Wednesday, October 23, 2013

{Almost} Four Seasons in One Day...

Four Seasons in New Zealand by homestitchness cross stitch design by homestitchness
Four Seaons in New Zealand
As I type this, it is snowing outside. In over a decade of living here in the States, I don't believe I have ever seen it snow like this in October before - I think I would remember if I had! I love the snow, and usually find the first snowfall of the year quite exciting... but this definitely feels a wee bit too early!

While my little girl is at preschool and my little boy naps, I am stitching. Surrounded by autumnal decorations on display in our lounge, while snowflakes quietly float to the ground outside, I am busy finishing my summery Christmas decoration design that I'm getting ready to release. Hmm, no wonder I'm feeling a bit confused by the seasons at the moment!

Have you started thinking about Christmas yet? What craft projects are you working on at the moment?

Jenny x

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Free Gift: Decorative Cross Stitch Tile Pattern

I am excited to share this project with you as it is something I have been wanting to recreate for a long time now and the story behind it has special meaning for our family...

Belgian Tile Cross Stitch Pattern
Decorative cross stitch tile pattern
My husband is Belgian by name and by ancestry, so I like to say that "I am Belgian by marriage" :o) Both grandparents on his father's side came to America when they were young, then met and married over here. Several years ago, we had the privilege of visiting Belgium and staying with a cousin and her family. We fell in love with the country and the experience made me rather proud of my inherited Belgian heritage.

Belgian Flag Personalised Cross Stitch
A gift I designed and stitched for my husband's very first Father's Day
During our time in Belgium, we were taken to the site of my husband's grandmother's family home where she lived before moving to America. Sadly, the house had not long been demolished for the purpose of new development and all that remained was a pile of rubble. However, out of the ruins, his cousin had salvaged a number of broken pieces of patterned 'tile' as you can see in the photo below, which I believe originally decorated the kitchen.

Decorative Belgian Tile
Our little piece of decorative tile from Belgium

We were given this piece of tile along with a photograph of the cottage to take home with us and the tile has been an ornament in our garden ever since. It is starting to look a little weathered and worn, now, and since I have always liked the pattern, I have been wanting to stitch up a replica to 'preserve' the design and create another keepsake. I finally got around to charting the pattern a few weeks ago and funnily enough, I realised the colours in the tile are exactly the same colours we used to decorate our daughter's bedroom when she was a baby - I had never noticed before! It will be a nice little piece of family history to hang on her wall. 

Belgian Tile Cross Stitch Pattern
Stitched Belgian tile hoop art
I want to include the pattern here as a little gift of thanks to you all for your interest in homestitchness. I am not sure how to make it available as a PDF to download straight from the blog, so instead I'm going to post the pattern below and you can click on it to enlarge it, then right click and save it onto your computer and print it out that way... 

Decorative Cross Stitch Tile Pattern
Belgian Tile Cross Stitch Pattern

Symbol       DMC         Description

o                  368            Mint Green
+                  725            Sunflower Yellow
♥                  760            Rose Pink
 I                  3865          Snow
optional       3032          Clay

It is a repeating pattern, so you can stitch as much or as little of it as you wish. I chose to work on Wichelt's 28 count Clay linen as the colouring of it is very similar to the clay coloured background of the actual tile. It has saved me a LOT of work not having to stitch in between the decorative motifs, but I have suggested a comparable thread colour for stitching in the 'gaps' if you wish. For my project, I wanted to stay true to the original colours of the tile, but there would be so many other gorgeous combinations you could try - for a bolder look I think Navy, Red, Mustard and Cream would look amazing! 

Obviously, the design is not my own, I have simply charted it so I can recreate the pattern with needle and thread. You are most welcome to use the pattern for your own project and share it with your friends :o) I would love to see what you make with it! 

Happy stitching :o)

Jenny x