03 February 2011

Gabriel and Mary

I wanted to share with you my biggest, and still ongoing, cross stitch project ever.

The first thing you should know is that I love anything with wings. Birds, butterflies, dragonflies, fairies, but particularly angels. I’m not religious myself, but there's something particularly elegant about an androgynous figure with radiant outstretched wings. 

I also love the vivid colours in pre-Raphaelite art. So many years ago, when I found this artwork, I was immediately in love. A match made in heaven (no pun intended)!

Edward A. Fellowes Prynne (1954–1921), “Ecce Ancilla Domini” 
Years later, when I had access to a cross stitch conversion program (I use PM Stitch Creator), I converted it into a cross stitch graph. It is 500 x 500 stitches, contains 162 colours in DMC cotton, and is being stitched on 18 count white Aida.

So I started stitching in September 2007. I wasn't working exclusively on this project, I often stopped to do other cross stitch, knitting or crochet projects. But whenever I just wanted to cross stitch, this was always there.

This is my first work in progress photo, from June 2008.

By this time, I had figured out that I had to work within a grid, or I would quickly go bonkers (well, more so than usual). So the yellow stitch lines are 10x10 grids, and the red stitch lines are the outside of each page of the pattern I'm working off. It has 36 pages! (Although it's really only 32 pages once you discount the corners of the circle.)

The next work in progress photo is from November 2009.

Sorry for the slightly dodgy photo. The only digital camera I had at this point was a camera phone!

By this time, I had finished the angel's robes, which were the hardest part of the picture. Lots of creams and pale greens, which were a bit monotonous after a while. But I was happy with the finished effect, so I guess it was worth it.

After starting to stitch in the middle, I had purposefully decided to stitch the bottom section of the design first, as the fun bit was going to be the top section, with the wings! There were a few tantalising little wisps of wing on the left of the picture, so it was very exciting once I finally started the top portion.

I got a lot of sewing done last year, because my pregnancy confined me to my couch for the last few months. So here's where I am now.

It's getting very close! I'm hoping I can get it finished in time to enter it into the Sydney Royal Easter Show Arts and Crafts exhibition in April, but I need to get moving if so! If I can finish it in the next few months, it will have taken me three and a half years, but worth every second! 

My only problem is that I've now gotten used to having a giant fall-back project. What will I stitch next??


  1. Wow! that is totally amazing - keep going, it would be great to se it in the Royal Eater show!

  2. Can you explain the size in cms for the numptys among us?

  3. OMG your work is stunning! I would go blind but thanks to people like you I can see and appreciate the finished project!

  4. Found you on the UEF!

    Tiffany with Will Write 4 Food



  5. Hiya Kel. That's a bit over 70cm across the diameter of the circle.

  6. Hi Linda, Oh my that is so beautiful. I love to cross stitch too, haven't done too much of it lately but your blog is inspiring me to start again.
    I found you on the thread I posted on UEF,
    Come for a visit. Connieb

    I am following your progress