I love doing the backstitching and personalization on a piece because 1) I'm excited that I'm nearing the end and 2) backstitching always adds a extra layer of detail and realism (in as much as it can to a bear sitting on the moon) that makes the image more alive and clear.
Now it's under a pile of magazines and books. Since the fabric came in a kit, it was folded up and there were heavy creases. I'm trying to flatten it out as much as possible before I frame it. I'll probably have to take a hot iron to it, but it's really hard to get folds out of aida fabric (the graphy fabric used for cross-stitch).
I really like doing cross-stitch for babies and weddings because the final touch is always the personalization. You know the piece isn't going to be given away or regifted because it was made just for them.
Cross-stitching has been a long-time hobby of mine. I like the exactness required, the variations of patterns and design, and I spend the same brain power I use towards puzzles on trying to figure out how to use the least amount of thread and not waste any material. As I do the cross-stitches, my mind is always one step ahead thinking, "Where should I stitch so I don't waste thread and get to the next row of stitches?"
When I started doing cross-stitch, the one thing that stuck in my mind from everything I read was that "the back of your cross-stitch should be as neat as the front." I pride myself on having extremely neat and clean emboirdery backs because it's that much more difficult to do.
I miss sewing on a regular basis. I didn't have room for all my arts & crafts stuff when I moved to NYC, so I haven't done it for a while. Now I'm just working with some all-in-one kits. Next time I go back to VA, I need to dig out all my threads and fabrics and pattern books. One kit probably costs 8 to 10 bucks, but buying all of the materials (threads and fabrics) separately would cost me just 5 bucks and I would be able to do several projects from the same materials. I had a couple of books of hundreds of fonts and lettering designs. I would spend so much time designing a cross-stitch by picking out a font, spelling the name out, counting the stitches, measuring out fabric, picking out colors, and then working on the piece. It was fun to see those come together.