The other day I found several vintage aprons with cross stitched or chicken scratched patterns on them, while shopping in a very small town in Wisconsin. I love this retro look and it had me wondering how is the look achieved. 

Vintage Chicken Scratch Apron

Since cross stitiching is simply creating a pattern with X's, this can be done very simply on a grid fabric like gingham. Below are several website that explain the process very well. This seem like this might be a good way to get kids introduced to hand stitching.

Chicken Scratch Tutorial from Needle and Thread

Beginners Guide to Chicken Scratch from The Quilting Company

Free Cross Stitch Patterns from Needle Work