Hi everyone and this is guest blogger, Kellie! Recently, I was asked by Debbie of Blooming Daisies Crafts to write a guest blog about some things I am working on in my “Cross Stitch life” and I am thrilled to do so! Not to get distracted but Oreo is my sweet kitty!
Let’s start with some background. I “met” Debbie about a year and a half ago. Being an avid cross stitcher, I purchased some Grime Guards from her business, Blooming Daisies Crafts, and my life has not been the same. Debbie has made me a plethora of custom Grime Guards and Project Bags ---and, oh, those Needle Minders!! A few of my favorite (non-feline) fabrics and Needle Minders that are available on the website include: Balloon Animals and Cute Bugs prints, and the Jellyfish and Purple Seahorse Needle Minders. While our relationship began as customer/business owner, it developed into a fast friendship and we now keep in touch via text every few days. Over time, we have shared our love of needle arts, she learned about my 35+ year history of Cross Stitching, and my plans to take my Cross Stitching to the next level. Now, in this blog, I am going to share with you this “little” cross-stitching game-changer!
I love using the Android compatible app “PatternKeeper” (PK for short). I originally heard of PK thru a Facebook cross-stitch group that I belong to. For those who are not familiar with PK, it is an app that can import digital PDF patterns or pictures (in PDF format) of paper charts, or you can take a picture of the chart right within the PK app. It does work best with digital PDF files.
This amazing app can:
zoom in on a section of your chart,
mark off your finished stitches calculating the percent done of your WIP and,
it has a stat for tracking your daily stitches as well as total stitches completed on any loaded PDF chart.
Although PK is not great at recognizing or searching symbols from an image file rather than a true digital chart, it is still a huge game changer. I think that using PK for digital charts is so helpful that I purchased an Android tablet solely for using PK as the larger screen is much easier to see. I quickly came to the realization that PK was so user-friendly and had saved me time, eyestrain, and highlighter ink, that I wanted to convert all my paper charts from kits and what-not to PK compatible digital PDF files. To do this I knew I would have to find a computer program that I could import images of the charts, convert them and then export them in a PDF format. I found a program called “PCStitch 11” that does just that!
Now, for almost 2 months, I have been scanning my paper charts to my laptop as .jpg files and converting them into fully PK compatible PDF files. I do this by importing the .jpgs to PCStitch, lining up the grid on the image of the chart with the grid in PCStitch. I then manually load the floss colors & symbols found on the original chart’s key. (Most symbols that are used on the cross-stitch charts are available in PCStitch.) I then superimpose symbols over the ones in the images by simply clicking on the symbol on the key and clicking the square on the grid where it belongs. Once I finish adding all symbols/backstitching lines in PCStitch, I export by simply using the “Print to PDF” option. Then I import the PDF file to PK as a chart with full symbol recognition and searchability. It makes stitching so much more enjoyable!
Additionally, I have learned to make beaded fobs for scissors, keychains, and nail clippers. These quality fobs are made with a lobster claw clasp so they can be attached to the handle of the scissors (or other items) to make them easier to find whether they fall between the couch cushions or the bottom of your sewing bag/box, etc. I do also make an option for tip protectors in the form of a hollow cat pay. For the nail clippers, I attach the fob directly to the clippers themselves. I also make “Frogging Needles” or “Stitch Pickers” which is a longer pointed needle with a fob attached to the eye and used to pull out incorrect stitches. I sell these in my Etsy shop. Because I love cats so much, I do include a signature cat charm on every item I make.
Check them out here and while you are there, follow my store, KatsKraftCorner so you can see what's new!
Thank you for reading the first Blooming Daisies Crafts guest blog. I hope that you have found the information helpful. Please feel free to contact Debbie for more information.