What its like to write a cross stitch book

I’ve now been published twice under my own name, and had patterns/writing in 4 others. I just released a Star Wars cross stitch book, and I even have another project in the works with the same publisher. Many of my contemporaries are doing the same, but still whenever someone picks up my book I get the same question; What’s it like to write a book?

kermit writing
It doesn’t really feel like this…

Now, I’m going to be a bit more specific here, and assume they mean a craft book, as writing a fiction and non-fiction books are very different. I would know, I have one of those too. But its true, non fiction and fiction are MASSIVELY different.
So lets get down to it. Positives first, or negative? Time to flip a coin.

The Possible Negatives

Well, negative first. The good news is that whilst there are negatives, they aren’t that bad. In fact, I get a kick out of the extra pressure, but I know a lot of people, including Genevieve Brading (Floss & Mischief) who had some seriously tight deadlines.
Which is the first thing;

Time

In the best scenario you might have 3 months. Whilst this seems like loads, there is one issue; you also have to stitch 12-20 projects in that time. Not easy. With some projects you might be able to kick them out in a weekend, but others can be massive (Star Trek LCARS comes to mind…)

Last Minute Changes

So you work for three months solid, and then all goes quiet on the Western Front, leaving you to sit and wait for up to a year. And then the license holder suddenly changes their mind about EVERYTHING. A super busy period exists where you just don’t know how you can get it done at all, but somehow you do..

The Positives

All The Help

And this is how you get it done. The secret of every craft book writer. Massive amounts of help. I’ve relied on a few people, but massive kudos goes out to BlackMageHeart who has been a serious help with all the books. And frankly without her; it would have been impossible. Thanks!

You Get Paid

Well… Yeh. You get paid. Now its not a massive amount of money, but considering its the cherry on the cake, its always a plus 😀

Kudos

And this is why you do it. Sure, its not going to be the next Harry Potter, but you’ll be the author you always wanted to be.
Unless its a flop.
game-over-gif

Would I give it up?

Hells no. I LOVE to work to a dead line, and frankly having a project where I think about kawaii characters instead of video game characters allows my mind to bring in some different perspectives and makes me a better pattern maker.

The best modern and contemporary cross stitch books

Frankly, there are hundreds of cross stitch books out there. However which are the best books? That’s a little hard to answer on its own, but I’ve broken up the cross stitch world so you can find out which cross stitch books are best for you. Here we have the top 10 modern and contemporary cross stitch books.

1 – Subversive Cross Stitch

By Julie Jackson

Rude. Lude. But oh so funny. The cross stitch community wouldn’t be what it is today without subversive stitch, and this book only goes to prove that. A quick look at their website will probably give you more stitches to try, but it makes you understand the sub-culture so much better.

2 – Cross-stitch Super Collection

By Makoto

A fantastic book particularly for beginners, with hundreds of mini stitches to try, it won’t take long to see a pattern, start a stitch and finish. I have more than a slight feeling that this book got people into cross stitch.

3 – Game & Stitch

By Makoto

This is a little hard to find now, and its all in Japanese… However the design of the book just oozes awesome. Makoto has also come about the stitches in a way unlike others I’ve seen, with outline only space ships from space invaders (worth it just for those). Its major drawback however is its lack of content. There are maybe only 30 stitches, and each are less than an inch.
And the language barrier doesn’t help to be honest…

4 – Star Wars

By Rhys Turton & John Lohman
Star Wars Cross Stitch Cover by rhys turton lord libidanStar Wars Cross Stitch inside by rhys turton lord libidan
Written by my very own hand the Star Wars cross stitch kit features loads of patterns for beginners and more advanced stitchers alike, but also offers parts so you can construct your own patterns! And it massively helps that its Star Wars…

5 – Stitch People

By Lizzy Dabczynski-Bean

I’ve never been one to stitch people, however one quick glance at this book and you can see just how easy it is. There are outfits, hairstyles, faces, and accessories in abundance so you can mix and match your subject with ease. To make it even better the style makes it easy for you to customise with your own work in a flash. The book is clear, and every page is a beauty to read.

6 – Supersize Stitches

By Jacqui Pearce

BIG STITCHES! The great thing about Jacqui’s book isn’t that the stitches are big, but are instead well thought through. Some use large aida, some use the negative space well, and others are plan and simple well designed.

7 – Storyland Cross Stitch

By What Delilah Did

What Delilah Did is a powerhouse in cross stitch. And no wonder her books are too. I like this one best for two reasons; firstly its cute, every stitch makes you want to say “awwwwww”. And secondly; its also a kit. Unlike other kits that come in a big box, each pattern has a page where the supplies are attached so you can pull off and do one at a time.

8 – Manga Cross-Stitch

By Helen McCarthy & Steve Kyte

2007 wasn’t a big year for cross stitch, it was before the rise of the contemporary scene as seen in our cross stitch history post, however I think a major part to its rise may have been this book. It comes with a questionable cross stitch pattern maker, and a set of instructions for panel ideas. What it doesn’t do is tell you what to stitch, but instead tells you styles you can emulate, and takes you on a journey to make your own patterns. A great book for beginners, and frankly, a great resource for comic book style stitches.

