River Spirits by Fire Wing

Today we have two almost-monochromes for Monochrome Monday. Two River Spirits from Eva Horne of Fire Wing Designs.

River Spirits

From the Designer

These two dragons are made using what I call “medallions”, circles of various sizes that contain abstract designs.  The medallions are creations of my imagination and have no meaning.  Dragons in eastern mythology tend to be long, with small legs, long whiskers and horns.  They are often associated with rivers and weather.  I decided that these first two would be river spirits.  I called them Yalong and Min, named for two of the larger upstream tributaries of the Yangtze, which is the largest river in China and the third largest river in the world

Why this chart?

River Spirits is from my stash. I adore Eva’s use of colour and her unique style. I have many of her more intricate patterns in my collection. Each of the River Spirit dragons are a full-size chart; you are not getting two mini-designs here.

Like all monochrome (or almost-monochrome) designs you can stitch these two designs in any colour on any fabric.  Yalong and Min are both stitched in whole cross stitch only; no fractional stitches, no backstitch, no specialty stitches. These can be stitched on any colour and count of fabric.

Due to only using complete crosses, I recommend these designs for everyone with an interest in Eva’s style, from enthusiastic beginner to advanced stitcher.

River Spirits
River Spirits

Review

I love the River Spirits packaging. The charts are printed in black on US Letter (8½ x 11″) white paper, housed within a clear plastic ziplock bag. The cover page is on light card stock to add a little stiffness to the packet.

The design symbols are quite small but they are quite distinct from each other.  You may need to enlarge the design if working at night or when tired. Breaking each design into small discrete pieces (the medallions) makes River Spirits an easy process to work through.

Every successive page has a clearly marked three row overlap. There’s no need to tape pages together to work out where the next stitch goes.

All the pertinent information about the River Spirits designs is on the last page, easily visible through the clear plastic. So you know the recommended fabric and floss, the several yards of floss needed, the stitch count and estimated size of the design in 14ct fabric. Eva also lists provides a page layout for each design chart and notes that the “Aurora” fabric used in the Min model “is a very variable color cloth. No two pieces will be the same”.

Although these designs were stitched using hand dyed floss, Eva does not list DMC equivalents. Instead she suggests that you use a floss colour of your own choosing.

 Materials Required

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

Yalong:

Threadworx 01025 - Blue Navy

2 skeins of 20 yards (or 5 skeins of 5 yards) – ThreadworX 01025 – Blue Navy

 

GAST - 0312 - Currant

 

1 skein – Gentle Arts (GAST) 0312 – Currant

 

Picture This Plus – 28 count Haven (stitch count 309 x 140). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is:  28¼” x 16″  or  72 x 41cm  or  a fat half (27  x 36″).

If you reduce your margin size to 2″ you can fit this on a fat quarter: 18″ x 27″

PTP Haven

Min:

GAST - 0240 - Midnight

 

5 skeins – Gentle Arts (GAST) 0240 – Midnight

 

CC - Cool Azul

 

2 skeins – Classic Colorworks (formerly Crescent Colours)  – Cool Azul

 

Picture This Plus – 28 count Haven (stitch count 309 x 140). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 28¼” x 16″  or  72 x 41cm  or  a fat half (27  x 36″).

If you cut your margin size to 2″ you can fit this on a fat quarter: 18″ x 27″

PTP Aurora

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $ 12.00
Floss:  $ 31.00
Fabric: $52.00

Total: $91.00    ($109.50 AUD or £65.25)

Places to Buy

Australia:

Colours Down Under has all the threads 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 River Spirit, Tammy recommends Rocket Queen.For readers of this site she offers a 10% discount on all orders. Use code PeaceOut during checkout. This code is valid for the month of October 2014.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo offers a variety of threads and fabrics.

Polstitches Jo recommends  these “would look great on Serenade or Sky High with Dragon Floss 53 Playful Pixie or 98 Blackberry Twist”

Sparklies suggests Misty Morn or Snowy Skies for Yalong and Fire or Innocent Princess for Min.

United States:

123Stitch stocks all items for you to complete these designs.

Picture This Plus has the chart and all fabrics in stock

Discussion

How would YOU stitch either of these charts? Would you change the colours to mirror River Spirits from your country or mythology?

Feedback

Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know.

