Squiggle Tree by Angel Stitchin

Hello, Tiffstitch here, and I really enjoy cross-stitching to relax after a stressful day and I love being able to create something that can be beautiful, funky, subversive, or anything at all.

Angel Stitchin - Squiggle Tree Cover Continue reading “Squiggle Tree by Angel Stitchin”

Spanish Rouge by Sampler Cove

I’ve been asked by Mel, as someone who loves samplers and who is currently stitching Sampler Rouge if I would do a review.

Sampler Cove - Spanish Rouge Coveer

What is it?

The Designer of Spanish Rouge is Diane Jourdan, an American who, until recently, lived in Thailand and who created the Sampler Cove company. For those who are, or were, members of the Yahoo group, The Sampler Life, you will recognise her as Thai Di.

Diane makes no comment as to what drew her to design this other than to refer to it as a Spanish Inspired Sampler. Sadly she is no longer designing although has recently returned to live in the US in her retirement. Hopefully she will at some point reverse her decision and design again. We can but hope.

Why this chart?

I was drawn to stitching Spanish Rouge as it looked complicated but in fact isn’t. I loved the overall look of it and as it has a companion piece Spanish Bleu, I could see them both hanging on my wall. Spanish Bleu is also stitched in only two colours.

This particular chart and the Au Soie threads to stitch were a gift to me from Mel sometime ago so my stitching of it is doubly pleasurable knowing that it was given in friendship.

The chart has several specialty stitches but none of them difficult and there are explicit and well drawn how-to diagrams by Valerie Vejrostek. The original model was stitched with one thread on 36ct with Vikki Clayton Hand Dyed Fibers in Diane’s Rouge (especially created for this piece) and Heartwood.

This, and indeed, any of Sampler Cove charts would be suitable for anyone who stitches, be they beginners or experts.

Sampler Cove - Spanish Rouge

 Review

As far as I am aware it is only possible to purchase printed charts of any of the Sampler Cove designs and, as Diane has stopped designing, they are becoming a little more difficult to find.

The chart comes on A4 paper of good quality. It is printed in black and white and there is a three-line overlap on each sheet.

Each part of the design is denoted by a number and correlates with the instructions which come on a separate sheet. The stitch diagrams are large and easy to follow.

There are 12 pages to the design and each is clearly marked. The chart is a 10 x 10 grid although the individual lines cannot be seen clearly; you have to pay attention to the stitch placement.

I have made working copies but it is not really necessary if you prefer to stitch direct from the chart.

My Experience

I am thoroughly enjoying stitching this chart. I did change the dividing stitch pattern as I preferred something plainer and I’m stitching over two, not over one, but then this is what stitching is about; making each design unique to yourself.

Although this design is called Spanish Rouge there is no need to keep to red. I’ve always felt that perhaps purple and yellow, or better still turquoise and orange stitched on black would be good. The latter would be in keeping with the Moors influence in Spain, especially in places like Alhambra.  The more I think about it the more I wish I had. I’m getting very tempted to do it on black.

I am now three-quarters of a way through this sampler. If you would care to watch it’s progress you are welcome to peruse my blog.

Thank you for asking me to do this review Mel. I hope I haven’t frightened all your followers away.

Spanish Rouge by Sampler Cove Kay's Work in Progress Photograph  and stitching courtesy of Kay Jones.
Spanish Rouge by Sampler Cove
Kay’s Work in Progress
Photograph and stitching courtesy of Kay Jones.

Materials Required

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

10 skeins Vikki Clayton Hand Dyed Fibers in Diane’s Rouge (especially created for this piece)

10 skeins Vikki Clayton Hand Dyed Fibers in Heartwood.

OR

soie-au-ver-a-soie-945

 

5 skeins AVAS Soie d’Alger Silk 945

 

 

soie-d-alger-946

 

5 skeins AVAS Soie d’Alger Silk 946

 

 

No amounts are given but I have used 5 skeins of each, stitching one thread over two on 32ct.

OR

DMC 814 Very Dark Garnet

 

5 skeins DMC 814 Very Dark Garnet (estimated)

 

DMC 815 Garnet Medium

 

5 skeins DMC 815 Medium Garnet (estimated)

 

Lakeside Linen 36 count “Magnolia” Edinburgh Linen  (stitch count 181 x 284). For 36 count fabric  (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 16¼” x 22”  or  41 x 56cm  or  a fat quarter (18 x 27″).

