Metallic Floss Made Easy


Metallic thread is a notorious headache, but I have finally found a combination of things that makes it behave like regular thread. Here are my secrets.

$$$ Try putting your metallic thread in the fridge before you stitch. I’m not entirely sure this helped, but it’s worth a try because I feel like it kind of did.

$$$ Use a lot of Thread Heaven (or as I call it, Thread Lube). It’s a type of wax which will help your metallic thread glide smoother.

$$$ I always pair a strand of metallic thread (I prefer this kind) with one strand of DMC six-strand cotton floss. It makes the path smoother by example and encourages the metallic strand to behave.

$$$ The most important thing is the way you thread your needle. I learned this from Creative Poppy. In these images, I’m threading a needle with one strand of metallic and one strand of DMC cotton floss.

  1. Fold the two strands together and thread the folded part through the needle. Pull the threads through a little bit longer than your needle, making a loop.
  2. Put the tip of the needle through this loop and pull it through so that it forms a tiny knot at the end of the needle.
  3. This locks the floss on the needle and prevents the metallic thread from fraying. I swear, it works like magic. The metallic thread will behave like normal thread.


$$$ Lastly, don’t forget to iron it – see before and after photo below. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in uniformity, plus it cranks up the reflective quality!



Fall and Halloween Designs

We have so many options for fall and Halloween. The most popular, taking the internet by storm, is this one – based on the hilarious McSweeney’s article.


But there’s more! Available as kits and PDFs. Check the NEW page for all the latest.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And in PDFs:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Quite a collection! Get to it, time’s a wastin’!

Craftivism Opportunity #EndGunViolence


photo and stitching by Shannon Downey of Badass Cross Stitch.

One of my favorite people, the awesome Shannon Downey of BadAss Cross Stitch, has created an amazing opportunity for you to participate in some craftivism to help End Gun Violence. And she’s done it in that super-savvy, clever way that she is just so good at — connecting craft and cause.

As Shannon explains on her site:

“I was simply stitching elaborate guns as a way to process my own feelings around the prevalence of gun violence both in our country and especially in the city I love, Chicago.

I’ve decided to continue on with this series and eventually sell them to raise money for an amazing program called Project FIRE.

Project FIRE (Fearless Initiative for Recovery and Empowerment) is an artist development employment program that offers healing through glass blowing to youth injured by gun violence in Chicago. Project FIRE combines glass arts education, mentoring and trauma psycho-education in order to support trauma recovery and create employment opportunities for young people who have been shot or witnessed the homicide of a loved one.”

Since Shannon expanded this idea and put out a call for submissions, the project has really taken off:

The craftivism pieces are rolling in from ALL over the world and it’s SO exciting. Because it’s catching on, I’m going to extend the deadline to October 30th!

Project FIRE is going to be wrapping up their session around then and we are going to host a collaborative gallery show of all of your amazing fiber art AND the beautiful glass art that the young people involved in the program are creating. It’s going to be amazing.

Interested? Go to BadAss Cross Stitch and download the cross stitch pattern. Not a stitcher? You can also participate in any fiber art medium. It’s going to be a really big shoooow and raise a lot of money for a great cause!

Working on my piece for the show has really helped me process some of the frustration and horror of all the shootings this summer, including in my home town of Dallas. So get to stitchin’ and create something that only you can–no two interpretations are ever alike. Plus, did I mention it’s really great therapy? Bonus.

I Challenge You!


Check out this gorgeous pattern! If stitched on 14-count material, it’ll measure just over 9 inches square. I think it’d make a great pillow.

I will be stitching it shortly, but I wanted to go ahead and get it out there as I think it’s a challenge and just in time to while away the rest of the summer.

How can you NOT? 😉

Time For Courage and Love


Lately the climate out there has been scary, with all the violence in the world plus kooky politics. It’s easy to shrink back in fear and become outraged or hateful. But I say FUCK FEAR! Be courageous instead.

Dallas, my beloved home town, is filled with so much love right now. People have been standing in line all week in the Texas heat to hug cops. The Texas heat!! Feels like 105 degreees! Black Lives Matter protestors and counter protestors — guys in cowboy hats with guns wearing confederate flag T-shirts! — came together and made peace in a group hug (see it on

All the anger out there comes from fear and I say FUCK FEAR! What the world needs now is LOVE, sweet love. So if you need something therapeutic to help you through this summer, stitch one of these up yourself!

Commercial Cross Stitch work

I cleaned up and updated my custom and commercial page today. Here are a few of the jobs I’ve done for fun and profit.

custom commercial cross stitch

1. Billboard designed and stitched for Shiner Beer’s first IPA, Wicked Ram.

2. Designed, stitched and framed work for Garden & Gun magazine, current issue.

3. Logo converted to pattern and stitched for Thrillist offices.

4. Orange Is The New Black phrase designed and stitched for Netflix social media.

5. Designed and stitched catchphrase from Broad City for a Bust magazine stitchalong. Featured in Viacom reel.

6. Designed and assembled tiny kits and stickers for subscribers of You Are Beautiful.

7. Designed, stitched and/or managed a series of tins for blueQ.

8. Designed and stitched book cover art for Heather Armstrong of, a best seller!

9. Oops, there is no 9. Dang it.

10. Designed and stitched series of cross stitch patterns exclusive to DIY Network.

11. Designed and stitched cover art for Parade magazine!

Stitch Your Way To Wellness


These bold new postcards will be going out in orders soon!

SERIOUSLY, do you know how therapeutic crafting can be? I can attest firsthand to how much it helps relieve my stress, depression and ANXIETY. It’s all about FLOW–there’s just something magical about engaging your hands in stitching that lets your brain roam free. That’s one reason I constantly remind you that it’s not about perfection–who really cares how the back of your stitching looks or if you’re “doing it right”?

Stitching is all about the journey and the journey is a relaxing one. It’s good for stress, health, aging, everything. On top of that, I believe happiness comes through gratitude and giving, and nothing is quite as fun as gifting someone with your finished work–especially if it really cracks them up. Think about the last time someone gave you something handmade that made your day not only because it was funny–they thought of you and spent their free time creating something especially with you in mind. That kind of kindness means so much more than a store-bought card. It’s a true gift.

This is the whole reason I started Subversive Cross Stitch. It’s art therapy, it’s surprisingly soothing, and the end result puts a smile on other peoples’ faces. What’s better than that?

There are so many articles out there and more coming out every day. Here’s a quote for starters:

“Crafting can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression or chronic pain, experts say. It may also ease stress, increase happiness and protect the brain from damage caused by aging.”

Read the whole article here. (CNN)

And here’s another. (New York Times)

And another. (Martha Stewart)

One more. (Washington Post)

And a TED talk.

So what are you waiting for? Stop reading and start stitching!