We have been having such a great time learning to stitch in our Soul Comfort class and creating little patches that can be used in a zillion different ways. I thought it would be fun to share a little stitching project with everyone, along with a free pattern… I hope you enjoy it!
This little bookmark is something you can make with the very most basic stuff, even if you are a beginning stitcher.
I know that I would treasure a hand-made gift like this….I’d keep it and use it forever!
Here’s all you need…a 6″ x 6″ piece of felt or wool (cut in half as shown), a piece of ribbon (mine is about 24″ long), a long-eyed needle and a few colors of embroider thread (any weight of thread will do). I also found a little buckle in my junk drawer that I added to the ribbon. Totally optional.
I used four simple stitches on this bookmark: Back Stitch (for the X and O), Running Stitch (for the red borders), Chain Stitch (for the gold and blue borders), and Buttonhole (aka Blanket) Stitch (for around the edge). If these stitches are new to you, visit this website http://www.needlenthread.com/videos#Embroidery-Stitches-A-Z. It’s my FAVORITE website for stitching tutorials. You’ll find each of these stitches explained with a video tutorial to make it super easy. Warning though…you might get hooked on this site! Super fun!
First, stitch a simple X O on one piece of your fabric. Just eye-ball it. (Here’s a pattern, but it’s so simple you might laugh at it! It’s super easy to just free-hand it). I used a Back Stitch to make the letters, and as you can see, I didn’t worry about making it perfect. 🙂
Now free-hand stitch an oval around the XO. I started with a red Running Stitch. Then keep adding to the oval with a gold Chain Stitch, followed by a blue Chain Stitch, and finally another red Running Stitch.
Now take both of your fabric pieces and cut them to the finished size you want. Mine ended up about 3 1/2″ long and about 2 1/2″ wide. Just make them match because the the 2nd piece of fabric is your backside or lining. Set them aside.
Thread the ribbon through the buckle (optional) and fold the ribbon in half, matching the cut ends.
Now lay out all the pieces….lay the backing fabric down and lay the ribbon on top of it.
Then lay your stitched piece on top of the backing fabric, matching the edges and sandwiching the ribbon between the layers. Pin together (sorry, I didn’t snap a photo of the pinning). At this point I also decided to round the corners. I just eye-balled it and whacked off the corners.
Now use a Buttonhole Stitch (aka Blanket Stitch) around the edges, going through both layers of fabric AND through the ribbons to secure the whole thing together. Guess what?! You’re done! (Confession: I made this at the office and didn’t have an iron…when I take this home I’ll iron it so that it flattens out. If I had had an iron, I probably would have fused all the layers together with Heat & Bond before stitching – but it’s super easy even without those tools.)
Obviously you can use any stitching pattern you like, or make up one of your own. A word done in your own handwriting would be beautiful and meaningful… just anything you want to do. This one is super simple and fast, but think how many different ways you could use this idea!
Tuck this book mark into a greeting card or into a copy of your favorite book for a fabulous gift.
Here’s how it looks with the stitched patch marking your spot in the pages of a book with the ribbon ends sticking out. You could use any width of ribbon and just cut it to the length that you think would work best.
If learning to stitch is something on your “I’d love-to-do” list, this is a fun and fast way to start. Have fun!!