Monday, December 18, 2017

Day 18....

~ Greetings and Warm Welcome to ~
Day 18

My favorite time of the day....
is 4:30 a.m. Many of you know, if you have followed me for a while, that my husband and I get up early. He likes to get to his work really early before most people roll in so that he can get a couple of hours of work done before the bulk of people come in. He's a manager and has meetings, personnel issues and the regular variety of interruptions throughout the work day so getting there early is important to him. 

Some mornings....
I'm really johnny on the spot, and get downstairs first and during December this is what greets me:
2017 tree

The other 11 months of the year I still have battery operated candles glowing and my Paul Revere Lantern going...but in December it is the glow of our tree that greets me each day.
Some of the ornaments are wonky from fingers touching them, cats batting at them and general walking by it, but even wonkiness and all I still love it. I have over 300 handmade ornaments on that tree. It represents 21 years of marriage, 4 children, the childhood of my husband and I, and ornaments that were either made by or reminds us of loved ones that have gone on. I've said this in other posts on other years, but our tree is truly a scrapbook of our lives ~ the one that was melded together 21 years ago and became it's own entity. I'm very proud of our tree. 

I've gotten a lot of personal e-mails as I do all through the year about a variety of topics. Today I thought I'd go through the number one topic that most people question me about:
Do you stitch in hand?
Do you use a hoop, qsnap or frame?
What stand do you use?

Stitching in hand....
Have I stitched in hand? Yes.
Do I do it every day? No
Do you use the sewing method? When I stitch in hand, yes. But I also use a "modified sewing method" that I came up with and can be viewed HERE (toward end of video)
Why do you not always stitch in hand?  Here is the reason: I have bad tendinitis issues in my hands, arms and shoulders from repetitive motions. Its been over 10  years ago when I went to a specialist for pain in my hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. He told me to quit stitching. I was not going to do that. I used off and on Q-snaps and stitching in hand at that time. I started researching and found first a floor stand was what I needed and taught myself to stitch two handed that way both sides of my body were getting equal usage time. Not just the right hand side. Immediately I started to heal until my pain was gone. Yesterday I was stitching a small piece. I started stitching it in hand. After 3 hours of stitching I had to quit because my shoulder and hands started hurting. Significantly. So I had to stop. So again...I have to use my "gadgets" because if I didn't I'd not be able to stitch. Stitching is a part of my life. 

 Hoops/Q-Snaps, Bars and Frames....
Click above on the tab entitled TOOLS and click away to the various things I use. That's what I use, everyday. Well maybe not each one every day, but in my stitching throughout the year I use each one of the things listed. And I recommend them, each one (in my opinion are fantastic and worth every cent I paid for them.)

What stand do you use? well that is a loaded question! Because I have 4 stands and I use them all. Up above under the tab STANDS is all the places you can see what sort of stands I have, I have sort of done a little show and tell on all of them and I use these stands every day all year long. 
I love my Needlework System 4 floor stand (that is over 10 years old)
I love my Needlework System 4 lap stand.
I love my handmade wooden lap stand and HIGHLY recommend it (contact information for purchasing that stand is at the link under the tab STANDS - I've sold 100+ of those for Mr. Mike and his wife Bonnie this year since my review of it last year) It is simply fabulous and a beautiful, work horse that I have added to my arsenal of stitching. 
I love my Rolaframe Lap Stand (review and information regarding that lap stand coming soon!) that Dan King, the owner of Rolaframe, gifted me last year around this time for recommending Rolaframe. I understand that my recommendation really boosted sales last year...and I again am telling everyone...the single thing that has changed in the last 5 years with my stitching is the incorporation of Rolaframes. Again, a handmade product, small business, American made product. That I have simply found I cannot live without, I bought three more sets over the weekend for things I have planned in the upcoming new year. TRY Rolaframes... you will not be disappointed. Find Contact/Purchase information at this POST RIGHT HERE
My stitching is better because of these products.

we all have these don't we? and we all think our own opinion is the correct one. What I say on this blog, in a Flosstube episode or wherever I share - it is: my opinion. One does not have to take my opinion, or advice on anything I say, however respecting that I have an opinion and that it means something to me, is required. Recently I ran across a conversation on a popular group where a lady had said that she had noticed that "lots of people use a variety of hoops, stands, q-snaps, scroll rods and that years and years ago she used a hoop and went into a shop and the owner shamed her and told her that the only good type of needleworker only stitched in hand." So she threw her hoop out and started stitching in hand and could anyone tell her what was the "benefits of using all that stuff." Well what ensued was hundreds of comments on both sides of the subject - some of the comments (on both sides) were frankly hurtful and not conducive at all to learning or gaining valuable information. 
Which leads me to....
What does it matter? There is a lot of "shaming" going on all over the world about a variety of topics and I want my life drama free. I use what I use because it helps me. Has there been things that I have bought and they were useless to me? absolutely. But what I use, what I recommend I value. If I  use hoops and you stitch in hand...awesome! I find fascination in all the ways stitchers across the world: Stitch! But don't start telling me one way to stitch is superior to the other. I've seen and read opinionated shaming for a variety of topics: cross stitch subject matter, fabric used, fibers used - heck I've been shamed plenty about things I share freely (tutorials). 
Long after I'm gone...
it is a hope of mine that I am remembered as being one of:  INCLUSION and not EXCLUSION. Let's all be about inclusion and learn from each other. It is learning from each other that is the highest value to me. Stitching is stitching. Stitching is a large, integral part of my life. I'm ever evolving in my mastery of stitching. I'll never be a master. I'll always be learning, always changing, always searching to be better, do better. Let's learn together.

