Better Cross Stitch Patterns Blog

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Here's What's New

Yes! We really do have a Pin Stitch Tutorial

And it might just be the answer to those frustrating confetti stitches!

CLICK HERE for our Straight & Angled Pin Stitch Tutorials.

DO NOT CLICK on the link in my previous post. It says the page doesn't exist. But it does exist. I promise!

In my journey to take over the technical aspects of building and maintaining my website, I've learned four things:

  1. Try to get it right the first time. The technical reason that the prior link no longer works is that I changed the underlying page name of an existing page, without realizing that it would negate the original link.
  2. Be careful when software offers to save you time. When I build a new page, it can automatically generate a blog entry. While that can save time, I unfortunately cannot edit it (er, correct it) after the post.
  3. Practice being humble, because mistakes online might be there FOREVER! (Don't you wish our teenagers understood this?)
  4. I can never thank my husband enough for all of his hard work in handling the technical aspects of building this website for me.
Come to think of it, these lessons apply to my life!

So, if you haven't done it before, check out our tutorial. A Pin Stitch uses very small stitches to begin and end cross stitching, and can be worked from the front of the fabric. They are often hard to see in a video, so we've created a lesson with very detailed diagrams and instructions.

Check it out and Keep on Stitching!

P.S. Thanks again, sweetheart!

pin stitch tutorial for cross stitch

Take the frustration out of frequent floss changes and confetti stitches. Our Pin Stitch Tutorial has detailed diagrams and instructions to make learning quick and easy.

Continue reading "pin stitch tutorial for cross stitch"

Bones Cross Stitch Alphabet Pattern

"Bones" is the perfect Halloween cross stitch alphabet pattern and a bold choice for Pirates, Over-40, Dinosaur, Doctors, Nurses, Archeologists, Physical Therapists.

Continue reading "Bones Cross Stitch Alphabet Pattern"

Needle Threaders

Needle threaders are a must for your cross stitch sanity. Don't buy a threader without seeing the best choices for the tapestry needles you use most.

Continue reading "Needle Threaders"

The times, they are a changin' . . . and so is!

Watch for changes in our website's navigation, or menu structure.

For example, we used to have every stitch listed on the left menu. Clicking on one took you to the page with step-by-step instructions on how to make that particular stitch.

Now, however, you will click on "Learning the Stitches." That will take you to a "Learn How to Cross Stitch" overview page with a graphic image, like these, of every stitch.

Clicking on one takes you to its instruction page.

Over the next few weeks, we will be consolidating all of our menus in a similar fashion.

"Why in the world would you do that?" you may ask. Especially when one of our most frequent compliments is that our website is so easy to navigate.

Well . . .

People are using mobile devices, like tablets and smart phones, to connect to the websites they used to visit with laptops or desktops.

But, because the screens are smaller and of varying sizes, websites don't look the same. And it's not just appearance.

The information is not as easily accessible.

Because it's not accessible, search engines will not include non-conforming websites in your search results.

That means that stitchers will not have access to all the great information on

So, as you're looking through the website, and you think you hear a muffled scream in the background, that's just me being dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.

Keep on Stitching!

Brand New Cross Stitch Alphabet Pattern "Beloved"

Yikes! That was one long week!

When I started my website redesign a couple of months into the New Year, I added an image to my "Free Alphabets" page using a newly-completed alphabet.

I was thrilled to receive emails asking where to get the " 'May you live . . .' cross stitch lettering shown at the top of that page."

Then, using my particular talent for overestimating how much work I can do and underestimating how much time I actually have, I said that it should be up in about a week.

In the mid-80s there was a movie, named "Money Pit," starring Tom Hanks. It was about a couple who purchased a mansion that turned out to be a monumental fixer upper. Despite uncovering disaster after disaster, every time they asked the contractor how much longer the renovations would take, the answer was always the same . . . "Two weeks!"

That first email was in April.

Well, it's August and, finally, "Beloved" Cross Stitch Alphabet 33 is now available. Really!

"Beloved" features elegant black letters outlined in gold metallic, with a red heart tucked into the curves. The chart includes:

  • Upper case letters (some letters have two style options)
  • A taller, slimmer set of lower case letters
  • A shorter, rounder set of lower case letters
  • Two sets of numbers, one with hearts and one without
  • Punctuation (some with and some without hearts)
Click here to see the complete "Beloved" counted cross stitch alphabet. I'd love to see what you do with it. So please send me a photo! I've always wanted to have a gallery where stitchers can share their latest works. I might even be able to finish it, hmm . . . in about two weeks!

Keep on Stitching!

