** Throwback Thursday! Originally posted 1/5/2013. Turns out she left this office shortly after I gave it to her, and I never got to see it displayed. I still hope it didn’t creep her out to get something from an anonymous stranger! **
Yesterday and today I finally finished up my Luann Cross Stitch, so I want to talk a little bit about the project.
One of the ladies in my office is named Luann, and she sometimes has a Luann comic strip taped to her door. During Christmas, she has one from Christmas up. These are printed on paper and taped to construction paper, nothing fancy, but it always makes me smile when I go by her office. I used to read this comic in the Sunday paper growing up and always liked it.
We never work together, but it still seemed like a nice project to cross stitch the comic strip for her. I decided it would be a little creepy to be all “Hey, I made this for you even though we don’t know each other” so I decided to do this anonymously. Hence the title of this post “Random Craft of Kindness”
Through Google I found a website that has archives of the Luann comic going back to 1985. The comic had the date “12/25” written on it, so I went back year by year until I hit on the magic year: 1996!
From there, I needed to make the chart. The software I ended up using is called PCStitch 10. I could have done it in Excel, or used the trial version, but I decided to buy it. I always have mad scientist dreams of making knit pieces with a similar approach, so I figure I will be using it again. After some work in the program, I came up with this. The borders are a neat feature of the software.
Another name for this blog could be called “The Eleventh Hour Crafter” or “Procraftination” because I always do things at the last minute [[Editor’s Note: And now it is! Welcome to Eleventh Hour Maker!]]. (I did not really start the project in earnest until the Monday before Christmas Eve), so I had to scrap the border. As for materials, I had to buy the metallic colors, the aida cloth, and the frame, but I had the rest of the colors in my stash from my cross-stitch phase years ago. I bought the frame from Joann for $3.50 after a 50% coupon. [[Editor’s Note: The frame I bought was a 6.5 x 14 inch frame with 3 openings for 3.5×5 inch pictures. Here is the same model from Walmart. It is no longer available, but something like this from Amazon* might work]] It was the perfect size, and I was able to re-use the mat after I carefully cut out the two extra bars making it a 3 picture frame.
I mounted it by sewing the canvas onto acid-free Comic Book boards, using the advice of this post from Cross-Stitching.com. I used a thicker top stitching thread that I used on another project, although embroidery thread or even regular thread doubled probably would have worked. When I do this again I would sew the shorter edge before the longer edge so all those strands would be covered, but since it is covered by the back of the frame it doesn’t really matter.
After doing that, I had to fit it in the frame about 100 times to try to get every last speck of dust out of the glass, and now it is wrapped up and ready to be put on her doorknob when I leave work tomorrow! All in all, I am really pleased with how it came out. She is a little googly-eyed, but it looks better in person, and I have not cross-stitched in literally decades so I will call it a win! My hope is that IRL Luann will be pleasantly surprised and not creeped out that some work stranger is making her things after hours 🙂