What follows is a super honest, mostly embarrassing account of my first cross-stitch…
Two months ago, I started browsing around for something fun I could make for my sister’s birthday. She is so darn talented and crafty and is always making thoughtful, homemade gifts. So, I wanted to make something special this year. I found this cross-stitch pattern on Etsy. We use this emoji all. the. time. Probably too much. It’s excessive. So, I thought she had to have it despite the fact that I had no clue how to make it. Thinking “oh, i have 2 months to learn the ways of the cross-stitch”, I purchased said pattern and tucked it away on my desktop.
But, being a professional procrastinator, I ran out of time.
So, last week, I just sort of jumped into this cross-stitch guns-blazing, without any prior knowledge or without looking up too many tutorials. My friend Tenley assured me that the basic stitch was a fairly easy technique to pick up and gave me a few pointers.
This pattern from The Stranded Stitch was perfect. The first “emoji dancing girls” pattern I purchased was just a pixelated picture of the emoji dancing girls. So I was completely relieved to find this easy to follow, very clear pattern. It included the supplies, symbol pattern, and color-coded pattern to follow. And i mean…also pretty awesome that she made this emoji into a cross-stitch pattern.
So, here are a few lessons I learned. To the seasoned stitcher (or to really anyone who has done a single cross-stitch) these are quite obvious…Don’t judge…
1. Center it before you start. I think i read this somewhere, but thought I’d just wing it and, ya…see what happened…it’s artsy, ok?
2. Don’t cut off the excess cloth before you start. I thought it was kind of getting in the way, so I cut a bit off the edges and ya…that excess would’ve really helped with my centering problem (see pt. 1)
3. Glue on the back of your cross stitch definitely gives away your lack of experience, but that baby is not coming undone (yes, I glued some of the knots. No, I didn’t thread the ends back through the stitches like you’re supposed to. Yes, the back looks like scary-emoji-dancing-girls)
4. Pom Poms around the outside distract from any mistakes. But also, just look adorable. In all seriousness, I saw this on my sister’s blog from an embroidery hoop she did (seriously, check out this owl) – it just brought the whole thing together and made it adorable. And for mine…distraction from hot mess.
5. Probably best to try a few stitches somewhere before jumping right into your project.
6. Sign the back of your piece and include the year. My mom told me to do this, as she has several cross-stitch pieces from near and dear friends, and it’s so special to know when it’s from.
In the end, I absolutely loved it. Once you get in the swing of things, it’s pretty relaxing. And I just love the style of things in cross-stitch. I’m thinking of buying something from Purple Hippo Stitches next.
Everyone on my Christmas list is getting a cross-stitch! (They’re all rolling their eyes right now) Just kidding…there’s no way I could make that many…maybe a few…