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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Counted cross stitch supplies

Counted cross stitch supplies and a little knowledge is all you need to learn how to cross stitch. This article will explain about the various supplies and then explain how to get started.Counted cross stitch is about stitching on a fabric that is much like a grid. For the most part you make an X over the grid just like on graph paper, hence the name "Cross Stitch." The counting comes in when you read a pattern or chart. You begin in the center of your pattern and in the center of your fabric and count up or down on the grid to know where to place your stitch. Below you will find detailed information about all the supplies needed for cross stitching and how to do it.Choosing Cross Stitch Fabric:Cross stitch fabric comes in many different colors and fabric counts. The higher the count, the smaller the finished design will be.14 count aida cloth is one of the most popular cross stitch fabrics and is excellent for beginners. Aida is the fabric type and 14 refers to the count or the number of squares per inch.Preparing the Fabric:Before cutting the fabric, add at least six inches to the design size to allow room for framing and finishing. Keep the edges from fraying by zigzagging around the edges or using a fray preventative.DMC Floss:Embroidery floss is available in different colors and brands. Each color is identified by a number that varies by brand. If your pattern calls for a brand of floss not available in your area, conversion charts, which give the closest color substitution in another brand, are available on the internet. Strands of Thread:Embroidery floss consists of six strands of thread twisted together. The number of strands you will use depends on the count of your fabric. Most charts tell you how many strands to use for the best coverage. After cutting a length of floss, separate the strands, and then realign the correct number of strands before threading the needle.Cross Stitch Needles:Cross stitch is worked with tapestry needles. The blunt tips allow the needles to slip easily through the holes in the fabric, and the large eyes make it easier to thread several strands of floss. Look for tapestry needles in size 24 or 26. (The larger the number, the thinner the needle.)Cross Stitch Hoops:Cross stitch can be worked with or without a hoop. Using a hoop helps keep the fabric taut, making it easier to put the needle in the fabric holes and crating neater stitches. Hoops come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are made from many different materials. Some stitchers prefer simply holding the fabric. Choose the option that is most comfortable for you.Cross Stitch Charts:Each design has a chart with a grid similar to graph paper. Each square on the chart represents a square on the fabric. A stitch is worked on the fabric for each symbol shown on the chart. The symbols in the chart correspond to the color key, which indicates the floss color for each stitch.Arrows:Most charts have arrows to help you locate the center of the design so you can center it on the fabric.Color Keys:Color keys indicate the floss color and type of stitch used.Design Information:The design information specifies the stitch count, color, and type of fabric used for the photography model, as well as the number of floss strands used. Don't for get to add 6 inches for working your design.Where to Start Stitching?Now that you know about the cross stitch supplies you may be asking, where do I start cross stitching?Cut the fabric using the measurements in the design for that count aida cloth. Then prepare the fabric.Use the arrows on the chart to find the center of the design. Locate the center of your fabric by folding it in half, left to right and again bottom to top. To find your starting point, count the number of squares (stitches) from the center of the chart to the uppermost left full cross stitch. Then, from the fabric's center, find this same starting point by counting out the same number of squares (stitches).Thread your needle with the number and color of strands indicated by your chart. Don't tie a knot in the end of your floss because it will make your finished piece have lumps underneath. Instead, bring the needle up through the hole at the top right of your square on your fabric. Pull the floss through the hole, but leave a 1" tail on the back. With your finger, hold the tail against the back of the fabric. This tail will be held in place under the first few stitches you work. End your floss by running under several stitches on the back.Carrie Gibson is an avid crafter and has been enjoying counted cross stitch for for more than 30 years. If you would like to try your hand at this, you can find all these counted cross stitch supplies online. This site also has patterns and books to teach you more techniques by various designers. They even have counted cross stitch kits to get your started.Article Source: Source:
Friday, August 17, 2012

