Winterwoods ABCs cross-stitch sampler *stitch along*

Hello!  Are there any cross-stitchers out there?  I am not much of one myself (I am very loyal to my knitting needles,) but I have wanted to be ever since I discovered Alicia Paulson’s books and patterns.  I bought her Winterwoods ABCs sampler kit the day she released it.  I have it stored under my craft desk and periodically I pull it out and look at it lovingly and get excited about how cute it would look hanging in my living room.  I have yet to make a single “x” though.  So, I came up with a little idea that might motivate me (and some of you, because I know I am not the only one) to turn this kit into something that can actually hang on the wall.  I called my friend Grace to discuss this matter because I knew she also had the kit tucked away, just waiting, and she agreed that it was time to take action.

(image from

So here’s the plan:

First you need to buy the kit, if you haven’t already.  You can purchase it here on Alicia’s (newly redesigned!) website.  The kit comes with the pattern and instructions, linen, and hand dyed floss.  If you need supplies such as a hoop or needles, those are available in her shop too.

The start date is September 22, the first day of fall.

Throughout the thirteen weeks of fall, the goal will be to complete two letters per week in addition to one or two of the images.

The hope is to finish the sampler by December 21, the first day of winter.

Here’s the accountability part–Grace created a Winterwoods ABCs cross-stitch sampler stitch along group (that’s a mouthful!) on Flickr.  You’ll want to join the group.

At the end of each week (or so–we’re not hardcore) post a photo of your progress in the group pool.  Nothing fancy, no blogging necessary.  Just throw your photo into the pool in the same sort of way that you would mark something off your to-do list and get that feeling of accomplishment.

If you want to learn more about the Winterwoods ABCs Sampler, you can read about it in this post on Alicia’s blog.

I have very little cross-stitching experience so can’t help you with technical questions.  But, Alicia wrote a great tutorial on counted cross stitch which can be found here.  She tells you pretty much everything you need to know to get started and complete this piece.

If you need a little time to think about it, I think that as long as you get started by the end of September, you should be fine.  Someone with great time management skills (that wouldn’t be me-  I won’t speak for Grace) could finish this project over a far shorter period than thirteen weeks.  But for me, I need the entire season of Fall, and I need this group, even if Grace and I end up stitching along just the two of us.  I do hope that some of you will join us though!

Happy Stitching!

(edited to add– While Alicia gave us thumbs up on the stitch-along, we have no affiliation beyond being big fans of her work!)


  1. I love this idea, Ginny!
    I can’t take on any new projects at the moment but I am doing other festive stitching projects – would it be ok to link those up with the stitch along?

  2. LOVE THIS!! I will most likely join you but late – I need to get more $$ in my craft budget first!

  3. I love the idea of a stitch-along but I don’t particularly care for this sampler. I’m gonna check out her shop and see if I can find another I can use. I’ll definitely be watching to see how everyone’s looks though!

  4. Hooray! Jumping in and SO excited! I’ve ordered the kit and my 10 yr and I decided we’d work on this together, taking turns doing a letter. Sounds so fun!

    Thanks to you and Grace for organizing this 🙂

  5. I’ve been thinking about ordering one of Alicia’s samplers forever–I think you’ve finally pushed me over the edge!

  6. Mercy! You women are mind-readers, I swear.

    Not only did I order that beautiful kit when Alicia first released it, but also, I was able to put my hands on it in less than 60 seconds from my seat here at my computer. It is still in its shiny plastic wrapper.

    Adding to the coincidence is that I pulled out most of my embroidery/ cross-stitch supplies this past weekend thinking that I need to make something with them and give my hands a break some nights from the knitting needles that are nearly fused to my skin. I did stitch-doodle a bird the other evening but embroidery doesn’t go well with sub-titled movies for me. Not the way knitting does anyhow.

    Now I will have both more purpose and some camaraderie too. My cramping knitter’s hands thank you for this great idea and the pace seems about my style too. Thank you!!

  7. Hmm…I cross stitched my early teens away and then put it all away. I have a sampler I made when I was 15 on my kitchen wall. I saw a beautiful tree sampler (on my Pinterest page!) and have been thinking about c.s. ever since…this sounds like something I could do!

  8. I want that kit! Can’t afford it right now, but I did just start a sampler my family gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago. I’ll post pictures of that?

