This post is from November 2020 … It’s been a busy few weeks!  I’ve got a few pages done for my goldwork journal and have some progress pictures to share!

My or nue piece! This little fellow is only 2 1/2″ tall by 2″ wide.

Wisdom from Amina…

Amina from Stitch Floral had an excellent blog post recently. She had some excellent words of wisdom on enthusiasm which I am sharing below.  It’s important to think about your stitching in a positive, joyful way, especially as we enter the winter months of this very interesting year of 2020! 
For me, it’s about doing what I love.  I love to explore new ideas and stitching techniques.  I love to cross-stitch!  I stitch where my mood takes me – one day it’s blackwork, the next it might be needlepainting.  And sometimes it’s not stitching at all (this is a testament to my half finished sweater and recently finished knitted socks!!)  And very often, it’s just a thought or idea that keeps me motivated.  

Enthusiasm and excitement are needed for creativity to develop and grow, but then where do you get enthusiasm from?

I’m afraid enthusiasm can’t really be faked or acquired from somewhere in artificial ways. Enthusiasm is about sincere interest and motivation to see what happens next, and everyone will have it manifested differently.

In my case, embroidery is connected with work, and responsibility, so I needed a bit of time to come with a fresh mind to it. In other cases, people might have other jobs and come to embroidery seeking for comfort and peace of mind, and their enthusiasm is of a different nature.

What is hand embroidery for you and why do you stitch? What is your motivation for each of your projects? The answers to these question might help you find the point of where enthusiasm starts.”

Amina, Stitch Floral

Amina also has posted a very good mini-tutorial on filling an irregular shape with long and short stitch.  If you are doing the Trish Burr journal, this is the post for you!  Amina gives very good instructions and there is a link to some of her previous needlepainting tips that you may find useful.

I have started page 1 of my Trish Burr Journal and have already made some modifications to the stitching process.


Page 1 done!

Trish likes to outline her padding with a double running stitch – I prefer to use a split stitch for this. It’s been a while since I’ve done any needlepainting and my stitching may not be quite up to par, but that’s just fine by me – more practice makes me a better stitcher! Learnings… I’ve realized after stitching these two pieces that Trish likes to use sewing machine thread to do the outlines around the shape. To get a very fine line, she even separates strands of this thread! Great tip for any future project where you want a very fine outline.

If you are looking for more instruction on needlepainting, Trish’s book is excellent!

Trish’s e-Handbook is also very good.  It’s a digital download and costs $12.99 USD and has much of the same instructional content as her book.

Lastly, I’ve been working on a blackwork piece for my “get it out of my system journal called “Pond Life”. The piece designed by Elizabeth Almond – owner and chief designer at Blackwork Journey. for my “get it out of my system” journal.  Elizabeth has the most amazing website – she’s a wonderful designer and her patterns are all instant download and very reasonably priced. She has a fantastic free section where you can find multiple part pieces such as “Save the Stitches” and “Tiny Treasures”. She has some great, affortable instructional e-books as well.

I had a couple of false starts as I was having issues with the fabric count.  I finally called it and purchased a nice piece of even weave – the stash just couldn’t quite help me here! and wouldn’t you know it, I purchased 32 count (instead of the 28 count the pattern asked for). So? it’s just a little smaller than planned (only about 3″ x 3″). There’s a toonie at the bottom of the picture to help with size reference.

Pond Life (design by Elizabeth Almond of Blackwork Journey

The verse is done in backstitch. I found this awesome site called Stitchpoint that has a Cross Stitch Writer Tool. The tool charts letters in backstitch or cross stitch. There are only a few choices on font – but it’s free and works very well – here’s the link if you want to check it out:

Happy stitching!

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