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Top Tips

  • Preparation for stitching.

    • If the scheme provides the middle (marked by arrows), fold the fabric in half horizontally and vertically and Draw or or mark with a contrast thread these lines. To simplify your work, run an auxiliary lines at equal distances. (10,20,50), Marking the canvas will not only ease the counting of the crosses, but also will help to notice the error.

  • Where to start?

    • Traditionally cross stitching starts from the center, which usually coincides with the most interesting motif in any scheme. But in fact the starting of the motives in the center of a purely practical: shifting the embroidery on canvas or wrong calculating its size will be almost impossible, because the center of the embroidery and the center of the scheme will match.

      Well, if you like the order and if you have no worries about the size of the canvas , choose the lower right corner (or left if you top stitch looks "left"),

      And if the scheme is too complex and contains dozens of close shades - start with the darkest colors.

  • Beading on cross-stitch (by Maggie)

    • Instead of trying to thread and work with those impossible beading needles, try a size 18 cross-stitch needle - this will work with most beads.

  • Starting from the corner on the left side (if you lefthanded)
                        Wishing for Stitching by Linda.

    • Start your work from the corner on the left side. Count up by 10's to get the length on the sides and do the same thing then to get the extra material that will be left over.
      Let's say the towel is 70h X55w and the picture is 55h x 40w. Go 70 - 55 = 16 divided by 2 = 8. On each side go up 8 start at the top leave 8 extra spaces. On the sides 55-40 = 14 divided by 2 =7 -> go in 7 spaces and start your picture at the left side.

  • Two or three strands

    • When thread has to be separated for individual design in two or three strands the ideal way is to cut the desired length and separate it from midway not from the top or bottom of the strand it does not get knotted and it's quicker

  • Instead of starting with two threads (by Wandalene)

    • Instead of starting with two threads, take one, fold it in half and thread the needle with the loose ends together. Begin to stitch by making the first half and threading the needle through the loop end at the back of the piece. No having to catch the threads at the stitches for them to hold.

  • Huge projects (by Angeline)

    • Start the huge ones 3 inches down from the top left and 3 inches in from the left.
      Then if you are lucky, you can pick the colour in that corner and follow it till either it runs out, or too many spaces to keep going with it.
  • Make your life a bit easie (by Angeline)

    • 1. Make a working copy especially if you want to pass it on and mark where you have been.
      2. Use one colour of highlighter to mark the same icons to work on not the whole page though if you can't get to them.
      3. Use another colour to mark off the ones I have done.

  • Start from centre (by Phyllis)

    • Start from the centre and work up to the top in the centre, then work down and then do the sides and finish the bottom.
  • Thread a Needle (by Phyllis)

    • Use one strand thread double it and thread the needle, put it through your work back to front back down, pick up the loop and go from there.

  • Start a pattern (by Ruth)

    • To start a pattern, (from the center or wherever you are instructed to do so), thread your needle (two or three strands as instructed), and KNOT the end as you would do if you were to sew, Put the needle into the TOP of a cross stitch square (6-8 squares from the starting point; up, down, left or right). Then take the needle and put it in the starting square from the BOTTOM of the fabric. As you cross stitch you will whip the starting thread and secure it in place without having to hold it as you stitch. Once this is done you can snip the knot from the top of the fabric.

  • Use Rainbow Gallery Metallic threads (by Lizard)

    • Use Rainbow Gallery Metallic threads – they are available in different sizes and there are conversion charts on the web.

  • Five advices (by Muki)

    • 1. Starting with the threads, take little cardboards and role the thread on it. Write the number of the thread on the cardboard. It is easier to work that way then with the ready floss.
      2. Mark with a sewing thread every 10 stitches which are the boxes on the design. Then you will not have any counting errors.
      3. Try not to work with a long thread so it will not get tangled.
      4. Every 5 stitches are 1 cm. So one can easily calculate the size of the cloth.
      5. Try to work only with one color at a time. Close it and start another one.

  • Preparation to Stitch (by Papa Bear in Utah)

    • - Run a thin sewing machine thread in a contrasting color all around the OUTSIDE of your pattern just 1 square larger than the maximum area required by the pattern. Starting at the thread-marked mid-point of the pattern (but out on the edge), run 4 squares on the front side of your work, then one square on the back. Repeat this running stitch sequence all the way to the corner. Then repeat this 4+1 running stitch sequence on all sides, making sure you match your counting sequence stitch on parallel sides of your work. You will end up with a 5X5 grid all the way around your pattern that will make counting stitches much easier.
      - If your pattern has an ODD count center start point (like 3 stitches off from a 10X10 grid line), you can easily adapt where you begin your 4+1 outside running stitch. If your pattern uses a grid other than 10X10, you can also adapt your running stitch to match it (such as 3+3+3+3 or 5+1+5+1 for a 12X12 grid, 4+4+4+4 for a 16X16 grid, etc.), or whatever combination of stitch counts you like that helps you quickly keep track of where you are in your pattern. If desired, you can also add little 1 square perpendicular markers to the outside of this running stitch for each 10, 20 (or 12, 16, etc.) squares in your pattern to facilitate quicker counting in large patterns.
      - For really large patterns, you can use this same strategy with auxiliary threads running stitched INSIDE the work. Just remove portions of each auxiliary thread as your cross-stitching comes into contact with it.

  • Use a special pen (by Nava)

    • Use this pen to draw the lines on each 10×10 boxes. This pen is also good since the ink will disappear when the cloth is washed.

  • Row of single xs's (by Jackie)

    • Have long row of single xs's, every 10th stitch cross stitch. It sure makes it easier and helps you keep your place. .