In essence, cross stitch is an optical illusion. Like computers, televisions and even our own brains, the patterns are made from a collection of small coloured dots that we've taken and arranged to resemble a meaningful image. Indeed, your weaving back and forth is very similar to a process used by TVs called 'progressive scanning', whereby the picture is created by interlacing a beam between even and odd numbered lines on the screen (albeit it works much faster than even the speediest of stitcher could!)

The method for leaving humble flatland however and making a fully 3-D cross stitch pattern is largely different to the ways cinema screens attempt to evoke the third dimension. We've written on the blog before about our range of 3-D cross stitch patterns, but this time we'd like to go further into the unique approaches taken to make these designs come alive and really grab you.

The Nutmeg Company are true masters when it comes to 3-D cross stitch designs. One of the most strikingly impressive and popular styles is pictured above. Fully rounded and detailed to the last window, The Castle Inn 3D Cross Stitch Kit is put together by completing each section individually atop the included plastic canvas, before placing and stitching them together.

Image of Windrush Cottage 3D Cross Stitch KitImage of Periwinkle Vase 3D Cross Stitch KitImage of Stand-Up Cat Card 3D Cross Stitch Kit

Aside from the obvious novelty of making a pattern that's not just restricted to one surface, their eclectic choice of cottages, keepsakes and animals make use of multiple shapes and detailing. Their houses in particular actually look like they'd be architecturally sound (we certainly wouldn't mind living in one...)

But of course building your own fabric house isn't so much making something that appears to be 3-D as actually making a fully solid object. Well, the other avenue that Nutmeg dabble in is 3-D cross-stitch cards. These highly personal and thoughtful gift ideas exist on one layer of cloth, but the use of background, layering and shape of the traditional folded card give plenty of room for ingenuity.

As we're in the midst of summer and, subsequently, the wedding season, let's look at this adorable knot-tying-celebratory Bride & Groom Deluxe 3-D Cross Stitch Kit

The effect is obvious to see, but nevertheless enchanting. The fold in the card along with the cut-out of the bride creates a negative space between her and the husband-to-be. Try mentally rotating the card to the right and you'll see how a quick change in perspective marches the woman down the aisle, putting the newly-weds side by side.

Taking this point of view into account has also helped The Nutmeg Company engineer many other greeting cards to excite and amaze. Their Ruby Anniversary Card Kit lets you unlock the momentous years of blissful marriage, the Making Mischief Kit depicts a cheeky cat that really looks like he's going to pounce, and in the Christmas Village Kit you get to look up at a snowy winter town from the bottom of a hill (keep an eye on the blog for more merry multi-dimensional goodness to come...)

Image of Ruby Anniversary Card 3D Cross Stitch KitImage of Making Mischief Card 3D Cross Stitch KitImage of Christmas Village Card 3D Cross Stitch Kit

See all our range of 3-D cross stitch kits here: Past Impressions 3-D Cross Stitch Kits

Don't forget to check out The Nutmeg Company's facebook page for up to date news on all their upcoming products and events.

And of course, whether you have a finished 3-D stitch for us to ogle at or thoughts about the patterns themselves, let us know on our facebook, twitter, google+ and pinterest pages.

Post By Graham Ashton