A Stitch a Day with Stephanie Tomsett

Recently, I put out a call to the Embroidery Journaling community asking for those that would be interested in being interviewed to step forward. Not only did I want to see your embroidery journals and learn more about their creation, but I also wanted to learn more about the artists themselves and what tips & tricks they had picked up along the way. One of the first artists to reach out was Stephanie Tomsett.

Throughout her interview, Steff has shared a variety of insightful embroidery tips while giving a look into what it was like for her to create her very own stitch a day project. You can truly tell how much Steff cares about her craft by looking at each unique and individual icon on her embroidery journal.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a peer review publishing specialist for a scientific publisher. I love to spend as much of my free time as possible doing one of many different craft projects. In particular, I love embroidery, cross stitch, and crochet. I’ve currently got about 20 different projects on the go! I love to learn new things too, I’ve just started trying needle felting and a punch needle kit. I think I picked up my love of crafts from my mum, we often do similar things and share tips with each other! I also love spending time with my husband, our two ginger cats, and our gecko. 

What is your favourite icon on your embroidery journal?

Oooh, that’s a tricky one! It’s between two! One of my favourites is a butterfly, which I made after I visited a butterfly farm for my birthday with my husband and my parents. It was such a fun day and I love how the butterfly turned out! The other is a wave, which I made because we went on holiday to Fuerteventura and there were some really huge waves! 

How do you track your days?

I’ve got a note app on my phone, where I write the date and a little summary of the day/activity I want to represent. I also add an emoji that best represents what I want to embroider. 

How did you learn how to embroider?

Mostly just trial and error! Looked at a few tips and videos online and went for it. If I’m trying something new, I tend to use a scrap bit of fabric to try it out first. 

Do you repeat icons?

Not really, I’m trying to make all of my icons unique. Some of them are similar, and each time I finish stitching the previous month, I do stitch a little V shaped segment in that month’s colour. As we’re getting towards the end of the year, it is getting difficult to think of new icons! 

What made you decide to go with your current embroidery journal layout?

I think things to be in order and in their place, so I decided to make the circle and segments at the start. That way I can easily see what I did in each month.  

What types of icon do you like to embroider on a monotonous or boring day?

Usually I got for something to do with my mood, what I’ve eaten, what I’ve watched on TV, or the weather. 

How have you managed to stay motivated throughout the year?

Seeing everyone else’s embroidery journals on Facebook is a great motivator! I love seeing how they all progress and I feel like we’re all in a little group doing this together! I also love showing my friends and family how it’s going! 

What tips do you have for someone wanting to start an embroidery journal?

I’d say to have a little nosey at what other people have done and figure out how you want yours to look. Pick out the features that you like, make a plan, and go for it! 

What do you plan on doing with your embroidery journal once you complete it?

I’m hoping that my husband or dad will make me a rotating circular frame. That will allow me to put it on a wall and spin it around so I can see all the icons the right way up. 

Do you plan on creating another embroidery journal in 2024?

Yes! I might try something a bit different though. I might try a different shape, or different colours, or I might track things differently. I’ve been using one icon per day, but I’ve been debating using one icon for anything interesting or exciting happens. It may mean that some days I don’t record anything and on others I might record multiple things. But I’m still thinking about it! 

You can find Steff in the Embroidery Journaling Facebook Group, frequently sharing photos of her amazing embroidery journal.

If you’re interested in being interviewed for my A Stitch A Day series, my slots are currently filled. You can sign up for my newsletter to be notified when I am looking for more artists to speak about their Embroidery Journals and similar projects. If you are interested in creating your own embroidery journal, I have a variety of digital and kit resources available in my Etsy shop.

