Monday, February 1, 2016

Delay in the final Cross Stitch Lesson

I'm very sorry, but I did not have time to work on today's lesson last week due to Upwork projects. I hope to have time to get that ready for you next Monday or Tuesday. In the meantime, are there any other craft lessons you would be interested in?

Have a nice day!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Cross Stitch Lesson 3: First Stitch

Good morning! I hope you are enjoying your cross stitch lessons. We will place our first stitch today.

IMPORTANT: Start your first stitch from the center of your fabric. Sometimes, the center may actually be empty space so you will just have to count to the nearest first stitch to begin stitching.

ALSO: Counted cross stitch is named so because you have to count stitches and empty spaces in order to cross stitch the intended pattern. The 10 x 10 grids between the dark lines on the chart will help you keep your place better. I like to mark off what stitch with a pencil as well.

TIPS to avoid knotting: Remember, we don't want knots in the back and especially not in the front. Here are a few tips to help avoid those unwanted knots.

  • Pull floss through slowly as you stitch to avoid knotting. 
  • Cutting your strands to 18", which is about the length from the tip of your middle finger to your elbow, will also help you avoid knotting of the floss. 
  • The floss will naturally wind as you stitch and can cause knotting. From time to time, let your floss hang freely with the needle still attached to let it unwind.

1. Cross Stitch Lesson 2 explains how to find the center of your fabric. The center of your chart is found by finding the arrows on the top, bottom and both sides of the chart. Simply follow the center lines they are located on to the center of the chart.

I circled the left and bottom arrows for this photo. Since this is a purchased pattern, I blacked out this large section of the chart.

The top and right arrows are not circled in this photo so you can better see what they look like.

Here, I placed a dot in the center of the cross stitch chart. The center is also marked by one of the dark lines. Sorry, it's a little blurry. But I think you will get the idea.

For reference, my needle is inserted into the middle of the fabric. We found the center last week by folding the fabric in half twice. 

2. My first stitch on this particular pattern is a cross stitch that uses two strands of floss. This is the typical stitch and the typical number of strands. Separate the floss one strand at a time to prevent tangling and knotting as you pull it from the six-strand grouping.

3. Thread your needle with your floss.

4. Pull the threaded needle from the back of the fabric to the front. Leave about a 1 inch tail in the back.
This is the back of the fabric.

5. Now, with the front of the fabric facing you, hold the tail of the floss in place. This can be tricky but patience helps. Half cross stitch your first row of stitches across.
Front view of half cross stitched row

Back view. As you can see, the stitches are now holding the tail in place.

6. Cross over those half stitches to finish the cross stitch.
Front view of cross stitch

Back view. The full cross stitch securely holds the tail in place. I leave the tail if there will be more stitches to go over it. The length adds to the security of the hold.

7. When you are finished cross stitching with this floss color, pull the needle and floss under the cross stitching to secure the stitches without knotting. Most of the time you will have many stitches you can make with one floss color before it is time to secure it. For demonstration purposes, I did only one row so you can get the general idea about how to begin and end your cross stitches.

Next week, we will finish our series of cross stitch lessons with a color change lesson and a lesson about how to begin and end the back stitch and French knot. 

Leave me a message below if you have any questions!

Have a nice day!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cross Stitch Lesson 2: Preparing to Cross Stitch

Today, we will prepare our project for cross stitching and go over some important details you should know before placing your first stitch.

1. Separate your hoop or frame.

2. Fold your cross stitch fabric in half.

3. Fold the fabric in half again.

4. Unfold the fabric. The center of the fabric can be seen where the folds crossed. 

5. Place fabric over the bottom section of the hoop with the fabric center (that you found by folding) in the center of the hoop (close is good Ü - no need to bring out the digital measuring devices).

6. Place the top part of the hoop or frame over the fabric and tighten it by whichever method is available. In the case of the hoop, a screw tightens the hoop. The fabric should be about as tight as a drum.

7. Keep your color photo of the finished design nearby for reference from time to time.

8. On your chart/pattern, you'll see different symbols. Click on the image to enlarge it if you want to see the symbols on my example.

9. These symbols represent colors. Refer to your symbol chart provided to match the symbols to the colors, which are represented by a number. Most kits will provide floss and the holder, which shows the numbers of each color. TIP: I like to punch holes above the numbers to hold my floss after I have removed it from card. Doing this makes it easier to keep up with my floss.

10. On top of the color/symbol chart are rows that show you how to place your stitches. For this one, cross stitch, back stitch, and the French knot are used. 

Below are the YouTube videos I have made for these stitches that may be helpful for you when we begin to stitch next week. For some reason, I told you to knot your yarn or floss in these videos. I have NO idea why I was saying that except that I was knotting it in order to more easily show the process from the front. This is the first time I have watched these since I made them last year. Knotting floss is a huge no-no in cross stitching! Keep that in mind as you watch and perhaps practice. Next week, I will show you how to properly anchor your floss and begin stitching. 

Have a nice day!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Cross Stitch Lesson 1: General Cross Stitch Supplies

Good morning everyone!

As promised, here is a general list of cross stitch supplies you'll need.

  • Scissors
  • Hoop or other cross stitch clamping device
  • Aida cloth or other cross stitch cloth
  • Cross stitch pattern
  • Picture of finished cross stitch
  • Six strand embroidery floss
  • Embroidery/cross stitch needle


  • May I recommend buying a kit for your first cross stitch project. Most kits have everything you need except the hoop and scissors. Some kits even have the hoop!
  • Aida cloth is the simplest of all cross stitching cloths to stitch on.
Next week:
We'll go over how to prepare for your cross stitch project. I will have that ready next Monday or Tuesday (Jan. 18 or 19)

Have a nice day!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

New Year, New Classroom

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to drop by and let you know that we will start having new crafting classes soon via blog posts and possibly by videos on occasion. At first, we'll go over step-by-step processes for certain crafts and the tools required to do your projects, etc. Our first lessons will be about cross stitching. I hope you can drop by for our first lesson on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016. I have provided some brief details about cross stitching before but these classes will be more detailed. I hope to see you then!

Have a nice day!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year 2016

I wanted to wish all of you a Happy New Year. I hope 2016 will be a great year for you.

Have a nice day!

Thursday, December 24, 2015