Bundle of Joy

I always love celebrating with my friends when something amazing happens to them and this is no exception: my awesome friend Mollie Johanson has written a cross-stitch book! YAY!!

The book is called Cross Stitch Celebrations: Bundle of Joy! and let me tell you, it’s a bundle of joy to look at. I mean come on! It’s so colorful and cheery and perfectly represents the designs that Mollie is known for.

Now, I’ll be honest, when I was trying to come up with an idea of what I was going to make, I was torn between a couple of ideas. I knew I wanted to use a blank, pre-stretched Aida canvas, (You can find a three-pack over at Michael’s.) but I wasn’t settled on a particular pattern. Then, as I was flipping through the pages, I saw this and inspiration struck!

If you know anything about me you know I just adore (read: am obsessed with) variegated threads and thought, you know what my life needs? A variegated dinosaur. So I set off to work!

I changed the colors of the spots and the cheeks as well to better match the colors of the thread. Just look at that face. Adorable!

Before I knew it, I felt like Alan Grant on Isla Nublar

because there was a cute, adorable dinosaur right before my very eyes! (They *do* move in herds.)

Fantastic, right? And you can see how changing the color gives your dino pal a very different feel! (You can see Mollie’s dinosaur on the cover of the book as seen in the first pic.)

Enough talking about the project, now it’s your turn to make something adorable. You can find Mollie’s book at all major retailers. Buy two copies! Buy ten!

I am also doing a giveaway on Instagram if you want to throw your proverbial hat in the ring and try to win a copy of this book for yourself!

Also, be sure to check out all of the blog posts on the book tour. There are some fantastic ideas and adorable project finishes!

July 11
Mollie Johanson – Wild Olive

July 12
Clare Albans – Hello Hooray

July 13
Aimee Ray – Little Dear Tracks

July 14
Bev McCullough – Flamingo Toes
and
Camille Ipsen – Not So Modern Millie

July 15
Jess Swaim – Stitch X to Continue

July 16
Danielle Webb – Sprinkles of Zeal
and
Mollie Johanson – Wild Olive

(Xbox) Live, Laugh, Love

It started with this:

It ended with this:

The wordplay off of “Xbox Live” was just too tempting for someone like me to pass up, so off I went to create a pattern. It’s fairly straightforward and quick; I had given myself the weekend to finish the project. Even if you are new to cross-stitching, you should be able to finish this in a day or two.

Want to make your own? Of course you do.

What you’ll need:

The Chart
6″ embroidery hoop
DMC colors white and 703 (or you can use any bright green color you have)
Ikea plants to set on either side (optional)

Also, if you really want to wow your friends, you could also use glow-in-the-dark thread (DMC E940) instead of white which is what I would have done if it still wasn’t packed away.

If you do decide to tackle this, I’d love to know! If you have any questions about this project or cross-stitching in general, please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or Instagram. As always, happy crafting!💚

Destiny 1 Stitch-a-long

48 shiny Destiny 1 emblems. Enjoy, my friends.

EmblemEmblem NameLink
Clades OrygisChart
Judgment’s Right Hand *Chart
Vigilamus NoctuChart
Sign of Opposing Will *Chart
Blessing of the Unmade *Chart
Comet’s HeartChart
Sigil of the War Cult *Chart
The Rising*Chart
Badge of the MonarchyChart
The Reflective Proof *Chart
Omen of ChaosChart
Devourer of Light *Chart
Slayer of Oryx *Chart
Alt Chart ^
Vanguard HonorChart
Vigilant Disciple ^ Chart
Alt Chart *
Nadir *Chart
Vosik’s VenomChart
Command ^Chart
Bomb Squad II ^Chart
Founder’s SealChart
Rising Light ^Chart
City Force Chart
Sign of UnityChart
Sentinel’s Crest ^Chart
Swords of the DawnChart
Crota’s End ^Chart
Eris MornChart
Crown of the Sovereign ^Chart
Emerald RookChart
Alt Chart ^
The Obelisk IChart
Bomb Squad #Chart
Bastet’s DreamChart
Sunset City ^Chart
Corsair’s BadgeChart
Glass and TimeChart
Sign of MomentumChart
SUROSChart
Sigil of Deviance #Chart
Omolon #Chart
KellbreakerChart
Symbol of the Wolf ~Chart
Paladin’s Blazon *Chart
Alt Chart ^
Sign of the FiniteChart
HäkkeChart
Prison of Elders ^Chart
Echoes of Shattered Suns *Chart
Field of Light Chart
Heart of the FoundationChart
* made by Talliroxxor
^ made by BlueCrew86
~ made by GingerFaerie
# made by kbgreenland

If you’d like to support my ability to provide posts like the ones above, please consider donating to my Ko-Fi page (It really does help!) If you do decide to tackle any of these, I’d love to see them! Be sure to tag @craftinggeek on Twitter or Instagram.

Happy crafting! 

Geek the Halls

Years ago, back in 2015, I made a trio of geeky ornaments.

Years ago, I didn’t know how to save my patterns as pdfs. (Tragic.)

