Today’s Easter-themed post is a collaboration with the lovely Hannah from Hannah Handmakes! Hannah is an amazing cross-stitcher, and she creates the most gorgeous hoops and kits. I was thrilled when she contacted me about doing a blog post swap! I love collaborating with other makers and it’s great to feature them on my blog (stay tuned for more info about my project…). I’m still a beginner when it comes to cross-stitch, so it’s really great to have Hannah’s expert advice to create this beautiful Easter theme hoop. The following tutorial will guide you through step-by-step, so don’t worry if you’re a beginner like me, as you’ll be able to stitch this in no time! Just look at those pom poms too – fab! Keep reading on to find out how to make this Happy Easter hoop from Hannah Handmakes.
You will need
16 count, white Aida
Embroidery thread – DMC 224, 368, 827, 3042 and 3078. Or pastel pink, green, blue, purple and yellow in your choice of brand.
A size 26 tapestry/cross stitch needle
A pattern (available to download)
A 5 inch hoop or frame to hold your fabric while you’re stitching and to frame it.
A pen or pencil
A comfy spot to sit and stitch (preferably with good light).
A needle minder
Pom pom trim (approx. 16 inches/41cm)
A bag or box to keep your supplies in
A warm drink and yummy snack.
Starting your hoop
You always start stitching in the centre of your fabric and you can find the centre by folding your fabric/aida in half, length ways and width ways. Where they meet is your centre square and you can find the centre of your pattern by following the arrows. Then pop your aida in the hoop, trying to keep it centre. Pull the aida as tight as you can get it; this will make it much easier to stitch on.
Snip your thread ready to use. A good rule to measure it is to pull it from your finger tips to your elbow. Or a handy hint; if you take the full skein and snip all the loops at the bottom end you should be left with strands of thread the perfect length!
For this pattern I recommend using the knotless loop method to start. Take 1 strand of the 6 on your length of thread and fold it in half. Thread your needle where the 2 ends meet, and you should have a loop at the bottom.
Come up the top left hole of the square you are starting on and leave the loop sticking out of the back. Then go diagonally across into the bottom right hole and put your needle in the loop at the back. Pull your thread gently and you should have made a knot. Then continue your stitching.
Making your “X”
Each square on your aida is one full X stitch from your pattern. As I said above, for your first stitch come up the top left hole of the square you are starting on, then go diagonally across into the bottom right square.
Next, come back up the top right hole and back down into the bottom left. Repeat this until you come to the end of the thread or colour you are using.
There are of course other ways to do this. Some people prefer to start from the right hole first and down into the bottom left. And some people do lots of half cross stitches one way and come back over them the other way. Go with whatever you find easiest; the important thing is to be consistent and do each stitch the same.
Tying off your thread
When you come to the end of your thread or you need to swap colours then you need to securely tie off your thread. To do this, you just simply take your needle and thread it under some of the stitches on the back of your hoop.
If you have quite a bit of thread left when you come to the end the you can snip it off and keep it to use again or “park it” (slip it through an unused part of your fabric such as the aida outside of the hoop) to use later.
Backing your hoop
For backing your hoop you can choose to add felt or not. I don’t always add felt to my hoop if I’m hanging it on the wall, but if you are displaying it somewhere else you may want to add it.
And you also need to decide if you are adding pom-pom trim as you will need to glue this on before backing. To glue it on, craft or PVA will work fine. Glue it on slowly and in stages, holding each part down for 10 seconds so it doesn’t move as you continue around the hoop. Then snip any excess off before gluing the last part down.
To measure your felt, take your inner hoop and draw around the outside of it and cut your felt circle out.
For backing you hoop you will need to use 2 strands of thread. Start by doing a running stitch around the edge of your fabric. This is simply a normal stitch going in and out of your fabric. When you have gone all the way around pull gently and your fabric should bunch together, then tie a knot to secure it.
Next, come up through the edge of the fabric next to your hoop and place your felt at the back. Your felt may have pencil lines on from when you cut it. If this is the case then place the side with the pencil lines down so they are hidden.
Now you do the blanket stitch. Put your needle in the felt about an inch away from the edge of the hoop.
Come out right next to where you first came out and make sure your needle is in front of the thread. Pull gently and you will have made your first stitch.
For your second stitch put your needle in about an inch away from your first and an inch away from the edge again. Come straight up by the edge of your fabric and again make sure the thread is behind your needle. Pull gently and you will have made your second stitch. Repeat until you reach the end.
Your Easter hoop is ready to display! 🙂 Thank you so much for this brilliant tutorial, Hannah – there are some really helpful tips here (I had no idea about snipping a skein to get the right thread lengths!). You can follow Hannah on Instagram for more lovely stitchy goodness, or listen to her podcast via her website. If you’re feeling inspired to get cross-stitching, why not treat yourself to a kit? You can also find Hannah Handmakes on Etsy and Not On The High Street.
Hello! Hooray! for Hannah Handmakes
I said earlier that this was a blog post swap, and these are the hoops that I designed! I ended up with two because I had two ideas and I couldn’t decide which one would be best, so I made both. The colours that I have chosen are inspired by mini eggs, which are my favourite Easter treat! I love the colours and thought they would be a perfect colour palette. These colours have inspired my latest post for #craftycolourpalettes which will be live on my blog later today. You can find the templates and tutorial for both of these hoops over on the Hannah Handmakes blog – and they are super easy to stitch so you can make a last-minute Easter project. Yay!
We would LOVE to see your creations if you make our hoops – so do tag @hellohoorayblog or @hannahhandmakes if you share on social media 🙂