Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cross Stitched Bookmark Tutorial

One of the items I made for my contribution to the Secret Valentine Exchange was a set of three cross stitched bookmarks. Cross stitching is one of those hobbies that I think creates a beautiful finished project, yet not that many people choose to do. For these reasons, I wanted to incorporate a cross stitched present into my swap package. Since my swap partner likes to read, Lauren came up with the idea to turn miniature cross stitched patterns into bookmarks.

After I finished these bookmarks and sent them on their merry way to their new owner, Lauren decided she wanted one as well. So, I decided a cross stitched bookmark would be the perfect addition to her Easter basket. I let her choose the design (she picked a "scene" from the Summer Sampler and adapted it), and then I whipped it up like a short order cook! And when I say I "whipped it up", I really mean that it was a slightly belated Easter gift.

- Cross stitch pattern (I used an adapted design from the Summer Sampler)
- Evenweave fabric (like this one)
- Embroidery floss (colors and quantity depend on your chosen pattern)
- Sewing machine
- Natural colored fabric
- Any other fabric (I used a solid blue, but patterns work just as well)
- Felt (color doesn't matter, it will be hidden)
- 5 inches of 1/2 inch twill tape

First you need to decide the finished size of your bookmark. For example, my finished bookmark is 7.5 x 3.5 inches.

Cross stitch whatever pattern suits your fancy, making sure it's centered on your evenweave fabric (linen). Aim for the linen piece you're cross stitching on to be about 1/2 inch shorter than your finished bookmark on all four sides. My linen piece ended up being 6.5 x 2.5 inches. It works a lot better to cross stitch on a larger piece of linen and then cut it down when you're done. Lauren wanted the arrow patterns repeated three times, with a slight variation to each set of three arrows.
Cut out the natural colored fabric so that it's 1/4 inch longer than your desired finished measurements on each side. Cut out the other fabric of your choice and the felt the same exact size as the natural fabric. You'll need one of each piece per bookmark. I cut my pieces out to be 8 x 4 inches.
Pin the linen cross stitched piece onto the center of the natural colored fabric. Use a tight, short zig zag stitch to sew around the entire linen piece. This helps prevent the linen from fraying from future use. Stitch as close to the edge as possible (while still making sure to securely fasten the linen down) to prevent excess fraying.
Next, place the felt under the natural colored fabric/linen piece. Place the right side of the unused second fabric on top of the right side of the linen piece. Make a loop with the twill tape and sandwich it in between the two top layers at the top of the bookmark. Make sure the loop part is being sandwiched (hidden) and the ends of the twill tape are sticking out of the top. Pin all three pieces together.
With a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew around 3 sides of the bookmark and all four corners. Sew around the two longest sides, the top, and the bottom corners. Leave the straight part of the bottom side unsewn though.

Trim the corners and the excess twill tape hanging over the edge. Turn the fabric so the right sides are now showing. Poke the corners out. Fold the unsewn side so that it matches the rest of the sewn sides. Iron all four sides, and pin the open side shut.
Top stitch around the entire bookmark, as close to the edge as possible.

Trim all of the loose threads, and now you have a wonderful, finished bookmark. Find a book and put that beauty to use! Lauren is using hers in a Biostatistics textbook, how nerdy!