Remember, cross-stitch is considered counted embroidery.
So count count count count again and double check your counting. It really helps minimize mistakes.
Gridding save you a lot of time (and your sanity too). Cross stitch is meant to be relaxing. Make your hobby hugely beneficial for your mental and physical health.
Everyone has trouble seeing stitches when she/he stitches white on white. The trick is to put a piece of black material behind the canvas. This will provide contrast between canvas and the white thread.
When choosing supplies, purchase the best you can afford. Everything you choose does not have to be the most expensive, high-end model, but there are some supplies you should not skimp on. Floss and fabrics should be good quality, especially as you start to work on larger projects. Good scissors for cutting fabric and flosses are a must. Cross stitch does not have to be an expensive hobby, but if you are investing your time in creating an heirloom sampler, you will want to be sure that the supplies are of a quality that corresponds to your effort.
The fabric you use for any design should always be at least 2" longer on all sides beyond the design area. This helps hold the fabric in the hoop or q-snap when you are stitching, and also allows you to stretch the piece for finishing.
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