Delia Smith. My Kitchen Deity.

Yeah, it has been a little while. I have been working on a couple of things, but mainly, and quite unexciting-ly, studying for my ASCP exam and applying for jobs.

Dull I know.

Anyhow, this project stemmed from a slightly silly little idea (but then, all the best ones are), which had been percolating in my mind for a…….. well a couple of years.

For my 18th birthday, my Mum gave me a set of luggage and a copy of Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course. (For non-Brits, she is basically the British  Julia Child)

I think it was a hint to leave home.

It turns out I didn’t take the hint, and stayed at home for most of my time at University. Sorry Mum.

And while these days I have quite the collection of cookery books, my very first, and the one that lived in the kitchen way before any of the others did, was of course my go-to-girl.


Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course


She is looking a bit creased and scuffed, there are a few splatters here and there, but otherwise I reckon she is in pretty good condition!

To honour my Delia-love, I had thought it would be fun to have a picture of her, my idol on the wall. Watching over me and keeping me on track. Then of course my love of cross stitch led me to decide to stitch it instead.

I had previously tried out a couple of free downloadable bits of software for photo conversion, but they pretty much all required a purchase in order to export any pattern to be able to print it. Hmmph.

But then I found this website, which is an online tool for converting pictures into pattern for stitching.

I uploaded a picture of Delia (found by doing an image search from here, I really wanted the one that was on the front of my book, but I couldn’t find it without the text over her hair), converted it into a pattern, then it was time to stitch! I picked 20 colours, and the larger size of pattern, to try to minimise the pixelated effect. But in order the keep the size reasonably small I used fabric that would allow me 21 stitches per inch. Tiny scale! I worked the pattern in single strands of thread.

And man was it a doozy! I thought the foliage on my balloons picture was tricky!

If you want to stitch yourself a Delia, I recommend:


A nice big clear pattern, highlighter pen to check it off as you go (except if you travel up to 6200ft it may explode pink ink…..), and a well organised box of threads.

Then, after quite some time and effort…… Delia was done!

Delia Smith Crossstitch

In general, I love it. However to quote Cher Horowitz:

“She’s a full-on Monet. It’s like a painting, see? From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess.”

From a combination of the limited colours, and of course the joy of variable skin and hair tones, she is looking a bit blotchy up close.

To finish off I mounted it just in a standard Ikea frame, and now she can watch over me and keep me on track!

Delia Smith


Love you Delia!

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