Amour (Dari) by Fil’anthrope Broderies

Today we have a beautiful piece of non-representational art.

Fil'anthrope - Amour

What is it?

Amour or Love is a is an Arabic calligraphy by Ahmad Dari translated into cross stitch by Fil’anthrope Broderies.

Why this chart?

I adore Ahmad Dari’s calligraphy; watch the video on his site to see the fluidity and beauty of his style. This is such a different style to anything else I have seen in the cross stitching world. I love these and hope to acquire more of them in the future.

The Amour chart from Fil’anthrope is a conversion of Dari’s Arabic calligraphy with the French word Amour above it.  On the reverse side is the same chart but with the English word Love above it.

As the calligraphy section is art-to-stitch, Fil’anthrope have used blended threads for a smooth transition of some colours.  They have also altered the number of threads used in differing parts of the chart to give a textural component.  The calligraphy is stitched using between one and three threads. the eyelet stitch is in two threads and the wording in one thread.

Given the blended threads, eyelet stitch, and varied numbers of threads, I would recommend this for an intermediate or advanced stitcher.

Filanthrope - Amour

Review

The Amour chart pack is a single sheet of A3 white paper, folded three times, and nestled inside the glossy cover. The front cover lists in French and in English, the size of the finished project, and the material it was stitched on.

Unfortunately you have to open the pack to see what floss is needed to stitch this work of art.  The also website does not include this information.

The chart symbols are printed in shades of red, black or grey to aid in differentiating between them. Unfortunately some of the symbols are used in both red and black, but denoting different floss colours.  I presume this is an anti-piracy measure, but it does make it difficult for us to making a working copy to stitch from.

Speaking of which, the symbols are very small on this chart, you will probably need to make an enlarged copy to easily see and mark off the colour changes in the calligraphy.

The Eyelet Stitch diagrams are in four different colours to easily denote which threads to use. The Eyelet stitch does not come with a diagram.  The description “The eyelets are created using backstitches, which all originate from the same centre, creating the eye” doesn’t seem enough if you have not used this particular stitch before.  Try googling for an instructional video or a great diagram.

algerian_eyelet_diagram

The chart is two-sided with one side mirroring the other.  One side has the chart (with the word Amour), floss key and instructions in French; the reverse side has the same in English.

Fil’anthrope Broderies prefers to use Aurifil floss. Aurifil is an Italian company and their cotton floss is very similar is strength and size to sewing thread.  It is easy to use three strands of Aurifil thread on 32ct, but I wouldn’t like to do the same with DMC floss.

Aurifil - Floss-Multi

 Materials Required

To stitch Amour exactly as designed, you will need:

Aurifil - 2021 - Offwhite

 

 1 skein Aurifil Allegro 2021 – Off white (similar to DMC 3865)

 

Aurifil - 2510 - very light lilac

 

1 skein Aurifil Allegro 2510 – Very Light Lilac (similar to DMC 211)

 

Aurifil - 2524 - Light Grey Mauve

 

1 skein Aurifil Allegro 2524 – Light Grey Mauve (similar to DMC 3042)

 

Aurifil - 2525 - Majorelle blue

 

1 skein Aurifil Allegro 2525 – Majorelle blue (similar to DMC 340)

 

Aurifil - 2540 - Lilac

 

1 skein Aurifil Allegro – 2540 – Lilac (similar to DMC 3837)

 

Aurifil - 2545 - Dark Lilac

 

1 skein Aurifil Allegro – 2545 – Dark Lilac (similar to DMC 550)

 

Aurifil - 2710 - Ice Blue

 

1 skein Aurifil Allegro – 2710 – Ice Blue (similar to DMC 3841)

 

Aurifil - 2715 - Sky Blue

 

1 skein Aurifil Allegro – 2715 – Sky Blue (similar to DMC 3325)

 

Aurifil - 2725 - Columbia Blue

 

1 skein Aurifil Allegro – 2725 – Columbia Blue (similar to DMC 799)

