A grayscale graph, each tiny square enclosing an even
smaller shape, the squares combining to create the design of a fox's face. When
PieceWork's Editor, Jeane Hutchins,
handed me a photocopy of a traveling blanket from the May 1862 issue of Peterson's Magazine , she knew she had
me hooked. I couldn't turn down the opportunity to recreate this little piece
I decided to reimagine the silhouette of the design and
create a travel bag instead of a full-sized afghan, although you can use these
instructions to create your own lap or full-sized blanket. The Tunisian crochet
strips work up quickly and easily and don't require any previous Tunisian
crochet experience. The real fun is in the cross-stitch.
Tunisian simple stitch creates a fabric with textural
squares that are the perfect base for embellishment like cross-stitch. Here are a couple of my best tips for
cross-stitching on a Tunisian background.
The Stitch Chart
The detailed fox design is worked with eight different
colors. Some colors are only used for a handful of stitches but create important
shading. When working from a chart such as the one used for the fox, I have to
do a lot of counting and a fair amount of double checking to make sure that I
am working the correct color in the right square. Don't worry about a few
little mistakes. They just add individuality to each fox.
||A close-up of the cross-stitch embroidery
When cross-stitching into a Tunisian simple stitch fabric,
the ends of each crossed stitch must be worked into the same space as the ends
of the surrounding stitches. This prevents a gap of the background color from interrupting
the created image. This means that one side of the crossed stitch will be
worked over the top of the vertical line created by the Tunisian stitch. Just
keep your cross-stitch placement consistent.
Rexroat crocheted this Tunisian traveling bag based on a pattern in the
May 1862 issue of Peterson's Magazine. Having your own Fox Traveling
Bag will make your trips much more enjoyable.
Photograph by Joe Coca.
Cross-stitch is a common embroidery technique used to work
intricate designs onto a Tunisian simple stitch background in vintage patterns.
The technique is starting to reemerge and is perfect for those who love both
crochet and needlework.
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P.S. Share your tips for working cross-stitch.