Marie Antoinette (von Frankenstein) by Colour Cascade Designs

Today we have a beautiful art-to-stitch of one of history’s most iconic women.  Also don’t forget the giveaways and discounts we have on offer at the moment.

CCF - Marie Antoinette

What is it?

Marie Antoinette is a digital drawing by Joahanna Von Frankenstein  that has been converted to cross stitch by Tammy Verdon of Colour Cascade Designs.

Note: Please respect our artists. Your work will be a labour of love for months and years to come. Buy from reputable designers such as those reviewed on this site. They support the artists who produce the original works. By buying cheap art-to-stitch designs, you are likely buying from a designer who is not paying royalties or licensing and the chart is likely to be low quality. Without support, our artists cannot thrive. Your time, and theirs are worth more.

Original artwork by Joahanna Von Frankenstein
Original artwork by Joahanna Von Frankenstein

Why this chart?

I love Joahanna Von Frankenstein’s artwork. She uses so many different types of art techniques, from pencil drawings, digital drawings, watercolours, painting with coffee and of course mixed media. Check out her Facebook page and her DeviantArt page to see all her varied skills.

I chose this design out of all of her converted art work because of the simplicity of colours in this design. The lines created the artwork, and these have been converted into so many differing shades of grey.  This truly would have been a challenge to convert.

I also love the subject; Marie Antoinette was such a tragic figure whose naivety and sheltered lifestyle made her a target for an oppressed nation. So much propaganda and misinformation about her has come down through the centuries to us including the false “let them eat cake”.

Colour Cascade Designs is a part of Colour Cascade Fabrics.  Tammy provides such wonderful fabric suggestions day after day here on this site.  Colour Cascade Designs has been around since January 2014 and provides converted designs from the darker side of life.  From zombies to post apocalyptic to expressions of dark desires, Tammy showcases them all.

Most art-to-stitch designs are fully stitched, in that the background is treated as part of the picture so every square is stitched, culminating in a project comprising thousands of stitches and years of work. Projects such as Marie Antoinette do not have a stitched background, and so could be stitched in less time.  You could stitch this on white fabric and save yourself even more time, or you could choose to show off a fabulous hand dyed fabric that complements or contrasts this design.

Marie Antoinette is, at heart, a simple design; full cross stitch only.  However to meet the level of detail needed for so many fine lines, this chart has a lot of confetti  stitching. ,“Confetti stitching” is stitcher jargon for describing an area of stitching where there is only one or a few stitches of each floss colour.  These little groupings are scattered about like confetti.

For such a design, changes in stitching techniques are required. You can thread your needle, then stitch each grouping of one colour until you run out and then start the next colour.

Or you can park.  Parking is where you stitch one grouping of a floss, and then park you thread at the next grouping.  It is probably best explained by this Youtube video:

If you are an experienced art-to-stitch stitcher who has met such a complex chart before, then I thoroughly recommend this chart for the beauty it will become.

If you have not stitched a large, complex design before, then I recommend patience and concentration to get through the confetti stitched areas.  Some days it will feel like you are making no progress at all, other days you will seem to make great strides.

Colour Cascade - Marie Antoinette

Review

Colour Cascade Designs offers their charts as electronic download or in printed form; I have only bought the electronic downloads.  Marie Antoinette is a 26 page chart pack in pdf format. Save the pdf and you can work from the digital chart or print sections as you need, or print it all and store it with the rest of your paper charts; the options are yours.

The Marie Antoinette digital download has:

  • front cover sheet with a mock-up of the stitched design, the stitch count and size (in inches and centimetres) of the design stitched in 25ct. This also prominently lists the name of the artist and ascribes the art copyright to her.
  • instructions on how to stitch and suggestions for the number of threads to use for each count of fabric
  • the 20 page chart; each page includes a diagram of where that page sits in the overall chart and a three-row overlap from earlier pages to aid in keeping your place
  • cleaning and care notes; washing instructions
  • the symbol key or legend, in DMC numbered order
  • The floss key including the length of each floss needed

Tammy of Colour Cascade designs is in the process of updating her chart packs.  My older copy of Marie Antoinette is only 26 pages,but the newer version is likely to be around 50 pages.

