Dying for X-Stitch Fabric


Confessions of a Cross Stitcher

Ladybug Lake Progress-Nov 2018
My current project, Ladybug Lake, should be finished in the next few weeks.

Hello again all my wonderful, creative cross stitchers out there! Lets talk about being creative with your ground fabric shall we, but first let me share with you a little bit about the project I am currently working on. I am determined to finish this by the end of November because I have another fabulous project waiting to start. I developed this pattern from a glorious day I spent riding with my hubby and friends on our motorcycles to the top of a mountain top where we were greeted by thousands of ladybugs amongst the greenery. Naturally I had to name it Ladybug Lake because it also overlooked a beautiful lake. I will get into more detail about this piece in future columns, but for now, I want you to know that I had a blast working with the various fibers it includes.

Derwent Inktense Color Pencils on Aida Cloth
These are the colors I used on my sample cloth to see how they would work with a project of mine.

A while back I wanted to make my stitching more personal and interesting. I realized there were many ways to do that but for me it was necessary to throw in some mixed media components and since I am inherently lazy, I wanted to do things that didn’t require special equipment, make a terrible mess and took forever to set up and clean up.

With tons of projects in the queue and each of them so varied with materials and colors, there is no way that I would ever match already dyed fabric to what I needed. I experimented with a lot of different media to try to figure out the best way to add color to my fabric and came up with several good candidates and that is what I am going to talk about here.

First, I want to discuss Derwent Inktense Color Pencils. I love these guys! Talk about easy peasy, these get the all time award for being just that. Getting the look you want is as simple as wetting your fabric and marking on it with the pencil. Or you could just wet the pencil and apply it to the fabric, either way it loves water. I just get my spray bottle of water and go for it.

Sample of Derwent Intense Pencils on Aida Cloth
Here is the results of wetting the fabric and applying the Inktense pencils to it.

Now there is a couple of caveats to doing this. First of all, be sure the sizing is washed out of the fabric and in order to be color fast it has to be heat set with an iron. I put my cloth in between two sheets of parchment paper and then pressed. What is so wonderful about this is that you can color all over the fabric or just in a few places. You can make the colors more intense in areas or add highlights in others. Grab a scrap piece of the same fabric and experiment with it before committing to your project and just have fun! I was wanting to dye everything with these pencils!. LOL!

Intense Pnecils on Aida with Bead
Here is a bead that I will stitch on this project and the colors from the pencils are a perfect match on this sample.

I use 14 count white Aida cloth for my projects which is 100% cotton and it soaks up this color like a sponge. Whatever you use for your cross stitch ground, play with it and get a few of these pencils to see how you like working with them. Never fear the possibilities of working with something new, especially when the clean up is as easy as using a little water and soap. You can use a regular craft brush of your choosing, I prefer the firmer type to spread the color around on the fabric. The pencils can be purchased at local art/hobby supply stores or the same type stores online. They are available separately and in sets.

So now, not only do you have some great tools to custom color your fabric but they work great on paper as well so you have the best of both worlds! I love it when I have supplies that multi-task, don’t you? Getting more bang for my buck always makes me smile!

New DMC Etoile Mouline Floss
Here are the first 35 colors of this fantastic new floss from DMC, Etoile Mouline.

So I bit the bullet and purchased the new set of DMC Etoile Mouline Embroidery Floss. Who can wait when you are a fiber junkie like me, right?! LOL! I found after working a bit with it that it is a delight to stitch with and has a nice sparkle. Keep in mind though that this does contain Lurex which has a tendency to fray a bit, but if you keep your lengths reasonably shorter, that shouldn’t be a problem. It divides easily into 6 individual strands and the introductory colors they chose to release are a nice variety to get you started. Etoile means star or star-shaped and couldn’t be more appropriate for the subtle twinkle of this floss. You can purchase the first 35 as a set in a DMC tin or individually at most places DMC’s other products are sold.

Sample Stitching of DMC Etoile
Here are a few rows I stitched with the Etoile using two strands on 14 count Aida. Beautiful!

I told you last month that I was going to share some more items from Stitched Modern I purchased that would be great gifts for the upcoming holidays for fellow stitchers or just a nice reward for yourself that wouldn’t break the bank.

Wooden Measuring Square and Pouch to Fit It
Here is a 3 inch wooden measuring square to use on your fabric to determine your starting point for stitching. The cute pouch is the perfect size to put it in, along with other tools you can fit into it.

I couldn’t close this column without showing you some more of the needle minder’s I made. Yes, I went berserk with them but of course it was in a good way! LOL!

DYI Cloth Covered Needle Minders
Here are more of the needle minder’s I made from the button covers using remnants from a discount store. So easy, cool and inexpensive!

Next time I’ll talk about using Faber Castell’s Gelatos to color your fabric so until then, Keep Creating!


Debbie Monachella

Debbie Monachella

Debbie Monachella (aka Pear Blossom Designs because it is easier to spell) has been cross stitching and driving her family and friends bonkers with it for over 30 years. After 22 years, she retired from medical office work, and when she isn’t busy telling people where not to sit or step because of a lost needle, she enjoys making up her own cross stitch work, cross stitching, exploring cross stitch, blogging about cross stitch and riding with her husband of 39 years on their Harley motorcycle. They have two lovely daughters, three grandchildren, four great grandchildren, and one granddog named Hannah. She resides in her adopted state of Oklahoma.
Debbie Monachella

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