Lakeside Linen 32ct  Magnolia
Lakeside Linen 32ct Magnolia

For 28ct evenweave stitched over two (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 19” x 26½”  or  48 x 67cm  or  a fat half (27 x 36″).

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $22.00
Floss:  $45.00
Fabric: $11.85

Total: $78.85  ($114.35 AUD  or  €63.00  or  £57.00)

Places to Buy

Sampler Cove is no longer in business, but at present this is still an easy chart to find.  Check the stores mentioned below.

Australia:

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

Colour Cascade Fabrics ” I would choose FairyTale or Fairies Wear Boots for this one”

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  everything in stock to stitch up this design!

Chromatic Alchemy  ” Spanish Rouge looks lovely on a few of my fabrics whilst using the recommended floss. Each colour I’ve chosen gives the piece a different feel. ”

Crafty Kitten “I’d go with just peachy or oatmeal.  I was going to say tea rose, but I think the finer detailed bits will get a little lost on it.”

Sparklies suggests “I have no red threads in my range so I decided to go inverse on this one. White or cream thread on Aries or Etain would make it a different while maintaining the red theme.”

Thread Pickerz Silkz suggests “P3 and Mauve” from her range of silks.

United States:

123Stitch has the chart and fabric in stock.

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 a variety of fabric and floss in stock for your to create your unique vision.

Discussion

If you wish to be a guest reviewer on Cross Stitch Review please contact us.

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

Last Updated: 3 February 2015

 

 

 

2015 Lucie Heaton for DMC FREE Fairy SAL


Hi I’m Rebekah and Mel’s asked me to review this stitchalong I’m running. If bright and fun fairies appeal to you, come and join us at 2015 Lucie Heaton for DMC FREE Fairy SAL Facebook Group.

2015 Lucie Heaton for DMC FREE Fairy SAL

What is it?

Last year, 2014,  Lucie Heaton published these small fairies for free, in conjunction with DMC, one per month.  This is a stitchalong on Facebook, arranged with the designer’s approval. Just join the Facebook group and jump right in there’s no other sign-up required. Please note that January’s fairy is listed as Snowdrop Fairy.

SAL Duration: 1 Jan 2105 – 31 Dec 2015

Lucie Heaton Fairies

Group member Dyah Baiton has kindly created a collage of the fairies rearranged to suit the Southern Hemisphere seasons. THANKS DYAH!

Why these charts?

I came up with the idea of a SAL last year when the fairies were being released. I waited until they were all published so we could rearrange the months to suit the southern hemisphere seasons.

I love the size of them, (a small, easy finish is a good motivator and provides a break from working on other big projects). The stick figure styling combined with fun bright colours of the designs immediately appealed to me and knew a lot of people would be attracted to them as a  SAL too.

Additionally, the fairies have a limited colour scheme allowing many people to stitch from their floss stash. Oh, and I LOVED that they are free! Always a sure-fire way to get people into a SAL.

January Fairy Photo courtesy of Minnie Gray
January Fairy
Photo and stitching courtesy of Minnie Gray

Review

Easy as pie to stitch, each fairy requires very few colour changes and very few confetti style stitches. The chart is easy to enlarge on a digital device but printed on B&W some of the symbols become hard to see if you print as scaled (A4) so I recommend cutting and printing an enlarged version when in Black and White.

There’s no markers to denote the centre of each fairy and no block count but owing to the small size of them it’s not necessary. Each design varies in size, some tall and some small, but all fit within a maximum stitch count of 40 x 40. The size variations are also not an issue if you want to stitch them all together; most are balanced in the grid and naturally centre themselves within the 40 x 40 design area.

My Experience

Rebekah Lee – I’m stitching the 12 squares on 11ct Aida over one and cutting them into 7″ blocks to make into a quilt. I’m using the Festive Fairy (colours changed) as the centre block of an additional fifth row, with a block showing my name on one side and one with the year on the other.

November Fairy in Progress Photo and stitching courtesy of Rebekah Lee. I am using the November Fairy as a New Year's Celebration Fairy.
November Fairy in Progress
Photo and stitching courtesy of Rebekah Lee.
I am using the November Fairy as my January block in light of the New Years eve fireworks.

