Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cross stitch in a whole new way

We had this blank space over the couch in the sunroom.  It is a very long wall and needs substantial wall coverings.  

What it looked like when we first moved in, after the trim went from brown to white and we took down the beige metal mini blinds.

And after we painted.  Notice the blinds still on the floor.  It is embarrassing how long it took to take those to ReStore.

I have my rattan butterflies over the dresser {above} that I later painted grellow

but nothing else along this stretch of wall.  I wanted to make something creative, something I hadn't really seen before.  I came across this picture  by Alix Adams, and loved the idea.  It is a "cross-stitch" that she painted onto a board.

Cross Stitch Painting

I didn't want to do a deer head, because, while I really enjoy them when I see them, I see them a lot. I usually like things less and less the more I see them.  Also, a deer head seems more of a cozy inside thing, not a sunroom thing.  I did look for other animals to do, but ultimately decided to go in a totally different direction. 

A rotary phone!  I found a cross stitch pattern for one online and was able to copy it onto a piece of graph paper.  I tried to find the image again so I could link it, but I was unable to locate it.  

The main difference between mine and Alix's, other than subject matter, was that she used wood and paint.  She made her grid right on the wood, and you could see it in the finished project.  I didn't want that.  I decided to get the biggest canvas I could find and take a slightly different route.  I'd sew it!  I'm a terrible painter, but if I had a pattern I could sew right onto the canvas.

Let me tell you, this was not easy.  It is a math heavy job.  If I used stitches as large as my current sketch called for, they would be one-inch-by-one-inch squares.  Too big.  Instead, I made each square on my graph paper count for four stitches on my canvas.  I did not realize how much work this would end up being.

I made a grid on the backside of a canvas.  The corner braces were getting in my way, so I used our multi master to remove them without damaging the canvas.

Each of my squares were half an inch wide, and once I finished the grid, I marked my x's so that I would not mess up.  It was a big job, but worth it because I didn't have to count every row or second guess each stitch.  It put all of the thinking on the front end.

Then I began to stitch.  I used black embroidery floss and started from the bottom {with the canvas upside down}, going in the same direction the whole time. 

From the back, it looked like this.

As I got to the middle, I turned it right side up to finish it.

And, after nearly two weeks of working on it in the evenings, it was done.  This one nearly killed me. 

And when I say I finished it, I mean only in one direction.  I asked Handsome Hero what he thought and he said that it looked intentional, and that he hadn't realized the original plan called for x's, and he thought that x's would be too busy and he liked the abstractness and simplicity of the lines. 

He had me at "It looks intentional."  It was done.  I did paint the sides hot pink because, um, just because.  I like hot pink.

It fills the space pretty well now.  I think we do need something between it and the door, but I am not sure what.  I only know that it won't be square.  Too much of that going on.

If you want to attempt this project, I would offer these sage words of advice.  The canvas is tough to pull the needle through and my hands ached a lot.  Use a thimble and your fingers will thank you.  Also, check twice before poking the needle through - the hole doesn't readily go away.  However, I have not noticed my mistake holes since putting it up.  And, while you want to be as straight as possible, you will not achieve perfection, so don't stress about it.  Observe the close up:

And lastly, don't forget to reverse your pattern when you do it on the backside {if it's important for the picture}.  I didn't do this, and my phone is backwards, which doesn't matter except for the dial.

I could have fixed this, but then those holes would have been much more noticeable.  No one notices it but me, anyway.  And now you, because I told you.


  1. I love it! I used the same pattern to cross stitch my old iPhone cover a few years ago.

  2. Retro! I love it. You did a great job. :-)