Rank #1: Cross Stitch, Meditation and Mindfulness | S3E21
In this episode, I am talking about the links between Cross Stitch, Meditation, and Mindfulness and sharing some tips on how we can all reduce our stress using these 3 things.
May 19 2020
Rank #2: 5 Ways To Find Time To Cross Stitch & To Cross Stitch More | S2E2
In this episode I give you 5 actionable tips to find more time to cross stitch and be creative, and I share the first pattern of the series.
What you will hear:
Ella's comments - “I got started in cross stitch when I was around 14 I think, when a little club was started at school and they showed us the very basics. We did tiny designs and nothing fancy” Sounds like my kind of club. “I’m mostly self taught, I haven’t done any cross stitch in 14 odd years and picked it back up last year. For me it’s relaxing and mindless and I like that projects can take a long time to complete, so I can keep coming back to them. Currently I don’t have time to cross stitch. I have a 2 year old and our second was born at the end of October so me time is limited. I do try and make time each day ideally for said me time and to do some crafty outlet – so knit, crochet cross stitch etc”.
Making more time to be creative is impossible. Everyone has 24 hours in a day and things need to get done, and some things may have to be sacrificed so you can be creative. I would much rather be stitching than cooking but unfortunately cooking is a necessity. So instead I watch less TV, I don't check my phone, I get up a bit earlier. It's important to find the reason why you want to cross stitch before you start sacrificing things as other wise you might start to resent stitching. Some of you may need to stitch because it's your job, others may do it for a hobby. For me, it's a bit of both. Although I have a business around cross stitch, this isn't the only reason I do it. I stitch to relax and de-stress. It takes my mind off my busy life and sometimes I have my best ideas while I'm lost in a cross stitch project. And of course the satisfaction of finishing a piece of work is an amazing feeling.
- Tip number 1 - Work on 2 or more projects at the same time. This might seem counter-productive but I promise it helps. I have 1 bigger project that needs my undivided attention, and a smaller ones that I can pick up and put down. I save the bigger one for an evening when the kids are in bed and I can sit and stitch with little distraction.
- Tip number 2 - Have your smaller projects out at all times. For me, this involves keeping it high up and out of reach of little hands and this is where project bags (link) come in handy. I keep it on windowsills and draws and the kitchen counters and whenever I have a spare 5 minutes I can grab it out and have a little stitch.
- Tip number 3 - Double up some tasks. For example, take your kit into your work and stitch on your breaks or lunch hour. Stitch in the bath, or while you're stood at the oven cooking (watch out for getting food on it though). Or maybe the kids are playing happily or you're watching a film together - take 10 minutes for a bit of stitching.
- Tip number 4 - Stitch while you're commuting. This could be while you're on the train or bus to work or maybe you're going on a road trip or flying abroad. Have your project bag handy and take it with you. Stitching in the car isn't the easiest but practice makes perfect here.
- Tip number 5 - Find ways to stitch without needing your pattern. This makes it much easier to stitch in those 5 minute gaps and while you're commuting. For example, stitch the outlines of the pattern first and then you can fill the insides without needing to look at your pattern. Or stitch the whole pattern in half stitches first and then you can go back over them to make the full stitches.
- The productivity-ist in me wants to batch everything including my creativity, and sometimes I do. But when you work at home with at least 1 child there 24/7 this isn't always possible so I need to stitch in those gaps that I get. And I don't feel guilty for taking those 5 or 10 minutes anymore because I know after it I will be calmer and happier.
- The pattern on the month this month is from Yeesam Art and was recommended from Ella in my Facenook group; “My favourite pattern is one you can find on Amazon called Rainbow Bubble Girl” and even better, it's actually a full kit.
I hope these tips have given you some ideas to help you find some time to get creative. And I would love to know if you have any other tips for how you find the time to cross stitch and craft? Get in touch via the contact page or through social media, I love hearing from you.
Key links and resources
Vote and nominate for the National Needle Craft Awards.
Sign up to the cross stitch podcast newsletter and get free cross stitch project planner sheets.
Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.
Join my Facebook group and come and chat with other like minded cross stitchers.
Feb 12 2018
Rank #3: Preparing for Cross Stitch | 7 Things to Do Before You Start Stitching | S3E19
In this episode, I’m sharing how to prepare your cross stitch project before you even start stitching.
You can read the full show notes here: https://hannahhandmakes.com/blogs/blog/preparing-for-cross-stitch/
Apr 06 2020
Rank #4: How To Start Your Cross Stitch Podcast | S1E3
In this episode I am talking all about what you will find in cross stitch kits, how to start your cross stitch project and I've shared m first pattern of the week!
