Saturday, January 25, 2020

Cottages of the Month

It's another Year of Cross Stitch! 
We're feeling ambitious in 2020, so in addition to "Stitches of the Sea'" we're going to again do a cross stitch series this year.

We noticed "cottage of the month" is a favorite theme for our friends who do the handwork cross stitch we've seen on Instagram... and Mr. SFO is an architect, so why not?

The cross stitch function has always been a part of our digitizing software, but it wasn't until last year, when I pulled out all my old unfinished cross stitch kits, I decided to give it a try.

Now that we've explored the technique, this year, we're fully digitizing now to highlight what makes machine embroidery different than handstitched. First thing, of course, D-E-T-A-I-L!

  Just look at that teeny fireplace in the living room!
and it's B-A-C-K-S-T-I-T-C-H-E-D!

In comparison with regular machine embroidery designs, cross stitch is less dense, and you get an beautiful, flat, even finish across the surface. The x's remind me of little beads.

  Metallic thread for a little sparkle...

And then, of course, machine embroidery excels at scale-- once a design is digitized, it's a click of the button to make a tiny treasure, or a larger image! Check out FDR below...

There's also going to be three ways to stitch this year's designs, 
so read on!

First, we're going back to the all-in-the-hoop mug rug... it's a perennial favorite and since we're attempting two stitch alongs this year, we're cutting corners time-wise. 

If you're not a fan of ITH, (if that's really a thing?), there are so many other ways to use the mug rug design, just by considering it as an applique. This is a placemat we stitched--so this opens up quite a few other project ideas you might have if you're not a mug rug fan! (if that's really a thing?)

The second way to stitch out is a postcard. So many of you wrote to us to tell how you are making this for someone else-- a friend's birthday, a senior, people in the nursing home-- so we thought of just making a simple postcard back for mailing!

How would your day be if you found this in your box!

We took a little field trip to the post office-- the girl was so helpful, and had a poster with correct sizes and thicknesses for post cards-- we passed the test! It isn't small enough for the postcard rate, so you would have to use a regular stamp. 

She was really blown away by how pretty it was, and we had THE CONVERSATION about how it might get dirty if you mailed it. So in the postcard set, you'll find a template to easily make a pretty envelope-- you can see it there in back of the postcard. 

I then asked her if she could stamp it for me, and she said NO, NO, you wouldn't want to get red ink on it, and I assured her YES, YES, I did. By that time, I'm sure she realized she was dealing with a crazy artist. She was so cute when she made sure the stamp would come out right side up and bravely hit it...

At that point, she had to admit it looks really cool... I hope I get the same person next month!

And I'll admit I'm feeling a bit selfish about my first card-- it ain't going anywhere. So to inspire those of you who feel the same way, I'm going to write a favorite saying on each of my cards and make a little comment about what is happening in my life each month-- at the end of the year, I'm going to make a little memory book out of it. If I travel, I might even try to get different stamps from other post offices.

 My handwriting's not great, but it is MINE, and maybe someday in the future someone else will treasure my little scrawled words of wisdom and feel endeared by my handwriting. (Handwriting is definitely not a thing these days!)

Finally, the quilt block version--

I think at this point it speaks for itself-- we're keeping it simple by not quilting it in the hoop. I can so envision a wall hanging with twelve of these at the end of the year-- I'm great at thinking up BIG projects-- you don't have to. Just think what you could do with one, or even just three... a square size is so easy to work with and the possibilities are endless. There are 5," 6," 7," and 8" blocks in the set.

So that has been our week at San Francisco Stitch Co.
We sure hope we've provided you with the inspiration to take these dear things and make your own art. That is the best that machine embroidery has to offer.


  1. Love your other cross stitch designs and can't wait to start this series. They will be a wonderful addition to my creation wall.

  2. Love your designs. The postcard idea is unique?

  3. I told myself I wasn't going to get these because I already have so many of your beautiful designs I need to be stitching but... I'm sure you know where I'm going with this comment, directly over to the web site because I'll be kicking myself if I miss out on these super cute designs. *Sigh* I guess I need and intervention.

  4. I have so many designs to stitch and I want everyone of these, the birds and the sea creatures. I had a talk with myself also, and I deserve these any more that strike my heart and warm stitch time. Thanks and you make my weeks, months, and years to come.

  5. Thanks, Carol! I love houses, maybe I'm a frustrated architect or realtor!!! Looking forward to doing these this year... Have you figured out a way yet to either buy a gift card to use for the year or order them as a set, like the Kringle blocks??? I'm interested in doing the blocks as a quilt and I can't wait to see what you come up with at the end of the year!!! Maybe embroidered borders??? *** Jeanette West

  6. SF, you have out done yourselves. They are beautiful. Everyone of them are excellent. Thank you ALL.

  7. And it just occurred to me, in addition to a "GET WELL SOON" cross-stitch design, how about a "CONGRATULATIONS" and perhaps a "CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR WEDDING DAY"?

    As many followers and fans and devoted customers as you have, you'll be busy designing cross-stitch forever!