Cross stitch inspired by the sea: an interview with Kate Spiridonova

30 September 2021
Meet cross stitch designer, Kate Spiridonova, a.k.a. Cute Embroidery as she shares when she discovered cross stitch, her love of design and why she recommends aida for beginners. Plus, find out who keeps her company when creating patterns!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your business?

I’m Kate and I live in Moscow. I’ve been drawing cross stitch patterns since 2020. I mostly draw primitive charts, but sometimes I draw realistic ones as well. 

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How did you get into cross stitching?

When I was eight years old, I was presented with a small kit – these were cute birds on a branch. I’ve been stitching ever since!

Why did you decide to start your own business?

I really like cross stitching and have always wondered about how I can draw cross stitch charts by myself. So, I studied the Cross Stitch Professional Platinum program and now I do!

Kate Spiridonova maple leaf cross stitch design

Where do you get your design inspiration/what inspires you?

I really like to draw primitive charts, because this is creativity in its pure form. I never know in advance how the final chart will turn out to be, so it's always very interesting and exciting! This is what inspires and motivates me to create patterns over and over again.

What’s your favourite cross stitch creation to-date? Can we see?!

I love the sea and lighthouses, so I took part in CrossStitcher magazine’s competition ‘Ready, steady, stitch’ with great pleasure and drew a nautical design, which I then designed into a postcard. 

Under the sea cross stitch on postcard by Kate Spiridonova

I also drew several patterns with lighthouses in a primitive style, because I love them very much. My favourite is the red beacon!

Lighthouse cross stitch designs by Kate Spiridonova

Crafts are known to be excellent for wellbeing – how vital do you find crafting for your own mindfulness and wellbeing?

That’s why I like cross stitch so much – it gives me a sense of calmness and peace of mind. I like to stitch for a long period of time and watch TV while my cat, Richard rests at my feet.

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What are your top tips for beginners/those who’d like to start cross stitch? 

  1. Stitching for beginners should be very simple, so I’d recommend starting with primitive patterns without French knots, backstitch and other special stitches, to not complicate the task. I’d suggest starting with a very small design, which then could easily be finished.
  2. I’d suggest choosing the aida canvas, because it’s the easiest to cross stitch on. I started when I was eight and everything worked out for me!
  3. Start with choosing a design with the least number of colours that could be stitched in a small amount of time – like a postcard, fridge magnet or cute decoration for your home. 
  4. Take your time with the choice of the design, because you should like it!

For even more great advice, check out our 25 pro cross stitch tips.

Are you into any other crafts and if so, what are they?

As a child, I tried different types of needlework – beadwork, macrame, and even embroidery on tulle. However, now my heart belongs only to cross stitching!

Tell us about your craft room/work space – we’d love to see pictures, too!

My workplace is a cosy room with a computer, on which I draw my designs. I decorated the wall with embroidery and I like to draw charts looking at them. I have a beautiful ginger cat, Richard who often comes and plays around the computer. It makes drawing patterns a lot of fun!

Kate Spiridonova

Where can people find out more about you?

Instagram: @cute_embroidery 

Get stuck into Kate's Halloween pumpkin chart, or try this cheerful sunshine cross stitch pattern by Lucie Heaton.

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