Hints and Tips

 

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Hints and Tips

Submit a Tip

Fabric   Finishing Off   Stitching   Threads   Beads

Submit a Tip

 

Here are some cross stitch hints and tips which have been gathered over nearly a decade of cross stitching

Click on the links above to go to the tip you wish

.
 If you have some tips that we have missed, why don't you click on the
Submit a Tip link above and we will include it in our page.

Fabric

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Tape over the edges of your fabric, this prevents it from fraying and also stops your thread from catching on the edges.
 

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If using a dark fabric to stitch your design, try placing a white sheet over your lap.  This makes it a lot easier to see the holes.
 

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Always remove your fabric from the hoop at the end of stitching, this prevents marks.
 

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You can only use whole cross stitches on plastic canvas, so use simple designs.

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Finishing Off

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Use the holes in the aida to help you when mounting your design.
Make sure the vertical and horizontal fabric threads line up with the mount aperture edges for a perfect result.
 

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Try to store your cross stitch rolled rather than folded, this prevents crease marks that are hard to iron out. 
Try rolling your cross stitch and storing in the centre of a kitchen roll.

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Stitching

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Fractional stitches will be made a lot easier if you use a sharp pointed needle. 
This will enable you to pierce the aida block in the centre.
 

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Always stitch your top half of your crosses in the same direction. 
This produces a lovely neat finish.  If you change the direction, your stitching will look untidy.
 

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Thread up several needles with all the colours you will need before you start to stitch.  You will save lots of time.
 

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Try to avoid trailing threads across the back of your work, as this will show through. 
Instead try to finish off completely after each area of colour has been stitched and then start afresh for the next area.
 

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As hard as it sounds, always try to take regular breaks from your stitching!
This prevents any mistakes creeping in through tiredness.
 

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Change your needles regulary, and keep your work stretched to keep the tension even.
 

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The general rule when using fractional stitches, is that the foreground should be stitched in the three
quarter stitch and the background should be stitched in the quarter stitch.

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Threads

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For best results when using variegated threads, work each whole cross stitch at a time.
This will produce a gradual colour change.
 

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When using Metallic Threads, use a shorter length than you would normally use, as this prevents
the thread from wearing thin and fraying.
 

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When using Metallic Threads, use a needle with a larger eye than you would normal use, as this
opens the hole in the aida, allowing the thread to glide through.

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Beads

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Beads can be bought in different sizes and it is important to try the beads for size before sewing on the pattern.
 

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Use a specialist Beading Needle when using beads, the eye of the needle is smaller than the eye of a normal needle.
 

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If you are using different colours of beads within your design, stitch by row rather than jumping around, as this keeps the
tension nice and taut, and prevents beads from sagging.
 

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Always buy enough beads to complete a design, as the colours can change slightly within different batches.
 

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Beads scatter easily.  To keep them under control, try using a bead caddy, available from all good needlecraft shops.

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