When it comes to interiors, I’m a huge fan of mixing vintage with modern, as I think it leads to a much more original, grounded, and overall interesting look. But sometimes, those vintage pieces need a little love to get them house ready.
I, Erin, recently scored a Mid Century rattan gem at a thrift store for $4. Yep, four $1 bills, but when I got it home, I felt as though it needed something to soften the look. I didn’t want to cover up the pretty scrolled back with a throw pillow, so I decided to create this DIY oversized cross-stitched cushion for it.
Now before your mind goes all out-dated Granny on me, hear me out! This cross stitch technique is not your grandmother’s. It’s oversized, modern and pairs beautifully with Mid Century styling. The chunky surface of the cross stitch helps update the overall look, while at the same time, nodding to the chair’s Mid Century roots. And don’t worry, everything is oversized so it’s much easier than traditional cross stitch. So pick out your yarn colors, and let’s get stitchin’!
Synthetic fiber batting
Course plastic yarn needle – it’s helpful to have two
Cut two circles (about the size of your chair seat) out of the Graph N’ Latch Rug Canvas . The key to any successful cross stitch project is stitch counting, and luckily the chunky yarns we’re using here make the stitches easy to see.
Begin on your first graph circle by threading up your needle with about 30” of the color you’d like to represent the ivory yarn in my cross stitch. Start anywhere towards the left edge of the circle. (No need to start right on the edge. The circular shape of the cushion makes it tough to grasp the concept of the cross-stitch pattern if you start right on the edge of the left side.) You can go back and fill in the rest of this line once you’ve grasped the pattern concept.
Then create a third stitch, to the right of the large stitch exactly the way you made the first stitch. Skip one graph square to the right and repeat these same 3 stitches until you’ve completed the entire row. Then go back and fill in the stitches at the beginning of the row.
Next thread the 2nd needle with the color you’d like to represent the grey yarn in my cross stitch. You’re going to essentially be creating a “V” of grey stitches which will hug the bottom of the ivory stitches.
Count over to the left one and down one from the first ivory stitch at the beginning of the row. Bring your grey yarn up through the backside of the graph. Skip one graph square below and run your needle down through the next square below.
Then starting from top of the grey stitch, count over one and down one to the right. Bring your needle up from the backside. Skip one full graph square directly below and run the stitch down through the next square.
Repeat the same stitch a third time – from the top of the latest grey stitch, count over one and down one and make your third stitch.
Then create a mirror image of the first two grey stitches. Continue until you complete the row.
Start your 2nd row of ivory stitches with a stitch in the same graph square as the grey “V” point in the row above. Again, don’t worry about starting at the edge of the graph canvas. You’ll fill in later.
Continue cross stitching until the entire surface of the circle is patterned. Repeat the process for the 2nd graph canvas.
Cut a few layers of batting about 1” smaller in diameter than the graph circles.
Place the batting between the two complete cross stitch layers and use a whip stitch to join the two layers. To finish, tuck the loose yarn tail in between the cross stitch layers.
I love how the completed cushion in a way resembles the woven design on Parisian café chairs. Mid Century Parisian: I mean, what could be better?! Just imagine a collection of these on chairs around the kitchen table. Eeek! Textural nirvana.