Before My Morning Coffee by Artecy

Art to Stitch Wednesday featuring Artecy.  Also as the November Sales finish, the Christmas sales start so I have created a new SALES page.  Bookmark it or check it out as I will update it regularly as I hear of new Sales.

Artecy - Before my morning coffee

From the Designer

Before my morning coffee …. I might as well be a dog.

What is it?

Before my morning coffee is an original Roosevelt the Cat artwork by Gail Gastfield translated into cross stitch by Tereena Clarke of Artecy.

Note: Please respect our artists. Your work will be a labour of love for months and years to come. Buy from reputable designers such as those reviewed on this site. They support the artists who produce the original works. By buying cheap art-to-stitch designs, you are likely buying from a designer who is not paying royalties or licensing and the chart is likely to be low quality. Without support, our artists cannot thrive. Your time, and theirs are worth more.

Why this chart?

I bought this chart for a cat-loving friend of mine’s birthday a few years ago.  I liked it so much, I bought a second copy for myself.  Also Tereena is a local Australian designer and I like to support local where possible.

Tereena of Artecy is one of the most prolific Art to Stitch designers I have known. Her work is featured on her own Artecy website, Patterns Online, CrossStitch.com and Kustom Krafts.   Tereena has been designing cross stitch patterns for the last 14 years.  In the last two years, her husband, an artist, has assisted with her designing process; prior to this, all charts on the Artecy site were designed or converted by Tereena. All of her art-to-stitch charts are fully licensed.

Most art-to-stitch designs are fully stitched, in that the background is treated as part of the picture so every square is stitched, culminating in a project comprising thousands of stitches and months if not years to work. The background in Before My Morning Coffee is so simple that it is easily removed. You can stitch this on a hand dyed fabric of your own choice to cut the stitching time and add to the complexity of the design.

Before My Morning Coffee is a simple design, it is full cross stitch in DMC only; a beginner has the skills to stitch it. However, this is still a large design, so pace yourself and enjoy the journey.

Artecy - Before My Morning Coffee

Review

All of the Artecy Cross Stitch designs are available as PDF downloads or printed charts. My copy of Before My Morning Coffee is the 18 page PDF digital download. Simply save yiour downloaded PDF file and you can work from the digital chart or print sections as you need, or print it all and store it with the rest of your paper charts; the options are yours.

The Before My Morning Coffee chart pack contains:

  • front cover sheet with a mock-up of the stitched design, stitch count and approximate size (in inches) of the finished design on 14ct, 16ct and 18ct. Also includes the artist licence information.
  • one page of instructions on how to stitch art-to-stitch design.
  • the twelve page chart.
  • two pages of the DMC floss symbol key or legend, in DMC floss number order.
  • two pages of the DMC floss, listing both the number of stitches and number of skeins required for each DMC colour.

Artecy provides black symbols on a white background.  Tereena suggests starting in the middle of the pattern; there are no overlap rows from preceding pages so you can stitch in rows of 10 stitches across the page, stitch on Magic Guide fabric or grid your fabric or count carefully.  Most stitchers combine these techniques.

The chart format is large; it only shows 55 x 78 stitches per page. This is easy to see and stitch from. Tereena carefully selects the variety of symbols to maximise ease of differentiating them on the page.  Again, you can almost see the design due to the symbol choice.  The background is simple; large swathes of the same colours.  However the cat’s fur is by necessity a riot of different colours and symbols. This is confetti stitching at its worst, but you would expect that for drawn animal fur.

Although the stitchcount is listed on the front page, the two pages of floss list can only be seen once you buy and open the chart pack. Nor does Artecy list the floss needed on the website.

Before My Morning Coffee is a cute whimsical design that would give any cat lover a smile.  You can fully stitch the background or use a hand dyed fabric; it is your choice.

Materials Required

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

1 skein each: DMC 152, 159, 160, 161, 169, 223, 310, 315, 318, 336, 353, 356, 402, 415, 452, 747, 758, 760, 762, 778, 792, 797, 798, 799, 803, 814, 815, 819, 820, 823, 902, 918, 938, 939, 3042, 3713, 3721, 3722, 3727, 3743, 3770, 3776, 3778, 3779, 3807, 3827, 3830, 3856, 3857, 3858, 3859, 3860, 3861, 3865.

