Tywyn Sampler by Charland Designs

An Elegant Sampler for a Wednesday; Tywyn Sampler by Sydney of Charland Designs. Don’t forget the giveaways, there’s something more coming from The Silk Mill!

Tywyn Sampler
Tywyn Sampler

From the Designer

This piece was especially designed as a teaching piece for a workshop in Tywyn, Wales. I loved the medieval “beast” design – adapted from an old, old chart. It seemed the perfect choice for Wales.

Two sets of alphabets are enclosed (Welsh and English). You may choose which ever you please and stitch the rows accordingly. Space is provided for you to add your name, town, and year.

And I loved visiting Wales.  Although the names were unpronounceable, it was a delightful place to visit!

Silver Charm Dragon
Silver Charm Dragon

Why this chart?

I love stitching band samplers. The act of stitching all of those different stitching is just so much fun!

I love trying out new stitches and Tywyn Sampler uses Cross stitch, Backstitch, Herringbone, Long Arm Cross, Upright Cross, Four-sided, Oblong Cross, Pulled Thread, Woven Cross, Hem Stitch, and an unnamed special stitch adapted from a Dutch book.

I also adore the differing colours used in this chart. Finally but most importantly, the fantasy lover in my adores the dragons; both the cross stitched dragon at the top, and the sterling silver charm over the pulled thread.

I love that the design includes so many options for personalization; English or Welsh alphabets, a beaked Celtic bird or a Cormorant bird, and the option to include your name, date and town if you so choose.

Tywyn Sampler uses fairly easy-to-learn specialty stitches and Sydney’s diagrams are very easy to follow.

The only exception to this is the pulled thread section.  If you have not stitched any pulled thread or Hardanger work before, you might want to lookup some You Tube videos and practice on a scrap piece of fabric first.

Given the pulled thread section, I would recommend this for an intermediate or advanced stitcher.

Review

Charland designs are available through your favourite Local Needlework Store as printed charts or partial kits.  I was given the kit as a present from a friend. It has the chart, the sterling silver dragon charm and the floss.

The Tywyn Sampler chart pack includes a cover page, three pages of chart, one page of charting alternatives, and two double-sided pages of directions, and diagrams.

The cover page is printed on a woven white A5 (about half a US Letter) page.  The colour photo image is of the finished stitched design. The rest of the chart pages are in A4 (US Letter) light grey paper, folded in half.

Each of the three pages of the chart include the symbol key or legend on the right hand side of the page.   I like that some floss are included on the symbol key multiple times; once for each time it is used as a different stitch style.

The chart symbols are easy to see and easy to differentiate. Like all band samplers, you MUST refer to the directions before stitching any band.  Some that look like cross stitch on the chart, are actually stitched with different stitch types.

Although not mentioned anywhere, there is an eight-row overlap between these chart pages.  This is not shaded or indicated in any way, so beware.

The chart pages show the English alphabet. The single, alternative page, shows this same alphabet, but spread apart to show where to stitch the Welsh letters.  These Welsh letters are included in a small chart further down the page.

The bottom of the page includes a Celtic design for a cormorant which is only 7 stitches high.  The main chart has the beaked Celtic bird design that is 8 stitches high.

The four pages of directions list for each row: what stitch is to be used, which floss is to be used, and words and pictures to describe how to stitch that row.

With the possible exception of the drawn thread section, these directions, with the chart, make this an easy sampler to stitch.

When all the pages are folded, the last half page that is shown at the back of the packet lists all the information needed to kit up the design.  The stitch count, the fabric used in the model stitch, and which floss is used in the sampler.

Tywyn Sampler recommends 28ct linen to stitch. Given the specialty stitches used in this design, I also recommend this is stitched on evenweave or linen.

Tywyn Sampler
Tywyn Sampler

Materials Required

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

Caron Waterlilies 101 Cherry

 

1 skein Caron Waterlilies #101 Cherry

 

Caron Waterlilies 072 Midnight

 

1 skein Caron Waterlilies #72 Midnight

 

 

Caron Wildflower 058 Mocha Rose

 

1 skein Caron Wildflowers #58 Mocha Rose

 

Londonderry 45 Cabernet

 

1 spool Londonderry Linen 50/3 #45 Cabernet

DMC Perle 8 - 644 Light Beige
1 ball DMC perle #8 644 Light Beige

 

 

28 count White Cashel Linen  (stitch count 71 x 177). This design is stitched over two, due to the specialty stitches.

