Recently Elizabeth Bradley came out with beginners kits, above. Each kit has a single flower. The design, printed on 10-mesh Interlock canvas, comes with Elizabeth Bradley Wool, a color card keyed to the color squares printed on the canvas, a color chart, instructions, and a needle.
I was very impressed with the quality of the printed canvas. When I spot-checked the canvas against the chart, they were the same. Every intersection had just one color on it and the corner marks were lined up. You can see how nicely it’s printed in the picture below.
In the last large Elizabeth Bradley kit I did, these things were not true and they made stitching these kits harder.
The one fault I found in my kit was that the colors printed on the canvas seemed a bit close. Because of this, stitch in good light or keep the chart close by.
The finished design size is 3×5″ so it could be framed using pre-cut mats and ready-made frames.
Preparing to Stitch
The first step in preparing your kit to stitch is to separate the colors. As you can see in the picture at the top of the article, the wool came bundles into two groups. unties the bundle and separate each color. Knot them or put them onto thread cards. Although there is nothing that says how many strands of each color you should have, it looks as if there is plenty.
The next step is to tape the canvas edges. This canvas is rough and your threads will catch. The best choice for this is Artist’s Tape (that white tape from needlepoint shops). Blue painter’s tape and masking tape will also work but they will dry out, stain the canvas, and come off over time.
Although you can stitch the design in hand, I recommend stretcher bars, which will keep the needlepoint straighter. Because the canvas holes are large, you will not get a tight stretch on the canvas unless you pin through the canvas threads or intersections.
Now you are ready to stitch.
The Victorian Cross Stitch
Victorian Cross Stitch is this company’s name for Cross Stitches made over one intersection of canvas. Because this stitch is used, Tapestry Wool can be used on this large-mesh canvas. The instructions suggest that you stitch row by row, beginning at the bottom, and change colors as you stitch. You should complete each stitch before going on to the next.
While I like the notion of completing each stitch, I prefer stitching color by color because this keeps the wools cleaner.