Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Project Accomplished!

After months of thinking, designing, planning, editing, writing, photographing, changing, printing, measuring, cutting . . . and some steps over and over and over again to get things right! . . . the project I have been working on is finished! That project was designing cross-stitch patterns, writing/designing a cross-stitch instructional booklet, and then making cross-stitch kits 
to go in my Etsy store!

 I have designed three patterns so far, and here they are after being stitched and framed . . .

The most time consuming part of the whole process was the writing and photographing for the 13- page Instruction Booklet (which is in the "Complete Kits"), but it was also enjoyable to do. And sometimes funny! I am sure if someone could see 'behind the scenes' at the miscellaneous things I used during the photographing to hold things in place, to use for backdrops, etc., they would have found it quite entertaining. :) 

As I wrote the booklet, it helped a lot having had the experience of teaching so many young girls to cross-stitch before . . . the questions that they had asked, the areas that they had found difficult, all came to mind as I tried to answer and address each one of them in the booklet. It felt so good to finally have the booklet finished and printed for the first time!

A glimpse inside the Instruction Booklet . . .

After printer problems and eventually needing to get a new printer, it was especially exciting to finally reach the point of assembling the kits! Here is the one for "Rejoice in the Lord" (a front and back view.)

And the kit contents . . .

 Dad gave me a great time saving idea for the thread cards . . . instead of using scissors to clip a triangle to wind the thread around, use a hole punch! It worked so well!

And a glimpse at one of the patterns . . .

In a way, it's almost hard to believe I finally made it to this point . . . over the months of working on this project, there were times when I wondered if it would ever be finished! There were even some times of frustration (and overcoming that frustration) such as when finding out that the program I had designed almost everything in, printed the images fuzzy so many of the things needed to be redone in a different program (but thanks to Leah's help, it didn't take nearly as long to fix as if I had done it myself!) . . . yet overall it was so enjoyable and exciting to do, and the Lord answered many of my prayers throughout the process and helped overcome each obstacle that arose in the way. How faithful He is!

So that's the big project that has been filling many, many of my hours the past few months! It is so exciting to have it completed now and the kits and PDF patterns listed in my Etsy shop! (If you were interested in visiting, the address is AsLiliesCountryStore.etsy.com) And now with these designs finished and the Instruction Booklet done, it's time to start putting on 'paper' some of the new designs that are in my mind!


  1. Well done Sarah. That must have taken both time and imagination. Your instructions look so clear, which is very important to beginners. And the designs are very pretty too.

  2. I love these Sarah
    So well planned and set out -such uplifting verses as well-I can imagine they will be very popular-a lovely keepsake and decoration-it is especially nice you are offering different options for each design-I am so glad you were blessed with the patience to see it through- and it has made me think about something I need to finish

    Blessings to you and your family-Happy Easter


  3. Wow Sarah! So that's your secret big project! I never would have guessed it. I love it! All three are so beautiful! What made you decide to go this route? Meaning making up the patterns, trying it out, then fixing or improving, then explaining, etc., and then selling it to people?

    I should show you the cross-stitch picture that my aunt made for me last year. It's the whole chapter of Psalm 23 words on it and a picture for each verse. It's beautiful! Next time, I send you an email, I'll try to remember to take a picture and attached it so you can see it.

  4. WoW! Sarah,

    I am always so amazed with your talents and creativity. It all looks so wonderful and I am now off to view your Esty store :-)


  5. Oh I LOVE this!! They are perfect! I'm so proud of you!! Good job my dear! I might need to order one for my daughter! She was wanting to learn how to cross stitch!! :) They look so good!!

  6. I thought you might be up to something like this!:-) Cross stitching is my absolute favorite craft to do, when I have the time. As always, you display excellent craftsmanship, Sarah. What program did you use to print up the booklet?

    I also love the set-ups for the different photos. In the very first photo, for example, the backdrop is just lovely. Is this some kind of mantel? I don't remember y'all having a fireplace, or log walls, so it's hard to tell.

    Anyway, I am so happy for you that you accomplished your "Big Project," and that it turned out so well. I too am curious...what made you decide to give this a try?