The updated chart packs contain all the same information but Tammy has made the grid work on each chart page much larger.  This means more pages, but  the symbols are printed larger and more crisp and can be more easily seen on the page.

Tammy has also changed some of the symbols to give greater differentiation; reducing the likelihood of stitching with the wrong shade of floss. I love these changes and urge you to contact Tammy to receive updates of your older chart files as she converts them.

Most art-to-stitch projects recommend to stitch one-over-one on 25 count fabric. As these designs only use whole cross stitch, I strongly recommend that you stitch on the fabric count you prefer and are used to.  You are probably going to spend a long while stitching this project, don’t make it more difficult by using a stitch style or count that you are not comfortable with.

Materials Required

To stitch the charts exactly as designed (1 floss over 1 thread on 25ct fabric), you will need:

1 skein each DMC 168, 169, 310, 317, 318, 413, 415, 451, 452, 535, 646, 647, 648, 762, 844, 928, 3072, 3371, 3799, 3865, 3866.

2 skeins each DMC 939 and 3756

3 skeins DMC White (these can be omitted if you stitch this design on white fabric).

25 count Evenweave or Magic Guide fabric  (stitch count 286 x 293). Stitched  one over one with the a 3″ border allowance, fabric size needed is:  17½ x 17¾″ or 44 x 45cm  or a small pack of Magic Guide (19 x 21″)  or normal fabric’s fat quarter (18″ x 27″).

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

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is:  26½” x 27”  or  67x 68cm  or  a fat half (27 x 36″).

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $ 10.65
Floss:  $ 12.60
Fabric: $10.90

Total: $34.15  ($54.25AUD or €46.35 or  £38.50)

Places to Buy

Colour Cascade Designs stocks this chart in paper and PDF download and can kit it up for you.

Australia:
Colours Down Under has all the DMC and some plain evenweave fabrics in stock.

Colour Cascade Fabrics stocks the chart, DMC and 25ct Magic Guide fabric. Tammy suggests stitching Marie Antoinette on “Golddigger or Red is the Rose”.

Tammy also 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.

Crafty Kitten “Hard to suggest for this one, My personal taste is to stitch black and white designs on white they can sometimes look a little odd on a strongly coloured fabric, maybe moondust but that’s as strong as I’d go with colour  personally”

Polstitches “I would love to see Polstitches Avalon or a sampler linen used here, possibilities are endless”

Chromatic Alchemy  “I think Marie Antoinette looks classy on Aurelia, we can’t have anything ungainly for a queen now can we?”

United States:

123Stitch has the chart in stock and can kit it up for you.

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 can order this chart in for you. They have all the recommended materials in stock to kit this up for you.

Under the Sea Fabrics Leslie suggests “I’d recommend Looking Glass or London Fog for nice gray neutral or for something wild and fun, Vampyric.”

Discussion

What fabric  would you stitch this design on?

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

 

Last Updated: 21 January 2015

2015 Story Time Sampler by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery

Ashleigh & Amanda, the women behind The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, excel in extreme cuteness and the 2015 stitch along is no exception!

Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - 2015 Story Time Sampler

From the Designer

This years theme is Story Time! We’ll be stitching up kawaii portraits in of our favorite characters from classic literature in sweet frames. What does kawaii mean? It means cute in Japanese! Each frame will contain a character with key elements of their story. As avid readers, we thought it would be fun to pick stories with memorable characters that we felt a great impact from after reading their tales.

So who will we be stitching up?! Some examples include:

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Little Women
  • Lady of Shalott
  • Sherlock Holmes…and many more!

Frosted Pumpkin - Story Time Sampler

What is it?

