At Christmas time, I don’t just have one tree, I have one big tree and several table-top size trees. One of the smaller trees is decorated with crosses and other symbols of Jesus Christ, following the tradition of the Chrismon. Many of the crosses are sterling silver, given to me by my Mom. Others are stiitched on plastic canvas from Designing Women patterns. Still others I have designed myself. This cross is based on a cross from a Celtic tombstone and is in the form of a Greek cross, having four arms equal in length.
I love making cross ornaments to add to this tree.
I used Kreinik #16 braid for the cross and outline. The thicker size of braid is needed because the stitches are straight stitches. You could also use 1/16″ metallic ribbon or Soft Sheen Fyre Werks as alternate threads. If you use ribbon threads, the cross will be more flat and will look solid, almost like fabric, instead of having defined stitches.
The background is filled in with Tent Stitch in silk in a deep color which sets of the metallics in the cross. The entire cross is Goblein Stitches of various lengths except the center which is a Waffle Stitch.
Although the cross was done on 18 mesh mono canvas, it could also be done very nicely on plastic canvas. If you used plastic canvas, you could cut out the background areas instead of stitching them.
- 18 mesh canvas
- 1 spool each Kreinik #16 braid in silver and gold – These threads come in several versions of each metal; pick your favorites
- 1 skein Needlepoint, Inc. silk in dark wine red – Any other dark color could be used. Darker colors will highlight the metallic nicely.
Begin the project by stitching the cross with the silver thread, using Straight Goblein stitches for the arms and ends of the cross and a Waffle Stitch going over 12 stitches for the center.
The Gobelin Stitches for the arms are five threads long. The Gobelin Stitches for the ends are senve threads long.
Waffle Stitches, example diagram below, are made by traveling around the perimeter of a shape crossing to the opposite corner in a regular fashion. The graph shows the number of the stitches with the stitches in light grey. Bring your needle out of the fabric on the odd number and into the fabric on the even numbers. If you are making a Waffle Stitch which is bigger or smaller than the diagram, just continue in the same way until all the holes are used up.
Following the picture, below, stitch with the gold outline. Be sure to mitre all corners. The outline of the cross proper goes over three threads of the canvas. The outer border goes over four threads. There is a space of five threads between the rows of gold.
Because the picture is small, you’ll need the outside count. There are 16 stitches between the outside gold outline of the cross and each corner.
Finish the cross by stitching each of the corners with 4 strands of the silk; one corner is pictured below. Alternate the direction of the Tent Stitch in each corner.
When you have completed the cross, here are two great ways to make a fast DIY finish.
Finish it Yourself
- Iron fusible Web interfacing (with paper backing) onto the back. Cut out the cross and remove the paper. Make a sandwich consisting of the stitching, a loop of thread and a suitable backing material. Iron to fuse and trim.
- Trim the canvas to five threads from the edges. Fold under. Cut a piece of Fun Foam in a coordinating color 1/4″ to 1/2″ bigger all around. Center the folded stitching onto the foam. Apply Turbo Tacky Glue to the back of the ornament and press onto the foam, centering it. Add a hangar to the back of the foam by gluing it.
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
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