From the DesignerIf you are gonna die, do it quietly. Sometimes your guests can make a hell of a mess. This stitch will help remind them to stick to the tiles. This pattern is an antique (c. 1860’s) inspired floral border surrounding the text ‘Don’t Bleed on the Carpet’. I've subtitled it ‘if you’re going to die, do it quietly’. It’s meant as an ironic tribute to all those revolting home sweet homes out there. But it’s also my little tribute to all the amazing women in the world running households. It’s such hard work and as you know, thanklessly unpaid. But it goes on no matter what. Because it’s such important work. We all need somewhere where we can stop and be safe. I think this piece is mostly dedicated to women living in war, who despite all obstacles still strive for a clean, tidy, safe space for their loved ones to rest before facing another day. The women who sew together rags for their wee ones ’cause they know how important it is for a two year old to have a cuddly friend. The women who dress in black and march for peace amid gun fire and tear gas. All the while carrying giant handbags with keys and snacks and hankies for small runny noses. And of course this piece is for all the mothers of small children who love to enjoy the outdoors at the expense of the skin on their knees! So to all the mothers of revolutionaries out there, I thank you. “Cause we all know they couldn't do it without you.
Why this chart?I once laughed so hard, I fainted, landed nose first on a friend's floor and promptly bled all over her carpet. I am now not allowed to laugh while standing up at her house. I bought Don’t Bleed on the Carpet to stitch for Julie. Reading more about Rayna Fahey, the woman behind Radical Cross Stitch, I discovered she is also co-founder Melbourne Craft Cartel and producer of the Craft Cartel Podcast, and co-founder Melbourne Revolutionary Craft Circle. Below is Rayna's vision behind Radical Cross Stitch; I think this deserves sharing:
Sometimes revolution can be a scary thing. It brings to mind images of violence, dominant men and really bad fashion. But luckily, you have stumbled on a beautiful revolution: the craft revolution. The craft revolution started a long time ago when people were resisting the Industrial Revolution. The people decided that they had no interest in soul-less objects made by soul-less machines. The people knew that there was an inherent greatness in stuff that was hand made by people in their own communities. And they knew that encouraging creativity within their community would spill over into all sorts of domains beyond the craft. Imaginative people make better decisions. They create wonderful spaces in which to work, play and love. And imaginative people do not need to rely on violence to create a world they want to live in. However, the Industrial Revolution did get its way for a while. Our communities have been quite successfully duped into believing that we need to buy stuff to feel like proper human beings. And if we happen to get an empty feeling in our soul now that we are getting more and more disconnected from our communities, we can fill this hole by buying more stuff. Stuff is no longer a wonderful, special part of our lives. Now stuff is disposable, unemotional and we have no idea where most of it comes from. Luckily a new craft revolution has been born. People all over the world are realising that buying things won't make you happier, sexier, brainier or better looking. The people are realising that the reason there is so much unhappiness and violence in our communities is because we have become so disconnected from the land, our friends and family and most of all from the processes that are needed to make this world function. The people are returning to the earth and hearing what she has to say. Some people will try and tell you that we can buy our way out of ecological crisis. "It's OK folks, we might be facing an environmental apocalypse far greater than any Hollywood movie will be able to portray (but they'll try, get your tickets here!), but have no fear we have the gizmo for you!" But what's the point in buying a magic widget made in a sweatshop by someone you don't know and then shipped halfway across the world? What we really need is LESS STUFF. It's remarkable to think, but there's already enough stuff in the world, we just have to use it properly. That means finding the stuff you were going to throw away and spending half an hour making it into something else much more useful. That means digging up your little square patch of grass and turning it into a vege patch. That means finding some old drums and collecting rain water in them. Isn't this starting to sound like a whole lot more fun? Rethinking the world around us is what led me to creating radical cross stitch. I like to decorate old clothes with hand stitched text. I like to make little patches for my friends to attach to their clothes. And I like to get my friends to create their own too. But sometimes it seems like a daunting thing. So I've made a few little kits and patterns to get you started so you can see how easy it is. And hopefully you can also see that there is a radical potential to cross stitch. It's not all wanky farm yard scenes and home sweet homes. Once you've discovered how easy it is, you can try your own. It's easy once you try. And there are plenty of resources out there in op shops just waiting to be snaffled up and created into something beautiful. Beware the consumerisation of crafting!! Welcome to the revolution. Saving the world one stitch at a time."Her cross stitch designs are produced under Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share alike Licence. This license lets us to remix, tweak, and build upon her work non-commercially, as long as we credit her and license our new creations under the same terms. Don’t Bleed on the Carpet is a straight forward design of whole cross stitch, stitched in DMC on a neutral background. I recommend this design for beginner to advanced stitchers who have a subversive nature.