  9. That really is a super cute sampler! I did quite a bit of cross stitching back in high school and college, including a few pieces that are still hanging on my walls. My grandmother’s walls are covered in cross stitch, and it always makes me think of her. I think I’ll pass on this project though. Too much Christmas knitting I want to complete! 😉

  10. I used to do that years ago (way before knitting) and loved it. In fact, I made one for my Mom that has the Hummel umbrella boy and girl on it and it is still hanging in her house. I can’t even remember when I made it, probably at least 20 years ago. I am very addicted to my knitting now but have fun and enjoy!

  11. what a great idea. count me in!

  12. Ooh…this is lovely and I have been wanting to try one of Alicia’s kits so count me in!! 🙂 I have yet to try cross-stitching, but I have dabbled in embroidery so hopefully I won’t have too much trouble! I am going to order the kit today, but we leave for vacation on Saturday so I won’t be able to start on it until we get home, which is actually on the 22nd, so this works out perfectly! 🙂

  13. Count me in!! I also ordered Alicia’s kit right after it was released but have yet to make any progress (well I did put the bias tape around my hoop – lol)… This is the kick in the pants I needed to get going. Thanks for organizing!!

    • Oh my gosh, me too–as in, I ordered the kit and a hoop and I wrapped the hoop with the tape, but that’s as far as I got!

  14. So cute! I used to do counted cross stitch before my eyes went & before my babies came 20 yrs ago!

  15. That’s a lovely sample. I’d join in as I have been cross-stitching since I was about 5 or so but I already have several cross-stitch pictures on the wall and my mom gives us a new one for each baby. Plus I have too much cross-stitch stuff sitting in a drawer already. Wish you luck!

  16. Oh Ginny AND Grace!! Yay 🙂 I have been lusting after that kit. You two may be pushing me over the edge. It is soooo Oregon and I would love that for our home. Plus K is learning her letters this year…

    • Yes, Nicole. You HAVE to do this with us.

      • Oh dear, this is almost just too much for me. I so want to do this with you all. It seems a little too crazy to take on during these last months of pregnancy though, especially that most of my making should be for baby and girls at the moment. I have Alicia Paulson’s Embroidery Companion and it is one of my most favorite books, so beautiful! I do much more embroidery than cross-stitch but I love both! I can’t wait to see all the samplers made!
        (And notice I am replying here with Nicole, cause if she does it too it will make me even more wish to be stitching along!)

        • Oh Renee, it’s not that much…just a couple of letters a week….but no pressure of course 🙂 We support you whatever you decide, but would love your company!

      • I am too weak…I gave in!! Now I hope it arrives in time 🙂
        Renee, I’m sorry!!!! 😛 Join us??

        • I am happy for you both. I will just have to try to think of a smaller project to keep myself company with, and I will be thinking of you both, and maybe I will work on this sampler later in the winter or for next. I actually have huge ambitions to do the Folk Sampler from Embroidery Companion someday! Someday…

  17. I love this project! I just ordered my kit! So excited!

  18. tempting, tempting.
    cross stitch is my passion with knitting, crocheting and quilting on the side. But I’m trying to get some big cross stitch projects finished, I have to be smart and say NO. Love the design.
    I’m sure you’ll it. Cross stitch is sooo much fun too.

  19. I am IN!!! I was drooling over the newly released ornament kit just yesterday! So glad to have some stitch along buddies for this sampler 🙂

    Thanks for organizing!

  20. That is so pretty. I would love to join along, but have never cross-stitched. Do you think this is something someone with no experience could execute? I am a fast learner and love to knit (some sewing experience, but novice at that too).

    I think it would be a nice present to give to my son, who is semi-struggling with learning the alphabet.

    • Absolutely! Read through Alicia’s tutorial that I linked to above and see how you feel after reading it. There is nothing difficult about cross stitching, but there are a few things you need to know before you begin. I hope you join us!

  21. Oh how fun! I hope there’s room in this weeks paycheck for that sampler, it is really cute! I love this idea, I’m going to have to remember my flickr account information…

  22. Cute sampler and great idea. I am too busy with rosaries and scapulars, but I’ll be watching and reading! 🙂

  23. What a great idea to get motivated Ginny! I’ve been itching to start cross-stitching again but with Connor still being so young and spare time at a premium I don’t think right now is the time for me.


    But if it was this would be the perfect sampler to start with! I’m going to follow along and live vicariously through you and Grace.

  24. that sounds like fun. 🙂


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