28ct White Cashel Linen
28ct White Cashel Linen

28 count White Cashel Linen (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 11” x 19”  or  28 x 48cm  or  a fat eighth (13 x 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: $  6.00
Floss:  $18.00
Fabric: $ 5.75

Total: $29.75  ($39.53 AUD or €19.86  or  £15.77)

Places to Buy

Charland Designs only sells wholesale to Local and Online Needlework Stores.  Their website lists the stores that stock Charland Design charts.

Australia:

Colours Down Under has the Caron and DMC Perle 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 a variety of fabrics for you to make this design unique. Caitlin recommends Golddigger old map Style or Silver Springs for this design.

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

Canada:

Traditional Stitches in Calgary can order in this chart for you.  They have everything in stock to kit up this design for you!

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 chosen Permanganate for the Tywyn sampler. I think it contrasts with the reds in the piece beautifully.”

Crafty Kitten “Being a a dragon fan I really like this.  I would go with a fairly traditional sampler background colour to work with the threads.  So Oatmeal, Just Peachy or maybe Tea Rose, though that one might be a little too pinky to work as well as the other two.”

Sparklies “Sticking with a traditional neutral for this one with either Dr. Smith’s Tonic or Parchment.”

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 Caron and DMC Perle threads in stock and offers a variety of fabrics.

Black Cat Stitchery in Illinois has Caron and DMC Perle threads and a range of fabrics 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 can order this chart in for you.  They have the Caron and DMC Perle threads and a variety of fabrics in stock.

Fiberlicious ” Sea Dragon for the Dragon and wording, pumpkin pasties for the rest.”

Discussion

Do you like stitching band samplers?  Would you stitch this on a neutral fabric or a bold fabric?

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

Last Updated: 25 February 2015

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

Evening Flight by Alchemy Stitchcraft

Today we have a timeless chart; tranquil in looks, with Hardanger!

Alchemy Stitchcraft - Evening Flight

From the Designer

Design features a flight of colourful hot air balloons, worked in a variety of counted thread stitches, using solid-coloured and overdyed cottons, metallic threads and beads, against a sunset sky of Hardanger, pulled and drawn thread clouds. This is a companion to Summer Skies.

Combining Cross Stitch, Counted Thread Embroidery, Hardanger, Beadwork, Silk Ribbon Embroidery and more, our clear diagrams and instructions are designed to help the Cross Stitcher explore the world of speciality stitching.

Why this chart?

I love the design, the hot air balloons against a dusk sky; it looks so calm and peaceful.  I adore the hardanger and drawn thread clouds. Change the colour of the backing board and you can really change the look of this piece.  Instead of light blue peeking from inside the clouds, imagine a white or black or hand coloured sunset…

Christine Wilkins produced the Alchemy Stitchcraft range of designs in the early 2000s. Most of her designs used drawn thread work and specialty stitches to crate wonderful pieces of art.

Evening Flight uses Rice Stitch, Elongated Cross Stitch, Modified Rhodes stitch, Satin stitch, Bargallo, Rhodes Star, Partial Eyelets, Straight Stitch, Diagonal Satin stitch,Kloster Blocks, Woven Bars, Dove’s Eyes, Honeycomb stitch, Drawn thread, Hemstitching, Herringbone stitch, Woven Bars, Square Filets, Window stitch, Cable Stitch and Wave stitch as well as the usual whole cross stitch and back-stitch.

Due to the number and type of specialty stitches, I recommend this for an intermediate or advanced stitcher.

Alchemy Stitchcraft - Evening Flight Closeup

Review

Alchemy Stitchcraft designs were only ever available as printed charts.  May charts included optional “goody bags” which contained specialty threads and beads used in the design.

The Evening Flight chart pack included the cover page, one page of the chart and four pages of stitching instructions.

The one page chart is very small, too small to discern the individual cross stitch symbols.  This chart was produced as an adjunct to the stitching instructions.

The four pages of stitching instructions include the stitch count and size of finished design on 28ct fabric, the floss and fabric used in the model and instructions on the design.

