This little project is inspired by a beautiful post at Hands Free Mama.

Whether they are just going to a friend’s house, sports practice, or just going to work like they do every day – that’s beside the point. When they leave your presence, give them a proper good-bye.

Let it be known they will be missed.

Let it be known they are loved.

Life can be cruel and unpredictable. Make the most out of every goodbye while you still have the chance.

And if necessary, make a reminder sign.

“X-O-X-O Before You Go” applies to anyone, regardless of age or gender. 

– Hands Free Mama

So I wanted to hang a reminder beside my door. I used Tall n Skinny Font from A Beautiful Mess and a heart doodle from here. You can download the pattern at the bottom of this post so that you can make your own “X-O-X-O Before you go.” reminder.

To trace mine onto my fabric, I just opened the reverse pattern image on my iPad and used guided access to lock the screen (turn touch off), then placed my fabric-in-hoop, right side down, onto the iPad (so the fabric was right against the screen). Then I used my disappearing ink pen (which I LOVE) to trace the pattern onto the back of the fabric. Then I flipped the hoop over, and traced again (I could see the backwards/wrong side tracing through the fabric) onto the front.

There are a million ways to transfer a pattern, but this was simple and quick for me. You can do it however you’d like, and I included both mirror images of the pattern for you.


The stitch I used for the whole thing is stem stitch, which is a really simple embroidery stitch to learn, and so useful! It makes a rope-like line which you can make finer or thicker by using different numbers of threads. I used 3 threads for my hoop, and all 6 for my demo (the yellow fabric, blue line).


To do a stem stitch, all you have to do is come up through your fabric to begin. Then, if you’re right-handed, you’ll work from left to right, with the working thread BELOW your stitching.

If you’re left-handed, you’ll work from right to left, with the working thread ABOVE your stitching.

Now you put your needle into the fabric a certain length away from where the thread is coming out, and pull it up halfway between the two points. Then pull the thread through.

Make sure your working thread is below (above for lefties) and stitch again, but this time, your halfway point is already marked by the end of the last stitch you just made. So you’ll insert just a bit beyond that, and come up where the edge of the last stitch was.

I hope I’m explaining this well enough, and I’m trying to decide what the best way to do these stitch tutorials would be… it’s hard to take proper tutorial pictures on something so small without a macro lens. I took the ones below with the OlloClip macro lens on my iPhone, and couldn’t decide if they were better than my “real camera” pics above… so I’m including both.

Do you think drawings would be more clear though? I can’t decide…



Anyway, so there’s the stem stitch! It’s super easy to do, and it makes a really neat line that works well around curves. You can also use it to fill an area by working concentric lines of it until the area is filled in.


Here are the images you can save for personal use to make your own “XOXO Before you go.” reminder. If you like them and want to share, please link to this post. Don’t save them and post to your own site (that’s just not nice!), and please don’t pin the pattern images linked. Feel free to pin any of the images above though!

XOXO Before You Go Embroidery Pattern

XOXO Before You Go Embroidery Pattern Reversed 

Do you plan to embroider this project? If you’re not interested in embroidery, would you like me to make a few printables of this for free download so that you can just frame one of them instead?

I’m looking forward to posting more embroidery tutorials and projects soon!
Crafterday Saturday @ Joyful Abode

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  1. I love this! I wish you weren’t so awesome and motivated and multi-faceted because then you could just make me one and I could pay you 😉

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