I just love surprising family members with handmade gifts for Christmas and did so again this year. And, of course, almost all of the gifts were some of my cross-stitch and punchneedle shadow boxes that I've blogged about previously. I just had such a wonderful time finishing all the punchneedle and cross-stitch kits that I had bought in the Spring.
Several of my family members love birds and gardening and several are into primitive crafts and primitive decor. Luckily I was able to find some punchneedle kits and cross-stitch kits that fit the bill. And, of course, I enlisted the help of my younger brother and his astonishing workshop to help me build my shadowboxes.
In a previous post on my Linda's Blog I had mentioned that I had a lot of problems with the first cross-stitch I attempted to do and named it the "cross-stitch from hell!" My sister loves cardinals and the Adirondacks and I had found the cross-stitch kit shown above which was "Christmas In The Adirondacks" from Dimensions The Gold Collection and thought she might love it.
It was the first cross-stitch I had tried in at least twenty years and probably should have started with something a little less difficult. I have to admit I found it difficult to keep track of where I was stitching on the the blank fabric versus the chart. The pattern includes a chart that has color coded symbols that refer back to the respective keys.
The kit included the pattern, cotton thread, and 18 count white Aida. It also called for all the white sections to just be the 18 count white Aida linen cloth but I opted to use white DMC floss and cross -stitch these areas as well.
The "Christmas In The Adirondacks" pattern uses full cross-stitch, half cross-stitch, and outline stitching for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. Instead of framing my cross-stitch in a standard picture frame I opted to create a sponged painted wood shadowbox. Despite the problems I encountered I absolutely LOVE how it turned out and hope you would agree. My sister LOVED it.
The second cross-stitch kit I attempted was a Dimensions Colorful Rooster #7195 kit that included the cotton thread, the design printed in full color on a 14 mesh canvas, and instructions. I found the pre-printed canvas mush easier to maneuver and understand. The instructions also included a diagram with symbols that referred back to a thread key.
The instructions called for a different design to the purple background, but I changed it to be the cross pattern shown in the picture below. As with other Dimensions patterns the "Colorful Rooster" cross-stitch used overlay stitches and outline stitches for emphasis which I think really makes the rooster stand out. The pattern also called for a matted picture frame but I opted instead for a sponge painted wood shadowbox.
I also found a wonderful "Black Hen" punchneedle embroidery kit to create a 3 3/8" x 3 3/8" punchneedle rooster that I loved. My rooster was created based upon a "Black Hen" pattern kit by Rachael T. Pellam of Rachael's of Greenfield that I added a black, burgundy, gray, and white sponge painted wood shadowbox frame to. This pattern included detailed instructions and tips for punchneedle as well as an iron-on transfer sheet that you had to iron on to the foundation cloth which was included in the kit. It also included a piece of paper with the DMC floss numbers printed on it and each of the floss strands grouped by color tied to a punched out square next to it's respective DMC floss number. It did not include a diagram with the detailed numbers on it but included a listing on the back of the pattern indicating which DMC floss numbers were to be used and where.
I also found a wonderful "Apple Tree" primitive punchneedle embroidery kit to create a 3" x 4" punchneedle primitive apple tree with crow that I loved. My apple tree was created based upon a "Apple Tree" pattern kit by Rachael T. Pellam of Rachael's of Greenfield that I added a dark green, gray and white sponge painted wood shadowbox frame to. This pattern included detailed instructions and tips for punchneedle as well as an iron-on transfer sheet that you had to iron on to the foundation cloth which was included in the kit. It also included a piece of paper with the DMC floss numbers printed on it and each of the floss strands grouped by color tied to a punched out square next to it's respective DMC floss number. It did not include a diagram with the detailed numbers on it but included a listing on the back of the pattern indicating which DMC floss numbers were to be used and where.
Another one of the bird punchneedle kits that I bought was one of a cardinal in a group of birch trees. I knew my sister would LOVE this too. The punchneedle kit was Dimensions Bird In Birch Trees Kit #73433 was easy to follow and had diagrams and numbered key codes for the DMC floss. The kit included reverse pre-printed fabric, DMC floss, and pattern with instructions as well as punch needle tips. The design was printed on the reverse side of the fabric and you work on the reverse side when punching to create the image on the front side.
The pattern and kit was for creating a framed picture with the fabric serving as the picture mat. I decided to make mine as little sponge painted shadow box that could be placed just about anywhere. I wanted the colors of the sponge painted shadowbox to compliment the colors of the birch trees and love how it all turned out. My sister LOVED it, too.
I had so much fun creating my punchneedle and cross-stitch shadowboxes that I want to make some more. The problem is I've been giving them as gifts for a couple of years now. Maybe it's time for a change. Oh, but I just love doing punchneedle. Maybe one more year will be okay..........