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GIF cross-stitcher

Turn your beautiful digital pictures into beautiful samplers
  (+6, -1)
(+6, -1)
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A while ago (sometime in the early to mid-'90s) I noticed that crosstitch patterns look a lot like bitmaps, close-up. Wouldn't it be nice to have a device that could convert your favorite pictures into pillowcovers, wall hangings, etc.?

The device as I imagine it is roughly the size and appearance of a serger, except (obviously) with many more thread spools feeding into it.

You place your selected canvas over a ring in the bottom, rollers come down and pull the fabric taut while the outer ring is automatically put in place. You then select File->Stitch from the menu at the top of your picture viewing/editing program of choice. The picture is then stitched into your fabric.

The interface for this device would be similar to a printer. You could adjust the resolution (size of individual stitches), position, and adjust the size of the picture to fit the canvas.

While this could be used with other digital picture formats, you would need a different spindle of thread for every color, and .gif (as I recall) has a few dozen different colors, vs. a few thousand for .bmps, .jpgs, etc. A few dozen differnt spools of colored thread, while somewhat cumbersome, is still manageable.

nick_n_uit, Nov 14 2004

Industrial automatic embroidery machine http://www.brother....mbroidery/index.htm
A bit like this, perhaps? [prufrax, Nov 14 2004]

PM Stitch Creator v.3.0 http://www.softaward.com/2799.html
Converts images to cross stitch patterns [waugsqueke, Nov 14 2004]

loosely related http://homokaasu.org/rasterbator/
Makes PDFs of images for DIY poster printing [Acme, Nov 15 2004]

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       This is good; it could be regarded as a printer, in the same way as Adobe or a virtual fax machine.
I've done it the other way round; my PC wallpaper at work is a tile of the Cornish tartan.
angel, Nov 14 2004

       make nice christmas gifts.
po, Nov 14 2004

       "few dozen different colors, vs. a few thousand"   

       a .gif file actually has a variable palette, meaning that while each image contains only 255 colors max, you could have 255 shades of red in one image and 255 shades of blue in another.   

       But I really do like the idea of making a 'home l33t home' stitch for my kitchen.. so {+}
photojunkie, Nov 14 2004

       This process is baked up to a point. There are many programs on the market that will convert digital images into cross stitch patterns (one such is linked) which can be printed and used as the basis for fabric work.   

       As I see it, having a machine that just sews up the cross stitch pattern for you seems to defeat the purpose of the craft. People do this because they enjoy the creation process as much, if not more, than the finished product.
waugsqueke, Nov 14 2004

       Taking [angel]'s idea of using it like a printer: I could invoice my clients in needlepoint! Create Powerpoint handouts as a swatch book! Fantastic! [+]
wagster, Nov 14 2004

       Cross-stitch is a bit different from embroidery, though some of the basics are similar. Machine embroidery is done differently from hand embroidery; I would expect cross-stitch would have to be done differently from hand cross-stitch or machine embroidery.   

       In hand embroidery, the thread starts at the 'back side' of the piece, is fed through a hole to the front, goes back through another hole some distance from the first, and returns to the front via hole that is very near the second hole but is nonetheless a different hole. For machine embroidery, the visible thread starts above the fabric and is 'tucked' underneath at various holes where another thread is fed through to secure it. At the first and last holes in each 'run' the thread is pulled through so the end of the thread is on the back side of the workpiece. The key thing to note is that machine embroidery works best when there is a long sequence of places where the thread enters and leaves via the same hole.   

       Cross-stitching is a somewhat different animal. Making horizontal or vertical rows of crosses would require lots of thread cutting and waste. Although each hole would mark the spot where two crosses met, creating good cross-stitching requires that the two threads in each crosses be stitched in consistent order. Depending upon the thread used, it might not look too bad to have crosses that alternate direction, but it would be contrary to normal hand-stitching practice.
supercat, Nov 15 2004

       Could you do this with only cyan, magenta, yellow and black thread?
hippo, Nov 15 2004


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