay on time with these questions, but fear not they will eventually be answered. I have two for you today:

How do you feel about staying totally true to a pattern? Do you feel that you have to rip out stitches to fix a mistake or do you feel it’s acceptable to incorporate a mistake into the design?

Some stitchers answered this question as two questions, and I kind of interpreted it the same way. As far as the first part goes – I am reasonably comfortable making colour changes or small design changes to a chart, though I’ve done nothing major yet. However, I don’t think that’s the major question here. I think the question is actually about fudging. If I make a mistake, usually I rip it out and fix it. If it’s only tiny, like a missed stitch or two, I might fill the stitches in with a similar colour when I’m in the area. But if it’s a real error, usually a counting error (which is why I grid), I’ve learned that it’s best to bite the bullet and go back, no matter how long it takes. I am bad at fudging. Bad, bad, bad!

Do you always sign your projects? If not, why? If so, do you use your first name, initials or what?

I’ve only signed two projects. One, the ornament I stitched for Danielle, has our initials on the back, but it’s more as part of the design, like a sampler, than a ‘signature’. I have no problem with that type of ‘signing’. The other is a piece I stitched for my Dad. He likes to sign books when he gives them as gifts, so I knew he would appreciate me putting my name to my stitching. He did. But I didn’t really like it – I just backstitched my initials and the year in small-type, in a pale colour found in the design, but to me, whenever I look at that piece on the wall, my eye is drawn immediately to the signature, and it’s not really a part of the design. I do like some people’s stitched signatures though, and perhaps one day I’ll change my mind, and design something I like better.

Watch Out For Your Wishlist!

Loved this quiz – found it on Jo’s blog, but it originally came from Anna. The questions must be answered with cross-stitch charts. This is a dangerous exercise though – I think my wishlist grew by half as I looked for all my answers :giggle:

1. Are you male or female? New Graduate Girl (Pinn Stitch Kits)
well… almost :giggle:
2. Describe yourself: Child of Spring (Victoria Sampler)
3. How do some people feel about you? Gotta Love a Stitcher (Bask Designs)
4. How do you feel about yourself? I Know All About Stressed (Twisted Threads)
5. Describe your love interest: Tech Support (Calico Crossroads)
6. Where would you rather be? Fly Me to the Moon (4 My Boys)
7. Describe what you want to be: The Fortunate Traveler (TW Designworks)
8. Describe how you live: Plain and Fancy (Barrick Samplers)
9. Describe how you love: Straight From the Heart (Annalee Waite Designs)
10. Share a few words of wisdom: Clean Your Ears (Calico Crossroads)


Morsel 1
So apparently by the time I posted last night, the ‘incompetents’ had actually won the match on a penalty shoot out and “we’re” going to the World Cup. Yay us. Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi. There. No one can accuse me of being un-Australian now 😉 The most amusing thing for me is that OtherHalf fell asleep and missed the excitement. Ha!

Morsel 2
We have a washing machine! The guy who installed it raved on about the brand as he ran me through the workings of this new model. I rolled my eyes. I must say though, I am honestly happy with the larger size, despite what we’ve been through to get it. It seems the company will only honour the original warranty, which expires in August ’06. That’s what I expected, but it would have been nice to have a few months added to the warranty in compensation, if not an entirely new warranty for the new machine. But hey.

Morsel 3
Last week’s SBQ. I can’t really flesh it out enough to be a post of it’s own, so:

When comparing large projects versus small projects, which do you get more excited about finishing?

Without a question, it’s large projects for me. I like finishing small projects, for sure, and they certainly make the numbers add up faster. But for me, nearing the end of a large project (and I’ve only finished two) brings a tangible excitement, and once I’ve actually finished, I find I can’t tear my eyes away from it for at least a week!

