RSS Feed

Keep Calm…

I’m sure you can’t fail to have noticed the popularity of the ‘Keep Calm & Carry On’ logo. It appears on posters, mugs, t-shirts, cards… and of course there have been the off-shoot slogans too.

Checking with our favourite Wikipedia for its history, I found out that the poster was originally designed in 1939 as a morale boosting message to the British public. The idea was to release the poster in the event of a German invasion and since this did not occur, the posters were for the most part destroyed.

It wasn’t until 2000 when a poster was rediscovered in a book shop in Northumberland that the general public became aware of this simple yet effective phrase.

Since then, the ‘Keep Calm’ phenomena has spread not only in the UK but worldwide. Some love it, others think it has lost its appeal due to mass marketing.


I have to admit I was a little wary of ‘jumping on the band wagon’ and using the phrase to create a cross-stitch piece. However, I decided that if I put my own phrase that was personal to me, then that would be ok!

Somewhat predictably I chose to stitch the piece on purple fabric and thus has to either source or dye some aida. I went for the latter option and the result was a gorgeous shade of purple 🙂 I like the fact that you can see blotches of dye on the fabric- it adds to the unique feel of the piece.


The whole piece did take several months to complete but I will admit that other projects have been started and finished in this time as well.


Today I finally got round to framing and photographing it:


It’s quite large- A3 ish size so my next decision is going to be where to hang it!


Hope you like it 🙂


Amy x


Home Sweet Home

Howdy stitchers 🙂

I’ve recently completed another new kit- hooray! It’s been on my ‘to do’ list for many months but I thought it appropriate that I start it when I had a new ‘home’ of my own. It’s along the same theme of my ‘LOVE’ kit, which has been hugely popular and I’m hoping you’ll like this one just as much:

Kits are available here by the way 😉

Anyways, it got me to thinking about what we think of as ‘home’, or items that help us to feel more at home. Recently Mr Purple and I moved across town to a lovely new flat. We spent lots of time sorting out our clutter before packing and I always love the chance to revisit items we have collected over the years. Some things I’m sad to say have been donated to charity shops across Bristol but I wanted to share a few bits and pieces that take pride of place in our home.

These two beauties look after our fish- the first is my beautiful Cath Kidston sewing box and next to it is a rather gorgeous watering jug. The sewing box is particularly precious because it was Mr Purple who bought it for me 🙂 I didn’t even know they existed until I unwrapped it on my birthday and it continues the love affair with gypsy caravans I have had since reading Roald Dahl’s ‘Danny The Champion of the World’. The jug was a gift from my sister after we found it in an Oxfam shop. Again it is the gypsy/canal boat style that I love.

This little wooden canoe we bought in August 2008 just after getting engaged. We were on holiday in Canada and whilst out canoeing in Algonquin National Park Mr Purple got down on one knee and proposed. Awwwww!

You know already that I love films by Studio Ghibli and it seemed rather appropriate whilst in Japan last summer that we bring back a little souvenier 🙂 Totoro now sits on our windowsill, watching the world go by. We found him in a little shop in Tokyo- Donguri Garden. Here I am trying to decide which goodies to bring back:


And finally, a snippet from our DVD collection:


So, readers, what do you have in your homes that make them special?

Amy x

And we have a winner….

Firstly, many thanks to those of you who entered the little giveaway.

I put all the names in a list, in the order they were posted:


Then I used a Random Number generator to pick the first winner….

CONGRATULATIONS Kristina! You can choose either the ‘I need Facebook’ or ‘I need Twitter’ cross-stitch kit. Let me know which one you want.

And the second kit is going to….

Well Done to Karen 🙂 Once Kristina has let me know which kit she wants, I shall send you the other one.

If both lucky winners could email me their addresses to I shall pop the kits in the post.


Sorry to all those who didn’t win a kit- maybe next time eh? 😉


Watch this space for more kits from Purple Thread Designs….


Amy x

February Giveaway!

