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Cross-Stitching. Tips and hints

Is there a special craft that interest you? My favorite is cross-stitching. There are a lot of ideas out there to cross-stitch. From bookmakers to wedding blankets. This is a great past time. It’s one that I’ve done since I was a little girl. Cross-stitching is for all ages, young and old. 

I believe working with such small details actually keeps your eyes a little sharper. I watched my mom cross-stitch and she past it down to my sister and me. The both of us will past it down to our daughters as well. When you had a ruff day just pick up your stitching and relax. Cross Stitching has such a calming feeling. The three of us sometimes just get together to cross stitch, girl talk and pass the time away. 

What do we cross-stitch you ask? Well the list is endless. We cross stitch pictures for our walls and quilts for our beds. Holiday items, such as, stockings, tree skirts, sweatshirts and gift ideas. We have cross-stitched many gifts over the years. Personalized baby blankets make wonderful baby shower gifts. Personalized bookmakers make awesome Christmas gifts for the teachers. 

For our wedding present my sister actually cross-stitched a Christmas tree skirt (with our last name on it & our established year), along with two matching stockings with our first names on them. After the birth of each of our kids she added another matching stocking. These will truly be heirlooms to pass down to our children. The list is endless of all the gift ideas there are to make.

Some helpful hints when cross-stitching. Always have clean hands. Never use creams that will rub off on your project and stain it. When ever possible use a hoop large enough to fit your entire project. This is not always possible so use a piece of muslin or other uncolored fabric and place is between your fabric and the hoop to prevent the hoop from resting directly on to your finished work. 

Natural light is the best when working on your needlework. Tension of your tread is an important part of cross-stitching that will take some time to achieve. With practice you will learn to keep the same tension. At first some will be loose and others will be too tight. A stitch should not be snug enough to pull the fabric. 

With time all your stitches will be nice and even. Never fold your fabric to store. The creases will be difficult to iron out of the finished project. When storing your fabric loosely roll it and keep it where it won’t get crushed. 

When making a special gift it is always nice to sign your work. You can discreetly personalize any piece of work. Add your initials and the year you created it. Use a design with color floss that is readable and blends in with the shades in the design. Also use a backstitch to have it stand out. Never cover your initials with the matting. Allow it to be seen by all. You will have a sense of pride looking at your completed piece of work. On the baby blanket I made for my niece, I placed Love Auntie in the corner. When she grows older she will always know where this special blanket came from. 

Are you wondering where to start? Go to your local craft shop and you will find many booklets with cross-stitching projects. These booklets usually have a step by step guide on getting started. I would start with something simple at first. Don’t just jump into a major project. This might over whelm you and cause you to be frustrated with cross-stitching. 

Cross Stitching should be relaxing and enjoyable. Remember that there are endless gift ideas that you will find to work on. These are usually very inexpensive gift ideas. The time and workmanship you place in your projects makes them very valuable.

Happy stitching!

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