Art-to-stitch Wednesday makes a return. A beautiful version of Medusa.
From the Designer
Feline Queen’s regal cat is based on a drawing by the great French art nouveau artist, Théophile Steinlen. He was a cat lover, and a master at capturing the essence of a cat in drawings, paintings, and posters. I have added a pedestal befitting a queen, and the shade of an overhanging trellis. Feline Queen is available in counted cross stitch chart, handpainted needlepoint canvas, and as a complete cross stitch kit.
Art to stitch Wednesday is back. Today we have a beautifully subtle steampunk bee by the wonderfully talented Brigid Ashwood.
Today we discuss the defunct !?Who Knew?! designs distributed by Picture This Plus from 2005-2012.
Welcome to a new class of reviews, for the designers who are no longer in business. These reviews are presented to showcase works that the newer stitchers may not have seen and to have a place to list where they can still be found. Some bricks and mortar cross stitch shops have a few older designs still in stock, so you may find some Who Knew charts when poking around. If you do, or if you are a shop owner who has some of these still in stock, please comment below.
Why this designer?
!?Who Knew?! designs were incredibly popular and have become more so now they are out of print. At one time or another I had five of these designs in my stash, although I can only find one at the moment.
These designs were charted for cross-stitch under licence by Picture This Plus. They used Alison Tanner’s Mermaid and Garden Fairy stencils which were available at the time from Stensource International (which is now part of Quilting Creations).
The original images are copyright Alison Tanner, the resultant cross stitch designs are copyright !?Who Knew?!
Although the images are from another source, I love !?Who Knew?! choice of colour and fabric combination. These are monochrome but not Black & White.
These charts are mostly whole cross stitch only. Ocean Curiosity uses backstitch to denote fireworks and Autumn Fairy uses metallic floss in one strand in the fairy wings. Other than that, it is two strands of the same thread all the way through.
These designs are quite simple to stitch and relatively small. I would recommend these from beginner through to advanced lovers of fairies or mermaids.
!?Who Knew?! charts were only released as printed charts. All charts were printed on good quality heavy paper. The front and back covers are coloured, as are any backstitch lines.
Initial charts had photographs stuck down with glue on the front cover pages. Later copies had images printed on the front cover page. All pages were always printed on good-quality heavy paper.
The charts are printed in black symbols on white pages. Although these were relatively small designs, they were printed over multiple pages, making the symbols easy to see. As these designs are mostly monochrome, the few symbols are easy to differentiate.
Each subsequent page has a three-row overlap to help you keep your place.
With these multi-page charts, some pages have numbers in each corner and this can be confusing if you haven’t seen this before.
In the top left of each page is written “Page 1” (or whatever page of the chart it is.
In the other three corners are numbers in parentheses ( ). These numbers denote which chart page lies directly in that direction.
So the number in the top right denotes which chart page sits directly to the right of the one you are working on.
The the number in the bottom left denotes which chart page sits directly below.
The number in the bottom right denotes which chart page sits to the right of the chart page directly below the one you are working on. So in a six-page chart :
Page 1 Page 2
Page 3 Page 4
Page 5 Page 6
Page 1 would have these in each corner:
Page 1 (2)
The back cover lists all the information we need to kit up and stitch this design: the stitch count, the design size on a standard range of fabric counts, what fabric was used in the model, the floss list and the floss key.
All of the !?Who Knew?! designs can be stitched over one or over two, so select your favourite Aida or evenweave fabric, some favourite threads and start stitching.
Stitch count 103 x 135.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Midas” 28ct Cashel
Stitch count 169 x 248.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Dwarf” 32ct Belfast linen.
8 skeins Classic Colorworks Bejeweled
Stitch count 149 x 159.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Crystal Lagoon” 32ct Belfast.
Stitch count 198 x 125.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Crystal Loch” 32ct Belfast.
unknown skeins of Dinky Dyes 136 Sea Grass
Stitch count unknown.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Lagoon” 28ct Cashel linen.
Stitch count 111 x 168.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Fresco” 28ct Cashel linen.
Places to Buy
Picture This Plus stopped selling !?Who Knew?! designs in November 2012. If you know of any store who has any of these designs in stock, please comment below.
Hand Dyer Suggestions
Some hand dyers have suggested alternatives for a different look or feel to these designs.
Crafty Kitten “Wild fairy light – stitch on Dawnblush (or vintage petals) with Moonlight threads for a slightly different look.