Enjoyed this post? Then check out some of my other blog posts or purchase the in-depth embroidery journal guide. You can also join the free Embroidery Journaling Facebook group to chat with others working on Embroidery Journals. Follow me on any of the following social media websites:

Unique Ways to Journal with Thread

Have you ever considered taking up journaling? According to a survey conducted by Psychology Today, 1 in 6 people actively journal. When you think about journaling, you probably imagine someone hunched over a desk with a pen and a notebook, but that isn’t always the case. There are people using different mediums such as paints, coloured pencils, there are even those creating junk journals using recycled materials, but what about needle and thread?

Today, I’m doing a dive into the world of journaling with thread. You may have heard of an embroidery journal in the past, in which everyday the journaler embroiders an icon that represents their day. This icon could represent how they were feeling, something they did, or even what they ate during the day. Traditionally, this process is completed in a clock format – the fabric is divided into 12 segments and is filled one by one.

However, most of these embroidery journals don’t really follow the traditional methods. You’ll see small embroidery hoops, word based journals, book journals, and some unusual layouts. Most of these creators can be found in the Embroidery Journaling Facebook Group. Join along to see even more unique embroidery journals.

The Spiral of Life – Sarah Reebs

In order to document Sarah’s 39th year, she embroidered a small icon a day in a spiral pattern, ending on the day before her 40th birthday. It’s hard not to get lost in this embroidery journal, zooming in to get a look at Sarah’s detailed miniscule icons.

You can follow Sarah on Instagram and you can find the spiral pattern on her website.

Mini Anniversary Journal – The Stir Crazy Crafter

After celebrating my first anniversary with my boyfriend, I felt the need to create something unique to commemorate my favourite person. So, I devised a four inch embroidery piece filled with some of my favourite moments from our first year together: him taking on my hobby of baking as one of his own, hot chocolate and mulled wine at the Edinburgh Christmas Market, seeing hundreds of sheep on the Isle of Kerrera, and so many more sweet times.

A Word a Day – Jess Blauwkamp

Rather than embroidering a daily icon, in 2022, Jess decided to stitch a word or phrase a day that represented her day. Amongst her daily phrases you’ll also find the occasional icon inspired by her day. I love admiring her embroidery piece and picking out the phrases such as, “chicken on the road” and wondering what might have happened on that particular day.

Follow along with Jess on TikTok and Instagram.

The 365 Project – Sarah Reebs

What if everyday, you filled in a portion of a word that once finished, spelled out the name of the month? Well that’s exactly what Sarah did in 2021. I love looking over this piece and seeing Sarah become more and more determined as the year passes to make each month more interesting as a whole than the previous.

You can find Sarah on Instagram and you can read her 2021 reflection post on her website.

2021 Book Stitch Along – Meg Scarbie

For quite a few of the books that Meg read in 2021, she stitched a doodle representing that book. You’ll find doodles such as a roller skate, a guitar, and even a boat. While Meg read 153 books that year, she embroidered doodles representing a whopping 72 of those books! I love the use of black thread which the occasional pop of colour, it gives this piece such a unique feel.

Follow Meg over on Instagram.

2022 Reading Goal Tracker – The Stir Crazy Crafter

While on the topic of books, my quick way of documenting my reads for the year is my reading goal tracker. Every time I finish a book, I fill in the outline of a book in a designated colour. That colour is determined by the genre of book I read. Back in 2022, I read quite a few romance books, which is that bubblegum pink colour. At the end of the year, I turned my finished reading tracker into a bookmark.

You can follow me on Instagram or visit my Etsy to get a reading tracker cross stitch pattern.

2023 Travel Journal – Nathalie Thibault

For every place that Nathalie traveled in June and July of 2023, she embroidered a few icons that represented her time in that place. She visited a variety of places during her time in Europe including Nottingham where she was able to see her niece compete in a frisbee tournament.

You can find more of Nathalie’s work in the Embroidery Journaling Facebook group.

Travel Christmas Ornaments – Ashley Dial

Similar to Nathalie’s travel journals, Ashley embroiders icons that represent her trips around the world. However, she embroiders her icons in a smaller embroidery hoop to be displayed on her Christmas tree every year. Can you imagine the sight of her Christmas Tree filled with dozens of these travel journals in the future? I know I sure can.

