Cross Stitch Tips
Cross stitching is a delightful past time that can produce lovely results and decor items. Whether you have never cross stitched before, or have already made several outstanding projects, we can all benefit from a few friendly pointers. Here are a few cross stitch tips to help make this fun hubby come out even better each time.
- Cut off any selvage that your cloth may come with. Seal the edges with tape to prevent fraying.
- Beginners, start slow. Buy a kit or use a simple pattern of five or six colors for your first cross stitch. This will allow you to view your accomplishment quickly and avoid unnecessary color confusion and thread confusion. Also, avoid black or dark colored canvas because these are harder to work with.
- As many of you know, the correct needle for cross stitch is a tapestry needle. This is because the eye is larger than a regular needle, making threading the delicate floss much easier. The size of the needle, number of threads and aida counts will vary according to design.
- You can find the center of the cloth (which is the starting point for many projects) by folding the cloth in half vertically and then in half horizontally. The closed in corner is the center. Place a pin on the corner and unfold to reveal the center.
- Aida, linen and stitching papers are the generally used basis for cross stitching. Aida is recommended for the beginner as the holes are larger and the cloth easier to work with. Linen has much smaller holes and offers a lovely textured background for your cross stitch projects. Stitching paper is the most versatile, it can be adhered to most surfaces and folded to fit any form or shape.
- Work your stitches in the same direction all the time. This will ensure that you have a clean, even and consistent finished product.
- Never use knots on the back of your fabric. Knots make your pattern lay bumpy and appear uneven.
- Dragging threads across the back of your work will also make a bumpier finished design, especially dark threads. Whenever possible, finish off one area, and start the new one afresh, even if it is the same color.
- Work with shorter threads to avoid wearing out your thread (from being pulled through the fabric too many times). This will also prevent thread from knotting and tangling. In addition, this will allow you to rest your elbows on the arms of your chair, limiting arm strain. Which brings us to. . .
- Sit in a comfortable chair to avoid strain on your back from leaning forward or to the side. Shift positions occasionally.
- Good lighting will also contribute to healthier hobbying. Take regular breaks to avoid eye strain.
- Using a frame also helps avoid repetitive strain injury. In this manner, you can pass the needle from one hand to the other, instead of having one hand do all the work while the other holds the pattern.
- Taking breaks to let your wrists have a rest will also help prevent repetitive strain injuries from occurring. Taking a ten minute break for every hour of work is a good habit to adopt. Taking smaller half a minute breaks every ten minutes or so will also go a long way to healthier wrists and eyes.
Join us for more useful cross stitch tips and cross stitch care techniques next time.
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| November 19, 2018
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