This project was a labor of true love – and I won’t pretend otherwise it took well over 100 hours over 2 1/2 months to make it happen. Oh but it was worth it and I’d do it all again! As you can see from the photo below this was no small project! It’s bigger than the real dog!
On DMC.com you can upload a photo to create a custom cross stitch pattern. It is free if you buy the thread from them – oh yes the pattern tells you exactly what to buy, and how much you’ll need! They emailed me a PDF file with the pattern, mailed me my thread… and off I went!
I worked with 14 sized aida cloth (the stuff I used and lots more on amazon – here’s an affiliate link to my supply page there) and I used a photo that was a white background. I STRONGLY recommend this if considering a pet or portrait! It was just an iphone pic snapped of her in front of a white board and it was way better than those I tried outside with grass or other backgrounds. Less distracting by far.
I started with one page – this pattern was 2 pages wide and 2 pages high. It took a LOT of time as I said before – but more importantly be patient! Don’t be in a rush or you’ll make mistakes and be truly sorry!
I learned a few things in the process:
- Trust the pattern! There were a lot of times I was sure it was wrong… and it was not.
- If you make a tiny error (slightly different color than it should be) on a square or two – let it slide. You’ll never notice when it is done!
- Work in strong light. I use an OTT light and it was an invaluable tool for me during the day even!
- When your mojo is missing, cross stitch is a great craft! It lets my thoughts wander, allows me to feel productive, and lets me see progress on a project which tends to keep me feeling creative and happy.
As I said at the start – this was a labor of love. I finished just days before Christmas and my husband Jason absolutely LOVED it! He had never imagined such a craft project could exist, and truly appreciated my efforts. Would I do this again? Maybe. I would be more inclined to do a smaller project, but I wouldn’t say no. It was a really satisfying sense of accomplishment to make this.
I was really pleased that stitching this to a pillow worked out as well as I had hoped, and that I see it daily on the big leather chair we’ve had since moving into this house. I’m also really glad I ended 2018 with such a big project that turned out so successfully!
Looking ahead to 2019, I have a LOT of projects scrapbooking to costume in mind and I’m off and running! What are your crafting goals this year?