You can find more of Ashley’s work in the Embroidery Journaling Facebook Group.

2023 Embroidery Journal – Jess Blauwkamp

While Jess is making an embroidery journal that is a bit more traditional than her previous word a day journal, she has of course put her own spin on her journal yet again. This year, Jess is stitching each month in a different colour scheme and almost in a loose spiral pattern starting from the centre of her hoop. I can’t wait to see this one finished!

Follow along with Jess on TikTok and Instagram.

2022 Embroidery Journal – The Stir Crazy Crafter

Last but not least, this is my own embroidery journal which was completed on December 31st, 2022. Throughout the year, I added icons representing events such as: visiting California for my brother’s wedding, quitting my job in a hotel, starting my business, and so many more unique memories. I’ve been stitching an icon a day since January 1st, 2020 and I won’t be stopping anytime soon!

Follow along on Instagram: @thestircrazycrafter or start your own by purchasing the Create Your Own Embroidery Journal Guide.

Enjoyed this post? Then check out some of my other blog posts or purchase the in-depth embroidery journal guide. You can also join the free Embroidery Journaling Facebook group to chat with others working on Embroidery Journals. Follow me on any of the following social media websites:

Reading Goal Tracker – Google Sheets Companion

For the past two years, I’ve been tracking the books that I read on my Cross Stitch Reading Goal Tracker. After I finish a book, I fill in a small section of my cross stitch project. Each section is a book on a bookshelf representing one book of the year. I fill in the book with a colour of thread that corresponds with a genre of book. For example, bubblegum pink is romance, light blue is fantasy, so on and so forth. It can actually be a bit tricky to track these books on my reading tracker and I was using a popular book review site to do this. However, I’ve spent some time developing a new way to track books using Google Sheets. I created a spreadsheet specifically for this project.

My Reading Goal Tracker Spreadsheet includes a section to fill in the title of each book you read, the author, what genre the book is, what colour floss you used, a checkbox once you’ve added the book to your tracker and so much more. The best news? It’s available for free. Granted, it won’t be much help unless you already own one of my cross stitch reading goal patterns.

Track by Genre

While there are a few different fields on this spreadsheet, my favourite section is the Genres dropdown menu. I’ve added even more genres than my cross stitch pattern includes. The new genres include: Chick Lit, Comics, and a few more.

There is an additional tab that includes a colour code for tracking by genre that mirrors the Cross Stitch Reading Tracker Pattern. However, you can easily add additional colours of thread to the drop down menu. See instructions on how to do this later on in this post.

Star Rating

I don’t really take rating my books seriously. I’m pretty quick to DNF a book that I’m not enjoying, so my star ratings tend to skew on the higher end, typically 4 or 5 stars. But for those that do seriously enjoy rating your books, I’ve included a drop down menu that includes half stars.


I most read eBooks, but you’ll have the option of selecting: eBook, Paperback, Hardback, and even audio books for the format you read the book in.

How to add additional items to dropdown menus

You can even add your own items to dropdown menus! Do this by clicking the arrow of the dropdown menu and clicking on the pencil at the bottom. A menu will appear on the right hand side of the screen. At the bottom of the menu, you’ll be presented with the option to add a new item to the dropdown menu. You can actually do this with any of the dropdown menus.

But why is it free?

Now, there is a caveat to spreadsheet. I am not a Google Sheets expert. I am certain there are ways to improve this spreadsheet by adding analytics, but I’m not an expert. Instead, you’re getting a free and decent spreadsheet, capable of containing a ton of information for your reading goal.

While I am happy to answer any questions about how to use this spreadsheet, I might not be able to answer the more technical questions, but I will do my best to help.

There are also plenty of people who have already purchased one of my Reading Goal Tracker Patterns and it didn’t seem fair to make this only available for future buyers.

Can it be used on other spreadsheet platforms?

