Bees Garden Stitching Accessories by Wendy KC Designs

A cute series of bee-themed smalls for all of you accessory lovers, and I am giving it away!. Bees Garden Stitching Accessories by Wendy KC Designs.

Wendy KC - Bees Garden Accessories Cover Continue reading “Bees Garden Stitching Accessories by Wendy KC Designs”

A Little Spark of Madness by AdLeones


This week’s reviews are all from designers who sell on Etsy.  Today’s designer was chosen by Rebecca Schang and the design was chosen by Melissa Hicks; A Little Spark of Madness by AdLeones  (translation: to León)

Ad Leones - Little Spark of Madness Continue reading “A Little Spark of Madness by AdLeones”

Antiquity: Who Knew

Today we discuss the defunct !?Who Knew?! designs distributed by Picture This Plus from 2005-2012.

Ocean Daughter
Ocean Daughter

Stash Antiquities:

Welcome to a new class of reviews, for the designers who are no longer in business. These reviews are presented to showcase works that the newer stitchers may not have seen and to have a place to list where they can still be found. Some bricks and mortar cross stitch shops have a few older designs still in stock, so you may find some Who Knew charts when poking around. If you do, or if you are a shop owner who has some of these still in stock, please comment below.

Who Knew - Wild Fairy Lights Cover

Why this designer?

!?Who Knew?! designs were incredibly popular and have become more so now they are out of print.  At one time or another I had five of these designs in my stash, although I can only find one at the moment.

These designs were charted for cross-stitch under licence by Picture This Plus.   They used Alison Tanner’s Mermaid and Garden Fairy stencils which were available at the time from Stensource International (which is now part of Quilting Creations).

The original images are copyright Alison Tanner, the resultant cross stitch designs are copyright !?Who Knew?!

Although the images are from another source, I love !?Who Knew?! choice of colour and fabric combination.  These are monochrome but not Black & White.

These charts are mostly whole cross stitch only.  Ocean Curiosity uses backstitch to denote fireworks and Autumn Fairy uses metallic floss in one strand in the fairy wings.  Other than that, it is two strands of the same thread all the way through.

These designs are quite simple to stitch and relatively small. I would recommend these from beginner through to advanced lovers of fairies or mermaids.

Who Knew - Autumn Fairy Cover

Review

!?Who Knew?! charts were only released as printed charts.  All charts were printed on good quality heavy paper. The front and back covers are coloured, as are any backstitch lines.

Initial charts had photographs stuck down with glue on the front cover pages.  Later copies had images printed on the front cover page.  All pages were always printed on good-quality heavy paper.

The charts are printed in black symbols on white pages.  Although these were relatively small designs, they were printed over multiple pages, making the symbols easy to see.  As these designs are mostly monochrome, the few symbols are easy to differentiate.

Each subsequent page has a three-row overlap to help you keep your place.

With these multi-page charts, some pages have numbers in each corner and this can be confusing if you haven’t seen this before.

In the top left of each page is written “Page 1” (or whatever page of the chart it is.

In the other three corners are numbers in parentheses ( ).  These numbers denote which chart page lies directly in that direction.

So the number in the top right denotes which chart page sits directly to the right of the one you are working on.

The the number in the bottom left denotes which chart page sits directly below.

The number in the bottom right denotes which chart page sits to the right of the chart page directly below the one you are working on. So in a six-page chart :

Page 1                                Page 2

Page 3                                Page 4

Page 5                               Page 6

 

Page 1 would have these in each corner:

Page 1       (2)

(3)                (4)

The back cover lists all the information we need to kit up and stitch this design: the stitch count, the design size on a standard range of fabric counts, what fabric was used in the model, the floss list and the floss key.

All of the !?Who Knew?! designs can be stitched over one or over two, so select your favourite Aida or evenweave fabric, some favourite threads and start stitching.

Gallery

Who Knew - Autumn Fairy

Autumn Fairy:
2 skeins (20yd) Threadworx 1042 Desert Sunset (NN 129 Sequoia)
1 spool Kreinik Blending Filament 021 Copper

Stitch count 103 x 135.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Midas” 28ct Cashel

Who Knew - Ocean Curiosity

Ocean Curiosity:
6 skeins Gentle Arts 0240 Midnight
1 card Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid PB68 Black Opal

Stitch count 169 x 248.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Dwarf” 32ct Belfast linen.