2015 Story time Sampler is a year-long  mystery stitch along by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery  The January instalment includes the borders and the January design, Alice in Wonderland.  Each month you will receive another design. The last design will be sent on 30 November 2015.

Sign-up closes:  30 November 2015.
SAL Duration: 15 Jan 2015 – 30 Nov 2015

Why this chart?

I love stitchalongs!  However as I haven’t yet finished the 2013 Woodland Sampler stitchalong I haven’t joined this one.  Ashleigh & Amanda were kind enough to send me the introductory file so I could write this review.

Apart from January’s segment which includes the border, each month is a small, relatively quick stitch.  Cute, impossibly adorable, but not a huge time requirement, so this is a great stitchalong for a new stitcher or someone who already has a plate full of Works in Progress (WIPs).

Every Stitchalong thrives when there is a community surrounding it.  Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery have a Facebook page, a Flickr group and an Instagram hashtag.

Frosted Pumpkin - January Sneak Peek

Review

Joining a mystery stitch along is often an act of faith. Faith that the resultant item is worth the time and money you as a stitcher have put into it. Ashleigh & Amanda understand this, so they are allowing you to join this stitchalong at any time.  You can join now and experience the full mystery, you can wait a few months to see what the first few designs will be like and join then, or wait and see if your favourite character appears or wait until the end and buy it like any other design.  The options and potential risks are yours to choose.

To join the stitchalong you need to purchase the chart from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. Due to recent changes to European union laws, stitchers from EU/UK need to buy from a separate link.

The introductory pack includes:

How the stitchalong will work and the dates of each month’s release.

How to obtain your patterns each month, via email and web link. You will receive each new part via email each month.  However, your introductory pack also includes a web link to the chart. The web link is updated at the end of each month to show the most recent version of the chart.

For example, in July, you will receive the large one page design for the July literary character and a smaller chart of all the borders with the designs Jan – Jun filled in.

A reminder of what you can and cannot do with your charts for this stitchalong. For example you cannot share the files, but you can print out the charts for your own use at your local copy store.  It can be useful to show this permission to the copy store.

A stitch guide. This lists all the materials you will need to stitch the designs, the stitch count, finished project size, and recommended fabric.  As these designs only use whole cross stitch and a touch of back stitch, they are easily stitched on evenweave or Aida.

A getting started guide which includes basic cross stitching instructions and diagrams; from how to find the centre of your fabric through to photographs of cross stitch on linen.

The colour list.  This is very nicely done with a stylised version of each colour behind the wording.  This design uses Cosmo or DMC floss.  Both options are provided in the same list.  Cosmo is another solid dyed thread like DMC or Anchor.

The 2015 Story Time Sampler SAL also uses Weeks Dye Works hand dyed floss.  If you do not want to use hand dyed floss, alternative DMC and Cosmo numbers are given.  Remember that hand dyed floss is varied in colour, quite different from the DMC and Cosmo solid colours.

The charts.  Each chart is printed twice.  Once in black symbols on a white background, the other is black symbols in a coloured square.  I find a black and white chart easier to follow and mark off, but the colour chart is invaluable to  double-check that you are using the right floss, especially if there are similar symbols used in the pattern.

The first chart is the complete design on one page.  This is too small to stitch from and is mainly provided so you can see where the mystery stitchalong is up to and where the current month’s design fits in.

The second chart is a closeup of that month’s design.  For January this is quite large and expands over two pages because it includes the heading banner and all the borders.

There are no overlap rows between these two pages, instead Ashleigh and Amanda suggest that you print out both pages and tape them together.  This is only an issue for the January design.

Just an experienced stitching note here, you do not need to stitch all the borders ahead of time.  You can stitch each month’s border as it’s chart is released.

Finally the chart pack includes the floss key and any backstitching instructions for that month’s stitching.  The floss key includes both sets of symbols (for the black and white chart and the coloured chart) and the DMC, Cosmo and Weeks Dye Works floss options for each symbol.

 Materials Required

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

1 skein each of 18 DMC or Cosmo threads.

