Brought to you by Galliana designs, here comes a brand new concept for cross stitch: picking your very own colors.
Us stitchers make a lot of decisions when we embark on a new project. What type of fabric? What size count? How to finish? Rarely do we make a choice about COLOR.
For Galliana designs the whole idea is to let you free to decide exactly what threads and colors to select and where to use them in the pattern.
As Elaine, the designer behind Galliana cross stitch likes to say:
" Picking your fabric and flosses can be just as much fun as stitching it!"
Unlike regular charts where it is usually hard to substitute colors, Galliana patterns are especially designed so that process is easy.
First, they are monochrome - shown in a neutral color so that you can project your own ideas.
Second, each motif and object is designed so it is easily identifiable and can be isolated from the rest of the design: individual books in a bookcase, a door, a picture frame, ornamental motifs... Part of the fun is identifying the motifs.
In Purrfect Friends, the decision was made to work the frame in a lighter color for a lace-like effect, with the focus on the plant pot, the birds and the cats. With the soft grey background and the dark blue overdyed shades, there is a feel reminiscent of oriental ceramics.
For the House of Christmas the structure of the house was worked in chocolate brown, in order to focus the eye on selected features such as the red door, the golden flames in the fireplace, the green Christmas tree or the yellow deer (spot it?) peeking out of the attic window.
A one-page overview is provided with the chart so you can highlight areas of your choice and make notes about color. You can then truly personalise the design either stitching it all in one colour, maybe use two contrasting colours, variegated flosses or even a whole range of different colours.
Chart overview - left
Stitched model - right
Following the Guide
If you are at a loss as to how to start with your first pattern check out this handy guide. This guide comes free with every Galliana Sampler.
As you gain confidence, you'll start enjoying the freedom of color more and more, and certainly come up with brilliant ideas. Do please send us your photos and tips so we can share some more with fellow stitchers.
Also covered in the guide is fabric color. Even if you stitch the entire pattern in a single floss color, don't automatically go for white. Remember you are dealing with a pair of colors which opens a wealth of possibilities.
A darker color fabric for instance can make for a stunning stitched piece. This example shows the delightful Stitching Shelves, worked in beige on a navy background with the result that the stitched motif catches the light and stands out against the blue fabric.
Galliana designs are a wonderful opportunity to use all the wonderful skeins that blend several colors.
Overdyed threads are embroidery floss colors than are dyed in several colors, with the base color showing in some parts, or blended with other colors further along. For hand-dyed skeins, the process is uneven so there is a random element of surprise every dozen stitches or so. The choice of color (so yummy) and material (silk, cotton, wool) is huge. You can have a lot of fun stitching with over-dyed threads.
On the other end of the spectrum are Variegated threads . Offered by the main floss manufacturers in addition to their huge solid color ranges, Variegated (or Ombré) threads were initially used for embroidery, long before counted cross stitch charts became popular. They provide gentle shading in floral motifs worked in satin stitch for instance. In cross stitch they are perfect for adding a little nuance to monochrome designs as they are perfectly consistent in both color and sequence: the color changes very slowly, over a whole length of thread. We find they are also wonderful to work with, enabling smooth change of color and more control (check our tips in Galliana's Guide to Colors). Seen here is a detail of the Christmas sampler stitched with DMC Variegated115.
You might not notice at first, but you could find little surprises hiding here and there in Galliana Samplers, extra fun motifs so discreet you might only discover them once you start stitching. The Garden sampler has plenty of little bugs hiding in it; the Christmas Castle features a large cracker built within its walls.
The Galliana Sampler featured below has it's own very special story. Click on the pattern details to find out.