Free: Gracewood Stitches

This week’s Friday Freebie is the diverse designs from  of Gracewood Stitches.

Baroque Motto
Baroque Motto

What is it?

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

When sharing knowledge of a free design, please link back to the designer’s original page. Do not just copy and share the pattern. The designers offer these free from monetary payment; we “pay” for them by visiting the designer’s site, seeing (or purchasing) 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.

Nautical motifs
Nautical motifs

From the Designer

Over the years I’ve enjoyed cross stitching, not only to stitch some lovely items, but I find it a most therapeutic and calming activity. In the last few years I began thinking I would like to try to capture some of my inspiration as patterns. Though I am not very computer savvy I started looking at design software and decided to give designing a try. It was a lot easier than I had anticipated and to my amazement other people have also liked my designs and enjoyed stitching my patterns.

I blog about each new design, from its inspiration through its stitching. I hope you’ll come along with me on this journey of designing cross stitch as artful craft.

Violette
Violette

Why this designer?

Kay Jones introduced me to Gracewood Stitches – thanks Kay!

Kathy sells most of her designs and her free designs are representative of her differing art styles.  So if you like any of her free designs, there are similar ones to buy.

I like Kathy’s free designs because they are so versatile. Many of her log cabin and wallpaper designs can be used as individual motifs or border designs for other works.

I love that Kathy describes the history or reasoning behind each design and shows the stitching progress on her blog. You can see how each design comes to fruition and I love learning what inspires each designer; it is part of what makes them unique artists.

Nouveau Tile
Nouveau Tile

Review

All of Kathy’s Free charts are on available via the free patterns page on her website.

To access the free designs, click on the “click here to download” underneath each image. These charts are all PDF documents.

None of the free charts have cover pages, thy start directly with the chart on the front page.  The charts are printed with black symbols on white US Letter (A4) pages.  On the one page charts, the joint floss list and symbol key is also shown on this page.

On multiple page charts, the joint floss list and symbol key is shown on page 2.  Each subsequent page includes a two-row overlap to help keep you place.

The symbols are printed large enough to see and mark off.  I feel some of her symbols are too similar in some cases, but that may be a result of the charting software she is using.

The final page on each design has the stitch count, the recommended fabric (18ct Aida), the size of the design on this fabric and the floss list.  Some of the designs also include the number of stitches used for each floss and the inspiration for the design.

Places to Buy

All of Kathy’s Free charts are on available via the free patterns page on her website.

Her “For Sale” designs are available via PDF through her website and Creative Poppy.  Your local needlework shop can order in printed charts from Independent Creative Group.

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 has a variety of fabrics for you to make this design unique. 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 stock a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo has  a range of floss and fabrics to make any of these designs uniquely yours.

Chromatic Alchemy  “I couldn’t choose between Violette or Nautical Log Cabin for the Friday Freebie all I know is that they both look great on Nox so why choose, let’s just show them both….please Mel!”

Crafty Kitten “Tulips – I would go for something dark and make a statement with this one, so Deep Dark Wood or Midnight Skies.  A softer more delicate finish would be obtained on Fairy Forest.”

Sparklies “I chose Floral Free pattern. Use Morning Glory and Rosy Dawn threads on Lilac Ice fabric for a pretty square.”

Thread Pickerz Silkz “Block free pattern on Friday with strawberry sundae and heather”

These Thread Pickerz Silkz are now unavailable as Eileen updates her website.  She is offering 10% off each silk thread as it is added back on the website.

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.

Fiberlicious “Violette: Shades of purple and green”

Discussion

Which is your favourite Gracewood Stitches design; free or for sale?

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: 6 February 2015

Antiquity: Fanta Cat Illusions

Today we discuss the defunct Illusions by Vicky Graham. Bought by Fanta Cat Designs, also no longer in operation, these fantasy designs are amazing for their use of metallics and beads.

Gypsy Allure

Stash Antiquities: Welcome to a new class of reviews, for the designers who are no longer in business. We present these 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 Fanta Cat Designs charts when poking around. If you do, or if you are a shop owner who has some of these still in stock, please please comment below.

Madam X
Madam X

Why this designer?

Vicky Graham first started designing contemporary cross stitch charts for “Idle Hand Designs” before starting this wonderful “Illusions” line.  These stunning but very easy to stitch designs were created in the 1990s, a time when the cross stitching shelves were still mainly dominated by  cute cottages. A time before the rise of art-to-stitch and when, if you liked fantasy, you needed the dedication to stitch a Teresa Wentzler pattern.

