cross-stitching x cardmaking

Susan Bates - Designing the “Aloha” Patterns for StitchableCards

Posted on June 13 2023, By: Waffle Flower Team

Susan Bates - Designing the “Aloha” Patterns for StitchableCards

I wanted to create a set of summer themed designs for this pattern release, so I came up with a few different ideas and, after giving it more thought, a tropical vibe seemed to be a really fun way to go. Tropical designs are always popular I think it’s because theyre bright and colourful - plus they create a bit of escapism for those of us living in less hot climates! Theyre a popular trend in fashion and interior design and never seem to go out of style.

So, once Id got my theme worked out I start researching the elements that would work well for it. These are some of the things that I wanted to incorporate into my designs:

  • Rainforest/ jungle creatures – including tropical birds
  • Hibiscus flowers
  • Tropical leaves
  • Sunsets and palm trees
This kit, as with all of the other kits, contains 4 different template shapes to stitch onto: a rectangle, square, circle and a heart shape. Whilst Im sketching out my initial ideas I like to keep in mind which elements and compositions will work well for each shape.
I also like to plan ahead a bit by thinking about the colour palette that I’m going to use so, in keeping with the tropical theme, I knew I wanted to include lots of bright greens for foliage and also lots of warm yellows, oranges and reds. I knew I was going to include a toucan, so of course this meant adding a few other shades, such as black and grey, for the birds plumage. I also chose some blue shades, to depict the sky and sea.
The toucan is such an instantly recognisable bird, with its very large, brightly coloured beak and black feathers. Toucans live in the rainforests of many tropical areas, such as South America and the Caribbean. They like to perch high up in the branches of the trees, so this is where Ive place my little bird; peeking out over the tops of the treetops. When creating the chart of this design I kept his body quite simple, with the main focus being his orange beak and yellow feathers on his chest.

Hibiscus Flower

The Hibiscus is native to tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world and is often associated with the Pacific Islands. Whilst researching some details about it I found out that the yellow Hibiscus is the official state flower of Hawaii. Its flowers are large and trumpet-like and come in many colors, which have come to symbolize positivity and joy. For my design I decided to depict the petals in warm shades of yellow, orange and red. Ive shown the flower as if youre looking at it full on and slightly from above, so that you see it in its full glory. Ive framed it with some luscious green leaves. In the final design I change the background from green to a lovely turquoise blue color to really make the colors of the petals pop.


The Monstera is a tropical plant which thrives all year round in the warm and humid climate of the rain forest. They can grow to huge proportions and can do this by growing up trees and other plants. I chose this motif because its such an archetypal tropical plant motif and its heart-shaped leaf seemed to me to fit really nicely into this template shape. For the kit we changed the background to a lovely warm sunshine yellow color, which looks great against the shades of green.

 Tropical Sunset

Sunsets are so beautiful and when Ive been on holiday to a hot country I love to sit on the beach and watch the sun go down. I wanted to include a sunset in this design set, so mine is a huge sun setting behind a tropical landscape. The last rays of the sun are reflecting on the sea and the whole image is framed by palm trees. Initially in my sketch the trees and mountains are dark silhouettes, but when it came to charting the design up I changed them to be more green. This keeps the design light and fresh, whilst maintining the look and feel of the sunset.

I really loved researching and putting together this set of designs I think theyre bright and cheerful and really celebrate the joys of the natural world at the height of summer. I hope you love them too and enjoy making them!