Quiet Little Stitches

Jonny looked over at me the other night, sitting on the bed, quietly focused on my cross-stitching (familiar scene lately), and he asked, “So, are you pretty obsessed with that project?  Is it all you want to do?”

“Do I seem obsessed?  Maybe a little…”

I remember when I was working on Winterwoods (nearly four years ago!), I did feel obsessed with it.  There was something so satisfying about finishing each letter, each motif.  I finished it, and went on to start several more cross stitch projects, most of them designed by Alicia, because I love most everything she comes up with.  A little over a year ago, when she released My Sweetiepie ABCs, I started a little stitch along similar to what we did with Winterwoods, but I only made it to letter ‘d’ before I stopped.  I was having to strain my eyes too much to make those tiny little x’s.

Over the past year I have only cross stitched sporadically, because I needed bright daylight to be able to see well enough, and I don’t actually have time for cross stitching during the day.  But then I completed this simple little piece in a weekend (Jonny was out of town with most of my boys) and I got all fired up about stitching again, really wanting to finish some of the projects I have in progress.  I posted a photo on Instagram of my work in a little wooden hoop, and one of you mentioned Q- Snaps,  saying that they made stitching much more pleasant.  I ordered one in the 8 x 8 inch size, thinking it was worth a try, even though I really love the look of wooden embroidery hoops.  I have to say, this thing is a total game changer for me!  I love it!  Now I have a system for cross stitching that is really working and doesn’t make me feel like I am going cross-eyed.  The Q-Snap does an excellent job of stretching and holding the linen tightly, making counting easier, and it is very comfortable for me to hold my work this way.  Thank you so much for recommending these, Arlene!!  I also bought a nice bright hobby lamp, and that has made a huge difference as well.  I can sit in bed at night and cross stitch comfortably with plenty of light, and I am finally making progress again.  My goal is to finish My Sweetpie ABCs, and then start on Alicia’s latest kit, ‘Night, Neighborhood, which I received as a gift from a reader (thank you, Gwen!!)  I think it will look great in my girls’ newly redecorated bedroom, so I am pretty motivated to get started on it.  And then I will get back to some of the other cross stitch projects that I have going (Midsummer Sprigs is the one on black linen, and the other one with all the little green sprouts is from this book.)

Lots of quiet little stitches seem like just what I will need in the coming weeks.


  1. I did so much stitching when my children were small and I am so glad I did because age has robbed me of my excellent eyesight but I still have my samplers to make me smile. 😀

  2. I so want to learn to do this!! This is so sweet!

  3. I have been reading Alicia’s blog for several years and have never ordered any of her kits or patterns. I thought they would be too hard for me. But after reading your post I went to her site and downloaded a cross stitch pattern. I am not very experienced at cross stitch but I love her aesthetic and am excited to give it a try.

  4. Donna Fry says:

    So loved completing My Sweetiepie for a new niece, born last fall. So love Alicia’s patterns, too! May you enjoy relaxation time as you prepare for your new little one.

  5. Gwendolyn says:

    Your stitches are amazing. ;I’m so glad you’ve got some aids for help in seeing because I like them as well. My granddaughters kept hanging on my craft light and it eventually broke. I need to purchase another one…maybe in a table top version so they aren’t so tempted. Thanks Ginny for the information on the supplies you ordered for Alicia’s cross stitch pattern in the Making subscription. I received them this week and of course Alicia’s new kit! I might get to start on the small project this weekend!

    I’m praying for you! It’s terribly humid in Iowa. I hope the weather is nicer in Virginia and you are able to enjoy some outside time this weekend. Take care.

  6. I love Alicia’s pattern too! I am purely a wooden hoop girl, but may need to pull out my Qsnap and give it another try.

  7. I have loved Alicia’s patterns as well.. I find on really hot days here in NC that stitching seems to make more sense than knitting. I love doing both! Happy stitching in the quiet moments before and after baby girl comes.

  8. i bought the kit as well. i still have the winter woods sampler, and haven’t started it yet. i have no time or energy for these things but i figure some day i might, and then i can.

    peace be with you.

  9. Oh I hear you on the eyesight thing! My husband has recently taken up cross stitch, which I really want to encourage, so if he attempts something bigger than his current bookmark, I will look into those frames for him, and perhaps a special light. Hand-craft process is so good for the mind and soul.

  10. I love cross stitch. Due to vision problems myself I found that besides my full spectrum craft light using one of those small battery powered ‘tap lights’ that are sold to put in closets, cabinets, etc. sitting on my lap under my project lights up the holes making stitching so much easier. They are sold in the lighting section of some stores and some Dollar stores. Can’t stitch without one.

  11. I love Alicia’s patterns too but I’ve never tried cross stitch so wondering if it’s safer to stay away completely rather than get addicted to yet another craft. But then maybe it wouldn’t hurt to just try one!!

  12. Oh, you darling. I have been having the SAME issues this past year and it turns out, in addition to needing the full-spectrum light (I gave a little one, right next to where I sit), I have to be wearing my glasses or nothing (I’m very nearsighted) and not ever my contacts. This might be the beginning of me needing reading glasses. But it was making me think I was going crazy because I was making soooooo many mistakes. Doi! Anyway, yay for solutions, whatever they are, because the stitching is just too much fun to miss. That said, I, right now, this minute, am kniiiiiiiiiittttttttting something. . . . Hint, hint. Xo

  13. You are making me want this kit… And I haven’t finished the last one I got!!! But I may try a couple of your solutions… I’m definitely getting some visual issues.

  14. I’m glad you’re enjoying your stitching so much. I love cross-stitch too. Right now, I’m stitching a pirate ship from Satsuma Street’s Etsy shop, and just finished a retro kitchenware sampler from Stitchrovia, also an Etsy shop. Later this summer, I plan to start Alicia’s Sweetiepie ABC’s, which is waiting in my desk drawer. I have already made her Midsummer Sprigs and Winterwoods samplers and loved them both. I find stitching so relaxing and peaceful. I hope you have lots of good stitching days in the near future, Ginny.

I love to hear from you!