Counted Cross-stitch Tips
Beginner stitchers check out this Cross stitch tutorial on YouTube first!
- Our patterns are full color and the blocks have both the visual color and the unique symbol for the corresponding DMC color floss. I feel that this is much easier to process than black and white squares with symbols. If you prefer your pattern in black and white you can choose the black/white setting on your printer. Each large square contains 10 blocks so you can quickly count large numbers of stitches. (see image right)
- You may find that you need a line minder for your pattern. Since I often work while looking at a PDF on my computer/tablet I use post-it notes. You can use these on the monitor, a tablet, or right on the printed pattern. They sell magnetic line minders for printed patterns in most craft stores. This will speed up your work and alleviate a lot of repetitive hunting for your place.
- Always cut your fabric too big for your project. I leave enough extra around the edges to comfortably fit it into the next size larger frame (example: for an 8x10 I cut about 1.5” around a 10x13 size).
- Always buy the higher quality cloth. I buy the Charles Craft Gold Standard Aida at my local craft stores. You will be tempted to buy the cheaper cloth. Please don't, you'll be disappointed with the final product. The cheaper cloth shows all the loose ends through the thinner fabric and it will never lay flat.
- Use a hoop or frame to hold your cloth taut. A nice tight surface facilitates neat and tidy stitches and makes the whole experience much easier.
- Wash your hands and always make sure your hands are their cleanest with no greasy moisturizers on them that may affect the fabric or floss.
- Enjoy your project. It should be something relaxing. If you get mad at it take a break and come back later.
- All of our patterns come with a list DMC floss numbers. Always buy DMC. Their floss is colorfast and uniform. Cheaper floss will not have the same colors as the pattern and the colors can bleed and fade.
- Fold your fabric in half then fold that in half again perpendicularly. That will give you the center of your fabric. That is where I recommend you start. There is a black triangle at the top and side center. The point where those two lines intersect is the center of the pattern. (see red arrow image right)
- Use two strands of DMC floss for everything including french knots. If you need thinner back-stitching and smaller french knots you can use one strand. There are 6 strands total in DMC floss.
- You will have nice, uniform, rows if you do long rows of one stitch direction then come back and do the other (cross) stitches. Do all of these stitches first \\\ then come back and do all of the /// or vice versa. Always making sure to carry the order that you chose (left or right stitch on top) throughout the entire pattern for uniformity. Any variances will be obvious in the completed project.
- There are several types of stitches you will see in Grannie Panties patterns:
- Cross Stitch: entire square is filled with a color (see image blue P)
- Half Stitch: represented as half of a square (triangle within square - see image red o)
- Petite Stitch: tiny x that takes up 1/4 of the square, you can substitute a quarter stitch for these (one half of one of the stitches in a square) (see image purple P)
- Back Stitch: solid line on your design chart (see image black line top)
- French Knot: bold dot with or without symbol in the center (see illustration above)
- Have confidence in yourself. Do not be intimidated by the project as a whole. Set small goals for yourself. Slow and steady and you'll be done before you know it!
You can do it you are amazing!
Finished Cross Stitch Piece Care
- Pre-rinse your piece in cold running water. Make sure any surfaces it may touch are clean.
- Gently hand wash each piece separately in clean, cold, water and a small amount of dish soap or mild detergent, paying close attention to knots and things that can come loose.
- Do not use Woolite, harsh detergents, or chlorine bleach.
- Do not wash with anything else.
- If there is a stain on the piece you can spot-treat with white vinegar. Let soak in detergent and cold water solution for up to 15 minutes. Gently agitating and checking spot.
- Rinse several times in clean cold water, dumping the rinse water after each rinse. Don't fret if the water appears to be colored during washing, keep rinsing until the water comes off clear.
- Take piece out of water. Do not wring. Lay piece flat and smooth between two clean towels and roll up gently to remove most of the excess water.
- Unroll towels and spread piece flat and smooth to dry on a clean, dry, towel. Air dry until it is barely damp so you can iron it on warm (never hot).
- To iron place the cross stitch face down between two clean, dry, towels and press gently. Do not press hard or use high heat you will crush your stitches and it will look weird. Remove any creases or fold lines using the steam setting on your iron.
- Do not dry-clean or use any sort of starch or protective-spray. You will likely cause the floss to bleed and/or lose vibrancy.