Who Knew - Ocean's Daughter

Ocean Daughter:
8 skeins Classic Colorworks Bejeweled

Stitch count 149 x 159.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Crystal Lagoon” 32ct Belfast.

Who Knew - Ocean Treasure

Ocean Treasure:
6 skeins Weeks Dye Works 1285 Twilight
1 card Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid PB03 Gold

Stitch count 198 x 125.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Crystal Loch” 32ct Belfast.

Who Knew - Ocean Whisper

Ocean Whisper:
unknown skeins of Dinky Dyes 136 Sea Grass

Stitch count unknown.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Lagoon” 28ct Cashel linen.

Who Knew - Wild Fairy Light

Wild fairy light:
5 skeins Gentle Arts 0310 Claret
1 spool Kreinik Blending Filament 042 Confetti Fuchsia

Stitch count 111 x 168.
Model stitched on Picture This Plus “Fresco” 28ct Cashel linen.

Places to Buy

Picture This Plus stopped selling !?Who Knew?! designs in November 2012. If you know of any store who has any of these designs in stock, please comment below.

Hand Dyer Suggestions

Some hand dyers have suggested alternatives for a different look or feel to these designs.

Crafty Kitten “Wild fairy light – stitch on Dawnblush (or vintage petals) with Moonlight threads for a slightly different look.

Or if you wanted more a tone on tone, stitch on Moonlight with Twilight Shadows thread.

Colour Cascade Fabrics “Ocean Treasure (I adore mermaids I found it so hard to only send you a few pics Sorry) Mermaid Song, After the Rain, Deep Water & Oceans”

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

Fiberlicious “Ocean Daughter: I’d suggest using Mermaid of Atlantis to stitch Mermaid, Sea Moss to stitch the plants and fishes.

Ocean Whisper: Ocean Ridge for the background and water flows. Sea Moss for the plants. Sea Dragon/Mermaid of Atlantis for the mermaid

Ocean Treasure: Moonlit water or shades of blue with Gold Kreinik and beads.

Ocean Curiosity: Ocean Ridge for the mermaid and castle. Sea Moss for the plants

Autumn Fairy: Autumn Wreath, Fallen lea, Flamboyant Fall or Apricot Sunshine.

Wild Fairy Light: Carnation Cluster/Camelia or Mystical Garden for the whole design or just the flower. You can add Hawaiian Hibicus which is a pastel rainbow colors into her wings to bring out the dreamy looking of the chart.

Sparklies “I chose Ocean Treasure which I think would look wonderful on Gina’s Delight.”

Chromatic Alchemy “I think Ocean Curiosity looks wonderful on Cirrus which can be used equally well as either a seascape or a brooding sky.”

Thread Pickerz Silkz suggests using “Ocean nebula or tropical teal” for any of the mermaid charts.

Eileen has been updating the Thread Pickerz Silkz website.  She offers 10% off each silk thread as it is added back into the collection.

For readers of this site, she offers an extra 10% discount if you use the code: Xstitchreview

Discussion

Have you stitched any of these designs? Do you have any of these in your stash?  Can you help supply some of the missing information or cover photos of missing designs?

Which other vanished Designer would you like me to showcase? Comment below and I will try to find something suitable.

If you like this review of !?Who Knew?! designs, please share it with your friends or groups.

Last Updated: 19 February 2015

Antiquity: Dragonfly Lane

For today’s Throwback Thursday we discuss the defunct Dragonfly Lane, and Carrie Medlin’s beautiful fantasy designs.

Dragonfly Lane - Sea Dragons Cover

Stash Antiquities: Welcome to a new class of reviews, for the designers who are no longer in business. I offer these reviews to showcase works that newer stitcher’s may not have seen and to have a place to list where they can still be found. Some bricks and mortar cross stitch shops have a few older designs still in stock, so you may find some Dragonfly Lane charts when poking around. If you do, or if you are a shop owner who has some of these still in stock, please comment below.

Mushroom Fairy
Mushroom Fairy

From the Designer

All of my designs are from sketches, in fact I just posted on Facebook the original sea dragon sketch that became a cross stitch design.  My experience as a self published designer was fun, the online cross stitch shops were supportive and DMC was generous with metallic samples.

