Saturday, February 9, 2013

Heart Art :: an oversized cross stitch pattern for Valentines Day! :)

Happy almost Valentines Day! :) I have been working on something fun lately, and I am so excited to share it with you! Though it definitely does not have to be a valentines-day-only item. I think I'm going to hang mine up all year long...


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I have had so much fun making these! They are super quick! (I finished the blue one this afternoon, in between meals, stories, taking care of kids, etc.) The other two take a little longer, 2 nights max. They would be cute if you embroidered a word or saying in the middle/around them too. But I'm too chicken and don't want to mess them up. I would like to put LOVE in the middle of the pink one, maybe after I get a little more practice. ;)

Cross stitch is great though, it's so simple, and I've figured out a good way that is fairly fool proof. I haven't cross stitched since middle school, maybe elementary school, but it's definitely fun! :)

Supplies:

You of course can use whatever brand, supplies you like best, but this is what I used and am really happy with. :)
* 6" embroidery hoop
* fabric: something large enough to fit in a 6" hoop. Cotton works best, I made the pink ones with linen, but linen is a little bit harder to work with.
* Stick and Wash interfacing by Pellon. LOVE it! You don't have to iron it, and I guess it washes off if you want. It's a good stabilizer while stitching.
* Paper and Printer - to print off the pattern
* Scissors to cut out the pattern, and some for cutting your floss
* Embroidery floss. I used the variegated floss I won at Sewing Summit. Brand: Cosmo. I really like it, and I really like the effect the variegated colors give it.
* Glue stick or lapel stick
* Embroidery needle. I don't know what size mine is, but it's blunt and thick - which is especially good for the prep work.


The rest of the instructions I have written on the pattern sheet that you can download from Craftsy here. There are no pictures however, so if you are a picture person, be sure to keep reading. (I will also include a few extra tips below.) :)

Prepping:

Cut out your fabric.

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Stick your stick and wash to the back of your fabric, in the center.


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Place fabric in the center of your hoop.


Cut out the pattern piece, leaving a boarder around the edges. (I forgot to leave a boarder on the top.)

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Generously apply your glue stick to the back of the pattern, especially in the corners, and cover the entire paper. Apply to the center of your hoop.

** You want to make sure your paper doesn't shift at all while prepping the pattern. If it shifts, your lines will be crooked and it won't turn out nice. Especially since you have the stick and wash between the paper and your fabric, I say the more glue the better (ok, but not too much. Just enough).


Decide if you are going to cross stitch the outside of the heart, or the inside. For this tutorial I did the inside, and will be poking all of my holes on the inside or white part of the heart. If you are going to do the outside, then you will poke your holes in the yellow part (the pattern is actually pink, but we ran out of ink and apparently still have some yellow left in there). :) 

**If you are doing the outside, this is where it is especially helpful to leave a boarder around the pattern when cutting it out.

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Using JUST your needle, start poking holes in each corner of the squares you wish to cross stitch.

** A thicker needle will ensure that you will be able to see your holes later while you are cross stitching.


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Poke through all layers, coming out the front.


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Progress photo, for filling in the center. You could actually do all of it, making the center a different color than the outside. That would be cute too. :)


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Progress photo of the front. Here is where cotton is a lot easier to use. The holes show up WAY better in cotton than in linen. In either case, the stabilizer is nice to have on the back, because the holes also show up well on it. I look equally at the back of my pattern as I do at the front while stitching.


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All my holes are now punched - from the back


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All the holes punched - from the front


Cross Stitch:

You can do anywhere from 2 strands to 6 strands. If you use all 6 strands, you will need a little bit more than one skein of floss (you can see how much I'm short in the photo below). If you do 2 or 3, you will have enough in one skein.

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Using 6 strands. I love the look of the thickness of it, but I need to order more floss.


Starting in one corner, carefully peal the pattern back and start cross stitching in one direction. 

** With the linen, I found it necessary to keep my pattern attached to the back as I often needed to re-punch my holes. The cotton however, did not need that and I easily finished the heart without re-punching any holes.
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Cross stitch the entire pattern in one direction.
I almost forgot to take a picture and already started going the other direction.


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To mix up the colors a little more with the thread, I sometimes go around in different directions so the different colors overlap more. Just make sure you don't miss any "x"'s and that you don't trap yourself in later.

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Keep going until it's finished!
Make sure to tie off all your ends.

I think I am going to turn this one into a pouch or something.
These would also be cute as a mini pillow, a pin cushion. or part of a mini quilt or quilt. If you are going to add it to a different project, be sure to plan accordingly and cut your fabric the right size, and center it in the hoop where you will want it to end up.


If you are going to keep it in the hoop, trim the edges of the fabric, and glue to the inside of the hoop. I really like these simple directions here for finishing your hoop: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42706337@N07/6134773975/


Finished Hoops:

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I'm going to keep this one on my wall. LOVE it!

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Close up


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You can download the pattern HERE.


If you make one, I'd LOVE to see it! (seriously! I am thrilled every time I see someone make something inspired by one of my patterns or tutorials!) You can share it in my flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/fromblankpages/ or shoot me an email!


Happy Stitching!! :)


Diane

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