Want a quick way to make your own floss tags for projects and stash storage?

I’ve got a few big projects coming up in my to-stitch pile and I was thinking of making some floss tags like this to help keep me from making a mess. I used a floss box last time I did a big project (think HAED) but I didn’t like the whole winding and unwinding of bobbins.

So the idea of using tags really appealed to me since this is already how I store my specialty threads. I have two big binder style rings that I keep over-dyed and extra special threads on.

Annette posted a quick tutorial on her blog (Annette’s Acre) about how she made her own floss tags since they weren’t readily available for her to purchase. It’s a quick and easy solution using some card stock and hole punches that I’m sure you’ll like.

Annette's Floss Tags

image credit: Annette at Annette's Acre http://www.annettesacre.com/?p=743


You can check out the full tutorial and get started making your own set of floss tags with Annette’s instructions at http://www.annettesacre.com/?p=743 Hop on over there, check out the floss tag tutorial, and don’t forget to say hello to Annette and leave her a comment thanking her for sharing this handy floss solution. [Read more…]

Making Small Changes to Your Cross Stitch Pattern Or Cross Stitch Kit For a Big Difference

Sometimes you pick up a cross stitch chart or even a cross stitch kit and even though you love the design you just want to make a few changes to it or give it a bit of your own pizzazz! I don’t think I’ve personally ever stitched anything exactly to the charted key, I always add some little something, whether it’s a floss change, a bit of blending filament, or maybe a few beads here and there for texture just to give it that little extra bit of me.

So, let’s talk about a few things you can do to jazz up that new project to make it a little more your own. [Read more…]

How to Use Counting Pins in Your Cross Stitch

So we had a discussion on Facebook and here about using counting pins, especially on larger projects. I mentioned that I was looking at ordering some and wanted to hear everyone’s experiences. In an effort to better understand the whole concept of using counting pins in counted cross stitch I turned to Tommye J Bunce (aka TJB Designs) and asked for a brief explanation of how these beautiful tools worked to make our stitching easier……

(by the way, hop over to http://facebook.com/tjbdesigns and give her fan page a “like” if you haven’t already)

—–TJB counting pins explanation for cross stitchers—–

Counting pins are a must for anyone who does counted thread embroidery. They will scare away that ugly frog!! The tips are blunt like tapestry needles, so they won’t split the threads of your fabric. Rubber earring nuts are used to hold the pins in place.

The most common way to use them is when moving from one stitched area to another spot where you want to start stitching. For instance, if your next stitching point is 12 stitches left and 15 stitches down from completed stitch “A”, using the counting pin to count 12 stitches to the left of stitched point A. Insert the counting pin into that hole, bring it back up 2 or 3 stitches away and put the nut on the pin to anchor it. Take a second counting pin and count down 15 stitches from where the first pin was inserted. Insert the second pin at that point and anchor it. Then you can thread your needle and start stitching.

TIP: if you are truly paranoid, pick a completed stitch “B” in a different area, and figure out how far your new stitching point is from point B.

Repeat the counting and marking process, as before, from point B. If you come up in the same place as you did when counting from point A, you’re ready to go. If you don’t, recount. If you still don’t, you probably made a mistake in your previous stitched area somewhere between A and B. (you probably weren’t using counting pins then. LOL)

Another popular use is when stitching long bands or rows. Insert a counting pin every 25 or 50 stitches, or whatever number you are comfortable with. That way you don’t have to count the whole row over and over again trying to figure out when you are done.

This photo isn’t a good demonstration of the counting and marking process, but it does show how to anchor them.

And, of course, all are welcome to visit my Etsy shop for more counting pins, many of which are color coordinated with (super pretty) scissor fobs. http://etsy.com/shop/tjbdesigns

And to keep up with new products, be a fan of TJBdesigns Facebook page. http://facebook.com/tjbdesigns


A special thank you to TJB Designs for this great explanation and for getting me off the fence about ordering a set of counting pins. Actually, two sets. I ordered these and these from TJB Designs Etsy shop on Sunday afternoon. I figured if I didn’t get to stitch I could at least shop for stitching goodies!

I grabbed both the large and small size because even though I usually stitch on evenweaves and would be using the small size pins, I do have a project coming up in my stash that I think those large pins will come in handy for – besides that they were pretty and they matched! You know how that goes ;)

As always, happy stitching everyone!
Loretta

Welcome HAED Stitching Friends!

There was a mention in the HAED newsletter about gridding your cross stitch fabric for large projects and it referenced the article here that Sherrin wrote ages ago about how she did gridding – some quick background on that…. I met Sherrin at the TWBB when Stitching the Night Away was still young and she offered gridding and finishing services … I had her do the finishing work on my Fantasy Wedding Blessing to create the bell pull and also had her grid out my fabric for my TW Guardian, which is still in the WIP pile. I asked her about her process and she wrote up the article as a guide for me to publish here.

I want to send a special thanks to the folks at Heaven and Earth Designs for the kind mention in the newsletter and a big stitchy welcome to everyone that came by to visit and joined the newsletter here as well. Thank you all so much for joining us and I look forward to stitching with you.