I changed directions and put my focus on Colorado Dragonfly and my cleaning business to support my family, since I’ve been a single parent for many many years. 🙂

I do still like to stitch, when I can find the time and the last two  things I actually finished were Mirabilia. 😉 In fact a lovely lady in Queensland (Marilyn Sykes) was my cross stitch supply fairy and sent me the charts and beads for them. 🙂

Sea Dragon Original Sketch Photo Courtesy of Carrie Medlin
Sea Dragon Original Sketch
Photo Courtesy of Carrie Medlin

Why this designer?

Carrie Medlin burst on the cross stitch scene in 2004 with these marvellous designs.  Carrie is now using her artistic talents to create beautiful hardwood inlays for floors, wall hangings and furniture. She is so clever and talented; see Colorado Dragonfly for images of her work.

In the early 2000s hand dyed fabric was just becoming accepted in the cross stitch world and the first hand dyers Enchanted Needle, Sugar Maple Fabrics and Picture This Plus were just making their mark. Carrie used these fabrics to great effect for her fantasy designs; especially Inquisitive Dragon.  This is such a minimalist design that it would work on any hand dyed fabric.

In Mushroom Fairy, her one design on white fabric, Carrie used one over one to give the bee more detail. Carrie was one of the first designers to start the new trend of including one over one segments in two over two charts.  These days that trend is most often used to give more definition to arms and faces.

Carries designs used hand dyed fabrics, Kreinik blending filament, Kreinik #4 Very Fine Braid, Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid, Rainbow Gallery Hi-Lights and Mill Hill Glass Beads.

Carries designs use whole cross stitch, partial cross stitch, backstitch and beads to create her wonderful designs.  I recommend them for an adventurous beginner to advanced fantasy lover.

Plus she designed two hippocampus designs – where else do you find hippocampus in cross stitch?

Review

As these are older designs, they were only ever supplied in printed leaflet form.  The charts are on US Letter (A4) paper with a cover page showing a colour image of the stitched design.

The charts are computer generated (not hand-drawn) with a variety of floss symbols.  It is easy to differentiate between them.

Unfortunately, the grid lines are quite small, there are many symbols on the one page and thus these charts may need to be enlarged to stitch.  This is typical of charts from this time and mainly due to using fewer pages to keep printing and postage costs down.

Also note the later designs include a three-row overlap on later chart pages; the early charts do not.  For those you will need to count carefully, however all Dragonfly Lane charts include stitch markers (stitch ruler) on each page so you can easily make sure your rows line up.

All the Dragonfly Lane charts use different coloured lines to map out the backstitching. These are thin lines, but the differing colours make the backstitch very easy to see on the charts, and they don;t obscure any of the cross stitch symbols.  More designers should use this technique.

The back cover lists all the information needed to stitch the chart; stitch count, fabric used in the model stitch, floss list and symbol key, and detailed backstitch instructions.  Everything you want on the back cover.

All Dragonfly Lane designs can be stitched on Aida or evenweave.  Given the use of quarter stitches in these designs I would use an evenweave; but if quarter stitches on Aida doesn’t bother you, then stitch it on Aida.

Dragonfly Lane - Inquisistive Dragon

Gallery

Mushroom Fairy
Mushroom Fairy

The Mushroom Fairy

1 skein each DMC 310, 327, 356, 433, 434, 435, 437, 469, 470, 471, 472, 550, 552, 553, 554, 712, 738, 739, 754, 758, 814, 815, 816, 818, 824, 826, 902, 934, 935, 948

1 spool each Kreinik BF 013 Beige, 032 Pearl

1 spool Kreinik #4 Braid 060 Midnight

Stitchcount 156 x 181.  Model stitched on Zweigart 32ct White Lugana.

 Inquisitive Dragon
Inquisitive Dragon

The Inquisitive Dragon

1 skein each DMC 169, 310, 413, 930, 931, 932, 3750, 3752, 3799

1 spool Kreinik BF 005 Black

1 spool each Rainbow Gallery Petite Braid PB05 Black, PB18 Midnight Blue, and PH02 Silver High Gloss.

Stitch count 135 x 186.  Model stitched on Picture This Plus 28ct “Carnival Crystal” Cashel Linen.

