Saturday, July 24, 2010

Australiana Alphabet cross-stitch

I stitched this during the year of 1993.  It was the year we were living in Adelaide, my eldest two were tiny, Craig was away a lot and I spent many evenings alone in the lounge room with this on my lap and a very strong lamp positioned to beam over my shoulder, concentrating on these tiny stitches.  I can remember I set myself a goal of completing one letter each week, and managed to stick to this schedule successfully; I find I always work better to a deadline than to any other motivation...
I had a good friend over there doing one of these same cross-stitches for herself at the same time I was doing mine.  I can still remember it took me over an hour to sort out the embroidery threads that came with the kit; to give you an idea the colours included brown, light brown, very light brown and very very light brown, dark brown, very dark brown and black/brown, and very light mushroom brown, dark tan, tan light tan and very light tan.  Not to mention grey brown, light grey brown, very light grey brown and very very light grey brown!  Laugh!  And that is just the browns!  I'm not even going to start on the greens...  I still have the thread cards on which I've carefully printed out all the colours and also copied the letters needing each one alongside.
It has a different native animal/bird/flower for each letter.  I've included a couple of close-ups of some of my favourite letters; I always loved the colours of the Urchin and the Goanna, my husband favoured the Numbat and Tim like the Australian flag.
Gee, it's been a long time since I did any cross-stitch, and I once enjoyed doing it but now I'm completely over it. Still I'm pretty happy I've got this concrete reminder of what was a very content time for me, when I had a very domesticated life at home with my kiddies.

For those interested in what the letters stand for, here goes:
A; the Australian flag, B; Brolga, C; Cockatoo, D; Dainty Field Mouse, E; Echidna, F; Flannel Flower, G; Goanna, H; Honeyeater, I; Ibis, J; Jabiru, K; Koala, L; Lorikeet, M; Magpie, N; Numbat, O; Orchid, P; Platypus, Q; Quokka, R; Rosella, S; Swan, T; Tawny Frogmouth, U; Urchin, V; Violet (native); W; Wallaby, X; (e)Xtraordinary frill-necked lizard (bit of a stretch, that one!) Y; Yabbie, Z; Zebra Finch

Later edit: Sorry, should have looked this out before, the design is copyright (1984) by Allura Design, PO Box 533, Artarmon NSW 2064, Australia


  1. Oh Caroline! This is fabulous! Is the chart still available? I haven't done any cross-stitch for quite a while either, but I would love to do this for my Nan! She was born in Towoomba,Queensland, and I know she would love this! Her 90th birthday is in September, and this, (even just a few of the letters) would be the perfect gift for her! A few years ago she embroidered a large Australian map, (easily 1m x 1m square) covered with national flowers etc. It is so beautiful, I wish you could see it! If you have any idea where I can get even a copy of the chart and colours please let me know! It will be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

  2. wow. this is really intricate. I love the little animals! I feel like this time at home with gigi must be the sweetest years of life ... my hubby says he hopes not - he hopes it will get even better. :) must be sweet memories for you.

    I think I will be able to do some sewing for the house this week upcoming -- we'll be a little less busy and I might actually be able to have the stay-at-home part of stay-at-home mum! Hope so! I should use your idea and post previous creations when I don't have something new to post (or when I wear sneakers, lol!)

  3. This is certainly beautiful cross stitching. I started cross stitching after my first was born. My husband was shift working and on his night shifts I would cross stitch and absolutely loved doing it then, but not so much now. Like you I also love to look at these and they bring back fond memories. It's a great idea to share them,I will have to post some of my work
    one day :)

  4. Thankyou! Anne,the design is by Allura Design Pty. Ltd. and their address is listed as PO Box 533, Artarmon, NSW 2064, Australia. I've googled them and managed to find this link with the design, it is the third item down... Good luck!

  5. I have this kit too. I've had it for sixteen years and still have about nine letters to do! It's beautiful but so time-consuming. There's a book of Allura's designs that includes the charts for this. It's called Allura's Australia in Cross-Stitch by Jan Skinner and is fairly readily available on Ebay and other online sources. Oh, I see from your last comment that you've found the book too, but it can be bought cheaper than that (secondhand).