Here it is! My new project I’ve been devoting my time to for the last couple of weeks instead of making any new hats or anything else for holiday shows, and I’m so happy I did!! I once again combined my loves of crafting and puzzles/games, as I’ve done many times before, yay!!
It’s connect-the-dots stitch sets, which you embroider from number to number to reveal the mystery pictures! Each set includes 5 images with a common theme, 1 of which is shown as an example (unicorn for the Cryptozoology set, pincushion for the Craft Tools set), the other 4 remaining a secret until you stitch them up! (I try to choose the image which is most obvious in dot form to be the example, so the others are maximum mysteries.)
There is a spoilers page where you can read the secret image identities (by clicking spoil it on each set) – useful if you might want a set as a gift and want to check what it includes, or if you just hate surprises!
Sets come with stitching instructions (3 different methods, or you can do your own thing) and the photo example; regular sets are printed on 8×10 inch pieces of fabric (assorted colors) as you see above, and matted sets are printed on 4×6 inch fabric pieces, then sewn onto matching patterned 8×10 pieces (below). All fabric (and photo paper and packaging) is 100% recycled!
update 01/22/10: the format has changed a bit, see the update post for details.
Sets are packaged in recycled envelopes with windows to show the colors and set theme (thanks to Scrap for recycled envelopes and label paper, yay!):
So then once you stitch between the numbers and have your picture, you can add your own stitching decoration to make it your own! I added some french knots as pin tops to this pincushion:
My good buddies Caitlin and Star came over for a movie night last week and were awesome to do some stitching while watching; then they both took home their pieces and kept on stitching up fabulous decorations!! Caitlin’s unicorn alone, and with beautiful french knot roses (photos by Caitlin):
And Star’s unicorn, walking on rainbows!! Yeah! To show how you can personalize your stitching, I’m adding the example images stitched by different people to the stitch sets page – if you have an example picture I can add, you can either email it to me, or put it up on the leethal flickr group!
For a better idea of how it works… here is the piece of fabric you start with:
Then you can stitch it in one of a few different ways – this one below is an unfinished version of the way my unicorn and pincushion at the top were stitched, as well as Caitlin’s unicorn. After making these long stitches, you go back over them and tack them down. (Note: the numbers will never be printed on patterned fabric like this in the sets for sale, only solid colors.)
Or you can make smaller backstitches like this one below, which was also the way Star’s unicorn was stitched up. (The instructions that come with the sets go into more how-to detail.)
So that’s how it works! Other important things… there are just the Craft Tools and Cryptozoology [aka imaginary animals] sets at the moment, but making the images is my favorite part, so I already have about eight more sets planned for the future, and will probably just keep releasing new ones every few weeks or so!
PDFs of each set are available as well! With the PDF, you can print out the connect-the-dots images onto fabric or paper as many times as you want (so, you could fill up your wall with different colored stitched unicorns, or make a mini-connect-the-dots booklet to give a friend, for example) – do whatever you want with the designs for yourself and for gifts, as long as you don’t use them for commercial purposes. The files come with the stitching instructions like the sets do, as well as how to print onto fabric with an inkjet printer.
If you want to order a set for a Christmas gift, do so right away, as I’m heading out of town on Tuesday so I can’t ship anything last minute. Not that shipping Monday guarantees arrival by xmas, but if you order it today, I can ship it tomorrow, so that should arrive in time. I’ll also have some sets at the Scrap Bazaar on Saturday if you’re a local and want one!
Ok so now that you know everything you need to know about this new project, a couple more things…. I have to tell you how this concept came into being! About a year and a half ago, Rachel (average jane crafter) was in Portland and I got to spend a day of crafty fun with her and Diane, hopping around town to places like Kinokuniya and Twisted. All the craftiness immersion got us into some kind of silly brainstorming mode, and I don’t remember the details of the conversation, but Rachel and I threw out this concept of embroidered connect-the-dots. I’d played around with making up connect-the-dots designs before, in my zine, and loved it, so I was way into the idea and wanted to do it, just didn’t know how. I even tried it once way back then by tracing the numbers onto fabric with a fine-tipped Sharpie – it worked, but took forever! So then several months ago I read a how-to for printing onto fabric with a normal inkjet printer and it clicked! I could do that! I brought the idea back up to the surface, but didn’t have time to fit it into my project schedule till just a couple of weeks ago. It totally worked, and now it’s gone from this amazing brainstorm idea forever ago to a reality! Hooray!!!! And I am forever grateful to Rachel for coming up with the concept with me! Woooo!
And now that you’ve made it through to the end of this post, I want to offer you a free connect-the-dots design! It’s a bit of a weird one (I like experimenting) so it’s not great for stitching, but it looks cool on paper – the numbers create a kind of scribble design around the image. I’ve put this puzzle on the back of my new business cards too! You can click over to the full size image file to print it out, or if you prefer, you could load it into a photo editing program and connect the numbers with the line tool. Have fun!! (oh, and if you do enjoy this, let me know in the comments here or on the flickr page and I’ll know to keep offering more free designs if you like them!)