Christmas Snowflake Cross Stitch

This year, I turned my hand to a bit of cross stitch to make a little Christmas decoration. It came about after I finally found some embroidery hoops that I knew I had but couldn’t remember where! They turned up when I was doing a huge clearout of the bedroom cupboard. Anyway, I had a little kit that had been given to me to make a cross stitch card, unfortunately the design for the card wasn’t really my thing so I instead used the Aida from that to make my snowflake.

Christmas Snowflake Cross Stitch Materials

I decided to do a freestyle pattern as snowflakes are symmetrical and so lend themselves to making it up! I had spotted in one of my Christmas magazines the decoration in the picture above and roughly followed this to start off with. However, the snowflake was far to small to stop at that so I kept adding extra until it filled out the hoop. I just have it resting on the mantelpiece for now, maybe next year I shall cross stitch some more to make a proper display!

Christmas Snowflake Cross Stitch

Butterfly Appliqué Pillowcase

After seeing a cushion in Laura Ashley with cute cups on it, I thought I could do something similar with some scraps of fabric I had bought ages ago when contemplating making patchwork quilts (as if that was ever going to happen!). Instead of making a cushion cover, I decided to use a plain pillowcase as it would require less sewing. So, along with the pillowcase and some scraps of different fabrics I used a pattern, pins, thread, scissors and a sewing machine (probably not essential, however it would take longer sewing by hand).

Laura Ashley teacup pillow

Firstly, I decided on a shape for the appliqué patches. As I have butterfly patterns on other things in the house, and it’s a simple shape to draw, I went for that. Alternatives could be the teacups mentioned above, hearts, cupcakes, flowers, birds, basically anything that is relatively simple to draw and then sew.

I drew the pattern freehand on some paper- only half the butterfly though as I could fold the paper in half and then cut out to give a completely symmetrical shape. I had a couple of attempts to get a size I was happy with- I guess with some careful measuring beforehand you could be more precise!

Butterfly applique design for pillow

I then traced around the pattern on the reverse of each of pieces of fabric, making sure the fabric was ironed flat. These were carefully cut out. I spent a bit of time positioning the cut-out butterflies on the pillowcase, making sure they were spaced evenly across the cover. Carefully pin the butterflies in place.

Applique butterfly pillow

The final stage is to sew the butterflies to the pillowcase. I used a contrasting blue thread and zig-zag stitch, but any stitch that will secure the butterflies in place is of course fine! Finally, I hand stitch the thread ends to neaten everything up. This should withstand going through the washing machine, as long as the fabric chosen is cotton.