Suggestions for a Newbie!!

Tips, Tricks & Techniques - anything to help fellow cross stitchers.

Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by ajayjhen » Sat Oct 16, 2010 7:33 am

I hope its fine if i share wht i do with my threads when stitching.. :)
I actually make cardboard bobbins..wind the threads and write down the no.of the thread and also draw the symbol..so i dont need to go over and over the legend(one bobbin for each color).I also use alot of needles,one for each color ..so its easier when i need a certain color ,i dont have to take off the thread and insert another one.Hope u understand wht i meant as im not very good in explaining.
 
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by sewing4kix » Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:12 pm

A mistake I had made many times in the beginning was the way I held my hoop. I am right handed and hold the hoop securely with my left. I always got a discolored ring in that spot when I was finished. I have always washed my hands before stitching but it still showed up. Now I always fold the fabric from the back to the front and over the edge of the hoop tward me so the "sweat ring" ends up on the back of the fabric where it won't show! This has saved me much worry about how I am going to get the finished piece clean. Hope it helps you! :coffee:
 
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by KellyAnne » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:55 am

I like to take my stitching with me as I have an hour long train ride to work and of course then an hour ride home. That is two prime hours of stitiching!! I use a hoop and I have one of those thin clipboards that I put my chart on and I use a rubber band to keep my place for what line I am on. And I have a small container from Tupperware that I got a stocking stuffer many years ago. It is PERFECT to put some extra needles, my little scissors and my current thread color in for the train trip. I should really take a picture of all of this. Anyway, for a newbie that wants to still be portable with their projects, I hope this will help. I think the most useful thing I did was get the darn clipboard and use the rubberband to mark my place.
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by sohvi » Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:56 pm

I'm stitching 49 x 39 cm Lanarte's Apple Blossom. The fabric is linen. I have some questions about doing such a large project.

Is it okay with the linen and generally, to fold the fabric using pin needles so that handling the work is easier? Linen is quite tuff but I am a bit worried wheather it is harmful for the fabric. By using pin needles I don't need to make any ruff or sharp folds, very loose folds are enough to keep the fabric folded. That is the positive side of the pin needles but otherwise I'm not sure about them. So far it has been doing fine.

How important it is to pay caution to direction you are stitching what comes to carrying your hand on the already finished area? I started this project in the middle and now I'm thinking wheather it is important to try to avoid touching already finished areas.

I'm not a native English speaker, so that explains if you read something a bit odd.
 
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by Rose » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:40 pm

I am not sure about the linen or how delicate it is I use aida to stitch on, but I roll or fold my extra fabric all the time. I use paper clips to hold the fabric out of the way and it works very well for me.

I usually always start in the middle of the design and work my way to the edges. Sometimes with bigger projects it means that the fabric or the thread will be touched by my hands I have never had any problem with damage. I always wash my design at the end of my stitching so I get any dirt or hand oils off of it.
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by maddy » Fri Feb 25, 2011 7:37 am

One trick I learned was using a yellow highlighter to mark the stitches on your chart that you have finished. I saw a lady inside a truckstop doing this and it made a world of diference to me!
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by MoonChild » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:48 pm

1) Don't overwhelm yourself with your first few projects start small and build from there. A kit is a good first time project as everything is provided except the hoop/frame/scroll. This is a good suggestion. However I would point out that sometimes the fabric in a kit is cut to just the size you need and doesn't always allow extra for framing purposes

2) Start in the center of the fabric. At least for the first one or two projects just so you can see that the piece is going to be directly in the center. It can be heartbreaking to get half or more done and find out that the pattern won't fit because you have calculated wrong.
After you have done a few pieces you can decide how you want to start and that will be a personal decision Another good suggestion. I would baste myself from the center out over 4 and under 4, as I do a lot of Hardanger and you stitch over 4 threads, I've taken to just basting all my pieces this way. I would then go every 10th basting line up and baste again and then every 10th basting line out from the center and baste. I would make the center basting lines a differeent color so you can tell where your center is, lol.

3) Make a copy of the pattern and as you stitch mark each square off. That way you will know were you are during stitching and when you have to stop and put down your work. Also at the end you will still be able to see exactly where the backstitching lines are rather then trying to see over the marked off paper. Also if you use the same pattern more then once you don't have to keep buying it over and over. Good idea. I make a copy of the pattern just to make it bigger so I can see the color variations on the piece.

4) Each person will have to decide if they want to do half a cross or a full cross. I personally make all of my crosses complete regardless of if it is a block of color or if I am doing confetti stitches. I like to finish each cross and then go to the next. This also helps when you have to go back and frog. Tha's a good suggestion and should definitely be done when stitching with an overdyed or varigated thread.

5) When making a cross always do the bottom leg of the stich in the same direction. Always cross the top leg in the same direction. This is something that I hear from many new stitchers when I finish my stitches look funny well it is usually that they don't make all there crosses in the same direction. This is the truth. Always cross the same way.

6) When carrying thread across don't go more then 4 to 5 squares If you do then you will be in danger of catching the floss when stitching with another color and maybe fraying or causing the thread you are working with to tangle and knot.I do as my Great grandma taught my mom I don't go over 3 stitsches as it can show through your cloth to the front. Rule of thumb Great grandma told my mom if you can get an iron's nose under the thread it is too loose or far apart from the last cross stitch. Also, I usually only do this when I am doing a continous line of cross stitches, so it works best for me on a half cross stitch and then returning to make a full cross stitch. When crossing every stitch I tend to not skip blank areas to the next stitch.

7) And this is a rule I alway stick with if you are stitching confetti stitches that are out in the open all by themself DO NOT run the thread out over an open area of material. This is a big NO NO it may seem to be hidden but once the piece is finished the thread tends to show through any unworked areas with floss stretched across the back so don't do it. I've seen this myself. Years ago my mom judged our local county fair and there was this beautiful piece that was a fire screen. The person had put hours in you could tell, however it was done on linen and there were individual stars and they had carried the thread to each one. I'm talking 20 or 30 threads in between. My mom was heartbroken to have to not give it the grand prize because of that and told the people in the audience that the person should have done each stitch and then tied them off one at a time.


Now for my own words. I would have to say don't be afraid to try stitching on linen. It's easier than it looks and you don't have to worry about 1/4 stitches, lol. I learned from the get go on evenweave and now I'm afraid to try Aida for fear I'll have problems.

I use hair clips to hold my cloth. I roll the side I'm not stitching to the stitching I'm doing and then hair clip it in place.

I also think everyone should learn how to do a French Knot however, when in doubt use a bead, lol.
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by megan_bright » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:02 am

I have a question...
I just bought the pattern for a HAED and it's going to be a huge project. I've never done a pattern that was more than 4 pages long before. I've noticed that people mark off the sections like in marker or some ink. Is that a good idea? To mark off the areas so it's easier? I'm just concerned it might not come out with washing...
Also, should I start from a certain corner? I'm hesitant to try to start in the middle like I normally do since it's such a big pattern.
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by Rose » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:37 am

You do not HAVE to grid (mark off sections) butit does seem as if alot of the people that do HAED like to grid as there can be a lot of confetti stitches and they say that the gridding helps. Usually don 10X10 spaces. There are special pens that are made especially for this type of marking. They wash out when you wash the project at the end of your stitching. If you use the search box and type in gridding there should come up some posts about this type of pen.

Also you can start from just about any corner or from the middle. You will noticce that most HAED stitchers start from the Top/left corner or the Bottom/left corner and then work across page by page as if they are reading the chart like a book.

Hope that is helpful.
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by MSGirl » Fri May 06, 2011 12:55 am

My suggestion is to graph your fabric off just like your chart, in blocks of 10 (or whatever your chart has!). It helps you find your place SO much easier than going from the center out! Especially in a big project! AND chart the middle of your fabric in something easy to see, red, yellow, whatever....just so you know EXACTLY where your middle is at....
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by Offe » Fri May 06, 2011 7:31 am

If I were to give just one piece of advice to a newbie:

Seperate a strand of floss by pulling it out of the end of the floss, not by pulling it away sideways from the floss. Here is a better explanation:

http://www.better-cross-stitch-patterns.com/separating-floss.html
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by lynx » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:07 pm

This thread has been crazy helpful. I'm a newbie to cross stitch - I've done some needlepoint in the past, but only on painted canvas, and I'm pretty sure they were all starter kits - and reading through this thread has already answered quite a few questions/solved quite a few troubles that I have been having. I will be adding a grid to my project today, in fact, and think that it's the most brilliant idea I've ever seen.

