I didn’t get a lot of cross-stitch time this week. Early in the week, I didn’t feel good…and I’ve had some company. One night I didn’t stitch at all and another night I squeezed on about 45 minutes. In light of all of that, I was surprised that I got as much done as I did.
I had some readers send me some things cross-stitch related and I thought I would share them with you. Ila sent an article to me. You can read it HERE. It talks about some of the benefits of being a cross stitcher. I found the article really interesting. You might too. I think some of what is said can be applied to any type of crafter or quilter.
Then I had some questions from blog readers that are cross-stitch related.
“You do beautiful work! This is absolutely gorgeous! Between you and Judy L (Judy at Patchwork Times), I am attempting cross stitch again. I am having trouble seeing and got some lighted magnifying glasses and hope that helps. Judy also mentioned you telling her about the sewing style of cross stitch and I am attempting that too. Do you have any videos of you using that technique? I am going to have to see what videos you have. I am not interested in watching hours-long videos. Maybe if I get more involved in cross-stitching I may change my mind. I got some black even weave to try and that was a mistake. Maybe I can use it when I get better, but now it is almost impossible for me to see where to stitch.”
There are several “methods” of cross stitching with several different modes of… doing it.
Some people “stitch in hand”. This means you hold the fabric in one hand and operate the needle in the other. I’ve tried this method and I’m not a fan. For me the hand holding the fabric cramps up. I also come to cross stitch from my early days as an embroiderer. Back then, I used a hoop to hold my fabric…and that method has kind of stuck with me. I have graduated up from the simple embroidery hoops to a good quality hoop that is better at holding the linen at the tightness I prefer. I use Morgan Hoops. You can find them HERE.
Some people use Q-snaps.
They look like this. You can find them HERE. They are a pipe that goes together. There are clips and they can hold the fabric in place like a hoop. These are wider and thicker than a hoop. I tried them and for me, they are more cumbersome than a hoop. Many people love them but they weren’t for me. I sold mine.
Many people use a scroll frame some with a lap or floor stand. Find them HERE. I’ve not tried these. For me with kids around here, I didn’t want something out for them to get into and this seems hard. Plus, I like my stitching portable. That is one of the big attractions to cross stitch for me.
How you stitch, depends on what type of frame you have.
People who stitch with frame and stand often stitch with two hands. One hand is at the top of the work from the top. The other hand is underneath the work and does all of the work at the bottom. It is a two-handed stitching method.
Some people use the poke method meaning exactly what it sounds like. You poke the needle down, you poke the needle up typically using the same hand.
Some people use a method that is “semi” sewing method. You go across making one leg of the cross and then come back to make the final leg. This is how I learned as a kid.
Here is a video from Cross Hatch quilts. I use this method, called the sewing method, only I use a hoop. I just keep the fabric in my hoop really loose. I love this method and it has completely changed the way I cross stitch. It is also the best method to use if you are using a variegated thread. I think it’s easier to control your tension with this method as well.
I highly recommend watching this video if you want to try this method. At first, it will seem awkward but with practice, you’ll be off to the races. I think my stitches lay flatter and nicer with this method too.
Christi that does the video has a great Youtube channel and I highly recommend her.
Here is another video that shows stitching in hand.
Many people say that you can’t use a hoop and do the sewing stitch, but you can. Simply put your cloth into the hoop and keep it very loose.
Pamela, I hope that doesn’t make you have to watch a lot of videos but for me, videos are the best way to learn. I’m a visual learner and these videos have been helpful to me. Both of these videos show stitching with linen and I purposely picked those videos as I hear from many of you that you would like to try linen.
“I’ve never tried cross stitch but would like to learn. What is a good beginner pattern and how to get started guide?”
Linda, your question put the powers that be into motion. I contacted a cross stitch shop and asked them about putting together a kit for a beginner-friendly chart and possibly hosting a stitch along here on the blog. We’d make the kit available for purchase through the shop that can be ordered online or by calling the shop. I’d host a stitch along that would last about 10 weeks. I, and hopefully the ladies at the shop, will field your question the best we can and help you along the way. It would be a project that we’d start in April or so. It would be a fall-themed piece and we’d have the summer to finish it. We are looking at projects and supplies taking supply chain issues into consideration. So, right now, we’re in the planning stages with the hope that we can do this starting in April or so. No firm plans yet. Is anyone interested?? Leave a comment and let us know.
So many of you have said you’d like to learn to cross stitch…or that you’d like to get back to it…or that you’d like to try linen…The kit would come with your choice of linen or Aida so anyone can start where ever you are and jump on the learning curve and jump in.
So now on to what I stitched this week…No much.
Early in the week I was sick and didn’t do much of anything except write blog posts and getting my medicine. Later in the week, I had kids home checking on me and we opened presents that didn’t get opened on Christmas. It was an okay week but I had a little fantasy that I was going to forge ahead on this project but it didn’t happen.
This is the floral motif sampler I am working on. My plan was to stitch a flower each day of my treatment starting on December 8th and hopefully nearing completion by the end of January or beginning February.
Here is where I was last week.
Here is where I am now…
I brought the side border on the left down and turned the corner. I stitched the big flower in the corner and the small one next to it. Then I started two more flowers.
I also stitched the five flowers to the right of the basket in the center.
Here you can see where the whole thing is at. I’m not exactly sure what’s going on this week. I know I have my appointments every day in Rochester so there will be driving involved and possibly some hotel time. I haven’t quite decided. I’m watching the weather. So that could mean more or less stitching time.
I am going to start a new project on New Year’s day but don’t have plans to jump into it deeply…just enough to say I started it even if it’s only an hour’s worth of stitching time.
I really want to finish my floral motif sampler and I really want to finish my project A Changed world. I have that about 1/3 of the way finished. That’s not a big project so hopefully, it won’t take a really long time.
I am a little bummed. This is my stitching lamp. See the push button switch on the left? It won’t push in and out anymore. I tried to take it apart and fix it. No luck. I ordered a new one. I seriously can’t live without the lamp. It’s my cross-stitch MUST HAVE. They handle this one Joann’s but the price was the same as Amazon even with the coupons (at least when I looked). I ordered HERE from Amazon.
I love this lamp…It’s perfect for cross stitch. The top light is great. The clip holds my chart and the small light is a magnifier. It comes as 3-1, floor lamp, table lamp, or clamp. I use the floor version.
I’ll have Craig look at it when he’s here before I throw it out but I think it’s toast.
Missing my lamp might keep me from stitching…WAIT. I’ll run up and get one of the lights from my sewing room and use that until the new lamp comes. WHEW…Great thinking on my part!!
Okay everyone…I’m off. I’ve got stitching to do. I’m hoping I can stitch for an hour or so before it’s bedtime.