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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Gingham Hearts

This kit came from one of those British cross-stitching magazines, I forget which.  The instructions had one cross stitching on the gingham (duh), but I thought I'd try some chicken scratch stitching, which I learned about from Alicia Paulson's Embroidery Companion (a great book, by the way).

Only, I didn't take into account how tiny this gingham is -- at least sixteen squares per inch, when most chicken scratch is done on 1/4 inch or 1/8 inch gingham.  I used just one strand of floss and spent a lot of time with the hoop just a few inches from my face.  Three of Paulson's diamond motifs created too tiny a heart, so I expanded the design using this heart pattern (that site also has some info about this style of embroidery).
The effect of the loop stitches is pretty neat; there's a reason why this stitch is also called Depression Lace or Amish Lace.  I recommend a Flickr search to see all sorts of nifty patterns.

For the second heart I took the easy way out and just sewed on some pink seed beads:
The resulting texture is great, and fun to play with.

The hearts, all sewn up:
The chicken-scratch one came out kind of lumpy and misshapen, because the not-high-quality fabric slid around while I was sewing it.  For the beaded heart I basted the fabric to the felt backing first, and that worked much better.  In both cases, I forgot to sew in the ribbon hangers, so I had to tack those on later.


  1. ooooh...I love the bead look! and having felt behind the fabric is a great idea for stabilizer!

  2. Especially because this was not the highest quality fabric. (Although, I now realize what I wrote is not clear -- the basting happened after I sewed the beads, for when I was sewing the gingham to the felt to then stuff it.)

    The beads were lots of fun. Size 8 or 6 seed beads would probably work well on larger ginghams.