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Saturday, December 29, 2012

There Are a Few Simple Rules....

Tessie and I have been taking turns, working on this rug all morning.  Off and on...Between other jobs.

Those of you that aren't interested in cross stitch will probably be bored to tears.

Those of you that are, might get a few tips from this.

Incidentally, the little case that Tessie is sitting in, is a purchase at the after Christmas sale at Walmart several years ago. 75% off! I wish that they had something similar this year.  No such luck.  This one is starting to show a little wear and tear.  I fitted the inside to hold two rows of embroidery thread and patterns held in the lid with Velcro. It's a great take along case.
Now.  About those rules.

Over the years, I have devised this method of stitching.  I find that it is the fastest and most accurate way to work, when doing straight and diagonal lines.  I use it for background and geometric shapes.

I have never seen it written down anywhere.  I worked it out with logic and it seems to work for me. 

The first rule is.  Every cross stitch is started in the upper left corner and the second half of the stitch is parallel with the top thread of the fabric that you are stitching over.

Second rule is...When doing straight lines work either from right to left or bottom to top.  If you want to go back in the opposite direction, turn the work upside down.  Don't try to stitch back the way you came.

When I first learned to cross stitch, the teacher was doing that old "work the first half of the stitches going from left to right and then work the second half back....For me, that just didn't work.  I had stitches slipping out of place and other problems....What if I wanted to do a couple of stitches out of the line?

Then that little light bulb went on over my head.  I realized that, when doing hand sewing, I never went from left to right.  I always went right to left.  That is natural for a right handed person.

I kept at it until I got a four step pattern to do two stitches.  They don't slip out of place this way and it is fast, once you get the rhythm.

Go back and look at the second photo.  You will see that the thread is coming out of the left top corner of the X.  To make the cross, you have to go on the diagonal.   In this case, the top thread is vertical.  Therefore the needle follows the thread.  One stitch from the bottom right corner to the top right.

Second photo.  Complete the cross in the bottom left and continue by slipping the needle through to the top left of the next stitch.

I know this sounds complicated, but if you just follow the directions carefully and practice, I guarantee that you will be doing this automatically in no time....And you will speed up your stitching.

You are now in position to do the second stitch.  The third step is to do a right to left stitch across the bottom.  This makes your first diagonal.
The fourth step is to complete that stitch by going in the top right and doing a horizontal stitch across the top across two threads.  This will bring you back to step #1.
If you should happen to start on an X that has a horizontal thread on top, simply start with the third and fourth step.  Just always remember rule #1.  Needle always parallel to the top thread on the second step of each cross.

The way to get to Carnegie Hall?  Practice!  If anybody shows any interest, I will show you how to do the vertical steps tomorrow.

My favorite saying, when I was teaching was, "Trust me!  I know what I'm doing!".  It still applies.  Just read carefully and practice. Soon it will come naturally.

See you tomorrow.


Lisa Marie said...

Thank you! I am interested in part two!

rosanna said...

This is how I do it... just out of practice and trials and mistakes.
I am very glad that someone else is doing this,I felt a bit out of the crowd
Best wishes, Rosanna

Elga said...

Casey, this is the stitch I use all the time, the Victorians used this stitch, so it is called Victorian Cross Stitch and here is a nice diagram.

The rug looks great!

Have a wonderful 2013!!!

Elga said...

Hm, had a look again, the way you do your diagonal stitches looks like the Victorian cross stitch, in any case, once I got my head around the Victorian stitch it goes easy and quick and I have a perfect square piece of embroidery, no pulling at a slant, I don't like tent stitch at all.

Caseymini said...

Rosanna, I'm happy to hear that I am not alone.

Elga, it is not anything like the Victorian stitch. The Victorian still has some of the threads not going parallel with the top thread. I don't have to block this at all.

Fabiola said...

I like your rug.
Bye Faby

Chris P's Minis and More said...

wow casey you took a lot of time to type this all up! I love your work i do x stitch but have not dina any in years who know..thank you for all the great detailed instructions!!
Happy New Year!