 

Dyah Baiton – To me it’s a really easy stitch, I usually find Lucie’s designs (these particular type of fairies) in Cross Stitch Crazy magazines, that I think are more for beginner stitchers as the charts are free from fractional or other specialty stitches. Charts are easy to follow, no dramas. I was going to add Kreinik blending filament to the wings and the sparkles on the wands, but my fabric is so overpowering, the added glitter did not stand out, so stitched as is. I found similar fairies in festive theme in my old Cross Stitch Crazy magazines, I think I’ll stitch a few for ornies 🙂

November Fairy Photo courtesy of Dyah Baiton. Dyah has repurposed the November Fairy into a New Year's Celebration Fairy.
November Fairy
Photo and stitching courtesy of Dyah Baiton.
Dyah has re-purposed the November Fairy into a New Year’s Celebration Fairy.

Materials Required

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

Various Skeins of DMC

 

1 skein each of 26 DMC colours. As these charts are available for free from The DMC website, recommended threads are DMC.

 

You can easily use whatever floss you have in your stash, the charts are small and easy and don’t need much thread. This means you can use remnants from kits and loose ends you have lying around with ease. You don’t need to worry about having exact colour matches as each design uses bold and contrasting colour blocking.

Any count fabric. You can stitch these as single blocks for ornaments or combine to form a large calendar (stitch count  of each is at most 40 x 40). These designs can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

Charles Craft - Antique White
Charles Craft – Antique White

To stitch a single block on 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 9” x 9”  or  23 x 23cm  or  an ornament cut (9 x 13″).

To stitch a Calendar that is three months across and four months down on 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance and 1″ between blocks) fabric size is: 17” x 21”  or  43 x 53cm  or  a fat quarter (18 x 27″).

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch the single calendar of these small fairies using DMC and plain fabric (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage):

Charts:  free – available at DMC Creative World Inspirations Page
Floss:    $7.20 – assume 16 different DMC colours
Fabric: $11.85 – Evenweave Fat Quarter

Total: $26.25  ($43.40 AUD or €24.00  or  £20.15)

Places to Buy

DMC Creative World Inspirations Page have offered these charts out free on their web page.  The fairy charts are individually named and you will have to look for them within the index on the left hand side. Please NOTE: January’s fairy is called Snow Drop Fairy. If you join the Facebook group I have arranged all the links in chronological order in the pinned post at the top of the group.

If, for any reason, you cannot access these fairies on the DMC page, they are each available at a small fee on Lucie Heaton’s fairies page.

Australia:

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

Colour Cascade Fabrics “I think a nice subtle colour behind these as there are so many colours in the different fairies, so Clouds, Fairies Wear Boots, or Fairytale should work well”. 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 little fairies – assuming you’re going to stitch them all on one piece January 2015 ltd ed. Individually they’d work on so many different colours.”

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

Sparklies “I think either Misty Morn or Spring Greens would suit these little Fairies nicely.”

Chromatic Alchemy “I chose Khione for the fairy medley…a neutral subtle fabric that enhances all the different colours in these cute little ladies without overpowering them. ”

United States:

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

Stitches n Things has a variety of threads and fabrics for you to stitch up your fairies.

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 extra 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 “The DMC Fairy would be really pretty on Shimmering Seas. It’s a warm blue that will compliment not compete with the fairy.”

Discussion

Do you like theses fairies, would you stitch them, will you join us?

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

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.

 

Last Updated: 6 January 2015

 

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Jingle Bells by Tea Party Revolution

As a naughty nod to the festive season, Mel’s asked me to review one of my favourite seasonal stitches. We and Tea Party Revolution are offering a discount on the chart and a giveaway (because…umm….FESTIVE SEASON!)  Looks below for details – The snow leopard may kill you with cute!

Tea Party Revolution - Jingle Bells

From the Designer

Meet Jingle Bells, Kandi Kane’s… “partner” – he was finished the 10th of December (2008), so it pretty much hot off the presses and just as hot as he is a new design from Lilly Kitten for Christmas 08! (Received from Lilly Kitten on the 9th!)

What is it?

Tea Party revolution’s designs are available exclusively through ETSY.  She has a variety of patterns of varying levels of ‘social acceptability’, many are more ‘appropriate for a variety of environments’ than Jingle Bells! Her designs are based on Lilly Kitten’s art.

Why this chart?

Now before anyone get’s offended at ‘objectifying’ men, I should point out that ‘Jingle bells’ is the second of Tea Party Revolution’s patterns that I’ve stitched. I’ve already finished and framed ‘Been Naughty‘. So in my defense, I’m gender neutral in my objectification.