If you wish to stitch the background, you will also need:
2 skeins each DMC 809, 3839
3 skeins DMC 3838
5 skeins DMC 3840

14ct Aida or 28 count White or Cream Evenweave  (stitch count 198 x 230). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 20” x 22½”  or  51 x 57cm  or  a fat half (27 x 36″).

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart:  $  9.95
Floss:    $29.05
Fabric: $20.00

Total: $59.00  ($102.50 AUD or €84.05  or  £59.27)

Places to Buy

Tereena sells this chart via many online stores including ArtecyPatterns Online and CrossStitch.com. Artecy are having a 20% off all charts Christmas sale, so if you buy from Artecy or CrossStitch.com. you can save 20% on the pattern price.

 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 6 December 2014.

Europe:

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

United Kingdom:

Colray Crafts provides a variety of kits for this and other Artecy designs.

SewandSo can offer all your DMC and fabric needs.

Chromatic Alchemy  “Oh wow it works on quite a few….it depends I guess whether you want a moody background or not. I can’t decide between them lol! They all look good to me!  I think I would definitely remove the background though imagine how much quicker it would be to stitch”.

Polstitches “with a removed background blue moon would add some real depth”

Sparklies “Harebell or Rain would work quite well if you didn’t want to stitch the background.”

United States:

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

Discussion

Have you stitched an Artecy design? What do you think of Tereena’s charting?

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: 3 December 2014

Make a Donation Button
Was this interesting read worth a cup of coffee?

Calypso (Lynch) by Heaven and Earth Designs

Art to Stitch Wednesday and yes we have finally arrived at the most well-known fantasy art-to-stitch site, Heaven and Earth Designs (HaED).

HaED - Calypso
HaED – Calypso

What is it?

Calypso is a watercolour by Jo Lynch translated into cross stitch by Michele Sayetta of Heaven and Earth Designs.

Note: Please respect our artists. Your work will be a labour of love for months and years to come. Buy from reputable designers such as those reviewed on this site. They support the artists who produce the original works. By buying cheap art-to-stitch designs, you are likely buying from a designer who is not paying royalties or licensing and the chart is likely to be low quality. Without support, our artists cannot thrive. Your time, and theirs are worth more.

Why this chart?

I’ve always loved Jo Lynch’s artwork, especially her watercolour animals.  She also “donates a portion of her sales to help various animal charities and shelters, and works with one group in particular, Art 4 Critters , in which she is now a co-leader. Each year she donates some paintings and artwork to animal groups to sell during fundraisers.” Very inspiring.

Michelle Sayetta and her site Heaven and Earth Designs are well-known for licensing fantastic artists and then investing over 60 hours into each artwork, designing and tweaking to give stitchers the best possible art-to-stitch chart. Heaven and Earth have been in business twelve years and that experience shows in their charts.

Most art-to-stitch designs are fully stitched, in that the background is treated as part of the picture so every square is stitched, culminating in a project comprising thousands of stitches and months if not years to work.

Calypso is different; smaller than the average art-to-stitch chart and and with no background so stitchers can choose any background they like to personalise their vision.

Calypso is a simple design, it is full cross stitch in DMC only; a beginner has the skills to stitch it. However, this is still a large design, so pace yourself and enjoy the journey.

Calypso
Calypso

Review

Heaven and Earth designs are available as printed charts or digital downloads.  All designs are available in regular or large format.  My copy of Calypso is a digital download of the large chart format. Calypso is a 16 page chart pack in digital format. Save the design and you can work from the digital chart or print sections as you need, or print it all and store it with the rest of your paper charts; the options are yours.

The Calypso chart pack contains:

  • front cover sheet with original artwork, stitch count and finished sizes for 25ct fabric counts and the artist licence information.
  • one page of instructions on how to stitch art-to-stitch design.
  • three pages of the DMC floss symbol key or legend, in DMC floss number order.
  • thee pages of the DMC floss, listing both the number of stitches and number of skeins required for for each DMC colour.
  • the 8 page chart

Heaven and Earth Designs provide black symbols on a white background.  Each successive chart page includes a three-row shaded overlap from earlier pages. Michelle carefully selects the variety of symbols to maximise ease of differentiating them on the page.  Again, you can almost see the design due to the symbol choice.

