Cross Stitch

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Free Papers!

Just to let you all know, as I know we all love FREEBIES .....

I have added a new page to my website. You will find tips and Free papers to print on the 'Paper Craft Projects' page.

Check them out here

Joanne x

p.s don't forget to check out the 'Gallery pages' for more inspiration.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

How to design your own Cross Stitch chart Lesson 2

After playing around with creating small motifs on graph paper (Lesson 1) you may want to progress to larger motifs or converting your own drawings/photographs to Cross Stitch.

1. Take your chosen image and using a soft pencil and tracing paper, trace the image.
2. Rub over the back of the traced image with a soft pencil.
3. Place the traced image right side up on to graph paper.
4. Use a sharp pencil to go over the traced image again.
5. Remove the tracing paper to reveal the faint image on the graph paper. Go over this to make the outline darker if necessary using the Sharp pencil.
6. Use coloured pencils as described in Lesson 1 to colour the image as before.
7. It is possible to obtain specialised graph paper to correspond with fabric count, this is more expensive than simple graph paper but gives an accurate real size chart.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Question of the week

I would like to design my own cross stitch charts, where do I start?

Lesson 1

1. I recommend using graph paper to start with. Colour in the blocks to produce simple patterns and motifs.
2. Each block will represent one stitch. To find the finished size divide the number of blocks in the design by the fabric count you will be using (for 14 count fabric).
3. Use coloured pencils to roughly match the chosen thread colours to give a more realistic idea of the finished design (use a thread chart to finalise the DMC or preferred manufacturer thread number).
4. Make a simple key at the side by colouring a block or blocks with the coloured pencils and write the corresponding thread numbers at the side.
5. practise first by designing simple borders and repeat motifs before trying larger designs with shading and detail.
6. Thread colours will look different depending on where they are placed and the adjacent colour.

See the next lesson for more designing tips

Joanne x

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Question of the week

I am quite new to cross-stitch how do I make neat stitches?

Firstly always stitch in good light and take your time practise does make perfect - here are few tips.
  1. Ensure all the cross stitches are made in the same way i.e all the top diagonals have to lie in the same direction.
  2. Complete each stitch as you go as this will help get the stitches even tension (as opposed to making a line of diagonals and then going back across the row to complete the stitch - this can distort the fabric) Using a hoop or frame will also help with the tension.
  3. Every so often let go of the needle and let it spin and unravel - this will help prevent knots forming)
  4. Make sure that you use the correct amount of strands every time you thread the needle.
  5. Try to come up through an unoccupied hole and down an occupied one.
  6. If using 2 strands for the cross stitch - use the loop method to start this will help you avoid tying knots.
  7. Avoid trailing the thread over long distances when stitching in different areas - instead weave the thread under the stitches on the back of the fabric.
  8. When finishing, weave the thread under a few stitches on the back of the fabric before trimming, again avoid tying knots as they Will show through the front especially on even weave fabric.
  9. Practise on smaller designs until you are confident with your stitching - the result may encourage you to try something a little more challenging.
  10. Accuracy and careful counting are just as important as neat stitches.
  11. Always make sure your hands are clean and that you do not leave the needle parked in the fabric as rust stains may form.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Happy Easter....

Everyone. In between delivering Easter eggs, giving my website a Spring makeover and catching up on some gardening, I've been working on lots of new Cross Stitch designs. I have decided to give all my customers an 'Easter Gift' and for one week only *Buy One Get One Free* applies to all my chart downloads. See for details. There's also an Easter themed freebie on my 'Free Chart page' - you've still got time to stitch it as it's quick and easy.

Joanne x

Wednesday, 1 April 2009


We've got broadband again!
After weeks of trudging laptop in hand, to different friends houses to get on to the internet, I have finally got a broadband connection at my new address. To celebrate I decided to give my website a Spring makeover, and feeling more than ready to get back in to some proper work I have added over 40 new Cross stitch charts to the shopping pages. Hope you like the websites new colour scheme - I managed to add a bit of aquamarine (my favourite colour) and lilac (requested by Rianna) - which has me thinking of beaches and holidays mmm.......
Although it didn't go so smoothly to begin with as I have Sky as my ISP and didn't realise that like thousands of others out there (judging by the problems published on various websites) sky's settings are a bit different from other providers. In the end I did manage to work out a way to configure Windows Mail to send and receive my website email through sky - anyone reading this and having problems with their own sky broadband can email me and I will send you the settings I used!
So now I am going to spend the rest of the evening catching up on some long overdue emails...

