So much choice ...
You have hundreds of cross stitch designers and suppliers to choose from, so here is a little more detailed information on some of them, their products and our opinions ...
Rose Swalwell is the founder of Derwentwater Designs, named after the lake in the beautiful English Lake District where she lives and where her business is situated.
The company has been designing and manufacturing embroidery kits since the mid 1980s and Rose still designs most of the kits although there is also a team of designers each specialising in a different range.
maia is an exclusive range of beautiful and artistic embroidery kits designed to inspire you down to the very last stitch.
Maia is the goddess of spring, growth, life, rebirth and love – all fitting qualities for you and your stitching.
Produced by Coats Crafts, maia kits include carefully sorted Anchor thread, quality fabric and easy to follow charts and instructions. The designs are all inspired by the artwork of various artists - Karl Bang, Thomas Kinkade, Keith Mallett, Erte, Nel and Kawase Hasui.
Quality cross stitch kits, inspirational design.
Green Apple Inc. has been a leader in the cross stitch industry for many years and has become known for having designs of sophistication and artistic quality - designs truly worthy of becoming heirlooms.
Among their most popular are the adorable Beatrix Potter and Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairies, as well as Southern Roots and French Country Designs. These come mainly in booklet form with a large number of pictures in each, clearly illustrated on black and white charts. Some booklets have colour illustrations of the finished works.
Many of the individual designs are small and would therefore be suitable for all abilities. Larger pieces would be for those with more experience.
Ever popular is their Beatrix Potter collection with converted illustrations of birds and animals from her books which are suitable for children and the nursery. With many different formats and uses these are excellent value.
Beatrix Potter was born in 1866 into an upper class Victorian family in London. While her brother was sent away to school she was educated at home in art and music. She became interested in nature and the environment in family holidays spent in Scotland and the Lake District and became a skilled artist at an early age. As well as the famous illustrations for her books, she painted landscapes, flowers and fossils.
Her first book The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published in 1902 and a large number of small books followed up until around 1920, featuring her much loved characters Jemima Puddle-duck, Mrs Tiggy Winkle, Tom Kitten and many more.
She retired to the Lake District where she bought a sheep farm and with the steady stream of income from her books she bought more land in the area which on her death was left to the National Trust to ensure that the beauty of the area would remain unspoiled. Her legacy is now part of the Lake District National Park.
Her most famous books have been published by Frederick Warne & Company since 1902.
The Dutch company Lanarte have produced many and varied designs. They produce quality large scale charts in black and white with detailed instructions in several languages.
In 1934, Augustinus (Guus) Vergnes opened a shop in Leeuwarden selling yarn and knitting wool. The range was gradually extended to include other needlecrafts, such as simple cross-stitch kits. Over the years, Guus managed to open numerous shops throughout the country under the name Naaldkunst (Needlecraft). As the range of needlecraft kits was not very broad at that time, Guus felt the need to design his own.
Lanarte, now grown into a family business was set up in 1973 and new business premises were built on the newly developed Schenkenschans industrial area in Leeuwarden, Holland.
Lanarte's collections consist of :-
- Art Nouveau - Stylish images from the golden age of art
- Home and Garden - beautiful flower pictures, individually, in bouquets and vases or in garden setting;
- Romance - delicate colours and subtle shades in pictures of beautiful women, children and flowers;
- Marjolein Bastin - designs of flowers, birds and samplers from the well known Dutch illustrator;
- Classic - from paintings, posters and Dutch tiles;
- Animals - styled, realistic and cartoons;
- Culture - Egyptian collages, oriental ladies, dark African beauties are all in this group;
- Holiday - lighthouses and seaside views and the country with fields of flowers;
- Just for Kids - cute teddies, toys and contemporary birth samplers;
- Maria van Scharrenburg - beautiful fantasy figures, romantic baby pictures and a cute nursery range.