Q&A February 2022: Storing supplies and picture patterns | S3E60

In this episode, I am answering some of your recent questions about cross stitch such as how to store supplies and tips on converting a photo to a pattern.

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Cross stitch questions

Storing supplies

“Hi Hannah!
My question I’d love some ideas on is do you have any tips or suggestions on how to store cross stitch supplies when you don’t have a dedicated space for cross stitching?

Use a bobbin box

I highly recommend a bobbin box. I love this one from Love Crafts as this will help at least keep your threads in 1 space. And then I also recommend putting a needle minder or magnet in the box to keep all your needles in 1 place inside the box.

Have a bag or box

I also recommend a little box or bag which is easy to move around so you always know where your stash is and just move it around depending on where you’re stitching.

You can get lots of different types of sewing bags and boxes from Love Crafts here*.

Having zip bags for your different projects is helpful and you can scatter your different projects around your house.

Even just a spare handbag for your stash can be useful. Or an old shoebox, chocolate tin, etc. You can look on Pinterest for some ideas on storage in small spaces too.

Use a trolley on wheels

I also love my trolley on wheels! You don’t have to use the whole trolley for your cross stitch supplies; you could just use 1 shelf.

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Moving around your design

“Hi Hannah,   I enjoy cross stitch however I really struggle with how to move around the pattern. For example- I complete some boxes and the row stops- do I go up, do I go down and work backwards? Maybe I make it too complicated! I really enjoyed your class but I will admit I just became so overwhelmed because I felt I wasn’t doing it right that I haven’t picked it back up in a long time. I had thought about reaching out for a long time and never did- so thank you for this opportunity!!!

No right or wrong way

First of all, please know that there is no right or wrong in cross stitch! As long as you are stitching a cross and following the pattern it really doesn’t matter how you do it. It’s not like knitting or crochet where you have to follow row-by-row.

Some people do like to work in rows, but as we start in the middle in cross stitch it’s hard to know whether to work up the pattern or down. But this is totally up to you. I tend to work up the pattern, then back to the middle and back down.

But I don’t really work in rows. I follow the outline of a piece of the pattern. For example, if there was a butterfly on the pattern I would stitch the stitches outlining the wing and then the outline of the body. And then fill in the middle (without needing to look at the pattern!). And then I move on to the next thing for example there might be a flower next to the butterfly.

Join a SAL

Joining a stitch along might really help you get back into stitching because you are given the pattern in parts and are told exactly where to go next.

You can check out my stitch along’s here.

The only thing I don’t recommend is jumping around the pattern because then it is too much counting. Where I choose to go next is close to the part I have just stitched.

Picture patterns

“How do I tweak charts from pictures I want to convert? Or does it just take too many hours to look good? “

This is not my expertise really, but I can speak to it a little bit because I have changed a few myself.

Use a good quality photo

You have to start with good quality photo to get a good quality cross stitch pattern. It can work with a lower quality photo but it just won’t look as good.

I have a course called PC Stitch Basics and in this course, I actually show you the difference between using a photo from a camera and a photo from an iPhone and it is quite a big difference.

But luckily for us, phone cameras are just getting better and better so if you do have a photo from your phone don’t let it put you off converting it into a pattern.

Change the size

Depending on what you are using to convert your photo I also recommend changing the size of the pattern if you can. The bigger the pattern, the more detail is in it so it doesn’t need tweaking as much.

If you do need to tweak your pattern I recommend using a programme like PC Stitch. I actually don’t enjoy tweaking patterns but hopefully, this helps a little!

Large designs

Do you have a large design? One that I would be able to work on all year? @sarah_e_frazer

Large designs aren’t usually my cup of tea; to design or stitch haha!

There is only 1 design I have that is large but it is not currently available to buy. That’s because it was meant to be the 2021 Christmas SAL. But I don’t think I will ever run it as a SAL now so it may actually be on Etsy very soon!

It is a Christmas table runner! A Scandinavian style.

The reason it’s not online is that I haven’t stitched it yet and it is difficult to show what it looks like digitally. But if you are interested in it I can try and put it on Etsy.

I would actually love to run a year-long SAL but I just want it to be really good! To be working on something all year I want it to be so good that you keep your motivation up all year. I’m open to ideas!

My cross stitch kits

“Are you ever going to go back to selling full kits for your SALs? It made it so easy. @vamvac”

Cross stitch kits are always on my mind haha! I would love to go back to selling them again; I love putting them together.

There are a few reasons that I am not currently selling them. I need to hire someone to help with them and also BREXIT and everything else that has happened the past few years just made selling physical products pretty difficult.

Also, you can get skeins of thread much cheaper from larger stores such as Love Crafts than I can ever offer. And I know you love supporting small businesses which I love so much and it’s amazing but the prices have put me off going back to kits a little.

But I’m not saying never … just not yet.

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