Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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A Stitcher’s Christmas #8: Threads, Tools & Accessories!


Amazon Books

Happy Wednesday, and welcome to the 8th installments of A Stitcher’s Christmas for this unforgettable year of 2020!

Today’s give-away is courtesy of Needle in a Haystack, where Cathe Ray has been busily producing needlework tools and accessories! This give-away includes a nice sampling of them.

I’ll also announce the winners of Monday’s gifts at the end of today’s articles, so read on!

Stitcher's Christmas: Needle in a Haystack

A while back, I highlighted the pin keeps that Cathe has been making, some of which feature my designs.

She has since expanded into other accessories, including tool trays with embedded magnets to hold needles or scissors in place and to keep your work space organized! (Hey, anything to keep organized is a good thing, don’t you reckon?)

Stitcher's Christmas: Needle in a Haystack

Today’s give-away features one of these lovely little tool trays, kitted out with serrated Premax scissors, a set of gold, red, and green #4 Au Ver a Soie metallic braid and two coordinating 100/3 silk threads, a humorous needlebook that reads RIP 2020, and a pin keep kit featuring one of my kaleidoscope designs.

This collection will go to one winner, randomly drawn on Friday morning.

Here are the guidelines for today’s give-away – and I apologize for the repetition of questions on Monday’s. Whoops! Cut and paste isn’t always the best option…

Give-Away Guidelines

If you’d like to participate in today’s give-away, please follow these guidelines!

This give-away has ended. You’ll find the winner posted on December 18th’s article. Thanks for participating!

1. Please leave your comment below, on this article on Needle ‘n Thread. If you are reading this in the newsletter, you can reach the comment form directly by following this link.

Comments left on any other post on Needle ‘n Thread or sent by email are not eligible. Please do not leave your comment as a reply to someone else’s. Replies cannot be included in the count. If you are unsure how to post a comment without replying to someone else, please just click the link provided above to go to the comment form. Thanks!

2. Make sure you leave a recognizable name or nickname on the Name line on the comment form. Anonymous comments don’t count. Please do not leave personal information like email addresses, mailing addresses, or phone numbers in the Comment part of the form. When you do, I have to go in and edit that information out – unless you want spam, or strangers picking up your phone number, email address, mailing address (which you don’t, I’m sure!).

…but please do make sure that your email address is entered correctly on the Email line of the form. This is not visible to anyone but me, and it is not used for anything except the purposes of this give-away (if you win, I need to be able to contact you).

3. You may only enter once.

4. In your comment, please answer the following:

Describe the needlework project that’s occupying most of your attention right now!

5. Leave your comment by 5:00 am Central Standard Time, Friday, December 18th. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced on Wednesday morning, when the next give-away in the series takes place. I will also contact the winners by email.

Please note that your comment may not appear right away on the website. I review all the comments that go on the website, to keep unseemly content off the website. If your comment does not show up immediately, please don’t fret. It will show up as soon as I have a chance to moderate comments.

Stitch Palette Winners!

And now for the winner’s of Monday’s give-away – three Stitch Palette e-book bundles, to help you select color palettes for your own embroidery (and other) projects!

The winners are Jo-Anne Manfre, Leann in San Antonio, and Dorothy. I’ll contact you each by email!

In Other News…

To stick with the 2020 Theme, I had a major equipment failure in the studio on Monday, which has brought production to a screeching halt.

Now, you might think this is bad news – and in a sense, it is, because many of you are waiting to order more Christmas towel sets (I’m working on an interim solution) – but usually, equipment failures in the studio end up being a blessing in disguise. I’m always overly cautious when it comes to investing in new equipment. Most favorable equipment upgrades in my studio have been born out of pressing necessity. The results have always been good! It was time to make an upgrade, and now I must. So that’s a good thing!

And besides, the whole thing forces us to slow down a bit, at a time when it’s good to slow down!

On Friday, look for books and kits in A Stitcher’s Christmas, and I’ll see you then!


(1,114) Comments

  1. The project that is getting my attention right now is a not overly complicated cross stitch thing with the letters of the alphabet for children. It’s just perfect infront of the tv.

  2. I’m trying to finish a Harry Potter themed cross stitch before Christmas – it’s taking all my spare time and then some!

  3. It’s my knitting needles (and crochet hook) that are getting the bulk of my attention just now, although Aunty Ros has also been pressed into service to make a Christmas dress, “with Santa on it. And elves” for her favourite 5yo niece. After Christmas, it’ll be nice to get back to something I would choose to stitch!

  4. I am working on a band sampler. The first panel is mostly based on a Gloria and Pat booklet but the current panel is designs from my library of bands that replicate or are in the style of 17th century bands plus one wide one with cotton bolls, wool sheep, flax flowers and soon to have bombyx moths.

  5. I have been working on a full coverage cross stitch piece of a cabin in the mountains with a campfire. My husband would make the comment I stitch gifts for other people but not him. I have been working on it for 2 years now, want to finish sometime in the near future.

  6. I’m working on a cross stitch project stitching 1 over 1 on 28 count mushroom Lugana. It is Lessons 1-4 from Brenda Gervais Lessons in Abecedarian Summer Schoolhouse Series. I finished Lesson 1 and am currently working on Lesson 2.

  7. My current project is hand quilting a red and white hand appliqué quilt called Baskets for You. It will be beautiful! I’m still debating which quilt stencils to use. The magnetic tray is a neat idea to keep things in place while you work!

  8. Currently my Japanese embroidery phase 1 project is getting most of my attention. I’m doing the Mile High piece and am working on perfecting my pine needles. Who knew two straight stitches could be so tricky?!

    1. Having sunk a tapestry needle a couple of inches into my foot on Monday I see the attraction of the tray.

      I’m embroidering each of my friends a Christmas ornament at the moment. I’m a little bit too in love with one I completed this morning, with my friend’s kitten tangled up in Christmas lights on one side and a wreath on the other

  9. The project that has taken almost every minute of my stitching time is Coming To America – the women of the Mayflower. First of all, I’m a slow stitcher to start with. This was my first project using a frame instead of a hoop and I love having one hand under and one on top as it makes the whole process easier and faster. I knew from the outset that 66 days was not enough for me but it’s not a contest – I just wanted to finish before the end of the year. As I scrolled to the last quarter of the design, I realized I didn’t have enough fabric! I went over and over my calculations – knowing that the fabric in the kit was too short at the outset but I thought by reducing the top and bottom margins by an inch, I’d make it. Wrong! This was a most important lesson for me to learn for the future. I’m still hoping for a finish in 2020.

  10. I Love (!) that tool tray with the embedded magnet. I say this as someone who spent twenty minutes last night trying to dig two needles out of my easy chair.

    The embroidery project occupying most of my time right now is cross-stitch ornaments. I have to hurry up, Christmas is almost here!

  11. I’m currently busy finishing Christmas ornaments for gifts. I’m so close to being done! I just have to mount one more.

  12. I am trying to finish three little victorian cross stitch purses that I have been working on for more than 10 years. Yes. I know. I have never taken this long with any project, but it’s a tiny cross stitch and my old eyes are having a harder time seeing those stitches. ha.

  13. I currently am trying to finish the 2020 SAL from Linen & Threads in 2020 and not have it carry over to next year.

  14. My current project is the 2020 mystery stitch a long from Linens N Threads. Really trying to finish before the end of the month as I’ve already dated it.

  15. Such wonderful things you are showing each day! A great Stitchers Christmas List.
    I have been working on Jane Fiddes from Hands Across the Seas Samplers. It’s my focus at the moment.

  16. The needlework project that is consuming most of my time is a crewel pillow top that was in my late mother’s stash of kits. She loved any and every type of needlework!

  17. Oh, that kit is too cute! I love, love, love the needlebook. Trays to keep my life organized? Be still, my beating heart.

    Such a darling giveaway. Thanks for putting it together.

  18. The needlework that has been occupying my attention is a counted cross stitch of the Nativity that I have worked on for at least a year. I want to make a wall hanging instead of framing by creating a pieced border and quilting. The cross stitch is completed but the pieced border has been trying to say the least. I had hoped to have it done for this Christmas but… It has rested now for three days–maybe today will be the day to complete!

  19. I’m currently making little 3 inch “ornaments” using black and white photos of friends, printed on linen. I then embroider onto those with lovely colors, for a fun treat. I’m about to make one of my husband with a big Santa hat on his head. Fun to make kitschy bits during holiday times.

  20. A needlelace giant swallowtail butterfly is testing my skills now. It’s to be a gift for my husband who proudly identified this rare visitor to our garden.

  21. What needlework project is occupying most of my time? Well, I am alternating between Crabapple Hill’s Hocuspocusville (yes, I mentioned it before; yes, still plugging away) and hand quilting my Baltimore Album quilt started about 20 years ago (oh, my!).

  22. I am cozied up on the couch in front of the fire, embroidering in red work — and using a stitch I learned from you, Mary! The Quaker stitch! Brilliant, neat and very stable outline stitch! Thanks! The blocks I am embroidering are of different birds and flowers for a red work quilt.

  23. I divide my time between two projects: a needlepoint stocking for my granddaughter , and a full coverage cross stitch of an elephant. Thank you for the chance.

  24. The needlework project occupying the most time this week is one of the cross stitch snowflake towels I ordered from you. Loving it!

  25. Right now our embroidery guild is working on a box project, so most of my attention is there. I’m stitching Celtic designs on 5 sides of my box. Thanks Mary!

  26. I have a pattern I am collecting materials for and intend on starting it this Christmas break. The fabric alone was $25. It’s a beautiful linen and will be cutwork and the word JOY on it! That is the project taking up most of my thoughts these days. The pattern is from 1993!!

  27. My most pressing project right now isn’t needlework – it’s a quilt I have to finish. It just needs to have a little of the quilting re-done, and the binding put on.

    But I’m excited to start the Mary C Christmas Stocking Ornament project asap!

  28. I am working on the e-books of Christmas stockings and the Christmas snowflakes. I just love these dainty, doable designs.

  29. Right now I’m embellishing a quilted table runner with decorative embroidery of boullion stitched holly berries, raised stem stitched holly leaves and accented with seed stitched snow flakes. It’s a gift for my daughter in law.

  30. Currently stitching on some pillow projects! Always a nice way to spend the evening! And one can never have “too many” tools 🙂

  31. I am working on a petit point UFO I started in the early 2000s. As I am not getting any younger I have to sit at my dining room table under bright light without my glasses on! It’s a lovely, colourful still life of fruit designed by Joan Purdy.

  32. Right now I am working on a counted cross stitch picture. Sometimes doing cross stitch brings a sense of order when life feels chaotic.

  33. I have been working on the HeirloomRose quilt from Primitive Gatherings for most of 2020. Hoping to finish it this month. My Covid quilt has helped me get through 2020!

  34. I’m finishing up a Christmas stocking for my 13 year old granddaughter. Last year I gifted her sister one, extensive ballerina themed bead and embroider work. This year’s project is for a budding marine biologist. The stocking is quilted two inch squares of six different whale and turtle fabrics in the shape of a whale’s tail, with two larger panels that are beaded and embroideried. I know she will love it and I have loved making it (and I will be glad to be done!) Love the give-aways and the opportunity to share . . . Happy Holidays to all!

  35. I’m doing a blackwork design that is a stave church. It has been a long time in development and I am learning something new at every turn. Just started the stitching.

  36. The needlework project I’m currently focused on is a lovely Mill Hill kit of a snow globe with a winter scene inside. I’ve been on an extended hiatus with my stitching and only recently picked this up to get myself back into the swing of things and it’s working. These are very enjoyable, portable projects that always end with a useful piece.

    1. Hi Pat, I am working on that very same project! It has been my “carry along” project everywhere for the past few years, stitching here and there as I have a few minutes. I am finished with the stitching, am now applying the beads. It’s great to work on during Zoom needlework meetings!

  37. My four late middle-age/renaissance animals: a leopard, a lion, a monkey and a fantasy beast, all in bright colors in stem- and split stitch. With Blomstergarn, for lack of silk threads.

    1. Embroidering the animals sounds extremely interesting. I am very curious to know more about your project – where your inspiration came from, the stitches you are using, what you are going to do with them. I have a stumpwork casket project I need to start.
      Thank you

  38. I am embroidering on 50 USA State 7” blocks. The preparation of the hand dyed wool applique has been time consuming, but what a “JOY” to do extreme embroidery and embellishment. A large project …none the less very enjoyable.

  39. Right now I’m hemming a fair linen altar cloth and in the planning stages for its whitework embroidery.

  40. I’m too busy with Christmas baking and wrapping to have any stitching time. I have several kits I’m anxious to start. After this weekend, my Christmas celebrations will be over and hopefully I can begin stitching on a wool candle holder.

  41. The project that’s occupying most of my time is completing small ornaments to give as gifts this Christmas.

  42. Thank you Mary and Needle in a Haystack for this giveaway. The project that is currently taking most of my time is a thobe. I am learning from a Palestinian American how to make this beautiful traditional Palestinian dress that is covered with embroidery. Even some of the seams are joined with a decorative stitch. I am making it entirely by hand and designing the patterns I will stitch using traditional Palestinian motifs as well as one Ukrainian motif and one I designed myself. The dress will reflect my heritage through the motifs I have chosen as well as honor the women in my family.

  43. Good morning Mary,

    Such a glorious morning. Cold but glorious.
    I have been madly stitching on Well of Wishes by Ruthmarie Hoffman. I love the project, but hate the colors
    she included in the kits. I have wandered waaaaaaaaaaaaaay off the reservation with my changes and I love them.
    After this, back to a wonderful beading project by Cindy Hambrick.
    Merry Christmas. Be safe, stay healthy.

  44. I have multiple projects going, but the one occupying my mind is not yet underway. What do I make to gift to my niece who is getting married in August? Pondering…

  45. I actually have 2 small Christmas cross stitch ornaments going right now, and have an ongoing counted canvas piece that I started this year – about three quarters of the way done with it. Hoping to have it done in 2020!

  46. My Type A personality loves organization, almost to a fault. What a lovely way to do so instead of my recycled jars and containers. Ahh, not only a functional work area, but pleasant to see.

  47. I’ve been making rag quilts for some folks and I’m cutting out the fabrics for the third one. Two are ready to wash and “rag up” and send when this one’s done. I also have a thank-you quilt cut out and started for one of my friend’s doctors. I should be making some fabric & embroidered holiday cards, but they are taking the back seat at the moment.

  48. Right now I’m plotting. I have been poring over Sharon Boggon’s new book, planning out an idea for crazy quilt inspired project. Good luck everyone.

  49. Thank you, Mary for the chance to win great prizes! Presently I’m working on a rather large beadwork project, my first. It’s rather slow going but I’m enjoying it. Happy Holidays to all!

  50. Thanks for the giveaway! Right now I am working on an Japanese pillows for my son and his fiance. They are living in an asian style home and I think they will love these. The colors are mostly blue, green and shades of orange and gold. I quite enjoy working on it!

  51. I’m working on Hugs ‘n Kisses Stitch 365 & using some of your stitches. Great explanations, thank you. I could really use such an organizing tool. It’s so pretty in addition to being practical.

  52. That’s an easy question for a change! (and for such lovely goodies too…)
    My RSN Certificate goldwork piece, which is a kangaroo with a little hare in her pouch (based on bed-time stories my favourite aunt used to tell me about my favourite stuffed toy). I’ve just broken a needle oversewing some plunged ends, so this would be a great cheerer-upper 🙂

    1. Your project sounds lovely. I would love to see a picture of it once you are done, if that is possible.

  53. I’m not actually working on a project right now, but am gathering supplies for a bead embroidery project which I’ll begin after Christmas. It starts with a beautiful cabochon in the center and grows in size and prettiness from there. Eager to begin!

  54. I am working on a sweet cushion with MANY stitches used with silk embroidery on hand made fabric.

  55. Currently I am very close to finishing my Mary Corbett ‘tree’. Goodness knows why I have prevaricated so long starting it as I have really enjoyed this project and it has gone together quite quickly too. Thank you.

  56. I am cross stitching the word October. It has all the traditional Halloween items along with the giant letters.

  57. In some ways the projects I started and will be ending the year out with are/ were both ‘unicorn’ project kits at one time. I felt fortunate to have finally ‘found’ both the samplers last year and paid a higher price than normally on eBay because of it.
    The sampler I started the year with proved to have inherent issues with the charting (I had read about that online ) and then even the silk colors etc – I ordered other silks, finally got frustrated by it all and put it aside. The other unicorn sampler I am working on at the moment has none of those issues but it is rather simple. Interestingly, none of the things I had planned to do this year were touched / developed etc – simple samplers and ‘primitive’ designs occupied my hands during these interesting times we are living through…

  58. Currently I am stitching a vizsla for my daughter. She found the chart, loved it and asked me to stitch it for her. Also, I have one more stitch to put in Dorcas Haynes. I will complete it on Christmas Day so it will be completed exactly 300 years since the original was completed in 1720.

  59. I am working on a monogram for my sister with Morning Glories and the letter O for her last name. It will go on a wall hanging made to look like a small crazy quilt. Yes, I plan on doing all of the stitching by hand. I will be down for 8 weeks with foot surgery so I am hoping to get a lot accomplished. I am excited.

  60. When going thru my moms unfinished craft projects I found a a needlework Christmas tree that I thought was simply beautiful. I decided to finish it as a gift to her… the most interesting thing is you can tell her work from mine, she’s a lefty I’m a righty.

  61. The needlework project occupying most of my attention right now is Tea in the Garden, which I ordered after seeing the link in a previous give away. I am new to ribbon embroidery, but this looked to beautiful to pass up!

