Don’t Bleed on the Carpet by Radical Cross Stitch

A different sort of sampler; I dedicate this review to my friend Julie Dollery because I did this at her home.

Don't Bleed on the Carpet
Don’t Bleed on the Carpet

From the Designer

If you are gonna die, do it quietly. Sometimes your guests can make a hell of a mess. This stitch will help remind them to stick to the tiles.

This pattern is an antique (c. 1860’s) inspired floral border surrounding the text ‘Don’t Bleed on the Carpet’. I’ve subtitled it ‘if you’re going to die, do it quietly’. It’s meant as an ironic tribute to all those revolting home sweet homes out there. But it’s also my little tribute to all the amazing women in the world running households. It’s such hard work and as you know, thanklessly unpaid. But it goes on no matter what. Because it’s such important work. We all need somewhere where we can stop and be safe.

I think this piece is mostly dedicated to women living in war, who despite all obstacles still strive for a clean, tidy, safe space for their loved ones to rest before facing another day. The women who sew together rags for their wee ones ’cause they know how important it is for a two year old to have a cuddly friend. The women who dress in black and march for peace amid gun fire and tear gas. All the while carrying giant handbags with keys and snacks and hankies for small runny noses.

And of course this piece is for all the mothers of small children who love to enjoy the outdoors at the expense of the skin on their knees!

So to all the mothers of revolutionaries out there, I thank you. “Cause we all know they couldn’t do it without you.

Why this chart?

I once laughed so hard, I fainted, landed nose first on a friend’s floor and promptly bled all over her carpet.  I am now not allowed to laugh while standing up at her house.  I bought Don’t Bleed on the Carpet to stitch for Julie.

Reading more about Rayna Fahey, the woman behind Radical Cross Stitch, I discovered she is also co-founder Melbourne Craft Cartel and producer of the Craft Cartel Podcast, and co-founder Melbourne Revolutionary Craft Circle.

Below is Rayna’s vision behind Radical Cross Stitch; I think this deserves sharing:

Sometimes revolution can be a scary thing. It brings to mind images of violence, dominant men and really bad fashion. But luckily, you have stumbled on a beautiful revolution: the craft revolution.

The craft revolution started a long time ago when people were resisting the Industrial Revolution. The people decided that they had no interest in soul-less objects made by soul-less machines. The people knew that there was an inherent greatness in stuff that was hand made by people in their own communities. And they knew that encouraging creativity within their community would spill over into all sorts of domains beyond the craft. Imaginative people make better decisions. They create wonderful spaces in which to work, play and love. And imaginative people do not need to rely on violence to create a world they want to live in.

However, the Industrial Revolution did get its way for a while. Our communities have been quite successfully duped into believing that we need to buy stuff to feel like proper human beings. And if we happen to get an empty feeling in our soul now that we are getting more and more disconnected from our communities, we can fill this hole by buying more stuff.

Stuff is no longer a wonderful, special part of our lives. Now stuff is disposable, unemotional and we have no idea where most of it comes from.

Luckily a new craft revolution has been born. People all over the world are realising that buying things won’t make you happier, sexier, brainier or better looking. The people are realising that the reason there is so much unhappiness and violence in our communities is because we have become so disconnected from the
land, our friends and family and most of all from the processes that are needed to make this world function.

The people are returning to the earth and hearing what she has to say.

Some people will try and tell you that we can buy our way out of ecological crisis. “It’s OK folks, we might be facing an environmental apocalypse far greater than any Hollywood movie will be able to portray (but they’ll try, get your tickets here!), but have no fear we have the gizmo for you!” But what’s the point in buying a magic widget made in a sweatshop by someone you don’t know and then shipped halfway across the world?

What we really need is LESS STUFF. It’s remarkable to think, but there’s already enough stuff in the world, we just have to use it properly. That means finding the stuff you were going to throw away and spending half an hour making it into something else much more useful. That means digging up your little square patch of grass and turning it into a vege patch. That means finding some old drums and collecting rain water in them.

Isn’t this starting to sound like a whole lot more fun?

Rethinking the world around us is what led me to creating radical cross stitch. I like to decorate old clothes with hand stitched text. I like to make little patches for my friends to attach to their clothes. And I like to get my friends to create their own too. But sometimes it seems like a daunting thing. So I’ve made a few little kits and patterns to get you started so you can see how easy it is. And hopefully you can also see that there is a radical potential to cross stitch. It’s not all wanky farm yard scenes and home sweet homes.

