Chicken scratch is such a pretty type of embroidery. It is quick and a great way to decorate up that stash of gingham you have tucked away. It is known by many other names such as Snowflaking, Depression Lace and Gingham Embroidery.
I'm completely addicted to chicken scratch now. The only items I have really seen it made into is larger pieces such as aprons, and pillows. I tried to come up with other objects where chicken scratch could be applied. They can't get too much wear because the stitches would get pulled or damaged. I decided a bookmark would be a nice small item that doesn't get too much wear, and would be quick to stitch up. So I made up a couple of small repetitive patterns. You can really go wild with these little stitches, and every little change has a noticeable impact on the finished piece. Test it out. I'd love to see what you come up with!
As usual, this tutorial is provided for personal use. Make up for yourself, gifts and charity. Please do not make to sell. If you are unsure feel free to email me. If you use this tutorial give credit with a link back to this page. And if you can give me a heads-up if you are making chicken scratch that would be great. I am thinking of starting a flickr chicken scratch group so everyone can see and share their creations, tell me what you think. Thanks!
For one bookmark you will need:
- 1/4" check gingham (you could probably get 4 out of a fat quarter)
- white embroidery floss (sewn with 3 strands held together)
- embroidery hoop
- 6" ribbon
The final measurements are 7 1/2"x2" for the bookmark and 2x2" for the tab.
Here are a couple of quick pictures to familiarize yourself with the stitches. If you would like something more descriptive go here and come back.
Those are all the stitches used in the flower bookmark. They are Cross-Stitch, Double Cross-Stitch, Running Stitch and Woven Oval Stitch. The Woven Oval is made by passing the needle under the leg of the Cross-Stitches twice to make it thicker.
The same stitches are used in the second bookmark, only the Oval is substituted with Woven Circle Stitch. The Woven Cirle is made by passing the needle under the Running Stitches two times to make the stitch thicker.
Since this is such a small object leave your material whole for stitching and cut it out afterwards.
Here are the two patterns. Just a little 5x5 block.
The tab is made by stitching one repeat of the pattern. The bookmark is made by stitching 5 repeats. Follow the shading in the pattern. You want to start your cross-stitches on the darkest check in your gingham. I used 3 strands of floss, but you can try more or less to see what the result is. I knotted the ends because the back of the piece is covered and small stitches might be noticeable.
Once all your stitching is done. Cut the bookmark and a backing piece to measure 8X2 1/2". For the small tab cut out the stitching and backing into a 2 1/2" square.
Pin the bookmark pieces with right sides together with the ribbon in between. Let 1/4" of the ribbon peek out from one short side between the two layers. Leave a small gap open on the other end of the bookmark for turning. Sew 1/4" seam around the edge with the wrong side of the stitching facing up. Clip the corners and turn right side out. Press.
Pin the tab pieces right sides together and sew 1/4" seam around the edge leaving an opening for turning. Clip the corners and turn right side out. Press.
Slip the free end of the ribbon into the opening left in the tab and pin. Topstitch around the tab to secure the ribbon. Topstitch around the bookmark and you're done!