Embroidery Family Finished Handmade

The flowers that bloom in the Spring {handmade}


Cross stitch was my gateway craft.  My mum used to stitch and I can still remember the first time she bought a kit for us. It must have been the Christmas holidays because it was a little kit for a poinsettia picture, framed inside a dark green card.  She bought the kit, some extra fabric and cards and matched the threads from her little stash kept in a slightly warped Tupperware bacon box, and we all sat around the big table in my sister’s bedroom and started stitching.  I was hooked from the start. It was like painting by numbers, only with fabric and thread, and from then on I would stitch kits and projects from the covers of magazines and then I started on bigger pictures, and finishing off some of Mum’s projects – the embroidered band that went around our Christmas cake and a picture of flowers falling into a pool she called “weeping hysteria”.

But as I grow older and spent more time commuting on trains, and rediscovered my love of knitting, cross stitch has rather fallen by the wayside; it’s not as easy to do on the train, and at home it’s harder to stitch, keep one eye on the kids and hope that they don’t run off with your pattern than it is to knit with one or both eyes up!

But I’ve not quite given up, and something really special can always tempt me away from the yarn.

Enter onto my screen the lovely Alicia Paulson’s spring pattern releases.  I love the crochet animals, the lamb especially, and I’m sure that at some point in the not too distant future my little trio may end up with a bunny or a lamb, but it was the little Spring Ring that really called to me.

Beautiful colours, silky soft linen to stitch on, and a sheep; what’s not to like.  So I ordered the kit and by the miracle of international shipping it winged its way a third of the way around the globe (ish) and plopped through my letter box.

Now this is not the first kit that I’ve ordered from Alicia.  I have, in my stash, a kit to make a Miss Maggie Rabbit for each of my girls and two if not three of the Christmas ornament sets.  It’s not that I don’t love them and want to make them, I do, I think they’re absolutely beautiful and I want to do them justice and make them perfect, and I know that when I’ve made them they will be gone.  Does anyone else save things that they know they’re going to love making, or making with, because they don’t want them to be gone?

But the other day I watched the girls playing with a sheet of stickers I’d brought home for them.  They were so excited to have them and they jumped straight in; making pictures and moving the stickers around and then sticking them on themselves and their teddies.  And the stickers were gone, but they really didn’t care, they’d had so much fun playing with them.  So when this little kit arrived I didn’t let it anywhere near the studio; I put it on a dresser shelf, and when the children were all happily playing something that didn’t require too much of my involvement I sat down in a patch of sunshine and started to sew.

Space for the Butterflies - Spring Ring Embroidery

Space for the Butterflies - Spring Ring Embroidery

An afternoon and a few evenings later, and here it is.

Space for the Butterflies - Spring Ring Embroidery

Entirely as the pattern states, right down to the pretty blue felt on the back.

Space for the Butterflies - Spring Ring Embroidery

I loved stitching it, as I knew I would, it felt like a real treat to be sitting down each evening to choose which colour to go for next, and I have rather neglected both the knitting and the quilting in its making.

But as every member of the household who can speak in sentences has made a bid for it to be theirs I think it might just have been worth it. And for the record, it’s mine, all mine, even if I haven’t quite worked out where to hang it.

And perhaps it will be an incentive to pull some of those other kits back out of the stash, because I don’t think I mind too much that it’s all gone, although I am very very much hoping that this might be the start of a series of rings and that Summer, Autumn and Winter might come to follow Spring (fingers crossed)

Space for the Butterflies - Spring Ring Embroidery

Joining Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday and Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm, Craft On

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  • Amy 18/03/2016 at 8:23 am

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who naturally want’s to “keep” projects and save them. I have the overwhelming urge to save all my favourite yarn’s and fabrics for special and use up others first. It’s only in recent times I have discovered the in creating with my most precious supplies after all they make the most precious creations!! Happy to read that you have enjoyed making your spring cross stitch. It is beautiful

    • Carie 19/03/2016 at 9:10 pm

      It’s funny how that works isn’t it – I’m also reluctant to use yarn if I don’t think I’m going to use up all of it, which is really hard at the moment with finding just the right amount of yarn in the stash to knit for the girls

  • Sally 18/03/2016 at 8:39 am

    I do have that feeling quite often, but usually it’s more with particular fabric, or maybe even lovely art supplies, and it’s the children who help me with it here too – not just when they do enjoy using something up but also if maybe there’s a particular item of clothing buried at the back of the cupboard that got forgotten and then you find it and it’s suddenly too small, or the same thing might happen with a special toy/game that they’ve then outgrown. Your ring is gorgeous, love those colours, and the other 3 seasons definitely have to follow now.

    • Carie 19/03/2016 at 9:09 pm

      Happily a little bird on Instagram tells me there are plans for the other seasons to follow – I shall commence saving up my pocket money!

  • Kim 18/03/2016 at 10:29 am

    It is lovely Carie. I have been eyeing that cross stitch. I love Alicia’s patterns, I have made a few Maggie Rabbits, and a Mr Basil Fox, and tucked away in my craft cupboard is one of her cross stitch patterns….I might have to dig that out. You have inspired me 🙂

    Have a great weekend.

    • Carie 19/03/2016 at 9:07 pm

      Well (a) go dig out the patterns, and (b) be pushed over the edge on this one – it’s so pretty and so very quick and easy!

  • sustainablemum 18/03/2016 at 7:12 pm

    Oh it’s gorgeous. I would be keeping that for myself too!

    • Carie 19/03/2016 at 9:06 pm

      At the moment I’ve hung it off the end of the curtain rail in the lounge so we can all see it, but it’s really mine all mine!

  • vickie 19/03/2016 at 2:07 am

    Nice job. It has been a while since I did cross stitch as well. I love Alicia’s kits!

    • Carie 19/03/2016 at 9:01 pm

      They are just gorgeous aren’t they, she has such lovely style!

  • Jill 20/03/2016 at 1:05 pm

    Really cute! I like how you finished it with the felt backing.

    • Carie 20/03/2016 at 9:58 pm

      Thank you, it’s part of the kit and it’s a lovely way to make it look nice and neat and tidy without pressing anything up against the stitching 🙂

  • Gwendolyn 22/03/2016 at 1:01 pm

    Your cross stitch turned out beautiful. I’m actually working on mine at work during lunch since I’ve got 3 grandchildren living with me. It does take a little bit more concentration than knitting. Thanks for sharing. Your pictures are gorgeous…and yes, I’ve got several of the softie kits in my closet waiting for the perfect time to work on them.

    • Carie 22/03/2016 at 11:03 pm

      Yay! I’m glad it’s not just me that has a little stash of Alicia kits – they’re so gorgeous aren’t they!

  • Chris 22/03/2016 at 7:28 pm

    I used to cross stitch, until I had littles, now I find my old eyes are just not for it. Plus, my knitting is portable and I don’t have to look to do it. But what a sweet project.

    • Carie 22/03/2016 at 11:06 pm

      I think knitting will always be my first crafty love but I like to dabble with everything else!