These instructions tell you where to start stitching, which floss to use and the stitch style to use. Each stitch style is explained with words and two-colour diagrams. Although these are succinct in their explanation, I believe they are sufficiently detailed for the intermediate level stitcher.  If you are completely new to Hardanger I suggest you check out some YouTube videos, such as this one:

If your eyesight is not up to the such detailed work on 28ct fabric, feel free to use 22ct Hardanger fabric or any other count of evenweave. This design is not recommended for Aida due to the drawn thread work.

Materials Required

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

Threadworx 1150 Funky Lilac

1 skein of ThreadworX 1150 Funky Lilac (previously Needle Necessities 191 Harlequin)

 

Anchor 008 Light Salmon

1 skein Anchor 008 Salmon Light (similar to DMC 3824)

 

Anchor 068 Medium Light Raspberry

1 skein Anchor 068 Medium Light Raspberry (similar to DMC  3687)

 

Anchor 110 Medium Lavender1 skein Anchor 110 Medium Lavender (similar to DMC 208)

 

Kreinik 4 - 242HL Magenta Sunset

 

1 spool Kreinik #4 Very Fine Braid  242HL Magenta Sunset Hi Lustre

 

 

Kreinik 4 - 9192 Light Peach

 

1 spool Kreinik #4 Very Fine Braid 9192 Light Peach

 

Kreinik Silk Serica - 6123 Light Dusty Lavender1 spool Kreinik Silk Serica 6123 Light Dusty Lavender

Kreinik Silk Bella - 6123 Light Dusty Lavender1 spool Kreinik Silk Bella  6123 Light Dusty Lavender

Mill Hill 03057 Cherry Sorbet
1 packet Mill Hill Beads 03057 Cherry Sorbet
28ct Silkweavers “Dusk” Cashel linen (stitch count 54 x 120). This design can only be stitched over 2 due to the specialty stitches.

For 28ct evenweave or linen (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 10” x 15”  or  25 x 37 cm  or  a fat eighth (13 x 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: $10.70
Floss:  $ 23.70
Fabric: $  5.75

Total: $40.15 ($61.55 AUD or €46.45 or  £33.60)

Places to Buy

Alchemy Stitchcraft will sell the Charts and Goody Bags direct to the public if you cannot find them any other way.  Email Christine and let her know which designs you are interested in.

The optional extra “Goody Bags” for Evening Flight are great value:

Goody Bag A: £1.60  ($2.45 US)
ThreadworX 1150 Funky Lilac (previously Needle Necessities 191)
Mill Hill Beads 03057 Cherry Sorbet

Goody Bag B: £11.50 ($17.60 US)
ThreadworX 1150 Funky Lilac (previously Needle Necessities 191)
Mill Hill Beads 03057 Cherry Sorbet
10 x 15″ piece of 28ct Silkweavers “Dusk” Cashel linen

Goody Bag B
Goody Bag B

 

Australia:

Colours Down Under has some of 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 suggests ” Barbie Girl or Pretty In Pink”.

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

Canada:
Traditional Stitches in Calgary has some of the threads and a variety of fabrics in stock.

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 “That’s a lovely design, I would go with Evening Sky, Sunset Sky (probably this one) or Apricot Sunset.”

Polstitches Needs a little light fabric i would say possibly Dawn Chorus or the new Raindrops!

Chromatic Alchemy  “I have paired Evening Flight with Halcyon, it reminds me of those glorious pink-hued evening autumn skies but it is also subtle enough to not steal the show from that wonderful cutwork!”

Thread Pickerz Silkz “I would use a selection of complimentary colours maybe grapes and wine, amethyst and candyfloss.”

United States:

123Stitch has some 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 some of the recommended materials in stock for you.

Wasatch Needlecraft can order in the chart and has some floss and fabrics available in stock.

Fiberlicious “This is such an amazing hardanger design! It screams freedom and adventure. The balloon reminds me a lot of a Pixar’s animation called “Up”. I would suggest using Poppyfield, Hummingbird and Apricot Sunshine (silks) to stitch this beautiful design.”

Silkweaver Fabrics has the recommended Dusk in stock.

Under the Sea Fabrics “I’d use Witching Hour for a night sky or Shimmering Seas for a warm sunny sky affect.”

Discussion

Would you stitch this chart?  Do you love or loathe those that have more than just whole cross stitches?

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

Last Updated: 22 January 2015