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Aleksandra answers your questions


Meet RIOLIS designer

Aleksandra Gusarova!

How did you start working at RIOLIS?

When I studied, my friend Alina Melenteva started working as a RIOLIS’ designer. She showed me how it’s
done, and I created my first three designs. I showed them to RIOLIS’ head designer and started working
part time. When I learned to create charts, I started working full time.

How long are you working at RIOLIS?

When I started part time, RIOLIS celebrated 15 years, so I am here for quite some time – almost 10 years!

How is your workspace organized?

When I work from home due to self-isolation, it is not well organized, but I am trying to do my best. When I
work at the office, it is much more comfortable. There are our wonderful colleagues who can always advice
or help; also, in the office I have access to the catalogues, threads and much better lightning.

Where do you find inspiration?

It is a difficult question. I could talk about birds and clouds but actually it comes from a lot of work. You do
something again and again and the more you do it, the better is the result. In the work of the designer,
there is a rule: quantity creates quality. The more effort you put in, the better result you get. It works
almost all the time and for me, this is where inspiration comes from. When you set a goal, work hard for it,
it inspires. I know it might not sound very appealing, but it’s true – inspiration comes from work.

Which one of your designs was most complicated to create?

The most complicated to create was the trio 1684 Breakfast, 1685 Lunch and 1686 Dinner. In the creative
plan it was written “recipes”. What recipes? I created a lot of different options, but none of them seemed
right. At first, we planned the designs to be on pre-printed fabric. We printed the fabric, stitched on it, but
we didn’t like the result. Finally, we decided to stitch the designs on beige fabric, and it looked great!
However, it was a lot of work.
Also, there were some issues working on the kit 1788 Underwater Kingdom. For a long time, I wanted to
create a nautical design that conveyed the energy of the sea. I tried to persuade everyone that it is a good
idea, but there were doubts if the stitchers will like it. At last, this design was approved, and I am very
happy it turned out so bright and majestic.


Which one of your created designs warms your heart the most?

Without doubt, the design that warms my heart is 1861 The Little Prince. First of all, I love Antoine de Saint-
Exupéry and was so excited when marketing department approved my idea. Second, I love how the thick
huge clouds in the background turned out. They were inspired by anime of Hayao Miyazaki and I think it
creates a fairy-tale like scene.

Which one of your designs do you think is underrated and why?

I have one design like this. There is a kit 1648 Sea Buckthorn in our assortment that I created. I also
designed lilacs as a pair for this design. We even stitched it, but it was not approved. It was left out with the
explanation “Aleksandra, you can do better”. So, I have a stitched design that is not in the catalogue and I
think it is my underrated work.

What is your dream?

I have a dream to travel around the world, but I am not sure how to achieve it. It requires a lot of time and
a lot of money, but it is my dream.

How much time does it take to create a design?

It’s a difficult question because it can take different amount of time. Some designs take a lot of time in the
stage of the idea, like the recipes – I spent a lot of time creating the sketch. Once it was done, I transferred
it to chart, it was stitched, and then the process was fast. Other designs, such as 1469 Hedgehogs in
Lingonberries were done very quickly. I made a sketch very quickly, it was quickly approved, I transferred it
to chart and the design was a best-seller. So, it can be very different.

When did you start creating patterns for cross stitch?

I started creating patterns when I started working at RIOLIS. I didn’t do it before, but once I saw my friend
Alina (who is also a designer at RIOLIS) creating patterns, I immediately was interested and since then I am
doing it as well.

What do you like most about your job?

Without doubt, it is positive feedback. Feedback from happy customers, happy people is very important. I
want to say a big thank you for everybody who like my designs – thank you for buying the kits and thank
you for stitching them. I try to do my best and the feedback is the most important part of my job. For all us
designers it is especially important, and we are incredibly happy that you enjoy RIOLIS kits.

What new designs are planned for this year?

This year we have planned a gorgeous Middle Ages tapestry just like an illustration from an old book. Also,
there will be The Birth of Venus after S. Botticelli. She will be magnificent and very big – 40 x 60 cm. There
will also be some small designs. From the ones that can be ordered already, I hope you will like the
adorable creatures of Good Souls – Twinkle, Beauty and Moon.

Did you receive any of your stitched designs as a gift?

No, I didn’t receive any of them, but my grandmother had many of my designs stitched and gifted them to
her doctors. The pictures were very well received as the doctors never got anything like that before, so they
were thrilled, especially by 1402 Bouquet of Roses after Renoir’s Painting and 0028 PT Cranes.

