One of my not-so-secret works-in-progress is a long-arm cross-stitch heraldic bag for my Pelican, which will be finished in approximately a million years. I’ve learned a lot just from this one project, but I’m going to save my big post on bags and cross-stitch for a later date (and perhaps a class!). For now, I want to share with you the charts I’ve created.
The original bag (seen above) displays French and English arms and is dated to the first half of the 14th century. Examining the bag and counting stitches has lead me to the conclusion that each of these badges is in a 29×34 stitch rectangle. Each shield is surrounded by a 2 stitch wide border (making each shield 27 stitches wide and 32 stitches long at their greatest points). Using the 29×34 framework, I have spent weeks creating badges (mostly specific to AEthelmearc) for anyone who would want to create their own. These were made in MS Paint, with each pixel representing 1 stitch. MS Paint in Windows 7 allows the “View -> Gridlines” feature, which makes counting stitches/pixels much easier.
I’ve blown these up to 800%, but I can create bigger charts and share the originals upon request. There are a couple shown below, but for the rest, click on the link to the album I’ve created on imgur.
Shortly after I took an interest in cross-stitch last year, I of course began to wonder if I could find medieval examples of it. It didn’t take long to find those answers, and the West Kingdom Needleworkers Guild was a great place to get started. I’m planning a simple introduction class to share what I’ve learned, but for now I’ll just share the script I charted from a 15th cent German piece. (This is really nothing spectacular, but I couldn’t find it anywhere else and figured someone else might be able to use it too. 🙂 )
I charted this in MS Paint, with “Gridlines” selected under the “View” tab (in the Windows 7 version). Each pixel, or square, represents 1 stitch. I can make this available in other colors upon request. The three letters in the dashed-line box (j, v, w) were not part of the alphabet at that time, so I created these letters based on the other letters in the extant piece.