Cross Stitch Guide to the NFL

cross stitch guide to the NFL

2014 crafty football blog hop badgeThis cross stitch guide to the NFL is my contribution to this year’s Crafty Football Blog Hop hosted by commissioner Diane Gilleland of CraftyPod! Like last year’s blog hop, this 2014 hop is a combination of participants in the Crafty Fantasy Football League (#CraftyFFL) and other fellow crafty and inventive football fans. At the bottom of this post are thumbnails and links to everyone’s creations.

Although I am a fan of the Denver Broncos, this year I decided to make a project that could appeal to anyone with some interest in football. If you’re unfamiliar with American football, this is a perfect way to introduce yourself to the league. And if you already follow football, this is a fun and colorful way to familiarize yourself better with all 32 teams and a little of how the NFL is organized.

Materials:

  • A piece of 14 count Aida cloth measuring approximately 10 inches by 8 inches. [In 14 count, this project will fit perfectly into a standard 5 inch by 7 inch frame]
  • 16 colors of embroidery floss – I used DMC numbers 815 (burgundy), 666 (red), 720 or 946 (orange), 783 (gold), 319 (dark green), 699 (green), 704 or 907 (light green), 958 (teal), 336 or 3750 (dark blue), 820 (royal blue), 996 (bright blue), 333 (purple), 838 (brown), white, 168 or 415 (silver), and 310 (black). See the legend for a printable list.
  • A needle for cross stitch – I use a #26 tapestry needle.

Pattern:

cross stitch guide to the NFL patternThe pattern (pattern and legend) is a tidy little graphic that shows all 32 NFL teams with their team colors, grouped by their conferences (NFC and AFC) and divisions (East, South, North, and West).

 

 

Stitching:

This pattern calls for cross stitch and then backstitch. If you’re new to cross stitch and looking for basic directions, I recommend you visit my Stitching Instructions page. Otherwise, the stitching is pretty straightforward. If you use 14 count Aida as I did in this example, use two strands of floss with your needle.

cross stitch guide to the NFL - work in progress 1As with most projects, start from the middle and work toward the edges. In this photo you can see how I started with (clockwise from top left) Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Baltimore, and Detroit.

 

 

cross stitch guide to the NFL - work in progress 2Then I spread out from there, trying to do as much with one color at a time as possible, just to be a little more efficient.

 

 

 

cross stitch guide to the NFL - work in progress 3Finishing up the team blocks creates this pattern, which I thought looked pretty groovy on it’s own. I can easily see this pattern being turned into an awesome graphic quilt or blanket!

 

 

cross stitch guide to the NFL - work in progress 4The last of the cross stitch was the border of alternating greens.

 

 

 

 

Backstitch the title and the labels for the conferences, divisions, and team names, and ta-da! you’ve created a stylish and informative cross stitch guide to the NFL!cross stitch guide to the NFL - photo on ledge

Check out what the other Crafty Football Blog Hop participants made this year!


Denver Broncos Cross Stitch Tutorial

framed and complete

2013 crafty football blog hop

The idea for this Denver Broncos cross stitch project originated from the Fantasy Football League I’m in this season, the commissioner of which is none other than Diane of CraftyPod fame. Early in the season, we came up with the idea of a crafty football blog hop and invited others to join us. At the bottom of this post, you’ll see all the other fun projects that our group created. We’ve got knitters, multi-crafters, a tatter, and quilters in this mix of crafty participants. My contribution is this tutorial on how to create this cool Denver Broncos cross stitch!

materials

Materials:

  • A piece of 14 count Aida cloth measuring approximately 7 inches by 9 inches.
  • A skein each of DMC 6 strand floss in colors 820 (blue), 720 (orange), and White.
  • A needle for cross stitch – I use a #26 tapestry needle.

denver broncos cross stitch - broncos horse logoPattern: I designed this “D” pattern as the current team logo only has the word “Broncos” in their kick-butt font.

 

 

D chartI took parts of the letters in “Broncos” and rearranged them to make the “D” pattern you see (click to get the full page version).

This project uses the double stitch, and it combines a long cross stitch and a small cross stitch into a neat woven effect. The chart shows all the small cross stitches and how each row should begin and end (as some rows will end with partial stitches). I didn’t fill in all the long cross stitches on the chart as it just became too visually chaotic. You’ll understand when you take a closer look.

double stitch 1Stitching: Use two strands of your six strand floss. Start with the long cross stitches in blue, making sure you stitch over the tail of your floss on the back. Also, be careful that your top stitches are all in the same direction or your project will look uneven.

After creating this project, I recommend that you perform the long cross stitches in columns, not in rows as shown in the photo. It will make the orange short cross stitches much easier.

double stitch 2Very quickly you’ll see this groovy little pattern forming!

 

 

 

 

double stitch 3Stitch the long stitches first before filling in the orange short stitches.

 

 

 

 

double stitch 4After you finish the blue and orange stitches, you may want a little bit more texture in the background of the piece (I did). Continue the pattern of the orange small cross stitches in the background with the white floss. This is optional, but I think it greatly improves the appearance of the piece.

 

double stitch doneCouching: Double stitch done! Looks great, but there’s one more thing you may want to try: couching.

Like the stitching in the background, this too is optional. I had been wanting to try a couching stitch, so I thought this might be a good opportunity!

 

braidTo outline your “D” you will need to make about 18 inches of braid. Use all six strands of each of the three flosses. Knot each end to keep the braid from unraveling.

If you are considering outlining the inside of the “D” you will need about another 10 inches of braid.

 

couching 1The couching stitch is simple. Use a single strand of floss to secure the braid to the surface of the aida. I used the blue floss, but you could use the orange or the white – whichever you prefer.

Secure the blue floss on the back, then pass the needle up through the top left hole of the “D.” Bring the needle back down the same hole, securing the braid to the fabric.

couching 2Repeat this stitch every four holes around the perimeter of the “D,” keeping the braid flat and untwisted against the aida.

Take care that your couching stitches aren’t too tight as they may make the braid and even the fabric bulge and pucker.

When you get to the end of the couching, you will need to tie another knot in the braid and trim the ends of the braid to a length you like.

couching doneYou’re ready to mount and frame your “D”! About.com has some basic instructions on mounting cross stitch – it’s a good place to start.
Denver Broncos Cross Stitch Project Done

 GO BRONCOS!

Check out what the other Crafty Football Blog Hop participants made!