Hooked on Needles

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Irish Counted Cross Stitch

During our annual shopping trip to Keepsake Needlearts and sister stores Keepsake Quilting and Patternworks in Center Harbor, New Hampshire this past summer, my older daughter Elizabeth purchased her first ever grown-up cross stitch kit. Not too long ago, she decided she would get to work on it but she wasn't sure if she needed to do anything special before starting the actual stitching. This was, after all, her very first real cross stitch project. She had done one when she was quite young from a kit that was made for children and didn't really require any prep work, but this was the Real Thing.

So I told her what my Auntie had told me so many years ago when she got me hooked on counted cross stitch back in the late 70s...oh my, saying that out loud makes me suddenly feel OLD! Anyway, I told her how she should baste lines on her fabric for the horizontal and vertical middles, and then using a different color baste the lines to match the 10-square grid on the chart. I explained to her that this was necessary so that she could be sure that she was on track with her stitching from the beginning and not find out later that she was off by one or two stitches here and there. She didn't think that sounded like too much fun.

I was proud of her though, because she did it, and she whip stitched around the entire piece of fabric to keep it from unraveling. This is what it looked like:

Irish Counted Cross StitchShe used black thread for the middle lines and blue for the 10 square marks. She also marked with a pen the TF at the top, to indicate the Top Front of the fabric.

Irish Counted Cross StitchA good portion of this piece is words, and you can see the guidelines she basted going through them. She admitted later that this was a tremendous help in making sure she was stitching in the right place.

Irish Counted Cross StitchThis is my favorite part of the piece...a cozy little country cottage on a nice sunny day. Her stitches were very even and all the top stitches went in the same direction. Very nice.

Irish Counted Cross StitchAnd this is the finished (so far) project with the basting threads still in the fabric. I neglected to tell her that those should be removed before stitching over them so they wouldn't pull her embroidery floss when they are removed. But she'll be very careful removing them. She wouldn't want to ruin all that hard work. I think she really enjoyed doing this piece and will have it framed when finances permit. This will be a nice keepsake for her to take with her when she moves out into the big world.

Good job Elizabeth!

Don't forget to enter my fall giveaway by October 14th for a chance to win a very nice pincushion bag and other fall goodies. Good luck!

Happy Stitching!

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