Choosing a cross stitch alphabet pattern is one of my favorite parts of cross stitching! I love to look at different fonts and find the right character for what I'm trying to say. Then I figure out where I can add embellishments, like more little pictures or long curlicues. Its so much fun!
First, you need to look at where you're going to be using the letters and decide how big they'll need to be. You can do large areas of a cross stitch alphabet pattern in the basic x stitch or do small writing with the backstitch. Choose your font size based on the space you'll be filling.
Now you can look at the font style. How readable does it need to be? For longer quotes or names and dates, keep the style relatively simple. You can get more complex with single words or a highlighted word in a longer quote. What emotion should your words convey: love, hate, childishness, conservatism, frivolity, sleepiness, hunger...? Think about how these come across in different font styles.
You can find cross stitch alphabet patterns in books or on the internet, but what if you want to adapt it or combine the characteristics of two fonts?
Making your own free cross stitch alphabet is easier than you think. Get a piece of graph paper and go for it!
If the graph paper squares are too large, just make one square equal to four squares (2 by 2) or whatever is easiest for you to understand. Keep the size close to the final fabric count size to avoid distortion. You can blow up things later if you need help seeing them. As you design, think about how it looks, not about counting squares.
If you have a printed example of the font you want, put it behind the graph paper and trace.
Get out some colored pencils, and add some color. You can add drop shadows, patterns within the letter lines, and curlicues. Little figures such as flowers, flying insects, stars, hearts, or creatures look nice in and around letters, where appropriate.
Alphabets are useful for personalizing cross stitch Christmas stockings and for signing or initaling your work.
Remember to always sign and date your work!
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