Finished Object: Papillon Creations Sampler

I finished my first cross stitch sampler!! I had to made a few modifications due to my inexperience measuring and cutting fabric to fit specific design sizes. When I noticed the original design was not going to work, I made the decision to omit several rows and move motifs around.

Nowadays, I use an online cross stitch calculator to get an accurate fabric size. The Yarn Tree calculator is a reliable online tool.

The pattern is a digital download of Flamenco by Papillon Creations. I stitched the sampler on 14 count Zweigart Aida in light blue/gray using two strands of DMC cotton embroidery floss in colors no. 924 and 926. Overall, I am pleased with the final result and look forward to framing the piece.


Fully Finished & Happily Displayed

Thanks to countless hours watching FlossTubes (YouTube cross stitching podcasts), I have learned that cross stitchers call a project “finished” when they are done with the stitching and “fully finished” when they project is framed, sewn into a pillow, etc. With this project, I found both stages equally satisfying as I practiced relatively new to me skills such as backstitching, lacing and framing.

The details…

  • Pattern: “Lazy Days” by Durene Jones, published in Cross Stitcher magazine May 2021
  • Stitch count: 89 high x 60 wide
  • Thread: DMC (22 colors)
  • Fabric: white Aida 18 count
  • Pre framing: project was laced on the back. Sides were secured with 5/8 in. (16mm) bead pins
  • Frame: 8×6 in. hand painted with a mix of teal blue and yellow acrylic paint. Finished it with an antique wax.

Full Coverage Cross Stitch – Part Two

First post about this project can be found: here.

I finished stitching “Bicycle Afternoon” a Dimensions Gold Petit kit. What is left is to add the back stitch to improve the definition of the piece.

A few notes:

  • Some stitchers recommend doing the backstitch along with the full cross stitch. Once you finish with the full crosses, it takes a lot of will to continue working with the backstitch. Agreed!
  • I ran out of several colors due to (a) changing the fabric to a higher count and (b) doing all full crosses. I substituted with stash DMC threads and do not think it adversely impacted the final look of the project.
  • I am a fan of the parking method. It helped me keep track of the project and made it more manageable.

I will be back to show the fully finished piece (hopefully sooner than later).

Full Coverage Cross Stitch

I have done some research on full coverage cross stitch methods. What follows is what is functioning for me. Sharing is caring. Hope this helps if you are new to full coverage!

The Parking Method

This YouTube video served as a good introduction of the parking method. I am stitching bottom up; from left to right and then right to left in the following row.

This other video gave me the idea to park “leftover” threads. With this, the ends are trapped in the back as new stitches are put in. I then cut any thread excess on the front side. It is a time saver!


I use the “Notes” application to keep track of my stitching. First, I take a picture of the chart. Then I move said picture to the “Notes” application on my iPad where I can zoom in and also highlight what I had stitched. On the same note, I keep a log of the stitches; not too complicated since I work on 100 stitches increments. As of now, I have 69% of the chart completed (7,300 of the total 10,560 stitches). I have not started any of the backstitching.

Project Details

  • Kit: Dimensions Gold Collection “Bicycle Afternoon” Item No. 65077.
  • Cloth: Changed to Aida 14 count. The kit comes with a very stiff Aida 18 count.
  • Threads: Using two threads for the entire piece deviating from the instructions where additional threads are worked on some areas of the chart.

Stitching in Linen: First Impression

I finally got my feet wet on stitching on linen fabric. I decided on a fairly simple, geometric chart. It is “Quaker House Samplers” from Carriage House Samplings. For the fabric, I went with a 28 count from Charles Craft in color “Sand”. For floss, I went with good old DMC in colors 169, 730 and 924.

Going from Aida to linen was not easy for me. My stitches do not lay as neat as I would like to. Also, I found difficult to count on such loose woven fabric as Charles Craft. I ended up with a few unintended “personal touches”. Like the house that I modified to align it with other chart motives that I “misplaced”. Oh well, if this end up in the Goodwill someday, it will be easy to track down to the stitcher.

Linen, I will not give up yet. I am stubborn. I am coming back to you….After a little break.

