Moonlight Crop (Fell) by Eclectic Bloke Designs

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.

ECB - Moonlight Crop front page

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.

Original artwork by Aly Fell
Original artwork by Aly Fell

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.

ECB - Moonlight (crop)

Review

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.

Materials Required

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″).

Magic Guide - 25ct White
Magic Guide – 25ct White

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
Fabric: $10.90

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.

Australia:

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.

Europe:

Casa Cenina in Italy stock a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation.

United Kingdom:

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.”

United States:

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.

Discussion

What is your favourite Eclectic Bloke Designs chart?

If you liked the review, please share it with your friends.

 

Last updated: 14 January 2015

Watcher (Lord) by Eclectic Bloke Designs

For today’s Art-to-Stich Wednesday we have a magnificent meerkat!  Also don’t forget the giveaway for Let’s Do Coffee. Finally check out the Sales page as some end soon, including the special offer from OzStitch on Pharoah’s Hound and Pharoah’s Pet.

Eclectic Bloke Designs - Caroline Lord - Watcher

From the Artist

Who can resist the sweet and all seeing gaze of a lone meerkat? I painted this little fella quite loosely to create a feeling of contrast on the black velour. I used a combination of soft pastels, hard pastels and a little pastel pencil on velour paper to produce a soft, natural finish which I love.

What is it?

Watcher is a pastels on velour paper design by Caroline Lord, translated into cross stitch by Neil Bray of Eclectic Bloke Designs.

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 Caroline Lord’s artwork. She is amazing!  Check out her Etsy shop for more of her work or her Facebook page for in progress photos.

Eclectic Bloke Designs is a relatively newcomer to the world of art-to-stitch designing.  Neil has been a stitcher for over 20 years, but Eclectic Bloke Designs only came into operation in July 2014 (five months ago).  Eclectic is the best word to describe the huge diversity of charts that Neil provides. There may well be something there to appeal to everyone.

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. The background in Watcher is straight black.  So to save some time, you could stitch this on black fabric or you could leave it out altogether and stitch the Meerkat on your favourite hand dyed fabric.

Watcher is, at heart, a simple design; full cross stitch only.  However to achieve the level of detail needed for realistic meerkat fur, the chart is predominantly confetti stitched.  “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, may I suggest that you choose a different project to start. However, as always, if you are completely in love with the design, then go for it! Enjoy your stitching and watch this little meerkat appear beneath your needle.

EBD - Watcher closeup

Review

Eclectic Bloke Design charts are available as PDF files, printed charts and full kits. My copy of Watcher is a digital download of the large chart format. Watcher (large print) is a 30 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 Watcher chart pack contains:

  • front cover sheet with computer mockup of the finished design and artist licence information.
  • one page of instructions on how to stitch art-to-stitch design.
  • the 25 page chart, including placement diagram at the base of each page.
  • one page of recommended fabric, stitch count and floss key. The floss key is in DMC floss number order.
  • two pages of the DMC floss, listing both the number of stitches and number of skeins required for each.

Eclectic Bloke Designs provide black symbols on a white background.  Each successive chart page includes a two-row shaded overlap from earlier pages. Most of the floss symbols are pictograms such as a pair of reading glasses, clock face, open book and flag. There are no alphanumeric symbols and only a few familiar keyboard symbols.

The larger chart format shows only 42 x 62 stitches per page. The standard charts provide 62 x 82 stitches per page; so the symbols on the larger chart pack are easier to see. Neil has found that stitchers prefer the large format and so is phasing out the standard size charts.

As with most art-to-stitch designs, you can only find the list of required floss after you have bought the chart. The background for Watcher is just DMC 310 black, denoted by a · so you can easily ignore this symbol and stitch Watcher on any background fabric you choose.

Materials Required

To stitch the charts exactly as designed, you will need:

1 skein each – DMC 317, 413, 451, 452, 453, 535, 611, 640, 642, 645, 646, 647, 648, 779, 838, 839, 842, 844, 934, 935, 938, 939, 3021, 3022, 3023, 3024, 3031, 3033, 3042, 3371, 3740, 3781, 3782, 3787, 3790, 3799, 3860, 3863, white.

If you wish to stitch the background, you will also need:
4 skeins – DMC 310 Black

25 count Evenweave or Magic Guide fabric  (stitch count 195 x 284). Stitched  one over one with the a 3″ border allowance, fabric size needed is:  14″x 18″ or 35 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: 20” x 27”  or  51 x 67cm  or  a medium pack of Magic Guide (21 x 39″)  or a normal fabric’s a fat half (27″ x 36″).

Magic Guide - 25ct White
Magic Guide – 25ct White

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $ 12.50
Floss:  $ 19.00
Fabric: $13.50

Total: $45.00 ($71.60 AUD or €61.25  or  £45.80)

Places to Buy

Eclectic Bloke Designs website is the only place to order the PDF and printed charts.  Neil has a 25% off all printed and PDF charts from now until 25 December 2014.

Kits are supplied by GeckoRouge. This is a new partnership and not all of Eclectic Bloke Designs have kit prices yet. Contact Neil if you would like a quote. Please note: GeckoRouge have just completed a massive Black Friday sale and cannot guarantee the supply of any new orders before Christmas.

Australia:

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 Watcher on Back In Black or Riders On The Storm. Tammy also offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015.

Europe:

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

United Kingdom:

SewandSo stocks DMC, and a range of fabrics to stitch this design, including DMC Magic Guide fabric.

Polstitches has a range of hand dyed fabrics for you to make this design unique.

Sparklies suggests “Pitch if you want a black background, or Kynance for a desert feel”.

Chromatic Alchemy  “ I have chosen Aurelia, the golden browns give a nod to the natural habitat of the meerkat and make an interesting background without overpowering it”.

United States:

123Stitch has the thread in stock and offers a variety of fabrics.

Discussion

Do you know about Eclectic Bloke Designs? Have you starting stitching one of his pieces? If so, please comment below as I’d love to know your thoughts!

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.

Last Updated: 10 December 2014

If you like today’s review of Eclectic Bloke Designs, please consider donating to the following. Neil Bray, the Eclectic Bloke himself, is in hospital with cancer treatment. This is a GoFundMe campaign to get Neil a tablet so he can continue designing and chatting with the outside world, and most importantly, take his mind off the cancer treatment.

http://www.gofundme.com/il05ig