Jolly July 2019 Wrap-Up

My July needlework was all about Jolly July (which I talked about HERE). By the end of June I’d kitted up 31 projects, 23 of which were cross-stitch and the remaining 8 were embroidery, with the intent to start a new project each day during July.

So, did I actually start a new project each day? Wellllll, no, I didn’t :P. There was a 5-day stretch when I was sick and just didn’t have the oomph to do anything more than sleep, watch tv, and read. And then there were a few cross-stitch projects for which I realized, when I was ready to start stitching them, white floss would not contrast enough with the fabric for those projects, so I set those aside and worked on other already-started projects on those evenings.

Out of the 31 kitted-up projects:

  • I started 22 projects.
  • Out of those 22 projects, I completed 3 in July and have completed 2 more thus-far in August. (I’ve not FFO’d any yet.)
  • I have 5 projects which I didn’t start because I was sick. (All 5 were embroidery projects.)
  • I have 4 projects for which I either need to coffee-tea dye the chosen fabric, or swap in a darker fabric, or see if I can swap in a different color for the called-for white.

I have thoroughly enjoyed having these projects kitted up and ready to go!!! I find this funny because whenever StitchMaynia has rolled around each of the past couple years I found the idea of having multiple starts stressful. But the idea of having multiple ornament-sized projects going intrigued me enough to want to try, and I’m so glad I did.

Below are my 3 finishes from July. (I do want to mention I’ve had a heck of a time with outdoor light because it’s high summer here and the light is so very harsh. During other times of the year I can get soft outdoor lighting for taking photos, but not in July or August! My FFO pictures later in this year should better capture colors and show them more true-to-life.)

“PRESENT REINDEER”, a freebie chart from Daffycat

07-2019 Present Reindeer 001

This was my July 1st start and I finished it July 19th. Finished size 3-1/4 x 3-1/4 (46w x 46h). Stitched on Loops & Threads 14-ct “Oatmeal”. DMC 801, 814, 3051 (2 strands of each).

I may end up finding a button or something to put in the empty area of the top left corner — it feels like there’s a lot of empty space there.

07-2019 Present Reindeer 002


“THE BERRY BIRD” by Theron Traditions, from Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue 2000 (pgs. 15 & 99)

07-2019 Berry Bird 001

This was my July 16th start and I finished it July 20th. Finished size 2-1/8 x 2-1/8 (30h x 30w). Stitched on Loops & Thread 14-ct “Oatmeal”. I subbed in DMC in place of the called-for GAST: DMC 469 in place of GAST Avocado, DMC 3799 in place of GAST Soot, & DMC 3685 in place of GAST Cranberry (2 strands of each).

(If I were to stitch this again, instead of 2 strands of 3799 I’d opt for 1 strand each of 535 & 3799, or I’d use GAST Soot or another variegated black/dark gray. And I’d use a bead for the eye so it would stand out better.)

I love love love the color combination on this project!! This project calls for Palestrina Knots for the berries and it was my first time to stitch those knots. I didn’t have a problem with them, but I think they would be much prettier on a surface embroidery project (I think that’s true of all knots though).

07-2019 Berry Bird 002


“BRITTY CHRISTMAS PUPPY” by Brittercup Designs, from Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue 2006 (pgs. 20 & 37)

07-2019 Britty Christmas Puppy 001

This was my July 27th start and I finished it July 29th. Finished size 3-3/4 x 3-3/4 (53w x 52h). Stitched on Artiste/Zweigart 14-ct “Mist”. I subbed in DMC in place of the called-for GAST. DMC 501 in place of GAST Evergreen, DMC 535 + 3799 (1 strand of each) in place of GAST Soot, DMC 676 in place of GAST Buttercrunch, & DMC 3328 in place of GAST Pomegranate (2 strands of each, other than as noted).

I feel like this could use black backstitching around the yellow, red, and green, so may add backstitching before FFO’ing. And I may add beads or some other tiny bling on top of the green of the stocking because it feels too plain as-is.

07-2019 Britty Christmas Puppy 002


There were many evenings during July when I didn’t want to stitch, but I told myself to just get that day’s project started and put in only 1 strand of floss, then I could put it away. Some nights I did only do the 1 strand, but other nights I ended up stitching for 2 or 3 hours.

My goal is to have all 31 ornaments finished (but not necessarily FFO’d) by the end of next May, and then to again participate in Jolly July next year.

And I’m even considering participating in StitchMaynia next year!! :::gasp:::

Ready for Jolly July!!

I’ve decided to participate in Jolly July!!! I’m going to do a new cross-stitch or embroidery ornament start each day in July.

I heard about the Jolly July project back in early June on both Priscilla & Chelsea’s Flosstube channel  and Fat Quarter Shop’s Flosstube channel. While the idea of StitchMaynia is overwhelming to me, I immediately was interested in the concept of a month of ornaments.

I have digital issues of Just Cross Stitch’s ornaments issues going back to the late 1990’s, as well as assorted cross-stitch and embroidery holiday patterns I obtained as freebies or purchased over the past dozen years. Jolly July seemed a perfect opportunity to make use of those resources to get a bunch of small-to-medium sized projects started. And if I have some projects started, I’ll be more inclined to pick one up and stitch on it in the evenings after work.

Last night I finally finished getting everything kitted up and ready to go. I looooove to organize, so looking at this box with all my projects ready to go makes me so darn happy!!


I ended up with 23 cross-stitch projects and 8 embroidery projects. Of the 31 projects, 2 are Halloween and the rest are Christmas/winter. Here’s a list of the patterns I’ll be stitching:



All the cross-stitching will be done on 14-ct fabric…primarily on Aida, although the two Halloween projects will be on plastic canvas. To keep things affordable, I’m using Aida from Hobby Lobby and Michael’s.

For floss, I’m primarily using DMC, although I did buy Anchor in white and black since I’ve heard those are a bit plumper than DMC, and I did buy the Wisper and Kreinik flosses called for in a few of the patterns, and I’m using a Weeks Dye Works floss in the July 31st project. Here’s a list of alllllll the DMC flosses I needed for the 31 projects…I had about half the flosses already, which was helpful…and a list of the specialty flosses, buttons, and so forth which were called for in a few projects:



For kitting up the cross-stitch projects, I just cut 2 long strands of each floss called for in the pattern because that was the quickest and easiest way to put together 31 kits in just a couple weeks. I know some kits will have floss left over, and in some kits I will probably need more than 2 long strands of certain colors. The nice thing about using DMC is it’s easy for me to pick up more skeins if needed, it’s affordable, and I don’t worry about the dye lots being noticeably different. For the embroidery projects, I have a loose idea of the main color I want to use in each, then I’ll pick the remaining colors after I’ve started stitching. Below is a sample of how I kitted up each type of kit (the embroidery pattern was a freebie from years ago, so it’s okay that I’m showing the whole design):


I’m using a notebook to keep track of each project’s info. This will be helpful when I finish a project and want to blog the relevant info, especially if it takes me 6 months or a year to finish something…I won’t have to rely on my, um, not super great memory for details!! Below is an example of how I’m tracking each project:


I’ll be curious to see, after the end of July, to see how my kitting worked out, and to think about what I would do differently if I opt to participate in Jolly July (or StitchMaynia) next year.

I’m so excited to get home after work tomorrow and start on my first project!!!