    ~ Betsy

  7. Great idea, Sarah! I love the Bible verses, and the instructions look very well written. Cute, cute patterns. :-)

  8. WOW Sarah! That is so neat! I can only imagine how much work and time and determination it must have taken to finish! It must feel so good to have it completed. :-)Projects like that take such a long time from start to finish - I know what you mean when you say that at times you felt like you would never get it finished. Sometimes I feel that way about the book I'm writing. That's when you just have to keep your eye on the goal, keep pressing toward it, and looking forward to the finish line. :-) Hmmm...sounds a bit like the "race" of life as a child of God! :-)

    Congratulations on finishing the "big project"!

    (Phil. 3:14)

  9. Yaaayy! The Big Project at last!!! :) And how very lovely it is! What a great idea - it's the kind of thing that I'd tend to get all excited about and then abandon a few days later. But you have stuck to it from beginning to end and done a beautiful job! I bet so many people will get great pleasure from using the kits, especially with their mixture of a 'handmade' feel and professional quality. The instruction manual looks amazing - I'm intrigued at how you managed to get the pictures of the hoops and thread looking so 3D.

    I guess repeats of the same kits will be relatively easy to do now, and your new designs are just going to get more beautiful from here on in. One verse I've always thought would be a nice one for a cross stitch is (from KJB) Psalm 118:24 - "This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it". Not a suggestion! Just sharing a thought of mine.

    So lovely, Sarah. Congratulations. (And really well worth the wait!)

  10. Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for your kind words! They were very much appreciated!

  11. Your comment was a blessing to me, Fiona! Thank you so much for your encouraging words!

  12. Thank you, Leah! That’s kind of a hard question to answer as there are/were many things that led to making these! :) So here's the answer in a very small and abbreviated nutshell :) . . . right now it is important to me to be growing and expanding my home business (and there are several reasons behind that), and as I explored what different skills that I have and things that I enjoy, as well as trying to find something that once finished, wouldn’t require a great deal of time to keep up with, cross-stitch kits came to mind. I gave it a great deal of thought and prayer and then started the project! I hope that helps to answer your question!

    I would like to see the cross-stitch that you made for your aunt! It sounds lovely. Please do send a photo of it!

  13. Thank you, Mrs. B. for your kind words! You are sweet. :) I hope you enjoyed your visit to my Etsy store!

  14. You certainly know how to encourage a person, Nabila! Thank you for your encouraging words! And that is wonderful that your daughter would like to learn how to cross-stitch! It’s fun to do and one can create such beautiful works of art with it. I am sure she would enjoy it!

  15. I wondered if you might, Betsy. :) Thank you for the encouragement! The booklet was designed and printed in just Microsoft Word. Nothing fancy!

    The set-ups for the photos was a challenge! I am not very creative when it comes to photography like this so it took quite a bit of thinking and experimentation before coming up with these. I was pleased with how they turned out, though! The first photo is actually the siding on our house with a wood crate set in front of it which the cross-stitch is sitting on. Rather unconventional, but it worked. :)

    In answer to your question, the cross-stitch kits was the result of a great deal of thinking and praying about ways to expand my home business (for several reasons) and to be able to develop some product that once finished, didn’t take a great deal of time to put together, would be something that I enjoy, and preferably something that had small steps that could be accomplished in little bits of time. Cross-stitch kits came to mind, and then this was the result!

  16. Thank you so much, Mrs. Anne, for your kind words! They were a blessing!

  17. Thank you so much, Karen! It was a lot of work and took a lot of time, but it was definitely worth it! I really enjoyed the process overall and am excited about this new endeavor.

    Yes, indeed when the end of a project isn’t in sight, it certainly helps to remember the end goal that you are working towards and the ‘why’ behind you doing it. And while your book may feel like a very lengthy process, you will eventually reach the end, and it will be so worth all of the effort that you put into it!

    That is indeed a true parallel . . . much like the race of a child of God . . . we must keep pressing “on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Thank you for the reminder!

  18. Your comment brought a smile to my face, Rena! You were on my mind as I put this post together as I knew you had been wondering what the big project was. :) Your sweet words of encouragement were a blessing . . . thank you!

    I’m not sure how the photos ended up looking more 3D, but I’m glad they did!

    Yes, repeats of the kids will be fairly easy and quick to do which is what I was hoping for. And then designing new kits won’t be terribly time intensive either as all of the ground work is finished . . . the design of the thread card, needle books, the instruction booklet, etc.

    That would be a wonderful verse for a cross-stitch design! I will definitely keep that in mind for a future one. :) Thank you for mentioning it!


Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)