At this point I know I want to do a design in shades of three colors - green, mauve & purple, that reflects more of a spring floral feeling. How do I find images that will express that?
First, I look at the downloads from Needleprint of the Beatrix Potter, the Ackworth School and some older European Borders. I found in Northern Nights that taking a piece here and there and then recombining them often gave me just what I was seeking. And when I've exhausted those, I turn to other sources.
Old crochet or filet patterns have a wide array of types of images that translate perfectly to cross stitch and there are some great ones you can find in old book stores or on ebay.
There are also some wonderful online sources for antique patterns. Two everyone should visit are - Antique Cross Stitch and Pattern Maker Charts
At the Antique Cross Stitch site I came across the two floral images that gave me that next step in inspiration, the shapes and scale, and I knew I had the pieces to begin the actual design.
The software does not allow me to simply import this image so it meant having to 'draw' or cross stitch onto a blank chart a portion of each of the florals then I used the software to extend the piece into a band length. We'll take a look at that in the next post.