While I have designed this spreadsheet in Google Sheets, I unfortunately do not have access to Excel, so I’m not able to confirm whether or not it would work.

Can I purchase a reading goal tracker pattern?

Absolutely! I have a variety of patterns for both 2023 and 2024 for reading goals of 12, 24, 50, 100, 200, and up to 366 books! You’re able to track your books in a variety of ways like genre, the format you read them, and more. For the smaller reading goals, you can even turn them into a bookmark.

Enjoyed this post? Then check out some of my other blog posts or purchase the in-depth embroidery journal guide. You can also join the free Embroidery Journaling Facebook group to chat with others working on Embroidery Journals. Follow me on any of the following social media websites:

How to Finish an Embroidery Piece in a Hoop

Congratulations on finishing an embroidery piece! Now, let’s get started on getting it finished in an embroidery hoop. It may seem tricky, but I promise you – it’s not at all!

Do you like this embroidery pattern? You can find it as a kit in my Etsy shop.


  • Your finished embroidery piece
  • An embroidery hoop
  • Scissors (preferably fabric scissors)
  • A hot glue gun

Step 1

Place your embroidery piece in your embroidery hoop. Make sure your piece is positioned in a way that you like. After this step you won’t be able to adjust it any further. It may take a few tries to get this right.

Step 2

If you used one sheet of fabric – Using your scissors, trim the excess fabric left around your embroidery hoop. I recommend leaving about a half inch of fabric.

If you used two sheets of fabric – cut the bottom layer of fabric as close to the embroidery hoop as you can. For the top layer, cut so that there is about a half inch of fabric remaining. This will make it easier for you to glue down both sheets of fabric at once.

Step 3

Next, cut slits every inch or so of the excess fabric. This will make it easier for you to glue down the fabric. It won’t bunch up as much in the next step.

Step 4

Using your glue gun, place a small strip of glue on the inside of your embroidery hoop, enough to glue down a few pieces of fabric at a time. Continue doing this the entire way around your embroidery hoop.

That’s it! It’s so easy to finish off an embroidery piece. Now your finished piece is ready to be hung on a wall or displayed in a stand.

Do you like this embroidery pattern? You can find it as a kit in my Etsy shop.

Enjoyed this post? Then check out some of my other blog posts or purchase the in-depth embroidery journal guide. You can also join the free Embroidery Journaling Facebook group to chat with others working on Embroidery Journals. Follow me on any of the following social media websites:

It’s Your Choice: The 2024 Embroidery Journal Kit Poll

Are you considering starting an embroidery journal in 2024? Well, I’m looking for your input when it comes to creating my 2024 embroidery journal kits. Plus, who doesn’t love a community poll?

A bit of background: if you’re unaware, an embroidery journal is a form of daily journaling where everyday you will embroidery an icon that represents your day. Since 2022, I have been selling embroidery journal kits that include the basic necessities. You can learn more in my FAQ post or by purchasing my Create Your Own Embroidery Journal Guide.

Aug. 2024 Update: The 2024 Embroidery Journal Kits are now available! Order yours today.

Currently, my 2023 embroidery journal kits include:

  • a 10 inch embroidery hoop
  • a sheet of 100% cotton fabric
  • 5 skeins of DMC embroidery floss: black, light blue, light pink, light green, & light purple
  • 2 DMC needles
  • a pair of embroidery scissors
  • a heat soluble pen
  • A printed copy of the Create Your Own Embroidery Journal Guide
  • the 2023 daily tracker PDF
  • the 2023 embroidery journal template and 117 icons PDF
  • Optional 165 additional icons PDF

The 2023 Embroidery Journal kits are still available if you’re interested in purchasing one from my Etsy store. But let’s get back to brainstorming what you’d like to see in my 2024 embroidery journal kits. Just keep in mind, the more things selected, the more expensive it will make the embroidery kit. When it comes to actually creating the embroidery journal kits, I will take these choices into consideration, but I may not include everything.

