Here’s a snuggly Valentine bear cross stitch project to keep your loved one warm and toasty on cold evenings. This hot-water bottle cover designed by Claire Crompton is quick and simple to make and will be a practical yet thoughtful gift this Valentines day.
59h x 56w
10.8 x 10.2cm (4¼ x 4in)
✿ White 14-count Aida, 20.3 x 20.3cm (8 x 8in)
✿ Tapestry needle size 24
✿ DMC stranded cotton (floss) as listed in the chart key
✿ Light mauve fleece, 46 x 46cm (18 x 18in)
✿ Lightweight iron-on interfacing, 20 x 20cm (8 x 8in)
✿ Velcro 1.3cm (½in)
✿ Child’s or mini hot-water bottle 23cm (9in) high x 14.5cm (5¾in) wide
✿ Sheet of tracing paper
✿ Matching sewing thread
✿ Hot water bottle templates
1 Prepare your fabric for work and mark the centre. Follow the chart below and begin stitching from the centre of the chart and centre of the fabric, working over one Aida block. Use two strands of stranded cotton (floss) for the cross stitches and then work the backstitches using the number of strands given in the chart key.
2 When all the stitching has been completed, fuse the iron-on interfacing to the wrong side of the patch. Trim the patch to 14cm (5½in) square, making sure the stitching is central with the same amount of unworked Aida on all sides of the border. Turn under raw edges 1cm (3/8in), tack (baste) down and press carefully.
3 Begin the cover as follows. Place the tracing paper over each template, draw around and cut out the pattern pieces. Pin these on to the fleece fabric and cut out a front, upper and lower back. Place the embroidered patch on to the front of the cover, centralizing it on the widest part and straight. Sew the patch in place using two strands of 3041 stranded cotton (floss) and small running stitches (use the Aida blocks as a guide). Remove tacking (basting) thread.
4 Make up the cover by first turning under 2cm (¾in) of the raw edges along the top edge of the lower back and along the bottom edge of the upper back. Tack down and press. Stitch along each edge through both thicknesses 1cm (3/8in) away from the fold. Remove tacking (basting) thread. Place the front flat with right side uppermost, place the lower back on to the front with right sides together, matching the edges. Place the upper back on top, matching the edges. Upper and lower backs will overlap. Tack in position. Using matching sewing thread, stitch around the edge of the cover using a 1cm (3/8in) seam allowance. Remove tacking. Turn the cover through to the right side, pushing out the corners and curves, and press seams carefully. Sew the Velcro into the centre of the overlap and insert the hot-water bottle.