Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Simple Cross-Stitch Tips

Getting some encouragement from Fely, I finally decided to pick up from where I left off with my Cross-Stitch of Sasha two years ago.

This is the picture that I'm making the cross-stitch from. 
Sasha was just a few months old then and she hasn't started growing her 'trademark' beard yet, which is why I decided this would be the best picture to use.  And I have really enjoyed cross-stitching this picture so far. This is how far I've got to.
I know, I've got a long way to go yet!!
You probably can't see it clearly but you can just about make out on the right hand side the contour of Sasha's face with her right ear flapping down. Due to the type of fabric I've chosen, the squares are extremely small and it's quite a job trying to follow the chart and stitch at the same time without losing your place constantly. It is especially challenging when you get to a part with lots of different colours like this.
So I've decided to fashion a marker in which I can use to hold the paper in place, while marking my progress on the chart. I started off with this.
Nothing fancy, just a straight piece of rather thick wire. 
Next, bend the wire following the shape of a paper clip.
And then you'll get this.
Simple, right? But be careful you don't poke your eyes out with the sharp ends.
And then, clip it anywhere on the side of your chart like you would a paper clip. Move it accordingly to which part of the chart you're working on.
To make it even more effective, use a black marker and make a tiny mark on the point of the giant paper clip like this.
And not only will this help to make your chart stay more in place, you'll never lose your place on it, ever again!
Another tip I find extremely useful, especially after you have worked a few different colours from your chart, is to keep your loose threads organised and properly labelled. 
Start off with this.
Again, nothing fancy, just a piece of paper folded in half with holes punched on one side from top to bottom. Tie the loose threads each colour to a hole and label them like this.
That way, you'll never lose track of which code the loose threads belong to. Sometimes, because there may be two or three colours with shades that are very close to one another, it is extremely difficult to tell which colour is which without properly organising and labelling them. This will make your life so much easier when you're trying to reuse your loose threads again.
Another tip I find useful is colour marking the chart as I go along. (Assuming that you are not going to use the plan again)
Just get a few gel pens, and mark your progress on your chart. This way, you'll find it easier to keep track of your overall progress.
It might be a bit messy, but I find this method extremely useful every time I want to pick up my project again after leaving it for some time.

These are just a few handy tips which I find extremely useful in helping to keep me organised and to make my cross-stitch experience a bit more fun and hassle-free.

Try them and let me know!!


escape2 said...

eh what about dotting the colours on the piece of cloth instead? isn't it easier? and nobody can actually see them once you have stitched that spot.
u used the software u sent me lasttime to make the picture right??

PengPeng彬彬 said...

escape, i tried dotting the colour on the fabric once on my other project but unfortunately the colour ran a bit and also sometimes with lighter shade of thread you can still see the markings coming through so i stopped doing that. good idea though...

yeah la... did you not try out the software? what i like about the software is that you can choose the degree of details you want for your cross stitch project. if you want it to look more real and 3d, then you choose the option for lots of colours, but if you want to keep it simple and easy then it can also generate a chart with use of minimal number of colours, if it makes sense?

Fely said...

Astaga!!! Gila this woman! So complicated the steps!! Hahahahah!
But knowing you, you'd be breezing your wah through it. Kalau you can do this no problem, the sewing with a sewing machine is a piece of cake for you. The easiest thing in the world.
Amoi ah, esok balik sini sudah tau. Get some Autumn top ready in your hand carry sebab it's not so warm here, I think about 14C. Will be quite a shock to your system after the hot and humid sauna of Malaysia.
Nanti kalau sudah balik, PING me ok. Kalau belum balik pun, still PING me, no probs.
Alrite hun, keep up the good work with cross stitching!! Absolutely impressive and worh framing once it's done! XXX

PengPeng彬彬 said...

Fely : when it's done... if you count it mathematically, two years and i achieved one small corner... for the whole picture to be finished, how many decades would that take?! haha.... it's not very complicated but because i am anal and organised, i like to make things easy, for me, hehe. (you know me la)

well, for tomorrow i have prepared a normal t for on the plane and then a jumper for when going outside, can already kan? but i make sure i'll have lipbalm and moisturiser handy coz those are the two main signs of me drying up - cracked lips and hands...

i will ping you the minute i can...

speak soon hun.


Bea said...

bloody hell!!! it sounds complicated before i even finish reading! hahaha trust you to make a simple thing so bloody complicated, woman!!! hahaha....

I like the background flowers but it doesn't scream you leh... a bit too dull for you i think???

tiee said...

Oh dear! It looks so complicated. I'm never going to be able to follow your instructions. Don't have the patient lah.. You are so meticulous and very organised wooo...bravo. Not many people have your patience.

PengPeng彬彬 said...

Haiya people, there is nothing complicated about what i wrote leh. all i did was to try and make things easier by being more organised leh... honestly !! :P

SJB said...

Looks so complicated oh (for me heheh).

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