 

Aurifil - 2730 - Cobalt Blue

 

1 skein Aurifil Allegro – 2730 – Cobalt Blue (similar to DMC 798)

 

Aurifil - 2770 - Soft Blue

 

1 skein Aurifil Allegro – 2770 – Soft Blue (similar to DMC 157)

 

Aurifil - 2780 - Ultramarine

 

1 skein Aurifil Allegro –  2780 – Ultramarine (similar to DMC 820)

 

Aurifil 2692 - Black

 

1 skein Aurifil Allegro – 2692 – Black (similar to DMC 310)

 

Wichelt - Ivory32 count Ivory Jobelan (stitch count 101 x 149). Due to the speciality stitches, this design is best stitched over 2.

For 32ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is:
12½” x 15½”  or 32 x 39cm  or  a fat eighth (13 x 18″).

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch Amour using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage):

Chart: $12.50
Floss:  $58.25
Fabric:$  6.00

Total: $76.75   ($96.80 AUD or  €67.55  or  £44.55)

Places to Buy

Fil’anthrope Broderies offers various options for buying direct: chart only, full kit or just the specialty threads and embellishments for Amour.

The full kit price only includes the amount of each thread needed for the chart, instead of buying full skeins. So the chart is a considerably cheaper option if you do not intend to use Aurifil Allegro cotton threads in your regular stitching.

Full Kit: $44.80   ($51.85 AUD or  €36.00 or  £28.25)

I have one of Fil’anthropes other kits and the floss is presorted onto individual cards and so far there has been ample amounts of each floss color provided.

Australia:

Colours Down Under has the DMC equivalents and a range of fabrics in stock. Jo would be happy to try to order in this chart and offers a 10% discount on the package (chart + floss). Mention this review when ordering.

Colour Cascade Fabrics Tammy has the DMC equivalents and a range of fabrics in stock. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 6 December 2014.

Europe:

Casa Cenina in Spain stocks a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation.

United Kingdom:

Chromatic Alchemy  “Fil’anthrope looks lovely on Morganella my dark purple fabric”.


SewandSo has the DMC equivalents and a range of fabrics in stock.

Sparklies suggests Slightly Lilac or Slightly Violet from her range of fabrics.

United States:

123Stitch has the DMC equivalents and a range of fabrics in stock.

For Discussion

Would you be interested in buying the kit for to experience working with an unusual floss, or would you prefer to stitch this in DMC?

Feedback

Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know.

Was this read worth a cup of coffee?


Owlexander (Wood) by Colour Cascade Designs

Art to Stitch Wednesday.  Owlexander is an illustration by Jenny Wood that has been converted to cross stitch by Tammy Verdon of Colour Cascade Designs.

Colour Cascade Fabrics & Designs - Owlexander

From the Designer

A customer of mine sent me a link to Jenny Woods art page on Facebook, I loved her style of quirky and very Australian art. When I was scrolling through her page, I found a post Jenny had made about how these drawing got her through her chemotherapy sessions, so of course I had to contact her. Jenny is currently battling breast cancer, but without fail there is a new piece of art on that page every single week! She is truly an inspiration, and I am so glad she has allowed me to use her artwork in this format.

Why this chart?

Jenny’s story inspired me, the art is fully licensed, I trust Colour Cascades to create a great chart and I don’t have to stitch the background!

I am wary of buying from sellers who snatch a popular image, quickly run it through a conversion program and sell the result for a few dollars.  Unless the picture is in the public domain, this is illegal as well as producing a sub-standard chart.

Good art-to-stitch designers such as Colour Cascade Designs have legal agreements and licences with the original artists (or artist estates) to use their designs, and work with them to produce high quality charts.  They do not just run the image through a conversion program; they spend many hours looking over the design, tweaking and altering the pattern to produce a better chart.

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 Owlexander, do not have a stitched background, and so could be stitched in less time.  You can also choose a hand dyed fabric to complement or contrast; a fabric that completes the design without needing 100% stitched coverage.

Owlexander is a simple design, it is full cross stitch in DMC only; a beginner has the skills to stitch him. However, this is a design that will take you months or even years to complete. Consider savoring the journey instead of focusing on the completion and you should enjoy him.

Colour Cascade - Owlexander
Colour Cascade – Owlexander

Review

Colour Cascade Designs offers their charts as electronic download or in printed form; I have only bought the electronic downloads.  Owlexander is a 54 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 Owlexander 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.
  • instructions on how to stitch and suggestions for the number of threads to use for each count of fabric
  • the 49 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.  Previously the Owlexander chart was only 30 pages. The updated version is the same chart, 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 chart files as she converts them.

Confetti stitching is in some ways integral to the art-to-stitch process, changing colours every stitch or second stitch is what allows these charts their level of detail and complexity. However stitching all confetti stitching is  a nightmare!  Owlexander has the requisite confetti stitching in areas that need the extra detail such as the feathers, but also has large swathes of the same colours in his suit jacket. This allows you as stitcher to alternate between seeing the details emerge slowly and feeling accomplished at progressing through other sections with speed.

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.

 Materials Required

To stitch Owlexander exactly as designed, you will need:

oWLEXANDER

 

1 skein each – DMC 168, 169, 310, 317, 318, 413, 415, 451, 452, 535, 646, 647, 648, 762, 844, 928, 3072, 3371, 3756, 3799, 3865, 3866, white

DMC 939 - Very Dark Navy Blue

 

4 skeins – DMC 939 – Dark Navy Blue

 

 

DMC Magic Guide  – 25 count gridded evenweave (stitch count 330 x 422). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For the recommended over 1 stitching on 25ct (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 19″ x 23″  or  49 x 59cm  or  a fat half (27 x 36″). If you narrow your margins slightly you can squish it on a fat quarter (18 x 27″)

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave stitching over 2 (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 30″ x 36″  or  75 x 92cm  or  a full yard (36″ x 55″).

18ct Magic Guide Ecru
18ct Magic Guide Ecru

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch Owlexander using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage):

Chart: $13.05
Floss:  $11.10
Fabric: $26.00

Total: $50.15   ($78.00AUD or £41.75 or €46.80)

Places to Buy

Colour Cascade Designs stocks this chart, and can kit it up for you

Australia:
Colours Down Under has all the DMC and plain evenweave fabrics in stock.

Colour Cascade Fabrics is a one-stop shop for buying and kitting up Owlexander.  Tammy recommends My Island Home or Emerald City from her range of fabrics. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 6 December 2014.

Europe:

Casa Cenina in Spain stocks DMC, and a range of fabrics to stitch this design, including DMC Magic Guide fabric.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo stocks DMC, plain evenweave fabrics and DMC Magic Guide fabric.

Sparklies suggests Oatmeal, Parchment or Dr Smith’s Tonic from her range of fabrics.

United States:

123Stitch stocks DMC and a variety of fabrics.

For Discussion

Have you stitched (or started to stitch) a Colour Cascades design? If so, which one and what did you think of the chart? Please leave a link in your comment to your stitching progress.

Feedback

Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know.

Was this read worth a cup of coffee?


Maiko XL (Rich) by Love Thy Thread

This design could be a Monochrome Monday, or an art-to-stitch Wednesday. Sorry – couldn’t make that one alliterate.  Any suggestions?

Love Thy Thread - Maiko XL
Love Thy Thread – Maiko XL

What is it?

Maiko is a sketch by Sabine Rich converted to cross stitch by Bev of Love Thy Thread.

Why this chart?

Maiko is available as a sketch chart, an extra-large (XL) sketch chart, and as a colour chart.  Today’s review is of Maiko XL, the extra-large sketch chart.

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 months if not years to work.

Sketch designs are different; just as detailed but because you are only stitching the pencil outlines there are no colour changes and many less stitches. You can also choose a hand dyed fabric to complement or contrast your project.

Love Thy Threads only uses licensed images. Bev works with her artists, her conversion program and her own innate artistry to produce high quality charts. The results can be seen in her stitching Gallery.

Maiko is a simple design, it is full cross stitch in DMC only; a beginner has the skills to stitch her. However, this is a design that will still take a lot of time to complete. Consider savoring the journey instead of focusing on the completion and you should enjoy this chart.

Love Thy Thread - Maiko

Review

Love Thy Threads offers their charts as electronic download or in printed form; I have only have the digital format. Maiko XL is a 124 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 Maiko chart pack includes:

  • front cover sheet with a mock up of the stitched design, stitch count and size of completed project using 25ct fabric and a link to the artist’s page.
  • a page of instructions on how to stitch
  • the 120 page chart
  • instructions and symbol key
  • Number of floss skeins required for each colour.

Each page of the chart includes a diagram of indicating where this page fits within the overall pattern. There is a two-row overlap on each page; a great help when there is so much un-stitched space in this design.

The chart is printed with black symbols on white background. The symbol used is a large, dark, filled in circle which is very easy to see. The chart is very detailed and shown quite large resulting in a lengthy 120 page pack. Each page has only a 60×80 grid, a very generous layout size. Other designers provide pages containing grids up to 120X160 making symbols difficult to identify without enlarging the page.

Like most art-to-stitch projects, it is recommended that Maiko XL is stitched 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 going to spend a while stitching this project, don’t make it more difficult by using a stitch style or count that you are not comfortable with.

 Materials Required

To stitch Maiko XL exactly as designed, you will need:

DMC 844

 

19 skeins – DMC 844 Pepper Black

 

Zweigart - 25ct Lugana White

White – 25 count evenweave (stitch count 535 x 857). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For the recommended over 1 stitching on 25ct (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 28″ x 41″  or  70 x 103cm  or  a full yard (36 x 55″).

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave stitching over 2 (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 47″ x 67″  or  113 x 171cm.

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch Maiko XL using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage):

Chart: $16.10
Floss:  $  8.40
Fabric: $45.90

Total: $70.50    ($111.10 AUD or £53.10)

Places to Buy

The chart is only available direct from Love Thy Threads.

Australia:

Colours Down Under has all the DMC and plain evenweave fabrics in stock.

Colour Cascade Fabrics stocks DMC and a range of hand dyed fabrics. For readers of this site she offers a 10% discount. Use code PeaceOut during checkout. This code is valid for the month of October 2014.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo stocks DMC, plain evenweave fabrics and DMC Magic Guide fabric.

Sparklies suggests “Slightly Scarlet to suggest cherry blossom, as this is an oriental design”.

United States:

123Stitch stocks DMC and plain evenweave fabrics.

For Discussion

Have you stitched (or started to stitch) a Love Thy Threads design? If so, which one and what did you think of the chart? Please leave a link in your comment to your stitching progress 🙂

Feedback

Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know.

Was this read worth a cup of coffee?



Onyria (Castellino) by Tilton Crafts

Time to include the designers of a different type of cross stitch – the art-to-stitch conversions.

Onyria

What is it?

Onyria is a sketch by Rosanna Castellino using pencils and pastels on paper that has been converted to cross stitch by Shelley Lee of Tilton Crafts.

Why this chart?

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 months if not years to work.

I stayed away from art-to-stitch designs for many years; I am wary of buying from sellers who have grabbed a popular image, run it through a conversion program and sold it for a few dollars.  Unless the picture is in the public domain, this is illegal as well as producing a sub-standard chart.

Decent art-to-stitch designers have legal agreements and licences with the original artists (or artist estates) to use their designs, and worked with them to produce a high quality chart.  Good designers, do not just run the image through a conversion program; they spend many hours looking over the design, tweaking and altering the pattern to produce a better chart.

Tilton Crafts designs are fully licenced, and Shelley is as artist in her ability to create a great cross stitch design, as a look through her customer gallery will attest.

Onyria is a simple design, it is full cross stitch in DMC only; a beginner has the skills to stitch her. However, this is a design that will take you a lot of time to complete. Consider savoring the journey instead of focusing on the completion and you should enjoy this chart.

Onyria
Onyria

Review

Tilton Crafts offers their charts as electronic download or in printed form. I have only received Tilton charts in digital format, so that is what I am reviewing. Onyria is a 25 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 Onyria digital download contains:

  • front cover sheet with a mock up of the stitched design
  • instructions on how to stitch and suggestions for the number of threads to use for each count of fabric
  • diagram of where the pages sit in relation to each other
  • cleaning and care notes; washing instructions
  • the symbol key or legend, including the number of skeins needed for each thread
  • the 20 page chart

Confetti stitching is in some ways integral to the art-to-stitch process, changing colours every stitch or second stitch is what allows these charts their level of detail and complexity. However stitching all confetti stitching is  a nightmare!  I believe a good art-to-stitch designer uses her skills to know when to keep the confetti stitching and when to reduce the number of colours used.

Onyria has the requisite confetti stitching in areas that need the extra detail, but has large swathes of the same colours in the background. This allows the stitcher to alternate between seeing the details emerge slowly and feeling accomplished at progressing on the background with more speed.

The chart is printed with black symbols on white paper. Where possible, Shelley has tweaked the chart to produce a variety of symbols to allow for greater visibility.

There are no overlap rows between the pages so you can stitch in rows of 10 stitches across the page, stitch on Magic Guide fabric or grid your fabric or count carefully.  Most stitchers use a combination of these techniques.

Onyria is a full-stitched chart; the finished project is wall-to wall stitching with no fabric showing (except the amount you leave for framing).  As such you can stitch on any fabric that you choose.

 Materials Required

To stitch Onyria exactly as designed, you will need:

1 skein each – DMC 156, 158, 159, 160, 161, 169, 225, 310, 317, 318, 336, 341, 413, 414, 415, 451, 452, 453, 535, 543, 640, 647, 648, 762, 778, 779, 791, 792, 793, 794, 797, 799, 800, 813, 818, 823, 838, 927, 930, 938, 939, 3021, 3024, 3031, 3033, 3041, 3042, 3072, 3325, 3371, 3727, 3740, 3743, 3747, 3752, 3753, 3755, 3756, 3799, 3807, 3838, 3860, 3861

2 skeins – DMC 819

2 skeins – DMC 3865

DMC Magic Guide  – 25 count gridded evenweave (stitch count 250 x 354). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For the recommended over 1 stitching on 25ct (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 16″ x 20″  or  41 x 52cm or a fat quarter (18 x 27″).

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave stitching over 2 (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is:
24″ x 32″  or  61 x 80cm  or  a fat half (27″ x 36″).

18ct Magic Guide Ecru

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch Onyria using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage):

Chart: $16.00
Floss:  $29.50
Fabric: $11.85

Total: $57.35    ($98.65 AUD or £63.30)

Places to Buy

Tilton Crafts has promo code REVIEWS for 20% off cross stitch charts. Excludes ezines and package deals. This code is valid for the month of October 2014.

Australia:
Colours Down Under has all the DMC and plain evenweave fabrics in stock.

Colour Cascade Fabrics stocks DMC and 25ct Magic Guide fabric. For readers of this site she offers a 10% discount. Use code PeaceOut during checkout. This code is valid for the month of October 2014.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo stocks DMC, plain evenweave fabrics and DMC Magic Guide fabric.

United States:

123Stitch stocks DMC and plain evenweave fabrics.

For Discussion

Have you stitched (or started to stitch) a Tilton Crafts design? If so, which one and what did you think of the chart? Please leave a link in your comment to your stitching progress 🙂

Feedback

Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know.

Was this read worth a cup of coffee?