But that has all changed, my friends. I present to you three geeky ornaments for your crafting pleasure: a Triforce Tree, Santa Traveler, and Santa Chief.

I only attached the color chart to the Santa Traveler pattern because I think if you have some spare colors around the house, you can adapt the patterns pretty easily. (The only reason I attached a chart with the Traveler one was to show that the Traveler and the trim of the hat should be two different colors, but even with that, you can make them to same.)

These are fairly quick to whip up — two or three hours maybe. I tend to work like an assembly line so I do all of one color for all of the ornaments I’m making, then move on to the next so it’s tough sometimes for me to get an accurate time.

I stitched the ornaments on plastic canvas and finished mine off with adhesive felt which really does work very well. (You can certainly use regular aida too!)

Here’s what you’re here for:

Chart to Santa Chief
Chart to Santa Traveler
Chart to Triforce tree

If you’d like to support my ability to provide posts like the ones above, please consider donating to my Ko-Fi page (It really does help! ❤ ) If you do decide to tackle any of these, I’d love to see them! Be sure to tag @craftinggeek on Twitter or Instagram.

Happy crafting! ❤

Cheat O’ Plenty

Way back in February, I had an exchange with the Strong Bad Twitter account.

It took eight months of procrastinating, but I finally got around to stitching this up!

Those of you will eagle eyes will notice that I had to change the pattern slightly from my original design. That’s because when I had made the pattern, I didn’t really listen to the Skills of an Artist video. When I went back and watched it, I realized that the “pear” should have been a gourd, so it was color change time!

Ta da!

Eventually I’ll find the time to add some plastic leaves and/or over the top ribbon to complete the hoop, but I wanted to get the pattern out so you all have time to stitch this up. Hope you like the color 3024 because you’ll be spending a lot of time with it!

I went ahead and made three versions of the pattern. One is a pdf with the pattern on one page. Then the others have it separated onto four pages, one version is in color, the other is in black and white.

Cheat o’ Plenty Color Chart (1 page)

Cheat o’ Plenty Color Chart (4 pages)

Cheat o’ Plenty Black and White Chart (4 pages)

As always, if you do decide to tackle this project, I’d love to know! Feel free to tag me on Twitter or Instagram or use the hashtag #thecraftinggeek. Happy crafting!

If you’d like to support my ability to provide posts like the ones above, please consider donating to my Ko-Fi page

Three times the candy, er, emblems

Destiny 2 is having their annual Festival of the Lost event right now which means it’s time for emblems!

The three emblems available are Bump in the Night, Beheaded Home by @mckennakelpie, and Hollow Sleep. And now you can stitch them up while you’re waiting to load into the Haunted Sectors to see what Glint has to say about those Headless Ones.

Bump in the Night chart

Beheaded Home chart

Hollow Sleep chart

If you do decide to tackle any of these, I’d love to see them! Be sure to tag @craftinggeek on Twitter or Instagram.

Happy crafting! ❤

Creepy Cross-Stitch by Lindsay Swearingen

Halloween is just around the corner and Lindsay Swearingen has a new book, Creepy Cross-Stitch, that will help your place to be the most Boo-tiful house on the block.

Lindsay has some super awesome (and creepy!) patterns in this book. (Including cats! Ghost cats!) One of the unique things about this book is that though you can use these patterns to decorate your home for Halloween, a lot of the patterns can be used to decorate your home all year long and make it creepy (in a good way!).

Photo credit: Anya McInroy

An example of this is “Springtime in the Graveyard”. Page Street Publishing has generously allowed me to post a copy of the pattern which you can find below so you can get a sneak peak as to what Lindsay’s book is like.

Also, quite a few of these patterns have a black background so if you’ve been waiting to try to make a project with black aida, pick up this book and get to stitching! Stitching on black aida can be challenging but Creepy Cross-Stitch has a wide variety of projects with different sizes. You can pick out a smaller project to try using black aida cloth before diving into the bigger projects.

Photo by CraftingGeek

Or, you can be like me and try some hand dyed fabric to stitch on! I finished my project on this little display I found over at Michael’s. (I glued my project over the wood board underneath.) Super simple finish, but I like the overall look of the project!

The book itself is charming and I can’t wait to get started on my next project! The charts in the book are nice and crisp and the photos are really excellent. There is also a Kindle version available for those who prefer a digital copy of the book.

One small thing I noticed at the beginning of each section there is a recommendation that you’ll need 1-2 skeins of thread for each project, but for smaller patterns like “Springtime in the Graveyard”, I only needed one skein, stitching with two strands. If you do need to go out and buy thread, I’d suggest that you check the pattern first so you can buy the appropriate amount.

Want to stitch your own “Springtime in the Graveyard”? (Of course you do!)

Click here for the instructions
Click here for the chart
Click here for the color key

Reprinted with permission from Creepy Cross-Stitch by Lindsay Swearingen, Page Street Publishing, Co. 2021. Photo credit: Anya McInroy.

If you do stitch this up, be sure to tag Lindsay @tuskandcardinal and, of course, you should go buy the book to support her!

Happy crafting!

