Oversized Cross Stitch Art

This is a project I’ve been wanting to try for a while, after pinning this anchor image months ago.   And what better time than a 4 day weekend with nothing on the agenda besides eating?

I’d like to note that I have completely, 100% ripped off the artist’s lovely pattern for this.  I would never try to profit from this kind of endeavor, but for a one-off project around my own home I don’t feel too guilty.  Plus, the general steps for an over-sized cross stitch piece are also available on Readymade.

Just by looking at the example, and counting the rows and columns, I started by sketching out a pattern on graph paper.

For my canvas, I used another of these old college-era canvases that I’ve been slowly repurposing around the house.  The size was perfect, however I knew it would be next to impossible to try to “sew” yarn through a gessoed and thickly painted canvas.  I knew I would need to “pre-poke” the necessary holes for the pattern.

First, I drew out a grid over the old painting.  Behold, an artistic rendering of my West Philly apartment in 2003:

The grid looks crooked in this pic, but it’s actually straight.  It’s just the shitty painting behind it that’s always been crooked.

Then I got to work pokin’ some holes.  This was the most time consuming part, and could certainly be avoided by using regular fabric stretched across a frame.  In retrospect, that small investment would have made this project about 3 hours faster.  Although, if using plain fabric, I’m not quite sure how I would have mapped out a perfect grid.

Anyway, this part was kinda sucky.  I started each hole with a thumbtack, holding a wine cork underneath so the pin had something to sink into without stretching the surface too much.  I definitely missed the cork a few times and stabbed my fingers.  Maybe that was on account of all the wine.

But the thumbtack hole was not quite big enough so I widened each one with a tiny metal knitting needle.  (Size 0?  I don’t know.  It’s been so long I may have forgotten how to knit.)

Now that the holes were all made, it was time to paint over this god awful thing, which I had now spent the last 3 hours staring at.

I went with the “indigo” color Valspar spray paint.  I used spray paint because it’s easy, and since it’s only getting a light mist, it didn’t clog up the holes.

Extra shiny and extra blue in this pic because it was still wet.  It’s actually “satin” finish paint, and more of a navy blue than bight blue as seen here.

Now it was onto the actual fun part, making the stitches according to my little pattern.  This was super easy and took maybe an hour total.

And the absolute best thing about this is that it only cost me $3.50 for the spray paint.  I already had the canvas, yarn, and tools on-hand.

For now, it’s hanging in our dining room, in a spot left vacant after my picture re-arranging two weeks ago.  I do love it here, but I find the colors a little clashy with the curtains, we’ll see where it ends up.

 

 

 

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