Craft · Cross stitch · SAL

SAL: Introduction

Its finally here! I’ve been so excited for this post for the last 3 weeks. Was tempted to do it early, but that’s probably hugely frowned upon..

So I mentioned in my last post that I’d stumbled across a Stitch Along and thought that it looked like an outstanding idea. I’ve got a gigantic cross stitch that I was working on until the Christmas presents took over. It’s been gathering dust behind the sofa since August. Poor lamb. I can’t wait to get back into it though, especially getting it out to photograph for this. “Hmm I could just do a couple of stitches.. No! No! Put it down. You don’t have time.” Anyway, first things first.

This SAL really appealed to me in lots of ways. Unlike other Craft Alongs you can choose your own project, big or small, so everyone is making something different, which makes it a bit more interesting. Also there’s no set amount you need to do, just whatever you can. No pressure. Lovely. Updates are posted every 3 weeks and links to the others in the group will be available. Everyone has been very welcoming and friendly. And it’s nice to be joining this little community from.. well I’m not too sure where everyone’s from yet. All over I think! Thank you very much for letting me join. If you would like any more info, Please let me know or get in touch with Avis who can help.

There are some amazing projects on the go, so please go take a look!

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaSusanKathyMargaret, Cindy, Helen

Now for the big reveal. The moment you’ve all been waiting for. Drum roll please.


Isn’t she stunning? So much detail and the picture doesn’t do the colours justice.

I’ve got the 14 count version so looking at 26.4 x 38.14” when finished. I told you she was big.

The box I keep the supplies in is overflowing with thread. It must be close to 100 different colours, lots of them very similar, so I’m very glad they came pre-sorted.


You can purchase your very own from GeckoRouge. If you get the time, it’s worth trawling through the thousands of listings. It’s one of the best places I’ve found for modern kits. I believe that a lot of it is artwork that has been transferred into patterns. (If anyone has any programs that they use to make their own patterns please let me know. I’d love to be able to create my own designs without having to get all pixely on excel.) I can’t wait until they make a hot pin up librarian or similar to put in the library/craft room.

If you do want one, I’m sorry to say its gonna cost you. They aren’t on the cheap side of the spectrum. But when you consider the size, the amount of materials you get and the fact that its put together by hand by a small company it sort of puts it into perspective. I obviously couldn’t afford one myself. Himself bought it for me for last Christmas. I’d been looking (lusting) at it for about 8 months prior, so I was sure that it was a good idea. Plus, Himself likes red heads, so he was happy with it too. However, his comment on giving it to me was ‘There we are, get cracking. You’ve got 2 weeks.’ It took a while for me to stop laughing.

In reality, it’s probably going to take years. So I’ll apologise now, you’ll be as sick of it as I am by the end. But I’ll just keep going, one three-week period at a time.

Here’s a picture of a sample page to show you.


There’s 35 of those I think. It’s a lot of headwork. Plus it’s on a giant frame which doesn’t always cooperate as it should. Here is current progress.


Doesn’t look like a lot does it, but I promise it is. I obviously started in the middle, but have worked my way up to the top corner to give me edges (like a puzzle), so I could reposition it on the frame and get started on the background.

I tend to alternate what I focus on. One thread change I’ll concentrate on a colour, the next I’ll work on the background (again like a puzzle where you have 2000 bits of sky). I’ve also worked out the border for this section so I know where my stars will be and where the main piece finishes. I can fill in the blocks as I go when my brain isn’t up to thinking. My plan is to work on this section until I’ve done enough or I get bored really. I want to enjoy doing it and not have it as a chore. ‘I can’t move on to the bit I want to do because I have to finish a shoulder!’ None of that. I can always work my way back round and fill in gaps later.


As I said earlier, the colours are beautiful, and wonderfully integrated. Have a look at the M below. There are about 5 different shades of brown in there, all nicely blended in.


You can just about see that there’s 2 shades of cream in the middle of this section.


