Fairy tale cross stitch: an interview with Kateryna Olegivna


13 June 2022
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Meet Kateryna Olegivna, a.k.a. StitchyPrincess, who shares how Slavic fairy tales inspire her designs and how stitching is helping her cope with the war in Ukraine.

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

My name is Kateryna. I'm a 35 year old cat lover and designer of cross stitch patterns that follow the fairy tale, old Slavic magical style. I live in Ukraine that is at war right now... it's a very difficult time for my family and my country. 

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How did you decide on your business name?

My designs come from my childhood. I love fairy tale characters, such as fairies, princesses and Baba Yaga, and that's how the name StitchyPrincess instantly came to me when I decided to open my little Etsy shop.

How did you get into cross stitching?

I started stitching in my childhood, as I was taught by my grandmother. While at school, I took part in craft fairs and I remember my first school design – a little car and a hut – unfortunately, it hasn't survived through the years.

Why did you decide to start your own business?

I live in Ukraine, and cross stitching is not as popular here as it is in Europe and the US. So I thought, what if my designs are appreciated in other countries of the world? And it was true. My Etsy shop became very popular specifically with the American and European customers – I'm very happy about that! I am grateful to my customers. I remember my first sale on Etsy – a customer bought 18 of my designs and became a loyal customer after that. I appreciate that a lot!

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

As I mentioned, my designs are from my childhood. My style is largely based on Slavic fairy tale characters. My inspiration are fairies, bunnies, little foxes, mushrooms and frogs. I love drawing Baba Yaga – this character is very popular with my customers. Baba Yaga is a forest witch who lives in a hut on chicken legs. I envision her as smiling and kind.

Frog Princess

Frog Princess by Kateryna. 

Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga by Kateryna. 

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

I have a couple – a swamp with a princess frog, inspired by a Slavic fairy tale about a Prince and a frog and as I mentioned above – Baba Yaga in her hut on chicken legs.

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

Yes, especially currently during the war… Stitching helps me calm down and keep myself together when I hear shelling.

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

  • It’s best to begin stitching on larger count Aida (I created my first designs using 14 Count Aida).
  • Watch that the thread is straight, keeping the stitch straight and neat.
  • Don’t be afraid of backstitch! It's really not difficult. Patience – and you will get it.

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

Yes, I'm very fond of baking. This is my second hobby… I love baking both traditional Ukrainian pies and classic cakes – Napoleon, brownies, etc. Tasty baked goods, a cup of cocoa, stitching, my husband and cat  – all create a good mood and cosy atmosphere.

Where can people find out more about you?

My designs can be found at my Etsy shop: 

Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/StitchyPrincess 

News about me can be found on my Instagram page:

Instagram: @stitchy_princess_black


Look out for Kateryna's free and EXCLUSIVE cross stitch chart coming to the blog soon...! Until then enjoy this free galaxy cross stitch pattern