Why Cross Stitch? With the Olympics going on in China, it seems that some of the members of the Chinese teams share our love of this wonderful craft. Please go to the following webpage to see a fascinating article about how internationally loved, Cross Stitch can be! See Article…
HINTS FOR PERFECT STITCHOUTS...
Even though we are doing our Cross Stitch on our incredible machines, there are still elements of the process that we all share. We all love the rich designs that Cross Stitch provides—those final results that make the time and effort well worth it. Patience is required both for hand cross stitching as well as machine cross stitching. Designs stitched by hand can require many hours to complete. That same design stitched on the machine can be completed in only a fraction of the time. The rhythm of hand cross stitch is that of working each single stitch, completing two stitches for each cross stitch. The rhythm of machine cross stitch is that of threading a new color into your machine and clipping threads between areas of stitches.
There are three important and simple things one can do to achieve a perfect Cross Stitch stitchout.
1. Good Stabilization
2. Appropriate machine stitching speed
3. Upper tension on machine
Good solid stabilization is the most important aspect of stitching perfect Cross Stitch. For most of our stitched models, we stitch on a Cotton/Linen fabric, which is light to medium weight . We use an IRON ON stabilizer. The type that we find works best is a lightweight butcher paper, backed with the adhesive to iron on the fabric. While it takes a couple more minutes to iron on the stabilizer, it is well worth that small amount of time. This type of stabilizer keeps the fabric from being pulled too much during the stitching. Cross Stitch designs are stitched in two steps. In our designs, all of the cross stitches are completed first, then the Back Stitch outlining is stitched. Our outlines line up perfectly with iron on stabilizer.
While our machines just get faster and faster with each new model, Cross Stitch designs do not necessarily benefit from that incredible speed. In fact, they can suffer. For the Cross Stitch portion of the design, I always lower the speed of my machine a notch, to slow down the stitching. The stitches are better formed with a slower speed and the thread is not pulled as tightly as with a higher speed, thereby distorting the fabric less. Once the Back Stitch portion of the design is reached, I lower the speed one notch more so that the outlining stitches are formed correctly and line up perfectly.
UPPER TENSION ON MACHINE
Lowering the upper tension on your machine allows each stitch to lay nicely on top of the fabric, rather than pulling tightly. On my machine, I lower it from 2.8 to 2.4 for the cross stitches, which is two notches from the normal tension. This step also prevents the fabric from becoming too distorted. Ironically, I go back up from 2.8 to 2.4 for the Back Stitching portion of the design. Normal tension seems to work best for the outlining stitches.
One additional thing you might want to do…if your stitched piece highlights the needle holes at the corners of the stitches is to use a smaller eyed needle. The standard embroidery needle, size90/14 is usually appropriate, especially if the hints above are used.
Hand Cross Stitches pretty much cover the fabric, with little definition between stitches. The difference in machine Cross Stitches is that they are more clearly separated from each other.
Hand Cross Stitches - detail
The desired result of Machine Cross Stitch is that the stitches sit nicely right next to each other, with minimal needle holes showing. Note below, that the threads go into the corner holes without pulling the hole “open”. This is the look that most closely resembles hand cross stitches.
Machine Cross Stitches - detail
I hope these simple hints will help you achieve Perfect Cross Stitch results!
If you haven't tried before, why not give cross stitch a try. I've asked AnnTheGran to take 10% off Vermillion Stitchery downloadable designs as a thank you for reading my post, so I hope you'll click through here and take a look.