It is a cold, snowy, miserable Saturday. Time to get going on finishing off two recent projects!
The Oregon Trail piece is going to be really simple – paint a hoop black and then display it in that. I want the neon green to jump out from the black and be the star of the show. For the hot chocolate drinking snowman, I want to frame it in a white hoop and add white pom pom trim to the edges to look like snowballs. None of this was actually my idea; it’s simply a copy of how the finished project appeared in the magazine (Just Cross Stitch December 2020). Although, they finished theirs off as a flat ornament, and did not use a hoop. They also used twisted cord or floss as the hanger and I plan to use a ribbon.
The first step was to use Posca pens to paint the hoops. They required about 3 coats each, but each coat only took a couple of minutes to be fully dry, unlike paint which would have taken a few hours total.
Then it was time to frame the pieces in the hoops. I cut off most of the excess fabric, then turned the fabric to the back and hot glued it in place inside the rim of the hoop. Then I cut a piece of felt the same size as the back of the hoop and glued it to the hoop, ensuring that everything was covered and the fabric that I had glued down didn’t peek through. I chose felt sheets the same shade as the cross stitch fabric so that when the hoops are hanging in a window the sunlight will not shine through. The pom pom trim was hot glued to the outside of the hoop and a hanger was attached using blue ribbon.
I absolutely love how these turned out! I don’t have a hanger added to the black piece yet, but I probably will go with something really basic that doesn’t take away from the overall design. I do like how the blue ribbon actually accents the snowman’s hat and scarf nicely.
It’s complete! I had so much fun stitching this, although the neon floss was a pain to work with and made it take so much longer. I could have had this done in a weekend, easily, with normal DMC floss. But the neon green floss matches my T shirt perfectly! The regular floss would not have had the same WOW factor. Now I just need to find a smaller wooden hoop and I think I will paint it black. I am also going to need to back the entire thing with black fabric or felt to ensure that light does not show through, as it is in this photo.
One of my favorite memories from childhood is playing Oregon Trail on an Apple II computer, complete with neon green text on a black screen. Those Apple computers were definitely the best part of going to school (we personally had a Commodore 64 at home). Recently, this game has had a sort of cult following, with all sorts of merchandise popping up relating to it. When I saw this T Shirt on Amazon, I had to have it.
This got me wondering, were there any cross stitch patterns available with this design? A quick Google search found that although there were some finished pieces out there that had been sold on Etsy, no one was selling a pattern. But the design was so simple, I decided to try my hand at creating a pattern based on the T shirt and the few cross stitch Google images I found. I got out some graph paper and started shading in colored blocks with a pencil. It was pretty crude, but the end design seemed pretty accurate. I never stitch on black Aida because it is so hard to see the holes, but I decided to give this a try. And I happened to have one old (but new) package of Charles Craft black Aida in my stash. To give you an idea of how old it was, it was packaged in a clear round tube… they have not sold it that way in years! The tricky part was going to be finding a bright green shade of DMC floss that matched the T shirt. I looked at the entire line of DMC but nothing was bright enough… until I found the neon E990. I really did not want to work with Light Effects floss, as it is so finicky. But it was really the only bright green color that matched. So I dug out my old tub of Thread Heaven and got to work.
The floss was just as bad to work with as I thought, but luckily the pattern was super easy to follow and not very large. I got this done in just two days of stitching:
I just noticed while adding the photos that one of the spokes on the wheels is not complete. Glad I noticed that before I finished and framed the piece! I will be displaying it in a hoop which I will probably paint black.