Dance of the Total Eclipse by Whispered by the Wind

In honour of the Blood Moon last week, today's Throwback Thursday  is Dance of the Total Eclipse by Mari McDonald of Whispered by the Wind. WBTW - Dance of the Total Eclipse Cover Continue reading "Dance of the Total Eclipse by Whispered by the Wind"

Fleeting Moment by Vintage Bliss Designs

A very beautiful and very out of print chart for Throwback Thursday. Fleeting Moment by Bobbie Ashley of Vintage Bliss Designs. This design was chosen for review by a member of the Melbourne Madness stitching group. Vintage Bliss - Fleeting Moment Cover Continue reading "Fleeting Moment by Vintage Bliss Designs"

Antiquity: Who Knew

Today we discuss the defunct !?Who Knew?! designs distributed by Picture This Plus from 2005-2012.
Ocean Daughter
Ocean Daughter

Stash Antiquities:

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. Who Knew - Wild Fairy Lights Cover

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 - Autumn Fairy Cover

Review

!?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) (3)                (4) 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.

Gallery

Who Knew - Autumn Fairy Autumn Fairy: 2 skeins (20yd) Threadworx 1042 Desert Sunset (NN 129 Sequoia) 1 spool Kreinik Blending Filament 021 Copper Stitch count 103 x 135. Model stitched on Picture This Plus "Midas" 28ct Cashel Who Knew - Ocean Curiosity Ocean Curiosity: 6 skeins Gentle Arts 0240 Midnight 1 card Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid PB68 Black Opal Stitch count 169 x 248. Model stitched on Picture This Plus "Dwarf" 32ct Belfast linen. Who Knew - Ocean's Daughter Ocean Daughter: 8 skeins Classic Colorworks Bejeweled Stitch count 149 x 159. Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Crystal Lagoon" 32ct Belfast. Who Knew - Ocean Treasure Ocean Treasure: 6 skeins Weeks Dye Works 1285 Twilight 1 card Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid PB03 Gold Stitch count 198 x 125. Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Crystal Loch" 32ct Belfast. Who Knew - Ocean Whisper Ocean Whisper: unknown skeins of Dinky Dyes 136 Sea Grass Stitch count unknown. Model stitched on Picture This Plus "Lagoon" 28ct Cashel linen. Who Knew - Wild Fairy Light Wild fairy light: 5 skeins Gentle Arts 0310 Claret 1 spool Kreinik Blending Filament 042 Confetti Fuchsia 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

Discussion

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

Red Velvet Cake by Glendon Place

Today we have a calorie-free dessert.  Red Velvet Cake by Glendon Place. Also don't forget the updates to shops attending Nashville and our giveaways.
Red Velvet Cake Cover - again sorry for the poor photo quality; taken using my phone.
Red Velvet Cake Cover - again sorry for the poor photo quality; taken using my phone.

From the Designer

The A-Maze-ing Desserts Collection is a series of 10 Mandala type designs inspired by delectable desserts found anywhere from your own kitchen to the finest restaurants in the world. What’s really amazing about them is they are guaranteed to be fat-free, lo-cal and too good to pass up! The Mandalas also have Mill Hill Beads added for that extra sweetness; what I like to call the “whip cream on top” or the “icing on the cake!” Use your imagination. Just because this design is called Red Velvet Cake and the model is stitched in hues of red and crème doesn’t mean you can’t select an entirely different color palette of your own. You can even stitch it monochromatic (all in one color) if you like.

Why this chart?

I received this chart, floss and beads as a Christmas present from Julie Dollery this past Christmas.  She knew I loved the look of the A-Maze-ing Desserts Collection and I hate pink, so she bought me the pinkest of the collection. I truly love my best friends! Julie also knows I love Red Velvet Cake, the real stuff that made with beet juice, not the fake coloured cake. I love single colour palette designs and those that provide texture to their piece. This is mostly found in canvas-work so I am very happy to see the tradition alive in the cross stitch world. This design is stitched solely in luscious soft Dinky Dye silks and Mill Hill beads on hand dyed fabric.  The design uses only full cross stitch and beads.  The A-Maze-ing Desserts Collection are wonderful designs for first-timers to try hand dyed floss.  The stitching in large blocks of colour give you time and space to play and find your own hand dyed stitching style.
Red Velvet Cake
Red Velvet Cake

