20 October 2010

embroidering on gingham

Gingham can be a great fabric to embroider on, and not just for working chicken scratch. It's already got a perfectly square grid so any patterns designed for cross stitch will work equally well on it. Use the corners of each small square (or skip over a few if the squares are very small) for your needle entry and exit holes.

rooster aprons

I found these two aprons recently at an antique mall—one pink gingham, the other yellow. Both have a row of brown and red chickens along the bottom. I'm including the pattern here — it's been a while since we've had a freebie! Enjoy!

Click the pattern image for a larger version.

19 October 2010


Cross stitch sometimes gets a bad rap, especially here in the U.S., with the predominance of cutesy kits in craft stores and overly sweet projects in magazines. There's the exception to be sure, but in general, I haven't been impressed with what I've seen.

So, I was happy to be asked to review the redesign of Cross Stitcher magazine. My big concern, since this is a British magazine, was whether we could buy it here in the U.S. They assured me that it's available in some Borders stores (although, sadly, not in mine) and also by subscription for £79.99. Or you can purchase digital editions— single issues for £6.70 and a 13-issue subscription for £60. But, with the exchange rate currently not in our favor, the best deal is at Magazine Nook for $23.39 with free shipping. If you're located in the UK, of course, you shouldn't have problems finding it on the newsstand. The redesign debuts with the current issue (Issue 232 November 2010).

CrossStitcher Magazine

I'm still awaiting my printed issue to arrive by mail but I got a chance to preview an online sample. I'm impressed, both with the colorful and fun design of the magazine and with the projects. The magazine opens with a free chart for embroidering gingham heart sachets (each issue includes a free project pattern). Following are lots more fun projects—like felt baby booties (so cute), a realistic Jack Russell cushion, covered buttons, the ever-popular owls, and designs for Christmas cards. Every issue has a section called The Savvy Stitcher—this time it features applique, using Bondaweb, stitching basics, and alphabet charts for personalizing your projects.

Savvy Stitcher

Be sure to visit their website, sign up to receive their newsletter, and become a fan on Facebook. They offer lots of freebies on all of these and a chance to interact with other readers and stitching fans.