Scrub a dub dub by Purple Heart

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.

Scrub a dub dub by Purple Heart

Copyright Kevin Palivec, Purple Heart, 2000.

Purple Heart Malathar's Dragons

Scrub a dub dub by Purple Heart

Chart: The chart is print on an A3 sheet of paper. It is a relatively simple design and the symbols are printed large. The kit also comes with the floss presorted and an instructions booklet which provides information on how to set up your materials, how to cross stitch, fractional stitch, French Knot, bead and backstitch as well as general hints and tips.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitches, partial cross stitches and backstitch.

Materials: Stitched in DMC stranded cottons on 14ct Aida.  This was a kit in my stash. The fabric has disappeared; not surprising considering I do not stitch partial stitches on Aida. The kit arrived with the threads having been presorted and strung onto a card which lists their DMC number as well as the symbol next to each thread.  I’m quite impressed with how the floss is presented. The kit lists the threads as genuine DMC. Kit also includes DMC brand needle.

Designer’s Notes: None. This is part of the Malathar’s Dragon series, I bought a few of these back in 2000 when they were first released.

Why I was attracted to this design: I generally do not like cutesy fantasy designs, but this one I thought would be perfect in the bathroom! He makes me smile whenever I see the cover picture.

So why haven’t I stitched it? I was studying a Conservation degree at the time I bought this, and when I mentioned my intention to hang this in the bathroom I was rounded condemned and decried by my fellow classmates. Mould! Mildew! Not optimal conditions!

Twelve years on and I can quite candidly admit that not all my stitching is destined to be handed down to future generations or should be treated as if it is a priceless relic. Some yes, but not all.  Also there is a difference between “not quite optimal” and “total disaster”.  I learned a lesson a while ago “Never let the best be the enemy of the good”.

I am going to stitch this and hang it in the bathroom.  I will air out the bathroom and keep it free from mould and mildrew and not let the stream hang around too long (all things I do now already).  And if the faming is not the best and the piece doesn’t last more than 10 years, then I’ll simply stitch it again.  Or something else will have caught my eye and I will stitch that instead! Now the usual question – what colour fabric should I stitch this on?

Where can you buy it? Purple Heart is unfortunately long out of business. You may be able to find some of their charts in a UK-based LNS or ONS or perhaps try

Discussion questions: What cross stitch plan did you let someone else talk you out of? Everybody is welcome to answer these questions or just comment on the design – new visitors to the blog or old 🙂  All pile in, and don’t be afraid to talk to each other 🙂

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6 Responses to Scrub a dub dub by Purple Heart

  1. I love this one! It’s SOOO cute! I think this would be cute on a pastel blue….or a tie dye blue or blue with silver accents. I think this would be perfect in a bathroom. Looking forward to seeing this one when it’s complete!

  2. Anna says:

    Such a darling dragon, and I don’t as a rule like them. I could be tempted with one as cute as this.

  3. kay jones says:

    Very pale blue, green, beige or even grey so long as they are pale. On the other hand you could always get Tina to look in Dovestitch for an underwater piece.

    I’ve got one of these too. The company if I remember right was based in Cornwall.

  4. Lana says:

    This is very, very cute! I agree with Kay. Go with something pale.

    In terms of being talked out of doing a piece, the Precious Moments (PM) design that I am stitching for my younger niece as an eventual (keeping my fingers crossed!) wedding present was not my first choice. I wanted to stitch L&L’s The Wedding ( for a second time to give to her. I have a finished piece, except the names, that I was going to a former friend when when she was supposed to get married, but that wedding never happened. I gave my Mom three patterns (the PM design, The Wedding, or a third one that I can remember what it was) to choose from for me to make for my niece and Mom decided on PM, partly because she didn’t want me to have to do all the work in The Wedding. Sigh!!!

    Actually, the PM piece actually continues a theme in her family. When her parents got married, I stitched them a different PM wedding piece. I have also stitched a PM girl holding or with a cross for her and her sister. I changed the colour of the hair for each of these pieces to be similar to the colouring of each of my nieces’ hair.

  5. Karen R in GA says:

    I have a shell design I did 22 years ago that has always been in a bathroom – it’s been in the bathroom the boys use for 17 1/2 years, and trust me, they do NOT do the things they need to do to keep mold & mildew at bay. But this piece, framed & matted behind glass, looks pretty darn untouched by any of it – I have to clean water spots off the glass every so often, of course. And I live in a high-humidity area to boot – so while I certainly hadn’t planned that thing to last my lifetime or anything, I think it’s doing just fine. And remember, many of those things that have survived the centuries were common household items that were used, abused, washed with possibly cruder things than we have today, back in the day when acidity wasn’t an issue (in the making of any of the parts as well as the working itself), conservation glass wasn’t even imagined and heating was via a smoky fireplace.

    Stitch it, put some glass over it, and enjoy it 🙂

  6. Sisu says:

    I stitched a seashell design for my MIL when hubby and I were still dating, so roughly 16 – 17 years ago. It is a round design so I stitched it to fit inside an open collector’s plate frame. Her central bathroom has no fan or window, so it gets a bit steamy in there, and the piece still looks pristine. She just vaccums it from time to time to keep dust off. So I would say your dragon would do just fine in a bathroom for many years to come.
    As far as fabric, I would look at some of the sites with the hand painted fabric and see if they have a design with bubbles on it. I think that would be cute.

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