Backside of the Hoop with Jill Shivers

Jill Shivers of Cabin Fever Goods, July 2015
Jill Shivers of Cabin Fever Goods, July 2015

This month’s Backside of the Hoop interview is with Jill Shivers of Cabin Fever Goods! Jill and I met on Instagram, and became fast friends.We’re a part of an online group of ladies who have a lot in common with each other. She creates beautiful cross stitch and hand embroidered pieces. She also creates the most adorable cross stitch patterns. I am personally in love with her sideshow series.


Hi, everyone! First off, I’m so excited that Amy is featuring me here on Backside of the Hoop. She is such a gem– a truly lovely lady! And I’m so flattered and humbled to be here. My name is Jill and I’m the owner, designer, and creator of Cabin Fever Goods. I make cross stitch and embroidery hoops and wall decor as well as embroidered jewelry. Come mid-to-late summer, I plan on adding some more exciting items to the shop so do keep an eye out! I’m a SAHM to two (sometimes crazy) kids who are four and two years old. I’m mom by day and boss lady by night. And I just celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary with my hubby!

Backside of the Hoop with Jill Shivers on Random Acts of Amy July 2015

Connect with Jill online:


Well, if we’re going to get technical, my MIL taught me a few basic embroidery stitches about 11 or 12 years ago when my husband and I were just dating. I probably fiddled with it for a few days after that and then just naturally moved on to other things. I started “officially” pursuing it in August/September of 2014 when I bought a couple of cross stitch kits from a lady I met when I was a vendor at the Art Star Craft Bazaar in Philadelphia. I fell in love with how therapeutic it was and then started designing my own patterns. And, just recently, I taught myself how to do regular embroidery stitches and have been making mixed stitched pieces.

Backside of the Hoop with Jill Shivers on Random Acts of Amy July 2015


I have two places that I really like to embroider. No wait…three. I have a fairly long table in our family shared hobby room that I like to work at when I’m trying to stay really focused and get a lot of work done quickly. It keeps me free from most distractions and it’s nice to have all kinds of crafty materials around me and helps me foster creativity. The second place I like to stitch is on my couch in the living room. I like stitching there because not only is it comfy and relaxing and low-key but I get to binge watch Netflix. The third place that I really like to stitch, but hardly ever do, is in my bed. I don’t know what it is but it just feels SO. GOOD. to stitch in bed. It’s like the ultimate of relaxation! I usually do that when my hubby is away on work trips.


This is a little embarrassing but when I first started to cross stitch, I would just trim the fabric flush with the back of the hoop. (Please don’t chastise me!) I don’t do this anymore because I noticed with some of my earlier pieces that they have lost their tautness. It’s always worth the extra time to finish a hoop properly! Currently, I trim the fabric to about a quarter of an inch and glue it to the inside hoop. For a while, I was seriously considering backing my hoops with fabric so the stitched “guts” weren’t visible but I heard from so many other stitcher friends that customers love that stuff. The behind the scenes. So I’ve decided to keep it that way, for now.

Backside of the Hoop with Jill Shivers on Random Acts of Amy July 2015


I really love designing new pieces and picking out color palettes. And of course, the stitching. If I didn’t love the stitching, that might be a problem. I don’t mind finishing the hoops up so much because that tends to go pretty quickly and smoothly. The thing I really don’t like though is ironing the finished piece and making sure it’s perfectly centered in the hoop. I’m not exactly the best at eyeballing measurements (and I’m a total perfectionist) so I get a little annoyed when I have to take the piece out and start all over after I notice there isn’t the same amount of space on each side of the design.


Well, I love cross stitch (that might be a little obvious), back stitch (it’s so simple and so clean), and the woven wheel (because I’m really into florals lately and I love clustering a whole bunch together).


Currently, I’ve only ever used DMC cotton thread but I’ve been reading about silk thread/floss lately and would love to try some on a future project. (If any of you readers have suggestions, let me know! I’d love to get some feedback.) My thread is organized chaos right now. I have most of it wound on paper cards that I keep in small plastic containers organized by color family. But when I ran out of paper cards, I started to wind some on clothespins because that’s what I had on hand at the time. So, right now it’s a little unorganized and I feel like I need to make a decision: continue to wind them on cards and get one large organizer or slowly switch them to clothespins and hang them in my work area. Decisions, decisions…


For the items I sell in my shop, they’re patterns of my own designs. However, I started my cross stitch journey by buying three kits from a shop that’s, sadly, no longer around.

Backside of the Hoop with Jill Shivers on Random Acts of Amy July 2015


I plan on adding a lot of new designs to the shop as hoops and jewelry. And, since I originally intended Cabin Fever Goods to be a variety shop, I have some more exciting and top-secret items slated to arrive mid-to-late summer. I can’t give too much away just yet so you’ll have to keep your eye out! I also plan on attending the Art Star Pop Up Market at Spruce Street Harbor Park in September where I’ll be revealing a sneak preview of my 2015 Holiday line. If you live in or around the Philadelphia area, be sure to check it out!

Thank you so much Jill for sharing your story and process! I am so glad that we became friends.

I just realized that I have been posting monthly Backside of the Hoop interviews for one year! And in that year, I didn’t once feature myself to tell my stitchy story. So next month, for my one year anniversary, I’m going to interview myself! Look for that to post on Friday, August 21st.