Sometimes, the discontined DMC ranges really hold some great threads, and the DMC variations range, which was partially disconinuted in 2013, held some great threads. Ever wanted to bring them back? Well as with all of the variations range, they’re made up of seperate block colors. So we’ve broken out each discontinued variations thread with their solid colors, so you can recreate some of the best threads DMC ever made.
If you’re thinking “but the number I want isn’t on the list!”, don’t worry! You’ve probably got one of the current range variation threads, which we’ve also broken out for you!
When it comes to threads, we all want that elusive full set of DMC threads, but for those us who aren’t so lucky, there is another thing you might want; a DMC color card. In fact, those who have all the threads often have one anyway, and they’re so useful! But why exactly?
What Type Of Color Card?
First off, let’s talk about what type of color card we mean. There are basically, three types; online, printed and threaded. We want the threaded one. The online and printed ones are great, but each computer screen shows off the colors slightly differently. In fact, scanners and cameras take slightly different photos too, meaning they are never perfect. We put hours and hours into making the best online DMC thread color chart we could, however, we started with a threaded version. Its the best. You can pick one up on Etsy however if you can’t pick one up right now, an online one like ours will still help you!
When To Use One
Unless you’ve used one before, it might seem like a little costly extra that really isn’t needed for most cross stitchers, however, a thread color card is frankly, one of the most useful objects in cross stitch.
We’ve made a little list, but frankly, there would be LOADS of other reasons too (I pick mine up almost daily):
Designing your own pattern
When designing your own pattern, even if you put an image through an online pattern creator, the colors never, and I really mean never, come out correct. Normally they are pretty good, but hand-picking colors ALWAYS make the pattern better. The shade card not only has every color but blocks them out in color families, meaning you can compare the slight differences in each color with ease.
When you change a color in your cross stitch pattern
We recently posted a blog on changing colors on a cross stitch pattern and the first thing we say, is get a thread card. If you plan to change a color in your pattern you need to pick the exact color from the right family. For example, if your pattern has loads of deep colors, you want to make sure you pick a new color that is also dark, instead of something too bright that will stand out…
When you don’t have the right color and you need to make a substitution
Let’s be honest, we’ve all had to make a substitution in the past. You don’t have all the threads, or the store is closed and you want to finish, well, what are you going to do? Pick a color and hope? A color card allows you to pick the perfect replacement to the one you own.
When you want to match a DMC color to a different brand
There are loads of online guides on converting one brand from another, in fact, we have a massive 9 brand thread conversion chart on the site, however, picking your color isn’t always as simple as the table suggests. In reality, each brand has slightly different colors, and whilst tables like ours makes the job much easier to compare, your pattern might call for slightly different shades.
Buying threads online
Most people buy threads online now, and whilst that is great if you have a nice list of numbers to buy, it isn’t so great if you need a whole string of shades and you don’t know the numbers. Online representations are never correct, and as we’ve said up above, there are close images, the only way to see it, is a color card.
Matching embroidery threads to embelishments
I personally stick with just cross stitch and backstitch, but I know a lot of people who add beads and other things to their cross stitch. However, no one wants a bead in a weird color taking the focus away from your work. You want something that compliments. Take your shade card to the store and pick the perfect color beads and embellishments.
Matching the threads to something else
This is a slightly vague title, but let’s say you want a specific color aida so you don’t have to stitch massive background areas in, or you want to stitch on top of a painted object or want the threads to be in keeping with the theme of the room. How are you going to match them up? Sadly, the names for threads aren’t the names for aida or paint. Picking the right shade of aida might make your job a lot easier, but only if you get the right shade, otherwise it’s pointless.
I know, this one seems a little odd, right? Well sadly, this is something a lot of people miss out on. You see, not all threads are the same. Many have different care instructions. Whilst DMC have uniform care instructions across their brand, others don’t. This is often why you get rumors of running colors on cheaper embroidery threads. Don’t want your threads to run? Check the care instructions.
Recognition in cross stitch is a hard topic to talk about. For many, recognition is something that rarely comes, for others, it seems like they’re drowning in compliments and for others, it’s still seen as a little bit taboo.