Happy Stitching!
Loretta

Stitchqueries: Cross Stitch Stocking, What Fabric to Use

This week’s Stitchqueries question about cross stitch Christmas stockings actually popped up on the Stitching the Night Away Facebook community.

Rhonda mentioned:

I will be starting a cross stitched stocking for my daughter soon. I’ve got evenweave or Aida to work with. Which one would be sturdier?

You can see the entire discussion on Facebook by clicking here.

Now, the best part about having an entire community of stitchers is that when you ask a question, you get more than one answer! (and usually pretty quick too!) If there is one thing I’ve learned about stitchers over the past few years it’s that everyone is always willing to help when they can. I love that about our group :)

Becka let us know that her stockings are stitched on aida fabric and holding up great. Joni also voted for the aida fabric. Of course, I had to be the odd ball and go for the evenweave, but I have my reasons, so hear me out if you’re also going to be stitching a Christmas stocking.

I would still use evenweave. It’s soft, but it’s still strong, and you’re going to want to use interfacing when assembling your stocking anyway, so that will give it some added strength. Unless the design is solidly stitched I prefer evenweave for presentation purposes. When you finish a stocking you definitely want to use interfacing plus an inside lining fabric, especially if it’s intended to be used and not just for display on the mantle to look pretty.

So, those are our thoughts on fabric selection for stitching a christmas stocking. I would love to hear your experiences also, please leave a comment below if you have a stocking tip or idea to share with us!

Happy Stitching!
Kind Regards,
Loretta

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Bookmarks for Literacy 2011 Project

I love this stitching for literacy program and I’m so glad to see it going again! The mail in and drop off dates for stitched bookmarks are March 17 – April 28, so still plenty of time to stitch a bookmark or two and send it in to participate, or drop some off at a participating needlework shop if there is one near you.

How to Participate in the Program:
It’s easy just stitch a bookmark and send it in. After the bookmarks are collected they will be donated to a library or school during Children’s Book Week to reward reading accomplishments.

Need some bookmark patterns to stitch up? These designers donate to literacy projects at least 10% of profits from specially-designed bookmark patterns bearing a Needle and Thread: Stitching for Literacy logo. When you purchase these patterns, you, too, are supporting literacy… (just click on the images to pick up the chart)


[Read more…]

Top 3 Mistakes That Most Cross Stitch Enthusiasts Make

There are a handful of mistakes I see a lot of cross stitch enthusiasts making from newbies or novices. I’m not a super picky stitcher by any means, but these few things can make a huge difference in your finished project and if you’re mindful of them while stitching your next project I think you’ll be happy with the results.

Mistake #1: Leaving the project in the hoop or q-snap overnight.

Please, I beg you to stop torturing your cross stitch project in such a way. When you’re done stitching for the day take the project out of the hoop (or scroll frame, or q-snap, or whatever you’re using to hold your fabric taught) and let the project rest. Your stitching needs it beauty sleep too.

Stitcher’s Note: If you’re using a scroll frame or other frame where the fabric is sewn onto or more fixedly attached to the device it is recommended that you loosen the tension slightly to leave the project rest overnight and when you’re not stitching.

Mistake #2: Not crossing stitches in the same direction.

This one isn’t really a big deal, but it is something makes the finished piece look better. It doesn’t matter which direction your top leg of cross stitch is going, just be sure they are all going the same direction. Consistency is really the key here.

Stitcher’s Note: Right handed stitchers usually have the top leg going bottom left to top right. Left handed stitchers usually have the top leg going from bottom right to top left.

Mistake #3: Not stopping to untangle the tangled floss.

It happens to all of us at some point during almost every project, the floss gets tangled and BAM there’s a knot in it. I know untangling it is a huge pain in the you know what, however if you’re going to frame the finished piece you don’t want those bumps getting in the way later.

Stitcher’s Note: If you know for a fact that you are NOT framing the piece when finished then by all means feel free to leave those tangles in there and stitch onward!


Loretta Oliver, EzineArticles.com Basic PLUS Author
Those are just a few simple common mistakes that we all make, even me and I’ve been cross stitching since I was eight years old. If you take the necessary steps to avoid these mistakes I promise you that you’ll be very happy with the results when you’ve finished stitching your next project.

Kind Regards and Happy Stitches,
Loretta

How to Cross Stitch on Evenweaves and Linen Fabrics – Updated with new instructional graphics!

how to cross stitch on evenweave and linen cross stitch fabricsOur most popular download is the free report on how to cross stitch on evenweave and linen fabrics – however a few folks were still having trouble getting the hang of things.

So, in an effort to make things a little clearer this report has been updated to include larger more detailed graphs.

==> Click here to download the updated version!

I tried to make a cross stitch tutorial video to go along with the report, but even with my son’s wicked camera skills we couldn’t get my camera to stay focused on the fabric threads so you could properly see what was going on. We’ll try again soon, and hopefully we’ll have some new stitching videos for you too.

If you have any more questions about cross stitch on evenweave and linen fabrics – or any other topics you’d like me to cover – leave a comment and let me know!

Happy Stitching!
Kind Regards,
Loretta

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