The first of the hand-crafted Christmas gifts I started, and therefore also the first I will show off, was a portrait cross-stitch embroidery depicting my grandmother’s kitten. This is the project that I posted a preview of back in early August, and it was finished with only a day or two to spare before Christmas.
As a gift this embroidery was very well receive, though not without its bittersweet edge, as Svarting was tragically killed by a car less than a month before the holidays. At that time the embroidery was more than halfway done, so I finished it and hoped it could be a nice memory of the cat, rather than just of his kitten days.
The pattern was generated with PC Stitch Pro 9, and was reasonably easy to follow – I’ve since found some methods for attacking large, complicated projects that make stitch-counting a lot less tedious, and make for fewer missed stitches that I have to go back and fill in, and I’ve also thought of some different approaches to the conversion process that I’d like to try, but overall I’d rate this one a success – it’s a good likeness and close enough to photographic, when viewed in person, that my grandmother’s partner refused to believe it was actually stitched.
A custom pet portrait this size, number of colors and level of detail would run about $700 plus shipping, and have a 30-45 day completion time (I could finish it in less but stitching for more than 2-3 hours day causes me more pain than I’d be willing to bear with). Frame and matting can be added at cost.