Ideas for you

Pretty vintage rose cushion 001Hi, an update with a picture of my cross stitch design in the latest edition GOLD magazine. A pretty vintage design, of soft pink and white roses that have a shabby – chic feel to them. The design has been stitched onto a lovely spotted Zweigart linen fabric. If you don’t want to opt for patterned fabric, complete the whole chart, including the dots that are shown on the chart. I can just imagine the finished cushion against an old armchair or a classic wicker seat like the one in the picture. I think it is going to look particularly nice in my little cottage………….I’m pleased.
I have placed this design in this section as it is suitable for those of you that prefer needlepoint. This chart will be ideal, as this easy design has a very modest palette and uses just whole stitches…………..remember you will need extra wool to fill in the background…………
Happy stitching.

 Toile de Jouy pink version - SimulationToile de Jouy  - SimulationThe Toile de Jouy design that I displayed on my ‘About me’ section recently has proved of interest to many of you.
We know it as a type of decorating pattern consisting of a white background on which a repeated pattern of small scenes are depicted, usually of a pastoral theme.

This type of pattern consists of a single colour and in my original design it is in shades of blue, but here I have shown you an example of a section of the design in a pink / red colour way. Do try and change designs, especially with colours if they aren’t quite the right shades for you. Pink and reds were as popular as the blue but greens and browns will work just as well. If you aren’t too sure about choosing the stranded threads yourself then any good needlework shop will help you find the right shades.

The use of sequins on a design 001Oriental bird with peonies 001

Nature is a great influence in my life and I love to spend my time when possible in my garden or walking in the countryside. I get a lot of inspiration when I’m outside; there are always lots of ideas bouncing around in my head and a walk is one way of sorting out the ones that I wish to create into a final design.

This chart is in the latest edition of Gold magazine and it is based on one of the loves of my life; oriental design. This bird design was one concept that came from moments in the garden looking at the birds feeding. The main flowers are peonies which seemed a natural choice for this picture as they are a blooms that embody romance and prosperity and are regarded as an omen for good fortune and a happy marriage in Japan. I think all of the colours echo that oriental feel and the sprinkling of gold sequins adds an unusual touch, but one that I think suits the style of this design and is a very effective addition.

TIP: When attaching sequins, bring your thread up through the fabric at the point indicated on the chart. Thread on a sequin, then take the needle down at the outside of the sequin to hold it in place. Repeat twice more around the sequin to attach it securely.

Tulips in needlepoint black background - SimulationTulips in needlepoint - Simulation

If you would like to try to stitch this chart from the cross stitch one available from ‘The Making Spot’ – but using tapestry wools onto 10 count canvas then omit all of the backstitched lines from the chart. You will also need to remember that with this technique the background requires filling in. Just check the over all size to start with, as depending on the size of your cushion pad, you may need to add more of the stitched surround to fill the canvas completely. A good needlework shop will help you with the amount of skeins you will require.

Please send through any pictures of finished stitched designs that you have done of MY work as I am hoping to get a gallery of pieces showing your stitched work soon……….looking forward to hearing from you, Lx

UPDATE on the blackwork angel design. I have had such a lovely response to my blackwork designs and in particular this angel. The following stitched sections are courtesy of It is lovely to see the stitched work in progress and what is even better is that if you go onto her website you will find lots of gorgeous recipes to read……. just the thing to think about whilst stitching and wondering what to have for supper……….thanks Aveena

blackwork angel looking good!

blackwork angel in progressGOLD BLACKWORK ANGEL revised - Simulation


A different colourway

A different colourway

At a suggestion from a World of Cross Stitching reader, I have altered the colours of the irises from mauve to lilac for her. I think this is a really pretty colourway – much softer than my original colours. The replacement stranded cottons for all of the mauve / blue shades are given from the lightest to darkest shades and are as follows: 211, 210, 209, 208, 3837 and 550. 550 also replaces the backstitch 820 to 550

The Iris design can be found in the latest World of Cross Stitching – issue 199

Spring is on its way!!
This stylish cushion shows you my latest design which can be found in The World of Cross Stitching this month with a group of lovely irises.
Looking at these blooms, it’s easy to see why so many artists found them irresistible.

