The first one, and biggest one is PatternsOnline.Com. Sure, by now everyone has heard of them, haven't they? This is the place you can buy so many charts from so many designers. You get them loaded onto your account where you can retrieve them as you wish. I started dealing with them in 2003. Since then, I think I am on my 4th computer. Everything has worked for me.. usually. This last computer upgrade was probably the hardest for me. I moved to a different country and my carefully packed hard drives didn't let me have access to all of my stored information. I did a fresh install and hoped everything would work right.
Well, it didn't. There was a string of about 12 charts that I had purchased that would no longer open for me with PC Stitch. The program is used to open, view, and print these charts. I also use it when I design my charts. The program told me I didn't have access to these. They were on my computer, and I know I paid for them. I sent in a trouble ticket just a few days ago. I got an answer just a few hours ago. Everything is fixed and I once again have access to all of these charts purchased in 2003 and 2004! Thank you Jennifer for your kind help. And seriously how many companies go that far for their customers these days?
This is their online shop stocked full of everything you need to stitch the charts you just purchased. They are owned by the same company, and I know their attention to detail is just as good. You may well wish to check them out for your stitching needs.
The other two shops are on Etsy. I know you keep hearing about it, but you may not know what it is. I like to think of it as a virtual craft show. Yes, you find vintage and supplies on there, but for the most part, it is handmade. I've had so many bad experiences purchasing charts on eBay that I swore off of them. Many were computer generated charts that were just poorly done - a fast way to make a buck. The designs never look like what the cover image suggests. I gave up on any charts not generated by one of the big designers until I ran into Jody and Rinna on Facebook.
Jody is Austitch, an Australian designer with a growing shop. She's an avid stitcher and designer who is bright and bubbly. Yes, she's a real person and she is very responsive to her customers. Her designs can be a bit on the cheeky side, but they are far from rude. I have purchased a chart from her and when I get a chance to stitch I will be posting updates. Her charts are large, well thought out, clear to read, and with excellent instructions. I can tell this will be a project I will truly enjoy. Please do drop by Austitch and see what new unconventional creations she has. I think you will enjoy!
The second Etsy shop that I love dearly is Cross Stitch by Rinna. Rinna is based in the Philippines and brings a solid Oriental touch to her work. Her work is bright, colorful, and fun not to mention gorgeous. I love the faces on her children and cherubs. You can almost guarantee that at least one of her designs is going to end up on a piece for Canada Stitches. Rinna is another lady that is very responsive to her customers, and a pure delight to talk to.
Do check these shops out when you are in the need for new charts. I know you can find just about everything at PatternsOnline and their prices are very reasonable. What you don't find there, you may find at Austitch or Cross Stitch Rinna!
Until next time, Happy Stitching!