ReviewRadical Cross Stitch designs are available as electronic downloads. Some are available as kits and often the model stitched piece is also for sale. All profits from Radical Cross Stitch sales are donated to Australian causes. I have the PDF download of Don’t Bleed on the Carpet. This PDF chart pack does not include a front cover. If you want to see a photo of the stitched pieced, you will have to refer back to her website. The first page of the chart pack has basic cross stitch instructions and diagrams for a beginner stitcher. The second page discusses the reason for the chart and provides the floss list and colours. The next two pages are the chart. The chart does not use symbols, but rather just different colours of blocks. I really dislike this type of chart, because depending on the light, some of these colours can be too close together to easily distinguish. Also if you prefer to work from a printed pattern, you will need to print the design out in colour which is a more expensive. However, this is a very simple design where it honestly does not matter if you mix up your shades of yellows or blues. Some of these can be replaced with a variegated thread that covers all the shades of each colour. Although not shaded or indicated in any way, there is a five-row overlap between the two pages. This could cause issues for those of us who are used to shading or some sign that an overlap is present. The last page of the chart pack is Rayna's vision I have reproduced above. Although Don’t Bleed on the Carpet does not have the extras we prefer in a chart, the sentiment, reasons for the design and the donation of profits to worthy causes make this a design I'm happy to own, and one day, to stitch.
Materials RequiredTo stitch the charts exactly as designed, you will need: 1 skein each DMC 445, 517, 518, 519, 472, 720, 722, 726, 729, 904, 906. Any fabric or non fabric background of your choosing. (stitch count 98 x 119). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1. For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 13” x 15” or 33 x 37cm or a fat eighth (13x 18″).
Approximate cost for ProjectApproximate cost to stitch this design using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do not include postage): Chart: $ 6.60 Floss: $ 4.95 Fabric: $ 5.75 Total: $17.30 ($29.00 AUD or €26.75 or £20.85)
Places to BuyRadical Cross Stitch designs are available as electronic downloads or as kits from the Radical Cross Stitch store. Australia: Colours Down Under has all the threads and a variety of plain fabrics in stock. Colour Cascade Fabrics has a variety of fabrics for you to make this design unique. Caitlin recommends Indian Sunset.
DiscussionSo would you stitch this design? Would you make the message discreet or loud and brash? If you liked the review, please consider sharing it with your friends or groups. Last Updated: 24 February 2015
Why this designer?Leticia Chen stopped designing and closed SzuLet Creations five years ago due to illegal chart theft. Prior to that she had a line of whimsical, uncomplicated designs that could be stitched by any stitcher, from beginners through to advanced stitchers. All her designs are combinations of full cross stitch and back-stitch. She was one of the first to incorporate hand dyed fabrics and later hand dyed threads as part of her designs rather than using them as an adjunct to the main picture. I have a five or six of SzuLet Creations charts in my stash including one finish (Spotted Butterfly) and one Work in Progress (Excellence).
