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Getting Started

Beginning cross-stitch

Choosing and preparing fabric.

To determine the dimensions of a stitched design on any fabric, use this formula: number of stitches across design area / number of threads per inch of fabric = size of fabric in inches.

Add at least 3" to all outside edges of design area measurements, or cut fabric to measurements listed in the Materials section. For example, if your design area is 6"x 8", fabric should be cut at least 12"x 14". Cut fabric evenly along horizontal and vertical threads. To prevent raveling, hand overcast or machine zigzag the edges of fabric.

To find the center of the fabric, fold in half vertically and horizontally. Mark center with a pin. Find the center of the graph by following the arrows to the center point. Most stitchers prefer starting at or near the center point.

Preparing floss

The six strands of floss are easily separated, and the number of strands used is given in instructions. Cut strands in 14"- 18" lengths. When separating floss, always separate all six strands, then recombine the number of strands needed. To colorfast red floss tones, which sometimes bleed, hold floss under running water until water runs clear. Allow to air dry.

Starting, stitching and stopping

Begin stitching by bringing your needle up from the underside of fabric at starting point. Hold about 1" of thread behind fabric and stitch over it, securing it with the first few stitches. For even stitches, keep a consistent tension on your thread and pull thread and needle completely through fabric with each stab of the needle. Make all the top crosses on your cross-stitches face the same direction. To finish a thread, run the needle under the back side of several stitches and clip. Threads carried across the back of unworked areas may show through to the front, so do not carry threads. Finish off and start again in the next section.