I've stitched it, now what do I _do_ with it?
January 22, 2013 1:57 PM   Subscribe

Please help me find good ideas of how to incorporate a 4" x 5" piece of needlepoint into a project for a new baby.

A dear friend of mine is in the process of forming babby. We both knit, and she is by far the better/more productive knitter and has already knit many many things for her little homie so even though she is probably the most knit-worthy person I know, I don't think it makes sense to knit something for her.

Given that, and the fact that she and I are of the same sense of humour, I am confident that she will love something made with Subversive Cross Stitch's Welcome Tiny Overlord kit.

So, now that I've decided that, I'm trying to think of what I should actually _do_ with the little swatch of fabric after I've finished with it. Some of the things that have come to mind are:
  • Put it in a cute frame (too boring?)
  • Sew it into a cute pillow (where would said pillow go? Pillows in cribs are a bad idea, right? and she isn't really one for extraneous decorations in general -- a wall hanging at least won't get in the way)
  • make it into an element of a mobile (too much of a project? I have no idea of how to go about making one of these, especially how to make it baby safe)
  • ideally, something that the baby could actually interact with somehow (my friend and I both understand that anything that a baby is allowed to touch will get puked on, and she understands how to properly wash handmade fiber goods but I don't necessarily want to burden who with yet another baby item that must be treated specially*)
I'm willing to knit something to go around the pattern. And I'm willing to do some very simply sewing (I am cloth and scissor challenged).

In a perfect world, there'd be some kind of Ravelry substitute where I could search around for pictures of projects that incorporate a little bit of cross stitch. Searching pinterest/google for "cross stitch" brings up lots of patterns, or pictures of finished swatches with no context (or just left in the embroidery hoop, which is an affectation that I, personally, kind of hate). Is there a better search I should be using? Does the hivemind have any ideas?

*this is a rule that I am willing to break, if the final item is cute/funny/useful enough.
posted by sparklemotion to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: New-baby samplers (in the ~8"x10" range, and incorporating other baby-related graphics, plus personalized details like baby's name and weight, etc.) are a super traditional and time-honored baby gift. If you feel like you've got the design skills to incorporate that mini-pattern into a bigger sampler (maybe with other slightly subversive/funny stuff along with the teddy bears and rainbows), that could make for a completely awesome present, I think.

Of the needleworked/artsy stuff objects we received when our baby was born, the only ones still around, three years later, are the ones that were framed and suitable for wall hanging. On, and a set of needlepointed blocks made out of plastic canvas-- so if you felt like doing the overlord design in a square shape and appliqueing it onto a block, then I suppose that'd be another option.
posted by Bardolph at 2:07 PM on January 22, 2013

(Here's an example of the kind of hodgepodge baby sampler I was referring to.)
posted by Bardolph at 2:15 PM on January 22, 2013

Best answer: My grandmother, a massive knitter and needlework maven, actually petit-pointed chair cushion covers for her 8 chair dining room table. Gorgeous.

I'd get a small child-sized chair, and sew the sampler into matching fabric, and make it a chair cover. It would work for a little reading stool too.

Useful, and cute.

I still have my afghan that had 20 panels with needlepointed flowers, each different, crocheted together. It was in my crib, and featured in my bedroom decortions until just recently.

If I don't feel well, I still bring it to bed with me.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:16 PM on January 22, 2013 [7 favorites]

Best answer: I tend to take samplers or cute baby things like that, add the baby's name and date of birth, and then turn it into a tooth fairy pillow. (So I turn it into a small pillow, put a pocket on the backside, then just call it a tooth fair pillow.) Yeah, it won't get use for a while but parents always find them cute. Additionally, it may be a keepsake - I have my toothfairy pillow from when I was growing up and I plan to use it again if/when my teeth start making a run for it again.

(On preview, I also love the chair idea!)
posted by adorap0621 at 2:20 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Photo album cover. They make little albums with frame inserts for this purpose, or you could do it on a larger piece of aida cloth and bind your own little book.
posted by peachfuzz at 2:29 PM on January 22, 2013 [7 favorites]

Best answer: Joann's sells stitchable bibs, and also my personal favorite, stuffed animals with stitchable tummies.
posted by dithmer at 2:38 PM on January 22, 2013

Best answer: I was just writing a comment about stitchable tummies! Yes. You could stitch the design directly onto a stuffed animal, but you would probably have to scale the pattern down to make it fit.

