NFL Crib Mobile Tutorial

nfl crib mobile tutorialThis NFL crib mobile tutorial is my contribution to this year’s Crafty Football Blog Hop! I’m generally known for my cross stitch and needlepoint projects but lately I’ve been noticing so many fun felt projects I wanted to give it a try. I also really enjoy the colors of the NFL teams – they’re bright and bold, perfect for crafting. Why not have felt and NFL colors join forces in three dimensions?

nfl crib mobile tutorial 2015 crafty football blog hop badgeThis 2015 hop, like the 2013 and 2014 hops, is a combination of participants in the Crafty Fantasy Football League (#CraftyFFL) and fellow crafty and inventive football fans. At the bottom of this post, check out the links to the other participants outstanding projects!



Things you’ll need:

  • felt
  • embroidery floss
  • an embroidery hoop (I used a 5″ x 9″ oval shaped hoop as it was close in appearance to the outline of a football)
  • paperclips
  • fabric scissors
  • paper scissors
  • pins
  • cotton batting or cotton balls (optional)
  • needles
  • ruler
  • small metal or wooden ring (optional)
  • glue (school glue is fine)

NFL Crib Mobile

You will need 16 colors of felt and 13 colors of embroidery floss. The embroidery floss I already had in my supplies, but I purchased the felt and the hoop from the incredibly helpful Deanna of the Etsy shop BusyLittleBird. She (and Mr. BusyLittleBird) went above and beyond when helping me get the correct colors of felt for this project and I can not thank her enough!

I recommend her listing for 20 sheets of 6″ x 9″ wool blend felt as that size sheet is big enough to accommodate all the cut pieces necessary of any color. I can also recommend her listing for the 5″ x 9″ oval hoop, and in addition, she sells DMC embroidery floss if you need to augment your collection.

nfl crib mobile tutorial legendThe legend at right shows the names of the felt colors (as they are listed at BusyLittleBird), the DMC floss numbers, and the team color combinations necessary for the mobile.

Note: It will take two whole skeins of floss to wrap the 5″ x 9″ hoop. Also, some of the colors in the photo above are different than the colors listed in the legend – a result of post-purchase consultations with BusyLittleBird. I recommend you go with the colors in the legend.




On the mobile, each of the 32 NFL teams are represented by a double-sided felt square. Each side consists of a big outer 1 1/2″ square and a small inner 3/4″ square.

Let’s use Denver (my fave team – Go Broncos!) as an example. The outer square is Ragtime Blue and the inner square is Sunburst. Therefore, for Denver’s double-sided square, you will need to cut two 1 1/2″ Ragtime Blue squares and two 3/4″ Sunburst squares. Repeat this for all the teams, and refer to the legend for all the color combinations.

I used fabric scissors to cut the squares, although a fabric cutting machine or a rotary fabric cutter probably would have worked much better at getting the edges of the squares at precise right angles.

Next up are the 4 pennants and the 4 footballs, and here is a template of those shapes for you to use.

For the footballs, cut out the eight paper templates and pin them to the Peat Moss felt. You may want to do a rough cut to separate the pieces from each other, and then go back and more carefully cut around the edge of the paper football template.
NFL Crib Mobile

For the pennants, cut four big triangles of Kelly Green felt and another four of Chartreuse felt. You may want to pin the big outer triangle templates to the green felt in the same manner as the footballs before you make your cuts. The eight small triangles can be cut from scraps of the other felt colors.

After all the cutting, you can unpin the templates from the felt and discard the paper. You may need to trim a few pieces to get them a little more correct.

When you have finished cutting, in total you will end up with 64 big squares, 64 little squares, 8 footballs, 8 big triangles and 8 small triangles.
NFL Crib Mobile



Use three strands of the six strand embroidery floss to sew the small inner squares to the middle of the big outer squares. Use the floss color that matches the bigger felt square. Refer to the legend once again to get your team color combinations correct. The photos below show Tampa Bay’s silver and red sewn with the silver floss.