What is the most difficult thing to draw?

The most difficult is to draw hands and faces, especially from the classical paintings, but I think I manage to
do it quite well. The biggest challenge was to create a small diamond mosaic kit AM0018 Santa Claus as this
tiny (10 x 10 cm) design had to include not only Santa Claus, but also a deer.

All your kits are wonderful, but which one is a fairy-tale for you?

It’s easy – my favorite design right now is 1861 The Little Prince. However, I would like to create another
design with a space theme. I am interested in exploring the idea of the harmony between a small man and
an enormous cosmos in cross stitch. We will see how this project goes.

Do you have a picture from your childhood that you want to turn to cross stitch?

Yes, as a child I was impressed by illustrations by Ivan Bilibin whose pictures were in a lot of Russian
fairytales, so I would love to recreate some of them. I also love a cartoon Moomins; however, these
characters are licensed, so I cannot turn them to cross stitch for technical reasons.

From professional view, what directions of cross stitch will be popular in the future?

Actually, I don’t know what will be popular in the future, but I think cross stitching will stay popular because
of the pleasure of the process and the good time working on your project which is, in my opinion, the main
advantage of cross stitch.

Do you plan to create more designs like 1324 Scottish Heather and 1404 French Lavender? What inspired
to create these designs?

My grandmother brought me lavender honey from her travels across the Europe and it inspired me to
create kit 1404 French Lavender. Later, I was looking for the ideas what else to create and I remembered an
old poem Heather Honey, so I decided to create 1324 Scottish Heater. Next, my friend who lives in
Germany told me how popular rapeseed are there, so I created 1502 Yellow Rapeseed and then I thought
that I need to come back to my roots, so this is when design 1478 Russian Daisies was born.

When did you first realize that drawing is your way?

When I was 3 years old, I drew a pirate from a cartoon and since then my mother decided that I can be an
artist when I grow up and she did everything she could to help me. Later, I studied to become an artist-
designer in the university.

How are the designs born?

We have a plan for half a year which is given to us and we participate in the discussions – if we have an
idea, we present it in the meeting, and it is either approved or not. However, this is mainly the job of our
marketing department – they select the ideas of what designs are popular or wanted by stitchers at that
time. So, we have a plan, and we create designs according to it. Also, it happens that you become very
interested in something and I my recent hobby is looking at space, so as a result, I was inspired to create a
cosmic diamond mosaic kit AM0047 Other Worlds.

Who is your favorite painter?

I love Pierre – August Renoir, so I was happy to create a pattern as a reproduction of his painting Bouquet
of Roses (kit 1402). Also, my favorite illustrator is Ivan Bilibin. So, these are two of my favorite artists.

Do you have a favorite fairytale?

Once again, it is Little Prince and I suggested making a design according to it because you can illustrate
almost each sentence. I also like Moomins and Winnie the Pooh.
Does any of your loved one’s cross stitch?
Actually, no, so it was very unexpected for me to start working in RIOLIS. However, I think I was in the right
place at the right time and I became extremely interested in it. I’m happy I seized the opportunity because I
like doing it, and people like what I create.

If you could star in a movie, what genre would it be?

I love horror movies or psychological thriller. I like the movies with unexpected endings, so I would love to
star in a movie like that.




Anna answers your questions


Meet RIOLIS designer

Anna Petrosyan!

Where did you go to school and how did you start working in RIOLIS?

I went to University of Design and Technology in Moscow and majored in Costume Design.
I came to RIOLIS completely accidentally. I saw an ad about vacancy for a designer. At that time I worked as
clothes‘ designer and knew nothing about RIOLIS. Therefore I studied all assortment on their website and
realized that I really want to work here. Back then I didn‘t even realize how popular cross stitching is!

How did you start your creative journey?

I started drawing in kindergarten. First “masterpieces” that wowed the adults were watercolor autumn
landscapes with flying red, yellow and orange leaves. Of course, I didn’t know anything about the
impressionists at that time, but the style was similar.
Later I got interested in paper dolls and started creating stylish outfits for them.
This was the start of my “creative journey”.

Where do you get inspiration for the designs?

The most important part of finding inspiration is to start working! Of course, inspiration requires new
experiences. It can be an interesting exhibition, movie, concert, or meeting with friends. Anything! Without
doubt, most new experiences come from travels. I usually take photos of everything there that interests me
and can be used at work.

