Cross Stitch Design and Fabric Viewer

Each weekend we spotlight something that helps us as a stitcher. The first item up is the Cross Stitch Design and Fabric Viewer. formerly known as the Mirabilia Viewer.

The Viewer allows you to pick a cross stitch design and shows you what it would look like on a variety of fabrics.

The Cross Stitch Design and Fabric Viewer is a personal project managed, updated and maintained by Dana Oliver Smith for the use and pleasure of the stitching community. As Dana keeps the site updated with new designs and fabrics as they come out, the Viewer is justifiably limited to eight prolific designers and thirteen fabric dyers.

The Designers are:

The Dyers are:

However, if you have a favourite designer you would love to see in the Viewer you can always email Dana.

The design images are quite small and may not show the intricacies of the pattern, especially any metallic or beading embellishments.

Update March 2015: The Viewer has undergone an extensive rewrite and the design images are now much larger.  I love this new size and such a clean interface!

 

Please note: The fabric pictures are only a rough indication; colours and extent of mottling change with every different fabric and may show quite differently on your screen.

That said, spend a relaxing few hours playing around the Cross Stitch and Fabric viewer discovering which combinations you would like to see come alive under your needle.

Discussion

So this brings us the end of the first week of Reviews. How has it gone? Would you refer your friends to this site? Do you have a chart, stitchalong or designer you are just hoping I will review? Do you want your favourite shop or dyer listed here?

Unfortunately I’m not a mind reader,  nor do I play one on TV, so please please please comment below and let me know what you think.

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: 3 March 2015 – to include updated links to Viewer and Chatelaine websites.

Christmas Calendar by Alessandra Adelaide

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

2015 Christmas Mystery SAL
2015 Christmas Mystery SAL

What is it?

Christmas Calendar is a 10-month mystery stitch along by Alessandra Adelaide Needleworks (AAN) to produce a large festive wall hanging. The chart pack will include finishing instructions for attaching the accessories and sewing the wall hanging.

Sign-up closes:  29 Dec 2014
SAL Duration: 5 Jan 2015 – 3 Nov 2015

Why this chart?

I am a sucker for a stitch-a-long (SAL), especially a Mystery stitch along where you have no idea what the resultant piece will look like. This year, Alessandra ran a mystery Halloween stitch along from January to October.  I loved it so much I signed up straightaway for next year’s mystery Christmas Calendar.

Although large, this design does seem quite suitable for beginners and advanced stitchers. With only a few floss colours, you can easily customise floss and fabric.  For example, I’m planning to stitch this design on Emerald Green fabric and using gold instead of white floss; to me, Christmas means red green and gold 🙂

Finally I chose this because it is a Christmas theme and it comes with buttons and bells and every kid (including my nephews) need a Christmas Calendar in their lives.

2015 Christmas Mystery SAL sneak peak
2015 Christmas Mystery SAL sneak peak

Review

Joining a mystery stitch along is an act of faith. Faith that the resultant item is worth the time and money you as a stitcher have put into it.  To help stitchers decide whether Christmas Calendar is the right chart for them, Alessandra has released a document listing the materials needed, number of skeins, stitch count and estimated size of the design.

To join in the SAL you need to buy the chart pack and be a member of Facebook.  Alessandra and Roxanne have organised a secret Facebook group for the stitchers’ of Christmas Calendar. Here we can discuss floss and fabric choices, receive each month’s design part and ask questions of each other and Alessandra as the need arises. I have found that the most successful SALs centre around such a vibrant community.

We will receive the Christmas Calendar chart in sections from January to November 2015.  The sections will only arrive electronically so you will either print each section out yourself or work directly from a tablet.

Alessandra usually does not add an overlap on successive pages, so you may need to tape your print outs together or spend a little more time counting carefully.  In the Halloween SAL  a second file of each part was released with an overlap. Unfortunately this created some confusion with a few members mixing up the with-overlap and without-overlap charts. I’m sure this was a learning experience for Alessandra and her team and the Christmas Calendar will have no such issues.

 Materials Required

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

3 skeins – DMC 666 Christmas Red

9 skeins DMC 816 Garnet

1 skein DMC B5200 Snow White

1 ball DMC Perle #8 White

Any fabric type and colour except cream or white (stitch count 342 x 495). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 31″ x 42″  or  78 x 106cm  or  a full yard (36 x 52″).

28ct Natural/Raw Linen
28ct Natural/Raw Linen

1 cut of Christmas fabric – same size as stitching fabric

2 cuts of adhesive fabric ( Vliseline )to be applied on the back of the embroidery:

  • (342 stitches + side borders) x (103 stitches + top border)
    (so for 28ct example): 31″ x 11″
  • (342 stitches + side borders) x (152 stitches + bottom border) (so for 28ct example): 31″ x 14″

cotton thread to sew ( the same colour of your fabric )
5 ornaments
5 buttons
1 Christmas magnetic needle minder

Approximate cost for Project

As Alessandra is hand making a variety of small ornaments and needle minders for the Christmas Calendar and the cutting sizes for the Vliseline can be tricky, AAN is offering a variety of kit options in her store.  (Note: these prices do not include postage).

Option 1:
Christmas Calendar chart: €13.00 ($US 16.28)

Option 2:
Christmas Calendar chart
5 handmade ceramic ornaments
1 handmade ceramic button
4 jingle bells: €18.00 ($US 22.54)

Option 3:
Christmas Calendar chart
5 handmade ceramic ornaments
1 handmade ceramic button
4 jingle bells
1 handmade ceramic needleminder: €25.00 ($US 31.30)

Option 4:
Christmas Calendar chart
5 handmade ceramic ornaments
1 handmade ceramic button
4 jingle bells
1 handmade ceramic needleminder
1 piece of Vliseline 36″ x 24″:  €31.50 ($US 39.43)

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

Option 4: $39.43
Floss: $8.40
Fabric: $65.90

Total: $113.73    ($163.37 AUD or £72.67)

Places to Buy

Australia:

Colours Down Under has all the DMC floss and Perle #8 in stock and some plain evenweave and Aida choices.

