Meet Eleanor Welsh, our brand new SewandSo Stitchalong ambassador. Ellie was lucky enough to get her hands on the Right Royal Stitchalong before we launched to test it out, so we’ve caught up with her to find out what she loved, what was challenging and her top tips for anyone stitching it now.
What was your favourite thing about the stitchalong?
I really enjoyed the way that it incorporated lots of smaller designs into one large sampler, so progress felt quite quick, especially as many aspects were repeated – you get quicker each time you do it! I also liked the beads, as I personally like cross stitches with embellishment.
Which fabric did you stitch on and why?
I stitched mine on 14-count Aida in Navy. I’m used to stitching on aida and find it a bit easier than evenweave, especially when using a hoop frame, which I always do. I preferred the dark colourway because I felt it looked more regal, but both colourways look nice. I think the ecru looks very quaint and traditional.
Is it more difficult to stitch on dark fabric than light? Do you have any tips for stitching on dark fabric?
Both have their pros and cons! You need better light to be stitching on a darker fabric, as it is more difficult to see the holes and easier to make mistake for this reason. However, I find dark fabric more forgiving as you can pull the thread across the back over a few stitches instead of fastening off each time. With lighter fabric, this is usually more difficult to disguise.
This stitch along starts in the top left corner, do you have any tips on how to get started when you can’t see the middle of the design?
I almost always start in the centre of the design, but if I have to start elsewhere I make sure to measure on a flat surface, use pins or a pencil (on the reverse of the fabric) to mark out where the edges should be and check and recount at least a couple hundred times!
How did you attach the beads? Did you sew them in with the cross stitch stitch or attach them separately?
I stitched them with one strand of the gold thread with a cross stitch, so the thread went through the eye of the bead twice to secure it. There are many different ways of attaching the beads though, and I think as long as all the beads are angled in the same direction then it will give a nice finish.
Would you say the stitch along is suitable for beginners?
Without a doubt, the smaller motifs are all ideal for beginners, but the central motif was quite time-consuming and testing. If a beginner was to start with this stitch along, I would perhaps recommend leaving the central motif until the end to build up confidence in the other areas of the design. A stitch along is a good idea for beginners, because it provides an online community to help throughout.
How long did it take you to complete the design?
Between two and three weeks with a few hours a day devoted to it.
What is your top tip for anyone doing this stitch along?
View each section of motifs as separate to feel as if you are progressing quickly. And don’t give up if the central motif takes a long time, it honestly looks so like the real thing when you’re finished it’s something to proud of! Also, use the group for advice and encouragement, it’s a great feeling to be part of a community within a hobby like that.