home•sick: adjective, experiencing a longing for one's home during a period of absence from it; homesickness: noun, a feeling of nostalgia - a sentimentality for a time or place with happy personal associations.

What does a Kiwi girl (who misses New Zealand) do to find comfort when she lives thousands of miles away from home? Why, she stitches, of course! And so the story of homestitchness began…

cross stitch designer Jenny Van De Wiele
Cross Stitch Designer Jenny Van De Wiele
Hello! My name is Jenny and I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Whangarei, New Zealand. I have lived in the United States for the past 14 years with my American husband, and together we have three young children. I was taught to cross stitch when I was 8 years old by my Aunt and it has been my favourite craft ever since. 

The inspiration to design New Zealand themed cross stitch patterns came to me in 2008 after my husband and I returned to the USA after a 6 month stay in NZ. I was missing home and, as always, had several little cross stitch projects on the go. It was around this time when I realised that many of the foundational themes cross stitch designs and samplers feature – homes, native flora and fauna, seasonal and patriotic themes and the celebration of faith, family and friends – could be translated into characteristically New Zealand designs. And so, I started sketching a few ideas down on paper... drawing upon New Zealand’s rich heritage, beauty and unique way of life. 

The journey towards self publishing my own cross stitch designs has been a long work in progress which has taken place around the births of our children. There have been many more sketches made since those first few in 2008 and countless hours spent stitching late at night! I am thrilled to introduce to you my range of cross stitch designs that celebrate New Zealand’s identity and the love I have for my homeland, no matter where in the world I find myself. Recently, I have released a number of hoop art designs that will appeal to stitchers everywhere, along with a few Australian themed patterns alongside my New Zealand themed ones. Our countries share so much in common that I have found it to be fun and easy to create variations on some of my original designs. However, for as many similarities as there are, I hope I have captured some of the unique differences between Australia and New Zealand in my work, as well.

After much contemplation, I finally settled upon a name for this little venture on a day when I was feeling particularly homesick and made up the word 'home-stitch-ness' as a play on the emotion. I find stitching to be very therapeutic and whenever I work on my New Zealand themed designs, it helps me feel closer to home. When I searched online for ‘homestitchness’ to see if the name had ever been used before, the search engine found no results and simply asked ‘Did you mean: homesickness?’ - and really, that was EXACTLY what I meant. 

Thank you for taking an interest in my work. I hope you will enjoy stitching my designs as much as I have enjoyed creating them - I would love it if you'd send me a photo when you are finished!

Jenny x
Designer, homestitchness


  1. Hello Jenny - I am new to cross stitching, and today I had a wonderful experience at The Ribbon Rose, Ellerslie shop in Auckland. I searched through many many patterns and discovered yours. I couldn't decide between, Pohutukawa House, or the Kowhai Cottage. I loved them both. I settled on the Pohutukawa House, I just hope I don't screw it up, I've never counted cross stitch before, I'm a little worried, but it looks like its all simple enough. Anyway I just wanted to let you know, that when I took my selected choice to the counter, the Lady serving me just exclaimed how I had picked the best pattern in the store, and told me a little of your story. She really was fantastic and really enthusiastic about you, and due to my inexperience picked out all the threads I would need and fabric. I can't wait to start it! What a great service The Ribbon Rose gave me - If this one works out well for me, (meaning I don't screw it up) I'll be going back for the Kowhai Cottage. :)

    All the best Borgessa

    1. Hi Borgessa,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to write, it has made my day to find your lovely comment waiting for me! I am happy to hear you had such a good experience at The Ribbon Rose - it is a wonderful shop and the staff there are very nice and helpful!

      I think you will be just fine with Pohutukawa House. I always fold the fabric in half and then in half again, so when you unfold it, the lines will indicate the centre of the fabric and you can begin stitching there. On Pohutukawa House, this means you will start stitching the front door of the house and then gradually work your way out from there.

      Take your time and just remember that cross stitch is all about COUNTING. Even those of us who have been stitching a long time still find we make mistakes now and then - I have even been known to mess up when stitching my own patterns! :o) So, if this happens, all you need to do is go back and pull out a few stitches and do it over. Keep double checking yourself along the way so that you'll quickly realise if you're a little off with the pattern and then you'll be able to correct it before it becomes too major.

      Thanks again for your feedback and all the best with your stitching - if you need any extra help, feel free to email me :o)



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