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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hello fellow stitchers,
            I hope you are all having a wonderful summer, and for those plagued with the heat wave, I hope you are staying cool as well.
            If you’ve been able to keep up with the stitching schedule, then you know the end is in sight! This month’s schedule is to stitch the steps on the house, the first layer of grass, the fence, trees, cardinals and butterfly on the left hand side of the house. The stairs and the fence will go quickly by doing them in the Closed Herringbone Stitch. They are stitched using Belle Soie’s "Walk the Plank". See Diagram 1.
            Always go in one direction for the steps and fence, stitching from left to right on the stairs, and top to bottom on the fence. The Closed Herringbone gives the fence a nice texture and helps it to stand out more. I learned this stitch from Ellen Chester’s beautiful design, "Cherished Workes Sewing Set" and it has become my all time favorite. You’ll find it used in just about everything I design.
            We are going to start this stitch with the stairs – they are stitched up four threads and over two threads. See Diagram 2.

            Next we’ll move on to the first layer of grass. This is stitched in regular cross stitch and can be boring, but if you haven’t caught up to the stitching schedule, now would be a good time to alternate your stitching between the catch up stitching and the grass. It will be less monotonous that way.
            Okay, now on to the fence. You’ll notice that the fence does not meet the grass, except where the posts are. The closed herringbone for the fence is done vertically (see Diagram 3). Each square counts as 1 thread. You’ll follow the same sequence you used for the steps, except now you will be stitching it vertically instead of horizontally, and going over two threads instead of four.
            Now we’ll move on to the trees, cardinals and butterfly. You’ll notice that a section of the tree trunk is under the fence. It is easy to overlook so I thought I would mention it just in case. After the trees are stitched you will stitch the cardinals. The first two coming in from the left are stitched as charted. The third (in the square – do not stitch the square) is done the same as the first two, but you will follow up with Cinnamon Stick in a half cross over the previously stitched full cross done in Sister Scarlet. This is the female cardinal and her feathers are more of a rust brown than a bright red as in the male. After you’ve finished stitching the cardinals, move on to the butterfly. This is also done in straight cross stitch so no special instructions are needed here.
            Well, I hope this month’s assignment is not too much. Like I said earlier, if you are caught up with all the stitching assignments, the end is very close in sight! As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at and I will do my best to help you.
            Enjoy the rest of your summer and stay cool!

Yours in friendship and stitches,

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