Who does this? I mean, who does this in 2013? Apparently more than just me because there's at least one company that sells kits.
I bought this kit. It came with the two preprinted pillowcases and the pattern showing what colors went where. I went to Michael's, looked at the floss colors they wanted me to use, and then picked prettier ones.
The only change I made besides the colors (and I followed that fairly closely--green where they used green, purple where they used purple. I just picked nicer shades and used two greens instead of only one.) was that there were two flowers that only had petals on the bottom half of the flower. That made me feel like someone was interrupted in a game of "he loves me, he loves me not," and I don't want that sort of flower carnage wrecking my sleep. The orange one here is one that I fixed. It's a bit mashed looking, but not bad.
I started stitching before I checked out a book* from the library that discussed how to make the stitches. I can tell where I learned to do French knots, and I can tell when I finally understood what they meant by the stem stitch. The stitches get better the farther right I move on the case, and the second is much better than the first. (This is a photo of the second one. I'm vain like that.)
I've done cross stitch before, but this was more fun. It's been years since I last did cross stitch, and I wonder if knitting will have made me more patient. Still, a girl only needs so many hobbies...
I don't know how much more embroidery I'll do (lots of embroidery patterns are hiiiiiid-e-ous), but these pillowcases make me super happy.
*I used Jenny Hart's Embroidered Effects. It's a good book. I recommend it.