I have been having a Crafting catch up this week. Taking time to work on the crafts that I have not had time for over previous months. Although this one an old craft it is very popular and it does aid relaxation — Cross stitch.
Having completed the “epic” Queen project for Mothers day I opted to begin a much smaller project that I had been eager to open and get started, a Cupcake design, all very much in vogue over recent months on fabrics and household items. If you read my recent blog you will have seen the children’s Vintage Pinny by Blanket Stitch is made in cupcake fabric.
My Cross stitch guide is as follows, for those of you that may never have Crossstitched and maybe want to have a go, or maybe you need some down time but as an avid crafter you can’t just sit and not Craft!
Having chosen a project the first thing to do is to sort all the threads and check that you have all the kit says you should, nothing worse than getting near to the end of a project and you run out of thread, I have had this happen to me and had a hard job to buy a skein that matched!
Next check the thread colours to the symbols on the chart so that you are familiar with what colour goes where……with some projects there are several shades of the same colour and to get one in the wrong place can really change the final design significantly and also involve a lot of unpicking .
Each skein has six threads and most charts suggest using 2 threads to complete your x stitches. Your Aida (the fabric that you work on) should be folded into four to locate the centre and that is where your first x stitch goes. The chart will also show the central x. It is then your choice how you work across your chart but by starting in the centre you will get your design positioned centrally on your . ( I suggest that you photocopy the chart and you can then use a pen to show where you have stitched and where you are up to.)
You may want to use an embroidery hoop to hold your work and I would suggest that you do this as it is much easier to work on as it will hold your project taut. My cupcake design was too small for a hoop but generally I do prefer to use one. You can buy hoops in all different sizes and they are not too expensive.
Remember to make sure that you start all stitches working the same way so first part of x left to right and second part of x right to left this does ensure that your work looks neat and even.
Once the design is completed its time to do the back-stitch around the edges. This is for some stitcher’s the worst bit but for me it brings the picture to life, the outline starts to show the depth of the picture and when you are finished you will see the difference and how the design goes from being just a piece of stitching to a bold design. Believe me it is well worth the effort!
Try to keep your work as neat on the back as on the front, this is a challenge for all stitcher’s and I still face this challenge after many years of Cross stitching.
Once your poject is completed there are endless ways that you can proudly display your finished work: on a card for a friend, in a frame or even as an addition to linen or towels or clothing.
Not sure how I will display mine as yet, I may use it on the cover of a book that holds all my recipes.
So, if you have never had a go at Cross stitching because the thought of counting is daunting, be brave and leap over the barrier and have a go you may be pleasantly surprised, it could be just for you and another craft skill to add to your list. Happy stitching!