Make a knot on the end of the floss, and come up from the back about 1/8″ from the corner of the inner square. Make a simple running stitch all the way around, and then tie off the floss with a knot on the back. Repeat this process for all 64 squares.
NFL Crib Mobile

Put the two halves together back to back, with the knots on the inside. This time use only one strand of that same bigger square floss color. Make a small knot at the end of the floss. Starting at the middle of the top, whip stitch the two pieces together. The photos below show the basics of the whip stitch, but here is another set of directions you might find useful.
NFL Crib Mobile

Stop whip stitching at the fourth corner, leaving half of the top unsewn and open as shown in the photo below. Leave roughly 4 – 5 inches of the single strand of floss so that you can finish whip stitching the top later. Repeat this process for all 32 squares.  NFL Crib Mobile

NFL Crib MobileRepeat the same steps for the pennants. Sew the small triangles onto the big triangles with three strands of floss. Put the two pieces back to back, and whip stitch the pennants, again using one strand of floss. However this time, leave the entire top edge of the pennants open.



NFL Crib MobileUse three strands of white embroidery floss to sew laces on four of the eight footballs. Whip stitch one “laced” football to a plain football. This time, leave roughly 1 1/2 inch around the top center open and unsewn. At this point, you can stuff the footballs with cotton batting or even cotton balls to give them a little dimension.


When all of your pieces have been whip stitched, layout all the pieces into 8 columns of 5 pieces. Put one pennant or football in each string. Try to balance the position of brighter squares and darker squares, and try to avoid duplicate color combinations (I’m looking at you navy blue and red, for one) being adjacent to each other.
NFL Crib Mobile

One note, do not put a pennant at the bottom of a string like I have shown above. I found out that those little puppies won’t hang straight unless there is a square or football below them.

Assembling the Strings:

For this step, you will need another needle that is at least as long as the squares are tall – 1 1/2 inches. I alternated between the two green floss colors, DMC 699 and DMC 704, to make the strings. Cut pieces of floss 30″ – 36″ long and separate them into two three-strand groups. Thread your long needle with one of these three strand groups of floss.

You’re going to start from the bottom piece and work your way up each string of five pieces.

Double or triple tie a paperclip to the end of the floss. Trim the tail end of the floss quite close to the paperclip. Insert the paperclip into the unstiched gap in the square. Orient the paperclip vertically, and center the top of the paperclip and the floss at the top center of the square. Make sure that the tail end of the green floss is tucked inside the square.
NFL Crib Mobile
NFL Crib Mobile

Thread your smaller needle with the tail of the floss you used to whip stitch the two pieces together. Whip stitch the top of the square closed, making sure you stitch on either side of the green floss four or five times to secure the paperclip.
NFL Crib Mobile

As this mobile isn’t meant for much handling, no knot is necessary. Just draw the thread out through an edge of the square between the two pieces of felt and trim it close.
NFL Crib Mobile

NFL Crib MobileIf your next piece is a square or a football, insert the long needle through the bottom center between the two back-to-back pieces. Work the needle toward the top center, making sure you don’t accidentally pierce either of the two sides. Pull the long needle through the top of the piece.


NFL Crib MobileIf your next piece is a pennant, run the needle between the pieces roughly in the same location as the base of the small triangle.




Now you will want to look at the spacing between pieces on the string. In my example, I put about two inches between pieces. Tie another paperclip to the green floss where the top of the next piece will be. For example, if the next piece is a square, the knot on the paperclip would be 3 1/2 inches (2 inches spacing plus the 1 1/2 inch of the square) above the top of the piece below it. Using a ruler will definitely help your spacing.
NFL Crib Mobile

After you get your paperclip knotted in place, insert the paperclip into the unstitched gap and finish whip stitching the piece in the same manner as you did with the first piece on the string. Again, make sure you stitch on either side of the green floss four or five times to secure the paperclip inside the piece.
NFL Crib Mobile

Repeat these steps until all five pieces are on a string, and all eight strings are assembled.

Assembling the mobile:

All you will use is the smaller, inner embroidery hoop. Mark 8 equidistant places on the hoop, and then tie the 8 strings to the hoop using secure knots. You can tie the eight strings all at the same height or stagger the heights as I did. You should have plenty of extra string – don’t trim the excess yet!

Take three of the eight excess strings (I chose the strings at roughly the 12:00, 4:00 and 7:00 positions), and tie them together above the mobile so that the hoop will hang level. At this point you could attach a metal or wooden ring. I didn’t have one available, so I just made a second knot about an inch above the first knot.
NFL Crib Mobile

NFL Crib MobileTrim the five other excess strings down to a length of about 1 1/2″ and then use a little glue to stick the floss ends to the inside of the hoop.




