Stitchqueries: Which Way Does the Hoop Go?

This question comes in from Sharon here on the blog and it’s a really good question!

I have a question about using the Q-snap or a hoop. Do you stitch on the top side of the fabric or the bottom as it lays in the frame? [fabric to hoop U shaped or inverted U shaped]

I started stitching on the bottom (U), because it was easier to anchor the threads on the back side, when that side was “on top.” My mother, however, thinks I’m doing it backwards. Just curious.

(I know that there is a right and a wrong side to some fabric, but what I’m talking about is the way it lays in the hoop. Is the right side of the fabric on top or down inside the hoop?)

People ask me about this all the time, usually when they see me stitching – because I do as Sharon describes when I’m using a hoop and snap it on in a way that most people would consider to be upside down. Here’s a picture to give you an idea… [Read more…]

Stitchqueries: Can I Use a Hoop to Stitch on Linen?

This question comes from Christine in our Facebook Community about stitching on linen.

I’m just getting back into stitching and want to try stitching on linen but I read that you don’t use a hoop when stitching on linen. Do you use a hoop?

First of all, always great to see someone getting back into stitching! 🙂

Yes, you can use a hoop, a Q-Snap, a scroll frame, etc, whatever you’re most comfortable with. [Read more…]

Stitchqueries: Floss Organization

Hey stitchy friends, I really need your help to answer this stitchquery. Jacky is asking about floss organization – and I don’t keep a floss stash so I can’t really answer the question properly.

She’s currently using floss bags and is looking for a better method of organizing all that floss. (img below shows Facebook community conversation)

Of course I know the different options available, but I can’t speak to how well each one works. So, I hope you can help Jacky out. Leave a comment below and tell us how you organize your floss stash. I look forward to hearing from everyone.

Happy Stitching!

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Stitchqueries: Do you use a stitching stand?

This should make for some great discussion and I hope everyone will chime in with their recommendations in the comments section below!

I just hold my projects in my hands, use an embroidery hoop for my cross-stitch projects, but sometimes that gets to feeling a little awkward. What would you recommend to use as a holder? A floor model or lap model for instance? And if so, which one(s)? There are just too many choices for me to decide without trying them first which of course I cannot afford to do. So if you would recommend the ones you like the best to me that would be so very helpful!

I love this question, thank you Valerie for asking it!

I have a lap stand that I sometimes use – I’m not sure if they still make it, its called a Sit’N’Stitch – it works great for me. It’s small and portable and I’m limited on space. I also don’t use it all the time, so it’s great to stash it away when I’m not using it. I poked around the web and cannot find the stand that I have anymore, they were hand made, so perhaps they have retired. (If anyone knows, please let us know the correct URL.)

The EZ Stitch Lap Stands are very similar to what I have,

You clamp your frame or hoop into the stand and you put the base under your leg(s) and stitch away on your project. You can stitch using both hands or just one, whatever you’re more comfortable with. I do like to stitch with both hands and I find that stitching that way doesn’t aggravate my carpal tunnel nearly as much and I can stitch for a longer period of time.

I know some of our readers use floor stands also, so hopefully we’ll hear some good opinions and buying advice on those types here in the comment section!

Happy Stitching!

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Stitchqueries: What kind of lighting?

Bad lighting can make your stitching seem difficult and really strain your eyes, so this week’s question is an important one.

I’ve been doing needlepoint and cross-stitch for over 30 years but now that I have older eyes I don’t see as well at night to work on my projects so would like some recommendations on the best lighting or lighting attachments to use so I can work into the night. What do you use, recommend?

This is a great question and I would love to hear from some other stitchers on the topic as well. When it comes to lighting Ott-Lite seems to be the standard of best, but they’re quite expensive, so I honestly just put full spectrum light bulbs in the whole house.

You can just go to Lowes or Home Depot and pick up a package of regular looking light bulbs that capture a fuller spectrum of light than the “standard bulb” and it helps a lot. I’ve never used an Ott light, so I can’t really compare, but so far the spectrum style bulbs are working for me.

(They might not be true full spectrum, but I guess they are “more” or “most of” spectrum) On a side note, the fuller spectrum light bulbs make a great improvement on everyone’s mood as well!

If you decide to go with an Ott-Lite there are several styles available from floor lampsLamps & Light Fixtures) to portable lamps that you can put in your bag, so you can choose whatever works best for your stitching situation.

I hope that helps shed some light on things 😉

Happy Stitching!

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Stitchqueries: Finding Stitch and Stuff Bear Pattern

This week’s stitchqueries is a little bit different. This is a plea for help in finding a pattern …. Janet emailed me a few weeks ago looking for a pattern of a bear with his arms up where you stitch his face sweater and toes then cut out the bear sew him together and stuff him.

I had never seen a pattern like this before, and I was coming up empty on searches. I’m usually pretty keen at hunting things down online, so I asked if she had any other information on the pattern. While we don’t have the designer or pattern name, she came back with this photo to help in the hunt…

If you recognize this cute little guy please let us know! Janet is seeking him and wants to stitch one up.

Thank you for your help and happy stitching!

Stitchqueries: Too Good to Be True?

This week’s question is in regard to purchasing large photo conversion charts from eBay.

I saw a pattern from ebay- rainbow sunset cross stitch (452) and I found it too good to be true. I think it’s a chart generated from a photograph. Can we really crosstitch the pattern to look like the picture that we see? I hope you can help me. Thanks in advance.

I’m always weary of buying charts like this from eBay unless it’s from a cross stitch designer or company I recognize, because you can never be sure if the image to cross stitch conversion was done correctly. While it can be done with excellent results (for example, Heaven and Earth Designs and Mystic Stitch pattern products) it can also be done very poorly and often the results you receive from eBay are of the poorer quality. That’s not saying this isn’t a good pattern… it might be, but it’s a toss up 50/50 chance of what kind of chart you’re really going to get.

Why do I say this? Being familiar with converting image files to charts using software I know that it can be a painstaking process of going through each line stitch by stitch to make sure the floss color is of equal match up to the picture you’re trying to recreate. In a lot of cases the sellers on eBay are just hitting the “convert” button and not making the necessary adjustments to the pattern, therefore you’ll frequently find green where there should be beige, orange where there should be purple, and so on and so forth.

I hopped over to eBay to check this particular pattern out….

….and I do see that the seller has a large number of good feedback and 98% good feedback overall, so it might be worth the gamble if it’s something you really want to stitch. Good results are possible, but so are bad ones.

I wish there was more advice to offer here. If you do purchase the pattern and stitch it I look forward to seeing the finished work! (fingers crossed for good results!)

Happy Stitching!

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Stitchqueries: Do you use counting pins while stitching?

This weeks question is actually for you from me – after all one person can’t possibly know everything there is to know about stitching!

Do you use counting pins while you’re stitching?

I’m one the fence about ordering a set of counting pins for myself and I’m wondering if you use them in your own stitching and how you like them.

Pros? Cons? Must have stitching accessory or just a shiny stash object?

I know we’ve talked a lot about gridding recently and I love gridding for large projects, but I don’t take the time to grid out my fabric for smaller projects (although sometimes I think I probably should) and I’m hoping that some counting pins will help me keep me moving along on my projects quickly and without tons of recounting or errors.

Leave a comment below and tell me what you think…. (and of course I’ll let you know what I order when the time comes ;))

Thank you!
Happy Stitching,

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