Steven and I chose four different trees that we like for inclusion in our little quartet, and the first one I stitched was the maple. The maple made the cut because we have a maple tree in our yard, because the maple leaf has an interesting shape, and because everyone knows that they deserve it after being oppressed by the oaks for so long.
Here's a snapshot of my original sketch along with some early stitching. Silhouette cross-stitches are ideal for a commuting stitcher like me; once the outline is done, it's so easy to sit on the train and fill it in without needing to count or consult a pattern any further!
And here's a progress pic that I captured on my ride to work one morning:
As you can see in this image, I decided to experiment with stitching all the left to right stitches first...
i.e., these stitches: /
and then I went back over the whole thing and stitched my right to left stitches.
i.e., these: \
I WILL NEVER DO THIS AGAIN. This piece had a weird optical effect because it was stitched like this, and it gave me a wicked headache to look at it for the rest of the project!
But I persevered of course. And here's how it looked post-stitching, washing and steaming (I'm using a steamer on my work these days instead of an iron, and I much prefer it—I think it's gentler on the threads):
Here's a close-up:
And this morning in a fit of ambition, it was framed!
Up next: the maple's oppressor, the mighty oak!