Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cross Stitch Coupling

Spring is undoubtedly upon us and with that comes Wedding Season.  It's easy to get bogged down by your lack of free weekends and forget that you've been invited because YOU are important to the couple.  There is a great honor bestowed upon each guest when asked to witness the joining of two people in matrimony and that is not something to be taken lightly.  So how do you go about trying to stay focused on what is truly important?  For me this frequently means spending a great deal of time making a gift for the couple.  Yes, this does usually end up being the cheaper way to go, but what I truly love about it is that I relish the time put into it where I am able to reflect on the couple and how important they are and causing me to stay centered on what the day is truly about.  

If you've never completed a cross stitch before I encourage you to give it a try on something a little smaller and more manageable as a beginner.  If you're like me where doing the same thing all of the time becomes tedious and causes you to stop I promise that picking a pattern with multiple colors will help you feel accomplished as you go.  While this pattern could be accomplished by a complete novice (I had only ever done two before this one) I will let you know that it took a long time and there a many details around the edge that I left out partly due to time and partly because I wanted it to be a simpler design.

How long did it take you may ask?  Try 11 seasons of Frasier, 3 seasons of Arrested Development, and 5 seasons of Scrubs!  (I can't watch anything that requires me to watch the screen while working on a cross stitch so unfortunately Doctor Who was out and anything I could only listen to was in.)  If the thought of spending this much time on any one project is daunting to you but you want to find something other than bathroom towels to give, DON'T PANIC, you can still make a gift.   Take a look at my tutorials for throw pillows, spice rubs, and lampshades and you'll be able to make something special for a loved onet.

If you're tempted at this point to run off and never craft again I promise lots of pictures of the finished product for you to look at if you keep reading and for those who aren't deterred we'll go through the steps needed to properly finish off a cross stitch.  Off we go!

Place the finished cross stitch in a bowl of lukewarm water and mild dish soap.  If the water turns a color due to the ink from the thread running, simply continue to replace the water until it remains clear.  This will prevent any running of the colors if it were to get wet in the future.

Once you've wrung out as much excess water as possible place the still damp cross stitch on a clean white towel.  

Roll it up tightly and squeeze to get more water out.  While it does not need to be completely dry you may need to repeat this step using multiple towels before the piece is only slightly damp.

Place the piece face down on an ironing board and iron carefully with a dry iron on the cotton setting.  Be careful not to move the iron back and forth very much as you may find that some of your stitches move.

It's time to work on framing!

Be sure to clean both sides of the glass before you move on to the next step.  This will ensure that the glass is  completely dry by the time frame the cross stitch.  

While the glass is drying, position your cross stitch on a piece of cardboard.  I was able to use the piece that came with  my frame but a cereal box would also work.

Once the piece is positioned correctly take any thread that you have leftover and begin pulling it back and forth.  Turn it over periodically and check that the design has not moved.

Do the same with the opposite ends, be sure to fold in the corners as though you were wrapping a present before  sewing across so that the corners lie flat and will not be too bulky for the frame.

Ta da!

If you've noticed that all of the wording is in Italian except for the title across the top I have to give mad props to The Husband for coming up with that phrase as I really wanted to personalize it for the couple.
There you have it!  I hope you haven't been too scared off and will consider giving cross stitch a try in the future.  For those of you inundated with weddings this summer how do you manage to stay focused on the wonder and joy of it all?

Thanks for reading and happy crafting!


  1. Great tutorial and I love the way it turned out! Awesome job!!

    1. Thanks, hope the tutorial proves helpful to you at some point!

    2. I spy a certain Dr. Who towel! :D

    3. And you thought it would only ever end up in the Kitchen :)

  2. As the recipient of the gorgeous thing above, WELL DONE Danielle--we LOVE it and it is now hanging in the bedroom :) Thank you so much!