The lull after a big project is finished…..

If you’ve been following my journey through embroidering the ‘Home Sweet Home’ workbox, you’ll be very aware that it has taken me well over a year to make it! Now that that project is finished, I am in that strange phase of ‘not having anything to stitch’.

Well, that’s not exactly true, as any stitcher will tell you  🙂   I always have more than one project on the go – either one of my own doll’s house needlepoint designs that is being stitched up prior to being launched as a kit on my website, or something smallish that I may be making as a gift for someone else. But more likely, it’s one (or more) of the many items from my stash that I am gradually working through. Although it’s not actually ‘work’!

As soon as I finish one project, though (and I mean literally minutes after finishing) I have an urge to start something else, even if I have several other projects on the go already. This means that I am never completely ‘projectless’. I liken it to people who smoke – they just have to have something to hold, to ‘prop them up’ in some way. I do it with stitching. I hate the thought of not having something that I can just pick up and immediately stitch. And I love starting new things.

At this ‘in between’ time, though, when I’ve just finished a large project and not yet started another large one, I often wind down by doing simple cross stitch projects for a while, to get back to a place where I can really decide on something I can get my teeth into. I’ve got shelves of embroidery magazines and books, as well as vintage kits (I’m a sucker for those!), plus lots of bits of fabric that I could design something unique for…

So, here’s a quick run through of what’s in progress at the moment and what I’ve got in mind to stitch next:

I’m gradually working my way though the Lavender and Lace Celtic Ladies designs. I’ve done the Celtic Autumn one so far, and was really pleased with how that turned out (with the adaptation of the leaves falling from her hands):

LL - 26 Celtic Autumn framed

This is the one I’m now doing – this actual one was stitched by someone else (found on Pinterest):

I'd rather be stitchin blog1

This is how far I have got with mine. The fabric is actually a lot more green than in the photo:

Spring 2

I’m also working through this lovely Autumn Quakers sampler, from Rosewood Manor. It’s a good project to work on in short bursts, and still feel as if you’re getting somewhere, as each motif only takes a short amount of time:


I bought this next chart pack when I must have been completely off my head! It’s a ‘Heaven and Earth Designs‘ chart pack, called ‘A Stitch in Time’. It’s absolutely beautiful. It’s huge – about two feet by three feet when finished, on 25 count evenweave, stitched over one. I reckon it will take me seven years to stitch, if I did a hundred stitches a day. And I often don’t stitch a hundred stitches a day, so…….maybe in my next lifetime it’ll be finished? I’ve managed most of the first page from the chart pack so far. Out of 84 pages.


I’ve kitted up for this next one, but not yet started it. It’s the Tudor Rose etui set from a recent Inspirations magazine. I’d seen the pale pink version online a few years ago, but now there’s a bright red version, and I just have to make this. It’s an etui set. And it’s red. Can’t get better than that!

Tudor 2

And then there’s this (the image is from the Victoria Sampler website). I’m slowly adding to my Victoria Sampler Gingerbread Village. I love doing these, as they are more than just cross stitch – there’s beading, hardanger, and  other counted thread stitches in the designs as well. I try to make one building each autumn, finishing them in time to display the buildings under my tree at Christmas. I’m aiming to make the Gingerbread Church this time, then maybe the tree next year. Or perhaps the other way around. Haven’t quite decided yet. I love all of them.

GingerbreadVillage2012 on Strawberry Sampler site

And finally, on my wishlist of likely projects, there’s the four seasons bellpulls by Mary Hickmott, of New Stitches magazine fame. I made the ‘Height of Summer’ bellpull years ago:

Summer 500jpg

…..but never got around to making the other three for a complete set. Then a friend of mine, who is also an embroidery designer, gave me three heavy brass bellpull end sets as a gift, so that I can complete my set of four. So, I’ve got no excuse now, have I? I’m planning to start on this one first – it’s called ‘Height of Winter’, and I think I’ll stitch it on 28 count Cashel linen, so it will end up being about 36 inches long.

Height of Autumn

That little lot should stop me being bored for a while!


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17 thoughts on “The lull after a big project is finished…..”

  1. I understand completely! I need to finish up anniversary things for my husband, then there are pieces for this summer’s show(s) entries, and I still have 3 WIPs left over from last year! Having so much on the go isn’t like me and I hope to be clear around September. It’s happened once on the past, so I’m going to try again!!! 🙂

    1. I agree – I’m not that comfortable with having several things on the go. I’ll probably focus on one thing till it’s finished. but the Home Sweet Home box kind of ‘took over’ for a while!

      1. What beautiful work you do and your choices for work in hand are breathtaking. I know the ‘taken over’, head down till finished routine well. Working in a different field, more for therapy and certainly with much lower standard of finish in that field, I’ve been working for 5 yrs on a project and am now coming to an end at last. I too have my wish list of what’s next ready, sketched plans and all 🙂

      2. Thank you! It’s nice to have a ‘meaty’ project to keep the brain engaged, I feel! I realised, reading over my post again, that my idea of ‘a simple cross stitch project’ is maybe not what most people envisage as a ‘quick and easy’ one!

  2. Oh, Janet! What gorgeous work! May I ask what Inspirations magazine the Tudor Rose etui set is in? I must find a copy! I’m an ardent Tudorphile and would love to make it. Many thanks for all you share and do for us stitchers.

    1. It’s in a recent issue – number 89, which came out in early 2016. The issue has a kind of waterlily stumpwork design on the cover. There’s a pale pink version of the Tudor etui (which I’d seen before online somewhere), and the new red version, which is the one that I love.

  3. Beautiful projects! I love the gingerbread tree! They’re all lovely and you can’t go wrong either way!

  4. I love the Tudor Rose =D I feel in love with the design when I saw it, but fell out of love after seeing the cost of the kit >.< So now I will just live vicariously through you. I can't wait to see your stitching updates 🙂

    1. Its a great design, but I always use my stash for their designs. The kit packs are always incredibly expensive – especially if you have to order them from Australia when you live in the UK!!

  5. Your projects look lovely. I have a friend (my embroidery teacher Marjorie) who sometimes works cross stitch charts but she uses other embroidery techniques on some parts of the work to make things like flowers etc stand out. This has the effect of really enhancing the work. I look forward to following your progress on these lovely projects.

  6. I know exactly how you feel about finishing a project! There’s a mixture of a great sense of achievement, and maybe it’s grief at finishing something large, that I just need something to stitch! Which could explain my rather large supply of ‘currently working on’ projects. Some are just things I work on in between my ‘big’ projects, and others are at a point when I need to really think about the next steps!
    I love the etui set in Inspirations too – it will look lovely in red.

  7. I can relate! It’s a mixture of elation at having completed your project and having pushed through all the big project fatigue barriers, with ‘what shall I do now’ empty feeling and a growing sense of excitement as you contemplate which designs on the never-ending wishlist you can give your time to next! Who says we can’t feel three things at once? 🙂 Anyway … onto your interim project choices … I love those Mary Hickmott bell pull designs and I have both those patterns on my bookshelf. I will enjoy seeing updates on your progress with those. Oh and the etui set … I have that pattern also so I’m excited to follow along when you make a start on that design. No pressure though … you enjoy flitting between them all and I’ll enjoy watching! 🙂

    1. I’m afraid the ‘what shall I do now’ feeling only lasts maybe half an hour….I just have to have something on the go! The Mary Hiickmott bellpulls are, in my opinion, some of the best designs she has ever created. The Height of Summer one was a joy to do. It’s just that pesky long ‘to do’ list that stops me doing the other three in the series….

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