ReviewAll of the SzuLet Creations designs were available via Digital download or printed chart. I have both. The content of formats is the same. If you print out your PDF file, it will look the same as the bought printed chart. The front cover of each chart shows a picture of the stitched model. All of Letty's designs were model stitched before they were released as charts. The second page lists all the pertinent information; 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. Personally I prefer this to be on the back cover of a printed chart, but I'm glad that all the information was provided somewhere. SzuLet Creations charts are printed in black symbols on white US-Letter (A4) paper. All of the symbols are easy to see and quite easy to differentiate. Letty uses differing size grids for her designs, but all in my stash are large enough to see and stitch from without enlarging. My only concern is that she uses the relevant floss colour to denote the backstitching. This is great in A Lady's Fancy where the backstitching is in red, but not so good in Spotted Butterfly where the backstitch is in silver. Due to the large grid and symbol size, each chart is two to four pages in length. Letty did not give any overlap rows between pages, so you have to be careful when changing from one chart page to the next. She did provide a 10x10 grid and gridline numbers to help you keep your place. The last page in each chart pack has a diagram showing how the chart pages fit together. Letty also also states the following:
You are permitted to make a working copy from the original, but please make sure it gets destroyed after you are done with the project.All of the SzuLet designs can be stitched over one or over two, so select your favourite Aida or evenweave fabric, some favourite threads and start stitching.
GalleryA Lady's Fancy: 1 skein DMC 761 Light salmon 1 skein DMC 840 Beige Brown medium 1 skein DMC 3328 Dark Salmon 1 skein DMC 3727 Antique Mauve Stitchcount 118 x 113. Modelstitched on Dreams with Angels "Light Desert Rose" 18ct Aida. Spotted Butterfly: 1 skein DMC 312 1 skein DMC 322 1 skein DMC 334 1 skein DMC 415 1 skein DMC 762 1 skein DMC 809 1 spool Kreinik Braid 001 Silver Stitchcount 152 x 93. Modelstitched on Dreams with Angels "Sky" 18ct Aida. Royal: 1 skein The Dye is Cast Lilac Dew (similar to DMC 153) 1 skein The Dye is Cast Bamboo (similar to DMC 369) 1 skein The Dye is Cast Nightshade (similar to DMC 3740) 1 skein The Dye is Cast Gold Coin (similar to DMC 3823) Stitchcount 130 x 146. Modelstitched on Enchanted Fabrics "Hand Painted Sunshine" 32ct evenweave. Purple Majesty: no information known Queen of Fire: no information known Imagination: Equips us to see a reality we have yet to create 2 skeins Carries Creations Jelly Fish Stitchcount 300 x 146. Modelstitched on Stab & Stash "Blush" 32ct evenweave. Excellence: Gradual result of always striving to do better 2 skeins Carries Creations Gold Glow 1 skein DMC 3011 Stitchcount 181 x 60. Modelstitched on Sassy Fabbys "Ocean Fantasy" 32ct linen. Spring Hibiscus: Floss unkown Stitchcount unknown. Modelstitched on Sassy Fabbys "Spring Green" 28ct evenweave Summer Hibiscus: Floss unkown Stitchcount unknown. Modelstitched on Sassy Fabbys "Hyacinth" 28ct evenweave Autumn Hibiscus: Floss unkown Stitchcount unknown. Modelstitched on Sassy Fabbys "Lemongrass" 28ct evenweave Good Luck Knot: no information known Endless Knot: no information known Good Fortune Knot: no information known Dream: Floss unkown Stitchcount unknown. Modelstitched on Sassy Fabbys "Into the Sky" 28ct evenweave
Places to BuySzuLet Creations ceased cross stitch sales five years ago, however Letty is currently selling off all of her cross stitch stash and that will include her last remaining stock of charts. Look to her Facebook Group for further news. My Special Stitches - I've never used this online store, but they seem to have some designs in stock.
Hand Dyer SuggestionsAs these designs call for hand dyed fabric and floss from companies that are no longer available, some hand dyers have suggested their own take on kitting up the designs. Of course it's easy to tell which was the most popular butterfly! Colour Cascade Fabrics Tammy suggests using Misty Mountain Hop for Royal Butterfly. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015.
