Friday, November 9, 2018

Linda's Review of "Hanging Around" Mill Hill #MH14-1306 Cross-Stitch Kit



As you know I love to cross-stitch and I love cross-stitching kits with the word "Joy" in them due to the fact it was my beloved mother's name.    So, when I saw the "Hanging Around" kit I knew I would buy it and make it.

The Hanging Around #MH14-1306  pattern uses full cross-stitch and straight stitch highlighting as well as beads of various sizes for emphasis and depth. The Mill Hill patterns usually call for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched like the background or border. In this case they were leaving sections of the brown perforated paper border untouched.

In embroidering the cross-stitch I decided to once again utilize the rectangular wood frame jig that my darling husband built for me that I could tape the edges of my perforated paper to. The wood frame jig is a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts, but without bending the perforated  paper. He had made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips with an adjustable center strip that I used for this 5.25 x 5.25 square design.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Linda's Review of "Book Seller" Mill Hill #MH14-2305 Winter Cross-Stitch Kit



Of all the cross-stitch pictures I have done I don't have a lot of winter seasonal pictures.  I wanted to change that for my winter season decorations on my fireplace mantels.  So, when I saw the Book Seller Mill Hill #MH14-2305 cross-stitch I knew I would buy it.  Not only does it suit my winter home decorating needs but it's about books and a bookstore, which I also love.

The Book Seller Mill Hill #MH14-2305 pattern uses full cross-stitch and straight stitch highlighting as well as beads of various sizes for emphasis and depth. The Mill Hill patterns usually call for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched like the background or border. In this case they were leaving sections of the brown perforated paper border untouched.

In embroidering the cross-stitch I decided to once again utilize the rectangular wood frame jig that my darling husband built for me that I could tape the edges of my perforated paper to. The wood frame jig is a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts, but without bending the perforated  paper. He had made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips with an adjustable center strip that I used for this 5.25 x 5.25 square design.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Linda's Review of "My Snow Days" - Mill Hill Cross-stitch Kit


Given that I hate snow you might be wondering why I'm cross-stitching a snow picture.  Well, the simple answer is I needed to for my winter decorations that I display on my fireplace mantels over the various seasons.  I have a ton of  Christmas and now Spring & Summer cross-stitch  pictures, but not a lot of winter ones.  So, when I saw the little "doggie" button that was included in this kit I knew I would buy it and make it.

The Snow Day #MH14-9302 pattern uses full cross-stitch and straight stitch highlighting as well as beads of various sizes for emphasis and depth. The Mill Hill patterns usually call for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched like the background or border. In this case they were leaving sections of the brown perforated paper border untouched.

In embroidering the cross-stitch I decided to once again utilize the rectangular wood frame jig that my darling husband built for me that I could tape the edges of my perforated paper to. The wood frame jig is a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts, but without bending the perforated  paper. He had made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips with an adjustable center strip that I used for this 5.25 x 5.25 square design.

I had learned from previous mistakes that I needed to draw diagonal lines to locate the exact center of the perforated paper as in previous perforated paper cross-stitch picture I have done the picture was slightly off center by a few holes which caused a problem with inserting the needles in the holes along one of the edges of my frame. So, I lightly drew a diagonal line across each corner with a pencil to get the center point of the perforated paper.

A lot of the cross-stitch 5.25" by 5.25" pictures I have made were finished in small 6 1/2" by 6 1/2" shadowbox frames with 5" by 5" openings that I had gotten at Michaels when they went on sale one year.  I used up all the shadowbox frames I had gotten that year and have been looking for them ever since and haven't found them again.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Linda's Review of "Christmas Wishes" Dimensions Gold Collection Cross-Stitch Picture



Like a lot of cross-stitch kits I see I fell in love with the "Christmas Wishes" Dimensions cross-stitch picture the minute I saw it.  It was just too cute to resist.  I keep telling myself that.  In reality I don't think I've ever found a cross-stitch kit that I haven't loved.....haha  "Christmas Wishes"  was just delightful so I knew I'd buy it and add it to my other winter season cross-stitch decorations on my fireplace mantle.

Like the other Dimensions Gold Collection Petites kits I had bought the kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, 18 count white cotton Aida, needle and instructions.

The "Christmas Wishes" pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, half cross-stitch, french knots and outline stitching for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. It also varies the number of threads used with the various stitches to add to the depth emphasis. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the half cross stitch, french knots and outlining being used for artistic effect.


