Roland-designs , Virginie's blog.

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, 2 September 2013

The story of Roland-designs in a nutshell

                          Happy Birthday Roland-designs !

    Roland-designs began rather naively in September 2008.

    I had taken a keen interest in needlework since my first child was born, as I needed a hobby that could be taken up and put down in a minute….. every mother knows that with babies and toddlers, you are on demand 24/7, yet moms still needs a creative outlet.

    This was also the time I dusted my old crochet hook and developed a passion for antique crochet, especially Irish crochet. I used a lot of my free time browsing books at the local library, and online at:
    We had just gotten a dial up internet connection and I must have spent hours downloading and printing old booklets. Finally I realized I was spending a fortune on ink and started to look on ebay to see if I could just buy the books instead… first ebay bid did not work out as the seller wouldn’t  ship to Norway, that did not deter me and the rest is Ebay history in all it’s glory and folly. I almost fell for a scam once, backing out of a trip to the Western Union office out of town just in time. Ha ! I had a lot to learn about online shopping !  My personal online experiences has been a tremendous source of information for setting up my own ETSY shops, and website.

The first Berlin woolwork pattern I re-charted.
    One day I decided I wanted to stitch a photo of my husband, so I ordered online ( thank you ebay ) a cross stitch software which turned out  was outdated and wouldn’t work on my PC. That was the time when I knew absolutely nothing about computers, but undeterred I bought another software, uploaded my photo and started to stitch a very pink/purple picture of my husband. It was so horrid,  I never finished it, but I did develop a curiosity for designing my own patterns.

    I tinkered a bit, figured out how it all worked and created a couple of patterns, then re-charted my first Berlin woolwork hand painted designs. I then asked a lady who sold re-productions of antique patterns online in PDF format if she would sell my charts on commissions. She very kindly answered that it would be easier if I opened my own website, she volunteered to coach me and within a week or so  I had my little site up and running and got a couple of sales. Of course, it wasn’t always smooth sailing. Once I ‘ cleaned ‘ out my files and by mistake deleted all the photos from my site, I spent hours trying to figure out what I did wrong and must have annoyed to tears the poor person on the other end of the live chat help.

    From then on I slowly learned more about antique patterns, designing software, Microsoft word, and power point. I took a computer course and used a lot of the things I learned to better my site and PDF’s. Of course, as the mother of four young children I never had all the time in the world to grow my little business at a pace faster than baby steps, but now celebrating the 5 th anniversary of the site I can honestly say that I am pleased with how it has grown and have high expectation for the future.

    Roland-designs was named after my oldest son - Roland. He likes to think of the site has his little online shop, even though at 11 years old he doesn’t really understand it yet and it is more his little sisters who are interested in needlework.
Stitching the standard

    Early on I started to use the image of a painting by Edmund Leighton called ' Stitching the standard', this painting has now become synonymous with Roland-designs and has been our mascot since the beginning.

   Earlier this year I gave the site a face lift, going through each and every page freshening it up, removing old photos, adding new ones, closing three blogs which I then compiled into one, and doing a lot of little adjustments to bring the site up to date.

    Where do I see Roland-designs in 5 years…. Well, I have a little daydream of a needlework museum and library, having a magazine, of giving courses,  lectures, and volunteering at school and clubs to give free needlework courses for children, etc….

    But the immediate goals for Roland-designs is to keep growing the business slowly but steadily, improve the quality of the charts, offer more original patterns, get more freelance articles published and eventually publish books of needlework patterns both antique and original.

    Roland and I would love to hear from you my friends, fans and customers with your ideas, impressions, suggestions, questions,  anything at all you have to say about the site, the charts, and such.

    My email is :


  1. How about a cross-stitch chart of "Stitching the Standard"? Maybe you could get some company or other to make it into a kit! I would definitely love to have a stitched copy on my wall...

  2. I actually have bought a pattern from of that very painting... but alas, time fails and I still haven't gotten around to it.