Baby cross stitch is a form of cross stitch which focuses on creating baby-related crafts, including gifts for new parents and their babies. Numerous baby cross stitch pattern books and kits are available in crafts stores and through the Internet, and a number of websites also provide downloadable patterns which crafters can use, including free baby cross stitch patterns. Cross stitching is a very easy method of embroidery to learn, and it can be used to create lasting heirlooms.
Cross stitch is one of the oldest forms of embroidery in the world. In cross stitching, a pattern is created on fabric with a series of small Xs which are uniform in size. This form of embroidery falls within a family of techniques known as counted thread embroidery because they all require the crafter to count the threads in the fabric to keep the embroidery consistent and even. Some cross stitchers work with fabrics which have easy to count threads or small squares which they can stitch over, while others prefer the challenge of working with finer fabrics.
Baby cross stitch usually involves baby-themed designs, such as alphabet blocks, animals, and so forth, in both pastels and bold, bright colors. Themed designs may also revolve around ideas like birth announcements, Bible verses, and quotes about babies and parenting. Crafters can use baby cross stitch designs on bibs, garments for babies, diaper bags, wall hangings for children's rooms, book covers, blankets, and other baby accessories. Anything made from fabric can be decorated with baby cross stitch, and kits can include stamped patterns which just need to be stitched over.
Some expecting mothers enjoy cross stitching, especially if they are trying to rest to ensure that the pregnancy stays healthy. Historically, new mothers had to prepare for the birth of a new baby by crafting baby garments or modifying baby clothes from older children, and while new mothers no longer need to assemble a wardrobe for their children, some enjoy the process of making knitted baby hats, cross-stitch covers for photo albums, and other handmade accessories which will be used as heirlooms later.
Crafty friends of expecting parents may make baby cross stitch items to use as shower gifts or presents after the birth of the baby. Handmade items are often appreciated by new parents, and making a baby present ensures that no one else will present the parents with a duplicate of the item.
When making baby cross stitch, crafters should remember that their projects may be used around or on a baby, which means that they should be fully washable and durable. Irritating fabrics such as polyester and coarse wool should be avoided, and it can be a good idea to use cross stitch thread which will remain colorfast if it gets wet, and to avoid the use of fragile fabrics and threads.