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…

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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 at­sta­­dana_­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.

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