What’s In The Kit & How To Prepare
- If this is a kit, it will contain aida fabric, needle, threads, and the pattern. You will also need a small pair of scissors.
- If it is a kit, use the aida fabric supplied, if not, you can use any size aida, however, 14 count is the most common. The higher the number, the smaller your finished project will be. The count means there are that many stitches to an inch in length.
- It is best to start in the middle of your project. This is marked on the pattern by small triangles along the outside. To find the center, fold the fabric, then fold it again. Once opened up, where the creases cross, is the center.
- To help you during stitching you can also put your fabric in a hoop. This will increase the tension, and allow a neater final product. However, you shouldn’t keep your project in a hoop for a long time, as it will put heavy creases in it.
Following Your Chart
- One square = one cross stitch
- Ever symbol on the pattern refers to a specific thread. Use the color key to select the color.
- Backstitch is marked by solid lines. Do the cross stitches first, then the backstitch on top.
- Some patterns may contain 1/4, 1/2 or 3/4 stitches, refer to the key at the end of these instructions to identify these.
How To Stitch
- Each thread is made up of 6 individual strands. Unless stated otherwise, use two strands for the cross stitches, and one for the backstitch.
- Keep the length of thread short to avoid knotting. The best length is the distance between the tip of your longest finger, to your elbow. If the thread starts to twist, let the needle freely dangle and wait until it stops spinning.
- Each cross stitch is composed of two separate stitches. The diagonal stitch going from left to right, and the diagonal stitch going from right to left.
- You should always do one row of stitches, doing only one diagonal of each stitch, then go back and go the top stitch.
- You should always have the same diagonal direction on top of the stitches, normally the top stitch goes from left to right.
- Stitch colors in blocks. Start with darker colors, and go lighter.
- You can either fix your threads with a small knot on the back, or you can anchor the thread. To anchor your thread, pass the needle from the back of the fabric to the front. Make sure not to pull it completely through the fabric, but to leave an inch of thread. As you make stitches, try to ensure the end of the thread lays under them (on the backside).
- To end a section of thread you can either tie another small knot, or you can weave it through the backs of the cross stitches for about an inch, and then snip the rest off. You can use this principle when starting a new thread once you have already started your project.
- When moving from one section of cross stitches to another, when in the same color, end the thread, and start again, do not carry the thread under the fabric, as it will show.
- If you’re left-handed, you may prefer to hold your project upside down.
- After finishing you should ALWAYS wash your project. This is to stop any discoloration over time. Simply place the project flat into a bowl of cold water with 2-3 drops of liquid hand wash mixed in.
- After washing you may iron your project. Put the design face down and iron on a low setting. If there are a lot of knots on the back of your project, you can iron through a towel.