Stitch or Treat: 2021

12

I decided it was well past due to do an update on this tutorial. I even made one of those trendy reels which you can find here.

So, you want to stitch a pumpkin? I don’t blame you, it’s a excellent way to keep your pumpkin year after year and celebrate the fiber arts.


1. The first thing you’re going to need to decide is what kind of design you want to make. I have two designs over at Ko-Fi: a spider and a “Boo!” The designs are all ready to go — the spots where you need to make the holes are marked and the size is ready for your 9″ pumpkin.

If you don’t use the designs I made, then you are going to have to draw out your own design. I suggest using graph paper for even squares. Remember to pick a small pattern — on a 9″ pumpkin, the most you can fit is around 20-30 squares high depending on the size of your squares.

2.) Poke the holes. If you use the designs I made, then you’re set to go, but if you went with your own pattern, then you want to make sure that you mark the proper squares out before you start making the holes. In my pattern, I marked them with circles so I knew where to drill. You can use an awl, but a drill with a small bit makes this step go by much faster.

3.) Stitch your pumpkin. Over the years, I found that cutting a hole in the back of the pumpkin worked best for me. I didn’t like reaching in from the top and pulling the needle through so I cut a hole in the back and used that to stitch up the pattern.

This project will take time. A lot of it. Be patient with your stitches and try to count accurately the first time because frogging these stitches is no fun at all. If you do have to frog and you have enough thread, you might want to just cut the stitches and use tweezers to pick out the thread.

I forgot that white and green glow in the dark thread look similar so I had to frog the green thread. It was very not fun.

Speaking of floss, you will need around one and a half skeins of thread, depending on your design. I use all six strands (for the Kreinik thread, I used the loop method and doubled the floss) which will give it the look in the pictures in the post. If you want it less thick, adjust your thread accordingly. I wouldn’t go much thicker than six because then it becomes difficult to pull it through the holes.

I typically use glow in the dark thread when I stitch these up because I love the wow factor! Plus, it’s always fun to see people’s reaction when they see the magic of glow in the dark thread!

If you decide to tackle this project, have fun! It can be tedious at times but just remember you’ll be able to keep this pumpkin year after year! If you have any questions, please let me know! Happy crafting! ❤

If you’d like to support my ability to provide posts like the ones above, please consider donating to my Ko-Fi page

Feeling a little tension

Over the years, I have many questions from fellow stitchers wondering how I get my stitches to look so puffy.

Do I railroad my stitches? (No.)

Do I use a laying tool? (Nope.)

Do I use magic? (Alas, no.)

The only trick I have is paying attention to the tension I use when I’m stitching. I never pull in a forceful way and I never pull without using my ring finger to alleviate some of the tension. I showed an example of it on an Instagram reel so you can see what I mean.

I got some people wondering if tension really does make that much of a difference. (yes. very yes.)

In the picture above, the left square uses my stitching technique, the middle one uses a more traditional technique pulled very softly, and the last square uses the traditional technique of stitching, giving a decent tug with every stitch. You can see that even after only a 4×4 square, you can see the differences between the stitching styles.

So, if you are looking for full, puffy stitches, I highly encourage you to find a stitching style that encourages low tension. It will really make a difference in the final product.

Still have questions? Please comment below and I’ll do my best to answer your questions! Happy crafting!

If you’d like to support my ability to provide posts like the ones above, please consider donating to my Ko-Fi page

Crafting Up Your Neighborhood: Home Edition

If you have followed me on my social media channels, then you know that one of my favorite things to do is to craft up the neighborhood. Over the past year and a half, most of us have been under lockdown orders at one point or another which has made this concept a little difficult. It’s been more of a “crafting up my neighborhood” time.

And even if you can’t or don’t want to leave your house, you can still make the most of this challenge. Whether you live in a house or an apartment, like I do, I promise you have the chance to craft up whatever neighborhood you find yourself in.

When I’m at home, I look to the sky for inspiration. I’m a sucker for clouds and Bob Ross style skies.

If you’re in an apartment complex, you can always take advantage of the public areas so you can still feel like you’re in the spirit of the challenge. Going to the pool, playground, or clubhouse can add that feeling of going out and showing your craft to the world. (And who knows? You might even get some of your neighbors interested in cross-stitching!)

If you have a house, then you might want to stitch on your front porch or driveway! Taking a picture or two might be difficult because of security concerns, but maybe you can snap a photo next to your favorite plant or tree. Either way, if you end up taking as many pictures as I do to get the perfect shot, you’ll be the talk of the neighborhood in no time, LOL

I think the spirit of the challenge is to bring as many people along as possible so that we get to be a group of crafters who show our neighbors that crafting is good for the soul. So, if, for now, that means you look out your window and stitch, giving everyone a glimpse of what it means to craft up your neighborhood in this time we find ourselves in, then go for it!

If you decide to start #craftingupyourneighborhood, let me know by using that nifty hashtag! Also, if you missed the intro post, you can find it, here.

Happy Crafting! 

~ If you’d like to support my ability to provide posts like the ones above, please consider donating to my Ko-Fi page