Or if you wanted more a tone on tone, stitch on Moonlight with Twilight Shadows thread.
Colour Cascade Fabrics “Ocean Treasure (I adore mermaids I found it so hard to only send you a few pics Sorry) Mermaid Song, After the Rain, Deep Water & Oceans”
Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015.
Fiberlicious “Ocean Daughter: I’d suggest using Mermaid of Atlantis to stitch Mermaid, Sea Moss to stitch the plants and fishes.
Ocean Whisper: Ocean Ridge for the background and water flows. Sea Moss for the plants. Sea Dragon/Mermaid of Atlantis for the mermaid
Ocean Treasure: Moonlit water or shades of blue with Gold Kreinik and beads.
Ocean Curiosity: Ocean Ridge for the mermaid and castle. Sea Moss for the plants
Autumn Fairy: Autumn Wreath, Fallen lea, Flamboyant Fall or Apricot Sunshine.
Wild Fairy Light: Carnation Cluster/Camelia or Mystical Garden for the whole design or just the flower. You can add Hawaiian Hibicus which is a pastel rainbow colors into her wings to bring out the dreamy looking of the chart.
Sparklies “I chose Ocean Treasure which I think would look wonderful on Gina’s Delight.”
Chromatic Alchemy “I think Ocean Curiosity looks wonderful on Cirrus which can be used equally well as either a seascape or a brooding sky.”
Thread Pickerz Silkz suggests using “Ocean nebula or tropical teal” for any of the mermaid charts.
Eileen has been updating the Thread Pickerz Silkz website. She offers 10% off each silk thread as it is added back into the collection.
For readers of this site, she offers an extra 10% discount if you use the code: Xstitchreview
Have you stitched any of these designs? Do you have any of these in your stash? Can you help supply some of the missing information or cover photos of missing designs?
Which other vanished Designer would you like me to showcase? Comment below and I will try to find something suitable.
If you like this review of !?Who Knew?! designs, please share it with your friends or groups.
Last Updated: 19 February 2015
What is it?
Note: Please respect our artists. Your work will be a labour of love for months and years to come. Buy from reputable designers such as those reviewed on this site. They support the artists who produce the original works. By buying cheap art-to-stitch designs, you are likely buying from a designer who is not paying royalties or licensing and the chart is likely to be low quality. Without support, our artists cannot thrive. Your time, and theirs are worth more.
Why this chart?
I love Joahanna Von Frankenstein’s artwork. She uses so many different types of art techniques, from pencil drawings, digital drawings, watercolours, painting with coffee and of course mixed media. Check out her Facebook page and her DeviantArt page to see all her varied skills.
I chose this design out of all of her converted art work because of the simplicity of colours in this design. The lines created the artwork, and these have been converted into so many differing shades of grey. This truly would have been a challenge to convert.
I also love the subject; Marie Antoinette was such a tragic figure whose naivety and sheltered lifestyle made her a target for an oppressed nation. So much propaganda and misinformation about her has come down through the centuries to us including the false “let them eat cake”.
Colour Cascade Designs is a part of Colour Cascade Fabrics. Tammy provides such wonderful fabric suggestions day after day here on this site. Colour Cascade Designs has been around since January 2014 and provides converted designs from the darker side of life. From zombies to post apocalyptic to expressions of dark desires, Tammy showcases them all.
Most art-to-stitch designs are fully stitched, in that the background is treated as part of the picture so every square is stitched, culminating in a project comprising thousands of stitches and years of work. Projects such as Marie Antoinette do not have a stitched background, and so could be stitched in less time. You could stitch this on white fabric and save yourself even more time, or you could choose to show off a fabulous hand dyed fabric that complements or contrasts this design.
Marie Antoinette is, at heart, a simple design; full cross stitch only. However to meet the level of detail needed for so many fine lines, this chart has a lot of confetti stitching. ,“Confetti stitching” is stitcher jargon for describing an area of stitching where there is only one or a few stitches of each floss colour. These little groupings are scattered about like confetti.
For such a design, changes in stitching techniques are required. You can thread your needle, then stitch each grouping of one colour until you run out and then start the next colour.
Or you can park. Parking is where you stitch one grouping of a floss, and then park you thread at the next grouping. It is probably best explained by this Youtube video:
If you are an experienced art-to-stitch stitcher who has met such a complex chart before, then I thoroughly recommend this chart for the beauty it will become.
