Here is a post from May 2010.
I really love the Sublime Stitching patterns by Jenny Hart. Her motto is "Not your grandmother's embroidery!" There are so many fun patterns. The flickr group is loaded with eye candy. This Etsy store, Sew Lovely Embroidery, also has wonderful modern designs.
However the other night I had the itch to stitch right then and there. You know how it is when an idea strikes! So, I came up with my own way to convert a picture into an embroidery pattern that was simple enough for me to do.
This pin up cowgirl was my starting photo. I found the picture on Google and uploaded it into Picnik. Then under the "Create" tab I clicked on "effects." Next I chose "pencil sketch." And the result was the photo below.
The result was this. Notice how most of the background is gone now and the details are sharper? This was good, but I knew I wanted it even simpler. So, still in Picnik, I chose the "Create" tab and went to stickers. I used the rectangle under "Geometric" (and slid the color to white) to cover up the fire and the photographer's name. Then I went to text and added the "Dinner!" Finally, I downloaded it to my computer and printed it out. I was very careful to print it in "mirror image" so that I could use Citra-Solv to transfer my pattern to the fabric.
To do the Citra-Solv transfer I photocopied my print out and taped the photocopy print side down to my fabric. I used regular old scotch tape. Be sure not to cover any of the design with tape. Then I took a paper towel with a bit of Citra-Solv on it and rubbed it all over the design. Lastly, I burnished the paper by rubbing the entire design really hard with the edge of a spoon.
I had a lot of fun changing up the colors for this design. Here is the finished project:
Update: Since this process worked so well, I went on to create this Texas tote.
You can see that full post here.