The pattern came with starting and working order instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, color coded keys (with code #'s, lengths, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a chart with color coded symbols. The colors and symbols on the keys and chart were easy to read and follow. The pattern did not include instructions for finishing the piece.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Linda's Review of "Sunday Night" Mill Hill #MH18-1834 Cross-Stitch Kit


It's the beginning of the Fall and my thoughts always turn to the upcoming holiday season and crafts I'd like to make to add to my already overflowing seasonal and holiday home decorations collection.  I like to think you can never have enough decorations, but that might be wishful thinking.  In reality you definitely can have to many and I am slowly approaching that.   I'll just have to swap them out from year to year.....haha

I tend to be drawn to cross-stitch kits that feature the word "Joy", which was my mother's name, or churches, especially those that remind me of the one my mother attended for so many years.  My mother loved to sing and sang in the church choir for several decades. So, when I saw the "Sunday Night" Mill Hill #MH18-1834 kit, which looks exactly like the church my mother attended,  I knew I would buy it.

The "Sunday  Night" ornament kit contained the presorted thread, 14 count perforated paper, needles (stitching and beading), beads and instructions.  It also included a magnet and instructions for adhering the magnet to the back of the ornament.  The pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, beads and outline stitching for emphasis and depth.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Linda's Review of Haunted Mansion Mill Hill #MH14-1204


Halloween is one of my favorite holidays for crafting and decorating.  I love decorating my home with all sorts of Halloween creatures and pictures.  I don't have a lot of Halloween cross-stitch pictures so when I saw the Haunted Mansion Mill Hill #MH14-1204 cross-stitch kit I wasn't surprised that I was drawn to.  Haunted mansion, ghosts, Frankenstein, cross-stitch - what's not to love!

The Haunted Mansion Mill Hill #MH14-1204 pattern uses full cross-stitch and straight stitch highlighting as well as beads of various sizes for emphasis and depth. The Mill Hill patterns usually call for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched like the background or border. In this case they were leaving sections of the light blue perforated paper border untouched.

In embroidering the cross-stitch I decided to once again utilize the rectangular wood frame jig that my darling husband built for me that I could tape the edges of my perforated paper to. The wood frame jig is a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts, but without bending the perforated  paper. He had made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips with an adjustable center strip that I used for this 5.25 x 5.25 square design.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Linda's Review of Moonlit Treaters Mill Hill Cross-Stitch Picture #MH14-1724



As you know I love the Fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving season.   So, when I saw the Moonlit Treaters Mill Hill #MH14-1724 cross-stitch kit I wasn't surprised that I was drawn to.  Halloween, ghosts,witches, and Dracula - what's not to love!

The  Moonlit Treaters Mill Hill pattern uses full cross-stitch and straight stitch highlighting as well as beads of various sizes for emphasis and depth. The Mill Hill patterns usually call for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched like the background or border. In this case they were leaving sections of the dark blue perforated paper border untouched.

Personally, I don't like the dark blue perforated paper as I find it hard to count the holes and follow along as to where you are on your cross-stitch.    Since I always finish the background of all my cross-stitch pictures I decided to stitch my picture on the lighter brown colored side of the perforated paper. 

In embroidering the cross-stitch I decided to once again utilize the rectangular wood frame jig that my darling husband built for me that I could tape the edges of my perforated paper to. The wood frame jig is a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts, but without bending the perforated  paper. He had made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips with an adjustable center strip that I used for this 5.25 x 5.25 square design.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Linda's Review of "A Kiss For A Snowman" - Dimensions Cross-Stitch Kit



I fell in love with the "A Kiss For A Snowman" Dimensions cross-stitch picture the minute I saw it.  Totally adorable and so very cheery.  It  created such a wonderful happy aspect to it that I knew I'd buy it and add it to my other winter season cross-stitch decorations on my fireplace mantle.

Like the other Dimensions Gold Collection Petites kits I had bought the kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, 18 count white cotton Aida, needle and instructions.

The "A Kiss For A Snowman" pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, half cross-stitch, french knots and outline stitching for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. It also varies the number of threads used with the various stitches to add to the depth emphasis. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the half cross stitch, french knots and outlining being used for artistic effect.

