Crafty Cross Stitch for Goofballs: Xmas 2018 Edition
December 5, 2018 8:25 PM   Subscribe

I would really like to create a little cross stitch and frame it as part of a Christmas gift for my girlfriend. It would feature a short catchphrase of ours that has been part of an in joke ever since we met and... there's something whimsically lovely about the idea that I think she'll really appreciate. BUT I haven't stitched a single stitch since a series of rainy afternoons around 30 years ago. PLEASE HALP!

Can you point me towards some easy to use resources for creating such a cross stitch.. And also perhaps even something I can use as a template for stitching my phrase in particular.

Could I even go into a craft type shop and ask for advice from them, even?

posted by Philby to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
You can totally go into a craft store and ask them for advice! Especially a small local shop that's limited to cross-stitch and embroidery supplies. They love talking about what they love.

Google cross-stitch software. There are a few free apps out there.

As a template, get some graph paper and colored pencils or pens and draw out what you'd like to make. Think 8-bit.

Also, there are tons of cross-stitch fonts online that you can use.

Subversive Cross Stitch has kits for their own designs that come with everything you need - maybe you can find one there that you can use.
posted by bendy at 9:03 PM on December 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

I've done just this project for a friend's wedding and I really enjoyed doing it. You can look online for cross stitch alphabets that you like (or go to a craft store and flip through a few books to see if you can find something) and then use some graph paper to put together the phrase you want to do in cross stitch.

Then get some cross stitch fabric, a needle and embroidery floss that is the color(s) you want. A book might help but honestly a few youtube videos might actually be better at teaching you the mechanics of it. Depending on the type of design, you should be able to find out how many threads of the embroidery floss you'll need to use.

The biggest thing you'll want to make sure you do is count out where to place the letters so that you don't run out of space on the fabric and make sure it's in the right place. Once you have that, I think you'll find it quite a lot of fun!
posted by mulkey at 9:21 PM on December 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

You can print graph paper that matches the exact size of aida cloth squares. I use this all the time to plot out designs. That way, you can find a font (I look on Pinterest, sorry) that you like, count out the stitches in each letter, and figure out how big a space you need etc.

Don't forget spacing! You can spot how others do it in designs you like, and crib from those.
posted by wellred at 5:30 AM on December 6, 2018 [4 favorites]

Aida cloth is easy to use. It has a two thread mesh which keeps the stitches even and it's stiff enough to work without a hoop. The appearance will be much better if you make each stitch with the same slants on top or bottom. So for example top left to bottom right is made first but you can do whole rows at a time in one direction.

One way to lay out the design is to mark the vertical and horizontal center lines with a running stitch in sewing thread and find the center of your chart. You can also mark the bottom lines of your text for reference.
posted by Botanizer at 5:31 AM on December 6, 2018

You can use this cross-stitch text generator to print out the pattern. I do what Botanizer described and find the center of the fabric and then find the center of the pattern and start there. I like to do half stitches all in one direction (like from bottom left to top right) and then come back to make the second part that makes the X. If you choose a running stitch alphabet then you can do every other stitch and then come back in the opposite direction to complete the line (I think it makes the back less bulky when you do this - so it makes it look nicer when framed).
posted by dawkins_7 at 7:53 AM on December 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you have cross-stitched before, I think you'll pick it up really quickly again! Words are also pretty easy to stitch because it's really obvious if you're doing it correctly. You only need very few supplies to start, and you can get them all at your local craft store:

- Aida cloth (I recommend size 14 to start)
- Tapestry needles (size 24 goes well with 14 Aida)
- Embroidery floss
- Small scissors
- Hoop (not strictly necessary, but useful - and I like plastic over wooden hoops)
- Needle threaders (optional but useful)

Subversive Cross-Stitch has good tutorials.

For framing, you can sometimes find foam board in common frame sizes that has peel-off adhesive on one side. If you don't have that, there is double-sided tape (Subversive carries it but I can't get the page to load right now) that you can use to adhere your cloth to the cardboard of the frame.
posted by radioamy at 10:32 AM on December 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

You can also check your local library and used book stores -- cross stitch has been going in and out for generations but how to do it hasn't changed all that much. A book of designs and fonts you like, and YouTube for all kinds of how-tos, and you're off!

(A modern subversive phrase replacing the text in a reproduction cross-stitch sampler would be charming, especially if you can work it into a rhyme. Bigger project though.)
posted by clew at 4:35 PM on December 6, 2018

I made something like that for a friend a year or two ago. I think this is what I used. It makes a pattern out of a picture. I just kept importing pictures of the saying in different fonts until I found one that translated well.
posted by artychoke at 7:56 PM on December 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thank you so much for your advice and encouragement! Now- to use all these awesome resources and make my vision a reality- she's going to love it, I'm sure of it!

I'll post a picture when I'm done!
posted by Philby at 1:05 AM on December 10, 2018

« Older Creative/Silly Things to do with colossal dinosaur...   |   Web Scraper/Sorter... What am i looking for? does... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments