categorized · Counted Cross Stitch

Tenacity and Perseverance

These two words have become regulars in the vocabularies of those corresponding and chatting with me in the past three weeks. Why the frequent usage you may ask.  Let me explain.

Surgery. The word most people cringe to hear a doctor say as the diagnosis. My right (and dominant) hand, most specifically the area where the thumb meets the hand, had worn away all cartilage and was painfully functioning by rubbing bone against bone. Surgery at the end of August was performed with the offending area cleaned out and a small piece of tendon, taken from the same arm, inserted between my thumb and hand as my “new” cushion.

As part of this entire process, I am sporting a cast for a month. I’ve had wonderful caregivers take turns in helping me learn to get through even the most personal tasks that we take for granted on a normal day.  Let your imagination run and you’ll probably come up with the tasks I’m alluding to.

BUT no one could help me stitch! What to do?! Why learn how to do it myself using my only remaining hand — lefty! And I began doing this very thing 4 days into recovery.

The process is SLOW but the daily accomplishments makes my heart happy. Who knows, once I’m healed I may continue stitching in this manner.  Probably not, but it’s a good fallback.

Here’s my completed piece stitched in 12 days, learning to use only my left hand.


Tribal Paw Print by White Willow Stitching, designed by Jamie Larson.

Stitched on 14 ct Aida using 2 strands of Carriage Black (Simply Shaker Sampler Threads)

Physical therapy is in my near future but for now I’m working on therapy for the soul. Till next time, keep that needle moving!

Tamara (@thisnanastitches)

Counted Cross Stitch · Sewing

My Happy Place Today

Everyone has a spot that is their ‘go to’ place for solitude, peacefulness, creativity, reflection, whatever you wish to call it.  I have multiple spots. The hammock for solitude, the beach for reflection and energy, and my sewing room for creativity. Unfortunatley, the beach was not a possibility today so this morning I planted myself in my sewing room and got creative!

Cross stitch patterns were kitted up (pattern placed in a bag, called for threads and fabric added) to be ready for a grab and stitch when the urge strikes.  Then the pile of goodies on the table from my most recent excursion to Hobby Lobby and Joann’s needed to be put in respective shelves and closets.

Next came the new sewing board cover. There are two on my board; one for ironing and one for crafting. And I declare, they really are snug going on.  Check out what I found in the ironing aisle at Joann’s this week…Ironing Board Cover Fasteners.  I had to chuckle because these are the same type of fasteners that are used to keep bottom sheets from slipping off the mattress.  Where have I been?  Obviously this isn’t a new idea, but it’s a great one! Now I’m looking around the house with new eyes wondering what else would benefit from these nifty little fasteners!

Now that my space felt organized and clean it was time to be creative. Today this meant sewing pillowcases for my grandsons.  They each like different Disney characters as well as dinosaurs, planets, cars, etc. With the simple YouTube tutorial from Jordan Fabrics, I was able to create 6 pillowcases in an hour. Now when they lay their heads down at night a little bit of Nana is with them. The sizes and yardage requirements is in the first picture below. Tutorial link:

Next up, switch to a different happy place – the patio hammock to work on my current cross stitch project, Coffee Quaker, a Heartstring Samplery by Beth Twist. I decided to stitch it in one color using The Gentle Art Sampler Threads color Currant because of it’s subtle varigeation. My SIL, the Nantucker Stitcher (thenantucketstitcher on Instagram), is working on the same project using the called for threads.  Her piece is also pictured next to mine (on right) for comparison.  It’s gorgeous and her stitching precise.


Guess you could say it’s a Happy sort of day! Till next time, keep that needle moving!