Review

All Glendon Place designs including Red Velvet Cake are only available as printed charts. Red Velvet Cake is a US Letter booklet; pages of US Ledger (A3) stapled in the middle and folded in half. The outside four pages are a card stock and the inner four pages are a sheet of white paper. The front cover has a photo of the finished design. The next six pages (including inside pages of front and back cover) are the chart, while the back cover lists the materials used and where to buy them from. The chart is printed in black symbols on a white background; the symbols are large and easy to differentiate.  There is an obviously grey-background three-row overlap on each subsequent page. You can easily stitch direct from the chart booklet. I love that the floss are denoted by typographic symbols, but the beads by numerals.  This is becoming an industry standard practice and I am pleased. This means I can tell at a glance whether I need to look to floss, or if that section has beads; I alter my work flow to accommodate the beads. The last chart page also includes stitching instructions and a diagram showing where each page fits into the overall design. The stitching instructions include how to stitch with hand dyed floss and how to attach the beads. The back cover lists everything we need to know to kit up this design; the stitch count, fabric used in the model, size of the design, size of fabric to purchase, list of floss including number of skeins of each colour, chart symbols, where to buy the recommended materials, and even where the model was framed. Red Velvet Cake has everything you want in a chart; large clear symbols, full instructions and helpful hints and complete materials lists on the back cover so if you are in a bricks and mortar store, you can kit this baby up before taking it home.  For the online stitchers, Glendon Place lists the floss and fabric required and even includes links so you can kit up the project right there on their website.

Materials Required

To stitch the charts exactly as designed, you will need: Dinky Dyes 000 Natural   2 skeins Dinky Dyes Natural   Dinky Dyes 140 Pilbara   3 skeins Dinky Dyes 140 Pilbara   Dinky Dyes 166 Kununurra   2 skeins Dinky Dyes 166 Kununurra   Dinky Dyes 180 Red Jasper   2 skeins Dinky Dyes 180 Red Jasper   Dinky dyes 199 Choco Cherry   2 skeins Dinky Dyes 199 Choco Cherry Dinky Dyes 204 Flesh   2 skeins Dinky Dyes 204 Flesh   DMC 819 - Light Baby Pink   1 skein Sullivans 45221 (similar to DMC 819). This is only used to attach the beads.   Mill Hill 02035 Shimmering Apricot   2 packets Mill Hill beads 02035 Shimmering Apricot   Mill Hill 03021 Royal Pearl   2 packets Mill Hill beads 03021 Royal Pearl   Mill Hill 03049 Rich Red   2 packets Mill Hill beads 03049 Rich Red     Mill Hill 03057 Cherry Sorbet   2 packets Mill Hill beads 03057 Cherry Sorbet     Picture This Plus 28 count Opal Cashel Linen (stitch count 198 x 198). This design can be stitched over 2 on 28ct evenweave or over 1 on 14ct Aida. I would not recommend stitching over one on 28ct as the beads will be too large. For 14ct Aida or 28ct linen (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 20¼” x 20¼”  or  51 x 51cm  or  a fat half (27 x 36″).
Picture This Plus - Opal
Opal
Glendon Place recommends reducing the border to 2" so this design will fit on a fat quarter (18 x 27″).

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: $16.00 Floss:  $ 62.85 Fabric: $26.00 Total: $104.85  ($157.10 AUD or €119.60  or  £77.20)

Places to Buy

Glendon Place sells the printed charts, fabric and floss kits worldwide. The kits prices direct from Catkin are cheaper than buying the individual pieces from your Local Needlework Shop because they only include the cut of fabric and the amount of floss you need instead of a full fat quarter and full skeins of floss. Australia: Colours Down Under has all the threads and a variety of plain fabrics in stock. Jo would be happy to order in the chart, and offers a 10% discount on the package (chart + floss). Mention this review when ordering. Colour Cascade Fabrics has the chart in stock and recommends Golddigger, FairyTale or Silver Springs from their fabrics. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015. Canada: Traditional Stitches in Calgary have everything in stock for you to buy and kit up this chart. Europe: Casa Cenina in Italy  has this chart, the floss pack and the beads in stock for you. United Kingdom: SewandSo can order in this chart for you.  They have the floss and beads in stock and can offer a range of alternative fabrics. Chromatic Alchemy  "I have included a dark and a light option for Red Velvet Cake, it's amazing how different they make the piece look! The dark fabric is Permanganate and the light is Nuriel's Forest." Crafty Kitten  has the chart and floss in stock.  Dawn suggests “Jurassic sands, latte (evenweave), just peachy or oatmeal are the ones I’d go for and maybe chocolate orange for something a bit different!" Sparklies suggests "Oatmeal or Barely Bronzed would be suitable neutrals for this one" Thread Pickerz Silkz are currently undergoing maintenance as Eileen updates her website.  She offers 10% off each silk thread as it is added back on the website.” United States: 123Stitch has everything in stock for you to buy and kit up this chart. Black Cat Stitchery in Illinois has this chart, the floss pack and the beads in stock for you. Erica is offering a 5% discount for readers of Cross Stitch Review.  Coupon code: CSRSPRING15. Offer ends 31 May 2015. Stitches n Things have the chart and silk floss in stock for you. Dinky Dyes offer a floss pack for Red Velvet Cake. Fiberlicious "I adore Glendon Place’s Dessert series. Red Velvet Cake is a chart to die for! I’d suggest using Peony Blush, Fuchsia Bloom and Strawberry Truffle in Valentines Collection (either cotton or silk) to make the design stand out a little bit more, brighter and yummier :D" Picture This Plus is a one stop shop for Red Velvet Cake chart, fabric, floss and beads. They sell the recommended fat quarter of "Opal" fabric.

