Sunday, 16 February 2014

Stitching Sunday: Cross stitch? Moi?

Never in a thousand years did I think I’d enjoy cross stitching. (I also never thought I’d be a Shawl Person, but you know what happened there...)

Apologies if you are an avid cross stitcher...I’d been jaded by the twee, flat, nondescript cross stitch I’d seen in the past. I wondered why on earth would anyone want to make a pixelated image when surface embroidery offers such a realistic alternative?

But then I went to the Knitting & Stitching Show last autumn, and I saw the beautiful designs on linen from the Cross Stitch Guild, and I understood that this was an artistic craft in its own right, with angles and depth and interest and colour.

Like so many creative interests, it’s all about finding what appeals to you...

So the past few months I’ve been investigating the Wide World of Cross Stitch, looking for projects and patterns that suit me. Good grief I love modern technology! Where once we were stuck with whatever we could find in town, now I can seek out elegant floral designs from France, amazingly delicate and sweet Japanese patterns, and extremely fun and funky cross stitch in the UK and US.

I made good progress on my dragonfly this week. I found the stitching so methodical and comforting in a week dominated by storms, viruses and general family mayhem. And the colours! The *sparkle*!  

Perhaps the best part is that this is a craft I can easily share with my girls. Bunny, age 10, was so keen to start work on her Frozen cross stitch, but the busy days leading to half term meant that she had to wait until this weekend to get it going...

But once she started, I had to prise her fingers away to send her to bed! She spent a long time sorting the various colours. She is still getting used to the tiny stitching and counting of the squares, and I can already see that, even with a little progress, she is finding comfort and patience with her project.

Someone who was decidedly impatient with this whole cross stitch business was Little Flower. She saw Mummy and Bunny stitching and decided she wanted to be part of the action...

So off to the local haberdashery we went, and she chose this simple panda needlework kit (because her big sister’s favourite animal is a panda), and off she went!

This project is fun because it has big yarn and a large needle for her tiny, 4-year-old hands, it uses just a half stitch, and it seems to fill up quickly. Of course we have multiple colours on the go, because after three stitches she wants to change colours...

But the strangest thing I’ve found is that the kit designed for the youngest stitcher has the worst instructions (if you can actually qualify a bit of illustration as “instruction”). Bunny’s kit from wee little stitches has much more detail, and my dragonfly kit from Floss & Mischief has a guide full of helpful tips and hints applicable to any cross stitch project.

Thankfully, I have found some wonderful blogs about cross stitching, which have been so helpful and inspiring these past few weeks. And I have been very motivated by what you’ve shared here on Stitching Sundays...I’ve discovered even more beautiful cross stitch patterns from the likes of Pretty Little Things in a Box, Jenn's Crafty World, The Crafter's Apprentice and Cathie's CraftworksThank you so much, and please keep linking up!

Um, I've committed myself to The Frosted Pumpkin's Once Upon a Time is just so cute!

I have news on my embroidery and sewing projects that I want to share with you, but – can you believe it - 
the SUN is shining!
So we’re putting the needles away and getting out the boots – time to play outside!

Enjoy your day!
Chrissie x


  1. Lovely that it's all a family team stitching effort!! :)
    Enjoy the sunshine, we have some here too! :)
    V xxx

  2. Ahh, welcome to the cross stitching club :-) Your pictures here reveal your flare for this form of embroidery! Yay! If ever you would like some references to very UN-twee designers just let me know!

    Happy sunday to you and your family!


  3. Wow the once upon a time sampler looks fab, I can't wait to see how you progress with it. Enjoy the sunshine!! Sam xx

  4. Your cross stitch is coming along wonderfully. I love a craft you can share with your children, it's one of the things I miss now they have grown up and left home.
    Sally xxx

  5. I used to do lots of Cross stitch but I don't any more, there are some around our house but I got into other things, I still marvel at the patience I had to do them. I must say Big Sis has as many works in progress as me with all the craft kits she gets from family and friends over Christmas and birthdays. She too lasts about 15 mins and then downs tools! I like the look of the insect, interested to see that one develop. Sunny today!!!! YAY Jo x

  6. Lovely family effort !
    Have a nice week !

  7. Hello Chrissie
    LOVE that you're all stitching together, you're never to young to learn to stitch and knit.
    Enjoy the sunshine,

  8. So sweet that your girls are enjoying the stitchy fun too! I enjoy cross stitch too, it's really relaxing. Enjoy the sunshine!
    Marianne x

  9. It all looks like it coming along well enjoy the stitching your three, and enjoy and make the most if the sunshine.
    Clare x

  10. Ahh I love to cross stitch! I think your Dragonfly is coming along beautifully and I love how your girls are getting bit by the stitchy bug too. I love to spend time stitching along with my mum :)
    I'm also stitching the Once Upon a Time sampler - it is just so cute! I post a monthly update of it on my blog. You can see February's update here -
    Happy Stitching!