Colour Cascade Fabrics has some DMC floss in stock and a wide selection of fabric colours. For readers of this site she offers a 10% discount. Use code PeaceOut during checkout. Code valid for the month of October 2014.

United Kingdom:

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

Sparklies suggests “Any neutrals, or Snowy Skies, Glacier or Misty Morn”.

United States:

123Stitch stocks all of your DMC floss and a variety of fabric choices.

For Discussion

What do you think of Mystery Stitch Alongs? Have you ever stitched one? Which was your favourite?

Feedback

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

Was this read worth a cup of coffee?


 

Last updated: 11 November 2014

Peace Wheel by Ink Circles

OK I wanted to start with a Monochrome Monday, but as a friend pointed out, three colours do not make a monochrome.  So this is then for Almost-Monochrome Monday.

Ink Circles - Peace Wheel

From the Designer

This design was inspired by Kolam or Rangoli paintings, which are a most unusual and transient form of art found in India and many other Asian countries. They are drawn by hand using powdered rice or rock directly onto the ground. The artist frequently starts with a matrix of dots, then creates a path of twisty turny lines that weave around and between the dots. When the wind, rain, and walkers take their toll, the design is swept away and replaced by a new one, usually before sunrise every day.

Kolams are drawn as a blessing and welcome to all visitors. They are thought to bring prosperity to the household and keep evil spirits away. Mathematicians and anthropologists alike have been fascinated by and study the diverse designs. Me too.  I hope this stitched homage brings peace and prosperity to your home.

Why this chart?

Peace Wheel is in my personal stash. I love monochrome or near monochrome designs. These projects are so versatile; they can be customised in size, fabric type and colour palette to suit your decor or as a way to use those odd one-off fabrics and floss we’ve bought simply because we fell in love with the colours! Grab a few of your favourite skeins and that odd bit of fabric and play around until you have a combination you like.

There are no partial stitches or speciality stitches, so this project can be easily completed on any fabric count. It looks to be a great project for beginners and expert stitchers alike.

Finally, I love the story behind Peace Wheel and feel we could all use some more peace and prosperity in our lives.

Peace Wheel
Peace Wheel

Review

I love the way Tracy packages Ink Circles designs. The charts are printed in black on US Letter (9 x 11″) white paper, housed within a clear plastic ziploc bag. The cover page is on heavy card stock to give some stiffness to the packet.

The design symbols provide maximum clarity; both visible on the page and sufficiently disparate.  Even stitching in poor light at midnight (not that any of us do that) you shouldn’t get your colours muddled up.

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

All the pertinent information about the Peace Wheel design is on the last page, easily visible through the clear plastic. So you know the recommended fabric and floss, the number of skeins needed, the stitchcount and estimated size of the design in 28ct, 32 and 40ct fabrics.

As this design was stitched using hand dyed silks, Tracy provides a close DMC number for you to substitute with cottons or another brand of silks.  As we know, hand dyed threads and fabrics are variegated or mottled, even when appearing to be a single colour, so there will never be an exact DMC match.

I only have one quibble with the Peace Wheel chart pack; the chart has been printed double-sided.  It has been professionally done so that neither side shows through, and reducing paper usage is better for the environment, however if you mark off your chart as you stitch, you will need to make a working copy.

 Materials Required

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

3 skeins – Dinky Dyes Silk 072 – Cabernet (similar to DMC 327)

1 skein – Dinky Dyes Silk 142 – Gidgee (similar to DMC 733)

3 skeins – Dinky Dyes Silk 147 – Down Under Blues (similar to DMC 336)

Picture This Plus – 32 count Chalice (stitch count 171 x 171). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

For 16ct Aida or 32ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 17″ x 17″  or  43 x 47cm  or  a fat quarter (18 x 27″).

Chalice
Chalice

Approximate cost for Project

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

Chart: $16.00
Floss:  $28.00
Fabric: $26.50

Total: $70.50    ($77.50 AUD or €59.60 or £44.15)

Places to Buy

Australia:

Colours Down Under has all the Dinky Dyes threads in stock and on sale. 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 the Peace Wheel chart in stock and Tammy recommends Gold Digger Old Map Style from her range of fabrics.  For readers of this site she offers a 10% discount for chart and fabric. Use code PeaceOut during checkout. This code is valid for the month of October 2014.

Europe:

Casa Cenina in Spain stocks the Peace Wheel chart, Dinky Dye silks and some fabrics to stitch this design.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo stock the Dinky Dyes floss and a range of fabrics.

Polstitches Jo says “I love the idea of Jacobean Sampler Linen for that one and would look fab with Dragon Floss 98 Blackberry Twist.”

Sparklies suggests Barely Bronzed or Dr Smith’s Tonic from her range of fabrics.

United States:

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

Dinky Dyes sells a floss pack for this design.

Ink Circles, where Tracy sells her charts.

Giveaway

To celebrate the first review on this site, I’m going to give away my Peace Wheel chart. To enter, comment below why you would like this chart and what, if any, changes would you make to it.

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

Contest closes in one week from posting this review. Winner will be chosen randomly from the comments.

Feedback

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

Was this read worth a cup of coffee?

 

Last updated: 25 November 2014