Counted Cross Stitch Fabrics

Cross stitch kits are very convenient to use as they include all the elements required to complete the project. These are so useful for people who enjoy stitching but no time to purchase the individual threads,fabric and chart or for the beginner.
The beauty of cross stitching is, it is so versatile and once you have gained some experience and want to be more creative and independent you can be.
Whether you are using left over fabric or purchasing new fabric it is important to have the correct fabric count for the effect you want to create. The size of the design is dictated by the fabric count.
The fabric used for cross stitch is either cotton or linen which have an evenweave. This means they have the same number of weft (horizontal) threads as there are warp (vertical) threads to 1 inch or 2.5 centimetres. The most popular fabric is cotton as this is cheaper but it is personal preference. The count you use should not strain your eyes, there are plenty of magnifying glasses on the market to assist with the smaller count fabrics.
The weave of this cotton fabric is a block of threads between each hole the cross stitch is worked over one block. This is probably the most popular fabric and is widely available it has several counts, 11,14,16 and 18. Fourteen count is the most popular. The problem with this fabric is if a design includes a large amount of three quarter stitches it becomes difficult to stitch. There is no hole for the quarter stitch so it means piercing the centre of the block on the fabric with the needle.
Evenweave Linen
This is much more expensive than aida it is woven with single threads much easier to handle and long lasting. It has varied thread counts. It can be worked over one thread which will produce a very fine small design or over two threads which will produce a larger design. This is a perfect fabric for stitching a design over two threads which includes three quarter stitches the hole is there already.
If you have a design to stitch and the chart states 14 count aida this can be substituted with 28 count evenweave stitched over two threads. The finished project would still be the same size but would look finer because of the fabric used.
Jean Leeming is a keen cross stitch enthusiast. She writes articles on all aspects of Cross Stitch and also runs a website: Needlework Magic where she sells a wide range of Cross Stitch Kits which are very competitively priced.
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Saturday, August 11, 2012

I'm making a come back

Hi everyone,

I have taken a couple years off from posting to this blog.  I will be posting here again starting soon.  Sorry for such a long pause.  Please come back to see me and some new posts.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Create A Focal Point And Accent Pieces By Using Cross Stitching

There are many elements to consider when decorating a room, such as focal points and accent pieces. Both are very important. They help to express your personality and tie different elements in a room together. Cross stitching can be used in both of these decorating elements.
Focal Points:
A focal point is an element in the room from which everything else revolves around, or in other words, is focused upon. In large rooms and in houses with open concept layouts, there can be more than one focal point. Focal points are often part of the architecture of the house, for example, a fireplace or a bay window. If no architectural focal point(s) exist, one can be created through the placement of an electric fireplace, a tv or a piece of artwork (including pieces that have been cross stitched). Once you have defined your focal point, place the furniture around it, to emphasize the focal point and to create a sense of unity in the room.
One way to create a focal point when using cross stitching, is to group similar pieces together. First, cross stitch and frame each design separately. Then, hang the finished pieces in a grouping. The groupings can have the individual pieces either spaced evenly from each other in a straight line (perfect for hallways or stair cases), in a shape (like a square or circle) or in a geometric pattern (which work best on a large empty wall). Remember, that to emphasize the cross stitching as the focal point, place the furniture around it. Pot lights can be used to illuminate the cross stitching and provide a cozy atmosphere to the room, while an area rug on the floor can help to tie the furniture, lighting and artwork together. Your focal point should inspire conversation, or at the very least, deep contemplation.
Accent Pieces:
The most important aspect of accent pieces is colour, which is used in several different ways. The accent piece can have multiple colours which will tie in the different colours in a room, for example, by using a picture as the accent piece. Accent pieces are also used to add contrast, through bright or dark colours. If the walls in a room are creamy beige, add contrast by having a small, dark brown coloured accent piece, such as a cushion on a chair.
Cross stitching can be used on accent pieces, such as pillow cushions. Pillow cushions can be placed anywhere – on a bed, a chair, couch or even on a bookcase. They can be any size, shape or colour, which makes it easy to accent your decor and the colour can add contrast to the room.
While multiple cross stitched pieces can be used as a focal point, one cross stitched piece can be used as an accent piece. The most important aspect here is the use of colour. Colour can be used to either tie in the different colours in the room or to add contrast. Artwork, including cross stitched pieces, can also be rotated within the room or taken from another room in order to change the feel of a room. One piece can be used to tie in the decor and a different piece can be used to add contrast.
To find out more about decorating with cross stitching, including project ideas, visit
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Basic Cross Stitch Tips For Beginners