1 skein each of 5 Weeks Dye Works  threads.

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery ladies requested that I not list the specific floss numbers due to concerns of piracy.

Fabric is  32ct Picture This Plus “Storm” Lugana.  (stitch count 131 x 180).  This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

Stitched  on the recommended 16ct or 32ct (with the a 3″ border allowance) the fabric size needed is:  14¼″x 17½″ or 36 x 44cm  or a fat quarter (18″ x 27″).

Picture This Plus - Storm
Picture This Plus – Storm

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 15½” x 19”  or  39 x 48cm  or  a medium pack of Magic Guide (30 x 39″)  or a normal fabric’s a fat quarter (18″ x 27″).

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch 2015 Story Time Sampler using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage):

Chart: $ 17.95
Floss:  $ 19.10
Fabric: $11.85

Total: $48.90  ($75.65AUD or €55.25 or  £44.95)

Places to Buy

The 2015 Story Time Sampler sitchalong can only be bought from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery as a series of PDF files.  You can buy from the main link or the EU/UK link.

The Cottage Needle in the US has material packs for this stitchalong which include the recommended Picture This Plus fabric and the Cosmo threads.

The Homemakery in the UK is selling a complete DMC only pack of threads for this stitchalong.

Australia:

Colours Down Under has DMC, Weeks Dye Works and a variety of plain fabrics in stock.

Colour Cascade Fabrics stocks DMC and suggests stitching this design on “Silver Springs or Blue Moon”.

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

Europe:

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

United Kingdom:

SewandSo has a range of floss and fabrics to make this design uniquely yours.

Crafty Kitten says “grey based ones that from the fabric the model is on will work: moondust, foggy morning and maybe evening magic.  I would probably use foggy morning for it.  Without seeing more of it I’d hesitate to suggest something away from those colours other than maybe oatmeal, vintage rose and tea rose as they’re all quite neutral.”

Polstitches “Lightning Strike might a little more airy and colourful as it has a more blueish tint.”

Chromatic Alchemy  “As this piece has a varied colour palette I would recommend a darker piece that will accentuate the many tones without swamping them. I suggest using either Nox or Al’s Darkmagic”

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.

Picture This Plus sells the recommended “Storm” fabric.

Under the Sea Fabrics Leslie suggests “Marauder’s Map. It’s a literary themed fabric for a literary sampler. Brown Sugar or Burnt Bronze would be pretty too. I’m doing mine on Marauder’s Map Gold Belfast for a hint of shimmer.”

Discussion

Does this Stitchalong appeal to you?  What is your favourite literary character that you hope is in this mystery design?

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

Last Updated: 20 January 2015

Friendship by Lilipoints

This Monday we have a reminder of who our true friends are. A design in four colours that can be easily customised to you or your friend’s tastes or decor.

Lilipoints - Friendship

From the Designer

“A friend is someone who knows everything about us but loves us anyway.”

Why this chart?

Every time I look through my Lilipoints stash, I pick up this design first.  I love the recipe designs and the chocolate chart, but this friendship chart speaks to me.

The quote “A friend is someone who knows everything about us but loves us anyway” is one I’ve used for years and has been given to me on so much merchandise; fridge magnets, stickers, and oh  so many birthday cards! Ironically the only reason I haven’t stitched this design yet is that I can’t choose which of my friends to stitch it for!

This is a bright bold design that is composed of only whole cross stitches.  It can be stitched on any count of fabric and using any four shades of floss you love.  This is a great choice for a first time beginner through to an advanced stitcher.

Lilipoints - Friendship

Review

All of the Lilipoints designs, including Friendship are available as printed charts or kits. I only have charts in my stash, so I will be reviewing that.

The Cover is an A5 (half a US Letter) glossy white cardstock.  This cover gives some information such as the chart name in French and the stitch count as well as the photo of the stitched design.

The chart is printed over four panels on a folded glossy A3 page (folded to A5). By printing the chart in sections over four panels, there are no symbols near the creases in the paper.  None of the symbols will rub off with repeated folding and unfolding of the chart.  Also the glossy paper makes it easy to wipe off muddy cat footprints.

The chart symbols are printed small, but the chart is so simple in design, that you can follow it without much difficulty. There are no overlap rows between the sections. but they are so close together on each side of the folds, that you can still follow along without much difficulty.

All Lilipoints charts include DMC and Anchor numbers, the number of stitches used for each floss, the stitch count, and size of finished stitching in 16ct, 18ct and 22cr fabrics and the fabric used in the model stitch.  This information is provided twice in all charts – once in French and then again in English.

All Lilipoints charts have a red circular ink “LILIPOINTS MODELE ORIGINAL” stamped on the fourth quadrant of the chart. Only original and legal copies of the chart have this as a red ink stamp. This stamp is in the fourth quarter of the chart so it can be seen when the chart is folded and placed in its plastic bag.

Although all instructions are printed bilingually in French or English, the charts are not.  If the chart includes words, then you will need to be careful to buy the chart with the wording in English or French as you prefer:

Materials Required

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

DMC 166 Med Light Moss Green

 

1 skein DMC 166 Moss Green light

 

DMC 3740 Dark Antique Violet

 

1 skein DMC 3740 Violet

 

DMC 3805 Cyclamen Pink

 

1 skein DMC 3805 Pink

 

DMC 3853 Dark Autumn Gold

 

1 skein DMC 3853 Autumn Gold

 

 

Model stitched on 25ct Zweigart “Raw” floba.  (stitch count 194 x 183). The model was stitched with one strand over one thread. This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

With a three-inch border allowance the fabric size is:  14 x 13½”  or 35 x 34cm  or a fat eighth (13 x 18″)

25 Raw Floba
25 Raw Floba

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 20” x 19¼”  or  51 x 49cm  or  a fat haf (27 x 36″).

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: $ 12.50
Floss:  $    1.80
Fabric: $  5.75

Total: $20.05  ($34.00AUD or €22.55 or  £16.95)

Places to Buy

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 all the DMC and variety of fabrics for you to make this design unique.Tammy suggests using “Fairies wear boots if you want subtle, or if you want bright, My Island Home.

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 stocks most of the Lilipoints designs and accessories. They can order the English language version of this chart in for you. They also 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 “Cute design.  It would work on a lot of colours, If I were stitching it I’d go candytuft, candyfloss, bracken or sunset sky.”

Polstitches suggests “Snowy Mountains would add an extra dimension here”.

Chromatic Alchemy ” have chosen Elsa for Lili Points Friends piece, I feel the purples and pinks in the piece are accentuated by the pastel shades in the fabric and the yellow really pops on the blue!”

Thread Pickerz Silkz suggests “3740 sub to purple twonk, 3085  sub to pink raver, 3853 sub to orange crush and 166 sub to pistachio”

United States:

123Stitch has the chart in stock and can kit it up for you.

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 can order this chart in for you. They have all the recommended materials in stock to kit this up for you.

Fiberlicious “Lily points embraces so much meaning within a small little chart. Friend can be anyone, from your parent, your partner, your childhood neighbor/classmates to your pet. To honor friendship and love, and for the fact that Valentines is coming, I would suggest using Je t’aime ltd edition to stitch different hearts and sayings. Spread the love! This collection is only available from now until Feb 15”

Under the Sea Fabrics Leslie suggests “Iced Grapes or Sugar Plum Fairies would be warm enough purples to contend with all the warm colors. For something a little wild, Lily pad would be stunning.

Discussion

Who would YOU stitch this design for and what colours would you use?

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

 

Last Updated: 19 January 2015

 

 

Free: Hancock’s House of Happy

I’m having issues with the new scanner.  Perhaps it is fairer to say I’m having issues with non-current scanners and Windows 8; either way I’ve decided to have a Freebie Thursday this week.

