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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Big Lebowski Cross Stitch - The Dude Abides on: February 04, 2010 12:58:33 PM
I know this little proverb has been stitched before, but here's my sort of "make it up as you go along" version. This was made as a birthday gift for my little sis. I picked an alphabet I liked from a thrifted cross stitch book and embellished with some random shapes. The letters happened to fit across in this frame that I had, so I made the rest of the design to fit, as well. It has a blackwork-esque feel, although technically I don't think it's blackwork because stuff isn't connected or anything, so there are a few jumps on the back and the top and bottom borders are strictly cross stitch.



And here are a couple of pics after I had washed and ironed it:



2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / KXStitch - Cross Stitch Program for Linux/Ubuntu on: January 22, 2010 07:36:57 AM
Has anyone used this program before?

http://kxstitch.sourceforge.net/

I just found out about it and downloaded it for my netbook. It's an open source cross stitch program that looks like it has similar features to PCStitch. Just wondering if anyone else has had any experience designing patterns with it before.
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Nightmare Before Christmas Ornament on: November 09, 2009 12:37:26 PM
I made this for cupcakeguru in the latest OTT swap. I found the image online and thought how fun it would be to stitch all those sketchy lines around the yellow moon. I modified the image slightly, simplifying his arm, cause the skeleton hand seemed a bit too detailed for something that's only 3"x3".



I didn't have any yellow cotton fabric, so I took some white cotton & colored it in with a yellow fabric marker, then heat set it with the iron.

I ironed stitch witchery on the back, cut out a circle, machine appliqued it onto black fabric using glow in the dark thread... then I traced on the main image.

The sketchy stitchings around the edge were randomly freehanded with one strand of floss. I ended up also hand appliqueing on the head because I thought it would look cleaner than embroidering it.

Here's a picture before I sewed it into the ornament:


And one of me holding it for scale:
4  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Open Source Swap on: November 09, 2009 09:28:36 AM
This is probably a shot in the dark here, but is there anyone who might be interested in an open source swap?

The theme could be interpreted pretty loosely, either themed around a particular software that you like (Firefox, Gimp, Drupal, Open Office, Linux, etc.) or else maybe things created using open source software and/or creative commons or public domain images.

Or maybe even some actual hacking or software propagation could be part of the plan, too... like if your swap partner hasn't tried your favorite software, you could include it on a flash drive in your package. Or you could program something using an open source licensed programming language (like Python) to draw a picture which you would then embroider.

I was thinking about making myself a t-shirt or cross stitch that said "open source is better" or one that says "Free speech. Free beer. Free kittens." ...And then I thought, what if someone else (anyone? helloo?) would want to join in the fun?

I don't have a whole lot of concrete examples, but these Drupal socks come to mind for sure:
http://emmajane.net/craft/drupal

And when I searched for open source crafts, I found this exhibition called "Open Source Embroidery"
http://www.mocfa.org/exhibitions/index.htm
That hex code patchwork quilt is amazing!

ETA: And I found where I posted a swap package I got from titaniumhip which included a little drupal robot pillow she made for me! http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=306045.msg3557155#msg3557155
5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Tutorial: Professional-looking embroidery pattern PDF from a drawing on: October 28, 2009 02:56:12 PM
Muddlepud asked for a good professional way to make an embroidery pattern, and so I wrote this up as an example of one way to do it using vector drawing software. This first tutorial is for Adobe Illustrator, which is an expensive program but industry standard for doing vector graphics. I will also download Inkscape and try to figure out how to do the same thing there so I can post those instructions, as well.

The real reason you want a vector graphic (as opposed to a raster graphic, which you can make in Photoshop or Gimp) is so that you can resize it any which way you want without having to worry about loss of quality.

You will need:
White paper
A nice, black pen
Scanner
Adobe Illustrator


Draw your pattern on white paper using a good black pen that makes a solid line, like a fine tip sharpie, or better yet a nice Micron or other good drawing pen. I have a PITT artist pen in fine point (F) that I really like. The cleaner your original, the easier the transition will be in the graphics program. Don't use a ballpoint pen because there's a lot of variation in that ink that will show up in your scan and mess up the trace.

Scan the graphic in at around 300 dpi, color or black and white, either is fine. JPG if possible, but a bitmap would be okay, also.

Open the graphic in Illustrator and select it with the selection tool (the filled in/black arrow). You'll know it's selected when you see a blue box around it with little "handles" at the corners.

In the menu, go to Object -> Live Trace... -> Make and Expand.

Voila! Your line drawing has now been transformed into vectors!

