The World of Cross Stitching : 2020-09-04

Time To Chat : 25 : 25

Time To Chat

Time to chat One of Susan’s proudest cross stitch moments is publishing (left), a book full of large-scale flower designs, like these pretty peonies (below) A blooming success: pumpkins on the windowsill. These seasonal designs featured in issues 191/July 2012 (summer), 194/Oct 2012 (autumn), 197/Dec 2012 (winter) and 201/April 2013 (spring). Floral Beauty in Cross Stitch Where does your design inspiratio­n come from? Many places: paintings, textiles, graphic design, illustrati­on and sometimes the natural world. If I go for a walk in the countrysid­e I might see plants and landscapes that inspire me and they sometimes find their way into my work. I find that as a visual person I mentally take notes of what I see around me – I might make a note of it or do a quick, rough sketch, just so I don’t forget it. I look at social media and notice trends, especially in fashion and interiors, and this can inform my work too. working on paper using coloured pencils. I also like using my digital pen and tablet for doing digital artwork as you can get very vibrant colours. Another advantage of the computer is that I can make changes more easily than I could to paper-based artwork. own clothes helps me to relax and is such a satisfying experience. I also like to do other crafts such as knitting, crochet and patchwork – something that is different to my day job to relax. You can do it all whilst watching TV or listening to podcasts. What’s really great about all of these crafts is that they’re very portable – you can take them with you in your bag wherever you may go! What do you love most about being a cross stitch designer? I love the freedom of being a freelance designer and being able to work from home. Each new commission is an opportunit­y to try something new. I love seeing my design go from being a sketch in my sketchbook at home, to a chart, to the stitched version in a magazine or book. To see my design on the front cover of a magazine in a shop is so rewarding! I sometimes get emails from people who have stitched my designs and want to show me what they’ve made, or they might want to ask me some advice about it. Getting feedback from them makes it worthwhile as it’s so good to know that your work is appreciate­d! Do you have any designing tips for our readers? Sketch out some ideas and take it from there! You can buy computer software relatively cheaply these days, but if you don’t want to do this you can just work out your designs on graph paper, or just stitch straight onto the fabric. I would say don’t get too hung up on what other people are doing and do what you want to do. I would look around you for inspiratio­n, but really it’s about finding out what you love to do and start from there! What are your ambitions and plans for the future? I love being a cross stitch designer, so I’m very happy to carry on with it. I’ve recently started working for a couple of US companies as I’d like to design for more overseas clients. It’s good to widen your work base, plus it’s great knowing that your designs are available outside of the UK! A while back I was doing some repeat surface patterns in a vector format and I’d like to develop these, and I’ve also done some purely illustrati­ve work as well which is something I’d like to do more of. Also on my list of things to do is to expand my Etsy shop – I sell some of my cross stitch designs on there and more time to do this would be good! Do you stitch for pleasure? I do stitch for pleasure, but I find I don’t have the time to do much cross stitching as I’m too busy designing! Plus, in my free time I like to do other types of stitching too, such as needlepoin­t or dressmakin­g. How do you create your cross stitch designs? I mainly make a sketch first and then chart it up from this, but if the designs are small or sampler style then I would start drawing them straight away in the computer charting software. It’s kind of dictated by the commission as to what will be the best method I use. I often use my computer to make colour sketches, but I also enjoy What are you most passionate about in life? I’m slightly obsessed with sewing, mainly dressmakin­g. I find the whole process of planning and making my Turn to page 47 to start stitching Susan’s heartwarmi­ng Design Library motifs. Also visit her website ( and Etsy shop (www.CrossStitc­ MORE 25 The World of Cross Stitching

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