First Snow Available for Pre-Ordering

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The First Snow Cross Stitch Sampler Kit is now available for pre-order! Please CLICK HERE to order.

Finished Size of Design Area: 6"wide x 9"h (15cm x 23cm); 104 stitches wide x 144 high on 32-count fabric

The kit contains:

One 14" x 16" (36cm x 41cm) piece of 32-count embroidery linen in Star Sapphire by Wichelt
(55) 24" (61cm) lengths of various colors of DMC 6-ply cotton embroidery floss
Stitching instructions
Illustrated stitch tutorial for special stitch
Full-color cross-stitch chart with symbols over color blocks
One piece of chipboard for creating a floss organizer

You will need your own:

#24 tapestry needle(s) for cross stitch
Embroidery scissors
4" (10cm) embroidery hoop
Frame and framing supplies

If you are new to counted cross stitch, or need a refresher on the basics, please see my "how to do counted cross stitch" tutorial here.

 

Hello, my friends. I have a new design for you. I really love designing cross-stitch patterns. I NEED TO DO MORE OF THEM. I love them. I love the process of designing them. I usually start with one element — in this case, I couldn't stop thinking about what happened this summer when the bird stepped onto my finger. I've seen on Instagram that this is a whole thing, people who feed birds out of their hands. I think my heart would explode in a shower of birdseed if that actually ever happened to me. But this summer a little chickadee did walk onto my finger. He had flown through our (open) window into the dining room, and spent the morning flying from curtain rod to pendant cord to lampshade, not seeming to be in any distress but singing merrily away for hours. I was eventually able to coax him onto my finger and carry him back over to the open window, where he flew off (but not before trying to climb a ways up my arm, away from the window — ha!). Nothing like this has ever even come close to happening to me before, and honestly, I still think about it more often than you might believe. Every once in a while, when I'm sitting in traffic, or listening to the news, or carrying groceries — in other words, something generally not-my-favorite — I'll suddenly remember: A chickadee walked onto my finger! And in that moment I can feel his nervous little feet, remember how light he was, remember how my heart raced, and how I held my breath. . . . It really was like magic. . . . Well, that's what initially inspired this piece. So I started with that.

But then, after that, it's always a little bit of a mystery where the rest of the elements come from. Things just start popping into my head. I can see a little scene, almost like a little dream. I peek in on it. It feels a certain way. I knew the air was cold and clear there. I smelled the pine and heard the geese overhead. And then, as in my real-life, ever-present dream, I saw the snow starting to fall. And all of this comes in a bit of a rush. And so I draw quickly, even though I can't draw. I just put vague outlines of the elements, moving the pieces around until it feels right. And then I begin to work on the details of each element. And this can take me a while. I look at old cross-stitch books and photos of animals and houses on Early American samplers, and start putting together all of these little things I love. And then I sit around with everything for a few days, moving things a stitch or two to the left or right — and sometimes even hastily scrapping an entire element and swapping in something else. I'm weirdly pedantic ("They don't make the right shade of mauve for this!") and then weirdly capricious ("I'm getting rid of everything on the left side. Delete!"). And when it finally comes together in a way that pleases me just enough, I STOP, and print the chart, and just get stitching. And then again, I go go go. When I'm focused on my Posie projects, I'm intensely focused until I'm finished. If I don't finish in a burst, woe to the future of that project. It probably won't become a product. I like a lot of quiet (though my life is not very quiet, ever) but I can be intensely verbal sometimes. I find it fairly easy to express myself verbally. But there must be this other part of me that communicates in pictures, because when I'm designing patterns, especially cross-stitch patterns, I find that they satisfy a deeper, more mysterious need, one that's both visual and tactile.

Because I think I enjoy the stitching of the pattern every bit as much as I enjoy the designing of it. There's a strange sort of existential (I'm getting deep) relief in just following the chart. I feel the same way about knitting patterns, and even sewing patterns. Just, seriously, give me the chart so I can turn off the decision-making part of my brain. I, personally, do not improvise on the fly too much. I like to get all my changes down — I like to think them all through, if there have to be any at all, and then I like to get them down on paper so that I can relax. I only ever do the actual handwork part of crafting at night. And I'm tired at night. I'm not a night person and I never have been. I'm industrious but only in the quietest, most specific ways, and they involve nightgowns. And travel shows. And needles and threads of various sorts. And feet up up up. And not much thinking. Patterns are a blessing.

I think you will like this because, although it has taken me years — like, years and years — I've finally learned something about framing finished pieces of embroidery. It should be less expensive and I should do even more of it myself. To that end, no more custom-sized designs from me. I'm only going to design things from now on that fit in a ready-made frame. Framing custom pieces is just way, way too expensive. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to understand this. I'd much rather save my money to spend on supplies and patterns or kits (yes, biased) than frames.

