Tag Archives: SBQ

Snippets and an SBQ

I finally finished the last of my marking yesterday. I think I had just about got into the swing of it, but still, I don’t harbour any desire to do it again.

I spent much of yesterday trying to decide whether to sign up for NaBloPoMo after all. In the end, I went to bed early instead, thus missing the signup deadline, and I’m probably glad of that. Also glad of the extra couple of hours of sleep, as Niamh woke up three times again.

In a case of “don’t count your chickens” (re. the camera purchase), my tax return arrived today, and somebody at the ATO has monumentally stuffed up, doing me out of a very substantial amount of family tax benefit. I spent an hour and a half on the phone and down at Medicare today trying to sort it out. We will get the money, but it may take another month. Grrr.

I’ve signed up for another exchange even when I told myself I wouldn’t. Hardanger. Scary.

Christmas is how close? 😮 And I’ve realised that I have to make Niamh a Santa Sack. Like this one of Finn’s. It’s an Ellen Maurer Stroh free design – I think I’ll use the reindeer design for Niamh.

SBQ from today:

How did you decide on the title of your stitching blog? Was it random, or does it have a special meaning to you or about you?

Erm… I think I was kind of trying to be clever. Or something. Something about “The journey of a million stitches begins with a single cross”. Let’s call it random, anyway. I’ve been considering renaming to “Stitched By Mel” to match the url, but I’m still not sure about that. I feel like this blog is less and less about stitching at the moment, so I’m not sure either the name or the address are particularly appropriate. I have therefore also considered moving the whole blog to a new subdomain and renaming it Blogged.byMel. But I’m somewhat loathe to change the address. I suspect everything will just stay the same… I’m a great procrastinator :giggle:

Edit: Clearly, this entry was written back when the name of the blog was ‘Million Stitches’, and clearly, I eventually moved and renamed the blog 🙂

SBQ 25/10

SBQ: The Halloween edition

If you were to come across a sampler chart that caught your eye and appealed to you, would you or would you not stitch it if it had a morbid or “creepy” saying on it? If not, why?

This question immediately brought to mind the Monsterbubbles design Lizzie Borden. Not a sampler, but definitely morbid! I remember a bit of a hoo-hah on the BBs when this came out – is it or is it not in ‘poor taste’? Personally, I find it kind of amusing. The Monsterbubbles designs don’t really appeal to me, but I appreciate their whimsy. Anyway, to answer the question… I’m not really in the habit of stitching samplers or anything with ‘sayings’ on. But if I did, I seriously doubt creepiness or morbidity would be offputting to me at all :giggle:

And, because I feel like answering another, this, from way back in April:

Do you do obligation or deadline-based stitching? Why or why not? If you do, do you tend to get in over your head and why?

I have done a handful of exchanges, yes. And of course there’s the UFO round robin I’m in now. I don’t really look upon these as ‘obligation’ stitching in a negative light though. Part of the reason I join these things is to motivate myself to stitch (and more importantly, to finish!). Also, I enjoy the community aspect of them. I don’t tend to get in over my head, I usually choose only one or two at a time to join.

While we’re on the topic, I recently relinquished my membership to the stitching bloggers’ exchange board. Amongst other reasons, I felt that I couldn’t really guarantee the required amount of participation while Niamh is small. There was a waiting list of people wanting membership to the board, so I hope whoever got my place enjoys it. So to all the SBEBB stitchers reading, thanks for making my stay there a good one, and… goodbye, I guess 🙂 I plan instead to take part in a few exchanges on the Rotation BB as I find the time.

SBQ 19/10

Woah, I’m actually answering an SBQ on the day it appeared!

Which way do you stitch, i.e. do you stitch /// followed by on top, or the other way around followed by ///? Are you left- or right-handed and do you think that this affects the way that you stitch?

This has always been interesting to me whenever it’s been discussed on the various BBs I frequent. I stitch then //, and I am left-handed. I taught myself to cross-stitch, and that seemed the logical way to me at the time (and still does, actually). Later, when I found out many people stitch the other way, I assumed that it was based on handedness. The people I know personally who stitch (not that many, admittedly) all stitch // then if they’re right-handed, and the same as me if they’re left-handed. But I’ve seen this topic come up on the boards a few times, and the answers vary. It seems there are plenty of left-handers who stitch // then , and right-handers who stitch then //. So who knows why we stitch the way we do, I just know that when I tried, once upon a time, to change the direction I stitch, it was a complete disaster! For the Round Robin I’m in, I’ll stitch on any UFOs which have differently directioned stitches to me by turning the fabric and chart through 90 degrees, which works fine. For Claire’s Elizabeth, I was pleased to see she stitches the same way I do, so that made my first one easy 🙂

SBQ 28/09

I should really start answering the SBQs again. I’ll catch up with some of the past questions later, but for now, here’s the latest one:

When you find yourself making a lot of mistakes in various stitching projects do you find it better to muddle your way through or do you take a brief break from stitching? If you do take a break, how long do you take?

If I find tricky little counting errors, I try and fix them or at least frog them on the spot. If I suddenly realise I have a bunch of frogging to do (the sort that usually stems from one particular error), I usually set it aside for a day or so later when I’ve got a cooler head. If I keep making errors every time I pick a piece up – like recently happened with Dragonfly Jewels, then I put it away and work on something else for awhile. Or even better, do something else for awhile.


Last week’s SBQ was more about blogging than stitching. I’ve been mulling over my answer to the question since it was posted, and have been interested to read other stitchers’ answers.

Take a minute to reflect on your blog reading habits and preferences. What do you prefer to read in stitching blogs? (Progress, tips, family life, experiences, etc.) How much do you think you are influenced by other stitching bloggers?

Much as I expected, many answered that they like to see mostly (or only) stitching on a stitchers blog. I figured this largely because most of the comments I get here come in response to a post where I actually show some progress on a piece, or on a happy dance post (oh so rare!). For me however, I find most stitching-only blogs don’t hold my interest very long . Yes, stitching is a big part of my life, one of my dearest pastimes, but none of us are one-dimensional.

When I read a blog, I like to be able to feel I ‘know’ the person behind the blog a little better. A good deal of the blogs I read are not stitchers’ blogs. I like to people-watch, and that reflects in my online habits, I think. That said, many of the blogs I read are crafty in some way – either stitchers or knitters or otherwise. These are the people I share interests in common with, so it stands to reason that I will find them interesting. But I am most interested when the blog shares a little bit of this and a little bit of that, along with the craft reports. There are some stitching-only blogs that I check in with, and I have been inspired by some of the wonderful finishing techniques that I’ve seen lately, since discovering some of the bloggers on the SBEBB, but by and large, I want more!

I like witty writing, I like a little bit of fun stuff, a little bit of family stuff, a little bit of stitching, and a lot of personality. I aspire to write this kind of blog myself, and for my one or two readers:wink: to feel they know me just that little bit more (without getting creepy, mind!) That said, I do try and keep the depressing stuff out of here. Life isn’t all happy and shiny, but I would rather my blog be a place to laugh and sing rather than a place of misery. Sometimes the misery might creep in, but most of the time it won’t. I do admire people who can share more of themselves with the whole wide Internet and gain solace from doing so, but that’s not me.

OK, ‘nuf rambling from me now. I’m off to get some stitching pics off my camera so I can get me some more comments:giggle:

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.


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: