Today’s Art-to-Stitch Wednesday is a tribute for Neil Bray of Eclectic Bloke Designs. Also don’t forget the awesome Giveaways we have going on now.
From the Artist
I was cleaning up a hard-drive and found this, something I started about 4 years ago. I know… another spooky girl in a long black dress! 🙂 I never finished it, but decided to do a bit of noodling on it to make it at least presentable. So here’s a suitably haunted image for Hallowe’en, or Samhain.
What is it?
Moonlight is a digital design by Aly Fell, translated into cross stitch by Neil Bray of Eclectic Bloke Designs. There are two forms of the cross stitch, the original Moonlight and a small section of the design called Moonlight crop. I am reviewing Moonlight crop.
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 Aly Fell’s artwork. His designs can be quite different to the usual artwork we see in art-to-stitch. Check out his website for more of his designs, his blog for the story behind his designs and his Facebook page for in-progress photos.
Eclectic Bloke Designs is a recent venture by stitcher Neil Bray. Neil has been a stitcher for 20 years and he produces art-to-stitch by an eclectic mix of artists. Neil has battled cancer some time and is now at home with his family as part of his palliative care arrangements. Neil’s time with us might be coming an end, but hopefully his sister may carry on Eclectic Bloke designs. Whatever the future brings for Eclectic Bloke Designs, Neil is in my thoughts and will be remembered every time we put floss to thread in one of his designs. I urge you to look through Eclectic Bloke Designs, there may well be something there to appeal to everyone.
Moonlight (crop) is like most art-to-stitch designs; the background is part of the picture so every square is stitched, culminating in a project comprising thousands of stitches and taking months if not years to work.
I chose the crop of this design because I feel it includes a closeup of the most salient features while possibly reducing the stitching time; Moonlight crop is only 300 x 300 stitches while the complete Moonlight is 280 x 380 stitches (in round numbers).
Moonlight crop is, at heart, a simple design; full cross stitch only. Unlike the other reviewed Eclectic Bloke Design “Watcher“, Moonlight crop is also fairly easy to stitch. There are only 30 colours of floss and many are in single blocks or in easy-to-follow waves within other colours.
As Moonlight crop is fully stitched, I recommend using DMC Magic Guide fabric to help keep your place, or a hand dyed fabric that will show between the edges of the design and the border of your frame; the hand dyed fabric will act as a mat within the frame.
Eclectic Bloke Design charts are available as PDF files, printed charts and full kits. My copy of Moonlight crop is a digital download. Moonlight crop is a 34 page chart pack in PDF format. Save the design 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 Moonlight crop chart pack contains:
- front cover sheet with computer mockup of the finished design and artist licence information.
- a page of general instructions pertinent to art-to-stitch designs.
- the 30 page chart, including placement diagram at the base of each page.
- a page of recommended fabric, stitch count and floss key. The floss key is in DMC floss number order.
- a last page is the DMC floss list, showing both the stitch amount and skeins needed for each floss colour. The skein amount is for the recommended 1 over 1 stitching on 25 count fabric. If you change the fabric or the number of strands used, then you may need to change to number of skeins.
Eclectic Bloke Designs provide black symbols on a white US Letter or A4 background. Each successive chart page includes a two-row shaded overlap from earlier pages. Most of the floss symbols are pictographs such as a pair of reading glasses, clock face, open book and flag. There are only a few alphanumeric symbols.
The chart is 30 pages long because each page only shows 45 x 62 stitches per page. This small amount of symbols per page is much easier to see and mark off, so don’t let the number of pages put you off the design.
As with most art-to-stitch designs, you can only find the list of required floss after you have bought the chart, but as you will need to purchase the floss separately or buy the kit, this isn’t an issue.
To stitch the charts exactly as designed, you will need:
1 skein each – DMC 154, 160, 161, 169, 318, 336, 414, 415, 451, 498, 550, 648, 762, 815, 816, 3350, 3371, 3721, 3740, 3743, 3747, 3834, 3835, B5200
2 skeins each DMC 413, 823, 930, 3799
3 skeins DMC 317 Steel Grey
5 skeins DMC 939 Dark Navy Blue
25 count Evenweave or Magic Guide fabric (stitch count 300 x 298). Stitched one over one with the a 3″ border allowance, fabric size needed is: 18″x 18″ or 46 x 46cm 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: 27½” x 27½” or 70 x 70cm or a medium pack of Magic Guide (30 x 39″) or a normal fabric’s 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: $ 15.30
Floss: $ 18.00
Total: $44.20 ($71.85AUD or €61.90 or £51.95)
Places to Buy
Eclectic Bloke Designs website is the only place to order the PDF and printed charts.
Kits are supplied by GeckoRouge. This is a relatively new partnership and not all Eclectic Bloke Designs have kit prices yet. Contact Neil if you would like a quote. Usually kit prices are cheaper than kitting the design yourself as they include the amount of each floss you need (allowing for generous amount of “oops I’ll need to restitch that part”) instead of full skeins.
Colours Down Under has all the threads and a variety of white and off white fabrics in stock.
Colour Cascade Fabrics stocks DMC and 25ct Magic Guide fabric. Tammy suggests stitching Moonlight Crop on Purple Haze.
Tammy also offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015.
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 “I would stitch on a solid fabric as it’s solidly stitched. If you wanted a hand dyed then evening magic would frame the design in similar colours.”
Polstitches “No hand dyed fabby for this but you could use glitter crystals on the moon to make it shine”
A premium and most versatile range of glitter. Ultra fine transparent particles – Mix crystals with medium and paint onto fabric to add a sparkle to the areas of your stitching you wish to highlight 1 part crystal to 10 parts medium then iron. The possibilities are endless to adding sparkle to Christmas Stitching or adding sparkle to a moon stitched on a plain fabric.
Sparklies “Pitch for this one, then you could probably get away without having to stitch a lot of the background.”
Chromatic Alchemy “Now I don’t usually recommend a hand dye for a fully stitched piece but Moonlight is such a wonderfully moody and gothic piece that I just had to see what it looked like with Maelstrom as a frame. I hope you agree that it fits the mood of the piece beautifully.”
123Stitch has the thread in stock and offers a variety of fabrics.
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 has the recommended materials in stock to kit this up for you.
What is your favourite Eclectic Bloke Designs chart?
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Last updated: 14 January 2015