Cross stitch design in World of Cross stitching that has been made into a cushion

Cross stitch design in World of Cross stitching that has been made into a cushion

What you can do to change a design Just see how much you can change a design by change of colour. This could be in cross stitch but by using the original cross stitch chart it will be ideal for those of you who like needlepoint as well. Here I have used DMC wools on a 10 count canvas and extended the design to fit a 14 inch (35.5cm) square. The original colours of the design may be copied, but here, I am trying to show you how different one design can look by just changing the colours. We don’t need the backstitches with needlepoint, but remember to fill the background in completely with stitches. Use a Tent stitch to apply the wools to the canvas area.

Hi all, I have been meaning to edit and add a bit about my friends needlepoint Lion design. I found out that the gold thread was couched…….this is where a thicker thread, that will not go through the fabric easily, is laid on top and ‘couched’ down with a finer thread. So in other words – and it takes skill – the gold has been placed down in a line and then a needle, threaded with a stranded cotton in a similar colour, small stitches are placed at regular intervals to hold the thicker thread down………….more to come soon.

For another look at needlepoint, then check out how my cross stitch poppy design from Bothy Threads looks when charted as a needlepoint cushion. I have added a deeper border on this occasion and Kate has chosen Appleton wools to use on 10 count canvas for the design.needlepoint poppy

Any of my cross stitch flower kits will convert to this technique so, if you have the chart from Bothy Threads you need only to convert the stranded cottons to wools and you will get two items from this chart. Any good haberdashery shop will be able to advise, but, just choose the tones that you think work well and are the nearest to the stranded cotton shades. Both DMC, Anchor and Appleton wools can be used: remember you will need extra wool to cover the background- area, a cream shade is used on the Bothy kit.

But as an example for you, I’m showing the conversion to DMC wools here for the original cross stitch purple poppy and you are now able see that I have added a cream wool to the background area. If you want to make this into a 14 inch / 35 cm square cushion then continue to add rows of cream stitching around the design until the correct size is completely covered with stitching – make up into a cushion by adding a backing fabric and insert a cushion pad.
Use a tent stitch with the DMC and Anchor wools
Cross stitch with two strands of Appleton wools:Needlepoint purple poppy as an example - Simulation

Yesterday a friend brought her needlepoint picture that she had just finished to show me. I had originally drawn the outlines of the design on to her canvas so she was keen for me to see the finished design. She has worked on a series of these from original drawings from the Medieval period. I love the way she has used different stitches to fill the shapes, and the gold long stitches really help emphasize the letter. I started designing needlepoint pictures many years ago for DMC and I so wish it would become popular again. This design is traditional but my friend has used her needlework skills in finishing the picture as she wishes to let her creativity come out in the individual stitches.

Some new designers are making head way slowly with this technique and Kirstie Allsop has done her bit to advertise this lovely method of using wools on canvas to make up designs that can be indiviual, creative and durable and because of this they will be the heirlooms for the future.

I had a lovely email from a stitcher friend in America yesterday, letting me know that some of the threads I have used in a recent design are unavailable in the USA. As my charts are available worldwide it will be something I will try to avoid in future by giving alternative threads to use.
The design was in issue 96 of Cross Stitch GOLD magazine of a lovely black work angel. The alternative threads are for DMC’s Diamant metallic thread.
DMC D310 –  alternative thread: Kreinik 4 braid, Steel Grey 010Hl – (used on lines on the hair and pattern on the dress)
DMC D3821 – alternative thread: Kreinik 4 braid, Citron 028
My thanks to Ursula and Kenneth for the update and Norleen, as I said, I’m still learning to blog!!
I thought that some of you may not be quite into the Christmas mood yet……I’m certainly not, (but, I do have quick glance  – now and then at the lovely Christmas goods coming into the shops) so  I thought a change of flower would keep the ‘summer’ going for a while! Below is the cross stitch version but for those of you who like working in needlepoint / tapestry wools you can find it here.
Kate at Bothy Threads has kindly sent me a simulation of ‘Holly’ one of the Country Lasses series which I hope will link in with the Rose wreath and my free chart for those getting ready for the season! – this time a holly leaf and berries for you to stitch see …’I know it is early’……………
I hope to keep you all up to date with the cross stitch designs that will be available each month in the magazines and I’m hoping, as I get used to this site, being able to offer a small free chart to download so that if you are new to stitching you can take advantage and give it a try. In the meantime do take a look at The Bothy website. Kate Hoyle, the owner and a designer herself, has done a wonderful job in making up  a great selection of my designs for me and the rose shown here is one of a set of flowers she has produced as a kit. Website:

If you would like to keep up with designs of mine in Cross Stitcher and Cross Stitch Collection then please go to: for up to date images and charts that may be of interest.

