Get to know Lucie Heaton, cross stitch designer, who shares her love for festive designs, why starting her business wasn’t a conscious decision, the link between cross stitching and mindfulness and her top tips for beginners. Plus, take a peek into her craft room!
How did you get into cross stitching?
I’ve always enjoyed crafts and needlework but cross stitch really became a big part of my life when I was expecting my youngest son. I began stitching a kit to keep myself occupied while I was waiting for his arrival and over 27 years later both my sons are now grown up with babies of their own, I’m a nana and I still haven’t finished that kit!
Why did you decide to start your own business?
I didn’t consciously start my own business but it developed over the years after I began contributing as a freelance cross stitch designer to magazines in the early nineties (including CrossStitcher). Since then I’ve worked constantly, designing for publications around the world, kit manufacturers and have also taught workshops at a few craft retreats.
Where do you get your design inspiration/what inspires you?
One of my biggest inspirations is Christmas – I absolutely adore coming up with new festive ideas for stitching and never tire of it even though it can seem like Christmas all year round sometimes! I also find so much inspiration in nature – especially birds and wildlife. One of my all-time favourite projects combines both of these passions and is my Winter Robins design.
Crafts are known to be excellent for wellbeing – how vital do you find crafting for your own mindfulness and wellbeing?
I think cross stitch is so good for our wellbeing. I still take the time to stitch projects whenever I can and I find it deeply relaxing and absorbing. it allows me to switch off from my day-to-day stresses.
I was lucky enough to have the chance to discuss mindfulness, meditation and the healing powers of cross stitch with Stephen Russell, otherwise known as the Barefoot Doctor. He told me he believed that sewing fabric has been an intrinsic human skill and necessity for a near infinite number of years and that it connects us to our ancestors as well as being deeply comforting and satisfying to occupy the hands and produce something beautiful to look at. I completely agree and find this aspect of cross stitch so important!
What are your top tips for beginners/those who’d like to start cross stitch?
- Begin with a small project, pattern or kit.
- Always begin stitching onto the centre of the fabric from the centre of the pattern.
- Practise basic cross stitches and backstitch first and then once you’ve mastered that you can tackle almost any pattern, which is the beauty of cross stitch!
Looking for more top tips? Here are 25 pro cross stitch tips, including another one from Lucie!
Are you into any other crafts and if so, what are they?
I love a crafty project! I like having a go at anything from knitting, crochet and baking to upcycling furniture. My biggest craft aspiration is to become more competent at using my inherited vintage sewing machine which belonged to my grandmother – I have so much to learn!
Tell us about your craft room/work space – we’d love to see pictures, too!
My workspace is also my craft space – it’s crammed with finished pieces of stitching, works in progress and fabric and thread samples as well as kits and needleminders which I stock in my Etsy shop. It’s a bit of a treasure trove and is upstairs overlooking the garden – it’s my happy place!
Where can people find out more about you?
Etsy shop: etsy.com/uk/shop/lucieheaton
Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/LucieHeatoncrossstitchdesigns
Fingers itching to stitch? Get stuck into this free cross stitch gnome chart, courtesy of Durene Jones!