Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Cross Stitch Queen

from Edgy Embroidery
Recently, cross stitching has made a bit of a comeback in crafting pop culture. I’m always up to take on a new project, so after seeing lots of cool patterns online I figured I would give it a try. I could not have imagined how calming cross stitching would turn out to be, so I figured I would recommend it to all of you. It’s a great way to relieve stress and make something crafty at the same time. I also like to sew, but at least for me that requires a lot of time and focus. Cross stitch allows me to follow a pattern while still being able to focus on an audiobook or podcast.

So I’ve gone through our collection and pulled out some of my favorite titles relating to cross stitch. These books will help beginners find a starting point, and give any of you veteran cross stitchers out there some pattern recommendations. To the list!

I’ll start out by saying that this is the least flashy book on my list, but that’s ok! I would pick this one up first because it gives you a detailed overview of cross stitch basics. It starts you at the very beginning with a supply list and pattern, explaining exactly the differences in floss and fabrics, and (most importantly) how to read the pattern. It also covers all different types of stitches and knots. My favorite part is the pictures of the stitches, because you get to see the front and back of the fabric which I have personally found to be a big help.

A-Z of Needlepoint
Alright, so now we’ve seen the basics, let’s move on to the next level of stitches. If you need a stitch or a stitch pattern, it’s got you covered. It features an alphabetical list of step-by-step guides to dozen of stitches. Each stitch is shown on a large open weave grid, making it much easier follow. While it doesn’t have any full patterns, I’ve still found it to be a fantastic resource if you want to hone your stitch skills.

Ok, so here’s the start of the more modern cross stitch. One of the big “trends” in modern cross stitch is subversive cross stitch. Got a little rage you want to work out in a creative manner? Want a little social activism in your cross stitch? Yeah you do, so check out these patterns! Each pattern overview outlines the design, number of stitches, and floss color. There is a brief overview of how to cross stitch at the beginning, but to be honest it’s very short and wouldn’t help anyone just getting into the craft. Just a warning, due to some colorful language I wouldn’t recommend handing this one off to a little one who wants to learn cross stitch.

Edgy Embroidery: Transform Conventional Stitches Into 25 Unconventional Designs by Renee Rominger
So this one is by far the trendiest book on my list. While my other selections have house and cat patterns, this book features more modern looks, like floral sharks and cute succulents. The chapters cover six different types of basic stitches and knots with plenty of fun patterns to go along with each stitch. There’s a reason that I put this last on my list. While it is my favorite of these titles, I wouldn’t recommend this as your very first cross stitch book. The patterns are certainly a draw, but I would suggest working your way up to this point. The patterns provided in this book work best on a plain weave fabric and don’t follow the grid of an open weave. Think a waffled grid pattern versus just a plain cotton fabric. In my personal experience it was easier for me to start learning on an open weave and move along to a plain weave. But plain weave gives you a sleeker, less boxy look, so it’s all up to your preference. 

~Marilyn W.

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