Fully Finished Cross Stitch: Harvest Alphabet

This is a design from Cecilia Turner, the artist behind Heart in Hand. The free chart can be found in the “Designs” section of her blog. I substituted the call for Weeks Dye Works for DMC threads. And, used three different browns for the alphabet.

I finished it as a big tag. Drawing the template, lacing the back and adding a decorative border took more mental power than the stitching itself. It also required some “Husband, please read the eyelet instructions and follow them. Call me when you are done”.

  • Pattern: Harvest Alphabet (Heart in Hand)
  • Cloth: Zweigart Aida, natural, 14 count
  • Thread: DMC 301, 838, 938 and 3782

Vintage Butterfly

The April 1989 issue of Just Cross Stitch has just couple of patterns that I would stitch and perhaps $1.25 was not exactly a bargain but I couldn’t resist thrifting it.

I stitched just the butterfly of the chart and changed all the thread colors. I also hand dyed the cloth. I am delighted with how it turned out.

  • Chart: “Australian Butterfly” by Kimberly Hattaway, published on the magazine Just Cross Stitch (April 1989).
  • Cloth: Hand dyed Aida 14 count
  • Fabric Size: 6 1/2 x 71/2 (cut to fit my modification)
  • Thread: DMCs 400, 452, 646, 938, 3802 and 3813

Cross Stitch: Celebrate Barb Adams

This small project took a couple of days from start to fully finished. I enjoyed every second worked on it. Most specially, I stitched it to celebrate the life of Barb Adams, one of the designers from Blackbird Designs, who passed away recently. My thoughts are with her family, friends and the cross stitch community.

  • Free chart: “Now I Know My ABC’s” by Blackbird Designs
  • Thread: Mostly two strands of the DMC threads listed on the chart with a few exceptions. Comment below and/or contact me if you are interested in the full list.
  • Cloth: 18 count Zweigart Aida in Ivory
  • Needle: John James size 26
  • Frame: 4×6 from IKEA
  • Modification: Omitted last row of the chart so I could fit into a 4×6 frame with mat.

The Best Cup Ever!

I highly recommend this Anvy Stitch’s easy to follow and affordable chart. It had zero calories. It provided hours of fun stitching. Two others patterns from the same Etsy shop already jumped into my cart (and checked out as well!).

This was stitched on 14 count Aida that I over dyed with Rit Dye colors blue and green. I used most of the DMC’s threads called for except for the red cup that I switched to DMC 321. To fully finish this, I am pondering between a hoop or a pillow. Please comment if you have any other finishing ideas!

A Tasty Cup In Progress

I have made significant progress on this cute design. The big red cup is done and I am now working on the top right section of the pattern.

Our family went from nothing planned into a fully scheduled June in a blink of an eye. I don’t want to travel with an almost finished project. So, the plan is to start a new one! I will blog about it next week!

Check this out…

  • Work in progress post no. 1, with all Tasty Cup project details, can be found here.
  • How lovely is this other chart from the same designer, Anvystitch on Etsy?
  • I am participating in D’Nalis Casual Craft Along. Instagram tag: #casualcraftalong

A tasty cup…

This tasty cup is half way done. I will stitch the other half as I take part on D’nali’s casual craft along. For beautiful inspiration, check my friend’s blog (here) & her Instagram account (here).

The cross stitch pattern is beginner friendly as is all full stitches and requires only eight DMC colors. It is also very reasonably priced!

What is a SweetPurls’ project without a modification (a.k.a as Monica’s inability to follow directions)? Totally went into auto pilot when stitching the cup and ignored the pattern. There isn’t a face in my cup! I might over stitch it when everything else is done.

  • Pattern: Cup of Candy by AnvyStitch
  • Fabric: 14 count Aida hand dyed by myself
  • Thread: DMC
  • Size: 109s x 101h stitches
  • Instagram tag: #casualcraftalong

Fully Finished: Birds and Flowers

Friends, I am slowly reducing my WIP pile. It feels so great to have a fully finished piece! The design is Birds and Flowers from the book “The Sampler Motif” by Brenda Keyes. I used two strands of my own chosen DMC colors on an Aida 18.

For the finish, I wanted a flat fold made from materials I already had in the house.

What I did?

