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Thimbleweed Park afghan & cross stitch “quick start guide”

While working on the Thimbleweed Park cross stitch I had a crazy idea to immortalize even more of Thimbleweed Park’s characters on an afghan. When Team Thimbleweed’s Jenn Sandercock — who made the awesome trading cards — offered to send me an image file with all of the game’s characters in it, the idea went from “that would be wayyyy too much work” to “hey, I can really do this!” And the ThimbleCharts project was born.

As I’ve started posting pictures and charts of the finished characters, I realized some Thimbleweed Park fans may want to try stitching a character but don’t know how to start. Just for you, here’s a “quick start guide” that gives the basics of how to get started with cross stitch.

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Victorianna master bathroom with real tile

I took a break from the Victorianna’s master bedroom to get started on the master bath. I cut a side wall from a piece of plywood. It’s going to be a “Jack and Jill” bath with one door leading into the nursery and one into the master bedroom.

Here’s a mock-up of the furniture placement. I’m putting a soaker tub under the slanted roof. In the opposite corner there will be a shower stall with the same shape as the tub, represented here by a piece of paper.

I bought this bathroom set from Atomic Kiki on Etsy. It’s a resin cast of a Marx bathroom set. (She has some retro kitchens in her store right now, also cast from Marx furniture, but from the dimensions they seem to be closer to 3/4″ scale.)

The tub is 1″ tall and the sides that go up against the walls in the corner are 2.5″ long. That seemed large at first, especially compared to this plastic corner tub I had originally been planning to use. But I searched online for dimensions of soaker tubs and found some that are 24″ tall and 60″ along the wall — exactly the equivalent of 1″ x 2.5″ in half scale.

Here’s the toilet with some other (supposedly) half scale toilets. I thought it was going to be too big, but it’s actually a little smaller than the wooden one I’m using in the Rosedale and Queen Anne Rowhouse. The third in size is 3D printed (I’m using it in the downstairs bathroom) and the smallest is this plastic one which, like the matching tub, seems a bit too small for half scale.

I’m not sure yet if I’ll use the Atomic Kiki toilet in this bathroom or not. This house is pretty modern and Marx furniture is very 1950s. I don’t think the tub looks too retro, but the toilet might.

But enough about toilets! I wanted to do the floor with large subway tiles, and after my disappointing experience with the printed tiles in the Victorianna’s other bathroom, I’m avoiding printies. I looked at real mosaic tiles intended for backsplashes and decided on these mother of pearl tiles. The dimensions are 3/8″ x 3/4″ (comes out to 9″ x 18″ in half scale) and they’re only a few millimeters thick.

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Thimbleweed Park cross stitch

Update: This project was so much fun I decided to do more! I’m stitching Thimbleweed Park’s cast on an afghan and hope to post a chart for each character. Get them here!

I rarely post about my day job on the blog, but I do contract PR for video games, and I have been working on Thimbleweed Park on and off since it was Kickstarted in 2014. Recently one of the game’s creators, Ron Gilbert, retweeted a cross stitch someone had done of a character from one of his previous games and I thought hey, I can do that! I decided to stitch up Thimbleweed Park’s five main characters and send it to him to commemorate the game’s March 30 release.

Thimbleweed Park is an adventure game with five main characters you switch between while you’re playing. I had access to layered PSDs of the trading card art for the five main characters.

I hid the backgrounds and arranged them in a line-up. In theory, cross stitching pixel art is easy because each pixel equals one stitch, but the Thimbleweed Park characters’ pixels don’t have a one-to-one correlation with the pixels on the screen. (It’s meant to look low-res, but it isn’t really low-res!) I reduced the image using the “nearest neighbor” filter in Photoshop to retain the hard edges, and then did some manual touch-ups on spots that looked weird after the reduction.

I used a program called KG Chart to convert this into a cross stitch chart. This is the image I imported. It’s 196 pixels wide by 113 pixels high, which looks pretty tiny on a high-res computer monitor. The design is stitched on 32-count linen — that’s 32 threads (and pixels) per inch — so the finished cross stitch is about 6-1/8″ x 3-1/2″.

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