Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Retrospective in Cross Stitch...

A little OCD on the thread organisation front...

There you go, I'll admit it - for a very large part of my life I have been quite an avid cross stitcher.  I started as a little girl of probably about 7 or 8 (I can remember going to the haberdashery store and picking out some garish pastel DMC thread to practice with - it was the '80's!)

So I thought I'd share a few of the projects I have done over the last 24 years or so...

Family Tree

This was my first big project and took me a year or so to complete.  I made the last stitch when I was 12 I think (somewhere there is a photo of me doing the last stitch - my mum must have been so relieved it was finally over!).

It was in a thin oak frame (sans mat) at my mums for years but on my return to NZ for a holiday at the beginning of the year I ripped into the frame, took it out and threw it in my suitcase to bring back to Zurich.  For years it was too daggy to hang on the wall, but I think I am ready to re-frame it, with a modern mat etc and put it on the wall alongside this...

The Good Shepherd Sampler.

This was based on an old design (apparently the strange alphabets are historically correct).  I really love this one.

It took me two years and I completed it when I was 14.  I am going to re-frame this one too.  I went to a night class shortly after finishing it to learn how to stretch and bind the aida around acid-free board ready for framing.  Yep. I was a daggy teen doing craft night classes with a bunch of over 40's.  That was how I rolled.

My dog-eared, coffee-stained copy of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit' pattern.

I wish I could say I outgrew my cross stitch obsession, and for a while I did, but when I was 27 and starting to think about starting a family I revisited this Peter Rabbit pattern I bought when I was 14 (it was the next project after the Good Shepherd sampler, but I then became a proper teenager and never completed it).

It took me 14 months to complete and I finished it in my 8th month of my pregnancy with Miss S.  It will always belong to her and I hope she hands it down to her children.  It stands about 1.4m tall and almost a metre wide and cost a small fortune to frame, so she better!

So you can see now why I was so proud of Miss S's first stitches!

(If you want any publishing info on these patterns, which may still be available to purchase from some embroidery supply stores, please email me or leave a comment below).


  1. Rach I can join you in this daggy fact there is a piece sitting right next to me now that I am working on....oh the shame! Mind justification is that it just keeps me occupied....I actually don't like the finished products...would never display them (except for the masterpieces in Connor's room!!) there you go...

  2. Haven't done anything in years, but know exactly where all DMC thread box is as well as some patterns. Let me know if you ever want to have look and borrow any!

  3. Amazing! I actually love the family tree one... Can't believe you did it when you were only 12! So talented. I'm sure your daughter will treasure all of these when she is older.

  4. Hi Rach,
    I remeber you doing those cross stiches. So clever!

  5. I love the Beatrix Potter cross-stitch with the 12 separate images and stories. Could you please advise whether these patterns are available to purchase (and where to purchase them from)? Please email me on

  6. Please let me know if family tree chart is for sale anywhere. I began same 22 years ago and lost chart. Still have half finished work and would be so apply to complete.

  7. Could you please let me know where you got the pattern for the Family Tree you cross stitched - which was posted back in October of 2010. My mother and father -in - law are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and I would so love to make this for them. Your work is beautiful. You can email me at Thanks.

  8. I am looking for a Beatrix Potter Cross Stitch pattern book, so that I am able to stitch an afghan for my baby that is due later this year. Was wondering if you could please let me know where I might be able to find a book the same or similar to yours. Could you please email me at Thank you for your time in advance!
    By the way, your stitching is beautiful! :)

    1. Hi Gwenda,

      Thanks for your lovely comment. I will email you but I'll also put the publishing details here for anyone else who is interested. The Beatriz Potter cross stitch patterns are published by Green Apple Co and you can still buy them in a lot of different places, including Amazon - here is a link:

      You can also try Ebay - if you google "green Apple cross stitch beatrix potter, you'll be able to find something, I'm sure! Not sure what part of the world you are in, so you'd need to find a local stockist or someone who can ship. Thanks, Rachel :)



Thanks so much for your comments - I really appreciate them!

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