Monday, February 8, 2016

Cross Stitch Lesson 4: Final Lesson - Changing Colors, Start and End Back Stitches and French Knots

Today will be our fourth and final cross stitch lesson.Here is the link to view all of the Cross Stitch Lessons: From time to time, I may have a refresher course with my own pattern or cross stitch chart that I have created or a free pattern that I come across. I will also upload photos when I finish this particular project.

Today's lesson will involve changing colors and adding the same color when you need to continue a series of stitches.  We will also go over how to start and end back stitches and French knots. I have lots of pictures that will, hopefully, serve as a helpful guide.

1. Above, my last two strands of medium blue ran out so I had to finish the medium blue cross stitch series with two new strands of medium blue floss. I simply ran the needle and floss under the stitches that were already in place. The stitches will hold the floss tail on the new strand instead of having to stitch over the floss tail like we did in Cross Stitch Lesson 3. It's very similar to ending a series of stitches. Remember, we do this so we don't have to knot the floss.

2. As you can see, a new color can be started the same way as adding the same color by running the thread under a row of stitches that are already on the canvas. The only exceptions would be if the stitches on the canvas are too light to conceal the new color on the front of the canvas OR if the new color on the design you will cross stitch is not near a row of stitches of the previous design you cross stitched. If you run into one of these two exceptions, refer to numbers 4 - 6 in Cross Stitch Lesson 3.  

3. Most back stitches will outline a design you cross stitched and will call for only one strand. The tail can be run behind a row of stitches for outlining just like we did in the two steps above. Remember, I provided links to my back stitch and French knot videos in Cross Stitch Lesson 2. Just ignore my instructions to knot the floss! I'm still not sure where my head was in those videos. Ü

4. Not all back stitching involves stitching from the beginning to the end of the same square. Often, it will involve skipping squares as you see above - and especially in outlining situations. Just follow your chart carefully.

5. Back stitching letters usually requires two strands of floss. Stitches should start and end with each letter. That will eliminate floss showing through on the front side by crossing a blank canvas to start the new letter. 

a. As you can see, for each letter, leave a tail. Back stitching over the tail is a little trickier that cross stitching over a tail. I try to come up on one side of the tail on the back and cross the tail as I pull the needle and floss from the back to the front. I hope to have a video of this soon. It's impossible to capture this process in photos. When that is ready, I will post it in the Cross Stitch Lessons label for you.

b. To hold the floss after the letter has been back stitched onto the canvas, loop the thread through the back stitches a couple of times so as to secure the floss and stitches. Cut the floss before starting the new letter.

6. French knots are the only knots allowed in cross stitch and are typically used as periods, to dot i's or j's, as berries or as a splash of color or detail within a set of cross stitches. Because of this, you can use stitches already in place to anchor a floss tail before making your French knot. End the French knot by pulling floss through the same strip of stitches you used to anchor the tail. Refer to my video in Cross Stitch Lesson 2 in the link provided in number 3 above to learn how to make a French knot.

Below are some additional images I thought I would include so you can see how well the project progressed.


Front and back of a new letter.

Roof is cross stitched on and two full words are back stitched on.

I finished the day's cross stitching by outlining the roof and sides of the church with back stitches. I also got a picture of  the back to show you how neat it looks as well.

I hope you have found these cross stitch lessons to be helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. I will return in a couple of weeks or so with new free craft lessons on a new subject.

Have a nice day!

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