After seeing a giant cross-stitched monogram in an equally giant embroidery hoop on Frolic! last spring, I decided to do a trio of framed monograms for each of our daughters' bedroom walls. As usual, I bought all of the materials immediately and then did nothing for almost 18 months! I don't know what came over me in July, but I up and finished all six hoops in two days!
The first--and arguably sweetest--project tackled was the giant cross-stitch. Each one took about an hour, but that's an hour that includes DVR watching, so if you concentrated you could probably get it done much faster!
- 1 embroidery hoop per letter (mine were 9" circles)
- 1 square of cotton fabric, cut about 3" bigger on each side than your hoop (I used 1 30x30" flour sack towel for all 6 hoops!)
- 1 thingy of embroidery floss
- 1 embroidery needle
- graph paper
- black marker
- water-based fabric marker
- clear-drying glue (Elmer's, Tacky Glue, etc.)
- Lay your hoop over your graph paper and lightly trace the inside edge of the hoop with a pencil. This will help you stay centered and within your hoop's boundaries when sketching your letter.
- Using the circle you just traced on your graph paper as a guide, sketch your letter using large X's. If you don't like how it looks, by all means, adjust it. That's why you're using pencil! My "E" was a no-brainer, but I had to finagle my "A" a bit to make it look right.
- When your letter looks the way you want it to, use a thick, black marker to make a big dot on each corner of each X (not the center of each X, but rather the points where the X's meet each other).
- Tape your graph paper to a sunny window. Center your fabric over your graph paper and tape that up as well, gently pulling the fabric so that it is taut, not slack.
- Using a water-based fabric marker, trace the big black dots from your graph paper onto your fabric. You don't have to make big dots on your fabric; you just need a point big enough to see.
- Remove your fabric from the window and transfer it to your embroidery hoop, centering the letter and pulling the fabric taut.
- Thread your needle with embroidery floss. I didn't want my thread doubled over, but feel free to double it if you want extra heavy X's. Knot the end of the floss, and start cross-stitching! You might want to come up with a game plan for cross-stitching your letter before you actually start embroidering. You want to make your X's with as few starts and stops as possible; you don't want to have to knot your floss and start all over on a new section if you can help it. If you've never cross-stitched before, here's a great tutorial to help you get started.
- When you are finished cross-stitching your letter, remove your fabric from the embroidery hoop and soak it in cold water until the fabric marker has completely faded. Let your fabric air dry; iron it if needed after drying.
- Pop your fabric back into your embroidery hoop. This is the last time you'll put it in, so make sure that the letter is centered, that the screw on the hoop is where you want it, that the fabric is smooth, etc. Trim the excess fabric so that is extends about 1/2" beyond the hoop. Put a thin line of glue all the way around the inside of the embroidery hoop, and gently tuck the fabric little by little until it is all tucked in and glued to the inside of the hoop.
Tomorrow: Button Letters