When I was a child I loved embroidery, and my stitching passions progressed to tapestry and finally cross stitch. Over the years I’ve spent many hours making up kits for family and friends. Anything from birth samplers to Christmas stockings, I even completed a 2 foot high Tutankhamun Death Mask which hung in my dining room for years. But since having my son, my spare time shrunk and I put my needle and threads away. It’s only recently that I’ve rekindled my love of Cross Stitch with Coats Crafts UK.
Coats Crafts UK are a mecca for anyone who loves embroidery, sewing, knitting and crochet. They stock an abundance of supplies to keep any stitcher happy. When I’m looking for a cross stitch project, I always love one with lots of colour variation and an interesting subject. I love birds and the Birds and Seasons kit just stood out. Yes, that was the project for me.
The kit comes with the charts for both stitching and detailing, the fabric, needle and threads already colour sorted (always makes life a little easier when kits come like this). I already have a frame, so once I’d found the middle of my fabric (and marked it with a stitch) I stitched the material to the frame and was ready to get started.
I had envisaged that this kit would take me about 6 weeks to complete, as I’d only have evenings to work on it, and not every evening at that. Sadly I hadn’t allowed for my eyesight. I’d completed a Poppy cross stitch earlier in the year last year with no problems. But when I started this new kit, it soon became clear that I was having problems focusing on the stitches and the holes in the fabric.
I’d been wearing contact lenses for years and had reading glasses for bedtime reading. But even with those I just couldn’t see what I was doing well enough. I tried a magnifying glass and although that helped a bit, it wasn’t a long-term solution. Rather than dealing with the issue head on, and going straight to the Optician, I buried my head in the sand. If I’m honest, I was terrified that I’d be told I just wouldn’t be able to do this kind of close up work any more. I didn’t want to hear that, so I stupidly, just put the cross stitch down, and avoided the issue. Which of course I wasn’t really doing, because I just kept thinking about it, and it got me down.
I’d been posting a day by day progress photo on my Instagram feed and everyone loved seeing the birds come to life. Eventually I realised that I was being totally ridiculous and that I just needed to know what was happening to my eyesight. So it turned out I needed vari-focal glasses, and my contact lenses were just not man enough to cope with my visual needs. I felt so silly, why had I not sorted this out months ago. As soon as I put my glasses on and ditched the contacts, I could see the difference in my vision instantly. I picked my cross stitch up again and almost cried with relief. I could see well enough to complete my project. A project that had sat unloved for months, what a fool I had been.
So anyway, once I could actually see what I was doing it was time to really crack on. I’d always had it in mind that this would be a present for a dear friends 70th birthday in June this year. Could I complete the task in time?
I’ll let the pictures doing the talking, I love seeing a design appear in front of my fingers. This was has just been so beautiful to complete.
The birds took shape and the seasons changed. The main cross stitching was complete and now it was time for the details to be highlighted, using back-stitch and french knots. I love this time, as you really get to define the stitching and really bring the design fully to life.
The instructions were easy to follow and I had more than enough thread to complete the task. Once I’d taken the design off my frame, I washed it by hand and pressed it. A quick trip to my local framer would complete the project. I picked a green border and a wooden frame that hopefully will go well with my friends furniture.
Today is my friend’s birthday, and I hope she loves the finished design as much as I loved completing it.
I’m so glad I’ve got my eyesight sorted out and that I could enjoy my experience of completing this Cross Stitch with Coats Crafts UK.
disclosure: we were sent the item mentioned in exchange for an honest review