Cross stitching: Tips for beginners

Simple pattern and canvas

    • If this is your first attempt at embroidering, choose simple patterns with no more than five or six colours. Make it easier for yourself the first time, more complicated patterns will come later!
    • Use a light-colour fabric for your first embroidery project, because darker colors are more difficult to work with. Also, with dark colors your eyes will get tired quicker.
    • When cutting the fabric, leave some room around the edges. You should have a border between the design and the frame. If your calculations about the size of the design are somewhat wrong, you’ll be able to stretch your work a bit at the edges.

      • Cross stitch itself is easy to make. Simply speaking, it consists of two diagonal stitches made in opposite directions. You can do each cross on its own or stitch continuously. In this case, always stitch the crosses in the came direction, from bottom left to top right, and then, turning back, from bottom right to top left.
      • The golden rule of cross stitching is to start working from the centre of the canvas. However, as usual, here exceptions confirm the rule. If you feel that it is more convenient to start from one of the edges, do it.
      • Do not knot your thread, it will make your embroidery look lumpy and untidy. When you start a thread, keep hold of the short tail of it with your finger on the reverse of your work and work over it with the first few stitches to hold it in place. When you finish a thread, turn over your work, slip your thread under the last few stitches and cut the thread.
      • Do not make the thread too long (an old German adage says “Long thread, lazy girl”). Thread length should be no longer than two feet (60 cm). Be careful not to tangle it or twist it too much.
      • If your thread becomes twisted, turn your work over and let the attached needle and thread hang down from the fabric. When the thread unwinds, you can continue with embroidering. We recommend doing this regularly while embroidering (after several stitches).

Simple pattern and marked canvas

      • To make your task simpler, you can mark out your canvas in 10×10 stitch square grid. It will help you to find necessary stitches in the pattern and the canvas. To do the grid, use special markers that will disappear after washing or water-soluble threads that are new on the market. Don’t use pencils or tailor chalks because you will not be able to wash them off and will spoil all your work with it. Do not use disappearing pen, as it will probably disappear before you complete your design.

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