Squares and rectangles are not my favourite shapes for padded ornaments because I like to make perfectly mitred corners and crisp cross stitch fabric does not like to be mitred. Click on the photo below to read how I make mitred corners.
Over the years I have developed several alternatives to mitring cross stitch fabric. The first is to use something other than a padded finish, like a framed finish
or a flat finish.
However, when I decide that I want to do make a padded ornament from square or rectangular design I have two main strategies to avoid mitreing the cross stitch fabric.
The first is to sew the stitched piece to lighter weight fabric and mitre the lighter fabric over the padded back.
("Santa's Greeting" is from a Dimensions plastic canvas kit. The Madonna and Child is from "Scandinavian Folk Patterns for Counted Thread Embroidery" by Claudia Riiff Finseth.)
For the two ornaments above I first cut the finished piece 10 or so threads from the edge of the stitched design. Then I used a running stitch to attach it to the lighter weight fabric. Next I removed two threads from all edges of the stitched piece. (I also like to use a glue stick to adhere the edges to the lighter fabric.) After that it was easy to fold and mitre the corners of the lighter fabric over the padded back.
I chose to use Ultra Suede on the back of these ornaments but one could choose felt, or fun foam or a padded back covered with fabric and wrapped with twisted cording. (You may notice that the hanging thread for the two ornaments above are intentionally off center. I like the way the ornaments hang when I do this, and I don't have to fuss about getting them to hang straight.)
The second strategy is to nip the corners off so that there are no 90 degree corners. I might just nip off a little bit,
Or I might crop or add to the original design so that I can make 6 or 8 sided ornaments. Both of the ornaments pictured below are from designs that were originally rectangular.
("Silent Night" is adapted from a Dimensions banner kit. The King is adapted from a design in "Sue Cook's Christmas Cross Stitch Collection".)
Carol L uses another way to avoid mitring cross stitch fabric, and her method gives a nice diamond shaped finish. Carol sews fabric to all four sides of her ornament and then she mitres the fabric to make the points of this diamond ornament.
Pinwheel 2008 and 2012