Hi everyone. I have had some time this week to make something special for a friend. It was something new to me- a wall hanging using a Crafter’s Dowel and Wooden candle cups, ribbon and felt.
Its fun to do new things. I chose a Bible verse and framed it with lace ribbon and cross stitched flowers. First I used a back stitching type of alphabet for the verse on 22 count Aida fabric. I used Sulky thread #942 1057 (medium brown). I did it 4 over 1 or 4 threads for each stitch as you can see from the back, spacing is very important when you are writing something with your embroidery. This is why I did not do any cross stitching until after the words were finished. This is Isaiah 55:10,11
I loved how cute these flowers were. I found them in a pattern book called 555 Country Cross-Stitch Patterns Written by Donna Kooler. Its a great book for beginners with some beautiful yet simple patterns.
After stitching its time to wash and iron. This gets out lots of wrinkles and creases that happen when using a hoop. It also helps to relax the stitching and unify it- so that even if my stitching was to tight or loose in a few places, it won’t be noticeable. I knew I wanted to do something simple but pretty. I had thought doing flowers all the way around the verse might work, but I realized that would take a great deal of work, as the pattern I wanted to use did not turn corners, and I would have to construct a way to make that work. So I decided that less is more with this project, and did just a one side boarder with a Green wavy vine like line below the verse to include the Reference, and balance the piece.I figure out my pattern as I go- which makes things interesting, But also nothing is ever less then unique that way.
So instead of using cross stitched flowers to frame the rest of the peice, I chose a light cream colored lace ribbon, and simply hand stitched it to the Aida. I was not sure if I could iron this ribbon with out ruining it, so I stitched without the aid of a hope or cross-stitching stand. It took a little more time, but was worth it in the end. I chose cream because I think it helped to make the other bright colors pop.
After I was happy with what the peice looked like- it was time for finishing! First I sewed a loop on the top for the Dowel. I used an off white colored thread to match the Aida and blend in. Again I did this by hand but you could use a sewing machine.
Then I used one of the “short cut” ways of finishing… STICKY FELT! this stuff is great since it does not unravel, and it works well to keep the back of your cross stitch firmly in place ( no fear of something coming loose) AND it hides your back from view which if you looked at my backs- you would see why I always hide mine, lol. Some Cross stitchers perfect the art of a beautiful back which mirrors the front. NOT me. lol
So once the back was secure, I needed to use a simple blanket stitch around the edges so that the felt and the Aida were nicely attached. Then it was time to finish the Dowel and attach a thin ribbon to hang the piece with. I bought mini candle cups which are wooden and have a large hole on one end (for the dowel) and a small hole on the other end. Using a needle, I threaded the ribbon through the candle cups, and then filled the large hole with rubber cement before pushing the candle cups over the ends of the Dowel. I made sure to press firmly for a few minutes before letting it sit over night to dry.
There was actually very little cross stitching on this project. I used lots of “shortcuts” for the finishing as well. So it was a fast project. Once it was dry I had to hang it up and make sure it “worked”. ( sorry for the crooked photo!) I was very happy with how it came out. I worried I would need to add a second dowel to the bottom to add weight and make it hang nice- but there was no need. This was about 6×8 inches. I would love to do another 8×10 project at some point.