The larger chart format shows only 65 x 80 stitches per page. The standard charts use 80 x 98 stitches per page; so the symbols on the larger chart pack are easier to see.  I recommend buying the larger chart pack if you suspect the design includes many colour changes (confetti stitching).

When Calypso was first released in 2009, Heaven and Earth Designs recommended stitching this design in silk floss created by Vicki Clayton of Hand Dyed Fibers.  Vicki’s silks to DMC chart is listed here.

Although the stitchcount is listed on the front page, the three pages of floss list can only be seen once you buy and open the chartpack.  Due to this, Heaven and Earth Designs provide the floss list on the website.

Calypso is a bold fun design with no background stitching; as such you can stitch on any fabric that you choose.

Materials Required

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

1 skein each DMC 150, 152, 156, 159, 160, 162, 169, 209, 225, 315, 334, 367, 371, 402, 413, 517, 524, 550, 554, 580, 598, 606, 666, 676, 700, 704, 720, 740, 741, 742, 775, 780, 781, 791, 792, 794, 796, 797, 798, 799, 807, 809, 813, 814, 817, 819, 820, 825, 826, 842, 890, 891, 898, 900, 921, 932, 936, 946, 947, 966, 970, 971, 972, 993, 995, 996, 3042, 3072, 3325, 3743, 3747, 3752, 3761, 3765, 3766, 3805, 3808, 3810, 3814, 3832, 3835, 3836, 3842, 3843, 3845, 3852, 3853, 3861, 3865, Ecru.

25 count White linen (stitch count 245 x 121). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.  Stitched  over one with the a 3″ border allowance, fabric size needed is:  16″x 11″ or 40 x 28cm  or a fat eight (13 x 18″)

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 24” x 15”  or  60 x 38cm  or  a fat quarter (18 x 27″).

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch Calypso  using the recommended DMC floss stitch over one 25count fabric (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage):

Chart: $19.00
Floss:  $ 39.60
Fabric: $  7.70

Total: $66.30  ($130.00 AUD or €114.60  or  £84.70)

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 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 6 December 2014.

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 this and other Heaven and Earth Designs.

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

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

Sparklies “For this one, given the fabulous colours in the design, I would stick with either Ink or Pitch.”

Polstitches “earthen colours always enhance colour so would love to see it on Polstitches Heirloom”

Chromatic Alchemy  “Calypso is a stunning design with wonderfully rich colours, a dark fabric will really make him/her shine, shown here on Nox.”

United States:

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

ABC Stitch Therapy has the chart and all materials in stock.

Discussion

Do you like Jo Lynch’s designs – would you stitch them in DMC or hand dyed silk floss?

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: 26 November 2014

 

Make a Donation Button
Was this interesting read worth a cup of coffee?

Fire Cats (Beary) by Gecko Rouge

Sad news today, Love Thy Thread is closing down on 1 December 2014 due to Bev’s ill-health. If you have lusted after any of her charts, now is the time to get them. As a reminder, here is the Maiko XL review I wrote last month.

Gecko Rouge - Fire Cats
All defects on the this cover occurred while it was in my possession.

From the Designer

“Kerry Beary’s retro designs are all thriving with charm and elegance in this exclusive range of cross stitch kits.  Each design has been carefully reconstructed using our professional and state of art cross stitch producing technology. Every design has been shown to Kerry and given her personal ‘thumbs up’ before made available to Gecko Rouge so you can be sure that you will receive the best design closet to her original exquisite art.”

Fire Cats is a is a painting by Kerry Beary translated into cross stitch by Gecko Rouge.

Why this chart?

I love these retro designs – such bright bold colours and sixties art style, plus cats. I won this kit last year in a Gecko Rouge competition.

As is standard in art-to-stitch designs, Fire Cats is fully stitched; the background is part of the picture so every square is stitched, culminating in a project comprising thousands of stitches and months if not years to work.

Gecko Rouge kits are of fully licensed modern artworks and they work with the artists to produce a high-quality rendering of their artwork into cross stitch.

Fire Cats is a simple design; full cross stitch in DMC only and many swathes of single colour; a beginner has the skills to stitch this project. However, this is a design that will take you months to complete; enjoy the journey instead of focusing on the finish and you should enjoy this design.

