Engagement Card


I made this card from a design I found in Samplers Cross Stitch Favourites Spring 2016. I had brought a card from a shop but it disappeared the night before the party so I had to make my own.

I used the thread I already had in my sewing box which was slightly different from the colour scheme of the original design but it is mostly the same.

I just managed to finish it about 15 minutes before I was due to get dressed to leave the house!

In the end I think it turned out better as now they have a personalised reminder of their engagement rather than a shop brought one.


Stitching Onto Fabric

I’ve always wondered about stitching onto fabric using soluble Aida so I thought I would give it a try.

My sister does a lot of baking and I wanted to do her a kitchen themed cross stitch I’d seen in a magazine but she said she didn’t want any craft stuff. So I thought I would get an apron and stitch her name onto the pocket.

She loves red and I managed to find a plain beige cotton apron almost like evenweave with red trim in Dunelm which I thought would be perfect.


I tacked the plastic Aida onto the pocket, where I could still get my hand inside to stitch comfortably.

I then found some nice decorative lettering from Cross Stitch Crazy Issue 210 which I thought would look very smart.

It wasn’t an easy task stitching onto the fabric as the plastic kept moving and I was losing track of where I was but eventually I managed to get the design finished.


Then I had to dissolve the plastic which meant boiling a kettle of water and pouring it over the design I had laid in a bowl. It took a couple of goes to make sure the plastic was all gone but in the end it all worked out.


All there was left to do was dry and iron the apron before wrapping it for my sister’s birthday.

She liked the finish product but I forgot to take a picture of it! She didn’t believe it was cross stitch as the design I’d chosen was more back-stitch than actual crosses but I think it all came out well in the end.

I satisfied a curiosity for using plastic soluble stitching but I don’t know if I would use it again. It was difficult stitching on an enclosed area like the pouch of the apron and the design would have looked better more central, but there was the issue of being able to get my hand inside to make the stitches.

I think everyone should try it at least once just to get an idea of what it’s like. It is fun watching the backing disappear and seeing your design form part of something new.


Anchor Victorian Sampler


I liked the idea of stitching a sampler to work on different styles all in one piece. I found this sampler in a sale a couple of years ago and decided to add it to my collection.

I liked the use of colours and how they fitted well together and found the design easy to stitch.

I think I need to work on using frames more to help with holding the design whilst stitching. I have some wooden bars that can be adjusted in size and slid together to create frames but nothing big enough to hold a design of this size.

I keep thinking it would be nice to have a floor standing frame but at present I don’t have the space for it. Maybe one day I will. It would be nice to have a room dedicated to crafting with good lighting and storage.

Until then I’ll have to carry on as I am either rolling the fabric or using some sort of framing.



I’ve been working on my own designs for a little while now, it’s a good way to make use of my sewing box full of threads.

It made me think, looking through the box for a particular colour the other day. I have so many threads of different thickness, age, condition, some branded, some non-branded from cheap sets but to me they are all equal.

I have brought specific threads for magazine projects I wanted to complete but then I look in my sewing box and think, ‘why don’t you use what you have already’?

I have threads that were my Aunts (who died when I was 3) and my Mums from when she stitched years ago, I have threads that were brought for me and I buy a lot of threads. Especially when I see a nice colour I would like to work with or a good price reduction.

I have enough thread in my box to make hundreds of designs and I keep buying more, it really is like an obsession!

I’m making a needle bag for my Mum and instead of buying the threads from the pattern I decided to do it wholly from threads that I have in my sewing box.

I’m working on some Christmas decoration designs and a stocking advent calendar and I will use all my own threads for that too.

I realised that my Aunt would love to know I carried on stitching with her tools and by using her threads in my work she comes along with it. I used some of it in the design I made for my Nan and it was nice as they were very good friends.

Plus the more I use it up the more room I have to buy new threads!!

I’m not sure that all threads are created equal. The modern DMC and Anchor threads are so easy to work with but I find when you use an older thread or a cheap version you find it can frey, break more and isn’t so easy to untangle.

I have brought some colour thread packs from the pound shop before, 20 nicely coloured skeins in a pack for £1, how could I not buy them! I haven’t tried to work with them yet but I’m sure they’ll be fine.

Maybe once I use up all my old and non-branded skeins I will treat myself to one of those DMC or Anchor complete sets that come in wooden drawers and start my threads afresh!

Design Works: Bird Cage


I started this as a Mother’s Day present for my Mum and I finished it 2 weeks ago so it was a few months late. She knew it was coming though so it was fine. It always takes you much longer to complete a project than you expect it will, at least it does in my experience!

It was probably one of the most adventurous designs I have worked on to date. I found working with so much silver thread a challenge. It was a course thread to work with and shard quite a lot, I’m used to using softer threads.

I ran out of two colours and had to contact Design Works for replacements. They were very helpful and sent plenty of thread replacements so I could complete the design.

I have never had to attach beads or embellishments before so that was a new skill to learn. The beading around the neck made it impossible to include the glass in the frame once I mounted it.

It was the first time I had framed a piece of work in this way. I found it difficult to iron out all of the creases and stretch the fabric around the back board of the frame evenly to ensure it sat right. I’m quite clumsy with stuff like that as I don’t have much patience, I just want to get it over with.

In the end I think it came out well. My mum is interested in art deco at the moment, I hung the cross stitch on the wall near her other picture cards and it fits in well. What I like about it is from a distance you can’t tell that it is cross stitch, you only notice when you are closer to it.


Christmas Advent Calender

I saw this design in a magazine and wanted to make one for my cousin’s little girl. I showed it to my brother’s girlfriend and she started making one for her relative so we raced each other to finish.


It wasn’t easy to find the right material and it would help if the magazine gave you some idea of how to put it all together. Luckily my Mum is a dab hand at sewing so we both left her to sew the designs together and we just made the patches.

I over sewed the ends of the stitching to top it from fraying as I didn’t want it to unravel. I also added a 25th day at the very top, big enough to put in 3 mini chocolate figures as I like a 25 day advent calendar. I had a mixture of sweets in the pockets and she loved it. Her Mum and Dad wanted their own versions and were very jealous!

If you want to make your own advent calendar you can find the design in Cross Stitch Crazy Magazine November 2015.

Ice Skates Winter Design

I saw this design in a magazine and really wanted to make a start on it whilst I was on holiday last year as I knew you needed bright light for working on black Aida. I happened to have a piece of Aida big enough from a kit I have yet to start of a cat on a book shelf so I just borrowed it from there.

I changed a couple of the colours from the original design to lessen the amount of green as I don’t like green but I think I should have stuck to the original.


I need to find a frame for it so I can hang it this winter now it is finished. I might just use some pieces of wood painted white and some string to make it look more like a blackboard. The colours in the photo don’t really do it justice, it is darker than the camera seems to have picked up.

You can find the design if you want to make it yourself in The World of Cross Stitching Magazine Issue 222.