6 Downton Abbey Needlepoint Projects While You Wait

Downton Abbey Cross Stitch
Image by Jules Sherred.

If you are eagerly anticipating the series four premiere of Downton Abbey on Sunday, why not pass the time working on one of these six needlepoint projects?

Downton Abbey Embroidery
Image by April Heather Art.

1. Lady Mary, Edith, and Sybil, Plus Matthew Set of Four Embroidery Patterns

Designed by April Heather Art, this instant download PDF contains all of the information you will need in order to stitch ladies Mary, Edith, and Sybil, plus Matthew. Even if you’ve never before embraced this art form, April has included basic stitch instructions. Each of these four designs will measure approximately 8-by-10 inches. And if this set isn’t your particular cup of tea, April Heather Art has a number of other embroidery pattern sets from which to choose.

Downton Abbey 2fer
Image by cottagenestinteriros.

2. Downton Abbey Cross-Stitch Pattern Two-Fer

A traditional sampler and a pattern of the great Highclere Castle: Two great ways to capture the era. Created by cottagenestinteriros, the “Downton Alphabet” pattern measures 7.56-by-9.78 inches when stitched on 18-count aida cloth. The “Down with Downton” pattern measures 8.5-by-7.5 inches when stitched on 14-count aida cloth. These patterns will fit in 8-by-10, and 10-by-10-inch frames, respectively. The instant download PDF contains a full DMC color chart with full color symbols, floss counts, and a supply list. If your local craft store lacks a good selection of cross-stitch supplies, then I recommend purchasing all of your supplies online from Everything CrossStitch. That is where I purchase all of my supplies.

If you’d prefer only one of these patterns, then the “Down with Downton” pattern and the Downton Alphabet” pattern are each sold separately.

Dowager Countess Quote
Image by crossstichheroes.

3. Dowager Countess Quote

Many of my favorite Downton Abbey quotes come from the mouth of the Dowager Countess. I think many of us cannot wait until we are older so that we can be free to be that person. Designed by crossstichheroes, this pattern contains a quote from one of my personal favorite Downton Abbey moments.

The color chart includes a legend for both DMC and Anchor floss. The pattern is also perfect for framing, either in a regular picture frame or hoop. When stitched on 14-count aida fabric, it will fit in a 5-by-7-inch frame or a 7-inch hoop; 18-count will fit a 4-by-6-inch frame or a 6-inch hoop; and when stitched on 22-count, it will fit in a 3.5-by-5-inch frame or a 5-inch hoop.

Mini Cushion Cross Stitch
Image by SheenaRogersDesigns.

4. A Visit to Downton Abbey Mini Cushion Cross-Stitch

It may not be enough to frame pieces of Downton Abbey. You may want to include Highclere Castle as an accent to your furnishings. When finished, this Downton Abbey mini cushion, designed by SheenaRogersDesigns, will measure 6-by-6 inches when stitched on 14-count aida fabric. Included in the instant download is a cover sheet with color photo of the finished product; stitching instructions; a list of required materials, including DMC thread quantities and instructions on how to make the cushion; and a large chart and DMC floss key. Most of the pattern uses whole stitches. However, there is a little bit of back stitching involved.

Grantham Arms Cross Stitch Bookmark
Image by AdLeones.

5. Downton Abbey “Grantham Arms” Cross-Stitch Bookmark

I think it’s safe to say that people look upon the Grantham’s library with envy. Your library may not be as grand as the Grantham’s, but it is deserving of an upper-class bookmark, all the same. Designed by AdLeones, the “Grantham Arms” cross-stitch bookmark will measure 1.75-by-9.25 inches when stitched on 18-count aida fabric. This pattern is a little more complicated as it includes whole stitches, quarter stitches, three-quarter stitches, back stitches, and French knots.

Favorite Quotes
Image by April Heather Art.

6. Favorite Quotes From Your Favorite Characters

Last, but certainly not least, April Heather Art has some more embroidery goodness for you to enjoy. Included in this set are six of April’s favorite Downton Abbey quotes, courtesy of the delightful Dowager Countess. Again, I think it is safe to say that the following quotes are also some of our favorites:

  • “Stop whining and find something to do.”
  • “I’m a woman; I can be as contrary as I choose.”
  • “Don’t be a defeatist dear, it’s very middle class.”
  • “Why must everyday involve a fight with an American?”
  • “What is a weekend?”
  • “So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.”

Wonder Woman Day: Wonder-ful Crafts

Wonder Woman Crafts © Bake at 350/Pixel Power Designs/Being Geek Chic
Wonder Woman Crafts © Bake at 350/Pixel Power Designs/Being Geek Chic

If all today’s Wonder Woman posts are inspiring you to add a bit more Wonder Woman into your life then maybe a craft project is just what you need. Whether you’re looking for something you could create in an afternoon or a more long-term project there should be something for everyone here.

One of my hobbies is baking cookies and after spotting this spectacular Wonder Woman design over at Bake at 350 (which you should NOT visit if you are on a diet) I might just have to invest in some new cutters and have a go myself. The shape of the cookies was created by using two different cutters (a bikini top and a baby’s onesie) and some ingenuity to stick them together as one. Some bold and bright food dyes later and I’m feeling hungry… Continue reading Wonder Woman Day: Wonder-ful Crafts

British POW Uses Morse Code to Stitch Hidden Message During WWII

Major Casdagli's Hidden Message © David Fearn
Major Casdagli’s Hidden Message © David Fearn

Many of us geek love codes, cyphers and other types of hidden messages, and there are few more famous codes than Morse Code. Developed in the 1800s, Morse Code is simple and easy to learn, it’s also easy to write down once you know the correct sequence of dots and dashes that represent each letter. It was this ease of writing down and reading the code without the need of any special equipment that allowed a British prisoner of war to use it to create a subversive piece of art during his time in a Nazi prison camp.

Comparison of Historic & Current Morse Code © SpinningSpark via Wikimedia
Comparison of Historic & Current Morse Code © SpinningSpark via Wikimedia

Major Alexis Casdagli was taken prisoner by the Germans in 1941 and sent to a series of prison camps where he whiled away the long hours by sewing. A piece he created in December 1941 looks innocent enough, indeed it looked so innocent that guards allowed him to hang it on the walls at all the camps he stayed in. However the piece contains two subversive messages coded into the borders, messages that if they had been discovered by guards would have put his life at risk. The outer border spells out “God Save the King” and the inner border, the decidedly more risky “F**k Hitler”. To create the piece, Casdagli used threads taken from a disintegrating pullover that belonged to a fellow prisoner, a Cretan general.

For the four years the piece hung on the walls of the prison camps until his release, the Germans never spotted the secret message of defiance hanging in front of them. In fact the Germans were so impressed with the officer’s skills that they had him give classes to other prisoners. Major Casdagli’s defiant stitching has even recently been on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The major continued stitching until his death in 1990 and his son, a retired Royal Navy officer, continues the habit today.