General Cross Stitching Tips

There are all sorts of tips available to enhance the speed and quality of your cross stitching and some of these are listed below:

If possible, always keep your current piece of cross stitch available as when you have a spare ten minutes or so, if the work is already out you can manage several stitches during this time. Ideally, to adopt this method of stitching, you should use a frame which of course must be covered with a clean dust sheet in between sewing sessions.

How do you know where you are up to in your cross stitch pattern? You don't want to make a mistake, do you? If you are careful about what you spend then you know that although the kit doesn't cost the world, you don't want to have to buy a new one. There are a number of ways to prevent this from happening. One idea is to use an arrow which can be quickly stitched onto the edge of the Aida cloth and then snipped off when cross stitching is complete.

Another suggestion to deal with this problem is before you start to cross stitch have a photo copy of the black and white chart made and when you finish a session of sewing mark on the photo copy where you are up to. If using this method, it is recommended you use a pencil to mark the spot and before you start cross stitching again, erase the pencil mark from the photo copy so you can re-mark it when you finish that particular sewing session. If using a pen for this purpose, if you are not careful your photo copy will eventually become extremely untidy with a series of crosses or marks and there is the possibility that you will not know which mark to use!

If you decide to use a hoop to cross stitch a section at a time, do not have the length of your thread too long or it will catch on the edge of the hoop and could fray and time will be wasted whilst you replace the length of thread.

Even the most experienced cross stitcher occasionally gets knots in the sewing thread. To try to avoid this after several stitches have been sewn, let your tapestry needle (still threaded) hang loosely from the work. It will spin around several times and, hopefully, this action will prevent the thread from knotting. However, if you do get a knot, try to undo it by pushing the tip of the tapestry needle into the centre of the knot to release it by gently pulling the thread. If this fails, do not worry, just trim the thread cutting out the knot and restart your cross stitching.

Whilst sewing, although your thread has not been cut to more than 18" in length, move the needle further along the thread as you work. This will help the cotton not to weaken whilst it is threaded through the eye of the tapestry needle. Sometimes when you look really closely at your stitching, some threads look a little frayed and moving the thread to different positions during cross stitching should help to alleviate this.

When you have completed your pattern and have washed and pressed it ready for framing, if you notice it is not completely square, don't worry. Lightly spray both sides of the work and then place it face down on a clean white towel. It is now possible to press the piece back into a true square without completely soaking the material.

The biggest aid to speeding up the rate of your cross stitching is to be perfectly organised with your sewing tackle. If you have to rummage through a box of thread to find the correct one to use or haven't a clue where the scissors are, this wastes valuable sewing time. Each time you commence a new piece of cross stitch, it is advisable to ensure you have all the thread required to complete the pattern to hand. As you will appreciate, most sewers have a needle craft storage kit, but it is useful to keep everything you need for a particular piece together in a mini sewing box.

These are just a few general points to help you increase the speed of your cross stitching, however, as you become a more experienced cross stitcher you will discover the best and quickest methods of your own to complete a beautiful piece of cross stitching.