Cross Stitch

Starting New!

Well now, I have been meaning to get this blog started and this is as good a way of doing it as any. I intend to start writing about, well, my adventures in cross stitching. I have recently gotten back into this hobby of mine and I will be starting a fresh project.

Isn't she pretty?
Isn’t she pretty?

This lovely pattern was made by PinkythePink of Deviant Art based on original artwork by Hannah-Alexander also of Deviant Art. I get to do lots of new things with this pattern, including working with linen and beads. I haven’t worked with beads in a cross stitch before so this is really exciting! But it was a lot of work to get to the point where I can finally start working on it.

Step 1: Printing the Pattern.

You’d think this part was easy. And so did I. I tried to drop it into Microsoft Publisher, but the program kept doing weird things with the page breaks, cutting squares in half and the like. Ultimately, I ended up cutting the pattern into 35 manageable bits in Photoshop myself. Making it into a 35 page pattern. This makes it compatible with my Heaven and Earth Designs patterns.

Probably a week of labor. It isn't easy.
Probably a week of labor. It isn’t easy.
I like the size of the squares on this.
I like the size of the squares on this.

Step 2: The Fabric

They don’t carry high count linen in stores. I found this out the hard way. All I could find at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and Joann’s were 32 evenweave and so I ended up having to order online. I went with Everything Cross Stitch. I’ve used them before to get odd colors and they have an excellent selection of beads, colors, and fabrics. Once I got the fabric (took about a week at first-class mail) it was time to prevent it from fraying.

I have found that the best way to do that is fold it over and sew. I’ve seen people use tape, but I never had much luck with it.

Pinning the edges.
Pinning the edges.

The final product?  An oversized, but well secured piece of linen:

IMAG0248

So much fun!

Step 3: Getting the Thread.

I had to take stock of my thread. First I used the color key to make myself a color card. Also adapted photoshop for this lovely task of breaking down and rebuilding.

Thank God for Photoshop! Makes everything look good.
Thank God for Photoshop! Makes everything look good.

I managed to fit all the colors and the mixed colors on the card. Taped it to two pieces of cardstock and punched holes in it so that I can thread the right colors, and the right mixes, in place. I’m going to fill in the card as I go.

Then it was time to break out my DCM Thread collection. Of course, while I have every shade of blue they’ve produced, but I was woefully underprepared in the yellow department. It required an emergency run to Michaels and a long list of threads. Then I had to wind them all up and put them in a ring for easy access.

Step 4: Getting it all together.

The final step was marking the middle of the fabric, as it is always best to work a pattern from the center out. Well, except for Heaven and Earth Designs… but that will be a future blog. I fold up the fabric and crease it so that I can see the center and then I use a little piece of black thread to mark the middle before I load the fabric onto the scroll.

I think I've got everything I need! Not pictured: The Yellow Sharpie Liquid Highlighter and Scissors.
I think I’ve got everything I need! Not pictured: The Yellow Sharpie Liquid Highlighter and Scissors.

Final Step:

Getting the nerve to start! It’ll be a long trip. This is the most complicated pattern I’ve worked on. But hopefully, I’ll enjoy it and it will look great at the end! After all, Beast didn’t win Belle’s heart overnight. Whatever Once Upon a Time says…

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