45 comments on “Ideas for you

  1. Jay says:

    This looks great mum. Can’t wait to see your photos and designs on here.

  2. Simple shapes can be easy to cross stitch. Keeping this month’s Scandinavian theme have a look at these red and white cross stitch sampler designs
    They are based on very simple shapes, similar to patchwork but using just red thread….let me know how you get on?

  3. Ian Brown says:

    Love the new site Lesley, especially the rose design. When you get time could you do us a coffee related small simple cross-stitch kit to sell on our coffee trailer?

    Best wishes, Ian – Mojo Coffee Company

  4. Norleen Brown says:

    I absolutely LOVE the Blackwork Angel, and it will definitely be my next project. I live in the U.S. and couldn’t find the DMC Diamant thread, so I sent an e-mail to Cross Stitch Gold a few weeks ago and haven’t heard form them. I then decided to try and contact you, and I was glad you had the above info. However, for both colors you have them listed as as DMC 3821! Do you mean to use the Steel Grey Blending Filament in place of DMC310 or mix it with the Citron #4 braid in place of the Black/gold #310?
    I really appreciate your making this clear to me.
    As a real fan of your fantastic patterns, I remain,
    Sincerely yours,
    Norleen Brown
    Arkansas, USA

  5. aveena says:

    I am so relieved I found your blog!! I, too, am in the States and was having a very difficult time finding a Xstitch store that would special order Diamant thread for me. I was so determined to do this pattern that I was willing to pay the extra charges in shipping just to get the thread I needed, but now I don’t have too 🙂

    I absolutely love the blackwork angel and can’t wait to get started on her!

    • The blackwork angel has been very popular Aveena. I’m SO pleased that my blog has been able, with the help of all your messages, to highlight the problem with the threads. Kreinik threads are a delight to work with and as there are many colour choices it is easy to choose a shade that one requires.

      I have contacted GOLD magazine and Medina Bailey, the editor, will be writing about the problem and with an update about the new choice for the threads, so I hope more people will see this in the States.

      Perhaps you will be able to let me see the finished picture some time – although I’m not sure if this is possible with the blog?!……as I keep saying I have a lot to learn!

      L x

      • aveena says:

        Lesley, thank you so much for your responses and for caring! I am so very pleased with how this is turning out, and the Kreinik has been a pleasure to work with (as far as metallics go)! I will be sure to send you a photo of my finished work. Thanks again

      • Thanks for letting me know that the angel is going well – and please do send me an image of it when you finish the design. The Kreinik threads are good…… you say metallics are not the easiest to use but this brand I like and as a designer the range of colours they have is great. Keep stitching Lx

  6. Debbie Dutta says:

    Is there any way I could get a copy of the chart for your Blackwork Lady (The World of Cross-stitching, Issue 185). I did write to the publishers and they are out of it. I stay in USA

    Thanks, Debbie

    • Hi Debbie, I’ll be in touch about this next week. The magazine is trying to be helpful and set up the charts for not only the one you would like but also the black work angel as both have been so popular. It would mean the charts could be bought from Chart Shop at quite a reasonale price.

    • Vanessa Mellor says:

      Debbie it’s available to download on Apple Apps if you have access to it, if not email me and I’ll send you the copy I’ve just bought, as yet I haven’t printed it out. I can always purchase another copy. I could send it to you via email. Cheers Nessa (

      • Debbie Dutta says:

        I do not have access to download Apple Apps. Is there anyway, you can send me the chart…How do I pay you? Anyway, thanks a ton…I am aching to start …..Cheers,

  7. Vanessa Mellor says:

    Hi Lesley, I have also been searching round to find the magazine with the Blackwork Angel in, as your aware Apple App Store are now offering the majority of magazines on Macs and iPads, i personally subscribe to 3 cross stitch magazines, crazy, card shop and WOCS. It’s amazing you get to enlarge the patterns making them easier to see. I’m going to see if I can get Cross Stitch Gold issue 96 on Apple Apps, if so ill let you know, then you can let the lady in USA know its available if she has access to a Mac computer, iPhone or iPad. Thanks Nessa

  8. Vanessa Mellor says:

    Good news for the lady who was also after the Blackwork Angel in Cross Stitch Gold issue 96. It’s available to down load on Apple Apps, this way you can enlarge the pattern and use off you Apple Mac Computer/laptop, iPhone, iPod or iPad, or you can print it out on paper and just store your magazines for future reference. Hope this is of help to the lady in USA, or if she would like to email me direct, I could send her my copy of the magazine, as it’s already been paid for. Cheer Nessa xx

