Ahoy there, me hearties! Claire from The Bellwether here, to tell you how to add a splash of nautical style to your home with just a few simple stitches. I’m going to let you into a trade secret here – cross stitch is really easy. Honestly, there’s no mystery to it – you just make crosses and that’s THAT.
Here’s what you need to get started on our super-simple anchor design:
- 14 count sky blue aida
- 1 skein of red embroidery thread
- 1 skein of grey embroidery thread
- 4″ wooden embroidery hoop
- embroidery needle
To get started, take your fabric, fold it in half and then in half again. Lightly crease it and then unfold. You’ll see the faint lines which intersect in the centre of the fabric. Place the fabric in the hoop with the centre of the fabric in the centre of the hoop.
You can either start from the centre of the design, or in this case, I’d recommend stitching the anchor first, from the top downwards. It’s roughly the centre of the design, anyway.
Take the grey thread and cut a length roughly 12″ long. Separate the threads so you are only using 2 strands. Thread your needle and we’re ready to go…
Bring your needle up from the underside of the fabric in the bottom left-hand hole of the square you want to stitch in. Draw the thread through slowly, taking care to keep the thread running smoothly, so it does not knot or get snarled up. If you pull too hard, the thread will come all the way through.
Now repeat this to form the second leg of the cross – from the underside, insert the needle of the top left hand corner of the same square and pull the thread through, with the cross being completed by entering the bottom right hand corner from the top side. Now you have one complete cross stitch – easy, was n’t it? Now you need to secure the end of your thread so it does n’t unravel.
As you carry on, flatten the tail of your thread along the underside of your fabric and stitch over it as you go, catching the thread under your stitches. This will keep the thread from unravelling without making your work bumpy or bulky.
Once you’ve completed the grey anchor, secure your threads by weaving your needle in and out of the back of your stitches a few times and draw the thread through, taking care not to go through to the front side.
Switch to red – again, use two strands to stitch the chain and then secure your stitches. Next separate the red thread so you have just one strand in your needle.
For the lettering, we’re going to backstitch. I personally find it easiest to tie a knot in the thread for this, but you can use the same anchoring method as described previously. Count up from the anchor on the chart and locate the square one square on from where you want to start your stitch. Bring the needle through and then stab back through from the top, through the square you wanted to start in, so you are working ‘back’ from where you started. Sounds confusing, but you’ll soon get the hang of it (and there’s plenty of videos on YouTube if you need pointers).
Finish off your lettering, et voila! There you have it, a little seaside themed sampler for your home. Was n’t that simple? Pat yourself on the back and have a biscuit, you’ve earned it.
Enjoyed this tutorial from our Zine? Find more of Claire’s work and her craft kits here.