Posted by: Jocelyn | January 16, 2012

Menagerie stitch-along

CyberPointers is going to have a year-long stitch-along challenge in 2012, called Menagerie. Over the year, Karen will give us the directions to stitch 2 “blocks” each month, which we can use however we want to – She also gives ideas for making them into ornaments or different kinds of samplers. Thirteen of the blocks will focus on different stitching techniques, such as hardanger, bargello, blackwork, drawn thread etc, and the other 11 will be different needlepoint stitch types, such as diaper patterns, looped/linked stitches, box stitches and Hilton stitches.

This sounds right up my street – I love creating things like this. But first, some decisions need to be made.

I want to do all 24 blocks, all squares or rectangles, and each with a border around it. Here’s my tentative layout.

Karen’s instructions say the blocks will be based on squares 54 x 54 threads and she will give instructions about making them bigger or smaller. The diagrams of her intended layouts show different sizes, and even some triangles, so I reckon I will be able to get them to fit this layout.

But should I stitch all the borders now? Then each month I would choose which shapes to use for those 2 blocks. Or do I wait so I can maybe alter some of the blocks at the time, to better suit the stitching insructions?

But first I actually need to make some decisions about colours. I want to do the sampler in neutrals – ecrus, browns, greys, a bit of white, and some gold metallics.
Why? Because they are the colour groups with the biggest variety of threads in my stash. 🙂

But what about the borders? Should I use a solid colour, and if so, which one? Dark or light? Or how about using a variegated thread? Here’s the lid of a box I made, and the borders are a fairly subtle variegated WaterColors thread from Caron.


My sampler will a similar idea, but each section will be bigger, and will be rectangular or square and not have some of them going around corners, and the borders will be vertical and horizontal not diagonal, and probably satin stitch not smyrna crosses.  But otherwise it will be similar.

So… solid colour or variegated?  Decisions, decisions, decisions…..


  1. I would wait until the project is finished and then decide on a thread for the borders. If no overdyes are used in the project I would probably look for one to tie it all together.

  2. I like your layout and the neutral colors will be beautiful and elegant.

  3. Hope all is well with you….miss your postings

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