Monday, July 2, 2012


Long before I started scrapbooking, I cross-stitched. For anyone who does this, you know that it can involve a variety of stitches, not just cross and back stitches. I like to work these stitches into my pages pretty regularly, not least of which because it is one of the most economical ways to add embellishment to a page: a skein of floss costs less than .50 a skein, even less if you buy in bulk (or cheaper kinds of floss, which I don't do. I'm a DMC snob.).

Some people resist hand stitching because they think it will take a lot of time and talent. I want to put you at ease.

First, here's my basic stitching supplies:

  • A squishy mat I got at Michael's for a few dollars (cheaper equivalent: bottom of a mouse pad)
  • A paper piercer capped with a cork (cheap equivalent: a push pin)
  • Very sharp scissors (only use them for ribbon or floss)
  • Templates--one from Stampin' Up!, one from Bazzill, and a ruler from Tim Holtz with holes every 1/8 inch (cheap equivalent: a ruler. You can measure every 1/8 inch yourself to punch. Or hand draw patterns and punch holes to stitch every 1/8-1/4 inch.)
  • Needles of various lengths and widths in a magnetic case I got at Joann's (make sure the needle eye is fairly large but the needle itself is not too thick.)
  • Floss (not shown)--I use DMC. Though I have every color for cross-stitching, I found it easier to buy ROYGBIV in bright and subdued hues, plus neutrals, to keep in a case with me so I can easily take it to crops. When I need a color I don't have, I shop my Floss Stash.
When I stitch, I tend to do it last as finishing accent. Here's what I did with a recent page:

I decided to add a few kinds of stitches to this page: some cross-stitches  on the top and bottom, some outlines stitches on the stamped images, a stitched photo corner, and a stitched title.

I do all my piercing at once, then stitch all together. The paper piercing tool about five minutes, the stitching total about 40 minutes. That sounds like a lot, but it's something I can do easily watching TV, or waiting for the water on the mac and cheese to boil. Most of the time on this layout was used  in the title:

(The Brothers stitching was done by machine.) To do the title, I hand wrote the word, paper pierced about every 1/8 inch, then stitched.  NOTE:  Don't stitch closer than 1/8 inch. 1/4 may be preferable. Too close and you will shred your paper.

I did the cross-stitches in the same color:


But the stamped stitches I did in a burgundy that I pulled from the patterned paper:

And here's the final page:

Photo by my friend Jennifer of Junglefish Photography.

I used mostly Amy Tangerine from American Crafts for this page, pieces of last year's collection I hadn't used up. I think it's colorful, but muted, which works well on a boy page; I matched the DMC to their muted hues.

The misting used Studio Calico's Orchard and Classic Calico; it's pretty darn intense and splotchy under the photo, but I covered most of it, leaving just the lighter flecks around the photo, plus one strip of intense orange. That way my coverage looks more controlled.

I'll share a few more pages with stitching through the rest of the week. Plus news. :-)

1 comment:

Michelle said...

LOL I am a DMC snob too!!! I have a TON of floss... I have done a ton of cross stitching over the years as well. I don't use it as much on my LO's. I love the way it looks though. I love the little bits here and there that you add to your pages.