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

What’s In a Game?

In this house, there are no such things as console wars. Between Mike and me, we’ve owned everything from a Commodore 64 to a Gamecube to a PS2 to an Xbox Series S.

The simple fact is that I just love video games.

Today’s post includes three charts. I decided to go with the older Playstation logo because it has a lot of fun colors and you can stitch it up on black aida cloth and y’all know how I’m a sucker for that.

Stitch one! Stitch them all!

They would add that perfect crafty gamer touch to wherever you have your setup, plus you should at least be able to find red and black aida fairly easily which means for two out of the three, there’s no background to fill in! Or do what I did and stitch the Xbox logo on black aida! Win!

Click here for the Nintendo Switch chart

Click here for the Playstation chart

Click here for the Xbox chart

If you do decide to tackle this project, I’d love to know! Please tag me on Instagram @craftinggeek or use the hashtag #thecraftinggeek

Happy Crafting!

July: Weeks 5-8

Hello my crafty stitchers! Talli here again. Week 5 marks a switch to monthly newsletters with four patterns instead of one pattern/newsletter per week. This way you can choose your own pace to stitch the emblems! Without further ado, let’s get to the patterns.

Week 5: Blessing of the Unmade

Colors: 444, 3820, 3852, 720, 947, 796

This emblem, I will admit, has been causing me trouble. As you can see below, I have unpicked it a couple times; I plan to redo the orange bit with more than two transition shades because I am insane, but you certainly don’t have to be! (Sometimes I let perfection be the enemy of progress. It’s a personal failing. *shrug*)

Here is the pattern

Week 6: Comet’s Heart

Colors: 444, 3820, 3852, 720, 947, 796

Rounding out the top row, the inimitable Jess gives us Comet’s Heart. This emblem is part of the rewards in the Age of Triumph record book. Go get yours at level four!

Patterns ahoy!

Week 7: Sign of the War Cult

Colors: 3746, 351, 725, white

When it comes to factions, I definitely fall in the Future War Cult camp (though I will admit to supporting New Monarchy in D2 for the fashunz if pressed.) The color scheme is instantly recognizable and completely out there. Who needs tasteful armor anyway?!

Pattern lives here

Week 8: The Rising

Colors: 3746, 351, 725, white

Despite being a very basic design, I rocked this emblem a bunch in D1 because I’m a sucker for turquoise and honestly there wasn’t a lot of choice initially! For that reason, I offer both a sparkle set of colors and a regular list. The sparkle color list is more limited so they are not quite as accurate, but that’s why I give you the non-sparkle, accurate list. I haven’t decided yet which to go with myself. Let me know what you decide!

Pattern lives here

These Emblems are SPICY

So, yesterday was Bungie Day and Tuesday was the start of the Solstice event in Destiny 2 which meant that a lot of excellent emblems made their debut. I normally don’t make emblem designs this fast, but I guess I was inspired, LOL.

The three emblems are Bungie Day 2021, The Brightest Stars, and Spicy Ramen. Some day I’ll update the D2 emblem master list, but for right now, you can find the charts for them here:

Bungie Day 2021
The Brightest Stars
Spicy Ramen

I haven’t had time to stitch these up (yet!), but I do hope you do!

If you have any questions, let me know! If you do decide to tackle them, use #destiny2CAL so I can see your work!

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: The Library

One of the most frequent comments I get is something along the lines of “I would love to try to cross-stitch in public, but I’m scared that I’ll ruin my project.” This is totally understandable! I know that not everyone is willing to stand on the overlook of a waterfall just to get a pic for Instagram, LOL

One of the easiest things you can do to keep your project safe is pick a location that isn’t “scary” — this week’s highlight is a perfect example of such a location: the library.

The library is a fantastic place to take your cross-stitch for several reasons.

One, it’s clean. This is probably the most difficult aspect to overcome when you are stitching outside. Most places, well, have dust, dirt, and other Things That You Do Not Want on Your Project. The tables (and everywhere else) at a library are pristine. Most locations (at least when I’m from) don’t allow food or drink so those are other potentially perilous obstacles that are easy to avoid.

