Here is the finished cross stitched piece I stitched up using patterns from Tantes Zolder, or my Auntie’s Attic. From what I can find online, it was a website set up by a woman who found over 300 hand-drawn cross stitch patterns in her aunt’s attic. With the help of volunteers, she digitized them all over the course of a year. The original website seems to have gone offline some time in 2012.
Luckily, I found Isabel Gancedo who had all of them backed up and posted on gancedo.eu. They also include patterns found in books in the Antique Pattern Library, which is always a great website to browse. To find the Tantes Zolder patterns, just scroll down a bit on the main page or click one of the side links. My favourites are the octagonal patterns.
Can you see where I screwed up the stitching on this piece a bit? If you look closely at the center, the crosses on the red flower in the middle are not going in the same direction as the rest of the piece. It happened for two reasons: first, the center is perfectly symmetrical, so I didn’t notice any change in the pattern, and second, I was on vacation in England when I stitched most of this piece. I also blame England for having to undo nearly a quarter of the orange border around the middle at some point.
(I fixed it eventually by drawing an arrow on my pattern, and an arrow on the masking tape I had put around my fabric to prevent fraying.)
Sadly, that wasn’t the end of the unpicking. The middle was filled in dark grey for a while , and I hated it as soon as it was done. I forged ahead, thinking it would grow on me as I did the leaves around the center but it didn’t. It even highlighted the direction of the crosses on the red center. So after much consideration, I put on a Jim Gaffigan comedy special and unpicked it all using a thread ripper, a needle, and lots and lots of small bits of tape to catch all the fuzz created by unpicking.
Sometimes, you just gotta undo what you gotta undo. 😉