A few months ago I started a “super secret” project for a dear blogger friend: a DIY little mermaid cross stitch. I thought that it would be fun to share some behind the scenes (& a few tips) in the blog in case you are staying at home this August and would like to spend some fun time under your AC.
First a disclaimer, although I am not an expert whatsoever I have successfully done some cross stitching projects so I am going to give my humble bit, I would love to hear in the comments all your tips as well!
- A very silly first thing to take into account is to buy more canvas than your final frame will have, I find easier to don’t focus on the final frame at the first stage and stitch like it is a white (kind of) infinite canvas. At least add 10cm (4inch) for each side of your pattern .
- I always use a bigger embroidery hoop than what I envision the final piece will be at (I tend to always frame cross stitching on hoops, I like the look!), so the canvas is always cut considering this bigger hoop hence I assure I will have room for re-framing and such!
- I don’t have a favorite brand for the cross stitching floss, the two giants are DMC and Anchor which are equally good. One thing I would recommend is stick with one or the other for the complete project. However you do have available online converting charts, in case you need to switch or your pattern is given in the other.
For this project I used Anchor and colors: 2 (white), 101 (beige), 868 (pale pink), 333 (orange), 308 (ocher), 9046 (red), 1072 (turquoise), 227 (green), 1030 (lavender), 119 (lilac), 20 (maroon), 228 (medium green), 246 (dark green), 381 (dark beige brown) and 152 (dark gray).
- You are supposed to start in the middle and then go from there, but depending on the pattern I just find easier to start from top to bottom like in this case.
- I always use two threads. I try to not cut more than 40cm (15.7 inch) of each thread so I don’t get knots and once in a while when the thread is looking twisted I just pull the needle down and let it un-twist itself. If you actually get a knot (it happens, don’t worry!) I unthread the needle and use the needle to untie the knot, most of the times it will work just fine.
- I was told that if the back of your embroidery is looking good everything is going perfect on the front. I’m not even sure if this is helpful or not, but I always find it reassuring having a good back :)
- What about patterns? Well, there are a pretty bunch of patterns on Pinterest & online, just search for anything followed by “cross stitching” and there you go. Also I think it is pretty easy to follow any pixelated drawing but then you’ll have to work on your colors, but I think that only adds to the creativity fun, doesn’t it?
- You can always leave your back at sight, but I prefer adding a patterned fabric to finish the piece. Add a white cloth if the fabric is looking throw too much on your work, but hey, I like the look.
I have been since thinking that I would love to do a cat-related piece after this one, or maybe typography, or both, I love typography cross stitching (check this one I did 2 years ago) because it may add a modern twist to what sometimes is thought to be too cutesy. Do you have any project in mind? I know summer is a time to spend less time at home, but cross stitching is really a take-away hobby, bring it to your next travel train!
Oh! I almost forgot! You can check at Fiona’s blog how she received her package with Ariel, the little mermaid!