Cross stitch

Embellish Your Life With Cross Stitch Embroidery

Cross stitch is just one of the traditional forms of embroidery, a method of textile embellishment that goes back thousands of years. Embroidery is the practice of adding interest and texture to a piece of fabric by using thread, ribbon, and even metal to decorate the fabric. Cross stitch is a type of embroidery that builds a pattern based on small squares. The number, size, and color of these squares create the overall picture or pattern. Each X-shaped stitch is made on top of a finished piece of fabric. In the past people used embroidery stitches to reinforce the hem of a garment, to cover blemishes in the fabric, or simply to add interest and beauty to otherwise plain textile items. Today embroidery is one of the most popular arts and crafts hobbies and is enjoyed by people young and old around the world.

Embroidery around your home

Embroidery has long been a popular method of embellishing household textiles, including hand towels, dishtowels, table runners, placemats, pillows, and curtains. You can use cross stitch to add a personal touch to these useful items. If you aren’t comfortable executing embroidery designs freehand, purchase one of the many commercially available iron-on transfer patterns. These patterns are inexpensive and can be purchased at any arts and crafts store, fabric shop, or embroidery specialty store; many online stores also carry an extensive selection of these patterns. Iron-on embroidery patterns transfer an image onto the fabric of your choice; the lines will disappear once the item is laundered for the first time. These patterns vary in size and complexity and typically can be used several times before there is no more transfer ink remaining.

These transfer patterns make it easy to create beautiful and one-of-a-kind gifts. Using just one or two commercially available transfer patterns you can make any of the following:

• Decorative hand towels

• Personalized baby clothing

• A set of embellished pillowcases

• A tablecloth and matching napkins

• A set of monogrammed placemats

• Old fashioned feminine handkerchiefs

• Unique tea cozies and appliance covers

• Personalised reusable shopping bags

Just about any fabric item can receive an iron-on transfer. As you explore the patterns available you’ll find lots of inspiration for ways to use embroidery and cross stitch around the home.

Embroidery for yourself

One of embroidery’s greatest pleasures is using it to make something beautiful for yourself. As you become more skilled in this particular art form you’ll find many ways to use embroidery in your daily life.

For thousands of years people have added embroidery to their clothing. A quick Internet search will show you hundreds of examples of historic embroidery from all over the world. While few people have spare ball gowns that need embroidered you can still use the same techniques to add flair to your wardrobe.

There are several clothing items that you can add embroidery to right away. Woven shirts, jeans, and vests are all good candidates for cross stitch. Select colourfast embroidery floss so the color doesn’t bleed onto the fabric in the wash. Use an iron-on transfer pattern to place the image or use a fabric marker or chalk pencil to draw a design freehand. When you’re satisfied with the design, place the fabric inside an embroidery hoop for stability and begin. You can enhance your design further with the addition of beads and sequins.

Interlock knit, the type of fabric most commonly used to make t-shirts, can also be embroidered. If you want to add embroidery to a t-shirt then you need to use some kind of stabilising fabric first. This can be purchased anywhere embroidery supplies are sold.

Of all the arts and crafts hobbies you might pursue, embroidery can be one of the most rewarding. It is easy to learn and can be enjoyed right away. The supplies are generally inexpensive and can be purchased at most hobby or fabric shops. Whether you cross stitch for yourself or for others, you’ll love exploring the world of embroidery.