Now you’re ready to start wrapping your hoop. It will take two whole skeins of floss, using all six strands, to wrap a 5″ x 9″ hoop. Use a little more glue to stick the beginning of the skein to the hoop. Work your way over that beginning and continue wrapping the floss around the hoop. Take care that you don’t catch up the eight strings below or the three strings that go up to the knot.
NFL Crib Mobile

Tip: Holding the hoop with all the strings attached and bobbing around while you’re trying to wrap the floss is nearly impossible. On my table I used a couple of new rolls of paper towels standing on end to assist me in holding up the hoop. Putting a big rubber band around each roll helped as well.

NFL Crib MobileTo tie off a skein, thread a needle with the floss, pass it under as many wraps as possible on the inside of the hoop, and then closely trim off the extra. After you tie off, you may need to scoot and shift a couple of wraps to cover some small gaps that show the wood hoop.

Congratulations – your mobile is complete! Here is mine, hanging out with some aspen leaves.




Check out what the other Crafty Football Blog Hop participants made this year!

Montana Cross Stitch Pattern – Arrowhead Road Sign

This Montana cross stitch pattern and kit are now available in my Etsy shop!montana road sign cross stitch arrowhead


Montana Highway SignsThe pattern is based on a Montana Secondary Road sign. The standard Montana Highway sign (shown at right) is a bit plain, so I thought this Secondary Road sign with it’s cool arrowhead pattern would make a much more interesting cross stitch pattern.



Montana Rural Road #323I can easily customize this pattern for any of your favorite Montana roads! MyScenicDrives has good information about Montana.

[Montana Highway Signs by Jimmy Emerson, DVM, via Flickr]

Country Road Take Me Home

[Road leading from Bozeman Montana, winding through the Bridger Mountains by Kim Tasjian via Flickr]


[Looking north towards Ennis, Montana along US 287 by Madison76 via Flickr]


[Glacier National Park by Lue Huang via Flickr]

Create a reminder of a favorite drive in Big Sky Country with this Montana cross stitch pattern and kit!

This pattern is just the latest in a series of state highway sign patterns. Others in the series thus far include Colorado, Alaska, California, Texas, Michigan, Utah, Florida, New Mexico, Georgia, Washington, and an Interstate sign

French Liquor License Cross Stitch Pattern

This French liquor license cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!french liquor license cross stitch pattern


french liquor license cross stitch pattern original signThis fun pattern is based on an enameled metal sign I saw outside the Hotel Le Tropicana in Douville, France. I thought it was a really charming sign and I immediately knew that I would stitch one for myself someday.

The number IV (4) indicates that the establishment can sell all types of beers, wines, and spirits. License types I, II, and III exist as well.




We stayed at this hotel as the 2014 Tour de France individual time trial (ITT) stage passed very close by. In a previous blog post, I shared a little about why the ITT is our favorite stage to watch and some highlights and videos of the Tour.

gypsy ways update 6 french sign translation failI’m going to repeat myself a bit from that same previous post: “One of my favorite finds of the summer was very near our hotel. There is a nice little campground with a lake, [and] this is one of the signs around the lake:



The English part of the sign really means to say ‘Swimming in the lake is prohibited,’ so one can only assume this is just a spectacular web-based translation fail.” Although this sign is a cute favorite, I don’t plan on creating a cross stitch pattern based on it.

I’ve always been curious about the date on the plaque – 24 September 1941. This was after France fell to the Germans in World War II. There are few other images of this plaque on the web, but the ones I have seen have the same date. So was this liquor license law something that was in legislative process before the German invasion, or was this law something that the Germans insisted upon during their occupation? I’d enjoy to hear any insights into the matter.

This French liquor license cross stitch pattern is a perfect project for your favorite Francophiles (fans of French culture), oenophiles (fans of wine), and beer connoisseurs. It would look great in a kitchen, dining room, home bar, media room – wherever good libations are enjoyed!

Camino de Santiago Cross Stitch Pattern

This Camino de Santiago cross stitch pattern and kit is now available in my Etsy shop!camino de santiago cross stitch pattern

This project is a perfect way to commemorate a journey along the Way of St. James. The scallop shell has long been the symbol of the Camino, and it serves both practical and symbolic purposes.

The shell served as a makeshift bowl for water and food, and pilgrims would often take a Galician scallop shell on their return home as proof of their journey. The grooves in the scallop also symbolize the different paths the pilgrims follow on route to their one destination – Santiago de Compostela, legendary home of the apostle St. James’ remains.