The Community Poll – What do you want to see in 2024?

Free Mini Embroidery Hoop Patterns & How to Use Them

I recently found myself itching to make a quick embroidery pattern, so I ordered myself some mini embroidery hoops and set off to create some cute patterns. At the end of this blog post, you’ll find three individual patterns that you can use to make your own finished artwork, but I also have embroidery kits for each of the patterns available in my Etsy shop.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • a 1 inch mini embroidery hoop
  • standard embroidery hoop
  • 100% cotton fabric
  • embroidery floss
  • embroidery needle
  • scissors
  • water or heat soluble pen to transfer your pattern
  • hot glue gun

Step 1: Create Your Embroidery Piece

At the end of this blog post, you’ll find the instructions for all three of the included patterns. Embroider your designs, then use the following instructions.

Step 2: Cut out your artwork (instructions for mini embroidery hoops start here)

Now that you’ve finished and cleaned your work, you’ll want to cut out your artwork. Leave about a half inch allowance around your finished artwork.

Step 3: Assemble your mini embroidery hoop

First, if your hot glue gun takes time to warm up, you may want to start pre-heating it now.

Take the smaller of the inner discs and centre your artwork over it.

NOTE: These mini embroidery hoops are so delicate, it’s important to be careful during these steps as the hoop can easily snap.

Next, pop the outer portion of the embroidery hoop over the set that you assembled previously. This is a bit fiddly, so it may take a few tries to get it perfect. Once you’re happy with how you’ve lined up your artwork, thread the included screw through both of the holes on your mini embroidery hoop. Then, screw on one of the nuts to secure the hoop.

Step 4: Finishing off your mini embroidery hoop

You’ll want to be quick during this last step. Have the remaining outer disc included with your mini embroidery hoop ready.

Flip over your mini embroidery hoop and see if you can position the excess fabric to sit neatly in the well of your hoop, If not, trim some of the excess fabric off. Take your hot glue gun and glue down the remaining fabric in the well of your embroidery hoop.

Lastly, using your hot glue gun, place a ring of glue around the surface of the back of your mini embroidery hoop. Be careful not to use too much glue, you don’t want it to overflow. Quickly place the outer disc onto the back of your mini embroidery hoop.

Get a Kit

Looking to get the supplies to make these mini embroidery pieces? Each of these pieces has an embroidery kit available in my Etsy shop.

Get the Free Patterns

These pieces are so easy to complete in an afternoon. I love to create a ton of artwork and finish all of the art in the hoops at once. It’s so satisfying!

Enjoyed this post? Then check out some of my other blog posts or purchase the in-depth embroidery journal guide. You can also join the free Embroidery Journaling Facebook group to chat with others working on Embroidery Journals. Follow me on any of the following social media websites:

Advice for Becoming a Better Embroiderer

As a self-taught embroiderer, I’ve learned a lot over the past few years, mostly through trial and error. With that, I’ve compiled a list of advice that I wish someone had shared with me back in 2019 when I picked up my first needle and thread.

1. YouTube is a great source for learning new stitches.

This is my absolutely biggest piece of advice, don’t forget about YouTube. There are so many creators making short clips showing off how to do every embroidery stitch under the sun. I really don’t learn well from just reading instructions on how to stitch, it just doesn’t work for me. So take to YouTube and search “How to backstitch” or even “How to make a french knot”. You’ll be met with so many helpful videos.

2. Try not to compare yourself to others.

Social media is a blessing and a curse. You may have learned about embroidery through Instagram, but there are so many amazing artists that sometimes you may find it difficult not to compare yourself to them. But hey, we all learn at our own pace. Personally, I would love to be able to be an expert in thread painting, but I need a bit a lot more practice until I’m there.

3. Give it time.

I remember when I first started to embroider, I just could not get french knots right. The beginner kit that I started with had a section filled with roughly a million french knots, so I had the time and space to practice. Somewhere, probably around the 80th french knot, it clicked.

