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Tips & Techniques

Finishing Techniques: Ornaments

Step 1 Cut two pieces of mat board 1 inch larger than your design size. Apply quilt batting to the top side of the mat board withdouble stick tape or glue. Wrap the stitched fabric around the mat board making sure it is centered. Secure on the back with double stick tape or glue. Repeat for the back side using decorative fabric. 

Step 2 Once you have the front and back of the mat board covered pull in the corners and tape down all four sides. With wrong sided together take matching thread or invisible thread to sew the front and back together. Catch only the fabric and not the mat board. This will take a sharp needle. By sewing the front and the back squares together this makes a tight seam. Glue can also be used but it doesn't give as nice of a result. Leave a small area at the top to insert the hanger.

Step 3 Decide on the type of trim you want to use. For this design I made a grid on the front with checkered ribbon and taped the ends on the back side of the cardboard. White buttons were placed in the corners sewing thru the ribbon and mat board. Start with a loop for your hanger. For this particular edging you take a sewing pin and gather crossways across the ribbon and insert in between the two mat board pieces. Repeat this around the ornament leaving about 1/4" between pins and moving ahead with the ribbon about 1/2". Don't overthink this just keep going and it will look great. It will twist and turn as you go.
  • Just Cross Stitch 2013 Ornament Issue
  • Cathy's little Ornament
  • Ecru checkered trim purchased at Hobby Lobby
  • Learn more about ornament finishing at

Stitching Tips: Stitching on Linen

Step 1 The easiest way to start your first project on linen is to start with a simple design and a larger even weave fabric. This particular design was stitched on 25 count Lugana. When you start your first stitch notice that one thread goes over and the thread next to it weaves underneath. Start next to the thread going over. After you have done this for the first stitch you will not have to think about it again. .

Step 2 Using two strands of floss count over two threads and up two threads to make one cross. We generally stitch "in Hand" which means we do not use a hoop. A hoop can distort the threads. It is sometimes helpful to use a hoop but make sure you do not leave the hoop on your stitching as it can cause permanent creases and sometimes distort the fabric.

Step 3 The wonderful thing about stitching on linen is that for 1/4 stitches you have a hole to go in to. Give yourself some time for the new brain cells to build and before you know it you will be counting in twos and your needle will glide effortlessly through the fabric.
  • Free chart available on
  • Stitched on 25 count Ivory Lugana
  • Button from Just Another Button Company
  • Once you stitch on linen you will be hooked!

How to start your stitching

Step 1 DMC Floss has 6 strands. Cut an 18 inch length of floss and separate out one strand. When starting your first stitch take one strand of floss and bring the two ends together. This will give you two strands of floss and a loop at one end. Thread the two strands into the eye of your needle.

Step 2 Bring your needle up from the back side of the fabric and make a half cross going to the back side of the fabric. Pull the thread to the back side catching the loop. This will lock your stitch in place and you are ready to continue stitching.

Step 3 When cross stitching make sure that your top thread is always going the same direction. So if you are going from the lower left corner to the upper right corner for you first half stitch then you will go from your lower right corner to the upper left corner for the top half stitch to make a full cross.
  • Pull one strand of floss out of the skein
  • Double up the thread and put the two strands into your needle
  • Make your first 1/2 cross catching the loop on the back
  • Make sure your crosses are going in the same direction