Week 20 Creative Challenge : Counted Cross-Stitch

Hi. Thank you for checking out what I made last week for the Creative Challenge I set for myself for 2023. If you, too, are trying to stay creative this year, I hope you’ve been making things you’re happy with!

I tried a new-to-me craft last week – Counted Cross-Stitch.

While I have made quite a few Cross-Stitch on Paper projects, which involve very basic patterns, where you first create a grid on paper and then you stitch it, I’ve never worked with Aida fabric, which has a grid woven right into it, before. Since fabric is much more sturdy than paper, the piece involved a more detailed motif and way tinier stitches and many more of them.

Since I was trying something new and not knowing how it would go, I began with a Mini Kit that I found in the craft section of Dollarama (that’s a chain of dollar stores in Canada, where most items cost no more than about $4 Cdn). I imagine they have similar kits in the “whatever currency applies store” where you live.

I must admit that when I picked this kit up a couple of months ago, I didn’t really have high hopes for it. While it looked cute, I didn’t expect much for the low $1.25 price tag. It had the age recommendation of 5+ on it so it appeared to be for children. Really, I bought the kit for the small sized embroidery hoop which I did, in fact, use for this small embroidery project where I stitched a sprig of clover on a vintage hankie, and it was really helpful for that.

Now that I’ve completed the kit, I have to say that I am impressed with it. I’ve discovered that Counted cross-stitching is actually quite challenging to do! You begin with a blank piece of fabric and have to transcribe the pattern onto it by counting the number of x’s you make. I have high respect for people who do large pieces. My aunt does it and gave my mother a very detailed big one in a frame that I will definitely look at with new eyes from now on.

My 2 1/2 inch square piece took about 8 hours to do, spread over the week, but that’s because I ended up doing quite a bit more stitching than was expected to complete the kit — I didn’t really feel the piece looked finished with just the motif filled in as per the instructions and supplies in the kit, so I chose to fill in the back ground with some cream coloured embroidery thread I had left over from another project. Most Counted Cross-Stitchers don’t do that, as far as I can tell.

Another modification that I made was that I switched out the green embroidery thread with a less florescent tone than the one that came with the kit. Also, I didn’t feel I needed the hoop to work the pattern because the piece of fabric was small enough and stiff enough that I didn’t need it, but I am still happy to have it for other projects. Oh, and I also used a steel sewing needle instead of the plastic one that was provided.

Before I began, I ironed the fabric and then I ironed again after I was done. Both times, I put it between 2 linen napkins to protect it and used high heat and steam to get it really flat.

As for the recommendation that this is suitable for a 5 year old, I simply can’t see that happening at all!

↑ You could use the hoop to display the piece if you want. I’m still deciding what I do with mine. I’m thinking about making it into a small pillow “everlasting sachet”, or maybe I’ll put it in a frame. ↑

When I picked up the kit, I saw that they had a few different ones, so I plan to grab the others when I’m next at Dollarama. As mentioned, I got it a couple of months ago, so I hope they still have them, because sometimes you have to get it when you see it at that store.

Thanks again for reading and here’s wishing you a good week! It’s a long weekend here and we plan to have our first bbq of the season tomorrow. Yum! xo loulou