Log in

No account? Create an account
laptop, geek, MacBook, bursting, breakout


Matt's LiveJournal

Random ramblings of a programmer, photographer, journalist and runner

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
laptop, geek, MacBook, bursting, breakout

Question for Cross-Stitchers

I know there's a couple of cross-stitchers on my flist. Any ideas as to a good Christmas present for my stepmum -- a fairly accomplished cross-stitcher? (She makes and sells her own patterns -- this is not a plug, I just want to give you some idea of her level!)

Anything unusual either kit- or gadget-wise that she may not have come across would be cool -- or just a link to a pattern site where I could browse for something appropriate? What are all the kool kidz stitching now?


ETA: Having looked around myself a bit, I just tripped over Subversive Cross Stitch, which is very funky, and -- fairly amazingly for a cross stitch site -- might just be bordering on Not Work Safe at some uptight places, so be warned! Probably not good for my stepmum, but if I were a cross stitcher, I might be tempted :)

  • 1
I don't know what the cool kidz are stitching, but for an accomplished stitcher you could do worse than check out the Cross Stitch Guild website at http://www.thecrossstitchguild.com/market.asp

Hope this helps,


Thank you, I shall have a look.

Following on from Ruth's comment, how about a year's membership of the Cross Stitch Guild? Or a subscription to one of the many Cross Stitch magazines on the market - there's a pretty good list here - http://www.magsite.co.uk/store/index.php?searchStr=cross+stitch&act=viewCat

It's hard to suggest kits or gadgets when we don't know what she already has, but if she doesn't have a lamp with a daylight bulb in it they are very good for stitchers. I also like the R&R Universal Craft Frame - http://www.theframeworkshop.co.uk/scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=1236 - a nice flexible system.


Ta! I'll ask my dad to find out what she's got in the way of memberships and subscriptions. And craft frames -- I think she's already got a daylight bulb lamp, which may be just as well as I'll have to get the pressie to Crete in a suitcase. Something as intangible as a subscription may be the best thing to carry :)

Subversive Cross Stitch is kind of fun. I have the book and the calendar. But the actual stitching is very simple, so probably not suitable for your stepmum even if she has the particular sense of humour to appreciate it.

On the other hand it may be suitable for a beginner if you want to try out cross stitching yourself.

It is surprisingly tempting, but I have enough hobbies (I keep telling myself!) I think I may content myself with creating a fictional granny that cross stitches them and mentions finding the designs on the internet :)

How about getting your Stepmum some funky coloured thread for her cross-stitching enterprises? The haberdashery section of John Lewis would be a good place to start...

I'd like to be able to make stuff like this:


But them I remember how dodgy my sewing is.

Take care,


"Yes, I'll have a half-pound of haberdash, please..." I'm not sure I'd know where to start on that one, but at least they're helpful in John Lewis. I shall talk to my dad and see if he has a clue what she might need/already have now I've actually got some ideas. Knowing him, he's probably been oblivious to all her careful hints, but maybe he'll at least remember them well enough to repeat them to me...

I'd like to be able to make stuff like this:
But them I remember how dodgy my sewing is.

Heh. Buy me a kit before one of our group holidays and I'm sure I can get enough coaching to present you with the finished product when I get back. I do seem to spend more time with the stitching contingent than with the computer gamers.

Ah, see what you need to do is persuae your Dad to have a quick look at your Stepmum's thread supplies to see what kind she uses. And get him to advise you on her favourite colours. The helpful people at John Lewis should help with the rest!

If she likes them, there are some *lovely* hand dyed varigated threads out there. Have not checked out her site, so I don't know if that's her thing. But they are very portable...


Mmm. I will grill my dad (if he ever gets his elderly arse back on Skype. I suppose I should be grateful he's clued up enough to have Skype, it certainly makes for better-quality calls to Crete.)

> I do seem to spend more time with the stitching contingent than with the computer gamers.

Hoorah for that! It means we get to see you.

I think Michael Powell has some pretty brillaint and quite challenging designs:


I've done a few of his and think they're brilliant, most of them goto my sister who "adopts" them even before they're finished :)

The suggestion of some funky threads is a good one, especially if she's into creating her own patterns. I know DMC have got a good new range of Light Effects which include flourescent and a Glow in The Dark thread which I've trying to avoid buying too much of!


If you do get some threads how about a nice box to keep them in? You can never have enough "things" to keep your "stuff" in when you're addicted to cross-stitch :)

Hope this helps :)

Thank you, yes, that's really fabbily helpful. Especially as Michael Powell has a couple of cool-looking "Greek scene" kits, and of course my dad and stepmum live in Crete. Ooooh. By jove, I think we may have a winner, or at least a strong contender :)

Ta! *bounce*

Oooh -- one question! What the heck's the difference between a 14 Count Aida and a 27 Count Evenweave? You know me, I don't do technical *bats eyelashes*...

It's been a while since I cross stitched, but I think aida is the fabric with evenly spaced holes in it, whereas the holes are much less obvious on evenweave.



A lot of experienced stitchers I know tend to prefer evenweave. I notice the kits your stepmum sells are available in both formats.

I suspect for Michael Powell kits it doesn't really matter cos the stitches cover most of the fabric.

If all else fails and you get the wrong sort it will be very easy for your stepmum to swap the fabric anyway.

Hope this helps!

Thank you, yes, I hadn't figured out that she could just swap the fabric for something in her own supplies. I'll default to evenweave, ta.

Think everyone's answered this for you, yup 27count Evenweave gives you a better finish if you like using it. The Michael Powell kit I've done was on 14count as my sister didn't know what she was buying years ago... I suspect she'd be getting the ones on Evenweave for me now :)

Never got on with cross-stitch, but *love* the Subversive site...

If she's hit the pro level on cross-stitch, you could try something else - I particularly love this although I don't have the skills.

Craft guilds tend to be excellent as well - people to meet!

My Mother In Law does this and the results are fab! My skills aren't up to it either but she's an expert quilt maker so going from that to this was a logical step for her... I have trouble imagining what it's going to look like when it's just a pile of material!

  • 1