#ThankStitching No. 58 with Ris Ratliff

Ris Ratliff

Instagram: @rubybluestudio

Etsy: etsy.com/shop/RubyBlueStudioShop


Embroidery and cross stitch are my JAM. I first started stitching as a way to relieve the stress and anxiety I had about my parent’s divorce. When I would start getting anxious or sad, I would put on a new show on Netflix and start sewing something pretty. My brain could only keep 2 tabs open at a time so my worries would fade to background noise while I sat and stitched and watched Buffy kick vampire butt. It’s become one of my favorite hobbies and I highly recommend it!

My husband Tevan and I have known for quite a while that we would have a hard time becoming pregnant. We still wanted to give it the old college try tho;) So try we did, until last summer our doctor told us definitively that without IVF we don’t stand a chance.

If you’re unfamiliar with IVF, there are a couple things to know to start. First, it costs about a million bajillion dollars. Okay not that much. But really: $10k PLUS medications, anesthesia, blood work, ultrasounds, etc. Generally AT LEAST $15k, it can be upwards of $20-25 if you do a guarantee program. That’s where you pay for multiple cycles upfront and if you don’t get a baby by the end they refund at least some of the money. Sounds like a great deal (the refund part) but coming up with all that money up front is TOUGH. It’s all out of pocket. We’ve saved up as much as possible but will still have to take out a decent sized loan.

So. It’s super expensive. Second, you have to do about a million shots. Okay not a million. But a lot. A LOT. And for someone super scared of needles, that’s been a tough mental mountain to climb. But my heart and soul and body and entire being longs to be a mother. So shoot me up and give me all the drugs. I can take it!

So between the mega money and shots this is going to take, my anxiety started to kick in and I turned again to my stitching. As I worked (and relaxed to the soothing sounds of Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson) I began to form an idea. And the more I stitched and thought about it, the more excited I became.

My sewing needles are helping to make super scary hormone needles (and more importantly, a baby!) a reality! Eek! I started an etsy shop and started sharing pieces on Instagram and the response has been so amazing! I do some custom embroidery quotes but the largest amount of time and energy has gone into my IVF fundraiser: #stitchfamilytomakeafamily. With the incredible Lizzy Dabczynski-Bean’s permission, I have been creating stitch families to make my family a reality.

To design each person/character, I use the AMAZING cross stitch pattern book by Lizzy Dabczynski-Bean of stitchpeople.com. Seriously, you guys. This woman is a true artist and such a generous kind soul for giving the go ahead for this. If you are interested in creating your own stitch people, you can buy her book here. Thanks Lizzy!

My husband and I went back and forth a long time about whether or not to be public with our infertility struggle and I am *so* glad we decided to share. I’ve met so many incredible people who have either gone through the same thing or know someone who has. Everyone has been so kind and generous and I feel so loved and supported.

November is a special month because this is the month our IVF journey finally begins! Our shots begin November 3rd and if everything goes according to plan, we should find out if it was successful the day this goes live: November 30! If you’d like to follow along my IVF cycle, I’ll be posting about my IVF journey on my personal Instagram @ris.rat. If you head there today, hopefully I’ll be posting happy news! Fingers crossed and all the good vibes please!

I post all sorts of stitchiness on @rubybluestudio, including my stitch families! If you’d like to participate in #stitchfamilytomakeafamily, shoot me an email at hello@rubybluestudioshop.com 🙂

#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.