Washing Your Finished Cross Stitch Piece

After you are finished cross stitching and before you frame your piece it is a good idea to wash your piece in order to get rid of the natural oils left behind from your hands as well as any soiling that may have occurred during your stitching time.

This process is not as frightening as it may sound. In most cases hand washing is the best way to go. [Read more...]

Purchasing a Kit vs Purchasing a Chart and Supplies Separately

Many new stitchers wonder what the difference is between purchasing a cross stitch kit and purchasing the chart and supplies separately. Many cross stitch designs come in both kit and chart only forms. There are several things to consider for this popular stitcher’s dilemma.

1) Your personal preferences.

Fabric. Do you prefer a certain type of fabric? Would you rather stitch on linen than on aida? What about the color of fabric in the kit; do you want white fabric or colored fabric for your background? Would you rather purchase a hand-dyed fabric for this project?

Threads. Do you prefer a certain brand over another brand? Are all the colors of the brand you wish to use available to you easily for purchasing or will you have to hunt for missing colors required to stitch your project? Would you like to maybe substitute certain types of threads used in the project (i.e. … use an over dyed thread in a border instead of a solid color or replace a multi colored section with a variegated thread)

Beads. If any beads are used in the project are you comfortable using them or would you rather eliminate them and use Colonial Knots or French Knots instead? Brand is a preference for some for beads as well; some prefer the structure of one brand over another. [Read more...]

Tackling the Tower of Crafts and Stitching Magazines

by Stacey Wells Professional Model Stitcher and Upcoming Designer, written for Stitching the Night Away

You have piles of you favorite Cross Stitch Magazines. Or maybe you don’t, and you are just starting out in this wonderfully addictive hobby. Either way you eventually come to the point where you look around, and think if I don’t find a way to tame the magazines I’m going to drown, [Read more...]

Railroading Your Cross Stitches

Railroading is a common term among stitchers these days on message boards. Basically it means separating the threads as you stitch so that they lay flat and create a much smoother neater appearance for your finished piece overall. Many new stitchers think this is a time consuming and unneeded process. The truth is that its not time consuming at all and in the long run will save you time and help you create a beautiful piece in the end.

There are two ways to do this, which you use is a personal preference on your part. The first way is to railroad both the bottom leg / and the top leg \ of your cross stitch. The second is to railroad just the TOP \ leg of your cross stitch. Either will give you a neat appearance, personally I railroad both legs of my stitch. You also want to do this with your backstitching. [Read more...]

Gridding your Fabric for Cross Stitch

by Sherrin Elliot for Stitching the Night Away

So you have decided to tackle a large project, or maybe your eyesight is diminishing, or you just need a little more help keeping track of where you are in your stitching project so that you don’t have to “frog” as many times as you used to. Gridding is for you.

Gridding is a way to “mark” your fabric without actually leaving any permanent writing or prints on it. This is a truly effective way to know that the stitch you are placing is in the correct area of the fabric.

First, grab a chart and take a look at the “grid” that has already been placed on there for you. The first step has already been done! Now we only have to transfer this over to the fabric. [Read more...]

Preparing Your Fabric for Stitching

The first step to stitching is preparing your fabric and you don’t know what to do if it’s your first time doing this right? So here are a few ideas and tips to help you get started.

First make sure you have the right size fabric. Most kits come with fabric in them so that part is done for you, however, measure the fabric anyway to be 100% sure. If you bought just a pattern and supplies separate you want to measure your fabric. Now, most patterns will tell you what size fabric you need …. important thing to remember are that your design will be different sizes on different counts of fabric. [Read more...]

Unfinished Projects (UFO’s) and What to Do with Them All

We all know how this story begins. Shopping at your local craft store and something catches your eye. Impulse buy, in a manner of speaking. You get it home, you open it up, you even organize and begin the project only to find its more than you may have bargained for! So you put it away for now and go on about life as usual. Projects come and go and you get to the bottom of the project bin and there it is again, the Unfinished Project (Object)! You take it out, look at the parts and wonder will it ever be done?

How does a project become a UFO? Well, usually it’s something that was too time consuming. However there are many other reasons as well. It could have been more difficult than it first appeared and you needed to learn more before continuing it. It may have been larger than your eyes perceived. Perhaps the pattern is difficult to read. Maybe the directions aren’t as concise as you would like them to be and it leaves you wondering. [Read more...]

Entering a Cross Stitch Competition

Keep Calm and Cross Your StitchesI’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)… [Read more...]
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