Squidoo Added Needlework in its Own Neighborhood – Yay!

I did a personal little happy dance when Needlework was added as a category (neighborhood) on Squidoo the other day. I volunteered to be an “angel” and keep an eye out for great Squidoo lenses on the topic.

Since it’s a new sub-category it’s a little empty right now, so I’m here to invite you to stop on by and create a Squidoo lens on anything having to do with needlework to help grow the neighborhood a little more. I’ll be sprinkling squid angel dust on the best lenses to give them a little rankings boost!

If you’re not familiar with Squidoo, I invite you to poke around and check it out a bit. You can build pages based on your interests and even make a little extra money with those pages. For example, earlier this month I got a nice 80 dollar payment from them, and I’ve seen some “lensmasters” making over 1,000 dollars a month by working on Squidoo full time.

Even if you don’t become a full time Squidoo lens maker, I do hope you’ll sing up and make at least one needlework based lens to help us spread the cross stitch love! ;) I’d really appreciate it and I’ll be giving the occasional shout out here from Stitching the Night Away to great lenses I find over there.

Happy Stitching!
Kind Regards,
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

5 Ways to Enhance Your Cross Stitch Project With Different Floss and Fibers

The basic design element of any cross stitch project is the embroidery floss used to create the pattern itself. The DMC and Anchor cotton floss lines provide a beautiful palette of colors to work with, and most designers are, of course, going to use these. But, sometimes you want a little something special in your project, maybe an added touch or two to make your piece different from everyone else’s.

That’s the great thing about cross stitch as a hobby, it’s very adaptable and creative by nature. Yes, you have a pattern in front of you, and instructions, and we all begin with a pile of fabric and thread. However, there are so many ways that you can add a touch of your own pizazz to any project, even if it’s from a prepackaged cross stitch kit.

Let’s go over a few quick ideas for fiber enhancements.

o Use Kreinik pearl blending filament to go over an area of stitches that you want to stand out with a little extra shine. This is a great technique for accenting things like butterfly wings, it gives flower petals for a dewdrop look, and it can bring new depth to any cotton floss color.

o Swap out a standard floss color for an over dyed floss instead. This gives you a range of depth and detail that helps your project stand out from the crowd. It’s also a great technique for jazzing up single color projects like samplers and blackwork projects.

o Swap out a solid color for a Kreinik Metallic, their #4 Very Fine Braid is the right size for this. Stitch with 1 strand of metallic braid instead of 2 strands of cotton floss. This is a fun way to add sparkle to your project and there are a lot of colors available.

o Change the color scheme completely. This one requires a bit more work and creative thinking, but the results can be so worth it. Change a red dragon into a blue dragon, or transform purple flowers into orange ones, use your imagination. Just make sure you use the same tones in a different color and you’ll be fine.

o Make it glow in the dark! This is a fairly new option that’s available by using the Glow in the Dark thread line from Kreinik threads. There are a few different colors, and of course they all glow in the dark. You can add these blending filaments to just about any project, but they are particularly fun for Halloween cross stitch projects. I’ve also had some luck adding them to Christmas ornament projects, they stand out on the tree at night even when it’s not lit up.

I hope you have some ideas flowing for your next cross stitch project now. Your only limit on what you can do is your imagination. Enjoy your hobby and have fun with it. Just a simple color swap can take a project from nice to amazing.

Keeping a variety of extra cross stitch supplies on hand (also known in the stitching world as your “stash”) is a great idea for any stitcher. With these extras on hand you’ll always be ready for that creative spark when the mood strikes to start something new or to make changes to enhance an existing work in progress.


Loretta Oliver, EzineArticles.com Basic PLUS Author
One of the key things for any stitcher to keep in their stash pile is a selection of embroidery floss and cross stitch fibers. Without these elements your fabric will remain a blank canvas, a masterpiece in waiting.

Kind Regards and Happy Stitches,
Loretta

Some Less Expensive Alternatives to Framing Your Finished Cross Stitch Piece

Fantasy Wedding BlessingThe most exciting part about doing a cross stitch project other than starting it is actually finishing it. When your stitches are actually crossed and your final back stitch is placed it’s time to decide what you want to do to display the needlework you’re so proud of.

A lot of people jump right to the thought of framing the piece. What size frame should they get? One matte or two mattes? Glass or plexi for protection? Standing frame or hanging frame?

But, the truth is there are so many options for your final finish other than a typical frame (or even a fancy frame.) Of course, a few of the options are going to depend on the size of your finished cross stitch, but don’t be afraid to get creative to get the effect you want in the end.

One of the most popular framing alternatives is sewing the piece into a pillow or a sham. Of course, this lends well to small to medium sized cross stitch pieces and because it will be out on display you may want to use simple designs in this option because they might or might not washing at some point.

A similar option that I really enjoy for small pieces is to create a quilt block to be part of a larger wall hanging or even an actual quilt. It gives a nice personalized touch to the overall project and sets it apart from a typical quilting project.

The example in the photo above is a banner sewn from a finished wedding sampler and mounted on a dowel painted to match the fabric with a twisted cord made from DMC thread. (The cross stitch design is the Wedding Blessing from Dragon Dreams, and stitched this one for myself ;)) [Read more...]

Turn Your Finished Cross Stitch Into a Pillow

Written by Pam Cirincione for Stitching the Night Away

We’ve all done it. We’ve made a big cross stitch project and happily taken it to the framers, only to find it will cost more than $100 to frame it. An inexpensive alternative to framing is to make a pillow out of your needlework. It’s quick. It’s easy. And it’s alot less expensive than framing.

After you finish your project, wash and iron it as you normally would. You will need:

  • fabric of your choice to compliment the design
  • thred of your choice
  • fiber fill or pillow form
  • straight pins
  • any embellishments you would like to add to the pillow such as cording or rick rack [Read more...]

Preparing to Enter a Cross Stitch Competition

I’m sure you’ve seen the gorgeous pieces on display at the county fair every year. Have you ever thought about entering your finished cross stitch into one of these competitions?

Here a few things to look at before you submit your entry.

  • First you need to know the name of your design, who designed it, and it’s helpful to list the materials you used, such as fabric type including name of the fabric and fabric count, any specialty threads you used such as Kreinik blending filament, any changes you may have made to the design, how you stitched (1 over 1, 2 over 2, 1 over 2 etc)…
  • Make sure any floss fuzz or pet hair has been removed from the piece
  • [Read more...]

Journaling Your Cross Stitch Projects

Written by Rebecca Williamson for Stitching the Night Away

There are as many different reasons for keeping a cross stitch journal as there are projects to keep track of! Some might keep one so that they can tell how many hours they put into each project. Another might keep one so they can go back and remember just what was going through their minds while they worked. Someone else might just like to keep a record of how far they got in one day. Whatever your reason, there are PLENTY of ways to make your journal as much of an enjoyment as your finished pieces. [Read more...]

Have You Been to Cyberstitchers.com?

One of my favorite stitcher’s resources is Cyber Stitchers online community of stitchers each has their own free gallery to display cross-stitch projects. Also, providing free patterns, including some of my very own designs.

Kind Regards,
Loretta

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