Fiber Arts & Furry Critters

Monday, September 06, 2004

Anatomy of a Large Cross-stitch Project

When I found the enormously intricate patterns at Golden Kite, I thought, Well cross-stitch has finally grown up! Other companies have computer-generated patterns as well (and I own many from those companies!) but Golden Kite and the others producing artwork reproductions are in a class by themselves.

After I ordered a couple of patterns from GK, I spent about a week and a half just getting ready to start the picture - winding bobbins, rounding up supplies, etc. I thought I'd share with you the beginning of a really BAP (Big A** Project).

First, my supplies. I prefer Q-snap frames, although other people use scroll frames, fabric on stretcher bars, hoops, etc. The Q-snaps I'm using for this project are 11x17. To hold my floss, I use Bestway Floss Bobbins. I've been using these since I started cross-stitching back in the mid-1980s. These are larger than the majority of white plastic and cardboard bobbins now on the market, with the disadvantage that they don't fit in most commercial "floss boxes", but I find that they hold the tail of the floss better. I also have a floor stand - a Grip-It Deluxe that DH got me for Christmas:

For other small necessities, I prefer Piecemaker needles, and I always have a small round needle grabber handy - helpful for pulling the needle out when you run the tail under stitches to end it.

This project is being done on 18-count Aida. There are no fractional stitches, and no backstitching, and the entire picture is stitched, so Aida works. Two strands is a must for this, as there are lots of blended colors, achieved by using one strand each of two colors together in the needle. For the blended colors, I cut one working length of each floss color, pull one strand of each, and wrap them together on the bobbin; I did this for all six strands, so all the floss for the blended colors is set up in advance (at least until I use up those six strands!)

I got this pattern via email as a PDF file, and then printed it out and put it in a binder - two sheets, back-to-back, in sheet protectors. Here's the binder with the pattern in it:

And here's the set-up, with the bobbins of floss I'll be using:

To give you some idea of the scope of this project, the pattern itself (without pictures, instructions, or floss list) is 48 pages long; the first 40 pages consist of grids that are 56x78. The whole picture is 400x398, and on 18 count fabric will end up being 22.125x22 inches.

I like to use highlighters, and color in the symbols that I'll be doing in this session. I put the fabric in the Q-snap and mount it in my floor stand. The current pattern page, symbols highlighted, goes on a Lo-Ran magnet board and is propped in the pattern holder that attaches to my floor stand:

Click on the picture for a close-up of the highlighted chart.

Considering the scope of this project, I've had to modify my methods slightly.
For one, I have taken the excess fabric around the edges of the Q-snap frame and rolled it up. It is being held in place with a binder clip. For another, I'm working the picture one page at a time. I pick a symbol, highlight it, work that color on that page, then pick another color. So far I've worked three colors on page one.

Here's a picture of this project so far.

Click on the picture for a close-up of the area stitched so far.

And here it is, all set up and ready to work on! You can see the binder clip holding the excess fabric on the lower left edge of the Q-snap frame.


Post a Comment

<< Home