Wednesday, January 17, 2018

January Cross Stitch Plans (TUSAL)

It has been so long since I did a cross-stitch update!  There's a good reason for that - I was very sick for about six weeks this summer, and felt so awful and listless that I couldn't even stitch.  And then I spent most of the rest of the year trying to get my mojo back, but not too hard because I was planning for a hand surgery that would have prevented stitching for months.  Then that got cancelled, and suddenly, I have my motivation up again!

I am going to take this monthly - no big plans for the year (other than a couple things, as you'll see in a minute), just each month, draw on my 'want to stitch' list, and work on a few of my WIPs (Works in Progress).

I don't know if I'll keep up my momentum all year or not - after last year, I'm done predicting anything too far ahead!

Before we get to the stitching, today is the New Moon and that means it is time for the TUSAL!

Why useless?  Because we're not showing off our stitches for this one - we're showing off our ORTs (Old Ratty Threads)!

Why? *shrug* Why not!?

This year, I'm using a very small jelly jar to stow my monthly threads, and I'll transfer them each month into a larger container.

Last year, I found myself accidentally shoving the larger container off my side table and got tired of picking it up.

This little one tucks away neatly and is less accident-prone.

As for what will become of the year's worth of threads, theoretically, they'll get stuffed, along with batting, into some ornaments for the year.

It doesn't always actually work that way, but it's January, and I have INTENTIONS!

So, here's what I have been, or will be, working on this month:


Year & a Day Birthday Sampler. Designer: Me.

Year and a Day Birthday Sampler 
I started this last year on June 1st - my birthday is June 2nd, and I decided to do one triangle a day until my birthday this year, using various odds and ends threads I have, and selecting colors by what Zodiacal house we're in. (So, right now, it's Capricorn, and the colors are blacks, greys, dark browns and greens).  I'm liking how it's coming along, and still unsure how I might finish it. But it was a way to stitch - even a tiny bit - every day, including that long patch when I really just wasn't up for it.

2018 Temperature SAL

2018 Temperature Sampler
Isn't this sweet so far?  This was a freebie from Original Designs By Hetti.  Each small square area is one day, and the colors (selected by me) reflect what the High temperature was for each day. I've decided it will reflect the temperature wherever I am, so while most days, it's Falls Church, VA, but if we're traveling, it will be where we are. I'm so looking forward to seeing how this comes along.


These are the WIPs I'm working on in January:

ABCs, by Lizzie*Kate

Dolphins, from a Kit

1873 Elizabeth Taylor Reproduction Sampler, from May 2010 Gift of Stitching Magazine

Imbolc, The Stitcherhood (just needs a few beads)

Merry Christmas Popcorn Bear (from a magazine insert mini-kit)


Boo! The Stitcherhood
This one had just a few stitches left to do, so I finished it off on New Year's Day.  The thread is a variegated silk thread in vibrant Halloween colors, and it was done on 22ct Hardanger. The ornament insert came in a Stitchy Box collection last year, and set it off perfectly, I think!


These are the new starts I'll be beginning this month. Yes, it's a little nuts to start new things when I have so many to finish - but I might as well plan for them, because resolving not to has never worked out!

7 Swans a'Swimming, Satsuma Street
I got halfway through these last year, and just started #7 a couple days ago. With luck, I might have them up for display this next Christmas!

Bride's Tree Ornaments, Brooks Books. "HOME"
This is another '12 Days' set - but this one is based on the German Bride's Tree custom of gifting a set of good wishes for the couple's marriage.  The color of the fabric here is hard to see - it's a hand dyed pink.

Coffee Quaker, Heartstring Samplery
I'm excited to begin this one - it's been on my "Must Do" list for awhile! "First I Drink the Coffee... Then I Do the Things."

A fun and fairly simple sampler I'd bought last year - it looks a bit like our dog, Sadie, who passed away last October.

Winter Bluster, Glendon Place (Just Cross Stitch Ornament Special, 2016)
A fun, cheery snow man ornament, now that I've finished a Halloween ornie.

That's it - as ever, I also hope to tackle some of my finished items and get them into frames or completed as ornaments instead of living in my 'finished' bag. It's a tough goal - I like stitching. Finishing, not so much!

So, that's it for this month!  One more little show off - I found this in my Christmas decorations box, and realized it's probably the oldest stitched piece I still have.  I'd been stitching for about seven years at that time, and decided to try to design something (using graph paper, back in the dark ages before affordable digital programs.

The bear was modeled after a Steiff teddy bear I perched on top of our tree, dressed for the occasion in a lacy white newborn dress my daughters had born when they were tiny.

It was such a wave of nostalgia to see this again - and to remember I wasn't half bad at drawing stitches on graph paper.  Hmm.... future goals, eh?


  1. Oh my, so many lovely projects! Great orts for the month - love the colors in your little jar. Your Year and a Day sampler is such a cool idea - it's beautiful! (Falls Church? I'm in PA now, but used to live in Vienna - hi, former neighbor)

  2. Love samplers. Haven't cross stitched in awhile time to get out my stuff. Found you on Bloggers Pit Stop Link Party.

  3. Love these cross stitch ideas! Thanks for linking up at Friday Frenzy Link Party! PINNED!

  4. I adore your tiny little jar. Great ORTs! Pretty stitching and you have great plans here!

  5. I hope you get them all done! I haven't picked up a project in at least six months because we were renovating a rental house and I was working full time. I miss it and your post has inspired me to go find my stash. I clicked on your link at the Nifty Thrifty blog hop because I just love cross stitching. Thanks for sharing.

  6. All are great. I especially love the ABC's by Lizzie! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  7. Oh I love the idea of the ratty bits being put in an ornament. SO cool!

  8. Congratulations! Your post was my feature pick at #ThursdayFavoriteThings this week. Visit me at on thursday morning to see your feature! All hosts choose their own features from the comments left on their blog so be sure to return to my blog to see your feature. I invite you to leave more links to be shared and commented upon. Please don’t forget to add your link numbers or post title so we can be sure to visit!

  9. So many cross stich ideas! Thank you for sharing at Sweet Inspiration Link Party :)

  10. so many beautiful pieces, with lots of talent these pieces have been done. Congrats on your talent
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  11. I've loved doing cross stitch in the past, I should pick up on it again. Thanks for joining the To Grandma's House We Go link party! Hope to see you next week.