It happens every year, the morning after Thanksgiving I wake up with an undeniable urge to start Christmas crafting. Usually this urge culminates with me buried under my fabric and yarn stashes with no idea where to start thankfully this year is different. For the first time my husband and I will have our very own Christmas tree and I thought we should have some beautiful, hand-made ornaments to mark the occasion!
I know these ornaments will grace my tree for years to come so I want them to be special without being too time consuming! Cross-stitch is such a lovely, detailed craft that strikes just the right note for a keepsake like these ornaments. To keep them from seeming old-fashioned or stuffy, I chose a clean graphic font from DMC's Cross-Stitch Library, and the fun message "Cheers"! I'm also planning on making individual initials to serve as gift tags this year!
I used Moda's gorgeous Prairie Cloth for the front of my ornaments; not only does it have an intriguingly rustic quality, it's heavy weave also allows it to be cross-stitched. In the interest of timelessness, I chose to keep my ornaments neutral and classic, with a cheery pop of orangey-red to keep things fun!
To make a set of 7 Cross Stitch Ornaments:
- 1/4 yard of Moda's Prairie Cloth in Porcelain
- 1/4 yard of backing fabric, I used Kokka's Canvas Ticking, but Lecien's Yarn Dyed Stripes would be equally lovely
- 1-1/4 yard of 20mm Cotton Twill Tape in Ecru
- A ball of DMC #8 Pearl Cotton Embroidery Thread, color #606
- A size 22 tapestry needle
- DMC Cross-Stitch Library, Point de Marque 1
- 100% cotton thread, color #1040
- A bag of cotton or bamboo stuffing
Using a rotary cutter or scissors, cut seven 4-inch squares of both the Prairie Cloth and your backing fabric. Cut seven 6-inch pieces from the twill tape. Set aside the twill tape and backing fabric pieces for later.
Using the #8 Pearl Cotton stitch your letters onto the Prairie Cloth squares. The alphabet I used is in DMC's Cross-Stitch Library Point de Marque 1, on page 3, but part of the beauty of this project is it's flexibility. Use any cross-stitch alphabet that suits your style, or make one up! This project is simple and somewhat rustic, so instead of measuring the exact center of the fabric square I folded the piece into quadrants and treated the intersection of the creases as the center. If you're new to cross-stitch, or just need a refresher, check out our Cross-Stitch Basics Tutorial!
Fold one piece of twill tape in half and pin it, fold side to the center, to the right side of your cross-stitched square. Using a 1/4-inch seam allowance, machine or hand sew across the top edge of the square to secure the twill tape.
Pin your backing fabric to the cross-stitched square, right sides facing.
Using a 3/4-inch seam allowance, sew around the edges of the square being sure to leave a 1-inch opening at the bottom of the square. The Prairie Cloth has a tendency to ravel, the extra-wide seam allowance is to prevent the seam from pulling loose when it's turned. Trim the corners at a 45-degree angle, wrong side facing to create crisper corners when turned.
Flip the square inside out using a blunt tool, like the end of a pencil, to make sure the corners are pushed all the way out. Press with a warm iron to make the edges look crisp. You're almost there, only two little steps to go!
Stuff the ornament with the cotton or bamboo stuffing. The ornament should be slightly plump but still angular, not overstuffed and rounded. Hand stitch the 1-inch opening closed using a blind stitch or a slip stitch. Repeat with the remaining six letters, and you're finished!
Now you're ready to share your cross-stitched holiday cheer! -Erin