When I first started my cross stitch journey, cross stitch for men simply wasn’t a thing, it was taboo. Whilst I tried to open up the world too men in cross stitch it took a long time to get accepted in the mainstream. Even now, I regularly see posts on cross stitch facebook groups asking do men really cross stitch?. Thankfully, men stitching is now not only fully accepted, but people seek out male stitchers as they bring something new to the craft. But for many men, young people, and even those who aren’t aware of cross stitch communities online, don’t get as much recognition as they should.
So if this is you, or someone you know, how about looking in some of these places?
The first place to look for recognition is an online community. To some extent, on the internet, you’re faceless, and so you can proudly show off your work without anyone knowing it’s you. Alternatively, if you’re happy to be named, you can join the literal hundreds of thousands of cross stitchers who call the internet their home.
We devoted a whole blog post to the best online cross stitch forums however that isn’t the only place. In fact, Instagram’s #crossstitchersofinstagram is one of the largest communities out there. Get sharing, and you will see just how open people are to you.
I recently moved from the city, to the country, and without a doubt, the country loves fairs. In ever one, there is ALWAYS a craft section, with cross stitch normally having its own category. The great thing about this is you also get to hide your face. I personally like camping out by my cross stitch to hear people’s comments as they walk by. But for a more official reason, they also give out awards!
Awards & Galleries
I know what you’re going to say; awards and galleries seem like they’re an impossible dream? Well, the answer will probably suprise you; you can enter a dozen awards right now, and there is no reason not to.
This isn’t about me, but I’m a good example of an award winner; I’ve won about 20 awards now, and I’ve even got a couple of glass awards on my mantlepiece, however, I won most of these in the first 3 years I was stitching. In fact, most of them were won for stitching that wasn’t my own design; I used a pattern.
You see, most people think that awards are only for the best of the best and that access is blocked off for the mere mortals of the cross stitch world. That simply isn’t the case. The most recent award I won (the National Needlecraft Awards) is open to anyone, of any level. I was up against massive companies, but at the same time, simple hobby stitchers. I won one, I lost 2, but there was a trend that emerged; hobbyist were winning just as much as the big players in cross stitch.
But that doesn’t mean you have to go massive either. Try starting with online competitions like the DeviantART group StitchingPirates who have one every month!
I’ll wrap up by saying that the cross stitch community all over the world is an accepting place; we’ve all been a new stitcher, we’ve all kept our hobby secret at some point, and I’ve never seen someone be nasty about someone else’s cross stitch; ever.
I’m actually halfway through another project, and I’ve already got 2 patterns set aside to cross stitch afterward, but the lure of a good idea got me. I’m attempting to recreate the key from Bioshock Infinite, which you can see below. In reality, the key is only shown from one side, either the bird or the cage, based on a previously made choice in the game. However, in reality, the key is a thaumatrope.
There are two different ways of making a thaumatrope (which is a 1800s toy) you can either spin a stick with two images stuck to the top, in the way the key is done here, or you can make a spinning toy using string.
I was originally planning to do the second before I played the game again and realized what the key was. Needless to say, I knew I had to do that version, however making a bird and a cage that small is actually rather hard. I’m not 100% impressed with my bird, but it roughly looks like the real thing and it’s just a little palette cleanser cross stitch before I finish my current project.
I often speak about changing cross stitch patterns, and how you’d get to a point where you’d see a dress in a pattern and would want to change the color or want to change the skin tone threads or hair threads to something more realistic. However, a lot of people are scared. They don’t know where to start, and often see big designs online and don’t know how to get there. So what should you do first?
I regularly get contacted about where to start with pattern making. Thanks to some advanced cross stitch designing programs, it looks like you need to know a whole tome of information to make a pattern, but that’s not the case. In fact, changing colors on a pattern is not only super simple, but you don’t have to go crazy. We covered changing colors on a cross stitch pattern a few weeks ago, but it can be a super small, super simple change that allows you to do make a pattern unique. Start with a dress color, move onto a skin tone or a hair color. See just how easy it is to make cross stitch yours.
Get more adventurous
By this point, you should understand simple color changes. But you don’t have to graduate straight away to something super complicated. Instead, go crazy with color changes.
