I’m In Heaven!

Or should I say Heaven and Earth?  That’s the name of the design company from which I bought my most recent cross stitch chart and spoke so passionately about in episode #71.  Talk about instantaneous gratification too!  I paid for the chart with my PayPal account, then downloaded the PDF file to my GoodReader app on my iPad.  Because this chart is an all-over design, it’s presented in “pages”.  As I stitch each ten-stitch by ten-stitch grid on the page, I have the ability to highlight each stitch completed in a chosen color, and with another color, I can highlight where I’ve “parked” my thread in the next ten-stitch by ten-stitch grid.  My favorite part is the ability to pinch my iPad screen and enlarge as much of the chart as I want.  SCORE!

Here’s an example of both the grids and how the threads are parked:


The photo below shows my first completed grid! I chose to use a mechanical pencil to lightly mark my grid, instead of stitching it with fine fishing line.  Most of the marks will be covered up by stitching.  The remaining lines will be carefully erased, and the rest will surely disappear with a gentle washing after the stitching is completed.

This type of cross stitching blew me away.  The designs are stunning, intense and so gratifying to stitch up.  But….I had to let go of some of my died-in-the-wool cross stitching rules.  I’ve always stitched as though the back was just as important as the front.  I wanted it to look neat.  Stitching by grid and parking my threads, meant that a neat back was impossible.  In the linked video below, Carolyn Mazzeo gives an excellent tutorial on how she parks her threads.  When she mentions that she doesn’t carry her threads more that twenty-five stitches on the back of her work, my eyes bugged outta my head lol!  I was uncomfortable carrying my thread more than THREE stitches!  I’ve actually been freed….whether I complete each stitch individually or stitch multiple stitches in a row of a particular color (cross country stitching), it all works!

Here is Carolyn Mazzeo’s video on her parking technique from her YouTube channel.  Thanks to her excellent tutorials and inspiring works of art, here’s the design I bought and am stitching now.   She’s a mini chart-225 stitches by 337 stitches, called Mini Andromeda.


Mini Andromeda

I’d loooove to hear what you think.  Would you like to give an all-over crossed stitch design a try?  I’ll keep you apprised of my progress.  Wish me luck!

Hugs and happy stitching,


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10 thoughts on “I’m In Heaven!

  1. Hi Dori,
    I think by calling it an all-over cross stitch design you mean you had previously selected some with the design stamped on the fabric with areas for you to fill in? If that’s the case, then YES – you will love the all-over much, much better. Did I say MUCH?! Now you can stitch anything your heart desires! I am blown away by the eReader idea for a pattern. I never thought of that . . . but zooming in would be a dream. I still don’t carry over thread on the back. I start near the middle with the color that is the most dense. Then when I start a new color I anchor the thread under those established stitches. I hope that makes sense. My back still looks pretty good when complete. ~smile~ Roseanne

    • Hi Rosanne!
      No, not quite lol! Believe it or not, I’ve never stitched a design that was printed or stamped on the fabric. In this case, specifically stitching the Heaven and Earth designs, an “all-over” design refers to a counted cross stitch design area that is completely covered in stitches, with no “blank” spots. For example, if a design is 225 stitches by 225 stitches, I would have stitched a total of 50,000 stitches! Does that make sense? It’s how I picture a needlepoint canvas to look like when it’s completed. Nothin’ but stitching!
      The way you described your stitching method is exactly how I stitch normally! Starting from the center, stitching the color that is most dense, anchoring the ending threads under the established stitches, not carrying my floss more that three or four stitches and keeping my back nice and neat! Not stitching that way on this, and ONLY on this specific type of project, was a bit nerve-wracking at first…but it’s kind of freeing too! I have permission to be messy lol!!!
      Have an amazing weekend, Rosanne, and happy stitching!

      • Ahh, that makes sense. I have never thought about how many stitches a picture would be. WOWEE – 50,000 stitches. BTW – skip the printed/stamped – it will just frustrate you. The stamped part never matches the fabric; it is always off a bit. ~smile~ Looking forward to seeing this project progress.

  2. I’ve done three big full-coverage projects and a couple more that were close. They were really satisfying; I’m pretty sure one was an old HAED chart, and they are a handful, but it was a knockout when it was done. I tried parking once, and I loathed it; I’ve never done it again. I was told by a framer umpteen years ago to never jump more than six stitches, and to run them underneath if at all possible, because it lessens the chance of a jump breaking when the project is stretched and blocked for framing.

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