My first finish of 2014 is a cross stitch version of my Tokyo Subway Map Quilt that I started in early 2013.
Both my original and subsequent Tokyo Subway Map quilts were scrappy but, when I wrote the expanded pattern, I included a version the used just five different fabrics for each of the subway "lines".
The diagrams for that version of the pattern just happen to be perfect for cross stitch!
Below is a description of how I adapated the quilt pattern for cross stitch. This description assumes some familiarity with cross stitching and is not comprehensive. (For instance, it does not include a list of floss colors.)
However, if you have the Tokyo Subway Map pattern and and feel like you want to attempt it in cross stitch, this will cover the basics!
What You'll Need
My Tokyo Subway Map Quilts pattern - specifically, the Five Fabric Version diagram on Page 15.
14-count aida cloth, which will result in a stitched area measuring about 8" x 8".
5 different colors of embroidery floss each in red, orange, yellow, light green, dark green, green-blue, light blue, dark blue, violet, pink, and gray. (What we're doing here is using 5 different flosses, instead of 5 different fabrics, for each subway "line.")
Black embroidery floss for the subway "stops."
Needle, snips, and any other tools you regularly use for handwork.
Notes on Selecting and Preparing Embroidery Floss
I didn't keep track of the specific floss colors that I used for each of the subway lines. I just went to a shop with a large selection of floss and chose 5 different skeins for each line based on how I thought they looked together. The above photo shows the 5 different colors that I used for the violet line.
Notice the slight variations in value and intensity. You'll want to select colors that have that kind of variation, but that still look harmonious together. Just like in the quilt version, it's the subtle differences that create a sense of movement and the harmony among the colors that make them read as a continuous line.
Label the flosses for each colored line as 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. These numbers will correspond to the numbers used in the pattern.
Reading the Pattern
The above diagram appears on Page 11 of the pattern. The numbers 1 through 5 for each color represent color placement and will correspond to the labels you've put on your embroidery floss.
The one exception is black. For the cross stitch version, only one black floss is being used, so you can ignore the numbers 1 through 5 and just use the same black floss for everything.
Adapting the Quilt Pattern for Cross Stitch
Page 15 looks a lot like a typical cross stitch pattern, but there's one important difference. Because the pattern was designed for fabric squares (which are a lot larger than cross stitches) you'll want to make 9 cross stitches, or 3 rows of 3 stitches each, for every one square on the quilt pattern.
Here's what that looks like in real life.
You can also see in the above photo an example of how I used a water soluble marker to draw a grid on my cloth. This made it easier for me to count off the placement of my stitches. When I was finished, I just misted the whole thing with a spray bottle to make the marks go away.
As always, use caution when using marking tools. Test on a scrap to make sure you won't be staining your work.
And that's all there is to it. Follow the quilt pattern as you would follow a cross stitch pattern, making 9 stitches for every square on the pattern.
To celebrate my first finish of 2014, I've set up a discount code for the Tokyo Subway Map pattern. Enter CROSSSTITCHFAN at checkout to take 50% off the Tokyo Subway Map pattern when you buy any other pattern in the shop. This code will be good through Sunday, January 12.