Finished Pieces

Latest Stitch People Portraits and Time Breakdown

by Kate Anderson on Oct 19, 2020

Latest Stitch People Portraits and Time Breakdown

Recent Wedding Stitches

It's been a little while since I last shared some recent stitch people portraits and since I've recently completed some wedding-related ones, I thought it might be a good time to share but also to give a breakdown of how long it actually takes me to complete pieces, since both of the ones shown [in detail] here are quite different from each other.

Then & Now: The Ryans

  • The full 'then and now' portrait in a 6in x 9in faux-wooden hoop.
  • A replication of the bride's bouquet using woven wheels, french knots, lazy-daisy's and fly-stitching
  • Lavendar stitched using bullion stitches and stem stitch
  • Cute little tabby cat in cross-stitch form
  • Close-up of the 'then' portraits - on their wedding day
  • Close-up of the 'Now' portraits

This was commissioned by the husband as a 2 nd anniversary gift for his wife. If you didn't know, the 2 nd anniversary gift is traditionally " cloth", so something like a stitch people portrait is a perfect fit for this. Husband of the year award!

A lot of time went into this piece, as you might imagine. Design time alone was a fair amount, since this was an unusual request for me. I wasn't able to just "duplicate" the husband and wife, since they had both changed over the course of 2 years! Plus with the additions of [dare I say, adorable?] identical 4-month-old twins, that makes the two adults more complex.

The only complex part of stitching this was the two floral arrangements and hair. Everything else was done in cross-stitching & backstitching -as usual- but don't let that fool you. That bushel of lavendar there was a solid day's work just on it's own..!

All in all, these are my time estimates:

Rough estimation

  • Design time: 3 hours
  • Cross-stitching time: 6 hours
  • Embroidery time: 7 hours
  • Extra time*: 2 hours
  • Total: 18 hours

Portrait: The Smiths

  • *The Smiths* portrait, ready for framing
  • Close-up of the bride and groom
  • Gorgeous gold metallic thread to emphasise the capital S
  • Gorgeous embroidered flowers using woven wheel and bullion stitches
  • Funny black dog with cute ears cross-stitched
  • Tiny little red cross-stitched heart

A friend of the bride & groom wanted to give a sneaky gift for their upcoming wedding and what better way than with a stitch people portrait?

Wait, what's that? The wedding hadn't actually happened yet? That's right! I got a bit of creative license on this piece because my customer didn't have any wedding-day pictures to send to me for reference. What a treat!

Wedding dress shopping day picture, using elements of other portraits I'd done for inspiration and sneaky Facebook stalking-pictures, along with some loose ideas of colouring and off I went. I came up with this design, included my explanation of the florals and she loved it instantly!
My goal was to get this completed before their wedding day, so I got stitching ASAP and UPS was able to confirm it arrived a few days before their nuptials.

There was the usual complexities - the embroidered hair and flowers. Nothing I can't handle!

Oh and don't forget that gold section in the uppercase 'S'. Metallic thread is a biiiitch.

All in all, these are my time estimates:

Rough estimation

  • Design time: 1 hour
  • Cross-stitching time: 4 hours
  • Embroidery time: 3 hours
  • Extra time*: 1 hour
  • Total: 9 hours

*What is 'extra' time? Well I have to factor in how much time I spend doing "other" stuff, such as contacting the customer, gathering materials and framing the piece. None of this time feels useful necessarily since it's time spent not actively working on the piece but it is absolutely important!

Stitch people portrait featuring a sitting adult and 2 children
Not all portraits have been weddings. Check out this piece I finished recently for my kid's nanny!

Anyway - I hope this has been a helpful and informative post! I get the impression people who have never dabbled in needlepoint realise the time it takes to create even such a small piece of artwork in this format. Just because it's little doesn't mean it doesn't take a lot of work!

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Kate 👋

About the author

In a previous life (AKA: pre-kids), I was a web des/dev & photographer who loved to dabble in numerous arts and crafts. Now, I'm a cross-stitch & embroidery pattern designer and full-time mum to Charlie & Alex, with adult-diagnosed ADHD. Closet nerd, self-proclaimed hermit and professional procrastinator. I have a secret crush on modern architecture, brush calligraphy, sweets, pretty nails and pastel colours.