  62. I am stitching on some of Mary Corbet’s towels. They are so much fun so I do not consider it to be consuming of my time at all! The precious snowflakes can be made to look exactly the same on the opposite side. I’m really fussy about things like that when I know people will be able to see the back side and also will be laundering it. I use Mary’s suggestions on how to start a new thread so there is no knot or evidence one can see. And being home during the pandemic is such a wonderful gift when you are a stitcher!

  63. I’m working on several beaded peyote Christmas balls and Shores of Hawk Run Hollow when I have a chance.

  64. Currently I’m working on a great project by Betsy Morgan, featured in the book “Willing hands” – I just LOVE it!!!

  65. Fandango! An EGA Group Correspondence course stitched on 32 count Belgian linen with pearle 8 and 12. White on white, ugh. By the time I finish it I will have stitched the whole thing twice. Ripped out so much I had to stop for a week and get my scissors sharpened.

  66. Hi Mary,

    I’ve been working on a wool block of the month from Sue Spargo. I’ve got 5 months done.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  67. Not really the type of needlework you talk about here, but done with needles. Knotting a pair of fingerless mitts for my SIL, Working on #2

  68. At the moment I am trying to finish
    Toni Gerdes’ Klimt Kimono. As I do with most kits I am doing my own enhancements – appliqueing gold leather, using additional gold threads. I love doing this piece.

  69. My stitching time has been stitching bookmarks to send in Christmas cards for a Christmas Zoom party for a nonprofit organization I am a member of. Most of these ladies are in the high risk category for Covid. We have not held any in person meetings since March. These ladies are staying in and being very careful. I thought we should be opening a gift together to bring a surprise to our party! The bookmarks are stitched on perforated paper backed with felt. They are a poppy with the words “Lest we forget”.

  70. I thought I would make something for my Mom for Christmas. There was a nice wheat/poppy project in an Inspirations magazine which I thought I would do. Have added some drawn thread work around the piece and along the edge and hopefully get to add in some extra wheat to the corners before Christmas comes next week.

  71. A small needlepoint project has been waiting about three years. I ran out of white floss with just a small area to stitch. But the new white didn’t match. It has sat so long, I decided to just do it, and found the color has mellowed and now matches. But the pattern had beads and other embellishments and I don’t remember what magazine the pattern was in. Now I have to be creative and come up with something on my own.

  72. I am currently working on a pin cushion biscornu. First time I’ve made one. It is a lot of fun so far.

  73. I am working on a sampler called Wisdom and Love by The Drawn Thread. It’s a band sampler with many new stitches for me to learn.

  74. I am a needlepointer who continues to learn new things from you Mary that can be applied to ,y stitching! The project taking up most of my time right now is beautiful standing Santa holding a package and a tree. Designed by Melissa Shirley, it is called the Red Bird Santa. I do not always stitch seasonally, but in this long quiet December, I am. And it is something I will keep and not give away. Merry Christmas!

  75. I believe the question today was “favorite stitch”? Stem stitch is so versatile – you can do fillings, borders, and more. And it’s relatively easy and always pretty.

  76. Currently, my stitching time is spent on Stump work Lion from Whistle Threads. Never worked with these threads or couched with silk thread. Loving it.

  77. I’m currently embroidering a family tree as a Christmas gift for my mom. I’ve finished the tree with all of the names but decided to embroider a quote from our “family poem,” “How do I love thee, let me count the ways,” so that’s the last step for the next week!

  78. Good morning, The projects that is taking most of my time right now is Christmas ornaments from MMMcrafts. After Christmas I will be back to working on a stump work box I am trying to make up as I go along. Merry Christmas to all.

  79. I have been doing more sewing projects lately (bowl cozies, a lap quilt) in preparation for the holidays, but the current project demanding my attention is a crocheted throw — originally intended as a Christmas gift, but you know how that goes!

    I have a sweet little Christmas sampler from French General that is calling my name, though…

  80. The accessories are wonderful!
    I am currently spending most of my stitching time on Old Glory by Karen Kluba. My husband ask for it several years ago and I want to finish it for him.

  81. Am working on the Christmas tree design on the cover of Inspirations magazine and also designing a crewel work project based on a book of botanical illustration.

  82. I am making a “candle mat” for my sister for Christmas. I had previously made a candle mat, so I used the same pattern for the big piece of fabric (wool) I would need. I had a plaid blanket type of wool that I bought at the Johnson Wool Outlet in Vermont, and I put mittens all around the outside of the candle mat (8), then found a different pattern in the blanket for each heart that I put in the center of each mitten. (I have a die cutter, so all the hearts are uniform). I also had a tiny heart die and used that to cut 8 more hearts and sewed them on. And in the center I made a snowflake, but I wasn’t happy w/ it, and French knots are a real pain to take out, so I added a bunch of tiny white beads to it. That improved it. I will finish it up tonight (got more thread to do so yesterday) and mail tomorrow! It actually came out pretty cute, considering I had no idea what to do at Thanksgiving. 🙂

  83. The actual “projects” I’m starting to work on is a project that I wanted to do for a long time…………..an “encyclopedia” of small embroidery pieces that I can add to bigger pieces I would like to make. Example I made a sea themed little wall hanging and made a mermaid another time and added it to this piece. These pieces are nice because I can just keep making them kind of like fabric yo yos or other small pieces and have a hoard of them.

  84. Most of my stitching time, these days, is being taken up by last-minute Christmas gifts! Such must be the experience of many Christmas stitchers, I’m sure. Thanks for the give-away! A very Merry Christmas to all…

  85. I am presently participating in 2 stitch a long samplers on Facebook….Jane Fiddes and Ann Morison, both by Hands Across the Sea. They have been and are a godsend for me during this COVID pandemic!!!

  86. The project taking up most of my time right now is a sampler. It uses almost all embroidery stitches. It’s a lot of fun but it is also very time consuming.

  87. I am in the midst of creating appliquéd, embroidered and then quilted mug rugs for those near and dear to me. The design could be their initial or their favorite interest or pet. With the mug rug, I include tea and/or coffee and a mug.
    Linda Andersson

  88. At the moment, something really easy and relaxing – Snowy Wonderland Stitch Binder pattern. It is part hand stitching (after tinting fabric with pencil and fixative) and then it will be sewing machine construction to finish. No thought involved, just sit back and enjoy

  89. Right now the project that occupy me is the little stockings with different stitches.
    It is very nice.

  90. I’m working on a piece for Step 3 of the EGA Master Craftsman Program in counted work which is an original blackwork piece. Slowly coming along!

  91. I just finished 16 small redwork snowmen ornaments. Ready to start appliquing 64 one inch hexagons for a Jen Kingwell quilt border.

  92. The piece I am working on is a masquerade mask. I started it before the pandemic. I dyed the fabric and threads my self. It includes Pulled Thread and Stumpwork. I am making the stumpwork pieces now. It is taking time to do, but I am optimistic the end result will be worth it.

  93. OMG, since the quarantine began in March I have had the enjoyment of stitching up a storm, because I am retired. However I am not so good at fully finishing my pieces. For the last 2 1/2 days I have been on a finishing frenzy and I finished 5 pieces from a bean bag pillow, regular bowl sized pillow, box top, ornament, flat fold and drum! There is something to be said for finishing as you go. So I am back to stitching and I am currently working on Hello Winter from Plum Street Samplers. Thank you for A Stitcher’s Christmas. I always look forward to your newsletters.

  94. Oh I wish I had a project occupying my time right now. It’s been a crazy year for me. I’ve actually been working – a lot! I’m accountant and Congress has kept us very busy this year and into next year. However, sitting on my coffee table is some small hardanger ornaments. I’m currently trying to teach myself some hardanger. Seems simple enough! =D

  95. Thank you for you wonderful blog and excellent products this year. Exploring new techniques and keeping my mind active has helped me throughout 2020. Again thanks!

  96. The project that is taking my attention right now is Death by Cross Stitch by Long Dog Samplers.

  97. Right now I´m beginning to see the light in the tunnel of a blackwork embroidery. Scheduled to be ready before Christmas, begun 25 of October. 11×15 inches. The original war scene is carved in stone some 2.600 years ago to celebrate king Ashurbanipal. I stitch on Newcastle linen with black silk thread. The back side is a mess (needs a back lining). But the front is nice and almost FINISHED!

  98. Although I am working on several projects, heaven help me, Ann Dale by Shakespeare’s Peddler is my main piece. I started it a long time ago and hope to have it finished by end of June 2021. I so love this piece, but it is huge.
    Thank you!

  99. Ornaments, ornaments, ornaments!! I’m always furiously finishing ornaments right up until Christmas.

  100. Finishing up Hardanger ornaments to give to the neighbors. They are trees and stars. Since I do not bake cookies or have a bee hive which produces honey to share, I stitch.

  101. The needlework project that is occupying me at the moment is finishing up as many 2020 projects as I can and planning out what I am going to do in 2021!

  102. The needlework occupying my time right now is embroidered towels for Christmas gifts for my family members. They are simple line drawings and easy to do. Something simple to get done before Christmas. I need simple.

  103. I have been teaching my two oldest granddaughters hand-sewing and -embroidery while they are creating pocket shrines out of soft leather and good cotton. Their Christmas gift will be a mechanical Bernina so they may clothe their dolls, make pillows and dolly quilts, and then – their own clothing, all suitably ornamented with hand embroidery.

  104. A crewelwork Christmas stocking (from Philippa Turnbull’s The Crewel Work Company) is what’s keeping me occupied at the moment.

  105. My attention? Ha! I am madly (in every sense) working to finish several little biscornu pincushions for Christmas gifts. They are so cute, but honestly, I am “up to here” with little x-es and look forward to a change of pace needle painting project. BTW, I love Cathe’s accessories.

  106. Actually, I am taking a short break from my needlework. I have been collecting new projects and making up my mind which to start on first. My days have been occupied with the usual “Christmas tasks” as well as a new kitten! Yes, I got my cat a kitten for Christmas. I think she would have rather had a mouse or a hamster…but in a few weeks she will be romping around with this new ball of fur and I fully expect a big hug from her (at some point).

    Merry Christmas to all..may your holidays be filled with cheerful days and peaceful nights!

  107. I just love the idea of this tray! Seems to be a bit of a brilliant thing. I’m not doing nearly enough needlework right now but the project that consumes the time that I do have is “Nigel” by Hazel Blomkamp. He is so much fun!

  108. I’m working on Nancy Pederson’s ‘Frosted’ Snowflake Berlingot. A pretty ornament for my son’s girlfriend’s parents. (Did I get those apostrophes in the right place?)

  109. Good morning, Mary!
    I am currently embroidering and beading a room divider triptych portraying aquifers.Here in CO we are in a serious drought and I am a gardener. Enough said. Chuckle.
    It is the largest piece of work I have every attempted and I’m intimidated and overwhelmed. We all face our own challenges.
    Thank you for this opportunity. I love beautiful tools.

  110. I picked up at a garage sale a crosstitch kit mostly for the thread. It included a fine even weave linen. I discovered at home that it was only about 300 stitches away from completion! I think she stopped when the wording got misaligned. Not being a perfectionist I managed to adjust and finish that but still working on making nice stitches that look like hers. I do mostly stamped things so these tiny stitches are a challenge. Getting instruction from good friend who does this equally well.

  111. Christmas ornaments because they need to be mailed out and Christmas in just over a week away! They’ll get there when they get there, but the sooner they are mailed, the better!

  112. The lockdown has given me time to learn new skills. I’ve learned how to knit and paint and in the spirit of adding those skills to the ones that I already had that brought me to this community, I am knitting a mini scarf/collar that I intend to felt- so that I can add some embroidery embellishments onto it. Having fun with the experimentation!

  113. The project occupying most of my attention now is Thistle Threads Harmony With Nature casket. It’s slow going as I’ve never done stumpwork before. Some of it looks good and some not so much, but it’s all a learning experience and I’m so glad I started it.

  114. My most time consuming project at this time has been my Christmas cards. I embroider cardstock in Christmas designs. I have made hundreds this year…..

  115. Current project is a wool felt Christmas stocking for grandson and son. Very behind this season, I have neither finished the first stocking, nor started the second one. My bad. In any case, they WILL be completed and wish I could send a photo along.

  116. Right now I am working on ‘Thirsty Hart’ by Heartstring Samplery, using some of Nancy Turner’s lovely cottons (Victorian Motto Sampler) and the luscious Colour & Cotton threads. I will soon shift to ‘Winter Deer’ by Jeannette Douglas, in honor of the upcoming solstice. I enjoy working multiple projects, which keeps them more interesting, and changes the stresses on hands and elbows just enough to keep me stitching compulsively!

  117. The needlework project occupying most of my attention at the moment is a padded satin stitch ‘bird of paradise’ tail – almost four hundred feathers to stitch!

  118. The project that is occupying my time right now is a knitted bunny hat. I just finished a gold work piece from inspirations magazine called Dashed. The next embroidery project is an ostrich using surface embroidery.

  119. Hi Mary
    Another beautiful useful giveaway! At the moment I am trying to finish a Lanarte cross stitch kit which I bought when I visited their factory a few years ago and we were let loose in their warehouse to choose the kits we wanted – can you imagine it was like being let loose in a sweet factory for someone like me. This one features a field with a few Frisian cows in it which is a reminder of my childhood on our farm which was a happy time.
    Wishing you a very happy Christmas and all good wishes for the coming year in the hope that it will be better than this year has been for many.
    Fond wishes

  120. I am working on a stamped cross stitch queen size quilt for our grand-daughter. I wanted to finish it for Christmas but my eyes and arthritis are not allowing it. Each block has a large chevron which I am stitching in red #321. All around the outside edge of the block there are 12 cross stitch boxes that I am doing in black. Those are the colors she has in her bedroom. I only have 8 more blocks to finish and then I can put it together. You have really inspired me to try to do more. I bought some silk thread to try and found I really like working with it.
    Thanks for taking the time to write your newsletter!

    Merry Christmas!

  121. I am going back & forth currently between a counted piece and beading an ornament.
    When I tire of counting , I pick up the beading, to me it is so calming.

  122. I am currently working on a crocheted scarf in a lovely merino/cashmere blend with a little silver sparkle.

  123. I’m working on Linen and Threads 2020 SAL and am just about done. I started late in the year and have caught up, finishing December’s part soon.

  124. Hello. Thank you so much for these lovely giveaways.

    My current project is the peacock by Jenny Adin-Christie. I was booked to do it in class with Jenny but the nasty Covid put the halt on that. I love her kits and although they are complex she makes it as easy as she can. Opening one of kits is a delight on its own let alone the stitching.

  125. I have been making a crocheted shawl (to keep me warm whilst I work on my embroidery and quilting projects which are already started but are temporarily anxiously waiting on hold!)

  126. I am currently working on creating a map of all my roasting adventures. I have linen printed with a map of the USA printed on it and am using different embroidery stitched to show our different trips. Each trip has its own stitch. Its lots of fun and I get to try so many new stitches!

  127. My focus is on Crazy Quilt Blocks. Loved my fabric search and working with my favorite threads and ribbons.

  128. I am a dollhouse miniaturist. Right now I am building a 1:12 scale Christmas room box. I am also a petitpointer. I am stitching several projects to go in this room, 3 stockings to hang on the mantle, and three Christmas themed pillows for the furniture. All stitched on 48 count silk gauze.

  129. It’s not a very creative project… but my husband’s work jeans need patching. I have plenty of denim from other jeans over time – and he’s a guy that doesn’t care as long as they keep him warm! LOL!

  130. Right now my time is taken on working on a giant cross stitch. It is the “New Geographic and Hydrographic Map of the Whole World”. I’m doing it 2 over one on 28 count and it will end up being about 40 x 28 inches. And I’ve got about a 5 inch square done in 3 years so it will be in my to do pile for a long time!

  131. Lately, all I am stitching are your mini stocking ornaments. I started before I got the kit and am half way through my fourth! It took awhile to collect everything I needed to do the kit, so I have been making them from stash supplies. Thanks for these wonderful gifts!

  132. I am working to finish a felt embroidery Wreath that I started last year. Only a bit to finish and it will be hanging on my door!

  133. I am working on Mary’s snowflakes of a year ago. I have 5 grandchildren and am planning to make a set of 12 for each one. So 60 snowflakes!! I work slow and am giving myself 2 years to get the project finished.

  134. The needlework project that is taking up my leisure time is a cross stitch pattern by Jeanette Douglas Designs called Vintage Birds.

  135. The project taking all my sewing time right now is Hexies! I decided not to make a whole quilt as you are doing, but to make coasters with seven each. I have made at least ten different sets as gifts or to sell once the pandemic allows in-person, indoors sales at my friend’s consignment shop. I’m still making “sunflowers” as I purchased lots of that colorway.

  136. I am cross stitching one of the three wise men. I think I only have the other two wise men and my set will be stitched. Then comes the finishing…

  137. There are two projects that I’m obsessed with right now. The first is a sashiko Christmas tree with separate ornaments. I thought I would go out his in time for Christmas but then I took an online class to learn how to smock and that keeps taking me away from the sashiko. Smocking is amazing!

  138. My current main project is a crazy patchwork quilt, which is based on a Japanese theme, so involves cutting, piecing, embroidering, and yet to be started, quilting. I have to blame you Mary for whetting my appetite for patchwork again, with your lovely boxes of tiny pieces, and subsequent piecing.

  139. I love this shop! Can’t wait to stroll their aisles, once more ( though their online catalogue is swell, too)
    My current project has been sitting in my to-do box for a year. It’s a tea towel kit, that I bought from the shop at the San Francisco School of Needlework and Design, once when I was taking a class there. It’s a little strawberry motif, done in cotton on a linen towel. Mostly chain stitch and seed stitch. Not taxing, just relaxing. (I still have some challenges sitting in my box, however!)

