An Update on my Fabulous Cross Stitch Projects

An Update on my Fabulous Cross Stitch Projects

In typical me fashion, I realize it’s been absolutely forever since I last wrote a proper update on my writing projects. (Despite promising I would write another one in a few months – oops!) While scrolling through my recent posts in order discover just how long it’s been, I stumbled upon another topic that could use an update. And since I’ve just written about a major project, I thought it might be fun to tackle this one first. (Writing updates are coming though, I promise!)

Last year, I shared that I had picked up an old hobby. Cross Stitch is something I used to do all the time, but I sort of fell out of love with it for awhile. I’m not sure if it was the project I was working on or everything else going on in my life. For whatever reason, I let it fall by the wayside until the pandemic, when my friends started sharing craft sessions online.

Cross stitch is a nice, chill activity, for the most part. I won’t say it doesn’t require too much brain activity or focus, however. Because there are parts of it that certainly do. (*cough backstitching cough*) But it’s the sort of thing that’s easy to do while you’re chatting or watching something else. It has become my habit to craft during my lunch breaks. I also try to craft a little more in the evening. It makes a good wind down after the heavy brain work of writing or editing.

When I initially posted, I had been working on two projects. But I’ve made quite a bit of progress since I shared pictures. So here are some updates!

Belle and the Beast

This was the first new cross stitch project I started after the long break. It was intended as a gift for my friend Flutterdye, who is a huge Beauty and the Beast fan. She has an entire room dedicated to Beauty and the Beast art, in case you need proof.

There were not a ton of options to choose from if I didn’t want to do something absolutely ginormous. But I appreciated this particular pattern in part because of the text included, which says “Be brave, be strong, be true.” A message I thought its intended recipient would appreciate.

I didn’t take a ton of pictures of the progress for this one. Mostly because the progress was heavily streamed, allowing most interested parties to see it come together. I have tried to compile a rough progression of the progress on my twitter feed, however.

Here is the final in all its glory!

Project status: this one is actually waiting to be mailed. My plan is to place it gently in a ziplock freezer bag to protect it from any potential weather damage on the way to its destination.

Since starting this project, however, I’ve discovered that I love doing cross stitch even more when it’s a gift. So my list of intended projects is growing rapidly.

The Horse

My friend Wuf initially asked for a ‘carousel horse,’ because he saw many such patterns in his mother’s books when he was younger. There turned out to be a lot more options in this category, and we both liked this pattern.

Of course it turned out to be quite a bit bigger than I initially thought it would be, which has provided its own form of challenge.

This horse is a lot more detailed than the simpler Beauty and the Beast pattern, which means it has a lot more colors. Some of them are so close to each other they’re nearly impossible to distinguish once removed from their organizer. (Though I’ve only ended up with one mystery thread so far!)

When finished, however, it looks almost like a painting! So while it took a lot longer for this project to start to come together, it was certainly worth all the effort.

Again, there aren’t a ton of in-progress pictures for this one since much of the initial progress happened on stream. I have, however, scoured my camera to find the few progress shots I do have.

Here is where it currently stands!

Project Status: backstitching. Backstitching is my least favorite part of any cross stitch project. I find it really fiddly and a lot less chill than the cross stitching part. Mostly because it has to look nice. And if I don’t like how it looks, I will rip it out and re-do the stitch several different ways until I’m happy with the end result. That means a lot more attention than just counting.

But since the backstitching forms the final outline, it’s often worth taking the extra time in the end. This horse has so much backstitching, I’ll probably take a break halfway through.

Art Mugs

As soon as I realized how much I was enjoying turning my new cross stitch obsession into gifts, I started looking for patterns more of my friends might enjoy. I started with people who shared our crafting streams. At first it was just myself, Flutterdye and Wuf, but we soon invited Vinylstencil to join us.

I had to get a little sneaky with this one because I wanted it to be a surprise. Not a wait until it’s 100% finished surprise, but at least a ‘look at what I got for you’ surprise. So I messaged Vinyl’s husband Cauliflumps, another of our streamer friends, and asked what kind of art she likes.

Together, we found this adorable pattern featuring tea mugs and art elements. And as soon as it went on sale, I snagged a kit.

I have a fair few more progress pictures for this one because, by the time I started it, we had stopped doing craft streams due to time constraints. So I wanted Vinyl to be able to see her project come together the way Wuf and Flutter had.

Project Status: cross stitch (roughly 50% finished). I blew through most of the pattern on this one pretty quickly. I loved seeing each of the mugs come together. Some looked like total disasters before they were done, and some came together right away.

This project gets a background cross stitched pattern. It’s all one color and runs across the entire canvas. I think it’s going to make the final product look like it’s on aged canvas or parchment. I don’t think it will be complicated, but it will be repetitive. So like the backstitching of the horse, I will probably take a break midway through.

Upcoming Projects

I’ve acquired quite the list of future projects. I don’t want to list them all, because some are meant to be surprises for friends. But I’d like to try my hand at custom patterns (without kits) in the near future. And maybe, possibly, eventually design a few of my own. (Some of my twitch emotes would make mighty cute cross stitches…)

But as I have already acquired a few of the patterns, I don’t mind sharing where I’m headed next. Once I finish the massive horse, I’m actually planning to do a kit for myself. This one was a Christmas present and features a dragon.

While I expect this pattern to be super cute when it’s finished, I also expect it to be a bit of a challenge. The pattern is smaller than I’m used to, and some of the symbols are difficult to discern. This kit also features golden thread and beads. I’ve never used golden thread at all. And I’ve heard it can be quite a pain to work with. I have done beads for other projects before, but never on a cross stitch – so that will also be interesting. But I’m excited to dig in and get started!

Since I like to switch between projects to keep them fresh, I’ve also acquired my next project for after I finish the mugs. That will be a group of four smaller owl patterns for my good friend BardOwl. There is one for each of the seasons, and I think they’ll look great together when they’re done.

That’s it for now! I promise to try to take better update photos in the future and, hopefully, share them more often. It’s nice to see how they come together, after all.

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