Monday, 13 January 2020

Dark Stitching for the 13th

I promised to dedicate an entire post to this design once we got into the New Year, so here it is!

The chart is called Enchanted Alphabet designed by Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum under the Lavender & Lace label in 1991.  Here is the original cover photo:

I have always liked the alphabet but was not keen on The World's Frilliest Child and her Bunny on a Leash.  Then one day, I hit on the idea of a Spooky Conversion!  I had a large piece of orange hand-dyed fabric from Sparklies which was wide enough if I removed the child and moved the letters closer together.  I decided on a simple conversion of:

every colour = 310

I started the project in July 2016 as part of a SAL to stitch one letter of an alphabet each month.  I kept up with the schedule and completed Z in August 2018.  And that's when the fun started!

Since then I have been adding little motifs from other charts to add to the spookiness.  Here are some close-ups.

The pumpkins, ghosts and cats are all Just Nan designs from her various Hallowe'en charts.

The raven is from a sampler featured in Cross Stitcher magazine.  
To make it fit, I stitched it over one.

The owl is from the same sampler in Cross Stitcher magazine

The white dove from the original design was stitched in black and grey.
The gate is from the Hallowe'en Night design by Jardin Prive I stitched in 2018
I added a little over one owl on top of one of the gateposts

The moon was a photo of the actual moon which I ran through Pic2Pat.
The bats on the left come from a freebie design
and the one on the right comes from the Cross Stitcher Sampler.

The little frogs are Just Nan too.

This is the cover of the Cross Stitcher magazine issue 349 with the sampler by Maria Diaz on the front cover:

And now - the whole piece!

stitched on 32 count Murano in Tigerlily by Sparklies

I'm really looking forward to getting this one framed ready for Hallowe'en this year.  It measures 20 inches wide by 8 inches tall so it's unlikely I'll be able to get an off-the-shelf frame.

Finally, I will be running the Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop on Valentine's Day.

Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop

It's really very simple, all you have to do is email me a picture of something you have stitched which is suitable for a stitching friend on Valentine's Day.  It could be a heart, or a pair of cute creatures, or the word "love" or anything which warms your heart.  Really anything you think a fellow stitcher would like to receive in her email Inbox.    It can be something you've stitched in the past or something you've made especially for this year.  It could also be quilted or sewn this year as I know some of my followers do other crafts too.

Send me the email by 10th February.

When I have all the emails I will randomise them and send one to each participant on 13th February. Then on 14th February you must post the picture you receive onto your blog under the heading
 Secret Stitching Sweetheart

There will be a list on my blog of everyone joining in, so check out all the blogs and find out who got your picture and identify yourself in their comments as their

 Secret Stitching Sweetheart

Does that make sense to everyone? I hope so!

If you'd like to be involved then leave a comment or send me an email if you are "no-reply". I'll be putting little reminders up from time to time and will email on 9th February to make sure you send the pic in time.


Kaisievic said...

Such a gorgeous finish and so interesting to read about how you went about it and all the motifs. It truly is a unique piece. Congratulations on a great finish.

Rachel said...

That looks absolutely amazing! Huge congratulations on a wonderful and unique finish. I shall miss seeing the little motifs being added each month but I'm sure you have other things which will make up for it!
As for a frame, if you can find a multi-aperture frame with 4 6"x4" portrait apertures, I reckon the dimensions might be about right. :)

Julie said...

This ones such a stunning finish Jo. There will be a lot of Halloween stitchers who would love to be able to stitch this themselves, yours is so unique. I'm looking forward to seeing what frame is chosen to compliment it.

Margaret said...

That finish is amazing. I am in awe of the fact that you could combine so many different elements from other designers and it looks like a cohesive whole. Well done you. There is another career as a cross stitch designer awaiting you?

Carol said...

That is such an amazing conversion and finish, Jo! I would never have dreamed you got your inspiration from the original design--wow! Can't wait to see it all framed up :)

RJ said...

Jo what a wonderful conversion you did. I can see why you love that is a stunner. Your conversion is so creative and hits the spot. I'm so happy to be back in blogland again. Missed you and everyone very much. I would like to be in your Sweetheart Hop. Hope you are having a really great January. RJ @stitchingfriendsforever

Katie said...

Wow! Just Wow! Love your conversion!! Just perfect.

DJ said...

Oh my goodness!! I'm not a big Hallowe'en person but I love how you finished this one, so creative and it looks fabulous on that fabric! Well done!! I sent you an email with my Valentine stitching, I hope you find it! So excited to be a part of your blog hop!!

Barb said...

I absoulutely love that Enchanted Alphabet. You did such clever things. That reminded me that I told you you could have my design that I shared in the Halloween blog hop.. I totally forgot about it. Send me your snail mail and I will get it off to you. So sorry! You still have lots of time before next Halloween!

Clare-Aimetu said...

That is absolutely stunning Jo, beautiful work

butterfly said...

Wow you have so much talent .
Well done Jo your stitching idea looks wonderful .

Christine said...


Needles Everywhere said...

That conversion is truly a work of art. So clever and such a lovely piece. I would love to participate in you Blog Hop (one ore thing to learn). I think you will get my email but just in case it is What a great idea for Valentine's day.

Kay said...

This is a fabulous work of art that you should be so proud to have done. I love all the alterations to make it completely unique to you. x

diamondc said...

Jo: I like them both, you did a wonderful job of working in all the little creatures, that owl is amazing.
I hope you have a lovely week.


Beth in IL said...

Bravo on your conversion! I totally love it!
Put me down for the Secret Stitching Sweetheart. I will have to get cracking if I am to get anything stitched for it.

A Patchwork of Crafts said...

Very impressed with the totally You-ness of your personalisation of this started designe and all the little add ins to make it that way. Looking forward to seeing hoe it looks framed.

Cathy said...

I love your conversion, so different from the original!

Paula H said...

I love your alphabet! I've always liked the font but not the little girl as well. The chart is in my stash, but I've never really thought about how it could be changed. Thanks for the inspiration! I'd love to participate in the blog hop... I'm trying to get back to blogging again. A better email for me is

I Stitch What I Want said...

Amazing! I've been waiting for a hot minute to see it finished.

Tiffstitch said...

Oh wow! Congratulations on a gorgeous finish! I hadn't remembered the child and bunny in the original and I do love your version. Please sign me up for the Secret Stitching Sweetheart hop again. :)

Melinda Forbes said...

WOW This is just so crazy cool. Thank you for all the wonderful ideas and your creativity

Leonore Winterer said...

It looks wonderful! I'm excited and a little sad at the same time to see it finished. You have a very good eye for composition; it doesn't look frankensteined at all since everything goes together so well.

Mary's Thread said...

Your Halloween Alphabet is just fantastic! Congratulations! I personally don't stitch for Halloween but I really admire this project! Please count me in for Secret Stitching Sweethearts this year! Thank you!

Bethan said...

I almost splurted tea everywhere sniggering at your 'world frilliest child' comment - which is very accurate! I love the additions you have made. It has made a lovely pattern even better, and truly unique to you x