Iglesia de Santiago de Compostela - Galicia - España.The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is in the province of Galicia in northwestern Spain.

[photo by Marcelo Jaramillo Cisneros via Flickr]

There are two main routes to the cathedral. There is a more inland route through Logroño, the Rioja region, Burgos, and León. Rioja is one of my favorite places – I wrote about it near the bottom of this post on our 2014 travels.

There is also a more coastal route through Bilbao and Santander, and then through Asturias and Galicia. I wrote about Asturias in another post on our 2014 travels – it’s simply gorgeous.

I was lucky enough to go inside the cathedral during a special mass. At this mass they used the massive 80kg (176 lb) censer (incense burner) called the “Botafumiero” that requires several people, the “tiraboleiros,” to operate. The censer is attached to a rope that then swings via a pulley across the cathedral transept. The tiraboleiros swing the censor nearly to the ceiling!

camino de santiago cross stitch - censer in action in cathedral

From the Wikipedia article, “One explanation of this custom, which originated more than 700 years ago—although incense has been used in Catholic ritual from the earliest times—is that it assisted in masking the stench emanating from hundreds of unwashed pilgrims.”

As with many travels, it’s not necessarily the destination that is important – it’s the journey you take to get there. I hope many of you will use this Camino de Santiago cross stitch project as a way to create a reminder of your journey.

Beatles Wedding Cross Stitch Pattern

This Beatles wedding cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!beatles wedding cross stitch pattern

This cross stitch pattern is a wonderful way to celebrate your big day or to create as a present to your favorite newlyweds or new parents.

The quote comes from the Beatles song “You Never Give Me Your Money” from their 1969 album Abbey Road. The song itself isn’t terribly romantic as it is about their business and interpersonal problems. Nevertheless, the line “One sweet dream came true today” always struck me as a great way to celebrate a marriage, a new baby, or a new start in life.

The photographed example above was made for the daughter and new husband of one of my cousins. Katie and T.J. had a true country wedding with the attendants wearing cowboy boots with their dresses and suits. The reception was in a barn, and the wedding party was transported by horse and carriage. Their colors were two shades of blue and sunflower yellow, thus these were the colors I chose for their project, plus a touch of celery green as an accent.

I would be happy to customize this project to suit the occasion. Of course, I can design the name(s) and date you would like to commemorate. In the Etsy listing, just hit “Ask a question” and we can discuss options and terms for your particular project.

It would also be great to see this project executed with different flosses and especially variegated flosses. Before I knew what the wedding colors were, I contemplated using one of my favorites, the rainbow colors of Anchor 1360 as the floss for either the scrollwork or as the flowers around the scrollwork.beatles wedding cross stitch pattern anchor 1360

I also considered using a variegated floss for the wording as text often looks terrific in subtly changing colors. One example is in my unique take on gratitude – my “Life Sucketh Not” pattern,life sucketh not cross stitch pattern

and another is my “Gluten in Your Muffin” pattern based on a quote from a Saturday Night Live sketch:gluten in your muffin cross stitch pattern

beatles wedding cross stitch patternVariegated flosses or not, I’d love to see this fun project in all kinds of colors and for all kinds of celebrations!

Gypsy Ways Update 10 – QM2 and Cross Country

Gypsy ways update 10 begins with us boarding the elegant Queen Mary 2 at Southampton after a wonderful time in England and Western Europe.Queen Mary 2 Ocean Liner II

[Queen Mary 2 Ocean Liner by Gerald via Flickr]

The QM2 is a truly magnificent ship. And everyone is quick to remind you that this is an “ocean going liner” and certainly not a “cruise ship.”

I’ll repeat a bit from an earlier update – “The main reason we take the QM2 is because they offer kennel service, and if we’re doing some extensive traveling, we like to bring our dog. Transportation by water is not my favorite as I get terribly seasick (even on a lake), but as a way to get across the Atlantic with the dog and all of our luggage (as much as you can fit in your cabin is allowed), it’s a great way to go.

“The dogs are restricted to a small area on the ship (deck 12, starboard aft), and they have to learn to do their ‘business’ on the teak decking, which can be challenging for our four-legged friends. There is a full time kennel master who takes outstanding care of the dogs and keeps the kennels very clean and comfy, and we’re allowed to spend time with the dogs for various stretches totaling 7 to 8 hours a day. All the dog people get to know each other and the other dogs as we spend most of our days together in the kennels.”