Two, it’s not going to call attention to yourself. I’ll be honest, if you start taking a picture of yourself cross-stitching in certain places, you’re gonna get a look. Or twelve. If that’s something you’d rather avoid, then the library is great because most people won’t pay you much mind. And even if they do, the conversation is going to be short and quiet because, um, library, LOL.

Three, you might get inspired there! A lot of libraries have cross-stitch/embroidery and other crafting books there. Be sure to browse the shelves and see what’s calling to your muse. You never know, you might just find yourself adding to the WIP pile.

If you decide to go to your library and 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

Week 4: Sign of Opposing Will

Wow, how are we already on week 4? Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess! Talli here and my apologies for the late post, but hey, last time was late AND unfinished but this time we’re not unfinished, so progress is being made! My nephew’s baseball team won their tournament last night so baseball is finally done… I’m not sorry to have my evenings back!

This week is Sign of Opposing Will which players could win by beating the Bungie Bounty team. I never won one but definitely coveted my friends’ emblems! It’s another one that can really be done with many DMC options, but I used 03, 311, and 703. The pattern itself is a nice simple motif that stitches up super quick. (which is probably why it was stitched on time lol)

Click here to download the pattern

It’s been a trip to see my patterns stitched by someone other than me! Thanks to everyone that has been sharing on social media using the #destiny1cal tag. You’ll see me again next week for the next pattern and it’s almost finished so crossing my fingers the post should be out on time on Monday. See you then!


Week 3: Vigilamus Noctu

Happy Monday!

You know, I had thought I had plenty of time to finish to emblem, but then I had a crown fall out (curse you, gummy bear!) and got to see my nephew (which made today very awesome!). The crown won’t be able to be fixed until next week, but I did buckle down tonight and manage to finish the emblem. Whew! 

This week’s emblem is Vigilamus Noctu. You’ll need the following colors: 336, 3853, and white.

This chart does include some quarter and three-quarter stitches. The best advice I can give to you is when you make those three-quarter stitches is start with the tiny quarter stitch first, then do your big half stitch. That way it can cover up any mistakes if the quarter stitch is off, LOL

Click here for the chart

It’s been super exciting to see some pictures pop up on my feed showing off everyone’s progress! Don’t forget to use #destiny1cal if you post on any social media channels! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.

Happy Crafting,
Jess 😀 😀

Crafting Up Your Neighborhood

If you follow me on social media, you know that one of my favorite things to do is to craft up your neighborhood. Over the years, I’ve gone to a lot of places and plan to keep the tradition going for years to come. Now it’s finally time to chronicle all of the places — some unique and some ordinary — I’ve gone to.

I do follow serveral simple “rules” when I craft up the neighborhood. The first one is that I have to be able to cross-stitch there. Even if it’s a few stitches or a few hundred, I don’t post a pic unless I can cross-stitch which means that I have to be able to use both hands, and be able to stop for at least a few minutes.

The second, which should come as no surprise, is that it has a be legal to take pictures there. No crossing into private property, no matter the Instagram-worthiness of the pic, no sneaking my supplies to various places when I know it’s not allowed. This is especially relevant right now when various states/countries have their own COVID-protocols. Please, follow local/state regulations — that picture is not worth you getting in trouble, trust me.

Finally, I take all the pictures myself. It can be a little awkward and Babe has certainly gotten a few BTS pics of me looking very odd trying to position the q-snap and the view into a way that works with the pic.

From sitting on my porch (crafting up your own neighborhood is also very important!) to traveling to various states, let’s go on a virtual journey of crafting up everyone’s neighborhood.

If you have any suggestions of where to go, specific or general, toss me a comment. And if you decide to go #craftingupyourneighborhood, let me know!

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

Sorry, But Our Princess is in Another Castle

Years ago, I made a Princess Peach cross-stitch pattern. Then, someone requested that I make a Princess Daisy one too. Unfortunately, when I had made them, I didn’t know how to save them in pdf format which means they were in terrible jpg format.

Not anymore.

I went through and remade the charts so that they could survive in pdf glory. Maybe now I’ll be inspired to finally stitch the Daisy version, LOL

Click here for the chart

If you do decide to tackle it, please let me know by tagging me @craftinggeek on Instagram or Twitter. I love to see what y’all make with the patterns. 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