This is the small cross stitch design ‘Hands to work, hearts to God’ which I’m stitching from a Little House Needleworks chart.
Now that I’ve completed the stitching, I’m finishing it as a ‘stand-up’. I bought some Oasis floral foam to make the block. I couldn’t get one block large enough, so I bought two, cut them down to make the correct size of 7 x 7 x 2.5 inches in total (with a bread knife – easy!) and taped them together to make one piece.
To make the front and back look very flat, I cut two pieces of mount board, 7 x 7 inches, and stuck a piece of 2 ounce wadding on each board with double sided tape, to make the front and back of the stand-up slightly padded, and also to disguise the join in the floral foam. I won’t be sticking any pins into the front or back panels, so that works!
I did take process photos of the next few stages, but unfortunately my camera and my computer had an argument, and the photos got deleted in the process of uploading them 😦
Anyway, what I did was to use dressmaking pins to pin the cross stitched piece, trimmed one inch larger all round than the foam block, to the sides of the block, folding the corners neatly to reduce bulk, and pulling the fabric square and taut as I went.
I found that it was easier to use quilting pins with a pearlised bead top to them first, so that they were very visible and easy to re-position, and then once the fabric was exactly how I wanted it, I replaced those with small dressmaking pins.
I chose a pretty red cotton fabric from my patchwork stash for the sides and back of the block. The back piece I cut to the same size as the cross stitched front, and pinned it on in the same way.
The sides were covered by cutting a long strip of the red fabric, the width of the block plus two inches, and the total length of the four sides plus two inches. I ironed the excess to the back of the strip, so that when pinned onto the block, the red fabric comes just up to the edges both back and front. The overlap (about half an inch when trimmed) is at the centre bottom.
Then I pinned on a long length of organza ribbon with a wired edge, making sure there was enough left to manipulate it into a double bow shape at the top. I didn’t use many pins here – just enough to stop it slipping on the block. The pins all blended in to the fabric, so they hardly showed when it was finished. Using wire edge ribbon meant that I could manipulate the ribbon to look ‘larger’ than if I’d just used ordinary ribbon, which might have sagged, with time.
I’d planned to add large buttons or beads for feet, and pin those on too, but once I got it to this stage, it looked finished to me, so I left it at that. I’m really pleased with this! Nice, isn’t it?