Learning to cross stitch isn't as hard as you may think. If I can do it, so can you! It helps to have a simple pattern to get you started. Pretty pink ombre hearts are an easy place to start.
Winter is the perfect time to begin a new indoor hobby. Cross stitching is a cure for cabin fever. Needlework has been proven to calm frazzled nerves. It makes me feel more relaxed. I enjoy stitching under quilts with a good movie or my favorite TV shows playing in the background.
It might be nice to give your favorite hobbyist a Christmas gift of thread, a hoop, a needle and this ombre hearts pattern. Valentine's Day is right around the corner too.
This project is completely customizable too. For example, use different shades of lavender instead of pink or DMC's new wine colored tones. Just visit a local Michael's or needlework store and select varying shades of DMC floss in your favorite colors or click HERE to see the different shades of DMC floss. Stitch as many rows of hearts as you'd like. You can even select a rainbow of different colors. Put your own spin on this project and have fun! If you're getting more serious about cross stitching, it's good to invest in a magnifier and a standing or table top OttLite.
This pattern was featured in Homespun Magazine's Valentine's' Day issue.
Ombre Hearts Tutorial
For This Project You'll Need
- DMC Embroidery Floss in the following colors: 600, 601, 602, 604, 605 or your favorite ombre shades.
- One 6 1/2 inch embroidery hoop. If you're not planning on framing the finished piece in the hoop, you can use a smaller 4-inch hoop for stitching.
- A 10 by 10 inch piece of white 28-count belfast linen
- Size-24 tapestry needle. I use Bohin Brand.
- Embroidery Scissors. I use Bohin Brand "Heart" Scissors.
- Needle threader (optional, but very helpful)
Let's Cover The Basics
Embroidery floss is composed of six easily separated strands. Cut about a 12-15 inch piece of floss and separate the single, thicker strand into six individual strands of floss. The photo below shows the six thinner strands separated from the large strand. Use two strands of floss to thread your needle for this project. Needle threaders make this task much easier.
28-count linen is a good choice for beginners because because the grid of the fabric is simple to see. The lower the count (or number), the easier it is to see the squares of the fabric.
Place your fabric in the embroidery hoop. Embroidery hoops help keep the fabric taught.
Tip: If you find the ends of the fabric are starting to fray, take the fabric out of the hoop and cut the edges with pinking shears or cover the edges with artist tape. In a pinch, cover the ends with masking tape. Remember to remove the tape as soon as you finish stitching the project.
Start cross stitching at the left corner of the fabric, leaving a border around the hearts for framing in the hoop. Begin by pulling the threaded needle from the backside up the frontside of the fabric, leave about an inch of thread in the back (the tail). Hold the tail against the fabric in the direction you plan to stitch and work the first few stitches over it to secure it.
Following the diagram seen below, begin by bringing your needle up from the back of the fabric to the front by inserting it in the hole on the graph marked 1 and down through the hole marked 2. Go up through 3 and down through 4.
You are making small "X's in the fabric by stitching over two threads of fabric. If you look closely at the center of the cross stitch (underneath the "X"), you'll see a hole in the fabric. It's kind of like working a tic-tac-toe grid. I always use the center holes to guide me along. Another way to think of it is making an X in the center of a square. Can you can see the hole in the center of the square, under the X, in the graph below? That's what will start to happen as you start to stitch. You'll begin to see the squares in the grid of the fabric clearly, especially if you use a magnifier.
|Image courtesy of Just Cross Stitch|
Always stitch from left to right, bottom to top. After you've stitched a few X's, your eyes will begin to see the square pattern in the fabric much easier. Do the first row of stitches and then come back and forth doing each additional row to form the hearts.
The Design Chart
To Get The Free Instant PDF Download click: HERE.
Use the heart design chart below to stitch 5 hearts going left to right. Each dot shows you where to place the cross stitches. The squares on the chart correspond to the squares on the fabric. Every square on the chart that has a dot will require a cross stitch.
Stitch the hearts in the following order:
First Row (Top Row): DMC Color 605
Second Row: DMC Color 604
Third Row: DMC Color 602
Fourth Row: DMC Color 601
Fifth Row (Bottom Row): DMC Color 600
To end a thread, run your thread through the stitches on the back of the fabric then clip off the end.
Frame the piece in your embroidery hoop. You can use the embroidery hoop to frame it. Cut away any extra fabric.
Ombre Hearts © 2015 Designed by Jill Nammar. All rights reserved. This pattern is intended for personal use.
xx ~ Jilly
xx ~ Jilly