Monday, March 7, 2011

Technique Class - Cross Stitch

For our final hand stitching technique class I must conclude with my favourite stitch, the cross stitch. 
I am a cross stitcher from way back. It was my craft of choice before I discovered scrapbooking so I guess it has a special place in my heart. 
The stitch itself is relatively easy, the hardest bit is making it look tidy and there are some tricks to helping you with that.

  1. Make sure your holes are evenly spaced. The best way to do this is to use a piercing or stitching template.
  2. Every 4 or 5 stitches make sure your thread isn't twisted. Whether you know it or not, you tend to turn your needle either clockwise or anti-clockwise as you sew (its the same direction all the time, you don't alternate) and this means your embroidery threads end up twisted so your stitches don't look as full and the threads are more likely to break or look uneven.
  3. Make sure your crosses all cross in the same direction. Either left to right over the top or right to left over the top.
That's it really, pretty simple if you ask me.
There are a couple of ways of sewing cross stitches. You can either sew each stitch individually - which is best when there is spacing between each stitch, or you can sew them in strips sewing all the cross bars in one direction before turning back to sew all the cross bars in the opposite direction.
Continuous stitching from the front. Normally both cross bars would be the same colour, but I've done them in different colours just to illustrate what I mean.
Continuous Stitching from the back.
Stitching each individual cross stitch before starting the next one. It's the only way to stitch when there is some distance between the stitches like the bottom row, though it can also be used for side-by-side stitching like the top row though you do need to thread the needle underneath every second stitch to get the cross bars to cross in the same direction.
Individual cross stitching from the back.
And just to show you something different, that your cross stitching doesn't just have to be a straight line. I punched these holes using the Bazzill In Stitchz Round Template.

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