Thanks to Fat Quarter Shop for asking for Quilt Goals for 2023! I'm a goal-setting kind of gal. I like to make lists and explore new ideas and it helps to have a reason to work on that goal and share it. I thought I'd let you see a little more about my exploration into the world of CROSS STITCH as my 2023 goal!
My Quilt Goal is actually a "Stitching Goal". I've been wanting to do some CROSS STITCH for awhile. I like the fact that I can easily travel with it or take it along as I wait for an appointment or kid's activity. And just sewing pretty colors in a meditative rhythm sounds pretty relaxing to me. Because I work on quilts, which tend to be bigger, larger size items, I want the balance of small things to create. I also want to try working with some of my fabric and quilt designs (and other artwork I've made) in this medium, as complimentary projects to go with the quilts.
MY STEPS (keep in mind I'm a beginner):
1. Learn what materials I need
2. Watch Kimberly's tutorials on Floss Tube with Fat Quarter Shop's Cross Stitch University.
3. Prepare canvas and start learning and stitching!
4. Get MacStitch software
5. Learn MacStitch software
6. Translate some Forest Frolic designs into small cross stitch designs
7. Experiment with color palettes and sizes
8. Research finishing ideas
9. Finish project and put into pattern format
10. Repeat, stitch, repeat...
I started this process at the end of January by watching Cross Stitch University on Floss Tube. Kimberly Jolly really goes over everything you need to get going. They have a cute starter project you can do but since I had some ideas in my head, I decided to experiment on a corner of Aida first and then just dive in.
Just like with quilting, I quickly learned there is a large range in the quality of product and color. And one white is very different from another white which is different from antique white, ivory, cream, etc. I headed off to my local craft store since I was eager to get started and bought some Charles Craft Fiddler's Cloth. I liked the natural look of it and little bit of rustic variation in the color and thought it would look good with the Fall vibe for my design.
Meanwhile, I got my MacStitch program and started watching some youtube videos on using it. The colors in the program look darker to me than the actual threads look so I realized I should pick my palette first with the actual skeins of floss and then work in the computer program and accept that it looks a little darker in that graphic grid on the computer than the real stitched project will be. For output of an image from the computer program, I'll do some color correcting later to make the colors look more accurate to the floss colors. There are free programs to create your own diagrams for cross stitch but I chose to purchase MacStitch because it seems the most robust of the computer programs and I'd rather just pay for that and start learning with it right away.
Picking palettes...oh this is fun stuff! Floss comes in some great colors! I have Cosmo floss from some previous embroidery and it is wonderful but I have to drive further to get it. I opted for DMC since it was the most available and THERE ARE SO MANY COLORS and it is also great floss. Floss is not too expensive so I buy a big range so I can audition colors as I like.
Yummy vibrant glossy threads! Oh boy, oh boy. Since I want this to work with some of my Forest Frolic designs I am using those fabrics to select a palette with. I wanted to have colors that worked with the fabrics and also looked like a cohesive group together. Here are some of the oranges I auditioned.
Another thing I learned was that sometimes I needed MORE light/dark difference between the colors than I originally thought because the color changes could look more subtle once it was seen in little stitches. It took a few tries to narrow it down to this group for my overall FOREST FROLIC palette.
Although I show 434 here, I ended up weeding that out since it was too close in color to the other browns. My main colors are greens of 581 and 166. Oranges 721 and 900. Gold to Straw 3820 and 782. Tan to Brown 422, 435, 433. Pink 309, and Red 817 and Terra Cotta Dark 3777.
The first design I did in MacStitch used acorns and leaves. I wanted that pop of fuchsia that is in some of the fabrics and bright orange and gold leaves. A little group of three acorns and three colorful leaves make a centered formation. A simple bunting top and bottom border can frame it in or be left off.
Since my husband and I were doing a road trip to Sacramento for a little vacation, I brought my sewing in the car. It was a lovely way to relax for numerous hours of straight freeway riding. Lucky for me that he likes to drive and I like to be the passenger.
For my first cross stitch, I have to say I am very excited for how much I ENJOYED the process of designing and sewing! What a lovely satisfaction to see little bits of progress evolving into a sweet, colorful cross stitch. I think it is a nice compliment to the Forest Frolic quilts and fabrics. This is Leaf Press quilt with the little acorns next to it. I was thinking this design (which I decided to name Acorn Trio) would be cute framed or as a large pocket on the outside of a Forest Frolic tote bag....hmmm, did I mention the Forest Frolic fabric has Mochi Linen? It would be great for totes!
Finishing this made me want to do MORE designs for my fall line! So back to the computer for more little images to create a fall sampler cross stitch. Stay tuned because I'll be sharing that next week! I also decided to treat myself to some more supplies that I ordered from the Fat Quarter Shop.
These included a snap frame, reference key/ruler, line keeper and quite a few Aida fabrics for future projects and to compare background colors. Yes, I am an affiliate and so happy I am since they have a fantastic assortment of cross stitch (and quilting/sewing) supplies!
One of my FAVORITE things that I bought was the DMC Floss Color Card. For me, a tool like this is a must as a designer. I also find that I can identify random extra pieces of floss that I accumulate, or in the case of a color I loved but had no idea what number it was...identify it and order more. WIN!
And I decided to order a range of light Aida cloths to compare to the Fiddler's Cloth and to use for future projects. The subtle differences in color can make a big difference in the look of your project so I wanted to invest in a range of choices as I move forward designing.
Back to a little info on my Acorn Trio project... I decided to display it in a frame and used some Forest Frolic fabric for the backdrop. This is "Little Fall Fling" in Chocolate 48744-15 and I liked how the little drawn motifs complimented the cross stitch and that dark color made the Fiddler's Cloth pop in contrast. The cross stitch is mounted on a 6 1/2 x 6 1/2" sticky board, then floated on the Forest Frolic fabric. The frame is from Ikea and is a 9 x 9" Hovstra frame.
Yes, I have this pattern up in my shop! Woooo hoooo! You can find it here, along with other patterns that are soon to be added:
ACORN TRIO CROSS STITCH PATTERN
Speaking of soon to add...next week I'll be uploading a little fun FREEBIE cross stitch pattern. I'll also be showing you a larger Fall project so stay tuned!! And thank you SO much to the Fat Quarter Shop for encouraging our STITCHING GOALS and giving me the reason to GET 'ER DONE!
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
I am proud to be a designer for Moda Fabrics!
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