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How To Create Your Very Own Cross-Stitch Sampler

Aug 17, 2007
A cross-stitch sampler is an example of this beguiling craft that has been around for almost as long as cross-stitch itself. It is a decorative piece of work designed to showcase an eye catching variety of motifs, alphabets, and stitches, thereby displaying the stitcher's skill and creativity. Samplers are "busy" patterns with their variety of colors and elements that, when well designed, blend seamlessly into a common theme.

However, many cross-stitch lovers may like some aspects of some samplers, but they really cannot find one that fits with what they want to do. If you are one of those people, then you might wish to consider making your own cross-stitch sampler. While the task may sound daunting, it's nowhere near as difficult as it sounds.

Use Pre-Made Samplers
The easiest way to make a sampler your own is to use a pre-designed sampler and just change a couple of elements, such as the colors; whereby you can substitute your own colors for those listed in the pattern. You may also be able to change some wording or small design features.

However, if your need is in the design elements, you can actually use a combination of pre-designed samplers. Do some shopping on the internet and in your local craft store. You can take some of the best aspects of the designs to put them into your own sampler. You can accomplish this task in a variety of ways.

In order to compile your own designs, you can photocopy patterns and then cut and paste them onto a piece of paper, coming up with an accurate count for your pattern. You might need to fill in some blank spaces and make some adjustments. You can also take a piece of graph paper and copy down each design where you want it to create your own set of elements in your cross stitch pattern.

Create Your Own From Scratch
While using other elements in the cross-stitch pattern is one way to go, you can also create your own from scratch. You may decide that you want to draw your own sampler. If you are new to cross-stitch samplers, you might need to do some research first to see how other designers have incorporated elements that you are considering using in your own sampler. One way to get started is to use some graph paper and colored pencils to build your sampler that shows off your own skill and creativity. If you want to become even more advanced in designing your own cross-stitch samplers, you can also purchase programs that allows you to create them using your computer.

Using Computer Programs
Some cross-stitchers want elements of their samplers to come from photos or images that they have sitting around. In the past it would have been challenging to convert those photos to cross-stitch patterns. Today however there are several good software programs available that even match up the colors you are considering with name brands of floss. This makes the process much easier, and does not require the effort of going to the craft store to find your colors. Also, you can size your sampler to fit your needs by seeing how large or small your sampler will be using different cross-stitch fabrics.

These same computer programs that allow you to create cross-stitch patterns also allow you to convert scanned photos and images to patterns you can use in your samplers. However, remember that a sampler is just that: a sampler. You need to show off a little bit of everything you can do, so keep those images a small part of the big picture.

By following the advice given above you'll soon have a beautiful sampler any stitcher would be proud of. A sampler designed to display your very own creative skills and cross stitch talents.
About the Author
John Wigham has been a professional author and editor for 20 years and is a co-founder of Patterns Patch an online cross stitch club dedicated to counted cross stitch. The website has a small team of writers who are devoted to our cross stitch club and enjoy writing about their hobby.
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