Stitching with Susan, Part 1

Last week, we introduced you to cross-stitching queen Susan Ache and her brand new Aurifloss collection, Little Quaker Christmas. We are so thrilled to now welcome Susan to Auribuzz for a 3 part series all about stitching! We hope you enjoy, and don’t miss the giveaway at the end of the post!

Hey Y’all, let me introduce myself, I am Susan Ache (pronounced like hockey without the H) — you may know me on Instagram as Yardgrl60, and I also am the author of the quilting book “Start with Strips”. (Martingale)

Today though, let’s talk some cross stitch! It’s probably safe to say that I began my cross stitch journey when Aida cloth was discovered. I played that game for years and then put it aside. Well, years later, I was introduced to the gorgeous linen that is out there for cross stitch and fell in love times a million with the sport all over again.


I won’t get technical on you, but, I will tell you about how I go about my projects and my personal stitching. First and foremost, I have a light brighter than six full moons hanging over my shoulder at night while I am stitching. If you can’t see it, it certainly isn’t fun to work on. I also use a magnetic board with my graph so I can see where I am supposed to be. Here’s the other thing, and if you do it, it’s a personal choice, but I stitch much faster without a hoop. Stitching in hand is like sewing, I go up and down each cross one at a time.

Now, to the fun part of the embroidery floss. Since I am stitching on linen, I stitch over two, which means that for every little thread, I am stitching over 2 of them for each cross. It’s much easier than you think and with a good light you can truly see where you are going and stay in your lane. I love great embroidery floss coverage. Seeing the linen behind my stitches just isn’t pretty to me, so with that in mind, I am very comfortable stitching with 2 strands of embroidery floss on a 36 count linen.

Here is how I think of the threads and I keep this general guideline in my head as I am choosing projects. The embroidery floss is 6 stranded, I use 2 of those for my cross stitch projects. The 12wt is awesome for my embroidery, but 2 strand coverage from embroidery floss seems to be just a teeny tiny bit thicker. Wool, oh my, if you truly want texture to your projects, then by all means pull out the wool. One strand on a 32 count linen stitching over 2 is the most beautiful stitch coverage you would want to dream of.

Because I am more color driven, I truly don’t just buy the floss as I need it, I will buy just because a color mood hits me. Then, I go and search for the linen that I think might be perfect for a project. Trying all of the thread sizes is a great way to gauge your personal favorites. Once you have your project in mind then you can determine if you think that embroidery floss, 12wt, or a wool would showcase your stitching the best.


How about if I come back another time and talk to you about my stitching favorites and how I go about choosing colors to adapt to my home by not following the charted colors. In other words, let me show you how to be a rebel in your stitching. And please, if you have any questions, we can play question and answer at the same time!

Until next week —


To enter-to-win the Little Quaker Christmas Collection, including the free Little Quaker Christmas Sampler (shown below), click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  The Giveaway will run from now until 11:59pm on Saturday, August 4 and we’ll select one random winner per week for a total of 4 winners! Good luck!

InstagramSusan’s Book
A love of color, makes it is easy for Susan to grab  inspiration from her native Florida surroundings. With no idea other than knowing she wanted embroidery and nine patches in her first quilt, a new world opened up to this mom of now five grown children.  Self taught and many hours of reading about the makings of a quilt and quilt blocks has made this an a lifelong passion. Susan is always searching for new and fun ways to show off as many colors as she can in a quilt.  Most of her quilts are a creative impulse from trips to the garden center, a photograph, or browsing through paint chip selections. “I really never see just the quilt, I seem to see the quilt in the room that it belongs in”.  Working in a quilt store for years helped to pursue that passion of color and the fabric inspired life she enjoys while she constantly striving to make her next favorite quilt.

Little Quaker Christmas
100% Aurifil Cotton, 10 Large Spools, Aurifloss (18yds/spool)
Colors included:
1231 – 2886 – 1147 – 5016 – 2140
2420 – 5002 – 2255 – 2270 – 2250


  1. I love cross-stitich, and have been doing it for years . These are beautiful. Thanks for sharing

  2. I started at my Nana’s knee with cross stitch, embroidery and crewel. I moved to quilting when I needed to see more immediate results 🙂. Now I’m in my balanced phase, enjoying the processes involved in both quilting and hand stitching. Your designs are lovely, and the newer (to me) colors look stunning on linen. Looking forward to the next interview.

  3. Your projects are divine, Susan! It’s so nice to get to know you better! And how wonderful that your block for Splendid Sampler II is out this week, too!