Morsel 4
Want to know what made my day today? I retrieved a man’s walking cane for him as I waited in a checkout line… and he responded with “Thank you, my lady”. My lady! That is 500% better than ma’am. Which I hear all too often… and it’s been far too long since I heard a ‘Miss’. I say we return to ‘milady’, and to hand kissing and jousting for favours, too! What fun :giggle:

Morsel 5
What didn’t make my day today was a $50 parking fine. OK, my own fault, I deserve it. I thought I looked at the parking sign, but I somehow saw only the time restriction, and not the fact it was paid parking. D’uh! I was at a perfectly wonderful toyshop while unwittingly parking illegally, but somehow my toy shopping expedition feels a little tarnished now 🙁

Morsel 6
Lastly and leastly, though I answered her already, the answer to Cathy’s question of a few posts ago is that I am due June 20th. Just reached the 9 week mark this week. I would put a countdown over on the side bar there, but I don’t want to be tempting fate just yet, no no no.

SBQ Catchup Part 2

Here’s the remaining two SBQs to bring me up to date:

Have you ever stitched something as a gift and later realized that receiver doesn’t respect your stitched gift a bit (for example it’s never on show, or you have other reason to suspect that it may even be nonexistent or at least placed in some dark storage room corner)? If so, what have you done? If you’ve been lucky enough to avoid such people what would you do if it’d happen to you?

I have been very selective in my choice of giftee. Other than immediate family (and then only those who I know would appreciate the value of a stitched gift), only a few friends who are also stitchers have received a stitched gift from me. None of the gifts have ended up in dusty corners or been otherwise ill-respected. I have a few more people to stitch for, but mostly I’m happy to stitch for myself. I wouldn’t want something I spend so much time on to be thrust away disdainfully, that’s for sure. I think if that happened, I’d secretly kidnap the piece back!

And finally:

If you have stitched for a while, can you usually pick out the DMC colors you need from memory when you go to your LNS? (For example, you know that 610 is a brown.)

Well, white, ecru, 310 and B2500 are not a problem, of course. And I would know 3041 and 3042 if I chanced upon them in a dark alley! I could probably identify a handful of other colours commonly used by Teresa Wentzler as well. But if I had a shopping list and left it home, I would be bound to forget what was on it. I have a spunky new PDA now though, so I’ll never be leaving my shopping lists behind again!

SBQ Catchup Part 1

Hoo boy… I am a little bit behind on these questions. Here goes:

How do you ‘non-hoopists’ who use a rotation system handle it (as it seems to be lot easier if you are in good terms with hoop)? Do you have several scroll frames? Do you use Q-snaps or maybe something completely different? Or do you just have one or two big projects and others are small enough to be kept in hand while stitching?

I am a very happy Q-snapper. I have all the sizes (and two sets of 11-inch, which I like the best), and they do the trick very nicely, when rapid changeover is required. I will never ever use hoops again, as I am not dedicated enough to remove stitching from the hoop regularly, and I have a few small pieces with irremovable hoop-marks on them.

I only stitch in-hand for very small pieces like ornaments, can’t seem to handle anything more than that.

Oh, and a confession – I also have multiple scroll frames! Before I discovered Q-snaps I tried to find a scroll frame system I was happy with. I love the look of scroll frames, Q-snaps are a little, well… plumber’s pipe in appearance, aren’t they?! So I have two cheapy scroll frames and also a very nice set of Lokscrolls from Artisan designs, which are great, but I can’t manage to get the tension I like, using these. So I Q-snap. Someday I will sell off the hardware I don’t want!

Here’s another:

Do you mark or hi-lite your patterns or can you follow them without any markings? Do you make copies to mark up, or do you mark originals?

Um… follow without markings? Ahahahahahahaha! Um… no. I can’t do that. I am a highlighter. I don’t like to mark the originals (I suppose I could trade them afterwards, but really, I’m just a collector, and I like my collection to be in good condition). So working copies are my thing, and whatever highlighter colour I have to hand. Once upon a time I marked up the copies with pencil, but on more than one occasion, stupidly stored the pencil-marked copy with the WIP and ended up with stubborn pencil marks on floss and fabric. So far, touch wood, I haven’t had any disastrous highlighter incidents. I think Finn knows what Mummy would do if he drew on my stitching :giggle:

Secrets & SBQ

I happy danced today, for the first time in a while. (Actually, I prematurely danced for this piece two days ago on the Rotation BB, but I had some finishing touches to apply.) I’m also very, very close to another HD. Unfortunately, I can’t share either one with you 🙁 So you’ll probably think I’m making it up or something, and that I don’t really actually ever stitch. Not true, not true!

