Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I'm trying something "new" these days. I've made my first foray into online downloads of cross stitch patterns. They really have exploded in availability in the last couple years. I'll admit - I like my newspapers and books in print rather than online, and I like to browse through a needlework store for patterns.

When it comes to cross stitch, I like designs that are substantial, pretty, and romantic - bonus points if they've got a Victorian flavor to them.

I found Artecy.com after a couple of websearches. What I like about them: all of their designs are posted so you get to see upfront what's available for your membership; you have the option of buying the designs one at a time OR pay a one time fee for as many as you'd like (both of which are reasonable); and they have a huge variety of cross stitch designs of famous paintings. They certainly have other designs, but it was the classic paintings that really got my attention. Getting your design is simple: sign in and download the design in PDF format. The bonus is that because I'm trying to downsize my "stuff", I can just keep the patterns in electronic format until I'm ready to work on them.

I recently started working on "Meeting on the Turret Stairs" by Frederic William Burton. As a friend of mine pointed out, I tend to do very feminine designs (queens, mermaids, fairies, flowers, etc), so I really wanted to do something that featured a couple and wasn't so in-your-face girly. It's still quite romantic though (but you knew that).

I've had to adjust my style of working on cross stitch projects in order to successfully work on it, and thus far it's going really well. There are no partial stitchs or backstitching, but the whole design is stitched (no background material shows) and there's a great deal of confetti stitching. Additionally, many of the colors are VERY similar.

So what I've done is put all of my floss on floss cards, and keep all the excess cut floss on those as well. Rather that work on larger areas (you can see how I follow shading on Fairy Idyll pics that I've previously posted), I'm having to basically work on one 10x10 square of the design at a time. I've found it easiest to start at the top, and work on one square moving left to right. I've completed the third row (just above the tops of their heads), and I like how it's shaping up. Also, by focusing on and completing a small area at a time, I'm finding the confetti stitching much less annoying that I normally do. I'm working with 2 threads of floss on an 18 count Aida. That's one nice thing about these designs - since all of the background material is covered in stitching, I can save a little money and use Aida instead of my usual linen.


Becky J said...

Can't wait to see more progress on this. I loved going through your blog and seeing your beautiful work. I have several Miribilia patterns. Have you seen Sleeping Beauty. I have it, but not started, I'm trying to finish Fairy Moon. Which is not easy to do with all the purple.

HerBoudoir said...

Thank you! I should have some new pictures sometime this week.

I actually just got fabric & threads for Sleeping Beauty this past week, but I need to wait a little while to start on it.