If you love the fanciful and poptastic world of illustrator/designer Mary Winkler (aka Acrylicana), you'll love the tasty treat we're serving up in this crafty tutorial. You'll learn how to take the chart that Mary created of her super-kawaii burger illustration over on Vectortuts+ and transform it into a super-kawaii cross-stitch picture. Read on for the how-to.
- 14 count aida measuring no less than 20cm square.
- Embroidery threads in burger colours. I've used Anchor threads in black (403),orange (314), green (237), white (001) and brown (391).
- Embroidery hoop (optional).
- Tapestry needle.
- Cross stitch chart (download below).
- Picture frame (optional).
Download the cross stitch chart:
1. Getting Started
Firstly, locate the centre of your fabric. It doesn't need to be precise but it helps you centre the design on your fabric, so you don't run out of space.
Simply take your fabric, fold it in half and then in half again. Lightly crease it and then unfold. You'll see the faint lines which intersect in the centre of the fabric.
If you're using an embroidery hoop, place the fabric in the hoop with the centre of the fabric in the centre of the hoop (I used a 5" embroidery hoop for this project).
You can either start stitching in the centre or count squares from the centre to an outer edge and start there. To find the centre of your chart, simply count the number of stitches in the widest row and divide by two. Repeat for the widest column and then cross-match the two to find the centre stitch (it's called counted cross stitch for a reason!).
2. Start Stitching
Once you've decided where to start stitching, take the appropriate colour of thread and cut a length approximately 30cm long. Separate out two threads and thread your needle.
Bring your needle up from the underside of the fabric in the bottom left-hand hole of the square you want to stitch in. Draw the thread through slowly, taking care to keep the thread running smoothly, so it does not knot or get snarled up.
Don't pull too hard or the thread will come all the way through and you'll have to start again. Once the thread has been drawn through, leaving a tail of approximately 3cm, insert the needle into the top right hand corner of the same square from the top side of the fabric and pull the thread through.
Now repeat this to form the second leg of the cross - from the underside, insert the needle of the top left hand corner of the same square and pull the thread through, with the cross being completed by entering the bottom right hand corner from the top side.
That's it - you've made a stitch! Essentially, you just need to do this over and over again - easy, eh? But first, you want to secure the end of your thread so it doesn't unravel.
3. Continue Stitching
As you continue stitching, flatten the tail of your thread along the underside of your fabric and stitch over it as you go, catching the thread under your stitches. This will secure your threads and stop your handiwork coming loose.
Once you get under way, you can either carry on stitching each stitch individually or you can stitch rows of half stitches and then go back and complete them in rows.
This technique is useful for stitching large areas of colour, such as the bottom of the burger bun.
4. Change Colours
When you're ready to switch to a new colour, or you run out of thread, finish a stitch and on the underside of the fabric, weave your needle in and out of the back of your stitches a few times and draw the thread through, taking care not to go through to the front side. This will secure the end of your thread and stop any stitches coming undone.
It's a good idea to stitch all the stitches of one colour before moving on to the next. So with Mary's chart, stitch all the beige burger bun colours first, before moving on to the lettuce, then tomato, etc.
Leave the black outline until the end so you can finish it nicely and you'll really see what a difference adding a black outline can make - the colours really pop!
Take care to keep your threads neat and tidy - try to keep your stitches all going in the same direction and make sure you check your chart carefully at regular intervals to ensure you don't go wrong. You may find it useful to cross off the stitches you've done with a pen as you go.
5. Complete Your Stitches
Carry on stitching until you've completed the chart. You should end up with something like this:
Remove your finished piece from the hoop if you're using one and flatten it out. Take a warm (but not hot) iron and with a spritz of water, iron the back of your stitches.
You can use a clean tea-towel on top of your stitches to protect them. Lightly press the fabric, taking care to iron out the creases you added at the start.
6. Frame Your Work - The Easy Way
Now you've finished stitching and ironed out your wrinkles, all you need to do is decide how to display your handiwork. I decided to frame my cross-stitch and hang it in the kitchen. You can experiment with mounting boards and blocking, but I'm all about the easy way in life.
Simply take the frame you want to use and remove the glass or perspex. Use this as a guide by laying it over your stitching, ensuring the design is in the centre of the frame. Cut around the glass and the fabric will fit perfectly in the frame - easy!
Display Your Kawaii Burger
In this tutorial you learnt how to cross-stitch a kawaii burger illustration created by Mary Winkler for Vectortuts+. If you'd like to learn how to create your own chart from scratch, head over to Vectortuts+ for the full step-by-step tutorial.
Now you just need to decide where to display your tasty burger frame. You could even be adventurous and stitch this up for a cushion, apron or tote bag... the world's your lobster roll!
Tell us your thoughts on our kawaii burger cross-stitch tutorial. Are you going to follow Mary's chart tutorial from scratch? We'd love to hear from you.