Get in the holiday spirit with this free mini Christmas cross stitch pattern, inspired by cozy winter quilts and super cute seasonal motifs in the kawaii style. Because it's simple and broken down into small chunks, it's perfect for kids and beginners. Children can learn to cross-stitch at any age, although they usually don't have the right kind of manual dexterity until age 6 or 7.
The border around this sampler (or quilt block) is like a quilt border with decorative squares between the rows. In the center, a saw-tooth star quilt design finishes the look. The finished pattern will be a 4.25-inch square.
What Is Kawaii-Style?
Tiny and adorable: Kawaii, born in Japan, is the culture of cuteness, and its influence is seen worldwide in clothing, accessories, games, and food. Kawaii, meaning "cute" in Japanese, refers to this pattern's mini, colorful symbols. Hello Kitty is a popular example of the kawaii style.
Before You Begin
To keep this modern and fun, use bright neon shades of embroidery floss. They aren't traditional Christmas colors, which makes this cute and in the kawaii style. However, you can also use different thread colors in classic colors. It's OK to mix it up and use what makes you happy.
Cross stitch typically uses an embroidery hoop of some kind, but you can also stitch without a hoop by rolling the edge of the fabric in and holding it while you stitch. This method allows you to dip the needle down through the material and back up again in a single stitch, like the sewing method in embroidery.
You will also need Aida cloth (also called Java canvas). It is an open, even-weave fabric that's easy to use for cross-stitch embroidery. It is made of 100% cotton and naturally stiff enough that a crafter does not need to use an embroidery hoop. For this project, "16-count Aida" means 16 holes per square inch. This pattern is 68 stitches by 68 stitches, making a pattern that is 4.25-inches long by 4.25-inches wide.
When purchasing it, make sure your fabric is at least 3-inches longer all around, making framing easier. You can find Aida cloth in crafting stores, fabric shops, and online sites.
Equipment / Tools
- Cross stitch needle
- 16-count Aida cloth, at least 11-inch square
- DMC embroidery floss: 839, 992, 991, 165, 742, 893, 891, 917, 915, 310
- Embroidery hoop (optional)
Download the Pattern
Save the Christmas Quilt cross stitch sampler pattern to your computer, then print it out or save it to your tablet or another device for easy access as you work.
Place Cloth in Hoop
Get your Aida cloth ready by placing it in a hoop (if you're using one), and mark out the grid if you want. Because of the grid style of this pattern, you can also use the pattern itself as a grid. For this, start by stitching the quilt frame. From there, you can stitch each motif within the squares.
Secure the Thread
To start your cross-stitching without a knot, fold a strand of embroidery floss in half and thread the two loose ends through the needle. Begin the first half of the first stitch without pulling the thread through, then pass the needle through the loop on the back of your work. This technique secures the thread without weaving the starting ends.
Stitch the Faces
The faces on these motifs are what make this pattern kawaii-cute. Stitch them with two strands of black embroidery floss. Use french knots for the eyes and back stitches for the mouths. Optionally, you can skip making the faces on your designs, giving you more of a traditional Christmas look.
Finish the Sampler
Frame your finished cross stitch in a hoop or with a professional frame. You can also use the pattern, or pieces of it, to do other projects like pins or bookmarks.