  9. aveena says:

    I wanted to come back and say that I’ve made significant progress on Miss Blackwork and she’s looking fantastic! I made an error in understanding which thread was to be used for which colored line for her overcoat, but it actually looks really good combining the gold and black metallic thread. I feel like her forearm looks a little odd, but I followed the pattern anyways. You can see my progress on my blog:

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Lesley!
    I am so happy that I now have all 8 Flowers designs by You Lesley – from Bothy Threads!
    And I have started with my favorit flower: Peony! Thank You so much for these beautifull flowers – they have cheer me up so much, I have back pain and can´t stitch so long time at the moment…
    But I try and my dream is to stitch all this 8 flowers and put them on my wall!

    Have a lovely afternoon and weekend too!

    Best wishes from lucky stitcher
    PS. As I subscribe to XS Collection, XS Gold and WOCS – I wonder if You come with more beautifull flower designs? I even love Your Irises cushion in WOCS…

    • Your comments have made my day, Elizabeth. I have SO enjoyed painting and designing the flowers charts for Kate at Bothy Threads. They are extremely popular which is lovely and yes, I am continuing to work on more flower designs for the magazines. At present most of the work is for the Christmas issues but I know there is another beautiful flower design that will be in a future edition of GOLD mag……so I’ll definitely give you an update nearer the time……….
      Many thanks again for your lovely comments —perhaps you would be kind enough to send me a picture of the finished flowers as you stitch them as I would love to add a ‘gallery’ of my designs that have been stitched.

      Lesley xx

  11. Olivia says:

    Hi Lesley,

    Wow, what a wonderful blog! I’m here having done a quick Google search… I discovered you 2 weeks ago after making an impromptu purchase of “365 Cross Stitch Ideas”, having been compelled to buy it after seeing your beautiful Oriental Geisha design. I have started to stitch her and I have to say that I don’t think the photo does her justice…the fabulous metallic thread and shiny beads, as well as the wonderful bright colours you have chosen make her look much more textured and opulent in real life than she does in the magazine. I’m having great fun at the moment and can’t wait until she is finished! This is only the 3rd cross-stitch I’ve ever done, and certainly the largest, having completed 2 very tiny chickens that I bought from a local sewing shop about 2 years ago!

    Just a quick question – I would love to send you a photo when she is finished, as you request at the top of this page, but not sure where to send one as I can’t seem to find your email address. Please help!

    I love your designs and can see myself stitching a lot more of them once the Geisha is complete! I’ll definitely be checking back to your blog regularly too! Many thanks indeed!

    Very best wishes,

    Olivia xx

  12. lloyd irvin says:

    I absolutely love your website.. Excellent colors & theme.
    Did you build this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my own website and would love to know where you got this from or what the theme is called. Thank you!

    • Hello Lloyd, thank you for your kind comments about the design of my blog they are much appreciated.

      I have a brilliant son who designed it for me and I agree that the format not only looks good but the strong design makes it all very suitable as a showcase for me as an artist and designer.

      Designing websites is not part of his job description but I was very grateful for his help in making my site very personal to me.

      It is proving a popular blog and the format will allow me to add other sections if required………a gallery to showcase stitched designs of mine may be one that will be added soon.

      I wish you well with your own website. Keep in touch and let me see your version when you are up and running,

      • Hi Lloyd – I have an update for you which I hope will please you. My son has been abroad for a few weeks so the following info has only just reached me: details on the style of my website can probably be found on the Quintas theme from WordPress.


  13. Jen says:

    Hi Lesley! I wanted to pop on over and let you know that I FINALLY finished the Blackwork Angel and she is even more stunning in person, what a wonderful design!! I decided not to do the border mostly because I was impatient to finish her 🙂 However, you can stop by my blog with the updated photos and feel free to use them if you’d like. Thanks again for a gorgeous design and I hope you have a wonderful summer! ~Jen

    • Hi Jen

      Thanks SO much for this. I’m really pleased that you enjoyed stitching the black work angel, she has been a really popular design. I’m hoping to get the gallery up and running next week if possible.
      Thanks again for keeping in touch with this,

  14. aveena says:

    Hi Lesley! I thought I left a comment on here, but now I can’t find it! So here we go again. I completed the Blackwork Christmas Angel, and she has turned out to be such a beautiful piece of artwork. I love her! I decided not to stitch the gold border as I was too impatient to finish 🙂 You can find completed photos of her here, and feel free to use any photos on your own blog.

