Where is this Fox Going?

A grayscale graph, each tiny square enclosing an even smaller shape, the squares combining to create the design of a fox's face. When PieceWork's Editor, Jeane Hutchins, handed me a photocopy of a traveling blanket from the May 1862 issue of Peterson's Magazine , she knew she had me hooked. I couldn't turn down the opportunity to recreate this little piece of history.

Fox Traveling Bag to Crochet and Cross-Stitch by Toni Rexroat  

I decided to reimagine the silhouette of the design and create a travel bag instead of a full-sized afghan, although you can use these instructions to create your own lap or full-sized blanket. The Tunisian crochet strips work up quickly and easily and don't require any previous Tunisian crochet experience. The real fun is in the cross-stitch.

Tunisian simple stitch creates a fabric with textural squares that are the perfect base for embellishment like cross-stitch.  Here are a couple of my best tips for cross-stitching on a Tunisian background.

The Stitch Chart

The detailed fox design is worked with eight different colors. Some colors are only used for a handful of stitches but create important shading. When working from a chart such as the one used for the fox, I have to do a lot of counting and a fair amount of double checking to make sure that I am working the correct color in the right square. Don't worry about a few little mistakes. They just add individuality to each fox.

Stitch Placement

  A close-up of the cross-stitch embroidery

When cross-stitching into a Tunisian simple stitch fabric, the ends of each crossed stitch must be worked into the same space as the ends of the surrounding stitches. This prevents a gap of the background color from interrupting the created image. This means that one side of the crossed stitch will be worked over the top of the vertical line created by the Tunisian stitch. Just keep your cross-stitch placement consistent.

Toni Rexroat crocheted this Tunisian traveling bag based on a pattern in the May 1862 issue of Peterson's Magazine. Having your own Fox Traveling Bag will make your trips much more enjoyable.
Photograph by Joe Coca.

Cross-stitch is a common embroidery technique used to work intricate designs onto a Tunisian simple stitch background in vintage patterns. The technique is starting to reemerge and is perfect for those who love both crochet and needlework.

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Best wishes,

P.S. Share your tips for working cross-stitch.



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