The pattern below, by PatternArtCollection on Etsy is a great pattern, but they sell it in two different color tones. This, is something ANYONE can do. By purchasing the pattern, you can edit as you see fit, and by adapting whole color spectrums, even every color on the pattern, you can totally change the tone of the work. The one on the right to me looks like night, and the one on the right like day. Yet despite this, the colors aren’t what you’d see in either situation, no, instead one is purple and one is orange.
Mix items/pattern parts
But then what? This, is what I love.
By taking parts of patterns, and using them together, you can create something truly custom. Something that whilst coming from various places can be 100% of your work. There are even books like Lizzy Dabczynski’s Do-It-Yourself Stitch People Book which allows you to take tiny parts and combine them into one, creating a unique person, ever time. This harks back to some of the previous things you might be doing too. Changing skin colors, or hair colors, or dress colors, are exactly the things you’ll be done. But you’ll also be picking outfits, faces, hair cuts and beyond.
What about copyright?
That said, what about copyright? We cross stitch and copyright is something every cross stitcher should be aware of and frankly, its every cross stitcher’s duty to care about copyright. So how does that impact what you’re doing here? Well, not much.
You see, once you purchase a pattern you have the right to do it as you wish. Want to change colors? That’s fine! Want to chop, change, add, subtract, anything? Sure!
The issue is when you try to sell the pattern (or even give it away free). The pattern, even in its edited state, is still owned by the original creator. If you want to open your own store with your own patterns or give them away free, you NEED to use your own work.
Also, its always nice to give some cross stitch recognition.
Title: Nuka Cola Quantum Keychain
Date Completed: July 2019
Design: Lord Libidan
Video Game: Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, Fallout 76
I had an idea. Or more accurately; I have an idea. For the first time ever, I’m writing this post not only before I’ve completed the cross stitch, but before I’ve even planned it. Yes, you heard that right; at the moment, this is still, just an idea.
I was struggling for a new, small project to do before my next big one, and I started looking for inspiration. I’ve actually spoken about where to get cross stitch inspiration before, and I have a journal of half baked ideas. In there, I normally cross out things I’ve completed, but as I read through, sometimes I read the crossed-out ones too. And I noticed something. There were lots of mentions of glow-in-the-dark.
I won’t spoil that post for you if you want to read it, but in short; it doesn’t have to be. But its easier. That makes sense and all, but that got me thinking; what if I wanted a different color?
In my mind, when I think glow-in-the-dark, despite all of those posts I’ve written, isn’t cross stitch at all. Its Nuka Cola Quantum, a fake radioactive drink from the Fallout series. And it’s blue. So far, I’m 9 different supposedly ‘blue’ glow-on-the-dark threads down, but I think I’ve found a solution. I think I’ve found a way to make a Nuka Cola Quantum cross stitch glow, just like the game shows.
The trick is its implementation. Officially, its a thaumatrope, which is a fancy way of saying a spinning toy. A plate with one image on each side is spun, making it look like the two images are one. It’s been used in a few movies and games including Hugo, The Prestige, Sleepy Hollow and Bioshock Infinite. In fact, I referenced that last one in my Bioshock Infinite Heads or Tails cross stitch.
The idea of my Nuka Cola keychain is to do a similar effect, where one side is simply cross stitched in blue, and the other side is stitched in blue glow in the dark thread. It then spins on your keys, making it look like the bottle is both glow in the dark, but also gently moving around in the glass bottle. There is also a secondary effect caused by the clear plastic canvas, where you can see the glow in the dark through the blue stitched on the other side too!
Finding the blue glow in the dark thread was a lot of pain, but thanks to learning how to use metallic threads I used the same tips to great effect.
Sometimes you just don’t like the working on a cross stitch pattern, or maybe you want to design a pattern of your own. So we’ve combined over 50 free cross stitch fonts and alphabets for you to download and use for free. Patterns increase in size as they go down the page. Just click the image to get a higher resolution version.
Most include upper case, lower case and numbers.
These alphabet patterns are provided for free and are not copyrighted. They can be used for any private pattern, however if you wish to use in a commercial setting, please contact me to ask permission (which is usualy given).