Links and resources:
- My blog posts all about the stitch along.
- My blog post on how to start your cross stitch project which includes a video.
- My YouTube channel where you can find all of my instruction videos.
- Jody Rice's Emerald City cross stitch pattern.
- My Facebook group.
Sep 26 2017
Rank #5: Cross Stitch Routines and Why You Might Need One | S3E3
In this episode, I’m talking all about my own cross stitch routine as well as sharing your routines and the reasons it might be beneficial to have one.
Key links and resources:
Mar 11 2019
Rank #6: How to Cross Stitch on Evenweave | S3E5
In this post, I am going to share what evenweave is, how to cross stitch on evenweave and whether you should choose aida or evenweave for your cross stitch!
View the full show notes here: https://hannahhandmakes.com/blogs/podcast/how-to-cross-stitch-on-evenweave/
May 13 2019
Rank #7: Mini 1 - The Project Planner
The launch of the A4 cross stitch project printable planner! You can get it as an instant download on Etsy or or a personalised one on the website. It's 100 pages and includes everything for your planning needs such as space to write your project goals, places to plan each pattern, take notes and write your shopping lists. You can also download the individual planning sheets, rather than getting the full planner. And these are free if you sign up to the newsletter! Keep an eye (and ear) our for the launch of the physical planner coming September 2018.
Sep 01 2018
Rank #8: 5 Finishing Ideas for Your Cross Stitch Project | S3E8
Aug 12 2019
Rank #9: Tips for Travelling With Your Cross Stitch | S3E6
In this post, I’m going to share my best tips for travelling with your cross stitch projects! I'll answer questions such as "can I take my scissors on a plane?" and "what is the best travel bag for cross stitch?"
I also share this month's pattern of the month which is a 4th of July one!
Read the full post and show notes here: https://hannahhandmakes.com/blogs/podcast/travelling-with-cross-stitch
Jun 10 2019
Rank #10: 5 Tips for Living a Multi-Passionate Life | S3E2
Today I'm talking about the 5 take aways I got from the book "What Do I Do When I Want to Do Everything" by Barbara Sher.
These 5 practical tips will help you if you want to live a multi-passionate life.
1. Realise you have more time than you think you do.
2. Set up your day on your terms
3. Create a scanner day book
4. Organise your projects
5. Display your finished work
Feb 11 2019
Rank #11: Why Do You Cross Stitch? | S3E14
Welcome to another episode of the cross stitch podcast! This week we are talking all about the reasons why we cross stitch. I purposely put this episode out because it’s Valentine’s Day soon and I just thought this would be a great way to show our love for cross stitch.
You can read the full show notes here: https://hannahhandmakes.com/?p=4257
Feb 10 2020
Rank #12: 13 Lessons Learned from Big Magic | S3E11
In this post, I am sharing 13 lessons I learned from the book Big Magic from Elizabeth Gilbert. I love this book and try to read it every 6 months because I always take something new away from this book. And today I'm sharing some with you!
Sponsored by my How to Cross Stitch Course for Beginners. Enroll here: https://hannahhandmakesacademy.teachable.com/p/how-to-cross-stitch-for-beginners
Read the full show notes here: https://hannahhandmakes.com/blogs/lessons-learned-from-big-magic
Follow my Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/hannahhandmakes1/
Join my Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hannahshandmakers
Buy the book here (affiliate link): https://amzn.to/2q4Crgz
Nov 12 2019
Rank #13: BONUS: My Autumn Reading List 2019
In this episode, I am sharing my 2019 Autumn Reading List and update you on my Summer Reading List; what I managed to read and my favourite books.
Read the full post with links to all the books here: https://hannahhandmakes.com/blogs/autumn-reading-list-2019
Sep 23 2019
Rank #14: A Cross Stitch Glossary Part One | S1E4
In this episode I share part one of a little glossary of cross stitch terms and share my new pattern of the week.
It was very windy when I was recording this (the joys of the autumn/winter in Lincolnshire) but luckily, I don't think you can hear it in the recording. And, my 4-year-old was in the room with me during this episode as he was off school. But he was so quiet bless him and almost managed to stay quiet throughout the whole recording (minus one bout of the giggles). I let him have a little go at recording himself after I had finished.
The stitch along started this week and we are stitching the very middle which is the "Deck The Halls" part. Lots of people have started and has already finished the first part! If you want to join in there is still time, just come and join my Facebook group here or sign up to my newsletter here (and you get the stitch along patter for free!)
The Glossary Part 1
Aida â€“ The most commonly used fabric for cross stitch, weaved evenly with holes in to make your "X".
