Medusa (JVF) by Colour Cascade Designs

Art-to-stitch Wednesday makes a return.  A beautiful version of Medusa.

Colour Cascade - Medusa JVF Cover

From the Artist

Drawn during a mega boring lecture in 2010.

What is it?

Medusa is a drawing by Joahanna von Frankenstein, translated into cross stitch by Tammy Verdon of Colour Cascade 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.

Medusa by Koffin Kandy (aka Joahanna von Frankenstein)
Medusa by Koffin Kandy (aka Joahanna von Frankenstein)

Why this chart?

I love mythology and especially mythological creatures. I grew up with the stories of the gorgons of Ancient Greece.   I love to see so many different interpretations of Medusa and her sisters; traditionally they have the visage of a hideous female, and yet so many modern portrayals are on angry but beautiful women.  In Joahanna’s version Medusa is given a cute, childlike face with freckles.

Most art-to-stitch designs are fully stitched;  Medusa (JVF) is background-free and thus takes less time to stitch.  You can choose a hand dyed fabric to complement or contrast; a fabric that completes the design.

With the subject of this drawing being synonymous with death, I am really interested to see what colours the hand dyers choose to pair her with.

Medusa (JVF) is a simple design, it is full cross stitch in DMC only.  However to meet the level of detail needed for so many fine lines, this chart has a lot of confetti; stitcher jargon for describing an area of stitching where there is only one or a few stitches of each floss colour.  These little groupings are scattered about like confetti.

For such a design, changes in stitching techniques are required. You can thread your needle, then stitch each grouping of one colour until you run out and then start the next colour.

Or you can park.  Parking is where you stitch one grouping of a floss, and then park you thread at the next grouping.  It is probably best explained by Carolyn’s Youtube video:

If you are an experienced art-to-stitch stitcher who has met such a complex chart before, then I thoroughly recommend this chart for the beauty it will become.

If you have not stitched a large, complex design before, then I recommend patience and concentration to get through the confetti stitched areas.  Some days it will feel like you are making no progress at all, other days you will seem to make great strides.

Medusa (JVF) 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 the project.

Colour Cascade - Medusa JVF


Colour Cascade Designs offers their charts as electronic downloads, printed charts or kits.  As I favour immediate gratification I have the electronic download.

Medusa (JVF) is a 62 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 front cover has a computer mock-up of the stitched design, the stitch count and the size ( (in inches and centimetres) of the design on the model fabric. The front cover also lists the artist; both her name and her art copyright.

Page 2 lists instructions on how to stitch an art-to-stitch design, including the number of stands of floss to use on your preferred count of fabric and a discussion of options such as metallic floss and tent stitch versus cross stitch.

Next are the 56 pages of the chart. This seems like a lot of pages, but Tammy of Colour Cascade designs uses a very large grid for her charting; this means larger symbols. There will be more pages, but the symbols are very easy to see and mark off; a necessity for art-to-stitch designs.

Also as Medusa (JVF) is a background-free design, many of the border pages will have only a few stitches (some have none).  So even just buying the chart you can claim to have completed the stitching for page 56 of the chart!

Each page includes a small diagram to show you where that page sits in the overall chart. For a background-free piece like Medusa (JVF) you may wish to start in the middle of the design, and thus knowing which page is above and below the page you are currently stitching is of paramount importance.  Each page also has a three-row overlap from earlier pages to help you keep your place.

Tammy uses a variety of symbols like spectacles and a happy face to help you remember them and so they look different at a cursory glance.

Next comes the cleaning and care instructions.  Tammy lists a few ways to keep your project clean while you are stitching on it.  However If you work on a piece for a several years, it may need a wash, no matter how careful you have been with it, so Tammy also provides washing instructions.

The next page is the symbol key/legend.  This is presented in the DMC number order for ease of searching.

The last page is the floss list.  This includes the number of number of stitches and the number of lengths used for each colour.  Tammy does not include the number because these change depending on the number of threads you use and the fabric count of your preferred fabric.

You can figure out the approximate number of skeins you will need by checking this chart here. Please note this is only an approximation.

