My first original cross stitch chart - Quincy Bay in the Sun
I decided that I wanted to create an original chart, so I downloaded a free program from the internet - KG-Chart. Then, I uploaded my own photo. This is a shot of Quincy Bay as seen from Wollaston Beach, a few miles south of Boston. The railing in the foreground is a walkway out to the Squantum Yacht Club, which is perched on stilts out by the water.
Quincy Bay - Wollaston, MA
Next, I selected the fabric and final size (12.5" x 7" when stitched on 16-count Aida) as well as the number of colors to be used. Because this is a fairly limited-color picture, 14 colors was sufficient (I tried 24 at first, but the pattern was pretty near impossible to read). I also edited out the people sitting on the beach because they were just a black blob in the chart after it pixellated. The program then lets you export a computer-generated image of what the picture will look like stitched:
Quincy Bay in cross stitches (computer-generated)
And here is a detail of the chart:
Quincy Bay - detail of cross stitch pattern
I think I might actually try stitching this! I have always loved this photo, and it seems like a good excuse for a new project. :) I will use this program to create sampler-type projects, too; I like that it has the complete line of DMC floss and lets you create a color chart. You can also upgrade to the pay version for extra features (larger chart size and no "KG Chart" byline when printing), but the free version appears totally adequate for me right now. Two thumbs up!