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What I'm thinking about when I Cross-Stitch

Many people think cross-stitching is a mindless activity done while watching TV.  For me, it's not.  I either end up abandoning my stitching to watch a show or I end up tuning it out and missing the ending.

My mind is constantly thinking about what I'm creating.  Here's an example from when I was stitching my Coneflower Biscornu:

This is the first side.  The border is made up of many quilt blocks.  I stitched all the pink and yellow first.

I like this border.  It would be fun to use this as a frame for something else.  When I was designing I was using whole blocks and didn't see this possibility.  Is the pink too light?  What will it look like when I add the green?  How will the yellow look when the green is added?

Now the green has been added.

It looks totally different now.  The pink is definitely not too light.  The look of the "frame" has changed and is totally different.  It would be hard to pick which frame style I like best.  What would it look like if the pink and green where reversed?

Now I've started the center medallion.

I have to a decision to make.  I've come up with three ways to finish the center and I'm not sure which one to use.  Time to flip a 3-sided coin.  I wish I had an odd number of stitches to work with - I could make a more interesting center.  But then the border would be uneven so I'm stuck with an even number of stitches. 

I definitely need more yellow.  It's going to be a pain putting the cones on the top of the flowers - only one stitch by itself and too far to carry the thread.  I hate it when other designers do that and now I'm doing it.  However, I think the results will be worth it.

On to the second side.

It happened again.  The order I used to stitch the quilt blocks has revealed a surprise pattern.  I like the way the block looks at this stage and I think I'd like to make a real quilt with this block.  It would be a pain to piece though.  Darn, I didn't use the colors I had charted.  Now I have to re-arrange the colors as I go and revise the chart to be the colors I actually used.  I liked the way the original colors looked but these should look good too.  I don't feel like ripping out my work and starting over. 

 I definitely need to add more yellow here too.  I like the way the color pop out on the other side.   I wonder how this would look in other colors? 

Coneflowers come in many colors and I haven't been tempted away from the basic pink ones yet.  But in the latest High Country Gardens catalog there are Tiki Torch Coneflowers in bright orange.  That is tempting if I could find more room for more coneflowers.  How would this look in green and orange instead of bright pink?  I've seen pale green coneflowers too.  How would this look done in monochromes?
Well, I finally stopped thinking and finished the biscornu.  If you would like to participate in this thought experiment, the pattern is for sale at


  1. This is really lovely work. I am trying to get brave enough to make one. I cross stitched many years ago and am just getting back to it. I enjoy looking at your site!

  2. I found your blog randomly. It's always nice to know others are out there obsessed with thinking about cross stich!
    Leigh, Lynnwood, WA

  3. Cynthia, it's not that scary, just jump in. What's the worst that could happen?

    Pick a simple pattern you really like and have fun watching it appear in stitches.



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