Note: Please respect our artists. Your work will be a labour of love for months and years to come. Buy from reputable designers such as those on this site. They support the artists who produce the original works. By buying cheap art-to-stitch designs, you are likely buying from a designer who is not paying royalties or licensing and the chart is likely to be low quality. Without support, our artists cannot thrive. Your time, and theirs are worth more.

Fire Cats
Fire Cats

Review

Gecko Rouge used to produce charts, but now all of their designs are only available as kits.

The Fire Cats chart pack been printed in black on good quality white paper. The front cover is a glossy white card stock. The whole document feels strong and weighty. The plastic binder on the side is easily removed and returned to place the pages in any order you wish. When stitching this chart, I tend to put the page I am working on in the front and the floss key on the back so I don’t need to flip through the document. This plastic binder also keeps the chart tidy; I do not fear that I will lose any pages.

The Fire Cats printed chart pack includes:

  • front cover sheet with a mock-up of the stitched design and approximate size (in inches) of the finished design on 14ct and 25ct fabrics
  • kit instructions including stitch diagrams for cross stitch, half cross stitch and back stitch
  • the 16 page chart; each page includes a diagram of where that page sits in the overall chart
  • the symbol key or legend

The chart is available with both colours and symbols or black and white symbol pattern only. I chose the black and white symbol pattern only for my kit.

The chart uses unusual symbols for each floss; a circle with a dot in it, a diamond, a right hand arrow inside a black square.  These symbols may be more difficult to remember or mutter under your breath while stitching, compared to numbers or letters, but they are also unique in the amount and type of space they take up on the pattern. Consequently, the differing pattern elements are extremely easy to see and differentiate.  You can see the pattern in the symbols and know where you are and what you are stitching.

As these designs are only sold as kits, there is no need for the floss list/key to be on the outside of the pack. The threads arrive already sorted on floss cards that include the symbol and colour of the floss.

Fire Cats is a fully stitched chart; as such you can stitch on any fabric that you choose. Gecko Rouge offer the options of 14 ct white Aida, 18ct White Aida or 25ct DMC Magic Guide fabric for your kit. There are no overlap rows between the pages so you can stitch in rows of 10 stitches across the page, stitch on Magic Guide fabric or grid your fabric or count carefully.  Most stitchers combine these techniques.

Most art-to-stitch projects recommend to stitch one-over-one on 25 count fabric; Gecko Rouge offers three options. As these designs only use whole cross stitch, I strongly recommend that you stitch on the fabric count you prefer.  You are probably going to spend a long while stitching this project, don’t make it more difficult by using a stitch style or count that you are not comfortable with.

Materials Required

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

DMC 310, 606, 677, 725, 728, 740, 741, 742, 814, 919, 921, 947, 970, 3078, 3854, Ecru.  As these are part of the kit, there’s no listing for how much of each colour is needed.

Floss Cards and needle on left hand side.
Floss Cards and needle on left hand side.

14ct White Aida or 18ct White Aida or 25ct DMC Magic Guide  (stitch count 204 x 219). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 21 x 22”  or  53 x 55cm  or  a fat half (27 x 36″). The kit includes an exact cut for a two-inch border allowance.

18ct Magic Guide Ecru
18ct Magic Guide Ecru

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost of the Fire Cats kit (prices do  not include postage).  As this design is only available as a kit and does not include individual chart prices or numbers of skeins of floss I cannot offer kitting it up costs.

Kit : $73.00  ($85.95 AUD or €59.80  or  £46.00)

Places to Buy

Gecko Rouge sells their kits worldwide via either their Etsy store or their website.

Australia:

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 6 December 2014.

United Kingdom:

Sparklies has a variety of fabrics to make this design sparkle.

Chromatic Alchemy  “I wouldn’t normally recommend a hand dyed for a full stitched piece but I do think that Demeter contrasts the warm yellows in the gecko rouge cats piece beautifully.”

Discussion

Gecko Rouge has a huge variety of artists they work with.  Which design from their massive range would you stitch?

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: 19 November 2014

 

Make a Donation Button
Was this interesting read worth a cup of coffee?

La Dame En Rouge (Kruskamp) by Mystic Stitch

Art to Stitch Wednesday.  Also don’t forget the current giveaway finishes tomorrow; give it a look if you love primitives. Finally I’ve done some behind the scenes work, so if you find a broken link let me know.