I’m sure I’m not the only one to have a whole pile of cross stitch patterns that I’ve never started. In fact, some of them are over a decade old. The thing is, whilst these patterns are great, there’s something slightly off with all of them.
Now, I don’t mean they’ve got something wrong on them, I mean they have something that doesn’t work for ME. I won’t name and shame any patterns here, but taking one of the tops, I have an issue with the color of the boat. It’s a green boat, with loads of greenery around it. It looks like it could do with a splash of color. And that’s what I’m going to talk about today. How to change colors on a cross stitch pattern.
Changing details on cross stitch patterns can make sure that what you’re stitching is suited to you, it can make it truly unique, and it can make it something you suddenly REALLY want to stitch.
So how do you start?
We’ll start with a word of warning; don’t go over the top. When you start out, its best to pick one element and change the color, rather than the whole thing. You might be called upon to do a few colors to make your new one match (we’ll get to that) but try to keep it manageable to start.
First off, you’re going to need a pattern, with the above advice, we should pick a small element to start. You then need to work out which colors are in that element based on the pattern. I’ve picked a bonsai tree with red leaves, and we’ll change them to green.
NOTE: The colors you are looking at might be used elsewhere in the pattern, so you may stitch need them to finish your cross stitch.
The Color Card
The next step is to pull up your color card. Ideally, you should have one of thread example color cards, however, you can use printed ones if you must. We have both the new DMC color card and the Anchor color card as a free download to look at. If you plan to do this a lot, we would STRONGLY suggest you get a thread example one, and we’ll be going over why why you need a color card in a few weeks.
Identify your shades
The next step is to pick your specific shades. In our red bonsai tree, we’ve picked out the 5 shades of red, and we’ve arranged the up in order. This means we can see they are a simple run of dark red to light red.
Pick the new shades
This is where we finally get to pick the shades we’ll be using, but the hard work has already been done. As we know its a run of 5 reds, we’ll need a run of 5 greens. On the DMC color card, the best options are on lines 10 and 11. Honestly, you could pick any 5 greens, however, each run looks slightly different. Those on line 10 look darker, so it might be best for oily leaves. We picked the first run of greens on like 11 as we have those in our collection.
Today we’re featuring DominionSisters. When looking at geometric patterns, you probably expect the abundance of animals converted into geometric blocks, or even repeating patterns, and that’s exactly why I chose DiminionSisters. They don’t do that. Instead, they’ve looked at where geometric patterns exist in the real world.
This humble bumblebee pattern is like many patterns on their store; simple, but classy.
As some of you may know, I received the Best miniature Cross Stitch award in the recent National Needlecraft Awards for my miniature pirate cross stitch samplers. This was my first foray into miniature cross stitch, and whilst I thought I was doing something new at the time, I really wasn’t. It turns out that not only are there loads of miniature cross stitches out there, but there is also a massive community devoted to only stitching miniatures.
So without further a due, we round up some of the best miniature and dolls house cross stitch from the web.
Tiny Fox Cross Stitch by Arachnoid
Whilst its hard to see from the image above, Arachnoid has not only stitched a super tiny fox, but they’ve included it in an embroidery hoop the size of a quarter!
Red Car miniature Cross Stitch by Victora Minaturas
How about something a little larger? Victora Minaturas from Etsy has made these four miniatures which not only have some great cross stitch work, but also go to show that miniature cross stitch can be super modern too!
Miniature Cross Stitch Slippers by miniricami
Looking for something a little smaller? How about these miniature slippers by miniricami? Stitched on silk, these slippers are only 2.5cm long, meaning it must be about 42 count!
Christmas Night miniature Cross Stitch by CS broderie miniature
Christmas is literally more than half a year away, however this christmas inspired miniature cross stitch is just too cute!
Lighthouse miniature Cross Stitch by Miniaturas Cubells
And finally, we come to the best miniature cross stitch I could find. Miniaturas Cubells sells nothing but miniature embroidery on Etsy, and you can see they’ve been at it a long time. This lighthouse stitch is clearly from a commercially available pattern, but instead of sticking to boring old 14 count, they went with 38 count. Yet they stitched it just like they normally would. I am so super impressed.