About Loretta

I’ve been a cross stitcher since I was 8 years old. It was something I learned as a Girl Scout when we did a project for a badge related to crafts and the group choose to cross stitch a holiday design on a red sweatshirt using waste canvas. (Talk about hard first project, that was such a pain!) I was one of the first ones finished and I’ve had a needle in my hand almost every day since then.

Star-Spangled Happiness Free Cross Stitch Pattern

freepatternstarspangledstackedJust a quick little freebie to stitch up over the Independence Day holiday this weekend.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast here in my part of the U.S. looks hot, humid, and rainy :( – good weather for staying in to stitch, but not so great for taking the kids out to see fireworks, cooking on the grill, and other fun stuff.

Hopefully your weather is a little nicer. East coast folks, please stay safe, it looks like we’ll have our first storm of the summer this week.

download the pattern PDF fileClick here to download and save the pattern PDF file

Pattern Size: 70w X 117h ~ I did include a legend for the colors in the chart, but as always you can pull threads from your stash and get creative ~ I look forward to see everyone’s finished stitches. You can send me an email, post a reply here, or share your pictures on the Facebook page.
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Maya Angelou Quote “Be a Rainbow” Free Cross Stitch Pattern

rainbow-in-cloud-representationMy kids and I love this quote from Maya Angelou. It’s such a beautiful way to remind ourselves to be kind to each other because you never know what storm someone else is weathering in their life. Giving a smile to someone may be the small thing they need to help lift them up again.

Since the first time I read Letter to My Daughter this quote has been stuck with me and I’ve used the phrase with my kids on many occassions in teaching them to be be kind to other people.

With the recent passing of Maya Angelou, my youngest son has recently taken this quote to heart even more than before and he has been using it quite frequently. He asked me to chart it out so I could stitch it, frame it, and hang it near our front door. Once I had it charted out, of course I wanted to share the pattern with everyone as a free gift here.

The truth of the matter is, you are all rainbows for me. Having such a wonderful community of stitchers and crafters means so much to me, you are the reason this website even exists. This pattern is being made free to everyone to celebrate that spirit of community and the passions that bring us all together.
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Just Cross Stitch Collection 2001 – 2010

Just Cross Stitch Magazine on CD plus ornament issuesI was poking around the web looking for an issue of the Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue that I was missing and I ran into this, I had no idea such awesomeness existed – all of the JCS issues for 2001 – 2010 on CD, including 10 years of the famous annual ornament issue.

==> Check it out on Amazon

This is fantastic if you’re looking to fill gaps for ornament issues or the monthly afghan patterns. It’s definitely less expensive than buying the individual magazines and it takes up way less space than a stack of magazines, you could just print off working copies of what you need when you need it.

Cross Stitch Kit in a Jar; Brilliant Idea!

cross stitch kit in a jar by Terrie at Eclectic Darlings

Photo by Terrie at EclecticDarlings.com

I came across this adorable idea while browsing some cross stitcher blogs this week. So adorable and fun, such a great gift idea. The example uses the cute Wendy’s Owl freebie from Ship’s Manor, but you could use any little pattern.

Hop over to Terrie’s blog and check it out ==> http://eclecticdarlings.com/mothers-day-gift-tutorial-cross-stitch-kit-in-a-jar/

She created it as a Mother’s Day gift in this example, but the possibilities with this idea are only limited by your imagination. It would make a great secret stitcher swap gift or something to give a friend who wants to try cross stitching for the first time.

Need Some Graph Paper to Rechart or Chart a Cross Stitch Pattern?

graphpapergridSometimes you just need to rechart the date on something, or maybe you want to use a different color or add small detail like your name to a piece, or maybe you want to chart a small motif for a custom piece – you need a sheet of graph paper or some type of grid to start planning things out before you get stitchy.

Here are five easy to use free resources for printing graph paper from your computer all with different sizes, line weights, etc…;

Or if you’re out of printer ink or don’t have paper in the machine, you can just raid your teenager’s math binder when he’s not looking like I do ;-)

The Cirque des Cercles Finish You Simply Must See!

(photos and finished piece belong to Sheila C., she was kind enough to let me share them here)

I’ve probably said it a million times, every time I see a Cirque des Cercles finish it looks stunning and unique from every other time I’ve seen it finished. The design from Ink Circles has this amazing talent for coming to vibrant life in a different way for every stitcher. It honestly makes me say “wow” every time I see it stitched up by someone.

This weekend I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when Sheila’s photos jumped off the page at me announcing her completion of Cirque des Cercles – entirely in beads! It literally took my breath away, and I spent the better part of an hour just staring at her amazingly gorgeous finish….

Cirque de Cercles stitched in BEADS by Sheila C.

Ink Circles popular Cirque de Cercles design stitched in BEADS by Sheila C.

Sheila stitched this on 32 count Belfast linen using size 11 delcia beads. Most of the beads are stitched using a half cross, but if you look closely there you can see the textural difference in the little circles where she added them with a full cross.
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Nevermore Biscornu by Cloudsfactory is Chart of the Week

Nevermore biscornu by cloudsfactory on EtsyI was browsing around on Etsy over the weekend (as I often do) and this design caught my eye ~ Nevermore biscornu by cloudsfactory

Now, I have to say that I’ve never made a biscornu before… but I think it’s time I get in the groove and give it a try because I need to stitch this and finish it up all pretty to sit next to my ort jar.

You can find Cloudsfactory charts on Etsy and on their website at Cloudsfactory.net

Happy Stitching!

Newsletter Returning April 1st

Hello stitchy friends :) I want to thank everyone for the kind notes and your infinite patience. The year got off to a rocky start here (flu, snow, lots of work to do, unexpected expenses, more flu, injured toes, extra orthodontist visits, bacterial infections, and all sorts of crazy things going on) so the blog hasn’t been updated and the weekly newsletter hasn’t been going out.

Well, I declare that’s enough of that. Life can return to normal now and the newsletter and blog posts will all be returning to normal schedules on April 1st. Hopefully saying that out loud and declaring it here in writing will make it so! If you’re not getting the weekly newsletter yet, you can sign up in the big blue box below this post.

I also have some fun pattern designs that I’ve been working on, so those will start popping up again soon. Lots of good things to come this year. Thank you again for being the amazing group of stitchers you are. I appreciate you very much.

Happy Stitching!
Loretta

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