What is your favorite work from RIOLIS kits?

It’s kits from Old Photo series (Letter, Riviera and Waiting). Here everybody can think of their own story.
What unbelievable versions I’ve heard about the theme of these kits!

What inspired creation of Pastoral?

Paintings by Francois Boucher and other artist of that time and style. I wanted to transfer the style and
playful mood of pastoral painting.

What themes are closest to you?

Flowers, of course! I love ‘composing’ bouquets in my works and it makes me feel like a real florist. Also, I
like creating women’s images. Landscapes and still life are also my favorite themes.

I love your gentle watercolor bouquets. What is your favorite flower?

I love many flowers; it is hard to choose one. I think my favorite flowers are the ones that I will draw in the

Thank you for watercolor series. Will there be more designs like this?

I would love to continue these series, so I hope there will be a sequel!

Do you cross stitch?

I cross stitch small fragments while choosing the threads and of course, backstitch on a stitched work. For
me it’s a magic moment when a few additional touches transform whole piece!

What is your favorite shade of threads that you use?

I never thought about it. I guess there are some shades of threads that I subconsciously use more in my
works. Thank you for the question! I’ll have to take a closer look at that!

Why did you agree to work in RIOLIS?

Of course, interesting job is important, but the main reason is people. We have a very friendly and kind
colleagues, and there is absolutely no jealousy that is very common in creative teams. Everybody is
sincerely happy about the success of others and always gives you an advice if needed. Therefore, I work at
RIOLIS for 12 years already!

What is your favorite work of literature?

My favorite book from childhood is Treasure Island. It was very scary, but also so interesting! I imagined
myself as a character in these amazing adventures. I guess no other book had such an impact for me.

Did competitors try to lure you away?

Of course, they did! But how can you leave such a friendly and loving family?

What are you working on now? What new kits can we expect?

One more reproduction after artwork of Alphonse Mucha. It is one of my favorites. All work is done in half
cross stitch and a lot of backstitch. I hope the result will not disappoint you!

What are the difficulties of creating a design?

Each work has its difficulties. Sometimes it is hard to convey a certain detail as we are limited in graphic
means. Other times it is hard to choose a needed shade of threads.

I want your Pastoral. What is romance in our times?

Thank you, I’m very happy to hear you like Pastoral! As for the question about romance, I think people did
not change much with their feelings and emotions. Romance remains something sublime even in our times!

Do you plan to make a design after Gone with the Wind (Scarlett and Rhett Butler)?

No, I don’t plan it yet. Thank you for the idea, it is worth considering!

Did you ever have dreams of your future designs?

Honestly, I don’t remember. However, I always have quite accurate dreams about the designs I’m currently
working on.

What do you dream of creating?

I wish to create something extraordinary and surprise everyone!

Would you like to illustrate a book? If yes, what book would it be?

I would like to create illustrations for novels by Somerset Maugham. I like his characters very much.

Do you have any hobbies (in addition to work and drawing)?

I love sport and traveling.

How long on average do you work on each design?

It differs. It can be a few weeks or a few months. It depends on difficulty of the work, size and many other
things. The longest process is a work on reproduction. Main thing here is not to ruin the masterpiece, therefore you feel a huge responsibility.

Who is your favorite artist?

I love impressionists and many of the modernists. But most of all I am amazed and delighted by an architect
Antoni Gaudi.

What was your first design for RIOLIS?

It was a lady in a masquerade costume rushing somewhere. Also, one of the first works is Tuscany (field
with poppies).

What country/city (from those you haven’t been to) do you dream of visiting?

Of course, I wish to visit many countries, but right now I dream of traveling to Portugal. I love Portuguese
language and I am even trying to learn it a little.

Are you an artist or designer of charts? Or both?

I think of and draw a sketch which I later transform to a chart for cross stitch. That’s why I am both an artist
and a designer.

What emotions inspire you for another masterpiece?

Inspiration comes from the positive emotions, of course. It is hard to create something that would make
other people happy if you are in a bad mood. That’s why I try to leave all the troubles behind the doorstep.
I turn on the music and start working in a good mood.

What design was most complicated to create?

It was design Maharaja’s Garden. At first, white peacock was supposed to be on black fabric, but I wanted
to create him light and airy. It wasn’t an easy task, but I think I managed to do it quite well.




Yuliya answers your questions


Meet RIOLIS designer
Yuliya Krasavina!

What is your education?