Fanta Cat Designs attempted to bring fantasy to the ordinary stitcher by selling such designers as Illusions.  These charts are very easy to stitch, but the juxtaposition of the blackwork figure with the metallic and bead accentuation produces a unanimous “wow” reaction in every person who sees one of these designs in life.

Illusions designs use full cross stitch, partial cross stitch, back stitch, metallics and beads. Vicky’s use of large swathes of single colour make these easy designs to stitch.  I recommend them for an adventurous beginner to advanced fantasy lover.

I would love to see some of these designs stitched on some of our favourite hand dyed fabrics.

Rhiannon  Illusions by Fanta Cat Designs Stitching and Photo courtesy of Melissa Hicks
Rhiannon
Illusions by Fanta Cat Designs
Stitching and Photo courtesy of Melissa Hicks

Review

As these are older designs, they were only ever supplied in printed leaflet form.  The charts are on US Ledger (A3) paper folded, with a glossy cardstock cover and page of general stitching instructions. These instructions include how Fanta Cat charts recommends you stitch partial stitches in their designs.

All of the glossy front covers show images of the stitched designs. Showing a computer mock-up seems to be a recent innovation in the stitching world and to an older stitcher like me, this denotes a reduced quality.  I far prefer to see a stitched model as unexpected issues can crop up and be addressed during a model stitch, before it ever goes to market.

The floss symbols for the earlier charts are all hand drawn and quite small compared the grid work we are used to seeing today..  These charts will need to be enlarged for ease of seeing and stitching.  The good news is that the symbols are usually quite distinct and well drawn.

The newer designs have computer generated symbols and the metallic backstitch and beads are shown in different colours.  The newer illusions charts are beautiful to stitch from.

All designs show the floss list, specific chart instruction, and stitch count on the back of the chart pack.

Gallery

Illusions - Crystal Dreams

Crystal Dreams:
DMC: 221, 310, 367, 368, 369, 500, 725, 725, 727, 820, 921, 922, 951, 3765.
Kreinik BF: 001HL, 002HL, 006, 027, 033.
Anchor Marlitt: 845, 1056, 1067, 1078.
Mill Hill Beads: 02011

Stitch count 65 x 140.
Model stitched on Black Lugana.

Illusions - Dragon's Gate

Dragon’s Gate:
DMC: 310, 415, 470, 471, 580, 581, 720, 743, 745, 9078, 3348, 3364. (Optional DMC 828 for background)
Kreinik BF: 002HL
Kreinik #8: 001HL, 002HL

Stitch count 107 x 169.
Model stitched on Light Blue 14ct Aida.

Fox Glove Fairy

Fox Glove Fairy:
DMC: 310, 726, 597, 453, 598, 648, 676, 776, 729,  844, 950, 951, 957, 986, 987, 989, white
Kreinik BF: 002HL, 006, 032
Kreinik Cable; 002P
Mill Hill Beads: 42029

Stitch count 97x 136.
Model stitched on Pewter 28ct Lugana.

Illusions - Azure Fairy

Azure Fairy:
DMC: 310, 311, 310, 340, 407, 553, 797, 950, 951, 995, 996.
Kreinik BF: 012
Mill Hill Beads: 00168, 00252, 02011

Stitch count 164 x 202.
Model stitched on White 14ct Aida

Illusions - Peacock Dreams

Peacock Dreams:
DMC: 221, 310, 402, 407, 632, 648, 825, 826, 831, 840, 841, 895, 951, 922, 943, 950, 951, 991, 3346, 3376, 3799, white.
Kreinik BF: 002HL, 006HL, 012, 027, 029.
Kreinik #4: 009
Mill Hill Beads: 03002

Stitch count 74 x 97.
Model stitched on Cream 28ct Lugana

Illusions - Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras:
This is a three – dimensional design.  The Mask is stitched separately and then placed on top of the design.  Real peacock feathers are placed between the mask and the rest of the design.

DMC: 310, 333, 353, 730, 772, 824, 911, 943, 995, 3766.
Kreinik BF: 006, 008, 012, 029, 033, 085
Kreinik 1/8″ Ribbon: 002
Mill Hill Beads: 02014, 03026, 03027, 03029
4 real peacock feathers

Stitch count 88 x 137.
Model stitched on White perforated paper and White 14ct Aida.

