Embroidery: A Few Cross-stitch Tips
Cross-stitch is a popular form of counted-thread embroidery in which X-shaped stitches in a tiled, raster-like pattern are used to form a picture. Cross-stitch is often executed on easily countable even-weave fabric called aida cloth. The stitcher counts the threads in each direction so that the stitches are of uniform size and appearance. This form of cross-stitch is also called counted cross-stitch in order to distinguish it from other forms of cross-stitch. Sometimes cross-stitch is done on designs printed on the fabric (stamped cross-stitch); the stitcher simply stitches over the printed pattern.
Always start stitching from the center of your fabric. To find the center on your fabric, fold the fabric in half twice. The center will be at the intersection of the two folds.
Finding the center of your chart by following the two arrows. One arrow will be in the top center and the other one in the middle left side of your chart. Follow these two arrows. Where they meet is your center stitch.
Put tissue paper in your hoop with your fabric then tear away the center where you are stitching. This will keep oils from getting onto your fabric and help your hands from being moist.
You will want to allow 3 to 4 inches of fabric on each side of the design. This will help you framing your project easily.
When stitching with 2 threads use only one strand of floss, put the ends together and thread them through the needle leaving a loop on one end. When you put the needle through on your second stitch, catch it through the loop. This keeps the material from getting bumpy.
When ending your thread by running under other stitches, try to match colors. Never run a dark color under light stitched, it might show through to the front.
Back stitch should be added when all other stitching has been completed.
Many of us we have the bad habit of leaving the needle into the fabric when we end a session. Be aware that this can leave a permanent stain or large hole in your fabric. Always store a needle properly.
If you have pets or small children do not keep your cross stitch materials in a bag. Keeping your threads, needles and scissors in a box that shuts securely will prevent little fingers and paws from getting into things easily!
If you are working on a larger needlework project, invest in a set of stretcher bars. They keep the fabric from getting warped and it makes it easier to actually do the sewing. They come in several sizes, and are fairly inexpensive.
Using a highlighter in a light color – yellow works very well for marking off stitches or areas of stitching as you complete them. If your lighting make the yellow hard to see at night, you could use another color like green or blue or orange when stitching at night.