This little project was in the CrossStitcher Organiser Calendar 2010 my mom gave to me.  (Yes, “Organiser” is spelled correctly.  Apparently it’s a British publication, with British holidays and all.) It hung in my kitchen all that year.  I wanted to do the projects, but that meant I would have to take down the calendar whenever I worked on a project.  Knowing myself the way I do, I knew the calendar would never get back to the kitchen if I ever took it down!

I decided to start on the projects in 2011.  I gave myself the goal of completing each project within the month it was featured.

January…cross-stitching part of the project completed.  I still need to track down some white quarter-inch quarter-round trim to complete the rest of the project.

February…entire project completed.  It is now in the guest room at my parents’ house.  Hooray!

March…skipped this one because I could never find the beads required.  Sigh.

April…completed and framed.  Still don’t know who the recipient will be.

May…here we go!  The poppies project.

Having read the supplies lists and followed the directions for a few of these projects already, I skimmed through this one, ready to get started.  I purchased the colors of floss I didn’t already own.  I asked my daughter if I could have some of her “little black beads” when I was ready to put the finishing touches on it.  (She agreed.)  I read “28 count…” in the supplies list.  WHAT?!  28-count?  Are they crazy or something?  (For you cross-stitch rookies, “28-count” indicates that this will be stitched on a fabric that is woven to accommodate 28 stitches PER INCH.)  I typically work on 14- or 18-count, depending on how large or small I’d like the finished product to be.  28-count might kill me!  I did have some 22-count on hand, from my college days, when my eyes were younger.  I could handle that.  Right?

June…I didn’t complete this one within the month.  Oh well.

July…Still not complete, because my 40+-year-old eyes only like to work on it in bright natural daylight.

August…Still going, and feeling like the Energizer bunny…

September…the Little Engine That Could…

October…the Little Engine That Might?

November…I was determined to finish it.  Stitching, beading, and making it into a pillow.  And I did it!



And look at the cute little buttons I had in my stash!  Aren’t they perfect?



Here is a close-up so you can see the details.  The seed beads were bigger than the cross-stitches!  The top-stitching you see on the purple fabric is about a 2.5 on my sewing machine, a fairly small stitch length.


I don’t want to say “never again!” but I can say that I do not foresee any other projects in my future that involve 22-count cloth.  Oh, and by the way, that “28-count” in the supplies list that I skimmed over…  It was actually 28-count evenweave cloth, on which cross-stitches are worked over TWO threads in each direction (vertical and  horizontal).  28 divided by 2…you mean I could’ve worked this on 14-COUNT?!

(Photos by my daughter.  Background is her groovy turquoise corduroy dish chair.)

4 Seasons cross-stitch

This was a fun project I did last year as a gift for my parents.  They live in a beautiful part of Colorado where they actually have all 4 seasons.  Here in coastal southern California, we don’t really get all 4, you know?  I remembered to take pictures of my progress through this, but forgot to take a final shot of the finished product.  (Maybe my sweet parents will take a picture of it and send it to me…hint, hint.)

At this stage, most of what I’d stitched was pretty much the same on all 4 panels.  The snow in the fourth scene was the only major difference.  If you can even see the white clouds in the first 2 panels, they’re a little different from each other.  (They show up better when the sky is added later.)


OK, now we’re starting to see some progress!  Green!  Grass and leaves begin to make the seasons appear.


Add a little autumn color to the tree and ground in the third panel…


then the little background mountain on the horizon, and a little bit of sky.


The sky is complete.  Can you see the white clouds now?  Almost done!


It’s all in the details.  Outlining really defines the barns and that bare winter tree.


The finished product was a black framed white mat with 4 square openings, each opening featuring one of the 4 seasons.

I may well do this pattern again.  It’s easy enough to do while doing something else, like watching the news or chatting with people.  It’s also interesting enough to keep me motivated…unlike some other projects that remain incomplete.  <ahem>  And it was small enough to complete in a short period of time.  It’s cute, too!