Finishing the Clarice Cliff Tote

Finishing the sky

There’s a reason I don’t do much counted cross stitch these days!

It’s repetitious, and samey, and it doesn’t offer the chance to play with texture and pattern that I get in other techniques.

Oh, wait, that’s three reasons.

In this case, add a fourth – working on aida which is already set into a bag, and a bag, what’s more, that is complete, and since the bottom of the bag is a fold and not a seam, I can’t even unpick it to make it a bit easier to work. This bag has been fighting back with every stitch, and reminding me why I laid it aside.

However, it wouldn’t be me, if I didn’t find a way to demonstrate a little bit of variation… I’ve used one of the variegated threads in two ways, once with the two strands in the same orientation and each cross stitched individually, and the other with the two strands in opposite orientations and each row stitched out-&-back.

And finally, after what felt like weeks of doing nothing else but this (which isn’t even remotely true, let me reassure you!), I’ve got the bag finished. All of the aida is covered, even the white clouds. But there are no loose threads on the back, and if I have doubts about some details, I’m not about to undo them now. It’s taken nearly thirty years to get this far!

On to happier things: Episode 34 of #SlowTVStitchery is now live! In which the final corner is finished, and inklings of new ideas arise…


  1. elaine says:

    It’s very pretty and will make a lovely bag when finished! I gave up cross stitch too, it was too restrictive for me, and apparently I frequently lose the ability to count!

  2. Jen Mullen says:

    Looks good! Had to laugh at elaine’s “apprently I frequently lose the ability to count.” A failing I’ve had on things other than counted cross stitch.

  3. Sue Jones says:

    I find this sort of digitised-picture cross stitch extremely boring (although I will quite happily make patterns with cross stitch). Well done for sticking to it and for finding some ways to vary the look without going too far from the pattern.
    Too many “ready for embroidery” goods, like this bag, are a bit off the square, badly finished, or otherwise distressing to those who know better.
    The bag does look jolly, now you have used your skill and judgement. Use it with pride!

  4. Carolyn Foley says:

    I also find this kind of project boring, but you know, sometimes boring is just what we need. It makes you appreciate the kind of stitching you like. You can think of other things whilst still stitching and at the end you have a product you can use. Plus the satisfaction of saying, finished.

  5. Meredithe says:

    Woohoo! Well done you. Great perseverance!

  6. Lady Fi says:

    Oh, that’s a delight!

  7. Lin Tarrant says:

    Well done for persevering – it looks good. Hope you use it! xx

  8. Terrie says:

    It looks pretty from distance. I’d also like irregular stitches. Your works are always pretty.

  9. Sheryl says:

    This has turned out very pretty with your changes and additions and will be put to good use I´m sure.