Most art-to-stitch projects recommend to stitch with one strand of floss over one thread 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 the charts exactly as designed, you will need:

1 skein each DMC 168, 169, 317, 318, 413, 414, 415, 451, 452, 535, 646, 647, 648, 762, 844, 927, 928, 934, 3042, 3072, 3371, 3756, 3799, 3866.

DMC 310 Black


2 skeins DMC 310 Black


DMC White


3 skeins DMC White


DMC 939 - Navy Blue very dark


4 skeins DMC 939 Navy Blue very dark


25 count Evenweave  (stitch count 343 x 518). This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1. With 3″ border allowance, fabric size is: 20” x 27”  or  50 x 68cm  or  a fat half (27 x 36″)  or  a medium packet of 25ct Magic Guide (30 x 39″).

Magic Guide - 25ct White
Magic Guide – 25ct White

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 31” x 43”  or  78 x 110cm  or  a yard (36 x 55″) or a large packet of 14ct Magic Guide (39 x 43″)

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: $ 12.50
Floss:  $ 14.85
Fabric: $19.85

Total: $47.20  ($72.10 AUD  or  $67.15 CAD  or  €60.75  or  £49.80)

Places to Buy

Colour Cascade Designs sell their charts as electronic downloads, printed charts or kits.


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

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

Colour Cascade Fabrics has a variety of fabrics for you to make this design unique. Caitlin recommends Red is the Rose or Dragon Queen on 8ct opal.

Tammy offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 30 June 2015.

Sewitall offer a range of hand dyed and printed fabrics to suit your needs.


Traditional Stitches in Calgary have a selection of floss and fabrics to suit your taste.


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

Eclypse’s Colors recommends “Antique Morea” from her fabrics.

New Zealand:

Country Stitch “Medusa would look great on Walnut, Silver Birch, Sandstone or any of the greyed/taupe fabrics. For threads I’d stick with the recommended colours and maybe sub in some more solid-looking overdyeds (such as nearly-blacks).”

United Kingdom:

SewandSo has  a range of floss and fabrics to make this design uniquely yours.

Chromatic Alchemy  “As Medusa is a black and white piece it lends itself perfectly to a bold coloured background. I have chosen Antares, red for danger seems appropriate for this Gorgon!”

Crafty Kitten has a variety of fabrics and the threads to stitch this project.

Jodyri Designs produce a wonderful range of floss and fabric in all colours.

Sparklies A piece like this needs a striking background, I would suggest either Etain, or a colour that I haven’t released yet called Vixen.

I will make this colour available to CSR readers until the end of April. To order use the contact form on my page stating the type, count and size of fabric you would like to order.

Thread Pickerz Silkz  produce a wonderful range of hand dyed silk colours.

“it is my 2nd anniversary of thread pickerz and I have a few things going on including a prize draw (being drawn on the 1st May) to win an AAN Butterfly chart. Anyone who purchases from my site in the month of april will get their name put into the prize draw.”

Eileen has been updating the Thread Pickerz Silkz website.  She offers 10% off each silk thread as it is added back into the collection.  For readers of this site, she offers an extra 10% discount if you use the code: Xstitchreview

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.

Stitch and Frog in Georgia have a variety of floss and fabric in stock to kit up any design.

Stitches n Things in Michigan has the DMC in stock and a range of fabrics for your unique style.

Fiberlicious has a great variety of cotton and silk flosses that could look superb on this design.

Garibaldi’s Needle Works “I have a similar color to this background fabric named “Antiqued”.  If the embroiderer is wanting to keep with the black & white theme, I have a color named “Misty Grey” that would complement this nicely.”

Mo’s Sale has a variety of silk and cotton floss or Aida and evenweave fabrics to make your designs memorable.

Sunny*Dyes has the largest range of and-painted fabrics I have ever seen.  There is bound to be something there to suit you for this design.”

Under the Sea Fabrics has a vibrant mix of hand painted and dyed fabrics for your design.


How would YOU stitch this design?

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Last Updated: 22 April 2015