  • Recycled cardboard to cut a rectangle for the base of the flat fold. The width was determined by how much Aida fabric I wanted to remain on each side of the cross stitch design.
  • Used an X-Acto knife to slightly cut the middle of the rectangle. This facilitated folding the cardboard in half.
  • Used craft paper to fully cover the cardboard.
  • Added some batting in between the Aida and the cardboard. Laced piece.
  • Cut a piece of craft paper to cover lacing.
  • Added rope & beads for cuteness 🙂

I’ll be back soon with more craftiness!

Fully Finished and Loved

Here in my neck of the woods we have had rain and a some warm days in between. On the bright and beautiful days I went to tennis courts; soaking in vitamin D and having a great socially distanced time with my teammates.

When it rained, I had some productive time in my craft room. I have been working on two cross stitch projects and knitting the sleeves of my Lila pullover. Finally, I framed one of my first cross stitch projects.

Because I cannot help myself, I added my touches to this project. I only have DMC colors and just chose those that best matched the picture on the book. Also, I didn’t stitch the border. Love the simplicity of the finished object.

The details:

Chart: Flora Danica by Jana Hauschild Lindberg. Read more about the exquisite Flora Danica dinnerware on their website.

Book: Scandinavian Cross Stitch Designs . Re printed in 1996.

Cloth: Aida, 20 count, Zweigart rustico

Thread: DMC 3363, 580, 869, 452, 3836, 154, 904 and an unidentified dark green.

Frame size: 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches

Fully Finished Cross Stitch: Be Calm

I took on cross stitch last year when I couldn’t even hold my knitting needles due to stress and anxiety. Learning a new craft seemed less panicking than having to worry about fit or gauge of a knitting project. Eventually, cross stitching re opened the door to my craft room. It helped me resume knitting and spinning when I was ready.

This finished object was enabled by my dear husband who gifted me the chart. No one can be surprised that I didn’t follow the directions exactly as written. I collected my favorite threads from thrifted kits, grabbed a fabric that seemed appropriate and started stitching. The original design is little too busy for me. What to do? I left out a few things …without any guilt!

The perfect (second hand) frame was found for less than a dollar. Inspired by other stitchers that I watch on YouTube, I decided to fully finished this project myself.

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Pattern is part of the “Attitude Series” from Shepherd’s Bush

— Vonna Pfeiffer has the most valuable finishing tutorials at her blog “Twisted Stitcher” and YouTube Channel

Coping with Stress during Covid-19 resources on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

–Finally, let’s all be calm and take the necessary precautions and care. We are in this together! xo


It is difficult is to count our blessings when one is so afraid and stressed. At the end of the day, I have a healthy family, the best friends, food on the table, hobbies and so much more. For all that, I am thankful…

Hope everyone reading this have a good day, week, rest of the 2020. We are in this together with our knitting needles, our spinning wheels and our tapestry needles ready to craft our worries away. With our best intentions and our feet moving forward.

The cross stitch small pillow is “Give Thanks” a free pattern by Lizzie Kate. It was stitched on hand dyed 18 count Aida with my own DMC thread conversion.

Work In Progress: Flamenco Sampler

I have stitched half of the pattern as of today. It has been easy to keep track of where I am in the pattern and the “confetti” stitching is manageable. So far, so good!

This project will be put on hold until the next year. My new focus is on Christmas stitching – starting new projects and fully finishing others. I am that ambitious crafter who wants to do ALL the things before the 25th….cheers!

Pattern: Flamenco by Papillon Creations

Cloth: Aida 14 count in Gray

Thread: DMC 924 and 926

A new to me craft: cross stitch

Cross stitch is becoming one of my favorite crafts. It all began in March, when my state went into lockdown, as a way to keep my mind busy by learning something totally new to me. As in the past, You Tube proved to be a great resource with many FlossTubes (podcasts) and tutorials to learn from. 

This little project comes from “The Sampler Motif Book” by Brenda Keyes. This book was first published in 1995. I bought it used for almost nothing. In my opinion, some of its patterns can be easily updated by changing the call for threads and cloths. This versatility is one of the things that I enjoy the most about cross stitching. I love adding my touch to every project.

Pattern name: Fruit Tree

Stitched on: hand dyed 14 count Aida

Threads: DMC 221, 301, 350, 938 and 3787

Finishing materials: Burlap, ribbon, jute twine