So, to that end, this kit (like Love and Joy, last year's pattern) is designed to fit in a ready-made 8" x 10" frame. All you need to do is make sure the frame is deep enough to fit a piece of foam core (and glass, if you want to use glass. I never use glass. I don't like it. I have my embroidered pieces hanging all over the house, and I don't feel that they suffer appreciably for being exposed). What you will do is wrap you embroidery around a piece of foam core, and stretch it with the help of about a million sequin (about 1/2" long) straight pins. You can read my tutorial about how I've done that in the past (though I finished the rest of the framing with custom frames at a frame shop). But with an 8" x 10" piece you can even buy the pre-cut foam core at the craft store (JoAnn's or Michael's, or easily online) for just a couple of dollars. A frame store can also cut foam core for you for just a few dollars if you ask nicely.

I'm not trying to take anything away from frame shops or people who do a really good job framing embroidery. In my experience, though, there aren't that many of them out there, and it does take some skill. You could obviously take anything to a frame shop and have it done by them if you want to. But if you don't, and you have the patience and the time, framing something yourself for very little money can be really rewarding and a really fun part of the project as a whole.

This kit is done with two plies of DMC cotton embroidery floss on 32-count linen. That means it has sixteen stitches per inch. If you are interested in seeing a tutorial on counted cross stitch, please read the one I did here. Also, because it will take us into November to get these kits out to you, it will give me time to post a more in-depth discussion of cross-stitching, so if, after reading that first tutorial you find that you still have questions, please ask them here so that I can address all of them in another post to come.

Okay! Phew.

 

This kit will be shipping sometime in the second half of November. We will order fabric based on the number of pre-orders we get over the next several days, and I'll keep you posted on our assembly progress.

The pattern-only option will also be available separately as a downloadable PDF, but not until sometime in November. I'll post here when that is ready, too.

 

As you probably know, I also carry my favorite supplies in my web shop, should you need lovely, high quality tools. These are the exact ones that I use every day For this project, we have:

Scissors1

Gorgeous little embroidery scissors.

Hoop1

Hardwicke Manor 4" hoops.

Tape1

Twill tape to wrap around the inner hoop. You don't need to do this, but it's nice, and provides more tension to keep the fabric from slipping out of the hoop as you stitch.

TapestryNeedles1

And size #24 tapestry needles for cross stitch on linen.

All supplies will be shipped along with your kit.

 

We do ship overseas! To place your order, you will be required to read this information, which contains details about international shipping and customs fees you may incur when ordering outside the U.S. (If you are overseas, the shipping cost charged by Posie does not include any further charges you may incur when importing goods.) To see the shipping-only costs for your order and location, just place the items in your cart and choose your location (or enter your zip code, if you are in the U.S.) and it will tell you how much the shipping is. As usual, I have a sincere request: Please check on and update your shipping address correctly in your Paypal preferences so that there is no confusion when we go to ship. If you do need to add things to your order or change your address after you've placed the order, just email me and we'll figure it out, no worries! I just like to remind people of this ahead of time, because it's a bit easier.

As I said last year, there is something so poignant and sweet about winter holiday crafting, to me. I honestly think it's the dearest, most optimistic kind of making we do all year. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to come from the heart. I hope this new little sampler kit provides you with many (but not that many; it's just the right size) quiet hours of peaceful stitching this season. And I hope it snows where you, and I, both are.

Love and joy to you,
Alicia

38 comments

OhYes! I've been checking every day! It's beautiful. Love the geese and berries!

Stefanie P. says: October 27, 2017 at 11:29 AM

How cute is this?!! Love the quilt on the clothes line...and the snow on the roof...and...well ALL OF IT!!!

Yippee!! I've been checking your blog everyday waiting for this. It's very pretty and I can't wait to get started. Thank you!!

Hello Alicia; Lovely work! Last year we had our first big snowfall on October 27 here in Ottawa, Canada, so it is appropriate that you release this kit today. I'm hoping it will be a bit later this year!I love everything about this design, especially the large, delicate snowflakes.

Give me the chart so I can turn off the decision-making part of my brain, and I’m industrious in ways that involve nightgowns...it’s like you’re inside my head!! Thank you for sharing your process, I love reading about how you create. Can’t wait to pre-order tonight! Happy Friday!

Eeee so excited! I ordered two--one to do for my home, and one to make as a gift for my mom. If you design more, I will buy them all-- the other patterns out there just don't compare, and I was so sorry to miss the kit you offered last year.

