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Cross Stitch Tips
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These tried and tested tips may help you to avoid mistakes and will make cross stitching easier.

Tip 1: Organize your threads before you start any project because this will help you to avoid problems later. Always include the colour number of the thread. Including the thread manufacturer's name is also well worth doing.

Tip 2: Separate the threads of the starnded cotton. Next, remove the number you need and match them up again before threading your needle.

Tip 3: Ensure you use the correct needle size for the cloth you are using and the correct number of strands of thread.

Tip 4: Start with the loop method when using an even number of threads for your cross stitch design - that is, two, four or six strands.

Tip 5: Start with the knotless start method when using an odd number of threads for your cross stitch design - that is, one, three or five strands. If tweeding threads (this means, using single strands, of two or more colours, twisted together to form a mottled, tweedy effect), start with this knotless start method too.

Tip 6: Study your chart and plan how you will navigate around it. You should count over short distances to avoid making mistakes.

Tip 7: Work your cross stitch in two directions in a smooth movement. The first row should be worked in one direction using the half cross stitch. Then cover those original stitches with the second row of half cross stitches. On the back of the fabric, the end result of sewing this way, forms single vertical lines that are very neat. These lines also give you somewhere to finish off your thread ends.

Tip 8: Remember that for professional looking cross stitch projects, the top stitches should all face the same direction.

Tip 9: Avoid coming up through holes that already have stitches in them from the back. Rather insert the needle from the front of the cloth. This helps stop ruining existing stitches.

Tip 10: When you are sewing, you may find that the threads start to twist slightly and the stitches are no longer smooth or lying flat. There are two ways around this. Either flip your fabric upside down and let the needle dangle and spin until the thread is untwisted or each time you take the needle out of the fabric, give it a half turn before stitching again.

Tip 11: If you are using an outline of backstitch, always do this after your work has been completed to prevent the solid line being broken.

Tip 12: Ideally, you should aim to avoid travelling across the back of the fabric for more than two stitches as trailing thread will be seen on the front of the work.

The cross stitch tips listed above may be helpful to both new and experienced cross stitchers.


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