The art or craft of cross stitch is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. Easy to learn and do, 'cross stitch' is simply embroidery stitched with lots of little 'X' stitches to create a lovely design. This fun craft is sometimes referred to as 'counted cross-stitch' because the pattern and fabric require the crafter to count the number spaces to know where to place the stitches.
Most often, cross stitch patterns are done using a woven fabric called Aida cloth. Some advanced stitchers create designs on other types of fabrics using a special backing to help keep the stitching uniform. The kind of fabric you use depends on your skill level and the type of design you're creating. I've cross stitched designs on my children's clothing, bedding and other items for my home and as gifts.
Skilled cross stitch crafters create beautiful projects by stitching on plastic and various different papers as well. Gift cards and scrapbook designs may be made by stitching on paper of varying thickness and fiber.
Of course you can't cross stitch without the proper thread. The threads used in counted cross stitch range from basic cotton, to wool or silk threads. Usually very colorful, embroidery floss as it's called, comes in all kinds of colors and textures for you to play with.
If you're just beginning to consider learning to cross stitch, your best bet is to learn about the craft itself before you start buying supplies. Your local craft store, bookstore, or library will most likely have several books available that will teach you and provide easy patterns to start with.
Once you know what's expected of you in the craft of cross stitching, you'll want to find some easy projects to begin with that will allow you to learn as you go. You'll want to start with a project that requires only a few colors of thread and a larger weave Aida cloth. By doing so, you'll prevent a lot of unnecessary learner's frustration.
When you sit down to start your first cross stitch project, you'll want to have all of your materials available and easy to get to. Start out by reading through the project instructions. You'll want to look over your pattern and make sure that you understand all of the jargon and markings that you may find on the pattern. There will be a color key that you'll need to understand so that you use the correct thread color. Make sure to have a pencil handy to make notes or your own marks on the pattern for later reference.
Cross stitching requires you to use a six strand of floss or thread and separate it into individual threads. Your pattern will tell you how many threads you'll use at a time. Most often, the larger the weave of your fabric, the more strands of embroidery floss you'll need at a time. Don't rewind your floss and by all means don't let it get tangled or bunched up. Your end project will look flat and even if you take care of your floss.
One key factor in learning to cross stitch is remembering not to knot your thread. Knotting threads in a cross stitch project will make your end result look lumpy and uneven; not a good thing. Just pull your thread through your Aida cloth and make sure to leave a length of thread on the end in the back. You can keep the bit of tail from going completely through the fabric by holding onto it on the back of your fabric as you make your first couple of stitches; they will overlap and hold the thread in place. You may have to practice this easy technique a few times, but you'll get the hang of it soon enough.
Another handy cross stitching tip is when you're ready to change thread colors, just simply pull your needle through the stitches on the back of your fabric to hold your thread before you snip it off with scissors. Make sure to leave a little bit of thread so that it does not come loose and unstitched. Change your thread color and start on the next area of your project as you did before. And during the stitching process, remember to drop your needle every few stitches, meaning, just hold your project in one hand and let the attached needle and thread dangle from the fabric so that the thread unwinds and your next few stitches will be flat.
I can remember learning to cross stitch from a school librarian when I was a young girl. She eased my newbie anxiety with this phrase: 'If you have one eye and half a brain you can cross stitch.' Now, perhaps that may offend some avid cross stitchers, but she didn't mean it in derogatory way. Only that cross stitching is an easy to learn and do craft that just about anyone can master. I mastered it in the 1980's and stitched on anything I could get a needle through and even taught classes to school kids myself as an adult. The biggest problem I and most other cross stitchers have is the addiction of the craft. One thing to keep in mind is to control the number of kits you buy or you'll find yourself with drawers of unfinished projects. Have fun and keep on stitchin'!
Learn more about crafting and find free patterns for scrapbooking and all sorts of craft projects at Free Craft Ideas
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

