Our Correspondents News and views from CrossStitcher readers around the world
Ever wondered what stitchers like us are up to in different parts of the globe? We’ve asked readers from near and far to become correspondents for us and share with us their cross stitch news…
Joy Snouffer, Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
Hello and ‘Happy Springtime’ from Maryland!
To be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with springtime. I love the unpredictable, usually mild, weather of early spring. But I know it just leads to the heat and humidity of summer, which I hate. I love the beautiful flowers that spring up all around my yard. But I know the weeds and insects will follow, which I hate. I love the return of songbirds to my feeders and birdbath. But I really don’t like cleaning up after them (though it’s worth the trouble). Most of all, I love springtime cross stitch designs!
April is quite a full month for my family, so it’s sometimes hard to find time to stitch the colourful springtime designs I enjoy so much.
My granddaughter, Clover Lillie, is celebrating her first birthday! I’ve stitched a cute April Turtle design for her and will probably work up a little card, last-minute. Big news! Clover is going to be a big sister in August! This Gramma best get to work on a stitchy something for the new baby!
Of course, this month also brings Palm Sunday and Easter with all its celebrations – egg hunts, family picnics, church services and special programs. I’ve stitched a little Easter egg that I hope to find time to make into a pillow or wall-hanging… I’d best get to it!
The Handsome Hunnie-Man and I operate a very small business, Little Locos Model Engineering. In a couple of weeks, we will be heading to the Detroit, Michigan area to set up a booth at a model engineering expo and I definitely will take my stitching along! Though an introvert at heart, I truly enjoy chatting with the people who stop by our booth, especially when the ladies talk about cross stitching!
I think the most fun will be taking in the first baseball game of the season at our local stadium. The Hagerstown Suns is our minor-league team. Of course, I might take along a small bit of stitching, just in case the game gets dull.
Like I said, April is full… of fun and busyness and stitching as often as possible! Happy Easter, everyone! My cross-stitched Easter egg 1 The April Turtle I stitched for my granddaughter 2 A floral bunny by Joan Elliot that seemed to take forever to finish 3 Joy is married, a homemaker and has one grandchild. She lives at the foot of mountains west of Baltimore.
Alesya Tyshkevich, Moscow, Russia
Winters in Russia are always long and grey. Of course, we have sunny days, but they all are mostly cold and short. In January birds start singing and our hearts turn to see the future beginning of spring. February and March are also snowy and grey and then comes April! The month when everything seems to be young and green, sunny and warm.
We stitchers have a chance to bring spring closer only with a wave of inspiration. We have threads of
different bright colours, new ideas, gorgeous designs and interesting charts. Starting something new is truly attractive and the excitement is overwhelming.
Speaking of inspiration, by the way, we may get it not only by making first stitches. How about looking through the kits you already have at home? It also gives a wide range of emotions only by holding them in your hands and choosing what to stitch next! How about Easter? What can be cuter than the Easter Rabbit? My own collection with this soft pal brings the warmth to the heart.
Nevertheless, I try to fasten the change of seasons not only by dreaming of future projects, but with my present works. Taking a look at the young beauty and the bright looking titmouse bird, I feel the upcoming spring! Happy stitching to you all, stitchers of the world! My latest projects, filling me with the feeling of springtime 4 & 5 Alesya is 27 years old, married and has just had a baby daughter. She works in a school and has been stitching for four years. Find her Youtube channel at www.youtube.com/ricamatrice and her Instagram account at www.instagram. com/alesya.ricamatrice.
Michelle Yeoh, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Hello again from Malaysia! I am happy to report that our local cross stitch group, Cross-Stitch Malaysia, is being rather active recently. More people are coming forward to share photos of their WIPs (work-in-progress) and finished pieces and are even having lively discussions.
We have WIP Wednesday where members are supposed to work on their current or unfinished projects in a bid to reduce abandoned projects (#csmwipwed). If a particular chart is popular among the group members, we organise a Stitch-A-Long (SAL) for those charts, too. The latest ongoing one is the Charity SAL for Mind by Emma Congdon (#csmstitchroviasal). Another addition to our group activities is our bi-monthly swaps. The first swap we had was for Valentine’s Day in February. I made a fabric gauge-cumneedle minder for my swap partner and in return, I received a very cute file/ book cover with stitched kittens on it!
Spring has arrived for all you UK folks. We don’t have four seasons here in Malaysia, since we are so near to the equator – but three friends and I have bought charts from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery and we have each chosen to stitch a different season. My season of choice is Winter, because it is very Christmassy and I’m likely to stitch Summer next. I am really looking forward to seeing all four seasons displayed together when we have finished.