Athena
Athena

Athena: Hippocampus Part 1

1 skein each DMC 221, 224, 561, 562, 563, 747, 823, 939, 3024, 3721, 3847, 3848, 3849, 3866

1 spool Kreinik BF 033 Royal Blue

1 spool each Kreinik #4 braid: 421 Azalea, 622 Wedgwood Blue and 3202 Cat’s Eye

2 cards Rainbow Gallery Hi-Lights H625 White Pearl

1 card Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid PB01 Bright Gold

1 packet each Mill Hill Beads 00161 Crystal and 02015 Sea Blue

Stitch count 182 x 321.  Model stitched on Sugar Maple Fabrics 28ct “Moon Princess” Lugana.

Arameth
Arameth

Arameth: Hippocampus Part 2

1 skein each DMC 221, 224, 561, 562, 563, 648, 747, 823, 939, 3024, 3721, 3847, 3848, 3849, 3866

1 spool Kreinik BF 033 Royal Blue

1 spool each Kreinik #4 braid: 421 Azalea, 622 Wedgwood Blue and 3202 Cat’s Eye

4 cards Rainbow Gallery Hi-Lights H625 White Pearl

1 card Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid PB01 Bright Gold

1 packet each Mill Hill Beads 00161 Crystal and 02015 Sea Blue

Stitch count 188 x 323.  Model stitched on Sugar Maple Fabrics 28ct “Moon Princess” Lugana.

Sea Dragons
Sea Dragons

Sea Dragons

1 skein each DMC 304, 310, 420, 550, 552, 561 666, 676, 677, 680, 729, 746, 924.

1 skein DMC Light Effects Precious Metals E3821  Light Gold (formerly DMC 5282)

1 spool Kreinik BF 003 Red, 012 Purple, 061 Ruby, 091 Star Yellow.

1 spool each Kreinik #4 braid: 009 Emerald

1 card Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid PB01 Bright Gold and PB14 Bronze

1 packet each Mill Hill Beads 00561 Ice Green, 02025 Heather and 42029 Petite Tapestry Teal.

Stitch count 232 x 231.  Model stitched on Sugar Maple Fabrics 32ct “Shimmering Ocean” .

Places to Buy

Carrie says:

I have all of the designs I think in PCStitch format, including a few that were never sold. I never sold any copyrights so they are all still my designs.

Lets see if we can convince her release the new designs (including a baby hippocampus!) and sell the others again!

Paw Prints – have closed down but still has some Dragonfly Lane charts listed in their bargain bin sale. It might be worth contacting them to see if these are still for sale.

If you know of any stores still stocking any of these designs, please met me know in the comments.

Hand Dyer Suggestions

As most of the Dragonfly Lane designs used fabrics from hand dyers no longer in business, here are some current dyers’ suggestions. Permission has been granted from the designer for overlays to be used on Cross Stitch Review.

Crafty Kitten “All of those will work brilliantly on a lot of colours.  For the aquatic ones sunlit water, waterfall, blue pearl or winter skies or maybe winter sunset.”

“The dragon, Ember or Autumnal Woodland if you want bold, something more subtle hint of autumn or fallen leaf.”

“The fairy I would probably go with fairy forest.”

Crafty Kitten is also running a competition on her site: any orders placed in January over £10 would go into a draw for a £10 Crafty Kitten gift voucher.

Colour Cascade Fabrics recommends “Inquisitive Dragon on Dragons Breath or Dragon Queen”

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

Sparklies “Arameth and Athena would look great on Aquarius or Caribbean Blue.”

Chromatic Alchemy  “I just had to pick Inquisitive Dragon for today….he is so regal. I have paired him with Cirrus as I think he looks like he should be a water/frost dragon….or maybe perhaps it’s because I have a thing for blue”

Fiberlicious “Shades of grey with blending filament will look great on the inquisitive dragon.”

Discussion

Have you stitched any of these designs? Do you have any of these in your stash (paper or digital)?  Can you help supply some of the missing information or cover photos of missing designs?

Which other vanished Designer would you like me to showcase? Comment below and I will try to find something suitable.

If you like this review of Dragonfly Lane designs, please share it with your friends.

Last Updated: 28 January 2015

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.

 

Was this read worth a cup of coffee?