Getting Ready – Stage 1

Hello everyone,

It’s time to introduce my new SAL project. I’ve kept you all in suspense for long enough and I just hope I didn’t build this one up into something it really isn’t!

As you know, me and Claire are copy cats (well I am anyway). We’ve been enjoying doing the same projects for what seems like ages now and I find it very motivating. It goes a bit like this…

Claire emails me to say there’s a sale on at Sew and So. I go to have a look and don’t always fancy buying. Claire emails again and says she’s bought several kits! In fact, sometimes she buys more than one of the same kit because she likes to give presents. Then, when I see what she’s bought I sometimes want one too. Anyway, Claire bought this design called Getting Ready by Ronald West and it was a real bargain (Just over £5 for the complete kit) so I put one in my basket as well. I do love Design Works kits because they are such good quality. I also love the odd looking characters in this design. There’s a whole series, all with rather rotund cartoony people. I think they’re fun but I also accept they’re not to everyone’s taste.

Anyway, this is what we’ll be stitching for a while.


I’d put all the threads onto the card and wrote the symbols next to the correct colours and was all ready to start but I just couldn’t work from the tiny chart so I enlarged it and decided to mark my working copy as I went. That made life so much easier. I’d already decided to work in sections so needed to judge how much I could probably get done every three weeks. I don’t only work on the SAL project you see. There’s always lots more crafting going on behind the scenes here.

I thought 12 sections would probably work as this design is stitched solidly across the fabric. I like to paperclip the chart to my fabric at the side of the frame and I’ve made a good start here.

IMG_20170904_094610 This is the section finished except for the backstitching.


Then I decided to do the backstitch rather than keep it all until the end. What a difference it makes.


So, that’s 1/12 completed. I think each section will be like a mini finish for me. There’s more than enough stitching in one part for three weeks (54 x 54 crosses) so I might not get a whole part done each time but I’ll try. Me and Claire usually agree which bit to stitch for each stage and then we can push each other along but she doesn’t work on a frame so she’s doing things differently this time. I’ll let you pop over to her blog and see for yourself. I’ll be stitching the section to the left of this one for next time.

Everyone else in the group is doing something different. Please take a look at how they are progressing with their own chosen SAL project.  I promise you won’t be disappointed. We live all over the world so you may need to allow for time differences but we post local time, every third Sunday.

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina,

Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Catherine, Mary Margaret, Timothy,

Heidi, Connie, Jackie

Our next updates will be posted on the  29th October 2017. See you then!

About the SAL

This SAL (Stitch Along) is slightly different to other SALs in that we don’t all stitch the same design at the same rate. We choose ONE unfinished project, or ONE new one, and show progress of its completion over a series of three weekly updates. There are no deadlines and no set amount to stitch. The result is that the space in our drawers full of WIPs (works in progress) is gradually being freed up to store lots of new crafty goodness. It’s surprising how much motivation I’ve gained from being in this SAL. If you’d like to finish a project you’ve left unfinished for a while, or start a new one with us, you can join us by leaving a request in the comments below or sending me an email. The address is on the right of this page. I’ll send you a few simple rules to agree.

Leave a comment


  1. This is a lovely project.

  2. I love this design, makes me smile 🙂 I’ve never tried doing cross-stitch in blocks but I can see how it would help with motivation.

  3. Very nice. It’s a cute quirky design. I like it very much.

  4. claire93

     /  October 8, 2017

    and we’re off !!! I do love starting a new project, and this one is going to keep us amused for a long while ^^

  5. Wow, you weren’t holding back with this start, were you? I like the idea of dividing it into sections, even though I can’t work that way myself – I always want to be working on a different part. It means we’ll see the design evolve more completely. Fun!

  6. What a great project, and quit different from your last piece. I love the figures in this piece, very quirky. You will have fun with it!

  7. Are those characters wearing hats with legs!?!! I will definitely be watching this progress!!😂 great choice you two!

  8. Seems like a fun project – looking forward to watching it grow 🙂

  9. A fun and whimsical project. I think it’s great you are doing it with a friend so you can push each other along. You are doing great. I look forward to watching you stitch this one.

  10. Looks like a big project good luck

  11. ccflo3

     /  October 8, 2017

    Nice project. I usually do backstitching as I go so I don’t have it all left at the end. I tend not to finish if only backstitching is left.

  12. What a fun project! Great ideas working in sections and doing the line work as you go along.

  13. Looking forward to see this one progress.


  14. Wow yes does that backstitching make a difference! I will probably do the same as I get each Gourd and Onion stitched on mine. I like your choice of project too. I never thought of breaking a project down by section.

  15. Christina

     /  October 8, 2017

    I just told Claire how interesting it will be to see you two work on the same project but from different spots. It will be like two surprises instead of one, even though it’s the same piece. I see you started in the middle. The colors are very nice and of course the back stitch makes them pop even more!

    • I prefer to start in the middle and work outwards mainly because I work with the fabric on a frame. We all have our favourite methods. I know Claire works with a cat on her knee which doesn’t lend itself to a frame hehe!

  16. I love the choice of embroidery! It is funny, made me laugh when I first saw it, it´s great!!!

  17. The characters are so cute!!! I’m always amazed at how back stitching brings the piece together and adds all the detail with just a few stitches.

    In regards to working in blocks, I work larger full coverage pieces that way and once I started the next block i was mortified of the visible “seam” between them so i will impart some friendly knowledge… lol

    I’ve tried a few different options for correcting this. if you don’t use a pin stitch and run your threads underneath the back of the work then just continue this, just run them across the “seam” on the back into the work you already have completed it keeps everything filled in and avoids the seam showing on the front. or, feather your edges, so every 2nd or 3rd row working down continue past your block of work into the next block by 4 or 5 stitches just so every row isn’t ending in the same column.

    i’m in awe of your last piece i cant wait to see it framed.

    • Thank you so much for the great advice. I’m working on a frame so the fabric is really taut. I’ve started the second block and so far my tension across the edge is good. I’ll certainly continue to thread the ends through the edges and if I see any ridges or differences I’ll change tack. It’s good to know in advance that I may come across a problem with suggestions for fixing it.

  18. I love the way you have decided to work this piece. I too enlarge and mark my charts as I go along – otherwise I would totally get lost!

  19. First off Avis, because I missed last time round I wanted to congratulate you on your beautiful finish.
    I am honestly not sure about the new design, it maybe because I cannot see it clearly in the picture, but at the end of the day it would be a boring old world if we did all like the same things all the time. What you have done so far does look nice.
    Helen xx

  20. magpiesue

     /  October 16, 2017

    I think that’s a great idea, to do the back stitching as you go along. I know it would give me more motivation to work the next section. Now I’m going to go have a look at your finish from the last update (although I know it’s going to be spectacular!)…


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