Tag Archives: cross stitch

Flower of the Month: December

The tenth installment of the flower of the month series is here, with December’s poinsettia. The patterns from the series are from Ellen Maurer-Stroh, who has some great free patterns.

The poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is native to Mexico and Central America. It has been associated with Christmas since the 17th century. Around this time of year in the U.S., there are poinsettias everywhere: doctors’ offices, grocery stores, banks, etc. In fact, today, December 12, is National Poinsettia Day here!

photograph of cross stitched red poinsettia flower

Like the other squares, I added the month name in the border (with DMC 935), using the chart I posted.

The stitching is done in two strands on 18 count antique white aida cloth.

Next month: the carnation.

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Filed under 2015, Cross Stitch, Finished Projects

Flower of the Month: November

The ninth installment of the flower of the month series is here, with November’s chrysanthemum. The patterns from the series are from Ellen Maurer-Stroh, who has some great free patterns.

cross stitched chrysanthemum flower

The chrysanthemum, or mum, is native to Asia and northeastern Europe. Mums were first cultivated in China in the 15th century. As well as being pretty to look at, the flowers are used to brew a sweet chrysanthemum tea, and the flowers can also be processed to make a natural insecticide.

The mum is the symbol of the Japanese Imperial family. In the United States, it is the official flower of the cities of Salinas, California, and Chicago, Illinois.

Like the other squares, I added the month name in the border (with DMC 3362), using the chart I posted.

The stitching is done in two strands on 18 count antique white aida cloth.

Next month: the poinsettia.

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Christmas & Hanukkah Dogs

Happy December, everyone! Time to get fully in the swing of the holidays, and I’m doing my part by sharing these cross-stitches that I made almost exactly one year ago.

photograph of a cross stitched square with the words '2014' and 'merry christmas' surrounding a dog with a red collar

photograph of a cross stitch square with words '5775' and "happy hanukkah" in Hebrew surrounding a dog with a blue collar

These are two sides to an ornament I made last year for my parents. One side is for Christmas and the other for Hanukkah. The dog is designed to look like their dog, Claire.

claire, a dog

This is Claire

I think I got the colors and the ears pretty close. I colored the Aida cloth with acrylic paints & Martha Stewart fabric medium, which worked fine to color it, but did make the fabric very stiff and harder to work with. Also, it was probably not a great idea to make the Christmas background green and the text red. But my parents have another (additional) dog now, so I will have to make another set of ornaments for 2015!

What are you stitching up for the holidays?

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Finished Project: Get Schwifty

I had the idea for this tiny cross stitch project and brought it to fruition in the span of an evening. I just had to have a break from the giant Simpsons couch project. And who couldn’t use more Rick and Morty in their lives?

gold-painted embroidery hoop with "get schwifty" stitched on black fabric with golden metallic thread


embroidery hoop that reads "get schwifty"

photograph of back of embroidery hoop finished with grey and white-dotted cotton fabric

For some stupid reason, I subjected myself to both metallic floss and black aida for this project — thank goodness it was small and simple. I painted the hoop with metallic gold paint to complement the stitching and finished the back with a grey piece of printed cotton with white dots. It is pretty schwifty!

This piece is for sale in my Etsy shop — get it before it’s gone!

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Flower of the Month: October

Happy October everyone, make way for the calendula flower! The patterns from the flower of the month series are from Ellen Maurer-Stroh, who has some great free patterns.

photograph of cross stitched calendula flower for October's flower of the month square

The calendula is also known as the pot marigold, and typically refers to the species Calendula officinalis. The flower has been used medicinally for treating acne and irritated skin, as well as for treating stomach cramps and constipation. It is also used to dye fabrics and to give a golden color to butter and cheese.

Like the other squares, I added the month name in the border (with DMC 987), using the chart I posted.

The stitching is done in two strands on 18 count antique white aida cloth. Here are the eight squares so far, 2/3 of the way through the year:

Photograph of 8 flower of the month squares, March through October

Next month: the chrysanthemum.

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LNS Review: Rittenhouse Needlepoint, Philadelphia, PA

Recently I had the pleasure to visit Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and take a trip to Rittenhouse Needlepoint! I went there in search of the Needlework System 4 table/lap stand, but there was so much more to discover in this charming store.

The store is on the second story of a mixed commercial/residential building at 1737 Chestnut Street in downtown Philadelphia. I love the building; it has a lot of old-time charm.

picture of the entrance to the Rittenhouse Needlepoint store

The shop’s entrance with colorful needlepoint canvases peeking through the door

The neat old letterbox in the building's lobby

The neat old letterbox in the building’s lobby

I didn’t get many pictures of the inside of the store because 1) my camera battery was dying and 2) I was too busy looking at all the beautiful needlepoint canvases, yarns, threads, flosses, and beads.

