Erin by Illusions Designs

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.

Erin by Illusions Designs

Copyright Vicky Graham, Published by Fanta Cat Designs 2002.

Illusions Designs Fanta Cat Designs

Erin by Illusions Designs

Chart: The chart is print on a folded A3 sheet of paper. Most of the chart is line-work so the only issue is the dragon and pendant. These are stitched in blocks of solid colour, so although the chart is hand-drawn, the symbols are large enough for each section to be easily distinguished. On first perusal there doesn’t seem to be errors in the charting of the linework as there was in Rhiannon.

Stitches: Pattern uses whole cross stitches, fractional stitches and backstitch. A whole lotta backstitch.

Materials: DMC stranded cottons, Kreinik blending filament, Kreinik #4 Braid and Mill Hill beads. Stitched on Zweigart 26ct “White” Brittany.

Designer’s Notes: None

Why I was attracted to this design: I love these character studies. These portraits in pencil with a focused section to draw the eye. They stitch up so fast and look stunning when completed.  Rhiannon is always on of the pieces most coveted when I take my roll of finishes to show and tell.

So why haven’t I stitched it? I stash faster than I stitch.  I also have pretty much all of this series in my stash and could not decide which one to start first. At least this way the decision has been made for me.

Where can you buy it? Both Illusions Designs and Fanta Cat designs are now out of business.  Although Illusions was selling on eBay a couple of years ago, so I’m hoping Vicky might pop back up there or on Etsy sometime in the future.  Letha of Fanta Cat moved interstate a few years ago and struggled to re-setup the business after the move. Hopefully one day one or both of these women returns as these are beautiful designs!  For now I would scope out LNS or ONS that carry older stock or try the ubiquitous eBay.  Conversely – prod me into starting this soon – it is a fast stitch and I have most of the supplies on hand (subbing white 28ct Cashel for the 26ct Brittany).

Discussion questions: The more I look at this design, the more the perspective looks a little off. The dragon doesn’t seem to be on the same axis as the rest of her head. What’s going on with the back of her neck? Is that line going up through the dragon’s tail loop supposed to be the back of her hair pulled up into a pony tail?

Have you ever loved a design and then felt more critical the more you looked at it? My answer in this case is to stop looking at it as I still love the design and will still stitch it as is.  But there are some definite flaws in the flow of the lines and the perspective. Would you have the confidence to try to “fix” the flaws or would you leave them as this, as this is the artist’s vision.

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6 Responses to Erin by Illusions Designs

  1. Kat says:

    Interesting questions. I think some of the problems are related to translating drawn art to stitched art. This is something I’ve struggled with as well. If you think about drawn art, it can be “vague” in a way that stitched art cannot. Lines can be smudged, or converge/diverge in a sketch. In stitching, each line has a defined place. Sometimes it is hard to translate a sketch accurately into stitching.

  2. rocalisa says:

    Kay, I totally agree with you. One of my Character Creations designs is a sketch turned into backstitching. I love it and I’m really happy with how it turned out, but it was the most work of any design I did, I think. It looks like the simplest, but making it turn out like that was really hard work.

    Mel, I have this one in my stash too. I loved the combination of cross stitching, backstitching, green and dragon. But like so many things, it got put away when I couldn’t stitch much any more. I do see what you mean about the head compared to the dragon. I wonder if it’s that the dragon is so much more solid, which makes our brains see it as heavier. It looks like it should slide off her head at any moment. But it’s kind of an illusion, as sometimes I see it that way, and sometimes it seems perfectly fine. (I haven’t been any help at all.)

  3. Susan Simko says:

    Oh Mel, you got me again! Now to find it…. 🙂

    Yeah, the perspective is off a bit but it’s still beautiful. I love the contrast between the simple line drawing and the detailed dragon and jewel. Doesn’t hurt that I love the colour green and dragons. This would go perfectly in my bedroom or master bath. *laugh*

  4. Susan Simko says:

    Unfortunately, finding it was not hard. 🙂

    Stitcher’s Closet has it in stock in case anyone else is looking.

  5. Sisu says:

    OOoohhhh… Love this one.
    The way I see it, yes, the line inside the loop of the dragon’s tail is her hair being pulled up into a ponytail. I think I would ‘fix’ it by adding another line to indicate the direction the hair is lying rather than just the single line which implies an outline but leaves it unclea as to what is outlined. The line of her neck does seem a little unnatural, but I think is is just because where the jewel falls breaks the flow of it. Other than adding that other line though, I would likely stitch as-is.
    I am sad to hear these have gone oop though. I have a couple Illusions designs in my stash (one more than I had before I let a certain heart-sister of mine know how much I liked them), but have not stitched one yet.

  6. kay jones says:

    It looks to me as though its trying to climb up on top of her head, bit like climbing a mountain although what it intended to do once there is open to suggestion. I like this one but then I like most of this set. I’ve got a couple probably more and haven’t stitched any of them yet – perhaps soon

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