Aida band - A strip of aida which has a pretty border on; used for bookmarks/towel edging etc.
Fabric Count - This refers to the amount of holes per inch (HPI) there is on the fabric. For example, on 14 count aida there are 14 holes per inch.
Evenweave/linen - Another common fabric used in cross stitch, but much softer and more flexible.
Waste canvas - A type of fabric you can use to stitch onto clothes etc. which dissolves in water.
Tapestry needle - A blunt needle made specifically for cross stitch that comes in different sizes. For example, a size 24 can be used for 14 count aida or 28 count linen.
Beading Needle - A needle used to stitch seed beads onto your design.
Embroidery hoop - These are used to help keep your fabric taught and you can use them to frame your finished work too. They come in sizes from 2-12 inches and can be round or oval. They also come in a few materials; wooden, rubber (which are called flexi) and plastic (which are usually coloured). DMC have also recently released some cute animal shaped ones.
Q-snaps - These seem very popular in America, but I don't see them being used much in the UK. They are plastic tubes that link together to hold your work while you are stitching.
If you would like to read a bit more about the top 6 things needed for cross stitch, pop over to this blog post here.
The pattern of the week this week is a lovely Autumn sampler from Cross Stitch Obsession that you can buy here. It has a fox, leaves, rain, an umbrella, birds, a wreath and some words; "Hello Autumn" and "I love Autumn". And of course, it has the best Autumn colours; yellows, oranges, browns and reds.
Oct 03 2017
Rank #15: The F Words of Cross Stitch | S3E13
In this episode, I am sharing some tips and tricks about how to do French Knots and Fractional Stitches in cross stitch.
You can enroll in the mini-class here where I teach you how to do French knots and Fractionals on both aida and evenweave.
Jan 28 2020
Rank #16: DMC Étoile or Light Effects Thread - Which is Better? | S3E7
In this episode, I’m going to compare 2 of my favourite collections of thread; DMC Light Effects and Étoile. Light Effects is a metallic thread and Étoile is a glitter one.
Is Light Effects or Étoile thread easier to stitch with? Which has the better range of colours? Is Light Effects or Étoile more sparkly? I answer all these questions in this episode as well as sharing my favourite of the 2!
Jul 08 2019
Rank #17: 5 Easy Ways to Get Creativity Flowing by Being Bored | S3E4
In this episode/blog post, I am sharing 5 easy ways you can get creativity flowing and they're all things that can actually make us slightly bored or ie let our mind rest.
If you are new to cross stitch why not check out my brand new How to Cross Stitch Course for Beginners that's launching 29.04.19?The 5 Ways:
- Go for a walk
- Turn off your phone
Apr 08 2019
Rank #18: 5 Reasons Not To Cross Stitch - And What You Can Do About Them | S2E3
In this episode I talk about the 5 most popular reasons for not wanting to cross stitch and solutions to help you over come them.
What you will hear:
I can’t afford it
I hear you! Sometimes it's easy to spend our money on the essentials (food, rent, clothes for the kids but not yourself) and less so to spend it on a treat for yourself. I'm not going to go into why my cross stitch kits are the prices that they are, but if you want to you can read more about the materials used in my kits. I'm also not going to tell you how much you need a cross stitch kit in your life. I know they're not an essential (unless you're a cross stitch fanatic like me) but you can read all about the benefits of cross stitch if you would like to know more about them.
Instead, I'm going to try and help you afford it. For example, I (as well as other cross stitch kit sellers) have various selling platforms; my website, Not On The High Street (NOTHS), Etsy and Folksy. Have a look around and see if there are any sales on these platforms; not everyone runs sales on every platform. For example, my sales are usually just on my website or Etsy. And of course there are high street shops that sell cross stitch kits, as well as Cloud Craft and Sew and So (two of my favourites). These shops and retailers run their own sales throughout the year.
Keep your eye on social media to see if there are any discounts especially around particular occasions sure as Black Friday, Bank Holidays etc.
Joining my Facebook Group is the best place to hear about any specials I'm running and I hold regular giveaways in here too!
You could ask for a kit as a present. Maybe you have a birthday or anniversary coming up or Valentine's/Christmas/Mother's Day etc. And if you can buy the kit on Amazon, pop it on your wish list.
Cross Stitch Magazines usually come with a free cross stitch gift and tend to cost around £5, and they are full of extra patterns too. Or if you are conscious of the paper use, digital subscriptions to some cross stitch magazines can cost as little as £35 a year and then you have access to all of the patterns on your phone, helping the planet, saving you money and saving you space! You could also buy the pattern through Etsy etc and buy your own supplies from a local craft shop. Sometimes this can work out cheaper than buying the full kit and saves on the cost of postage and packaging.