The pattern came with starting and working order instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, color coded keys (with code #'s, lengths, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a chart with color coded symbols.  The kit came with instructions for finishing the back of the picture.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Linda's Review of "Let It Snow" - Mill Hill Sticks Cross-stitch Kit #ST14-1615



As you know from my previous post it's the middle of the summer and sweltering here.  More heat and humidity than I would like.  Yet, I'm making Christmas ornaments.  Maybe the coldness of my craft project will have an effect on Mother Nature.  I doubt it, but one can be hopeful.

This time the ornaments that I'm working on  are a pair of 3" by 3" Christmas stocking ornaments by Mill Hill - Sticks line.

The "Let It Snow" ornament kit contained the presorted thread, 14 count perforated paper, needles (stitching and beading), beads and instructions. The pattern uses full counted cross-stitch and outline stitching for emphasis and depth.


The pattern came with starting, stitching and 2 different back finishing instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, beading instructions and color code chart (with code #'s, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a black and white chart with black and white coded symbols.  The colors and symbols on the keys and chart were easy to read and follow except the symbols under the stars that were to be highlighted with floss were hard to read.

The only other problem I had with the kit was there was only one strand of the medium blue DMC floss and I ran out of it before I started the 2nd stocking.

I had no problem cross-stitching the stocking ornaments and then cutting the perforated paper close to the sides of the stocking figures. This kit did come with 2 different options for finishing the back the ornaments back to back.  The other was creating two ornaments and finishing the back with felt or card stock.  I opted to create two ornaments and finish mine with green felt which I glued to the back with an Avery disappearing color glue stick.  I wanted to finish the edges by whip stitching around the edges of the perforated paper with 4 strands of he green floss so I trimmed the edges and left enough of the felt and perforated paper to stitch around the edges.


Instead of adding a floss hanger according to the instructions I opted to sew two strands of floss to the top of the ornament, securing the edge of the ornament with an additional stitch and then tying the ends at the top in a large knot.  They're going to look great on my pencil Christmas tree

I was very happy with the way my "Let It Snow" stocking ornaments turned out and hope you like it too.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Linda's Review of Joy Ornaments - Sticks by Mill Hill Cross-Stitch #ST14-1616



It's the middle of the summer and sweltering here.  More heat and humidity than I would like.  So, you're probably wondering why I'm showing you two Christmas cross-stitch ornaments I just finished.  Well, when I'm making ornaments for the Christmas holiday season I like to start early. They are a pair of 3" by 3" stocking ornaments by Mill Hill - Sticks line.

I just love to cross-stitch small ornaments with the word "joy" in them because my mother's name was Joy and when I look at them I think of her.

The "Joy" ornament kit contained the presorted thread, 14 count perforated paper, needles (stitching and beading), beads and instructions.  The pattern uses full counted cross-stitch and outline stitching for emphasis and depth.


The pattern came with starting, stitching and 2 different back finishing instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, beading instructions and color code chart (with code #'s, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a black and white chart with black and white coded symbols.  The colors and symbols on the keys and chart were easy to read and follow.

I had no problem cross-stitching the stocking ornaments and then cutting the perforated paper close to the sides of the stocking figures. This kit did come with 2 different options for finishing the back of the ornaments. The first was finishing them back to back.  The other was creating two ornaments and finishing the back with felt or card stock.  I opted to create two ornaments and finish mine with green felt which I glued to the back with an Avery disappearing color glue stick.  I wanted to finish the edges by whip stitching around the edges of the perforated paper with 4 strands of the green floss so I trimmed the edges and left enough of the felt and perforated paper to stitch around the edges.


Instead of adding a floss hanger according to the instructions I opted to sew two strands of floss to the top of the ornament, securing the edge of the ornament with an additional stitch and then tying the ends at the top in a large knot.  They're going to look great on my pencil Christmas tree.

I was very happy with the way my "Joy" stocking ornaments turned out and hope you like it too.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Linda's Review of Gazebo - Mill Hill Cross-Stitch Kit #MH14-1825


As you know from my previous Linda's Blog post, it's getting to be one of my favorite seasons of the year - Fall.   For the last few weeks I've been  happily cross-stitching more shadowbox pictures to decorate one of my fireplace mantles.  If you're a reader of my blog you know I'm drawn to the beautiful bright colors of the Fall.  When I saw the Mill Fill "Gazebo" cross-stitch kit I knew I would buy it not only for the fall colors, but for the little doggie as well.  I'm a sucker for "doggie" pictures.