A small sampling of the selection at Rittenhouse, with a glimpse at the nice view of Chestnut Street below

A small sampling of the selection at Rittenhouse, with a glimpse at the nice view of Chestnut Street below

The store had a great atmosphere, complemented by the friendly and outgoing staff. The large windows let in lots of light and interesting views of the street below. There’s also a big table tucked into the back corner where you can sit and take needlework lessons. They offer a free beginner’s class every Saturday at 10am and paid lessons at other times.

rittenhouse needlepoint business card advertising free beginner needlework lessons on Saturday mornings

The store obviously caters to the needlepointer, with a wide selection of hand painted canvases, crewel wool, and the like, but they also had DMC floss, evenweave linen, aida, and charts for us cross stitchers.

The customer service here was really great. I wanted to take a look at the Needlework System 4 and they had both the lap stand and the floor stand models set up in the store to try them out. My non-needle-working parents were with me, and the women who helped us were very patient in answering their questions, even if some of them were kind of silly.

The women also helped me pick out some Evertite bars to go along with my new frame. In addition to the new bars, they have gently-used Evertite- and generic-brand stretcher bar frames for a fraction of the original price — $5 per bar for the Evertites and $1 per bar for the other stretcher bars.

the needlework system 4 frame in use on a tabletop

I haven’t gotten around to setting up my new stretcher bars yet, but I love the Needlework System 4 stand, even with my old hoop!

As icing on the cake, this shop is also devoted to charity stitching — they accept donations for needlework supplies as part of a program for bringing stitching into local hospitals and halfway houses, where it can be a meditative exercise for people who could use some relaxation. Some of the donated items are sold in the shop to raise money for supplies that they need to buy, and others are used directly in the program. If you’re interested in donating some of your excess needlecraft stash, find more information here.

Shopping at Rittenhouse Needlepoint was such an enjoyable experience and I would recommend it to any needleworker who is in the Philadelphia area. The selection was great and the staff were very devoted to making sure we left as happy customers. They even gave me these adorable ‘crewel world’ and ‘crewel to be kind’ pins for free when I admired them in the display case as my order was being rung up.

pins that read "it's a crewel world" and "crewel to be kind" from rittenhouse needlepoint

Visit Rittenhouse Needlepoint on the web at rittenhouseneedlepoint.com or in person at 1737 Chestnut Street, Suite 201, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

I wasn’t compensated for writing this review; I just enjoyed my visit to this great local needlework shop & wanted to share it with my readers!

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WIP Wednesday: Simpsons Couch #4

More Simpsons couch gag cross stitch updates means more colors on the project:

work in progress photograph of cross stitched simpsons on the their couch

I got a new needlework stand this past weekend which is translating to faster stitching. But I will probably have to take a break on this for a while because I have several sewing commissions to take care of first!

What are you working on this Wednesday?

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Flower of the Month: September

September’s flower is here, even though it’s a bit late! For the seventh installment of the flower of the month series, I humbly present the aster. The patterns from the series are from Ellen Maurer-Stroh, who has some great free patterns.

photo of cross stitched aster flower with large purple blooms

The aster is an ornamental plant that grows in Europe, the United States, and Canada. These asters are light purple, but the blooms can also be pink, dark purple, and nearly white. They grow best in cooler climates.

Like the other squares, I added the month name in the border (with DMC 936), using the chart I posted.

The stitching is done in two strands on 18 count antique white aida cloth.

Next month: the calendula.

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WIP Wednesday: Simpsons Couch #4

Good morning from the Portland Airport. I write this update on the Simpsons couch project as I wait for a flight across the country to visit my parents. I’ve brought along a lot of WIPs in my carry on luggage; I think the needles and metal hoops and rings that I keep my floss on really confounded the security guy who was running the X-ray machine. He stared at the X-ray of my bag for so long! But they’re all gone safely through.

This update brings new colors to the Simpsons family:

photograph of cross stitch depicting the Simpsons family sitting on the couch

They have skin & Bart has a shirt now! Lisa is all done, except for her popcorn bowl. I am very pleased with how it is turning out.

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Free Pattern Friday: I Choose You!

Today for free pattern Friday I have another magnet or badge cross stitch idea featuring Pikachu!

pikachu cross stitch chart

This pattern is a simplified version of the same Pikachu pose originally posted by Birdie Stitching. You can right click and choose “Save As” to save the pattern, or download a PDF version from Craftsy.

Here is what Pikachu looks like when stitched on plastic canvas:

photograph of a cross stitched Pikachu magnet

I hope you enjoy stitching up this Pikachu; share pictures if you do!

Free charts are for personal use only. Please read my free chart use policy here.

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