When you are doing cross stitch there are steps that you can take that will make completing your project much easier. These steps are honed from experienced crafters who have been doing cross stitch a long time. While cross stitch in and of itself is not difficult to learn as your progress their harder and harder projects your skills will progress and your design aesthetic grow. These steps will help you along the way you master the art of cross stitch.
Making Your Project:
1.Edges: The edges of your project are as important as your design. You should purchase Aida cloth with about 3 inches extra around the sides. It can also be helpful to put masking tape around all of the edges to prevent fraying.
2.Find the Center: As you begin fold the cloth lengthwise and widthwise and crease. The point in the middle will be the center of the project. You should start stitching as near the center as makes sense (given the limitations of your pattern) as possible. There will be arrows on the patterns that indicate the center. When you place your embroidery hoop onto your cloth, do it so that the center is showing.
3.Starting Out: As you begin your cross stitch you will want to start your thread out. You will do this by leaving a 2 inch length dangling on the wrong side of your fabric (you will not need to tie a knot in the end). As you continue with more stitches, you should catch the 2 inch length under the stitches on the back of your project. This is what is known as anchoring the thread.
Back side of the project:
1.Making the Pattern: You can make the pattern in two ways (it depends a lot on whether you are changing colors of thread or not). The best way to do this if you do not need to change colors for awhile is to do a long row of half stitches (/ / / / /) and when you have finished them work backwards to complete the cross ( ). Ultimately, this method usually results in a more uniform stitch and seems to go a lot faster. If, on the other hand, you are changing colors a lot, you may want to stitch an individual X each time. It is crucial to remember however that you make sure that you always work your stitches the same way. Remember that you can start with or with / / / / but do not start one row and the next row / /.
2.Backstitching: This is not done for every project. This is only done at the end of the project. It is a running stitch not and not a X that outlines the pattern. Keep in mind that when reading the pattern, the backstitching is typically shown by a solid line and is sometimes done in a color different (usually slightly darker) than the cross stitching. When teaching a someone who is just beginning with cross stitch you may want to skip the backstitching (unless they are already familiar with how to do it) and just focus on the cross stitch. Many times it may take longer to backstitch projects than it does to cross stitch them, so you may want to just stick to the cross stitch for now.
Finishing the project:
1.Framing: This can be a tricky part of doing cross stitch. Experienced crafters recommend taking your finished cross stitch pieces to a framing store since they will know how to stretch them while framing to avoid sagging.