Stitching with Susan, Part 2

We’re back for week 2 of Stitching with Susan! We hope you’ve been enjoying the series and that you’re ready to take on a cross stitch project or two this Summer:). Don’t forget, if you have any questions, please post them in comments below!

Hi again, it’s Susan Ache, yardgrl60 if you follow me on Instagram.

Last time I was here, I talked a bit about my favorite stitching floss for my own cross stitch. Today, I thought I would talk to you about my color choices and the types of cross stitching I like to do.

A Sampler is really defined as an embroidery piece produced to test the skill in needlework. Most of the time there are small motifs, alphabet letters, figures and decorative borders. I personally love to work on Quaker samplers, and the majority of them were done by girls learning how to stitch, so the motifs, alphabets, and all of the other things they have put in there are their own design.


Now, I know that certain colors weren’t available to the girls back in the 1600 and 1700’s century and I am sure that parts of the world where these samplers came from a variety of colors definitely weren’t available. But, let’s face it, girls are girls and they are going to find their favorite colors to work with even tho learning to stitch may have been mandatory through their schooling, so why can’t I use my favorite colors to stitch these wonderful designs?

I truly do follow the cross stitch chart for the pattern part, and most of the time I change every single color in that chart. It doesn’t take an experienced stitcher to know your favorite colors, my personal experience has shown me that I will enjoy working on anything as long as I love the colors I am working with. Quaker Samplers give me the total satisfaction of finishing a motif one at a time in a color I love.


The first thing I do when I get a new cross stitch chart is determine the size of fabric I am going to use, that determines what floss I am going to use. My favorite linen is a 36ct, and I stitch over 2, I also love the fullness of using 2 strands of embroidery floss. Now, comes the fun part…..

I am color crazy, I can find my inspiration from just about anywhere, so, let’s pretend that my inspiration just happens to come from a piece of fabric for my newest project. I then get out my Aurifil color card and start choosing. Personally, I love playing with lots of color, so I don’t limit myself to say, one green. There will be 4 or 5 shades of green in my stitching. If you are lucky enough to have a favorite color then use that as your jumping off point.


My favorite color is and always has been any shade of orange and anything that matches it, so I have accumulated many shades of that color, and guess what, there are tons of shades of reds and pinks that blend with my oranges. The whole key to playing with color in your stitching is not to limit yourself to one color at a time. I am constantly re-evaluating the colors side by side to see if I still like them. Remember, in most projects it will be only be a small piece of the whole and ask yourself if you can live with that.


Don’t be afraid to go out on that limb and just pick colors. Having the color card truly will make the work much easier for you. Here’s exactly how I made my first Auriful purchase, I had the color card and I went through and picked my very favorite 10 colors. Once I had those in my hand it was just a matter of playing with the color card and matching and coordinating other colors to go in my stash. Easy peasy when you are playing with the colors you love and you will for sure finish projects if you are stitching with those colors.

Take the plunge and be the boss of your own stitching, find your color inspiration and start stitching. Remember, it’s only stitching, if you don’t like it you can remove it and use another color.

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 the portability of hand hand embroidery-it’s calming and if it’s x-stitch, the counting gets me absorbed so my worries disappear for awhile. I love Aurifil for the sewing machine but have never used their floss, it would be such a treat to try! Have a great day.

  2. I love hand quilting and hand embroidery.I have trouble finding the floss as most stores do not order it. Many around me carry your thread. They seem reluctant to do special orders,too.

    1. My go to online ordering store is pumpkinvine corner, her name is Jean, she carries all of the colors and ships as fast as you press the pay button!

  3. My favorite part about hand stitching (cross stitch) is how relaxing it is. It encourages mindfulness because you are focusing on each stitch. I also love the feel of different fibers in my hands! I have never tried Aurifil threads for cross stitch, but have enjoyed seeing how Susan uses them. I would love to give them a try!

  4. Hand stitching is so relaxing, my mind wanders as I sit and work. It seems that hours pass in a matter of moments. I get a lot of satisfaction from the finished item.

  5. I love hand stitching as I find it calming, I have been doing cross stitch for over 30 years. x

  6. How helpful to use this as a starting point to put together my collection of floss, Aurifil of course. I cross stitched years ago but never made a Sampler. Going to give it a try after seeing how beautiful yours are. Thank you!

    1. It truly is about stitching with colors you love! Throw them all in the pot and see what happens!!

  7. I love the aesthetic of the finished project. If the piece has been hand pieced hand quilting is the right choice. Susan’s embroidery is beautiful!!

  8. Love your technique of how you choose your colors and your Sampler. What I love most about hand stitching is the portability and instant gratification. You can usually see after an hour or so the lovely (or not so lovely) work you’ve done and feel like you’ve accomplished something. Thanks for inspiring and the giveaway!

  9. What a great post, I’m happy to have discovered your page!! I think my favorite part about stitching is the pride I feel in my end product. Any stitch project is really quite the undertaking, and seeing the piece grow is really something.

  10. I was blown away by your samplers. I have done those small packaged kits sold at chain stores, but yours and the Quaker ones are in a completely different catagory. Beautiful!

    I agree, that projects done in my favorite color are most likely to get finished first.

  11. So Beautiful. I am just getting into cross stitch and other hand work and, OH MY GOSH!!, why do I have to sleep? Thank you for your inspiration.

  12. Our stitching group meets every Saturday and includes my 90 year old mother, who is out- stitching all of us. I love that we are inspired by each other’s projects and can help each other learning new stitches or solving problems. I enjoyed your blog about choosing colors and trying them out.

  13. I love all needlework, quilted, crocheting, and especially cross stitching. In love colors, thread, fabric, etc. I would love to win the thread and little sampler. I have never used this type of thread. I have used DMC . Sure hope I win to experience something new.

  14. It is so relaxing to hand-stitch. Even though I have arthritis I love doing things by hand, binding a quilt, embroidery, and cross-stitch. The new colors are so amazing and give me a lot of inspiration.

  15. I have always love to crosstitch it took me four months to finish the footsteps prayer it turned out really great I love all types of colors.

  16. I love the focus of the handwork as it relieves anxiety for me. I love using beautiful colors.

  17. I love cross stitching because it’s portable, it doesn’t take much soace and you can always make a few stitches when you find few spare minutes.

  18. I wish I could enter the rafflecopter, but it’s closed when I tried. Last week, too.

  19. I love taking my hand embroidery along on car and Boat trips! Places where I can’t use my sewing machine.

  20. After a busy day, I look forward to stitching by hand and slowing down. Thanks for all the great info and I look forward to finding a new project using Aurifil threads.

  21. I love the way you talk about color-it’s so integral to your work. Using more than one color in a motif, but blending them, is a new concept for me.

  22. Please let us know if it is possible to buy your diagram samplers.
    Thanks a lot,
    Kind regards,

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