A Little Gridding Goes A Long Way

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (like back in 2013), I guest blogged a few times over here about my adventures in stitching.  Then, in Summer of 2013, I started a Masters of Arts degree in teaching and most of my spare time for blogging and stitching in general went down the tubes.  I am happy to say that I completed my degree in five semesters and walked across the stage with my velvet hood back on December 13.  A week later, my teaching certificate showed up.  But, since it’s mid-year and teaching jobs are in short supply, I am back to being a stay-at-home-mom with some extra time for blogging and stitching.

So, what has changed in two years?  Well, in my original interview with Loretta, I talked about how I enjoyed stitching smaller pieces.  Well, due to my mid-life stitching crisis, if you look at my current list of WIPs, you will see that I’m currently working away on a myriad of rather large pieces.  How my tastes have changed.

Anyway, I want to return to one of my favorite posts that I wrote for this blog: How to create a UFO in 13 easy steps.  In this post, I chronicled how a piece that I had started years ago (before I was married, in fact, and I’m coming up on my 6th anniversary) had tragically turned into a UFO.

A short time later, I blogged about how I had discovered gridding.  At the time, I had gridded two different pieces: an HAED (that’s “Heaven and Earth Designs” piece) and Snow White Discovers the Cottage, a kit of the Kinkade piece by the same name.  Both of those pieces were extremely large, solidly stitched and had lots of color changes, so gridding the piece made total sense.  To be honest, gridding a piece is kind of tedious and it can take an hour to grid one page of a piece (ok, it takes ME an hour since I have a 4 and 5 year old running around while I’m trying to work).  I only grid when I have to.

Then, I look a good look at Do Not Meddle (that would be the UFO).  It is not solidly stitched in the slightest but it caused me headaches even after I isolated and fixed the mistake.

To be honest, I think it’s the multiple shades of green that make this piece difficult, coupled with the irregular shape. The words were so easy. The dragons – HARD!

After trying (unsuccessfully) to start the dragon on the left side, I broke down and gridded the first page.  And to my surprise, it made things so much easier.  Instead of having to guess where I was from the current stitching (which is difficult because the shades of green are incredibly close together), I just use the grid lines as a reference point and go from there.  I got some work in today and here’s what it looks like.

You can barely see the grid threads because they’re beige but they show up just fine in person.

The moral of the story?

Is gridding tedious?  – Yep!

Can gridding prevent you from tearing your hair out and banishing a worthy piece to the bottom of your stitching basket? – Well, in this case, YES!

Stitching in Epic Proportions


A few months ago, when I first started guest blogging here, I talked about how I prefer to stitch smaller projects.  It’s mostly because they don’t take forever to finish and also are less expensive to finish.  But occasionally, one has to stitch something truly epic.  And I mean EPIC!  Lord of the Rings kind of EPIC.  My goal for this year was to stitch a bunch of ornaments, however, I too have been bitten by the EPIC stitching bug.  [Read more…]

Stitchqueries: Do you use counting pins while stitching?

This weeks question is actually for you from me – after all one person can’t possibly know everything there is to know about stitching!

Do you use counting pins while you’re stitching?

I’m one the fence about ordering a set of counting pins for myself and I’m wondering if you use them in your own stitching and how you like them.

Pros? Cons? Must have stitching accessory or just a shiny stash object?

I know we’ve talked a lot about gridding recently and I love gridding for large projects, but I don’t take the time to grid out my fabric for smaller projects (although sometimes I think I probably should) and I’m hoping that some counting pins will help me keep me moving along on my projects quickly and without tons of recounting or errors.

Leave a comment below and tell me what you think…. (and of course I’ll let you know what I order when the time comes ;))

Thank you!
Happy Stitching,

Gridding your Fabric for Cross Stitch

by Sherrin Elliot for Stitching the Night Away

So you have decided to tackle a large project, or maybe your eyesight is diminishing, or you just need a little more help keeping track of where you are in your stitching project so that you don’t have to “frog” as many times as you used to. Gridding is for you.

Gridding is a way to “mark” your fabric without actually leaving any permanent writing or prints on it. This is a truly effective way to know that the stitch you are placing is in the correct area of the fabric.

First, grab a chart and take a look at the “grid” that has already been placed on there for you. The first step has already been done! Now we only have to transfer this over to the fabric. [Read more…]

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