Discussion

Would you stitch one of the A-Maze-ing Desserts collection?  Which would be your favourite? If you liked the review, please share it with your friends or favourite groups. Last Updated: 11 February 2015

Antiquity: Dragonfly Lane

For today's Throwback Thursday we discuss the defunct Dragonfly Lane, and Carrie Medlin's beautiful fantasy designs. Dragonfly Lane - Sea Dragons Cover Stash Antiquities: Welcome to a new class of reviews, for the designers who are no longer in business. I offer these reviews to showcase works that newer stitcher's 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 Dragonfly Lane 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.
Mushroom Fairy
Mushroom Fairy

From the Designer

All of my designs are from sketches, in fact I just posted on Facebook the original sea dragon sketch that became a cross stitch design.  My experience as a self published designer was fun, the online cross stitch shops were supportive and DMC was generous with metallic samples. I changed directions and put my focus on Colorado Dragonfly and my cleaning business to support my family, since I've been a single parent for many many years. 🙂 I do still like to stitch, when I can find the time and the last two  things I actually finished were Mirabilia. 😉 In fact a lovely lady in Queensland (Marilyn Sykes) was my cross stitch supply fairy and sent me the charts and beads for them. 🙂
Sea Dragon Original Sketch Photo Courtesy of Carrie Medlin
Sea Dragon Original Sketch
Photo Courtesy of Carrie Medlin

Why this designer?

Carrie Medlin burst on the cross stitch scene in 2004 with these marvellous designs.  Carrie is now using her artistic talents to create beautiful hardwood inlays for floors, wall hangings and furniture. She is so clever and talented; see Colorado Dragonfly for images of her work. In the early 2000s hand dyed fabric was just becoming accepted in the cross stitch world and the first hand dyers Enchanted Needle, Sugar Maple Fabrics and Picture This Plus were just making their mark. Carrie used these fabrics to great effect for her fantasy designs; especially Inquisitive Dragon.  This is such a minimalist design that it would work on any hand dyed fabric. In Mushroom Fairy, her one design on white fabric, Carrie used one over one to give the bee more detail. Carrie was one of the first designers to start the new trend of including one over one segments in two over two charts.  These days that trend is most often used to give more definition to arms and faces. Carries designs used hand dyed fabrics, Kreinik blending filament, Kreinik #4 Very Fine Braid, Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid, Rainbow Gallery Hi-Lights and Mill Hill Glass Beads. Carries designs use whole cross stitch, partial cross stitch, backstitch and beads to create her wonderful designs.  I recommend them for an adventurous beginner to advanced fantasy lover. Plus she designed two hippocampus designs - where else do you find hippocampus in cross stitch?

Review

As these are older designs, they were only ever supplied in printed leaflet form.  The charts are on US Letter (A4) paper with a cover page showing a colour image of the stitched design. The charts are computer generated (not hand-drawn) with a variety of floss symbols.  It is easy to differentiate between them. Unfortunately, the grid lines are quite small, there are many symbols on the one page and thus these charts may need to be enlarged to stitch.  This is typical of charts from this time and mainly due to using fewer pages to keep printing and postage costs down. Also note the later designs include a three-row overlap on later chart pages; the early charts do not.  For those you will need to count carefully, however all Dragonfly Lane charts include stitch markers (stitch ruler) on each page so you can easily make sure your rows line up. All the Dragonfly Lane charts use different coloured lines to map out the backstitching. These are thin lines, but the differing colours make the backstitch very easy to see on the charts, and they don;t obscure any of the cross stitch symbols.  More designers should use this technique. The back cover lists all the information needed to stitch the chart; stitch count, fabric used in the model stitch, floss list and symbol key, and detailed backstitch instructions.  Everything you want on the back cover. All Dragonfly Lane designs can be stitched on Aida or evenweave.  Given the use of quarter stitches in these designs I would use an evenweave; but if quarter stitches on Aida doesn't bother you, then stitch it on Aida. Dragonfly Lane - Inquisistive Dragon