9 – Mega Mini Cross Stitch


By Makoto
The newest book from the author of “Cross-stitch Super Collection”, he attempts to pack more detail into ever smaller stitches. I picked up a copy the first day it was out, and the space stitches are frankly amazing.

10 – Twisted Stitches

By Phil Davison

My major concern with this book is the lack of finesse. Each stitch has unclean lines, and dead stitches. However that’s its charm. The stitches are horrific, and weird at the best of times, and it pulls no punches in being an adult book, however its one of the best selling cross stitch books out there.

Bonus – Push Stitchery

By Jamie Chalmers

OK, this isn’t specifically a cross stitch book, and its content of cross stitch is fairly low, however our mate at MrXStitch.com has been able to compile some of the best stitchers in the world. This is my go to place when I want a bit of out of the box stitching.

Star Wars Cross Stitch Book

Once again, I have awesome news to tell you all! I’ve got another kit book out!

Star Wars Cross Stitch Alternative Cover

This time on Star Wars, which is sold in US, AU, UK and EU territories. Its full of cross stitch patterns from A New Hope all the way to Rogue One.

Star Wars Cross Stitch inside by rhys turton lord libidan

Star Wars Cross Stitch Cover by rhys turton lord libidanThere will be a killer review on Mr X Stitch soon, however if you’re itching for a stitching, get it on Amazon now!

I’ll be posting some of the completed peices over the next week, so keep your eyes out for them!
 
I’ve now been published quite a few times. I’ve been the author and contributor to the Hello Kitty Cross Stitch Kit, the Star Wars Cross Stitch Kit, the Star Trek Cross-Stitch: Explore Strange New Worlds of Crafting book, the Disney Classic Cross Stitch Kit, and the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch book. I’ve also been involved a series of magazines such as the CrossStitcher twice, the CrossStitcher Designer Stitches magazine, CrossStitchCrazy, and the XStitch Mag.

Journey To A Complete Set Of DMC Floss Threads

“I’ve been stitching now for more than 5 years, and in that time; I’ve amassed more than 230 threads, but is it worth getting the complete set of DMC threads?”

That was a year ago, and now, with the full set of DMC threads, I can finally answer the question. However as always, its not that simple.

Full set of DMC threads

The story starts back when I picked up a small inch square kit from the local hobby store. I had nothing, yet instantly fell out of favor of the standard kits. So I started making my own, and buying threads up.

The early years

At first you buy a thread here. A thread there, and maybe you buy 10 or 20 for a big project. But it never really goes beyond that. You never finish a thread, resorting to reusing the same color next time, even if it isn’t a perfect fit.

Cross stitch is my main hobby

But things start getting better. You start larger and larger pieces, and you’re getting picking about the right colors. Sure, you still make changes to reuse old ones, but you have 5 reds to choose from, so its OK!

But you realize buying 1 or 2 threads isn’t effective. You get batches, and you start having over-spill from your storage boxes…

I’m serious about this now.

So you get new storage. Maybe you get the DMC boxes.
But that makes you realize how few you have..

But you just keep getting through those blacks… So you buy a cone or two. And that’s where things hold.

You have so much selection you can always find 1st or 2nd choice threads.

Purchase

And that’s where I caved. Now, to be clear, I didn’t go out of my way to buy all the threads. I had actually got an offer from a store to buy a kit at a discounted cost.
And I turned it down.

And regretted it instantly.

I made a new pattern, and pulled up a list of colors to find I didn’t have any of them, which was rare in itself. I searched my thread book for a good alternative, and didn’t have the second choice.
Or third.
Or fourth.

So I finally splurged on a full 447 set, complete with variegated threads for £250.

IMG_1929

Post purchase

Whilst initially I started using a few new threads, I quickly found another problem. Over-spill. I had worked with 230 threads for the better part of 3 years, and when I brought my new set, I also got those 230.
So I had to work through all 230 threads first.

It took 9 months, and a load of stitching, but I got through it all. Now, I can use any color. Now I have so much choice every piece uses a new thread just for the hell of it.

And you know what? I finally have choice when it comes to skin color. Skin tone threads! Ahhhh!

Is it worth it?

Yes. Oh my word yes.

Even though it doesn’t seem it at first, a complete set means you can always pick the right colour. Hold it up to your screen to check its perfect, or put multiple threads next to each other and pick the best.
And it really shows in your work…

You can pick up a set yourself on at SewAndSo.com

I’m in the Cross Stitcher! Again!

I’ve once again been featured in The Cross Stitcher magazine! And once again it was my transforming piece. Time for an improved piece maybe?

The Cross Stitcher 300th Edition

If you want to find yourself a copy, you can buy it on Wednesday! Or you can buy it online too!
 
