Now I can’t take much credit for designing this as I found some very similar images online as inspiration. But I think it has a bit of everything- balloons, a house and it’s absolutely minuscule. Also, it’ll only take you a couple of hours to put together, so this cross-stitch would make a great present.
You will need:
- about 15x15cm square of 22 count aida.
- embroidery thread- black, yellow and then at least 7 other colours. In a pinch, you could use cotton.
- a fine needle
- optional: embroidery hoop. If you’re new to stitching this will help you to keep your tension correct, so I would recommend it but it’s by no means essential.
Note: With aida, the higher the count, the smaller the squares as the number corresponds to the number of holes per inch. You could make this bigger by just using different aida and the doubling up the strands of embroidery thread you use.
Work with a single strand of thread if you are using 22-count aida.
- Feel free to use my pic as a reference image. OR you could use this handy dandy ‘chart’ I made
- I started with the balloons, though now I’m not entirely sure why! I started out by trying to slavishly copy another design but actually that’s quite tricky when it’s a photo rather than a nice pattern.
- Anyway, use one colour at a time and pick out a few stitches that aren’t too close to one another. Don’t be too precious about this as I think it will look good however it turns out. I would recommend saving a couple of pale, neutral-ish colours, such as yellow and pink, until last and using them to fill in any gaps.The thread will become very thick, but don’t worry about this.Next, I worked on the house. I used the bottom right corner of the balloon mass as a reference point for the uppermost point of the house. Leave the balloon strings until last, and I would say this is a good way to start as you don’t need to go back on yourself or carry long bits of thread across the back of your design. If you do carry thread in this way, the black might show through the aida.
- You can see that I did the windows before starting the outline. I think I did this so that the yellow thread wouldn’t be visible on top of the black. Go ahead and do the yellow first if you’re good at counting stitches, but it is a bit of a headache. I carried the thread down from the balloon mass and between the windows. Otherwise, it would be virtually impossible to work the ends of the thread under the stitches at the back to secure them.
- You can see here that I worked the windows when the yellow thread was live.Either way, finish the out line of the house and the highlighted windows. The balloon strings are single long stitches connecting the balloon mass and the house.Secure the ends of the black thread and you’re done!If your design looks a bit messy with fingerprints etc, you can block it by gently washing it in lukewarm water with a tiny bit of delicate fabric soap or baby shampoo. Don’t wring the fabric or you might distort the stitches. Just squeeze the water out as best you can and leave on a clean towel in a warm place to dry. You can then iron the piece so it looks perfect. I didn’t do this stage as the fabric looked fine and I knew I would be framing it, which helps to stretch everything out nicely anyway.You’re done! This cross-stitch looks great in a tiny frame like this.