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Touch of the Wilderness by Brittercup

The winner of the Art of Simplicity design was Julie B.

Brittercup - Wilderness

 

From the Designer

There are two charts in this leaflet: Buck and On the Hunt.

Why this chart?

I love Brittercup designs; the minimalist creatures full of character and that cute love heart in every one.  Brittercup excels at using slightly mottled threads and fabric to give life to what could easily become cartoonish figures.

There is minimal back stitch, no partial stitches, nothing but while cross stitch to allow the design and hand dyed materials to shine through. This is a great design for beginners as it looks so much more impressive than it is.

Touch of the Wilderness
Touch of the Wilderness

Review

The Touch of Wilderness chart pack is indicative of an older style of packaging.  It is a double-sided print on US-Ledger heavy cardstock, folded in half to US Letter size. The cardstock is stiff enough to stand on a display shelf and does not need a plastic bag as there are no separate pages to hold together.

The design symbols are listed on the inside of the folded cardstock.  As there are no bags or external packaging, there’s no need to keep this information on the back cover.

Each chart has the creatures in heavy block symbols while the background symbols are printed in a paler grey.  While this highlights the animals, it is more difficult for the stitcher to see the differences in the symbols used in the background of the design.

The larger Wilderness design, Buck, is charted over the inside of the pack.  The chart is printed in two sections with a whitespace margin over the middle fold.  There is no printing on the fold line, so concern that the symbols will be affected by repeated opening and closing of the chart. The bottom section of the Buck chart has a two-row overlap to help you keep your place in the design.

The On the Hunt chart is on the back cover.  It is a little inconvenient that the only floss symbol key/legend is on the inside of the chart pack. So you do have to flip back and forth when stitching this smaller design.

As these designs were stitched using hand dyed floss, Michelle has listed DMC and Anchor equivalents.

 Materials Required

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

GAST - 0720 - Victorian Pink

1 skein – GAST 0720 – Victorian Pink (similar to DMC 962)

 

GAST - 7003 Shutter Green

 

1 skein – GAST 7003 – Shutter Green (similar to DMC 3362)

 

GAST - 7007 - Cidermill Brown

 

2 skeins – GAST 7007 – Cidermill Brown (similar to DMC 435)

GAST - 7013 - Green Apple

 

1 skein – GAST 7013 – Green Apple (similar to DMC 3364)

GAST - 7015 - Sarsparilla

 

1 skein – GAST – 7015 – Sarsparilla (similar to DMC 359)

GAST - 7019 - Pomegranate

 

1 skein – GAST 7019 – Pomegranate (similar to DMC 347)

 

GAST - 7042 - Raven

 

2 skeins – GAST 7042 – Raven (similar to DMC 310)

 

Wichelt - Queen Anne's LaceWichelt – 32 count Queen Anne’s Lace (Buck stitch count 143 x 162 and On the Hunt stitch count 104 x 94). These designs can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For 16ct Aida or 32ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric sizes would be:

Buck: 15″ x 16″  or 38 x 41cm

On the Hunt: 13″ x 12″  or 32 x 30cm

Both Wilderness designs could fit together on a single fat quarter (18 x 27″).

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $7.50
Floss:  $18.00
Fabric: $17.50

Total: $43.00   ($54.75 AUD or £42.85)

Places to Buy

Australia:
Colours Down Under has all the Gentle Arts threads in stock and 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 Tammy recommends Gold Digger Old Map Style or Welcome to the Jungle from her range of fabrics.  For readers of this site she offers a 10% discount for fabric. Use code PeaceOut during checkout. This code is valid for the month of October 2014.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo has all the threads and fabric in stock and would be happy to order in the chart,

Sparklies suggests Harvest Blush, Oatmeal or Parchment from her range of fabrics.

United States:

123Stitch stocks the recommended threads and fabrics and can order in the chart for you.

Discussion

Would you stitch this design?  Why or Why not?

Feedback

Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know.

 

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Under the Moonlight by Passione Ricamo

Another Mystery stitch-along for SAL Tuesday.  It’s that time of year, when the 2015 stitch-a-long are arranged and sign ups are still open.

Passione Ricamo - Under the Moonlight

From the Designer?

