Spool-en-dids Ornament Project #3 – A primer on cross-stitching

Hello Friends — have you been sewing along with a little friend, or by yourself since I last shared “Happy To Be ME” and Smar-kly ornament?

It’s time for me to share with you the third of six mother-daughter (adult/child) collaborative ornament project, released to highlight Aurifil’s Aurikids iniatiative — an effort to pass on the love and joy and needle and thread to the next generation.  This third ornament is a simple primer on cross-stitching, to get us ready to do cross-stitching for ornaments #4 and #5.

Read more about Spool-en-dids, and find out the names my daughter has for her selected colors HERE.

#1.  YOU may now purchase the collection from FAT QUARTER SHOP by clicking HERE.

#2.  YOU may purchase the collection from Donna — email her:  followthatthread@yahoo.com

#3.  YOU may also purchase collection by clicking HERE.

#4.  OR, ask your local Aurifil dealer to order the collection for you.  Click HERE for a dealer near you!

Miss Baby is saving the royalties for her college fund, as well as supporting the medical missions of Samaritans Purse.


PROJECT: Cross-stitching Primer Pillow Ornament


Cross-stitch Aida fabric (11 or 14ct — I recommend 11ct for younger children 7 and under, 14ct for older), Spool-en-did thread (s), Aurifil 50wt thread, a piece of ribbon, embroidery hoop, tapestry or embroidery needle, stuffing material & basic sewing supplies. 

You will need 4 pieces of fabric scrap to frame stitched piece, and one for backing the pillow case.

NOTE: This tutorial, as well as all subsequent pillow ornament tutorials, is not for a specific finished size. You may make it as big or as small as you wish. Since we hang our pillow ornaments on our Christmas tree, our ornaments do not finish larger than 4″.

GOAL: This project is to get children familiar with structured stitching associated with the “holes” on Aida/cross-stitching fabrics.

PLEASE read through the entire project before attempting. You may let your kid stitcher step in and be involved in any of the steps. For us, my daughter participated in selected the fabrics and stitching. I did the rest.

So — you would want to start with a piece of cross-stitch Aida fabric that amply fits your hoop.  The stitches are done with (2) strands of embroidery floss.  The Aurifloss consists of 6-strands of individual floss, just like the conventional embroidery floss.  So, you would have to cut a length of the floss, separate out 2 strands for the stitching.

Step 1.  Refer to the photo below to teach your kid stitcher stitching just straight lines, half-cross-stitches, and then cross-stitches! Notice all the Spool-en-dids come out to play on this one!

Important Notes:

#1.  It’s really important that you hoop the cross-stitch Aida fabric so that the stitches will turn out nicely.  If not, hooped, your kid stitcher might struggle with the tension of the stitches.

#2.  Your kid stitcher may choose to stitch more than just 15 squares in a row.  She might want to stitch long lines for a nice throw pillow.  Since we are doing ornaments at our house, we do a limited number of stitches so that our ornaments do not end up being more than 4″ x 4″.

#3.  To make it fun, feel free to mix colors – using 1 strand of yellow and 1 strand of brown for example for a fun effect.

Step 2.  After stitching is complete, remember to praise your kid stitcher to the sky!  Trim and square up your piece, and frame with fabric scraps to make pillow ornament top.  Then, with the pillow front and back pieces facing each other and folded ribbon piece tucked in the between, I sewed with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a small opening. Turn pillowcase right side out, and stuff. I started using the stuffing made by Hobbs recently, and have ABSOLUTELY loved it!!  Hand stitch opening shut, and there you have it!

Next month, we will be cross-stitching a thread spool ornament!

Meanwhile, Miss Baby is stitching a Patchwork aux Chats sampler (designed by French designer Jardin Prive – I highly recommend her designs for children).  She is mixing her colors to stitch the cats.  Follow me on Instagram for work-in-progress pictures.  My handle is ivory_spring.

