What you will need

  • 130cm x 110cm linen fabric
  • 130cm x 110cm printed cotton fabric (for lining)
  • 6 skeins of embroidery thread(stranded cotton, pearl cotton or crewel wool)
  • Crewel needle (medium eye and sharp point)
  • Sewing machine and sewing supplies
  • 110cm lightweight double-sided fusible interfacing (optional)

Before you begin, wash and press both the linen and cotton fabrics. This is important, because the fabrics might shrink at different rates when you wash the item after using it. Put the cotton fabric aside.

Fold the linen fabric in half crosswise and finger press a crease across the middle. Begin stitching near one edge along this crease. Follow the warp and weft of the fabric as much as possible, but there is no need to count threads as you would for normal cross stitch. Using embroidery thread and a crewel needle, make a short stitch (about 10mm), then leave a gap of about 2cm, then make another 10mm stitch. Continue in this way along the grain of the fabric until you reach the other edge.

Work another row of stitches the same as the first, approximately 3cm from the first row and parallel to it. Continue stitching rows of stitches (short stitches on the right side of the fabric alternating with longer stitches on the wrong side of the fabric) 3cm apart until you have covered the whole surface of the fabric.

Beginning at one corner, work stitches along the length of the fabric (at 90 degrees to the existing stitches) across the middle of each short stitch to make even crosses all over the fabric.

Tip: As you stitch, alternate between making horizontal and vertical lines of stitching to vary the direction of the cross-stitches and add a more random look to the design.

When you have finished the cross-stitches, press the linen fabric. Place the linen and lining fabric with right sides facing and pin around all four edges. Machine stitch a 10mm seam around the edges, leaving a 20cm gap in the middle of one edge for turning through. Clip the corners.

If you wish to fuse together the two layers using double-sided fusible interfacing, place the interfacing on the wrong side of the linen fabric and fuse it, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Fusible interfacing is usually 90cm wide, so leave a gap of about 10cm of fabric unfused all around the edges. Remove the backing paper from the interfacing.

Turn the throw right-side out through the opening. If you are using fusible interfacing, carefully iron the throw on the lining side, starting from the centre and working out towards the edges to fuse the fabric together.

Carefully press the seams at the edges flat. Press under the seam allowance at the opening and pin it, then hand stitch the opening using ladder stitch or whip stitch. Press the throw from the lining side.