  140. I am making a jewelry pouch with an embroidered letter from Elisabetta Sforza’s book. I love her work. My mom ordered her second book for me but I must wait for Christmas – 9 days to go!

  141. I am currently working on a set of 5 crazy quilt blocks with silkies of vintage Art Deco coffee advertising posters.

  142. The Needlework project that is taking up most of my time right now is the Bling Tree by Victoria Sampler. I would like to make it look like the decorated Christmas tree from my youth. That has occupied my thoughts as how to apply the chosen decorations to the linen.

  143. Brilliant! What a fantastic giveaway. I am currently working on handmade embroidered ornaments for my grandson, the are animals!

  144. What’s taking my time is finishing up Christmas gifts and ornaments. What’s taking my attention is deciding what sampler to start for 2021. A few years ago, my husband gifted me Dorcas Haynes, reproduced by The Scarlet Letter. He had her kitted up by The Attic in AZ. About the same time, I traveled to Williamsburg, VA, and while there, shopped at Haus Tirol, where I bought the pattern for 1724 M H Sampler, which was reproduced by Darlene O’Steen. I kitted her up this year as a way to honor Darlene and Haus Tirol. Now I can’t decide which to begin first. The first is a band sampler. The second has boxes of squares and rectangles with woodwork stitches. Both are complex, challenging, colorful and have a variety of stitches. Now I just have to decide…..

  145. I am working on multiple projects right now but I am almost finished with Tricia Nguyen “How Doth the Busy Bee”. I am about half way finished with an embroidered Mandela called ” In Fine Feathers” which is in bright colors and has lots of beads. In the wings is a project I started years ago by Carolyn Standing Webb called Basket of Gold. Would like to finish all before year end. It is nice to have goals.

  146. Merry Christmas to you Mary! I have been focused on re-designing/updating 3 Christmas stockings that I made for my daughter 20 years ago. The originals are homespun cottons with machine appliqué. I removed the binding, made a new ‘top’ with hand embroidered wool appliqué Christmas scenes, quilted the new top right over the old top, and put the bindings back on! I love that what is old, is new again! My daughter is thrilled with them

  147. The project occupying my attention right now is “rural post office at Christmas” cross stitch kit. It’s the largest cross stitch I’ve ever tackled and the most complicated. I began fiddling with it this time last year and then took a break after Christmas to do other things. I picked it back up in June-ish and have been slowly making progress since.

  148. Good Morning, The needlework project taking up most of my attention at the moment is Jane Jackson, a reproduction sampler from Hands Across the Seas Samplers. Jane was especially reproduced by Nicola Parkman for duClay chapter of EGA for a class that didn’t happen thanks to covid. I expect HATS will eventually release it for general consumption, but I’m happy to be among the first to stitch it.

  149. The magnetic tool tray is especially genius!…and those are threads I’ve been wanting to try! The needlebook and pin keep are just more lovely goodies!

    As for my big big current project, it’s a 20″ by 30″, 18 mesh, ndlpt canvas…a cut-away interior scene of a medieval castle with lots of rooms, folks, animals with various activities going on.

    Done with mostly S ‘d A and some metallics, almost totally “specialty” stitches….hardly a tent stitch to be seen.

  150. Hi Mary, Right at the moment, I am not stitching a project, but I do have one ready to go. It’s in the frame, and my colors have been chosen. This will be a project for over Christmas. The picture is a scene in a kitchen of chairs around a table with a window.

  151. I’m stitching Merry and Minty by Brenda Gervais. Once I’m done with that I’ll get back to the Blue Poppy Sampler. Happy holidays to you!

  152. I wish it was one project that I could just lose myself in but I have ornaments to finish and a piece I am having trouble with mounting/finishing that haunts me! Merry Christmas and thank you for the opportunity again!

  153. Mary… So I thought that I wanted to complete an applique block. I transferred the block outline to the linen. Then I cut fabric for the leaves, tree branches, and bird. As I laid out the fabric…I had sudden inspiration that the branches would look better if I stem stitched them…and the leaves would be great with, well, the leaf stitch. Before I knew it, The applique block is being embroidered…and I really like it much better! It’s fun to stitch.

  154. The needlework project that’s currently occupying my mind is Mirabilia/Nora Corbett’s Princess Elliana – counted cross stitch. It is a very colorful design with lots of beading embellishment from her ‘Ladies’ series.

  155. I’m right now hip-deep in setting myself up to work up a set of embroidered items for a secret santa exchange – I love the look of zakka embroidery with it’s natural tones and bold use of chain and stem-stitch to create very graphic plant motifs, and I’m working on embroidering a book cover themed after Anne of Green Gables. On the side, I’m picking away at some of the snowflake ornament patterns released here on Needle n’ Thread and I’m loving working easy lines that make great patterns, but I’m struggling with transferring neat and clean designs on to my chosen fabric! SIGH, it just works out that way sometimes…. I miss when it was easy to track down carbon paper!

  156. I’m obsessed with waiting for my Jenny Adin-Christie mossy hillock kit (for her wren etuis) to arrive from the UK. Will it make it through this crowded shipping period?

  157. Merry Christmas and thank you for the give-aways! “Newcastle Bouquet” is a Theresa Kogut design stitched on 40-count linen. The colors are so beautiful and the silk threads so lovely, that it doesn’t really matter that I have to use magnification and light and can only stitch that way for an hour or two at a time. It should be done sometime in 2021 but well see : ).

  158. My current needlework project is a cross-stitch of Hokusai’s Great Wave. I love the indigo, blue and white color palette, with the hints of gold that accent certain areas. I enjoy every stitch! My pace is probably an hour per square inch, I have no idea if that is slow or not, but since I generally take my time on most things, it is probably a snail’s pace:)

  159. I fell in love with Elizabetta Sforza’s Wheatfields book. I love everything about it. I’m now working on a heart design from her Ricare I’ll Mare book. It’s fun and challenging. I see myself working on her designs for a long time.

  160. Most of my time and attention is going to the Linen & Threads stitchalong, which I am doing with Colour Complements overdyed floche.

  161. What a delight to see all the different tools of the trade throughout the stitching community!
    My current project is a lovely piece designed by Kerry Green – “Nocturne”. It has been so helpful to stitch on this fun and creative “journey “ throughout the challenges of Covid and shorter days . Always, my go to reference for stitches is you , Mary Corbet ! I couldn’t do it without you!

  162. I recently started a Jeannette Douglas design called The Common Thread 2. I like her designs because they incorporate a variety of stitches, but wouldn’t you know that the very first of those stitches, padded satin stitch, is giving me fits. Slowly I’m getting it, but there sure has been a lot of frog ing.

  163. Right now I am working on next year’s towels for my three grands. The towels have become an annual thing. I just wish Mary would come up with her new designs earlier so I had time to do the newest embroidery for them.

  164. Right now, I’m working on the last of International Hearts by Victoria Sampler and hoping t complete them by the end of this month so I can cross them off my UFO list. So far, as I haven’t counted them, but I’ve done approximately 80 hearts – All of Canada and the US and 20 international.

    I’d love to win the prize. I read your column quite regularly and there is so much good information.
    Merry Christmas and I hope the New Year is much better for all of us.

  165. I am teaching my great niece (who is 5) how to embroider. Far after her bedtime, her mother found her sitting up in bed putting stickers on a ball of wool. “What are you doing?” asked her Mom. “I am Aunt Wendy. I am crafting.” Be still my heart.

  166. The project i’m Working on right now is 3 set of crazy quilt pot holders. These have been commissioned for christmas , I am 2 sets down with one set to go .

  167. I’m stitching a full coverage (split stitch) piece of the emblem of the Planet Express company from the cartoon Futurama for my husband. Not a serious piece, but he’ll love it!

  168. Currently the project that is getting the most attention is Elizabeth’s bloom by Cynthia Jackson. It is an enjoyable piece that uses 16th century stitches. A wonderful combination of goldwork and surface embroidery. Challenging , interesting and of course fun.

  169. I’ve been working on a cross stitch project, La Befana, for my friend and Italian language instructor. It’s been problematic because there’s a good portion at the bottom of a snow-covered roof which is being stitched in DMC light effects. It’s very slow going. Light effects is difficult to work with and on linen is even more troublesome. It looks great, but I will never use that thread again.

  170. The needlework project that is occupying most of my time right now is stitching another set of Chrismons for my church.

  171. I am currently in overdrive with Long Dog Pandemic. I had to stitch it because, well, not only is it a beauty, but the world situation. The project has presented several challenges and opportunities, true to this year and pandemic life. I had hoped to finish this calendar year; alas, the days grow short, and will spill into 2021. Oh well! Many exciting projects lined up to follow…..

  172. What a wonderful gift. My Shepherds Bush stocking for my grandson is what’s taking my time right now. Tho I’m so ready to quilt some. I have a pincushion collection too I’ve made. A lot in my blog. Thank you for sharing

  173. I am working on a needlepoint mandala piece that I am creating as I go around!
    I work on it in between other projects for a fun diversion!

  174. Not sure if my comment went through. I got an error message, so here it is again, just in case.

    The project that is taking up most of my time right now is stitching Chrismons for my church.

  175. I am currently working on a cross stitch table runner for Christmas. It won’t be done for this Christmas, but I’ll enjoy it next year. Love all the great designs and needlework info you share with us. Thank you.

  176. Being that we are shut done, I take my needlework with me where ever I go….
    This would be perfect to have….Thank You!!!!!

  177. At the moment my main stitch is a goldwork kingfisher by Becky Hogg, I am enjoying the addition of colour to make this bird vibrant.

  178. Keeping organized while learning a new skill is helpful…. I’m learning so much from your posts!

  179. Preoccupation of the moment: end table runners featuring your Christmas trees. Gotta get ’em done!

  180. The project that’s most been on my mind & needs to be completed in 2021 is a quilt w/piecing, needle turn appliqué, wool appliqué & embroidered embellishments. It’s very fun – on a cherry red background – and has been an ongoing project since 2012.

  181. I’m currently working on “Leafy Tree” by Mary Corbet……this is my first pattern I have ordered from her………..so far so good…….looking forward to the finished project…….just love this pattern…….have a most wonderful day!!!!

  182. This week I am doing some hand embroidery finishing embellishment work on a Fireside Cat Christmas Quilt, (and matching face masks from leftover scraps), for my family — using rick-rack, seed pearls, Pearl cotton thread, and the new DMC metallic thread. I love how festive and personalized quilts become by adding such simple and whimsical adornments. The metallic thread will add some delightful sparkle to the project. I can hardly wait to finish this project; but it will be like saying good-bye to a cherished friend when I take that final stitch. I always feel that way at the end of every project. However, I’m already excited to start my next embroidery project; so I’m sure I’ll weather the transition. Lol! Happy Holidays to all! May 2021 be the start of a happier and healthier year for all! 🙂

  183. To be honest, the needlework project consuming my time is not embroidery but a crochet blanket I am trying to finish. I have a mask that I am embroidering but I am just not happy with how it is turning out so I may have to start from scratch.

  184. I’m working on a block of the week project by Sue Spargo, Squash Squad. A combination of wool appliqué and embroidery.

  185. The project I am working to finish is Hello Liz Matthews 2nd Day of Christmas tree. Not sure I will get it completed because so many other projects keep calling me.

  186. I’ve been making snowflake and tree ornaments using your design. I’ve now made 10 of these cute, fast stitching ornaments. Thank you for all your hard work!

  187. At the moment, I am putting little forget-me-nots in a border around the logo on a t-shirt. The t-shirt is worn by a stuffed moose. (I don’t need to be concerned about washing and other practicalities, so that is nice.) This little t-shirt, however, has absolutely nothing on the back. I have been thinking about that blank space… there are so many possibilities… too many! (Oh, and I did try to make pants. Did you notice stuffed animals never seem to come with pants? It is probably because they’re hard to make. Especially, if you have no pattern and you have never made a pair of moose pants. I know a lot of people here could’ve done it, easy-peasy. Alas, the moose will have to settle with leg-warmers.)

  188. The needlework project taking most of my time now is a set of 16 (I think!) napkins my former college roommate wants me to monogram for her. I am in the process of picking fonts, with a shout out here to your Monograms book. Then on to picking thread colors as she is a whimsical person and wants each in a different color to match her house. Such fun!

  189. I am currently working on a pattern by Karen Phillips Schwallon, The Quilted Heart, Brownsville, PA called
    Let It SNOW!!

  190. DragonDreams “Not Forgotten”. So excited to finally do this pattern and put a creative spin with subbing out with some newer threads (hoping to perfect my turkey stitch for the abominable snowman).

  191. I am still working on the Leafy Tree. It has some stitches I haven’t done. I think I will be working on this next year at this time. I have to practice some of the stitches before I actually stitch on the pattern. Again, thank goodness for having hobbies that require time and concentration during this pandemic. All the pretty colors and learning new stitches allow me to smile and pass the day pleasantly.

  192. I am working on a preprinted panel of redwork in blue. Each panel has a quilt hanging in our around a garden theme.

  193. Stitching has been a true escape over the last months. The experience is made even more pleasant when you have beautiful materials and accessories.

  194. Hello there,

    I am currently working on a full sized three panel screen. It actually has six panels, front and back. I’ve been working on this since 2011 and I am working on the sixth panel. The front three panels depict a tree of life featuring the Warwick Phoenix bird and these panels are now complete and mounted into the screen’s frame. The back side panels feature six more Warwick Phoenix birds (two per panel) embroidered in six different fashions plus all sorts of stitch examples appliqued around these birds. Another couple of months and I should have it complete.

    I like the RIP needle case featured and the nice green tray. The pin keep kit sounds fabulous. Sorry to read you had a problem on Monday.

    Stay safe.

  195. I’m knitting a pair of advent socks for my husband, a shawl for myself and hope I can finish a needlepoint project I started years ago of a Santa and a dog. It’s so adorable. Have a few embroidery kits I received during advent and would like to start them right after Christmas.

  196. Hi Mary-

    My needlework project is “Beneath Thy Poft Oak” beadwork class from Rachael Kinnison. It’s a wonderful class and Rachael is a very dedicated teacher.

  197. Now that my Christmas gift stitching is done I’m returning to my linen tablecloth. Months ago the pandemic got me thinking of this lovely stamped piece I bought in the Galleries Lafayette in Paris many decades ago and only half completed. Somehow I put it down to become a lace knitter. Today it is nearly finished and I can’t wait to see it on my table. Working on this piece and discovering Needle N Thread encouraged me to become an embroiderer again, to improve my skills, and next up to learn thread painting! Thanks Mary.

  198. I love your articles for several years, I enjoy them.
    Merry Christmas and a healthy New year

  199. I am working on a Mary Jo Hiney stacked pin cushion for my daughter for Christmas. I have never worked with ribbon or beads before so it was a bit of a learning experience. I am happy with the results for a first try. 🙂 My daughter arrives tomorrow so I have just today for finish!

  200. Please enter me for this giveaway. I am working on a canvas project that is a Nutcracker Santa – nearly done and then realized I was missing a thread, now waiting on the mail. I am also getting started on a cute tooth fairy pillow for my friend’s son – who is now five, and if I don’t hurry will miss his first tooth!

  201. The project that is occupying most of my time and passion is a counted design by Gay Ann Rogers. It is a portrait of Eleanor Queen of Aquitaine as interpreted by the designer. It is worked with one strand of silk thread on Congress cloth and it creates a beautiful portrait of the queen. I am up to the hair which is row upon row of packed stem stitch in various shades of auburn. After that, comes the jewels. I can’t wait! I love the bling. This was a project I started in January as my resolution to complete in 2020. I will probably not make it by December, but definitely by January. There are four more portraits in the series. I hope I live long enough and I can see well enough to complete them all!

  202. My project is hemstitching a tablecloth that is handwoven in linen threads. It has been on the ‘to do’ list for far too many years. and it is to be completed for use on Christmas Day.

  203. My current project is making individual layered wool flowers I will attach to a pillow top and further decorated with quilting and embroidery stitches. It’s pretty much every color of the rainbow so it will be multi-seasonal.

  204. Stitching has been a true escape over the last months. The experience is made even more pleasant when you have beautiful materials and accessories. I just finished a large Queen of hearts on the back of a jacket that was 2 years in the making. Definitely my biggest project ever.

  205. The project that has my full attention right now is the ornament I’m making for my nephew’s birthday. I need to have it done by tomorrow so I’m in the final rush. It is a cross stitch of a Santa surrounded by 4 cats.

  206. Ha, I love the needlebook!

    I am part of Textile Artists’ Stitch Club and I’ve been working on an abstract piece inspired by Richard McVetis, who uses meticulous little stitches as a method marking time.

    I am not greatly attached to abstract work, so I expect to be “stuck” on this project for quite a while!

  207. Hi Mary! Thanks for the fun Give-Aways!

    I’ve been working on ‘perpetual needle’ case kits for my sewing group. The perpetual needles are most handy for sewing quilt bindings, etc., and the cases can be embellished lots of ways! I had never heard of a ‘perpetual needle’ until I saw one online, and then, of course, I had to try my hand at making it. Besides the needles and thread, the kits that I’m making have a needle threader, thimble, retractable tape measure and tiny scissors that fit into a little bag (which fits into the case). Fun stuff!

  208. The projects that seem to be consuming me for December are baby quilts! Imagine, so many babies being born in December . Can’t imagine what was going on in March for so many end of year babies!!!

    1. Funny! Our first baby was born with many others “after” the millennium new year. The hospital was full & surprised by it.

  209. I’m always working last minute on Christmas gifts, so the needlework project(s) I am focused on now are three of the Deerfield embroidery sachets/eye pillows from Inspirations #108, one for each of my sisters, whose eyes must be very tired from needlework and reading.