Mystic Stitch - La Dame En Rouge

From the Designer

Beautifully colored and richly detailed counted cross stitch pattern that is easy enough for the beginner yet stimulating enough for even the most advanced stitcher. Designed in full cross stitch only. With 12 years experience, Mystic Stitch is one of the first innovative Needlework Design Companies to specialize solely in the conversion of Fine artwork & Photographs to cross stitch patterns. Often imitated, never duplicated! Quality you have come to expect & count on.

La Dame En Rouge is an oil on canvas painting by Janet Kruskamp that has been licensed and converted to cross stitch by Mystic Stitch.

Why this chart?

I love the Art Deco age especially when it edged into the advent of Film Noir. I have a soft spot for the posters of the time; such bold,  bright colours and contrasts, with a Noir edge.  This painting is one of a pair with La Dame En Noire.

Mystic Stitch charts are of fully licensed modern artworks or of Old Masterworks now considered “public domain” old Masters.  Mystic Stitch use less colours in their conversions in comparison to the other art-to-stitch designers reviewed here. Their experience with limiting their palette works well for dramatically contrasted designs such as La Dames En Rouge & En Noire. Mystic Stitch know when to use multiple colours changes (confetti stitching) for details, and when to use broad swathes of the same colour for greater contrast and visibility.

La Dame En Rouge is a simple design, she is full cross stitch in DMC only; a beginner has the skills to stitch her. However, this is a design that will take you months or even years to complete. Consider savouring the journey instead of focusing on the completion and you should enjoy your project.

Note: Please respect our artists. Your work will be a labour of love for months and years to come. Buy from reputable designers such as those on this site. They support the artists who produce the original works. By buying cheap art-to-stitch designs, you are likely buying from a designer who is not paying royalties or licensing and the chart is likely to be low quality. Without support, our artists cannot thrive. Your time, and theirs are worth more.

La Dame En Rouge
La Dame En Rouge

Review

Mystic Stitch offers their charts as electronic download or in printed form. I have La Dame En Rouge in printed form and La Dame En Noire as a digital download.

The La Dame En Rouge chart pack has been printed in black on good quality white paper. The front cover is an off white card stock which gives some strength and stability to the document, The ring binding is of professional quality; I can easily lay the pages completely open or fold them back.

The La Dane En Rouge printed chartpack contains:

  • front cover sheet with a mock-up of the stitched design, the stitch count and approximate size (in inches) of the finished design, on a range of standard fabric counts.
  • pattern instructions and a diagram of where the pages sit in relation to each other
  • cleaning and care notes; washing instructions
  • the symbol key or legend, including the number of skeins needed for each thread
  • the 24 page chart

The La Dame En Noire digital download carries the same content as En Rouge, but as a PDF file which you need to print out or use from a computer or tablet.

The chart uses Capital letters, lowercase letters and grammatical symbols easily found on your keyboard for their floss keys. Sometimes this can cause issues as many of the Uppercase letters are easily mistaken for each other because of their regularity in shape and size  However Mystic Stitch have obviously spent time over this issue and selected their floss keys carefully.  Two of the most used colours especially side by side is La Dame’s skin and dress.  The largest floss usage in these are denoted by a / and a D.  These are such differing symbols that you can almost see the pattern under your eyes.

The Floss list/key is inside the chart pack; and it is not listed on the website. There is no way of discovering what floss is needed until after you have bought the chart. Also the floss list is in Symbol order, not floss colour order; while this is sure to be easier while stitching, it does make this a pain to find the threads to pull from your stash or a shop wall.

La Dame En Rouge is a fully-stitched chart; the finished project is wall-to wall stitching with no fabric showing (except the amount you leave for framing).  As such you can stitch on any fabric that you choose; Mystic Stitch recommends off white. There are no overlap rows between the pages so you can stitch in rows of 10 stitches across the page, stitch on Magic Guide fabric or grid your fabric or count carefully.  Most stitchers use a combination of these techniques.

Most art-to-stitch projects recommend to stitch one-over-one on 25 count fabric; Mystic Stitch recommends 14 count through to 22 count. As these designs only use whole cross stitch, I strongly recommend that you stitch on the fabric count you prefer and are used to.  You are probably going to spend a long while stitching this project, don’t make it more difficult by using a stitch style or count that you are not comfortable with.