Hello strangers,

Seems like it’s been too long since I’ve blogged- my apologies. Things have been a little hectic here in Purple Land as we have just moved house 🙂 We’ve nearly unpacked everything and I have lots more room to spread out my stitching….

Anyway, I thought it was about time I said ‘thank you’ to my lovely followers and offered the chance to win a Purple Thread Kit.

Up for grabs are these two mini (6″ x 4″ ish) ‘I need’ kits:


‘How do I win one of these darling kits?’ I hear you cry.

Well, simply enter a comment to this post telling me what you ‘need’. Is it chocolate? Beer? A bath? Nothing too rude please…. 😉

Two names will be picked at random with the first name getting to choose which kit they would like and the second name getting the other one.

You have until midday on Thursday 1st March to enter.


Amy x

Looking forward…

Happy New Year Stitchers!


Here’s hoping you’ve had a relaxing break over the festive season. Have you made any resolutions?!

I have to admit, 2011 was rather a whirlwind in the Purple Household. With the setting up of Purple Thread Designs we have had to adjust to different priorities, different working hours and different working styles. It’s all been very exciting and as new as this venture is, I am still brimming with enthusiasm for where it may take me.


But the time has come to look to January and the rest of 2012. I’m very excited about a Cross-Stitch Workshop I’m holding at the fabulous Cox & Baloney on Cheltenham Road in Bristol. If you have not had the chance to visit this treasure trove of vintage goodies and tea & cake  I urge you to do so asap! The workshop details are as follows:


I have been designing some new kits especially for this workshop- two of which you can see on the poster and some more with Valentines Day in mind. Please come and join us if you can- just email me for more details (

Alongside these new kits I am stil stitching more designs based on my own personal loves (as promised earlier). I am very close to finishing a Totoro and will be photographing and posting as soon as I can.

2012 may also be seeing more changes in the Purple Household so watch this space!

Amy x

Star Wars Cross Stitch

So….following on from my last post I have become inspired to think back to what makes me smile when designing my cross-stitch.

As a child/teenager/adult I have been a HUGE Star Wars fan- my friend Ali and I used to have Star Wars slobs where we would spend all night in our pjs watching the three original (and clearly the best, but that’s a whole ‘nother argument) films. I had a Darth Vader rucksack (aged 17 no less) and a wall full of posters- alongside The Beatles naturally.

I have enjoyed doing ‘monster’ pieces (ie. my ‘Marmite’ piece) but love the idea of creating something simple yet effective. Using my 4″ hoops as a size guide and therefore also a framing device, I have begun to design these latest offerings to the cross-stitch world.

Introducing Yoda, Boba Fett and Mr Stormtrooper:

Whadda ya think?

I have a bucket load of ideas to come so watch this space!

Amy x

p.s. available as kits- just ask!

Going back to my roots…

Well, sort of (!)

I read a fab post this morning: and it got me thinking.

When I started Purple Thread Designs, one of my main aims was to design cross-stitch patterns that *I* wanted to stitch. I was fed up with the naff, twee, overcomplicated designs that are far too common in cross-stitch. And as much as I love to chuckle at ‘subversive’ cross-stitch, at heart I couldn’t bring myself to design something I couldn’t show my parents!

At the moment I’m really happy with my designs, especially the ‘LOVE’ design and the ‘I need’ range. I have had great feedback from friends and family and now from fans in the big wide world.

Back in September I posted my ‘Marmite’ piece (see Gallery) and again received some great comments. I hadn’t intended to make it into a kit but now I’m thinking I should put that on my 2012 ‘To Do’ list.


So, where is this post going…..? Well, I’ve realised that to be true to myself and my stitching I need to go back to what makes me smile and design pieces that are reflective of my true, geeky self.

As a teenager I was something of a ‘geek’;  I was (and still am) a HUGE Star Wars fan, I love The Beatles, Studio Ghibli and all things Lego. I love computer games, Harry Potter and any film with James Stewart, Cary Grant or Gene Kelly.


Watch this space stitchers…. new (geeky) designs on their way….!


Amy x