cross-stitching x cardmaking

Susan Bates - Designing the “A Rose is a Rose” Patterns for StitchableCards

Posted on February 15 2022, By: Nina Yang

Susan Bates - Designing the “A Rose is a Rose” Patterns for StitchableCards

Hello everyone! Susan here!

I was so pleased when Nina from Waffle Flower Crafts approached me and asked me to do some cross stitch designs for her company; she produces beautiful card-making products and designs on her website. Nina described to me her idea of combining cross stitch and card-making. Her idea about her stitchable cards creations intrigued me also.

My cross stitch designs blend the contemporary and the classic. I’ve always loved textiles and I am naturally drawn to print and pattern. I love floral designs but also enjoy turning my hand to many other subjects as well. I’m very particular about the colours that I use in my designs - to me colours can make or break a design. All of this that appealed to Nina about my cross stitch designs.

Nina and I discussed the first set of stitchable card shapes that she was going to produce - there would be 4 shaped stitchable cards initially: a square, a rectangle, a circle and a heart shape. So we agreed that I would design a cross stitch pattern for each of the 4 shapes. We decided that we’d like to produce a set of designs on the theme of roses. Roses are such beautiful flowers and are a common motif in textile design. They lend themselves so beautifully to embroidery and are particularly pleasing in cross stitch as well. They have connotations of beauty, love and romance, and so to reflect this I decided to go for a romantic colour palette of red and salmon-pink colours and I contrasted these shades with some luscious green colours.

The inspiration for my stitchable rose designs

All designs by Susan Bates

For this set of rose themed stitchable cards I looked back over some of my previous designs that have featured Roses to see if anything sparked off any fresh ideas. Sometimes looking at my past work I am able to find undeveloped or abandoned ideas and gain motivation from them, so it's a good place to start for inspiration.

One design that I loved creating was an image of two roses in a circular frame; it also featured a polka dot background (see image above). The roses are bold but still delicately beautiful and the pink and red polka dot background is pleasing to the eye and gives the central image a nice ‘frame’. I’ve always loved polka dot patterns - for me they are a design classic - they have a fun feel to them too. The top left image shows lots of roses and other flowers arranged into a heart-shaped garland. It was a cherished design that I’ve created for cross stitch. The other images above show many different ways that I’ve incorporated roses into my work; including posies of flowers and a vintage style postcard. The single red rose design is available as a downloadable pdf chart to buy from my Etsy shop, ‘Susan Bates Stitch Shop’. These are just a few working examples of how I used my most favoured flower.

Heart shaped design

So for my heart-shaped design I decided to have a central image of a rosebud and that I wanted to place it on a pale pink ground. The little flower buds in the background create a bit of a polka dot pattern and make the background pretty and interesting to stitch.


Circular shaped design

For the circular stitchable shape I thought it would be really pretty to have a large flower as the main focal point, so I decided upon a rose in the centre with curling stems. The curling stems echo the circular stitchable shape. A tiny little butterfly adds a dainty feel to the design and adds an extra embellishment to it.


Square shaped design

As I’d chosen a colour palette of reds and salmon-pinks it seemed only natural to include a brightly coloured ladybird to this set of designs! They’re really attractive little creatures and their red and black colouring is so striking. I placed my ladybird on a large green leaf and surrounded it with a couple of rosebuds. The rosebuds echo the colours of the ladybird and tie the design together. In the picture below the stitching has been seasoned with lots of little slogans and greetings to make a cute little picture.


Rectangular design

This is the largest of the four stitchable shapes, so I felt that it needed something a bit more dramatic in terms of design, so I featured an arrangement of roses, focusing on two largish flower heads. The foliage and smaller rosebuds create a pleasing bouquet effect. The banner underneath the roses anchors the design and adds a cheerful statement to the design - so it will make a lovely greetings card. I love how in this example the stitchable card has been painted with a striking and fresh lime green colour - it adds a pop of colour and is eye catching yet still pretty.



I hope you enjoy my designs and that they inspire you to make some beautiful cross stitched cards. They are small creations, so they’re pretty quick to stitch. Some of the designs are fully stitched, (for example they have a pale pink stitched background), but some are unstitched, leaving the card showing through. This means you could paint the card a colour (as shown in the rectangular example), or just keep it simple and have the white of the card as the background to your stitching. In terms of making your stitchables into greetings cards, there are so many ways that you can present them to create your own unique cards - you can take inspiration from the images here or come up with your own interesting and creative ideas.

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