With Thanksgiving approaching, there’s a natural draw to stop and reflect on what one is truly thankful for. For me, 2015 has been a year of some major good-byes, continuing change, and exciting new opportunities. Through it all, I’m so very thankful for the friends and family that walk this life with me and share in all it’s beautiful messiness.
This months free cross-stitch guide is inspired by the heart of gratitude and my favorite fall pattern – plaid. Along with the free design you can download HERE, I’m also including 3 “Beyond Basics” to take your cross-stitch game up a notch.
Here’s what you’ll need for this craft:
- Aida cloth – in Oatmeal
- Wood embroidery hoop
- DMC thread
- Kreinik Metallic Braid in Gold
- Thankful Heart Cross-stitch Pattern – download HERE
- Basic cross-stitch supplies: needle, scissors, and a needle threader
Beyond The Basics
1. Find Your Center
With a project like this… one where you will be stitching on the finished piece… it’s important to find the center of the stitching area before you begin.
You’ll want to count the total number of squares both horizontal and vertical and divide each count in half. Where these points intersect on your Aida cloth will be the center of your project.
You’ll also need to know where the center is on your pattern. For most designs you will have to count out the squares like you did with the Aida cloth. However, on this pattern, I’ve marked the center for you with a black square. You’ll stitch this square orange, but you can immediately find the center reference point in the guide with the black mark.
Begin stitching in the center and work your way out.
2. Plan for a Beautiful Backside
My mom always taught me that if you spend a little time thinking about the backside of a piece, it can be as pretty as the front. With projects that get framed or made into pillows, this is not as critical, but if you are doing something with an open back like this embroidery hoop, a beautiful backside shows serious craftsmanship.
Here is what the back or underside of my project looked like as I stitched:
The key to a nicely stitched backside is not zig-zagging all over your work.
For this piece, I stitched the bulk of the heart and then added the thinner areas, tunneling under pre-existing stitches to cover my tracks.
3. Organize Your Project
When I’m traveling, I keep my stitchery in a tote. However, while working at home, I’ve discovered that using a tray that can hold all my thread, needles, scissors, project, etc. in one space makes cleaning up a total snap. It all fits on the tray and I can put it away at the end of the day.
In the hustle of the holidays, I love being able to take some time to sit still and stitch. It allows me to quiet myself and recharge before rushing off to the next thing.
Are you working on any special crafts for your own personal sanity this holiday season? How do you get moments of quiet in during this time of year? What are you feeling most thankful for in 2015?
**This post contains affiliate links. Many of the supplies listed can be found at your local craft or fabric store, but the links have been provide for your convenience in recreating this project.**