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It should come to no surprise that I like to figure out how to make any task easier. Heck, the entire concept of the Cross Stitch Folded Star Ornaments solved my problem of how to easily align the front & back sides of folded star ornaments so they matched up both sides without fail.

I love making these ornaments, and over the years have found ways to push the easy button to make things either faster or more efficient. You may call them cheats or hacks, but whatever you call them, it’s sharing tips of the trade.  I’m all for it, and here’s one of my secrets that may help you when you make your next ornament.

Stitcher Rules

There are stitchers that will proudly let you know that when they stitch, the “bad” or back side of the work is as beautiful as the “good” side. The technique is called Reversible Cross Stitch and yep, I do admire this a lot. But it’s a technique that is not needed when crafting cross stitch folded star ornaments. Matter of fact, once you stitch a design, then affix the cross stitched design to a styrofoam ball, add the fabric then complete with trimmings, you’ll never see the back side of the cross stitch fabric again. Ever.

So, who cares what’s on the underside of your Aida cloth? Well, certainly not me. There are rules that apply to the cross stitch centers & that’s all spelled out in the instructions in our book. But I do take an extra step that nobody sees.

We Break The Rules

Yes, I will draw pencil marks on the back sides of the fabric.  Gasp!  This simple trick helps so much as with my cheat lines, I don’t need to guess or count when getting things started. I’ll draw all sorts of lines to get me going, usually counting then marking ever 5 squares from the outer cut edge across the fabric, both horizontally & vertically.

This make it so much easier to find my start stitch square.  And, if I put my stitching down & then pick it up a few days later, I know exactly where to pick up and start again.  Anything to make it easier to count aida squares  in the stitching process works for me.

Do I use ink? Never, as it can & will bleed into the aida cloth. Trust me, I made that mistake and now you don’t have to. I use a sharpened #2 pencil and careful to make light lines by barely pressing the pencil tip on the fabric. The light lines are plenty dark enough and just enough so I can see them. You never want to press hard enough to make a thick dark line as then it could show through to the front “good” side. Again, I made that mistake already too.

Push That Easy Button

For cross stitch purists, we know that drawing marks on the back of a work is NEVER allowed. And if I were stitching a sampler or another elaborate piece, I’d not draw on the back of my fabric either. But with our ornaments, the back of the stitched fabric never sees the light of day once all of the ornament elements are in place.

The next time you decide to make a counted cross stitch folded star ornament, don’t be afraid to hit the easy button.  We certainly do!