Pals Hints, Tips & Infomation
If you have a tip,
hint or just some info you'd like to see posted here, please E-mail it and I'll get
it added. All the pals are responsible for the information here,
sorry we can't give credit to each individual.
Colonial Knot~~Bring your thread up in the
desired location that you want the knot to be. Put the point of
your needle so it touches the fabric where you want to go back
down. Now wrap the thread around your needle in a clockwise fashion
and bring it back to the front. (Half of your figure 8) Now with
the thread still in your hand, lift up your needle with the loop
on and wrap your thread around your needle again only counter
closckwise (your 1st loop will be on the top portion of your needle)
and bring this loop around the bottom of the needle. As it lays
there you can kinda see the figure 8. Put your needle in where
you want to go back down in your fabric and pull your stitch tight,
then pull your needle through your fabric. It can never come undone
as the 2 "loops" are going in opposite direction and
can't tip over.
Some projects asked for blending filament or tweeding.
I found that I go faster if I prepare a carboard bobbin with specific
floss and blending filament.
1 strand of Anchor 874
1 strand of Anchor 956
2 strand of Kreinik 032
I identify the bobbin with the symbol and put it in
a separate case in my storage box used for the ongoing project.
A lot easier to work this way.
I try to do the backstitching when an item or a
group of items (ie: persons, trees, birds) is completed. This
way, I do not miss any stitches, especially ¼ and ¾
If you want to reverse a pattern copy it on to
Beads on Cross Stitch~~When I attach beads
to a piece I use two strands of floss. I come up at the bottom
left of the x, put the bead on and go down at the top right. I
them come up at the bottom right, split the floss on each side
of the bead and go down at the top left. It looks something like
this /=first leg of stitch and \=last leg of stitch. I think this
really secures the bead and keeps it in the middle of the x.
Doing the bottom half of the cross all the way
then coming back and crossing them looks a lot better (especially
from the back) than crossing each stitch as you go. And did you
know that when you make a completed row it's called a "journey"
Loop Method~~Fold the floss in two, and
insert your needle through the loop in the floss as you come to
the back of the first stitch, it locks your thread in place.
Metallics~~when stitching with metallics
or metallics mixed with floss: fold the thread to make a loop,
then insert the looped end into the needle; pull the ends through
the loop and tighten, pulling the thread snug up against the eye
of the needle. This will keep the metallic thread from slipping
around while you stitch.
Waste Canvas~~Backing when using waste canvas.
I have always put a light-weight fusible backing underneath. That
way you know the T-shirt can't stretch as you are basting on the
waste canvas. I use tapestry needles -- they are a little sharper
to get through all the material, but not so sharp that you'll
keep pricking yourself.
Finishing Your Stitched Pieces
I use one strand only for any count fabric. Now
don't get excited. I go over each leg of stitch 1, 2 or 3 times
as dictated by the count of the fabric. Whatever is needed to
get good full coverage. The reason for this is: (1) fewer strands
beginning & ending to weave in (2) neater backs as you have a
xs on back also (if stitching 2-3 times on leg) (3) less chance
for carry-over thread to show when you have to skip to another
stitching area. In this vein, I make sure that carry-over is diagonally
on back, doesn't show as much that way) (4) I can railroad with
my left thumb (I use 4" hoop) and place strand exactly where
I want it. #4 will not work if you're using frame or 2 handed
I take a finished cross stich piece and sew strips
of 1&1/2 inch fabric on all sides, Log Cabin pattern style.
I usually do four rows of fabric on each side.
When I am done with the strips, I place it face down on a piece
of batting material (old mattress pads work great), and a piece
of backing material.I usually use ether double bias tape or material
strips (folded in half and sewn together & turned right side out)
as the hanging part. THese need to be on the inside with just
just small tail extending thru the sew line. Sew all edges, leaving
a 3" opening to turn it right side out. Once you turn it
right side out, you should have your stitched piece with four
stips of fabric on each side (overlapping each other on the ends),
a batting piece behind it and a backing piece on the back, with
2-4 hanging tabs spaced across the top. I usually will do what
quilters call quilting in the ditch, on the top side then. This
means I usually sew along the edge where the cross stitched piece
meets the material all the way around all four sides. SOmetimes
I also quilt (sewing by machine, straight stitch) on the material
part. As sometimes instead of strips I use a series of small 2-3"
blocks of different fabrics sewn together.
I have done some that I just place in the old style
wood hoops, trim the fabric and glue it down on the back edge.
THen trim it with a ruffled piece of fabric or lace or both. I
also did this a clock piece, but you have to make sure when you
hang it that it hangs on the clockworks not the hoop this prevents
it from pulling on the stitched piece. THe clockworks are very
lightweight and I have had mine done for several years and shows
no wear and tear.
Mounting by Lacing~~ Stabilize your edges
with bias tape, machine zig zag or hand overcast to role a tiny
edge. Use acid free foam core instead of the sticky board. Positon
your work on the foam core and temporarily pin (I use T or push
pins)in place along the edges. Then using a neutral color cotton
sewing thread (waxing it helps to strenghthen it) carefully "lace"
your work. "Lacing"=criss-crossing back and forth between
opposite finished edges of the work. Begin in the center and work
outwards to maintain even tension. Depending on the size you may
have to tie on additional lenghth to the lace or end off and begin
a seond thread. If you pull an area out of alignment you can usually
adjust the tension of the laces to work it back to proper position.
My favorite one is the magnets. Couldnt live
without them. Very handy, it holds the scissor and when you want
to change your floss, instead of leaving your needle on the table,
you attached it to your magnet. You wont lose it on the
floor....! Only one problem, anything metallic becomes magnitized
by leaving it too long on the magnet, but if I drop a needle on
the floor, my scissors will attract it for me.
Storing Charts, Floss, etc
I have a binder for the alphabets, one for the
charts that I have interest in, one binder for the different stitches,
one binder for the tips from different sites, etc. In each binder,
I will have an index so it is much easier to find what I am looking
I put my charts into plastic pages/sleeves and
store them in a notebook labeled with the name of the designer.
Each notebook is then put on my "stitching" bookshelf.
I store my floss in a large tackle box-the kind
that has dividers that can be moved (so as each section of numbers
grows, so does the space). Mine has two sides, so I have double
the space. It's made by Plano
I store lots of buttons, charms, large beads, etc.
in clear film containers-you know, the kind 35mm film comes in.
Then I put the whole collection in a smaller tackle box.
When I finish a project, I press it, roll it up(right
side in, of course) and place it inside a cardboard tube until
I can get it to the framer. That way it stays nice and clean and
As I finish a project, I take a picture of the
finished item, date it, list where I keep the directions,and put
the photo in my "Stitching Thru the Years" album. I
keep an index page in the front of the album to list the names
of people that I've stitched gifts for and what they were ( so
I don't repeat)
Whenever I see a really good idea or tip (i.e.
framing, matting, back of work) etc. I print it out and put it
into my Cross Stitch Notes notebook. Getting on the pc isn't always
convenient at times so a notebook really helps.
Posting on the Message Boards
To post an image on the BB's, find the image you
want to use on a webpage, right click on it, click on 'copy image
location', then on the BB, paste it in the Image URL box. After
you post your message, go to the BB and click on it. There's you
To post a link to a site, copy the URL from that
page (or type it in, but make sure it's correct), paste it in
the Link URL box, then type the name of the site or the page in
the Link Title Box. After you post your message, go to the BB
and click on it. You might want to check to make sure you have
the link correct.
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