If you have not stitched a large, complex design before, then I recommend patience and concentration to get through the confetti stitched areas. Some days it will feel like you are making no progress at all, other days you will seem to make great strides.
Colour Cascade Designs offers their charts as electronic download or in printed form; I have only bought the electronic downloads. Marie Antoinette is a 26 page chart pack in pdf format. Save the pdf and you can work from the digital chart or print sections as you need, or print it all and store it with the rest of your paper charts; the options are yours.
The Marie Antoinette digital download has:
- front cover sheet with a mock-up of the stitched design, the stitch count and size (in inches and centimetres) of the design stitched in 25ct. This also prominently lists the name of the artist and ascribes the art copyright to her.
- instructions on how to stitch and suggestions for the number of threads to use for each count of fabric
- the 20 page chart; each page includes a diagram of where that page sits in the overall chart and a three-row overlap from earlier pages to aid in keeping your place
- cleaning and care notes; washing instructions
- the symbol key or legend, in DMC numbered order
- The floss key including the length of each floss needed
Tammy of Colour Cascade designs is in the process of updating her chart packs. My older copy of Marie Antoinette is only 26 pages,but the newer version is likely to be around 50 pages.
The updated chart packs contain all the same information but Tammy has made the grid work on each chart page much larger. This means more pages, but the symbols are printed larger and more crisp and can be more easily seen on the page.
Tammy has also changed some of the symbols to give greater differentiation; reducing the likelihood of stitching with the wrong shade of floss. I love these changes and urge you to contact Tammy to receive updates of your older chart files as she converts them.
Most art-to-stitch projects recommend to stitch one-over-one on 25 count fabric. As these designs only use whole cross stitch, I strongly recommend that you stitch on the fabric count you prefer and are used to. You are probably going to spend a long while stitching this project, don’t make it more difficult by using a stitch style or count that you are not comfortable with.
To stitch the charts exactly as designed (1 floss over 1 thread on 25ct fabric), you will need:
1 skein each DMC 168, 169, 310, 317, 318, 413, 415, 451, 452, 535, 646, 647, 648, 762, 844, 928, 3072, 3371, 3799, 3865, 3866.
2 skeins each DMC 939 and 3756
3 skeins DMC White (these can be omitted if you stitch this design on white fabric).
25 count Evenweave or Magic Guide fabric (stitch count 286 x 293). Stitched one over one with the a 3″ border allowance, fabric size needed is: 17½ x 17¾″ or 44 x 45cm or a small pack of Magic Guide (19 x 21″) or normal fabric’s fat quarter (18″ x 27″).
For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 26½” x 27” or 67x 68cm or a fat half (27 x 36″).
Approximate cost for Project
Approximate cost to stitch Moonlight crop using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do not include postage):
Chart: $ 10.65
Floss: $ 12.60
Total: $34.15 ($54.25AUD or €46.35 or £38.50)
Places to Buy
Colours Down Under has all the DMC and some plain evenweave fabrics in stock.
Colour Cascade Fabrics stocks the chart, DMC and 25ct Magic Guide fabric. Tammy suggests stitching Marie Antoinette on “Golddigger or Red is the Rose”.
Tammy also offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015.
Traditional Stitches in Calgary have a selection of floss and fabrics to suit your taste.
Casa Cenina in Italy stock a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation.
SewandSo has a range of floss and fabrics to make this design uniquely yours.
Crafty Kitten “Hard to suggest for this one, My personal taste is to stitch black and white designs on white they can sometimes look a little odd on a strongly coloured fabric, maybe moondust but that’s as strong as I’d go with colour personally”
Polstitches “I would love to see Polstitches Avalon or a sampler linen used here, possibilities are endless”
Chromatic Alchemy “I think Marie Antoinette looks classy on Aurelia, we can’t have anything ungainly for a queen now can we?”
123Stitch has the chart in stock and can kit it up for you.
Black Cat Stitchery in Illinois has floss and fabric in stock to make this a project to remember. Erica is offering a 5% discount for readers of Cross Stitch Review. Coupon code: CSRSPRING15. Offer ends 31 May 2015.
Stitches n Things can order this chart in for you. They have all the recommended materials in stock to kit this up for you.
Under the Sea Fabrics Leslie suggests “I’d recommend Looking Glass or London Fog for nice gray neutral or for something wild and fun, Vampyric.”
What fabric would you stitch this design on?
If you liked the review, please share it with your friends.
Last Updated: 21 January 2015