Cross-stitch is a classic and beautiful craft. It is also therapeutic as I discovered recently. I had an operation and was laid up for over 4 months. Life is frustrating when I am idle and, being confined to bed, I wanted to do something creative. With cross-stitch all that’s needed is a cloth to work, some pretty cottons, a needle and a little pair of scissors to snip the thread.
I buy the cloths which already have designs printed on the fabric. This is known as stamped cross-stitch. The cottons are available in lovely shades and I enjoy planning the colours for each cloth.
Counted cross-stitch, is another form of cross-stitch. Here a design from a printed graph is transferred onto an even weave fabric and the stitches are counted as they are sewn onto the fabric, to replicate the design.
Some Cross-Stitch History
Cross-stitch is a traditional and very old form of embroidery. The earliest cross-stitch sampler (a piece of cloth embroidered to demonstrate a beginner’s skill) can be found at Pilgrim Hall, Plymouth, Massachusetts and dates back to 1653.
Examples of cross-stitch can be found in museums world wide. It was used to decorate linen like pillow cases, sheets and table cloths. Clothing was frequently embellished with cross-stitch too.
How To Do Cross-Stitch
Cross stitch can be done in the traditional style where each stitch is completed, one stitch at a time. The Danish method is when you stitch a row of diagonal stitches along the one way and then the crosses are made on the way back.
I found a gorgeous web site called “Sarah’s Hand Embroidery Tutorials” which demonstrates embroidery stitches beautifully – here is the link to the cross stitch section http://www.embroidery.rocksea.org/stitch/cross-stitch/cross-stitch/.
The Future Of Cross-Stitch
It seems that cross-stitch is becoming cool again. The Sun newspaper ran an article on Tuesday, 28th August 2012, entitled “Why Cross-Stitch Is Achingly Hip Again” .
Kids are copying graffiti and producing their own street designs in cross-stitch. This new version of the craft is called “Urban Cross-Stitch”.
So not only is cross-stitch traditional, it’s hip too!
A cross-stitch design can be as simple or complex as you like. If you are stressed, lack creativity and just generally out of sorts, get out your cloth and start stitching, you’ll soon feel a whole lot better. This time-honoured craft has so much to offer both beginners and experienced stitchers.
So, if you’ve never tried cross-stitch, please do, you’ll love it!