Customer projects completed

Baby sampler redesign and restart.

 Baby sampler redesign.

This baby sampler redesign and restart certainly was a baptism of fire as it was my first commission.

My first cross stitch finishing request is from a lady in the USA.
Clients project description.
The project is 31 x 26 1/2 cm and eight colours.
I will provide all materials needed.
No other details were provided.
She is waiting for a hip replacement, could not find the time to finish the project so was looking for someone to finish her cross stitch for her.
It’s a baby sampler that I think was started over ten years ago for her grandson but was never completed.
It arrived by priority mail and without knowing any more than what the client had described I opened the package.
On opening the parcel I noticed straight away that I will have my work cut out with this one.
As you can see in the image, the project is already started.
It came with a picture of the finished design which was intended for a girl whose name and date of birth I have blurred out for privacy. This can be seen in the next set of images.

Baby sampler redesign and restart

The baby sampler redesign request is for a boy, who’s details were enclosed on a piece of paper.
It had a rough hand drawn stitching pattern. A few random coloured yarns that were far too dirty to use. They were also covered in dust and what looked like animal hairs tangled in the weave of the threads.

As you can see the pattern was also a little worse for ware and unfortunately did not quite match the design of the original which I had to copy, shown in the picture below.

So begins my baby sampler redesign.

After consulting with the client via email that I would need to use all new threads, I was told to do whatever I thought necessary to finish the project.
I first decided to make a new pattern that was to scale with the original picture dimensions that were supplied. To follow the original pattern, and to make it match the design supplied was a task I did not fancy.
After careful study and measuring of the original pattern, using the project dimensions the client had supplied I set about my baby sampler redesign. I calculated that the stitch count was 10 so I began to redesign the pattern on a 10ct grid as shown below. The colour coding shown is for reference and not necessarily the final colours I chose to use.

Recolouring the yarns.

Before starting I would also need to change the colours of the yarns slightly. Being that the new design was for a baby boy, not a baby girl. So the first thing I did was carefully choose new yarns to swap out all pinks for various shades of blue.
Then, by lining my pattern up with the supplied picture I was able to create a more accurate new design that closely matched both the supplied picture and was also close to the original hand-drawn design, as I also found a lot of stitches had been missed out on the original girl’s sampler.
Also, I would need to do a little more scaling and defining on the bunting and loop detail.
I chose to do this on a separate transparent piece of paper. It will then be overlayed onto my design in place of what is shown in the above pattern as I was not happy with the overall proportions and look of the original balloon. To me, it seemed a little cluttered.

Washing the Linen fabric.

The next thing to do was to thoroughly wash the supplied fabric in lukewarm water as it was badly stained, covered with animal hairs and far too dirty to work on.¬† The fabric was washed at 40 degrees with a mild detergent although I also thought about just replacing it. After some consideration though, I decided the client would want the same fabric that the girl’s sampler was stitched onto.
With the fabric now clean after 2 washes and ironed flat I was ready to copy my design onto a soluble stabiliser before laying it onto the cloth ready to receive the stitch work.

This seemed like a simple design at first but I soon realised that was not the case. There was a lot of embroidery in the balloon along with satin-stitch, some hoops, chain-stitch and French knots all to add some detail to the design.
I also used an embroidery hoop to keep the fabric at the right tension without permanently creasing its edges. I think in future I will use a larger rectangular frame to hold the whole larger designs in place.
Slowly and carefully I worked my way through the design. This incorporated some stem stitch into the ropes on the balloon, the wire on the plaque held by the bird and onto the stems of the flowers at the base of the balloon, with some more satin stitch and French knots to form the detail on the ends of the butting design and in the birdseye. I also used a smaller hoop to do the bird detail and plaque.

The next thing to do was to move my hoop and start on the banners containing the writing.

Almost complete.

I am now on the home stretch having completed all the satin stitch in the banners and with only a little more stem stitch left to finish them off. Finally, there’s some random straight stitch in two colours to build the highlights in the babies hair.
It’s now complete, awaiting the client’s approval and ready to be packed then mailed back to the USA.
This was an interesting little project. A little testy at first but once It started taking shape it was worth the effort to get it right.
Below you can see the original design.

My interpretation of the Baby sampler redesign.

Thank you for reading my post.

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