Disclaimer: This tutorial series is intended for educational purposes only and is aimed at needlepoint hobbyists. If you make use of any information presented in this series, please do not infringe on any copyrights.
Here it is.
It took a while to get here. I’ve spent a lot of time on computer aided design mechanics, particularly how to use MS Paint, Gimp and Inkscape in your project. The reason for this was to show the iterative nature of creating a needlepoint design based on some prior image. The image you see here is very basic (and quite flawed, as discussed below), but it has several elements that are real world enough for this not be a trivial exercise. In particular, its many curved elements might be hard to trace, and the detail that you see in some of the icons will be a challenge also.
Moreover, I’ve tried to show how to do this using open source software, since many needlepoint stitchers — including myself — are not particularly adept at free hand drawing, but may not have the budget or inclination to spend hundreds of dollars on professional stitch design apps.
We’re now ready for the actual tracing step. I hope the last 7 have given us all a sense as to the amount of work (not to mention talent!) that goes into producing an actual, professional-grade needlepoint canvas design (thank you all you fantastic needlepoint artists out there!), which this is obviously NOT.
As seen above, the McGrath Clan coat of arms is, quite frankly, naively executed, but who cares? It’s not the end of the world if, say, the quadrants aren’t all perfectly uniform, or the two hands don’t look like they were drawn by the same, er, hand, or the bottom curved borders look a little sketchy, or whatever unusual peccadilloes might be in your particular fun-to-fool-around-with masterpiece!
It’s yours, and that’s all there is to say about it, particularly if your aim is to stitch a simple nature scene photograph, or your grandkids’ first fingerpainted doodle, or whatever, just go for it — you certainly shouldn’t worry about coming up with a Mary Engelbreit needlepoint classic.
I always enjoy myself when engaged in the rewarding hobby that is needlepoint stitching. It should never turn into an obsessive grind, IMHO: all good things in moderation, and all that.
But with these flaws in mind, I’ve decided to first trace the original black and white version of this design (which you saw back in Part III of this series) sometime over the weekend. Then maybe I’ll try to fix some of the problems with this color version by hand on the canvas. Sometime that’s just how it goes!
Meanwhile, it’s time to check how the turtle nests are doing on the beach. The little darlings are having a rough go of it this year, due to the very high sand dunes created by that “beach restoration” project last year — many of the turtles can’t climb up the gigantic artificial dunes this project ended up creating, and are laying their eggs within the tideline..
Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016.