I don't have time to do it
My most used phrase; "I don't have time". Yet I still somehow manage to whip up around 20-30 hoops a year. As a busy, working mum of two I totally know that lack of time is a real problem. I could go off on a tangent about how we should all create "me time" but I know that isn't always practical (and I did this on last months episode a little bit).
The reason I create the kits you see in my shop is that they are small, easy and fun. They are hoops you can pick up and put down throughout the day so you don't have to concentrate too hard on them. They are easy to transport so you can take them on the commute to work with you or on holiday. They won't take too long to finish, so you get the satisfaction of creating something totally by hand even with little time to work on it.
I don't know how to cross stitch
Although I always say "cross stitch is easy", when you are a complete beginner of course it isn't actually that easy. It can seem quite daunting! Especially if you have no experience of sewing at all. If this is you, then I will say that cross stitch is one of the easiest crafts to learn. Once you get the hang of the basic "X" cross stitch yo can make such beautiful pieces and you never need to learn another stitch if you don't want to.
My kits come with paper instructions but if you are still stuck then I break these instructions down further into short, individual videos you can keep referring back to.
I also have a couple of podcast episodes with a small cross stitch glossary to help you get started with the basic terms of cross stitch.
I'm not creative enough
As someone who originally studied law this is something I completely understand. I never really believed I was that creative. I liked colouring in and writing, but I was never great at drawing from my own imagination and like most people I believed that drawing was the only way to be creative.
However, I now know that creativity goes much deeper than being able to draw. Even if you use 90% of the left side of your brain, there is still 10% that craves something creative and cross stitch can definitely help with that. Once you have got the basics of threading your needle and making that "X" stitch, the only thing you need to do is count (pretty useful if you're left side dominant). You can have no creative experience at all and still create a beautiful hand stitched piece using cross stitch.
If you are not sure if you use the left or right side of your brain more, you can take this test. I am 49% right and 51% left and I run a creative business, proving you don't have to be super creative to do cross stitch and that it's OK if you like both cross stitch and more logical things. For example, I love doing accounts as much as I love doing cross stitch. I believe we need to stop putting ourselves in boxes, put down that label gun and start branching out to what our heart calls us to.
I'll lose the motivation to finish it
I'm not going to tell you this won't happen because it more than likely will. It happens to me a lot. This is why I love smaller projects because I can see the end and this keeps me motivated. But I have plenty of projects that I have started and not finished and one hoop took me about 3 years to finish.
This goes for any project, not just cross stitch and my advice, if it happens, is not to fight it. Some people like to plough through even if they don't feel like it, but I don't think this is necessary if you are doing cross stitch as a hobby because you should be enjoying it! Instead, I would give into the lack of motivation and take a break from the project.
When this happens to me I do something else and it's not always something creative. If I'm just struggling to get going, I find cleaning helps clear my head so I will start scrubbing the bathrooms. If I feel like it's going to be longer I will play a game on my phone and not feel guilty, or I will colour in or do some drawing. If I'm looking for something the total opposite though I will do some accounts for the business, but if you don't run a business you could try some puzzles such as Sudoku.
And most importantly, remember this will pass and your creative juices will start flowing again!
Pattern of the month
This months pattern is from Hello Hoop and is a lovely little design with a rabbit, the word "Spring" and a flower garland with little carrots in it. It costs just over £4 at the time of recording and if stitched on 14 count aida it measures 6.79 X 6.29 inches.
Key Links and Resources
Sign up to the cross stitch podcast newsletter and get free cross stitch project planner sheets.
Mar 12 2018
Rank #20: How To Personalise A Cross Stitch Pattern (With Free Alphabet Chart And Teepee Pattern) | S2 E10
In this podcast episode I tell you all about how you can personalise your cross stitch pattern.
Personalising a cross stitch pattern can seem quite daunting but it adds such a lovely touch to your work and makes a thougtful gift. Hopefully these steps help break it down for you.You will need:
- Graph paper
- A pattern to personalise (you can download the Teepee pattern used in this example)
- An alphabet pattern, which you can also download
- A pencil and rubber
This months pattern is from Witchy Stitcher on Etsy and I knew as soon as I seen it, that it had to feature on Octobers podcast. It's called I Practice Stitch Craft and if stitched on 14 count aida measures 6.07 x 5.71 inches. It has the words, with a skull, some bobbins and a crescent moon on it. She includes 2 versions of the pattern so you can stitch it on black or white aida. This is a great Halloween pattern to stitch this month.Key Links and resources
Oct 08 2018