Heart Tree
Heart Tree

What is it?

To set the mood for a good weekend, we have Freebie Fridays, or in this week’s case Freebie Thursday; 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.

Hancocks House of Happy - Prisoner
The Prisoner

From the Designer

Cross stitch became an important part of my recovery from and management of clinical depression. If you or someone you know is struggling with this health problem I can highly recommend cross stitching!

It was during my recovery that I started designing charts for myself. Mostly because the pretty flowers and cute teddy bears that featured large in all the usual publications did not really reflect my personality or interests.

I like designing the charts more than stitching them these days but I enjoy sharing my designs.

Kawaii Christmas Tree
Kawaii Christmas Tree

Why this designer?

Even-star Hancock is an artists who designs cross stitch and makes pottery. She is on Facebook, Pinterest, her blog, her Etsy store and Craftsy.

I love that Even-Star Hancock used cross stitch and cross stitch designing as therapy during depression.  I know many of us consider cross stitch our “therapy” and relaxation time, but Even-Star did this seriously.  She discusses some of this in her Youtube introduction.

I also love the stories that go with some of her designs.  See The Prisoner and Pyrexophilia as examples of this.

Review

All of Even-Star’s free charts are available only on the free chart page of her website or her Craftsy store. There are a couple of “for sale” charts in her Craftsy store too.

To access the free designs on her website, open the post for the design that interests you.  Now click on the chart.  This will pop open as a larger picture.  Save that picture in your normal way; on a PC that is right-click “save as”, on a tablet that is hold your finger down on the image and then select save.  In all cases these charts save as JPEG image files.

Each of Even-Star’s free charts on her website are coloured blocks on a white background.  Some have a floss list, others you are encouraged to select your own colours.  Each design is stitched in full cross stitch only, with the backstitching providing the details.

Dorothy Parker Quote
Dorothy Parker Quote

 

To access the free designs in her Craftsy store, you must be a member of Crafty.  It is free to join.

Once you are a member, click on the design that interests you.  Then click the “add digital pattern to cart” button.  You can do his for as many of the free patterns as you wish.  When you have added your last one click the “add to my patterns” button.

This will take you to your Craftsy pattern page.  Click on any image and it will download the pattern.  As these are kept in your Craftsy pattern page, you can download these as often as you like.  This is great for when you lose your patterns.

The designs on the craftsy page look more professional.  They are in PDF format and often give symbols as well as colours.  Each one that I downloaded came with a DMC suggested floss list.

Each design is stitched in full cross stitch only, with the backstitching providing the details.

Pyrexophilia
Pyrexophilia

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 suggests Space Geckos on Clouds and Psychedelic Sea Horse on Deep Water

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

Europe:

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

United Kingdom:

SewandSo has  a range of floss and fabrics to make this design uniquely yours.

Crafty Kitten “Psychedelic Seahorse – It’s a nice 3 colour design with colour blocks so lends itself to hand dyed threads and it’s easy to change the original colours.  I would stitch it on tropical breeze and adjust the DMC as needed.  An alternative, stitch it on Summer Sky (bright turquoise blue) and maybe change the threads.”

Polstitches “Snowy mountain again here i love that fabric "</p

Sparklies “I chose the cute bunny one, I can’t resist a cute bunny. This could be stitched using either Bleached Copper or Sahara to fill in the bunny (or both, one for the bunny and one for inside the ears), and would look great stitched on Vireo or Harebell.”

Chromatic Alchemy  “There are so many designs to choose from on Hancocks House of Happy I didn’t quite know where to start! There really is something for everyone! After much procrastination and clicking through the hoards of freebies I stumbled upon Mae Govannen, a welcome sign in Tolkien elvish, and knew this was the one for me. I have coupled it with Nox, I don’t think I need to explain why…..it just looks great!”

United States:

123Stitch has a wide choice of threads in stock and offers a variety of fabrics.

Black Cat Stitchery in Illinois has floss and fabric in stock to make any 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 any of these for you.

