cross-stitch patterns | B & I

by | Jun 26, 2016 | All Things Home, crafts, cross stitch patterns, Tutorials | 28 comments

Before I get to the cross-stitch patterns, I wanted to share that I actually scheduled some milk paint workshops at the studio!  I get asked about it a lot, so I finally pinned myself down and put some on the calendar.

Friday, July 15, 2016, is a Milk Paint 101 Workshop from 10:00 am – 12:30 pm.  In the past, my 101 workshops have been learning to use the products on sample boards, but I’ve mixed it up, so we’ll work on three small projects for you to take and use in your home or give as gifts.  Slots are available to purchase HERE.

Saturday, July 16, 2016, is a BYOF (bring your own furniture) Workshop from 10:00 am – 3:30 pm.  These are so much fun, because you can bring a piece to paint and we’ll work on it together.  You learn while you finish a piece.  You can purchase a slot for that workshop HERE.


So, I’ve been sharing my new love for cross-stitching on linen and I thought I would share some simple, antique patterns as I find them.  I have several antique monogrammed textiles in my house already, so I’ll start with those and then add more.  (I just ordered a bunch of cross-stitched towels from Europe.)

 Today, I’m sharing a simple B & I from this linen tea towel that I made into a pillow cover…


…and a border from this antique textile I also made into a couple of pillows…


(For those who are brand new at this, you put an X wherever the pattern is colored in and the squares represent the natural grid pattern created in the weave of linen.)

Here is what the B looks like on the linen…


…and the pattern I made for it…


The I on linen…


…and the pattern…


And lastly, this border…


I love the simplicity of it but it has a sort of Scandinavian feel to it.  Since the top and bottom of the border are straight stitches, I decided to mix it up and make it a “checkerboard” pattern.  You could certainly do straight stitches, if you wanted to, though.


I like this border to run along the top edge of a pillow, for linen ribbon, and trimming a napkin or a tea towel.

More letters and patterns to come!

Something funny about cross-stitching…  My boys participated in a football camp this weekend and, Saturday afternoon, it was my turn to hang out there (mostly because our youngest is a type 1 diabetic and he’s not quite old enough to manage it on his own.)  I brought along some magazines and the towel on which I had started cross-stitching a “P”.

I pulled out the towel and started stitching, looking up now and then at the action on the field.  During a water break, a boy, about seven or eight, with a faux-hawk hairdo, slowly walked over to me, surveying my work.

He pointedly asked, “Is that a tea towel?”

I set the needlework on my lap.  Did that boy just ask me if this was a tea towel?!  

“Well, yes.  Actually, it is a tea towel!”

He smiled and nodded.

“So, how do you know what a tea towel is?”

He smiled again and rolled his eyes, “Oh, my mom has them all over the house.”

A little later, an older kid, about nine or ten looked over my shoulder and said, “Oh, that’s beautiful!”

It was such a funny surprise, my interaction with these two boys, because I honestly felt like a big dork doing cross-stitch on the sidelines.

Those little nuggets of encouragement helped me get over myself and just enjoy the pretty day and the busy work.

It just goes to show cross-stitch is cooler than one might think!


  1. Debbie Klausing

    Next thing you know, you’ll be having “Sit and Stitch” events at your shop! You might get hooked on cross-stitch if you had the time.

  2. Jaime Costiglio

    Oh it’s cool for certain. Keeping those hands busy especially while at long sporting events (my son’s baseball is excruciating!) is a win-win in my book. Timeless, beautiful yet so easy makes it one of my favorite hobbies since I was 9 years old.

  3. Becky

    You are doing a lovely job with your cross stitch! What a sweet story of the boys. I am a cross stitcher and use to take projects with me to my boys’ baseball games. When I look at the “game” samplers I now have framed, I think of the games and remember sitting there stitching. We must keep our hands busy ;).

    I wish I lived close so I could take one of your workshops.

