Before starting a new project, hem the outer edge of your fabricThe material on which cross stitch is made, of the fabric is aida though evenweave and linen can also be used. Fabrics come in many colours and many counts. It can also be made of perforated paper or plastic. Only fabric especially made for cross stitching should be used for stitching, because the even spacing of the threads is very important – each type of fabric is made up of holes of an even stitch count. To stitch on other fabrics you can use waste canvas. with a zigzag stitch on a sewing machine, to avoid fraying.
1. Invest in some graph paperIf you wish to design you own pictures then graph paper is essential. You can buy ordinary graph paper from stationers or special cross stitching graph paper which comes in various counts such as 14- and 18-count., or graph tracing paper.
2. Choose one particular brand of thread to work with and buy the shade card.
3. Use greeting cards, wallpaper, wrapping paper and books to inspire you.
4. Buy a good set of colouring pencils to bring your chartA grid or graph of symbols or colours that represents the stranded cotton colours, metallic threads, beads etc of the design. A key lists the symbols and the thread number used, as well as a list of materials and instructions. to life.
5. Try and limit the amount of colours you use so that the design is reasonably economical to stitch.
6. If you are designing a sampler, chart motifs on separate pieces of graph paper so that you can move them around until you are happy with their positioning.
7. Think about how the design is going to be used - will it be a picture, or is it going to fit in a coaster or keyring?
8. Test stitch a small part of the design to check the colours work well together.
9. Save all your designs even if you think they are unusable. You may come back to them later and see them in a new light.
10. Take photographs of your designs when you've stitched them.