    1. It has been a blast of a week!! You need to make that splendid sampler block…such instant fun! xo susan

  4. Years ago I did an embroidery pattern on 22 count linen, it took me a year to complete and she turned out beautiful. My first craft projects were cross stitch, easy, fun and I gave them away as gifts. I love the way that cross stitch has that old fashion look to it.

  5. sitting quietly in a cozy wingback chair with a glass of wine and beautiful threads and stitching away; what more could you ask for? thanks for the chance to win.

  6. Have been hand stitching since I was in grade school. Love the fact that I can sit and stitch and still be part of what is going on with the family. I haven’t done anything for quite some years but Susan’s take on stitchery may reignite my passion.

  7. I’ve been cross stitching since the early 80’s and I love the variety of fibers and fabrics available these days. Susan, I enjoy seeing your Stitchery and you have prompted me to purchase a few quaker patterns! I’ve been wanting to try the Aurifloss and I think your Little Quaker Christmas collection might be just the thing I need!

  8. Hand stitching is my favorite because I can take it anywhere … and I do! I find it so relaxing and prefer counted cross stitch on linen. Beautiful new design. Thanks for a chance at your giveaway. Congratulations Susan!!

  9. Quilting first, wool appliqué and then cross stitch! My 3 hobbies. I’ve never tried Aurifil wool thread for cross stitching as I haven’t found it locally yet. I bet the texture is beautiful.

  10. Love cross stitching. You can take it anywhere to work on and it is fun to watch the designs appear as you work on the project.

  11. I am loving cross stitch! It’s so relaxing to put in a few stitches at the end of a day 🙂

  12. I love, love, LOVE your colour sense! These threads are gorgeous. Can’t wait to try some!

    I would love to see a quick video of you stitching. I am kind of a newbie to cross stitch and while it seems pretty obvious a (moving) picture is worth a thousand words! Also, how do you start/stop, what is the back supposed to look like? Is there a better path to follow (ie. across then down, etc). And needles! Sharp? Blunt?

    1. There are tons and tons of Videos showing the kind of stitching I do and done far better than I ever could!! As far as needles…I am partial to John James petite, it’s just a smaller needle for going in and out with the count of linen I use! I also do not knot! I travel my threads on the back of the work (once again, videos) it’s a smooth feeling. Somewhere on my instagram pics there is a pic of the back of my work!! 😘

  13. I love hand stitching because it’s portable! I do have to try Susan’s technique of stitching without a hoop, though I’ll still be stitching on Aida!

  14. I love cross stitching. Where can we purchase your Little Quacker Christmas design and fliss?

  15. I love to cross stitch, or really any handwork. Cross stitch is so satisfying to have a blank canvas and watch the design build – stitch by stitch, color by color!

  16. I love cross stitch and wish I made more time for it because it is very relaxing.

  17. I love cross stitch, but between quilting and genealogy I don’t get to do as much as I like. Thank you for your suggestions and the giveaway.

  18. Love your use of color and the adorable graphics – classic and modern at the same time.

  19. I love hand sewing and so I do a lot if embroidery and cross stitch. Quaker samplers are my newest obsession. This is a beautiful design and aurifil floss is wonderful to work with.

  20. Knowing that I am creating a picture one thread at a time, just like a photo is created one pixel at a time, brings such joy to my being.

    1. It has just come out and will show up In shops by the first part of August for sure!! I was asking the same thing and am happy to know we don’t have to wait long!! 😘

  21. I enjoy doing hand stitching. I find it relaxing; especially in my recliner watching tv.

  22. Oh my goodness this is not my mother’s embroidery :0) I’d like to learn all over again. thanks for the chance to win :0) does Aurifil make wool embroidery floss?

  23. Hand stitching…what a wonderful meditative sport! and to think that Aurifil provides you with such wonderful colours to play with.

  24. I find it to be very relaxing and just plain fun to do. I really enjoy watching my project turn into something I can be proud of.

  25. What I like most about hand stitching is getting to choose which portion of the design I want to work on and seeing the image appear bit by bit. It is wonderful to just sit quietly and stitch, very calming.

  26. What I like most about hand stitching is how calm I become as I progress, regardless of how many days between picking up my hoop & needle

  27. Your stitching is beautiful Susan. It makes me want to take up cross stitch again! I’m thinking I need a really really bright light! ☺️

  28. I have often used my hand sewing project to keep me awake for tv in the evening! Always have hand work for long road trips.

  29. I find hand stitching to be relaxing and because it is portable I can enjoy it while still being with my loved ones

  30. Hi S,
    Your work is lovely. Would you be so kind as to share the make and model of your light. I have just been diagnosed with cataracts and am having so much difficulty with stitching. Thank you, Michele

  31. Thanks for closeup photo of stitching over two threads as I have not understood the technique before now.

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