I'm Rachel Alva, the creator behind Blue Octopus Stitchcraft.
I'm here to make it easier for people to live creative lives with modern cross stitch kits and patterns.
Stitching is in my blood. My mom is the kind of stitcher who passed down (to my great delight as a child) a suitcase full of clothes she'd made for her Barbies as a child, sewed me and my dolls matching pajamas, and knits sweaters for my daughter. Her mom, my grandma, sewed formal gowns for her three daughters, designed and cross-stitched Oregon State art to surprise the fellow beaver fans in her life, and embroidered tea towel gifts for showers.
Her mom, my great-grandma, was famous for the stylish afghans that she crocheted to keep her loved ones cozy. It's no surprise that these women passed down their love of creating to me. Ever since my mom taught me how to thread a needle, I've discovered that stitching--whether through knitting, sewing, cross stitching, or embroidery--is one of my favorite ways to relax and focus my mind.
Blue Octopus Stitchcraft was born out of a convergence of factors. One was my desire as a stitcher to find cross stitch kits that were stylish, had already been compiled, and were available locally. The other was that after my daughter Blue was born, I felt compelled to forge a path that would allow me to nurture my child in the way I want to and financially sustain my family, while living true to my values.
As much as possible, I try to conduct business and source materials in ways that support economic and environmental justice. That means I buy from small businesses when I can, because the scale supports a lower ratio of owners to workers, allowing more people to have creative control of their work. It also means I'm working toward only buying sustainable products, like bamboo embroidery hoops and recycled paper, so that Blue Octopus Stitchcraft has minimal environmental impact. Those considerations mean that I purchase supplies and services as locally as possible, and that I seek to build partnerships with local craft fairs, farmers markets, and shops.
When I’m not busy working on new designs you can catch me sipping a caramel latte or hard cider, hiking through the enchanting landscapes of the PNW, or chasing my toddler around Seattle.