JJ Crafts

Sideways Cross Stitching Progress

It’s time to share with you all what progress I’ve made with my cross stitching. I can’t believe it’s been three weeks. I moved halfway through and the last week or two has just gone by so quickly. I barely got anything done, most of what I have to share is from before.

It’s not forward progress so much as sideways progress as I tested out some options for the gold stitching. I also tested out a few designs for a small piece but I’ll show you what I mean.

First up after all of your wonderful advice last time around, I tested a load of normal dmc threads, as well as DMC diamant in gold which is a single thread equivalent to two threads of dmc/one held double, and kreinik braid #4 in Japan gold.

Here they are:

Photo 15-08-2018, 3 08 39 pm4

It’s difficult to show the metallics in a photo well.

Out of the sample swatches I do like the look of the krenick the most because its just a lighter gold than the dmc diamant. But the kreinik is over twice as expensive and I’d need quite a few rolls of it. They both definitely look much nicer than the regular dmc though. The main problem I had with the metallic threads is that to use them you have to knot them at the needle and because I’m using 18 count fabric the knot catches every time I pull it through. I can do it but my poor arms don’t like having to do it and get achy quickly.

I’ve decided to use one of them anyway because they do look so much nicer than the regular thread, so if anyone has any idea about stopping the knot from catching so much that would be helpful. I just have to decide which.

After doing the swatches I decided to test out the one part of the design I’m least happy with. If you remember the top of the project:

Photo 12-07-2018, 2 11 29 pm1

On either side of the lettering will be actual bells. Originally this was the design:

Photo 15-08-2018, 3 08 39 pm2

But I don’t like back stitching plus it would be the only part of the whole thing that has back stitching so I don’t think it really goes with the project.

I tried stitching the ribbon in white instead:

Photo 15-08-2018, 3 08 39 pm3

I actually prefer the back stitched version to this one as this one looks a bit to cutesy compared to the rest of the stitching but I still don’t think it goes. So I got rid of the ribbon and tried just the bells, doing one in gold and the other in white:

Photo 15-08-2018, 3 08 39 pm1

Then I did the same but instead of white I did the second in back stitching.

Photo 15-08-2018, 1 29 07 pm

To me the clear winner here is the bells where one is in gold and one is in white without a ribbon. But now the question is which bell should be in gold and which in white!

What do you think, do you agree with the design I picked or do you prefer the others? And which bell should be the gold, front or back?

Hopefully next time I will be back to stitching on my actual project and will have some progress to show you.

Here’s the others taking part in the stitchalong:

Avis // Claire // Gun // Carole // LucyAnn// Kate // Sue // Constanze // Debbierose // Christina // Kathy // Margaret // Cindy // Helen // Steph // Linda // Heidi // Jackie // Sunny // Hayley // Tony // Megan // Catherine // Connie

We post updates to whichever projects we’re working on every three weeks and there are some great projects to look through.

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39 thoughts on “Sideways Cross Stitching Progress”

  1. I think I prefer the backstitch one, but I definitely did think ‘lovely’ at the one in white, one in gold. Maybe do the white one on the inside (closest to the letters).
    As for the knots-if you’re using two strands of the metallic, could you just thread the needle through one strand, so the needle is locked onto the thread, but can slide up and down it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. The backstutched one is pretty but it didn’t go with the rest of the project.
      The metallic is only one strand as that’s how they come and are equivalent to two strands.


  2. I think you’ve made the right choice with one white & one gold.
    For me, it would look best to have gold bell on the inside, next to the lettering, and white bell on the outside.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was wondering, could you make both bells in gold, but have a one-stitch-wide ‘halo’ of the red background to separate the two gold areas? I hope I’ve communicated what I mean clearly enough. I don’t find the bow necessary, visually. Sadly, I don’t have any suggestions for you regarding managing the knot…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good idea. I’m not sure the bells are large enough to have a gap and it not take away from the shape though. I’ll have a look though.


    1. The end of the metallic thread freys and separates. Even just at the tail end of the knot the thread completely comes apart but the knot stops it from going further. If I didn’t knot it it would be a disasters.


      1. I am using a much shorter length than usual. I’ll see if I have a needle with a larger eye. That might help. Thanks


  4. I think you could do the metallic without the knot, you just have to spend more time to even out your threads. That may be the best solution, possibly more time consuming, but less strenuous for your arms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The thread splits so badly after the knot that I really don’t think that would be possible. It would be more annoying to me than the knot catching haha

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you mean in gold? The bells aren’t that big and the shaping parts can’t really be back stitched any smaller as they’re at angles (I do admit I got lazy about the straight parts because I had done a lot of testing already!)


  5. I like the white and gold bell together. I agree with Kathy, the white should be on top and the gold behind it. However, I think the bells together only makes sense with a bow or something holding them together…hmmm Maybe some actual ribbon tied into tiny bows and stitched on top of the bells?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the ribbon makes it look too cluttered. And again, that kind of ribbon detail would seem out of place with the rest of the project. Maybe I’m just being lazy!


  6. You have gotten a lot done. Great idea on testing to see which one you like first. Will save a lot of frogging later 😀

    I like the bell with the white backstitching, but I’m sure whichever one you decide on will look great and if you like it and am happy with it that is all that counts. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m not much help in your decision making, because I like all the bell versions. I’d say go with your preference. As far as the metallic thread goes, you could try anchoring your thread to a stitch on the wrong side to make it a bit easier to work with in terms of knotting.


      1. Maybe if I said to tie it to the back of a stitch? You know, around one of those loops on the back under which you would bury an end.


  8. You’ve done so much testing — I especially appreciate the comparisons of the different gold threads!!! Not to make you do more testing or anything, but what about just one bell, in gold or white, on either side of the “Jingle Bells”? You’d be able to see the shape without needing to outline one or the other? That said, I also like the gold+white combo… and the gold+backstitchgold combo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The space they go in its a little wide for just one bell, but at the same time I couldn’t make the bells bigger because the gap isn’t tall enough


  9. That’s some thorough testing you’ve done there 🙂
    I like bells in white and gold the best and I agree with Claire that the gold should go in the inside.
    I never knot my metallics for the same reason that you’re struggling with it. I use shorter lengths and treat the ends with thread heaven to stop the fraying from spreading too far.

    Liked by 1 person

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