Fiberlicious ““Fancy Ass” really makes me giggle. I would suggest a bold color to enhance the slogan such as “Vampire Raspberry”.

Discussion

Which is your favourite Hancock’s House of Happy design? What sort of free designs would you like me to showcase? Comment below and I will try to find something suitable.

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

Last Updated: 15 January 2015

Moonlight Crop (Fell) by Eclectic Bloke Designs

Today’s Art-to-Stitch Wednesday is a tribute for Neil Bray of Eclectic Bloke Designs.  Also don’t forget the awesome Giveaways we have going on now.

ECB - Moonlight Crop front page

From the Artist

I was cleaning up a hard-drive and found this, something I started about 4 years ago. I know… another spooky girl in a long black dress! 🙂 I never finished it, but decided to do a bit of noodling on it to make it at least presentable. So here’s a suitably haunted image for Hallowe’en, or Samhain.

What is it?

Moonlight is a digital design by Aly Fell, translated into cross stitch by Neil Bray of Eclectic Bloke Designs. There are two forms of the cross stitch, the original Moonlight and a small section of the design called Moonlight crop. I am reviewing Moonlight crop.

Note: Please respect our artists. Your work will be a labour of love for months and years to come. Buy from reputable designers such as those reviewed on this site. They support the artists who produce the original works. By buying cheap art-to-stitch designs, you are likely buying from a designer who is not paying royalties or licensing and the chart is likely to be low quality. Without support, our artists cannot thrive. Your time, and theirs are worth more.

Original artwork by Aly Fell
Original artwork by Aly Fell

Why this chart?

I love Aly Fell’s artwork. His designs can be quite different to the usual artwork we see in art-to-stitch. Check out his website for more of his designs, his blog for the story behind his designs and his Facebook page for in-progress photos.

Eclectic Bloke Designs is a recent venture by stitcher Neil Bray. Neil has been a stitcher for 20 years and he produces art-to-stitch by an eclectic mix of artists. Neil has battled cancer some time and is now at home with his family as part of his palliative care arrangements. Neil’s time with us might be coming an end, but hopefully his sister may carry on Eclectic Bloke designs. Whatever the future brings for Eclectic Bloke Designs, Neil is in my thoughts and will be remembered every time we put floss to thread in one of his designs. I urge you to look through Eclectic Bloke Designs, there may well be something there to appeal to everyone.

Moonlight (crop) is like most art-to-stitch designs; the background is part of the picture so every square is stitched, culminating in a project comprising thousands of stitches and taking months if not years to work.

I chose the crop of this design because I feel it includes a closeup of the most salient features while possibly reducing the stitching time; Moonlight crop is only 300 x 300 stitches while the complete Moonlight is 280 x 380 stitches (in round numbers).

Moonlight crop is, at heart, a simple design; full cross stitch only. Unlike the other reviewed Eclectic Bloke Design “Watcher“, Moonlight crop is also fairly easy to stitch. There are only 30 colours of floss and many are in single blocks or in easy-to-follow waves within other colours.

As Moonlight crop is fully stitched, I recommend using DMC Magic Guide fabric to help keep your place, or a hand dyed fabric that will show between the edges of the design and the border of your frame; the hand dyed fabric will act as a mat within the frame.

ECB - Moonlight (crop)

Review

Eclectic Bloke Design charts are available as PDF files, printed charts and full kits. My copy of Moonlight crop is a digital download. Moonlight crop is a 34 page chart pack in PDF format. Save the design and you can work from the digital chart or print sections as you need, or print it all and store it with the rest of your paper charts; the options are yours.

The Moonlight crop chart pack contains:

  • front cover sheet with computer mockup of the finished design and artist licence information.
  • a page of general instructions pertinent to art-to-stitch designs.
  • the 30 page chart, including placement diagram at the base of each page.
  • a page of recommended fabric, stitch count and floss key. The floss key is in DMC floss number order.
  • a last page is the DMC floss list, showing both the stitch amount and skeins needed for each floss colour.  The skein amount is for the recommended 1 over 1 stitching on 25 count fabric. If you change the fabric or the number of strands used, then you may need to change to number of skeins.