I hope you will enjoy this little stitching project with your kid stitcher, and jump start a lifetime of sweet stitching memories.


p.s.  If you missed the article in a recent Quiltmaker issue about my experience in teaching Miss Baby to stitch, it is now available online here.  Enjoy!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Friends, I cannot be more excited my project of stitching these 12 Days of Christmas ornaments is finally #done, #finished, #completed, #nomorehangingovermyhead – after three long years!!! I am not fishing for accolades as I am a little sheepish in admitting to you it took me three years to get these ornaments stitched. After all, as you can see, the stitching does not really require any advanced skills.  But to have these done is an immense relief because now I can go on to finishing some of my other stitching related UFO’s when time allows.


Incidentally, there is a story associated with the song.  Here goes (thanks to Creative Hare who sent it to me!!)

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.-
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.


Would you join me in “singing” the carol one more time before we pack our Christmas stuff away?  Oh, good… here goes.

On the first day of Christmas
My true love *gave to me
A partridge in a pear tree


On the second day of Christmas
My true love game to me
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree


On the third day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree


On the fourth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
and a partridge in a pear tree


On the fifth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree


On the sixth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Six geese-a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree


On the seventh day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree


On the eighth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Eight maids-a-milking,
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree


On the ninth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids-a-milking,
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Ohhh, awww-e-awww,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree


On the tenth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Ten Lords-a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids-a-milking,
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Five Limousines,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree


On the eleventh day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Eleven Pipers Piping,
Ten Lords-a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids-a-milking,
Seven swans-a-swimming,
Six geese-a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree


On the twelfth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me

You all sounded great – thank you so much for humoring me and “singing along”!  And that concludes our Christmas 2015 at Ivory Spring.  Miss Baby has been dreading the day we put our Christmas things away.  I will be very nice, and do it ever so gradually…. to lessen the pain.
Thanks for stopping by.  Have a most lovely day.  Hugs to you all.
p.s.  *I learned that traditionally, the song was sung with “my true love sent to me” instead of “gave to me”.  The “gave to me” version is more 20th century and American.

Joy of Needle and Thread: Part 6

Happy Friday, Friends.  This week has gone by way too quickly for me…. but we have a FINISH, Miss Baby’s finish!


Miss Baby started this project as a gift for a cousin who was supposed to arrive in May. Well, Baby Cousin decided to arrive almost a month early!  So, Miss Baby was determined to get this stitching project completed as soon as her time allowed.  This project was not without its challenges… the fabric color is quite close to the cream thread Miss Baby had to stitch for the bear.  I am proud of her for persevering through the un-stitching and re-stitching so that Teddy would look just right.


Now that Teddy is completed, Miss Baby is ready for her next stitching adventure.   Stay tuned – it is going to be a sweet gift for someone who has been special in Miss Baby’s young life.   As for me, I am just tickled I get to live with my stitching buddy under the same roof!


Thank you for stopping by.  Miss Baby and I, and Sochi the Cat would like to wish you a most lovely Mother’s Day weekend!



Click herehereherehere, and here for past Joy of Needle and Thread posts.

Lost and found…

My friend was taking French classes at school a couple of years ago.  So I started this little cross-stitch project for her two years ago as a birthday gift for her.  And…. for some unaccountable reason, I misplaced the little bag that held the project.  I looked high and low, and could never find it.

I was cleaning out one of the drawers last week, and guess what I found?!  Yeap – the unfinished cross-stitch piece.  I will give you three guesses what my friend will be getting for Christmas this year…

I over-indulged in sleep over the Thanksgiving weekend.  So, it will be a
“catching up” week for me this week.   You have a lovely week ahead!

Needlework: My “McMansions” Project – Part DONE!

Come congratulate me! My “McMansions” Project (pattern: Sampler Gameboard by The Drawn Thread) is DONE, DONE, DONE!

I was so excited about the possibility and thought of having a January finish last week that I could hardly carry on with my daily duties. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sit still – I was all the while thinking about finishing the sampler. Okay, you know I am being overly dramatic! I worked on it on and off whenever I had a few uninterrupted moments. And it is now FINISHED! You will noticed that I could only fit two letters for my initial, because that “W” is so very encompassing. I decided to only do my last name initial for the square within the gameboard for the very same reason:

This sampler was started in December 2008. I was just getting back in the wonderful world of cross-stitching, particularly antique and reproduction samplers. I liked the whimsical look of the sampler, and the fact that I didn’t have to stitch very far for the individual small pictures within the big picture to emerge:

I was reminded of the verse in John14:2 as I was stitching toward the finish line: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

Thank you for walking this stitching journey with me. Many of you had been there since the very beginning of this McMansion project. Some of you are relatively new to this. But in either case, please know that I appreciate you! Your encouraging words always make my day.

