Well, well…lookie what happened! Many of you got interested in cross-stitch!! I got a lot of questions about cross-stitch after I’ve been blogging about it lately. I honestly think cross-stitch is super hot and popular right now because of covid. It’s an easy hobby to do with minimal entry cost which is awesome.
“Jo, after looking at all the various blogs of quilters who also do cross-stitch, I’ve decided to pick cross-stitch up again. I’m struggling with working on linen, even though I have 2 large pieces that I did in my younger years that are on linen.
Your pieces are beautiful, I’m starting small with ornaments, so hopefully, I can get back in the swing of things. Thanks so much for the inspiration.”
This is a common problem. I had the problem myself. I started cross-stitching in the 80s using Aida. I loved it. I did a big Paula Vaughan piece. All of her cross stitch had quilts in it. They were beautiful. I stitched this one….
When the kids were little I stitched a lot. As they aged, I quit cross-stitching and moved to quilting. When I started cross-stitching again, I was terrible at it.
I didn’t want to stitch on Aida so I bought linen. I could not do it. I bought a pattern and everything I needed. I sat down to try, no luck. I felt like a clumsy ox. I just couldn’t wrap my head around seeing two threads and stitching over them. I quit.
Kelli bought a project at the same time and with her, it clicked. She was showing me what she was doing and I was so sad I couldn’t make mine work. Fast forward to me seeing this piece.
I loved the words on the bigger piece. I was bound and determined that I was going to figure cross-stitch out. I really wanted that stitched and in my house.
I looked up a shop that had it and found one an hour from my house. YAHOO!! Kelli and I went. I got the stuff. I told the shop owner my problem and she said get a good light with magnification.
I bought one immediately. I have this…Here is an Amazon link for it.
This didn’t make it a breeze, but it did make it easier.
I still struggled and was so slow, but I found I could do it with magnification. My first piece was far from perfect…but it was okay and I was proud of myself. I wanted to quit a couple times but spending the money on the lamp kept me in the game. I didn’t want to spend that money for nothing.
Here are some things I learned.
-The more you cross-stitch, the easier it is to see the threads. As with anything practice helps you improve.
-Once you get a few stitches into the piece, other stitches are based off the first stitches so, the more you stitch on a piece the easier it gets.
-You do get muscle memory when stitching. Your hand learns about how far the next stitch is going to be away.
So..stick with it.
“Do you have a specific magnifier you could recommend? Maybe that’s my problem.”
I think this is the same Judy who wrote the first question. I do have the magnifier I showed in the photo above. When I first bought the lamp, I used magnification ALL OF THE TIME. If I did one stitch, I used it.
Time has passed. I’ve practiced more. I not longer use the magnification portion of the lamp unless I’m stitching one floss thread over one linen thread on 40 count. Most everyone needs a magnifier for that.
My eyes are so trained now that I can stitch in the doctor waiting room without the best light. Of course, I try to sit by natural light, but, I can easily do it and I’m stitching on 40 count which is a “more advanced” linen.
You eyes truly do learn.
I stitched for awhile on 28 count…I moved to 32 and this year I finally took the dive and moved to 40 count. The reason why?? I wanted to stitch this… Continue reading