I love vintage needlework books! I recently found a link to a small booklet by Coats and Clark on gingham embroidery. The booklet gives directions for four embroidery stitches: cross-stitch, herringbone stitch, lazy-daisy stitch, and the french knot stitch. There are pages of project ideas for each stitch as well. The booklet was written for youth, but everyone can benefit from the simple instructions and fun project ideas. Renee, on her blog at My Vintage Mending, has saved each page of the booklet as a jpg image. I just recreated and printed out the little booklet as a resource for Abigail’s hope chest. Here is a second leaflet by Coats and Clark with patterns for cross-stitch on gingham embroidery.
If you haven’t tried gingham embroidery, I hope you will. It is so fun, especially for beginning stitchers! The woven checked gingham provides a natural guide for working the cross-stitch and many other embroidery stitches. Sometimes I have a hard time making a nice, straight feather stitch, for instance. The herringbone stitch, likewise, is difficult to make even and straight. On gingham, however, these stitches are easy! All the designs and stitches will be larger or smaller depending on the size of the gingham squares. Almost anything that can be made from checked gingham fabric can be embroidered with a suitable cross stitch design. An easy hope chest project might be a set of hot pads or snack napkins, a bread cloth or bun warmer, curtains, an apron, or a pretty band to trim a towel.