Christmas Countdown Cross Stitch Pillow

Okay – first, can I just say this is the cutest cross stitch?!

After I finished the Halloween Haunted House Cross Stitch, I moved onto this adorable Christmas Advent Calendar by CloudsFactory. I started this pattern in December 2015 and simply never got around to finishing it until now. At first, I thought I would stitch all the borders and attempt to finish a box a night, but it made more sense to dive in where I could and go for it.

Well… after finishing a few squares, I did go back to the framing idea. This turned out to be the way to go. Without the framing, I couldn’t visualize how big the space was and I was bogged down in feeling overwhelmed by the sheer size of the piece. My motivation tanked. Lesson learned.

If you haven’t caught on by now, I’m horrible at predicting the amount of time each cross stitch piece will take. By the end of December, I had successfully framed out the entire piece, and then tucked it away.


Once my dance card had cleared up, I brought the piece back out and powered through frame by frame. This piece was particularly tricky for two reasons.

First, a singular frame could use 8-10 different colors. While not entirely difficult, having to start new colors repeatedly really slows you down. There’s a lot of negative space in this piece as well so dragging colors across the fabric could create a messy back that may be visible from the front side. And we certainly don’t want that.

The second tricky element was the metallics. I love the effect of metallic thread but working with it? That’s another story. Metallic thread has unique fibers that tend to shed, twist, or break while stitching. I’ve found that keeping my threaded pieces short rather than long enough to cover a full area prevents unwanted situations from occurring.

When it was all said and done, this piece was so worth all the time and effort spent on it. I immediately knew I wanted to turn it into a decorative pillow from the start, so I was very excited to move to the next step.

I mean, look how cute this is! It has to be on display during the holidays!

I purchased red and white polka dot fabric from Jo-Ann Fabrics for the border and back. Because the design is an irregular size, I had to create the pillow from scratch, using folded quilt batting for the stuffing. Therefore, I lined the back of the design with white cotton fabric to keep the design free from fibers poking through.

I about had a heart attack when I started sewing this piece. I was so in love with it and hoped nothing would go wrong.

Well… something did go wrong. If you look closely at the photo below, I didn’t take into consideration the difference in size of the aida borders on the design. Meaning, my stitches on the design were closer to the edge of the fabric at the top and bottom than they were on the sides. So when I went to sew on the border, the red border was further from the design on the sides than on the bottom. Oof! Such a silly mistake!


In the end, the border mistake ended up being a nonissue. While noticeable to me, I’m not sure how many people will pick up on the mistake because they will be blooooown away by the adorable cross stitch design. I’m so happy to have this new piece of holiday decor!

Design: Christmas Advent Calendar by Cloudsfactory

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