  4. Debbie V.

    Thanks for sharing. I have always loved cross-stitching and find it so relaxing. In fact, I love to cross-stitch on grain sacks myself so I was thrilled to read your posts. Sajou, Veronique Maillard’s books, and Ramzi’s blog – are all great inspirations/resources for patterns.

  5. Jenni

    I have three sons ages 8, 6, and 5 and a two year-old daughter, and while I thought I would have to wait for my daughter to get older to teach embroidery, I heard a podcast last year about teaching kids to hand sew and tried it with my boys. To my surprise, they loved it and now hound me to work on embroidery projects and hand-sewn stuffed animals, pillows, wallets, and more. My six year-old son drew a picture of Darth Vadar on a scrap piece of muslin and is slowly going over the lines with black thread. This from three “rascals” who also love light saber fights, legos, baseball, and wrestling in the hallway.

    • Kate

      I know a man (a father of a large family) who crochets beautiful blankets. He apparently was a pretty hyper kid and his mom taught him to crochet to help him focus and settle him down. He travels a lot and brings his projects with him when he flies to keep his hands busy.

    • susan

      I teach at an elementary school and keep thinking that teaching some handiwork skills would be a plus for fine motor skills, something that is needed and fun. Glad to hear that the needle arts aren’t just for girls…sports have opened for girls, why not open up opportunities for boys AND girls?

  6. Doreen @ Hymns and Verses

    It’s been a while since I’ve done cross stitch, but I think you’ve inspired me to do a project!!!

  7. Tammy

    I was a lucky winner of the Lucketts VIP tickets last year and enjoyed meeting and talking with you briefly. My husband was wearing a UVA hat so we shared our common love of UVA…I have been doing counted cross stitch for thirty years. I started after college when I had my first job at an engineering firm. The “big” boss with a crew cut and military background saw a co worker and I sharing our projects during lunch and told us he loves to cross stitch, too! It’s very cool to do and it’s so relaxing. I mainly cross stitch reproduction samplers and most of them were done while I waited for my sons throughout their growing up years or at our swim club and the beach in the summer. I feel like I have so much to show for all the time I was “waiting” and each one brings back memories.

    • Kate

      I think this is great – so much better than staring into a iphone! It’s so sad to see a waiting room full of people all staring into their phones, avoiding social contact. Handcrafts seem to invite conversation and interaction.

  8. Nancy

    Dear Marian,

    Thank you for sharing your interest in cross stitch. I love it, too! I started when I was first married and through the years, I made time for it and sometimes not. Well, recently I took out an old unfinished project and am thoroughly enjoying working on it again. It is a birth sampler for my daughter who is now 34! It is never too late. And all handiwork is COOL!

  9. Carlee O.

    I just love the boys’ comments.

  10. Krista

    Your cross stitch work is so pretty. Thanks for the patterns. I love the sweet stories about the young boys admiring your work!

  11. Judy Lincicum

    Maybe it’s an age thing too. My son, when he was your sons age, got so interested in watching me embroider, that he decided he wanted to learn, so I set him up with his own sewing basket with floss, needles, scissors and away we went. It lasted awhile too. He kept embroidering, and I kept him in supplies. That is time together that I would never have had, otherwise. And I’m really thankful for that.

  12. Cheryl

    That is awesome!! You just never know!
    My daughter was in a debate class years ago and they would travel around the state at different events that were being held, she knows that I crotchet and she told me that several of the boys (no girls) in that debate class crotchet. I always think that is cool to hear. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Sara M. Weidman

    Dear Marion,
    i have three boys and one daughter. Oldest approaching 30 and youngest 23. I cross stitched needlepointed and knit my way through years of baseball basketball football, soccer for the boys. My daughter, musical theater major like yourself, every manner of dance, voice, and theater practice imaginable, if I did not have my work to do while they did theirs I would have gone nuts! Most people were interested in my latest work. I don’t know how many other moms and kids that I taught to do some sort of hand work. As a fiber artist I got many commissions from the sidelines. Keep up the self help at practices and games. I can be your mental salvation, and does’t hurt business at the same time.

