The lure of the Smalls… and a Finish!

When I first started dabbling in larger patterns like HAED’s I disdainfully overlooked smaller designs as being too easy. Oh the arrogance of a newbie stitcher!

BAP disillusionment

I have now come to realize that BAP’s (BAP stands for Big A** Project… I promise I did not make that up!) while being undeniably large, aren’t exactly challenging. To me, something is challenging when it forces you to stretch yourself. When it pushes you into areas you have never been before and are not necessarily comfortable in. When you experience something different and learn something new. So to me, a Chatelaine with all its never-used-before materials and all the specialty stitches would be a challenge. But a HAED with page upon page of full crosses in DMC alone is more a question of commitment rather than a challenge.

I’m sure there are many who would argue that the level of commitment required for a BAP is in itself a challenge. And a part of me wholeheartedly agrees. Don’t get me wrong… I still LOVE my HAED’s and will plod away at them as time permits. But increasingly I am being drawn to stitch up smaller pieces.

The call of the Small

A great part of the draw of small projects must be the thrill of a quick finish. I can only sigh in envy when I see people rack up preposterous figures like 22 finishes in a year by July! Recently I find myself increasingly taking on small, quick projects.

Most recent FFO

I stitched this piece as part of my first ever gift exchange. I met Mini thanks to our mutual love for cross stitch. Funnily enough we both wound up stitching each other ornaments. Talk about matching wavelengths! You can see more about our exchange on Mini’s post here.

And this is the piece I stitched for her.

Penguin cross stitch ornament
Penguin cross stitch ornament

I found the pattern here and changed it up a bit to match Mini’s favorite colors. I then added a bead trim and some purple fabric as backing. The finish is far from perfect as my sewing machine chose that very week to conk out and I had to hand sew the entire thing (I will NOT be doing that again!).

This is the first ornament I’ve actually managed to finish (I have an incomplete one languishing in my cupboard from last Christmas) so please forgive all the imperfections. I really enjoyed putting this together and am already working on my next one.

Have you ever tried ‘finishing’ your cross stitch projects? What other methods have you used besides framing?


6 thoughts on “The lure of the Smalls… and a Finish!

  1. I know exactly what you mean! I love how satisfying completing something small and quick is – even if it is small and quick – simply because it’s a finished project. I love the penguin! 🙂


  2. I know what you mean by being attracted towards Smalls..that’s the phase I’m right big projects .
    Though I never started a HAED, for me it was the thrill of seeing a finish and idea of making something that does not requiring framing for finishing.
    You are right about the challenge in small pieces too. I finished a card yesterday which had fractional stitches and lots of backstitching. I think the idea of doing few smalls in between BAPs is good.
    I have made my cross stitch pieces into bookmarks/cards/ornaments/fridge magnet ,you can try these too.
    P.S. I love the penguin you stitched for me.


    1. Yes… I find that small projects can be quite challenging. It’s surprising how many colors are required in such a small area top lend detail. I find myself loading new colors onto my needle way more often with smaller projects.

      I’ve done bookmarks and ornaments too. Need to try cards and magnets next 🙂


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