Cross-Stitching

Cross-Stitching

If you have no idea what cross stitching is, it’s a type of needlework that uses small x-shaped stitches to create intricate works of art. It has been around for ages, and it is one of the easiest forms of hand embroidery to learn.

Want to try it but don’t know where to start from? This article is here to help you.

Materials you need for cross stitch

If you are new to cross stitch you might wonder what are the best supplies for cross stitch. Below is a list of the essential things you need to cross stitch:

  • Cross Stitch Fabric (most projects are made on Aida or Evenweave Linen fabric)
  • A Cross Stitch Pattern (you can check Pinterest for ideas)
  • An Embroidery Needle (the size will depend on the fabric, but 24 should be OK)
  • Embroidery Floss (after you select the pattern you want to copy, you can check the color codes that you will need to use for that project)
  • Embroidery Hoop (this is optional, but the hoop helps to keep the fabric stretched and you finish stitching you will have your work directly framed in the hoop)

Beginners Tips

First important tip is: start in the middle of your fabric! It’s easier and this way you make sure you have plenty of room for your work. You can quickly find the center by folding your fabric two times double.

Then thread your needle just as you would a needle for hand sewing. Don’t make a knot in the tail end. You will stitch over the tail as you work to secure it without needing a knot. Another important thing is to aim for an even tension on your stitches. Don’t pull too hard as they will warp the fabric, and don’t leave them to loose so they will look sloppy.

One annoying thing about cross stitching is that the embroidery floss tends to get twisted as you stitch. Every once in a while, let your needle hang freely to let the thread unwind.

Also very important: do not forget the backside of your project. Don’t make it look too messy just because no one is going to look at it. Avoid making long jumps because they might show through the openings on the front. When you have to skip more then 4 blank pixels, I recommend that you secure your floss and start with a new thread.

And finally, be consistent in your stitching. The first line of your cross should always be leaning in the same way. It doesn’t matter if you start your cross stitch going ‘////’ or ‘\\\\’ as long as you are consistent with this pattern over the entirety of your project.

How to make a basic cross stitch

Our golden tip for making perfect cross stitches is to start making all the first legs of your cross stitches as per your cross stitch pattern.

After that you can easily stitch the second leg without having to look at your pattern.

Cross stitching projects for beginners

Years ago, I found this cute Garfield pattern online and decided to give it a try. This was my first cross stitching project and it came out really nice. I bought the materials I needed and just went for it! I found out that cross stitching is actually quite relaxing.

Then, years later, as a gift to my boyfriend, I decided to do a cute little panda (as his nickname used to be ‘Panda’).

For this one I bought a kit with all the materials included. I didn’t have time to finish the background of this one, as I had to give this on a specific date, but I think it still looks cute anyways!

Over time cross stitch hasn’t really had the recognition it deserves. It is actually quite fun, relaxing and a bit of a secret talent to have. There is no such as getting bored when you can take your little cross stitch kit with you wherever you go.

Fear not, because all though a finished cross stitch project looks super fancy and detailed, it is actually really easy to pick up. Give it a try and be surprised!

 

Journaling

Journaling

I believe writing can be one of the best ways to deepen our self-awareness and gain clarity about various aspects of our lives. One of my goals for this year is to try journaling every day.

So I prepared this journaling challenge for you. It’s a 21-day challenge so you can really implement this as a new habit, with 21 questions for self-reflection through writing.

Some of the benefits of maintaining a journaling practice are:

  • Find clarity about your thoughts and feelings: Do you often feel confused inside without being able to be sure what you want or are feeling? Writing down what you are thinking and feeling for just a few minutes helps bring clarity to all of this;
  • Knowing Yourself Better: By writing regularly, you are able to identify patterns in your thoughts, understand what causes each of your emotions, and resolve issues that you may have difficulty dealing with;
  • Reduce Stress: Writing about negative emotions such as anger, sadness, disillusionment or shame helps to shed weight and reduce the intensity of those emotions. In addition, we often provoke stress reactions in ourselves because we have a constant and endless loop of thoughts that recur inside our head. The act of writing helps to break this cycle, almost spewing some thoughts from within us to paper;
  • Finding solutions to problems or conflicts: Writing lets you put your thoughts in order and helps you make much clearer connections between different concepts. In addition, problem solving is often found creatively and not just analytically, and writing is a creative activity, you are getting in touch with that part of your brain, helping creative ideas to emerge.

 

Week 1

Day 1

What’s more important in my life?

Day 2

My favorite way to spend the day is…

Day 3

What has surprised me most about my life, or about life in general?

Day 4

Today I make a list of all questions I need an answer for urgently

Day 5

How should I live, knowing I will die?

Day 6

When was the last time I left my comfort zone?

Day 7

Today I make a list of all the things that inspire me: people, books, music, art, quotes, websites, etc.


Week 2

Day 8

What worries me about the future?

Day 9

I feel happy and good on my skin when…

Day 10

What were my biggest mistakes so far and what can I learn about them?

Day 11

How much has my life been under my control so far?

Day 12

Is what others think of me really important?

Day 13

What do I want from life?

Day 14

Which is worse: failing or never trying?


Week 3

Day 15

What topics do I need to learn more about in order to achieve a fuller, more fulfilling life? (Hint: Put time on the calendar to do it!)

Day 16

How do I care about what matters most in my life?

Day 17

What am I abdicating?

Day 18

How would I like others to remember me at the end of my life?

Day 19

If I could talk to my “me” 10 years ago, what would be the most important thing I would have to say?

Day 20

What would you do differently if I loved myself unconditionally?

Day 21

Today I write the words I need to hear myself

 

End of Week 3 Challenge: Do a personal SWOT analysis