  210. I am currently working on a crewel piece called Rabbits! And “ on the side” a second Holly and Evergreen towel. Thank you for the design.

  211. I am using embroidery to embellish a floral appliqued quilt. I have been working on it for over three years and am very happy with the results so far.

  212. My most occupying project is currently a needlebook with thread painted mice on it. A long way to go on it!
    Best wishes to you x

  213. I have one of the pin keeps already (based on your article) and would love to have the tray to add to my collection!

  214. I’m almost finished with “Panoply of Peacocks” by Tempting Tangles but, unfortunately, I’m on hold as arthritis in my thumbs has brought my stitching to a halt. Hopefully some rest will help and I’ll be able to finish it soon.

  215. I am currently working on a wool project “Sincerely, Mary Simon”, by Deborah Tirico. I took this class with Deborah at Baltimore On the Prairie and I am enjoying getting back to it this winter. Thank you for the email postings, I enjoy them greatly.

  216. I am currently working on wool appliqué ornaments and coasters. My challenge is to increase the embellishments I include. I regularly use your site to learn new techniques and find you have the clearest instructions for stitches available. You are an inspiration!
    Karen K

  217. Nicola Jarvis’s Starling kit arrived, and I am very keen to begin work on it… once I finish some Christmas crochet projects!

  218. Currently, I am finishing up a counted cross-stitch piece all in a single color. Pretty close to being done.

  219. I am currently working on crazy quilted Christmas cards. One special one is to go to the family that has allowed us to hunt for our Christmas trees on their property for years. They have saved us hundreds of dollars and given us hours of family holiday fun.

  220. Occupying my time is the finish of a needlepoint project started by my daughter probably 25 years ago. The kit from Past Times in the UK was short on several colors of wool and I had to match the missing. Now to get it turned into a pillow top….

  221. Threads, tools and accessories–a stitcher can never have enough and NIAH always has some wonderful ones available. For the balance of December 2020, I am concentrating on finishing two WIPS before starting a casket from Thistle Threads. Specifically, I am working on: S.H. 1683 (The Essamplaire). I just need to conquer the trellis stitch to do some fill on flower petals. Next up is Esther Benson 1739 (A Sassy Jacks Stitchery Exclusive). I need to transfer the design for the infamous apple tree. Drawing is not my gift and because of COVID I have not been able to make use of my friend Amy’s graphic artist training–she always draws my patterns if I can’t use the light table. Happy Holidays to all. Jacqui Beigie

  222. I am working on a Swedish cross stitch that I only work on in December for the last 4 years. I figure it will take another 4 Advents!

  223. Right now I am trying to finish a canvas Take Home a Project from the Mid-Atlantic Region EGA sponsored 2 years ago. I had 1/3rd done and now I have 2/3rds done. The problem is I cannot figure out one stitch-the instructions do not give the pathway and the small section I did do in the class is not speaking to me.

  224. Right now, I am working on your mini Christmas stockings. They are a delight to stitch! Thank you so very much for the chance to win!

  225. The project that I’m working on now is a runner for the Christmas table. I’m embroidering poinsettias and greens for the holiday table.

  226. I’m currently working on bringing my idea of an embroidered, beaded pouch necklace to full fruition!

  227. The needlework project I have been working on is making an embroidered box from the instructions in the RSN book. I am very excited to learn how to assemble the box once I have the exterior fabric embroidery completed. I have one side left to stitch.

  228. My current project is a counted cross stitch bookmark called Medieval Garden. It is a kit that I purchased in England.

  229. Thank you Mary. Currently I am obsessed with finishing my last lesson in Basic Crewel provided by the Canadian Embroiderers Association. I started in April and have been busy with it since. It’s been a great experience but I’m ready to start other projects.

  230. I’ve been working on a Christmas present. It probably won’t be ready, but I’m working hard on it.
    It’s a quilt that I’ve made, using the 2-step pattern, in the solid squares of the quilt, I have been
    stitching things that are related to fall and winter. The top half of quilt has pumpkins, leaves, an owl, and words
    “you are loved” and music notes. The music notes because the person I’m giving the quilt to is into Music.
    The lower half of quilt is for winter things: snowflakes, pinecones, candle centerpiece, snowman.
    I didn’t start soon enough, it was only when my brother-in-law mentioned he sometimes sleeps in his truck,
    at work, during a snow storm so he’s there when his shift starts. I wanted him to have a quilt to keep him warm.

  231. I’m working in the biggest project I’ve ever stitched, Pandemic by Long Dog samplers. It’s the most interesting and fun stitching as stitchers around the world are stitching it. With a Facebook group people are helping each with problem solving, support and suggestions as many are making the sampler their own with changing out some of the motifs with personal ones. A wonderful experience during a difficult time for the world.

  232. I’m working on a couple of things, but the project that has most of my attention is the 2020 SAL by Linen and Threads. I’m working on the last part – December- and will get it done before the year is over.

  233. I started a large Marty Bell cross stitch project about 20 years ago that I put away for several years. It has 126 different colors. I am determined to finish it!

  234. Describe the needlework project that’s occupying most of your attention right now!

    I just finished a baby onsie last night – I stitched a couple Christmas bears on it with ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ for a personalized gift. One Christmas gift to go – a crochet afghan in Christmas colors – working hard to get it done by Friday. Then it’s on to some wood cross stitched Christmas Ornaments I picked up in Germany from Rico. They have great winter animals and woodsy themed florals to stitch. As usual it’ll be stitching late into Christmas eve to get it all done.

  235. I’m currently cross stitching a design called Christmas Poinsettia Sampler from The Victoria Sampler. The designer is Thea Dueck. It has cross stitching, specialty stitches and Hardanger. I’m learning some new stitches and Hardanger so it’s a learning and stitching experience at the same time! Thanks Mary for the opportunity to share and maybe win!?!

  236. As of last night my attention is free to move to the next project. My attention was on the Holly Christmas Stocking and for me it took attention. But, I learned a lot and certainly that Mary is an inspiring stitcher. That attention sponge is off in the mail today.

  237. I have a needle minder from Cathy. Her work is wonderful. I love the small 2020 coffin. I think everyone would like to see a lot of this year gone and buried. So wonderful you are treating stitchers to some incredible things. I always love reading your blog. Merry Christmas to you and hopes for a blessed New Years.

    1. I am currently working on a SAL. It is a sampler named Ann Morison c.1830. I just started it on December 5th. I am using silk 100/3 floss and 45 ct Jersey Creme linen. This is Greg second sampler I have done on 45 ct linen and I am loving it.

  238. Right now, I’m working on a wool applique table runner embellished with embroidery and beading.

  239. Inspired by you Mary I recently began a mini Christmas Stocking. I decided to work a green, red and white plaid cuff at the top as well as working plaid tree decorations lower down at the foot. It’s 32ct Irish linen and I’m working one cross stitch per thread! It’s a bonkers number of stitches and taking ages but I’m loving the look of it and just hope to finish before Christmas.

  240. Christmas ornaments but they are done and in the mail so my work space is being reorganized for the next project.

  241. Hello all, I’m working on a Goldwork piece that is very absorbing. Being my first Goldwork piece, I am learning a LOT of technique. It’s an exciting and sparkly project.

  242. A week ago I went out to pickup some necessities, i.e. threads, needles, etc… when I happened to see the cutest pattern of a reindeer in a red and black hunter plaid design. I couldn’t resist it, of course so I got that and a linen with a green opalescent thread running through that was stunning and perfect to finish and put up before Christmas. Later that same afternoon my daughter texted me that she had got a new Advent calendar and she sent a picture and at the top was the same deer in the same color scheme at the top. Such a coincidence! I sent her a picture of my find and her response was “ohhh I love it”. When I offered it to her, she jumped at the offer. It was meant to be. I am doing it in a hoop frame and now starting to work on one for me. When my other three see it, I know there will be a little friendly blackmail so I’m madly working on 5 deer instead of the one. My own trap. Luckily, the piece of linen I bought was prepackaged so I have enough to do all the deer I need. I’m going a little mad but it’s no different than any other Christmas. But who could have thought we would have bought that same deer on different pieces the same day. It was meant to be!!

  243. Hi, Mary,

    The needlework project taking my time right now is making an early 19th-century style linen nightshirt with a bit of embroidery at the neckline. Most of the needlework will be the hand sewing and felling down the seams. The neckline will have some blanket stitching to finish the raw edge, and an embroidered patch will secure the bottom of the slit against tearing. To go with the shirt I am making an historical style robe with cartridge pleats, which are also hand sewn.

    This is my first foray into making clothing from before the era of sewing machines.


  244. Hi. As many others, I am frantically finishing the last of my Christmas ornament gifts. Next year I MUST start earlier! Hope everyone has a Happy Holiday season!

  245. I am working on a series: It Takes a Village. Nine blocks of different scenes made by different designers. It is made with wool and has many pieces.

  246. Hi Mary. Thanks for the chance to win the tools – I love tools! I’ve been working on Crossed Wing Collection’s Cardinal Biscornest No. 70. And I’ve also been doing a lot of finishing of projects that have been stitched. Stay safe!

  247. My youngest son has requested the New York Mets insignia embroidered on a little pine pillow. Now, I have told him I’m not an embroidery machine and this little project will not be perfect, he was kind enough to say if I made it he would love it. I was hoping to be finished to send it to him for Christmas but eye allergies and dry eye have set me back. I’m also frustrated with certain details, but with practice I’m sure I can finish it by his birthday in June!

  248. The project currently occupying all of my time is a Mexican Sampler charted by Eilene Cross. It is huge and colorful.

  249. I’ve been working on a 60” long by 3” wide fabric roll that’s comprised of lots of small pieces of fabric sewn on a backing using lots of simple embroidery stitches…seed stitch, running stitch, cross stitch, French knots etc. Then, of course, hexagons, yo-yos, beads, buttons, trims etc are added. I’m almost finished (about 4” to go), so am putting all my effort into it. I love the process and am definitely loving the outcome.

  250. I finished a small hand pieced quilt for my youngest grandson. Currently I am adding cute critters in each corner. A squirrel and lama are finished, next is hedgehog.

  251. I have nothing going on now. Death, the holidays, and kids are taking all my time. There is a crazy quilt square that stares at me from a work table, but I can’t do acceptable work on it now.

  252. I’ve been spending a lot of time working on a Kurdy Biggs Christmas ornament. It’s 3 Deminsonal and proving to be a challenge. Many many Jessica’s.
    I’d love to win this lovely prize.
    Thank you,
    Fran O’Donnell

  253. Currently I am working on “Shores of Hawk Run Hallow, ” from Carriage House Samplings. I am working on edging the cross stitch image with vintage lace that was saved from a wedding dress – I think from the early 1900’s. I have used many vintage trims and buttons throughout the piece. I have some black glass buttons that look like logs and wooden fish buttons – also vintage, that I will use once I figure out the vision in my head.
    On line teaching takes a lot of brain power, so my creative juices are moving a bit slower this year. 🙂

  254. The project that is most occupying my time today is Brenda Gervais’ Merry and Minty free SAL from last week. I am, of course, behind in finishing but having fun with the cute design.

  255. I am swamped with Mini Sampler stocking ornaments for twelve grandchildren and tw0 more on the way. Decided not to put chocolate candies in the stockings to avoid chocolate-smeared stockings— I am okay if it happens anyway.

  256. I am mostly working on a pulled thread embroidery inspired by Dresden Lace. It’s such fun to see lace created by the pulled thread stitches.

  257. The project I am spending all my stitching time on currently is Di von Niekerk’s “Periwinkle” fairy. So far the areas I’ve worked on (stitched leafs and wings) are really time consuming but it gives me a chance to get in a Christmas movie as well.

  258. Flour Sack towels are my go to right now. It’s so much fun to finish quickly and have something useful and to give away.

  259. What a lovely assortment of items. The needlecase is a reminder of what this year has been like for so many.

    I am working on the last three Christmas Ornaments that are gifts for my family. I need to ship my nephew’s ornament, but it will be ready by tomorrow. It is one of Pat Mazu’s stockings done in Colorado Rockies colors. The other two go to my daughter (a snowman family) and my granddaughter (an ornament I designed: Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes) My granddaughter’s ornament is almost done, and I started my daughter’s ornament last night.

    I thought I had planned these better, but other projects and a failure on my part to re-plan got in the way. The other projects included an unexpected request for help writing the PSR Region Project, two late-arriving pilot classes, and two late-arriving workshops (that I have actually put off until later). Two water leaks, for which we were home enabling us to discover them quickly. And, no, there was no partridge in a pear tree.

  260. Right now I am going back and forth between Inspirations’s rose box and the snowflakes from you. I find the snowflakes are such a fun break from all those rose petals that will have to be cut out. Thank goodness I didn’t pick the hydrangea box. That had even more petals.

  261. I am occupied with finishing a cross-stitch representation of a “Grey Hills” Navajo rug – lots of fun and I want to frame it to go alongside my actual Navajo rug

  262. I would love to have the magnetic tray – always losing my little scissors and needles!
    I’m stitching needle holders and pincushions with Victorian designs. Using some metallic threads, but that is time consuming.

  263. The stitchers project that I am working on right now is my version of a stitch and slash piece from a project designed by Carol Ann Waugh. Presently I am stitching the beaded fly stitch which had directions from an earlier email by you. I also used the beaded Palestrina stitch you showed a while ago. I love combining beads and embroidery stitches not only on embroidery pieces but also on some of my art quilts. I think the tray and tools you are giving away would be very useful. Steph

  264. Right now I am working on inserts for Christmas cards, attaching my small embroidery pieces into the card frames for photographs. These make nice gifts for friends in the assisted living and skilled nursing parts of my retirement community, who are isolated during the pandemic. I plan to continue with birthday and anniversary cards through the rest of the year. The pieces are small, easy to make up, and use up scraps and stash.

  265. Ive been busy stitching some christmas ornaments for family and friends so all other projects are on hold!

  266. I’m switching between applique quilt blocks and wedding samplers for my Grands. The quilt has been “aging “for 2 years and it is time. I love applique but not the quilting.
    The samplers will be completed for each of my 10 grandchildren. As they range in age 23-2 some will be completed by me and the rest by my daughters in a kit complete with mat and frame. Each will know how much they are loved on their special day.

  267. I’ve been working on a gift for my mother in law – just finished & gifted it so I’m between “active” projects -tho I have several in progress. I cut white/cream felt into small stocking & mitten shapes and colored felt for the accents or decorations (cuffs, Christmas tree, snowman, etc). Then I embroidered those on, embellished, cut out a felt back, and blanket stitched them together – leaving the top open to create an ornament sized gift bag. I finished a few and cut out many more. I also got her Mary’s embroidered stocking kit, printing off & binding the ebook since my mother in law won’t open links on her computer. This gives her many ideas & options for small projects to make as gifts. (I may get the beads regifted back if they are too small for her to handle!) She loves to give gifts and enjoys stitching and making quilt tops. She usually needs around 20 small gifts for her Christmas bunco party. Covid rules canceled this year but she is excited to get working for next year! She was so excited by Mary’s stocking kit!!

  268. Oh boy! The stitching project occupying most of my time right now is an online learning course called Hems and Edges- and I love it and hate it at the same time. It is an in-depth course to learn the various styles- and come up with a fee on your own- and research as well. Pervasively Insistent, I now look at all the stitching books for ideas to add to my collection. I hope I finish this in a year!

  269. Unfortunately, I had to set my needlework aside for a while as I finished an auction quilt for Project Graduation at the school my grandson attends and a new baby wallhanging for my great grandson.

  270. Just finished my holiday cards which always includes a hand-stitched element! Now to get them in the mail and then onto a few more of your lovely holiday t-towels!

  271. I’m currently working on a CA Wells class piece taken ages ago. There are projects in my stash that need I really want to finish. I stitch on an old one and finish it, then I reward myself by starting a new one. Lofty goals!

  272. Right now I’m working on a very large piece in memory of my mother. It is long lines of crewel yarn couched onto hand-dyed cloth.

  273. I am currently working on a Christmas present for my daughter so time is of the essence! It is a beautiful Toile de Jouy pouch with a linen strip near the top for embroidering on from Les Brodeuses Prarisiennes. I have embroidered it and personalised it for her. Inside I have made a covered tape measure, mini biscornu pincushion, needle book, scissor keep and scissors etc so that she has her very own etui. I cant rest until it’s done and wrapped. She very much enjoys stitching, mainly cross stitch at the moment, and is just about to do her first item on linen instead of Aida. I’m delighted that she has been bitten by the bug!

  274. Right now i’m working on some sort of organic shape that kind of resembles a geode, but might evolve into being something completely different.

  275. Good morning Mary and fellow stitchers everywhere,
    I am currently working on Christmas towels. Instead of automatically using stem stitch (my favorite), I am using my stitch dictionaries to look up stitches that are new to me. I am also practicing stitches that I already know but am not proficient at. I hope to have learned 5 new stitches by Christmas, and to finally make a Palestrina stitch that doesn’t look like a trail of rabbit turds!

  276. I made myself a 2020 resolution to complete the Peacock Sampler by Victoria Sampler. Should be complete by this week!!

  277. Just finished a blackwork wedding sampler and am starting a crewel work sampler design of a sheep in flowers. Also have a rug hooking Cardinal in progress.

  278. I am stitching a 8 sided needlepoint tree from Janet Zickler Casey. It will not be ready for this Christmas but will be finished in time for 2021!

  279. Right now I am in a rush against time to finish a dresser set, all three pieces have the pretty Blue Willow pattern on them. It is being stitched in four different colors of blue DMC floss. Stitches being used are the outline, straight stitch I may add a few more more stitches. I have kept the stitching simple as the design itself is busy enough without a lot of distraction. These dresser scarves will be given as a birthday/Christmas gift set for my elderly auntie who always cherished her Blue Willow set of Sunday dishes. (I am now the proud owner of this set!)
    Thank you

  280. The project taking the most of my time and patience is a very large Disney cross stitch that is almost entirely made up of quotes…ugh. Cross stitch is my least favorite type of stitchery, and this project is definitely proving me right!