  11. Cross stitching is my favourite, favourite, favourite hobby! I love it because I am an impatient person and it makes me slow down so much. I cannot rush when I'm cross stitching. I love that it's portable and colourful and has such a long heritage. Oh my, this is making me want to get back to my stitiching! Thank you for the blog link - that was really nice:)
    Good luck to all of you with your stitching ventures! (We bought one of those little needlepoint kits for my sweet daughter when she was four, and I have to agree the instructions were garbage.)

    Jenn @JennsCraftyWorld

  12. Hello lovely and wow, how I wish we could have a cuppa together. I would really like to learn to do this, but you know I am feeling like I might be a little out of my depth with it all. Saying that with one Frozen obsessed child and birthday looming, it might be the perfect place to start, so thank you for the link. I also like the idea of the needlecraft kits for little E, I need to see if I can get my mitts on it online. Loving your pretty work that you have done on your dragonfly, very neat and I can't wait to see a little more. Wasn't the weather just glorious today!! Sending you much love. Ps I have linked in my bear, not really sure whether this qualifies, but if not just let me know and I will remove it! xoxo

  13. I love that you're all doing some stitching! I really enjoy cross-stitching. I started when I was about eight. I am very impressed with your little one's needlepoint; my son did that one I shared but he's eight. I don't think either of my two had the dexterity at four years old that she does. I'm glad you've discovered something new to work on! I think you'll love it. I hope you had a nice time in the sunshine today. :)

  14. How lovely that your wee ones are interested in sewing....youre inspiring the next generation!

  15. It's so lovely that your girls are sharing this cross stitch journey with you! Loving all your projects!
    Gill xx

  16. Wonderful stitching, and I'm so glad you've even found something for your littlest one to do.

  17. How lovely that your girls are enjoying working with needle and thread too Chrissie - well, they couldn't really avoid getting the bug could they with such a talented Mum into such a variety of lovely projects. I have done cross-stitching in the past, just a little, but now much prefer the freedom of the doodle-type stitches and the choices offered there.
    I am hoping to post an update later on my quilt in progress, and if I manage to do so I will link up with you and thanks so much for the opportunity once again m'dear! Warm hugs to you, love, Joy xoxo

  18. Anonymous5:45 am GMT

    wow.. great job on getting both the girls into crafting early.. and I love the colours of dragon fly.. :D
    Happy cross-stitching, i find it a relaxing craft to do and getting lost in it. :D

  19. Well it's all looking like a proper family affair here, just need to get your hubby a kit! It's so lovely that your girls have the stitching bug too and they are both doing an incredible job, they obviously have your flair.
    I hope you had a nice walk.
    love Jooles x x x

  20. Anonymous8:37 am GMT

    How lovely to be able to sit down with your children and enjoy the same activity, and the projects look great too.

  21. I used to do cross stitching and yes it is really lovely but I haven't done any for years....oh and how great that your daughters are taking the needle already, lovely and good that they start using the creativity at a tender age.

    Have a nice week!!

    Lluisa xx

  22. How great that you are making this a family affair Chrissie, all of your various works are looking very good and I look forward to watching them progress. I popped over to the Cross Stitch Guild, and was amazed at their pieces, so I can quite see why they were an inspiration to you! xx

  23. well done on giving it a go. Cross stitch is the ultimate in relaxation for me, you don't have to concentrate like you do with embroidery

  24. Lovely that you are enjoying cross stitch, Chrissie! And how wonderful that your children are joining in.....I do love to see little hands crafting too! Wishing you a happy week.
    Helen xox

  25. Cross stitch is how I got back into crafting after quite a long break.
    Back when the boys were small they all had a go at cross stitch, because I didn't have a daughter they were all "persuaded" to have a go at what was, in those days, unusual for boys to do.
    I now have a 2 year old Granddaughter and I hope I can pass my love of all things Crafty on to her.
    Hugs x

  26. It is wonderful to share your crafts with your children. I am hoping when mine have families of their own they will return to crafting as neither of my children do so now. They do appreciate the items they receive from me though.

  27. How lovely that your children are sharing your passion for crafts. Have a great week stitching together.
    Jane x

  28. I love that you are getting into cross stitching, I love it! That's such a cute kit for your youngest, I want to get one and see if my daughter is ready for it yet. I can't wait to see everyone's finished projects!

  29. I love the cross stitching but I think it's because that is the only bit of stitching I can do! hehe.