I have a family member who works with and very much likes architectural design. I tried and tried to think of a fitting handmade Christmas gift for him and was drawing a blank until it suddenly dawned on me: Why not stitch a blueprint? I did a Google search for Frank Lloyd Wright blueprints (he loves FLW) and settled on one that was simple enough that I felt it was possible for me to accomplish it but detailed enough to please the architect.
The stitching itself wasn't complicated. It's almost all backstitch in blue floss. (My husband picked the floss color for me in an attempt to get as close as possible to true blueprint ink.) How much easier can it be? Famous last words.
I cut up an old bedsheet for the background fabric, which worked out nicely. I reversed the image on my computer and printed it on photo paper, then transferred it onto damp fabric. This was a new technique for me and worked pretty well, although I had to do some tweaking and definitely learned some things for the future.
My biggest headache was struggling with fabric tension, as I was using a larger Q-Snap style frame and having some difficulty with it, and the weave of the fabric was causing my lines to look not so straight despite my following the printed lines exactly. The obsessive-compulsive side of me took over and turned this into a monster of a project, but I finally stepped back, looked at it from a distance, and pronounced it acceptable. I'm not happy with the puckering where I did the long and short stitch on the thicker lines--another tension issue--but I am certainly not redoing it. Ha!
This was definitely a nice change of pace from what I've been working on, and even though my critical eye can get caught up looking for all the flaws, when I can step back and be objective I'm really quite pleased with myself. My husband framed it in a nice black frame for me, and I printed out a Wikipedia entry that gives background info on the building, which I attached to the back of the frame. I'm hoping it will be a hit when Christmas rolls around.