Wednesday, August 1, 2018

our stitch family

stitch people
Growing up, arts and crafts were a huge part of our childhood. My mom is the most creative person I know, so we spent so much time painting and knitting and just making things. I love having an idea and then making it reality, but over the years, I kind of lost that interest in making things the deeper I got into school.

This past winter I saw an ad on Instagram for Stitch People. I had never heard of it before, but thought it was such a great idea! It's basically a book with a guide on how to make your own cross stitch people, with all sorts of customizations available. I just thought it was the cutest idea, and ordered it immediately.

The book walks you through the basics of cross stitch, shows you how to put together a pattern, and then the final steps, like framing your final product. There are pages upon pages of different patterns to choose from, from all sorts of hair styles to clothing types to animals. It shows you how to customize each of them, and gives little tips and tricks along the way. There are also extra pattern books you can buy, like the one for different occupations or the one for barn animals.

I decided that I wanted to start making our little stitch people family for each year...I just kind of loved the idea of having a project I can do yearly that follows us through our life together. I started with 2017 - the really big thing that happened for us that year was that we graduated, so I figured us in our graduation gowns would be appropriate. This was my first attempt at cross stitch, and I learned a lot just in the time I made this piece. When I finished our 2017 family, I immediately started to make a present for my chief resident, so I had a bit more time to work on my skills!

cross stitch family

Of course 2018 was the year we got married, so the week after our wedding, I started this year's version! With a few tricks I picked up over the time I made the first one, I think this year's version looks so much better than last years! It just looks crisper and more like us, rather than the square eyed, less dimensional versions from last year. Our outfits were obviously our actual wedding outfits, including versions of my bouquet, CR's boutonnière, and all the pets got little flower accents (even though technically they weren't there hehe). 

A couple of things I did differently the second year :
  • Used 1-2 strings to outline every person/animal. It makes a big different when it comes to the crispness, and makes everything look less jagged. I first noticed it when I outlined my white dress in a thin light grey, and then did it on everyone else, and loved the way it looked!
  • Restitched in any places that weren't initially covered - this mostly happened with half stitches, as you can see on Baer's ears. 
  • Used french knots for certain features instead of the normal x cross stitch. You can see this most noticeably in our hands and our eyes for this year's version. I think it made a huge different in how everyone looks!
  • Added a few more features, including my pearl earrings, a more realistic beard for CR, and the flower details on the animals this year. 
Wanted to touch quickly on supplies. I bought almost all my supplies from Joann's or Michaels in store because I really wanted to get a feel for the colors of the embroidery floss, but if you think this might be something you really enjoy, buying a larger set of floss is definitely a great option. I used a bamboo hoop and the white Aida cloth. When I was done, I simply ironed it, and then framed it using a simple mat frame from Michaels. 

stitch people
I got lots of questions on Instagram about what I'm actually doing with the Stitch families I've made, and my plan is to eventually have a whole little gallery wall of them! For now, two years in, we just have the two of them hanging (awkwardly) kind of high on the wall. I'm can't wait to see what the coming years bring for us, and how our little stitch families evolve! Here's a little behind the scenes, in progress collage from over the past 8 months.