When I was young, I used to watch my Mom partake in hobbies of all kinds: painting, making ornaments, cross stitching, and sewing. Although I picked up all of these hobbies over the years, the one that has stuck with me most is cross stitching.
The history of cross stitching is rooted in the 1800s, but goes as far back as the 1600s. Young women and girls were taught to cross stitch as a way to embellish every day household items, such as table cloths, doilies, and dishcloths, usually with a pattern that identified the family or owner. If you had an American Girl doll growing up, you might remember Samantha hating working on her sampler. I got a Samantha doll for Christmas one year and loved learning about her and cross stitching through her book series.
Nowadays, cross stitch pieces are made into gifts or as decorations for the home. That is how my Mom and I use our pieces. My Mom makes small pieces, turns them into ornaments or the tops of mason jars, and uses them as gifts for friends and family.
Starting out, you can purchase packs that include everything you need: fabric, a needle, the pattern, and the floss. The packs come in different sizes and feature patterns for all skill levels. I personally enjoy the small and medium sized patterns because they’re quick and easy, and can easily be made into gifts.
As I have gotten older, I’ve ventured into the realm of larger patterns. There are packs that have large patterns (for all skill levels), but you can also purchase books of patterns. Pattern books only come with the pattern, so you have to purchase the fabric and floss needed to make a certain piece.
My Mom has a collection of pattern books and floss, so when I finally decided to make my Grandma a piece from a book, my Mom had all the materials I needed.
This piece took me quite a bit of time. I worked on it on and off for several years while in high school and college. Last year, I finally framed it and presented it to my Grandma. This piece features her favorite Bible verse (Psalms 118:24) and two children. I love the image of the two children playing in a puddle because it reminds me of my Mom and Uncle Tom (my Grandma’s two children).
The most recent piece I finished is the Halloween piece below. This was a pack I found at Hobby Lobby which came with white fabric. However, I found that if I used black fabric, I would save loads of time by not having to do all the black stitches, and it would look spookier. I absolutely love how it turned out!
Per the title of this post and as I previously mentioned, cross stitch pieces make great gifts! You can make them into ornaments or the tops of mason jars. These pieces show the receiver that you truly care about them because of all the time and effort you put into creating the piece. Even though the small patterns are quick and easy to make, it is a gift that is heartfelt and everyone truly appreciates.
Swing by Hobby Lobby or Michaels Craft Store today and pick out a piece to do. It’s so easy and time flies when you stitch while watching Gilmore Girls or Grey’s Anatomy!