I studied at Moscow State Stroganov Academy of Design and Applied Arts majoring in design of
embroidery. I also studied at Moscow State Textile Academy majoring in design of textile creations.

What is your professional experience?

I work at RIOLIS for about 20 years and overall, my professional experience is about 30 years.

Did your interest for cross stitch appear in childhood?

I loved drawing since I was little. I went to art school and like many kids, I tried a lot of kinds of needlework:
sewing, knitting and stitching. I wanted to receive a serious art education, so I left my hometown to attend
art school and did not think about needlework at that moment.

How did embroidery become your professional interest?

I chose a major “embroidery artist” at school. This gave me an opportunity in addition to basic subjects
(drawing, painting, composition), to master various embroidery techniques, sewing and designing of
We studied folk arts and crafts, styles and ornaments in folk art, costumes, traditions, methods, embroidery
techniques of ethnic groups and regions of Russia. On an internship we made sketches and embroideries.

What did you like about folk art?

Each region has its own ornament, its own colors and techniques. At the same time, motives repeat and
transfuse through the entire layer of culture: the same ornament is found in weaving, embroidery and even
in carving. Similar symbolic elements can be met at the other end of the world – for example, solar signs.
Folk embroidery was symbolic: a myth, story, view of the world was encrypted in an ornament.

Why do you think needlework is needed today?

Like any other creative process, needlework is needed for self-realization. There is a desire to decorate
their home with handmade objects in the nature of every woman. For some needlework is relaxation, for
others – means to fight stress, change of activity and a chance to sit quietly. Additionally, embroidery
contributes to the development of fine motor skills which is useful for both children and adults.

Do you think needlework is a form of art or a craft?

Needlework is a creative process, and the result depends on effort and skill, even stitching according to the
ready-made pattern. The high level of craftsmanship, combined with qualitative pattern and well-chosen
framing brings the work closer to art.

Do you like to cross stitch?

I do, of course – like many things related to needlework. Now it’s my work. My mother stitches mainly my
designs. Our kits are bought by my friends, their mothers and kids, my close and distant relatives, also their
friends and family. And those who do not stitch, love the stitched presents…

Do you stitch your works?

I stitch only fragments while working on a design. I try the threads and alter pieces. To stitch all design
requires a lot of time. Samples for RIOLIS are prepared by experienced stitchers.

How long does it take to create a design?

For example, it took two years to develop kit 100/044 Rider (already discontinued). It was extremely hard
work as it was difficult to select the threads to convey colors of the painting. However, sketch for a kit 1351
White Briar was done much faster. I created this kit from my own watercolor.

Could you tell us more about the creation of one of your designs?

I love our village very much. This is where I spent my summers with my grandparents, where my sons spent
each summer as well. Now I spend part of my vacations there too. I take a lot of photos. I paint flowers that
grow around: rose hips, daisies, bellflowers, rudbeckia, nasturtiums, marigolds, dandelions… All of it
becomes material for creativity, for example, kit 924 Wildflowers.

How were the famous designs with ladies 100/027 Velvet Evening, 100/028 Lilac Evening and 100/045
Forget Me Not created? Did they have real prototypes?

They are collective images created based on examples from early 20th century literature and paintings. One
of the difficulties working on portraits in embroidery for me is creating the image itself and not the
portrayal of a particular face. Of course, I used photos and shots from the movies.

What are your favorite subjects to work on?

Most of all, I like to draw flowers, people and ornaments. Stitched ornaments complemented or replaced
ornamental fabric and textile is also my specialty.

What inspires you in your work?

I think an artist must look and observe a lot: the state of nature, surrounding landscape, architecture, faces
of people and of course, see as much as possible works of art. Impressions accumulate, transform, because
you never know what will turn out to be your inspiration…

Do you communicate with the stitchers? Do you listen to their feedback?

Almost all my friends and relatives cross stitch. Of course, all of them give advice and all of them ask for
specific designs. For example, a friend sent me photos of carousels from her travels which inspired cross
stitch kit 1458 Carousel.
Also, people often come to me during craft shows: they share their impressions, give thanks and advice. I
listen to them and try to use some of the feedback in my work.

What are your creative hobbies and activities besides working at RIOLIS?

I sew. Also, I paint oil paintings – mostly bouquets and still life with flowers.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to read, comfortably sitting where no one interferes. I like watching movies with my family and
travelling. When the summer begins, I feel the need to be on the road.
Whenever possible, I like going to the theatre with my friends or family – mostly I like student
performances. I also like to listen to classical music at concerts, go to art museums and exhibitions.