I love this! Is there any way to guarantee a ship date? Trying to figure out if I could get this in time to give to my daughter on her birthday (Nov 18) We live up in Washington. I'm guessing you probably can't, or don't know, but just checking in case. :)

Beautiful! Perhaps I haven't read carefully enough, but do you get a printed pattern with the kit or is it only going to be available as a downloadable pattern? Thanks!

Melissa,
Oh yes, the pattern will be printed and included in the kit! Edited text about the PDF to clarify. Thank you! XO, a

Hosanna, I wish I could guarantee a date, but there’re too many moving pieces, and a fabric order that I can’t control ship date on, so sadly, I doubt it will be to you by November 18. I’m sorry!
XO, a

KristenfromMA says: October 27, 2017 at 01:41 PM

I love it! I will be purchasing the pattern only, as my cross stitch stash is SABLE* many times over. ;)

What you wrote about preferring to spend money on charts and materials rather than on framing is a common sentiment among stitchers. There's no reason to not attempt DIY framing. It can be a bit fiddly, sure, but it's really not that difficult. Just take your time!

*Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy

why will my credit card not be taken now. will it be later?

Patti Dunaway says: October 27, 2017 at 02:27 PM

OH MYYYY!!!!! How sweet is this pattern! I have been waiting, holding my breath, just dying to see what you came up with and it is even better than I could have hoped for. Been following your blog since you posted something a million years ago about how stitching just helps "right the ship" and your designs do just that. And yes please design many many more, especially if they will fit into standard size frames (a nice plus). Can't wait to get started!

It's absolutely beautiful Alicia, you have such a talent for cross stitch design. You've captured the cold perfection of winter so well.

I love how you write about this beautiful, creative process of yours! I buy your cross-stitch, your felt ornaments, and your supplies, and they never leave the package. I want to be the person who sits in front of travel shows and goes into the Zen experience of cross-stitching. It hasn't happened yet (I am 70 years old), but, I look at my stash each Winter, and it makes me happy to think I might turn into that person at any time! Thank you!

There is such a quiet beauty in your cross stitch designs. This one makes me think of By the Shores of Silver Lake.

Another beautiful design, Alicia, well done.

Like you, i love holiday crafting but mine is summer work here in Australia. I ordered a Maggie Rabbit kit from you a couple of years ago and had no problems with the delivery. It was fast and uncomplicated. I started work on my project two weeks after ordering it. That rabbit is now a treasured friend to my grand-daughter. :- )

It's lovely. I do hope you may change your mind someday about the frames, or go with bigger designs. Some of my most treasured art pieces around the house are my samplers. I know I paid a lot for them in the end, but they are stunning with the custom frames and unique sizes. I look at them with delight every day.

It's darling - so sweet and I enjoyed reading about your creative process! Of course, I had to pre-order a kit too and can't wait to begin stitching! Thanks for your recipes and so nice of you to always share with us. Sure wish you were my neighbor! Your blog/posts are the next best thing.

Nancy Mosley says: October 28, 2017 at 04:50 AM

What a pretty little pattern!! I think your chickadee story is so special!!! And thanks for making the pattern 8x10 as that is so helpful. 🙂

Well, it snowed yesterday here in Wisconsin and as I awaken and looked out our bedroom window the snow is still covering the grass. So yes it is time to curl up at night with a lovely cross stitch pattern to stitch. Thank you for sharing your talent with us!

Katie Morene says: October 28, 2017 at 08:35 AM

Saw this 70s fabric and thought you might need this in your life. How cool would it be for clothes for your favorite girl next summer!
http://www.laurelleaffarm.com/item-pages/lot-70s-vintage-red-white-navy-blue-fabric-prints-strawberries-flower-power-daisies-Laurel-Leaf-Farm-item-no-nt10332.htm

Andrea Rose says: October 28, 2017 at 10:04 AM

Alicia,
Your work, your blog, the part of your life you share here, offer me a place for my mind to go to restore my heart. I thank you. I am so grateful to have found you.
Much love from Minnesota (we got the most beautiful snow fall yesterday!)
-Andrea Rose

Oh! I'm so excited to get my craft for the Holidays. I just got done pre ordering! It looks so beautiful Alicia! Thank you!

I work at a vet hospital that sees birds. The first time I held one on my finger, I about exploded with bird seed, too. They are SO LIGHT, almost weightless, and somehow I didn't expect that! I held my breath, too, and got a little lightheaded from excitement! (well, probably also from not breathing) LOVE that you think of this and incorporated it into this art work! Hugs and snowy days to you! (so hope it snows this year!)

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.