Been Naughty - Stitched by Julie
Been Naughty – Stitched by Julie

I’m stitching Jingle Bells because it tickles my wicked sense of humour. Amongst all the lights, glitter, hype, marketing and drama of the festive season, my day is made just a bit brighter by a topless man with a collar and leash around his neck. (Can I get a ‘Hell yeah’? Who’s with me?)

I love Tea Party Revolution’s (TPR) charts. The big, cartoon-like art is easy and relaxing to stitch. Thread your needle with black and set off on the outline…SIMPLE!!! Then fill in the outline with big, bold, festive colours. It’s just what I need during these busy days when we’re pulled in so many directions.

The pattern uses standard DMC and full crosses…SIMPLE!!!!! The hardest decision you’ll have to make is what fabric to choose.

Review

Jingle Bells is a WIP. He’s my go-to piece when I can’t face anything more complicated than ‘needle up-turn-needle down-repeat’.

I started him in February this year and was making good progress until I was distracted by another, prettier (better cheekbones), more challenging piece.

The simple design means that this pattern can carry off a more dramatic fabric and I’ve chosen an opalescent pale green hand-dye (Silkweaver 28ct Lugana Opalescent Spring Garden).

The pattern is provided via digital download. The pack is 9 pages (8 pattern and a floss/symbol list) and is black and white. If you print out your patterns, you may need to enlarge the pattern as the sheets are 75 X 85 stitches which is just on the edge of too small to work from. The sheets have a three row overlap on two edges and the symbols are clear and unambiguous.

The thread list provides estimated number of skeins. If I were going to make any changes to this pattern, I’d be tempted to add a metallic yellow to Jingle’s bells and I’ve often wondered whether his tattoos would benefit from a black silk thread rather than the standard DMC, to give a touch of richness.

I’d absolutely recommend this to a ‘beginning stitcher with adult sensibilities’.

Tea Party Revolutions - Jingle Bells - Julies Work in Progress
Tea Party Revolutions – Jingle Bells – Julie’s Work in Progress

Materials required

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

DMC Needed for Jingle Bells

 

Some skeins each of DMC 307, 310, 317, 321, 413, 415, 436, 437, 444, 445, 498, 666, 699, 700, 701, 702, 703, 712, 738, 739, 754, 758, 762, 797, 798, 973, 3771, 3799, 3801

DMC Satin S5200 - Snow White

 

1 skein DMC Satin S5200 – Snow White (formerly DMC Rayon 35200 – Snow White)

 

Any count Aida or Evenweave  (stitch count 186 x 279). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.  For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 19½” x 26”  or  49x 66cm or  a fat half (27 x 36″).  You could squeeze this on a fat quarter but you would have to reduce your margins to 2″ only on either side of your fabric for framing.

Silkweavers Spring Garden
Silkweavers Spring Garden

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $ 40.00
Floss:  $40.20 (assumed 3 skeins of each DMC colour)
Fabric: $48.95

Total: $103.89  ($177.45 AUD  or  €159.60  or  £116.45)

Places to Buy

Tea Party Revolutions sell their charts via PDF download or paper chart worldwide. For readers of this site, Jo is offering a 30% discount on any of her charts.  Use code: REVIEW30.  Offer ends 31 January 2015.

Australia:

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

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.

Europe:

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

United Kingdom:

SewandSo has all the floss in stock and a variety of fabrics.

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

Sparklies have a range of fabrics to make this design sparkle.

Chromatic Alchemy  “I have a shortlist of two for Been Naughty and Jingle Bells. I think Quiescence with spots is a nice subtle background that complements the pieces. However subtle these patterns are not, so for the brave stitchers I would recommend Radioactive for an ‘in your face’ look!”

United States:

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

Giveaway

To help you get into the spirit of the season (and perhaps add a little naughty to your nice if you feel so inclined), Tea Party Revolution are giving away one of her Christmas designs. To enter, tell me how you celebrate the holiday season where you are.

Contest is open to anywhere in the world. Whilst we love comments and sharing via social media, only comments on this post which include an answer to the giveaway question will be eligible for entry.

Julie will select her favourite answer and Mel will contact the winner and Tea Party Revolutions.

Contest closes TWO weeks from Publish; Midday, 7 January 2014, Melbourne time (UTC+11 hours).

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.