If you don’t get something right on the first, tenth, or even 50th try, don’t be disheartened sometimes it just takes time and a bit of practice.

4. Start with an embroidery kit.

Embroidery can be a daunting hobby to start if you don’t own any of the supplies like fabric, embroidery hoops, thread, needles, etc. So if you’re just looking to dip your toes into the hobby, I really recommend looking through Etsy for beginner embroidery kits made my independent artists. They’ll do the legwork of sourcing all of the materials for you and you get to end up with a nice little starter kit. I even sell a few kits in my Etsy.

5. Start an ort jar.

An ort jar is a place to store leftover useable threads. Who knows, maybe you’ll find some way to incorporate these into a future project? Maybe even an embroidery journal?

6. Splurge on decent quality floss.

Avoid using cheap floss, and by cheap I mean a bundle of 200 for £10. I promise you, it’s not worth the savings when you’re left with ruined embroidery pieces. Reputable brands like DMC and Anchor are known for being colour fast, meaning that their their floss won’t bleed when wet.

7. While on the topic of floss, don’t forget to split your floss.

Most embroidery floss is comprised of 6 strands that you are able to split. You’ll find in most patterns that they will require you to use, 2, 3, or even just 1 strand of thread. If you use the entire 6 strands when not required to, you’ll be left with quite a chunky look – if you’re able to thread your needle that is.

The easiest way that I’ve found to split thread is to first cut off a length of thread (usually I aim for about 12 inches). Then divide out the amount you need from the top of the bunch. From there, pinch the remaining threads and slide them down the length of the rest. This should separate your threads.

8. Untangle your thread.

You may find, especially with a long strand of thread, that it may begin to tangle and knot. So how do you do untangle it? Well, simply put, I tend to push the needle to the base of the embroidery piece and lift up the piece. From there, I pinch the thread between my fingers and run my fingers along the entire length of the thread. This should allow you to resume your normal stitching with less tangles.

9. Invest in a soluble fabric marker.

The most popular types of fabric markers are water and heat soluble pens. You can find these pens in most craft stores. You’ll use these for transferring over patterns to your fabric. It’s also best to test your new pen on the corner of your fabric or even a piece of scrap fabric. I learned the hard way that one pen advertised as being water soluble, was in fact not.

Just please don’t use pencil. It will be quite difficult, if not impossible, to remove from your fabric.

10. Have fun learning a new craft.

Feel proud of yourself for attempting a new craft. If your skills aren’t quite where you want them to be right away, that’s perfectly okay. Developing your skills will take time when it comes to a new craft. With time, you’ll see your skills begin to improve. For now though, just take it day by day and enjoy the process.

With these words of advice, this is where I leave you. I sincerely hope that you’ve found some of these tips & tricks helpful in starting to pick up this new craft. Best of luck!

Enjoyed this post? Then check out some of my other blog posts or purchase the in-depth embroidery journal guide. You can also join the free Embroidery Journaling Facebook group to chat with others working on Embroidery Journals. Follow me on any of the following social media websites:

Embroidery Journaling: Easily Turn Your Icons Into A Pie Chart

Every day, I stitch an icon that represents my day. Well today, I decided that I wanted to turn all of my icons into a pie chart that displayed the frequency of each type of icon that I embroider – whether that be business related, travelling, or even books or film related.

If you’d like to learn more about how to create an embroidery journal, I have plenty of resources available in my Etsy.

What do I need?

If you’ve tracked what each of your icons represents, it will make this process super easy, if not, you’ll need to have your embroidery journal by your side for this.

Next, we’ll be using Google Sheets. I don’t have Excel or any other spreadsheet software, so I’m unable to confirm whether or not this process is the same across the board. If you don’t already have a Google account, make one and open a new spreadsheet.

Let’s Get Started

1, In your spreadsheet, type out the following in the first three columns: Date, Icon, and Category.

