A Cross Stitch Christmas Guide- Making Sure Your Christmas Cross Stitching is a Success
Do you want to cross stitch christmas presents and want some helpful tips? This 8 part plan will make all your cross stitch Christmas cards, stockings and gifts a success.
The most important advice is START EARLY!!!!!
That said, we have all started that ‘must have’ for Christmas kit or chart, so here are some pointers to make sure that it all turns out perfectly and you still have time to stuff the turkey, make the bread sauce, wrap the presents, finish the decorating, buy in all the fruit and veg ……….
We have some great reviews of some of our favourite Christmas stocking charts and kits and atutorial with a step by step guide to making your own stocking.
My favoutite part so far is the cross stitch Christmas card ideas where we have ideas for everyone whether they are friends or a family member
1. START EARLY – THIS CAN MEAN THE YEAR BEFORE.Christmas cross stitch kits and charts are always cheaper in January than in October/November, so buy them early. Make a list of all those people you want to make a gift for, and a rough idea of what they might like, a spectacle case, wall hanging, Christmas Stocking, Tree skirt (this is a biggie make sure you have plenty of time), or a picture sewn onto a t shirt using waste canvas. If you are stuck thinking of presents we have several tutorials. Try the cross stitch Christmas ornament tutorial through the link below or have a look at our favourite ornament kits
Want to make a cross stitch Christmas ornament?
2. BE REALISTIC If you have a list of 20 people wanting stockings or tree skirts, start in January! It is a fact that the average stitcher sews approximately 2.5cm or 1 inch per hour. Of course this depends on whether all the cross stitches are in a block or spread over a larger area and whether you have to change colour etc. So estimate how long for each project, then double it and add a little fate time in. Now do you really have enough time to cross stitch and sleep?
3. AMBITIOUS IS EXTRA If you have never cross stitched before, yes it is a fairly simple hobby and can produce the most beautiful gifts. But be realistic maybe a few simple cards this year and then work up to the biggies next year. If you are an avid cross stitcher with plenty of experience remember that that quilt may be a stunning gift for the newlyweds at Christmas but it will mean putting on hold other larger projects for some considerable time.
We have featured both large and small cross stitch Christmas charts in our reviews
4. STOCK UP Fabric that is red or green or even sky blue is often at a shortage during the Christmas period, not only that but buying all your supplies in September/October can strain the budget. Start in January buy fabrics or threads each month ticking off on your list as you go along.
A good idea is to check out forums, people sell off or are willing to swap cross stitch threads, fabric or even charts. Auction houses such as ebay are good browsing BUT check out prices from companies first, as bargains on Ebay may end up being more expensive than buying items from your local retailer!
5. FREE CHARTS! There’s no such thing as free lunch it may be said BUT the internet can yield some sites who offer free charts. Some are simple and very country orientated, but most are excellent charts that are perfect for cross stitch Christmas ornaments, cards etc. WARNING! You may only use a free chart and may not sell it or claim it as your own.
Browsing the internet for cross stitch Christmas charts can be a long and laborious task. Start with a good search engine, my favourite is GOOGLE, in the search terms bar put in a basic request for example FREE CROSS STITCH PATTERNS OR CHARTS. Or you can try more specific for example doing a calendar for my brother and his American wife I needed a Thanksgiving chart (for free). My search terms were Thanksgiving Cross Stitch. I found a lovely little cornucopia chart, perfect.
Be aware that time mysteriously leaps forward when you are on the computer, hours go back like minutes! Limit yourself or you will spend all evening searching for a red cardinal chart and not actually sewing anything!
6. TIME TABLE YOURSELF So you’ve got your list of people and gifts, you’ve estimated how long to complete each cross stitch Christmas gift, now be ruthless with yourself! Make a timetable (see below), and stick to it. Steal time (see number 7) wherever you can, and re-evaluate your list as Christmas approaches, you may have to forego stitching everyone a card, or get Great aunt Maud some smellies instead.
7. STITCH WHEREVER WHATEVER In order to keep on track with your cross stitch Christmas presents take your smaller projects (cards, gift tags etc) with you to work, and use some of your lunch hour, or when you are travelling by train, plane or as a passenger in a car. Get yourself a nice bag (even a large food bag is good), make sure you have a packet of wet wipes and some spare needles as well as your fabric and threads and a small cutter or scissors. REMEMBER these are not allowed on an aeroplane! You can however take a thread cutter made especially for flying. Imagine completing your Christmas cross stitch gifts lying on the beach!
And if you, like me, need to shade in the stitches you have done on the chart with a pencil or a highlighter. Put this into a smaller bag or get one with a propelling nib or top. It is surprising how quickly you can get through a small chart by “stealing” time.
8. TRICKS AND TIPS Obvious? Don’t stitch when you are tired, the old saying more haste less speed is a true one, finishing off a project only to have to undo most of it is not a good idea. This will help you to finish your Christmas cross stitch items on time.
Thread a couple of needles with different colours, stick them into a rubber and use them as you need to, it does save time honestly.
With counted cross stitch, count then recount again, this will make sure that you don’t make too many mistakes. If you do make a mistake BEFORE unpicking make an evaluation as to whether it really will make a difference that will ruin your piece.
If French knots are your undoing, use a bead instead; I keep a supply of small black beads which I use for centres of flowers or eyes.
If you need to wash your cross stitch try with tepid water at first, no chemicals. No wadding?, you can use cotton wool on small projects.
Follow this guide and hopefully all of your cross stitch Christmas presents will be finished in plenty of time with time to relax before the big day.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO ENJOY YOUR STITCHING, IF IT STARTS TO BECOME A CHORE AND YOU BEGIN TO LOATHE YOUR CROSS STITCH TIME, STOP, THROW AWAY YOUR TIMETABLE AND LIST AND RETHINK WHAT YOU WILL GIVE INSTEAD!
If you have any cross stitch Christmas tips then please let us know!