 Materials Required

To stitch La Dame En Rouge exactly as designed, you will need:

1 skein each – DMC 151, 152, 154, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 164, 168, 221, 223, 225, 315, 321, 336, 350, 353, 355, 145, 451, 452, 453, 498, 520, 550, 645, 646, 647, 666, 762, 777, 779, 794, 814, 815, 819, 823, 869, 904, 905, 928, 927, 930, 931, 934, 938, 939,  951, 986, 988, 989, 3031, 3033, 3072, 3350, 3371, 3685, 3688, 3712, 3721, 3722, 3727, 3743, 3747, 3756, 3770, 3787, 3799, 3807, 3834, 3858, 3859, 3860, 3861

2 skeins each – DMC 310, 3042

3 skeins – DMC 169, 317, 318, 3854

4 skeins – DMC 414 Steel Grey Dark

10 skeins – DMC 817 – Coral Red, Very Dark

La Dame En Rouge - DMC Floss
La Dame En Rouge – DMC Floss

DMC Magic Guide  – 18 count gridded evenweave (stitch count 200 x 400). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For the recommended over 1 stitching on 18 ct (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 17″ x 28″  or  44 x 72  or a medium pack of Magic Guide (21 x 39″)  or normal fabric’s fat half (27 x 36″). If you narrow your margins slightly you can squish it on a fat quarter (18 x 27″)

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave stitching over 2 (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 20½” x 35″  or  52 x 88cm  or a medium pack of Magic Guide (21 x 39″) a full yard of plain fabric (36″ x 55″).

18cr Magic Guide Ecru

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $16.00 (print)  or   $9.99 (download)
Floss:  $46.20
Fabric: $15.80

Total: $78.00   ($142.00AUD  or  €128.33  or  £91.40)

Places to Buy

Mystic Stitch sells globally, whether by print or by download.

Australia:

Colours Down Under has all the DMC and some plain fabrics in stock. Jo has sale on all Aida fabrics right now. Jo would be happy to order in the chart, and offers a 10% discount on the package (chart + floss). Mention this review when ordering.

Colour Cascade Fabrics stocks DMC and 25ct Magic Guide fabric.  Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 6 December 2014.

Europe:

Casa Cenina in Spain stocks DMC, and a range of fabrics to stitch this design, including DMC Magic Guide fabric.

United Kingdom:

Chromatic Alchemy  has a range of fabrics to stitch this design.

SewandSo stocks this chart, and can kit it up for you.

Sparklies has a range of fabrics to stitch this design.

United States:

123Stitch stocks DMC and a variety of fabrics.

For Discussion

Have you stitched (or started to stitch) a Mystic Stitch design? If so, which one and what did you think of the chart? Please leave a link in your comment to your stitching progress

Feedback

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

Was this read worth a cup of coffee?


 

Last updated: 12 November 2014

Owlexander (Wood) by Colour Cascade Designs

Art to Stitch Wednesday.  Owlexander is an illustration by Jenny Wood that has been converted to cross stitch by Tammy Verdon of Colour Cascade Designs.

Colour Cascade Fabrics & Designs - Owlexander

From the Designer

A customer of mine sent me a link to Jenny Woods art page on Facebook, I loved her style of quirky and very Australian art. When I was scrolling through her page, I found a post Jenny had made about how these drawing got her through her chemotherapy sessions, so of course I had to contact her. Jenny is currently battling breast cancer, but without fail there is a new piece of art on that page every single week! She is truly an inspiration, and I am so glad she has allowed me to use her artwork in this format.

Why this chart?

Jenny’s story inspired me, the art is fully licensed, I trust Colour Cascades to create a great chart and I don’t have to stitch the background!

I am wary of buying from sellers who snatch a popular image, quickly run it through a conversion program and sell the result for a few dollars.  Unless the picture is in the public domain, this is illegal as well as producing a sub-standard chart.

Good art-to-stitch designers such as Colour Cascade Designs have legal agreements and licences with the original artists (or artist estates) to use their designs, and work with them to produce high quality charts.  They do not just run the image through a conversion program; they spend many hours looking over the design, tweaking and altering the pattern to produce a better chart.

Most art-to-stitch designs are fully stitched, in that the background is treated as part of the picture so every square is stitched, culminating in a project comprising thousands of stitches and years of work. Projects such as Owlexander, do not have a stitched background, and so could be stitched in less time.  You can also choose a hand dyed fabric to complement or contrast; a fabric that completes the design without needing 100% stitched coverage.

