Introducing the Collecting Colors SAL

We’re kicking off a brand new decade in the most glorious way we know how — with an explosion of color courtesy of our favorite cross stitch magician, Susan Ache (@yardgrl60 on Instagram). If you’ve been following along with us, perhaps you’ve been introduced to Susan via one of her two Aurifloss collections, Little Quaker Christmas & Little Band Sampler.

Maybe you’ve even stitched up a few of her fabulous free charts… maybe even Two Turtle Doves, which was released just before the holiday.

It’s possible you know her from her quilting, as a Moda maker and a Martingale author.

However you know Susan, or even if you’re meeting her for the first time… know this — her passion for creating stitched masterpieces as a celebration of her love of color is infectious. You’ll be hooked in no time at all, so best to just settle in, read all about Susan’s latest project, collect your supplies, revisit her post on Storing Colors, and start stitching;).

Take it away, Susan! <3

It’s a happy news day and I am here to talk all about it. Let me introduce myself or re-introduce myself if you don’t know me. I’m Susan Ache — if you are on Instagram I am yardgrl60 — and I am crazy about cross stitch and quilting. Well, I think that I am more crazy about playing with color when it comes to floss and fabric. There I said it, I love color and I love to share. 

Over a period of time I have collected some of my very favorite colors of Aurifil embroidery floss. This makes me endlessly happy, so I thought that you might like to go on your own collecting journey and have your own rainbow of colors to begin or add to your embroidery floss stash. So… I have created a Stitch Along for you. Each month I will be introducing a new handful of colors to use for your stitching that, in the end, will become your own scrappy cross stitch sampler. We’ll call this stitch along “Collecting Colors SAL”, so if you are on any sort of social media, let’s use #collectingcolorssal.

The Collecting Colors SAL is an eight month program, kicking off next week. I created this just like I would be sitting in my sewing room and sewing with my fabric stash — using lots of color and my version of traditional quilt blocks.

I thought that to make it a bit easier for you, I would break it down just like a menu.

January — Appetizer
This will be all of the sashing and the colors that go with that.
Let me first explain the sashing. It’s kind of strange to start in that spot, but for this version of the sampler, I promise you’ll thank me because it will create a template and you’ll essentially just be filling in the blanks after that.

Even though I am giving you ALL of the colors for the sashing, you can also wait until the ‘fill-in’ colors are actually introduced in the block for that month to add those accent stitches.

February through July — Entrées
These are the main blocks in the “quilt” sampler. You’ll have the opportunity to download 2 per month for a total of 12 blocks.

August — Dessert
This is the border and the finishing of the sampler!

Every month, I will give you the colors for the next month’s stitching so that you can make sure to have them on hand. It will be super helpful to stay ahead of the game with your supplies so that once the new blocks arrive, you’re ready to stitch. Also, it’s a great time for you to have your own inventory system in place because there will be repeats in colors as we go along. Don’t miss my Storing Colors post to see how I store and keep my own Aurifil inventory of colors. It just might help you as we go along with our project.

For today, let’s concentrate on the background – you’ll need to select the linen and decide what count you prefer for this particular project. I feel comfortable with a 36 count and I always stitch over 2 with 2 strands of embroidery floss. To make a decision for the overall size of your linen, you really only need to have a total stitch count. The stitch count for this project will be 162 x 201 but I would suggest adding about an extra inch all the way around beyond what you would normally leave for your outer edge. The border will be the very last thing to go on!

The primary color you’ll need for this appetizer portion of the sampler is 2318. The accent colors are: 2725, 6729, 5002, 1114, & 2425. Again, these accent colors will pop up in our blocks throughout the SAL, so you can grab them now, or fill them in later. 

Can’t wait to talk to you again…until next time…happy stitching.

Click here for access to download all PDFs.

InstagramSusan’s Book
A love of color makes it easy for Susan to grab inspiration from her native Florida surroundings. With no grand 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. Being self taught with 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 Susan to pursue that passion of color and the fabric inspired life she enjoys while constantly striving to make her next favorite quilt.


