I made my first pattern based on a scanned photo with the help of software. This hardy columbine was burned to the ground, quickly grew back and was flowering within a month.
The first step was to crop the photograph and brighten the colors. After importing into PC Stitch, I spent hours tweaking the number of stitches and colors trying to come up with a stitchable pattern. The software couldn't deal with the center of the flower (the yellow part) at all and I had to manually fix it. Except for the yellow, the colors all came from the software and they are perfect. Every shade of purple I have was used.
With too few colors it was an unrecognizable blob and with too many colors the pattern was impossible. I ended up manually reducing the colors until I thought I could handle stitching it. I was tempted to give up, but I loved how the pattern was turning out so I kept at it.
I think that there are still too many color changes, but the pattern is small so I started stitching anyways (on 32 count linen to make it even harder to stitch). I think the result is worth it.
A friend let me fabric shop in her closet and I found the border fabrics. A little sewing and some beads and I have a new pincushion.
Want to try to make your own pincushion? The pattern is for same at Patternsonline.com