In that previous update, I promised to share a few more photos, so here they are…gypsy ways update 10 - qm2 kennels on deck

The door to the kennels is open and you can see that the gate at the fore end of the kennel deck is closed to keep the pooches inside. The kennel masters bring out chairs and provide blankets to help keep everyone warm. In fact, my dog Scully is the lump under the blanket closest to the camera.gypsy ways update 10 - qm2 kennels inside

If it gets too cold outside, this is the area inside where we can sit. Scully is the black and tan one at the right. Her best dog friend this trip was Watson, the french bulldog on the chair to her left. Next to Watson was his person, Claire.gypsy ways update 10 - qm2 kennels dog life jacket

Here you can see Scully with her life jacket on (and looking a little not-too-sure about it). Behind her, scratching the Spaniel, is the kennel master. They have life jackets in all different sizes for the pets.

Like I said in the previous update, most of our day revolved around the open kennel hours. There were events scheduled every hour of every day all over the ship, but we spent as much time as we could with our dog. After the kennels closed for the night, we went to dinner, saw what was happening in the ballroom, and checked out the jazz in the Chart Room.Queen Mary 2, Greenock

[Queen Mary 2 Chart Room by Rob Lightbody via Flickr]

After eight fun, elegant nights, we docked in Brooklyn and started our US journey. For that road trip, I actually recommend that you read the first update of this trip, in which we traveled from west to east. This time, however, start at the bottom of the page and work your way back up, as that is almost exactly how we returned to the west coast.

We did visit lots of friends and family along the way, including stops in Boston, Chicago, Iowa, Omaha, and Colorado before arriving back home. One highlight was something I had never seen before – the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. I only had time for a quick walking tour of Forest Avenue, but I will go back to take a more thorough look. gypsy ways update 10 - frank lloyd wright frank w thomas house forest avenue oak park illinoisThat beautiful note wraps up this series of posts on our travels in 2014. It was an amazing trip and I’m so grateful that we have the opportunity to undertake something this extensive. However, I will say that it is always nice to come back home.

If you’re curious about other parts of the trip, Update 1 covered our trip across the United States west to east, Update 2 was our Transatlantic crossing west to east, Update 3 talked about the UK and Greece, Update 4 was in Switzerland and Italy’s Cinque Terre, Update 5 was about Italy, Update 6 covered the French Riviera, the Tour de France, Basque country and the Rioja area of Spain, Update 7 talked about Asturias, Spain, Update 8 was the Mediterranean Costa Blanca and driving north through France, and Update 9 covered some great sights in England.

If you have any questions about any part of the trip, please feel free to ask. We have some definite favorites that we are happy to share!

Monty Python Spanish Inquisition Cross Stitch Pattern

This Monty Python Spanish Inquisition cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!monty python spanish inquisition cross stitch project

The quote for this project comes from their classic sketch from the second show of their second season. Michael Palin’s Cardinal Ximénez is flanked by Cardinal Biggles (Terry Jones with the aviator goggles) and Cardinal Fang (Terry Gilliam) as they stumble through their badly rehearsed ferocity and terror. It’s one of their most popular and oft-quoted sketches. You can see part of the episode here:
Monty Python’s Flying Circus ran from 1969 to 1974, creating a body of very silly and subversive comedy sketches that are still as bizarre today as they were then. If you’re unfamiliar with them, I recommend you start with either the BBC TV show, or the movie “And Now for Something Completely Different,” which is some of their best sketches from their first two seasons recreated with a higher production budget.

After their TV show, the popularity of Monty Python only kept growing. The troupe went on to create Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian (my personal favorite), and the Meaning of Life, stirring up controversy at nearly every turn and even serious academic analysis along the way.

Monty Python "Moose Bites" Cross StitchI have two other Monty Python cross stitch patterns available in my shop – the first based on the very silly opening credits of their movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail,




Monty Python Fresh Fruitand the second based on their sketch about self defense against homicidal maniacs armed with fresh fruit.







Now go check out this Monty Python Spanish Inquisition cross stitch project before I have to… “fetch the soft cushions!”