Owlexander is a simple design, it is full cross stitch in DMC only; a beginner has the skills to stitch him. However, this is a design that will take you months or even years to complete. Consider savoring the journey instead of focusing on the completion and you should enjoy him.

Colour Cascade - Owlexander
Colour Cascade – Owlexander

Review

Colour Cascade Designs offers their charts as electronic download or in printed form; I have only bought the electronic downloads.  Owlexander is a 54 page chart pack in pdf format. Save the pdf and you can work from the digital chart or print sections as you need, or print it all and store it with the rest of your paper charts; the options are yours.

The Owlexander digital download has:

  • front cover sheet with a mock-up of the stitched design, the stitch count and size (in inches and centimetres) of the design stitched in 25ct.
  • instructions on how to stitch and suggestions for the number of threads to use for each count of fabric
  • the 49 page chart; each page includes a diagram of where that page sits in the overall chart and a three-row overlap from earlier pages to aid in keeping your place
  • cleaning and care notes; washing instructions
  • the symbol key or legend, in DMC numbered order
  • The floss key including the length of each floss needed

Tammy of Colour Cascade designs is in the process of updating her chart packs.  Previously the Owlexander chart was only 30 pages. The updated version is the same chart, but the symbols are printed larger and more crisp and can be more easily seen on the page. Tammy has also changed some of the symbols to give greater differentiation; reducing the likelihood of stitching with the wrong shade of floss. I love these changes and urge you to contact Tammy to receive updates of your chart files as she converts them.

Confetti stitching is in some ways integral to the art-to-stitch process, changing colours every stitch or second stitch is what allows these charts their level of detail and complexity. However stitching all confetti stitching is  a nightmare!  Owlexander has the requisite confetti stitching in areas that need the extra detail such as the feathers, but also has large swathes of the same colours in his suit jacket. This allows you as stitcher to alternate between seeing the details emerge slowly and feeling accomplished at progressing through other sections with speed.

Most art-to-stitch projects recommend to stitch one-over-one on 25 count fabric. As these designs only use whole cross stitch, I strongly recommend that you stitch on the fabric count you prefer and are used to.  You are probably going to spend a long while stitching this project, don’t make it more difficult by using a stitch style or count that you are not comfortable with.

 Materials Required

To stitch Owlexander exactly as designed, you will need:

oWLEXANDER

 

1 skein each – DMC 168, 169, 310, 317, 318, 413, 415, 451, 452, 535, 646, 647, 648, 762, 844, 928, 3072, 3371, 3756, 3799, 3865, 3866, white

DMC 939 - Very Dark Navy Blue

 

4 skeins – DMC 939 – Dark Navy Blue

 

 

DMC Magic Guide  – 25 count gridded evenweave (stitch count 330 x 422). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For the recommended over 1 stitching on 25ct (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 19″ x 23″  or  49 x 59cm  or  a fat half (27 x 36″). If you narrow your margins slightly you can squish it on a fat quarter (18 x 27″)

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave stitching over 2 (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 30″ x 36″  or  75 x 92cm  or  a full yard (36″ x 55″).

18ct Magic Guide Ecru
18ct Magic Guide Ecru

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $13.05
Floss:  $11.10
Fabric: $26.00

Total: $50.15   ($78.00AUD or £41.75 or €46.80)

Places to Buy

Colour Cascade Designs stocks this chart, and can kit it up for you

Australia:
Colours Down Under has all the DMC and plain evenweave fabrics in stock.

Colour Cascade Fabrics is a one-stop shop for buying and kitting up Owlexander.  Tammy recommends My Island Home or Emerald City from her range of fabrics. Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 6 December 2014.

Europe:

Casa Cenina in Spain stocks DMC, and a range of fabrics to stitch this design, including DMC Magic Guide fabric.

United Kingdom:

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

Sparklies suggests Oatmeal, Parchment or Dr Smith’s Tonic from her range of fabrics.

United States:

123Stitch stocks DMC and a variety of fabrics.

For Discussion

Have you stitched (or started to stitch) a Colour Cascades design? If so, which one and what did you think of the chart? Please leave a link in your comment to your stitching progress.

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?