I’ve now been published quite a few times. I’ve been the author and contributor to the Hello Kitty Cross Stitch Kit, the Star Wars Cross Stitch Kit, the Star Trek Cross-Stitch: Explore Strange New Worlds of Crafting book, the Disney Classic Cross Stitch Kit, and the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch book. I’ve also been involved a series of magazines such as the CrossStitcher twice, the CrossStitcher Designer Stitches magazine, CrossStitchCrazy, and the XStitch Mag.

I’m Published! Again!

Following on from my Star Trek craft book, I was also given an option to do a Disney book!
Grab yourself a copy here for $16!
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Stitch your favorite Disney characters in 12 magical patterns!Disney Classic Cross Stitch lets you add a touch of Disney magic to everyday items! From a sweet Winnie the Pooh bib to a Steamboat Willie throw pillow to a lovely framed stitching of Cinderella’s Coach, these projects feature beloved classic Disney characters. Inside you’ll find an instruction book with easy to follow step-by-patterns, plus materials to make two projects—a Pluto bookmark and a Snow White wall hanging. Includes: Cross stitch fabric 11 skeins of embroidery floss 2 embroidery needles Paperback book Includes everything needed to make 2 projects!
 
I’ve now been published quite a few times. I’ve been the author and contributor to the Hello Kitty Cross Stitch Kit, the Star Wars Cross Stitch Kit, the Star Trek Cross-Stitch: Explore Strange New Worlds of Crafting book, the Disney Classic Cross Stitch Kit, and the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch book. I’ve also been involved a series of magazines such as the CrossStitcher twice, the CrossStitcher Designer Stitches magazine, CrossStitchCrazy, and the XStitch Mag.

Disney Mickey Sampler Cross Stitch

Scroll
Title: Disney Mickey Sampler
Date Completed: January 2014
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: White
Colours: 12
Pop Culture: Disney

Another book! I was contacted by my good friend Johloh and he asked me to help out with a new book project he had. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance, and made this pattern.

This was made for a Disney Classic Cross Stitch Kit, which you can buy here:

I’m Published in the Star Trek Cross Stitch Book!

The last two Star Trek inspired stitches were from my contributions to the Star Trek Cross Stitch book as part of the merchandice from the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness film!
Not only that but I’ve got loads of patterns in it too!
Grab yourself a copy here for $13!
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Live Long and Cross-Stitch!

Ever wondered what Spock would look like on a baby’s onesie? Well, now you can see, in this fun collection of thirty cross-stitch projects made with love by Star Trek fans. If you’re looking for ideas for putting your favorite character on a tote bag or pillow—or perhaps hanging a lovely framed “Qo’noS Sweet Qo’noS” in the entryway to let everyone know that a Klingon-speaker lives here—then look no farther. Whether you’re a lifelong Trekkie or just a Starfleet cadet, you can show your Star Trek pride by decorating your home, your clothes, and your children with cross-stitched Star Trek quotes and iconic images.
 
I’ve now been published quite a few times. I’ve been the author and contributor to the Hello Kitty Cross Stitch Kit, the Star Wars Cross Stitch Kit, the Star Trek Cross-Stitch: Explore Strange New Worlds of Crafting book, the Disney Classic Cross Stitch Kit, and the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch book. I’ve also been involved a series of magazines such as the CrossStitcher twice, the CrossStitcher Designer Stitches magazine, CrossStitchCrazy, and the XStitch Mag.

I’m in Cross Stitcher Designer Stitches Bookazine!

After being in the Cross Stitcher last year, when they looked into the idea of doing a bookazine, they asked me to be one of the ‘to watch’ artists! Take that!
CrossStitcher-Designer-Stitches1
You can pick up a copy for yourself here!
 
I’ve now been published quite a few times. I’ve been the author and contributor to the Hello Kitty Cross Stitch Kit, the Star Wars Cross Stitch Kit, the Star Trek Cross-Stitch: Explore Strange New Worlds of Crafting book, the Disney Classic Cross Stitch Kit, and the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch book. I’ve also been involved a series of magazines such as the CrossStitcher twice, the CrossStitcher Designer Stitches magazine, CrossStitchCrazy, and the XStitch Mag.

I’m in Creative Crafting Magazine!

This month has been a bit hectic for me, for a super secret reason I can’t get into right now, but lets just say it has something to do with a fully licensed and published book 😀

But it doesn’t just stop there!

I was also featured in the fairly new Creative Crafting online magazine thanks to my friend Mr X Stitch.


You can check out the magazine over at their website and don’t worry if its no longer August, you can check out the back issues!
 
I’ve now been published quite a few times. I’ve been the author and contributor to the Hello Kitty Cross Stitch Kit, the Star Wars Cross Stitch Kit, the Star Trek Cross-Stitch: Explore Strange New Worlds of Crafting book, the Disney Classic Cross Stitch Kit, and the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch book. I’ve also been involved a series of magazines such as the CrossStitcher twice, the CrossStitcher Designer Stitches magazine, CrossStitchCrazy, and the XStitch Mag.