Fairy tale cross stitch: an interview with Kateryna Olegivna

13 June 2022
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

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