The Gazebo Mill Hill #MH14-1825 pattern uses full cross-stitch and straight stitch highlighting as well as beads of various sizes for emphasis and depth. The Mill Hill patterns usually call for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched like the background or border. In this case they were leaving sections of the brown perforated paper border untouched.

In embroidering the cross-stitch I decided to once again utilize the rectangular wood frame jig that my darling husband built for me that I could tape the edges of my perforated paper to. The wood frame jig is a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts, but without bending the perforated  paper. He had made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips with an adjustable center strip that I used for this 5.25 x 5.25 square design.

I had learned from previous mistakes that I needed to draw diagonal lines to locate the exact center of the perforated paper as in previous perforated paper cross-stitch picture I have done the picture was slightly off center by a few holes which caused a problem with inserting the needles in the holes along one of the edges of my frame. So, I lightly drew a diagonal line across each corner with a pencil to get the center point of the perforated paper.

A lot of the cross-stitch 5.25" by 5.25" pictures I have made were finished in small 6 1/2" by 6 1/2" shadowbox frames with 5" by 5" openings that I had gotten at Michaels when they went on sale one year.  I used up all the shadowbox frames I had gotten that year and have been looking for them ever since and haven't found them again.

So, I decided to buy some 8" by 8" hand painted wood frames that Mill Hill created for their cross-stitch pictures.  This frame is bare bones.  There's no glass or plastic cover and there's nothing on the back to hold the picture into the frame.  They do, however, provide a thin 6" by 6" cardboard back and wood dowel for inserting in the holes in the back to allow for the frame to stand on it's own.  Of course, if you're going to hang this on the wall you'd just add a picture hanger to the back.

The directions did not include any instruction for finishing the back.  I decided to finish mine with 1/4" thick self sticking art needle-craft mounting foam.  I used an 8" by 10" by Pres-On sheet that I cut 6" by 6"with an X-acto knife to fit my picture.  Since the depth of the back of the frame for inserting the picture is 1/4" deep the 1/4" foam was a perfect fit for inserting it as well as the cardboard backing that came with the frame.

The pattern called for a blue colored wooden frame. I  opted to use a rust colored wooden Mill Hill frame as I though it complimented the gazebo picture much better than the blue colored frame.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Linda's Review of Autumn Basket - Mill Hill Cross-Stitch Kit #MH14-3203


It's getting to be one of my favorite seasons of the year, the Fall, and I'm happily cross-stitching more shadowbox pictures to decorate one of my fireplace mantles.  If you're a reader of my Linda's Blog you know I'm drawn to the beautiful bright colors of the Fall.  When I saw the Mill Fill "Autumn Basket" cross-stitch kit I knew I would buy it.

The Autumn Basket #MH14-3203 pattern uses full cross-stitch as well as beads of various sizes for emphasis and depth. The Mill Hill patterns usually call for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched like the background or border for emphasis and depth as well.

In embroidering the cross-stitch I decided to once again utilize the rectangular wood frame jig that my darling husband built for me that I could tape the edges of my perforated paper to. The wood frame jig is a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts, but without bending the perforated  paper. He had made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips with an adjustable center strip that I used for this square design.

I had learned from previous mistakes that I needed to draw diagonal lines to locate the exact center of the perforated paper as in previous perforated paper cross-stitch picture I have done the picture was slightly off center by a few holes which caused a problem with inserting the needles in the holes along one of the edges of my frame. So, I lightly drew a diagonal line across each corner with a pencil to get the center point of the perforated paper.

If you look at the suggested picture below and my finished picture above you'll notice that I have one extra line under the basket in my finished picture.  I decided to stitch around the border before stitching the basket and flowers.  As I was stitching the rust colored section of the square border and was coming around to meet the left hand side I discovered  I had accidentally added an extra stitch to the right hand side of the border.  My sides weren't matching.  I had an extra stitch - YIKES!  There was no way I was going to rip out all the stitching I had done so I opted instead to add a line at the bottom of the basket.  As it turns out the extra line actually makes the basket stand out a little better.  At least I think so.  Phew!