PS: Thank you for the emails you send in appreciation of this website. Time is precious, and it means the world to me! Often, in the midst of a hectic day, it's just the encouragement I need. So again, thanks!

Continue reading "Brand New Cross Stitch Alphabet Pattern "Beloved""

A Cross Stitch Treasure - DMC Color Card WITH THREADS

While building my Amazon store, "Better Cross Stitch Supplies," I discovered some great products to help you in your cross stitch endeavors. One of the finds I'm most excited about is

A DMC Color Card with Thread Samples!

For years, I've seen discussions online about how hard it is to find this product.What is a color card? It is a book, of sorts, with fold-out panels. It contains a list of every floss color that DMC makes, arranged in color families. Beside each DMC number is an example of the color, as well as a mini-chart telling you which DMC thread types are available in that color.

Now here is the tricky part--DMC makes two versions of their color cards.

One has the floss colors simply printed. The accuracy of the color is dependent on how well the printer matched the ink to each specific floss color. From the many reviews I've read, most cross stitchers find that these colors don't match the actual floss well enough for the product to be useful.

The other Color Card uses actual floss threads for the floss color example. This is what you'll find in my store. It costs more than the printed version, but it's well worth the investment.

Do you need a Color Card?

If you only purchase pre-assembled cross stitch kits with the floss included, you might not need a Color Card.

If you are here, though, it probably means that you are branching out, finding your own cross stitch charts and picking your own colors. You want to be able to make some of your own decisions about the pieces you stitch.

If this is you, and you use primarily DMC threads, then this Color Card is a must-have!

Whenever you look at DMC Color Cards, read the description carefully. Depending on when one is manufactured, obviously it will not have any of the colors newly released since the printing of that particular card. But the majority of colors are included.

I use my DMC Color Card so often that the corners get really banged up. Now I cut my pages apart whenever I get a new card. I trim them so they'll fit into report covers and store the pages in a 3-ring binder.

This is such a rare find that I put the DMC Color Card in it's own category in my Amazon store. You'll find it at the top of the menu to the right. This one includes DMC Cotton Perle, DMC Color Variations, DMC Light Effects, DMC Metallic Perle, and is currently priced around $35.

Check it out and Keep on Stitching!

Continue reading "A Cross Stitch Treasure - DMC Color Card WITH THREADS"

Introducing a better store . . .

I couldn't be more excited to tell you that has partnered with Amazon to bring you a supply store dedicted to cross stitch!

I've spent the past month on Amazon--finding supplies, pouring over product reviews, weeding out poor-performing sellers, researching the manufacturers--all so that you don't have to.

Your Store for Better Cross Stitch Supplies and 8 Reasons to Buy Your Cross Stitch Supplies Here are the result.

You'll find over 300 cross-stitch products organized into common-sense categories, like fabric separated by thread count; scroll frames, hoops & Q-snaps in their own section; items to help you bring order to the chaos under "Get Organized." Watch for more supplies to be added.

And let me say Thanks! now, in advance. I earn a small commission, and that really helps me to keep bringing this website to you, free of charge.

Keep on Stitching!

Continue reading "Introducing a better store . . ." Gets a Facelift!

If you've read my "About Me" page, you know that my life is probably a lot like yours.

Work life, home life, family life, spiritual life. It changes, grows, it shifts.

We cheer on the kids with their new found independence. A driver's license and a second-hand car frees up a significant amount of our time. We see our parents age and become more dependent, needing our time, our company, our compassion.

And somewhere in there is a bit of time to reinvest in my website.

Websites have changed a lot since we started BCSP. So first you'll notice...

A New Look and Feel

  • Menus consolidated and categorized for a shorter navigation menu
  • Graphic images for clickable selections

But changes won't just be cosmetic.

We're working on...

NEW Cross Stitch Patterns

  • Alphabets and cross stitch designs posted more frequently.

Help for Budding Designers

  • Cross stitch borders and other design elements
  • Tips for how to design your own patterns
Mobile Device Access
  • Format changes to accomodate mobile online access
Streamlined Text
  • Extraneous text will be edited out so pages can be scanned
  • Critical information will be easier to spot
Video Instruction
  • How-to videos to accompany tutorials and instructional diagrams
We are often complimented on how easy our site is to use, so we'll work hard not to fix what isn't broken. At the same time, we often hear how helpful our information is, so while we cut out the fat, we'll preserve the meat.

That just a glimpse of what's to come. The list is long, but I am very motivated. Your emails always come at a time when I need encouragement most. Thank you for taking the time to write. And if there is something I'm leaving out, let me know that as well.

These changes will come slowly but, I hope, consistently. If something doesn't seem right, it's likely a page that isn't finished. Please check back a little later.

I hope you'll like what you see.