Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pretty Little Syndey

I am lucky to have really awesome in-laws.  My husband's parents love me like I am their own child, and they have been a big source of support to me.  They celebrated their 40th anniversary last summer, and I wanted to give them something special.  It was around that time that I discovered Satsuma Street Designs, a cross-stitch pattern company, and knew that one of their patterns would make the perfect gift.

Jody Rice, the designer behind Satsuma Street, likes to create patterns that combine retro shapes with bright colors.  She is becoming well known for her line of Pretty Little City patterns, which depict recognizable landmarks in cities around the world.

My in-laws are world travelers, and their house is filled with unique items from their travels.  There's the batik painting of Shabbat candles my mother-in-law made during a class in Indonesia, and a kiddush cup they had custom made when they went to Iran before the revolution.  They are social workers by day, but my father-in-law runs a boutique travel agency as a hobby business.  Last year, they lead a group trip to Australia and New Zealand, so I figured that they would enjoy a cross-stitched cityscape of Sydney.

Working on this made me realize just how little I actually know about Sydney aside from the Opera House, so I would look up the buildings as I went.  (Now the Pretty Little Sydney patterns come with a key for identifying landmarks.)  Still, the picture is fun to look at even if you aren't familiar with the city.  I like the bright palette of blues, greens, yellows, and oranges.  It was simple enough to be beginner friendly, but has enough detail to make it distinct.  My friends especially love the little surfer made of only a few stitches.  I just put it in a hoop for the picture.  I'll need to get it framed, and hopefully the lines of the buildings won't go wonky in the final version.

The other patrons of Home Ec's Saturday breakfasts were surprised over why I was making this.  When I told one woman it was for my in-laws, her eyes grew wide.  "Wow.  You must REALLY like them."  Yes, I do!  I didn't exactly complete it in time for my in-laws' 40th anniversary.  (It still counts if it is one month before their 41st, right?)  Luckily, they loved the picture I sent them and are willing to wait a bit longer so I can enter it in the State Fair.  I could probably spend the next several anniversaries giving them stitched versions of places they've visited; however, as a Chicago native I think I need to work on the Pretty Little version of that city next!


  1. well done on the finish, it's lovely. I love Satsuma Street patterns, though I've yet to buy one as I have too many patterns in my cross stitch queue already. I'd love a Moscow one, I hope she does some more.

    1. Moscow would be cool. I'd also like to see Prague and Jerusalem. It really makes you think about what cities have buildings or landmarks that are recognizable enough to be identified in one glance.