It’s also the month for Easter celebrations and at the mention of Easter, I recall a couple of baby gift orders. I was commissioned to make a cross stitch and crochet monkey set and I packaged them in a giant Easter egg shell! Needless to say, my customers were thrilled with it. Swap gift – my swap partner was delighted to receive it 6
My start on the Winter sampler 7 Finished work packed into giant Easter eggs! 8 Michelle is a full-time mum and has her own business, Little Pink Factory, on Facebook and Instagram, designing customised cross stitch portraits.
Joanne Hayward, Reading, UK
Hello everyone, as I write the school half term is just a few days away. For me this means a week off as I work in a primary school but it also means keeping my daughters, Freya, who’s 12 and Scarlett, who is nine, entertained for a week !
Recently we embarked on me teaching them to cross stitch as they love to watch me stitch and create and decided they would like to learn. We decided a small kit was the way to go and popped down to our local Hobbycraft. Freya selected one of their mini cross stitch kits from their seasonal range. These are a great first kit to teach a child from as they come with everything they need in one little pack are also relatively inexpensive and simple enough for a child to follow with only a little bit of help.
Scarlett couldn’t find anything that inspired her so we went and looked at the Mouseloft range and to her delight they had a mini kit of a giraffe, her favourite animal. These we discovered are also a great first little kit to learn on as they too have everything you need to get started.
It turns out that teaching children to stitch requires a lot of patience. Teaching Freya was easier as we are both right-handed, teaching Scarlett was more of a challenge as she is left-handed and want to stitch in a completely different way to me! Scarlett is still working on her giraffe whilst Freya is hooked and has completed many mini projects, made her own cushion and completed a Gorjuss kit. I think the school holiday will be a creative one! My daughter Freya’s stitching 9 My daughter Scarlett’s progress on her giraffe so far! 10 Joanne is married, with two daughters. She works in a local primary school as a teaching assistant and although her main passion is cross stitch, she loves all crafts and is always busy crafting with her girls.
Charlotte McFall, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK
Those early dark nights are no longer and spring has arrived. Daffodils, crocus and snowdrops peep out of the ground stretching themselves towards the sun. Not only do people feel happier to see all the new shoots on trees but spring offers so many opportunities for cross stitch.
Those that celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day have ample cross stitching opportunities with cards, bookmarks or coasters showing glasses of Guinness, Shamrocks and the ever-cute Leprechauns.
When you think of Mother’s Day as children you remember giving your mother daffodils, but how about a Fabergé-style daffodil egg like the one
made by my friend Lorraine? The Fabergé-style cross stitch patterns would work wonderfully for Easter too. Tsars Alexander III and Nicolas II gave their wives and mothers Imperial Eggs as gifts during Easter. I also found some lovely jewelled egg designs on www.abcstitch.com.
Easter for many is a very religious holiday, with the Crucifixion and then Resurrection on Easter Sunday of Jesus Christ. In the Grande Museo Del Duomo Milan, I saw a beautiful tapestry showcasing the Passion of Christ. I have hunted high and low for a cross stitch version of this 15th Century piece but have yet to find one. It would be my biggest project ever if I followed the size of the original. What is your biggest ever cross stitch project so far? The Passion of Christ 11 & 12 Stitching courtesy of Lorraine Clark 13 Easter stitching by Sandra Johansson 14 Charlotte writes under the name of Misty Shaw, and pens romance for My Weekly Pocket Novels and Mills and Boon. She was the winner of the Carina Mills and Boon Christmas in July Competition.
Nicola Bywater, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
G’day from drizzly Brisbane! It might be a bit wet, but because of the heat, the rain just steams off the roads and adds to the humidity. A good excuse to stay inside, in the air-conditioning, and do something quiet – like cross stitch, or drink cocktails, or both!
I received a parcel recently from my parents who live in the UK. They visit every few years but had extended visits when my children were born. When I had my first son, Mum wanted something to do so we bought a simple cross stitch kit and I showed Mum what to do in between nappy changes! Mum took the kit back to the UK with the promise that she would finish it and return it soon for my son’s nursery wall.
Mum and Dad came out again when my second son was born and the kit came back with them. It was half finished but Mum had run out of thread so supplies were purchased! Again it returned to the UK with the promise of its completion.
The parcel came recently with the incompleted kit inside. Again Mum had run out of thread but a cheery card attached to it said “You know what to do!”. More supplies needed… It will get finished at some point and the boys will know that Nanna made it for them. (My youngest son is now three and my eldest has just started school!) My owl cross stitch that has travelled the globe three times 15 Nicola is married with children, she has been cross stitching for 30 years, but is also a dedicated lace maker. She has recently worked on a publication for The Lace Guild (UK).
Alesya Joy Michelle Nicola
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