Publishing cross stitch patterns, tutorials, and other stitching information online since 2001 at Stitching the Night Away.
A Hobby That Will Tie You Up (In A Good Way)
Cross stitching is not a new hobby. Far from it, as counted-thread embroidery has been around for centuries.
However, the modern cross stitch hobby is something that is worth considering if you are looking for something that can help you while away time and stave off the boredom - and you get something solid out of it too!
Cross Stitch Has Been Modernized
As mentioned previously, cross-stitching is not particularly new. Originally, embroidery using cross stitches was quite limited. It was used to make patterns on the borders of tablecloths or clothes, usually with just one color and using floral or geometric patterns.
Complex patterns with many shades, like Berlin wool work and petit point, were also produced, but they were quite expensive and not very many people had access to that wide a palette of thread colors.
However, when cloth and thread became readily available and cheaper to produce, and advances in thread coloring were made, a revolution took place.
The cross stitching of today features highly-detailed cross stitch patterns that take advantage of the range of colors to produce graded color effects and the illusion of shading. The end result is an image that looks more three-dimensional and more realistic.
Inspirations for Cross Stitch Patterns Come from Everywhere.
Holidays are perennial favorites. Maybe you want a cross-stitched Valentine's Day gift for your loved one, or a Christmas-themed pattern to help you get in the mood (and give you something to during those few lazy days). How about an Easter Day diorama in cloth and thread?
Perhaps you prefer something on the geometric side. There are lots of designs that apply the cross stitching style to geometric patterns. Take for example the Celtic knot style of cross stitching, which makes extensive use of the artistic heritage of the Celts. Maybe you prefer the complexity that a snowflake pattern has, or the old-school feel of a paisley pattern. Or perhaps the mandala style is more your thing?
Life's daily items and situations also make for great inspiration. Maybe you'd like to do something along the lines of artistically-arranged fruits, or a detailed country home. How do you feel about patterns based on animals? Maybe a ballerina or a wedding scene?
Words in Stitches
Of course, you can also use cross-stitches and other stitches to "write" text.
It can be as simple as adding your initials or a signature, or as complicated as actually writing long spans of text using thread.
Inspirational messages, endearing quotes, and religious passages are some of the texts that make their way into stitch form.
Most of these style of cross stitch patterns are suitable for all levels from beginner all the way up to advanced stitchers and as an added bonus you get to work in a few different stitch types, so they're great fun as well.
Art in Stitches
Then there are the many designs derived from works of art. Fancy Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh? How about Michelangelo's famous work on the Sistine Chapel ceiling? Or perhaps you would prefer the quirky Guernica by Picasso?
In fact, there are so many popular art pieces that have been made into cross stitch patterns that the hardest part is choosing the one that "feels right". Cross stitching is indeed a product of creative minds and hands, and will certainly engage you as a favored hobby.
Do you love cross stitch as much as I do! - I love comments :)
peajock24 on August 05, 2012:
i like cross stitching.. i do have a lot of big designs completed...
Nancy Carol Brown Hardin from Las Vegas, NV on February 23, 2012:
Cross stitching is not for me...but my daughter does a beautiful job with it. Thanks for sharing a beautiful informative lens.
Joan4 on February 23, 2012:
I enjoyed cross stitch for years! My eyes don't let me do that anymore, but I sure spent hours and hours creating and I am thankful for the experience.
Pam Irie from Land of Aloha on February 23, 2012:
I used to cross stitch a lot and make a few of my own designs used grid paper. I pick up my aida cloth now and again to work on things. It's relaxing!
gottaloveit2 on June 29, 2011:
I used to love to cross stitch but, sadly, my eyes don't love it as much as I do! My counted cross stitch patterns always had a bit of my own flair to them...
anonymous on June 03, 2011:
I do love cross stitch! I have about 100 or more kits just waiting for 'someday' plus hundreds of patterns stored.
Jennie Hennesay from Lubbock TX on May 31, 2011:
I love the effect of cross stitch and I'm amazed at the details possible with it, but I'm not a proficient cross stitcher myself. Great lens!
Loretta (author) from United States on May 31, 2011:
@ohcaroline: Thank you! I have way more unfinished projects and works in progress as well, it keeps me sane oddly enough. I think of it as stress relief therapy.
ohcaroline on May 31, 2011:
You've done quite a bit of cross stitch. I have lots of finished pieces and unfinished pieces. I really enjoy doing it. Your work is excellent.
Morticella LM on May 31, 2011:
I do nice lens