Sampler Letters M by Selina Fenech

A Project A Day – Counted embroidery work is my main hobby and I have a huge stitching stash. Some of these projects are huge and take years to stitch, and while others are quick projects, I often spend months without stitching at all. So while I have hundreds in my stash, only a half-dozen ever see attention any given year.  To address this imbalance in 2012 I will each day write about one project languishing in my stash.

Sampler Letters M by Selina Fenech

Copyright Michelle Sayetta, Artwork Selina Fenech 2007.

Selina Fenech Heaven and Earth Designs

Sampler Letters M by Selina Fenech

Chart: The chart has clear easy to read and easy to differentiate symbols.  It is a small piece for a HaED design, only broken over nine pages, with a three-row overlap on each page.  Also unlike most art-to-cross stitch conversions, this one has minimal confetti stitching.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitches only.

Materials: The design was model-stitched using DMC 18ct white linen.  Unlike most art-to-xstitch conversions, this project only requires 15 different DMC colours.

Designer’s Notes: None.

Why I was attracted to this design: At the time I was not attracted to art-to-cross stitch conversions 🙂 I honestly believed (and for the most part still do) that if I want a copy of an art print, then I will buy a copy of the print and hang it on the wall and go back to stitching designs that were created for the floss medium not adapted to it.

However this was a gift from my good friend Claire and in many ways it is a good introductory chart to art-to-xstitch.  Little confetti stitching, no blended needles, a very small design, only a few colours.

So why haven’t I stitched it? To be honest, I’m not quite sure, I think it’s the fear of the unknown. Heaven and Earth designs alone let alone art-to-cross stitch is a huge sub-genre of the cross-stitching world and I’m not quite sure I want to dip my toe in this pond. I can’t finish small normal cross stitch; what’s makes me think I should even start into this world?

Existential crisis aside, what fabric should I stitch this on?  The recommended fabric is 18ct white. White is boring.  I have some 25ct that is the same colour as the background. My original thought was to ignore the background infill and only stitch the mermaid, the letter M and the border framework.

Should I do this on the original colour fabric or should I change and stitch on a different colour or a hand-dyed colour?

Where can you buy it? This chart is still available via paper or PDF download from Heaven and Earth Designs for $7US.

Discussion questions: What are your thoughts on art-to-cross stitch conversion? Is it worth an existential crisis?  Or do you enjoy stitching regardless whether the design was originally designed for our medium or another?  Again there are no right and wrong answers; we all have different experiences and I am curious about the answers everyone gives.

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5 Responses to Sampler Letters M by Selina Fenech

  1. Sisu says:

    Discussion:
    I like the art-to-cross conversions of paintings and fantasy art, because it is not something I could draw or photograph myself. I am less inclined to stitch a scene that could be photographed or artwork that is crude enough to border what I could do myself. I feel strange hanging stuff on my wall that is a print or copy. It just feels fake. I have a few original paintings (all but one done by friends or family), family photos and cross stitch on my walls. Both my own and gifts. But not a single print. I guess if an artists work really grabs me, I love it so much I want to have a hand in re-creating it, not just framing it.

    Were I you, I would either stitch this on a slightly vareigated fabric (because the background appears to be shaded), or stitch completely as charted. Personally, I would probably look to a blue-green overdye so the golden wavy lines behind her might look like sunlight reflecting on gentle waves. If you are going to leave fabric exposed, I would go with an evenweave. If you stitch her completely, I would use the aida. I find aida much more soothing to work on because I don’t have to concentrate as much on the stitch count. It just seems easier to me.

  2. I think choosing a fabric to let the background ‘shine through’ is always a great option with HaED.
    Dip your toe Mel, in fact, come on in the water’s fine.

  3. kay jones says:

    There is no mystery or mystic to HAEDs just lots of crosses. I agree with the others. If you omit the background then a hand dyed would be lovely. If not then its solid stitching and could be just as well done on an 18ct aida as an evenweave.

  4. Mel says:

    The M goes outside the border so the background will be shown. The HaED link shows where someone has stitched it on a watery background but her version doesn’t call to me.

    Maybe change it to a different shade and still onit the infill? But to do that – I would have to really make sure it doesn’t clash or blend in with the mermaid tail. I’m in a quandry ….

  5. Laura says:

    So your fabric is the soft sandy color? I think that would look great. You’d still stitch the darker gold, right? I haven’t bought any of the art-to-cross stitch conversions. I think the pieces are lovely and I can appreciate the effort when someone takes on one of them. It’s just not for me. I’ve looked at The Tempest several times but just can’t bring myself to buy it and stitch it. I think I would grow to hate it and that just won’t do!

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