1. Print charts, color keys and stitch figures.
  2. Zigzag or overcast the edges of the Aida cloth to prevent fraying. To find the center, fold cloth in half crosswise, then fold in half lengthwise and mark where the folds intersect.
  3. Draw lines across the chart, connecting opposite arrows. Mark where the lines intersect. Begin stitching here for a centered design.
  4. Read the chart: Each square represents one set of fabric threads surrounded by four holes. Each stitch is worked over one set of threads with the needle passing through the holes. The color and/or symbol inside each chart square and the color key show which floss color to use to make cross-stitches; wide lines on the chart show where to make running stitches.
  5. Use 18-in. lengths of floss to prevent tangles and fraying. Separate the strands of floss. Thread the needle with two strands for all cross-stitches, and one strand for backstitches and running stitches. See Figs. 1-3 for stitch illustrations.
  6. To begin stitching, leave a 1-in. tail of floss on back of work; hold in place while working the first few stitches over it. To end stitching, run needle under a few stitches on back before clipping the floss close to work.
  7. To decorate a journal (optional), center picture mat over the stitched piece. Trim stitched piece as needed to fit on back of mat. Center and glue stitched piece and mat to the front of
    the journal.

Quilting Christmas tree cross-stitched design area is 48 stitches x 78 stitches (about 3-3/8 in. x 5-1/2 in.). Sewing Christmas tree cross-stitched design area is 52 stitches  x 78 stitches (about 3-5/8 in. x 5-1/2 in.).

Cross-Stitched DIY Journal Cover c/o Ronda Bryce of North Augusta, South Carolina.

Photography by Country Woman.