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The Happy Stitcher
Hints And Tips (General)

Welcome to the "Hints and Tips" page.  I hope everyone will find these pointers useful.

BASIC HINTS AND TIPS
 
WHEN STITCHING A LARGE PROJECT, IT'S VITAL THAT YOU ALLOW ENOUGH MARGIN FOR FRAMING.  A GOOD GUIDE IS 3" ALL AROUND THE DESIGN.
IN DESIGNS WHERE YOU USE LOTS OF COLOURS BUT ONLY A FEW STITCHES AT A TIME, THREAD SEVERAL NEEDLES SO THAT YOU SAVE TIME AND DON'T WASTE ANY THREAD.

IF YOU WANT TO USE A COLOURED FABRIC FOR A DESIGN, GATHER YOUR CHOSEN THREADS AND LAY THEM ON TOP OF THE FABRIC TO SEE IF THEY CONTRAST STRONGLY ENOUGH AND YOU WILL SEE IF ANY OF THE COLOURS FADE AWAY OR NOT.

CROSS STITCH DESIGNS STITCHED ON LINEN LOOK MUCH BETTER IF A PIECE OF THIN WADDING THE EXACT SIZE OF THE APERTURE IS FITTED BEHIND THE DESIGN.  THIS PUSHES THE  STITCHES FORWARD MAKING THEM MORE PROMINENT.

20 WAYS TO BECOME A

Make sure you complete one design before starting another (who am i kidding).


Remember the golden rule: Always complete the first half of your cross stitch in the same direction.


Banish dogs, cats, babies, husbands - and anything else that's likely to make a mess - from your stitching area.


Subscribe to a reputable magazine and you can't fail to improve your stitching with great ideas and tips every month.


Try out a new technique such as blackwork or hardanger to broaden your horizons.


Be a patient stitcher - rushing only leads to mistakes and hours of unpicking.


Surf the Net - it's packed with brilliant stitching sites bursting with stitching facts.


Join a stitchi
ng club or start one yourself.
Read the instructions!  You always want to get the kit open and that first stitch completed but its worth checking it's right.


Teach a friend to stitch - you'll pass on your enthusiasm for stitching, but you'll also go back over the basics yourself and unlearn any bad habits you've acquired.

Cross stitching is addictive but don't set yourself impossible deadlines.  Just enjoy it!

 

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STITCHING WITH A HOOP

USE A HOOP BIG ENOUGH TO ENCLOSE YOUR ENTIRE CROSS STITCH DESIGN SO THAT THE STITCHES WON'T GET SQUASHED WHEN YOU ARE WORKING ON IT.

BIND BOTH RINGS OF THE HOOP WITH 6MM (1/4IN) RIBBON TO PREVENT ANY ROUGH EDGES SNAGGING YOUR FABRIC.

FOR RIGHT HANDERS, HOLD THE HOOP WITH THE SCREW IN THE 10 O'CLOCK POSITION WHILST LEFT HANDERS SHOULD HAVE THE SCREW IN THE 2 O'CLOCK POSITION.

SLACKEN THE TOP HOOP SO THAT IT FITS SNUGLY OVER THE BOTTOM HOOP AND THE FABRIC.  YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE TO FORCE IT.

REMOVE THE HOOP IN BETWEEN STITCHING SESSIONS TO REDUCE THE MARKING OF THE FABRIC.
 

BETTER STITCHER

When you are stitching with two strands of thread, pass the needle between the threads as you complete the top arm of the cross stitch for a really neat finish.


Be adventurous - invest in metallics or hand-dyed threads.


Master French Knots.  They appear in lots of designs and avoiding them means not having so many designs to choose from.


Keep a notebook to record what you have stitched and for whom so that your stitching is always a surprise.


Organise your stitching cupboard.  Frantically searching for a certain colour skein in a plastic bag does nothing for your sanity.


Invest in a daylight bulb.  Squinting at your work isn't very good becoming and is bad for your eyes too.


Use a good needle.  If possible, invest in gold needles as they glide through the fabric for smooth stitching.


Tidy up!  Do your children go to school with threads on the back of their uniforms?  It's good to be crazy about your hobby but there are others in the house too.


Take a break from your stitching to do something different and you'll return to it fully revitalised.  You will make less mistakes.

 

 

 

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HAPPY STITCHING!