The year… 2014.
The project… Haunted House by Cloudsfactory.
One chilly fall evening, I started this adorable counted cross stitch pattern by Cloudsfactory. I separated out all my threads, cut my fabric, and set to work. I wanted to finish it by Halloween. A lofty but what seemed to be an obtainable goal.
I overshot the mark. Like… June 2017 “overshot the mark”.
Thankfully, it’s finally done and the finished product is awesome!
I spent many afternoons watching Halloween movies to keep myself motivated. Being in the spooky state of mind kept me focused on building this beautiful piece.
Unfortunately, as I worked my way from the center to the edges, I realized I cut my fabric too small. It was a tragedy! My error caused a sacrifice of a major character in the design – the tree. I mean, what’s a Haunted House without a creepy tree in front?! I packed away the project for a few weeks and refused to face my mistake. Total pout-mode.
Finally, I swallowed my pride (and perfectionism). This pattern is too beautiful not to finish. So off I went. Stitching away. Stitch, stitch, stitch.
My favorite part of any cross stitch is adding in the backstitches that add more detail and depth to the piece. Check out the comparison below of the design before and after details were added:
I made a pretty amateur mistake throughout the the life of this design. I left the design in the hoop, thinking I would pick it up the next day. But as it commonly happens, days or weeks would pass between stitching sessions and therefore, some pretty intense hoop marks were ingrained in the fabric.
Tip for Stitching: Always take the design out of the hoop when you’re done, even if you know you’ll be picking it up the next day.
Early on, I had decided I wanted to to turn this piece into a decorative pillow. I picked out black fabric with small gray circles from Jo-Ann Fabric for the edges and backing. The dimensions of my piece were irregular, so I bought quilt batting with the intention of folding it in layers for stuffing. I could have used stuffing that’s used for softies, but wanted the pillow to lay somewhat flat to highlight the full design.
First, I backed the design with regular white cotton fabric to ensure the stuffing materials don’t pop through the aida and provide a solid background to the design. Unfortunately, as you can see, I couldn’t get the hoop marks out of my fabric. Ugh… a lesson well learned!
Then came the sewing, which was the most stressful experience. I mean, if I messed it up, that was almost three years of work down the drain! Well, not really, but I’m always afraid of ruining cross stitches that I worked so hard on. Thankfully, the sewing went well and I was able to create borders and sewing on the back. I could use practice sewing straight and better aligning my pieces, but overall, I’m really happy with the way the pillow turned out.
Look at this cute thing! I can’t wait to pull out this pillow every Halloween to enjoy! Only took three years to get it done!
Design: Haunted House by Cloudsfactory