Illusions - Guardian

Guardian:
DMC: 310, 469470, 472, 721, 906, 907, 920, 937, 943, 945, 951.
Kreinik BF: 002HL, 027, 043
Kreinik #8: 091, 094
Rainbow Gallery Designer’s Dream: D02, D46

Stitch count 75 x 120.
Model stitched on Black 28ct Lugana.

Illusions - Fantasy Flight (2)

Fantasy Flight:
DMC: 310, 704, 725, 742, 744, 745, 754, 844, 917, 948, 958, 959, 964, white.
Kreinik BF: 002HL

Stitch count 124 x 162.
Model stitched on Pewter 28ct Lugana.

Illusions - Rhiannon

Rhiannon
Information unknown – I no longer possess a copy of this chart.

Illusions - Miranda

Miranda:
DMC: 310, 353, 562
Kreinik BF: 001HL, 002HL, 029, 032, 044.
Mill Hill Beads: 03046

Stitch count 114 x 283.
Model stitched on White 28ct Lugana.

Illusions - Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror:
DMC: 310, 312, 414, 420, 445, 469, 470, 472, 498, 519, 701, 733, 801, 838, 900, 920, 922, 930, 931, 932, 943, 951, 995, 3022, 3023, 3024, 3045, 3046, 3047, 3799, white.
Kreinik BF: 015, 022HL, 025, 027, 032, 090, 091, 094.
Kreinik #4: 001, 102, 202HL.
Mill Hill Beads: 40557, 42029.

Stitch count 107 x 217.
Model stitched on Tan 28ct Lugana.

Illusions - Desirea

Desirea
DMC:  310, 797, 799, white.
Kreinik BF: 001HL, 002HL, 003, 061HL
Kreinik: #4 001
Mill Hill Beads: 00557

Stitch count 105 x 151.
Model stitched on White 28ct Lugana.

Illusions - And Other Things

And Other Things:
DMC: 300, 310, 320, 340, 367, 369, 400, 434, 435, 436, 598, 648, 721, 739, 839, 841, 842, 938, 950, 951, 958, 959, 964, 3078, 3371, 3607, 3776, 3799, 3821, 3825, 3826, white.

Kreinik BF: 002HL, 021, 029, 032, 094.
Kreinik #4: 002.
Mill Hill Beads: 00479.

Stitch count 117 x 117.
Model stitched on Cream 28ct Lugana.

Tigerfly

Tigerfly:
Information unknown

Enchanted

Enchanted
DMC:  415, 470, 471, 472, 677, 726, 727, 798, 799, 919, 921, 945, 951, 977, 3325, 3756
Kreinik BF: 002HL
Mill Hill Beads: 00374

Stitch count 116 x 178.
Model stitched on White 28ct Lugana.

Illusions - Mystical Journey

Mystical Journey:
DMC: 310, 318, 470, 472, 580, 581, 666, 704, 720, 722, 739, 844, 890, 919, 951, 962, 3364, white.
Kreinik BF: 002HL, 009HL, 015, 027, 032HL, 091, 094.

Stitch count 114  x 127.
Model stitched on Pewter 28ct Lugana.

Illusions - Dragon Feathers Afghan

Dragon Feathers Afghan:
DMC: 312, 422, 676, 677, 702, 720, 722, 772, 3345, 3346, 3347, 3348, 3812, 3829.
Kreinik #8: 002

Model stitched on Zweigart Black Anne Cloth Afghan.

Illusions - Gypsy Allure

Dragon Feathers Afghan:
DMC:  310, 676, 761, 807,
Kreinik BF: 001HL, 002HL, 003HL, 006, 006HL, 032HL, 051HL
Kreinik #8: 027
Mill Hill Beads: 00479

Stitch count 95 x 154.
Model stitched on White 28ct Lugana.

Illusions - Ankha

Ankha:
DMC: 310, 433, 434, 564, 605, 676, 677, 743, 745, 796, 798, 800, 991, 993, 3706.
Kreinik BF: 002
Kreinik #8: 002

Stitch count 126 x 192.
Model stitched on Beige 10ct Tula

Illusions - Erin

Erin:
DMC: 310, 676, 700, 702, white.
Kreinik BF: 002HL, 008, 009, 009HL, 032.
Kreinik #4: 202HL
Mill Hill Beads:  40479

Stitch count 95 x 149.
Model stitched on White 26ct Lugana.