A lot of the cross-stitch 5.25" by 5.25" pictures I have made were finished in small 6 1/2" by 6 1/2" shadowbox frames with 5" by 5" openings that I had gotten at Michaels when they went on sale one year.  I used up all the shadowbox frames I had gotten that year and have been looking for them ever since and haven't found them again.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Linda's Review of Snow Globe Mill Hill Cross-stitch Kit #MH14-1734



I love snow-globes and have several of my own that I take out and display during the Christmas holiday season.  So, when I saw the Snow Globe Mill Hill #MH14-1734 cross-stitch kit I wasn't surprised that I was drawn to.  Snow globe, cross-stitch - what's not to love!

The Snow Globe Mill Hill #MH14-1734 pattern uses full cross-stitch and straight stitch highlighting as well as beads of various sizes for emphasis and depth. The Mill Hill patterns usually call for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched like the background or border. In this case they were leaving sections of the light blue perforated paper border untouched.

In embroidering the cross-stitch I decided to once again utilize the rectangular wood frame jig that my darling husband built for me that I could tape the edges of my perforated paper to. The wood frame jig is a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts, but without bending the perforated  paper. He had made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips with an adjustable center strip that I used for this 5.25 x 5.25 square design.

I had learned from previous mistakes that I needed to draw diagonal lines to locate the exact center of the perforated paper as in previous perforated paper cross-stitch picture I have done the picture was slightly off center by a few holes which caused a problem with inserting the needles in the holes along one of the edges of my frame. So, I lightly drew a diagonal line across each corner with a pencil to get the center point of the perforated paper.

A lot of the cross-stitch 5.25" by 5.25" pictures I have made were finished in small 6 1/2" by 6 1/2" shadowbox frames with 5" by 5" openings that I had gotten at Michaels when they went on sale one year.  I used up all the shadowbox frames I had gotten previously and have been looking for them ever since and hadn't been able to find that size again.

I did, however, find some 7" x 7" by 1 1/2" shadow  box frames with a 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" opening at Michaels last year and bought a few white ones and black ones when they were on sale.  I was hoping to use one of the white ones with this project.

The directions did not include any instruction for finishing the back.  I decided to finish mine with thin adhesive press-board paper.  I used an 8" by 10" Pres-On sheet that I cut 6" by 6"with kitchen scissors to fit my picture.  The shadow box came with a padded velvet sheet glued to the rigid back of the shadow box frame which was about 1/8" thick.  My cross-stitch picture glued to the thin adhesive press-board paper was about 1/8" thick so I knew this would be a good fit.

After adhering my cross-stitch picture to the 6" by 6" thin adhesive press-board paper I inserted it into the back of the frame and then inserted the 6" by 6" rigid back that came with the frame over it. The shadow box frame came with 8 metal clips to hold the rigid back inside the frame which I secured.  The press-board fit perfectly and was the right depth for the shadow box frame.

The pattern called for a blue colored wooden frame and for the border of the perforated paper to be left untouched like the picture shown below:

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Linda's Review of Best Friend Santa - Mill Hill Jim Shore #JS20-5106



It definitely isn't any where near the holiday season so I'm sure you're wondering why I'm showing you a Christmas cross-stitch ornament I just finished.  Well, I started this after last Christmas and just finished it the other day.  It's a 3 1/2" by 5" ornament so it only takes a few hours to make but I only had a chance to work on it for a few minutes here or there.  As a result, it took months to finish.

I just love to cross-stitch small ornaments especially when they contain images of dogs.  I also love cross-stitching small ornaments because they don't take a lot of time to complete.So, when I saw the "My Best Friend Santa" cross-stitch ornament from Mill Hill I knew I was going to make it.

The "My Best Friend Santa" ornament kit contained the presorted thread, 14 count perforated paper, needles (stitching and beading), beads and instructions.  The  pattern uses full counted cross-stitch and outline stitching for emphasis and depth.

The pattern came with starting, stitching and back finishing instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, beading instructions and color code chart (with code #'s, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a black and white chart with black and white coded symbols.  For the most part the colors and symbols on the keys and chart were easy to read and follow.  However, the symbols behind the highlighted lines were hard to read at times.  


A JS20-5106 Correction sheet for two of the key symbols that were wrong was included in the kit.  The medium salmon symbol was wrong and the white symbol was wrong in the code chart.

I had no problem cross-stitching the Santa ornament and then cutting the perforated paper close to the sides of the Santa figure. This kit did come with instructions for finishing the back and I opted to finish mine with red felt which I glued to the back with an Avery disappearing color glue stick.  
I trimmed the edges so the felt was aligned with the perforated paper.