I have loved cross stitch for – eek – twenty-five years, and so was really excited to put together a little starter kit for our gorgeous niece’s sixth birthday.
I put in the following:
- 8 shades of stranded cotton;
- 14 count Aida. (This is a woven mesh fabric where the “count” indicates how many squares there are per inch. I’d planned to get 11 count, as sewing with this gives good big cross stitches, but the store I went to didn’t stock it, and I’m sure our nimble-fingered niece will be fine with the slightly more delicate 14 count);
- cards for mounting and presenting the finished pieces;
- a little zippered bag to keep the cotton and needles in;
- a few simple patterns gleaned from Pinterest and laminated (including a lovely ballerina one, not in the picture above, picking up the ballet theme in the bag fabric).
For the bag, I used the 6 inch pattern and tutorial at Peggy Sew, and the fabric was from Hobbycraft (£8/metre, but only a little is needed).
I’ll definitely make more of the bags, and next time will try using interfacing or looking for a thinner fleece for the lining than the one I used, as it came out a little bulky.
It was a straightforward project, thanks to the very clear and well illustrated tutorial, and the only difficulty was of my own making. I was feeling particularly smug about the zip seeming to go in well, only to realise that I’d sewed right down the middle of it. There followed an anxious few minutes of unpicking and seeing if I’d broken any teeth, but I was lucky. I still need a lot of practice with zips, but at least I’m no longer terrified of them. Or at least, not so terrified.