Last Updated: 24 December 2014

 

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Tea (Dittman) by Heaven and Earth Designs

A guest review from a friend with more stitching time than sense.

HAED - Tea

From the Designer

Anna Dittmann’s work can be found under the username escume on www.deviantart.com.

What is it?

An art to stitch design, ‘Tea‘ was originally published as a print in 2014, coinciding with the release of season 4 of BBC’s Sherlock. It shows Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and is a watercolour interpretation of a scene from Season 2. It was converted to Cross stitch and made available via Heaven and Earth designs in April 2014.

Why this chart?

I blame Mel Hicks for this chart. In a moment of weakness we both succumb to ‘fangirl’ patterns (she to Bilbo Baggins, me to Sherlock Holmes). One of us is making solid progress, the other…not so much.

Heaven and Earth Designs have an excellent reputation for working with the designers, legally licencing their art and controlling illegal reproduction as far as they are able.

I’ve had mixed success with actually completing art to stitch designs in the past. I have three with less than 200 stitches completed, one finished bookmark and two solid WIPs (one being ‘Tea’).

So ‘why this chart?’ I could go on all day justifying this chart because it “fits with my tea and coffee themed genre” or “admiration of the artist” or even “Isn’t that a pretty shade of blue?” The truth, I fear, is more simple. I’m a shameless member of the Cumbercollective and if I’m going to tackle a chart with slightly less than 163,000 stitches, Benedict Cumberbatch is the man I’m going to spend an obscene amount of hours with.

tea closeup
Tea by Anna Dittman and Heaven and Earth Designs

Review

So let’s talk about the chart, and my experience stitching it.

I purchased ‘Tea’ as a digital download from Heaven and Earth (in the Large format).  This gives me the freedom to print a copy out if I so desire, or work on it with one of the many available tablet apps (I use GoodReader). The cover has a full colour picture of the finished art and includes stitch count, approximate size on 25ct and how many floss colours are needed.  It’s worth noting that this information is also available on the Heaven and Earth Designs site prior to purchase (just so you know what you’re letting yourself in for). The complete floss list is NOT available prior to purchase.

The chart itself is 42 A4 pages with three row overlap on top and left hand edges, which I’ve found sufficient for aligning while stitching. The symbols are clear and unambiguous. Even on a printed version (I have the luxury of zoom on my electronic copy) they are clearly readable.

The chart pack also has instructions and notes on how to stitch ‘Tea’.  It recommends stitching on 18 or 25ct with two threads over one. I, being the trend-setter that I am, chose to go with a non-standard choice of 20ct over one. Whatever fabric you choose, make sure you choose a weave that is comfortable for you because you’ll be stitching this for a LONG time. Also included are approximate thread requirements for each colour assuming the stitcher is using 25ct. All stitches are full crosses and there is no backstitching.

Also noteworthy is the fact that ‘Tea’, unlike many art to stitch designs does NOT have a fully stitched background. This makes fabric choice important as it will show around the finished design. The good news is that this also reduces the daunting  number of stitches somewhat.

My Experience

So let me tell you about my experience stitching this monster so far. I started the project I’ve fondly come to refer to as ‘Big Blue Batch’ in May.  Having done the obligatory hyperventilate over the size of the fabric, I made a conscious decision to start at the bottom left. Why? I’m glad you asked. Firstly, I wanted to get stuck into the full pages first (and Big Blue’s head has a LOT more white-space around it). You know the story, tackle the tough stuff first. Secondly, I was itching to get my fingers on that delightful watch down in the bottom corner. I wanted to see the resolution in stitches before I got in too deep.

What became clear very quickly was that 20ct evenweave was working for me. I’ve never been happy with the coverage of two threads over one on 18ct and I knew 25ct was beyond my eyesight to tolerate for long. 20ct was like Goldilocks….Juuuust right.

One page in and I was just skimming the bottom of the watchband and the tantalising glimpse of ‘something’ was enough to hook me. Yes, you heard it folks, this chart is the ultimate tease. You’re just reaching the ‘good bit’ on a page and it lures you onto the next one with a promise of fulfilment. But it delivers…and how! If you look at my progress shot further down you’ll see what I mean. You can see the hands on the watch! It is CLEARLY 9 o’clock.  If there was ever a chart that rewarded for putting the right colours in the right squares, it’s this one. (Am I ranting? Yes..I am..sorry).

