Thread Bare


Category: cross-stitching

Cross-Stitching to Diamond Painting

Two crafts with lots of overlap

We all love our cross-stitching but it can represent a serious investment of time, effort and materials - although the results are often amazing and well worth it.

Diamond Painting is a newer craft that has a lot of similarities to cross-stitching and can even use the same patterns but produces results a lot faster.

We’ll try to show you the similarities and differences between the two and how to get started with the hobby.

patterns

Learn how to get started Diamond Painting


Why a Clear Cross-Stitch Pattern is Important

Format matters as much as the charting

When purchasing a cross-stitch pattern (or complete kit) the thing that people tend to focus on most is the image. It makes sense because it is, after all, really what we’re buying - the completed piece that the pattern enables us to produce that we can hang on our wall.

The pattern is the guide to help us get there and the quality of the pattern can really define how difficult or enjoyable that journey is in the same way that you might get to the same place whether you have a clear and easy to follow map as if you have a confusing and unclear one, but one journey will be far more frustrating with the latter.

There is always the risk that if the map is too bad and leads to us making too many mistakes (taking too many detours and retracing our steps) then we may just give up on the adventure leaving a piece to languish in a draw, a waste of effort and materials.

So what makes a good cross stitch chart?

patterns

What to look for in a Cross-Stitch Pattern


Tent Stitch Methods

Tent stitching is a good way to speed up your stitching

What is Tent Stitching? Basically it is half of a full cross-stitch. There are a number of ways to do this and while all of them look the same on the front of your design they are worked differently on the back and provide differing degrees of coverage. There are also some pros and cons to the various methods

Overall using tent stitch rather than full-cross is much quicker as you are only forming half of a cross although you don’t necessarily save much floss as you usually need to use extra strands of thread to ensure that you still get the appropriate coverage to avoid having fabric showing through.

tutorial technique

Learn the three methods of tent stitching


Featured Designer: Maria Brovko

Cross-stitch as an art medium

Welcome to a new section of the site where we plan on featuring the work of cross-stitch designers who’s work we think is particularly impressive or inspiring and that we want to share.

Real designers go beyond just converting images and actually create the artwork. The designer we’re featuring first, Maria Brovko, is someone we consider a true designer who is creating delightful, delicate and intricate pieces using cross-stitch as the medium for her art.

See more of Maria's amazing cross-stitch patterns


Loop Start - Tutorial

An alternative way to begin your stitches

Most people learn to start stitching by anchoring and burying the tail of the thread under the stitches as they go, the loop start is an alternative way to secure your floss as you begin stitching and is particularly useful if you are stitching in a confetti heavy area as it reduces the bulk on the back that can otherwise build up if anchoring numerous starts with multiple color-changes in the traditional way.

tutorial

learn how to do a loop start ...


How To Match Colors From Image To Cross-Stitch Chart

Finding the "closest" color isn't always as easy as you might think ...

Have you ever wondered exactly what is happening when you convert an image into a cross stitch pattern? It’s a lot more complicated than you might think and one of the easiest pieces to get wrong is figuring out which colors are the best match. Here’s what we learned from developing our own image to cross stitch converter app.

technical

find out how color matching works ...


The Problem with Cross-Stitch Pattern Previews

What you see may not be what you get

Whatever size or style of cross-stitch pattern you do, it represents a cost in the form of equipment, material and threads as well as time and effort. For smaller samplers it’s usually very clear what the final piece will look like so there is little chance of surprises and often the promotional image may be of an already completed piece.

matt and hilary's wedding sampler (detail)

samplers rarely look different to their previews so aren’t an issue

As we move toward larger, full-coverage patterns though this becomes a little impractical. It often takes just minutes for an operator to create a cross-stitch pattern from a photo or artwork image but that pattern could take years to actually stitch. It wouldn’t be practical or cost effective to expect every pattern to be stitched before it was sold, so instead we have to rely on the mockup or preview image to see what the final result looks like.

Unfortunately, these can sometimes be misleading usually showing a “better” result than you will actually get which is disappointing considering you may spend $ hundreds on materials and years working on them. A cross stitch pattern isn’t like a jigsaw where an original photo on the box is appropriate.

Shouldn’t pattern previews be WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get?

pattern technical

why some pattern mockups are inaccurate


Lost Your Stitching Bug? Ways To Get Re-inspired

Rekindle your love of cross-stitching

Oh no your stitching bug has decided it needs a vacation! It happens to all of us from time to time for various reasons, small kids to look after which tire you out and don’t allow much “me” time, boredom or frustration with your current project, depression, illness or simply life getting in the way so you don’t have the time.

peace out ant

It can be quite frustrating to be making good progress and then suddenly lose interest in a project, especially if you are working on something with a deadline and you just cannot motivate yourself to work on it.

Here we will offer some tips to try and reignite your interest in your projects…

find ways to get your creative juices flowing again


My Stitching Journey - Gallery of Finishes, the Early Years!

Well, the ones I actually finished anyway ...

I have been stitching since I was about 16. I don’t seem to have my very first cross-stitch piece anymore maybe my parents do, but it was one of those free gifts you get with cross-stitching magazines, a little kit of a duck and I don’t think I finished the back-stitching, starting as I meant to go on! This article will show some of my early cross-stitching and finishes from purchased kits, I’ve included details where I could but some a very old and I can’t remember the brands or names…

pattern

finished pieces I've stitched over the years


Creating Cross-Stitch Charts with Consistent Colors

Why is it so difficult?

Photographed

What color is that thread? Is it the exact color you need in your pattern?

Doesn’t that sound like such a simple question?

What may surprise you is that a craft that is so totally dependent on color doesn’t really have many clear answers. To show how much things can vary, I looked at how different apps, stores and websites represent the thread 3746 shown above:

                       

Quite a difference eh? And that’s just one thread of hundreds. BTW: If you’re thinking you can match up the best one based on the photo above then read on, it’s not that simple …

dmc threads technical

the challenge of capturing and communicating color