Cross stitching with a presentable back!

A while back I made a couple of cross stitch bookmarks and a rather awesome discovery.  If you’re familiar with cross stitching, you’re probably also familiar with the mess of crisscrossing threads you get on the back (or else it’s just me and everyone else already knows this….it could happen).  With my first bookmark, I had to sew a muslin backing on to cover it up:

Back of dragon bookmarkWith my second one, I learned to do perfect backs, meaning that I didn’t need to cover it at all (in fact, it’s almost reversible):

Back of rose bookmarkHere’s how:

Perfect back cross stitch basicsNow, that’s great if you want a solid block of color.  However, if you want to actually make a pattern, you need to do a little planning.  Exactly how you approach it will depend on your pattern, so I’m just going to show a sample shape so you can get an idea of the process:

Complex perfect back cross stitch patternsHopefully I’m not the only one with messy cross stitch backs!  Let me know if anything needs clarification or more elaboration.

Both bookmarksBoth of these bookmarks are available for sale on my Etsy shop, if you’re interested. The bookwyrm is here and the Assisi rose is here.