Category Archives: Cross-stitch

Hokey Pokey Cross-Stitch Pillow

You put your right hand in. You put your right hand out. You put your right hand in and you shake it all about. You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around. That’s what it’s all about!

Several years ago, I made this Hokey Pokey cross-stitch sampler pillow for my mother’s birthday. That year, I had wanted to make her something, but couldn’t come up with a good, yet simple, idea. Then, a co-worker inspired me with this funny saying she saw at a Cracker Barrel gift shop during a work trip. I found it hilarious! It was equal parts funny and cute—perfect for my mom!


I was also in my subversive cross-stitch phase, so this fit perfectly into my wheel house. I added the squirrels specifically for my mom, too– she is quite the squirrel lover (except when they’re eating the seeds she leaves out for the birds!)

After a trip to see my parents last month, I thought it would be fun to recreate the cross-stitch pattern as a free download. As far as materials, I used 14 ct. Aida and the finished size for the cross-stitch area is about 7” x 7”.

For the pillowcase, I used a standard-envelope pattern. I can’t remember where I found the directions, but there are a slew of bloggers who’ve published tutorials. Delia Creates has a tutorial with great photos, here. You will need to consider how wide you want the cross-stitch area to be on the front panel. Otherwise, it’s your standard-issue envelope pillow.


You can download the Hokey Pokey cross-stitch pattern here.

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Once Upon a Time Cross-Stitch Bookmark

I know reading a book on an iPad or Kindle is in vogue right now, but call me old-fashioned – I like to read a book in print. I love to hear the creak when I first crack open a good hardbound book and smell the ink from the pages. What better way to savor the experience than to cross-stitch your own bookmark?

Usually, I grab a magazine blow-in card or paint chip sample to mark my place in a book, but doesn’t a bookmark seem more official? I originally cross-stitched this Once Upon a Time bookmark for a friend in college. A couple of months ago, I found the graph paper pattern I had drawn so long ago stashed in the back of one of my craft drawers. Almost 20 years later, I thought I should make myself one!

Felt back detail

For this bookmark, instead of buying a pre-made bookmark from the craft store, I used 18-count aida fabric and for the floss — 3 strands for the type and 1 strand for all of the back stitching.  To cover the stitches in the back, I cut out a strip of felt (2” x 6-3/4”) and stitched it to the front with an embroidery needle, using half stitches. Finished size, including fringe is 2-3/4” wide x 7-1/2” long.

Do you have any patterns that you return to almost decades after you made it the first time?

book credit: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
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Vogue Magazine: A Cover Stitchover

About a week ago while I was browsing online, I stumbled upon images of cross-stitched Vogue covers by UK-based artist, Inge Jacobsen, on British Vogue’s website. I was blown away. This wasn’t just stitchery or crafting – this was artistry.

So I kinda geeked out.

The first craft I really gravitated to as a kid was cross-stitch. At some point in my late teens/college years I dropped the hobby because I was frustrated that all the patterns I could find were too homespun for my taste (this was pre-Internet mind you). I made a couple of my own patterns, mostly monograms (future typography buff!), but absolutely nothing compared to this.

It is so awesome that Inge Jacobsen married a “traditional” women’s craft with high fashion. How rock ‘n roll! So of course I had to find out more about her.

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It’s Sew In Vogue

Each cover took more than 50 hours to stitch. Not only that, but Inge stitches right into the cover. No aida fabric or linen here. She makes holes in the paper with the needle first before stitching, to keep from damaging the paper. She explains, “I want the viewer to recognise the obsessiveness of these pieces and gain some understanding and appreciation of the time and effort that was spent on it.”

No kidding.

Not surprisingly, Inge has a fine arts background. While studying photography at Kingston University, she rediscovered cross-stitching, which she learned in elementary school in Denmark. By making a photograph more tactile with stitching and choosing where the emphasis should be, she created a connection between an ancient craft and haute couture. On her website, she writes:

It seems appropriate to be using fashion magazines as women are often objectified within them. There is also a link between the feminine craft of cross stitching and the women’s magazine. I’d like the viewer to see the connection between women’s hobbies from generations ago and the hobbies and past-times of my generation. I can, and have, spent long periods of time reading Vogue magazines just like my grandmother and her sisters spent a long time cross-stitching.

Now Inge is back in the news having just completed a commission for Danish jeweler, Georg Jensen’s ad campaign. Luckily this time she had a little help from some students from the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace. How posh!

For more samples of her work, please visit her website here. I cannot wait to see what she does next.

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