Celtic cross stitch: MacRegol Medallion

This was definitely the most complex of this series of designs, and may be one of the most complex designs I’ve ever done. That backstitching was murder.

With flash:
macregol medallion flash

Without flash:
macregol medallion no flash

Close-up:
macregol medallion close up

Macro!:
macregol medallion macro

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5th Celtic cross stitch: mini cross

mini celtic cross

This is a small design, about 3×4 inches. I’m thinking this will make a good crest, if I can find a blazer. Like a private school jacket.

4th Celtic cross stitch: Iona cross

iona cross flash

Without the flash:

iona cross wo flash

I forgot to make the French knots in the arms until after I’d washed it, so there are some marks from the hoop still in it, but those will easily press out with a warm iron.

3rd in the cross stitch Celtic cross series: knots cross

knots cross flash

This one took a while because I went through a period of a couple of months where I didn’t want to work on it. I got kind of bogged down in the center, it was all shades of the same color and the backstitching was really confusing–it makes sense when you pull back and look at the whole design, but when you’re working on one tiny fraction of it inches from your nose, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. So I really needed to take a break from it for a while. Once I was done with that part, the rest was relatively easy.

knots cross no flash

This is a photo I took without the flash, so it’s blurry but the colors are truer to reality. I really like the alternating color scheme in this design.

The next cross is the Iona Cross, which has some fussy elements–French knots, single stitches that need to be individually backstitched, some blackwork design–but doesn’t look difficult.

cross stitch: darrow medallion


darrow medallion, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

This is the first design I’ve completed from the House of White Birches cross stitch pattern book Celtic Crosses, and I think it came out super cool, so I’m going to do all of the designs. I don’t know what I’ll do with them (I think it’s boring to just put a frame around needlework and stick it on the wall), but I’ll figure something out.

Originally I thought of getting a blazer and making this a crest, like a private school jacket, but it’s just a little too big for that. However, there are a couple of small designs in the book that will work just fine, whenever I get to them.

This is some of the most complex backstitching I’ve ever seen, so I decided to do it as I went–cross stitch patterns are divided into a grid of 10 x 10 stitches, and you’re meant to do one square at a time, or you’ll very easily lose your place. Normally I do all the main stitching, then go over it with the backstitching afterward, but this time I did the backstitching for each square before I moved onto the next one. It seemed easier, and I think that was the right decision.


darrow medallion close up, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

embroidery: owl tote


owl tote, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

This is something I bought from Sublime Stitching last year and just got around to. It was kind of a palate cleanser after finishing the hurricane tracking map, it only took one afternoon/evening of work last Sunday.

The pattern was stamped on the tote with water-soluble ink, so once you finish the stitching you just throw it in the wash and the pattern washes out, leaving just the floss. I prefer that to the iron-on transfers, which don’t wash out. Sometimes the lines are too thick, or your stitching is a hair off, and you can see the pattern creeping around the edges, and that really bugs the perfectionist in me.

Next project (which I’ve already started) is a design from the House of White Birches Celtic Crosses book. The one I’m doing isn’t actually a cross, it’s a medallion that has one of those twisty bird designs. The backstitching is so complicated that I’m actually doing it piece by piece, instead of doing the whole design at once after I finish the primary stitches, like I usually do.

I’m doing it on 18-count Aida, which I haven’t used in a while. I prefer evenweave, because it’s more flexible and cloth-like. But they only make that in high stitch counts like 28 and 32; usually I use 28 and work over 2 squares for each stitch, which gives me a 14-count design. But I wanted this to be smaller because I’m probably going to use it on a piece of clothing somehow. I thought it would be fun to buy an old blazer from a thrift store and put it on the breast, like a private school crested blazer. But at 7″ x 7″, it might be a little too big for that. I won’t really be able to judge until it’s finished.

(You thought old cameras were the only thing I was obsessive about, didn’t you?)