Faster Cross-stitching?

2017-02-23-18-49-28

The bear looks kinda creepy without the eyes stitched in, welp..

Been making lots of progress with the Past, Present, Forever and the Flowers and Lace patterns. I’ll leave it up to you guys, my readers, to take that as sarcasm or not :D. I spent the last few days stitching those two patterns more than I normally would, and I suppose in the process, I got sick of them and started a new one. The new pattern’s called Teddy Bear Gathering, and it’s another from the Dimensions Gold Collection :).

I’m in love with the railroading technique. For those whom this is the first time seeing this term, it’s a stitching technique that helps make two strands in a stitch lie parallel to each other. I don’t think I’ve ever had my stitches lie so flatly and neatly before, and I feel like it’s reduced the times the threads have gotten tangled (knock on wood!). Thank you so much, Nat, for introducing me to the term! Please check out her beautiful stitching here and here. She also writes heartful, and at times, raw posts about her personal dealings with social anxiety.

I’ve been lately hoping to stitch faster, and stumbled upon the term “the sewing method“. I’ve seen the method used before in other videos, but didn’t have a chance to place a name with it until now. I do hope to use the method soon although I probably won’t be able to with the constant color changes I have in the patterns currently. I’ll have to wait until I finish most of those sections, and get to the background since backgrounds have generally large sections of one color.

Another thing I’ve seen a lot of stitchers do in videos that I wish I mastered is poking the needle in the right place from the back of the cloth/pattern to the front without having to flip to look at the back of the cloth. For those of you who stitch like that comfortably, HOW THE HELL DO YOU DO THAT? I always have trouble pushing the needle through the right place and end up poking EVERYWHERE but the right one. It looks like stitching would go sooo much faster if I could do that properly!

Do you ladies have tips and tricks to stitch faster or any other general tricks you like to use? I’d love to hear from you! I have a few cross-stitch tips and tricks videos in my YouTube watchlist and wouldn’t mind adding more :).

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4 thoughts on “Faster Cross-stitching?

  1. Haha that bear is both cute and creepy without the eyes. 🙂

    I’m so happy that my advice about the railroading technique was helpful to you. Thank you for the blog mention too.

    The sewing method looks hard! I don’t know if I have the patience for poking my needle through two holes at once and looking to make sure the two floss strands are straight. It might be a good method to use if there’s a lot of stitches next to each other that are the same color but not if the project requires a lot of color change.

    I use the loop method for starting new stitches. I don’t know if you are familiar with it, but this video (https://youtu.be/HLxIYeZJHeE) gives a tutorial on how to do it.

    I have the tendency as well to look at the back of my fabric when I have to put the needle through the back. It’s difficult to be able to predict (without looking at the back) which hole is the right one to jab the needle through. The only things that have helped me somewhat is holding the actual fabric area of where I’m currently stitching. I use my left hand to hold the fabric area and my right hand holds the needle and I sorta focus on the holes and feel my way around the back of the fabric. I find that “zooming in” on the stitching area in this manner lessens the difficulty of stitching without looking at the back. However, it’s a little tedious because with big projects I have to roll up and clamp unused fabric space in place just so I can focus on the area I’m working on. The second thing that helps is lighting. During daylight hours outside, I can actually see the holes under direct sunlight and it’s easier for me to poke the needle through the right hole. Indoors is harder. I have a lamp that has an adjustable head and I aim the light at the back of my fabric as I hold it up to stitch so I can see the holes.

    If you’re using the same color over and over, you can prepare several needles with the floss already inserted in so when you reach the end with the current one you are using, you can just keep going with the next needle instead of having to stop and refill the floss.

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    1. Thanks for commenting Nat 🙂 I love using the loop method much more than having to hold the tails down! I’ll def try experimenting with my light sources to see if it’ll help with sticking the needle from the back of the cloth to the front. And threading several needles seems like a pretty awesome tip, thanks!

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  2. The bear is looking good but you are right a bit creepy without the eyes xD Can’t wait to see him finished. 🙂 Totally understand about having to look at the back of the fabric to poke the needle through, sometimes I can do it without looking first time but thats very rare. What I do is normally focus on the hole that I want the needle to go through and just poke around, its no very affective I know but it sometimes works but most of the time I do have to look at the back of my projects. 🙂

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  3. Loop method every time – although it wasn’t until I watched a Carolyn Mazzeo youtube tutorial before I realised I could do it from the front too! Check her out, or at least that one.
    and with the sew method? Finding holes is just practice. After a while you’ll have muscle memory and it will become second nature 🙂

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