Who is your favorite artist or artistic direction?

My favorite artist is my husband Sergei Krasavin and my friends – RIOLIS’ designers. Talking seriously, I like
Flemish Renaissance artists, Russian artists of the end of XIX century - beginning of XX century and Vladimir
landscape painters. In the 60s Vladimir developed its own school of landscape painters – it is very
decorative, bright and unlike anything else. My attitude towards modern trends in art is complex.




Galina answers your questions


Meet RIOLIS designer

Galina Skabeeva!

Galina is RIOLIS’ head designer who has more than 30 years of professional experience and works in RIOLIS
for more than 20 years!


What is your education?

I finished art school, then I learned at Moscow State Stroganov Academy of Design and Applied Arts
majoring in design and art of embroidery. I also studied at Moscow State Textile Academy majoring in
fashion design. Lastly, I finished a course in computer design.



How did you choose a profession of a designer? How did you start working with embroidery?

I wouldn’t say I chose the profession. Among the many hobbies in childhood, drawing and sculpting were
my favorites. Later, in Academy of Arts, I started to learn about embroidery according to old patterns – and
I fell in love with this form of art.
When I began to work at Research Institute of the Art Industry, I had a great pleasure of going to
expeditions and making a lot of sketches of the old embroideries.
I worked with amazing fashion designers and developed décor sketches for their creations. Over time, I
found a passion in computer graphics and I mastered this field with enthusiasm too. It is important for my
job at RIOLIS.


In what other creative fields have you tried yourself?

The art of making dolls is another hobby of mine. I come back to it from time to time. I have participated in
international creative exhibitions with my works.
I also have an experience in making cards.
For a while, I worked as a fashion designer at woman’s clothing factory. I can say that it is a great feeling to
see people in the street wearing skirts and suits that you created: you understand that your work wasn’t for
nothing. I don’t believe that you can create only for yourself, without a feedback.

How did you start working at RIOLIS?

I found out about RIOLIS from my professor at Textile Academy N. B. Yakovleva. She cooperated with a then
new company. I successfully worked as a fashion designer at that time. RIOLIS offer attracted me by the
opportunity to combine my creative abilities with experience in computer graphics and love for the
Founders of the company O. A. Akifiev and N. V. Vlasova were full of optimism and optimism in the 90s
inspires respect.

Do you have a favorite embroidery technique?

Embroidery technique is like paint for an artist or musical notes for a composer – it is a basis for creativity.
Each technique has its own merits and means of expression. Colorful satin stitch is closer to painting. It can
convey subtle color transitions and combinations.
Backstitch is like frost pattern on glass – it is exquisitely graphic. If we talk about cross stitch, which I do at
RIOLIS, here the picture is more important than technique.

How your cross stitch designs are born?

Almost every design has its own story. Artist’s attitude to the subject that is portrayed is always very
personal. It happens that the design is in the creative plan of the company, but the idea of its fulfillment is
not born until the artist has the attitude and his special view on the proposed topic.
I, for example, had to wait quite some time until the idea of the design with swans was ready. These birds
are often portrayed, and it is easy to repeat as to sing someone else’s melody mistaking it for your own. A
lucky coincidence brought me to the shore of Vltava in Prague, and everything came together: graceful,
trusting birds and a wonderful cityscape. The solution was found.

How does the inspiration come to you?

I don’t like to wait for the inspiration; I don’t have a possibility to do that as well. I am not an exception: for
most people in a creative field inspiration comes in a process of work. However, creativity is impossible
without experiences, good mood, friendly atmosphere and support from friends and colleagues. Everything
is included in the experiences: exhibitions, concerts, theatre, travels, interesting books and articles in the
magazines. I also enjoy going to workshops of other artists.

Do you have any favorite artists in the visual arts?

There are many: for example, I love impressionists. “Impression” for me is one of the keywords in
creativity. I love modern Russian art in all its forms. I feel close to works of book illustrators: classic (I.
Bilibin) and modern (O. Popugaeva and D. Nepomnyashchiy), Russian and foreign (R. Dauntremer).
I also like sketches of fashion designers and enjoy going to their shows. From cross stitch designers I really
respect Michael Powell; I also love the work of my colleagues. We learn from each other, consult and help
each other to find interesting solutions. We have a good team, and this is very important. Our works give
the stitchers that positive energy with which they were created.