Once you’ve discovered how easy it is, you can try your own. It’s easy once you try. And there are plenty of resources out there in op shops just waiting to be snaffled up and created into something beautiful. Beware the consumerisation of crafting!!

Welcome to the revolution. Saving the world one stitch at a time.”

Her cross stitch designs are produced under Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share alike Licence. This license lets us to remix, tweak, and build upon her work non-commercially, as long as we credit her and license our new creations under the same terms.

Don’t Bleed on the Carpet is a straight forward design of whole cross stitch, stitched in DMC on a neutral background. I recommend this design  for beginner to advanced stitchers who have a subversive nature.

Don't Bleed on the Carpet
Don’t Bleed on the Carpet

Review

Radical Cross Stitch designs are available as electronic downloads. Some are available as kits and often the model stitched piece is also for sale.  All profits from Radical Cross Stitch sales are donated to Australian causes.

I have the PDF download of Don’t Bleed on the Carpet.  This PDF chart pack does not include a front cover.  If you want to see a photo of the stitched pieced, you will have to refer back to her website.

The first page of the chart pack has basic cross stitch instructions and diagrams for a beginner stitcher.

The second page discusses the reason for the chart and provides the floss list and colours.

The next two pages are the chart. The chart does not use symbols, but rather just different colours of blocks.  I really dislike this type of chart, because depending on the light, some of these colours can be too close together to easily distinguish.  Also if you prefer to work from a printed pattern, you will need to print the design out in colour which is a more expensive.

However, this is a very simple design where it honestly does not matter if you mix up your shades of yellows or blues.  Some of these can be replaced with a variegated thread that covers all the shades of each colour.

Although not shaded or indicated in any way, there is a five-row overlap between the two pages.  This could cause issues for those of us who are used to shading or some sign that an overlap is present.

The last page of the chart pack is Rayna’s vision I have reproduced above.

Although Don’t Bleed on the Carpet does not have the extras we prefer in a chart, the sentiment, reasons for the design and the donation of profits to worthy causes make this a design I’m happy to own, and one day, to stitch.

Materials Required

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

1 skein each DMC 445, 517, 518, 519, 472, 720, 722, 726, 729, 904, 906.

Any fabric or non fabric background of your choosing.  (stitch count 98 x 119). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 13” x 15”  or  33 x 37cm  or  a fat eighth (13x 18″).

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $    6.60
Floss:  $    4.95
Fabric: $  5.75

Total: $17.30  ($29.00 AUD or €26.75  or  £20.85)

Places to Buy

Radical Cross Stitch designs are available as electronic downloads or as kits from the Radical Cross Stitch store.

Australia:

Colours Down Under has all the threads and a variety of plain fabrics in stock.

Colour Cascade Fabrics has a variety of fabrics for you to make this design unique. Caitlin recommends Indian Sunset.

Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015.

Canada:

Traditional Stitches in Calgary have a selection of floss and fabrics to suit your taste.

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.

Chromatic Alchemy I have two choices again for Don’t Bleed on the carpet. For a subtle background I have chosen Nuriels Forest which would fool everyone into thinking this was another twee sampler.

For something more dramatic I would pick Candy Cane…I think however I would suggest requesting it with just the red for a more topical background.

Crafty Kitten suggests “Love the sentiment! It’s a nice simple design so very flexible.  I might be tempted by cotton clouds as I think it would work well with the general colours, it’s soft enough that the blue in it won’t over power the blue writing (which I would change to twilight shadows thread!).

The other fabric I might choose is lemon sorbet.”

Sparklies “Given the contrasts in this piece (traditional sampler vs less traditional message) I decided that keeping the fabric ‘cute’ would work well for this. So I would suggest either Fairy Tale or a pale green such as Spring Greens.”

Thread Pickerz Silkz 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.

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.

Fiberlicious “Shades of pink/red or mystical garden for the flowers.

Shades of green for the leaves.

Poison Rose or Vampire Raspberry for the sayings.”

Discussion

So would you stitch this design?  Would you make the message discreet or loud and brash?

If you liked the review, please consider sharing it with your friends or groups.

Last Updated: 24 February 2015