May 24, 2011


I'm limping around the house today, so the thought of getting up off of my big fat heiney to go find the camera so that I can take a craptasic picture of the three stitches I put into Spring Quakers seems just too much to bear (she says dramatically while throwing her arm across her furrowed brow).

Truth be told, I'm actually fine. Just a tab bit sore from hauling all of the vegetables out to the driveway to water them, and then after standing there for fifteen minutes fretting, hauling them all back into said garage where they will stay until I can go to the Lowe's to buy some of that pepper stuff to prevent the bunnies and raccoons and deer and whatever the heck else is out there in the back forty from eating everything before Aunt Chrissy and I can harvest it and have a farm fresh summer salad on the patio table like nice sensible people should.


So I thought I would take a moment to answer a few questions from yesterday's comment portion of the program (thank you for those by the way, they make me feel so loved and appreciated when I really should feel nothing of the sort because I am a collassal boob). So here goes:

Cindy asked several questions, so I address them forthwith:

1. Valdani threads: The chart calls for the Valdani six-ply floss. This is an overdyed cotton floss that comes in a little ball (just gotta' love the balls, don't we?), and there are several different beautiful colors in the mix. What I especially love about this is the fact that you simply pull off a length and stripping or sorting or blending or whatnot. And since I was smart enough to stick a needle in each ball all ready to go, I seem to be able to get a lot more accomplished than I normally would threading and then re-threading for each color. I know that some folks have not liked the Valdani because they feel rough and seem to tangle more than other threads, but I haven't really had too many problems with my batch.

2. What's that thingie holding my pattern? That would be a Kelmscott magnet that has a crown on it. All of the Kelmscott magnets in my collection are gifts from Aunt Chrissy, and this particular one was given to me when we were both knee-deep in the whole Tudor watching thing. I think I have four or five of them now, and I prefer to use them to hold the chart (as opposed to a needle), because they are dimensional and the needles don't lay flat on them.

3. Where to ask me questions so that I will answer them? The sad fact of the matter is that I am notoriously unreliable and almost never have enough courtesy to respond to your comments or questions. I always THINK I'm going to get to it, but somehow never seem quite able to do so. Ridiculous, I know, but let's just chalk it up to one of the delightful quirks that make me me and move on. You can, however, send me an email to and I will most certainly try to chat with you there.

4. Do I use a stand thingie? This is a rather interesting subject, since I seem to haul out my fancypants floor stand at least twice a year with hopes that I will finally figure out how to use it. I don't think that it's anything that's wrong with the stand per se, but rather the fact that I sit like an idiot in the Happy Chair when I stitch and there isn't a stand on the planet that can contort itself to adequately hold my stitchy project. I have visions of sitting like a lady and using a floor stand to make my stitches lay better, etc., but somehow I always seem to end up with my leg hitched up and the q-snaps propped up on my boobs. Wonderful tool, those boobs. I can put one end of the project I'm working on right under my chin and then put the other end on the Target teevee tray to the left of my chair and I'm ready for action. It's not exactly a posture that would be appropriate for public consumption, but I figure that as long as the girls are here, they might as well do something other than spend all of their time in my shoes.

5. I haven't tired a Chatelaine or Papillon design yet, but I can tell you that when I'm hankering for a project that calls for specialty stitches on linen, I almost always reach for a Shepherd's Bush band sampler or anything from The Drawn Thread. I do love basic cross stitch, and God knows I love doing canvas work and painted canvas needlepoint, but the juxtaposition of specialty stitches on linen somehow strikes a perfect chord every now and then. It's funny that you would ask this question, Miss Cindy, since Aunt Chrissy and I just had this very discussion not two days ago.

Miss Edy asked what I use to hold the excess fabric, and it's here that I have to confess that I'm a total spaz. (Kell soo-preese, right?) I was using elastic headbands exclusively until Aunt Chrissy and I hit the kitchen gadget aisle of the Bed Bath and Beyond a few weeks ago for chip clips. What's important to know about using the clips, though, is that you have to make sure that they will open wide enough to hold the q-snap. I bought about fifteen different kinds, but in the end I found that the very best ones are made by Oxo. They have a really nice rubber strip on the inside that protects your linen, and the length seems to be just perfect for holding long edges.