  281. The stitching that is occupying my time right now is getting a few more Mill Hill ornament kits done. I have over eighty in my collection already and can’t wait to add more.

  282. That’s a very difficult question for a person who has so many irons in the fire at once. All those project in various stages of development at the same time make it hard to tell what’s taking up the most attention. It also depends on whether you’re talking about actual stitching attention or brain time. Stitching time: snowflake ornaments from last year’s ebook. They are all traced on to fabric and in progress. Pondering time: Let It Snow towel. The pondering includes deciding what stitches to use where, what colors to use, whether to embellish with beads and other things that don’t really belong on a kitchen towel if you’re going to use it, but are fine on something that is only for display. Hmm…

  283. I’m enjoying the Crabapple Hill pattern,
    Grandmother’s Christmas Kitchen.
    I like the details of the Ball Mason jar and
    the spice tins.
    Blessed Advent and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  284. I am working on finishing a needlepoint great horned owl. My mother had stitch most of it years ago. I found it a box and decided to finish it. No pattern but looking at picture of owls I figured out how to finish the stitching.

  285. I’m currently working on Elegance Cubed a small Christmas ornament designed by Kurdy Bigggs (Threedles Design). My mind is occupied with picking what I want to start in the New Year.

  286. I’m finishing up embroidery on a shirt for a friend, putting simple bullion roses on the button and buttonhole plackets and collar points.

    The tray looks like a perfect accessory!

  287. I have been working on several projects from the latest #108 Inspirations. I finished O, Tannenbaum by Trish Burr (all in green), I finished Relax by Deborah Love and made it into a bag and I finished Dasher by Karen Newbrook, this needs to be framed now. All were done with supplies from my stash. Now I am focused on Peace Dove by Cynthia Jackson, I need to get some silk, have all the rest. In this lock down time it is easy to just stay focused and things get done fast. Enjoyed all of them.

  288. Right now I am working on a floral piece in blackwork and goldwork. It’s my first time for both techniques so it’s taking a lot of focus!

  289. I have two Gold Work pieces I’m wanting to finish hopefully for Christmas or at worst Easter/ One is a Seahorse for a friend and the other is a religious IHS with vines and grapes for my late Mum’s priest.

  290. I am currently finishing off a variety of projects so that I can start and concentrate on my “Harmony with Nature” casket in the new year.

  291. Hi Mary, it’s snowing here today. I love the little tray. I sometimes put my tools and thread on a piece of cardboard. It works. Just don’t tip the cardboard! I am working on several Christmas gifts and running out of time. Thanks Mary.

  292. I am currently obsessed with a design depicting a desert scene done in silver Japan threads couched with 3 shades of blue DMC floss in a diaper pattern for the sky with Or Nué clouds in 6 shades of purple Gütermann threads and multiple colors of metallic threads for the desert floor in brick stitch couching. It is my final project for Natalie Dupuis’s Historical Couching class. A challenge that I am determined to finish.

  293. My present project I can lay directly at your door. Hexie quilt! Still basting. Still wondering what I’ve gotten myself into. Mine is made of all stash and I have no idea what the harvest will be.

  294. The project that’s taking up most of my attention is a set of kitchen towels with various designs of my imagination in bright cheerful colors.

  295. Right now my needlework involves finishing up several projects that are gifts. They are a mix of machine sewing, machine embroidery, hand sewing, and serger sewing. Most of my handwork is on hold until after Christmas.

  296. Hi Mary ~
    The needlework project occupying most of my time has not actually started…it’s trying to create individual birth announcement designs for our 4, and almost 5, grandchildren. Each will be getting a 6″ box with a lid, and I’d like the designs to flow around the sides and reflect something of their personalities. So, lots of thinking time, not so much stitching! They were to be ready for Christmas…HAAAAHAHAA…so I guess if they’re done in time for their birthdays next year it would be good too…! Don’t you just love how 2020 has forced us to be ‘relaxed’ about changing deadlines…!
    Cheers, and stay safe and healthy for the Xmas season…deb

  297. I’m trying to finish a wool appliqué project designed by Sue Spargo. Squash Squad has nine 5.5 in square blocks, each with wool appliqué shapes that are highly embellished. I’ve learned so much! Lots of stitches that I had not tried before. I often refer to your “how to” videos, Mary. Thank you!

  298. I am very much enjoying my current embroidery project. I ‘started’ it many years ago but only recently actually started embroidering it (I made a resolution to finish off old projects before starting anything new).
    Why do I like it? Let me count the ways!
    Originally planned the piece as a small woven tapestry but due to back problems turned to embroidery.
    Its on a piece of herringbone-woven turquoise flecked cotton that I love
    The pattern is very geometric
    I use a woven darning stitch a lot
    I’m using a variety of threads and colours but mainly linen: some good some disintegrate after a few passes!
    I change the pattern and take bits out and try out different threads
    I’m using a Millenium frame and finding this improves my comfort and ease immensely!
    So all in all I’m having a tremendously good time with this! And learning lots. I have no idea when I’ll finish it but I am steadily working away.

  299. I am working on the dragonfly from Trish Burr’s book. I thought I would have been done a while ago, but not so.
    I was hoping to offer it framed to my granddaughter for a Christmas present. I will offer it to her, but just as a present to show her my love for her.

  300. The project that is taking most of my stitching time these days is my online Punto Antico course, with two different ornaments to stitch. I am working on the cutwork portion of the second ornament and having to put in the foundation stitches to create the fan motif inside, then weaving the fan motif. Once I receive my order of milliner’s needles, I will be putting in the bullion knot flowers. At the end, I will add some beads to the flower centers.

  301. I am currently working on a beautiful design of a vintage log cabin quilt pattern in needlepoint. And, of course I am using my stash of fibers so every color and fiber type is different from the designer’s! That makes it a bit challenging but at the same time more fun to see how I can make it work to look as lovely as the original design.

  302. I have a tea towel project underway, that is a rendition of one of Picasso’s line drawings. But there is a section that is all french knots, and I have set it aside for a bit after burning out on them. But it’s the very last part! So I must get back to it!!

  303. I am working on an embroidered ornament of a gingerbread house in a snow globe.
    It will hopefully adorn my kitchen soon.

  304. Right now, I’m trying to make some progress on Quaker Virtues, cross stitch design. I made the mistake of doing it over one on 28 count linen, which is difficult for me to stick with for very long. I love the design, so I’m trying to do at least a little each day. I’m also trying out the sewing method so it’s easier to hold it under the magnifier.

  305. I’m working on a kit with florals around a negative space heart as a gift for my mom. I’m enjoying picking bright fun colors for the various flowers.

  306. Christmas House by Patricia Andrew, years in the works, only a few beads left! Love Needle in Haystack, so helpful when miles away from any shop, Thank you!
    Mary Kay in Montana

  307. I have been working on a crazy quilt in response to a challenge posed by Sharon Boggon of Pintangle. The challenge was to create a crazy quilt with 2020 different elements in observance of the year 2020. Unfortunately life has gotten in the way and it’s clear that I won’t finish it as planned. After some consideration I’ve decided to turn it into a 1010 quilt – half of the original elements to mark what I consider to be half of a “normal” year.

  308. In between stitching last minute gift items, I’m hand quilting a king size wholecloth quilt to relax! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Mary!

  309. I am working on Hazel Blamkamp’s Nigel the flamingo. Perfect since I live in Florida. Her projects are challenging and absorbing, perfect for a pandemic

  310. Right now I am finishing my first pulled thread whitework project. It is a correspondence course from EGA. I am loving it. It is not perfect, but has been fun learning and can’t wait to try another project in pulled thread.

  311. I am working on a delightful greenhouse that will serve as the home to several accessories. This is from one of Jane Greehoff’s kits and I can’t wait to give it my little gardening sister when it is finished.

    Linda S.

  312. Hi, Mary!
    I’ve been using a variety of embroidery stitches on my crazy quilt lap blanket, from my Mom. She made it for me many years ago. Now, I’m adding patches over the pieces that are worn out. The patches have different embroidery styles, after all it is a crazy quilt, and I just love it!

  313. I am currently working on a project that I plan to teach after the first of the year. (Assuming that we aren’t locked down, of course.) It is an Edmar Brazilian embroidery design called Meadow Medley.

  314. I just finished my latest project, for My 2-year-old granddaughter Ada, who loves Elmo. I crocheted her an Elmo hat for Christmas, and next in the works is a mohair and silk hat for me, out of stash yarn. Counts as needlework, yes?

  315. My most important project right now is a Bucilla felt Christmas stocking. It has three fun loving snowmen, a penguin and a bluebird playing in the snow with a pine tree background. This will be a gift for a grandson. It’s a colorful kit with some embroidery, sequins and beads, and all 100 plus pieces are appliquéd by hand. When the the top is complete, it will be lined with a cute snowmen fabric. At least I am 2/3rds done!

  316. I’m trying out stitches in my hand dyed silk thread on a background of silk fabric scraps which I also hand dyed in purple pinks and orange yellows.

  317. I’m trying very hard to finish off a Christmas Stocking…..fingers crossed it will be finished by weekend. 🙂

  318. I’m working on a quilt kit I bought last month called Woodland Getaway by Quilt Doodle Designs. The center of the quilt is a printed panel on which I am embroidering, along with a couple of other blocks from the panel. Not a lot of fancy stitches, but it’s taking a long time to do.

  319. So I just finished 2 large projects! A christmas gift I had been working on for 2 years and Coming to America Women of the Mayflower! So now what I’m spending my time stitching is a fun gaming cross stitch for world of Warcraft to add to my gaming section by my computer. Does help they just released an expansion for inspiration!

  320. I am learning Or Nué, and my first efforts are a real challenge. I am reminded of my son’s kindergarten teacher’s mantra: “A mistake is another way of learning.”

  321. What a pleasant surprise it would be to win this seasonal gift! The project can be done by Christmas and the lovely tray would be a permanent and useful re,under.

  322. Les BULLES DE BONHEUR proposées par LIN PULSION – 35 à ce jour- sont juste à la taille de mon savoir-faire et de ma persévérance: ni trop, ni trop
    peu! J’attends avec impatience la parution de chaque nouvelle grille et pendant
    que je tire l’aiguille j’oublie la morosité de l’époque actuelle

  323. The needlework project that had been occupying most of my attention, was a little sea side themed candle mat. The project is now complete and on its way to the recipient for Christmas.

  324. While waiting for knee replacement surgery on Thursday 12/17, I am madly stitching on dish towel sets I purchased from Needle N Thread throughout the last year and I am having the best time. I plan to share these lovelies with family and friends for the holidays. Thanks for all your generous gifts and sharing your skills and knowledge with all of us. I am always, always inspired by what you share.

  325. I am currently working on finishing the embroidery on 2 guest towels for a friend of mine. The colors are great, but this is the first time I have done stamped cross stitch and I definitely do not like it!

  326. I have been working on a piece for my sisters 60th birthday, Three years ago. I really want to get it done.

  327. I am assembling the 12 snowflake ornaments and putting the final touches on them so they can be gifted. I love them all and can’t decide which one I’ll keep for myself yet. Thankyou Mary, for great instructions that bring about something so beautiful, I just gaze and wonder at what I was able to do.

  328. A-ha … it’s a canvaswork picture I designed and began to stitch … wait … in June? July? let’s say a looong time ago. It is huge, so the looong time was to be expected, but the reason why it is occupying my attention right now is the fact that (thread) colours aren’t to be confided in when you see them on a monitor. I was bent on using a colour scheme out of greens and purples only, with some white and beige, and in the design (on the computer, on the print-out) the scheme looks fine.

    Then I settled to choose the corresponding colours from Fine d’Aubusson. First difficulty was, that the online shop that carries them over here, offers pics of them in groups only, not of the single skeins, so the skeins in the pics are relatively small and the colours difficult to distinguish. But even as I thought I found the right ones and placed the order, when they arrived, they looked completely different than I had seen them on the monitor.

    Maybe I should have changed my plans then, but I was still hopeful that the whole embroidery would look good in the end, considering my lack of experience and that the stitched piece often looks better than expected. So I carried on … and now I’m unstitching a huge patch of dark green floss to replace it with the dark green crewel wool. :/ I don’t want to rip it, because it would be a shame to throw away so much good floss. So I’m pulling and pulling and pulling threads right now …

    I’ll let it be a learning experience.

  329. Most of my time has been spent in making photo christmas ornaments of my grandchildren or for my children. But I carry some embroidery around with me “just in case”. I am copying a bookmark that a grand drew for me and embroidering the design. Such fun 🙂

  330. The needle work project I am working on now is a small 3″ hoop project that is part of a maker advent calendar. I am stitching around the center shape and filling in the background. I am working on colors and stitches to use. Looking forward to the new year to start on a bigger project.

  331. I am trying to create a hexagon coverlet for my guest bedroom and it is taking up more time than I had counted on when I envisioned the project. It will take all my spare time and then some.

  332. The project that always keeps me busy is my husband’s coat of arms, a design we created together that has a huge Finnish-flag-colored cross in the middle. As he wanted it to look solid, I’m doing it in long-and-short stitch, which may take the rest of my life. 🙂

    I do take breaks to work on Christmas or flowers, but this one just keeps me going.

  333. I’ve been working on a 12 Days of Christmas cross stitch design by Teresa Wentzler as my main stitching project for some time now. Her designs are always lovely and very detailed. I’m working over-one on 36 ct. linen.

  334. The piece I have been concentrating on the most for some time is a laid and couch work embroidery based on an old Turkish sample I saw in the Victoria and Albert museum last year. I have been having to work out how best to sew it to match the construction of the original, or indeed where to deviate

  335. I do love a little bit of this and a little bit of that when it comes to cross stitch goodies! This offering is just what I’d love to get. Many thanks to all of the wonderful gifts you’ve given so far!!!

  336. The project taking most of my time in these days leading up to Christmas is embroidered and stitched ornaments. Several years ago I started stitching these for each of our seven children. They tell me they are their most favorite gift. I envision the tradition carrying on to grandchildren when they have their own homes.

  337. I am working on small Christmas tree stockings for each of my grandchild to hang on the tree. I am looking for silver dollars to fill them with but hard to find. Also, each year we add appliqué pieces to our tree skirt.

  338. I am trying to finish up a dozen elf ornaments, made of wool with embroidered detailing, but it’s slow-going!

  339. I am working on an applique quilt at the moment, which I do by hand, being an embroiderer by preference. Love pulling out my stash of different fabrics and fibers and making it up as I go. I have just reached the point where no more pins are holding down fabric, so all the edges are stitched. Now on to the embellishing of the designs, and then the hand quilting. This one is small.

  340. The project that is taking up the majority of my time at this moment is a temperature stitch that I’m designing. I am making it more complicated than it needs to be, but I want it to be really good.

  341. My plan for December 2020 was to spend the time stitching on all my Christmas WIPs. The one getting most of my attention is HAED’s The Nativity. Of course, it is full coverage and is on 18 ct Aida. I can see one whole sheep and a shepherd boy so it is enticing to see what else develops as I stitch. This piece has been a WIP for quite a while but it draws me in and it is a peaceful stitch.

  342. Good morning Mary
    Yes, equipment failures usually put us back on the right track.
    I am working on a red Maple leaf in long and short stitch. Long
    and short stitch is my challenge but I do keep at it. I am sure
    the day will come when I can say, “That is okay.”
    Mind you, I am retired so it must come soon!

  343. the needlework project that has most of my attention is Clive the Chameleon on the back of vintage denim jacket for ME. I never do embroidery for myself. Clive comes from the Inspiration magazine.

  344. The project that has all my attention right now is a hands across the sea sampler which I’m trying to finish by the due date of her competition.

  345. The embroidery project that is occupying my time at the moment … is the one I am planning … a silk embroidered broach.

  346. I am Aunt to 10 wonderful nieces and nephews. My current project is very special to me because if is a birth sampler for my first Great Nephew.

  347. Most of my needlework attention is focused on a little felt Santa ornament that I’d love to finish before Christmas! He’s adorable!

  348. My current project is Phillipa Turnbull’s Jacobean Hunt crewel (my Christmas present to myself). I love the bright autumn colors and find the stitching relaxing in the evening when the tree lights are on.

  349. The needlework project consuming my time is actually putting finishing touches on several projects, such as sewing on buttons, ribbon trim, and not really a needlework project per se but sewing binding on multiple quilts.

    Mary, thanks for all of the information, patterns, videos and instructions on embroidery topics.
    Merry Christmas!

  350. The stitching project that is taking up my attention , time, and making me a bit stressful too is embroidering some laundry bags for a sacristy. They are small; one for purificators, one for a amices, and one for corporals, small but needed. Excited when they are finally finished. Tanya heidi

  351. The project that is on my table right now is the Mariner’s Compass by Cynthia Jackson. I recently took the online class and loved it. But as things go life gets in the way and I have not completed it yet. I need to do so before her next class starts in January.

  352. At Christmas time I enjoy stitching Christmas themed projects like ornaments or gingerbread houses. I am having a ball stitching your little Christmas stockings!

  353. I have been creating a black work coif and stomacher for a reproduction English Wooden doll. It’s been a lot of fun stitching it to scale. Thanks so much.

  354. The piece I am working on now is called Casa de las Flores and is a lovely Brazilian Embroidery piece with palm trees, lots of french knot flowers and a fountain.

  355. It’s mundane I know, but my 21 year old granddaughter needs a sturdy laundry bag so I’m making her one and personalizing it.