Variegated Floss Comparison Part 2 – DMC and Anchor

This variegated floss comparison Part 2 between DMC and Anchor will help explain the similarities and differences between the two brands. In Part 1, I covered Anchor’s 1200 series where each floss is variations of one color, e.g., fuchsia pink to light pink or from royal blue to light blue. In this Part 2, I’ll go through Anchor’s 1300 series, called their “Multicolors,” most of which really do live up to that name. variegated floss comparison part 2 - anchor 1300 series variegated flosses

I’ll share a brief description and a photo of each Anchor floss with what I determined to be it’s closest DMC counterpart. I’ll also offer a rating between 0 – not different at all to 5 – very different, and also share which Anchor flosses have no DMC counterpart at all.

Anchor 1300 DMC 4145Anchor 1300 and DMC 4145 both include similar shades of brown, but the Anchor is lighter overall and includes a touch of straw yellow in the mix. Difference rating: 3.

[Clicking on the photos will take you to Flickr, where you can take a closer look!]






Anchor 1301Anchor 1301 is the second “incomparable” (the first being the lilac purple 1209 from Part 1). This is a lovely mix of pastel pink, yellow, and blue – a bit like looking at mother-of-pearl.




Anchor 1302Anchor 1302 is another “incomparable.” Anchor named this floss “Marble” for good reason – it is a great mix of white, pink, peach and a bit of grey – like a pretty piece of marble stone.



Anchor 1303 DMC 4073Anchor 1303 has two DMC counterparts, DMC 4075 and 4073. 4075 is much more gold than the creamy yellow tones in the Anchor, and 4073 gets darker than the Anchor as well. Difference rating: 3.







Anchor 1304 DMC 4070 4080Anchor 1304 also has two DMC counterparts, DMC 4070 and 4080. They’re all gorgeous and they all look like daffodil fields to me, however 4080 is definitely lighter than the other two and it’s shades of green are much more subtle. 4070 has more green where the yellow in the Anchor is more prominent and tends toward orange at it’s extreme. Difference rating: 3.





Anchor 1305 DMC 4126Anchor 1305‘s closest counterpart is DMC 4126. The DMC includes some pink where the Anchor does not, and the Anchor has more yellow than the DMC. Difference rating: 2.







Anchor 1315 DMC 4120Anchor 1315 and DMC 4120 have orange in common, but that’s about it. The DMC is all in shades of orange and orange pink where the Anchor includes true pink and yellow. Difference rating: 4.







Anchor 1316 DMC 4200 4205Anchor 1316 has two counterparts, DMC 4200 and 4205, and all are gorgeous fiery reds. Where 4205 is red and purple and 4200 has slightly lighter reds mixed with some pink and orange, the Anchor includes raspberry, red, orange, and gold. Difference rating: 3.






Anchor 1318 DMC 4090Anchor 1318‘s closest counterpart is DMC 4090. While they are both peachy, the DMC is definitely more yellow compared to the pink in the Anchor floss. Difference rating: 5







Anchor 1320 4260Anchor 1320 and DMC 4260 both include pink and purple. The DMC includes darker purple where the Anchor includes a hint of peach in it’s pinks. Difference rating: 4.







Anchor 1325 4215Anchor 1325 and DMC 4215 are both gorgeous combinations of blue, purple, and pink. While the blue is very similar, the pink in the DMC is much more subtle than the bright fuchsia in the Anchor. Difference rating: 3.







Anchor 1335Anchor 1335 is the fourth of the eight “incomparables.” This variegated floss is a very fun combination of pink, purple, aqua blue, and lemon (almost fluorescent) yellow. I can’t wait to see this floss in a project!



Anchor 1342 4020Anchor 1342 and DMC 4020 share a similar light blue, but the Anchor is basically shades of that one blue only. The DMC includes other shades of blue and is more water-like than it’s sky-like counterpart. Difference rating: 4.







Anchor 1344 DMC 4214Anchor 1344‘s closest counterpart is DMC 4214. The DMC has much more pink and the blue at one extreme is much darker than the Anchor. The blue in the Anchor also is a bit closer to aqua. These are both really pretty flosses, but they definitely are different. Difference rating: 4.






Anchor 1345 1347 DMC 4050 4030Anchor 1345 and Anchor 1347 are in in a unique situation with DMC 4050 and DMC 4030. With it’s combination of bright green, aqua, and blue, 1345 looks like a great combination of 4050 and 4030. 1347, with it’s deep blue and light aqua extremes, just seems like the last step in this gorgeous four-floss progression. Difference rating for 1345: 3, for 1347: 4.





Anchor 1349 DMC 4240Anchor 1349 is pretty much just a lighter version of DMC 4240. Difference rating: 3.








