featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Ever wonder why I chose a background of embroidery floss for the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog?  Simple.  I love to cross stitch!  I wish I had time to cross stitch more often, but it’s kind of hard to squeeze in a few relaxing hours of stitching when there always seems to be something else that needs doing -- like figuring out how to pay off dead hubby’s loan shark.  Someday I may be able to get back to my favorite pastime and wile away the hours with a piece of linen, a tapestry needle, and all those gorgeous DMC floss colors.  In the meantime, I’ve got some cross stitching tips to share with those of you who do manage to squeeze in some cross stitching time from time to time. -- AP  

To prevent linen, Aida cloth, and evenweave from creasing when not working on a project, roll the fabric in acid free tissue paper and place it inside a cardboard tube.  Use empty tubes from toilet tissue for small projects and plastic wrap or foil for larger projects.

If you prefer to use a hoop when you stitch, always remove your stitching from the hoop when not working on it.  Plastic hoops are preferable to wooden or metal ones which may stain your fabric.  If you prefer to use wood or metal, prevent staining by sandwiching your fabric between two sheets of muslin before inserting into the hoop.  Carefully cut out the muslin to 1” from hoop.

If you’re a mom, chances are you’re also the family chauffeur.  Ever think of keeping a project in the glove compartment of your car?  Pull it out to work on while you’re waiting to pick up the kids from school or soccer.  No kids?  Bring your project along when you have a doctor’s appointment.  You’ll enjoy stitching a lot more than leafing through those outdated magazines in the waiting room.

Here are two tips for take-along projects.  Instead of balancing a chart on your lap, stitch half of each  cross stitch throughout the project when you can do so at home.  Complete the stitches whenever you have a few minutes of “wait” time.  Another tip is to stitch the perimeter of large areas of solid color.  Fill in the areas during those “wait” times.

Look for more cross stitch and other crafting tips in future columns.  Meanwhile, what are some of your favorite stitching tips? Anyone who posts a comment this week is entered into the drawing for a free book from our Book Club Friday guest author. -- AP


Kathy said...

Counted cross stitch is my number one favorite craft. There is nothing quite like taking a blank piece of fabric and watching a picture unfold. Of course, there is also nothing quite like counting wrong and having to rip out half your project either. But hopefully that doesn't happen too often.

A word of warning to those who bring their projects to the doctor's office which I have done many times: Be prepared to give lessons. Everyone wants to know what you're doing, see what you're doing, and how do you do it.

Cross stitching is a great hobby. There are patterns for absolutely every subject you can think of. You can stitch clothing, pictures, ornaments, towels, potholders, paperweights and just about anything else you can think of that can use fabric. I think I'll go dig out my cross stitching now and work on some cat ornaments.

Kttycat said...

Cross stitching is my favorite hobby. There is so much you can do with just some fabric and different color threads.

I guess my favorite tip would be how to get knots out of your thread. As soon as you get one stop what you are doing. Insert your needle into the loop above the knot. And then pull slightly on each side and see which gives. Pull the knot all the way up to your needle. Take the needle out and pull both sides of the string. Knot should come right out. Works 98% of the time for me.

Anonymous said...

Cross stitching is too hard for my old eyes but I love reading about it so I am always looking for new authors in that category.

Thanks for the interview and please enter my name in your drawing.

Helen Kiker
555 Fox Drive
Winchester, VA 22601