The piece I finished today was a lot of fun to stitch, and very quick. I’d forgotten how much fun little stuff can be. Next year will be the year I finally start a rotation, and I’m definitely including small projects amongst my favoured ginormous ones 🙂

Which brings us to this week’s SBQ:

When you have almost finished a pattern and start thinking about the next one to stitch, how do you select it? (a list, most recent purchase, etc.)

When I’m stitching anything, I always seem to be wanting to stitch something else. This is why a rotation so far hasn’t really worked for me – I’m a screamer! Also, because I mostly stitch large projects, it seems I never finish anything. So while I probably should move on to an existing WIP when I finally have a finish, I usually don’t. I usually like to reward myself with a new start, because there’s nothing in the world like a new start!

My one bit of discipline is I don’t let myself start something similar to a current WIP. So if I already have a large TW, a large Mirabilia, a large Patricia Allison, and a large whatever else design on the go, I won’t let myself start another something large from those designers until I finish the one I’m working on. So lately, if I have a finish, I’ve been looking to start something smallish from my kitted up stash. While I don’t have an enormous backlog of fully kitted projects, I do have a nice selection, and I’ve got a few smaller projects waiting in the wings.

Ultimately though, what dictates what I start is a wallow in my stash. I love that – I go and put away whatever I’ve used for that finished project, and play in all my stuff for a while, and something usually jumps out and shouts “stitch ME” :giggle: Often I want to start something I’ve been given – if purely to prove to the giver that yes, I do actually want to stitch what you gave me 😆 I have a few charts in that category right now, and I of course want to start them all, right now!

Le sigh.

Wish I was stitching…


Hi Terri 😉 You have the dubious honour of being my first ever tagger. I suppose since everyone had to tag 7 other bloggers, it was inevitable I would be reached sometime. Now, I know I’ve said (more than once) I don’t do memes, but how can I resist, once I’ve been tagged? Besides, I can whip this up quickly… so here goes:

7 Things I Want to Do Before I Die:
Go Hot Air Ballooning; Have laser eye surgery; Visit Spain; Ireland; Canada; Make a Quilt; Learn to do lampworking.
7 Things I Can Do:
Make the world’s best Tiramisu; Anaethetise rabbits (no, really!); Understand Java; Play the piano; List the first 20 elements in the periodic table; Give magic mummy kisses; Pat my head and rub my tummy!
7 Things I Can’t Do:
Cook without a recipe; Play 3D ‘puter games; Abide Spam; Feign interest convincingly; Forgive and forget; Fly a kite; Refuse chocolate.
7 Things that Attract Me to Another Person:
Intelligence; Sensibility; Sparkling Eyes; Abilities I lack; Tall, dark and handsomeness; Creativity; Humour. Whoa, whaddya know. OtherHalf has all of those qualities. Lucky for him :giggle:
7 Celebrity Crushes:
Corey Feldman; Corey Haim; Christian Slater; Sean Astin; Jason Bateman; Andrew McCarthy; Joey McIntyre. What? Well, it doesn’t specify *now*, does it :giggle: I’m talking 15 years ago here.
7 Things I Say the Most:
“Oh, for crying out loud”; “Finn, NO!”; “Hey there”; “No problem”; “Be careful”; “Love you”; “Can’t wait until uni’s finished”.
7 Bloggers I will tag:
Nope. I’m sure you’ve all done it by now 🙂

Thrice a Quitter

Looks like in my haste, I misread the SBQ for this week. It is not, in fact, time to introduce you to my UFO after all! The question, in fact, is this:

Have you ever just quit a project while in the midst of it? (We’re not referring to UFOs here, rather projects that you know that you’ll never work on again.) Why? What did you do with it – throw it out, give it away, put it away?

