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Reply To: Cross Stitch

Reply To: Cross Stitch

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Oooh, cross stitching! I used to do it all the time when I commuted on the commuter train. Well, it sounds like you’re all prepared. Cross stitch uses a specific fabric called, oddly enough, cross stitch fabric. If you look at the weave carefully, you’ll notice it is broken up into tiny squares. If you then look at your pattern, you’ll also notice the image is made up of squares or, like a computer image, pixels. You can get your pattern one of three ways, either printed on the cross stitch cloth itself, iron on, or a pattern map. If it is iron on, the packaging will say iron on embroidery transfer. If you merely get a piece of paper with the image printed out like this: then you use the map as a guideline to figure out where to put your stitches. Put your fabric in your embroidery hoop, making the center of the fabric in the center of the hoop. It’s a good idea to start in the middle of the design and work your way out. Sometimes these guidelines will suggest what color embroidery to use. And maps will either differentiate different colors by either printing them in a different colors, like the example I linked, or by using different symbols. For example, # might be blue and % might be red. It’s just like reading a map. They also might include a suggestion of embroidery colors. example: # DMC 10 means that where ever the symbol # appears you’ll use DMC embroidery floss (DMC is a brand name) color number 10, which may be black. Ok, so now you’re ready to start sewing. We’re starting in the middle of our design and using my example, I’d start with bottom part of the conversation bubble “I Love You” in red. If the square is white or blank on the map, no stitch is needed. For the very bottom of our red conversation bubble, we’d need 5 red cross stitches in a line because there are 5 squares marked red on our map. A cross stitch is merely making an “X” stitch, using the tiny holes of the cross stitching fabric as your guideline. 1 “X” per square. (To see a sample of a cross stitch, check out our video on the cross stitch here on Professor Pincushion). Getting back to my pattern, you would then move one row up and make 5 more cross stitches but shifted over one column. And then the same for the next row. When I want to switch to the orange heart bubble, I would count from the right bottom red cross stitch, one down, right 11 and then cross stitch, in orange, 5 squares and so on. Cross stitching takes a lot of patience and counting, depending on how involved the design is. Some take thousands of stitches and lots of different threads but in the end, look like a masterpiece painting. For beginners, it’s best to start simple. Good luck and I hope this helps! Let me know if you need any more clarification.