WIP Wednesday ~ My Vintage Cross-Stitch Pillow Rehab Project ~


Do any of you have a memory chest? Or maybe a rubbermaid bin filled with assorted memories of your high school or college years?  I’m not a hoarder by any means, but I do have a few of these bins.  Some are filled with my college textbooks (I was a Family & Consumer Sciences Education teacher).  I have yearbooks, notes and knick-knacks in another.  This weekend as we got out our holiday decorations I found an old cross stitch pillow I made.  Here she is:


I learned to cross-stitch in middle school. Another craft my mom introduced me to that I loved.  I tended to like the bigger patterns so one summer I made this.  I think I was in high school.

At one point it was framed. Then when I brought it to college I added stuffing, backing fabric and a huge lace border. 90’s anyone?  Dare I say…vintage?  It lived in my sorority house with me in college and when I got married, it went into the bin of memories.


So what I want to do is rehab this little pretty so I can enjoy it once again.  I want to find a nice place in the studio to put it so I can see it as I work.  But before I start the rehab I need a plan. What do I need to do with it to bring it back to life?  What do I want to replace?


As you can see, the backing fabric is in great shape. Not stains or fading. I don’t think it’s interfaced though. Maybe I can wash and press the fabric again, then add interfacing and new stuffing?  Or maybe I should just frame it?   The lace is in bad shape though and really too big.  Maybe put in new lace or just leave it out all together? What do you think?

What really needs the most work is the actual finished pattern. There are some seriously large stains.  I don’t know where they came from, but moving 7 times and being stored in various places it’s anyone’s guess.  I have been researching ways to clean older stained cross stitch works and here are some articles I’ve been looking at:

1.  About.Com –  Suggests hand washing. There are also great tips on types of soaps, how to dry, and other options if washing doesn’t work.

2. Needlework-tips-and-techniques.com– Had great information on the variety of stains and how to treat them with items found in your kitchen cupboards.

3.  DMC-USA –  The thread I used was DMC, so it only makes sense to go to the actual company that makes the thread, huh?

4.  QuiltingBoard –  A large community of crafters where I found a ton of information. And other stuff that distracted me!! Fun to read!

So now onto my next step.  Taking apart the pillow then decide how to clean.  I will keep you updated on my progress! Wish me luck and please feel free to leave any tips. I need all the advice I can get.


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