Anchor 1352Anchor 1352 is our fifth “incomparable.” With it’s minty to celery green shades, it’s a very pretty combination of green.




Anchor 1353 DMC 4065Anchor 1353‘s closest counterpart is DMC 4065. However, the DMC is green with some grey and peach colors where the Anchor is slightly brighter greens and buttery yellows. Difference rating: 4.







Anchor 1355Anchor 1355 is another “incomparable” – this time a lovely mix of dark blue and yellow-greens.




Anchor 1360Anchor 1360 may be my favorite of all these “incomparable” Anchor flosses. It’s really what I would consider to be closest to a rainbow with it’s variegated raspberry, gold, green, blue, and purple.



Anchor 1375Also very cool is Anchor 1375, the eighth and final “incomparable.” Anchor has named this floss “Harlequin” and it’s easy to see why with it’s variegated pink, gold, green, and blue.




Anchor 1385 DMC 4128Anchor 1385 has it’s closest counterpart in DMC 4128. The DMC is mostly shades of one color where the Anchor includes taupe, rust, peach, and dark gold. Difference rating: 4.







Anchor 1390 DMC 4140The last Multicolor is Anchor 1390, who’s closest counterpart is DMC 4140. These are two very different flosses as the DMC is warmer tones of brown with a hint of pink, whereas the Anchor is in cooler shades of chocolate, gold, taupe, and maybe a touch of purple in the mix. Difference rating: 5.






All DMC Variegated FlossThat wraps up this variegated floss comparison between Anchor and DMC. One thing to keep in mind is that DMC has 76 variegated flosses compared to Anchor’s 40, so all of the DMC flosses did not appear in this comparison. In fact, DMC has 43 variegated flosses that have no comparable match in the Anchor line.

Don’t forget, this Part 2 post covered just Anchor’s 1300 “Multicolor” series of variegated flosses. Please check out Part 1 that covered Anchor’s 1200 series of flosses as well!Anchor 1200 series


A footnote on this post: In order to get the full effect of the differences and similarities of the flosses, you really need to see them for yourself in different types of lighting. I’ve tried my best to capture the subtleties of the color differences, but cameras can’t always do the same job as the human eye. Also, keep in mind that all of the various computer monitors and screens will display colors differently.

Gypsy Ways Update 9 – London and the UK

Gypsy ways update 9 begins with us just arrived back in the UK from our adventures in continental Europe. At this point we joined my Mom who had never been to the UK before. She arrived a few days before we did, and in that time she visited the Sandringham Estate, which is the Queen’s home in Norfolk.Sandringham House 23-05-2011

[Sandringham House by Karen Roe via Flickr]

While she enjoyed the Estate and the grounds (and their delicious apple juice), the setting is informal, and she was also wanting to see a little Imperial opulence. So we took her to Windsor Castle!

Parts of Windsor Castle truly are spectacular. Despite the volume of visitors it receives, the grounds and gardens are immaculate,gypsy ways update 9 - garden at windsor castle

and the State Apartments are stately, indeed.The Crimson Drawing Room - State Apartments at Windsor Castle England

[The Crimson Drawing Room by mbell1975 via Flickr]

In November 1992, a fire destroyed or damaged more than 100 rooms at the Castle (the Crimson Drawing Room shown in the photo above was completely gutted). There are fascinating tales of chains of people, staff and volunteers, passing furniture, works of art, and manuscripts to safety, and the restoration work is a tribute to the craftspeople who executed it so beautifully.

Mom and I spent two full days in London. We started with museums, namely the massive and impressive Victoria and Albert Museum with it’s emphasis on art and design. The V&A is so big that I asked her to pick out one part of the museum that she wanted to see in particular, and she chose the Jameel Gallery of Islamic art. In that gallery is the beautiful Ardabil carpet that no other than famous designer William Morris recommended that the museum purchase.The Ardabil Carpet on display in the Jameel Gallery, V&A

We also went to the unique and unusual Sir John Soane’s museum. He was an architect who collected objects of art and architecture from around the world. His home is full of these pieces, and “in 1833 Soane negotiated an Act of Parliament to settle and preserve the house and collection for the benefit of ‘amateurs and students’ in architecture, painting and sculpture.” It was a fascinating place. antiquities gallery at Sir John Soane's museum

[Antiquities Gallery at Sir John Soane’s Museum by Arwen O’Reilly via Flickr] 

Of course, we visited the area around the Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament) and Westminster Abbey.Houses of Parliament & Westminster Bridge.