Joanne x

Wednesday, 25 March 2009


I have added a free Thread Sorter to the 'Free page' of my website, which you can use for all your stitching projects.
Here is the link Select 'print' from the file menu (or the printer icon) the sheet contains 4 thread sorters, cut out each along the dotted lines. Use a hole punch to make the holes down the left hand side and away you go.
You will also find new free charts on the same web page, happy stitching.
Joanne x

Monday, 23 March 2009

Question of the week

How many strands of thread should I use for Cross Stitching? -

14 count fabric
On 14 count WHITE fabric usually 2 strands of thread is enough. For coloured fabrics use 3 strands so that the stitches are denser and the colour of the thread will stand out against the background fabric. One strand for Back stitch is usually sufficient when stitching on any colour/fabric count.

tip - if using white thread to Back stitch - you may need 2 strands to make it stand out, the same applies to metallic thread.

16 and 18 count fabric
2 strands for the cross stitches will give denser stitches than on 14 count, which can look really effective. Try stitching the background parts of a design with 1 strand to give a 3-D feel. Avoid using more than 2 strands on 18 count fabric as the stitches will be difficult to make and the thread will become worn whilst stitching and may break.

Evenweave fabric
Treat 28 count as 14count Aida (as the stitches are over two threads of fabric) the same applies to 36 (as 18 count Aida etc....)

Tip for the day

I have had a few emails asking how to calculate the finished size of a Cross-stitch project. I usually give stitch size and measurements for 14 count fabric for all the charts on my website, as this is the most popular size. You can of course work on any size fabric - to calculate the finished design size just divide the number of stitches by the fabric count. We work in inches because the fabric count is given in inches (14 count means 14 stitches per inch of fabric)

e.g a project 140 x 140 stitches (140 divided by 14) would be 10 x 10 inches. Its equivalent 18 count size is 7.8 inches x 7.8 inches (140 divided by 18).

Don't forget to always cut the fabric a good few inches bigger to allow for finishing and mounting.
Small items that are to be made into cards need only a couple of inches on each side, whereas larger items that are to be framed will need at least 4 inches on all four sides (so this will mean that the fabric should be 8 inches wider and 8 inches bigger than the finished design).

For more tips look back over my blog, you can email your questions to me at , and I will do my best to answer them. Joanne x

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

What a palarva

I'm sat in McDonald's with my laptop writing this cos who'd have thought that a simple transfer of address would result in 4 weeks without my phone line or broadband connection. Just as I thought it couldn't get any worse my email addresses were then cancelled an 'admin error' by my Internet service provider - there's no way to cancel a cancellation I am told.
So I am frantically trying to email everyone to let them know that my email address no longer exists - simple eh..... except everything to do with my work and website was woven together like a delicate thread - hanging now somewhere in cyberspace I presume.

If anyone needs to get in touch with me - you can do so at

The Tiscali emails are no longer available. Once the broadband is up and running (you wouldn't believe how hard that seems to be right now) I shall be updating my Website & Blog, in the mean time I have managed to sneak a Mother's Day Freebie on to the 'Free charts' page (no easy task) - anyway must dash, am getting funny looks - how long can you make a cup of coffee last - perhaps I shall order a burger - which should make good for another hour at least - then there's a McFlurry of course!

Joanne xxx

Monday, 5 January 2009

A Belated.....

Happy New Year to everyone......
first day back at my desk so loads of catching up to do. Made even worse as I had a nasty dose of the Flu over Christmas that developed into a nasty viral rash I hid every time the camera came out and tried to avoid being on any photo's this year as I was one very swollen, blistered (and feeling sorry for myself) person.

So belated Christmas and New Year wishes to everyone out there. I shall be catching up reading Sharon and Chris's bloggs this afternoon and trying to get some creative inspiration - as I always do when reading what they have been up to.

Hugs Joanne x.