#ThankStitching No. 30 with April Hansen

April Hansen

Instagram: @jagbmkshansen & Etsy Shop


I started cross stitching when I was 8 years old. It was a way for my mom to keep me occupied since I was so much older than my other siblings. (Like 6 years until my brother.) So while she would focus on activities with the younger kids, I got to try my hand at stitching. My mom is still into cross stitch, but her age and arthritis won’t allow her to do all of what she sets out to do.

This hobby was short lived, maybe 2 years of my childhood because I started to get into competitive sports and challenging academic work. It wasn’t until 3 years ago that I started back up. I wanted my family to have matching stockings for Christmas and I didn’t like what was available in the store. My mom had created crewel work stocking for us as kids, so I was kind of ruined from the beginning. Little did I know what I was in for…

I am the mother to 5 amazing children ages 12, 11, 7, 6, & 4. One girl followed by four boys. I do not have a lot of time to myself, which I don’t mind because I love being at home to raise them. I am grateful to my awesome husband who works so hard, which allows for me to do this…and he doesn’t complain too much about thread purchases 😉.

I went ahead and bought a stocking (by Dimensions—love these!) probably not the smartest choice to get back in the saddle but I started it two years ago. That start spurred this passion I didn’t know I had. I have made it through 2/3 of it when I stumbled upon the Instagram crafting community. I absolutely love being a part of so many swaps! Because of swaps the stocking is still waiting to be completed. I have met so many people with a similar passion, exchanged so many materials, and bounced around amazing ideas.

I love writing my own patterns and seeing how they turn out. I gather ideas from here and there and make something fun for someone else, but so often I want to keep it! I like to think that when my package arrives there is an excitement like opening a present at Christmas. The items inside better deliver some emotion!

I am so grateful to have found this passion for cross stitch. It is like a meditation for me. I am able to get lost in the creation of the project and the rhythm of the stitches. I feel calm while I am stitching which is something I so desperately need after a day with 5 children and their activities, and school, and meals, and play, and homework, and fighting, and questions, and whining, and referee-ing, and you name it. Cross stitching is something I look forward to at the end of each day and a good marathon of shows on Netflix while I stitch!

#ThankStitching is a project to collect and curate reasons why stitchers worldwide are thankful for their particular needle craft. Look for daily posts in November with hourly posts on Thanksgiving Day.