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Tips & Techniques

Holiday Sharing

We've talked about sharing finished projects as holiday gifts, but why not share the passion for this craft with someone this holiday? If your family is anything like mine, there are always times where everyone is chatting and eagerly looking for something to engage in, be it a game, baking, decorating, cleaning, etc. Why not use this time to teach a family member to cross stitch? It could be a niece, nephew, child, grandchild, cousin, aunt or uncle -- the possibilities are limited only by those who've not held a needle and thread before. How to approach, you ask? Well, let's see:

  1. Assume that the opportunity will present itself and plan ahead. Bring some blank Aida cloth, preferably 14-count, in white or off-white, since these are the easiest to see. Also, bring a palette of floss colors that will work for a myriad of projects and personal tastes. And last, but not least, bring a few simple, fun patterns. For some ideas, try one of these: Chevron Christmas, Star Garland or Winter Silhouettes. Note: Remember, NEVER make copies of patterns; everyone will need their own copy of the magazine or leaflet unless it's a free pattern that allows for copies! You can order magazines by clicking here.
  2. Click here for larger image.
    Click here for larger image.
    Star Garland Ornaments 2013
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    Click here for larger image.
    Winter Silhouettes Just CrossStitch December 2013
    Click here for larger image.
  3. Break out your favorite project and start working. When someone asks about it, rather than simply showing them your beautiful handiwork, offer to help them make their own. Or better yet, start working on one of the projects you brought to teach, and wait for the oohs and aahs!. When they start, put a needle and thread into waiting hands and share that love of cross stitching with someone.
  4. If you have young children in your family, you might even consider 10-count Aida or plastic canvas to get them started with the methods and techniques of needlework. The same might go for other family members who might have trouble seeing or handling 14-count Aida; try different base "fabrics" because there is something for nearly everyone!
  5. Consider packaging up gift bags with the floss, fabric and chart (magazine or leaflet) for those who might have expressed an interest in the past. But don't just hand it over during gift exchanges; offer to sit and show them how to get started. Share stories about who taught you to stitch, and why you enjoy it so. That small project might just end up becoming part of a new family tradition.
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