Eclectic Bloke Designs provide black symbols on a white US Letter or A4 background.  Each successive chart page includes a two-row shaded overlap from earlier pages. Most of the floss symbols are pictographs such as a pair of reading glasses, clock face, open book and flag. There are only a few alphanumeric symbols.

The chart is 30 pages long because each page only shows 45 x 62 stitches per page. This small amount of symbols per page is much easier to see and mark off, so don’t let the number of pages put you off the design.

As with most art-to-stitch designs, you can only find the list of required floss after you have bought the chart, but as you will need to purchase the floss separately or buy the kit, this isn’t an issue.

Materials Required

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

1 skein each – DMC  154, 160, 161, 169, 318, 336, 414, 415, 451, 498, 550, 648, 762, 815, 816, 3350, 3371, 3721, 3740, 3743, 3747, 3834, 3835, B5200

2 skeins each DMC 413, 823, 930, 3799

3 skeins DMC 317 Steel Grey

5 skeins DMC 939 Dark Navy Blue

25 count Evenweave or Magic Guide fabric  (stitch count 300 x 298). Stitched  one over one with the a 3″ border allowance, fabric size needed is:  18″x 18″ or 46 x 46cm  or a small pack of Magic Guide (19 x 21″)  or normal fabric’s fat quarter (18″ x 27″).

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

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 27½” x 27½”  or  70 x 70cm  or  a medium pack of Magic Guide (30 x 39″)  or a normal fabric’s a fat half (27″ x 36″).

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $ 15.30
Floss:  $ 18.00
Fabric: $10.90

Total: $44.20  ($71.85AUD or €61.90 or  £51.95)

Places to Buy

Eclectic Bloke Designs website is the only place to order the PDF and printed charts.

Kits are supplied by GeckoRouge. This is a relatively new partnership and not all Eclectic Bloke Designs have kit prices yet. Contact Neil if you would like a quote. Usually kit prices are cheaper than kitting the design yourself as they include the amount of each floss you need (allowing for generous amount of “oops I’ll need to restitch that part”) instead of full skeins.

Australia:

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

Colour Cascade Fabrics stocks DMC and 25ct Magic Guide fabric. Tammy suggests stitching Moonlight Crop on Purple Haze.

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

Europe:

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

United Kingdom:

SewandSo has  a range of floss and fabrics to make this design uniquely yours.

Crafty Kitten “I would stitch on a solid fabric as it’s solidly stitched.  If you wanted a hand dyed then evening magic would frame the design in similar colours.”

Polstitches “No hand dyed fabby for this but you could use glitter crystals on the moon to make it shine”

A premium and most versatile range of glitter. Ultra fine transparent particles – Mix crystals with medium and paint onto fabric to add a sparkle to the areas of your stitching you wish to highlight 1 part crystal to 10 parts medium then iron. The possibilities are endless to adding sparkle to Christmas Stitching or adding sparkle to a moon stitched on a plain fabric.

Sparklies “Pitch for this one, then you could probably get away without having to stitch a lot of the background.”

Chromatic Alchemy  “Now I don’t usually recommend a hand dye for a fully stitched piece but Moonlight is such a wonderfully moody and gothic piece that I just had to see what it looked like with Maelstrom as a frame. I hope you agree that it fits the mood of the piece beautifully.”

United States:

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

Black Cat Stitchery in Illinois has floss and fabric in stock to make this a project to remember.  Erica is offering a 5% discount for readers of Cross Stitch Review.  Coupon code: CSRSPRING15. Offer ends 31 May 2015.

Stitches n Things has the recommended materials in stock to kit this up for you.

Discussion

What is your favourite Eclectic Bloke Designs chart?

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

 

Last updated: 14 January 2015