2. Next, we’ll be locking the first row in place. You’ll do this by right clicking on row 1. Scroll until you see “view more row actions”. Click on “freeze up to row 1”. Now, when you scroll throughout this spreadsheet, it will lock the header in place.

3. Next, type in your starting date, for me that would be January 1st so I typed in “Jan 1”. Click on that cell and where you see the blue dot in the bottom right hand corner, click and drag that box down and it will autofill the dates. I’ll be updating this month by month, so I just started by autofilling through the end of February.

4. Next go through and fill in what icon you stitched for each day. I kept it quite simple, but it’s helpful to know each icon represents for the next step.

5. From there, you’ll fill in the category of each icon. Now this is why it’s helpful to have a rough idea of what each icon represented. A lot of these icons have to do with reading, movies, or TV shows and it helps to be able to categorize them correctly.

Help with Categories

  • So we’re in February and I have only created nine different categories. Mine so far are: reading, treated myself, movies, TV shows, travel, my business, food, housework, and moods.
  • Some categories that you might find helpful are: work, childcare, baking, cooking, needlework, crafting, pets, holidays, journaling, dating, gardening, chores, shopping, exercise, etc.
  • These categories are really up to you to pick and decide on, it more depends on the types of things that you fill your embroidery journal with. If you find that some categories just aren’t working for you later on in the year, you can also change them later on. Like I have the category of “moods” and I’m not 100% sure that I’ll keep that in the long run.

6. We’re really getting there! Next click on the box where the rows and columns meet, it will highlight all of your cells. Click on “insert” then click on “Pivot table”. If you’re scared of pivot tables, I promise they’re really not that bad. I barely know what I’m doing when it comes to spreadsheets, but I can do this!

7. Select “new sheet”, you don’t want to keep it in the same sheet. Then click “create”.

8. Next just fill in the table on the right hand side as I have. That being with Rows displaying the category by descending order. Then under Values, select category and under summarize by, change it to COUNTA by default. This will note the frequency of each category of icon. If you have an additional blank row with a total of zero, this may mean that you had additional dates without any filled in information.

9. From here, you can rename the categories of your chart. I changed the name of COUNTA of Category to Frequency.

10. Now we are so close to being finished! Highlight the cells that compose your chart (excluding grand total) and click on Insert. Then click on Chart.

11. In that same spreadsheet, it will generate a table for you. Drag it over to the left and from there you can play around with the settings to get it just as you like. You can give it a title, change the colour of each segment, change the way your key displays, and so much more.

Best of luck with this side project to your embroidery journal!

Enjoyed this post? Then check out some of my other blog posts or purchase the in-depth embroidery journal guide. You can also join the free Embroidery Journaling Facebook group to chat with others working on Embroidery Journals. Follow me on any of the following social media websites:

Embroidering Your Clothing Made Easy

Embroidering on clothing is a great way to turn a plain shirt into something a bit more unique. Throughout this tutorial, you’ll learn what supplies are required and what steps are needed into order to add a unique spin to your boring old t-shirt.

You’ll watch as I embroider a tortoise onto a shirt for my boyfriend as a gift. This isn’t my first time stitching a silly creature on a shirt. A few years back, I embroidered myself a shirt with an armadillo on it, and he stole it from me ages ago. So here’s hoping that I might be able to get my armadillo shirt back. I also designed my possum pattern specifically as a gift for a friend that I ended up stitching on a shirt.


  • Your desired article of clothing made of 100% cotton
  • A design of your choice
  • Fabric stabilizer
  • Sticky Fabri-Solvy or a heat soluble pen
  • Embroidery floss
  • Embroidery needle
  • Embroidery hoop to fit your design
  • Scissors

For this project, I used a cotton shirt as my article of clothing paired with an original drawing of a tortoise.

Step 1 – Transferring your design

There are two ways of getting your pattern onto your shirt. You can either use transfer paper or freehand your design directly onto the shirt using a heat/water soluble marker. I opted to trace my design onto sticky fabri-solvy and placed it directly onto the shirt.