  15. jessica says:

    hi Lesley I have been trying to find a copy of your blackwork christmas angel but as I live in Australia im not sure if I can get the magazine and I cant use the apple app either is there any other way to get it like the making spot or something
    thanx I love your work

  16. Debbie Dutta says:

    The angel is beautiful, Jen…The stitched piece is gorgeous…..I am right now stitching another of Lesley’s Black work creation…..The Blackwork Lady…..I plan to finish it soon…..I teach at a nearby University till June. Before classes start in September, I hope I will have the stitched piece to show you all……I have a copy of the magazine which has the angel, so if any body needs it, I can scan it for them….I was just wondering what gold thread do we use in US for the angel,
    Thanks a lot for your help

    • patricia springs says:

      Could you tell me which magazine you found the Blackwork Lady in and I can get the magazine. Or if you could send me a copy of the pattern by PDF that would be great. Or is that allowed? I’m not even sure. I would appreciate it.

      Thanks loads,

      • Debbie Dutta says:

        I have both the patterns..i.e the Black work lady as well as the Angel..I can scan them and send it to you…..Can you send me your email address….Thanks,Debbie

  17. kittkatt says:

    Hi Lesley
    have bought 3 of the garden flower designs – hydrangeas, irises and purple poppy. Eagerly awaiting for them to be shipped all the way to Singapore. Some suggestions for the future: tulips, agapanthus and crocuses, if I may be so bold! I used to live in the UK and whilst there are some lovely tropical flowers over here I do miss the flowers in UK the most!

    • Hi, my sincere apologies if I failed to reply to your lovely letter. I’m not sure if Kate at Bothy Threads will be adding to the group as her main style is much more funky now. I have plans to try and add charts for sale to this blog site……………if I manage it then the flowers would be a group I would concentrate on. As it happens one chart already completed is of agapanthus. These flowers are just coming out in my garden and I, like you, love them. I’ll see how it all goes in the next few months…..time, or lack of!! is always an issue!

  18. Angelique H says:

    Love your work. I was wondering if Cherish Your Dreams, the Native American maiden is only available thru CSG #83 or is there a separate chart that can be ordered? Thanks

    • Hi Angelique, I am just about to send the chart through to you. After much deliberation I am going to start selling my charts here on my blog as there is obviously a need for it. The site will be set up soon, although with a house move for me in the offing there will be some delay…..perhaps nearer Christmas or early New Year. As usual, lack of time is always an issue. The chart will be sent separately through to you. Lx

      • Angelique says:

        Oh wow thanks!! I just got your email and am going to reply back to it via the email. When you sell your charts here are you going to offer pdf as well as pre-printed charts shipped? The pdf came out beautiful. Please keep us posted when the shop opens. Good luck on the house move. Once again love your work.

      • Well Angelique we have now been in touch with each other and just to say here on my blog, a very many thanks for your input. I should be able to ‘move on’ with my ideas for ‘The Shop’ now thanks to your help.
        As an answer to the question of how they will be sold: I’m pretty certain the charts will go out as a pdf, it cuts down on postage costs and it’s such an easy way to get the designs to you all quickly. The books, however, will have to have a postage charge added. Thanks for the ‘good luck’ with the house….at present all fingers and toes are crossed, but good so far,

        many thanks,

  19. patricia springs says:

    I’ve been reading all of the replys about the blackwork angel and I wanted to let you and everyone else know that if they have a problem finding a back issue of any magazine they can go to Stitch-it Central and they usually have any magazine you want to buy. They are a little more expensive as they are shipping from Canada but if you can’t find them anywhere else you can always go there. Hope this helps.
    Take care,.

    • Debbie Dutta says:

      Hi Pat,
      I can send the pattern (Blackwork Lady)….I did complete the design and enjoyed stitching every part of it…I plan on sending the finished picture as soon as I finish teaching my winter session classes at the University….At present I am also busy stitching one of Lesley’s designs…..It is from her book-Cross-stitch country side collection…Is there a way to send an attachment thru this “chain”…..Do let me know….Debbie

  20. patricia springs says:

    Anyone that is stitching the Blackwork Angel of Lesley’s I wanted to let you know I just found the DMC Diamant 310 and the DMC Diamant 3821 on Stitch it Central. It is the first I have ever seen it anywhere. It’s more expensive than the other $4.05 and those are the only 2 I saw so I don’t know if they have others or not.

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