Lots of headwork. Seen as I’m mostly doing this in the evenings my daylight lamp is essential for this. Even then I have to trust the pattern and what I’ve already done, as I really struggle to tell the difference most of the time.

There so much details in this, it’s easy to sometimes get lost in the symbols on the pattern and not actually realise what you’ve stitched. I can’t wait to get to the stage where I can concentrate on certain items. I’m really looking forward to the Tetris squares and the little Mario down the bottom. Not so much for the keyboard though. It looks horrendous. My favourite bit so far is the little space invader under the E. Can you see it on the work? A little green angular bit? Little cutie. You could easily spend lots of time looking at all the detail in this thing.

So I believe the next update is on the 8th January? All my presents should be done and out of my hair by then, and I should have had a week at home where I can play with my new toys, but more importantly pick up my old ones.

See you then!


Much love

31 thoughts on “SAL: Introduction

  1. Hej and welcome to the group! I´m Gun from Sweden. It´s gonna be so exciting to follow your work on this embroidery! So big and soooo many details, wow, I like it!!!!


  2. Welcome to the SAL Steph. I’m Cindy in Montana USA. I am also kinda new to the SAL. It is a great way to focus on your stitching and have progress for each update.
    I love your project. I am also a huge project stitcher but mine are HAED. This one looks amazing and I can’t wait to see more progress.

    Merry Christmas and see you in January.


  3. Oh my gosh, I live this! My husband is a gamer and I grew up on all things Mario, so I love this! Looking forward to seeing your progress! I too have another project, a scarlet quince, that’s an extremely large project. Hoping to refocus on it once I complete my Winnie the Pooh. Welcome again and happy holidays!


    1. 🙂 I just fell in love with her. Bit of a girl crush. I’m in the other camp and was brought up on a sega megadrive, so very happy to see sonic represented. It’s all about timing and mind power with big projects I guess. You need to be in the right state of mind maybe? Pooh bear is always a winner though. I might have to keep yours away from Himself as he’ll be after it! Same to you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My cousin had the Sega, so I enjoyed playing sonic too! I’m interested in getting those mini systems that are coming out, specifically the Sega 😊 I still have my Super Nintendo hooked up to an old TV and VCR! Our little vintage corner of the house, lol!


      2. Ooh I’ve seen those too! Although I made sure I dug out the megadrive when we moved so it’s plugged in and ready to go. Although it’s been a while. Crafting has taken over slightly. A vintage corner! That’s what we need! Such a good idea!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Welcome to the SAL 🙂 your project looks like it’ll be amazing. Look forward to seeing it progress. I’m the same in that I tend to switch between colours and sections to keep interested in big projects.


  5. Welcome aboard! This is a stunning project and the SAL will keep you motivated to finish it. When I work a stitch intensive design I always make a working photocopy of the chart and mark off the bits I’ve done with a felt tip marker. It really helps to keep track of where you are. Watching with interest 🙂


  6. WOW!! This has epic proportions! welcome to our SAL! I’m Kathy from South Dakota. I am going to enjoy watching this piece take shape! Love what your Hubble said about two weeks. Mine is always teasing me with,”Aren’t you finished yet? It’s been what, two hours?!”


    1. Thanks for the welcome! Epic is definitely the word. He thinks he’s funny bless him. There’s also the argument about buying more stuff. ‘Can you finish the stuff you’ve already started before you buy more?’ Hilarious. It doesn’t work that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, I’m Kate from Australia, which is why I’m out of synch with most of the others time-wise! Debbierose (also from Australia) and I generally post first because it’s SAL day for us sooner than the others 🙂 That’s a beautiful project you’ve got going there, and I can’t believe how much you’ve got done already. Lovely to have you on board, and I’m looking forward to seeing how your lovely Gamer progresses.


    1. Hello Kate! Gosh we really are from everywhere on the globe! Thank you! It doesn’t look like a lot but it really is. She’s been shelved for a bit though so can’t wait to get back to it. Merry Christmas and see you on the 8th!


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