A regular stuffed animal wearing a subversive-cross-stitched t-shirt (either sew your own, or purchase an appropriately-sized child's t-shirt) would also be delightful. This might work better with embroidery--but if you transfer the cross-stitch pattern onto the shirt, or are magically able to mentally create a grid for yourself as you stitch (in which case: you are my hero), it would be cute, distinctive, and not take up too much space.
posted by 2or3things at 2:41 PM on January 22, 2013

Best answer: I love the chair idea!

You could also make a play mat for tummy time. Stuff with a bit of fill and separate areas that make different noises and it can be pretty and something the baby can appreciate.
posted by Mchelly at 2:50 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Could you stitch it directly onto a onesie, rather than on canvas? Because that would be an awesome onesie. And having one keepsake onesie like this would be nifty (picking out a stuffed animal that fits into, say, a 9mo onesie to wear it until/after the baby can wear it would be super-duper fantastic).

Otherwise, I dig the chair idea, tummy-time mat, and album cover.

I'd also like something like that on a more decorative blanket that could be used any time of year as a cuddly thing, stroller cover, wrap, whatever. Not on a standard receiving blanket, which receives a lot of abuse.

Hm. The only other thing I could think of would be to put it on a hat that could be worn through at least 9mos.
posted by batmonkey at 2:57 PM on January 22, 2013

Best answer: Another idea would be to make or buy a diaper-bag or other useful-carrying-things-bag, and sew your sampler onto one of the exterior pockets/panels.
posted by aimedwander at 3:11 PM on January 22, 2013

Best answer: How about a really, really useful canvas tote (that can double as a diaper bag, babysitter bag or such) - and sew it to that?
posted by peagood at 3:17 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

You transfer cross stitch patterns to fabric using a product called waste canvas. Onesies are great for this, the stitched portion can be framed later if you want
posted by raisingsand at 4:25 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

A pillow is not a bad idea, as they come in handy while nursing, bottle-feeding, or otherwise holding a baby.
posted by crush-onastick at 4:52 PM on January 22, 2013

Response by poster: All of these ideas are awesome guys thanks so much!

Right now, I'm leaning towards a teddy bear wearing a stitched bib or t-shirt, or maybe a soft foam block (which would of course involve designing 5 other sides, which I'm not sure if I'm ready for or not)

So here's a related question - I'm obviously a cross stitch newbie, in that I have made all of one piece so far (again from a kit). I had no idea that products like ready-to-stitch on teddy bears or "waste canvas" existed, so my ideas of what were possible were severely limited. Where does a girl go to learn more about what's possible? there are a couple of yarn stores around here (Twin Cities, MN) that have some needlework stuff as well, but that always seems really inaccessible -- $90 pillow kits or $40 eyeglass cases and stuff, never just examples of projects done from scratch, which is the case with knitting.

Is there a cross-stitch version of Knitty?
posted by sparklemotion at 7:51 PM on January 22, 2013

Best answer: I don't think cross-stitch has taken off the way knitting has, but I'd love to hear that I'm wrong about that. Here's one place to start for prefinished products that are ready to be stitched.
posted by EvaDestruction at 9:18 PM on January 22, 2013

Best answer: You mention cross-stitch in your post but needlepoint in the opening part...I'm going to assume we're talking about cross-stitch here. I love SCS and Welcome Tiny Overlord is super cute, so this will be a fun project! That said, I myself struggle with what to do with finished projects (hence my box of finished but not "finished" pieces!).

I used to go on the Cross-stitch section of the Craftster forums, and enjoyed looking at projects and tutorials and also asking questions. If you've done one cross-stitch project you've gotten over most of the learning curve.

I think cross-stitch projects look good framed and that this would be super cute framed. You can buy this self-adhesive cardboard stuff at Michael's that you stick on to the back of the finished piece, and then pop that in the frame. I don't use the glass generally. If you wanted to step it up a notch you could get it professionally framed and matted, but I'd find somewhere that specializes in it (ask at your local needlework shop), rather than do it at Michael's. I also like the idea of putting it on the front of a photo album.

I used to make little wall hangings out of my cross-stitch pieces (also made a few Christmas ornaments like this), and I put up a tutorial a long time ago. I think this is viewable to the public, I apologize if it's not.

If you're new to needlework I wouldn't try stitching directly onto a onesie or any other jersey ("t-shirt" material) item, even with a stabilizer it's a PITA to work with.
posted by radioamy at 9:27 PM on January 22, 2013

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