Oh, hold on...I'll go get the camera and snap a few pics.


OK. Here's the one that I bought. It's about five inches long and I think I got two of themfor about four bucks:

And since I have the damn camera out, I might as well show you the clip in action:

(No, you're not seeing things. I had this on much bigger q-snaps yesterday and was using the elastic headband thingies to hold the excess linen, but my short and stubby arms were getting tired and I needed to switch to the shorter snaps. While I was at it, I decided to go with the clip thingie too.)

(Oh, and yes, I am stitching upside down since I am finally almost at the top of the pattern.)

That concludes the Q&A portion of the program today, kids. Thank you for reading this here silly blog and for taking the time to comment. Stewey and I just love hearing from you.

I'll leave you with a pic of Stewey doing what he does best:


  1. You don't have to buy the pepper stuff to keep the animals off your plants. Get a spray bottle. Put in some garlic juice (if you, like me, buy the prechopped). Add some cayenne. A couple drops of soap and a few more of oil. Fill with water. Shake. Spritz on plants. Respritz after each rainfall. Works like a charm. And it's all crap you already have. It's saved my liriope. If you need a recipe, see here.

  2. Why is it that I find all this stitchy stuff so endlessly fascinating? Maybe because there are as many ways of doing things as there are stitchers and it is really cool to check out the other ways of doing things. I love the hairband idea and the chip clips too! So far I have never tried a stand or q snaps but you never know!
    Spring Quaker is a real stunner... did you mess about with the threads asked for because I am in love with the colours. Apologies if you have already answered this somewhere else. I am a bear of very little brain. If I manage to ignore my better angels and order this chart for my very own I will be a good girl and email you this question... feel free to ignore me.

  3. ooo hope the sore muscles are a wee bit better ... love your set up ... I use pegs to hold my larger charts to my frame via the material :)I stitch upside down as well .. works for me too :) and stewie well bless his little paws :) love mouse xxxx

  4. If you haven’t already, you had better sit down right now & rest those tired body parts the rest of the day. Thank you very, very much for all the info. I do understand the urge to do ten million other things before answering questions/e-mails, etc. Oh, and I may lose the few friends I have if you don’t get over the idea that a colossal boob cannot be loved & appreciated! I have The Drawn Thread’s Sanctuary kitted (kitting is something I learned about very recently but have become very good at very quickly!) but am a little afraid to start it. Well, I have a stand & spend my time trying to keep the sisters out of its way! Thank you again for educating & entertaining us; we really do appreciate it. And Stewey is still the cutest. Don’t tell my dogs.

  5. This has probably been mentioned before, but hair clips work great on the Q-snaps too. You can get them fairly cheaply at Wal-Mart or some place like that. I don't have enough hair to warrant a giant clip so I'm sure the sales people wonder about me. Great pic of Stewey and his nap!

  6. I`m laughing at your description of resting your q-snap on the girls...I do the same thing. I have a stand, but by the time I contort myself into a comfortable position, the stand just can`t cope!

    Your Quaker is gorgeous!! I haven`t succumbed to it`s charm yet but I am getting close.

    Kisses to Stewey!!

  7. Well, I learned something here today. It's that people stitch upside down. I never ever thought of doing something like that, but I think that I may have to try it. With the samplers I do, sometimes all those alphabets at the top drive me nuts so it would be fun to get to the good stuff first.

    Love your quaker - those colors are fantastic.

  8. Delightfully funny post today. Loved it, as well as all your great tips. I, too, have a stand which I get out occasionally and promptly put away again to 'stitch in hand' because it's the only way I've figured to manage it. Love, love, love the picture of Stewey. :D Thanks for everything. Cathryn

  9. Coni, what great tips you have!!! ;)

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I actually find it quite fascinating hearing what other stitchers do to support their frames while stitching and where they stitch. I'm sure that the ergonomics people would have a fit if they saw most of us stitching... what is comfortable is comfortable regardless of whether is looks right or not!!!

    Hope the vege patch is doing ok? Love to Stewey!

  10. Oh yay! I thought I was the only one who stitched upside down. It always makes sense to me but I get some weird looks when I do it :)