DiscussionHave 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 SzuLet Creations designs, please share it with your friends. Last Updated: 8 January 2015
Hand Dying techniquesThere are many different ways of hand dyeing embroidery floss. Broadly speaking these techniques fall into two categories: Vat Dyeing - the skeins or hanks of floss are immersed or dipped into a container of liquid dye Space Dyeing - where coloured dyes are placed along different parts of the floss skein or hank. Vat Dyeing is where you make up a liquid solution of pigment or dye, and then you dip part or all if your floss into it, or when you drop your floss into it, giving it a bath. You can tie loose knots in your floss so that the dye penetrates some areas more than others. This is the easiest range of methods for mottled threads or subtle dye variations.
Dye TypesThere are many different types of dyes and pigments used to dye floss. Some are powders that must be mixed into water or oil, some are already liquid, some are derived from plant materials, or squished insects, others are made in a laboratory. Some require a "mordant" to hold the colour to the floss, others do not. Often different dye processes are used on synthetic fabrics such as rayon and nylon to those processes used for cotton, silk, cashmere, wool etc. Every different dyer uses their own type of dying process and dyes or pigments. This is why some hand dyed threads are colourfast and others are not. Read the label carefully if you are planning on stitching a large design or a small travel piece, as the threads may not be washable at the end.
Cleaning tipsIf you do need to clean an item that has non-colourfast threads on it, here's how to do it.
- Turn on the tap over your basin or sink.
- Use tepid or cold water.
- Do not put the plug in.
- Rinse your fabric under the water, thoroughly wetting it.
- If any colours run, this is usually excess dye leaching from the thread. Leave your stitching under the running water until the water runs clear.
Photographing floss and Colour VisionThe same issues we discussed in the Hand Dyed Fabrics article apply here. There is no possible way for either monitors or printers to accurately reflect the full range of colours that our eyes can see. However, you can often get a good idea of the range and variation in the shading.
Hand Dyed Means UniqueAgain as discussed in the Hand Dyed Fabrics article, there are just some variables in the hand dying process that you can never plan for: The minerals in the water used in the dye bath, the temperature of the water versus the temperature of the ambient air on the day, the humidity levels or how the floss was dried. All of these factors can these can subtly change the characteristics of the final piece. If you are buying variegated threads for a specific project, ALWAYS BUY THE WHOLE AMOUNT OF FLOSS AT THE SAME TIME . Wherever possible, ask that the skeins are supplied from the SAME DYELOT. This is particularly important if you are planing to stitch a large piece in hand dyed floss, By requesting skeins from the same dyelot, you will know both the shade and patterning will be consistent throughout your piece.
How do you stitch with hand dyed threadsThe way you stitch with hand dyed threads makes a significant difference to the finished effect. To show this, I have stitched a sampler to illustrated some of the more common stitching styles. I have used a skein of Carrie's Jelly Fish as there are many colour changes. Left block and first long strip were stitched: \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ then ///////////////// (yes I was taught by a left-hander) In both the block and the row, some of the colours are barely seen because they are used on the bottom \\\\ and others are shown more because they are solely used as the top ////, This can create an unusual look for your piece. I do like the interplay of colours with the yellow over pink add the purple over green. I've only see one pattern that deliberately asked to be stitched that way; "Is it my Eyes" by Susan Saltzgiver. Most of these blocks have the bottom \ in a different floss to the /, Usually light over dark but sometimes dark over light. Middle block and middle strip are stitched one full stitch at a time, so \ then / then \ then / The rows are stitched: 01, 02, 03 ... 09, 10 20, 19, 18 ... 12, 11 21, 22, 23 ... 29, 30 40, 39, 38 ... 32, 31 etc Although it doesn't look much different in the block, the row shows how this can lead to a stripey stitched effect. This method best reflects the real patterning in the hand dyed thread. One such as this: Right Block and third strip were stitched via my way. I've developed a habit of stitching two stitches, then going to the next row and stitching the same two stitches, and then back up to the previous row and stitching another two stitches, then down to the next row and stitching two stitches etc. So the block was stitched like this: 01, 02, 05, 06 ... 17, 18 03, 04, 07, 08 ... 19, 20 38, 37, 34, 33 ... 22, 21 40, 39, 36, 35 ... 24, 23 41, 42, 45, 46 ... 57, 58 43, 44, 47, 48 ... 59, 60 now there are three rows left so 86, 85, 80, 79 ... 62, 61 88, 87, 82, 81 ... 64, 63 90, 89, 84, 83 ... 66, 65 This produces more of a mottled effect instead of stripes: Or you can throw all of that out the window and cut your hand dyed threads so that you choose where each section of colour goes. In this case, I stitched the left project using my usual two stitches method. On the right, I cut the thread so that the colours went where I wanted them to.