  356. I’m currently alternating between two projects, trying to finish a bunch of WIPs before concentrating on a casket, i’m spendig part of each day on a Christmas table runner (with holly, bows and ornaments at each end), and part on a cross stitched checkerboard (with a different quilt block pattern in each “black” square).

  357. I am in the process of working on two needlepoint Christmas stockings for our newest great grandchildren.
    Just learned that I will need to make one more.

  358. My current project is embroidering a denim jacket to use as a sample in my classes. I’m doing Kantha embroidery on it in circles. I seem to be obsessed with running stitch lately and circular patterns. I wonder what that says about my current state of mind.

  359. During December I find most of my time planning for the next year. That said I just finished a wool applique of a bird and I just pulled out a cross stitch of a bird. Next year I hope to put together a fabric book of different techniques featuring birds. The joy is in the stitching.

  360. I am taking a break from stitching my casket top and working on Jenny Adin Chtistie’s wren.
    But, the coffin needle book gave me an idea. I will make a matt board coffin for my “dead” needles, to save for the Japanese festival. I have a rectangle now. A hexagon coffin is more appropriate.

  361. I am working on Octoberfest…love how the colors are “falling” together. I know I’m so out of season with this but it’s still the season to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

  362. Hello, right now I am working on two related projects. The SAL for the Ann Morison sampler from HATS and Traditional Stitches has started and I’m loving it. I am also working on Heather Jardine, a free sampler from HATS that is part of the SAL.

    Mary, this year has been challenging in general and, for you, personally. I wish you a peaceful and happy 2021.

  363. The needlework project occupying my time at present is a piece of or nue goldwork. I drew up a design and am working it with the laid gold in several directions to give the piece some movement. I understand this means it is not technically or nue, which should have the gold laid in straight lines but, hey, it’s my piece so I can do what I want with it can’t I?

  364. My current project that has taken most of my time is a Hapsburg lace. It is a fairly large project but enjoyable.

  365. The embroidery project mostly occuping my time right now is the stocking kit that I ordered from Needle n Thread.Just about the time I finished the sampler part of the stocking I fell and it has delayed the finishing part of the stocking.

  366. Current project? I’m working on a coiled basket (upholstery cord wrapped in fabrics, embroidered and embellished) for my parliament of plush owls to live in.

  367. My sister asked for an embroidered panel she can use as part of a bag for Christmas. Just now getting out Yumiko Higuchi’s books to find something quick and fun that can be done in a week!

    Love that needlebook. Thank you Cathe.

  368. Not complicated, but lot of stitches, current project is Meg Hawley’s Noah’s Ark quilt embroidered blocks

  369. I’m currently working on a memory quilt made from my mother’s clothing. Octagon crazy quilt blocks embellished with combination stitching, her jewelry and other small mementos.

    Thank you for all your efforts creating & sharing your newsletters!

  370. Hi,

    I’m working on Zindagi Designs Christmas cross stitch patterns. They have a Scandinavian feel to them. I’m having a great time with the set of four. “Silent Night”, “Joy To The World”, “Deck The Halls” and “ Let It Snow”

    Hope you’re all enjoying your needlework ❤️

  371. Once again I am trying to win one of your lovely give always could not see what comment you needed so decided to take a chance hoping I am lucky this time

  372. Trying to finish off some decorative Christmassy cushions, nearly there. That is one of two sewing projects – the other one is a wine tote.

  373. Good Morning,
    I am taking an online class thru Shining Needle Society – Firecracker beaded needlecase by Cindy Hambrick. I am a rank beginner in beading, but with Cindy’s clear directions and graphics I am doing okay. Hope to finish the beading this week. Beading is easier to see than counted thread and a nice break from linen – until you spill the beads!


  374. Would love to win! I am always trying to organize my stash! I have been working on a set of three crazy quilted wall hangings since last May. They are entitled “Memories of Mom I, II and III”. Each wall hanging has a centre of some paisley fabric that came from an outfit mom wore (she passed in 2006). However that is where the similarity ends. “I” is intended for my older sister, “II” is for myself and “III” is for my younger sister. Each is (or will be) stitched in colour preferences for the person it is intended for and includes bits of jewellry, buttons, etc that also came from Mom. “I” has most of the embroidery and embellishments completed, “III” is in progress and “II” has no embellishments or embroidery yet.

  375. I am busy finishing up making the clutch purses and coin purses that I have been working on all year. This is the hard part for me because I want them to look professional. I prefer doing the Needlepoint part as I find it so relaxing…I can get into a zone. I’m almost done and will take on finishing a knitting project that also puts me in the relaxing zone. My hands always want to be busy.

    Merry Christmas.

  376. Right now I am concentrating on Fandangle, which is an EGA GCC. I could not start it at the start time, so am frantically working on it to catch up so I can finish by the April 1 deadline.

  377. The embroidered Christmas creche I work on only in November and December is my go-to, happy moments project. This is a big, long term project for me which I really look forward to beginning again each year. This is the third year. It involves the fireplace, Christmas music, and embroidery. It is peaceful and keeps my hands and mind present to Advent.

  378. I am not doing any handwork at the moment, I am making quilts for the last three grandchildren. I really need to get my fingers on hand needles and thread.

  379. I love your newletter/emails. I’m not a stitcher. I spin, weave, sew, and knit. Many of your tools and tips apply to finishing my items. You and your sharing are a real benefit to us in these screwed up times.

  380. I am just about to finish an embroidery piece that was purchased. I have been working on it for a looooong time! Cannot wait to be finished with it, hopefully this week. It is a
    picture of a woman surrounded by animals, crowned with flowers and it says, “I bring you love.”

  381. The stitching project currently taking the majority of my time is the 2020 Mystery SAL by Linen and Threads. It is a Quaker sampler, with each new section revealed at the beginning of every month. I fell behind over the summer and hope to get it completed by years end.

  382. The needlework project that SHOULD be occupying my attention these days is a lovely Stoney Creek cross-stitch with the Danish proverb “When there is room in the heart, there is room in the house.” The reality is that I am so mentally tired at the end of my work day, I’m not up for much of anything. You’d think that we would all have uber-clean houses, projects all completed, etc. etc. etc. – with all the extra time at home staying socially distant.

  383. Available time now is most pleasantly taken up with a beautiful stumpwork kit from Jane Nicholas from her collection of Medieval Flora.

  384. The project that is occupying most of my time right now is Lesson 1 of Kim Sander’s “Thank Goodness it is Finished”. An EGA class. Not hard exactly, but way challenging!
    Plus last minute Christmas gift tags!

  385. Currently I am doing embrodery and moving on from the few basic stitches I learned as a child. Probably have not done this since then. I am also doing some applique.

  386. The needlework project that is consuming me the most set of 12 Blocks each block has a different butterfly hopefully I will turn this into a lovely quilt.

  387. The most attention presently is being paid to 2 projects — one with a time frame (Christmas — Mary’s Leafy Tree for my daughter) and one that is intense! The intense one is a year long course (online) for 17the century beadwork. Beneath Thy Poft Oak with Rachael Kinneson. I’ve never done anything like this before! Learning a lot, and it takes a LOT of well-lit time!!

  388. Just one! I am helping a friend to finish a quilt her mother started many years ago. We might not finish for Christmas, but her daughters birthday on Dec.27th. I am also trying to finish a flour sack towel for a dear friend with the Christmas holly and berry design. All while baking Christmas cookies! Sleep? That’s what January is for. Ho, ho,ho!

  389. Mary,
    Thanks again for all you have provided.
    I’m currently working on a black work piece by Marion Scoler “ The Princess and the Pea”. It should have been finished by now but a shoulder injury has but in on hold.

  390. Currently struggling to finish in time for the holiday the new Jerome Thomas design of traditional Father Christmas. Love the applique but as an embroiderer since childhood I love the accenting embroidery.

  391. The project that is taking up my time right now – and about to go into time out…. – is Deer in the Woods by Hester’s Needle. It is gorgeous and I love it but how many eyelets can a person do??!! Taking a quick time away from this one to stitch a Prairie Schooler Santa as an eye break!

  392. I have read your blog for many years. Thank you for sharing your love of needlework with others. I just started using AVAS 100.3 this year and love it!
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and Happy New Year.

  393. Lovely accessories that any stitcher would be delighted to have! What fun to have a chance at winning. To answer the question of the day I’m currently working on another fabric landscape and am just about ready to start adding some embroidery to help bring it to life. Unfortunately at the moment I can’t see well enough to do anything too fine (cataract surgery, fingers crossed, on tap for the beginning of March….covid-willing) so my longing to do some cross stitch is going to have to wait awhile.

  394. I just finished a cross stitch Gold Collection Windswept Santa which was given to me probably 15 years ago, sat in my closet for close to 10 years and on which I embarked 5 years ago. I finished the cross stitching but couldn’t face the embellishments and outlining which brings it all to life. Three months ago I took it on, completing it by the finishing deadline. Liz at Rita’s Needlepoint was so impressed with my work that she had the pillow back to me in 2 weeks, calling in a favor from her finisher. I will send you a photo of the pillow. I am done with cross stitch and will stick to canvass work. Holes are a lot easier on aging eyes than Aida cloth.

  395. Describe the needlework project that’s occupying most of your attention right now!

    The “Needle Work” most occupying my time right now is actually my knitting and croshceting Christmas Ornaments for gifts!

  396. Currently working on a Meg Hawkeye design. Sooo close & ready to be finished and move onto something new.

  397. I absolutely loved the stockings and have been wanting to dig in since you first posted about them. (I am a special ed teacher and I desperately wanted to find something to help me unwind, but its been nutty here in the US…)
    So I bought the e-book, it’s drawn on the linen, it’s even in the hoop! Now I just need to find my needles… and threads… and time! We don’t go on break til after the 23rd, so I may end up making these just for me 🙂

  398. I am currently embroidering Psalm 23 into blocks. Not sure what my final project will be. Maybe a wall hanging.

  399. Hand quilting is consuming the bulk of my stitching time along with working on a wool appliqué quilt. Tools that keep my organized are very welcome!

  400. I hadn’t done counted cross stitch in quite some time, so I am working on a lighthouse in bottle piece. As usual, I woefully underestimated how long it would take to complete!

  401. I just finished up 2 WIP’s for my nieces. They were started by sister-in-law before she passed away. 1 project was a music themed cross stitch that I finished for her daughter who is a high school music teacher. The 2nd project was a stamped cross stitch rose that I finished for her other daughter, whose last name is Flowers. I’ve taken pictures of the projects at the WIP stage so that my nieces can see where their mother left off. I know they will treasure these projects and I did working on them and finishing up her stitching.

  402. My current project is a SAL in blackwork, a sampler with a different design for every week of the year. While it was released once a week, I am late to the game and currently on week #7. It’smy first time doing blackwork and I’m finding it very enjoyable!

  403. I love Needle in a Haystack! And, this is finally a question that is very easy for me to answer. I’m leading the May 2021 program for Cyperpointers ANG, which is a project from the ANG chapter project book. It’s a free project for members (yes, that’s a plug). I’m stitching the design in both 18 count and Congress Cloth, so that’s what I am focusing on now. (While trying to ignore the urge to stitch Christmas things)

  404. Two Christmas gifts are occupying my time; one is a stitched piece of my parents’ dog, Honeysuckle, a Jack Russell Terrier and Chihuahua mix. The other project has me sewing an apron for my Sister-in-Love’s five year old niece, who loves to cook.

  405. My current project is a very brightly colored canvaswork piece. Sort of an abstract design. I’m loving to work on it.

  406. Right now I am finishing up smocked ornaments for family friends. Also planning in my head for smocking and shadow work outfits for our two great granddaughters. One is just a week old. My head projects get me in trouble because I plan more than I can produce most of the time.

  407. I am currently stitching Kathy Barrick’s. “ And
    Heaven and Nature Sing” so appropriate for this holiday season.

  408. The project that is getting the most of my attention right now is Mill Hill’s Sledding Gnome. I love gnomes and will probably make modifications with the beads and snowflake. I always do something to personalize my projects.

  409. My needlework attention is getting your great socks finished for family and friends and your snowflakes for those that did not receive them last year. I am finding ways to be more efficient to multi tasking. Luckily, only one of each has to be mailed. Thank you for always having Christmas project for me to do as gifts.

  410. I’m desperately trying to finish “My Token of Love” for our 35th wedding anniversary which is Dec 21st. It’s a cross stitch pattern designed by Karen Kluba of Rosewood Manor for her 40th anniversary. I have to do some frogging today, but should be able to have a finish. Hoping my hubby will do the framing

  411. The project that is occupying my time at the moment is a cross stitch pattern of an old very traditional German design. It shows St Nicholas riding on a ewe with the Christ child seated in front of him.

  412. The needlework project occupying most of my attention at this time is a Byzantine inspired cushion cover stitched on hand-loomed material. The design is actually repetitive and meditative, but the material is very irregular so does require being careful that every stitch is actually over 2, not 3 or 1.

  413. At this moment Christmas ornaments are occupying my time, but over all of 2020, the project that has occupied the most time for me was the Historical Countries Mystery Sampler from The Gift of Stitching Magazine. It was an online Australian magazine which stopped publication some years ago but is now offering selections of issues for sale due to interest in the Facebook group named for this project. Look it up, and join! I started this Sampler in 2007. I am working on this project as part of a Challenge through the Needlework Guild of Minnesota. The Challenge was to choose a substantial project from our stash to finish over a year, ending March 2021. I am more than 3/4 finished with it and with the accompanying chatelaine pieces. I had better get going!

  414. The project which is occupying most of my attention at the moment is a piece from Elisabetta Sforza’s A Sea to Stitch book, at present I am working a sample, and my husband has put some pieces from the book together for me to stitch for his mother for a late Christmas present (we likely will not see her over Christmas itself because of Covid-19).

  415. Ohh, I love nothing better than organising my stitching supplies!

    In classic December fashion, I am rushing to finish a gift – my Christmas gifts were all done and sent off a couple of weeks ago but I am now working on a sampler for my friend’s baby who was born unexpectedly early. Hopefully that will make the Christmas post too!

  416. I have been working lately on a BOM from Crabapple Hill, called Noah’s Journey. Each embroidery block is colored and then stitched.

  417. The needlework project taking a lot of my time at the moment is a flapper girl in the style of one I made at a class with Helen McCook a few years ago. I was impressed with how well the one from the class turned out and so wanted to make another in a similar style. I found a picture in a book. I’ve got most of the stitching done; there will be beads added for various bits but I can’t get her eyes right; I’ve done them at least three times. I think the eyes are actually too big but the lines are permanent. Perhaps once I’ve added the beads for her large earrings her eyes won’t look so big.

  418. Right now, I am too busy wrapping things up at work so I can RETIRE to do any needlework! But look out retirement!

  419. Started a large cross stitch picture of bouquet of flowers. I haven’t done cross stitch in a while, and notice I’m having more of a problem with vision. I may have to get something to magnify the project.

  420. I am working on a cross stitch wedding sampler for my oldest son’s best friend. Procrastinating actually worked in my favor as they had to postpone the wedding when the groom got COVID so the date changed! Thanks for the giveaway.

  421. I’m working on “Monasterio de las Huelgas” (Eder Kits, 385 by 294 stitches). It is a cross stitch design originally, but I’ve decided to make it with half-cross stitches, so it’ll be a little bit less time consuming thing.

  422. My current project is a tree made from triangles. Part are red silks and white laces. The embroidery part are the remaining triangles are different tree designs in greens.
    Barb W, MO

  423. I am working on the “Linen and Threads” 2019 Mystery Sampler Stitch-A-Long with the Peacock.

  424. I know I should be working on the quilts I’ve started for my 4 grandchildren, but I just can’t put down my Elizabeth Bradley “Waterlilies” needlepoint kit. It’s so repetitive and soothing, and who doesn’t need that right now?

  425. I’m finishing up a “Tiny Landscape” commission based on photographs of the customer’s vacation time on a lake in Maine. Each piece is a collaged wool and silk background, with stitches to define the details (a close-up of sunset over a lake and mountain, a more distant view, and a castle in the woods).

  426. I am consumed by the camel blanket from a 1992 issue of Inspirations Magazine. The design is by Jenny McWhinney. I have finally gathered all of the necessary threads or their equivalents, since some companies are no longer in business. And now I’m starting the tissue transfer process, which will be lengthy and somewhat tedious, but, oh, I am so looking forward to embroidering these fascinating animals.

  427. My current project is a small cross stitch in a primitive style. There is a Santa, date of 1887, a little holly, and ho ho ho. I should be able to get it done by Christmas if the stars align and I sit down long enough.

  428. This tray is such a great idea. My needle threader, thread conditioner and scissors are always migrating across the table next to my chair.

  429. The current emroidery project that I’m working on is one from last spring. I purchased 3 dishtowels from Needle and Thread that has 3 different floral prints on them. One has completed. The second one was given to my teenager and I’m currently working on the third one.

  430. The project receiving the most attention right now is a stocking for my 9 year old grandson — started about 4 years ago or so, and worked on intermittently, I am now turning to the new year with renewed intentions of finally getting this one done, and then on to his cousin (our granddaughter who is now 7). There are 4 more following her, plus a new one arriving in the new year….so I have my work cut out for me! The 2021 goal: two stockings finished and a Catherine Theron sampler to vary the work just a tad. I have found that, distractable as I am, I make much more progress when I just do the next thing on a project and rotate to something different to do that next thing. My friends and I call it TNT (the next thing) and are all follwing, in one way shape or form, this discipline to keep us motivated through our stitching stash!!!! Merry and safe holidays to you and a healthy, happy, new year!

  431. Naturally, it’s Christmas cards and ornaments. Right now, it’s a card for my in-laws. It’s blackwork done in variegated red with a touch of bling. Once that’s done, I will begin a white work project.

