Nice Surprise…

I received a package completely out of the blue containing a piece of beige Aida. I thought it was strange as I already have a large quantity of this and was worried that I had placed an order by mistake.

It wasn’t until  opened it fully that I noticed in the middle was a letter from the magazine that I entered the Queen’s Birthday bunting competition with.

It was thanking me for my entry and hard work in researching the project and asking if I have any other designs as they would be interested in seeing some photos.

It was a big shock and I was really pleased. As it was only my first time in designing something from scratch I don’t have anything else completely new, but on my walk this week I did come up with a few ideas for when I clear all my current projects.

It has filled me with more confidence that maybe I do know what I am doing and more determination to figure out how to use cross stitch software to make my life a little easier!


Making Money From Cross Stitch and Crafting…

I was wondering if anyone out there had advice on selling their craft work. I have been told by different people that I should look to sell some of the things that I have made for their kids as they know people who would like them but I don’t really know where to start.

I have a list of ideas for new designs I would like to try out as I’m not sure if you can sell things you have made from published designs, I maybe wrong. But I have no idea where to start in terms of making these designs into cross stitch patterns.

I know if I could make them into a pattern there are websites I can advertise them on so that people could download and make them for themselves. I could also look at selling the designs to magazines as well but I have never used cross stitch pattern software.

I downloaded a couple of free trials of software but on quick looks I was unable to figure out how to use them. I guess I need to work through the tutorials and see if they are workable.

I would be prepared to pay for a full version of software if it was useable to create my designs. I can draw something into a pattern that I would understand to create but something other people can follow is different.

I would also be interested in any books or websites people might have found helpful.

Selling crafts is something that my Mum would like to do when she retires and I have been looking at different options that she is interested in. I just thought I would throw it out to the internet to see what works in the real world.

Ideally we would like to build up a bit of stock and then look at having an online store or attending craft fairs. We went to one earlier in the year that was interesting at the ExCel and we are going to another one in September at Hampton Court Palace which will hopefully give us more of an idea.

Any help or advice would be appreciated. If anyone could recommend any good craft shops or craft fairs in London or surrounding areas that would also be great. We might travel further if it was something that was a must see!

Anyone come across pitfalls of selling or problems with getting insurance etc.?

Thanks a lot, and hopefully I’ll be able to get to know some of you a little better… Charlie.

Name Plates for Kids…

One of my oldest friends recently had a baby boy to add to their little girl who is now 3 (I think). Being a subscriber to Cross Stitch Crazy and buying odd (let’s be honest, pretty much monthly) copies of other Cross Stitch magazines I have come across lots of lovely designs for letters that would suit children’s projects.

I had in particular seen one that was suitable for a boy so I was hoping she would have a little boy, not only as we had been teasing her about it for months but I would also get chance to stitch the design.

As soon as I heard about the new arrival I set to work on stitching the name plate for her little girl, Lettie as I didn’t want her to feel left out. I know sometimes people send lots of presents for the new baby but I normally try to make sure others feel included.

I trawled through every magazine and sampler set I had until I narrowed down a selection of 3 types of lettering I liked, finally settling on sweet and ice cream themed letters as I thought this would have more longevity as she got older.

I brought a batch of cream coloured Aida in a sale in Hobby Craft that I hadn’t got around to opening and as I have a sewing box full of skeins I was ready to start. I managed to find almost every colour exactly from the chart and where I was missing I just used what I had that would match. I used some silver thread for the accentuating as I thought that would set it off nicely.


I took the lettering from Cross Stitch Crazy Magazine June 2016 Issue 216 Page 74.

Just as I was finishing the project my friend told me they had named her son Barnaby or Barney for short so I could now start on his name plate.

I dug out the magazine from my pile and found the train themed lettering that I had been waiting to use. I used the same Aida as I had for Lettie and picked the skeins from what I already had.

Instead of following the colour scheme for each letter as I had with Lettie, I decided for Barney I would rotate 3 colours in order. The letters were all mostly the same colour in the pattern with a couple of odd colours so I liked the idea of sticking to 3 colours and I think it made it look even better. I wish I’d have picked 3 vibrant colours and done that with Lettie to make it stand out a little more.


I took the lettering for Barney from Cross Stitch Crazy Magazine August 2015 Issue 205.

Once I had them finished I wanted to get frames for them so they could be hung on the wall. I wanted something quite narrow in either white or plain wood so that it would fit in with most colour schemes, not having seen the children’s bedrooms.

I searched a few shops and then trawled online looking for frames but everything was too big and would mean having big mounts inside the frame which made it look pointless.

I did a Google search and came across a company called eFRAME which made frames to order. They sell the frames at a discount if you order 2 or more of the same size, but sadly Barney was longer than Lettie, although they were the same depth so I needed to have two different frames made.

L&B Framed

I was really happy with the finished product. I had to make a mount from some thick beige paper to go on the inside as the width was the minimum that they could make but I think it looks good.

I posted them off to my friend without her knowing anything about them and she loved them. She said there were better than anything you can get online so I was really pleased. I got lovely thank you cards from her and her parents thanking me for my kindness. But in truth it was a pleasure to make them and it helps me relax so I don’t see it as a chore at all!

The Queen’s 90th Birthday

I saw a competition in Cross Stitcher magazine to design a piece of bunting to mark the Queens 90th Birthday.

I’d never designed a pattern from scratch before so the idea intrigued me. I sat and thought about what I would like to put on my design that made me think of the Queen.

When I think of the Queen I think of her crown’s and I remembered seeing one with purple silk inside it so I googled pictures of it and found it was the Imperial State Crown that I was thinking of.

I wanted that to be the centre piece of my design but soon found it was not so easy to create a design from scratch. After a failed attempt at drawing out my idea I made a mock-up cross stitch following along the lines of the photo to see what worked and what didn’t.

Once I was happy I had the outline worked out I started on the finished design. I now had a piece of bunting with a crown in the middle and I was pretty happy with it.

Then I thought of the Queen’s Emblem the E R II with the crown on top. As I already had a crown I stitched the E R II and 90 at the bottom of the bunting.

I wanted the Union Jack or Union Flag if you prefer to featured so I centred this above the crown and added the dates either side to mark the 90 years.

It looked like it needed something to finish it off so I added a string of red, white and blue bunting across the top and I was done.

Queens 90th Birthday Bunting

I don’t think it looked bad in the end, certainly not for a complete design beginner. There are a couple of elements I would like to perfect on the lettering and numbering, maybe on the spacing and content too but that will come with practice.

Here it is (botom right hand corner) on Page 48 of Cross Stitcher Magazine Issue 306.

Cross Stitcher Magazine 306