woodlandsampler stitch place markers

At the beginning of the month I wrote about undertaking the Frosted Pumpkin Woodland Sampler for 2013.  Since then I’ve been out and grabbed the supplies (Thank You Christmas Spotlight gift voucher!) and made a start.  I’m not a young as I used to be (say it ain’t so!) so my eye sight isn’t as good and I’m easily distracted by this cute little monster that now lives in our house.

With everything going on around me (and my body failing me) I found myself constantly losing my place while stitching.  So I put my thinking cap on and came up with a way to help myself stay on track and not under or over stitch.

I put in stitch markers at every 10th stitching hole. (Don’t you just love all my technical terms!) I used a water soluable fabric pen to help me mark and count out the stitches and then I put a little cross stitch in at the 10th spot.

(I put the markers in what will be the margin of the fabric so that when it’s framed or incorporated into a sewing project I won’t be able to see where the markers once were.) Because of where the pen in I’ll be able to wash it off without running the risk of ruining the design.

Frosted Pumpkin Woodland Sampler Stitch Markers

When I’m done with the pattern I’ll just remove the markers and hey presto – done.

I also made the decision to use 18ct Aida instead of linen.  I just knew that my eyesight and the fact that I’d be putting down and picking up the piece constantly would make it harder for me if I used linen.  I’m really liking the choice, but I think even 18ct might be a little too small for my eyes. (Thinking might be time to go get my eyes tested again!)

I’m not the only one coming up with ways to mark out their stitches either. The fabulous (Mrs) @RollinginFabric shared this trick via Instagram:

Woodland Sampler b_fab Instagram

Image source: b_fab on Instagram

I love the look of the pinheads on the fabric (reminds me of a costume from Elizabeth) I am way to clumsy for this approach. (Guarantee that all of those pins will have lodge themselves into my fleshy extremities before the first frame was finished being stitched!)

When I posted my work on Instagram I had a couple of people ask me about the stitch marking and whether I had any tutorial on it.  I didn’t (this is it) so I thought I would have a look on the trusty interwebs to see what other people recommend.  I came up with the following links:

There’s surprisingly not that many out there with images. I’d love to know if you have any hints, tips or links that I can share with others.

My Woodland stitching is coming along. I managed to get a lot done in one season of Downton Abbey, but I haven’t really done much since then. I’ve been bouncing around getting other things in the house sorted.

How’s your stitching coming along?

Get Your Free Pattern Now!

Sign up to the GnomeAngel Newsletter and you can access your very own free pattern. Get the latest news, stay up-to-date with sew-alongs + events and receive the occasional free offer! Simply add your details below!

I respect your privacy and I won't send you spam. You can unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit


  1. Complete one stitch at a time if you are using an overdyed, variegated floss. This makes the subtle color changes more visible in your stitching. However, if you’re using solid-color floss, you can do the first part of the stitch for an entire row and then go back and do the top cross stitch. If you have a large area to fill in, this makes a lovelier finish because the floss lies more evenly and flat.

  2. When I learned how to x-stitch from my friend’s mom, she made us mark our fabric with dark thread to make a grid.
    We did that every 20 squares and helped a lot.
    I stopped marking it that way and just run a thread in the middle horizontally and vertically, but with my eyes not helping, I might have to start marking that way again.
    A friend marks with a marker as you do, but runs the line all the way down and across.
    I am using 14ct Aida for the same reason 🙁

    • I have seen the thread method before, I’m just such a tight stitcher that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to remove the threads when I was done (if that makes sense).

      I can’t wait to see your progress, will you be blogging it?

  3. Doing the markers is a great idea, especially for someone as ancient as me who goes cross-eyed at the drop of a hat these days. I also think I will go with the aida because I don’t think I could stitch a straight line on linen.
    I’ve fished out my WIP so that I can finish that one before starting on the Woodlands. There’s not as much to do as I thought so shouldn’t take too long.

    • How did you go with your WIP?

      I find, even on Aida, I’m still losing my place and having to triple and quadruple count.

      Looking forward to seeing your progress!

      • I still haven’t finished my WIP but weakened today and bought my fabric and thread from Spotlight for the sampler. I ended up buying 14 count Aida so I hope it looks ok. Should I use 3 threads instead of 2?
        BTW I posted a pic of my WIP on Twitter yesterday but I think I put it under my Cherished Books ID by mistake instead of youngrobyn55.
        I’m still not up with all this social media bizzo. 🙂

  4. As you know, I had no clue about stitch markers before seeing your pic on Ig . . . so I am definitely planning on following your lead. Thanks for the helpful tips, links, etc. I really appreciate it! Hope to start my Woodlands soon!

    • It was my pleasure. I’m glad I could help. I can’t wait to see you make progress on it! It’s very exciting (and a little nerve wracking!) Let me know if I can help out any more. 🙂