A predominantly self-taught stitcher, I have recently decided to venture out into the world to market my own counted thread designs. I’ve been designing for 6 years, & have more patterns & ideas than time in which to stitch them (or in some cases, chart them). Luckily, I have managed to build a little team of model stitchers who are helping me make some headway. I can’t – of course – kit a design until I have a photo of the finished stitched pieces to show on the packaging, so this is an essential part of the process. It also helps me gauge the quantities of thread & fabric to include in kits, find out if instructions need clarifying (something that’s harder to do if I stitch my own models), and in some cases, see things I want to change in the pattern itself. It’s a great learning curve!
I do a lot less stitching myself than I used to, but I really enjoy the process of the designing, & stitch small samples as I go along, just to make sure things work. I have lots of ideas I haven’t had chance to try out, yet, but with my stitchers’ help, that mythical day when I will have time to get around to everything is hopefully getting slightly closer. At the moment, my time is spent mostly fine-tuning existing charts, typing up instructions, & perfecting the layout of the chart/kit packaging. I enjoy designing the packaging almost as much as the patterns themselves – just another aesthetic aspect of the job, I guess.
Of course, the problem with spending a lot of time charting, means that I ALWAYS get sidetracked & see how a spin-off pattern could work, or it will kick-start another idea entirely. It’s fruitful in one way, but not necessarily productive in terms of actually getting done what I intended to! But I have limited time for all this work, so I do have to be strict with myself, & prioritise things I would otherwise leave until later. The ideas & planning notebook is ever-expanding…
There are related projects such as dyeing my own threads & colouring my own canvases which are on the really-need-to-get-done list, too. The charting & kitting has to take priority; but being able to supply my own hand-dyed threads would be a great addition – & I may even have to get some charts re-stitched using the, depending on how successful they turn out to be. And canvas colouring, although not essential to the current wave of model stitching, will again play a large part in ideas I have for the future.
Why can’t I do everything at once? I’m sure if I just had a few more hands, & a few more hours in every day, life would be so much easier!