Protect your home from the Mighty Cthulhu! For now...
Step 1: Inspiration for the project
I was browsing the web for some Cthulhu-related cross stitch patterns and I found this project. I really loved the sentence and the gap between the nice and neat embroidery blessing and the horrific truth that we will all end up in Cthulhu's great belly.
I decided to make a different version of it, without the house. I got the inspiration for the membranous wings and the elder sign from this pattern - although I changed it a bit.
I found this fantastic website to help me choose a font fit for cross stitching. You may also choose another font (you can find plenty of free alphabet patterns on the internet). Remember that upper case-only alphabet don't usually look good when used for a whole sentence.
Originally I was going for a spookier font but I actually like the innocent look on the Madrid font.
Step 2: Tools and materials
You will need aida cloth or other fabric fit for cross stitch. The size of the image in the end will depend on your type of cloth and how far apart the holes in it are. I used a 7 aida cloth. In the end I find it a bit too small, but meh.
You will need 4 colours of embroidery floss, here are the ones I used :
Black : DMC 310
Dark green : DMC 895
Light green : DMC 3346
Red : DMC 817
You will need carbon paper to transfer the elder sign on the fabric. An embroidery hoop and a small screwdriver will be very helpful but you may do it without hoop (if you use a hoop though, you will need a screwdriver). I prefer wooden ones to elastic plastic ones.
You will obviously need scissors and a needle (embroidery needles are usually bigger and less sharp than sewing needles, and their eye is bigger).
You may find all of the above in a fabric shop.
In the end you will need a frame, but you should wait until the cross stitch is finish to take the measures.
Step 3: How to cross stitch
Cross stitch is made of little crosses side by side which make a big picture (a bit like pixel art).
The hoop is used to stetch the fabric and make it easier to stitch on it. Take the two circles apart. Put the smaller one on a table and place you fabric over it. Use the screwdriver on the bigger circle to widen it. Put the bigger circle on the smaller circle and trap the fabric between the two. Ajust the fabric before tightening the bigger circle.
Your embroidery floss is made of 6threads. Cut a length of floss. Take two threads out of six and pull them through the eye of your needle. You don't make knots before cross stitching as you do when you sew.
Take a scrap of fabric and practice as follows before actually starting your project.
Pull your thread through a hole in the fabric, from under (the wrong side) to the top (the right side). Your needle must not catch the threads of the fabric. Pull the floss out, but not entirely, and leave a little length under the fabric.
Try to visualize the little squares in the fabric. You are at the bottom left corner of one square, now put your needle across it in the top right corner and pull through (then again, not entirely). You should have made a diagonal half-cross. Put the needle (now it should be under the fabric) through the hole that is just under your last one. As you do this, the floss will make a small loop under the fabric. Trap the loose end of your floss in it. On the right side of your fabric, you are now at the bottom right corner of your square. Put the needle across it into the top left hole. It should make a tiny cross.
When you have large areas to cross stitch, make all the half-crosses before going back and finishing them. It allows you to save floss and to make it look neat. All your crosses should be in the same direction (from bottom left to top right, and then from bottom right to top left, or the opposite, but stay coherent).
You can find several videos on Youtube on how to cross stitch if you think I am not clear enough.
To stop your thread and use another one, finish the half-cross you are doing, then go on the wrong side of the fabric. Stick your needle under a strand of floss, and then under the small loop you just created. Tighten and cut the floss.
Step 4: Stitching the pattern
Here is the pattern that I made, you can print it or follow it from your screen. To keep track of what you are doing, I suggest you print it, start stitching and colour what you have done every 5 crosses or so with a pencil.
Fold your fabric in 4 to find the centre of your fabric and start stitching fom the middle, it will prevent you from arriving to the edge and running out of fabric. The middle of the pattern is shown by the red lines.
Step 5: The elder sign
You will need to print two symetrical elder signs.
I have provided a pdf with two sizes. I used the small ones.
I also provide the basic image I used, you can try and resize it if you are not happy with the ones I gave (I don't really know if you can download a usable image). Don't forget to make two of them if you do.
I advise you to try the carbon paper on a scrap of fabric before doing this, to see if the colour transfers easily.
Once you have printed your elder signs, cut out two pieces of carbon paper the size of your elder sign. Place your fabric on a table. Put the piece of carbon paper on the fabric (colourful side down facing the fabric) and put your elder sign on top so you can see the drawing. Do the same with the second piece of carbon paper and the second elder sign. Make sure they are symetrical (you may use a ruler and the lines of the fabric).
Keeping the paper in place with your left hand, draw over the elder sign with a ballpoint pen. Don't hesitate to push hard, do no not tear the paper though. It should duplicate the elder sign on your paper. Do not forget to draw over the flame in the middle as well.
Do the same with the second elder sign.
You now have the design on the fabric. Use black floss (DMC 310) to stitch the thin lines using a back stitch (it is like sewing; if you don't know it google it). Try not to make knots there either and to trap the end of your floss under your stitches.
Use red floss (DMC 817) for the flame. Stitch the outer lines first then fill it up. Cross stitch if there is room enough for it, otherwise just pull your red floss all over it. Just try to keep it neat.
Step 6: Frame
Measure your embroidery, take margins into account. Do not pick a bright colour frame which may draw attention from your embroidery. I used a 18 cm x 24 cm black wooden frame.
Follow this nice instructable.
Then use someone handy to put a nail in your wall and hang it.
Behold and be proud.