What is a FOTM?

FOTM stands for Fabric of the Month or Floss of the Month. These run similarly to Book of the Month clubs, or any other “of the month” club.

Image from Silkweaver
Image from Silkweaver

Continue reading “What is a FOTM?”

Fabric: Jobelan

This is the second in a series of articles on different fabric types, how they can be used, their advantages and advantages, and how they work with hand dyeing.

Wichelt - Jobelan 28ct
Wichelt – Delicate Teal

Jobelan is an evenweave created for the cross stitch and embroidery market by Wichelt. It is created with single threads, very uniform in size, and is most commonly stitched two over two.  That is, using two strands of floss and stitching over every second hole.

Continue reading “Fabric: Jobelan”

Fabric: Aida

This is the first in a series of articles on different fabric types, how they can be used, their advantages and advantages, and how they work with hand dyeing.

Zweigart 14 count Aida
Zweigart 14 count Aida – magnified

Continue reading “Fabric: Aida”

Free: Tom Pudding Designs

It’s Friday again – time for another Friday Freebie, cross stitch or blackwork; Tom Pudding Designs has both.

Home is where the heart is
Home is where the heart is

What is it?

To set the mood for a good weekend, we have Freebie Fridays; each week presenting a different designer.  All sites listed here design their own charts. These designs are copyright to the designers, please do not abuse their generosity.

When sharing knowledge of a free design, please link back to the designer’s original page. Do not just copy and share the pattern. The designers offer these free from monetary payment; we “pay” for them by visiting the designer’s site, seeing their other designs, commenting on their blogs and pages and showing them our stitching of their designs.  Please do not take and not give back.

Dearest Hearts
Dearest Hearts

From the Designer

Tom Pudding Designs published Jan Eaton’s designs for cross stitch, blackwork and needlepoint from 1999 until 2005. The original designs are gradually being made available here as free downloads.

The designs, design names, images and text featured on this blog are copyright © Jan Eaton/Tom Pudding Designs 1999-2014

Scandinavian Red & White
Scandinavian Red & White

Why this designer?

Kay Jones introduced me to Tom Pudding Designs – thanks Kay!

I really appreciate an artist who has stopped designing but then offers her old charts free to all.  That is something that I don’t see very often!

As we have seen in other reviews, there are so many of the older designers that new stitchers have never seen, let alone been able to get access to!

I adore Jan’s diversity in style from monochrome to multicoloured, from cross stitch to blackwork from biscornu to large design. Each design is stitched using full cross stitch and backstitch or blackwork. Some designs include beads which you can use or you can replace with a cross stitch or a French Knot. I believe that Tom Pudding Designs has something for everyone.

Leo
Leo

Review

All of Jan’s Free charts are on available via her blog. Some other designs can still be found in well established local needlework shops. As her site has not been updated since 2013, I am unsure if she is planing to continue to release more designs for free.

To access the free designs, click on the Download title underneath the picture of the stitched design.  The associated chart will then open in another window or tab.  The charts are PDF files and you save them your normal way; on a PC that is right-click “save as”, on a tablet, hold your finger down on the PDF.

Jan has released the Tom Pudding Designs charts as professional documents. Each includes the stitch count, the model fabric used, a complete floss list and legend.

She also includes many basic instructions for new stitchers, such as leaving an appropriate border of fabric, finding the middle of your fabric and basting lines for vertical and horizontal centre rows, what size needle to use, how to create back stitches and what fabric colour to use for each section of backstitch, how to bead and what size needle to use to attach beads.

Each blackwork design also includes diagrams and instructions on how stitch cross stitch, back-stitch and Holbein running stitch.

The charts are black symbols on a white background. Where the design is large enough for the chart to encompass multiple pages, each page includes a diagram showing where it fits in the overall scheme.

The backstitching or blackwork lines are shown in different colours.  Jan describes which colour floss and how many strands to use for each.

You rarely see this level of detail on free designs and I thank Jan for offering these designs for free and including such detailed instructions.

Places to Buy

Australia:

Colours Down Under is a bricks and mortar store that stocks many different types of floss for you to stitch these designs.

Colour Cascade Fabrics “Scandinavian Red and White ~ (I would change this to purple) and use Misty Mountain Hop Fabric and Fine Wine thread by Threadworx”

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

Canada:
Traditional Stitches in Calgary has various 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 “Without a Cat (had to be as it’s a cat really!).  It’s got a lot of colours in it, so I would go with something soft like fairy forest”

Polstitches  suggests “Heirloom Linen” for any of these designs.

Chromatic Alchemy  “For the Friday Freebie I chose Summer Blackwork. I have two choices of fabric for this one the first is Serpentine to show how opposing colours on the colour wheel attract and Candy Floss which shows how keeping the same hue (red family) but changing the tint (adding white) also works.”

Thread Pickerz Silkz selected “Virgo.  if using one colour, then bright – hocus pocus or dark – into the mystic”

“Alternatively if you wish it various colours you could do the designs in your favourite colours and the lines of text colours representing the answers. I.e. use buttercup in the flower row, Deep blue sea in the colour row, strawberries and cream for the tree row etc “

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.

Fiberlicious “They have such a lovely collection of Zodiac blackwork designs. But when I scroll down and Valentines screamed to me the most. Love is in the air! All the colors in Jet’aime limited collection would compliment this design at its best. This collection is only available from now until Feb 15″

Under the Sea Fabrics  “I’d recommend either dark threads on Looking Glass or light threads on Witching Hour.”

Discussion

Which is your favourite Tom Pudding Designs chart? What fabric/floss combination would you stitch it in?

What sort of free designs would you like me to showcase? If you have a favourite contact me (like Kay did) and I will review the site!

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

Last Updated: 23 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