Just because I'm too curious for my own good... We all know the quality of the SQ items we've all received joyfully in our letter boxes, but I'm wondering about how it all comes about- what is the process of making a pattern from a piece of art? How is it done? What is the process involved? Do you use computer software? How did you develop all your own symbols? How long does it take from start to finish? How many people work on one pattern? Are you a family business or are there hundreds of you fettering away in the background? and of course... who is the enigmatic Scarlet Quince?
Or is all of this dusky secret alchemy which must not be questioned?
I saw something on the internet about a lady who apparently did the largest existing cross stitch- it's of the ceiling of the sistine chapel and it took her 700 hours to design the pattern and 10 years to stitch! Now, that's dedication!
Here are the links:
Well - first of all, it is just me! Perhaps someday there will be a staff, but not yet. My husband kibbutzes which is sometimes helpful and sometimes not. There is no one named Scarlet Quince - it's a flowering shrub, as in the logo - nothing to do with Gone with the Wind!
The process varies a lot with each picture and so does the time involved. There is software involved, of course, if only because I can turn anything into a software project. Most art needs a lot of retouching - adjusting colors, improving the contrast, removing dust and scratches, sharpening or blurring different areas - sometimes practically repainting the art. Part of this is just because old art is often dirty and faded, and part of it is because reproductions are of varying quality. There is also software for creating a draft pattern, then there is a lot of hand tuning and adjusting of colors. There is also a lot of trial and error in determining the optimum size and number of colors. The goal is to reproduce the picture accurately without being absurd. I also wrote my own software to actually produce the printed chart - this has allowed me to keep improving the look and usability of the charts as people make suggestions.
Pictures with people in them are the most time-consuming to do because the cross stitch has to be large enough that each person has eyes - at least a stitch or two that is clearly the eye, no matter how large the crowd in the picture. Skin tones are also a big problem because what seems fine in a painting doesn't always seem OK in cross stitch. Mary Cassatt's picture "Lydia Reading in a Garden" where Lydia has a purple arm is a good example. One seems able to suspend disbelief looking at a painting but not at cross stitch.
RE symbols, I did have a set of symbols I drew in a tool for creating symbols but now all the symbols are culled from various symbol and wingding fonts.
I had run across the Sistine Chapel pattern on lulu - but the picture of the monster scroll bars is amazing! I wonder how she supported it while stitching?
Wow! I must say that I am even more impressed (if that's possible!) than I was before now knowing that this is a one woman operation!! How do you do it? You must be superhuman!
You can cross stitch, design computer software, run a web site and business, design coss stitch patterns and have a husband who kibbutzes!!
quote:Originally posted by Alanna You can cross stitch, design computer software, run a web site and business, design coss stitch patterns and have a husband who kibbutzes!!
Hats off to Meredith!
No kidding! <applause!>
I have been working as a Software Quality Assurance Analyst for 9 years... and I have to say: this is one of the BEST sites I have ever had the pleasure to use.
As a tester, I am automatically over-critical of functionality, design, and ergonomics... I get irritated when this link or that image is broken, etc. I raved about SQ to my husband (also in software), and we both just assumed that there was a whole team of people behind this business and site. Bravo!
As a WOMAN... I am bursting with pride that a site that I was SO impressed with was not only the work of one person... but one WOMAN. You're an inspiration, M. And if you ever need a reference - consider it done!
Yes, I agree with Fabala and Alanna! Gee, Meredith, you do good work! No, you do excellent work! There are a few bozo engineers and IT folks that I work with who could take some serious lessons from you!
Of course, most of them aren't too receptive to the "stripes & plaids don't mix" lessons I try to impart, but sometimes my sarcasm gets in the way