Illusions - Tianna

Tianna:
DMC: 310, 470, 676, 700, 702, 798, 823, 840, 911, 943, 3824, Eru, White.
Kreinik BF: 002HL, 008, 012, 015, 029, 032
Kreinik #8: 002, 5982
Mill Hill Beads:  00479, 40557

Stitch count 125 x 264.
Model stitched on Antique White 28ct Lugana.

Illusions - Thief

Thief:
DMC:  470, 471, 472, 376, 550, 677, 729, 741, 743, 762, 3024, 3033, 3045, 3046, 3047, 3350, 3354, 3731, 3799, 3803, 3823, 3845, 3846, 3853, 3864.
Kreinik BF: 001HL, 002HL, 027, 031, 032HL, 091.
Kreinik #8: 002
Mill Hill Beads:  02002

Stitch count 133 x 182.
Model stitched on Antique White 28ct Lugana.

Illusions - Papillon

Papillon:
DMC: 310, 317, 351, 353, 415, 433, 435, 437, 676, 700, 702, 796, 797, 801, 831, 906, 907, 943, 991, 3799, Ecru, White.
Kreinik BF: 002HL, 008, 015, 029, 032, 033, 060, 085
Mill Hill Beads:  02014, 03002, 03024, 03025

Stitch count 141 x 189.
Model stitched on Antique White 28ct Lugana.

Illusions - Transformation

Transformation:
DMC: 321, 353, 415, 676, 677, 704, 738, 739, 744,762, 783, 798, 800, 904, 905, 906, 907, 943, 951, 3799, 3864, 3851, 3853, white.
Kreinik BF: 002HL, 015, 025, 027, 029, 031, 033, 091, 302HL
Kreinik #8: 002
Rainbow Gallery Whisper: White

Stitch count 141 x 212.
Model stitched on The Blended Needle “Parchment” 28ct Lugana.

Madam X

Madam X:
DMC: 310, 352, 353, 676, 677, 796, 798, 799, 959, 3812, 3851.
Kreinik BF: 029, 033
Kreinik #4: 002
Mill Hill Beaads: 00479

Stitch count 102 x 154.
Model stitched on White 28ct Lugana.

Illusions - Emerald Swallowtail

Emerald Swallowtail:
DMC: 310, 335, 518, 701, 702, 703, 704, 743, 906, 3046, 3047, 3733, 3746, 3799, 3851
Kreinik BF: 002, 008, 012, 015, 029
Mill Hill Beaads: 00479

Stitch count 120 x 196.
Model stitched on Antique White 28ct Lugana.

Regal Pea Dragon Afghan

Regal Pea Dragon Afghan:
DMC: 470, 472, 676, 677, 721, 729, 791, 798, 912, 996, 3799, white.
Kreinik #8: 002

Model stitched on Zweigart Oatmeal Gloria Afghan.

Places to Buy

Letha Welch of Fanta Cat Designs, who owns copyright for the Illusions line of charts closed her business in 2008 when she moved and retired.

Country Designs UK – has Enchanted in stock.

Nease’s Needlework – I’ve never used this online store, but they seem to have some designs in stock.

Paw Prints – have closed down but still has some Illusions 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 these designs used plain fabrics and DMC, some hand dyers have suggested their own take on kitting up the designs.

Polstitches “Snowy mountain it always an exciting substitution for white where it can be used as it is soft and gentle with dreamy aspects, might suit an opalescent!”

Snowy Mountains
Snowy Mountains

Colour Cascade Fabrics “Regal Pea Dragon I could totally see on Peacock”  Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015.

Chromatic Alchemy  “I chose Tigerfly as a piece to play with from the gorgeous Illusions Designs range. I’ve teemed her with Nuriel’s Forest which I think really accentuates her red hair and gives a pleasing contrast to those striking tiger wings.”

Sparklies “I chose Enchanted, which I think would look great on Purpleberry Spludge, Thalia, or Moonlighting.”

Crafty Kitten “Tigerfly, I’m not sure if it’s in print or not.  But I’d stitch it on Moonlight or winter skies.  Foxglove fairy, I’d go with fairy forest for. ”

Fiberlicious “This is such a lovely chart to stitch as there are many rooms for you to play with hand dyed flosses. I would suggest using threads from gradation collection (Shades of green, red and pink) for the leaves and flowers.  And Havana Cafe or Spring Blossoms for the butterfly”

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 Fanta Cat Designs and Illusions, please share it with your friends.

Last Updated: 16 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

Free Designs: Linda Shee

Some of the cutest free designs we have showcased on Cross Stitch Review. I wonder if the CumberCollective would like the Otter?

