Meet Beth Deland! Paralegal and legal secretary by day, and a passionate cross-stitcher in her free-time, Beth loves working her cross-stitching magic on everything from Christmas ornaments to multi-year masterpieces (she reports her current project will likely take a decade—that’s patience!). Beth got her first set of CraftOptics in 2016. Recently, she needed a prescription update. Because she “couldn’t bear to go a single day without CraftOptics,” she purchased a second set with her new prescription installed. Once they arrived, she sent in her original set to get those lenses updated (prescription updates are $85 plus shipping).
Cross stitch allows me to do something artistic. I can’t draw, but with a pattern to guide me I can create something amazing.
I love seeing a project come to life under my hands and I find it wonderfully relaxing and fun. These projects take a long time—often years and they might drive some people insane—but when you’re done you really have an amazing creation.
I learned embroidery and stamped cross-stitch—when the pattern is printed on the fabric—from my grandmother when I was about seven or eight. I did a fair number of projects as a kid, but as a young adult, stitching got put aside. After my first husband and I separated, a close friend suggested I try counted cross-stitch and gave me a simple pattern to try. I loved the technique and went on from there.
Cross stitch honors my grandmother’s legacy and my father’s—he was a gunsmith and engraver and did beautiful, intricate engraving for his customers.
I discovered fine art cross-stitch from a company called Scarlet Quince when I became a bit tired of the usual patterns you find in needlework shops. They have Monet, Van Gogh, Klimt, religious artwork, nature, Japanese art—there’s something for everyone and every interest. My current project is by John Henry Dearle who designed fabric and wallpaper patterns in the late 1800s.
My latest project will take multiple years to finish—maybe as many as 10. I just hope I live long enough to finish it (LOL).
I got my first pair in March 2016 and just got a new pair with an updated prescription in April. I know you can easily update the prescription, but I wanted to make sure I always have a pair available—I can’t see to cross-stitch without them.
There is no way I would be able to do my needlework without CraftOptics.
In the late 1990s, I had to stop stitching because my regular eyeglasses didn’t allow me to stitch. At that point I got the idea of using high-powered reading glasses and that was fine for a while. But then even that didn’t work and somehow, I found CraftOptics. I’ll admit that I gasped a bit at the price, but now I can’t imagine stitching without them.
I’ve always had the DreamBeam light, but I want to say that your newest rechargeable version is an absolute game changer—I love it! With the new battery the light stays very bright until the very end instead of dimming. I even bought a second battery so I can just keep stitching when the first one needs a recharge.
I’d also add that without CraftOptics, I would have to stop cross-stitching and I’m not going to quit! They make stitching more fun and reduce eye strain. I couldn’t imagine stitching without them. They are definitely worth saving for and worth every penny.
I don’t have an Instagram page, but I am a member of the Scarlet Quince Facebook page and I’ve occasionally posted pictures of my projects there. I’ve occasionally entered my local county fair so if you happen to live in Northern California, you might be able to see my pieces in person.
I stitch exclusively for myself and to give pieces as gifts to friends. Scarlet Quince patterns are beautiful, but they are intricate and can take years to complete, depending on how large they are and how much time you can devote to stitching them. I can’t ever see taking a commission to stitch one for someone else because they take so long to do. They are not hard to do, it’s just plain cross-stitch with no backstitching or fussy quarter and half stitches, but the large ones can have one or two hundred thousand individual stitches, so you need a little patience.