Nicola is a lovely crafter and Flosstuber - if you’re new to that term it’s a mash-up of “floss” which refers to embroidery thread, and YouTuber which I’m sure you’re all familiar with.
Based in Suffolk, Nicola has been cross stitching for 3 years, though she had been sewing other things for years before that. She describes her cross stitch style as “eclectic and evolving.”
Let’s find out a little more about Nicola’s cross stitch hobby.
1. Why did you start cross stitching?
It was after seeing the Glitter Village on Priscilla Blain’s YouTube channel.
I fell hard for that design, and picked up a needle and fabric after many many years. Despite it being the reason I started stitching again, I still haven’t finished that piece.
2. What's your favourite project that you have stitched?
It’s a recent stitch - Cup of Christmas Cheer by With Thy Needle and Thread.
With Thy Needle and Thread is run by Brenda Gervais. I love Brenda Gervais’ designs, and this one was so fun to stitch and display for Christmas.
3. What are your favourite cross stitching tips for newbies?
Start with “smalls” (small cross stitch designs) so that you can fully finish each one - the sense of achievement is addictive.
I’d also suggest using the best materials you can afford, to make the process a real treat.
4. Where's your favourite place to cross stitch outside of the house?
I love cross stitching in my car.
I always have a project in the car, and spend most of my lunchtimes stitching away. It’s a great way to decompress after a stressful morning at work, and leaves me ready to start the afternoon more relaxed.
You’d be surprised how much you can achieve by stitching little and often like this.
5. Tell us about a time you cross stitched a present for a friend or loved one?
My stitchy friend Paula and I always swap something stitched in our Advent swaps, and on our birthdays too.
Paula’s stitching is fantastic, so I think I get the better deal!
6. Who taught you how to cross stitch?
I’m self-taught, but I learnt lots of little things along the way from Flosstubers and Instagram stitchers.
7. How do you organise your cross stitching supplies?
I do love a good cross stitch project bag - I have way too many and I love making my own too. I keep my current cross stitch projects in a larger tote bag, and testing projects in a wire basket on a shelf.
My embroidery floss/threads are on floss drops (card or plastic tabs with a hole to loop your threads through, to organise them) which are hanging up so that I can see them in my sewing room.
8. How do you display your finished cross stitch projects?
I stitch a lot of smalls, which I love to finish as pillows. These cross stitch projects are mostly seasonal, and I like to display them in bowls or on a tiered tray.
9. What is your biggest cross stitching bugbear?
Getting knots in my floss - it drives me bananas!
I know that nobody else can see the back of my cross stitch projects, but if I notice a knot I have to go back and unpick to get it out, even if it won’t be seen.
10. As a cross stitcher, what crafty gift would you really love to get for your birthday?
Ooh, a new magnifying lamp would be lovely - mine is getting a bit wobbly.
11. What is your favourite source for cross stitch patterns and inspiration?
Flosstube and Instagram, hands down. There is so much cross stitch inspiration and temptation on both, sometimes it’s best for me to stay offline… especially if I need to focus on a particular project.
12. What's the biggest project you've ever cross stitched, and how long did it take to make?
The Prim Stitch Series by Lori Holt. It’s a 12-part series which took me over 2 years to make, as I am always getting distracted - whoops!
13. What project is currently on your hoop?
I thought, if I’m doing 12 days of Christmas Advent with my friend Paula, why not start 12 Christmas cross stitch projects?
So I am doing the 12 Starts of Christmas, which you can hear more about in my Flosstube #45 video.
As recommended by Nicola
I asked Nicola to recommend 3 brands, blogs or magazines she'd recommend to any cross stitcher.
- @brenda_gervais - With thy Needle and Thread on Instagram
- Peakside Needleworks - an online cross stitch shop
- Flosstube - the cross stitch corner of YouTube