I wish you a lovely Monday, and a lovely week ahead!

Needlework: My “McMansions” Project – Part 18

As you can see, I am soooooo very close! I would really like to get this completed!


I have to clean house; I have magazine quilts to complete;

I have thank-you notes to write; I have a baby to watch; I have laundry to do; I have things to go through and organize;

I have…. I have….. I am swamped (but then, I am used to it)!

Let me know if you would like to volunteer for any of the aforementioned tasks so that I can get my sampler finished!! :)

Thanks for popping by. I hope you have a great day – meanwhile, I am going to tackle all those tasks I have mentioned. A woman’s work is never done!

Needlework: My “McMansions” Project – Part 17

Good day, everyone.  I hope you are doing well.

I managed to work a little more on my Gameboard – here is the latest:

Two more new houses were added to the neighborhood.  I loved how the sun comes up behind this sun:

I sure hope that the squirrel won’t be tempted bother with the siding or the roof of this house:

Thanks for popping by.  I am off to getting a few things done and in order to check them off my to-do list!  We have a sunny day — YAY!

Needlework: My “McMansions” Project – Part 16

Good day, my bloggy friends! I haven’t posted an updated on my McMansions project for a while, but I am still working on it on and off. Here is a picture of the latest progress:


Compare the last progress picture I had posted:


I don’t have that much to go…. I am quite eager to get to the finish line!


I’d better get going as I have quite a few things on my to-do list I have yet to accomplish. I will catch up with you later, ta-da!

Oh, before I take my leave…. don’t you think this is one cute-looking rodent?! To be honest with you, I had thought it was a squirrel instead of a rat. I can pretty dense sometimes.


Needlework: My “McMansions” Project – Part 15

I have been quite motivated to work on my Gameboard because I am just chomping at the bit to start on “The American Sampler”.  So, here is my latest progress:


You can see that I seem to have a bit of trouble learning my numbers :) :


One stitch at a time is one stitch closer to the finish line!


Thank you for stopping by!  I will catch up with you next week – meanwhile, I need to tend to some new fabrics that are in the washer needed to be dried!  Have a LOVELY weekend!

Needlework: My “McMansions” Project – Part 14

Yup, the neighborhood has experienced the effects of the housing slump! It’s been a while since I did an update, but here is the latest:


Compared to the last update, you will noticed that I finally mastered my ABC’s:


I happened to like this “Christmas House” a lot as red and green are my Christmas colors.  I think the mistress of this house keeps her Christmas decorations up ALL YEAR LONG!


And this new house certainly reminds me of a layered cake!


I had hunkered down and made myself work a little on the Sampler Gameboard because I am SO want to start on “The American Sampler”. “The American Sampler” chart was published in Spring 1992, and will be republished Spring next year. I am going to be good – I will wait till I am finished with Gameboard before jumping into “The American Sampler”…

American Sampler

I will be good! I will be good! I will be good….

Needlework: My “McMansions” Project – Part 13

blue monday

You can see that there is a bit of progress from the last time I posted on my Gameboard Sampler:


Latest progress picture:


While working on Gameboard this past week, I also noticed there’s quite a bit of blue in the design —

Blue roof:


Blue siding:

Gameboard 5


Blue windows:


Blue shutters:


Blue flowers:


Blue bird:


Blue lettering:


And of course, blue sky!


Thank you for putting up with my blue pictures today.  As always, I appreciate you stopping by!  Have yourself a great week!

Needlework: My “McMansions” Project – Part 12

Mrs. Dunwoody’s Recipe for a Happy Home


Half a cup of friendship, and a cup of thoughtfulness

creamed together with a punch of powdered tenderness,

very lightly beaten in a bowl of loyalty

with a cup of faith, one of hope, and one of charity.


Be sure to add a spoonful of gaiety that sings,

also the ability to laugh at little things.


Moisten with sudden tears of heartfelt sympathy,

bake in a good-natured oven and serve repeatedly.


Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a lovely day!