If you want to get a bit more complicated, or it's not coming out quite like you want it, try Object -> Live Trace... -> Tracing Options and muck around with the settings there. Check the "Preview" box and you will be able to see how this changes the trace as you change the settings around.

If you want to resize it, grab one of the blue corner handles, hold down the shift key on your keyboard and resize. Holding down shift will keep proportions the same... if you don't hold down shift, you will squish your drawing one way or the other. I also turn the rulers & guides on in the program so I can measure and see what size to make a graphic if I'm looking for a particular size to fit on a piece of fabric.

If you were thinking about selling a PDF on Etsy, under File -> Document Size, you can change the Artboard size to letter and then add in your Etsy shop name using the Text tool, maybe copy and paste the pattern and put it on the page in varying sizes for convenience. Then just go to File -> Save as... and under the file type dropdown, choose PDF.
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Cut-Off Shorts on: October 21, 2009 08:19:07 AM
This tea towel was a housewarming gift for some friends. The cut-off shorts are from a card game called Summer Camp and they are worth +2 cool points in the game because in 80s camp movies, cut-offs are totally cool. I drew the shorts from the card, then added the awesome sunburst and the +2 freehand.

This was the first time I did any coloring in of my embroidery and I kinda like how it turned out. I wanted bold colors, so I used fabric crayons and colored in the outline of the shorts and the sunburst first, then ironed it on. Then, I just used the color blobs as guides and stitched in the outlines and the features, drawing the lines in with my purple air erase pen as I went along.

The patch was glued on with fabric glue 'cause it's so tiny and then I just sorta tacked it on with contrasting thread. It's all two strands of floss except for the jagged edge of the cut-offs, which I had to use one strand for to give it enough detail.



7  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Neti Pot Icon Embroidery on: August 13, 2009 07:58:34 AM
I have been working on this off and on forever as a gift for a friend and finally finished it! I have always been sort of amused by the stripped down nature of instructional icons and when I saw this one on the Neti Pot box, I knew it had to be crafted. I used chain stitch for most of it, except for the more detailed parts like the facial features.





Why do I suck at ironing?


8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Break Dance Cross Stitch Pattern on: March 25, 2009 10:27:02 AM


I made this for superhooker in a recent swap and wanted to share the pattern here. The idea for the phrase isn't mine--it was on a different cross stitch on her wists and I have seen it on t-shirts and whatnot all around the intertubes.

I looked up actual "In Case of Emergency Brake Glass" signs and saw lots with those arrows pointing to a circle in the middle, where I guess you are supposed to aim your hammer. So... the idea for aiming at a boom box instead was born.  Cheesy

I did the math to figure out how big I wanted the finished piece to be, then did the design in Photoshop really tiny, pixel by pixel, so I could upload it to knitPro to convert it to a chart.

Here is the original gif I uploaded to knitPro ...my source code, of sorts:



Feel free to do the same! Choose "big" for the grid size and 1:1 for the stitch size. I stitched it in white on red 14-count aida cloth, but you could just use whatever you've got on hand.

Please post a pic here if you decide to stitch the pattern!
9  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Sock dolls from dollar store socks on: March 24, 2009 10:14:58 PM
Some old friends and I always exchange gifts at Christmas time. Because I have to fly to see my family for the holidays, I am usually pretty broke. This year was no exception, so I made these economical ugly sock dolls for everyone using 2 pairs of socks from the dollar store, some stuffing, and 2 packs of doll eyes I got at the craft store. 4 gifts for under $6 Smiley



I gave them each names and my sisters helped me develop some little stories for them. They are, from L-R: Chris, Bruno, Zorboink the Terrible, and Francis.



10  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Disgruntled Gnome Pillow / Cushion on: February 12, 2008 07:50:43 PM
I made this for a swap recently... I wasn't sure whether to post it in housewares or needlework, but I'm most excited about the embroidery I did for it, so I decided it should go here.

The pattern is from craftster user BadBird, who posted the pattern a while ago here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=14062.msg2345939#msg2345939

I just modified the pattern a little by giving the little guy a beard and changing the height of some of the mushrooms. It's a combination of hand applique and a bunch of stitches... buttonhole, backstitch, threaded backstitch, whipped backstitch, and some jacobian fill-in method (the red mushroom) which I didn't do all that well on.

I asked my swap partner if she'd rather have a pillow or a wall-hanging, and she chose a pillow, so I quilted the outside with some vintage fabrics I had in my stash and put a really soft red fleece blend on the back. Here are some of the close-ups I took of the embroidery and the quilting.





You can see what I mean here about the mushroom. :-/



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