Elsie and Charlie In Stitches – Getting Started, and a quick update

I’ll start with the quick update. The WIPocalypse is slowly becoming manageable.

Firstly, Anna’s birth announcement (pics later, after gift is given) is DONE! I had this wild idea to incorporate my mother’s handwriting into the design and have her write out the birth announcement portion, which I would then chart and stitch. Lets’ just say bringing that dream to full stitch was a challenge. Facebook and cell phone pictures and tracing paper and Paint and Sharpies and more cell phone pics and about 2 hours of editing on my KG Stitch program and VOILA! I stitched it quicker than I charted it, but overall I am so pleased with the script. I hope it makes the gift more special. Although, I can’t imagine anything making more special the birth of a first child, a daughter of God who brings blessing beyond measure. To honor that in any way is worth the tense moments of the tiny details I had to shove into place. Finally, submission of the details and completion of the final stitch! She is ready for framing and I hope to get out later today to get a perfect frame to go in Baby Anna’s room.

WIPocalypse 9 – Christina 1

Make that WIPocalypse 10 – Christina 1. Secondly, Yes, I started a new project. Don’t shake your head at me, I HAD to. I’m selling Vine Color Block, MY design!! on my new Etsy store: Fiddleheads and Floss, (shameless plug ~~> https://www.etsy.com/shop/FiddleheadsandFloss ) and I think it needs stitching. I need a good picture of it for the ad. Also…might this make an amazing Mother’s Day gift? My first design? I think giving this to my Mom would be rightful placing for something that means so much to me. Who more do I have on this earth to thank for my creativity? For nurturing my crafty bug all those years until I was old enough, colorful enough on my own, to take it up and run with it? My MOM, who taught me craft after craft….owls from toilet paper rolls, painting and glittering ornaments, plastic canvas EVERYTHING…she’s the one who taught me everything. Thanks Mom. My first design will be for you. There, that’s settled.

Slow progress this week on Stained Glass window. Very. slow. Almost done with the Joan Elliott dragon I’m working on for a Facebook SAL…Wesley, my oldest son, has claimed this dragon. He only needs a little more backstitching and some metallic french knots…I’m not scared. Bring it.(Just not too quickly….I have alot going on!)

All other projects rest peacefully in their baggies, waiting for their turn in rotation. Which, hopefully will come. Don’t we ALL get our day in the sun? Eventually?

Which brings me to ELSIE AND CHARLIEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m stitching my niece and nephew. I am sure they will be in college by the time that I finish, but I’m going to tackle this anyway. I’m looking forward to this one! Um, yeah. Its 4 1/2 pages of 75 black and white symbols all blurring together without my glasses. I can do this! Thank you Pic2Pat…please don’t let me down. I think I am more nervous about this project than I have been in the past about starting anything but it’s good practice for starting George Washington!! That one I’ll lose sleep over. Since I finally got started, after so much planning, I thought I’d blog my progress a little closer on this one (as I will George.)

14 Ct Ivory Aida is NOT exciting. I discussed different fabrics and fabric counts with the kind lady (I think her name is Mary) at my favorite cross stitch store ever – BrickCity Cross Stitch in Silver Springs Florida. (You can find the awesomeness of Brick City HERE ~~> http://brickcitycrossstitch.com/search.cfm ) Don’t let the current demise of brick and mortar craft stores fool you, this place is hoppin. Always something going on there and I just love it. SO Mary helps me with fabric. All areas of the fabric will be covered with stitching so why go expensive on the fabric? After comparing finished design sizes and what would frame up nicely for a wall, we went with…get ready…14 ct Ivory Aida. BORING. But, it’s perfect for what I need. It’s stiff as all get out (colloquialism in the South meaning it’s REALLY stiff) on my Q-snap but not too overly unmanageable. 18 x 18 is the size of the fabric.

2 weeks later I bought all the flosses I needed. THANK YOU to the Cross Stitch Thread Companion app on my tablet. You rock. Last night it took me hours but I managed to get all 75 colors together for the project, wound, and lined up in a basket that is slightly too small for it’s purpose. Check this out:


My Chart printed up nicely at the library, 6 pages altogether. I’ve had it sitting next to me in my stitchy area for the last week. Yesterday a FB challenge told me to “Start something new” so there it sat, demanding to be next in line, a little bouncy school kid, arm shoved up in the air. PICK ME! So hours later after arranging the flosses into the basket that is really too small..I wonder if I have another one that will work better?… I had to cut and tape the chart together to get my right brain to understand and keep up with what the left brain was doing in “finding the center”. I did manage to find and mark the center despite it being about 2 am on a Wednesday morning.


That’s alot of black and white symbols!!!


So, being 2 am does NOT matter when you have a stitching bug biting you in the rear. I made my first stitches and am mentally preparing for the probability of confetti-stitching in a chart that boasts 75 colors…


As far as I can tell, that’s the side of the top of Charlie’s sweet little baby head. Will the eyes be recognizable? Will Elsie’s hair be perfectly curly and pretty once stitched? I don’t think I can finish this one fast enough to answer all the concerns I have about using a free pattern-maker on something that matters to me this much. I think I’ll know as soon as the first recognition hits, when I see that little eye staring back up at me. No wonder I could not sleep at all last night.

If you’re still reading along with my right brain ramblings I invite you to come along with me on this one. Perhaps we’ll both learn something useful. And, since I damn near threw out my back yesterday moving a craft box….yes….I will be sitting here today stitching, and doing my best to manage the pain with some Ibuprofen. Wait, I just became my mother in one paragraph. I think that’s ok….my Mom is the most awesome lady I know.

Happy Stitching!!!

Author: Christina M. Ward

Poet, author of "organic"

4 thoughts on “Elsie and Charlie In Stitches – Getting Started, and a quick update”

  1. I really wish your project had turned out like the picture, it would have been something special! Maybe you could try again!


  2. Hi Abby, thank you for your question. I used a program called Pic2Pat, which is well-known to the cross stitching community. I have seen some wonderful projects posted in various Facebook cross stitching groups and on online forums that people have accomplished using this program. This, however, was not my experience. I will not discredit the program completely, as it is a good FREE program for stitchers to use….just be prepared to ditch a project if it is just not going to be a good pattern to use. I am posting the link here if anyone is interested in giving it a go.

    Pic2Pat Website


  3. Thank you Abby for your comment. I was disappointed, but I do think ditching the project was my only option. Thank goodness I started on the face area and knew to stop the project before I got too far into it.


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