Step 2 – Stabiliser

Flip your shirt inside out and lay it flat. Place a sheet of stabilizer where the design will be and carefully secure your embroidery hoop between the layers.

Try not to pull the fabric too tight when securing your embroidery hoop. You don’t want to cause any wrinkles in your finished design.

Step 3 – Get stitching!

Start embroidering as you normally would. I tend to opt for simpler designs when embroidering on clothing. I usually avoid using satin stitches when embroidering on clothing as it can be difficult to keep the tension the same while making satin stitches throughout an entire project. Then once you remove the embroidery hoop, the inconsistent tension will really show.

Step 4 – Finishing Touches

Once you’ve finished embroidering your design, remove any excess stabiliser. Do the same for the sticky fabri-solvy, if you used.

Next, soak your shirt in a bowl of warm soapy water. If you used sticky fabri-solvy, gently rub at the areas containing it until it dissolves. Next run your shirt under cold water. You can now wash your shirt as normal.

And that’s it! It’s so easy! Best of luck in embroidering on your clothing.

Enjoyed this post? Then check out some of my other blog posts or purchase the in-depth embroidery journal guide. You can also join the free Embroidery Journaling Facebook group to chat with others working on Embroidery Journals. Follow me on any of the following social media websites:

How to Easily Finish a Cross Stitch Bookmark

As an avid reader, I love to collect bookmarks. So what could possibly be better than a cross stitch reading goal tracker that doubles as a bookmark?

So how does it work?

Each pattern allows for a different reading goal, anywhere from 12 books to 200 books. You can fill in your books by the genre of book, how you read the book (physical, audio, ebook), how you rated the book, the month that you read the book, or even by the colour of the book’s cover.

In 2022, I used the 100 books tracker to track my goal of 70 books. You can see that I didn’t fill up the entire bookmark, which I expected. For any remaining books, I just used white thread to fill them in.

You can find PDF instructions and kits for this project in my Etsy shop.

But how do I turn my finished art into a bookmark?

It’s actually easier than it sounds, it just takes a bit of patience. These instructions will work for any cross stitch piece that you want to turn into a bookmark, not just a reading goal tracker.

Supplies List –

  • Finished cross stitch piece
  • A second piece of fabric, I used a piece of pink aida
  • Needle
  • Thread, I used three strands of pink DMC 6-strand embroidery floss
  • Scissors
  • Iron + ironing table

Step 1

Once you have finished your piece, wash, air dry, and iron the fabric.

Then take your bookcase and trim the fabric down. I left roughly around .75 inches around the perimeter of my bookcase. Take your second piece of fabric (I used a piece of pink aida) and trim it down to the same size as your stitched on fabric.

Step 2

Next, fold in each of the sides of your bookmark and iron down the creases until they sit flat. You’ll want to leave a slight border around your bookcase of at least 4 squares. If either pieces of fabric have a fair amount of excess fabric in the corners, you can trim it down. In the above photo, you can see I did this.

Repeat this process with your second piece of fabric. Both pieces of fabric should be roughly the same size.

If either pieces of fabric have a fair amount of excess fabric in the corners, you can trim it down. In the above photo, you can see I did this.

Step 3

Finally, place the two together pieces of fabric together, folded sides facing each other. Using a blanket stitch, stitch the two pieces together.

That’s it – you’ve finished your bookmark! I’ll be honest, this process is a bit time consuming, but it’s worth it in the end.

If you’re looking for more information regarding my Cross Stitch Reading Goal Trackers, you can do so here:

Enjoyed this post? Then check out some of my other blog posts or purchase the in-depth embroidery journal guide. You can also join the free Embroidery Journaling Facebook group to chat with others working on Embroidery Journals. Follow me on any of the following social media websites:

Oh hi there 👋

Sign up to be notified about giveaways, discounts, new releases, market dates, & more.

By signing up for this newsletter, you don't need to worry about being spammed with emails.