Friday, November 4, 2011

Cross-Stitch Basics

Cross stitching is a simple technique in which you take two strands of thread & form an "X" onto your cloth. Cross-stitching dates all the way back to the Pilgrims in Massachusetts in 1693 (don't believe me? google it). It started out just to add decoration to simple things like dish towels and progressed into making pictures to frame, etc..

Basic tools:

From Left to right: Precious Moments Cross Stitch pattern book, (on the lid) Plastic bobbins, embroidery hoop,needle and cross stitch fabric.
Most of my embroidery thread & packaged on the right is cross stitch fabric with my sewing scissors on top.
A list of the tools you'll need:

*Needles (they do make dull edged needles if you're worried about getting pricked)
*"Floss" or embroidery threads (there are numbers on them to help you use the right colors later when you're working on patterns)
* Hoop (optional)
* Cloth (be careful. They come in different size- 16 count, 20, 22. These just mean how many squares per inch. The bigger the number you go, the smaller your pattern will turn out)
*Deep organizing box for your threads (optional. A ziploc works great for first time projects too)
*Plastic bobbins (again, optional. they store much better this way though)

The best way to store your threads.

buy a some  plastic bobbins and a deep organizing box to store them in. Usually when you get your thread it comes wrapped in a paper tube.
I like to unravel mine onto the plastic bobbins and write in sharpie on the top of the bobbin what color it is. That way when I am working on a pattern that calls for that number, I know if I've got it.

I keep all of my threads ( I have four of these containers!)  semi- organized (always with the numbers facing up for easy finding).  Most of the time it's color coordinated. When I took this picture I was working on a project & some of the threads are off to the side holder.

Alright. Now that you've got your supplies, it's time to learn to cross stitch.

How to Cross stich

Take your cloth and hold it ( using a hoop is recommended, it keeps the fabric and the stitches straight. Not to mention it's easier to hold.)

With your needle threaded (knotted at the end for beginners) put the first stitch in (going diagonally from one top hole to the opposite hold at the top)

Next go to the other corner and do the same thing. (this will make your X)

That is the BASIC step in Cross-stitch. Make sure that all of your top stitches face the same direction to ensure a smooth finished project.

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