SummaryHand dyed thread will always produce an effect that is guaranteed to be unique. No two stitchers will create exactly the same outcome and often this variation creates some truly beautiful finishes. Ultimately, you can stitch with your hand dyed threads any which way you please. It all depends on the effect you want for each project.
Places to BuyWorld Wide: These are threads that are available in most cross stitch stores: Anchor Multicolours. Anchor Embroidery Floss is spun from the world's finest 100% Egyptian cotton. Anchor offers you 24 multicolours that are completely washable and offer outstanding colorfastness. Caron Waterlilies Hand-dyed 12 ply spun silk. 6 yard skeins. Easily divided, use two plies for cross stitch over two threads on 28 count fabric. Caron Wildflowers A single strand hand-dyed cotton in variegated colors. It has more of a matte finish when stitched. 36 yard skein. Classic Colorworks (formerly Crescent Colours) A hand dyed floss that begins with 100% cotton DMC six strand floss and gentle fabric dyes designed specifically for cotton. Available in a variety of beautiful colors that work well with cross stitch. 5 yard skeins. Classic Colorworks (formerly Crescent Colours) Belle Soie Silk Floss These silks are hand dyed with the same creative eye and flair you've come to enjoy in their cotton flosses, with a softness unmatched in other silks. They start with a 12-stranded spun silk, and package them into 5-yard skeins. Dinky Dyes Now based in the United States, Dinky Dyes started in Western Australia. Luxurious hand-dyed 6 strand spun silk sold in 8 meter skeins. DMC Color Variations These give you the look of hand dyed floss with the added quality and reassurance that they are made by DMC. Twenty-four beautiful multi-color and tone on tone shades that are colorfast. Gentle Art Sampler Threads Six Strand hand over-dyed floss. Sold in 5 yard skeins. Gloriana This spun silk has silk's beauty, luster, and shine but doesn't catch on your hands. Gloriana Silk is soft and remarkably easy to use. 12 strand silk, 6 yard skein. Gloriana Florimell Au Ver a Soie Soie d'Alger artisan-dyed 7 strand silk by Gloriana Threads. 5 yard skein. Hand-washable in cold water. Needlepoint Inc Northern Lights 8 Strands. Colourfast. 100% Pure Chinese Silk. Overdyed to create this wonderful range of multicolour silk threads. Thread Gatherer Silk N Colors 100% silk, 12-ply, 6 yard skeins. Silk N Colors initially separates into 3 groups of 4-ply. Before stitching, separate and put together the desired ply. Cross-stitching: we recommend 1-ply on 30 count or finer, 2-ply on 28 count linen. Threadworx Overdyed Floss A premium quality, six-strand embroidery floss made from the finest long-staple, 100% Egyptian Giza cotton. Sold in 20 yard skeins.
Threadworx Vineyard Silk Artisan dyed by ThreadworX. 100% Pure Chinese Silk. Twisted. 20 yard skeins.