Clair de Lune, Under the Moonlight.  The subject is very romantic and seductive … but I do not tell you more …

Sign-up closes:  2 Nov 2014
SAL Duration: 3 Nov 2014 – 14 Jun 2015

Why this chart?

I am a sucker for a stitch-a-long (SAL), especially a Mystery stitch along where you have no idea what the resultant piece will look like. Passione Ricamo has run two similar Mystery stitch alongs before and I loved the results of both of them.

Passione Ricamo stitch alongs are large and need time and attention if you wish to keep up; at times it must take precedent over other stitching projects.  However, like all stitch alongs it is quite fine to lag behind, stitching at your own pace, many of us do.

Under the Moonlight  includes metallic threads and many beads. I would consider it suitable for an adventurous beginner or intermediate stitcher. There will be floss replacement options given for the metallics and beads for those stitchers who prefer to use all cottons.

Passione Ricamo - Under the Moonlight Mystery Stitchalong
Under the Moonlight

Review

Mystery Stitch alongs are a gamble. I generally find that if you like the majority of a designer’s work, then you are likely to enjoy their mystery SAL.  It is up to each stitcher to decide if the risk is worth it to you.

Passione Ricamo gives very little away about the nature of her stitch alongs.  It is not until after you sign up that you receive a Welcome Pack which lists the floss, embellishment and fabric options. As the Stitch along is starting in three weeks, I have permission to discuss the floss, embellishment and fabric options here.

To join in the SAL you need to buy the chart pack. There is a secret Facebook group for those who wish to join. This is not mandatory, but there are already many conversations discussing fabric choices, fabric sizes, bead options and general stitching questions. It is communities like this that keep us encouraged and thrilled about a design when we start to feel jaded and that other new start looks enticing!

We will receive the Under the Moonlight chart in sections from November 2014 to  May 2015.  The sections will only arrive via email so you will either print each section out yourself or work directly from a tablet. The Welcome Pack includes a diagram of the section outlines and the dates we will receive each section.

Laura provides each chart section twice, once in black and white and another in colour. Both contain the symbol key or legend.

The black and white chart is the main chart to stitch from. Each new section will include a one-row overlap to help in lining up your stitched sections and minimising errors. The overlap row is shaded grey so you don’t accidentally stitch it again.  Also on the black and white chart, Laura provides the backstitching lines in various colours, so it is easy to determine which section is to be outlined in which floss.

In a chart such as this where there are many different threads, it could be easy to mistake one chart symbol for another. The colour chart is very useful to quickly check your stitching, e.g. if you are stitching the correct green symbol or the incorrect but similar purple symbol.

 Materials Required

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

 

1 skein each – DMC 155, 156, 160, 210, 211, 310, 311, 321, 333, 335, 340, 341, 433, 434, 435, 436, 437, 470, 471, 472, 632, 646, 647, 676, 677, 729, 746, 747, 758, 775, 777, 801, 807, 819, 838, 905, 907, 938, 945, 951, 3021, 3023, 3024, 3041, 3371, 3743, 3746, 3747, 3756, 3765, 3766, 3770, 3820, Ecru

 

2 skeins DMC 645 – Very Dark Beaver Grey

1 spool Kreinik #4 Very Fine Braid 9294 – Periwinkle

1 card each Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid: PB01, PB09, PB10, PB12, PB22,  PB66, PB72, PB204,  PB205, with optional PB201. Dawn is using PB201 in her model stitch of Under the Moonlight.

 

5 packets Mill Hill Glass Beads 00479 – White

 

2 packets Mill Hill Glass Beads  02009  – Ice Lilac

Any suitable dark fabric of any type – some examples are shown below. (stitch count 215 x 299). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 22″ x 28″  or  55 x 70 or  a half yard (27 x 36″).

Approximate cost for Project

If you have stitched any of the previous Passione Ricamo Mystery stitch alongs, you will have many of these threads and embellishments already in your stash. Listed below is the approximate cost to stitch the Under the Moonlight project if you are new to Passione Ricamo designs and are buying items at retail prices. Please note these approximations do not include postage or the optional extra floss. If you are interested in stitching this design now, there are places who are offering embellishment packs (see further below).

Chart:  $16.30
Floss:   $62.80
Fabric: $46.00

Total: $125.10   ($219.20 AUD or £132.60)

Places to Buy

Australia:

Colours Down Under stocks all your floss and embellishment needs. Also some plain evenweave and Aida choices.

