Wednesday, December 3, 2014

This ain't your granny's cross-stitch

Paper-crafters have used embroidery floss for years. Whenever I hand-stitched on scrapbooking layouts, I always reached for my rainbow-filled box of DMC. It makes my heart happy just to look at it.
If you're a paper-crafter (or any other kind of crafter), I'm sure you've made your way down the needlework aisle of your favorite craft store once or twice throughout the years. Displays of patterns and cross-stitching kits abound: teddy bears, lighthouses, Precious Moments, baby gifts, scenic views. And, don't get me wrong, these are great patterns. But, they really just aren't my thing. Ya' know?

A couple of years ago, I was playing around on Instagram and somehow stumbled upon The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. Wait. You mean to tell me that there are all of these wonderfully cute, and creative cross-stitching patterns floating around out there on the internet?!? I soon purchased their Woodland Sampler, which was a monthly block pattern that was delivered to your inbox once a month just waiting to be stitched up into a final adorable culmination at the end of the year. And, thus began my cross-stitching obsession.

The Frosted Pumpkin remains one of my favorite companies to purchase patterns from. Their holiday patterns are THE BEST! Here's one of last year's patterns, Christmas on Gingerbread Lane, that I am working on right now. It looks amazing on some Stardust Aida Fabric. Everyone knows how much I love glitter, and the little silver fibers woven into this fabric add the perfect sparkly touch to your holiday projects (it is available in gold as well). Sadly, the sparkle of this fiber is never done justice by photos.
This year's Christmas Celebration Sampler is super-cute too! I just started in on that one as well, but I don't really have enough done to warrant a photo just yet.

Looking for something even more unconventional? Check out Grannie Panties. She describes her patterns as "Subversive and pop-culture themed cross stitch patterns to decorate your life and confuse your family and friends!" Nailed it. After visiting us this summer, and watching me cross-stitch... my brother-in-law requested her "Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangster" pattern as a Christmas gift. (Who doesn't love them some Office Space... and Geto Boys)? As you wish, Kaleb!

One of my absolute favorite pattern designers is Emma Congdon. Her beautiful typography based patterns are so fun, and colorful. Although I have yet to purchase any of her patterns from her Etsy store, Stitchrovia, there's the occasional pattern of hers offered up through my cross-stitching magazine of choice: CrossStitcher. It's a British publication, and their hard copy editions take a while to arrive in the US. With my need for instant gratification, I prefer to sub to their digital edition. It goes right to my iPad the day the magazine is released in the UK. Plus, I prefer to follow patterns via my iPad while I'm stitching anyway. So, it just works for me.

Anyhoo... I joined this year's Crafty Christmas Swap via Instagram. (Miss the good old fashioned snail mail craft swaps... they're alive and well on Instagram!) So, I needed something to make for my partner. Cross-stitching or paper-crafting? Such a tough decision. But, once I stumbled upon Emma's "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" pattern in CrossStitcher's December 2013 issue (digital subs are a great option for purchasing back issues of mags)... the decision made itself!

I'm really happy with how it turned out, and I hope my swap partner likes it! It was actually pretty quick to stitch up as well!

Another great resource for cross-stitch patterns? FREE! And, who doesn't love free? This takes a little more diligent searching on your part. But, CrossStitcher Magazine to the rescue again! The have a fabulous freebie section on their blog! Sometimes, you're looking for something more specific, though. This year, I tried to make as many handmade Christmas gifts as I could. And, my 8 year old step-daughter is a HUGE Rainbow Dash fan. So, after a bit of Googling... I found a free pattern.

Hope she likes it! And, here's a tip... Perler bead patterns (as long as they are linear patterns, as opposed to the patterns where the pegs are offset from one another) are interchangeable with cross-stitch patterns! We love us some Perler beads around here, so it's fun to switch the two crafts up! Think Perler beads are cheesy? Not so fast! Check out my Perler Bead Templates board on Pinterest for some super-cool outside the box ideas of what you can do with them!

Well, that's it for today. I hope that my post has inspired you to journey into cross-stitching. I promise... it's addictive! It's also super-relaxing. Nothing beats a rainy Sunday with a mug full of cocoa, curled up on the couch with some favorite movies, and your current cross-stitch project!

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Sasha Farina said...

love love love these.. i have a couple of Frosted Pumpkin patterns in my wish list!

TamTam said...

I can't wait for him to see it!! I haven't breathed a word of it so he can really be surprised!!

Shelley said...

Love the gangsta project!