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…

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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).

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Char­lotte Joanne Alesya Joy Michelle Ni­cola

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