I’d loved my Etsy experience with peg people, but it had just gotten too busy for me.
Once I shut my store down, I took up cross stitching for the first time since my childhood. I did a few big samplers, but when I started looking for smaller items to make, I couldn't find any patterns I liked. Too many teddy bears and twee quotes!
So I just started designing my own – first with graph paper and coloured pens, then using an Excel spreadsheet. I shared my map of Westeros on Reddit and tons of people asked for the pattern, so made it and listed it on my dormant Etsy shop.
Cross stitching is such a time-consuming process and I will only sell a pattern that I’ve actually stitched up myself (it’s just not fair to your customers if you haven’t tested it first!), so I only have patterns that I like personally and want to display in my own home.
My cross stitch designs have been featured in places like the Washington Post, Mr X Stitch, and Epbot. Plus Millie Bobby Brown (aka Eleven) has my Stranger Things piece and Crista Flanagan (aka Lois from Mad Men) has the cross stitch version of her lawnmower incident!
I still stitch from time to time, but only if inspiration jumps out at me.