Colour Cascade Fabrics is running a floss and fabric pack for this Stitch Along, contact Tammy for more information. For readers of this site she offers a 10% discount. Use code PeaceOut during checkout. Code valid for the month of October 2014.

United Kingdom:

Crafty Kitten is offering an embellishment pack for the Stitch Along and is offering a 10% discount on fabric if you buy at the same time:

Polstitches is also offering floss, embellishment and fabric packs for this stitch along and a 25×27 cut of fabric (cheaper than a half yard):

SewandSo stocks all of your DMC floss and a variety of fabric choices.

Sparklies has a wide choice of colours to choose from if you wish to make your piece unique with hand dyed fabric.

United States:

123Stitch stocks all most of yourfloss and embellishment needs.

Crazy Annies is offering an embellishment pack for this Stitch Along.

Silkweavers has the following fabric suitable for this stitch along

Steph’s Fabbys has the following fabric suitable for this stitch along

Under the Sea fabrics makes the following fabrics which are suitable for the stitch along

For Discussion

Are you stitching Under the Moonlight? Leave a link to your photo album in the comments so we can all see the varieties of fabric and floss you have chosen.

Feedback

Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know.

 

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Art of Simplicity by Designs by Lisa

Entires for last week’s Peace Wheel chart giveaway are now closed. The winner will be contacted shortly and their name listed in the Giveaways page.

Designs by Lisa - Art of Simplicity

From the Designer

“Master the art of simplicity…and every day will be beautiful.”

Why this chart?

Art of Simplicity is again from my stash. Whenever my mind and my life become over-cluttered I remember this edict.  This sentiment reflects a quieting of the mind that mirrors the act of cross stitching. Two colours, one image, a block of single colour wording; the project is simple and elegant.

The use of the butterfly motif reminds me of another Designs by Lisa chart which states “if nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies”

While I love the quiet colours used in the model, this small piece is easily adapted to your personal style. Using no fractional stitches or specialty stitches, Art of Simplicity can be stitched on any fabric type or count. So search through your stash, find a relaxing fabric and start stitching.

Art of Simplicity does use backstitching for the wording. Backstitching is easy to do, but if you are stitching a dark colour on a light or thin fabric, do take note of where you threads carry across the back, as these could be visible once the project is framed.

Art of Simplicity
Art of Simplicity

Review

Art of Simplicity is printed on US Letter (9 x 11″) heavy white cardstock.  The cover is printed in colour, but the chart on the reverse side is printed in black.

The butterfly motif is printed using one symbol, the backstitching is printed in bold black lines; both very easy to see.  This is a very easy pattern to follow for stitchers of all levels.

All the pertinent information about the Art of Simplicity design is on the back cover, easily visible through the clear plastic; the recommended fabric and floss, the stitch count and estimated size of the design in the 28ct fabric.

The designer did not list any DMC thread substitutions for the Thread Gatherer silk floss.  This may be because the variegated thread has shades of so many colours in it, that it is difficult to decide which would be the dominant hue. Also, as this design comprises a single floss butterfly and some wording, the butterfly could be stitched in almost any colour floss you choose.

The main quibble I have with the Art of Simplicity chart is that the pattern is printed over the folded centre line. Through regular wear and folding, the print on the fold line can wear off.

 Materials Required

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

Thread Gatherer - SNC099 - Moon Rose

1 skein – Thread Gatherer Silk ‘n Colours 099 – Moon Rose

DMC 3041

 

1 skein – DMC 3041 – Antique Violet

 

 

Wichelt - Ivory

Wichelt – 28 count Ivory Jobelan (stitch count 96 x 126). 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 39cm  or  a fat eighth (13 x 18″).

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $7.00
Floss:  $8.34
Fabric: $5.75

Total: $21.09    ($33.91 AUD or £24.95)

Places to Buy

Australia:
Colours Down Under has floss and fabric 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 some DMC floss in stock and a wide choice of fabric colours. For readers of this site she offers a 10% discount. Use code PeaceOut during checkout. Code valid for the month of October 2014.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo stocks all of your DMC cottons, Thread Gatherer silks and Wichelt fabrics.

Sparklies suggests Slightly Summer or Lilac Ice from her range of fabrics.

