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 Cross Stitch Tips and Techniques

from www.stitchtastic.com 

Cross stitching is a rewarding hobby enjoyed by a complete cross section of society, not just elderly female relatives but there are stitchers of all ages and sexes.

 Many young stitchers have watched their mothers and grandmothers enjoying this art whilst creating beautiful masterpieces and so their appetites for stitching were whetted in this way.

cross stitched motorbike

For beginners to this craft, it is felt that a relatively simple pattern would be the best piece of work to commence. 

key rings with cross stitch inserts A coaster, key ring or a small picture with not too many changes of sewing floss required would be ideal - to attempt a large tablecloth for example with a very complicated pattern as your initial piece of work could prove to be quite disastrous. 

The secret to enjoying cross stitch is to be organised and not too ambitious initially as even a very experienced cross stitcher will know their particular skill level and what will be a feasible project to undertake.

A sewing room would be a wonderful thing but as most of us live in normal size houses, a sewing box will suffice. Needles, scissors, sewing floss and all the necessary bits and bobs should be stored neatly so you can see at a glance what it is you need. 

A great tip to keep your work clean in between stitching sessions is to use a pillowcase to store small pieces of work or for the experienced cross stitcher who uses a frame, a sheet will be suitable for this purpose.

Having chosen a piece of work, it is important to ensure that the centre of your pattern is placed at the centre of the cloth you are stitching on. 

Cross stitch charts are either made up of coloured or black and white symbols which are each representative of one cross stitch in the pattern and each chart also contains a guide to let you know which symbol or colours are represented. 

cross stitched racing car

Cross stitch charts have two arrows on them, one at the top and the other along the left hand side. Following these two arrows to the middle of the chart enables you to easily find the centre stitch. Some stitchers find it most useful to circle this on their chart.

To find the centre of your cloth, a relatively easy method is to fold the cloth in half from top to bottom and then from side to side, pinching the middle - now we have the centre of the cloth and know where to commence with our centre stitch.

Do not cut your lengths of sewing floss too long and only use two to three threads at a time to stitch with. Also, it is not recommended to tie a knot in the floss but very carefully thread it through the cloth.

The actual cross stitch is worked diagonally from corner to corner of each square. Bring the floss from the back of the work through the top right hand corner of an individual square across to the bottom of the left hand corner on the same square and then from the top of the left hand corner across to the bottom of the right hand corner. 

red london bus in cross stitch Some stitchers prefer to work a row with just half the cross stitch and then complete the whole row, others like to complete one full cross stitch at a time, however, the choice is purely an individual one and if you find a method you are comfortable with by all means use it. For complete beginners a bit of practice on a spare piece of fabric is advised.

When your article is complete, wash it in warm water with a mild detergent, dry flat (between two towels is a good idea) gently pulling the fabric into shape. Allow plenty of time to complete your work, do not feel pressured by the clock or the calendar but enjoy your Cross Stitch and if you wish to have a coffee break do so - just remember to put your stitching away first.

camouflaged tank in cross stitch

About Stitchtastic - Stitchtastic offers stitchers the opportunity to stitch 'something a bit different'. Their range includes over 700 unique and exclusive counted cross stitch designs with something for everyone. They have a huge range of transport designs, over 100 caricature designs and an expanding range of nature designs some of which are illustrated above.

Stitchtastic is owned and operated by Patrick and Sarah Scott, based in the north of England. They also provide useful tips and advice for cross stitchers plus a gallery of customers' stitched designs. 

Detailed instructions on how to do cross stitch, complete with diagrams.




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