June 05, 2020
We’re living through testing times at the moment so it’s more important than ever that we stay positive, colourful and safe. We’ve been supporting the NHS (National Health Service) by donating cross stitch kits to key workers nominated by their friends and family. We also want to keep encouraging everyone to stay in and stay safe as much as possible - and cross stitch! We're also donating £3 to the NHS for every full priced Positivity Rules Stitch-a-Long kit sold during the pre-order period. We have raised a whopping £2,500!
There’s an invitation to stay in, stay safe and connect with others with our new Friday night Stitch with Sally Facebook Live events! These ran every Friday during lockdown and will continue once a month (on the last Friday of each month at 8pm GMT) so please do get involved with our great community!
The benefits of doing a craft like cross stitch is proven to boost mental wellbeing, reduce anxiety and is incredibly satisfying to do. Why not come along and make some new friends at the same time? And now, to the cross stitch.
Today we’re talking about finishing off that project you’ve been working on, with three great ways to make your finished piece look fantastic.
If you’ve been working on cross stitch in a hoop then it’s easy to finish off the back with a neat piece of felt. You’ll need your finished cross stitch piece, the hoop you want to frame it in, a pencil, some scissors, a needle, cotton thread, embroidery thread and a piece of felt that’s at least as big as the hoop.
First, draw around the outside of your hoop onto the felt and cut out. Then, with your finished work secured back in the hoop, trim the fabric down to about an inch all around. Using a needle and thread, start to draw the edges of the fabric over and towards one another from opposite sides.
You will end up with a lattice type effect across the back of the hoop securing your cross stitch fabric in place. Finally, attach your felt with a blanket stitch using embroidery thread, working around the edge of the circle and fastening onto the fabric edge. (Photo below by Sarah McLaughlin)
Alternatively, you can use double sided sticky tape, a hot glue gun or other glue to attach your felt. You can even buy pretty wooden back pieces to attach or go one step further and decorate your hoop with fabric. Voila!
If you’re a book lover, what better way to combine your stitching with a useful keepsake to mark your pages! Here's an incredibly simple way to turn your cross stitched piece into a bookmark.
You’ll need pinking shears, a piece of backing fabric the same size as your finished bookmark, a piece of interlining or stiffener the same size as your finished bookmark, a needle and thread or sewing machine, cardboard and a ruler.
First of all, make a cardboard template to the size you’d like your finished bookmark to be. Draw around this onto all three different parts (your cross stitch, the interlining and the backing fabric) of your bookmark and cut out with the pinking shears.
Now make a sandwich with the interlining in the middle and simply sew around the edges with a running stitch by hand or on the sewing machine. Make sure your backing fabric is right side out!
If you have a larger piece of work that you’d like to finish off onto a board, you’ve got several different choices. Personally I like to use foam board as it’s cheap to buy and very easy to work with. You’ll just need some strong masking tape, scissors and pins to follow along with my easy video tutorial here.
Alternatively, you could use sticky board with some lightweight batting behind your work. The technique is really the same but a hot glue gun can come in handy for sticking down corners. If you decide to invest in one, it’s probably worth spending a little more as you can go through inexpensive glue sticks very quickly indeed.
This method doesn’t have to be expensive; in fact, if you’ve got an old wooden tray or frame at home, it’s easy to upcycle and use as the backing for your cross stitch.
So which of these have you already tried? Do you have tips to share? If so, hop on over and join Caterpillar Cross Stitch on Youtube or find us over on Facebook to share tips and ideas.
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