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A Cross Stitch Bookmark Makes A Superb Alternative To A Card

Jan 21, 2008
Don't you just love sending a special cross stitch gift to a friend? A card you've stitched is a great way to mark special occasions and holidays. Your friends are probably thrilled when they receive your cards and admire them for quite some time. Sadly, though, eventually the cards end up tucked away inside cabinets and drawers. Instead of a card, you may want to create a personalised bookmark the next time a special person in your life celebrates an occasion.

Why not create a cross stitch bookmark instead for one your friends? The advantages are that they will be used as often as the recipient reads a book, and will be associated with good leisure time. Also, your message of friendship will be reaffirmed every time your friend or relative opens the book. It will be useful as well as being ornamental.

Like any other stitching project, you'll want to consider a few suggestions before you begin creating your gifts.

Pick a bookmark design that means something to your friend. You want to personalize this present by making it depict something this person loves. For instance, does she love flowers? Is he a golf fan? Decide on a pattern that captures the interests of the recipient. Of course, since your cross stitch bookmark will be small, the pattern must reflect this. So pick one interest the recipient has and use that as the pattern.

Children may be encouraged to read by being given their very own bookmark, with a favourite cute character stitched onto it to make it personal for them.

The easiest way to make a cross stitch bookmark is to buy a branded kit, choosing the most appropriate design for your friend. In any case, buying a kit for the first bookmark you make is probably a good idea, as it will contain all the necessary threads, fabric and instructions you need. You will be able to get some information from this as a sort of template for your future projects.

As a general rule, a bookmark is tall and narrow. It should slip easily between the pages of a book. Don't use floss that is thick or fuzzy, since this could make it difficult to close the book. When you're determining the exact dimensions for your bookmark, give some thought to the reading choices of your friend. If your friend reads hardcovers, create a longer bookmark than if he or she prefers paperbacks. Generally, you'll want the finished bookmark to be no longer than nine inches but no shorter than six inches (15 to 22cm). Regarding the width, many stitchers prefer to keep the bookmark around two and a half inches (6.5cm).

When you start making bookmarks without a kit, you'll want to cut the bookmark out of the cross stitch material, and then bind the edges with ribbon or other decorative fabric. Another pretty way to finish the edges is to create fringe. You fray the edges just enough to create a nice fringe, then use glue or spray to prevent additional fraying. You don't want the fraying to extend beyond the point where you stopped the fringe.

After you've cut out the fabric and secured the edges, you're ready to create the design. Locate a pattern you like. Magazines are a great place to locate patterns, as are books. Better yet, create your own pattern. Simply use a piece of graph paper and draw out your design. As always, each stitch is signified by a square on the paper.

As you work, you'll want to make your stitching as tidy as possible. When you finish, glue a ribbon fragment onto the back so you can neatly cover the underside. Keep your knots small to avoid any bumps.

To give your bookmark added interest, do consider folding the bottom of it into a triangle shape instead of a straight line. You can add a tassel, some beads or a shell to the end, to make it look unusual.

When you're done, slip the bookmark between two cloths for protection from the heat and press the project carefully.

Bookmarks are really easy to make, and after you've stitched one, the next ones will be a snap. The projects will take you almost no time at all.

More importantly, think how delighted your friends will be when they receive a beautiful cross stitch bookmark. Unlike a stitched card, which may end up forgotten in a drawer, a personalized bookmark is sure to be treasured for years.
About the Author
Julia Wigham is an experienced writer and co-founder of Patterns Patch cross stitch forums. An online cross stitch club whose subscribers get free: patterns, articles and tutorials. Come to our lively => cross stitch blogs right now.
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