Just a question, though. Does anyone else get headaches after working for a little while? I'll stitch for about an hour or two, but then my head will start to hurt and I have to lay the work aside. It's upsetting; I feel as though I will never finish my piece at this rate.
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by MaggieM1750 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:45 pm

lynx wrote:.... Just a question, though. Does anyone else get headaches after working for a little while? I'll stitch for about an hour or two, but then my head will start to hurt and I have to lay the work aside. It's upsetting; I feel as though I will never finish my piece at this rate.

Whenever I have had headaches from stitching, its usually because of my lighting. I have an OTT Light and whenever I can see the bulb, I get a headache because its too bright. Or, I get a headache if my lighting isn't bright enough.. too much eye strain and I get a headache.

PS.. Welcome to the forum and what are you working on?
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by lynx » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:03 pm

Oh, that makes sense. I'm also using an OTT light; I'll adjust it so it isn't shining in my eyes so much. Thanks, Maggie. :D

I'm working from a kit by Dimensions that I got at the craft shop ages ago, and just recently started. It's called "The Snow Leopard" and measures 19x19". I kind of wish that I had chosen a kit with brighter colors in it (all the browns and grays can get monotonous after awhile), but I think it's pretty and, excepting the headaches, I'm having a lot of fun.
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by Squirrel » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:10 am

Hi Lynx and welcome. Eye strain/poor lighting will give you a headache every time. Adjusting your OTT light so it doesn't shine into your eyes should help but if it doesn't perhaps a trip to the optometrists for an vision check is called for.

So glad you are enjoying your new project and looking forward to seeing some pictures at a later stage.

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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by lynx » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:15 pm

Squirrel: Adjusting the light did help quite a bit, and I've started to stitch earlier in the day (I actually got up early to stitch before I had to go to work yesterday; for me, this is impressive :) ), so I'm now working beneath natural light. I still have to take little breaks fro time to time, but I think my eyes are happier this way.

tiffstitch: I do this a lot, too. I try to correct myself and sit up straight every so often, but I usually forget. :)
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by LadyS » Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:38 am

This site explains the difference between tent stitches and half stitches (it's the back of the fabric that changes).

http://www.threadneedlestreet.com/ContinentalHalfCross.html" target="_blank

2 over 1 means working with 2 threads on the needle over one hole on the fabric.

And most of the ones doing projects on such small counts use a magnifier in order to avoid going blind. :wink:
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by duskwynd » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:38 pm

For headaches, I use a technique that I was taught to avoid headaches when spending too much time at the computer - look up every few minutes. I usually do my stitching when sitting with my housemates as they are watching TV. I don't pay too much attention to what is on the tube, but it gives me something farther way to focus on every few minutes and that really helps with alleviating headaches.

Another thing that I remembered as I was stitching last night - don't forget to drop your thread every few stitches. It's amazing how many headaches that eliminates as your floss doesn't get as tangled as often :)

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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by katydid » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:32 am

When you make a mistake and have to pick out a number of stitches, some colors such as reds and blacks leave a small amount of color residue from the thread on your fabric. I call it "thread lint." I use a piece of cellophane tape and rub it over the fabric, both front and back sides, where I took out the stitches. The tap will remove these tiny fibers and your fabric will be rid of that hint of leftover color. :wink:
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by nimblefingers01 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:45 pm

If I have made a mistake a walk away from my pice and take a deep breath, sometimes I will leave the room and come back in again with a fresh head.

Also listening to classical music whilst I am sewing calms my nerves when I get agitated.

Oh and one more tip lots of camomille tea

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