News and views from CrossStitcher readers around the world
Ever wondered what stitchers like us are up to in different parts of the globe? We’ve asked readers from near and far to become correspondents for us and share with us their cross stitch news…
Rachel Dove, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK
At the end of summer, many people are still on holiday, both home and abroad, working on making their gardens nice, going on day trips or entertaining their children and grandchildren in the holidays. None of these things come cheap, where do we save money? Hobbies are often where we look to save money, but how?
Personally, I like to save any threads from finished kits to use on other projects where possible, and I have been known to substitute colours on some charts, to save me having to buy another skein, but where does the quality start to suffer?
Nowadays small businesses are known to struggle, especially pitted against the big chains, but I personally love local independent business. One in Wakefield, Habiknit, is a treasure trove of sewing, knitting and stitching gems and is often cheaper than other bigger stores to boot.
Another popular source nowadays is social media. I am a member of a few Facebook online stitching groups with people selling and swopping unused kits, threads and other goodies. I picked up a handmade Alice in Wonderland style magnetic needle holder and it changed my life! No more searching for my needle time after time!
I always try to save what I buy for stitching and use every little bit. My grandmother taught me to do this, and it always stuck with me. I even recycle the odd piece of clothing with a perfectly placed bit of stitching here or there to cover up a patch or tear with a cheerful patch or cute design. What I save by being frugal, I like to spend on treats. Metallic threads, nice beads, the odd kit or chart I just have to have. Saving money where I can means I can treat myself guilt-free from time to time.
So where do you save money? Do you swap goodies with friends and family, or in online groups? Do you use every bit of evenweave you have, or waste aida? What is your big splurge? One thing is for sure, we all love to stitch year round, so one sure way of getting the good stuff? Birthday and Christmas presents! I am already stockpiling my list for Santa from the comfort of my sun lounger. Look after those pennies to save the pounds! 1 Rachel is married with two boys, writes for Mills & Boon, and is the winner of the Prima Flirty Fiction Competition.
Giordana Grossi, Parma, Italy Ciao, dear CrossStitcher
September has always been a month full of wedding events for me. In Italy the summer is still in the air but temperatures are not so warm, so September is one of the favourite months for brides and grooms.
Five years ago it was my turn to choose this month for my wedding. Yes, on 15 September I will celebrate my anniversary! When you love handmade stuff and all craft arts as I do, your wedding is a big opportunity to create something unique and original
for your big day. So it was very funny to decide and create all the invitations, the favours, the booklet for the church and it was a pleasure to embroider the pillow for the wedding rings with blue roses, my favourite flowers.
One of the most beautiful gifts that I received was a box that my friend Lorena made for me, embroidered with the initials of our names and the date of the wedding. This box now encloses some memories of my marriage. I love it because I know that it was made with heart. That’s why I like to create something special for friends that are going to say “I do!” The last gift I made is two placemats for Mr & Mrs because I think that the best way to start the day is having breakfast together. My friends will have every day my personal good morning on their table! My ring pillow for my wedding 2 Lorena’s gift for my husband and I 3 My personalised placemats 4 Giordana is a 39-year-old bus driver, and lives with her husband and her cat. She learned to stitch from her mother when she was a little girl. Follow her at www.instagram.com/giordana_grossi
Joanne Hayward, Reading, UK
Hello everyone, a short drive from where I live is a lovely place called Pangbourne and just over the river is a place called Whitchurch On Thames. The two are joined by a bridge and recently the bridge took on a very different image.
I was stunned to discover that the local communities had come together to yarn bomb and decorate the entire bridge. I began to see stunning images of the bridge via friends of mine on Facebook and decided I had to get myself there to have a look at all the items covering the bridge.
I collected Freya and Scarlett from school with my husband Damian and we set off. We parked the car up and set off to the bridge and were stunned by what we saw the entire bridge was covered in all manner of knitted, crocheted, stitched, weaved and painted items.
It really was a feast for the eyes and there were many things to see, from knitted birds adorning the lamp posts, to Princess Leia and R2-D2 in a kayak. There were little mice dancing round a maypole and plates of knitted fruit, amazing panels with swans and kingfishers a quilted scene with stars the list is endless.
As I walked along the bridge I was also thrilled to see a beautiful fabric panel depicting the River Thames and it included cross stitched buildings of interest that you can see at points along the river.
The local communities had been working on the project since October 2016 and involved individual people to craft clubs as well as local school children. Not only was the bridge looking beautiful it was also helping to raise money for local charities and community groups in the area that had helped support a local art café in its first year.
The exhibition on the bridge was due to end the weekend we visited as it was only on show for two weeks but the bridge was incredibly busy with many visitors admiring the many items on display which just goes to show
how craft can bring people together and be a talking point.
My girls really enjoyed the visit and were fascinated by all the items on display and even though we walked slowly over the bridge admiring everything, we noticed many things that we hadn’t noticed on our way back over the bridge as there was just so much to see.
It really got me thinking wouldn’t it be lovely if we could cover more public areas in this way and brighten up our local communities and inspire people to take up a new craft? I will always be a cross stitcher first and foremost but our visit certainly inspired me to pick my knitting needles and have a go at knitting again. I have even been trying to teach myself to crochet, this however I think is going to require lots of patience and practice, so for now my cross stitching needles will definitely be remaining my favourite to use. Bye for now! So much work had gone into the yarn bombing – it was amazing to see each detail 567 & 8 Joanne is married, with two daughters. She works in a local primary school as a teaching assistant. Her main passion is cross stitch, but she loves all crafts.
Rebecca Rogers, Hull, UK
Hello cross stitch readers! I have just finished my GCSEs last month and it has given me plenty of time on my hands. I have been getting on with two projects at the same time – the silhouette Sleeping Beauty by Bothy Threads as well as the Cut Thru Tea Shop, also by Bothy. It’s very tempting (as you all will know very well!), not to open a new kit and begin a fresh start.
I have been spending a lot of my time in my grandma’s garden too, along with her cat (who definitely doesn’t help me get on with my cross stitch!). It has been very relaxing to have time off and enjoy doing things I love, rather than to have to worry about which exam is next, as well as all the revision that inevitably comes alongside these exams. Cross stitching I find is very relaxing – unless you count your stitches wrong!
I am sure many of us have been going on our holidays abroad, and so will our cross stitch projects! The places we go on holiday can really inspire us to continue on with our crafts – especially if we have stitcher’s block as I call it! I am soon off to Italy, where the colours are bright and there’s plenty of ice cream and sun for everyone. Sleeping Beauty and Cut Thru Tea Shop by Bothy Threads – I’m stitching both at the same time! 9 & 10 Our youngest correspondent, at 16 years, Rebecca loves textiles and history, and has recently been studying for her GCSEs.