The watch lead to the hand, the hand to the saucer, I followed the thumb knuckle up the edge of the robe and into the gentle folds of the collar. And that’s my next tip….When tackling a mammoth project like this, break it down. Give yourself a roadmap and follow it. All the instructions say to tackle these in 10X10 blocks and I have…sort of. What I do is I follow the 10X10 blocks with a goal to complete ‘something’. Look for identifiable ‘stuff’ and build around it. It helps me keep my motivation up.

I should also state …. you’ll make mistakes. I’ve made mistakes … LOADS of them. A stitch one too far right or a couple. Be smart! Work out if it will matter in *gulp* 163,000 stitches. Some will (on the watch face) and some won’t (in the broad expanse of his robe). If it matters, then unpick. If not….sigh, swear you’ll never make another mistake and move on. There’s a section in his robe that I KNOW has the wrong colour, it’s a shade too dark..or light..or green..or..something, but I defy you to pick it (I know I can’t). But there was also a section on the right that had the wrong colour and it was clearly visible (to me). I spent three laborious hours snipping and unpicking and I’m glad I did so. Learn what matters, draw a line for yourself and remember…This is supposed to be FUN! Don’t beat yourself up.

My final comment would be that this, surprisingly, has not been the nightmare I envisioned. There seems to be a reasonable flow to the pattern which seems to naturally break into ‘zones’. I haven’t felt that with my other HaED charts. For someone wanting to tackle their first ‘challenging’ project, this would be a good choice. However, projects this size are not for the faint of heart and unless you truly love the pattern, and are willing to commit months…and probably YEARS to it….buy it as a print and save yourself the grief.

Stitching Progress as of 10 December 2014
Stitching Progress as of 10 December 2014

Materials Required

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

1 skein each DMC 158, 159, 160, 161, 168, 311, 312, 317, 318,  334, 336, 413, 414, 501, 502, 503, 504, 517, 518, 519, 522, 524, 535, 550, 597, 645, 646, 762, 791, 792,  793, 794, 796, 797, 799, 803, 806, 807, 809, 813, 823, 824, 825, 826, 844, 924, 926, 927, 928, 930, 931, 932, 955, 958, 959, 964,  992, 993, 3021, 3024 3031,  3072, 3750, 3752, 3753, 3760, 3761, 3765, 3766, 3799, 3807, 3809, 3810 , 3813, 3816, 3817, 3839, 3842, 3848, 3849, 3865, white.

2 skeins each DMC 598, 747, 828, 939, 3768, 3811

3 skeins DMC 820, 3756

Approximately 100 skeins of DMC floss….ALL of them shades of blue and green! Seriously…I didn’t even know DMC made that many shades.

25 count White or Cream Evenweave  (stitch count 400 x 407). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1, or on any other count, or on Magic Guide.

For 25ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 22” x 25”  or  56 x 68cm  or  a fat half (27 x 36″) or  medium pack (30 x 39″) of 25ct Magic Guide.

Zweigart - 25ct Lugana antique White

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $19.00
Floss:  $ 81.00
Fabric: $23.00

Total: $87.00 ($160.00 AUD or €144.50  or  £114.00)

Places to Buy

Heaven and Earth Designs sell globally, both pdf digital charts and printed charts. Both in regular and large formats.

Australia:

Colours Down Under has all the threads and a variety of white and off white fabrics in stock. Jo would be happy to order in the printed 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 you to make this design unique. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015.

OzStitch has all the threads and a variety of white and off white fabrics in stock.

Europe:

Casa Cenina in Spain can order this chart in for you.  They also stock a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation.

United Kingdom:

Colray Crafts provides kits for Heaven and Earth Designs. COntact them for a quote.

Cross Stitch Heaven provides kits for Heaven and Earth Designs, contact Donna about kitting up Tea if you are interested.

SewandSo  stocks DMC, plain evenweave fabrics and DMC Magic Guide fabric.

Polstitches has a range of hand dyed fabrics to personalise your design.

Sparklies has a variety of her own hand dyed fabrics to make this design uniquely yours.

Chromatic Alchemy “I have chosen Quiescence (no spot version) for our tea drinking detective, subtle yet interesting and a good match for the blues in the piece.”

United States:

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

For Further Adventures

If you’d like to watch Big Blue come to life and chat to Julie about it she can be reached directly on Facebook or join the “Let’s Get This Done” Facebook group.

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.

Last Updated: 16 December 2014

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