Valdani Superb Hand-Overdyed colors in Cotton Floss for the "matte" look. Embroidery Floss Skeins in 6-ply cotton for cross-stitchWeeks Dye Works Hand Over-Dyed Floss. 5 yard skeins. The colors are variegated enough to be noticeable, yet subtle enough to blend naturally. Because it is pliable, this fiber is perfect for cross stitch and needlepoint on many counts of fabric and canvas. Australia: Colour Streams Colour Streams hand dyed embroidery silk threads are available in 50 glorious overdyed colours. Cottage Garden Threads Our passion is to produce hand dyed threads inspired by the diversity of colour among the flowers and foliage of a cottage garden. Primke Threads are hand dyed cotton threads from Australia, they come in 72 colours. Stitches and Spice is Australia's only floss hand dyer. There are 56 colours in Naomi's range and they complement her fabric colours. 5 metre skeins of Hand-dyed 6 stranded 100% cotton. France: Annick Abrial creates beautiful hand dyed floss colours. 100% cotton, 6 strands stranded, hand-painted, which are capable of steam ironing. The colors are guaranteed in time and are 8 metre skeins. Rainbow Fingers I'm a fiber artist living in France that has a passion for dyeing also. The Silk Mill Our silk is 100% pure Chinese monofilament silk thread. The thread comes in skeins of six strands of 6.5 metres long, with a total skein length of 39 metres. There are 700 shades of silk to choose from. Italy: Romy's Creations Overdyed DMC floss in beautiful colours. Poland: Nina's Threads 100% stranded cotton threads, hand dyed with professional dyes, for embroidery and cross stitch. 8 meters / skein. Rinsed in neutral scent after dye. South Africa: Chameleon Threads are individually hand-dyed in South Africa using cotton, rayon and pure silk. House of Embroidery Un-dyed cotton threads are imported from Europe and un-dyed silk is imported from Japan. Our threads are dyed in South Africa, using European dyes. United Kingdom: Crafty Kitten These threads are dyed to match our fabric colour range. Each skein is 5m in length. These threads have been hand-dyed on high quality DMC white stranded embroidery cotton. Jodyri Designs Hand dyed cotton threads priced at 99p per 8m skein. These cannot be guaranteed to be colourfast Polstitches Dragon Floss has some wonderful thread names. 6 strand cotton, 8 metre skeins. Rainbow Girl Each item is unique, and cannot be reproduced. I use a low water immersion technique with procion dyes. Every item is thoroughly rinsed and washed in Synthrapol, after dyeing, but I cannot guarantee that they are colourfast. Sparklies All my threads are full skeins of DMC, hand dyed to an overdyed finish. Currently these are mostly two-tone, but I hope to expand the range to include multi-tone colours in the future. Stef Francis 6-strand cotton, length 10m. 12 strand Silk, length 6m. Thread Pickerz Silkz Here you will find wonderful silks to help make your cross stitch projects stand out. Each silk skein has 50 single strand lengths of approx 0.96m in length. United States: Carrie's Creation Threads All threads are 100% cotton DMC, and available in either the 6 strand cotton, the premium weight floss known as Floche, or Silk! Dragonfly Lotus Produces hand dyed silk and wool threads. Fiberactive Organics Our Shop Specializes in hand-dyed organic cotton products. We use low impact Fiber-Reactive Dyes to achieve the most vivid and fade resistant colors for all your project's needs. Fiberlicious is a Facebook only dyer. Cotton floss is 6 strands and 10 yards long (approx).Silk has 50 single strands of 1.2m long which is 60 m in total. They are dyed with variation of colors (not colorfast). My silk is Pure silk (Flat Silk, 2 plies), not processed silk with polyester so it's pretty soft and delicate. Garibaldi's Needle Works is an ebay only store that produces beautiful mottled fabrics and threads. Hand Dyed Fibers by Vicki Clayton. Silk floss comes in two sizes. Regular silk floss is about the same size as DMC. Premium floss is much thicker and has single strand coverage over 2 on 28 ct. - 32 ct. You can use the drop down box to choose which type of floss you would like. Vicki is swamped with orders and has taken down her floss pages for a couple of weeks. Mo's Sale a Facebook supplier that now has her own website. Often releases new colours in themes such as MockingJay and Harry Potter. Rumple Beary Rumors On Facebook and Etsy. My skeins are hand measured and dyed/painted, so each will vary. 10 yards each of 6 strand cotton embroidery floss Most times you will get a bit more than 10 yards. My threads are hand painted/dyed on a DMC base white thread and are variegated. Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe On Ebay and Etsy. My floss is 20, one yard pieces, per skein.