Here is a link to the chart, a stunning 13" x 17" monster, and a picture of the model piece:
Daunting, huh? Well, here goes nothing.
I am going to stitch this beauty over two threads on 28-count antique white Monaco fabric. It is important to note that there are some errata in the chart, so make sure to check TW's website before starting (she lists the errata for each piece for reference). Also, there are some specialty materials involved, so here is where you can find them:
In case you are confused, the numbering system for Kreinik threads can be a little problematic. The braids are described by weight (#4 is lighter than #8, #8 is lighter than #12, and so on up to #32), and the blending filament is a one-stranded metallic thread. The number at the end is the color code: #002 is gold, and there are various different types (#002V = vintage, #002HL = high luster, #002J = Japan gold). If you poke around the Kreinik website, you can see what I'm talking about.
First, I whip-stitched the edges to keep them from fraying. You can just use any spare thread for this. I used to use masking tape, and whip-stitching takes a little longer, but I don't like the sticky residue the tape leaves on your hands as you work on the piece later. Here is a piece of the finished edge:
|Whip-stitched edge - prevents fraying|
For designs like this, I usually stitch the outside border first and make ultra-sure that the dimensions are right before I stitch the inside. That way, I have a solid, verified reference point for everything in the design. You can just stitch one leg of each "X" the first time around to save yourself time if you need to remove stitches. This particular design is wider than my embroidery hoop, so I stitch halfway across the fabric and then place a loose stitch with contrasting floss to mark the halfway point, like this:
|Loose placekeeper stitch placed at halfway point to keep track when I move my hoop|
When I go back to put the top halves of the "X"s in, I will remove this stitch - it is just temporary to help me count.
I also placed a loose marker "X" in the lower right corner outside of the border (and marked it on my pattern) to keep my piece from being flipped upside down as I work. It is tough to see, but it's about an inch in from the outside edge of the fabric.
|Marker "X" in the lower right corner|
Now, I can stitch all around the outside of the design's edge. Here is what it looks like when I'm done:
|Entire edge finished - serves as reference frame for design|
For this design, I am going to work one corner at a time until the frame is finished, then I will stitch the dragon in the middle. So, to wrap up this post, here is a detail of the bottom left corner so far:
|Detail of bottom left corner - one color only|
Until next time...