Gallery

Mushroom Fairy
Mushroom Fairy
The Mushroom Fairy 1 skein each DMC 310, 327, 356, 433, 434, 435, 437, 469, 470, 471, 472, 550, 552, 553, 554, 712, 738, 739, 754, 758, 814, 815, 816, 818, 824, 826, 902, 934, 935, 948 1 spool each Kreinik BF 013 Beige, 032 Pearl 1 spool Kreinik #4 Braid 060 Midnight Stitchcount 156 x 181.  Model stitched on Zweigart 32ct White Lugana.
 Inquisitive Dragon
Inquisitive Dragon
The Inquisitive Dragon 1 skein each DMC 169, 310, 413, 930, 931, 932, 3750, 3752, 3799 1 spool Kreinik BF 005 Black 1 spool each Rainbow Gallery Petite Braid PB05 Black, PB18 Midnight Blue, and PH02 Silver High Gloss. Stitch count 135 x 186.  Model stitched on Picture This Plus 28ct “Carnival Crystal” Cashel Linen.
Athena
Athena
Athena: Hippocampus Part 1 1 skein each DMC 221, 224, 561, 562, 563, 747, 823, 939, 3024, 3721, 3847, 3848, 3849, 3866 1 spool Kreinik BF 033 Royal Blue 1 spool each Kreinik #4 braid: 421 Azalea, 622 Wedgwood Blue and 3202 Cat's Eye 2 cards Rainbow Gallery Hi-Lights H625 White Pearl 1 card Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid PB01 Bright Gold 1 packet each Mill Hill Beads 00161 Crystal and 02015 Sea Blue Stitch count 182 x 321.  Model stitched on Sugar Maple Fabrics 28ct “Moon Princess” Lugana.
Arameth
Arameth
Arameth: Hippocampus Part 2 1 skein each DMC 221, 224, 561, 562, 563, 648, 747, 823, 939, 3024, 3721, 3847, 3848, 3849, 3866 1 spool Kreinik BF 033 Royal Blue 1 spool each Kreinik #4 braid: 421 Azalea, 622 Wedgwood Blue and 3202 Cat's Eye 4 cards Rainbow Gallery Hi-Lights H625 White Pearl 1 card Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid PB01 Bright Gold 1 packet each Mill Hill Beads 00161 Crystal and 02015 Sea Blue Stitch count 188 x 323.  Model stitched on Sugar Maple Fabrics 28ct “Moon Princess” Lugana.
Sea Dragons
Sea Dragons
Sea Dragons 1 skein each DMC 304, 310, 420, 550, 552, 561 666, 676, 677, 680, 729, 746, 924. 1 skein DMC Light Effects Precious Metals E3821  Light Gold (formerly DMC 5282) 1 spool Kreinik BF 003 Red, 012 Purple, 061 Ruby, 091 Star Yellow. 1 spool each Kreinik #4 braid: 009 Emerald 1 card Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid PB01 Bright Gold and PB14 Bronze 1 packet each Mill Hill Beads 00561 Ice Green, 02025 Heather and 42029 Petite Tapestry Teal. Stitch count 232 x 231.  Model stitched on Sugar Maple Fabrics 32ct “Shimmering Ocean” .

Places to Buy

Carrie says:
I have all of the designs I think in PCStitch format, including a few that were never sold. I never sold any copyrights so they are all still my designs.
Lets see if we can convince her release the new designs (including a baby hippocampus!) and sell the others again! Paw Prints – have closed down but still has some Dragonfly Lane charts listed in their bargain bin sale. It might be worth contacting them to see if these are still for sale. If you know of any stores still stocking any of these designs, please met me know in the comments.

Hand Dyer Suggestions

As most of the Dragonfly Lane designs used fabrics from hand dyers no longer in business, here are some current dyers' suggestions. Permission has been granted from the designer for overlays to be used on Cross Stitch Review. Crafty Kitten "All of those will work brilliantly on a lot of colours.  For the aquatic ones sunlit water, waterfall, blue pearl or winter skies or maybe winter sunset." "The dragon, Ember or Autumnal Woodland if you want bold, something more subtle hint of autumn or fallen leaf." "The fairy I would probably go with fairy forest." Crafty Kitten is also running a competition on her site: any orders placed in January over £10 would go into a draw for a £10 Crafty Kitten gift voucher. Colour Cascade Fabrics recommends "Inquisitive Dragon on Dragons Breath or Dragon Queen" Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015. Sparklies "Arameth and Athena would look great on Aquarius or Caribbean Blue." Chromatic Alchemy  "I just had to pick Inquisitive Dragon for today....he is so regal. I have paired him with Cirrus as I think he looks like he should be a water/frost dragon....or maybe perhaps it's because I have a thing for blue" Fiberlicious "Shades of grey with blending filament will look great on the inquisitive dragon."

Discussion

Have you stitched any of these designs? Do you have any of these in your stash (paper or digital)?  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 Dragonfly Lane designs, please share it with your friends. Last Updated: 28 January 2015