Otter
Otter

What is it?

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

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

Owl Plush
Owl Plush

From the Designer

Here are charts based on my own drawings and designs. The charts are available by clicking on the pictures. Of course, it would be my pleasure to receive pictures of your finished projects!

 Cat 2
Cat 2

Why this designer?

Linda isn’t as prolific as some of the other designers we have showcased, but her animal designs are the cutest I ‘ve ever seen. Her website is very easy to navigate and the charts are easy to follow and customise.

Linda’s blog and chart instructions are written in both French and English.  I do urge you read her blog as she blogs about her stitching her life and her designs.  For example this is what she writes on why she designed a chinchilla chart

At first I started off with a fox cause it’s cute and all, and the more I got ideas for other animals, the more I went for pets (cats, rabbits…) and I though that one thing you don’t see often, are chinchilla charts.

Alot of people have one, they are nice and perky, just as a much as a bunny if you spend time with them. I wanted to make a chinchilla chart simply because I welcomed this summer a new family member…

Chinchilla
Chinchilla

Review

All of Linda’s free charts are available only on the free chart page of her blog. As she is finishing her studies this year, she will only design cross stitch in her downtime.  I recommend subscribing to her blog so you don’t miss any new releases.

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

Linda’s charts are coloured squares on a large grid. There are no symbols and no floss list. These designs are adaptable so you choose your own floss from your stash; this allows your imagination to soar. Each animal uses three colours, so you can use gradient colours, or snip a single hand dyed thread. You can use Whisper thread for the lion’s mane, metallic thread for the love hearts,  the possibilities are endless.

Linda uses large grids but each design prints out to a single A4 or US Letter sized  sheet of paper.

Each design has been stitched in full cross stitch only, with the backstitching providing the details.  If you wish, you can include your own partial stitches, or you can leave the design as is, with the slight overfill or underfill of cross stitch as part of the charm of the design.

Raccoon
Raccoon

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 “I Love Foxes with Blue Moon and I love Squirrels with Blue Orchid”

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 “The lion, I’d possibly put on Goldrush or Forest Canopy.”

“I love otters, Sunlit pool”

“I love cats 2 (the birman/ragdoll type one – can’t not suggest for that can I!)… I might be tempted by summer sky to set the eyes off.”

Polstitches has a range of Dragon Threads and hand dyed fabrics for you to make this design unique.

Sparklies “I chose the blackwork butterfly and picked St Clements thread on Aries fabric for a really bold combo :)”

Thread Pickerz Silkz Eileen of Thread Pickerz also kindly offers a 10% discount on her floss to Cross Stitch Review readers. Use code:  xstitchreview .  This works in conjunction with other offers (such as free postage for spending over £30uk / £70 international) but cannot be used with other discount codes. Code expires 8 January 2016.

“blackwork butterfly in amazon parrot. With such a highly coloured thread best with a simple fabric like colour cascades silver springs or icicle from crafty kitten”

“I love foxes – jet black, orange crush, polar and christmas red. ”

“I love Squirrels – jet black, orange crush, polar and christmas red, with werewolf for his nose”

“I love cats – jet black, orange crush, polar and christmas red plus buttercup”

“I love lions – Aztec gold for his mane, werewolf for tip of tail and nose, christmas red heart, jet black outline and fools gold for body. Again if I was doing it I would pick fabrics previously mentioned to use up material I had.”

Chromatic Alchemy  “I have chosen the seasonal hearts as the freebies, the animals are cute but these stand out for me I have picked a fabric that I think is quite seasonal too so for spring I have chosen Nuriels forest, Summer – Ashardalon breathes, Autumn – Tigers Eye and Winter – Candy Cane”

United States:

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

Stitches n Things offers a variety of floss and fabrics to suit your tastes.

Fiberlicious “I think hand dyed flosses would work great with “Blackwork Butterfly”. Stitchers can have options of stitching the butterfly using variegated flosses or stitching with black and filling in colors. My floss suggestion goes to American Snow Cone, Sea Dragon and Mystical Garden. A dreamy, fairytalish looking butterfly!”

Fiberlicious has a 15%  off sale until Jan 11.  Nguyen offers an additional discount of 5% for readers of Cross Stitch Review (20% in total). Just let Nguyen know you read this site when you place your order.