  1. This looks very nice, I love cross stitch. I haven’t tried these threads before and look forward to trying them. Can you recommend an online source to order the threads, since I don’t have a local shop to purchase them . Thanks

    1. Hi Sheila — We’re so thrilled that you’re excited about the SAL! We are just in love with Susan’s charts:). If you don’t have a local shop, you might try Pumpkinvine Corner: She has a wonderful supply and should have all of the Collecting Colors SAL colors available. Happy Stitching and we can’t wait to see your progress!! — Erin at Aurifil

  2. I love this! I’ve never used your threads for cross stitch, but I’m itching to try and build a collection! What type, specifically, should I purchase? Help please!! 🙂

    1. Woh yay! We’re hoping you will love them!! Our recommendation is to use our Aurifloss: It is a 6-strand divisible floss. Susan has charted this one up with the floss and usually stitches with 2 strands. If you’re working on building a collection, check in with your local quilt shop to see if they have colors in stock or if they might be willing to bring in colors for the SAL. Or if you don’t have a local shop, there are some great online destinations out there, including Pumpkinvine Corner: Happy Stitching and let us know how it goes!! — Erin at Aurifil

  3. I would love to do this SAL. I was trying to figure out how much linen or evenweave I will need and I have a question. I took the stitch count of 162 X 201 and I divided it by the count of my fabric i.e. 162 divided by 28 = 5.78. So does that mean that if this project is done on 28 count Lugana, for instance, then it would be 5.78 inches by 7.17 inches? It just appears like it would be so much bigger, but I think it would be just beautiful as a small piece. Thank you for your help.

    1. I am sure you go going to be stitching over 2 on that Laguna, so instead of dividing my the 28ct divide it by 14. Every time you are going over 2 remember you have to divide that piece by 2.

      1. Thanks Susan!! i wasn’t sure I’d be able to answer this one 🙂 — Lori, have fun and happy stitching!! We can’t wait to see your progress!! 🙂

  4. Hi, sorry, not quite understanding. Can I purchase the sampler or is this an 8 month club? Love your sampler. Can an individual purchase or through my shop only? Thank you.

  5. I love the sampler. Can I purchase just the sampler or is this an 8 month club? Can I purchase individually or do I have to order through my shop. Thank you.

  6. I’d love to learn cross stitch to join in the stitch along. Do you have any instructions on how to do cross stitching?

  7. I cannot find any local shop that carries Aurifil Aurifloss or the linen. Help please. I live in Olathe KS.

  8. Instead of using the six strand floss, having to separate it, see to thread a needle, keep it from tangling let alone knotting up, I have switched to using either 12 or 8 wt. thread, I get the look of floss without the hassle. Gives me more stitching time, saves my eyes, fingers and hands not to mention my mood. No more tangled messes for me.

  9. So, where can I get the first release? And why can’t I download the DMC floss comparison chart? Please help me.

  10. Clink on the line up just a little way that says “PINGBACK”…….that will take you to the January release. I haven’t seen one for Feb yet.

      1. I see it in the comments not in the intro article. This SAL is definitely the most confusing one to get the information on compared to others I’ve done.

    1. Hi Lenora. As the article says above “Each month I will be introducing a new handful of colors to use” and “The primary color you’ll need for this appetizer portion of the sampler is 2318. The accent colors are: 2725, 6729, 5002, 1114, & 2425. ” I don’t know if there will be others but it sounds like it. 🙂

  11. I love this project, but haven’t done cross stitch in a long time. I have only worked on Aida cloth. I don’t understand how much fabric I should get and will it be ok to use Aida cloth? Thank you. Can’t wait to get started.

    1. Hi Laura. I am a long time cross stitcher and it looks as though this only uses full crosses so it will be fine for you to use Aida. Just divided the stitch count of the project (162 x 201) by the thread count of your Aida to find the finished size of the project and don’t forget to add extra all the way around for finishing off. 🙂

  12. Can someone tell me what DMC color number I need to chang out the Aurifil color # 6729. I can’t find it on the conversion charts link. Thanks

  13. Where can I find the 1st patterns for the SAL? I have blocks 3 & 4. Trying to find 1 & 2. Thanks.

  14. The only way I have found is to Google it, I gave up on their website, they don’t make it easy.

      1. Thanks, I found them a couple of days ago, They sure don’t make it easy@@@@

  15. Hi, when you click to print June, the attached charts are for July – will the June charts be released this month instead? Thanks!

    1. This truly is the most disorganized on any SAL I’ve seen, they really don’t seem to want you to find the charts easily. It has been a real hassle. I finally got July’s yesterday, try this link: and July will come up, June’s and the other months are on it too. Will be glad when this one ends even though I like the project.

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