We all need a hobby to keep us engaged in something we enjoy, and for me, cross-stitching is always an enriching experience. Apart from being fun and easy to understand, it does not require us to invest in many supplies and provides opportunities to demonstrate how creative we can be.
Designing unique patterns has allowed me to come up with art pieces that I have a personal connection. However, beyond the creative considerations of cross-stitching, I learned that a little progress each day can lead to amazing results. There is a science behind everything, including needlecrafts such as knitting. It is all about familiarizing ourselves with the basics before we venture into the different types of images we want to create. We can even base them on pictures or drawings that belong to us so that we can relate to our work on a deeper level.
First, let us explain what cross-stitching is so you can see if it works for you and your preferences.
What is Cross-Stitching?
Defined as a type of counted thread embroidery, cross-stitching is revisiting modern craft as a popular hobby. The process involves performing X-shaped stitches on fabric with an open and even weave such as linen or Aida. The only limit to a person’s designs, be it a beginner or pro, is their creativity. The final product can be something modern, traditional, or a mix of both.
Today, cross-stitch projects are often available as kits in the market. You can also buy basic supplies to present innovations of your own.
Explore the Basics
The first thing to do is select your kit which you can even customize. If you are new to the world of needlecraft, we recommend stocking up on a needle, an embroidery hoop, and embroidery floss. You will also need instructions on making a stitch, choosing the design pattern, and the fabric or canvas to work on.
Next, evaluate a cross-stitch chart that gives information about the suitable color and the location to stitch.
A rule of thumb is to begin stitching in the center of the design whenever you start a new project. This ensures that your design is embedded in the fabric, and you can always refer to the tiny arrows at the edges of a cross-stitch that marks the main points.
There are numerous categories of embroidery hoops and frames to choose from. As a beginner, you may want to use one because it is easier to place your fabric in an embroidery hoop. One best practice is to center Aida fabric in an embroidery hoop and select the color of embroidery floss. Next, cut it to a length of around 12-18 inches long. Embroidery floss consists of six strands, and you will see that most cross-stitch patterns involve a couple of strands at once. This entirely depends on your choice of fabric though, as you may generally alternate between one or two strands at a time.
To isolate a strand, simply hold the floss with your free hand and squeeze the tail of one strand with the other hand. Carefully pull the strand up and out until it is disconnected from the remaining strands. Pulling several strands simultaneously may result in the floss becoming entangled, so take necessary precautions.
It is common to create beautiful cross-stitch designs using tapestry needles with rounded ends. The size of the needle will be based on your fabric material. If you stitch a kit, utilize the needle that comes with it. The process of threading a needle is similar to managing a needle for hand sewing. Take care not to make a knot in the tail end because you will end up stitching across the tail while attempting to secure it. Also, do not use knots in the cross-stitching process to avoid creating any bumps when you finish.
Hints and Tips
Follow the pattern closely and slowly begin stitching from left to right. Start at the back of the fabric and guide the needle to the front when you stitch a row with the same-colored thread. Holding the tail against the end of the fabric will allow the first few stitches to catch the tail and tighten it.
Then, pull the thread, and pass it through to the back of the material. Next, take the needle to the front, and then to the rear of the fabric. Make a string of diagonal half stitches in the same direction by moving left to right. Continue from left to right till you complete the cross-stitches.
Switch to a new piece if your thread runs out or only a few inches remain. Turn your creation over and pull the needle between the stitches on the back to secure it. Cut off the remaining thread, and move on to the new switch with a fresh piece of thread.
How to Make Separate Cross Stitches
Every piece of work is different. Sometimes, may it be simpler to perform an entire cross stitch before proceeding to the next stitch rather than working in rows. It is a matter of stitching till you reach the end of your thread or until you use up your supply of stitches in your pattern. On the back of your fabric, just pass the needle under three completed stitches to tighten the thread, and trim the rest once you finish.
Cross-stitching is a fulfilling craft, and it is appreciated all around the world. Do not worry about the steps, and just enjoy the process.