Can you tell me
something of the history of crosstitch?
Crosstitch has been around for centuries. It is one of the oldest
forms of embroidery and can be found all over the world. Many folk
museums show examples of clothing decorated with cross-stitch,
especially from continental Europe and the Orient. But multicolored,
shaded, painting-like patterns as we know them today are an invention of
the last two centuries.
In the United States, the earliest known sampler is currently housed at
Pilgrim Hallin Plymouth, MA Pilgrim Hall.The sampler was created by
Loara Standish, the daughter of Captain Myles Standish, circa 1653.
Today cross-stitch is the most popular form of embroidery as a hobby
in the western world. It lends itself well to recreational use because
it's easy to learn and very versatile. There are patterns available for
almost every taste, and even beginners can create beautiful stitchery
with some patience.
There are cross-stitching "guilds" in various cities of the
USA and other countries that propagate knowledge about cross-stitch and
give stitchers the opportunity to meet people with the same interest.
Often they also offer lessons. Sometimes these guilds do collaborative
works that would be too big for one stitcher.
It was about thirty years ago that cross-stitch's popularity was
revitalized. And in these last three decades, we've seen the production
of many new gorgeous fabrics and threads, not to mention, hundreds of
thousands of designs -- from simple samplers to intricate works of art.
There is something for every skill level and personal taste.
This is my first stitching project. What should I
Enjoy yourself. Stitching should be relaxing and enjoyable. It's best to
take a few minutes to read your entire instruction sheet. It will answer
many questions that you have about your design. If you still are unsure,
practice with some fabric and thread from your scrap box until you get
the hang of it.
How do I sort my colors?
We recommend separating one bundle (knotted group of thread lengths) at
a time and using the number of lengths listed in the instructions to
help distinguish similar colors. If you have a thread palette, loop each
color through one of the holes to keep it separated while you work.
I bought a kit and the fabric is blank. How do I
transfer the design onto the fabric?
Does the Front Picture read "CountedCrossStitch"? If so, you
have purchased the most popular form of needleart available today. It is
easy and offers an exciting array of designs. These designs are charted
on graph paper. Each square represents a square on the fabric. The
stitcher counts the squares, matches symbols to floss colors and
transfers (stitches) the design by symbol to the fabric. See our General
Instructions in our kits for details.
Some of the squares/areas on my chart are blank.
What should I stitch them with?
On CountedCrossStitch designs, blank squares indicate unstitched
fabric. In other designs, areas that are blank or not explained in your
key also indicate unstitched areas of fabric. This allows the color of
the fabric or the printed area to show
I have never taken my completed cross-stitch
design to a dry cleaner. Why does your kits instruct us to do this?
This information is supplied as a precaution. Many stitchers do not know
how to clean their needle art and/or do not wash their floss prior to
stitching. If you know how to care for your needle art, continue to do
as you have done in the past. Those who are new to cleaning their fabric
should follow the instructions in our kits. It is very important to
pre-wash the floss so that the dyes do not run.
I just purchased a baby quilt and bibs. Do I
stitch between the layers of quilting or stitch through to the back?
How one stitches on quilted fabric is a matter of preference. I prefer
to stitch through the quilt keeping the back neat and with beginning and
ending tails woven between the layers. If the back doesn't meet your
expectations, you may want to purchase backing fabric. One yard of
45" fabric is sufficient to cover the quilt back. If you choose to
stitch between the layers, be reminded that it will take more time and
I am stitching a stamped design and the blue Xs
shows from under my stitching. What can I do?
Finish stitching your design and by all means do not get the fabric wet,
as the blue stamping may smear or disappear. When your stitching is
complete, the blue stamping can be washed out. Follow the General
Instructions supplied in your kit.
How do you sew on beads?
Sew each bead on the fabric where indicated by a symbol on your chart.
If you have more than one color bead, each bead color will have its own
symbol. Add the beads with a coordinating color of floss. Using a
beading needle supplied in the kit, add each bead as charted. Come up
with your needle in the hole of the corresponding square, add bead to
needle and stitch down in a diagonal.
I'm working on a large design. Which is better to
use: scroll bars, stretcher bars, or an embroidery hoop?
Many stitchers have their own preferences for stitching. All of the
mentioned products serve the same important purpose: they will keep your
fabric taut while you are stitching. Which product you choose will
depend on how you like to stitch.
If your stitching travels with you wherever you go, perhaps an
embroidery hoop is best for you. It makes your stitching portable and
easy to pack. Hoops are available in many sizes to suit your needs. Just
remember when you are not stitching to remove the hoop from your fabric.
This will prevent the hoop from marking the fabric.
If you prefer to stitch with two hands (one above and one below your
fabric), scroll bars, Q-snaps, and stretcher bars would probably work
best for you. You can place them in a purchased stand or lean them
against the edge of a table to keep both your hands free to stitch.
Another advantage to these products is that you can see and work any
area of the fabric with ease.
My thread is constantly twisting. What should I
As you stitch in and out of the fabric, you are inadvertently twisting
the thread by turning your needle. When your thread gets too twisted it
can knot or even fray as you stitch. To prevent your thread from
twisting, let your threaded needle dangle from your fabric every so
often. Your thread will unwind like magic!
What is the difference between strands and lengths
of yarn or thread? Aren't they the same thing?
A length of yarn is made up of three individual strands twisted together
and a length of thread is made up of six individual strands (unless
otherwise noted in your instructions). Each length should be separated
into individual strands just before you use them. To separate the
strands, hold one end of the length between two fingers and pull out one
strand at a time.
How do I start my thread?
For CountedCrossStitch, Stamped CrossStitch, Needlepoint, and NoCount
designs: Start your thread by leaving a tail of thread on the back of
the fabric. Holding the thread tail against the fabric, work your first
several stitches over the tail. Trim away any thread that is not covered
by your stitches. For Crewel designs: Start by tying a knot at the end
of the thread, then pulling the needle through the fabric from the front
to the back within the design area. As you stitch, work over the thread
on the back. This automatically anchors it. After the thread is
anchored, cut off the knot. In subsequent areas, begin your thread by
weaving it through the wrong side of your stitches.
Where can I get more cross stitch advice?
Here are some websites where you can find interesting cross stitch
How about some general tips on crosstitch?
USEFUL CROSSTITCH TIPS
*Always work with clean hands
*Do not carry the thread across spaces where there are no cross
stitches, as this will show up when the design is complete. You should
end off and start again instead.
*Allow the threaded needle to dangle upside down from time to time to
remove any twists in the thread.
*Don't use a knot. Instead, bring the threaded needle through the back
of the fabric leaving approximately 1 inch (2cm) to be secured by the
next few stitches. To finish, run the needle through about 5 stitches on
the back of the fabric.
*Remove the needle from your sewing when you are not working, or it will
leave a mark. Alternately, attach it to the exreme outer edge of the