Happy Day 18!!!!

Until tomorrow....
Love and Hugs in Stitches, 
Vonna xxxx 


  1. I agree Vonna...whatever makes you a happy stitcher is what you should go with! For me, it is Q snaps and I stitch in hand on perforated paper. I just started doing that as a car project because I can see the holes without a maganifier! And it is so easy to finish into a Christmas ornament or a small piece for an easel. If I was told to stop stitching I would have done just what you did...FIND a WAY because lets face it, it is not just a hobby it is a passion.

  2. I also agree Vonna, what makes you happy is always the right way to go! I stitch in hand and I also only stitch on 14 count Aida because my vision is not the greatest and this is the one fabric that works for me. I stitch very basic simple patterns because that is just what works for me, anything more complicated and then I don't enjoy it and I enjoy stitching too much to do it any other way. I love what I make and finish in my own way. Have a wonderful and very Merry Christmas! Cathy in New York

  3. Vonna, what a wonderful and thought provoking post today. I totally agree that everyone is entitled to their opinion and should be treated respectfully. It doesn't matter what tools, accessories, fabrics, charts, fibers, etc. you prefer to use if it brings you pleasure. I feel very blessed that I can information/opinions on stitching related matters on your blog along with others. Thank you!

  4. If there's anything that will make me stick to my guns, it's someone telling me I can't do ____. The cross stitch police are so self-righteous. The way I stitch works for me and that's the way I will do it until I find a better method. It seems like this is becoming the way of the world. I love reading your blog and viewing your videos. Even the most basic things you present have something in them that help me become a better stitcher and finisher, even a better person. I would appreciate it if you would add me to your prayer list. I lost my husband last year and I am still trying to adjust.

  5. Well Missy, you really outdid yourself on this post! I started clicking your links to go back and take another look at Rolaframes cuz I wasn’t stitching when you put that out. We had just moved, etc. But I did buy my floor frame from your recommendation and absolutely love it! Got retry the Vonna’s method of stitching. Tried before but didn’t work on it long enough. Have all your ailments and the stitching in hand I’ve been doing is hurting my shoulder at this time. So this post was totally timely for me. As to the other crud! I learn from everyone. There should be no dadgum bullying! And I’m sick of seeing bullying in various posts. People who do that are so, so insecure. We need encouragement. Not bullying. BTW I railroad stitch. But I keep turning my needle and the twisting begins. Thx for that Flosstube video!��

  6. Great post Vonna. We should all use what works for us to allow to continue doing one of the most rewarding hobbies. I have learned lots from you and many others out there. Thank you for sharing so freely!!!!!!!

  7. I love reading your blog and watching your videos! I am a 4th grade teacher and I tell my students that we never stop learning! I learn something new everyday! I agree with you and the other respondents that whatever stitching methods or tools work for you is what you should use. We should be able to enjoy our stitching in whatever manner we like! Merry Christmas

  8. Thank you for the thoughtful post! I am someone who stitches on aida and have been shamed in the past by stitchers and staff at shops who turn their nose up at aida. Like you, I think people should be more inclusive! I think it's great that you and your hubby are early risers - it's nice to get things done before the day gets busy with other people, places, and things. :) Thanks for the wonderful posts during the Christmas season and all year long. :)

  9. You got this right on the mark Vonna. Great post. Thank you for sharing again this year. I always look forward to it.

  10. Thanks for sharing your tools again this year. It depends on where I am and what I'm stitching as to whether I stitch naked (in hand), on a Q-Snap, in a hoop, or on a frame. And p-shaw on the bullying and shaming. I have a few friends who only stitch on Aida; others are constantly telling them to try linen or evenweave-they'll never go back once they tried it, etc., etc. I say this is supposed to be a relaxing fun hobby; do what you enjoy! I get ribbed quite a bit about the size of my charts (I enlarge the pattern so I can see it without squinting or holding it up to my nose!). So I told the hecklers "This is supposed to be pleasurable and I like 'em big!" I immediately realized what I said and turned beet red; then they had even more to tease me about! LOL

  11. I love reading your advice. I stitch in a hoop. My problem is arthritis in my hands. I can't help wonder if the frames you were taking about would help. I am able to stitch everyday but not for as long as I would like.

  12. Thanks again for a thought-provoking post. We can all learn from each other but it needs us to listen with an open mind and heart. I once read on a stitcher's blog that she had been asked to leave an exchange group as her stitching was no longer considered good enough. This lady stitches from the heart. So very sad that others couldn't see the beauty in the time and effort she put into her finishes.

  13. Your Christmas is so pretty. What a wonderful sight first thing in the morning. I knew you had a lot of handmade ornaments on it, but didn't realize there are over 300. Counting your other Christmas trees, how many ornaments have you made?

    1. I've been stitching ornaments for 32 years. Having 4 kids and stitching one or two each year for them really adds up. I've stitched personally over 300 ornaments, on this tree is ornaments that are primarily mine from my hands, but I also have friend stitched ornaments on there. In total I think the number is close to 350 but to be honest I lost track when I was counting this year. So I just am giving a general number in total 300 from my hands.

  14. Yep what works for me might not work for you. Good luck finding what works. Love your posts.


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The Twisted Stitcher