  432. I recently resurrected all 12 BOM kits from Sue Spargo’s 2011 bom. I have prepped all blocks and am now doing the embroidery.

  433. Currently – I am working on “All the Buzz: Beehive Goldwork Sampler” designed by Katherine Diuguid. Fabulous project and a fabulous teacher.

  434. Those tool trays are absolutely gorgeous! I’m never a monogamous stitcher, but the project occupying most of my time these days is an ANG virtual seminar piece I’d like to finish. I was making great headway on it while the class was underway (September) and then one of my doggies got sick and passed away. I couldn’t stand to look at it so put it away. But lately I’ve been thinking it would be nice to finish and frame, and I will think about it every time I look at it.

    I’m also a knitter and the winter holidays seem to scream ‘yarn,’ don’t they?

    Happy December!

  435. I have been working on a wedding sampler for my nephew. He was married June 1, 2019! I planned to give this to them on their one year anniversary but alas… in a conversation, I found out that his wife is a cross stitcher!!! I am so thrilled that someone else in my family enjoys needle arts. I’m motivated to get the sampler done quickly mow

  436. I am working on a 36″ square needlepoint canvas. It is challenging doing something that large but it will make a great keepsake when done.

  437. Members of our spinning/weaving guild are weaving a variety of twill strips—all the same color, to stitch together for a cozy winter wrap for one of our members. I have one strip woven, and while awaiting warp for the next, I’m embroidering a long twisting vine with leaves, a few flower in wool yarn, embellished with beads. I’ll also be embroidering my 2nd strip similar. As this is a group project, I need to keep moving forward on it…certainly do not wish t/b the last to finish!

  438. My most consuming project right now is sunflower picture. It is 30 inches long and 10 inches wide. Lots of yellow and green (leaves) and blue (honeysuckle flowers). I have been working on this project for a long time and I am down to the last section. Can’t wait to have it finished and framed for my wall.

  439. I am currently sheltering in a cabin high up in the mountains—8500 altitude— in a small village of 1500 people. It is cold, it is snowing, the sun comes up late and goes down early. So it is with a lot of joy that I am currently working on a Just Nan design, “Spring Mouse in a House”. The lovely spring colors are soothing and relaxing. I must say though, that looking outside my window and watching the elk, the deer, and the turkeys wander by, munching away, are also a wonderful sight to combat the very low temperatures!

  440. I was gifted an old stamped cross stitch start by a friends mother. All of the thread is there but no color placement instructions. Making those decisions is challenging as I want to do it justice.

  441. Right now I’m stitching sashiko designs on indigo fabric to make mug rugs as gifts! I’m having fun doing it.

  442. I’m finishing hand quilting a small quilt using a Baptist (or Bishop’s) fan design and Aurifil 40wt variegated thread. Wishing you a very happy, safe and healthy holiday!

  443. Good Day

    My project is the stitch along Linens and Threads 2020 it is a lot of fun and I enjoy making it my own with my fabric and thread choices

    Jamie Cerda

  444. I am currently finishing up Christmas ornaments as gifts for friends and family. I love your blog Mary! Good luck with the new equipment!

  445. I am busy with two things – my first blackwork, a tulip and butterfly, and a sampler that I’m doing to learn all of the different stitches. I’ve been using your articles and Stitch Fun! posts extensively… thank you so much!

  446. Right now, I am steadfastly working on Hungarian embroidered heart ornaments. This time of year I sell loads of them on my sites. Every chance I am not at my computer checking on my businesses, I am making them. This is my quiet time, focusing only on them.

  447. Mary & Cathe, A lovely gift — what a clever (and useful) little tray! What’s occupying most of my stitching attention? I need to find some time with good concentration to finish Lorene Salt’s “Ahwahnee” canvas piece (EGA online studio) — it’s all but done. In the smaller bits of time, I’m working to satisfy a challenge from a local guild: 20 finishes for 2020. I’m at 15, but have a number of ALMOST finished pieces, so I should get there — I’m off work from Christmas Eve until after New Year’s. Next bigger piece coming up is Kurdy Biggs Creme’ de la Creme Box (also EGA online studio) and Cindy Hambrick’s beaded Firecracker Needlecase (EGA/South Central Region).

  448. I have just finished 4 Christmas cross stitch Decorations for my children And a self designed white work project for my best friend – my first design of anything ever! Now about to start my lock down present to myself, the Royal school of needlework, gold work and silk shading butterfly online class.

  449. Currently I am working on a California sampler designed by Theresa M. Baird. It is taking a good deal of time because I completely changed the color pallet. Time well spent because I am enjoying it tremendously!

  450. Right now I am working on finishing up my Gingerbread Stitches by Calico Patch Designs. I has been challenging at times but I love it. I am learning so much and that is always my favorite part.

  451. I have two….the little stockings kit from you and Farmhouse Christmas cross stitch I started in 2018. I stopped crafting in mid 2018 when my precious little dog passed away from complications due to cancer. It took a long time to get back into crafting and I’m far behind. Have a great week.

  452. I am stitching hearts and upbeat saying on the outer layer of three layer masks I make for family, friends and strangers. Sometimes I stitch inside the innermost of the three layers to uplift spirits.

  453. I would so love to win this. My birthday is December 31 and so many times when I was young I did not get anything for my birthday since I got my presents for Christmas. This would be my birthday gift.

  454. Right now I need to finish a Welcome sign for my foyer. But before I tackle that I want to personalize an apron for my almost 4 year old grandson, who has decided he loves to bake!

  455. I do a lot of counted cross stitch. My current project is a pattern I got from a silk gauze design kit I bought. I got it back when you introduced silk gauze with the little rug you were making. I’ve a new appreciation for your work as I can’t seen to do the tent stitch correctly on the silk gauze. But, I have worked the design a few times on 25 count Lugana 1×1 and love it!

  456. Right now I am working on a needlepoint canvas of a Bjorn Wiinblad painting which is using many of the embroidery stitches I have learned converting to canvas

  457. Describe the needlework project that’s occupying most of your attention right now!

    Mary’s mini-stockings!

  458. I prepared a table cover with applications of flowers, leaves and little insects. Then I embroidered it and now I am quilting it.

  459. The current project that is consuming most of my time is a year long hoop. I’m stitching a small picture to represent each day of 2020.

  460. Hi Mary – right now I am involved in mask making – and small hexagon patchwork hot pads for grandchildren’s homes. Hopefully I will have some new items to get me going – I so miss the needle and thread in my hand – quietly stitching happily. Thanks for the chance!

  461. The project taking up much of my time right now is a lovely carousel horse & dancing bears in pastels using many stitches I’ve not done before. I need to finish this (among many other things right now) by Christmas as a gift for two of my granddaughters for their bedroom. Too much to do at the holiday season. Happy holidays Mary. ~ Liz B.

  462. The needlework project occupying my time at the moment is the first lesson in a Beginning Stumpwork class offered by EGA. Stumpwork is something I’ve wanted to learn for a long time, so when this class appeared, I jumped in.

  463. My current main project involves sashiko. Even though it’s only a running stitch, it’s a challenge because the thread that shows on top needs to be twice as long as the one that shows on the bottom. After all these years of embroidery and quilting it takes some focus to NOT make the top and bottom the same!

  464. I’m not getting to do as much stitching as I would like right now, thanks to being in the midst of a series of treatments for an eye problem, but when I can, I’m working on a Christmas stocking for a great-nephew which I had hoped he would have for 2020, but which clearly will be finished in 2021. It’s a beautiful Shepherd’s Bush pattern on a fairly rough natural linen done mostly with perle-type cottons from several thread companies. This is the fourth of these for the next generation in my family.

  465. Hello! I’ve mainly been focusing on learning how to create a life-like image of my mother-in-law’s pup!

  466. My needlework project recently has been organizing, and sorting project kits and supplies. If things are not in order I am frustrated and unable to stitch.

  467. I am between stitching projects right now because I just finished up a crazy quilt! Thanks for the chance to win this lovely prize!

  468. The project I am giving the most attention now is a Trish Burr Needle Painting design, Fuchsia. It takes a lot of time to make and blend the colors of threads, but very relaxing.
    Thank Needle in a Haystack – an awesome store, and you for this give-a-way

  469. The project occupying my time right now is a hummingbird from Trish Burr’s “Whitework with color” book. I have changed much of the design using different colors and adding some different stitches. I wanted more color in the design and added in some more needlepainted elements as well. It has been fun altering it to fit my own taste!

  470. I am working on a hexie quilt inspired by Mary. This has been a huge blessing to me as the work is mindless and takes no concentration whatsoever. My daughter has been struggling with serious emotional and behavioral issues and I simply have not had the brainpower to focus on anything, but having hexies to stitch gives my hands something to do while my heart is breaking,

  471. The needlework project that is taking up any spare time is “Nigel” an elaborate flamingo designed by Hazel Blomkamp. It appears in her book Crewel Birds, the projects are a new interpretation of Jacobean embroidery.

  472. I’ve been working on the 2020 Linen and Threads Quaker Mystery Sampler and Pandemic by Long Dog. Almost done on the first, a long way to go on the last!

  473. Describe the needlework project that’s occupying most of your attention right now! – My EGA chapter has a challenge to create a design that includes a house, a flower, an animal, and letters. Mine designed as a Quaker Sampler in a row.

  474. At present I am working on a miniature floral piece by Trish Burr …learning the long and short stitch.Cheers

  475. Currently, I am working on blackwork Christmas ornaments. I’ve been thinking of making a 17th century casket. That just means box. There are some great ones that can be seen online.

    Heather M. in BC

  476. I am almost finished with my Lizzie Kate project.It’s called Tis the Season. I have done several LK designers but also like sooo many other patterns and designers!

  477. The ‘projects’ that are occupying most of my attention right now are the multiple Christmas decorations I need to get finish before the big day. I love giving my family hand made Christmas decorations each year that they can keep and treasure. My Great Niece is 12 and has received a new decoration each Christmas since she has been with us.

    LA of NZ

  478. Bonjour Mary,
    En ce moment je brodé un projet de crewel en jaune et bleu. Il y a sept belles fleurs accrochées à la même tige qui déclinent cinq nuances de ces couleurs.
    J’aime beaucoup car il y a plein de nouveaux points !
    Il servira de protection à un classeur dans lequel je rangerai toutes les broderies que je réaliserai un jour….
    Oh, comme j’aimerais gagner…..

  479. I have a project of a counted cross stitch on hardanger of “Welcome” that I have been picking up and doing a few hours and then other projects come in, then I get back to a few more hours of the “Welcome”. I will complete this some day. Then to decide whether to frame or to make a pillow; to keep or give away.

    Thank You and Merry Christmas!

  480. I am working on all sorts of Christmas trees in needlepoint and crossstitch to put in thread spools. Fun projects and many different threads and sizes.This is fun on your Christmas give a ways!!!

  481. The needlework project that has been occupying most of my stitching time right now is a beautiful, very complex Christmas stocking (Enchanted Santa by Susan Roberts) for my daughter-in-law. I am trying to incorporate a variety of stitches, with metallics and beading. It is tedious. In fact, it has become “work” so I have decided to temporarily set it aside for a few weeks and finish an outstanding project or two: a stitched Christmas ornament (half-worked for way, way too long) and a Swedish embroidery huck towel, which is just difficult enough and a stress relief!

  482. Today I am making machine embroidered free standing metallic lace and organza angels for Christmas gifts. I love doing all types of embroidery by hand and machine.

  483. Right now I am stitching some felt ornaments for my 14-month old granddaughter to play with on the Christmas tree. We are so very lucky to have our daughter, her husband and our granddaughter in our “bubble” and will be able to be together at Christmas. Thanks for chance to win these goodies from Cathe.

  484. I am working on the “Abby” my brother’s favorite Victorian house in Cape May, NY. Long ago it was the Christian Science Reading Room, but has since been restored to its Victorian glory and made in to a B&B

  485. A UFO tablecloth that I ordered as a young woman, still single and living in the home I grew up in has become a WIP again!
    It was ordered from Family Circle or Woman’s Day magazine at least 50 years ago, measures approximately 4’ by 6’, has an all over pattern in stem or outline stitch. When I realized that it would take years to complete I needed some closure. So I put it aside and completed small projects, mostly Christmas ornaments, birth and wedding samplers as gifts. On and off I would switch back to the tablecloth.
    When pandemic lockdown and quarantine went in place, I devoted serious time to the tablecloth. It has flora and fauna, faces that I have dubbed the Four Winds, and more. At the rate of 3-4 hours daily, I estimate that in another month it will be finished.
    When we are able to gather for family dinners again, the grandchildren will have fun seeking, finding and identifying the many objects in the design!

  486. I am currently working on a 2021 calendar by September House. And on a folk fox pillow cover (by Sublime Stitching) with my grandkids contributing stitches!

  487. I am working on some Christmas ornaments and an EGA project – both fun and time absorbing 🙂

  488. Now that I’m finished with Christmas ornaments, I’ve rounded up the materials to do “forbidden fruit” from Inspirations issue 93. A nice easygoing project for a rather lonesome holiday this year.

  489. I am almost finished with my Christmas sewing. I still need to put the backing on a small epp wall hanging and a hanging sleeve. Waiting for it to dry from making sure the batik colors don’t run. Happy Sewing.

  490. I’m currently working on a red work traditional looking Santa on a black tea towel. I really love how it’s turning out!

  491. I’m working on beaded Christmas ornaments. They are my gift to my family each year.
    Locally, that’s seven ornaments, while I mail five more. For my dearest friends, I have more time, since we meet in early January for our Christmas celebration. Not that that will happen this year! I had hoped to embroider your holly and pine towels for my sister, niece, and myself. Procrastination, thou art my foe!

  492. Right now I`m working on Mystery SAL “Merry & minty” organized by Brenda Gervais. All the stitching is done and I`m thinking about how to finish the piece.

  493. My Christmas project is a remake of a 40 year old stitching that I had glued into an embroidery hoop and finished with eyelet lace and ribbon. It was looking very tired , so I have taken it apart, removed as much glue as possible ( including the glue stain), washing and re stretching the piece, now I am embroidering the piece onto a wool mat, complete with additional edge stitches and beading.

  494. My probject right now is a redwork quilt. Its an alphabit xmas quilt. Hoping to get done before next xmas, while my grandsons are still little.

  495. I am currently working on your floral heart pattern and teaching myself to “color outside the lines”. I’m filling it with ALL THE COLORS!! like you did with the voided monogram needlebook. The whole thing was so bright and cheery, I had to make it. I always struggle with “winging it” and going without a pattern, so filling in all the white space with random bursts of color is a little daunting, but wonderfully freeing. In fact my first little yellow lazy daisy came out so perfectly, it just made me giddy. This project is solely for me and not a gift, so there’s no deadline, no pressure and no need for perfection. I putter on it it here and there, usually in the evening while winding down in front of the television. I love it! Thank you for the inspiration! <3

  496. Of late I have been into Bristol Samplers. Currently I am devoting all my attention on Emma Sandford 1867 from Dutcch Treat Desgins. I sincerely hope that I will stitck with this and finish it since I am stitching the sampler with my favorite color – red.

  497. My current project (and obsession) is a Hand quilted Slow Stitch Christmas Advent Calendar wallhanging – The digital pattern is from FORAGE by Lisa Mattock from Sydney Australia. I just finished assembling the wallhanging in time to fill each pocket with Christmas goodies, but now am continuing to add more Xmas sparkle by embellishing each pocket with lovely vintage buttons, charms, crystals and beads ❤️

  498. I have been working on the Jo Butcher design,’ Woodland’, from the first “Passion for Needlework” book and am almost finished. Instead of framing it, I am making it into a table runner. Besides the embroidery, I just finished tatting some lace to go around.

  499. My sewing this year has been put largely aside to make masks. I thought I was done because they are available everywhere now but men in my family asked for larger, more comfortable ones so that is what I’ll be doing this weekend.
    I’ve made about 150 which is a lot for an old girl like me. In the new year I want to work on some pretty things like guest towels or pin cushions. Please enter me in your give-away.
    Merry Christmas.

  500. This year has been a year of smalls, and right now, I’m working on “ugly sweater” ornaments for my family for Christmas. They have the year 2020 and a picture of a virus or toilet paper on them.

  501. I’m busy stitching Baby’s First Christmas ornament + two for a very special family member expecting twins
    any day now. I’m hoping to be finished before Christmas.


  502. I am working on a cross stitch project from Scarlet Quince. It is Joseph Nigg’s Corbeille de Fleurs. It is very large. I am working it on black 18 count fabric.

  503. Oh I am busily finishing us a crewel piece for my living room. I’m trying to get enough stitching in to finish it this year, so I can start the new with a clean(er) slate. A goldwork design and a needlepoint sampler are on my list for 2021!

  504. I have been working on a cross-stitch from Pineberry Lane called “I Bring Thee Joy”. It works up into a pillow which I intend to give to one of my granddaughters for Christmas, along with an alpaca throw that can be her cuddle mates through the winter of Covid. I am at the pillow making stage of the project.

  505. I moved!

    So nothing but setting up a surprise for someone we’ve taken in and moving has been occupying my thoughts and time. I did my first crafting project in THREE years for this kid! Thankfully she is more than appreciative, and that was all I wanted for her.

    However, my as yet unfinished but planned embroidered mask is now on my night stand. I am planning to make myself stitch until it becomes the itch it used to be. I am itching to set this apartment up and make it mine, which is a very good step forward.

    So here’s to everyone who stitches daily. I look forward to becoming one of you again someday. Hopefully soon!

    Amy from Plymouth Meeting

  506. Right now, it’s stitching tea towels for Christmas gifts! Everything is handmade this year, so I’ve been alternating sewing and embroidering.