Yes. Yes I have. Two, in fact. No, wait… three. Before I really got into stitching, I had a few false starts. Partly due to my tendency to jump in the deep end instead of starting small 🙂

The first chart I ever bought myself (this is probably 15 years ago, or thereabouts) was Teresa Wentzler’s Summer Carousel Horse. This must have been back around the time when DMC had a dye change in the range of grey colours that the horse is stitched with. (I know that now!) So I took my aida, chart and floss home, and made an enthusiastic start. I stitched only about a square inch’s worth before I realised my fabric was not big enough – I think I had a piece the size of the design, no extra. So I chucked that piece and started again. Once again, I only stitched a little before I realised something was not quite right. The greys I had didn’t even seem to be in the same colour family. Some were more blue than others. I didn’t really know what was going on, but it discouraged me so much that I ended up putting that second start away for a long time. When I got into stitching again a few years back, I pulled that project out and binned it, and sold the chart on ebay. I still like the carousel horses (I now have the booklet with all four of them in), but I have so much more to stitch before I want to go back and try stitching one again!

My second bin-it project was similar. I had purchased Mirabilia’s Garden Verses, and a pre-packaged fat quarter of Belfast linen to stitch it on. Again, I started enthusiastically, and part way into the border, realised this fabric was also the wrong size – or rather, it might have fitted, had the FQ been cut on the straight. I still have that fabric with the little bit of border stitched in it. I’ll probably salvage the fabric for another project one of these days.

The third project I quit was actually a smaller project – I had convinced myself maybe I needed to start small, by this stage! I had a Dimensions Charts & Charms angel which was OK, I suppose, but in hindsight, not really to my taste anyway. This project was the one where I found I cannot count, and the reason I now grid everything but the smallest project. The froggies visited me a lot throughout the time I stitched on the angel. I probably stitched it twice over, but I only had about half of it actually done at the time I discovered yet another major error, and ruthlessly chucked it!

Heck, with a start (or 3) like that, it’s somewhat amazing I kept coming back to stitching at all :giggle:

25 Questions: 21-25

Oops. Midnight just squeaked by me. I’ve been stitching – working on my seasonal exchange piece, so yay me. Here’s the final installment of the 25 questions:

21. Do you use stitching enhancers (lights, scroll frames…etc)?
I have an Elan lap stand, given to me by OtherHalf last Christmas. It is wonderful, and my stitching has improved both in speed and quality since using it. When I started stitching I used hoops, but never again, after being unable to shift the hoop marks left behind on a few projects. Now, I love my Q-snaps, and pretty much everything gets stitched in those. I do also have a collection of Lokscroll scroll bars, which I love the look of, but find tricky to achieve the tension I like on the fabric. Behind my stitching chair I have a regular floor lamp, fitted with a daylight lightbulb. That helps the eye strain a bit. I would love to have one of the magnifying lights we used for surgery when I worked in the lab, they are fantastic. Cost the earth though.

22. How many pieces that have been stitched but not yet framed or finished off in some other way do you have at this time?
Well, given that I answered I had finished around 50 pieces, and I think 8 are framed, and about 12 ornaments “ornamentified”, that leaves about 30 waiting. Meep! Most are ornaments which I had vowed to finish by last Christmas. Oops.

23. Do you have a craft/stitching room?
Sadly, no. Only in my dreams. We live in a small 2 bedroom unit, and my stash is in several places – a blanket chest holds a lot, and a large plastic tub, and my red box. I would love to have a spiffy organized room, or even part of a room. I am very much looking forward to my father-in-law building me a stash cabinet that I designed. That will solve a bit of the clutter.

24. Why do you stitch?
For relaxation. For sanity. For the love of creating beautiful things. For something to do! Mostly for sanity, it really helps me to have a hobby I’m passionate about. I also greatly enjoy the online stitching community, it’s something I’ve not experienced before, and has been a major factor in my continued interest. On a side note, I was asked recently why I didn’t want to design my own pieces. I was slightly offended – I felt there was an insinuation that stitching in itself is not a valuable way to spend my time. I equate it with asking a reader why they don’t write their own books! Stitching, the actual physical act of stitching, is the pastime I love.

25. What is your most memorable time related to cross stitching?
I don’t know whether I even have an answer to that. I haven’t attended any stitching events as such. Perhaps it might be the whole of 2003. During that year, I became involved with the TWBB, and started to discover online needlework shops and cultivate my stash. A time of discovery and growth :giggle:

And there you have it. A brief history of me as a stitcher. And off I go now to do a bit more of it before bed 🙂