These are the two ATCs I stitched for the May exchange at the Cross Stitch ATC Facebook group.
The first theme is “The Letter C” – the plan is that all 26 letters will be covered, but not in alphabetical order (just to keep us on our toes!). I chose my design from Illuminated Letters by Lesley Teare – the alphabet featured in an issue of The World of Cross Stitching (I don’t know which issue – I swapped a chart with a member on a forum to get these), and I plan to use these designs for my whole alphabet series. It’s stitched on white 14-count aida in various DMC threads and only just fits on the card, so next time I’ll be using a higher count of fabric!
The second theme is “Oriental”. I found this gorgeous little koi design which is free to download from Cross Stitch Happy and just knew it was the one for me! I didn’t use the suggested colours, but instead picked colours out of my existing stash. I also replaced the eyes and most of the little buds on the plants with beads, just for a little extra dimension. Finally, I added the Japanese character for “koi” in the upper right-hand corner. The koi represents love and friendship, so this beautiful fish was the perfect choice for an exchange. I like him so much I almost wished I could have kept him for myself, so I think there’s a distinct possibility I’ll stitch him again for a card or some such thing. This version is stitched on pale blue 14-count aida in various DMC threads and beads I had to hand.