Great Idea Thursday: Mess Up

I like doing counted cross stitch, but I’m not a huge fan of aida cloth. I don’t completely dislike it, but I don’t want to stitch on aida all the time. I like using my pretty cotton fabric.

I discovered waste canvas not too long ago and have been wanting to use it. Last week, I finished a larger project (Christmas gift #1, so I will have to wait to post the results). I wanted a small project, and a while ago I found this sweet pattern on the internets. I thought it would make a wonderful bookmark project.

When I saved it on my computer, I did not save the color scheme, so I had to come up with my own. While the pattern is lovely, I am glad I went with my own design – we see robins through the winter here and I love them, so it made the project a little more personal.

Once I got into the project, I discovered that my robin on birdhouse was, well, rather small…and then I discovered what I had done.

I doubled the stitches.

I hope I can explain this correctly, but essentially, I was using 14-count waste canvas. I noted early into my work that this seemed much tighter and smaller than doing the 14-count. Then I figured out my error:

I was both stitching in the grid and between it.

On aida, you have a pretty delineated grid. You put the needle in the holes. There’s no ambivalence to it. However, on waste canvas, in order for you to remove it from your final piece, your grid “lines” also contain holes. So, I was stitching both on the grid and BETWEEN the grid.

But, despite the error, I am happy with my teeny-tiny results, and decided to make it into a lovely ornament for my Christmas tree.

Robin Ornament - First of 2009

What’s more, I now know of a good way to teeny-tiny a cross stitch pattern if I want to do so. I just might do some more for our tree.

So, this Thursday, I hope you take a chance and maybe mess up a little. You never know what could happen.


7 responses to this post.

  1. […] The minuscule stitching on this sweet ornament was a lucky accident. Emily of On Awesome Avenue explains how it happened and how you can take advantage of her discovery to make your own tiny stitcheries. See the blog post. […]


  2. Posted by Ruth on November 5, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    How cute and who would know.


  3. This is darling! Waste canvas is a wonder!


  4. Posted by Vivian on November 6, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    It’s called a Happy Accident!


  5. Posted by butterscotchgrove on November 6, 2009 at 3:30 pm



  6. I love what you did with my little pattern – may I use a photo of it on Cross Stitch? If so, please fill out this form. (I can capture the photo from here.)

    Form –


  7. This is fabulous! I found you via Hand-embroidery yahoo group…I will definitely be back!!!


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