 United States:

123Stitch is a one-stop-shop for all materials listed.

Giveaway

As I believe we all need a little more simplicity and tranquility in our lives (and its aids in my simplification of my life project) I am going to give away my Art of Simplicity chart. To enter, comment below why you would like this chart and what, if any, changes would you make to it.

Contest is open to anywhere in the world. The only valid entries are comments below on this post.  Comments on social media will not be included.

Contest closes in one week from posting this review (midday, 20 October 2014, Melbourne time (UTC+11 hours). Winner will be chosen randomly from the comments.

Feedback

Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know.

 

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The Red and the Black by Prairie Moon

As Barb and Sue, the designers behind Prairie Moon, are retiring at the end of October 2014 (three weeks away) I chose The Red and The Black for today’s Throwback Thursday.

The Red and the Black
The Red and the Black

What is it?

The Red & the Black is an ornate alphabet sampler stitched in red and black on a mottled dark ground background.

Why this chart?

The Red & the Black is in my personal stash. I love bold colours, and this unisex design would look great in a wood panelled study or library.  However being a design of such few colours it is very versatile and would look amazing stitched in pastels, giving it a floral, art nouveau vibe.

Many of the letters and ornamental motifs have borders, so snippets of the chart could be stitched for monogrammed key rings, coasters or a unique nameplate.  Such small projects are a good way to test new colour combinations.

This project is designed for silks; both Rainbow Gallery Splendor and Needlepoint Inc Silks (NPi). If you have not used NPi silks before, I urge you to try a skein in this design. The 502- Red is simply an accent colour and easily switched out for another shade of your choosing. NPi silks feel so luscious – I could stitch them instead of DMC on every design, if only I could afford it (sigh).

There are no partial stitches, no speciality stitches, and no need even to stitch the whole design; this is a great chart for both beginners and expert stitchers.

The Red and the Black
The Red and the Black

Review

The front and back cover pages are printed on US Letter (9 x 11″) heavy paper, housed within a clear plastic ziplock bag.  The back cover lists all materials needed and estimates the size of the project.  Prairie Moon have included a silks to DMC conversion with the number of skeins required. Each company uses a different length of floss in their skeins, so it is useful for the designers to provide an adjusted skein count.

The chart is on a single sheet of US Ledger (18″ x 11″) folded in between the two covers. Unfortunately, through handling, the print on the fold line can wear off and if you stitch using a small hoop or q-snap, there’s nowhere to place such a large piece of paper without folding it.

However, using this larger paper size, the entire design can be viewed and used at once. The chart is printed large enough and the design symbols are disparate enough to prevent squinting and there’s no need to look for overlap lines or judge where pages meet up.

 Materials Required

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

3 cards – Rainbow Gallery Splendor S801 – Black (or 6 skeins of DMC 310)

1 skein -Needlepoint Inc Silk 502 – Chinese Red range (or 1 skein of DMC 321)

Lakeside Linens – 32 count Vintage Autumn Gold (stitch count 140 x 209). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.  For 16ct Aida or 32ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 15″ x 19½”  or  38 x 49cm or  a fat quarter (18 x 27″).

Autumn Gold
Autumn Gold

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch The Red & The Black chart using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage):

Chart: $14.00
Floss:  $14.20
Fabric: $38.00

Total: $66.20    ($75.50 AUD or £46.90)

Places to Buy

Australia:
Colours Down Under Jo would be happy to order in the NPi and Splendor silk floss.

Colour Cascade Fabrics Tammy recommends Gold Digger Opal from her range of fabrics.  For readers of this site she offers a 10% discount for this fabric. Use code PeaceOut during checkout. This code is valid for the month of October 2014.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo stocks NPi and Splendor silk floss and a variety of fabric choices.

Sparklies suggests Barely Bronzed or Leo from her range of fabrics.

 United States:

123Stitch stocks the NPi silk and the Lakeside Linens fabric.

Who still stocks this chart?

Please comment below if you know of a store that still has this chart in stock.

Feedback

Did you like this review? Did it contain all the expected information? Is there anything you would like added or removed from the reviews? Do you know of a particular chart or designer you want to see featured here? If so, please head to the Suggestions page and let me know.

Was this read worth a cup of coffee?


 

Last updated: 11 November 2014