[Houses of Parliament and Westminster Bridge by Apostolis Giontzis via Flickr]

We toured Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, the modern construction of the original Globe Theater from Shakespeare’s time. The new theater is about 750 feet from the original building that was torn down around 1644. Here you can see that much of the roof is open to the sky, and the floor of the theater has no seats – it’s standing room only!gypsy ways update 9 - shakespeare's globe theater

We went to Greenwich, home of the Old Royal Naval College with it’s twin domes designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The Cutty Sark resides there, and the Royal Observatory that houses the Greenwich Meridian at 0 degrees longitude is less than a mile away. However the real stars are the Chapel and the Painted Hall.

The Chapel interior was originally quite plain, but after a fire in 1779, it was redecorated in the Greek revival style you see here:
Inside the Old Royal Navy Chapel

[Inside the Old Royal Navy Chapel by Nicholas Schooley via Flickr]

The Painted Hall is a real treat. It was originally intended as a dining hall for naval veterans, and it took the artist James Thornhill 19 years to paint the interior. At completion in 1727, the space was deemed far too grand for it’s original purpose, so it sat mainly unused for most of the next 70 years. Today it is open to the public and used as a space to hire for formal dinners and occasions.
The Painted Hall, Greenwich, London, England

[The Painted Hall, Greenwich by Joe Daniel Price via Flickr]

The last location we visited in London was the beautiful and sobering “Blood Swept Land and Sea of Red” at the Tower of London. One ceramic poppy was handmade for every British fatality in World War I and all 888,246 poppies were installed in the moat around the Tower gradually between July 17 and November 11, 2014. All of the poppies were sold and the proceeds were split between six service charities.gypsy ways update 9 - poppies at the tower of london

After our time in London, my Mom had to go back to the States, but my husband and I did a little more traveling in the UK before we boarded the Queen Mary 2. We visited a family member who lives in the lovely town of Bovey Tracey in Devon. From there, we drove into Dartmoor and had a pub lunch in the beautiful, tiny, and ancient village of Widecombe in the Moor.
Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Dartmoor

[Widecombe-in-the-Moor by Baz Richardson via Flickr]

We also visited a friend who lives in Meads Village, Eastbourne near the chalky cliffs of Beachy Head. Another pub lunch was had in the nearby town of East Dean, famous for being the retirement spot of Sherlock Holmes. In the photo below, the house he “lived in” is at left in the fore of the photo, and the Tiger Inn pub is easy to see with it’s bright umbrellas.
Tiger Inn, East Dean

[Tiger Inn, East Dean by Dave_S. via Flickr]

The next post will be the final chapter of these travels, covering our time on the Queen Mary 2 and our trip back across the US on our way home. Stay tuned!

(Here’s a link to the previous Update 8, and to the next [and final] Update 10)

Blues Brothers Cross Stitch Pattern – If the Shit Fits…

This Blues Brothers cross stitch pattern is now available in my Etsy shop!blues brothers cross stitch pattern if the shit fits wear it

This project is a quote uttered by no other than Donald “Duck” Dunn, base player for the band. He says this line after they had played at Bob’s Country Bunker, a rowdy country and western bar.

This is a funny (and rude) take on the old saying “If the shoe fits, wear it,” which is quite an old idiom in itself.

From this and his other lines in the movie, it’s plain to see that Donald Dunn was no actor, but he was a great musician. In 1992 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Booker T and the MG’s, and his musical accomplishments, including recording sessions with Stax Records and extensive touring and performing with everyone from Muddy Waters to Eddie Vedder, are the stuff of legend.

I was lucky enough to see him in person when he was touring with Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young in the mid-2000’s. I had no idea he was with the band until he appeared on stage. I may have been more excited to be in the same room with a member of the Blues Brothers band than with CSNY!

I stitched the green lettering in DMC 4047, one of their gorgeous variegated flosses. This project is small so it stitches up quickly, and it’s perfect for beginners and more experienced stitchers alike.

blues brothers cross stitch pattern shit. what. rollers. no. yeah. shitThe Blues Brothers is about as good a comedy movie as you will ever see, thanks in part to lots of quotes like this. This is my second Blues Brothers cross stitch pattern, the first being this “rollers” project. I’m pretty confident that I will create even more projects honoring this outstanding movie in the future as well.