Under the Sea Fabrics “All of the little animal freebies are adorable. I’d stitch them all on Apollo, a warm yellow. Or lined up together on Sandy Shores”

Discussion

Do you like these cute animals or does your taste run differently? 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: 9 January 2015

 

Antiquity: SzuLet Creations

Today we discuss the defunct SzuLet Creations, and Letty’s beautiful, uncomplicated designs.

 A Lady's Fancy

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 Szulet Creations charts when poking around. If you do, or if you are a shop owner who has some of these still in stock, please please comment below.

Spotted Butterfly Stitched by Mel Using recommended fabric and floss
Spotted Butterfly
Stitched by Mel
Using recommended fabric and floss

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).

Excellence Mel's Work in Progress
Excellence
Mel’s Work in Progress
Using recommended fabric and floss

Review

All 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 10×10 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.

Gallery

Szulet - A Lady's Fancy

A 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.

Szulet - Spotted Butterfly

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.

Szulet - Royal

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.

Szulet - Purple MajestyPurple Majesty:
no information known

Szulet - Queen of Fire

Queen of Fire:
no information known

Szulet - Imagination

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.

Szulet - Excellence

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.

Szulet - Spring Hibiscus

Spring Hibiscus:
Floss unkown

Stitchcount unknown.  Modelstitched on Sassy Fabbys “Spring Green”  28ct  evenweave

Szulet - Summer Hibiscus

Summer Hibiscus:
Floss unkown

Stitchcount unknown.  Modelstitched on Sassy Fabbys “Hyacinth”  28ct  evenweave

Szulet - Autumn Hibiscus

Autumn Hibiscus:
Floss unkown

Stitchcount unknown.  Modelstitched on Sassy Fabbys “Lemongrass”  28ct  evenweave

Suzlet - Good Luck KnotGood Luck Knot:
no information known

Szulet - Endless Knot

Endless Knot:
no information known

Szulet - Good Fortune Knot

Good Fortune Knot:
no information known

Szulet - Dream

Dream:
Floss unkown

Stitchcount unknown.  Modelstitched on Sassy Fabbys “Into the Sky”  28ct  evenweave

Places to Buy

SzuLet 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 Suggestions

As 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.

Under the Sea Fabrics ” I really think Royal Butterfly would be stunning on Sugar Plum Fairies”

Chromatic Alchemy  “I have chosen just one of these wonderful butterflies to play with and as I’m a sucker for colour it had to be our bright red and yellow friend. I have chosen Halcyon, I feel the blues contrast wonderfully with the yellow and the pinks complement the red.”

Crafty Kitten suggests “Royal butterfly candytuft or lavender mist or butterfly blush as fabrics. I’d maybe use twilight shadows as the darker thread and select a DMC to taste for the others.”

Sparklies “I chose ‘A Ladys Fancy’. I’m not sure how many different colours there are in this but I would suggest Morning Glory for the outline of the butterfly, with Violets & Cornflowers, Sugar Mice and Hunnybunny to fill the various areas, all stitched on Lilac Ice.”

Fiberlicious has a range of gradient coloured cottons and silks to stitch your fairies.  Fiberlicious has a 15%  off sale until Jan 11.  Nguyen offers an additional discount of 5% for readers of Cross Stitch Review (20% in total). Just let Nguyen know you read this site when you place your order.

“For the butterfly of Szulet Creations, I would suggest Shades of Purple (for those who like subtle changes in colors) or Sumantra Haze and Spring Breeze (for those who like more variegated). These two last colors are available in silks as well. They can be stitched on either plain white fabric or solid/slightly mottled hand dyed fabrics. Hand dyed flosses might be lost in a piece of hand dyed fabric that has too much color changes.”

Thread Pickerz Silks Eileen of Thread Pickerz also kindly offers a 10% discount on her floss to Cross Stitch Review readers. Use code:  xstitchreview .  This works in conjunction with other offers (such as free postage for spending over £30uk / £70 international) but cannot be used with other discount codes. Code expires 8 January 2016.

“A Lady’s Fancy: Fabric Peach Sorbet by Crafty Kitten. The outline colour in Burgundy with Candyfloss as the main colour and Pink Raver for spots/details.”

“Royal butterfly – Main butterfly colour in Amethyst with Pinkple used in the light patches. The border can be done with Purple Twonk and Pinkple (if you want to stay in the purple scheme) or l.u.e. (life universe and everything) with Amethyst details. Something like Lavender Mist or Icicle would be nice as fabric from crafty kitten.”

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 SzuLet Creations designs, please share it with your friends.

Last Updated: 8 January 2015