I pulled out some cross stitch projects recently and remembered how much I LOVE it! I find it very relaxing to stitch those precise little crosses and end up with a picture.
My brain started ticking…
Cross stitch… quilt along… St Patrick’s Day… rainbows… yes, my brain jumps here and there!
But I put all those thoughts together and decided to create some mini cross stitch charts based on quilt blocks – combining two crafts I love! With St Patrick’s Day coming soon and my well-known love of rainbows (see this rainbow crochet and this rainbow crochet), I decided to use rainbow colours for my stitching.
I couldn’t stop at one chart though! I’m going to share a series of rainbow blocks – nine altogether – over the next couple of weeks. All of them will use the same colours and can be stitched as individual mini projects or put together into a larger project. I’m so excited about these!
Here are the rainbow colours I’ve chosen to work with. They are all DMC thread – my favourite for stranded embroidery cotton. But I’ve included the Anchor colour numbers in my list below in case that’s your preference.
Red: DMC – 321 (Anchor – 9046)
Orange: DMC – 740 (Anchor – 316)
Yellow: DMC – 743 (Anchor – 302)
Green: DMC – 704 (Anchor – 256)
Blue: DMC – 799 (Anchor – 136)
Indigo: DMC – 311 (Anchor – 148)
Violet: DMC – 550 (Anchor – 102)
Rainbow Block 1
This first block is rainbow stripes. The finished block is 26 stitches square and I have stitched mine on 16 count Aida cloth. Aida cloth is a special type of cloth with very even threads that form perfect squares with easy to see holes for stitching cross stitch. It is available in various “counts” or sizes, which refers to how thick the threads are. The larger the count number that smaller the cross stitches will be, so beginners often start on 12 count Aida cloth which has nice big squares and is easier to work with. You could also buy beautiful linen especially for cross stitching and hardinger work that has very even threads.
I’m planning to stitch all nine of my rainbow blocks for display in a frame so I have stitched this one in the middle of my fabric. I’ve started with fabric that is approximately 30cm square so there will be plenty of room for all of the blocks. I have stitched my sample with two strands of thread. If you use Aida in count 14 or 12, you might prefer to use three strands of thread at a time. It really is up to you and what you think looks best so stitch a few stitches and see what you think.
Cross Stitch Tips
- I find it easier to find the middle of my fabric and start stitching near the middle of the design. See my tip below for finding the middle of your fabric to start your cross stitch.
- Putting your fabric in a hoop can make it easier to stitch.
- Avoid knots on the back of your work if you can - click here to learn how to start stitching without a knot.
- Work each colour block – this means you don’t have to change colours all the time.
- Avoid skipping too far across stitches on the back of your work – it leaves loops that you might catch with your needle later and cause your work to pucker.
- Work all your stitches the same way so they look uniform. On my work all the bottom stitches of the crosses go from bottom left to top right, then all the upper stitches go from top left to bottom right.
- It’s all about counting the stitches – each little square on the chart is one cross stitch.
Enjoy Stitching! Look out for more charts soon.
More Blocks in this series – click on the pictures to see the charts: