I freely admit to being one of those people who stands on the street corner with my iPhone, checking emails, looking for the closest Chinese restaurant, and calling my mom... all at the same time. But as a crafter and general lover of all things homey and handmade, Ive longed to somehow make this sleek plastic piece of technology fit into my aesthetic worldview a little better.

So, when the Leese Design Cross Stitch iPhone Case arrived at Purl Soho I could feel my crafty fingers just itching to give it a try. I couldnt decide if I wanted a modern, punchy and fun design, like the iPhone's , or if I'd prefer an ironic twist, juxtaposing four year-old technology with centuries-old craft. So, I made two!

The Bird in a Tree version of the iPhone case, features a pattern from Caroline Vincent’s Sampler Workbook: Motifs & Patterns, an expansive collection of cross-stitch themes from the 17th through 19th centuries. The historical Autumn Tree Pattern is a classic design with a fresh and modern edge. I worked this pattern in Sajou's Retors du Nord, a lovely collection of 4-ply embroidery floss. Sajou uses vintage reproduction thread cards to wind their floss, so it felt totally natural to use their beautiful Retors du Nord for this traditional pattern.

For the striped design, I turned to the classic 6-ply DMC embroidery floss. With hundreds of colors in the DMC spectrum, including fluorescents, narrowing them down to twelve was both a pleasure and a challenge. I loved experimenting with different size stripes, mixing and matching the order of the colors to create both subtle shifts and sharp contrasts. Freeform cross-stitch is rare, so it was fun to design a project where I could really indulge my creative whims!

Materials

Bird in a Tree

Stripes

Pattern for Striped Version

  • 1 row DMC 307
  • 1 row LE E1010
  • 2 rows DMC 606
  • 1 row Sajou 2234
  • 1 row DMC 606
  • 1 row DMC 648
  • 2 rows DMC 907
  • 1 row LE E980
  • 1 row DMC 307
  • 1 row Sajou 2234
  • 3 rows DMC 3843
  • 1 row DMC blanc
  • 1 row LE E1020
  • 1 row DMC 956
  • 1 row LE E1010
  • 3 rows DMC 956
  • 1 row DMC ecru
  • 1 row LE E980
  • 1 row DMC Blanc
  • 1 row DMC 3843
  • 2 rows DMC 606
  • 1 row LE E1020
  • 1 row DMC 907
  • 2 rows DMC 307
  • 1 row DMC 956
  • 1 row DMC 3761

Cross-stitching the iPhone cases was such a fanciful project that I couldn’t help but smile and tell everyone at the shop all about it. Now for the difficult task of deciding which case to use first!