  507. My current project are little angels out of beads that I attach to a paper clips to be used as bookmarks for my book club

  508. I have enjoyed the many articles on different types of thread, stitches, tools and many “how to do” . Thanks for your very hard work.

  509. I’m a serial stitcher and always have lots of projects going on at the same time, but my focus stitching project right now is a free advent cross stitch pattern that Pine Needles is putting out with a new small square each day until Christmas. So fun!!

  510. Kathy Rees Curios canvaswork project is taking most of my stitching time at the moment. It is a UFO from a couple of years ago but I am working on area 30 of 35 so I should finish it in 2020!

  511. I’m stitching a Turkish Tiles SAL. I also have 2 other 2020 SAL that I’ve not even started yet! Oh well, there’s always 2021. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all

  512. Right now, I’m busy finishing up some Christmas gift sewing projects with many hand embroidered embellishments. I’m quickly running out of time!

  513. I also enjoy cross-stitch projects and most of my time at present is working on a project showing a staircase in a house with a decorated Christmas tree, gifts and decorations along the staircase. This project is only this Christmas and after this it will be back to my crewel project.

  514. I am working on two things right now. First is a little Christmas stitchery that will be a small table topper. It falls into the easy, no stress category, and that is what we need right now. I designed this as a little sampler with things like holly sprigs and ribbon, a snowman and mittens, a tree and garland , etc. Then there is an applique design with embroidery tht has had me engaged for quite a while. An American eagle in the center of partial feathered stars with poppies intertwined with a red-white and blue ribbon. This sits decidedly on the other end of the difficult spectrum!


  515. I am working on my daughter’s college graduation piece – Carolyn Manning Designs’ Sea Glass. 2 pages completed, 4 full pages and 3 partial pages to go. She graduates in May!

  516. Right now I’ve been working on several embroidered ornaments to give away at the church Christmas party.

  517. I am working on a 32 ct medium clay colored linen crossstitch piece that is very challenging for me. It is number 2 of 3 Americana pieces so even though I don’t usually choose this sort of piece, I’d like to finish all three. The smallest piece was stitched first and since it was successful, decided I’d do this one next and save the third piece till last as a motivator. The third piece is a cute little sampler without all the dense crossstitch areas. I am 3/4’s way through this second piece and see the end in sight. Persistence has paid off.

  518. Right now, I am preoccupied with finishing the cross-stitch ornaments for my grandkids and a small fabric bell for neighborhood gift packages!

  519. Currently I am working on “Early Christmas Morning” by Blackbird Designs. I’m also prepping to start “Anniversaries of the Heart” by Blackbird Designs on January 1. Big plans!

  520. I’m working on a confession stole, but needed to make a sampler & learn more leaves techniques that I purchased through your website.. thank you

  521. I am working on an online needlework class I signed up for which is keeping me thoroughly occupied, no longer worrying about housework as no one can come to visit anyway. Rather freeing, isn’t it?

  522. My current project is a vintage UFO from a canvaswork class by Mary Ellen Searcy. It’s in shades of cream and beige shaped like a spiral shell and has a button to match in the centre.

  523. At present I am working on a cushion cover using Wessex Stitchery. This is a counted form of embroidery and not found very often.

  524. Right now I’m trying to get a Christmas ornament done for my daughter. The Christmas gnomes are not cooperating with me. I’ve had to frog the beard twice due to miss counting. I have plenty of time to fix it. Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

  525. Pandemic and other life adventures haven’t left me a lot of time for stitching, but I did find a kit that had gone missing for a scissors keep and needlebook with tanagers on them that I’m very much looking forward to getting back to, hopefully in the new year!

  526. My current project is EATING MY LIFE.
    It is the Group Correspondence Course thru the EGA called Fandango, by Barbara Kershaw.

    And counting, and frogging, and counting again!
    I am plowing ahead so I can get to the fun drawn thread and lace parts.

  527. At this moment I’m working on a cross stitch piece called Violets Blue by Blackbird Designs. I love all their work and switch around alot. Thank you.

  528. The needlework occupying my free (hah ) time at the moment are smocked Christmas baubles to be given as gifts.

  529. I’m embroidering a hummingbird on a white tote bag. It was an old iron on transfer I found. The hummingbird itself will be stitched with some metallic threads on his throat and perhaps wing tips. I had to dismantle the bag flat, reaching inside to stitch is a pain. I bought some white fabric to line the bag, covering the backside stitching when done. Then I’ll sew the bag back together.

  530. Right now I am working on a red work Christmas quilt, with different types of stitches. Really enjoy your articles.

  531. I am working on a design of flowers and swirlies around the neckline of a peasant style shirt that I am making.

  532. The project occupying my time is one my grandchildren found in my UFO box. It’s an Emily the Hedgehog “Holly and Mistletoe” (EM511, put out by Anchor). My daughter started this piece when we lived in England twenty some years ago. My grandchildren like hedgehogs and knew right away, even though unfinished, Emily is a hedgehog. My daughter recognized it right away when they went running to show her. So, of course, I need to finish it.

  533. Then project(s) I’m working on right now are the fall-themed dish towels you have been creating for us! I’m hoping to use them as Christmas gifts next year.

  534. My rime is being spent working on Santa ornaments on canvas. I have one completed, one almost done and the third waiting in the wings to make his entrance. Obviously they aren’t for this year! But that’s okay.

  535. I just finished a stitch along map and am now agonizing how to display it. Also I am working on a lap quilt an d just finished a knitted hat. I have to have something to work on wherever I sit down.

  536. I am currently working on a cross stitch sampler by Samplers Remembered. The accessories in you give away look wonderful. Carolyn

  537. I am happiest when I am sewing but not lately. This quarantine isolation thing is really grating on my nerves. I miss my kids and grand kids. I miss making memories with them, Christmas crafts, baking cookies and all those fun holiday things. I hope that the sun will shine again in 2021.

  538. I am working on a very cute Christmas sampler. When I finish the sampler, I quilt a frame around it. Then I make three little felt stocking. I of course embroidery on the felt stocking. They are then attached to the sampler on the border. Those little felt stocking are what made me want to do this design.

  539. I am thrilled to enter this contest! I am currently working on stitched gifts for my best friend, as well as masks for all my relatives. Whew!
    Any of the great things from Needle in a Haystack would help me in my efforts to make these items, so I hope I will win today’s items.
    Thanks for offering daily such great items. It is with great pleasure to have this additional feature to look at.
    Nancy Shelton

  540. For the next month or so I’m working on my or nué project from Natalie Dupuis’ class. It is so much fun working the shading into flat couching work. I look forward to a few other pieces that I couldn’t decide on, so I’ll do them all!

  541. I’m working on HATS “Anne Morison,” which will probably take me through most of next year. I’m trying to do the SAL with Traditional Stitches which started 12/5/2020…but I was trying to complete something else first, so I didn’t start until 12/12/2020. Merry Christmas!

  542. I am working on an arial view of our local park – 2 + years now….. on the final quarter of it now!

  543. Thank you, Mary!
    I have 2 projects which I am trying to complete:
    -An embroidered lavender flower throw, which is a kit purchased from Heather McCallum at Beating Around The Bush;
    – A white work project as part of the Royal School of Needlework’s Diploma requirements.
    Lots of work still to be done!

  544. The needlework project occupying my mind is thinking about stitching quotes on kitchen towels. Buy new towels or use the ones I have? Which quotes to use? Freehand it or not?

    Thanks for the give-aways! Your time and effort to round up the prizes and write & manage the emails is appreciated.

  545. Right now the project I’m happily obsessing over is a gorgeous hand-painted Penelope canvas from France. I bought a few of these during my trips to Europe in the ’80s and early 90’s. They are not Christmas themed, but I’m working on one now to celebrate the fact that we used to be able to travel at will before the pandemic, and to daydream about traveling freely in the year to come.

  546. Right now I have an embroidery piece with a cardinal in a tree. I’m hoping to finish it into a small pillow for Christmas.

  547. Right now I am working on a free pattern of fall leaves called Autumn. I fell in love with the saying – “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower – Albert Camus”

  548. I am working on a wool felt/embroidery circle project by Sue Spargo and Mary’s Leafy Tree embroidery. I also have several EPP projects going!

  549. Love all the new tools available….Having just finished my 2020Challenge quilt, by Sharon Boggin https://pintangle.com/2020-crazy-quilt-guidelines/….and having survived Breast cancer this year, I am making a special gift for my doc who found the tumor; he still has tears in his eyes when he recalls the day he had to tell me…so I am doing a crazy quilt bra for him…and since I have another appointment in first week of January, I am working on finishing it by then!!!!

  550. The project that’s consuming the most time right now is designing my own stitch sampler and getting un-afraid to just sit down and stitch it!
    It’s inspired by (not a plagiarizsm of) Rebecca Ringquist’s DropCloth Samplers.
    I’m designing it the way (IMHO) a Libra would: It’s balanced and centered. Geometric elements are to a ‘T’! Lines are pin straight & drawn with a ruler, circles are perfectly concentric & drawn with a compass. Also, there’s no words to indicate what stitch is what, & no incorporation of the alphabet.
    Colors will be selected via blind grab-bag. I spend too much time making The Best Selection of Colors, so I problem-solved: Each member of my 4-person family selects ‘X’ number of DMC floss (Cotton, #5 Perle, Satin, Metallic, Variegated, Etoile, Coloris, or Light Effects). They go into the grab-bag & that’s all I get for my color palette!
    Thank you,

  551. I’ve done a couple of small Christmas ornaments but mostly I am busy crocheting an afghan. I get cold in the evenings and don’t like to turn the heat up too much so this is for me!

  552. the needlework I am doing right now is smocking! I love smocking and how simple it is, yet the results are wonderful!

  553. I am working on a Hardanger cover for a Neck Roll Pillow. The pillow form, linen, threads, and pattern from Janice Love were all purchased a number of years ago and “found” during this “stay at home time”. Perfect for keeping me busy while staying home and safe. Never have I been so glad to have needlework and unfinished projects as I have been in 2020.

  554. I am making a college graduation gift for a granddaughter. Someone gave me an embroidery kit with 6 18X18 blocks. A ring of butterflies and flowers on each block. I showed it to her and said “yes”. I have been working a year and half and only have 4 blocks done. She graduates in May. I have already told her she might have to go for an advanced degree to give me time to finish. Not only do I have to do the embroidery for the last 2 blocks I then have to put it together for a quilt. WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!

  555. I am embroidering a pillow to give to my daughter to thank her for taking such good care of us during the Covid lockdown. She is always there for us and is much appreciated. It’s so peaceful to sit by my window and stitch.

  556. I have actually 3 projects occuping my brain & time – my Alison Cole piece has been sitting patiently and making me guilty for not working on it, a piece for my guys I’m collecting materials for, and I’m just set to start stitching the online EGA learn Brazilian wreath.

  557. I’m working on Danish Floral deigns by Gerda Bengtsson, I’m on the 4th design and my goal is to complete all designs in the book.

  558. I’m currently stitching an Associated Talents canvas – Fretwork & Buttons #2 – with a stitch guide from Tony Minieri from an embellishment class with him. So there are a lot of plaited stitches, Burden Stitch and others, beads, many threads from silk to metallic, a free-swinging tassel from a Turkey Work method, and other small rewards and challenges. Never boring!

  559. Have two currently that I am working on, but the one occupying most of my time is the coming to America the women of the Mayflower

  560. I am currently working on a SAL ornament from With Thy Needle and Thread, published on their Facebook page. It was released in 4 parts, and stated that you should be able to finish the ornament within the week. NOT! At least not on my part! Being that it is stitched on 36 count linen, it has been slow going for me, but I love how it is turning out. I may be able to get it done before Christmas.

  561. Hi Mary!
    I’m currently learning how to needlepaint from Trish Burr’s book of kew embroidered flowers. The project that is occupying my time is the cleamtis.

  562. My current project is working on Gay Ann’s Purple Majesty heart—done 2 already. Thank you for all your newsletters and have a happy holiday season.

  563. The project requiring most of my time right now is Gay Ann Rogers Patriotic Hearts series. I am working on Amber Waves of Grain. There are four hearts in the series. The other three are Purple Mountains Majesty, From Sea to Shining Sea, and America, America.

  564. I am currently finishing the sampler, Coming to America cross stitch by Brenda Gervais. It has been quite the project but I can see the end from here! I want to start an English Paper Piecing project next.

  565. My mind is currently occupied with designing a triptych to illustrate the poem “Twa Corbies” with appliqués of ravens or crows–

  566. What glorious colours and how lovely they all look together. Any of the items would be very welcome to my needle working adventures.

  567. I am working on a full coverage piece, 1×1 on 28 ct. fabric so they are TINY stitches! Magnifier AND reading glasses combined to do it. :). I’m thinking it’s a life project. LOL

  568. Thank you, Mary, for organising these delightful Christmas Give-aways. Such fun!

    I am currently occupying my time with stitching banners for our church for Advent. We are just about finished Advent, and they appeared for the first time last week, with three of the candles “lit”. Just two to go. The flame is done with wired red ribbon over red felt in the flame shape. On top, & smaller, I have added a yellow ribbon over a piece of orange cotton material, that looks like the centre of the flame. These flames are added, one each week, until all five candles are lit. The background is a lovely silver brocade – we are having a white and silver theme in the decorations this year, instead of the usual red and gold.

  569. I am currently working on a 2020 SAL in Cross-stitch – Letters from Hogwarts by Stewart Cunningham. This is a “Choose your own adventure” SAL where you answer questions and do some testing to determine the stitch design in each section.

  570. My current project is finishing stitching tree-shaped ornaments made with words spelling the names of my sisters and their kids so that they can then be finished as ornaments on time for Christmas!

  571. I am spending most of my time reading about various methods of doing needlelace so I can do an Elizabethan pincushion with pansy petals that are filled with needlelace.

  572. My current project is a seemingly never ending applique of a landscape. I’m not even at the stitching stage yet – just cutting many thousands of pieces of fabric.

  573. Right now I’m working on a quilt that my husband is impatiently waiting for. I’m hoping to finish by Christmas.

  574. I’m currently cross-stitching Vintage Birds by Jeannette Douglas. I really enjoy the called for colors for this design and there are specialty stitches to keep things interesting. The peacock has been fun to stitch.

  575. Aha – I am currently focusing on hoop art projects. I have a lovely bird surrounded by a vine and leaves and some grapes from The Floss Box – it is a crewel wool project. I have made the snowman owl and another one from The Floss Box – she has such lovely and really cute crewel hoop art kits. I love crewel work. But I do have some additional hoop art projects lined up that use regular floss. I am hanging them in my sewing room – they are happy and make me smile!

  576. I’m making a cross stitch Christmas stocking for my granddaughter – that’s what is taking up my stitching time for now. Hopefully, it will be complete by Christmas!

  577. Actually I am trying to get my room and stuff in order so I can work on my projects. I have many projects that need attention.

  578. Hello Mrs Corbet,

    That would be a stitchery on a project bag for knitting, which I had planned to finish before Christmas, but haven’t even started on… 😉

  579. I recently connected with an instructor who teaches Japanese Embroidery online and lives in France. It has been 15 years since I last did any Japanese Embroidery so I am learning and re-learning a lot!

  580. I am currently most occupied in finishing a cushion embroidered with 20 or so small plant motifs as a gift for my daughter.

  581. The project getting the most attention at the moment is a wedding sampler for my granddaughter’s wedding in February 2021. It has cross stitch, drawn thread work, pulled thread work, hardanger, ribbon work & beading.

  582. I’ve been working on a lot of beaded cross stitch lately…mostly Mill Hill kits that I’ve purchased from various places. I’ve already sent off my gifts for the year, so I gotta start on the pile for next year!!!

  583. I have many stitching projects on the go, but the one I am spending most time on is a black work project. I recently fell in love with black work and I am spending some time stitching up holiday black work minis!

  584. Hi fellow stitchers and Ms Mary Corbet
    Holiday greetings!
    My current project is one of Ms Corbet’s patreon patterns – a sprig of lavender. I’m embroidering them on unbleached muslin to sew into lavender sachets for Christmas and other gifts. The lavender is from my garden. I did try to do the design using perle cotton #5 (stem stitch and French knots) but prefer two strands of regular DMC floss. Once again, Ms Corbet is a wonderful designer! The pattern is perfect, as are the colors and stitches she suggests.
    Thank you, Ms Corbet, for the opportunity to win some lovely thread and tools!

  585. The needlework project taking most of my time right now is the Winter Solstice ornament set by Hands On Design. Each ornament has a cabin with smoke coming from the chimney. One ornament has the word Serenity and the other has the Word solitude. I am working on a 28 count cornflower blue linen. The ornaments are a wedding gift for the daughter of a college roommate, who got married on the winter solstice 2019. So I am about to miss the one year deadline for gifts. That is why it is taking most of my time right now!

  586. I’m finishing up a felt nativity for my 3 yr old grandson. He can arrange the pieces on a flannel board.

  587. What a lovely idea! Unlike the current job, which is constructing two of Betsy Morgan’s etuis. I LOVE stitching them because it’s so relaxing but the finishing is sooo stressful and I keep putting it off. Then there’s the linen shirt I drew designs on, in water-soluble pen. That was great, but I now have to do it again in something else because it was hanging in the evaporative air conditioning, and the pen marks disappeared!

  588. “Coming to America” by Brenda Gervais is my current stitching obsession. My favorite projects are those with a patriotic and/or historical aspect. I love Brenda’s design and the “package” she presented. While I’m not a fan of mystery projects, this one was well worth the risk.

  589. Woman with dog from Trish burr. No instruction or advice. So I’m just having a go from the book Embroidery Transfers.