cross stitch · finishing · tutorial

Mason Jar Pincusion

IMG_7233For this personalized pincushion project I used a small 8-ounce mason jar because that’s what I had on hand, and because I thought it would be the perfect size for storing little things, like a few skeins of floss for a small project. Of course, I could have reused any size mason jar from my cupboard stash, as long as the jar came with a ring and lid separate.

I started with the Stacy Nash Primitives “Monogrammed Pinkeep” chart which I reworked slightly to fit my widemouth jar’s 3” opening, and I ended up adapting it to a 45×45 stitch design that measured 2-7/8×2-7/8” overall flat. I wanted a puffy-looking pincushion, and so figured that this size would fit perfectly inside of the jar ring and once the stuffing was added would pop up just enough to create a nice clean border all the way around.

comboThis I stitched on a remnant of 32-count oyster linen using two strands of DMC floss (926 & 610) over two threads. I chose a lighter weight linen because I knew I would need to screw the lid back onto the jar in the end, and a thicker fabric insert would make that next-to-impossible.

Once the actual stitching was completed, I trimmed my linen to the size of a 6” circle. Using a regular sharp needle and doubled thread, I basted all the way around and about a half-inch inside the edge, and pulled the thread to gather the linen slightly. I had to double the thread to make it strong enough to gather the material without breaking. I don’t think this would work with Aida cloth, as that is too thick and stiff, but the linen I used was just fine.

I stuffed the circle with enough polyfill to make a nice semi-firm cup shape. I like my crafts projects to look perfect, or at least as perfect as I am capable of, and it actually took quite a bit of trial and error to get just the right amount and make absolutely sure that there were no lumps in the stuffing! When I was satisfied with the look and feel, I set the jar lid top in place atop the stuffing and gathered the material tightly and evenly around it, tying off the threads.

Making sure that my cross stitch design was perfectly centered, I ran hot glue under the gathered fabric edge to tack it down to the lid. Using the inside of the jar ring as a template, I cut a 3” circle of felt which I hot glued into place to cover the gathered ends, and then just screwed my pretty new lid onto the jar!

I had everything on hand, so this project cost me nothing, which was a sweet little bonus.

Here’s what I used:
8-ounce widemouth mason jar with ring and lid
Cross stitch design sized to fit within a 3” lid opening
A little polyfill
Small circle of felt (size traced from the ring)
Hot glue gun
cross stitch · finishing

Two nutcrackers

Santa-Nutcracker-1 This year I also stitched little nutcracker pillow ornaments as gifts for both of my sisters.

These are from a Prairie Schooler Nutcracker Santa mini-card design from 1996. The first is on 28-count Evenweave in Mushroom, the second is on 18-count Aida in Oatmeal, both in DMC floss as charted, although I added a border and changed the chart’s feet and belt slightly on the second version. On both I substituted a red seed bead for the one stitch required to represent a holly berry. Santa-Nutcracker-2

Prairie Schooler was for many years my favorite cross stitch designer, and although I’ve stitched plenty of their samplers and annual Santa cards in the past, this is the first time I’ve made up any nutcrackers.

cross stitch · finishing

Gifts for my great-nieces

Kids-Ornaments-2013Finished all three ornaments for my great-nieces on Monday night and took them to the post office on Tuesday morning. I was only one day behind schedule, so I am feeling pretty pleased with myself.

The kids already get tons of great toys and gifts from their family at holiday time, so this year I decided to do something handmade and personalized for their Christmas tree instead. In that sense, these are really more like gifts for their parents, I suppose! These were a lot of fun to stitch, and even though there were a few moments when I was afraid my hands would give out before I could get them done in time, it all worked out just fine.

Each ornament is a Lizzie Kate Monthly Stamp Flip-It design and was stitched in 18-count Aida Oatmeal using DMC floss as indicated in each chart. I substituted my own buttons for the ones indicated, and changed the names of the months to the childrens’ names by playing around in MacStitch. The designs were finished as little stuffed hanging pillows, with cotton print backs and cloth ribbon from my fabric stash.

cross stitch · finishing

Woof & Meow finished

Woof-Meow-Lizzie-KateHere are Lizzie Kate’s “Woof” and “Meow” finished as Christmas ornaments. I tried several different finishing techniques before deciding on this one. Sometimes simple is best! I hope my niece and soon-to-be nephew-in-law will like them as much as I enjoyed stitching them. Both stitched on 28-count evenweave in Mushroom from Michael’s Crafts, using DMC floss as charted.