From Samplers to Heirlooms: Cross Stitch Is A Real Art Form

Stamped Cross Stitch
Stamped cross stitch uses the basic “x” stitch to form a picture or large lettering, but the image of the “x” is already stamped onto the fabric. The needle is inserted at the top of one side of the “x” from the bottom of the fabric and then brought diagonally to the bottom of that side of the “x.” To finish a stitch, the needle is then brought up from underneath the fabric and reinserted across the first half of the “x” now forming the completed cross stitch.
You can do an entire row of cross stitches by going from top to bottom on one side and then going back over the row in the other direction. The important part to remember is to keep the underneath stitches all going in the same direction and the top stitches all the other way. This makes the finished image have the same knap and allow it look as if it were painted.
Counted Cross Stitch
Counted cross stitch works the same way, only the image is not printed on the fabric. Instead, symbols on a pattern tell you what color thread, called floss in cross stitching lingo, to use and for how many stitches. You then count from there how many stitches to use for the next color on your pattern.
The best way to start a counted cross stitch is to find the center of the image on your pattern and the center on your fabric and start from there. Patterns are printed on grids and cross stitch fabric looks like a grid, so it is easy to match the squares you’ll use to form the “x”es from the pattern to the fabric.
Cross Stitch Fabric & Materials
The fabric used for cross stitch has a number assigned to it that tells you how many little squares there are per inch. The higher the number, the smaller the finished image will be. For example, ADIA 14 fabric, which is the most common size, has 14 squares per inch. A fabric with 11 count will produce a larger image and is easier for beginners. Fabric with 21 count is very tiny. You pattern will tell you how big the finished image will be based on what size fabric you use. This is how you will know how big you need to cut your fabric.
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Preparing Your Fabric For Cross Stitch

When you are beginning a cross stitch project, it is necessary to prepare your fabric in certain ways. Wait, let me rephrase that…not necessary but optional and very helpful later. There are just a couple of things that you may choose to do to avoid aggravation later on in your project.
First, there is the issue of pre-washing your fabric. If you have ever sewn anything you will know that when you begin a sewing project, the first thing you do is wash your fabric. This is sometimes recommended for your cross stitch fabric also. I think most stitchers would agree that this is not necessary. When you finish the project and wash it, it will not shrink enough to cause a problem. On the other hand, if you are using a darker colored fabric you may want to pre-wash the fabric to prevent the dye from running after it is stitched. I have never personally run into a problem but I have heard stories of others that have and I would rather be safe than sorry. It is very simple to set the color in your fabric. Make a solution of one part vinegar to three parts water. Soak the fabric in this solution for about 15 minutes and the rinse the fabric under cold water until the water runs clear.
Second, there is the issue of your fabric unraveling while you are stitching. I know many stitchers that don’t concern themselves with this problem. I would suggest if you are not going to worry about the fabric unraveling, then you need to be very certain to cut your fabric large enough to allow for this because it will happen. There are other solutions to this problem though.
1. Masking Tape - You can tape around the edges of your fabric. Again you will need to cut your fabric large enough so that you can cut off the portion that was covered with the tape when you have finished. The adhesive on the tape will transfer to the fabric and over time can cause the fabric to begin rotting. The benefit to this is more control over how much fabric you will lose to unraveling or tape damage.
2. Fray-check - This is a fabric stiffener that you can apply to the edges of your fabric. Unfortunately, I fear that this will have the same effect as the adhesive in the masking tape. I am always concerned that the chemicals in these types of products will cause stains or rotting in the fabric eventually.
3. Sewing - I have found the best solution to be running a zig zag stitch along the edges of the fabric. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can fairly quickly even hand sew a quick hem around the edges to prevent unraveling.
After getting these two issues out of the way, you are ready to stitch. Hopefully this will help save you some of the aggravations of learning cross stitch.
Happy Stitching!
Author/Web Designer Lisa Lambson writes and designs for a variety of different mediums. For variety, keyword rich content and monthly content management specialization please visit the below website:
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