  14. kristyn baker

    Thanks for the patterns! I have long admired your antique textiles with their cross stitch. One day it dawned on me why can’t I try that on reproduction grain sack? I put the idea on hold…… until I saw your first post on cross stitch….which re -inspired me. so this past weekend I did it and made a throw pillow for my living room!

  15. Michelle

    I love cross stitch. I am currently working on my 3rd child’s cross stitch quilt. My only problem is they take sooooo long to finish. I guess if I didn’t pick such large projects and maybe tried tea towels??? LOL! These would make wonderful gifts! I’ll be saving these ideas for the future. Thank you.

  16. Ashlea

    I am going to get to work on some cross stitching because these are darling- and I might put my 8 year old son to task too! He started hand sewing as a 4 year old- last fall I put him in sewing classes at 7- and he has since sewed a back pack, a night shirt, a pair of pants and is working on a pair of shorts that he has done from start to finish here at home- he just needs to hem and put in the elastic. He inspired me to get to work on a few sewing projects I’ve been putting off 😉 It’s amazing how the curiosity of kids can spark thoughtful conversations and blossoming skills so quickly…

  17. Joanne B.

    I learned to do counted cross stitch over 35 years ago when I was living in Tennessee. I have made many a wedding and birth sampler as gifts over the years. My eyes, unfortunately have turned 60 (as did the rest of me , I suppose) and I am so sorry and sad to say I aha enow crisis stitched in years. I actually still have the last project I attempted- ti;s still unfinished but it is hanging in a tote bag in the back of my bedroom door. I haven’t even looked at it in years! Your tea towels are lovely! I am actually thinking maybe I should give it another try again, and with the small initials on a tea towel it would not seem so overwhelming s a big, detailed project. Thanks for sharing and thanks for inspiring me again!

    • Addie

      Please do give it another try!!!! They have all kids of magnifiers and special lamps on the market.

  18. Mary Kaiser

    Love the cross stitch pillows. How do I get my hands on some of the linens you used? Did you use embroidery thread, and how many strands? It has been a long time since I have done any cross stitch, but its like riding a bike, you never forget!!

  19. Erin

    I am a mom of two boys as well who likes to sew. My boys are learning all about my hobby. I think it is so great that they appreciate handmade items and take an interest in my passions. When my oldest was three, we made a pillow together. This year he brought it into kindergarten for show and tell and told his class how we made it together. I love that you are sharing your passion not only with your boys but his teammates as well.

  20. Sharon

    Perhaps that first young man was Canadian….tea towel is what we call kitchen towels used for drying the dishes or hands!

  21. Whitney

    I’m so inspired to learn to cross stitch now! Headed to the craft store today, in fact, to get some supplies! Keep the patterns and tutorials coming (:

  22. Sylvia

    I, also, did cross stitch many years ago. I really enjoyed doing it. I still have some of the projects in a trunk but no longer displayed on the walls. Your patterns are very lovely. I think the second project is done with a running stitch and not cross stitch. Both are just beautiful and I may start cross stitching again.

  23. Addie

    Love it!!! Your work and the boys. Many years ago when my son was 9 yrs. old I needed a sitter for 6 weeks while I took a class. Our elderly friend and neighbor volunteered. She was a MASTER crosstitcher. He scuffed at not being able to stay home alone. The first night he came home he was pretty happy with all the treats she gave him. He asked about what she was doing (stitching) while they watched TV. The second night, he happily came home with a small completed ornament. Well, the 6 weeks flew by and he became quite the “little stitcher”. He made 20 ornaments, a baby announcement and a small welcome sign!!!! He continued for a couple of years with quite a collection of works. That is until he found basketball and girls more interesting. I still love to look at his work. 😉

  24. Katy

    I can’t tell you how excited I am to try this. I have been looking for a good beach vacation project. Thanks!


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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