Woman Takes Ten Years To Cross-Stitch a Replica of Sistine Chapel - Claims World Record for Largest Cross-Stitch

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Joanna Lopianowski-Roberts, a software consultant from Junction, Texas, has published a book on how to cross-stitch a replica of Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling. Certain to make waves among craft bloggers, extreme cross-stitchers, and the like, “Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel in Cross-Stitch,” is available through Lulu.com.

It took the great artist Michelangelo a mere four years to paint the ceiling of Rome’s Sistine Chapel in the early 1500s.

Half a millennium later, it has taken Joanna Lopianowski-Roberts nearly ten years to cross-stitch a replica of Michelangelo’s original – and publish a book showing others how to do likewise. But then Michelangelo, unlike Roberts, wasn’t working days as a software consultant.

The book, entitled “Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel in Cross-Stitch,” appears on Lulu (http://www.lulu.com) February 10 – the same day that Roberts’ epic cross-stitch piece goes on display in the 17th Needle Arts Exhibit, in Austin, Texas, near her home in Junction, Texas.

Roberts does not expect the book to become a bestseller. Indeed, she worried that she might not find a publisher until she discovered Lulu.com, which lets anyone publish a book at no up-front cost. But she hopes it will appeal to the cross-stitch community.

Although only a scale replica of the original, Roberts’ work still measures a walloping 80 by 40 inches. She has applied to the Guinness Book of Records to have it recognized as the world’s largest completed cross-stitch.

Roberts, 41, started the project in October 1995 because she was looking for a challenge. “When I came across a picture of the Sistine Chapel, I realized that replicating it in cross-stitch would be a worthy project.”

It took her nearly ten years and 2,872 hours to stitch the piece, which includes 628,296 stitches in 1,809 different color combinations. This does not include the near 700 hours it took to design it in the first place.

The book features patterns representing all 45 of the scenes in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling: “They were created one square at a time, allowing me to transform the curved Sistine Chapel ceiling into a flat pattern”.

“Everyone who sees the work is just blown away,” she says.

So, what did Roberts feel when she completed the epic project? “I thought, I enjoyed the whole thing so much, I would happily stitch it again.”

ABOUT LULU.COM: Lulu, the world’s fastest-growing source of print-on-demand books, lets you publish your own book, ebooks, calendars, images, music and videos at no advance cost. Lulu was founded by Bob Young, who previously co-founded the software company, Red Hat.

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