in partnership
This is very basic pattern depicting the Seattle skyline that can be followed by someone who has never taken a needle to thread before in their lives. (Image: Kate Sigafoos / Seattle Refined)

DIY: Seattle skyline cross stitch

I relish in the juxtaposition of living in an urban area and having decidedly non-urban activities going on around me. I love that my neighbors milk their own goats, make homemade cheese, and then can be found at a café in Belltown eight minutes after they finish washing their hands. I love that I saw a woman in Louboutin boots working on a hand quilting project in a downtown office waiting room. Maybe taking up these activities is a self-imposed slow down in our busy lives. Maybe it is a way to adopt a small part of a romanticized image of what life used to be like. Whatever the reason people are bringing these traditional activities back in their lives, I hope the trend is here to stay.

This project is a simple urban scene created in a very classic crafting medium - cross stitch. I made a very basic pattern depicting the Seattle skyline that can be followed by someone who has never taken needle to thread before in their lives. It can be created in any color thread on pretty much any thick fabric surface. I used an old scrap of canvas I had as my base, but it would look very interesting on a piece of denim.


  • Base fabric - This should be at least 9 x 12.
  • Embroidery needle
  • Embroidery floss
  • Seattle skyline pattern
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Canvas frame - I just used a $2 plain canvas frame from the art store. You could also use an old piece of art you want to cover up or a standard picture frame without the glass.
  • Staple gun or duct tape

How To
  1. Draw a grid on the wrong side of your fabric. It should be at least 44 squares wide by 23 squares high. I made mine larger so it represented the entire paper the pattern is on. The individual squares should be at least 1/4 inch square.
  2. Draw your grid lines to the edges of the fabric 13 rows up from the bottom. This will allow the pattern to continue around the sides of the frame. This is totally optional and should only be done if you want the wrap around look.
  3. Thread your needle with the full bunch of embroidery floss. You want the lines of the final image to be thick, so don't pull any of the threads away from the bunch.
  4. Starting on one edge of the fabric, follow the Seattle skyline pattern and create an "X" with your thread in each corresponding square on the fabric.
  5. Once you are finished, knot off the thread and cut the rest away.
  6. Center your image on you canvas and attach to the frame with staples or duct tape.